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The medieval red stone castle
high up on the escarpment behind me is Powis.
It's situated near Welshpool in mid Wales,
close to the English border.
Powis's interiors are crammed full of fine art and antiques.
The walls are adorned with prestigious paintings.
But what tops all of that are some of the interesting stories
belonging to some of the people who have lived there,
and I can't wait to find out more.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
We've got a very special show for you today,
as we're going on tour around the country
and taking a look back at some of our fabulous
valuation days from this series
where our experts heard your fascinating stories
and we took your collectibles to auction houses far and wide.
We journeyed to the picturesque Lake District in Cumbria,
where we held our valuation day at the impressive
13th-century Muncaster Castle.
We travelled to the magnificent Norwich Cathedral in Norfolk,
where in the nave, Kate Bateman was shocked at the treatment
of one poor antique.
Tricia used to use it to plant bulbs in.
No, you didn't.
We also had fun at the seaside in our valuation day
on the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset.
Amongst the bright lights,
Thomas Plant came across an item that shone.
These would've been the most modern,
the most luxurious, the most wonderful things to own.
And finally we headed north to our valuation day
at the jaw-droppingly beautiful Bowes Museum in County Durham,
which was built in the style of a French chateau.
But before all that, I'm heading back to Wales.
Powis Castle was built in the mid-13th century by a Welsh ruler,
and some 300 years later,
the Herbert family first leased the castle and then went on
to eventually own it outright.
Subsequent generations of the family
have turned the castle from a fortress
into a rather magnificent stately home,
complete with lavish interiors.
And the family continued to live here right up until 1952
when the Fourth Earl died,
leaving Powis in the safe hands of the National Trust.
Many members of the Herbert family led colourful lives.
One male heir was convicted of treason,
while another accompanied James II into exile.
But it wasn't just the men who had interesting stories to tell.
Many female members of the family also led remarkable lives.
And I'll be returning to Powis later in the programme
to find out about the extraordinary adventures
undertaken by one of the female members of the Herbert family.
But first it's time to head eastwards
over the border into England to our valuation day
at Norwich Cathedral, where Kate Bateman
came across a "Flog It!" classic with a twist.
Jim and Trish, what can you tell me about this thing you've brought in?
Well, it belonged to my grandmother,
who gave it to my mother, who about 30 years ago gave it to us,
and it's been in our house just sort of sitting around,
but Tricia used to use it to plant bulbs in.
No, you didn't. I did.
It looks lovely with...
at this time of year with a bowl of hyacinths in it.
I can see where you're coming from. It does look nice. Daffodils.
And I suppose it is a plant...
Well, planter... I think it's just a decorative bowl.
Do you know who it's by?
Yes, well, we've always known it was Moorcroft Pomegranate
cos it says Moorcroft on the bottom.
What I haven't found is a Moorcroft bowl
on a pewter stand other than...
I thought it was Liberty, but I don't know.
So, Liberty Tudric is the one you would expect it to be.
Right. But it's not.
It's actually something called Hutton on the bottom,
and I've never seen one with a stand like this.
And it's kind of interesting how they fit so well together.
Considering it's porcelain and metal -
they're not natural bedfellows - they look so good together.
It's like it's their sort of natural form.
And I haven't have taken it off the stand or even thought about it
because it was made for it, wasn't it?
Certainly, it's got that bit to fit it.
It certainly looks like it.
Let's just have a look and check it is Moorcroft.
Yep. Here we go.
We've got the Moorcroft here. Made in Britain.
171 is the shape,
so that's like the shape of this particular design.
And then we've got this lovely matching base.
And you're right, it's got this funny little ribbed lip
which means it does fit straight in,
so I can only assume it was retailed exactly as it is.
The Pomegranate design
has really kind of mushy, soft colours.
Later on, the piping,
which is the bits that separate the different colours -
the edges, if you like -
that gets really more tube-lined harsher,
a bit more raised.
And the colours get a bit more garish,
so as soon as I saw that kind of slightly sloshy
kind of muddy colours, I knew it was an early one.
This was very Art Nouveau, which is 1920s.
Think of people like Alphonse Mucha and people like that.
It was all sinuous lines and natural forms
but stretched into kind of wonderful patterns,
and that's what you've got here in this base.
I mean, why are you thinking of selling?
My daughter is getting married in May,
and it's just a tad of expensive year for us,
so we thought we would just see.
Yeah. As parents of the bride, it's going to be expensive. Yes.
Well, have you ever thought about price?
Well, I thought, since it's Moorcroft Pomegranate,
it might be a couple of hundred pounds.
Couple of hundred. We did see the damage.
It's not the end of the world. It's not a huge crack.
It's always been chipped in all the years I've known it.
OK. I mean, that's going to affect it a little bit.
How about a reserve of, say, 150
and an estimate for ?200 to ?300?
OK. Yes. And we'll see.
I think with the base, it's a really interesting thing.
They don't come up that often, so who knows?
Powis seems to be overrun by fine paintings.
Every surface area has been adorned.
These wonderful murals running up the side
of this grand staircase were completed
in the early part of the 1700s.
Now, at a valuation day
in another impressive stately home, Muncaster Castle,
James Lewis came across an item
from a little later on in the same century.
Ian, there is one thing you cannot beat with antiques,
and that is a good bit of patination. Right.
Years of polish and dirt and colour
that you can't ever fake, and that is fantastic. Good.
A car-boot find, I've heard. Yes, absolutely. Yes.
I saw this. It was half in the mud on the floor under the table.
I thought, "That's nice."
Opened it up. The inside is missing out of it.
I said, "Oh, it's a shame the interior is gone."
I said, "How much is it?"
And the guy who was behind the stall shouted to his wife,
"Marge, how much is that old writing slope?"
And I was like, "That's not a writing slope,"
but he didn't know.
And she said, "Tenner."
So, I said, "Would you take a fiver?" being cheeky,
and he put his hand out and shook my hand.
Gave him a ?5 note, walked away with it.
Was that recent?
Within the last year. No!
Well, that teaches them for not watching "Flog It!"
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Tell me, how much do you know about it?
It's Georgian, I think, unless it's an Edwardian copy,
but I presume it's Georgian.
It's George III. It's 1780 to 1800.
Wow. And as you say, it's a knife box,
not a writing slope. No.
The interior, you can see the colours in that lid.
See the greens and the pale colours and the contrast with the mahogany?
Well, those colours would be the same on the front
and on the outside as they are now today in the cover,
and that is what we talk about
when we're talking about patination
and something you can't fake.
It's that ageing. It's the dirt.
It's the polish. But look at that. That's super.
The slope base to it would have had a series of little slots
for knives, spoons, possibly even forks to go in.
Down the front here we've got stop-fluted columns,
and they are typical of what you would've found
on the grand tour.
So, somebody's gone to Greece, gone to Rome
and they've seen those neoclassical columns
and they've come back to their furniture maker
and they've said, "Look.
"How wonderful to have those on the front of a knife box."
The panel in the centre is satinwood.
And it's cross-banded in rosewood,
and it's got herringbone cross-banding at the side as well
and outlined with boxwood stringing, so there's a lot of work in there.
Before we decide on an auction estimate,
we must mention the fact that it's slightly tired.
That's a very polite way of saying... It's had a hard life.
It's had a very hard life.
Hinges are broken and there's lots of beading and things wrong with it.
But what do you think in terms of value?
I do have to admit, I saw one sell this week in an auction.
I was watching it and it sold for ?70,
but it's looked like it was in better condition than this,
so ?40, ?50, I'd be happy with that.
I think we should put an auction estimate of 40 to 60 on it.
Brilliant. And I'd like to see it...
It'd be horrible to see it sell at ?15 or ?20, wouldn't it? Yeah.
So, let's put a reserve of 40 on it. Yeah.
A great eye. Well spotted. Brilliant.
And, no, brilliant. Well done, you. Thank you.
Next we headed to the coast to our valuation day
on the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare in Somerset,
where Jonathan Pratt came across an item
from a far more exotic location.
So, Dick, you brought this lovely little fob watch.
This is from an Indian or Pakistani port,
but how come it's with you?
How is it in your hands?
My mother left it to me, but it belonged to her great aunt.
She died in 1945 and my mother died 20 years ago,
so it came down to my mother and then to me.
I mean, immediately, this sort of style of pocket watch,
it's what we call a hunter because it's got a solid front. Yes.
You know, if you're riding on your horse on your hunt
and you fell off... Yes. ..you don't want to break the glass. Yeah.
So, it's got that solid front on it.
Engine turning, and a little cartouche in the middle there.
Immediately I'd say, just from looking at that,
it's going to be late 19th century. Yes.
It would date from the latter part of the 19th century.
The key with this is to give it a squeeze and pop the front open,
and you've got a name on there for Max Minck.
Yeah, Karachi. Max Minck of Karachi.
Yes. It's now spelt K-A-R.
And a double E on the end.
Lends itself to sort of the Raj, you know,
when we were living out in India, and presumably at the time...
I mean, it's Pakistan now, but at the time
it might have been India at the end of the 19th century.
He will have been someone who was retailing watches and clocks...
Yes. ..to the rich gentry who were living out there, you know,
taking their summers in India. Yes.
We need to see in the back. There we are.
And so on the back, it tells us it's got a ten-jewel movement,
and that's what I need to see.
And you see you've got an 18k case.
So, it's 18 karat gold, or stamped 18k.
Lady's watch, obviously, for the size. It's a nice thing.
So, why do you want to sell it?
Well, I've never used it, and quite frankly, I've kept it -
what everybody says -
I've kept it in a drawer cos I don't use a pocket watch. Yes.
Well, you've kept it, by doing so, in nice condition. Oh, yes. Yes.
I mean, it hasn't been wound.
But, you know, gold doesn't oxidise, so it just sits there.
Looks like it was the day it was made. Yes.
I rather like it. Yes.
I think if you should want to sell it,
I think happily between ?200 and ?300.
Yes. How does that sound?
Yes, I hope to get 200. Yes.
But, yeah, I would be content with that.
OK, well, you know,
let's do a reserve of ?200, protect you,
and if it doesn't make that, then you can put it back in the drawer.
Yes. How does that sound? Very good. Fantastic.
Thank you very much. You're welcome.
Now, at the valuation day at Bowes Museum,
expert David Harper found a little item that was highly decorative too.
Well, Jenna, I've got to say that is an absolutely
but it's a bit dwarfed, let's be honest,
surrounded by this artwork at Bowes Museum.
It's beautiful. I mean, this is astonishing.
Are you big into art? I am.
I watercolour paint. Do you? I don't do anything like these!
Oh, I'm sure you could. No, I couldn't!
I wouldn't know where to start. Do you do it professionally?
Tell me the story, when did you get it, how did you come about it?
My father liked to go to the tip to throw things away initially,
but then he liked to rummage around to see what other people
have thrown away and he found it in a skip. So, it was thrown out. Yes.
And not broken. Not broken.
I don't think he ever thought it was anything in particular,
just somebody was good at painting cats. That's interesting.
I think this is by someone who's particularly good at painting cats.
You see, I took a photograph and put it into the internet
and couldn't find anything.
Two weeks ago in the local paper... It is full of houses
and I look to see what house I'm going to buy
when I win the lottery! We all do that.
In the back of the paper, there on the antiques page
were two little pictures of kittens painted with books or something
and I thought, "That's just like mine,"
and it had the signature on the corner just like mine.
And do you now know the artist? Yes. Bessie...
Bessie Bamber. What a fantastic name.
Do you know when she was painting? The late 1800s to 1910. Absolutely.
1890 to 1910 she was prolific, so it's not dated,
but we know it is circa 1900.
Normally she paints on porcelain or canvas or paper. This is on glass.
Yes. It is very delicate.
Bear in mind it was chucked out and your dad found it,
it's amazing that it's in this state. It was very dirty.
The white was very dirty.
What do you think it is worth?
It cost you nothing, that is the best way to get anything.
Well, in the paper it said ?700 to ?1,000... Did it really?
..which kind of made me jump for joy.
I bet. But I really don't know.
?700-?1,000 is a bit optimistic, I've got to say.
I think it is 300 or 400, 350, 450. It's that kind of price. Right.
Could we go 350, 450 and reserve it at 350? Yes.
What are you going to do with the money?
I'm going to take my dog on a holiday to the coast! Lucky dog.
I might take my husband, I might not. No, just take the dog.
But the irony is marvellous.
A bunch of cats funding to take a dog on holiday.
That's brilliant. I love that.
Before we head off to auction, there is something I would like to show you.
Now, back here at Powis, it wasn't just the castle
that was lavishly refurbished and redesigned.
Love and attention was also shown outside to create a garden,
which is now famous worldwide.
Just look at this, it is so spectacular.
Powis now boasts a multilayered garden,
with a series of Italianate terraces,
and to achieve this
they had to blast into the side of the rock
that the castle is built on.
Now, that's some early feat of engineering.
The major overhaul of the gardens was started
in the 1680s by William Herbert, the 3rd Lord Powis, who was also
responsible for the character of the state rooms inside the castle.
Some type of terraces were here before,
though Lord Powis had additional terraces built.
This was probably done under the direction
of the English gentleman architect William Wynne,
who was also responsible for the magnificent grand staircase,
as Wynne was known to take an interest in the gardens
of the houses he designed.
Unfortunately, work on the gardens came to an abrupt end in 1688
when the family fled to France,
accompanying King James II into exile.
They returned to Powis in 1703 and work resumed on the gardens
with the help of a French gardener who'd been working in Holland.
The result was a mixture of styles when it was completed.
Of course, there was still the fantastic Italianate terraces
but there was also a Dutch water garden,
which, sadly, isn't here today.
Later, in 1771, the direction of the gardens changed once again
with a more naturalistic-looking landscape
made popular in the 18th century by garden designer Capability Brown.
And over there, planted up in the wilderness, you can see oaks,
some of those oaks survive today from that period,
so that really is nice.
That is the connection back to the past
and thankfully these Italianate terraces remained unscathed
and they really are a joy to behold.
The following century saw little change to Powis's gardens
until a new enthusiast came along in the shape of Violet,
the wife of the 4th Earl, who persuaded her husband to let
her manage and improve the gardens in the early 1900s.
Violet came from the Lane-Fox family,
a great gardening dynasty from Yorkshire who still continue today.
Violet relocated the kitchen garden,
made a new formal garden, which was typical of the Edwardian era,
and enriched the planting on the terraces
in her attempt to make Powis one of the most beautiful gardens
in Wales and England.
The gardens here at Powis today are a legacy
to Violet, as they are managed largely how she left them.
To find out more, I'm meeting head gardener Dave Swanton.
So, how loyal are you today for Violet's visions of the gardens?
I would say we are fairly loyal, in the fact we want it to be one
of the best in Britain, and obviously gardens evolve
and we bring new plant introductions that weren't available at that time,
so we're not stuck in history. No, it is ongoing. Exactly.
But obviously, the perfection,
the high standards of maintenance, we're certainly achieving.
We get a great view from up here. You can see almost everything.
Can you talk me through the different sections?
Yeah, we've got four terraces,
so the top one's tropical effect plantings,
then we have Mediterranean on the terrace.
The orangery terrace with double herbaceous borders is fantastic.
It's starting to look really nice.
It is the right time of the year, isn't it?
It'll get better and better. You can't go wrong, to be honest.
The big lawn was the site of a Dutch water garden in the 1800s,
so we'll do patterns on there for the kids to play on, mazes,
and then further down the hill we have Lady Violet's formal garden -
apple trees, vine arch and planting on poles.
It looks so pretty from up here. Oh, it's beautiful!
There's more to Powis Castle Gardens than just the eclectic mix
of exotic and domestic plants and shrubs.
As you wander around, you stumble across wonderful works of art.
The sculpture of Hercules slaying a many-headed Hydra
with his club now stands at the far end of the top terrace.
It used to be placed in the lost water garden below,
alongside the sculpture of Fame and Pegasus,
which is now situated in the castle courtyard.
Here on the aviary terrace there is a delightful line of lead statues
depicting shepherds and shepherdesses over the years.
The lead has mellowed down to a lovely, warm tone.
But back in the 18th century, these figures would have been
picked out in bright, chromatic colours as in keeping with the day,
but it looks like they're enjoying the view.
During the 1950s, even works of art from inside the house
were brought outside and displayed in the gardens.
Powis's Caesar busts were placed in handy nooks along the top terrace.
Today, they reside safely back inside the castle.
The garden art doesn't end with the man-made sculptures
and statues, though.
Powis's majestic yew hedge is viewed by some
as a work of art in its own right.
It towers over the garden
and its organic shape evokes thoughts of clouds.
You know, the gardens are famed for their yew trees
and their box hedges - what's the story behind them?
Well, the yew trees were planted over 300 years ago,
designed by William Wynne, planted as topiaries.
So, quite small. Yes.
Kept small and then when the landscape movement came,
they were left to grow into huge trees
and the Victorians clipped over them
so these lovely lumps in the hedge here are actually branches
that have been pruned, rather than a hedge that's got bigger and fatter.
Yes, I see. It almost looks like clouds floating everywhere.
It's so magical. Yeah.
This must be very difficult to manage, to cut properly.
How do you do it?
Well, you have to have a head for heights is the first thing! Yeah.
But currently, we use a cherry picker. OK.
A small cherry picker set-up can reach about 40 metres.
Prior to that, they would have been on ladders,
so using sickles and scythes.
We have an old photograph with a gentleman stood on top
using a scythe. It seems there's a lot to do here.
How big is your team, how many gardeners do you have?
Well, we have five that are full-time in the garden
and two in the nursery, growing plants
for the gardens and plants for sale.
That's not many, compared to how it would have been in Violet's day.
No, but they didn't have the machines we use today.
We have power trimmers, the cherry picker instead of ladders
and mowers that handle the situation better.
What is the future for the gardens -
are you staying loyal to the past or are you planting up for the future?
Well, the past has a big effect on Powis.
All the structure, but with plantings,
we've got more of a free hand.
Keeping with the spirit of the place, so how it should be,
but we can introduce new varieties and more disease-resistant, perhaps.
Fantastic. Thank you very much.
I think you and your team have done a brilliant job.
Everywhere you look, there's something different to see,
there's vibrant colour and a surprise around every corner.
Thank you so much. Thanks, Paul.
Later on in the programme,
we'll be returning here to Powis to find out more about the life
of Lady Henrietta and how it was filled with adventure.
But right now let's see how our owners' items fared
when they went under the hammer.
At our valuation day at Norwich Cathedral,
Jim and Tricia brought along their Moorcroft bowl,
which unusually came with its own custom-made pewter stand.
Dick's 18 karat gold pocket watch with empty cartouche
had crossed the seas to make it to our valuation day
at Weston-super-Mare, as it originally hailed from India.
At our valuation day at Bowes Museum,
Janet turned up with a cat painting on a glass panel by Bessie Bamber,
which had been rescued from a skip.
And finally, at our valuation day at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria,
Ian turned up with his Georgian knife box
which he bought for a fiver at a car-boot sale.
But did it make him a profit when it went under the hammer?
It's time to find out.
We sold Ian's knife box
at Thomson Roddick Medcalf saleroom in Carlisle.
Auctioneer Steven Parkinson was on the rostrum.
Remember, whether you're buying or selling at every auction room,
there's always commission to pay and VAT on top.
Going under the hammer right now, my favourite lot in the show.
It's not a lot of money.
We're asking for ?40 to ?60,
but it's a cracking Georgian knife box.
It's beautiful. It belongs to Ian. You got this in a car-boot for ?5.
I did, yes. That's right.
I know it's had the interior removed,
but nevertheless, as a stand-alone box with the inlay
and all that detail and that serpentine front for ?5.
You just look at it and it feels fabulous.
It's got a wonderful colour. It's history.
It's going under the hammer right now. Let's put it to the test, Ian.
This is it.
45. 45 is in the room. At 45. At 45.
48. 48. At 48. You want 50?
Good. That man wants it.
At ?50. It's in the room at ?50.
It's a little money, but we'll sell it.
At 50. Anybody else? At 50. At 50. At 50.
Good price. Very good, yeah.
Still cheap for what it is, you know.
It should be ?100, but look,
50 quid, you're very, very happy with that.
Yeah, absolutely. And for ?5, you know, that's nice, isn't it?
Who says antiques are expensive, eh? They're not.
That box will come in very useful for somebody,
even if you stick the post in it or give it to your kids
to put all their felt-tip pens in it as a tidy keep.
It's a great thing. Oh, we all need boxes, and that was a cracker.
Next we travel to Norfolk to TW Gaze in Diss
to sell Tricia and Jim's Moorcroft bowl with stand.
The auctioneer we had our hopes pinned on was Ed Smith.
Going under the hammer right now, a great name in ceramics - Moorcroft.
It doesn't get any better than this, and it's Pomegranate as well.
It belongs to Patricia and Jim, and not for much longer.
You're not going to be taking this home.
This is definitely here to go, and I think it's priced just right
and it's going to tempt everybody in to bid on it. I think it'll go.
I love this thing. Let's find out what happens.
Here we go.
And again, straight in here. ?200. 200.
150 and start. Come on.
Lovely piece of Moorcroft there for ?150. 100 bid.
100 I have. 110. 120.
130. 140. 150. 150 it is. Is there 60?
Oh, come on.
It's 150 now bid. Where is the 60?
It's at ?150 there. Is there 60? We will be selling for 150.
Are we all done?
The hammer's gone down on ?150, right on its reserve.
On its reserve. They were sitting on their hands.
There was only one person here that really wanted it. Yeah.
I would live with the damage. Turn it around.
Well, we have for about 30 years.
Look, I'm really sorry it didn't make any more.
I'm so sorry, OK? That's all right. That's auctions for you.
Next we headed to South Lakeland in Cumbria,
where Janet's Bessie Bamber cat painting
went up for sale at 1818 Auctioneers.
On the rostrum was Kevin Kendall.
I will take 50 on the phone now.
Something for all you fine art lovers right now.
An oil on glass and it's a group of kittens and it is exquisite,
belonging to Janet who's right next to me. Good luck with this.
And I love the idea of selling this
because Janet wants to take your dog on holiday, is that right? Yes.
I just wonder how the kittens will feel about funding
a holiday for a dog, come on! The irony there is ridiculous.
I do like cats just as much as dogs. Good luck with this anyway.
Fingers crossed. It's going under the hammer right now.
300, surely all at once. 300. 300.
Start me at 200, if you will.
200, somewhere. Somebody start me at 200.
?200 we'll go. 200. 200.
I will take 20s. It is a long drag but we will get there. 200. 200.
220. 220. 220. 220. 220. 220.
Losing it. 220? Not today.
Oh! Oh, dear. Oh, it's going home.
But the dog's still going on holiday, isn't he?
Is that OK, then? We haven't ruined the dog's holiday? No.
Janet should try her luck again as her glass panel was very collectable
and I know somebody out there would just love those kittens.
Finally, we travel west back to the Somerset seaside
to sell Dick's gold pocket watch at Clevedon Salerooms.
Marc Burridge was wielding the gavel.
Selling at 85.
Well, time is definitely up. No, it's not the end of the show.
It's time to sell Dick's pocket watch.
It's going under the hammer right now.
This is a good item, a really nice item. Oh, good. Thank you.
Bit of quality. Why are you selling it? Yes. Yes.
You just don't use it any more? Don't need it?
I haven't used it at all.
I haven't worn a waistcoat for years, you see. No.
It's going under the hammer right now. Good luck, Dick. Yeah.
On the book we have bids here at 180, 190, 200,
210, 220, 230,
It's on its way. 250. And it's still going.
?250 here. 260, anyone?
260 now. Thanks to all in the room.
It's all on the book then and selling at 250.
Well done. Spot-on.
?250 mid estimate. That was a short fight for that.
You see, quality - and quality always sells.
Yeah. Well done, you. Thank you. A man of quality. Yeah.
What a good, solid price for Dick's gold pocket watch,
and his watch also had something in common with Powis Castle -
a connection to India -
and I'm heading back to Wales to find out more.
For centuries, the Herberts acquired riches
to fill their castle,
but they also had treasures coming in from another source -
prestigious families marrying into the Herberts.
And there's a lovely example of this
when Sir Edward Clive married Lady Henrietta Herbert in 1784.
Because of that union,
the castle acquired a collection of over 300 artefacts from India
and the Far East.
The collection was started by Edward's father, Robert.
Edward and Henrietta carried on the collection, so today it houses
the largest private collection of its kind in the UK.
The Clive collection has been brought together
and placed in the Clive Museum,
which is situated in what used to be part of Powis's ballroom.
The collection is varied and include items such as weaponry,
games, textiles, jewels and even a sultan's tent.
The display cases and the design of the museum
are in a style known as Hindu Gothic,
which evokes a feeling of the British Raj.
However, many of the items here in the collection
predate the period of the actual British Raj
when the British Crown assumed total control of India
between 1858 and 1947.
Robert Clive was in India earlier in the 1700s.
He worked for the British-owned East India Company
promoting trade between India and other countries..
He also played a major part in forging the way
for eventual British rule.
During his time working on the subcontinent,
Robert Clive became known as Clive of India
and he amassed a personal fortune and brought back many of the pieces
that are on display in the Clive Museum today.
Edward Clive followed
in his father Robert Clive's footsteps
and became governor of Madras in 1798.
He spent time in India with his wife, Henrietta Herbert,
and he carried on collecting Indian artefacts.
And I want to show you two or three of my favourites.
Let's start with this magnificent ivory chess set,
thought to belong to Robert Clive.
The soldiers with swords and shields are pawns.
An Indian elephant is usually the equivalent of a bishop,
but sometimes this could be a camel,
in which case the elephant becomes a rook.
Alternatively, the camel may act as a knight.
It all gets very complicated, but how about this?
It's small but it's very precious.
It's a gold tiger head finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan.
He was the sultan of Mysore, the richest city in Southern India,
which fell into the hands of the British.
In fact, the treasures and the spoils
were divided up amongst the soldiers of that victory.
They pulled the throne apart, sadly.
This is incredibly rare. It's only one of two surviving finials.
It's not solid gold.
It's gold on a core of wood,
but it's been inlaid with emeralds, diamonds and rubies.
I particularly love the collar of the tiger,
and the ruby as a tongue.
This was added to the collection by Henrietta Herbert.
It was given to her by Lord Wellesley,
the Duke of Wellington's brother.
Lady Henrietta Herbert was fascinated by all things Eastern,
and whilst in India, she undertook an incredible journey
without her husband in the year 1800 across the subcontinent,
which was a very brave and daring thing to do at the time.
However, the story of Henrietta's colourful life
and Indian adventures weren't well-known until recently
when a writer and fellow woman traveller,
Nancy K Shields from Texas, stumbled across her story
and was inspired to write a book about it called Birds Of Passage.
So, how unusual was it for a lady like Henrietta
to be travelling India in the late 1700s
unaccompanied by her husband?
Henrietta was the first one to travel,
make such a travel in India, to my knowledge, and the only one.
I don't know of anyone else who duplicated that trip.
And it wasn't just one lady travelling.
I mean, here's a mother with her two daughters and their governess,
who was an Italian artist.
And the four women set off into the wilderness,
what was really wilderness then, we have to remember, of South India,
full of tigers and wild elephants and snakes
and rivers that they had to ford.
There were no bridges.
So, what drove her?
Well, Henrietta, you might say,
was a really rebellious person.
Spirited, right. THEY LAUGH
She didn't want just to go to balls
and have the usual kind of women's social society there,
and they considered her quite standoffish.
Henrietta was, I think, really a scholar.
The first thing she did when she got to Madras
was to build a little house, a room, a big room in her garden
where she was planning to put the collections she wanted to make
while she was in India of rocks and plants
and butterflies and shells.
And educating the daughters and seeing to that,
and that turned out to be a really full-time job.
Lady Charlotte was 12 and Lady Henrietta was 13
when they accompanied their mother, Henrietta,
on her trek across Southern India.
Nicknamed Charlie, Lady Charlotte kept a journal
from 1800 about her adventures.
"Accidents continually happen in this nullah.
"Captain Brown heard a tiger growl.
"The village people told us that a few days ago
"a man was carried off by a tiger
"and they found his body almost entirely eaten up."
"We passed many piles of stones where a man had been killed,
"and each person who passes in safety adds one to the heap."
So, do you feel a connection with Lady Henrietta?
I like her for wanting to roam about.
I mean, she had really a dream of going to the east.
Henrietta loved to learn. Yeah.
She really did.
Well, look, it sounds like you've had your adventures too,
and thank you so much, Nancy, for coming all the way over
from Texas and talking to me today.
Oh, it's been a pleasure. It really has.
Now we continue our tour of the country
as we revisit our valuation day
on the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare
where Thomas Plant found a pair of vases that got his pulse racing.
Sue, thank you very much for coming in and bringing possibly
the most exciting thing I've seen in a long time.
How did you come by these Lalique vases?
They were inherited from my grandmother,
and I've got a feeling that these were a gift from her husband.
Where was her husband from? He was from London.
And is that where your grandmother lived? Yes. Yes. Right.
So, they were Londonites. They must have been wealthy.
Yes, I think they were. THEY LAUGH
The reason why I ask is cos you've got to get context. Right.
You know, you don't just turn up
a pair of Art Deco opalescent Lalique Beliers vases.
That's the title of them. Yes.
These are Beliers, vases like that.
In 1925, when these were new...
..these would have been the most modern, the most luxurious,
the most wonderful things to own.
Lalique was a fabulous jeweller. Yes.
He was known for his jewellery.
But in the 1920s,
he moved to a larger factory in Alsace-Lorraine
and really started to produce glass, but moulded glass.
And this is moulded.
You can see the mould line on these goats here.
Possibly why you couldn't see it sort of on the bowls so much. No.
No, probably the bowls were made separately,
cos you can get them with different...
You get birds on them coming down, so they were applied on.
It's sort of like a mountain chamois.
I thought they were onyx. Yeah, I thought they were onyx,
but onyx don't have these beards, do they?
When you look at onyx, they're quite clean here.
And the use of opalescents and colours and frosting
was something he was really well known for doing.
It's signed here - Rene Lalique - and it's an etched signature.
It's done by hand.
Later on, they were acid-etched. Oh, you're right.
Or moulded. Oh.
These are actually etched. It dates them to 1925.
What have you brought them here today?
There was no-one to inherit them.
My children like them to look at, but they don't want to inherit them.
Value. We've established that they're Art Deco.
We've established they're Lalique.
They're signed, they're etched, they're engraved signatures.
So, they've got a lot going for them. Yes.
Individually, we normally see them. Right.
And they're normally estimated ?500, ?700 on their own.
You hardly ever see a pair.
So, I will go strong and say
that they're worth between ?1,500 and ?2,500.
Oh, my word.
Taken by surprise a bit, I think. Good.
They are immensely collectible.
Now, a reserve, I would suggest we fix them.
Yes, please. Yes? Fix them at ?1,500.
Yes, that would be... If you don't mind.
No, I don't mind. I'm quite happy to take them home again.
Don't want you to give them away. No. It's a conservative estimate.
Oh. I would've thought that they could go a little bit higher.
I'm ever so glad I brought them.
Well, I'm ever so grateful you brought them in. You've made my day.
Thank you very much indeed.
Next, we travel north to our valuation day
at the beautiful Bowes Museum in County Durham,
where Paul Laidlaw came across an item
that held childhood memories for its owner.
Bob, I love your little projector.
Is it yours? Yes, it is.
Yours from your youth or something you picked up?
From youth. No, from my youth.
My parents bought me it when I was ten years old in 1950.
I've used it four or five times and it's been stuck in that box,
original box, upstairs in the attic.
Very, very rare it comes out. HE LAUGHS
Very rare it comes out.
The few times that you did use it,
did you get your friends around, switch all the lights off,
pull the curtains and blow their minds or what?
Yeah, because you could run it on a wall. Yeah.
You can actually show it on a wall or on a tablecloth.
My mam used to put a white tablecloth up.
Stick it on the wall and we used to play the films on it.
Very good. So, it's hand-cranked. It's hand-cranked.
although I wouldn't advise anyone try that in this day and age.
But the condition is... And a lamp socket. That's it, yeah.
My word. It's all original. Everything is original in it.
A little Bakelite socket. Yeah.
But it's only a 9.5mm. It is, yeah.
You know, and the films are bit flimsy. Indeed.
Yeah. But I am taken aback by
the fact that you preserved it so well.
It tells us who made it.
It's a little Astor, and they were a Nottingham-based manufacturer
of these little projectors for domestic use.
Made them between the '30s and the '50s,
so I dare say when you got yours
it was towards the end of the lifespan of these things.
I think it offers a great prospect for a collector
because you're going to buy this, it's not a usually valuable object.
You pick this up, but for me the fun would be
hunting down as many little reels as I could... Yeah.
..in flea markets and online auctions and the likes
to see what we could find.
Vintage toys sell, vintage technology sells,
but they're relatively modest in value.
I would suggest an auction presale estimate
of 20 to 40 would turn out to be spot-on on the day.
Would that be enough to tempt you
to part with it after all these years?
Certainly, yes. Would you like a reserve on it.
Yes, you can put a reserve on it. Put ?20 on it.
If you don't get your money, then you can let the kids
and the grandkids decide what they're going to do with it. Yeah.
That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
Yeah, they can do what they want with it.
We'll see how Bob's projector fared at auction shortly,
but before that, we revisited Norwich Cathedral in Norfolk
where another item had caught Kate Bateman's attention.
Well, hello, Val. Welcome to "Flog It!" Hello.
What have you brought me today?
I've brought you a sovereign. I believe it's got Victoria on it.
So, is this something you've inherited or worn or bought?
My husband inherited it.
I didn't even know it existed until yesterday.
Until yesterday? Yes, yesterday. Oh, my goodness.
I was coming along with a friend just to keep her company,
and said, "Have we got anything?"
And he said, "Well, I have got a sovereign upstairs in the drawer
"that I've had for many years," and here we are.
What else has he been keeping from you all these years?
The suspicions mount.
It's a lovely thing to have a surprise with. Great, isn't it? Yes.
It is a full sovereign instead of a half sovereign.
There's only a couple of millimetres difference, so worth checking.
And so what we've got here
is a fabulous scene of George and the dragon here.
George slaying the dragon. And then the date, 1901.
So, the last year of Victoria's reign.
And the centre is 22 karat gold and then a nine karat gold
quite a delicate filigree mount
to make it into a pendant for a chain. Yes.
And that's very Victorian.
It looks contemporary with the actual coin.
On the back we've got the old head,
so there's two types of heads for Victoria.
She's got the young head and then they kind of did another one
a few years later with an older head.
She looks slightly grumpier, slightly fatter.
Tempted to wear it at all? No, I don't think so. Bit bling?
Yes, I don't think so.
Now, do you have any idea of price. No. I've no idea at all. No idea?
No idea at all.
Well, gold has been on an upward hill for some years now,
and it's a pretty good time to be selling.
I think your price-wise is probably, with the mount, maybe ?200 to ?250.
Right. Something like that. Right. Pleasantly surprised?
Very surprised, yes.
Is that the kind of thing you'd be happy to sell it for? Yes.
Would your husband be happy for you to sell it? Yes.
Yeah, you think. Yes, yes.
Well, I would put a reserve on that,
maybe a 180 reserve just to protect it. Yes.
And then 200 to 250 estimate,
and that'll take into account the weight of the nine carat gold
and the sovereign itself.
So, well, thank you for bringing it in. It was a fortuitous find.
You're very welcome. It certainly was. Great.
Next we travelled northwards to our valuation day
at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria.
Caroline Hawley found a quiet spot away from the crowds
to immerse herself in stories of the Middle East.
Hello, Sonia. Hello, Deborah. Hello. Hello, Caroline.
Thanks for bringing these books along.
Now, are you both avid readers?
Well, I am an avid reader, and I do collect books,
but I like... I've got to really like them
and there's something sort of antiquey about them, or...
Well, there's certainly that about these. Yes.
Four volumes of picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt,
complete with a supplement to it, social life in Egypt,
from about 1880. Yes.
So, where did you come by them?
I used to have a bric-a-brac... antique and bric-a-brac shop.
This is years ago, in the Isle of Man.
And they somehow turned up there, I must've got them
from the local auction house or something like that.
And did you try to sell them, or did you decide...?
No, never tried to sell them, I loved them too much.
They've had some restoration on them,
we can see they've got a new spine,
but it's been professionally done.
Have you done this? Have you had this done? I had it done, yes.
Which is great, you haven't put a bit of gaffer tape on or anything,
have you? They've been properly done.
If we open this one, published by Virtue Company in London,
and they were edited by Colonel Wilson,
who did an awful lot of work out in Jerusalem,
Palestine... Wow! Oh, yes.
So, they really are very, very good works on the subject.
Yes, they are top-notch of their kind. Oh, they are. They are.
And a lot of people, I think, would be interested in these.
Wood and steel engravings, but they show everything.
As it says, they show social life.
There's furniture, there's food, there's dress.
Oh, now look at this one. This is beautiful -
a daughter of the East. Now, the quality of that
is amazing, with jewels, headdress. Look at the fan she's holding.
It really is lovely. And although they're black and white,
you feel you could touch the fabrics, don't you?
And the beauty is that this is still in the book,
and not cut out, hanging on someone's wall.
This was suggested to me,
but I couldn't contemplate committing such a crime.
Well, you are very wise, but a lot of people,
Sonia, did that,
because purely for monetary reasons,
they're worth a lot more cut up than they are complete.
Now, value, do you have any idea as to value, either of you?
Well, it's difficult. No, no.
I'd rather wait for the expert to suggest.
Well, I would think for the lot of them,
for the five, ?100-?150... Yes.
..with a reserve on. And would you be happy with ?100 reserve?
I would like that. They have got to go, cos I haven't the room now.
Shall we take them to auction, then? I'm afraid they have to go.
Oh, don't be afraid! Let's flog 'em. Let's flog 'em.
Before we see our last items head off to auction,
there's something I want to show you,
and it's painted whimsically on the ceiling here
in the library at Powis.
William Herbert, the Second Marquess,
had four daughters.
Now, they're all featured in this painting on the ceiling.
The two youngest daughters are leaning over the balustrade.
The two eldest daughters, Lady Mary and Lady Teresa,
are seated on clouds.
Lady Mary has been depicted as Minerva,
the Roman goddess of wisdom.
Now, that's woeful miscasting really,
because later on, she lost a great deal of the family's fortunes
on gambling on the French stock exchange,
and it nearly ruined the family.
Let's hope our owners have much better luck
as we go over to the auction rooms to see how their items sold.
Thomas Plant was over the moon
when he spotted Sue's matching pair of Art Deco Lalique vases
at our valuation day on the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.
Bob's projector had been languishing in the loft
until he rescued it and brought it to our valuation day
at the Bowes Museum.
At Norwich Cathedral
Val brought along her mounted gold sovereign
from the last year of Queen Victoria's reign.
It delighted Kate Bateman, but were the bidders as impressed?
And finally, at our valuation day at Muncaster Castle,
in Cumbria, Sonia turned up with her
late 19th-century Picturesque Palestine Sinai and Egypt books.
We stayed in Cumbria to sell the books,
but travelled to Carlisle to Thomson Roddick Medcalf saleroom,
where auctioneer Stephen Parkinson was on the rostrum.
Remember, whenever you're buying or selling, at every auction,
there is always commission to pay and VAT on top.
I've got my fingers crossed for you, Sonia and Deborah. Thank you.
It's great to see you again
and I know you're an avid reader and book collector. Yes.
It's hard to let these go, but they're going under the hammer,
the books on Palestine, we're looking for around
You've had a long time in the possession of these, haven't you?
Yes, I have. What was the final straw?
Was it Flog It! that made you sell them, do you think? Or you just...
Well, it was because I was downsizing, I've moved
and I had to get rid of some things
so my daughter said, "Take these books."
And they're big, aren't they? They are big. Yes, take them.
OK, it's going under the hammer now. Good luck, everyone. This is it.
Rather interesting books here.
Palestine, Egypt, etc, where shall we start with these?
I can start straight in at 70 bid. At ?70, at 70, 75, at 75.
At 75 and 80, anybody else? At 80, at ?80. 85 and 90.
Still, at 90 bid. At 90, 95, 100.
At 100 bid. Yes!
At 100. At 100, are we all sure? At 100.
At 100. Is that it now?
At 100, at 100. 110. I nearly missed you.
That's it, make sure you wave.
110. At 110 you are in, I'm out. At 110.
He spotted a late bidder. At 110, at 110.
And that was a solid sold sound. Did you hear the desk go...? Well done.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you for bringing them in. Yes.
Definitely a fair price for Sonia's books, which were just beautiful.
Next up, Val's sovereign.
Auctioneer Robert Kinsella was on the stand.
Our next lot is a full sovereign, it's a whole sovereign.
It's beautiful, actually.
It belongs to Valerie and it was a lucky find, wasn't it? Yes.
It was tucked away in a drawer and...
For years, and you open up the drawer...
Yeah, so, there we are.
It's like finding a fiver in your old coat pocket, isn't it?
It's brilliant. Mind you, it's worth a lot more than a fiver, isn't it?
Hope so. It really is.
It's a little bit more than a sovereign
cos there's a bit of decoration, it's mounted. Yeah.
It's got a little filigree bit on the outside. Yes.
And a bit for a chain... Yeah. ..so that's good.
So, fingers crossed we get the top end of Kate's estimate. Yes.
That would be nice. It would be nice, yes. Yeah.
We're going to find out, OK?
It's going under the hammer right now.
Bids are in here. We start 110.
Take 120 on the sovereign. At 110 is bid.
Is there 120 now?
At a 110 bid.
130 bid then on the net. 130 bid. 140.
180. Back of the room has it at 180 bid. Is there 190 now?
That's the reserve, so it'll sell at 180.
Is the 190 now? We're all done? It's 180 bid. Any advance?
Oh, that was short and sweet, wasn't it?
Yeah. We just got it away. We did, yes. ?180. Yeah.
It's a lot better than the old fiver in the pocket.
It is. Isn't it? Yes, it is. Well, good luck to you. Thank you.
Next we headed north to Eighteen Eighteen Auctioneers
in South Lakeland, in Cumbria,
where auctioneer David Brookes wielded the gavel
over Bob's projector.
Sadly, Robert can't be with us today,
but we do have his 9.5mm projector and our expert, Paul.
It's got condition on its side... Yeah.
..but they're not the most - as you know - sellable of things.
From Magic Lantern down to toy cine projectors,
it's not the most aggressive of markets. No. No, it's not.
Anyway, we're going to find out right now. Good luck. Here we go.
?30, please. 30.
Start me as 20 then. It's a bit of fun.
Put it on your desk at home.
20? There's no point starting any lower. Come on.
Surely somebody must want this delightful thing for ?20.
No. You're right.
No interest at ?20.
A tough thing to get away,
even for ?20.
Yeah, no money. No money at all. I think he had a premonition.
That's why he stayed at home.
Could well be. Could well be.
Finally, we headed back to Clevedon Salerooms in Somerset
to test the market for Sue's fabulous pair
of Lalique vases.
Marc Burridge was still on the rostrum.
2,700 in the room. Thank you.
Going under the hammer right now, we have a great name -
one of the most desirable in glass - Lalique.
You've heard it before.
It's quality and it's going under the hammer,
a pair of vases belonging to Sue.
Why are you selling such a treasured possession?
Well, my children aren't interested. They don't like it.
They like it, but they don't want it.
It's just, like, wow -
Lalique, opalescent and Art Deco and period. Yeah.
And that's his thing, you see. He loves anything Art Deco.
But it's that opalescent.
For me, that's the best in Lalique, that sort of iridescence,
and you look up and you go, "Oh, you see the blues."
Yeah. Yeah, it's quality.
Right now we're going to do our very best right here
in the Clevedon Salerooms.
This is it. Ready, Sue? Yeah. Go to business.
I'll start the bidding here on the book at ?1,200.
Right. We're straight in.
1,400. 1,500 in the room.
1,800. 1,800. 1,900. 2,000.
I'll go easy stages. 2,100.
2,500 bid. 2,600.
2,600 on Craig's phone.
2,700? Anyone in the room?
Selling then on the phone at 2...
2,700, thank you. Yes. Late legs. Look.
Chap just put his hand up. Did you see that?
I did. 2,900. 2,900.
2,900 bid. 3,000.
Go on. 3,000 on the phone.
And selling at 3,100.
All done at 3,100.
Clocked up ?3,100.
Sue, that's a lot of money. It is.
And spot-on. Spot-on, Thomas. Well done.
Thank you ever so much to both of you. Oh, no.
Thank you for bringing them in. It's all about you and your items.
Enjoy that money, won't you?
Thomas, you were spot-on. Well done.
What a fantastic result. I was so happy for Sue.
A top "Flog It!" moment.
Well, that's it for today's show.
I've had a great time exploring the magnificent Powis Castle
looking at some of the fine art and treasures
in the castle's lavish interior.
You've shown us your treasures from around the country
and we've had some fun times in the auction rooms,
so join us again soon.
But until then, it's goodbye.