Antiques series. This episode comes from Ickworth House, a Georgian palace. Paul Martin is joined by experts Adam Partridge and Philip Serrell.
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We're in Suffolk. I'm taking the scenic route.
Later on in the programme,
we'll be exploring some of the more unusual features the landscape
has to offer around here, but first, we need to find some antiques.
And our valuation day venue is being held
in one of the county's more unusual landmarks.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Big Ben, the White Cliffs of Dover, Stonehenge.
Our country is identified by and loved for its landmarks.
And one of the most outstanding landmarks in Suffolk
is today's valuation venue, Ickworth House.
It was created by the fourth Earl of Bristol
to indulge a fascination for oval buildings.
Begun in 1795, the result is one of England's most extraordinary houses.
# Run, run, run away, run away, baby
# Before I put my spell on you. #
The Earl designed this striking architectural delight, the Rotunda,
to house his fine art collection and, of course, for entertaining.
And I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that today,
some 200 years later, it's still fulfilling its purpose.
Hundreds of people have turned up laden with fine art
and antiques, all hoping to be entertained by our experts
and all hoping they're one of the lucky ones to get picked
to go through to the auction later on.
But first of all, they all want to ask
that all-important question, which is...
CROWD: What's it worth?
They're going to find out and so are you, so stay tuned.
And already making their mark on the queue are today's experts.
A feature on the antiques scene for longer than he'd care to mention.
It's the one and only Philip Serrell.
What do you think it might be worth
and what would persuade you to sell it?
It would have to be thousands, which is isn't.
I think you're going to have this for a long time.
And on his tail is the sprightly Adam Partridge.
-So I've been told.
Oh, you knew that already.
"Tell me something I don't know," she's saying.
Today, we've got our very own wing of the house, the West Wing.
And we've got a packed show ahead,
so let's open the doors and get cracking.
Coming up, there's some good news at the valuation day tables.
I like that reaction. That's good. You can come again.
And some bad news.
-The artist is Michelangelo.
-But not that one.
But whose day turns out much better than predicted?
Well, it's all going on right here in the West Wing.
We have a whole team of experts off-screen, doing all the research
and on-screen, in front of the camera.
So I think it's about time we caught up with Philip Serrell
and our first valuation.
It's lights, camera, action. It's all happening down there.
To kick off, we thought we'd treat Phil
to one of his favourite types of pottery.
Jean, I was having a really nice day
and I thought, what a lovely place this is,
and then you had to go and spoil it and bring this along.
-Have you not seen me with Clarice Cliff on this programme?
-I gather you don't like it.
-I hate it.
Do you like it? Truthfully?
-No, I don't like it at all.
No, I don't hate it. I think it's quite stylish. She was a good lady.
Died in 1972 at the age of 73.
She's clearly very innovative
and up there at the forefront of 20th-century British potters,
but this was done in the 1930s. And this was the height.
She was the director of the company when she did this.
-And is it the Coral...?
-Coral Firs pattern, isn't it?
So you don't like this, but you've got it. How does that sort of...?
It belonged to my late partner.
How he acquired it, it belonged to his aunt.
-And it just stayed in the cabinet.
-It was just stuff.
-I knew it was a good piece because it's Clarice Cliff.
-This is a good thing. It's in good order.
So you can see there, look, it's got, "Made in England,"
and then we've got hand painted,
"Bizarre by Clarice Cliff, Newport Pottery."
What you have got is if you flash it in the light,
-can you see all those crazing marks there?
That's not cracking, that's crazing in the glaze.
And her works were prone to that.
It's a 64,000 question, isn't it, which is, what's it worth?
I think it needs to be estimated at sort of £400-£600.
That would be my view.
And I'd put a reserve on it of £400,
but I'd give the auctioneers 10% discretion if they needed it.
-Yeah, that's fine.
-Let it go.
Jean's not the only one keen to flog it.
There must be homes all across Suffolk today with more
space in the wardrobes or a gap on the wall.
Look at that.
Beautiful washed out watercolours, just very soft and palatable.
That's really nice, isn't it? They're just ready to make sail.
Are you all having a good time, everyone?
Yes. Fingers crossed it could be you or you or you going through to the auction
later on, and making a small fortune.
Don't go away, because it starts right here.
Now, Adam can play the violin and piano
but can he tease out a tune on Helen's musical instrument?
-Good morning, Helen. Welcome to Flog It.
This is a concertina, as you know,
but a lot of people will call them squeezeboxes, accordions.
-The correct term is a concertina. Do you play it?
How would you come to own it?
It came down from my late father, who died 30 years ago.
-It's been on a shelf in the wardrobe ever since.
-But he played it, did he?
-Yes, he did as a child.
-I can remember him playing it when I was a small child.
-Folk music and things like that?
-Mainly hymns, I think.
Mainly hymns? They are used as well in a religious context.
We've already said it's a concertina.
It's a 48-key concertina.
There's different keys, different models of these out there.
It's got its original rosewood box as well.
-Got the key
-..still got the key.
This oval plaque here. There would have been a paper label behind there,
-and that's where the maker's label would have been.
And a serial number.
From that, I can tell it was made by Louis Lachenal,
who was a prolific maker of concertinas
-at the end of the 19th century. So this dates about 1880.
It's got this pierced rosewood end,
and the leather bellows are in quite good order.
I'm just being careful to open it up there.
There doesn't seem to be any holes or anything like that.
-Can you get a note out of it?
-Not really. It's just been...
-You don't know how to play it?
-I don't either.
Sounds like a scary movie, doesn't it?
It does show that it's working, it's making a good noise.
And a lateral concertina of this kind is still quite collected,
-because people still play them.
This should meet with lots of interest at auction.
The basic model is £50-£80.
And the very best concertinas, up to £5,000.
They really vary quite a lot. This one here, it's not a bad example.
And I would suggest it should make £200-£300 at auction.
-Is that all right with you?
-Yes, that's fine.
I put a reserve just slightly below, 180 reserve.
And I hope the auctioneer can squeeze a few bids out of it.
Well, one thing is for sure.
I don't think we can squeeze many more people into the west wing.
So, how about we pop outside
and take a look at the fourth Earl of Bristol's creation,
with splendid rotunda?
A monument with more than one use.
Now, the Earl loved to travel. He had a particular passion for Italy
and he wanted the style of architecture to reflect
the Italianate style, and I think he's really achieved that.
But the rotunda had another purpose.
It's known that the ground water here was
polluted by agricultural waste in the 1860s.
The problem was solved with a rainwater harvesting system.
Basically, the rotunda collected the rainwater in the roof.
It was put through a filter and then pumped to the attic in the house,
and then distributed throughout the house as and when needed,
by turning on the tap.
So, not just an iconic, beautiful piece of architecture,
but also a practical building as well.
And back in the west wing, beautiful as well as practical
might be an apt description of Shirley's profession.
-Shirley, how are you?
-Fine, thank you.
-Now, are you a Suffolk lass?
-Cambridgeshire, by one mile.
-By one mile.
Are you in love with the agricultural fraternity?
-I used to be. I'm a carriage driving teacher, really.
-the Duke of Edinburgh does?
-How long did it take you to learn that?
-I started when I was six
-with Shetland ponies.
-Are you from a farming family?
Because this painting you brought along is a painting
-I can see hanging in a farmhouse.
-Do you know who the artist is?
-There's good news and bad news. The artist is Michelangelo.
-But not that one. That's the bad news.
-I can't pronounce... It's Meucci, which is M-E-U-C-C-I.
And this chap was prolific in the 19th century.
And he did live birds, which made £1,000 plus,
and he did dead birds, which made £150.
So, by and large, people don't want dead birds hanging on the walls
and so a painting like this...
Its value falls a bit, simply because of the subject matter.
Having said that, you've got a lovely Black Forest carved vine leaf frame around it.
-I think that'll help it along.
-Is that contemporary with the picture?
I would have said it probably was.
What do you know about it? How long have you owned it?
I have owned it since 1996, when my mother died.
She bought it before then, so it's been in the family over 50 years.
-Did she buy it at auction?
-She did. But she didn't do auctions,
so we don't know why she went to this auction and bought this picture,
because she hid it away to start with.
-She didn't want anyone to know about it.
-Was it a mistake?
I think it must have been.
This is almost the ideal subject of what's not in fashion any more.
Because you've got a Black Forest frame that isn't
quite as collectable as it was 10 or 15 years ago.
You've got this subject,
and I think all that affects how you pitch your estimate.
And I think you need to put your estimate at £150-£200.
Reserve it at 150. I wouldn't be surprised
if somebody bought it and took the frame one way
and perhaps put a mirror in it and made that,
and the painting went another way and got perhaps framed in a
more traditional image, but I think that's where you need to pitch it.
If you have a result, it might do a lot better
but I think we've really got to be cautious with it.
It would suit a National Trust game larder, or something like that.
Yeah. This is a typical larder, this marble slab.
-Perhaps we should tell them about it.
-I shall leave that up to you.
Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that the birds fly.
They don't look like they're going far, do they?
I'm sure there's life in the old birds yet, Shirley.
Especially where we're going.
It's been a successful morning here at Ickworth, with a variety of items
uncovered, but right now it's time to put those valuations to the
test, as we head over to the auction room for the very first
time in today's show, and here's a quick recap just to
jog your memory of all the items that are going under the hammer.
It's not to Jean and Phil's taste but the Coral Firs pattern
is a stylish and collectable piece of Clarice Cliff pottery.
Is Adam's estimate on this concertina at the right
pitch for today's bidders?
And we have Shirley's oil on board from 1877.
Will it be the Black Forest frame, or the subject matter that
determines its sale price?
We've headed north over the border into Norfolk, as our auction today
comes from the market town of Diss.
And TW Gaze, our saleroom, is run by a familiar face.
Auctioneer Elizabeth Talbot.
Debuting first in front of this packed auction house is
Jean's Clarice Cliff vase.
Somebody out there does love it, because they keep buying it
but a lot of our owners keep selling it. Does it mean they don't like it?
Do you know, I thought you might have liked it
because I know you like to wear bright, jazzy things.
-Yeah. I like the abstract ones.
-I don't blame you.
-Like the teapots.
It is quite subjective.
I do like some of it but most of it I do not like.
Really? I think this is...
-Do you like it?
-No, I think it's awful. Not awful.
-But it's just not me, really.
-I know you like it.
You're watching, going, "Yes, I'll buy it."
-Someone will buy it because it always sells.
-We'd like the money.
So would I.
Good luck. Here we go. Someone is going to love this.
Lot 350. The 1930s Clarice Cliff bizarre range of vase.
I have interest on the sheet shown here, and I start at just £350.
At 350, I have at 350. 360.
370, 380, 390.
440, 460, 480.
Now the room at 480. In the room at 480 to my left.
500, new bidder.
520. 520 near to me. At 520. Any advance on £520?
£520. We're all very happy.
I think that's really good. I do think that is good.
-I'm happy with that.
-Yeah, big smile.
With such a good turnout today, there was bound to be a few
Clarice Cliff fans in the room.
I've got to say, it's a terrific auction.
The atmosphere is electrifying in here, and right now
hopefully we're going to hit the high notes with Helen's concertina.
-We're looking at £200-£300, Adam.
You brought it to the right expert.
Adam's a little bit of a musician on the quiet.
Plays the violin and piano.
I think people would wish it would be on the quiet.
Hey, at least it's not the bagpipes or the trumpet.
Hey, this was your dad's, wasn't it?
-Yes and my late father's.
-So it's been in the loft.
-In the wardrobe.
Where else do you keep a concertina? Come on.
The amount I have found in wardrobes is unbelievable.
Check your wardrobe.
Fingers crossed. Let's hope for the top end and a bit more.
Let's hand things over to Elizabeth on the rostrum.
Lot 400 is a 19th century rosewood encased concertina, or squeeze-box.
Good collector's item here, start me at 200.
150 I'll take.
150 bid on commission. At 150, now where's 60?
At 150 now, it's a beautiful piece. 160,
170, 180, 190...
190, round it up.
Oh, come on.
On commission at 190, looking for 200.
At £190. At 190, it will sell at 190!
-Not the high note we were expecting, the low note.
-But it sold.
-It's gone and you don't mind, do you?
-Because I didn't play.
-Good. That's good.
Let's hope its new owner can squeeze out a tune or two.
Now earlier, before the auction got under way, I caught up with
our auctioneer, Elizabeth, casting an appreciative eye over our next lot.
-Do you like that?
-I do like that. I like that very much.
It sits very well on the wall there.
I was admiring because its original frame, by the looks of it, too.
-Yes, it looks like it's been cleaned recently.
-It has been cleaned in its history
but you can reveal the lovely signature and the date on the bottom
which I feel that's quite a nice thing to be able to see.
This belongs to Shirley and we had a valuation of £150 on this.
I gathered, yes. Yes, yes.
-Something has happened since then.
Well, she's actually contacted us and raised the reserve to £300.
Actually, looking at that,
-you would still pay £300 for it, wouldn't you?
I have just been musing whether that seems fair
and I think it does seem fair.
More to the point, this artist, who is very prolific,
-and well known for such...
With a name like that you have to paint a painting!
That sort of money is not unknown.
-£300-400 is the new revised estimate.
-It's not out of the way.
-I'm not sweating at this point.
-I bet you're not!
You're quietly confident, aren't you?
So without further ado, let's see if Elizabeth's right?
Lot 95, any advance?
On the day, I looked his prices up
and he sort of...I put it in his rock bottom figures, 150-250.
I think, if you promote it properly, online bidding,
it will make what it's worth.
Anyway, it's going under the hammer right now and I'm pretty sure it'll find a new home.
Let's find out what this lot think.
Michelangelo Meucci, the 1877 painting of dead game.
Interest is shown and I start at just £200.
£200 I have. 210, 220,
230, 240, 250,
260, 270, 280,
-Someone wants it.
-I think so.
At 290 now in the room, bid at 290.
300, I'll take. 300 is bid.
Someone's in the room now, that chap there.
I'm looking for 80? 380 is the telephone.
400. 400, I've lost the telephone.
At £400 now. Is there any advance?
Well, £400, it's gone and what we keep saying is quality always sells.
That's a good result?
Yes, very good, thank you very much.
-Thank you, Philip.
Well, it's good to see that Shirley's upped estimate
was right on the money.
..£600 on commission, I'm looking for 10...
There you are, fast and furious for our first visit to the saleroom today.
Now we couldn't come to this area and film without visiting
the charming town of Southwold.
It has many attractions but there are two rather unusual
landmarks there that I got to enjoy, as you're just about to find out.
Sitting on the Suffolk coast,
Southwold is a quintessentially English resort.
But it also has something you wouldn't expect to find
amongst a row of terraced houses...
..a town centre lighthouse.
You can't really miss it, it's 31 metres in height
and it really does stand out.
Built to replace three local lighthouses
threatened by coastal erosion, Southwold's lighthouse was built
inland on higher ground on what was the edge of the town,
back in 1890.
Southwold grew and expanded around it and today I've arranged to meet
up with Graham Hopwood, a trustee of the charitable foundation
that helps to look after this landmark in the heart of Southwold.
Gosh, look at that!
The cantilevered spiral staircase, which takes you right to the top.
-Is that you up there?
-I'm up here.
-Is that you up there?
He's right up the top. Can I come up?
Of course, come on up, Paul.
Well, this could take some time.
-That was 90 steps, wasn't it?
-Welcome to Southwold Lighthouse.
It's lovely to meet you, Graham. What room are we in now?
We're standing in the service room
and this was the room that the lighthouse keepers
operated from when the lighthouse was fully manned
between the 1890s and the late 1930s.
So when was this demanned?
It was demanned in 1938 when the lighthouse was electrified.
-Previously, it had an oil burner as the main light source.
-Then lamps were put in in 1938.
So back then, what kind of lamps were used?
We used a fairly large lamp at that stage.
This is the first one that we used and it's a 3,000-watt lamp
and finally, that's the lamp which is used in the lighthouse today.
Why don't you come upstairs to the lantern room and have a look?
I'll follow you.
You get a great view from up here.
On a good day, probably about 20-mile visibility but today,
I'm afraid, it's not quite as good as that.
-A bit of a rough day out there at sea, isn't it?
This is the original lantern, but this was the lantern
that has been used right up until December 2012.
Our lighthouse source is now above. If you look up and see...
-That a really nice, white clean light, isn't it?
-Which can be seen, how far out at sea?
Well, I mean, really that's ideal for coastal awareness, isn't it?
For those vessels passing by.
It is, but, in fact, the shingle bank at Orford Ness
is again suffering from coastal erosion
and so that lighthouse is going to be decommissioned
and Southwold Lighthouse range has had to be extended to cover
the loss of that particular light.
Once that does finally get decommissioned
because the range has been extended on this one, this whole area
will still be in safe hands. That's what it's all about, isn't it?
-It certainly is.
-And long may it continue.
-Graham, thank you for showing me the lighthouse.
-It's been a joy climbing up here.
Now, another very important landmark in this area
is over in that direction and that's where I'm off to right now.
It doesn't stand out on the skyline like this one does
but, nevertheless, it's still a very important landmark
and it's got a lot of history attached to it.
Let's go and find it.
The town of Southwold sits at the mouth of the River Blyth
and the neighbouring village of Walberswick is separated
from Southwold by this narrow stretch of water.
Landmarks can tell you so much about local history.
As a ferry woman, Dani Church shows
they can also come in all shapes and sizes.
A familiar sight locally, Dani rows residents
and tourists across the river, keeping communities connected.
I've come to find out about the fascinating
history behind this service, which Dani's own family has been
associated with for five generations.
-What your dog called?
She's beautiful. Has she always been on board?
Pretty much, yes, she comes to work.
Customers love, especially the children.
Dani, how long have you and your family been involved in the ferry crossing?
The first member of my family was involved was in the late 1800s.
He is my great, great uncle, Benjamin Cross.
Then, basically, a member of my family has been doing it ever since then.
I gather the ferry's been running a lot longer than that?
Yes, the first recorded crossing was 1236 - that's nearly 800 years ago.
At that time it was a rowing boat and they used to charge ha'penny
per person and per horse.
Goodness how they rowed a horse across, I don't know.
-Has it always been a rowing boat?
-Initially, it was a rowing boat.
They did try to build a bridge in the 1800s.
The Harbour Commissioners wanted to do that but it was too expensive.
They decided to put in a pontoon chain ferry,
-which would take two cars at a time.
A lot of locals were living here and that was the only way across
-because there was no bridge further up.
The pontoon ferry from the 1880s was in turn replaced by a new
and improved steam ferry in the 1920s called The Blyth.
How long did the chain ferry last?
What happened in the Second World War, the army used to come across
but they didn't pay.
-The service went into disrepair because there was no money.
They moored it up and then, eventually,
the pontoon just sort of ended up sitting on the mud
and that was the end of that.
After hundreds of years of crossings, both communities
were cut off from each other but Dani's family came to the rescue.
In 1940, her great, great-uncle, Old Bob Cross,
enlisted his brother, Ernie.
Together, using a fishing boat,
they resurrected the old rowing boat service, which still operates today.
-So who took over from Bob and Ernie?
-That was Young Bob, Old Bob's son.
He did the ferry in the 1970s and 1980s.
He became a bit of a celebrity because, at that time, the ferry turned from a necessity to a novelty
-and even made the front page of the New York Times at one point.
-He became quite a celebrity.
-Something like that.
When did your father get involved?
From about the age of 12, he started helping his great grandad,
who was Old Bob, on the ferry
and he taught him the tricks of the trade and Bob and Dad
they were quite famous for their smoked fish - kippers and herrings,
because they had a smokehouse.
-It was one of the things do around here, really?
When did your father start to teach you to row?
I can't really remember, it must've been from six or seven.
I used to sit on the boat with him and watch him talk to the customers, stroke the dogs
and gradually he would let me take one oar and then I would
sit on his lap and do them together and he would teach me the tides.
I've basically grown-up knowing all about the ferry and how it works.
-It literally is handed down from father to daughter?
And you obviously clearly get job satisfaction,
I can see you're really passionate about it.
I think it's working outdoors, for me, is wonderful and the exercise.
Also, meeting the people.
There are so many people who come over.
From year to year you gain your friends and the customers,
you see them every year and you get to know what's going on in their lives.
It's the continuity that I really enjoy.
Dani's keen to keep the tradition alive
and not one to keep her passengers waiting.
Some regulars have turned up to get across, including Rita and her grandson.
So, Rita, how long have you been using the ferry?
I've been using the ferry for 61 years now.
Gosh, you don't look old enough!
You must have been born in the boat!
-I was born in Walberswick. I was born in the village.
-My mother still lives here.
-What about you?
-I built the ferry.
You built this ferry? You're a shipwright, aren't you?
-A lovely trade.
What do you think of Dani continuing the family tradition?
Southwold without the ferry wouldn't be Southwold, would it?
It's got to have a ferry.
The first one I built was 61 years ago.
I have never rowed the boat.
-It's never too late, is it?
It's not too late for Dani's son, Charlie, or nephew, Oscar.
-Are you going to take over the business one day?
-No, Oscar is.
-I want to do something different.
-You want to do something different!
Well, I can't think of a better way to travel
and make friends at the same time.
Nellie, are you going to jump over?
Long may the tradition of the Southwold
to Walberswick ferry continue.
Yes, there's a lot of people, isn't there?
Welcome back to Ickworth House.
And, at the valuation table,
Adam's about to get a bit of religious education.
Damaris. Your name is Damaris?
-Damaris, that's a very unusual name.
-It comes from the book of Acts in the Bible.
-It's a biblical name.
Damaris was a follower of Saint Paul.
-Have you met any others?
-I met one once, I taught one once.
Where did you get this copper from?
When I was first married which was in 1964,
we wanted a coal bucket and we went to the local market.
-Where was that, then?
-Are you a Lancashire lady?
-Yes, I'm from that area.
We saw this but, of course, it was all black and horrible
and I didn't realise what it would look like.
Yes, it's come up beautifully, hasn't it?
-I've cleaned it ever since.
-I've always cleaned it, yes.
-Do remember what it cost you?
That's a Lancashire lady for you.
-Dare I tell you?
-That's not that much, is it?
-It was a lot then, though.
-Of course it was.
I wanted to know really how old it was.
Well, that's an easy one, really,
because of the style of decoration to it.
It's very much the Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts style.
-I thought it was Arts and Crafts.
-Yeah, it's sort of 1900s...
..where this was very popular.
You've got this stylised flower heads and these
spades from club suits, aren't they?
There are a number of designers that made these, sort of, things.
There was Voysey and Benson
and there was the Newlyn school of copper.
Yes, I wondered about that.
-Have you seen any markings on it when you've been cleaning?
-You'll be more familiar with this than anybody.
-No, I've never found a marking.
I think it's going to be indeterminate as to where it
was made but it's very likely to have been made
in the Cumbria's metal workshops.
It might be Keswick?
It certainly an Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, 1900 coal bucket.
It cost 10 shillings. Today's value?
One man I talked to thought it might be 80 to 100.
I think it'd make a bit over 100, really
but 80 to 100 is about the right estimate.
-How would you feel about that?
-Yes, that's all right.
I've found out something about it and that's really why I brought it.
Well, that's right and if it makes a good price, 150, 160...
-It would, wouldn't it?
I'll buy something I like that I don't need.
-Something you like, that you don't need.
-Like a piece of jewellery.
-A luxury item?
-Very good. Lots of people are going to like that.
-Fingers crossed, Damaris. Thanks for coming.
Well, let's hope Damaris can treat herself to something special.
Now, where is this intriguing box of Sheila's been hiding?
-They've been stuck in a cupboard.
-Are they family things?
-Who's Auntie Bessie?
-Auntie Bessie died in '97.
She was in her early 90s.
And she used to collect everything,
and when she died the immediate family got the house but,
because I'd looked after her a lot,
me and another cousin had the contents.
Oh, that's nice. Tell me about her.
Well, she used to be a photographer, and during the war,
when the main photographer had to go away, she took over,
and when they brought the German generals to Windermere, because
there must have been a camp there, nobody had to take photographs,
so she climbed a tree
and I've got the photographs of the German generals.
-She was a real character.
-So is this Auntie Bessie's?
-That was Auntie Bessie's.
-Let's look and see what we've got.
It's going to be a canteen of... Oh, those are nice, aren't they?
-They are beautiful.
-These are fruit knives and forks.
But it's a set of eight.
You either have six or 12, you don't have eight.
I don't know that I've ever seen a set of eight fruit knives
-No, I haven't.
-These are mother-of-pearl handles.
-Sheffield hallmark for 1930.
And they are hallmarked by Cooper Brothers.
But the thing I find really interesting about these
-is I wouldn't think these had ever been used.
And now someone will probably buy them, take them home, think they are
really lovely, put them in a drawer and they will never get used.
And these will spend their life never being used.
-Yeah, in a drawer.
-Sad, isn't it?
-It's very sad, yeah. They are beautiful.
-So what are they going to make, do you think?
-I haven't a clue.
Well, because they are not going to be used, they are almost useless,
I think you should estimate them at £50-£80
-and put a reserve of 40 quid on them. That's what I think.
And it would be nice if somebody bought Bessie's
-fruit knives and forks...
-And used them...
..and actually got some use out of them.
-That would be lovely, wouldn't it?
-We need somebody in a big house.
-Keep our fingers crossed.
And talking of big houses, we couldn't come to Ickworth,
now owned by the National Trust,
without taking a closer look inside the glorious rotunda.
The fourth Earl of Bristol, who commissioned Ickworth,
had two passions, building and collecting.
The Earl was obsessed with fine art and antiques, which he
picked up on his travels over the years on the grand tour of Europe.
And the house was designed to show off the fruits of his labour.
But sadly, the collection was destined to remain in Europe.
It was confiscated by Napoleonic troops in Rome in 1798
and the Earl spent the remaining years of his life
campaigning for its restitution.
But all was not lost. Just take a look at this sculpture.
It was commissioned by the Earl when he met the artist in Rome in 1790.
It depicts the Fury Of Athamas.
According to Greek legend, in a fit of madness,
Athamas murdered his son.
His wife and their remaining son
then threw themselves into the sea to escape his fury.
It was confiscated by the Napoleonic troops
along with the rest of the collection.
His son, the first Marquis, was able to buy it back.
It's one of the few works of art originally picked up by the Earl
that actually made it back here to Ickworth, and I must say it makes
the most marvellous focal point here in this magnificent rotunda.
I'm sure the Earl would be pleased to see all the collectables
being brought along to the West Wing today.
Well, Ian, it's always interesting
to see swords coming in to the programme.
Whenever we have a military sale at my auction room,
it's amazing how many people have got swords and guns
and things tucked away that they feel is a liability
and don't know what to do with.
Can you tell me where you got them from
and why you decided to bring them to Flog It?
They were my father-in-law's
and my mother-in-law said she didn't want them to go to
-the youngest grandson because she was afraid he might cut himself.
So they were given to me and I've had them for about ten years,
just sat in an umbrella stand. I'm not a sword man.
-I'd rather they went to someone who would appreciate them.
Well, they are the sort of thing that tends to get hidden
under the bed in a blanket or on top of the wardrobe or in
-an umbrella stand, because people don't know what to do with them.
But there is also a very keen interest in militaria these days.
And a lot of people would like to own these,
have them hanging on the wall or in a cabinet.
-People watching are going to say they are a pair.
-They are not.
-There are slight differences.
-There are slight differences,
but they are both light cavalry swords, 1821 pattern.
This one here is Royal Horse Artillery and these will be of
the Victorian period, early Victorian period,
so about 1850, I'd imagine.
Nice to see them in good condition.
-The decoration on the blades is crisp.
Yeah, there's no rusting and the wire-bound handles,
-do you know what that material is?
-Shagreen, I think.
Yeah, sharkskin, shagreen handles. So quite a luxury item.
-These are an officer's sword.
-I would think so.
They never saw any actual action, I would have thought.
They are more a dress officer's sword. So that's the first one.
And the second one, very, very similar.
The same pattern and design.
This one's been pulled in and out of the scabbard a bit more,
had a bit more action.
-In fact I can smell the oil on them still.
Yeah, I just caught a whiff of it there.
So, like I said, there's a very ready market for them.
What you think they are worth? Any ideas?
Well, I honestly thought they were probably 1930, 1940,
ceremonial dress swords, brought out for trooping the colour.
-And I thought 20 quid?
Well, there's a nice surprise for you, really.
-They are worth about 150 quid each.
-Yeah, I think so.
Yes. They are quite a... I like that reaction! You can come again.
They are nice. There are in good condition, pretty much.
I suggest put them together and an estimate combined of £300-£400.
-So... Happy with that?
I think we should put a reserve on them,
-so let's put 300 on them, shall we?
-Yeah, no problem.
-That gives them every chance...
Thanks for bringing them in and fingers crossed,
-as the swords are crossed, for a good result.
-Thanks very much.
And that lovely surprise for Ian rounds up today's items.
Well, there you are, three more items to take off to auction,
which means it's time to say goodbye to our magnificent host location,
and the marvellous architectural delight of the Rotunda.
We had a brilliant day here, but let's make our way
over to Diss, to the auction room for the last time.
And here's what's coming with us.
There's the Arts And Crafts copper coal bucket,
found in Clitheroe market for ten shillings.
Will Auntie Bessie's canteen of fruit knives and forks
find rich pickings amongst the bidders?
will these light cavalry swords from the 1850s make a stand at auction?
Welcome back to Diss, where the saleroom is still overflowing and
our eagle-eyed auctioneer Elizabeth Talbot never misses a beat.
£100. Are you all done?
Going under the hammer right now we have a very stylish
copper coal bucket belonging to Damaris.
Now, you bought this copper coal bucket in a black
-and tarnished condition.
-I did, yes.
-Lots of love has gone into cleaning that.
-Because once you start cleaning it you've got to keep doing it.
Let's face it.
It has a touch of sort of Keswick school meets Newlyn school about it.
That lovely applied metal thing that went on in the early 1900s.
I think that's what singles it out as a valuable thing rather
-than a 20-quid copper thing.
There's a bit of punched detail as well. Repousse, as they say.
Look, good luck. We are putting this to the test right now. Here we go.
Lot 140 next, interest on the sheet shown and I start here at just £65.
At 65. Where's 70? 70. Five.
£85. Bid at 85.
-Sadly not out that top end that we were all hoping.
-But it's gone.
-No more brassing.
No more cleaning! I think that's the good news here.
That's the moral - no more cleaning.
Yes, that's fine, I'm quite happy with it.
And after 49 years of polishing, I'm not surprised!
Will our next lot shine?
Can you remember what we are selling? I bet you can, can't you?
Yes, it's Sheila and the canteen of cutlery.
-Fruit forks and knives, really.
-Ever use them?
-No. How many people do use them nowadays?
They use them a lot in Worcestershire. All the time.
-Never without them.
-Good luck, though.
I'm pretty sure these will go, they're great value for money.
-They'll do well.
-Here we go.
Start me at 50. Fruit knives and forks. Lovely set. £50.
30 I'll take.
30 bid. Thank you, that gentleman, at 30. I'll take two. 32.
40 I have. Where's two? At £40 they sell...
-Clearly nobody else uses them either, do they?
You beat me to it, yes.
That is the sad fact, the dining room has long disappeared.
-Sorry, we tried our best.
-That's fine. That's OK.
-But I don't think we could have got any more, actually.
Well, there's more room in my cupboard now to put more junk in.
Absolutely, Sheila. You can't beat a good clear out.
Now, Ian thought these swords were worthless reproductions
and nearly didn't bring them along to the valuation day.
-Ian, why are you selling them?
-They are absolutely no good to me.
They've just been sat in the umbrella stand for the last ten years or so.
-That's familiar, isn't it?
-It is, really!
-I mean, cutting-edge weapons are very collectable.
-Yes, they are.
There's a massive market for militaria and these are good
examples because the blades are in good condition, nicely etched.
-They tick all the boxes for the collectors.
But you never know, it's an auction. Let's hand things over to Elizabeth.
Here we go.
150 now. I have interest on the sheet shown.
-Interest on the sheet.
-And I start here at just £210.
210 I have.
-That's OK because we are in. It didn't start at 70.
240. 250. 260. 270.
300 in the room. I'll take 20. 300, the corner bid at 300.
320 on the phone. 340.
-I really didn't think they were worth more than about 20 quid.
Fine swords at £400. Am I missing anybody?
440's bid. At 440. Taking it steady at £440.
Any advance on £440? The telephone takes them at 440.
-Well done! £440!
-You were expecting about £20.
Honestly, guys, I said to Adam that I was really embarrassed
about bringing them along.
That really was a small fortune hiding in Ian's umbrella stand.
Well, that's it. It's all over for our owners.
Another day in another saleroom. What a fabulous time we've had here.
Everyone has gone home happy and that's what it's all about,
If you've got any antiques you want to sell we would love to see you.
Bring them along to one of our valuation days and it could be you
in the next saleroom going home with a lot of money.
But until then we've thoroughly enjoyed being here in Diss
and I hope you've enjoyed the show. So until the next time it's goodbye.
This episode comes from Ickworth House, a Georgian palace created by the fourth Earl of Bristol in the Suffolk countryside. Paul Martin is joined by experts Adam Partridge and Philip Serrell, who pick out and value a selection of their favourites antiques brought in by the public before putting them under the hammer.
Philip values an intriguing oil on board, but it's a pair of light cavalry swords, thought to be worthless reproductions and nearly not brought along to the valuation day, that provide the biggest surprise at the auction!
Paul also visits Southwold on the Suffolk coast and visits two unusual landmarks - a town-centre lighthouse and the Southwold to Walberswick ferry, worked by the same family for five generations.