Antiques series. Paul Martin presents from Hopetoun House, not far from Edinburgh. Antiques experts James Lewis and Adam Partridge find some fascinating antiques.
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Edinburgh, a city brimming with history and culture.
With a list of literary giants as long as the Royal Mile,
it's no wonder Edinburgh was named
the world's first City Of Literature in 2004.
And at its very centre is the world's largest monument
to a writer - Sir Walter Scott.
And, Great Scott! It is huge.
And he was a great Scot. Welcome to Flog It!
Edinburgh has an incredible literary legacy.
Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson
and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were all Edinburgh-born,
and were, no doubt, influenced by the landscape and the character
of the city which was known for its smog, as "Auld Reekie."
And later we'll be finding out what inspired
Robert Louis Stevenson's famous work, Jekyll And Hyde.
But first, welcome to Hopetoun House, our stunning
and unique valuation day location,
just outside of Edinburgh.
Well, the writing's definitely on the wall - that's for sure.
Hundreds of people have turned up here, today,
to have their antiques and collectables valued.
Now, somebody here in this massive queue has got something
that's worth a small fortune. It's our experts' job to find it,
and, hopefully, they'll be going home with a bob or two.
A touch of rain couldn't keep these hardy Scots away,
and even our experts are braving the weather.
-What have you got?
I'm sick of you already! It's only the morning.
They're the authors of today's story.
The ever articulate James Lewis...
That is fantastic!
..and the well-versed Adam Partridge.
"Among the heathy hills and ragged woods,
"the roaring Fyres pours his moosy floods,
"till full he dashes on the rocky mounds,
"where, thro' a shapeless breach, his stream resounds."
Do you know, I'd stick to the day job if I was you, Adam!
Well, their valuations will be put to the test
when the items go under the hammer at auction.
And now it's time to put pen to paper,
as we ask that all-important question, which is...
What's it worth?!
I think we've kept everyone waiting long enough,
so let's open the doors and invite everyone into the warm.
On today's show, two musical items from a bygone era.
The delicate tinkle of a 19th-century music box...
..and the less refined bellow of a concertina.
But can you guess which hits the high note at auction?
Well, this magnificent ballroom here at Hopetoun House
was designed at the height of the Victorian period,
when the aristocracy used to love to dance and throw big balls,
and what a party you could have here.
This room measures 28 metres by ten metres.
That is vast. And today,
well, we're using it for an altogether different purpose,
but we have filled it with hundreds of people,
laden with antiques and collectables. So let's get started
with the valuing and hand the proceedings over to Adam Partridge.
He's found an item that befits our surroundings.
Gordon and Liz. Thank you for coming along.
-Not at all.
-I was delighted to see this object.
This is the sort of thing that would, perhaps, 100 years
after it was made, might have been used as an entertaining item
in the parlours, do you think?
-That's right. I'm sure it was.
-It's a late 19th-century musical box.
With this rosewood lid, inlaid with a drum and a trumpet,
to give you the idea, of course, of what's inside.
And there it is, there. Can you tell me how you came to own it, first of all?
My mother bought it when I was a child, from the Red Cross shop
-for 15 shillings.
-Was that a lot then?
-Probably quite a lot.
-A dozen loaves of bread.
-A dozen loaves of bread.
Do you have childhood memories of this, then?
-Was it played, or was it something you have to stay away from?
-We could play it.
-And how about presently, now, in your home?
Is it still out and used, or where does it live at the moment?
It's only played occasionally when I dust it, but it needs a good home.
Well, good. There are a lot of collectors for this type of thing.
-Musical boxes and mechanical music, in general,
are keenly sought after, and there are lots of different models,
in the same way as, I suppose, you get a basic car
and a very flashy car, with all the different features on it.
-You'd get that with a musical box.
These were made at the end of the 19th century,
late 19th century, and the movements were Swiss-made.
And this is a fairly humble model, really.
-But a nice one, nevertheless. Is it working?
-Oh, yes, it works.
It looks in pretty good order, in general.
All the teeth are present.
Which isn't bad for over 100 years, is it?
The only thing it's missing, though, would have been a glazed cover.
I think it had one when we first, when Mum first bought it.
But where the cover has gone - the mists of time has taken it,
-Oh, well. Any idea on value?
I had it valued about 20-odd years ago.
-And it was then about £200.
I would think 2-300 would be a sensible estimate.
-That sounds fine.
-Probably, your reserve should be £200.
I think it'll make towards the 300, or maybe even a touch more.
Whatever it makes, it'll be more than we had this morning.
-Well, absolutely. That's the spirit. So can we have a play?
I think that's an Italian...
TWINKLY MUSIC PLAYS
-There we are.
Well, thank you very much for bringing it along.
-Thank you very much, indeed.
-And I hope we hear the tune of success
-at the auction.
James has also got his hands on a piece of early entertainment.
Eleanor, there are certain things that are just archetypal antiques.
Things that you see very rarely,
but the public have seen so often.
But the interesting thing with this is it's going to appeal
to two very different groups of people.
It's going to appeal to the child,
-who's going to enjoy the images...
..but also the scientific brain,
-who's going to want to understand how it works.
And it almost comes under the same category as a globe,
or a microscope, that sort of thing.
What do you know about it?
Well, I know it's called a zoetrope.
As children, we used to
sit and very carefully watch
the moving pictures.
It came from my grandmother's family.
I don't know where she got it from.
It didn't come out very often. It was kept in the attic.
My grandfather brought it down very carefully, unravelled the slides,
and we sat round the old big table in the kitchen
with our eyes glued.
It is a very interesting bit of entertainment history,
but also scientific history.
The idea that you can look through an aperture
and swivel a picture and change it,
is one that dates back generations.
I don't know if you ever did this at school,
but paint a little picture on the corner of your jotter
or your sketchbook at school.
-And flick through.
-Flick the pages.
If we look through the side here, and then turn,
the whole picture starts to form.
And we see here a horse leaping over a hedge,
and of course it helps to date this
by the fact that the horse is
a classic early 19th-century horse.
Of course, the horse's stride is totally wrong.
This is how we thought a horse would walk before, with two front legs
going forward first, followed by the two back legs, a bit like a rabbit.
Of course, the right front goes with the back left.
If you look at the base of it, it's a turned section of mahogany.
-Was this part always made of tin?
-Normally made of tin.
This is slightly buckled.
I've seen them made from card, as well, the later ones,
but they very rarely last in the way that this has.
And here, we have various types of paper band -
we've got the circus,
that would be attractive to a child.
The great thing about this is that you have a mass of them,
-you've got loads of them.
OK, some of them are tired,
but others are in relatively good condition.
OK, we need to come up with a price.
I would like to put £5-£800 on it with a reserve
of 500 firm.
OK, that's lovely, thank you very much.
Well, I look forward to seeing it at the auction
and I think it's going to do very well.
Thank you so much.
What a great piece of history,
and it shows just how far technology has come.
Now, while the valuations are still in full swing in the ballroom,
I wanted to sneak a peek inside our stunning venue.
Hopetoun House was one of the first of its kind to be
built in Scotland and is one of the finest
examples of 18th-century architecture in Britain.
There are some unique pieces of furniture that
capture 18th-century Scottish workmanship and a slice of history.
Now, this room was furnished by the noted rococo cabinet-maker
and upholsterer James Cullen, who designed these magnificent
gilt console tables between the two peers here on this wall.
He also supplied this magnificent pair of commodes,
in the French style.
They look incredibly important and were designed obviously to
show off wealth and the skill of the cabinet-maker who made these.
Veneered in the most wonderful figured flame mahogany,
these date to around the mid-18th century when furniture was
designed not just to be practical,
but also decorative and beautiful.
And boy, do these smack of that.
Interestingly enough, what you think are the doors at the front
on this wonderful serpentine shape are not doors -
it's just a panel with the cross of St Andrew, look.
Inlaid in veneer in mahogany across the grain in a chevron fashion
which we call cross-veneered.
Now, look at this - here are the doors on the side of the commode.
As that opens up, it's as good today as it was
when it was first made in around 1750.
Now, I wonder if our experts can find anything like this
back over in the ballroom. Let's join them.
Well, it may not be a mahogany veneered commode, but Adam has
found something that is hugely popular and beautiful to boot.
-Sally, we see lots of Moorcroft on this programme.
In fact, very rarely does a show pass without an example
coming across, but I couldn't help noticing this one because it's
quite a nice distinctive shape, and it's quite a large piece.
Now, how did you come to own this?
Well, I did have a next-door neighbour, an elderly lady,
and she died.
Her daughter-in-law came up because they had to sell the house,
so I was helping them out and we came across this Moorcroft dish.
She said, "I've got no use for it, would you like it?"
And I thought, well, I love Moorcroft, so yes, I'll take it. That's great.
-I tried to do research,
or even to get to know what the design was.
I couldn't see a dish like this on the internet.
OK. The shape is quite an unusual... That lipped bowl.
It's quite nice, but it's tube-lined, as they always are,
with the anemone design on this green ground.
Commercially, it's not the top end of Moorcroft.
The vases always sell better than bowls, for a start,
because they display better in a cabinet.
This green ground isn't as popular perhaps as the blue
and the red flambe grounds, but is a very pleasing thing.
And it's decorated around the outside.
-Shall we do the old flip over and see what's underneath?
Fascinating to know about it a little bit.
Yes, and you've got the blue signature there of Walter Moorcroft,
-which dates this probably to the end of the 1940s or so.
-Oh, is it?
I asked you why you've decided to sell it - presumably, it's out
in Sally's house looking wonderful, full of fruit, overflowing.
No, it isn't. I have it wrapped up and packed away in a drawer.
-Oh, stop it!
-I don't have a place to display it and it's really pretty.
The only time I really get to enjoy it is to have a quiet moment
where I take it out, have a look at it,
wrap it up and go, "Well, one of these days..."
Maybe somebody else would enjoy it.
-Not tempted to have it on the sideboard?
Good, too late now! We're selling it - off to auction!
-Any idea on the value?
-I think most probably about 200, £300.
-Very good. Very good.
You've done your research. You're obviously an intelligent lady.
I think you're right, it's going to make about £300,
hopefully a touch more.
I would suggest 250 to 350 for the estimate
-and my bet is it will make £340.
-Ooh, that would be nice.
-Don't hold me to it! But thanks for coming.
-Oh, you're welcome.
-I've really enjoyed it. And I found a little bit out about it.
-Well, I've enjoyed talking to you.
A very precise prediction of £340 and, yes, Adam,
we will hold you to it!
So, that's our first three items in the bag and ready to go to auction.
We have the delicate-sounding musical box.
Will anyone find a place for it in their home?
This zoetrope is a classic antique,
but will anybody want to pay £500 for it?
And Adam is confident this Moorcroft bowl will sell for exactly £340.
Well, let's see if he's right as we travel west to Glasgow
and the Great Western Auction House.
And it's nice to be welcomed by a friendly face - Anita Manning!
-What's it like being up on that rostrum?
-It's absolutely wonderful!
-It's home territory for me. It's where I feel comfortable.
Yes, I like to give them a show, to make it an event!
Save me time, then, in at 200.
Lovely wee thing, there. Are you bidding?
50 on the floor. Fresh bidder.
With me at 30. 260. 220 with me!
You've been auctioneering now for most of your life, haven't you?
-Were you the first lady auctioneer in Scotland?
-One of the first.
25 years ago, I stood on the rostrum for the very first time.
I had 400 lots to sell and I know that
when auctioneers start off, they're given 10 or 20.
-But you had 400.
-Straight in at 400.
As soon as I started, within ten lots,
-this is the job for me!
-This is it!
-Any advance on 180? 180.
-Hey, look -
have great fun on there later, OK?
Remember, at every auction house,
there's commission to pay.
Here, it's 18% and first to the fore,
it's the ever popular Moorcroft bowl.
Going under the hammer right now, one of the most famous
names in pottery - a bit of Moorcroft and it belongs to Sally.
It's a gorgeous bowl.
At the valuation day, Adam had an exact...
An exact, I must say, not an approximate, but an exact valuation.
I'm going to look stupid again, aren't I?!
-I might want to review that slightly!
-2 to 3(!)
Why are you selling it? Because for me, it's a keeper.
Well, I don't have a place to put it, I don't use it,
I just wrap it up and put it in my drawer.
It's the old Flog It! story - it lives in a drawer!
-But also, a bowl of this size, Paul...
Yeah, I know, but it's easier to have a vase than a bowl.
-Right now, we're trying to sell this one. Here we go.
Let's hope so.
It's the anemone pattern.
Can we say 400? 300?
Will you start me at £200? 200 bid.
With you, madam, at 200.
Any advance on 200? 210.
220. 230. 240.
Any advance on £240?
-Any advance on 240...?
-Oh, no, I've lost, Paul.
All done at 240.
100 quid out!
It sold, though, within estimate, OK?
That was good.
It's not a good day at the office for Adam! He's a perfectionist!
Hey, you're happy. Within estimate.
It's not easy putting a value on antiques, Adam,
so we'll let you off this time.
Let's see if he does better on the musical box.
Right, Liz and Gordon! We're going to make sweet music, all of us.
Adam is here. Eight airs, I believe, this musical box, top of the range.
There's a huge interest in mechanical music of all sorts, so...
We're interested to find that you've
decided it comes from Switzerland, because we just assumed...
-Well engineered, like Swiss watches and movements.
Victorian mechanics, as well.
So let's hope we strike the right note with this lot - the bidders.
It's all down to them right now
as we hand things over to Anita Manning.
Can we say £300?
I have bids on the books. 200 bid.
It's with you, sir, at £200.
280 on the books.
Any advance on 280?
-300, fresh bidder.
It's on the books at 320.
That's better, I like that.
Any advance on 320?
All done at 320, 320.
-Didn't go for a song!
-No, it didn't! We'll leave you with that, ouch!
That's a lovely one! "It didn't go for a song!"
Adam has redeemed himself and his musical box made over the estimate.
Let's hope the zoetrope gets the bidders watching.
Invented in 1853 by mathematician William George Horner
we have the zoetrope going under the hammer and it belongs to Eleanor,
who's standing right next to me with our expert, James.
Now, for me, this was the best thing at the valuation day.
I love it! It's early telly!
That was what it was all about, wasn't it?
-I bet, as a young girl, you enjoyed this.
-We did, yes.
Yes, lots of use. Condition is slightly against it,
but where can you find another with all of the pictures and diagrams?
-There's a lot there.
-Yes, I mean it's SO rare.
Well, we've got a fixed reserve at £550.
Hopefully, we will sell it beyond that. Here we go.
It's a mid-19th century zoetrope.
We have 23
coloured printed circular discs,
so you have the full home entertainment kit there!
£1,000. 1,000. 500.
Will you start me at £400?
400. 400 bid.
Any advance on 400?
-It's going in the room.
Any advance on 750?
All done at 750.
-Yes! Eleanor, we did it! £750.
-Well, I'm happy.
I was a bit worried there, for a moment!
-Thought I'd be taking it home with me!
-Condition was against it.
-Nevertheless, it's a good price.
-Thank you very much.
Well, there we are -
that concludes our first visit to the sale room today.
Don't go away, because we're coming back here later on.
Now, if I said somebody was a bit Jekyll and Hyde,
you would know what I was going on about, wouldn't you?
The characters are so well recognised, their names
and what they represent become part of modern parlance.
But what I wanted to know was where did the inspiration for such
a sinister tale come from?
Well, to find out, I went back to Edinburgh, to the 19th century.
It's one of the best-known stories in literature.
Published in 1886,
The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
tells the story of Jekyll's experiments with a potion
that transforms him into the darker side of his personality,
The author Robert Louis Stevenson exposed the human battle
between good and evil, a concept that excited a Victorian audience.
But what was it about this beautiful city that inspired him
to write such a sinister story?
When Robert Louis Stevenson was growing up in the mid-19th century,
Edinburgh was a city of two sides.
The Old Town is ramshackled and poor,
dirty and full of sinful behaviour.
The New Town, sophisticated, ordered,
and the urges of the upper class restrained
by the principles of the day.
So where did our young author place himself in this scene?
Stevenson was born in the Old Town,
but moved to the New Town by the time he was six years old.
He experienced first-hand the two different faces of Edinburgh.
The city was divided - the good side and the bad.
A fitting inspiration for a character who is both good
and evil in one man.
Award-winning author Ian Rankin has lived
most of his life in the city
and alongside Robert Louis Stevenson
has created a hugely successful character full of conflict
and contradiction - Inspector Rebus.
He knows more than most about Edinburgh's two sides
and what effect it had on Stevenson's writing.
Stevenson grew up in this family of engineers,
he grew up in a rational environment,
but he was attracted to the Old Town, he was attracted to the chaos.
He was attracted to the vagabonds and the ladies of the night
who would be there and he would tiptoe out of his house
as a teenager and tiptoe up the hill towards chaos.
And so I think that whole thing about the Old Town, the New Town,
the rational, the irrational, was there in the back of his mind
throughout his life.
It wasn't just his physical surrounding
that influenced Stevenson's writing.
His physical condition also played a part.
He was plagued with ill health as a child,
but in his adult life,
his fevered nightmares proved inspirational.
The story of Jekyll and Hyde came to Stevenson in a dream.
It's thought the strong medication he took for his illness
gave him hallucinations that illuminated a darker world.
The entire novella was written from his sick bed in under six days.
This wasn't the first time Stevenson had written about good and evil
existing in one man.
As a young chap he wrote a play based on a real-life 18th century
Edinburgh gentlemen, Deacon Brodie.
Deacon Brodie was a respectable cabinet maker
and a well-regarded society man by day,
but by night he was a sinister thief with a criminal mind.
Brodie was a gambler and an adulterer.
He raided his clients' houses to fund his gambling habit.
He kept up his double life for nearly 20 years,
but he was eventually caught and hung on the very gallows
he had himself designed.
But how did this impact on the young Robert Louis Stevenson?
Stevenson's nursemaid Cummy would tell him the story of this guy who
was one thing by day, a gentleman, and another thing entirely by night.
And again, we think that might've lodged itself
in Stevenson's subconscious and later on when he wanted
to write about the nature of evil, he actually had a template,
he had a guy in his head who had really existed,
and so he decided to write Jekyll and Hyde.
The interesting thing about Jekyll and Hyde is that
it's about a scientist,
it's about a man who's actually...
He's a man on the side of good,
he's using these experiments to try and find out more about human nature
and people were fascinated by science
and were fascinated by criminology.
Victorian Britain was experiencing rapid change,
experimenting with technology and medicine in ways never seen before.
Jekyll and Hyde excited their curiosity
and reflected their concerns.
Victorian Britain was a place that kept its vices very well hidden
and there would be sort of prostitutes round every corner
but it was all kind of hidden away, it was genteel on the surface.
What Stevenson was talking about was the kind of difference
between the surface, what we present to the world
and what's going on inside our heads, our kind of baser instincts.
And that's an idea that resonates with people today,
making the intriguing story of Jekyll and Hyde
a timeless classic and one that's influenced
prestigious modern authors, like Ian Rankin.
Stevenson was fascinated by the question of good and evil,
why human beings continue to do bad things to each other
and that's something that you find throughout crime fiction
and certainly throughout my books.
Jekyll and Hyde deals with the conflict between good and evil.
The two sides of human nature, the split in the split personality
and when you hear about Stevenson's own experiences
here in Edinburgh, it seems it was a book he was destined to write.
Back at the valuation day at Hopetoun House,
James has found a very special musical instrument.
Gordon, as a valuer,
as soon as you see a leather box
that's had some tooling
and gilt originally around the border there,
you know there's something of real quality.
You know what's in there, I know what's in there,
it's a concertina of the most fabulous quality.
We've got the maker's mark,
Wheatstone & Co.
So, tell me, do you play?
-No, I don't play.
-Can you make a noise?
-I can make a noise.
-Go on, go for it. Let's see how good you are.
Not at all.
CONCERTINA SQUEAKILY PLAYS
I told you I couldn't play.
You're very easy to please.
It is the god of concertinas, Wheatstone.
They're the best makers. They started around 1850.
On each end we should have a pierced, in this case,
wooden end board, ebony in this case.
You also find them in rosewood,
you also find them in chrome or polished steel.
And at the end here, 26542 is the serial number
that gives you an idea of when it was made.
I cheated earlier and I asked one of the off-screen valuers
to look it up for me and he said it's about 1885 to 1890.
The value in these things is always dependent on the number of buttons,
and we've got 48, which is great, which is good news.
I always think as soon as one of these arrives in the saleroom,
if it's in good order,
it is about the easiest thing to sell in the world.
It is an auctioneer's dream, but...
..it's clearly not your dream, so why are you selling it?
Well, it was my great-uncle's. He did play it, and when he died,
it passed to my father, they were downsizing and it...
He said did I want it?
And I said, "Yes, it's a really nice thing, so I'll take it."
But all it's done is sit up in the loft
-for the last kind of ten or 12 years.
Most of its value lies in its modern-day demand for somebody who
would actually still want to play it because it's in such good order
and at the moment the biggest market for these is in Celtic bands,
but there are plenty of collectors for them, as well.
-I'm going to give you two values.
-One is what I think it'll actually sell for.
But the other one is the estimate that I think we should put on
-to encourage the right interest to end up at that figure.
-So I think an auction estimate should be £500-700.
But I think it'll make over 1,000.
-It's a good thing.
-That's good, yeah.
If anything ever was a guaranteed seller,
without putting the curse on it...
It'll probably end up not selling now I've said that,
-but that is as much as a guaranteed sale as you'll ever get.
-And a reserve of 500?
-Reserve of 500.
-OK, that's fine.
You heard it here first. James says it's a guaranteed sale,
so keep watching to find out if he's right.
This is what I love doing at a valuation day -
mixing it up amongst all the people.
Now, you can't come to Scotland and talk about literature
without mentioning the notorious Robbie Burns.
So how notorious were his poems?
Let's find out, shall we?
Anyone here...? Can anyone recite a bit of Robbie Burns?
-Just a verse or two. Anyone?
Can you? Go on, then. Nice and loud. Ready? Listen, everyone. Here we go.
OK. Tam O'Shanter.
"When chapman billies leave the street
"And drouthy neebors, neebors meet
"As market-days are wearing late
"An' folk begin to tak the gate
"We sit bousing at the nappy
"Getting fou and unco' happy."
Bousing at the nappy!
Well done! I love it.
It just goes to show the poems of Robbie Burns still live on today.
And there are a wealth of collectables in homage
to the great man.
Now Adam's found a glove box that's never seen the inside of a car.
Well, picture the day when this was a ballroom full of very
elegant people having a dance and the ladies would've been wearing...
Their gloves, yes.
..very fancy evening gloves and things like that
and they would've stored their gloves in a box just like that -
perhaps in this very box, which is made locally.
-In the town of Mauchline.
-Yes, that's right.
So, Pat, thank you very much for bringing it.
Tell me, where did you get it from, what do you know about it?
Well, I don't know much about it.
-It was my aunt's, so I inherited it a couple of years ago.
-Would it be Victorian?
-Yeah, Victorian or maybe slightly later.
Turn of the century, 1900s or so, most likely.
Although Mauchline Ware was made from the early 19th century
-right up until the 1930s, I think.
So judging by the construction and the type of decoration,
-1900s or thereabouts.
-That age, yeah.
-You know people like little boxes.
-Well, they do, yes.
A lot of collectors of boxes
and a lot of collectors of Mauchline Ware, of course,
relatively locally made, South Ayrshire, in the town of Mauchline.
-Do you use it at all?
I think someone's been using it for pencils.
There we are, simple box inside and it does actually...
You can see remnants of pencil storage in there.
-But it's just a decorative box, isn't it?
-It's a very nice thing,
made from sycamore, as they always are, and, in fact, I think
it says it here, "made of wood which grew on the banks of the Doon."
-Of the Doon.
-And we've got three famous Scottish landmarks on here,
Burns' monument, Burns' cottage and Alloway Kirk.
-Do you know much about Alloway Kirk?
-No, I've been to the cottage.
Years ago, when I was young.
I believe also that a lot of them were decorated by children,
-because it's a fairly simple transfer print.
So why have you decided to sell it?
Just because I don't do anything with it, it just sits on the top.
-It's in the way.
-My estimate would be something like £30-50.
Does that fit in with your expectations?
Yes, that fits in OK, no problem.
Are you going to trust in the auction system
and let it go to the highest bidder
or do you want to put a reserve on it?
-No reserve, yeah, just hope for the best.
-No reserve, let it go.
Well, thanks. That's very good. Thanks for bringing it along.
-Thank you very much.
Now, if you've got any unwanted antiques and collectables
you want to flog, we'd like to do it for you
and this is where your journey starts -
a valuation day very much like this one.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues
you can find on our BBC website,
or check the details in your local press because, fingers crossed,
we're coming to an area near you soon.
Dust 'em down and bring 'em in.
-Pearl, you're a brave lady.
-Transporting mercury in a barometer.
Though the good news is you clearly know how to move a barometer.
Do you know, the first time I ever handled a barometer in a sale room,
I was a porter, I was 19 years old,
-first thing I did was put it flat.
Mercury went everywhere
but this is a really lovely piece of 19th-century interior furnishings.
-Known as a stick barometer for obvious reasons.
Barometers come in three various forms -
the most valuable is the signpost barometer.
The most common are the wheel barometers
and those at the moment are very unfashionable
and they're selling for as little as £100.
These are somewhere in the middle,
this one towards - much, much closer towards - the wheel barometer.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
But what we've got is a glass tube
and then that goes right the way down into the mercury reservoir here
and you can see that that compresses there,
-you can see there's...
-Pressure can be applied
and as the atmospheric pressure changes,
the mercury rises up the tube
and comes to a temperature gauge here at the top.
And in very, very fine weather,
it raises, and in cold weather,
The case itself is mahogany,
but it does have a feel that it has been somewhere unloved.
-Yes, yes. Neglected.
-So why is it neglected?
Well, we found it, it was lying in the back of a wardrobe in the house.
-I mean, a chappie did offer us £50 for it, but...
-I bet he did!
But it was a curious thing, we haven't seen one before,
we thought, well, we will just go and see. Get some information on it.
Well, that is certainly a cheeky offer.
Judging by its style, I would say it is a British maker.
Very, very plain.
Now, in terms of value,
I would put an estimate of £180-£250 on it.
-And I would like to see a reserve of about £180.
-But I think it would certainly make that.
-I am hoping it will make top end. It is a good thing.
-And thank you for bringing it in.
And well done for not selling it to the man for £50!
Antiques go in and out of fashion
and barometers are not as popular as they once were.
Will it make the £180 reserve?
Find out in just a minute.
The concertina is of the highest quality.
James thinks it is a sure thing. But could he be proved wrong?
The Mauchline Ware box is fit for a scholar.
Will there be any Robert Burns fans willing to bid?
And an item that has been replaced by technology, the barometer.
The pressure is on to see if it will sell.
And it's back over to Anita for the last time.
Well, we couldn't come to Scotland and make a Flog It! show
without featuring a bit of Mauchline Ware, let's face it!
It would go against the grain. We've seen it before and we'll see many more in the future.
This bit belongs to Patricia and she is right next to me.
I like the images. The Burns Monument and the little cottage.
Not a lot of money, £30-£50, but it's going to do it.
Yeah, of course it will. It's its market level
and we put it through without reserve,
because where better to sell something local?
Let's put this value to the test. I am sure it will find a buyer here.
This is it.
Scottish item, ladies and gentlemen.
One of our charming Mauchline Ware pieces.
A glove box here, with three views.
We have Burns Monument, Alloway Kirk and Burns' cottage, of course.
Can we say £50?
£50 for the Mauchline? £50?
£30. Start me at £20.
20, 30, 40,
With you, sir, at 40.
Any advance on £40?
All done at £40? £40.
-£40, mid-estimate. Well done, Adam.
-That's fine, yeah.
-That's a good result, isn't it?
-Thank you for bringing that in.
-Thanks very much.
Bit of local interest.
110... 120, 130,
Are you out? 140.
Well, so far, so good.
And I tell you what, things are really flying out today.
And it is getting so hot in here.
And I know that, because we have a stick barometer
and I have just read it. And it belongs to Pearl.
-I reckon this is going to fly out of the room.
-Well, hopefully, yes.
I reckon everyone needs one of these.
I don't think they are accurate,
-but they look fabulous, don't they?
-If it's hot. Look at this.
Oh, wow! I told you it's getting hot in here.
They're really the in thing.
-What are they called?
Because it is getting hot in here.
-Aren't they just fantastic?
-They are brilliant!
-Well, keep them on, James.
-Sorry... Anyway, moving on!
19th-century mahogany case stick barometer,
with the inset ivory scale.
Can we say 300? 200? Start me at £100.
£100 on the barometer?
Any advance on £100?
Any advance on 100? 110, 120.
Any advance on £120?
Any advance on 120?
Any advance on 120? 120?
-It is suddenly cooling down.
I have got to take it all the way home again! SHE LAUGHS
-Give it some love.
-Yes, it is going to have to be...
It is just so insane, isn't it?
That that stick barometer would have made £500 just ten years ago.
-Stick it on the wall for another five or ten years.
-And see what happens?
-Exactly. Good luck.
-OK. Thank you.
-Thank you very much.
Fashions come and go, so maybe Pearl will have more luck
selling her barometer in a few years' time.
Right, now it is time to squeeze some money out of the bidders.
We have Gordon's Wheatstone & Co concertina.
We have seen them on the show before. Did you ever play it at all?
-No, just inherited it?
-Just inherited it from my great-uncle.
Condition is good and that is what it is all about.
If the bellows are all split and worn, there are problems,
but it is all there.
-Let's find out what it makes, shall we? Here we go.
The ebony Wheatstone octagonal six-bellow concertina.
-I have bids in the books, ladies and gentlemen.
-That is good.
And I can start the bidding at...
-We wouldn't sell it for that!
450 on the book.
Any advance on 450?
-She's playing with them.
1,100. And 50.
-We might do the 12 now.
-Oh, oh, oh.
1,300. The book is out.
It's on the phone. At £1,300.
Is there any advance on 1,300?
Any advance on 1,300?
-Somebody will be going out busking tonight!
-That is a good result, isn't it?
-A very good result, yes.
-Enjoy that money.
-Thanks for bringing it in.
-Yes, thank you.
150, 160, 170, 180...
Well, that is it from Anita's saleroom.
Lots of lucky folk go home with heavier pockets
and Pearl gets to enjoy her barometer for another year!
See you next time on Flog It!
Paul Martin presents from Hopetoun House, not far from Edinburgh. Antiques experts James Lewis and Adam Partridge find some fascinating antiques and collectibles to take to auction.
Paul also discovers how the city of Edinburgh's dark side inspired the writing of Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.