Paul Martin and his team of experts invite members of the public to bring their antiques to be viewed and valued, with an option to sell at auction.
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We start today's show at the Beaulieu Estate in Hampshire.
Its attractions include a fine historic house,
the ruins of an abbey,
and one of the largest collections of amazing old cars in the country.
Beaulieu is an excellent example of how a family have made their home,
their family treasures and 7,000 acres of parkland
viable in the modern world, with some very clever thinking.
And later on in the programme,
we'll be looking at more fascinating cars on display, like this one!
But first, it's a tour of the country, as we find out if today's
valuations will make their owners as financially sound, too.
Welcome to Flog It! CAR HORN SOUNDS
We've travelled across the country, in search of exceptional stories
and objects to take to auction.
And we've been saving some of the best till now.
In today's show, we travel to Kent, to Chiddingstone Castle,
a fascinating historic house set in 35 acres of countryside.
To Dorset, to Lulworth Castle,
an early 17th-century mock castle only ten minutes from the coast.
And then inland, to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire,
an elegant house in the French style...
..where our experts find some fascinating collectables.
In our programme today,
things get a bit out of control for Christina Trevanion at Wrest Park.
BUZZING SOUND What happens when it gets to the... Oh, we've got more of it, here.
We've got some more, Oh, we've got to stop him! Quick, stop him!
And Adam Partridge has to put the brakes on at Chiddingstone Castle.
We're ready, loaded with air. Are you with me? We're going to fire?
Not quite! Oh. You're very impetuous, Diana!
We're not going to fire just yet. I knew it, you can't wait to.
I really wanted the excitement.
But which one of these items will be a runaway success at the auction?
Bids all out then, selling then, to the blue shirt.
Can you imagine how much it costs to maintain
an estate like Beaulieu?
Well, the owners aren't going to tell me exactly,
but needless to say, a great deal,
to keep all of these individual elements running smoothly.
The Montagu family have owned this site since 1538,
and they take their responsibility very seriously,
opening up their home to the public over 60 years ago.
And later on in the show,
we will be exploring some of the attractions here,
but right now, it's straight in to the valuations and let's hope
our owners have been equally as diligent
with the care of their treasures.
Our first stop is Kent, where we find Thomas Plant making the most
of the sunshine, in the grounds of Chiddingstone Castle.
So, John, are you a photographer? Only digital these days. Yes? Yes.
And what were you doing before, was it 35mm film, or...?
It was 35mm SLR, yes. Yes.
I've still got that one tucked away in a cupboard somewhere.
They're quite valuable. As these are now. Yes.
So we're looking at early photography, aren't we? Yes.
And traditionally, we would call these, um,
mahogany and brass, hand-held,
quarter-plate cameras. Yes.
Quarter-plate because of the glass plate on the back... Yes.
..is quarter size of a larger plate. Yes.
Tell me, how did you come by it?
I inherited it from my great uncle, Major Ernest Lee.
That was about 30 years ago. And what did he do?
He was an inventor and mechanical engineer
for most of his life.
He served in both the world wars.
In the World War I, it was his job to go
and view crashed German aircraft behind our lines...
Really? ..and unbolt bits of interest to be sent back
to Farnborough for further evaluation. So, he was looking for
inventions that the Germans had built
onto their machines, like synchronised machine guns.
In the first war? In the first war.
So, he would have had something very similar,
if not this camera, in the first war. Quite possibly, yes.
It dates from that period, the first war period, and just after.
The lens is interesting. Yes.
Bausch Lomb. Yes. They established lenses manufacturing in the mid-19th
century. Bausch was an optician and Lomb was his financer. Oh, right.
Do you know how it works? Well, you adjust the focus with the
knurled knob at the side.
Um, looking at the glass screen on the back.
When you've got the image right, you open this little flap here...
like that, and that folds out of the way.
And you can slide one of the negative carriers
which you've previously loaded in the darkroom
with two glass plates. Yes. And that...
So, these nitrate plates?
..drops in there, and then to take the picture,
assuming you should have closed the shutter...
you pull that up there, to expose the plate
and then you cock the shutter
and...press the trigger.
And there seems to be a few additions to this camera. Yes.
Here... My great uncle modified the trigger mechanism
and he's also added on a...
structure on the base of the camera
to allow for a flash to be fitted, which goes in that side there.
Right. And also it's got a fitting to screw onto a tripod.
Oh, so he really was an inventor of sorts, wasn't he? Oh, he was, yes.
When it comes to value, these aren't making hundreds and hundreds,
but they are certainly making over ?100. Oh, that's good. Yeah.
And I would think that would be a sensible estimate. ?100-?150.
Right, that's good, thank you. Are you happy with that?
Yes, very happy. Because you've got all the accoutrements with it.
Yes, there's quite a few spare negative carriers.
Well, thank you very much, John. OK.
And we look forward to making a snappy sale for you at the auction.
I look forward to being there.
You could have a lot of fun with that.
Our tour continues 145 miles to the west, in Dorset, at Lulworth Castle,
where Catherine Southon has spotted a great little character.
Well, this little piggy hasn't come to market, but he's come
out in the sticks, to Lulworth Castle to see us here today.
Thank you for bringing him along, Claire. It's quite all right.
Tell me a bit about this pincushion. Where did you get him from?
He's a little piggy that has come to me from my mother,
who died two years ago. And I always played with it as a child.
He did have a nice bright blue back, where the pins would be put in,
but unfortunately, I played with it so much, it got rubbed away.
My mother obviously realised that I liked it
and she gave it to my sister to give to me, you know, when...
when she died. My mother was an auctioneer's clerk, which is
where she got this little pig from.
So, she bought this at auction? Yes.
Oh, I see. Yes, when she was about 18. Right.
And she would have been 94 this year. Right.
So, this was always at home. You never used it as a pincushion?
No. It was just in a cabinet or something? On the shelf, yes.
I think it's beautifully fashioned,
it's got such an intricate little tail
and the haunches at the back and the little ears, I just...
I think it is such a beautiful little item.
But I know nothing about it. He's got character, hasn't he?
Let's be honest.
We see a lot of these on Flog It!, I'm not going to pretend to you
they are incredibly rare, because they are not.
I've seen bigger ones and I've seen smaller ones.
But he seems nicely proportioned, this one,
and he's got a nice little character.
Now, he's silver, it's hallmarked for Birmingham and it's dated with
the letter M, so it's about 1911-1912, so that's the date.
And we've got the maker's initials there, as well,
so it is Adie Lovekin. And it's that sort of date, 1911-1912.
You say that you played with it quite a bit
and it was a nice bright blue. It's slightly faded.
To be honest, it's not going to make a huge difference.
If it had a replaced pincushion or, indeed, if it was missing,
then that would be questionable.
But it's just a little rubbed with time.
There are people, as well, that collect pigs,
so this sort of thing would be desirable at auction.
Any ideas on price? I have absolutely no idea, whatsoever.
I would say at auction, you'd probably expect around ?60 to ?100
and I would suggest putting a reserve on of 50.
How does that sound to you? That's fine by me.
I think the fact that it came from auction
and it's going back to auction is absolutely perfect.
Well, say goodbye.
Bye, little piggy. Bye, little piggy. He's going off to auction.
It is true, these pigs are not rare, but they are charming.
So, fingers crossed, Clare's luck in the saleroom is set to continue.
We travel 150 miles north now, to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire,
where Christina Trevanion has found her second childhood.
Ooh, round it goes, round it goes, round it goes, ooh!
Come on, you can do it!
There we go! He's speedy on the straight bits, isn't he?
Norman, I love this.
And, Olive, thank you for bringing them in, these wonderful
collection of toys, I feel like a child in a sweet shop, I really do.
Where have they come from?
Well, they're family toys that have been with us,
we believe, an awful long time. Right.
Unfortunately, I spent most of my childhood in hospital, from two
to seven. Oh, really? Five years.
Yes. Oh, my goodness! So, did you never play with these as a child?
I don't have a recollection of actually playing with them, no.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, that may have been their saving grace,
because so often we see toys these days, especially tin-plate
toys, which, as you can see, they're quite thin, aren't they?
They were pressed out. They are so often very, very worn.
I think also the fact that nearly all of them are still working.
It shows just how good English toys were made pre-war. Absolutely. Yeah.
Well, we have... Obviously, the Germans made...
They were the real, sort of, frontrunners at the turn
of the century, making really could tin plate toys,
but the majority of what you've got here is actually British. Yes.
They really do evoke the era.
I mean, this is so, sort of, 1950s, 1960s. It's fabulous.
And have you been playing with them since you found them?
No, but I have! LAUGHTER
Well done, Olive!
I like it. So, which is your favourite, Norman?
Well, I think the cowboy, actually. This little chap over here? Yes.
He is quite spectacular. I do love him.
I can quite see why you're taken with him.
They are all still in fantastic condition. They really are.
Olive, which is your favourite? I like my fireman. Our fireman.
Can we have a demonstration of him?
Oh, look at him!
I think he's fantastic. That's wonderful.
What happens when he gets to the top?
Oh, we've got more of it here, haven't we? We've got to stop him!
Stop him! Quick!
Before he climbs off the end of his ladder!
It really sort of evokes the innocence of childhood
and how much fun actually you can get out of the simplest of things.
And with the simplest of technology, really.
I mean, they are all key turn.
There's nothing particularly fancy about them,
but they're just great fun.
I really like them and there is definitely a market for them.
There is an interest in tin-plate toys
and in toys that obviously are made in Britain.
What sort of expectations did you have at auction?
Were you thinking about selling them?
If they could get a home, somewhere where
they would not deteriorate, I think it would be good. Yeah.
I would hope that they would go to a home that is a collector's home,
rather than to be played with, cos I think
they are far too precious for that.
They are wonderfully nostalgic, aren't they?
I found the box and when I opened it, this was the first one I saw.
Oh, really? And it... I'd had a rotten day up until then
and it really brought a smile to my face.
But you can't help but smile, can you? I mean, they are wonderful.
They just make you smile. You're absolutely right.
I think really we would be looking at putting them in as one lot,
because I think they certainly will all appeal to the same
collector of tin-plate toys. And I think, at auction,
we're probably thinking somewhere in the region of ?200 to ?300.
How would you feel about that?
Well, I think that's...
It will at least give an opportunity for somebody that would like to
do something with them. Quite.
Would you be happy with a discretionary reserve at 200,
or would you want a firm reserve? I think a firm reserve.
So, if they don't sell for 200, then you'll have them back. Yes. Super.
Shall we have a quick last go before he goes?
Oh, wow! Crash! LAUGHTER
Oh, he's derailed.
Those toys are at the top of their game.
Our tour now continues at Lulworth Castle in Dorset,
where a colourful item has caught Catherine Southon's eye.
Stefan, lovely to meet you. Welcome to Flog It!
Thank you. Very nice to meet you, too.
A wonderful collection of spoons here.
Well, two sets of spoons. Now, when you see these,
and probably when the viewers see these at home,
they will be thinking, these are incredible.
And, indeed, they are beautiful. And what lovely colours they are.
But there is this huge cloud which is hanging over them
and it begins with the word D. And that's damage. Mm.
And that is a problem. These are lovely enamelled little
coffee spoons. I am going to look at one of them individually.
I am going to look at this set, first of all.
This was retailed by the Goldsmiths Silversmiths Company
and these would date from around 1930.
Let's have a look at this one first of all,
because this is where the D word starts.
Can you see that? Mm. A big bit of damage on some lovely blue enamel
there. It is so sad, because these are so elegant
and so pretty. And I love the blue colours
and the red and the white. Very British.
Mm. Very patriotic. Absolutely.
I am just going to have a quick look at these, cos it will be nice
to date them. And they are 1936.
And they are made by the Adie Brothers for the retailers,
Goldsmiths Silversmiths Company. These have come down through
the family, have they? They must have been a wedding present...
Right. OK. ..for my mother. I think she got married in about 1938.
1938. Right. So, that works.
Where she particularly patriotic? Oh, yes. Was she? Ah, well,
they have chosen the colours well, haven't they?! Very definitely.
It is just such a shame. The more I look at them,
the more damage I see. In perfect condition, we would be looking at
about ?100 for these. But they are not quite going to be up to that.
But I will come back to that a bit later. Right.
These little spoons here, these are Danish,
by the well-known Danish factory, Tostrup. What beautiful colour.
I think those are lovely.
Really exquisite, aren't they?
Again, these are all enamel and they are on gilt silver.
In perfect condition, again, you would be looking at ?100-?150
for these, but I can see there is a tiny bit of damage on each
and every one. Rough washing-up.
Is that what it is? Did you wash them up? No. Do I tell you off?
I've never used them. I have never seen them being used.
So, it all comes down to price. ?100, in perfect condition.
?100-?150, in perfect condition.
This goes right down, I'm afraid, and you would be really looking
for the two at around ?50-?80.
Mm, because of the damage. Shall we say 60-80?
It sounds a bit better, doesn't it? Yes. Shall we put a ?60 reserve
on them? Please.
OK, let's say ?60-?80, with a 60 reserve. Happy with that? Yes.
Let's close them and forget about the damage.
And we are going to make good money at auction.
Thank you so much, Stefan. It is lovely to meet you. And you, too.
Before we head off to auction, there is something I'd like to show you.
In the year 1204, stone and other building materials were brought up
this river to build an abbey church on land gifted
to the Cistercian monks by the king. Now, this king was King John,
who had not led the holiest of lives. Maybe he was worried about
eternal damnation. But he visited this abbey frequently
and he named it Bellus Locus Regis,
which translates to, "the beautiful place of the King".
Better known to us today as the estate of Royal Beaulieu.
A deal had been made,
that in order to repay his generosity, the Cistercian monks,
known above all other religious orders for their poverty,
chastity and obedience to God, would pray for the somewhat
tarnished soul of King John.
Although prayer was the core activity here,
plenty of other duties were performed,
but all of them were seen by the monks as an extension of prayer.
They generated an enormous amount of income by working the land,
rearing sheep and selling wool.
It took 100 years to complete the complex around the Abbey Church
and it seems quite ironic today that 300 years after work began
this river was used to transport those very rocks back again
to be used on other building projects around the country
by the orders of another king.
So why did this happen, and he was the other King?
Well, this was a king who was desperate to have a male heir.
A king who, despite being married for 20 years, had not produced one.
This was an extravagant king whose coffers were being bled dry
because he was paying for costly coastal defences
and fighting expensive wars with the French and the Spanish.
This was King Henry VIII.
A king who was to change the course of English history, firstly,
by breaking with the Pope in Rome
and then making himself the supreme head of the Church of England.
This enabled Henry to have his long-standing marriage
to Catherine of Aragon declared null and void,
and marry a young Anne Boleyn,
the second of his six wives.
Shortly after this, he proceeded with the dissolution
of the monasteries, which changed the face of England for ever.
In 1536, there were over 800 monasteries, nunneries and friaries.
Combined, they owned a third of the land in the country.
In 1540, four years later, there were none.
Henry VIII and the people around him were considerably wealthier.
During those four years, Henry used Thomas Cromwell, a clever
legal adviser, to act as his agent, and the opportunist plan took shape.
The religious houses were becoming increasingly ungodly,
which made them unpopular with ordinary people.
So Thomas took advantage of this and,
with a piecemeal approach began by shutting down the smaller
establishments who had the worst reputations.
He then moved on to the richer, more powerful ones like Beaulieu Abbey.
Where he could, Cromwell negotiated payoffs but,
if his offers were declined, he resorted to force.
The abbot here formally surrendered the Abbey to the Crown in 1538,
and for that, he received an annual pension of ?66.
In contrast to the brothers, who received between ?4 and ?6.
This is all that is left of the Abbey Church,
the spiritual centre of the precinct here at Beaulieu.
It really is just a ghost of a former building,
the first to be knocked down upon Henry's orders in 1539.
What are we left with?
Well, hardly a stone upon a stone.
It really is just a field with the imprint of its former huge building.
The stone went down the river by order
of the King and was used to build defensive
castles on the Solent at Hurst, Calshot and Cowes.
But what did Henry VIII do with the ruined abbey and estate,
which was one of the richest pickings of the dissolution?
He refilled his empty coffers by selling it to a powerful friend,
Sir Thomas Wriothesley,
whose descendants still live here today.
And I'm going to meet one of them, Ralph Montagu.
So what happened to Beaulieu after the dissolution of the monasteries?
Well, a lot of the Abbey was destroyed
but some significant bits were left, and this is one such part.
It was the great gatehouse to the Abbey, where the
monks receive their guests
and it made quite a good hunting lodge for the lay owners
after the dissolution and then, much later,
my great-grandfather extended it and made it into the family
home that it is today, and made this room,
which was a big, open hall originally,
into this magnificent drawing room.
It is a stunning run and it's got a good feel about it.
Tell me a little bit about the stained-glass windows, the armorials.
Well, this is Victorian.
This is part of the conversion that was done at that time.
And these are the shields of benefactors
and other significant figures connected with the Abbey,
most notably, perhaps, Thomas Stevens,
the last abbot of Beaulieu who was required, shall we say,
to surrender the Abbey to the Crown.
And he's remembered there.
He was one of the more cooperative ones, because some
of the abbot in the North were literally hung, drawn and quartered.
Not a very nice ending.
It's perhaps hard for us to imagine what life would have
been like back in England in the 16th century
and what impact this huge establishment would have
had in the medieval world.
This was a place where the poor could seek alms,
where the sick could be treated and where fugitives,
both high and low in status, could seek sanctuary.
The sound of bells that would ring out during the day
and night calling the monks to prayer would have been
a familiar soundtrack to life for the people in the villages and the fields beyond these walls.
We've got our first four items. Now, we're taking them off to the sale.
Here's a quick recap of what we're taking with us.
These two sets of spoons with their coloured enamels are highly decorative.
It will all depend on the bidders overlooking damage.
John's camera comes with all the kit,
so it should get full exposure in the saleroom.
This little silver piggy was bought at auction
but will history repeat itself?
And this toy collection is in mint condition,
so what more could the bidders ask for?
Charterhouse Auctioneers in Dorset is where our first sale is
Auctioneer Richard Bromell is on the rostrum,
selling the attractive silver spoons.
Well, I've just been joined by Stefan and our expert Catherine.
They do say, you know,
some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Was Stefan born with six?!
You have lots of boxes of spoons.
What are you doing with all these spoons?
They've just been sitting in the draw for years.
These coffee sets, is it something you want to collect
or family inheritance?
Family inheritance. And you never use them. No.
The enamel ones are quite nice, obviously in red, white and blue.
They're not perfect. They're not, no.
Totally understand if they don't sell.
Might struggle on these, purely because of the damage.
To the enamel.
So, the six silver gilt enamelled teaspoons. Another set, as well.
A little bit of damage, but very pretty,
the set and I'm straight in at ?50, I have a bid now at 50.
60, ?60 on the right. That's good. You sold them.
?60, I have.
Two sets of teaspoons, at 60. 70 on the internet.
At ?70, the internet bid. Selling online at 70. That's good. Good.
Thank you so much.
Done it. Job done.
See? We proved you wrong.
Mind you, it's not a lot of money for two boxes.
Let's face it, 35 quid a box.
That's quite a bargain, I think.
I know, if you look at it like that, they have.
They've gone, they've gone. This is what this show's all about.
It's called "Flog it!" We want to sell your things, so bring
it in and we'll do the business.
Well done, Catherine.
Everyone is pleased with that.
Tim Duggan is wielding the gavel for us at Ewbank's Auctions in Surrey,
near the town of Guildford.
John, good luck. Your camera is just about to go under the hammer.
I should say this was your... Was it your uncle's? Great uncle.
Great uncle. Why are you selling it now?
Well, when I originally inherited it in 1984, I had ideas of,
"Oh, I'll get this working", and that sort of thing
and it's remained in a box ever since.
I have those ideas with things! They stockpile.
Never going to get round to it. We're going to put this to the test, this camera.
It's going under the hammer right now.
The mahogany and glass-plated camera there by Bausch Lomb there.
And we go straight in at ?60 online. 65, now 70, have we got now?
I want 75 now, please.
Online. 80, we've got now. 85, now, please.
Looking for ?80 now. We're looking for 85 now.
All online, collectors buying online. 95 now.
Looking for 95 now.
95 bid now. Looking for 100. 100 in the room now.
These cameras look lovely on the tripod base, don't they?
They look fabulous. And it's the bases that haven't survived.
Look at this. It's brilliant.
It's your bid online now. 110. Selling then, online, at 110.
110, the hammer's gone down. Good for you. That's good.
Happy with that result? Yes, thank you. Well done.
Yes, I hope it will give someone an interesting attempt to use it.
Someone should have a go. If they've got all the kit and they just need the chemicals,
it's worth trying to have a go, isn't it?
And so much more satisfying than clicking a button
and seeing them on screen.
We're now heading just north of London to Tring Market Auctions,
where auctioneer Stephen Hearn is selling the toys for us.
I shall sell. Make no mistake, they're going for ?180.
Fingers crossed, Norman. Good luck. Is this your first auction?
First auction. The first auction you've ever been to.
Fingers crossed. That's all I can say. Condition, very, very good.
I know there's a bit of damage to one of the wheels,
wasn't there, in transit?
Had a chat to Stephen earlier and he said there's enough in the lot,
hopefully, to carry it through without devaluing it.
Condition is key with these collectors. They are a fussy lot.
You know who you are.
But you've got to be right here, right now to buy them!
Very interesting collection of '50s and '60s tin plate toys.
Where shall we start? 150 for them? 100 for them? Yes? 100, we have.
10 for you, sir? Are you 20, sir? Yes?
130. 140. And 50.
160. Two of you want them. 70. 80.
80, I have. At ?180. And 90, is it?
I'm going to sell at 180, then. They're going down. I shall sell.
Make no mistake, they're going for ?180.
Well, the hammer's gone down and they've sold at ?180.
I know we had a fixed reserve at ?200, but I think Stephen's used
his discretion there and the auction room will make up the balance.
Often, you use that 10% discretion. It was one bid away.
Why lose the sale for one bid? Are you happy with that? Yes.
Good. Sold. Job done!
And they're off to a new home.
Now back to Dorset and to beautiful Sherborne, where my favourite item
is being sold by auctioneer Richard Bromell, Charterhouse Auctioneers.
Going under the hammer right now, we have a silver pincushion in the form of a little pig.
It belongs to Clare. I go gooey when little pigs come on the show.
Every time we sell a pincushion, it's a
pig or it's some kind of pig, I love pigs.
Why are you selling it? Just for the "Flog It!" experience actually.
The "Flog It!" experience!
Why not? Oh, good girl! Brilliant! OK.
We should get top end cos everyone loves pigs. People do.
Let's put it to the test. Ready? This is it.
The Edwardian novelty pincushion and this little piggy's going off
to market now. ?50 is bid. At 50. 60. 70.
At ?70 and away now. We're away.
At ?70, it goes, selling... 80, new bidder.
Third row and seated on the aisle. At ?80 and away now.
It's selling in the room at ?80. Good. The internet all quiet.
It's in the room and I sell at 80. At 80.
Well, that trotted up quickly, didn't it? Fantastic. ?80.
Nice and quick.
Well outweighed its scrap value and that's what it's all about,
isn't it? Yeah, very nice.
Cos the cushion was a little bit worn, wasn't it? It was, yes.
Nice looking thing though. Good face on it. Thank you for bringing it in.
Back at Beaulieu, I'm admiring one of the largest
collections of vintage and veteran cars in the country.
Memories and the passion for motoring are on show
here at the National Motor Museum,
which has over 250 spectacular historic vehicles on display.
When it comes to motoring,
Britain gave the world the iconic design of the Mini, the style
of the Jaguar and the everlasting elegance of the Rolls-Royce.
The museum was set up over 60 years ago by the current
Lord Montague in honour of his late father, John Montague,
who was an early British motoring enthusiast.
He became a leading advocate for motoring in this country,
even introducing the royal family to the car by taking
the Prince Of Wales out for a spin.
He enthusiastically took part in rallies
and owned a little gem like this.
The 1903 De Dion Bouton was made in France and was one of the most
popular cars on British roads in the early 20th century.
In fact, over half of all the cars in Britain were being
manufactured by De Dion Bouton.
The French and the Germans were the early pioneers, setting the standard
for motor manufacturing, with names like the Benz Velo and Renault.
In contrast, the British were producing cars like this -
John Henry Knight's 1895 creation, the Knight.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
It looks like something you will find in a farmyard!
You're probably right!
But in 1895, this was the first British petrol engine to be
driven on a public road.
It had a single cylinder engine
and it was capable of doing a whopping 8mph!
Driving laws were not easy on early motorists.
Parliament passed a law that insisted a red flag had to be
waved to warn the public of an approaching vehicle.
British roads at the time were not yet ready for the new
Early motorists had to prepare themselves for long,
hard journeys and the cars were not equipped for the British weather.
Conditions, however, for the motorist were about to improve.
The turn of the century, the Edwardian period,
brought style and elegance to the motoring classes in Britain.
And luxury design in cars,
such as this Rolls-Royce Alpine Eagle, had a long production run.
Proving exquisite style was a winning formula.
Well, let's take it for a spin.
In 1913, during the Austrian Alpine Trials,
it outperformed all other cars in the competition.
It was said at the time that it flew through the Alps like an eagle,
so becoming known as the Alpine Eagle.
As the 20th century raced on, the appetite for speed grew,
and cars became more and more powerful.
And so, the supercar was born.
This is the Bentley supercharged Blower.
It was built in 1930 and it was the supercar in its day.
And, incredibly, this could achieve speeds of 120mph.
Cars like this had their engines adapted. Air compressors were
fitted to the engine, blowing more air into the engine,
making the engine burn more fuel, making it work harder,
making the car go faster.
And everybody was obsessed with speed.
The British wanted the title of being the fastest in the world.
One of these men was Sir Malcolm Campbell,
who led the charge in the 1920s by attempting to break
the land speed record in order to showcase British engineering.
I've come back to the museum to meet Don Wales, the grandson
of Sir Malcolm Campbell, to hear more about the land speed record.
Why was your grandfather obsessed
with being the fastest person on the planet?
It was a number of reasons.
He was obsessed by speed. He was a very, very driven man.
And he knew that if he could show that Britain was making fast cars
it would help their exports.
But for him, he was quite selfish, I think.
Being obsessed by this ecstasy of fear, wanting to go fast,
wanting to be the best.
He wouldn't let up off a record attempt
until he'd got to the other end, and lifted his foot off the accelerator.
How many records did he break?
My grandfather broke nine land speed records.
He was the first to do 150mph in the Sunbeam,
and the first to achieve 300mph on land.
So he was the Lewis Hamilton of the day?
Young kids would look up to him as the figurehead of motoring?
In my grandfather's day, he was the king of all motorsport.
Two million people watched him at Daytona,
which is still the highest recorded figure for any spectator sport.
The king of speed. Absolutely, yes.
The Campbells carried on breaking records.
In 1964, Don's uncle, Donald Campbell,
became the first man to break both the land and water
speed record in the same year.
A feat that has never been repeated.
Donald Campbell's record-breaking achievements continue to
showcase British engineering as being amongst the best in the world.
Most important of all,
it still proves British leadership in engineering terms.
And it does, I think, also show that the British, when they make their
minds up, can jolly well overcome all obstacles and achieve anything.
As a young boy,
this iconic car must have left a huge impression on you.
I had no idea what my uncle was doing...
You couldn't understand it. Didn't understand it at all!
But on one occasion, the car was at his garage in Leatherhead,
and he pulled me out, dragging me by the hand, to come look at his car.
And these massive wheels in front of me, not knowing what it was.
And he picked me up and dropped me into the cockpit,
and that's been a lasting memory ever since.
Although the British motoring industry may not be as strong
as it was, the cars that I've seen today at the museum really
showcase British engineering, style and design.
It's a real celebration of our place in motoring history.
We are picking some of the highlights from all
the valuation days we've held across the country recently.
And Anita has come across an interesting object
at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire.
David, I like a man with a couple of bob in the bank,
and I see there's a couple of bob in this little bank.
In that little bank, yes. Tell me, where did you get it?
It was left to me by my second cousin,
and it's been at home in the bedroom ever since.
How long have you had it?
About 30 years.
Were you ever tempted to save money in it? No!
I'd like to have had some money to save.
I can see a few two pences there... Oh, yeah.
It's a little American bank.
And it comes from the 1900s.
So it's a good age.
Did you have family at one point that had gone to America?
No, as far as I know, no family connection with America whatsoever.
This little bank was made
by a company called Stevens in Connecticut.
It was a time where the Wild West was still wild,
but people were... Towns were growing,
and people were building towns,
shops were happening.
Banks were happening, and so on.
This would have been a child's bank.
This was to teach the child the benefit
of putting a little something away.
If we pull this little handle here...
..the little lid comes up,
and we've got a little guy here who is the cashier.
Now, I have a two pence here,
and you would put your two pence on it...
Or your cent, as it would have been in those days.
And it goes down, and you've saved yourself two pence or a cent.
It's made out of cast-iron, and one of the things I like
so much about this little bank is that the colours are original.
So, have you any reservations about selling it?
No, no. I'm downsizing.
I lost my wife, and... Yes.
And a thing to do is, I suppose, all the things that you don't
immediately need, or use, or love can go. That's right.
And the thing is, these little things are very, very collectable.
And if it goes for sale in auction,
it will be bought by somebody who will enjoy it. Good.
Well, there's at least 20p in there.
I would like to put it in with an estimate of, say, 60-100. Yes.
Would you be happy to put it forward at that price?
Yes, yes, I think so.
Shall we put a reserve on it? Yes. We'll put a reserve of ?60.
That sounds fine. OK.
I'm sure it will go at least mid-estimate,
and it may give us a wee surprise.
I hope so. Thank you for bringing it along. Thank you.
Who knows? It might make a mint!
The next stop is Chiddingstone Castle in Kent
where Adam Partridge is trying to get to know one of the locals.
Hi, Diana. I'm very pleased to meet you.
And you are? I'm Adam.
Pleased to meet you. I'm glad to be shaking your hand,
because that looks like quite a fearsome weapon in your hands.
In my darker days, maybe it was, but not now!
How did you come to own this thing?
What happened was
my husband used to work for a lady many years ago. Yeah.
And when she passed on, they cleared the house
and they said to my husband, if there's anything you want to take
that's left before it goes off to the skip, you can take what you want.
OK. Did he take a lot? He took a good few things.
We've sold a few things over the years, yes,
but we've kept this back. It's just been behind the cupboard, really.
Can I have a look at it? Yes, certainly.
It just looks a normal cane. Bit of a tall cane, bit tatty, bit flaky.
But it really is quite an interesting boys' toy.
It's a concealed weapon, known as an air cane, or a poacher's gun.
Firstly, let's go to this end, and this unscrews.
Here we go.
And there we have your ramrod.
And that is for pushing your lead shot in.
You pop your lead shot in there,
and then you push it down to make sure it gets to the bottom.
Like they used to do in the Musketeers. Exactly! Exactly right.
So, we're in the woods, waiting for a pheasant. OK.
Hoping not to get caught poaching. Sounds exciting. It does.
So we unscrew this bit...
OK. Now, we're missing a pump, because what we would've done now,
is we'd have pumped this into here, this valve.
We'd have pumped it full of air.
And this is a canister in here that would've held the air,
compressed air, to get that power. OK? Right.
And then you put that back on, full of air. Screw it back up.
Screw it back up. Can you manage, or do you want a hand?
I think I can manage to screw it up... Oh, no... Yes, I can.
All right. All this, still under the cover of darkness in the forest.
Right. So we put our ball in there, we push it down with the ramrod.
We're already loaded with air. Now we're going to fire. Not quite.
You're very impetuous, Diana - we're not going to fire just yet.
I really wanted the excitement.
You can't wait to see those feathers going everywhere, can you?
Of course not. The other thing we'd have had
is a little key. So you put the little key in there, turn that,
and then this little button pops up there. That's the trigger.
We're ready to fire.
See the sights there and there? That's right.
So, there we go, where's that Paul Martin gone?
And...press the button, bang!
Now, now - he's over there.
Any disturbance, and you'd be walking back through the forest...
So innocently. So innocently. Exactly.
It's ingenious, isn't it? Yeah, it is.
It's got this top which looks like it's made from bone.
And it would've been made at the end of the 19th century, 1880?
Gosh, as old as that? Yeah.
What do you think it's going to sell for then?
I've no idea, that's why I've come to you. Want to have a guess?
Estimate of 150-250. OK.
Either side of the 200, and maybe a reserve of 150?
And I'll be back at the auction, and if it doesn't sell...
Well, we won't be there. What?! We're on holiday in Cornwall, I'm sorry.
Well, I'll represent you. Will you? That'll be lovely.
Have you got a mobile number? I have.
Leave us your mobile number,
and I'll call you from the auction, let you know how it got on.
OK. Right, thanks very much. Lovely to have met you. Lovely to meet you.
And thank you for explaining all of that. Pleasure.
MUSIC: Run Rabbit Run by Flanagan and Allen.
I wish Adam would put that gun down!
Now, we travel north of London to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire
where Anita Manning has found a cat. But I don't think it's a local.
Sue, welcome to "Flog It!" Thank you.
Now, it's absolutely wonderful to have you here
and you've brought along two interesting items.
Do you have any question that you would like to ask me?
It was because of a show that you were involved in, "Flog It! Trade Secrets",
you were talking about amber
and it was from that programme that made me wonder if this was amber.
So I thought that I would come along today to see. I was curious.
This is a wonderful decorative object.
Tell me, when did you buy it and why?
I bought it about 25, 30 years ago when I was over in Egypt, in Luxor.
And they were selling gifts to tourists.
And I saw this cat sitting in the corner on the floor
and I thought, there's something rather beautiful about this cat,
and I did have eight cats of my own at the time and I quite like cats.
So this was your ninth cat?
It was, indeed, yes. Right. So the question is, is this real amber?
Now, you bought it 30 years ago and you bought it in a tourist area.
Yes. So the likelihood of it being amber are very, very low.
And true amber comes from the resin of old pine trees
over 350 million years old, so it's very, very rare.
But we do have different types or lookalikes of amber.
OK, let's look at it. We have these bangles.
Now, in amber there were different shades of light which would
come through the amber. So, that's copying that.
Also, in amber, there is often the inclusion of
pieces of insects which have been trapped in the resin of the tree
and, to have an insect or a piece of an insect in a piece of amber makes it more valuable.
Now, when you look underneath here, we can see a beastie, there.
It's a fly. And we see the whole fly.
Now, if a creature had been caught in this sticky resin,
it wouldn't just lie there and say, "OK, I'm going to die",
it would struggle, so when we see a full insect,
we start to think, no, there's something wrong, there.
So, these little indications are telling me that it's not amber.
This cat here is made of a celluloid a plastic. OK.
So not real amber.
Now, interestingly enough,
you brought along another item which is allied in some way to the cat.
But this isn't earlier item, probably from the Art Deco period.
Can you tell me where this came from?
It belonged to my uncle. He was in the Army, positioned in Hong Kong.
And my aunt was also staying with him.
And then, just before the fall of Hong Kong on 25 December, 1941,
my aunt was put onto the last boat being evacuated to Australia,
and my uncle gave this to my aunt for safekeepings.
Now, if we look at this, a Mahjong set, an oriental game,
and if we look at these little counters, this side here is
decorated with the little symbols which are used in the game.
But this yellow here is meant to look like amber,
but it is a celluloid or a plastic copy of that
and, on the other side we have a celluloid copy of jade.
So, in some way, the two items are allied.
They are made to look like something which is a very precious
substance but, in actual fact is a copy.
But still interesting. If you were going to auction,
I would like to put these two items together.
Put together in one lot, we would put an estimate of perhaps 70-100.
Would you be happy with that estimate?
Yes. I'm happy.
We'll put a fixed reserve on it because I know that,
if that goes back home with you, you won't be too upset.
I'd be just as happy, yes.
Thank you very much.
Both those items have travelled from far-flung places.
And now it's time for us to travel to
the Dorset coast, and to Lulworth Castle,
where Mark Stacey is at the table.
Hello, Jacquie, hello, Val. BOTH: Hello, Mark.
In unison, you must be sisters.
You are, of course, sisters, aren't you? We are.
You've brought a lovely little box.
But before we find out the intriguing contents,
what's the family history?
Well, we don't really know anything about it at all.
They just appeared when my mother died.
We found them in all her bits and pieces.
She was 101 when she died.
Wow, that's a good innings, isn't it? Wow. That's amazing!
She was amazing. She was amazing, yes.
Let's open it, shall we? Put us out of our misery.
Because when we open it,
we see two lovely, charming, ladies' fob watches.
And two little... What, if it was in gold,
would be called an Albert chain.
But these are the chains that the watches would hang off.
We've got some little gold elements on the actual chains.
But I think that the main body of the chains are made
out of woven human hair. Oh, really?.
This often happened in the 19th century when people died,
as a memento mori of the passing of the person.
Rather macabre in some people's eyes.
But you can imagine the fragility of it,
so to find them in good condition is quite unusual, actually.
And would they go together? I think they probably did.
As they're all together, in the little package,
there's every chance they might have been.
Let's just look at one of the watches.
This is my favourite. Mine as well, yes.
This is silver and rose gold.
With lovely, delicate enamel flowers there.
And actually set into the arms of the watch
are two little diamonds. Oh, are there?
They're tiny diamonds, but they are actually in there.
If I move it slightly, you can see them glinting. Yes.
The date is going to be anywhere really from about 1890-1910,
that sort of period.
But I think they're lovely,
and they've obviously been in this box for a long time.
The box itself is rosewood.
I think it would be a shame to split them.
I think a collector would like this.
I think we should put them in with an estimate of ?150-250.
Oh, wow! But we shall put the reserve at 150, fixed. OK.
So if you can't get 150, I think you should keep them.
I would hope that two collectors will really go for them.
And we might even get above the 250.
There's every chance, actually.
But if they do do very well, are you going to split the money?
Yes, and we've got two brothers as well. Oh, so it's going four...
So we need you to do very well.
We need you to do 400. Probably go for a night out...
And now it's time to put our expert's valuations to the test
as we head off to auction.
But before that,
here's a quick recap of all the items we're taking with us.
This little money box has travelled all the way from the USA.
One internet bid, and it could be going home.
The gun cane was a revelation to me,
but I expect there'll be those in the know in the saleroom.
The cat and the Mahjong set may not be made of amber
but they are still collectible.
And I think Mark Stacey has come across a sure bet with the watches and the fob chain.
Time to travel back to the little town of Tring,
and to Market Auctions, where Stephen Hearn is on the rostrum.
Going under the hammer right now,
that wonderful little money box made in Connecticut, USA.
I think this is the first time on the show that we've had
a little American money box.
Why have you decided to sell it now, David?
Well, I'm just downsizing a little bit.
One or two things have to go.
And starting with the money box.
Good luck, it's going under the hammer right now. This is it.
Interesting little object, that one.
We ought to be looking at ?80 for it. ?50 for it.
40. 5, 50.
5, 60. Going...
65. Two of you.
65, 70, 5.
At ?75... ?80 is in.
There's another telephone bidder.
85? 80, I am bid. 85...
90. 90, and 5?
And 100. And 10.
If there's no... I'm going to sell it then, it's going down at ?100.
GAVEL STRIKES Thank you, sir.
Hammer's gone down, ?100.
Yeah, good, good, good. That's excellent.
I'm happy with that. Yes, very good.
Well done, thank you for bringing that in.
Won't break the bank though, will it? No, it won't break the bank!
But it was top end of the estimate, so well done, Anita.
Moving on to Charterhouse Auction Rooms in Sherborne, Dorset,
where Jacquie's watches are up for sale,
and her niece is standing in for her.
Time up for Jacquie's fob watches.
There's two going under the hammer right now.
Sadly she cannot be with us right now, but we do have Rachel.
Why is she selling these?
I think it's the age-old thing, they're in the cupboard,
Not doing anything...
Yes, so it would be better for someone else to make use of them. OK.
This is a cracking lot, actually, Paul.
In a nice little rosewood box with pewter inlay.
Two pocket watches, a bit of an Albert...
and some mourning Albert as well, with plaited hair.
It's just the sort of lot auctioneers like.
You can sniff it straightaway.
Right, I'm excited, you're excited, and so are you.
Fingers crossed, it's going to get the top end plus.
It's going under the hammer now.
Sweet little 18 carat and enamel gold fob watch here,
and I'm straight in at ?100, I have bid.
At 100, 110, 120,
130, 140, 150.
At 150, 160, 170.
180, 190, 200.
And 20, 240, 260, 280.
This is a bit more like it, isn't it? Yes.
Battle of the front row, at 320,
it's dead-ahead there at 320, I have.
At ?320 I have, fair warning,
selling at 320, last chance at 320...
Well done, Mark. Well done, well spotted. Well done! ?320!
Thank you so much, that's brilliant. I'm happy, you've got to be...
I can see a big smile on Rachel's face.
And I think Jacquie will be happy, too.
Thank you for standing in for her. No problem. Thank you.
It's good to see everyone happy.
And now over to Tring Market Auctions
where Stephen is selling the rather fine cat and Mahjong set
belonging to Susan.
Now, I know we had a fixed reserve at the valuation of ?70,
but I know you've had a chat to the auctioneer and you've upped it to ?90. I have.
I felt more comfortable with 90 than 70. OK.
In the end, we want you to be happy.
And I feel very comfortable with that.
Yes. Well, let's keep our fingers crossed.
Well, look, if it doesn't sell, I know you'll be happy to take this home with you. I am.
Very happy to take it home, so, as you say, win-win. We've got a win-win situation!
But we'd like to get top money.
I mean, that's what it's all about.
And this is going under the hammer right now.
The Mahjong Bakelite playing pieces, together with the cat.
There it is.
How do we go on this cat? 50?
60? 70? 80?
Going, 90? Two of you!
110, and 20.
That lady's keen in the red jacket, look!
She's not putting her bidding paddle down!
120. Yes or no?
120, and 30, and 40.
She's still there, she's still there in the red jacket!
?140, then. You get the Mahjong pieces and the cat.
140, then, madam, yours at ?140.
Thank you so much!
I am surprised but delighted. So am I!
Style won once again. I think it did, yes.
So that's so special. Yes.
That's what it's all about.
Last stop, Surrey, and that bizarre poacher's gun, which I'm glad to say
is in the safe hands of auctioneer Tim Duggan at Ewbank's Auctions.
Our next lot is so unusual, in fact, I've never seen one before,
and I've never seen one for sale before.
It's a poacher's gun, hidden in a walking cane.
We have that going under the hammer.
Sadly, we do not have Diana, the owner.
But we do have Adam, our expert. Have you seen any of these before?
I have, not many. Sold a lot of them? I have sold them before.
That's why I came up with that estimate.
Usually make a bit more than that.
You don't see many, and they're very cool things.
Poaching gun in a walking cane, who'd have thought of that?
Anyway, it's going under the hammer right now.
Fingers crossed it gets the top end of Adam's estimate. Here we are.
In 20 years of this business, I've never seen one of these before -
this is an interesting airgun cane of tapered form.
I've got interest and I'm in at ?100 now.
?100, 110. 120,
130, 140, 150, 160...
Looking for 170 anywhere.
170 with you, sir. At 170, looking for 180 now.
Rare thing, see?
Wow! They're battling it out in the saleroom!
..at ?300. The bids are all out then,
Selling to the blue shirt at ?300.
Great result! ?300, well done, Adam. Someone's poached that.
That was a rare thing, wasn't it? I know Diana will be really pleased,
and fingers crossed, you're watching this right now, enjoying the moment.
Today we have visited some stunning locations
and met some wonderful people.
I'm very pleased to meet you.
And you are? I'm Adam.
Everyone has gone home happy...
Well, that trotted up quickly, didn't it?
So join us again soon on Flog It!
for more thrills and spills in the auction rooms.