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Today, we're at one of the most romantic buildings
in the country - Grade I listed Highcliffe Castle in Dorset,
which has many fascinating features hidden in its furthest recesses,
and we'll be looking at some of those later on in the programme.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Our valuation day is at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset,
where the sweeping hills and rugged coastline reveal a past
that goes back to prehistoric times.
The fossils of ancient dinosaurs can still be uncovered in the rocks,
as well as the remnants of early Britons.
The castle isn't quite that old
but, nevertheless, it holds its own kind of secrets.
Look at this magnificent setting. Hundreds of people have turned up
and we're going to be taking over
all of the formal lawns for our valuations.
And, of course, fingers crossed,
one or two of you will be going home with a small fortune in the auction.
They're here to show our experts their antiques and collectibles,
some of which have been hidden in cupboards
or under the stairs for many years.
And if you're happy with the valuation, what are you going to do?
ALL: Flog it!
As our crowds get their objects out,
our experts have their eyes on the prize.
But Christina Trevanion doesn't seem to know what to do with it
once she's got it...
It probably would help if I opened it, wouldn't it, really?
..while Philip Serrell has found the model for several objects.
Just hold on just a minute.
A slight pout. A bit of a pout, look.
-Like that, out there like that...
That leg like that. It is!
It's you, isn't it?! When did you model for that?
That sets the tone for the day.
And later on in the show... Christina is modelling again.
Philip is playing games.
-Look at that little mouse.
-I know, he's lovely.
And there are some great surprises at the auction.
And later on in the programme, I'm going back in time
to find out how you use a tool like this
to make a building like that.
Our valuation day venue, Highcliffe Castle,
might look like a medieval stronghold,
but it's only been here since the 19th century,
when its great turrets, stained glass and embellishments were taken
from medieval buildings in France to decorate this vast structure.
And what a beautiful job they did.
Well, the sun has come out and everybody is smiling
but, right now, things are going to get a whole lot better.
We have our first item and it's with Philip Serrell.
And he's found an object with something interesting hidden inside.
Now, that looks, to all the world,
-like you bought a little football, doesn't it?
But you and I know it's not that, don't we?
So, if we just open that up like that... There we go.
This is a Masonic pendant and, if you look at it,
these are called the working tools, here, of a mason,
cos you've got the square and the level and the compasses,
you've got the columns here, you've got the all-seeing eye just there,
and you've got all these other symbols and ciphers,
all of which, in Masonic terms, are very, very emblematic.
So, Masonry, in this country,
I suppose started off in the 18th century,
so do you come from a long family of Masons
or is this something you bought or...?
No, no, I come from a family of Masons, yeah.
My father, my grandfather,
all the uncles that I can think of are Masons.
-So, every male in your family was a Mason.
-Yes, including my mother.
So, your mum was a Mason. Now, many people don't know
-that there are, sort of, lodges for ladies, aren't there?
Did your dad wear this?
No, I can't remember seeing him with that
because they kept it secret and I used to peek into the briefcase
and you'd see aprons and gloves and...
Someone once told me there's an expression
that Freemasonry is not a secret society,
-but it's a society with secrets.
But all that's changing now because there's this great move
that Masonry should be much more open
and people should know what's going on, and quite right it is.
So here, you've got this lovely little Masonic ball
and perhaps the most important symbol and cipher on it
is that one up there which says nine-carat gold!
-OK, so no more Masons in the family?
-Not looking like there's going to be any more?
-It's time to go?
-It is, it's time to go.
I think, at auction, it's going to make probably £80 to £120
-and I think I'd probably recommend a fixed reserve of £80.
-Are you happy with that?
And let's hope that the auction room is full of Masons,
all of whom haven't got one of these and are desperate for one.
As we know on this show,
Masonic memorabilia is highly sought-after
and I'm sure there will be plenty of eager buyers
for this mysterious pendant.
Christina's found an object that depicts the kind of people
who would have been greeted at the doors of a castle like Highcliffe.
-It's such a pleasure to welcome you two here.
-It's Doortje and Jan, is that right?
Very, very huge welcome to "Flog It!" and to England,
-cos you've travelled here specially today, haven't you?
-And where have you come from?
-Just to see us today.
-The south of Holland, yes.
What an honour to have you here. Thank you so much for coming.
You have brought, today,
the most quintessential of English pictures with you.
Where on earth did you get it from?
Um, we bought it a few years ago in an auction in Belgium.
-And what attracted you to the picture?
-The humour in it?
-It's wonderful, isn't it?
-And the more you look at it, the more you see, don't you?
So this is a fairly iconic image. I have seen quite a few of them.
It's by a chap called Charles Johnson Payne,
who was an artist at the turn of the century. He actually died in 1967.
-And his most prolific work was between 1900 and 1920.
He's more popularly known as Snaffles
and the reason that he was called Snaffles is cos originally,
-his logo was in the form of a horse's snaffle, a horse's bit.
So that's how he became known as Snaffles.
This isn't an original.
It would be great if it was, but it's not, sadly.
But he was known for producing these prints,
so it's a hand-coloured lithograph and it's, effectively, a print
which has been hand-coloured
to introduce these highlights of colour.
We've got this wonderful hunting scene here.
He was famous for depicting the leisure time,
the pastimes of the very upper echelons of society.
And this one here, we've got the title here which says...
I love it! And every one of them, I would imagine,
has been taken from life, because they're so detailed.
He's picked up all these wonderful little idiosyncrasies.
We've got a chap smoking a cigar here, this chap doffing his hat,
saying good morning, and I think that's glorious.
He did the sketches and he was famous for these sketches,
and then, originally, it would be Snaffles' sisters
-who would hand-colour them...
..and pick out all the different colour elements to them
and have the colours wonderfully balanced.
You've got the three grey horses sort of equidistantly spaced,
but one of them is behind,
this one is really bringing the eye to the centre of the picture,
as a lovely focal point, and this one is leading the pack,
so it just creates this wonderful sense of movement.
And I think that's really clever and it was very typical of his work
that he would use this quite muted palette but very effectively.
And I think what's even nicer,
we've got this wonderful description down here.
It says here, "Published April 2nd, 1913,
"by Messrs Fores, 41 Piccadilly, London."
At auction, I would say somewhere in the region of £100 to £200.
-How would you feel about that?
-Yes, it's OK.
-Would that be all right?
-And how much did you pay for it, if you don't mind me asking?
-OK, so you can't be too disappointed with that.
-Would you like to protect it with a reserve?
I would suggest a discretionary reserve of £100
and I'm fairly sure that we'll find it a new home at that.
I think it's a wonderful thing and thank you so much
for travelling so far just to come and see us.
-We're truly honoured, thank you.
-It was our pleasure.
Yeah, it was our pleasure.
And here's another interesting item, found by Philip.
I love these and I love these for a specific reason.
I have a 31-year-old daughter and, I guess,
-30 years ago I bought her one of these.
Yeah, they're really cool things.
Has this been in your family a long time?
I used it. That's 75 years ago.
And before that it was my father's, and he was born in 1900.
-Cos this is about...1895, 1905, something like that.
And it looks like what it is but it's a little bit more than that.
-Shall we see what else it does?
There's a little lever on your side - this one here -
which I'd like you to flick over.
-So that goes over there.
-And you've got a potty trainer, haven't you?
So that's the first thing we have.
-Split there, and probably would have had a small chamberpot in it.
Let's push that back over there.
-Now it's my side.
-This lifts up.
And it just drops down...
-like that, so you've got a little trolley.
-But that's not the end of it, is it?
-Cos we do it one more time.
That's it. There we are, isn't that sweet?
I spent many happy hours in that.
You've gone from something that's been in your family all of its life,
..and hopefully someone else is going to buy it and it can go on.
-This is the ultimate green business.
There's a couple of things that date it to 1900.
If you look at the turnings on these spindles, that's pure 1900, 1905.
-You see those lines there?
-In the trade they're called tramlines.
-And those lines there date it to that same period.
It's made out of...probably beech, I would think.
Do you have anyone in the family to pass it on to? No-one wants it?
-No-one wants it?
-Just collecting dust in the corner.
-That's sad, isn't it?
In terms of value, and this is what I love about our business,
-I think this is worth £80-£120, but a fixed reserve of £60.
-You couldn't go and buy a new one for that sort of money.
But it probably wouldn't conform to all sorts of relevant statutes,
but I think it's a wicked thing.
The Dorset coast, just a few yards from the castle
and our valuation day, is famous for the animals and fossils
that lie hidden in its limestone cliffs.
And just look what Kenneth has brought me.
It is the footprint of a dinosaur.
Yes, it's the footprint of an iguanodon.
Are you a budding palaeontologist?
I was interested in palaeontology as a kid
but I was helping my father at my uncle's quarry,
making tiles, and I was splitting the rocks,
cos they needed to be split to a certain thickness
-to make roofing tiles.
But when I split it open, I could see a dinosaur footprint.
My dad said, "Oh, they're no good.
"You can't use them as roofing tiles."
Well, I think this is worth an awful lot more than a roofing tile.
Basically, that's the raised section,
-so that sits on top of this.
-And you split this with your chisel...
..straight down there. That's the footprint.
That's the impression of its toes, so its heel section's missing.
But you can see it better from that section, can't you,
-which is upside down?
-Yes, so that's its foot really, isn't it?
So, these things, really,
iguanodons, were on the menu for T Rexes, weren't they?
Cos these were plant eaters. I think this is fantastic.
It's possibly one of the most exciting things
I've ever seen on the show.
The new wave of antique collectors now, it's all about curios
and things that are different.
I think it's fascinating, absolutely fascinating!
How much do you think these two sections are worth?
It's about £30-worth of stone.
Yeah, I think you give it a valuation of £200 to £300,
with a reserve of £180, OK?
-Yes, most definitely!
-Wow, what a find!
Before we head off to auction, there is something I would like to show you.
The Royal Corps of Signals have been deployed in every modern
conflict since the First World War.
But ask most of us what they do and we'd be hard pushed to say.
I've come to their base to meet Adam Forty, the business manager from the
museum here, to start to find out who the Royal Signals are.
The Royal Signals are the men and women of the British Army who
provide the vital link of communications on the battlefield.
Whether it be ordering logistics, fulfilling the strategy of
-your commanders, you always need to know what is going on.
So right back into history, whether it be Romans or Macedonians,
communications were hugely important.
'Adam has specially set up some pieces from the museum in an ops room
'to demonstrate some of the early technologies used by the signallers.'
We've got here a signalling lamp. This is a short range.
You can see it's got Morse-code tapper and the light comes out.
-So when you're tapping that the light flashes?
So you can read the signal by torchlight basically.
Yes, generally using Morse code, you can see using this, it's just
dots and dashes, so that you can send a message over a limited space.
-Next. That looks interesting.
It's good fun and actually more complicated than it looks.
You press the button, the light comes in.
The sunshine's coming onto this. It reflects, and by deflecting this,
you are, again, using Morse code to send a message.
-You need a lot of sunlight, though?
-You need a lot of sunlight.
Typically, this was mainly used in places like India,
-and North West Frontier.
-Africa, et cetera.
-And the name of this is?
The amazing thing is the distance they reckon they can
actually send a signal is up to around 40 to 50 miles.
That's incredible, isn't it?
Once we'd started to get basic electronics,
then the battlefield changed in terms of communications completely.
During the First World War, the signallers had a range of methods of
communication at their disposal.
Including dogs as messengers.
But it was the telephone and the wireless that gave them the chance
to get their messages even further.
However, now it wasn't just about communicating from commander to men,
but about how to intercept your opponent's communications.
The British Army didn't particularly like the idea of wireless.
It was cumbersome.
The batteries they used were very, very heavy.
So, they tended to rely on line communications.
And this is the First World War field telephone.
I love the mahogany box as well.
It's not even in a bit of metal. A joiner's made that.
It's beautifully designed.
It looks like something you'd have in your front room, isn't it?
-With line communication, what they realised is,
they could do both telegraphy over it,
so they could still use Morse code, but all of a sudden, because of
-the invention of telephony early on, they could also speak over it.
Unfortunately, they didn't realise that the system they used -
which was a single cable and then used an earth spike at each end,
where the handset is, to finish and complete that circuit -
and what they hadn't realised, by doing so,
the Germans could actually put in their own ground spikes.
Oh, and pick the message up. Gosh.
So, the first 18 months of the First World War, the German army
were listening to an awful lot of our messages.
Eventually, by 1916, 1917,
they invented something called the Fullerphone.
-I've never heard of that.
The Fullerphone was actually very famous
and used right up into the Second World War and later.
And it chops the message up, electronically.
And only if you have two handsets synchronised together
will you be able to get the message.
-The proper message in full. Otherwise it's chop, chop, buzz, buzz.
'I'm going to get a sense of the work the signallers did during
'the First World War, laying out telephone cable by using a modern
'version of a field telephone, which is more robust than the original.
'The trench we're using dates to the same period and was actually used
'for practice by soldiers before they went to the front.'
You can imagine doing this over a long distance, when it's dark,
in trenches that you're not sure of, under fire,
it's cold and wet and you're tired.
I mean, this is easy for me today, but I think it would be hard work.
This incredible footage shows the men letting out telephone cable
from wagons, pulled by horses.
Imagine the conditions - cable was constantly damaged by the shells
and the battle lines changed,
so the task must have seemed unimaginably mammoth.
-Hello, Paul, can you hear me?
-Hi, Adam, loud and clear.
That's brilliant. It's working.
I've only laid about 100 metres.
What sort of distances were covered during the First World War?
Well, just to give you an idea, before the Battle of the Somme,
the British Army laid 50,000 miles of cable,
43,000 miles above the ground
and 7,000 miles six feet deep in the ground.
Wow. Gosh, that's a lot of work.
And that's just for the one...
That's just for the offensive of the Somme.
So, you can imagine, over the full period of the war,
they must have laid hundreds and hundreds of thousands
of miles of line.
By the end of the war, the signalmen had grown in number
from 6,000 at the start of the war to an incredible 70,000 men
with highly technical skills by the end.
In recognition, the Royal Corps of Signals was created,
but it was in the Second World War that things changed again.
D-Day, the Allied-led invasion of Normandy on 6th June 1944,
was to be the largest seaborne invasion in history.
In this war, the name of the game was using
communications for deception.
Operation Fortitude was the deception plan to convince
the Germans that the Allied forces would invade at Calais and
the Royal Signals were part of this plan,
transmitting false communiques to fool the Germans, and it worked.
At age 100, John Bowman was one of the men responsible for setting up
communications in Normandy after the invasion.
He still remembers those days well.
What was your role in the Signals?
Entirely as an operator, which meant as a wireless operator.
It developed into working at brigade headquarters,
manning a wireless set, latterly, as one of the operators on the
brigade command in an armoured command vehicle.
That was, of course, when it came to operations in Normandy.
I was the sergeant in charge of that vehicle
-with three operators with me.
So, we had four, the four of us with two wireless sets,
one working forward and one working back, so that there could be
a conversation from the battalion back to the brigade
and the brigade back to division at any time they wanted it.
The radio sets were working 24/7, and unlike a telephone now,
a conversation on the best radio sets could only get about two miles.
Well, that's gone completely now, obviously.
It's so very different.
Thank you so much for sharing your memories with me today.
It's been a real pleasure listening to one of our heroes.
-I don't know about that.
-You really are, you really are.
Because of the contributions of signallers like John,
the Allies were able to trick the Germans and eventually win the war.
Since then, the technology used by the Royal Corps of Signals
has hugely advanced.
With digital communication, they have upped the game again.
Today, communication allows every individual in the theatre of war
to be connected to HQ and each other, instantly.
But though they've come a long way, their motto is still as true today
as it ever was 100 years ago -
"certa cito", "to be swift and sure".
Here's a quick recap of the four items we're taking to auction.
The Masonic pendant, owned by Chris's family,
who's ready to pass them on.
Doortje and Jan's very British Snaffles print of the hunt,
brought all the way from Holland.
The three-in-one chair that's no longer needed by Kenneth
but should make some family with children very happy.
And will the buyers be lured by the amazing dinosaur footprint
uncovered in a quarry?
On our way to the saleroom at Wareham,
we had to stop off and show you something
that's always mystified the locals - the Cerne Abbas Giant.
It might dominate the area,
but its purpose is hidden in the mists of time.
One theory is that it was carved out of the ground by the local priests
to taunt one of their number who had misbehaved.
Well, there will be no misbehaving at the auction.
We're off to Cottees,
where our first lots are about to go under the hammer.
John Condie is on the rostrum
and here the commission is 20% plus VAT. It can vary,
so be aware of that if you are selling.
Our first lot is Chris's gold pendant with Masonic symbols,
which has been in the family for generations.
I've got to tell you something, OK.
I wasn't going to but I can't keep it a secret.
The room is full of Masons. Somewhere in here there's Masons.
I don't know who! THEY LAUGH
But there's a few in here, so I think we're going to sell it.
A Masonic nine-carat gold pendant.
I'll start at £50 for that one.
5. 60. 5. 70.
85 on the net.
90. 95, two of you.
It's going up.
120 here. 130.
140. 140 bid.
-It's doing well.
150 now. 150.
Do you want to come in? 160 now, fresh bidder.
170. 180 I've got.
180. 190 now.
Internet bid at 190.
-It's very good, but it's a lovely thing.
Anyone else want to come in? Your last chance, at 190 then.
GAVEL COMES DOWN Yes, hammer's gone down at 190.
That was unique, wasn't it, and it had the secret inside it.
-Someone's going to enjoy it and use it.
-I hope so.
-Maybe another Mason.
-You never know.
And we probably never will!
Our next lot is the highchair-cum-rocker,
used by two generations of family.
-Look at that, Kenneth, it's right next to us.
Lot number 41, there we are, look.
They don't make 'em like that any more. They're all in plastic.
Hopefully we want to find some bidders that have some young kids
right now that have got an eye for a bargain.
-Right, you ready for this, Kenneth?
-Ready to say goodbye?
-OK, it's going under the hammer.
Start me, then.
I've got to go in at 35, anyway. £35 for this one, 35.
At 35. 40 make it.
£60. Gentleman in the middle. At £60.
60 I've got. 65 anywhere?
It's in the middle of the room at £60.
65? Anyone else coming in?
Last chance. I'm going to sell at 60, then.
Well, it's gone, Kenneth.
You didn't want it any more, so that was its market value,
I guess, here today. Not many bidders wanting a highchair.
I think whoever bought that,
they're going to stick a teddy bear in that and put it in a shop window.
And now it's time for the early 20th-century Snaffles print,
brought in by a couple all the way from Holland.
Doortje and Jan, it's great to see you again
and thank you for flying in from Holland.
-We have international jetsetters on this show!
And Snaffles is so British, you had to bring Snaffles home, didn't you?
-Have you bought something to replace it yet?
-Not yet. I will be.
-The day is yet young.
Do some shopping here in the saleroom later on.
Anyway, good luck and thanks for coming over
It's great to see you again. Fingers crossed you go home with a few bob.
It's the Snaffles print.
Start me at £60 for this lot then.
-Nice print at 60.
-Yes, 60 on the net. £60 is bid.
-I should hope so!
65 now. 70. 5.
-It's creeping up, creeping up.
85 bid. 90.
5. 95 bid.
-100 make it?
£95. 95 here.
100 now, lady in the room. 100.
110, anyone else? You're out, on the internet.
-£100, lady in the room, at £100.
-GAVEL COMES DOWN
Thank goodness we're sending you home with some money
for all the effort you've made.
And you never know, we may see you again.
-If we find something else, yeah.
-I really hope so.
How wonderful to have international "Flog It!" followers.
Next up is that incredible dinosaur imprint
from the Jurassic coast.
We are, literally, walking with dinosaurs,
because we that iguanodon footprint, the cast,
going under the hammer, belonging to Kenneth.
I think every schoolboy in the county
is going to ask their parents to buy this for them.
Well, I was expecting some scientist to get a microscope up to it
and see what he trod in and see if there was any insects
-or something like that in it.
-At least we rescued it from your shed,
-that's the main thing.
I know the reserve's been dropped to £120. Was that your decision?
Yeah, I just didn't care. I just want it out of the house.
-You just want it to go.
Well, fingers crossed it does two to three plus a bit.
It's going under the hammer right now.
We've got the interesting dinosaur footprint.
£100 for them?
Yes, thank you very much. A strong voice.
£100 bid. 100.
140 bid, on my right. 140.
-Come on, let's get you £200.
170 anyone else? I thought these might do a bit better.
At £160...for the fossil footprints.
-GAVEL COMES DOWN
-It's gone. Are you happy?
Well, it didn't cost me nothing. It was like a day's work, really.
-But what a find.
At least you had the pleasure of finding that and uncovering it
because that was the very first time in millions of years
that that has been revealed.
And you can't put a price on that, can you?
Well, there we are. Three good sales so far today
and it's nice to escape the mayhem of the auction room.
Now, for the best part,
an antique expert can work out the history of an object
by looking at makers' marks, construction methods,
materials and styles,
but what if an object is old, and I mean really, really old,
and virtually nothing is known about the people who made it?
Well, that's where archaeologists come in.
Recently, I met up with some
to find out more about the prehistoric people of Dorset.
The British landscape is full of the intriguing remains
of ancient civilisations - barrows, standing stones and hill forts.
It's hard to imagine how these prehistoric people lived,
so how do we discover what they did and why?
I've come to a place that is dedicated to finding out.
This is the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne
and all of these amazing structures have been built
using traditional techniques and methods.
I'm going to be finding out more about the work that goes on here,
chatting to some of the experts,
who are going to introduce me to some of our ancient ancestors.
First up is John Gale,
an archaeologist at Bournemouth University,
who specialises in Bronze Age Britain,
which lasted from around 2000 BC to 800 BC.
So, how do we know how these people lived?
Well, archaeology, as you probably know,
is all about excavation and survey.
It's the relationship of what's left, the objects,
but also the way that the structure is built.
This roundhouse, for example,
was composed mainly of below-ground post holes and stake holes
and, of course, they create a pattern on the floor, so...
So you're looking at the footprint?
Exactly, it's the footprint we look at and then we look at
the features inside the house - the hearth, for example.
That can be picked up because the burnt soil still survives.
And then, of course, we'll record the presence of objects
-in relation to places within the structure as well.
Brilliant, isn't it?
All those little tiny things, those little clues you piece together.
If you ask any archaeologist why they get into this,
it's about reconstructing, about telling a tale, telling a story.
We're really storytellers at heart.
A lot of things you find are just fragments,
but I notice you've got a complete pot there.
-Can I have a look at it?
-Yes, of course.
-It's quite rare to find complete pots...
-..at this age.
-This is more or less 4,000 years old.
-Where did you find this?
I was excavating a barrow site,
only five miles away from where we're sitting at the moment.
A barrow site meaning a long barrow?
A barrow site meaning a cemetery, because in the Bronze Age,
they tended to construct barrows in groups
and they are, essentially, monuments for the ancestors.
And this was contained in a burial pit under a barrow,
-alongside two cremations.
So, archaeologists can tell us what ancient people left behind
and work how they may have lived.
But how do we get from these theories
to the reality of these fantastic buildings?
Paul Grigsby might be able to shed some light.
He was a builder by trade but now works here,
bringing his knowledge of construction
to the recreation of the past.
So how do you start by creating an ancient structure?
It's all to do with the evidence
and we looked at Bronze Age houses or hut circles
and tried to recreate the building as close as we can get it
-to the same sort of structure that would have been...
So you kind of copied stone from stone.
-The keystones here, you copied that to start with.
You copied the size and some of these larger stones to build up on.
Yeah, the difficulty then becomes, when you start to build a wall
and they're estimating about a metre high
-because of those keystones for the door...
You've got to try and work out what happens to the stones above that,
so we looked at other sites. There's about 3,000 hut circles on Dartmoor.
We looked at lots of other sites
and it turned out they weren't doing a traditional stone wall job on this
by knocking the edges off and making everything fit nice and neatly.
They were working it out like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, essentially.
And what covers this?
We're going to thatch it,
very similar to the buildings we have onsite,
which are thatched with wheat straw.
-And what about tools?
-Tools they'd use for this...
-Obviously, nothing's going to cut the granite.
But the hazel will be cut with either bronze or stone tools.
-Have you any examples of these tools?
-Yeah, they're just here.
-OK, so this is a stone, a flint axe.
-That's the earliest?
That's the earliest.
We're going back how many thousands of years?
You're looking at probably 5000 BC for this sort of axe.
This is a reproduction, so this isn't original.
Someone's created that.
Then we move on to this one, which is a bronze tool.
It's starting to look more serious.
Yeah, and again, it's not sharp, though. It's not like a steel axe.
It's not a sharp thing. You can keep them sharp. You can hone it...
-Whereas you can't with that.
-No, not so well.
You'd have to take the edge off and start again.
I was just thinking, you know, on some of that felled stuff there.
-Can I have a go?
-You can try.
-Um...that would be a better chance.
-I don't want to damage it.
No, you won't damage that.
Let's try it on this.
That's not bad!
Look at that! That's brilliant!
-Can I have a job?
-Yeah, got loads to cut!
So, experimental archaeology takes the theories
of traditional archaeologists and tests them out,
seeing what works and what doesn't.
I'd love to find out more about those ancient tools,
so it's time to meet Mark Vyvyan-Penney.
He's a wood carver who makes bronze tools using ancient techniques.
I can see you're using an odd pair of bellows, bringing up the fire.
What are you about to do?
Well, I'm using these bag bellows, which are made of leather,
to pump air into this furnace, and in the furnace,
there's a crucible and in that, there's some scraps of bronze.
-What do you hope to make?
-Well, there's some moulds there
for some chisels and a little axe. It might work...
-..it might not.
Just a second.
-Is it nearly ready?
-The metal is ready.
It's liquid, so I can now pour it into one of the moulds.
You need some glasses though.
-They wouldn't have had these in the Bronze Age.
But we've only got one pair of eyes.
So, there we go. I'm going to pour it into a mould.
That happened quite quickly. You've got no control over it.
-Well, you know that it's going to last 11 seconds.
It's 11 seconds before it freezes. I'm quite pleased with that.
This was the whole point of the Bronze Age.
It was this amazing technology that they discovered
and they went from copper, which is really soft,
-to putting tin with it, which makes it really hard.
Do you belong to a particular group of artisans
that sort of wear the clothing you're wearing
and do this kind of thing as a passion and a hobby?
Yes, I'm in a group called the Ancient Wessex Network
and, yes, you're right, it is a passion.
We want to make things from the past.
We want to make it the way they did.
Will that bronze now be cooling down in that mould?
-Will you have to break it apart?
-The moment of truth.
-The moment of truth, yeah. So, here's some water.
And if I bring that mould over...over there.
There we go. That's still quite hot. So...
So, we've got there...
It's a bit bent but I can knock that back into shape,
and there's a chisel.
That's quite incredible, isn't it? That's brilliant.
Will you be able to use that on some of your carvings?
Yes, it would be very authentic then, wouldn't it?
What a great way to explore the past,
hands-on, testing things out
and becoming immersed in the lives of ancient Britons.
A place like this really does show us
how the expertise of people from diverse backgrounds
can come together to help us advance our knowledge of the past.
It really is quite incredible.
So, the next time you go for a walk in the countryside
and you come across a stone circle or a hill fort, stop for a moment,
have a good look and think about the people who created them
and how amazing it is that the remains of those sites
are still with us today, playing a prominent part of our lives,
all of these thousands of years later.
Welcome back to our valuation day venue, Highcliffe Castle,
where down below, our valuations continue.
Our experts are hard at work,
hopefully unearthing some more treasures to take off to auction.
But I doubt if anything will date as far back as the Bronze Age.
Let's catch up with the team.
And Christina is definitely looking to the 1960s for her next object.
-Sue, I love this Biba coat.
-I REALLY love this Biba coat.
-It is so fab! Where did you get it from?
-Well, I'm not sure.
I know Biba had catalogues out and I know they had a shop in Kensington.
-Did you ever go into the shop?
-Yes, I did.
-Did you? What was it like?
-Oh, was it?
-Black and gold, with very loud music.
And mirrors everywhere. But you couldn't see the clothes.
-It was just awesome.
-I've heard that.
Somebody said that they had to take the clothes to the window.
-They saw something in the dark... Do you remember this?
Oh, ladies! We've got a fashionista pack behind us.
Did you have to take the clothes to the window in order to see them?
-That's right, yes.
-Oh, my goodness, that's wonderful!
Let's start at the very beginning.
Barbara Hulanicki started the Biba brand in the mid-1960s
and it started out as a brand that wanted to bring
cheap and affordable clothing to the masses in the 1960s.
And that it did, and it was incredibly successful.
-Started out as a mail order catalogue.
And then they very quickly built up a fantastic client base
because it was cheap and affordable but it was stylish, so stylish.
-They opened a shop in Kensington. Is that the one you went to?
Oh, fantastic. Then they went on and on
and they continued with the mail order as well,
-which is really important to the history of Biba.
-Cos you didn't have to go to London to own a Biba piece.
You could get it through the post, effectively.
If we look at this piece, yes, it's an incredibly stylish piece.
If we start with the material, it is quite itchy. Was it nice to wear?
-I do remember it being itchy, yes, I do.
-When you wore it, were you fidgeting all day?
Did you have Saint Vitus's dance or something?
-I had to wear it because you just felt so good.
So, a little bit itchy,
which kind of goes along with that cheap, affordable clothing aspect,
but just look at it! It's just gorgeous.
Double-breasted. If we spin her...
This might be a male model, but we'll spin him/ her round
and we've got, look, acres of material here.
It is just beautiful, isn't it?
I bet you swished around London in this, didn't you?
-Oh, no, on the Isle of Wight.
-You swished around the Isle of Wight.
So I felt very, very fashionable.
And were you the envy of all your friends?
-Well, yes, because no-one else had one.
-I bet. My goodness!
It's 1960s, but it has got that sort of Edwardiana appeal, look,
about it that was very much a Biba style.
I'm wiffling on about Biba,
but we'd better just make sure that it IS Biba, hadn't we?
Let's look at the label. Oh, yeah, perfect.
So, was that very much the style of the shop as well,
-this wonderful black and gold?
-Yes, it was.
Oh, what to put on it?
I mean, it doesn't fetch as much as I would hope it to fetch at auction.
Having that name in it, obviously, is imperative,
otherwise it would be a nice tweed coat.
I'm going to be modest,
but I would hope that it would fetch in the region of £50 to £70.
-A reserve of maybe £50,
with some discretion, should we need it.
Hopefully, with some internet interest
and some fashionistas, which I think we've got here...
-..it might go up.
That coat really captures an era.
The 1960s swept aside old ideas about fashion for the elite.
Designers like Mary Quant and Ossie Clark exploded onto the scene,
making clothes for young people,
who had the highest income since the Second World War.
They wanted a modern look that suited their freer lifestyle
and their taste in music.
And for the first time, they had a place specially designed for them,
the high street boutiques, filled with the new modern look -
colourful clothes in unusual fabrics and the maxiskirt.
Christina's certainly hooked on the Biba maxicoat
and we hope our buyers will be too.
Now, what would Philip have been doing in the 1960s
and what's he got at his table?
So, you brought along this early 20th-century ping pong bat,
-is that right?
-What's your name?
-Are you from round here, Jane?
-I'm local to Highcliffe.
And you know exactly what this is, don't you?
I do know it's a Mouseman piece but...
And we know it's a Mouseman, because we've got a mouse here.
-I did think a Mouseman paddle but...
The chap who made this was a man called Robert Thompson,
who came from Kilburn in Yorkshire.
He was born in the late 1870s and died in the 1950s.
This is his signature. Everybody knows this is Mouseman.
Do you know how it came about?
I think it was something to do with the pews in a church
-and he used to...
-You're getting good, aren't you?
-How do you know all this?
-I'm interested in antiques,
I've heard a little bit about his work,
so I know he used to put the mouse into the pews.
-Why did he do that then?
-Ah, that I don't know.
Yes! No, let me tell you.
-His first job was the interior of a church...
..and he and his workmen were talking
-and they claimed to be as poor as church mice.
-It makes sense now.
-And Mouseman was born.
We talked about patina and that's got patina by the bucketful.
And all that patina is is the grease and grime
off your hand that's just polished that, as time's gone by,
and it just gives it that lovely colour.
I would think this is probably 1930s.
Early Mouseman wares have this lovely dark colour.
-The slightly later wares have a lighter colour.
And it's hugely collectible. Have you had this a long time?
Well, it came to me through a donation to our shop.
-Oh, so you're fundraising.
-We're fundraising yes.
-This was given to you.
-This was given to us by one of our donors.
Do you know what?
I think this is going to make you probably over £100.
-Is that good?
-That's good, yes!
I think we should put £100 to £150 on it as an estimate.
-We'll fix reserve it at £80.
-That gives the auctioneer a bit of leeway.
-Just look at that.
-Look at that little mouse.
I think that Robert Mouseman has made
-a whole generation of people become unfrightened of mice.
Christina's definitely not concerned about her next object. Far from it!
You know how to excite a girl. My goodness!
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend
and oh, my God, these are gorgeous! Why aren't you wearing them?
-Well, they're not my style, are they?
-Are they not? No?
-So, in this instance, they're NOT a girl's best friend.
What we've got is a beautiful pair of diamond drop earrings
and we've got a rather lovely lady here who...
-Well, it looks like she's modelling them for us.
So, where have they come from? Who is this lady?
-She is my grandma but she died in 1950.
-But she was 75 when she died.
So, I don't know how old she is in that photograph
but she was married three times.
-They might have been a present from a husband.
-Was it third time lucky?
-Yes, could have been, yes.
-Even just looking at the box that they're within,
they really are very beautiful
-and very beautiful quality, exquisite quality.
-Was she an affluent lady?
-She loved her jewellery.
I don't know a lot about her. She lived in London.
So she was in possibly quite a high society set.
-She could have been, yes.
They are within this box which says, at the top...
One of the best addresses in London.
You've got a Bond Street jeweller here, Hunt & Roskell.
They designed and retailed exquisite pieces, expensive pieces.
There was nothing about the, sort of,
standard run-of-the-mill jewellery about them.
They only did the very best,
and absolutely typified by this beautiful pair of drop earrings.
Each one a four-diamond drop,
each one with a brilliant cut diamond,
so we know that they are 20th century,
rather than Victorian or earlier,
because they wouldn't have had the brilliant cut at that point.
That was only developed in the 20th century.
They are set in platinum, probably with an 18-carat gold back,
-although they're not marked, which is quite frustrating.
But they're a good colour, they're a good clarity,
and all of that is important because it all makes a value for us, OK.
At auction, I wouldn't hesitate to put an estimate
of between £800 to £1,200 on them
and I think a firm reserve at £800.
-How would you feel about that, Barb?
-That sounds wonderful.
It's over to Philip, with something that would have been familiar
to many a fighting soldier during the war.
So, these things that you've brought along, are these family things?
No, I moved into a bungalow in 1994.
I went into the loft to do some work about three months after
we were there and these were hidden behind a beam.
They had obviously belonged to the previous owner,
so I did the right thing, phoned him up, he didn't want 'em.
He said, "You can keep 'em."
-What I love about these is the social history.
-This is a Brodie helmet.
The origins of this were in the First World War,
-but they still used them in the Second World War.
But what I think is fantastic is this, look.
-"Ration, type K, breakfast unit."
It's packed by the Beech-nut Packing Company,
from Canajoharie, wherever that is, New York.
-Would this be for American soldiers, do you think?
I think so, because I did a little bit of research online and
these were issued to American soldiers in England and
France when they were, you know, fighting for us.
-So, these rations have come over from the States with the soldiers, effectively.
-That's right, yes.
And it says here, look, "For security,
"do not discard the empty can, paper or refuse
"where it can be seen from the air.
"If possible, cover with dirt, foliage and sand."
It brings home to you, really, the harsh reality of war, doesn't it?
-That's right. Oh, yes.
What have we got...? Oh, here, look. We've got a list.
So, this package contains two packages biscuits - energy crackers.
I bet they were anything but that.
Two cans of ham and eggs.
I bet they were REALLY nice.
An envelope of soluble coffee.
A fruit bar. Well, that might have been OK.
But it's to be eaten cold or you make it into a jam
by - cor! - stewing it for three minutes.
Four lumps of sugar.
-I mean, that was like gold, wasn't it, in the war?
A packet of four cigarettes and a piece of chewing gum.
-You can tell the American influence, can't you?
So, they're in there, never, ever been out the packet?
Never, ever been opened.
Still sealed in the wax wrapper.
Isn't that just fantastic?
Well, I would strongly advise anybody who buys these just to
-leave them that way, cos I don't think they'd taste very good.
The K ration pack distributed to American soldiers and,
eventually, the British was developed by American food
scientists for emergency and battle situations.
It was to be used for only 15 days at a time.
British soldiers drooled over this ration box.
They thought the combination of sweets and cigarettes
to be highly superior to what was on offer by the British Army.
The "but" comes, for me... is what are they worth?
You know, because we don't get too many unused Second World War
-So, I think the helmet's probably worth 20 quid.
That could be worth 20 quid and it could be worth 100.
-You know, I'm guessing.
If they were mine, I'd estimate them at 60 to 90
-and I'd put a fixed reserve of 50 quid on them.
-How's that feel to you?
Well, let's just hope whoever comes to the auction
-is on better rations than these.
So now, we have to say goodbye
to our host location, Highcliffe Castle.
We've had a wonderful time here
and I'm sure everybody who's turned up has thoroughly enjoyed it.
And the weather has just been perfect!
But right now, we've got to change the tempo.
We've got some unfinished business to do in the saleroom.
And here's a quick recap of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
The designer Biba coat
that Sue swished around in during the swinging '60s.
We've got the classic Mouseman cheeseboard,
which can't go wrong at auction.
The World War II helmet and K ration pack used by British
and American soldiers, which, miraculously, hasn't been opened.
And a pair of diamond earrings.
They're not to owner Barbara's taste
but are they set to adorn someone else's ears?
We're about to find out, as we head back to the saleroom, where
John Condie has our next lot, the Biba coat that charmed Christina.
What a coat! Biba and this is fantastic.
-Why don't you want to keep it?
-It doesn't fit.
It's been in the loft for 43 years.
-Why hang on to it in a box, wrapped up?
That label, that Biba label, people will pick up on it online.
There are plenty of collectors of vintage clothing,
especially women's clothing, and they sell well.
-And it's so wearable, it's so wearable!
-I don't think I'm going to cope with this.
-You've got to be tough, OK?
You've got to be strong. It's going under the hammer right now
and, hopefully, it'll find a new home,
-This is it. Good luck, Sue.
Original woollen coat, with the Biba label to the collar, of course.
I remember shopping there myself.
I was there, I was there!
Right, I've got interest and I'm bid £50 straight in.
50. £50. 55.
60. 5. 70.
-Oh, it's gone.
-It's gone well.
100. 110. 110, I've got.
110. 110. 120 now?
120 bid. 120.
130, anybody else?
At 120, in the room. You're all out on the net.
It's selling in the room.
GAVEL COMES DOWN
-That hammer's gone down.
-I don't know what to say because I'm gutted!
-I'm really pleased for you.
-Yeah, no way did I expect that!
-It is fantastic for me.
-Thank you so much.
We are delighted, really, Christina.
Double the estimate for the ultimate in '60s style.
Our next lot is from a craftsman
whose work has also stood the test of time.
Jane, it's great to see you.
We're talking about Robert Thompson, Mr Mouseman.
-And we have a cheeseboard.
-I thought it was a table tennis bat.
It could be. It has a duality to it, yes, yes. He's cheeky, isn't he?
-So, this was a charity shop find, I gather.
So, fingers crossed, we should get £100 plus for this.
I'll be really disappointed if it didn't make three figures.
-Well, everything counts to our charity, so...
-It does, doesn't it?
-Whatever we can make.
OK, good luck, both of you. It's going under the hammer right now.
Mouseman cheeseboard. Got the typical mouse to the handle there.
I've got a bit of interest on the book for you.
80, I've got to go.
£80. I've got a gentleman there at 80. £80.
85, anyone else want to take it on?
The gentleman there at 80. 85 on the internet.
90 now. 90.
95, make it. We're out on the internet. It's 90.
Anyone else? I'm closing it.
-At £90 then.
-GAVEL COMES DOWN
-Fantastic, thank you very much.
-Every penny helps for that charity.
-Keep up the good work, won't you?
-I will do.
Next up, it's time for the K ration pack and helmet.
Will the bidders like them as much as we do?
I'll tell you what, Gino, thank you very much for bringing that in,
because it is an eclectic mix today.
It's the only World War II memorabilia in the sale,
so fingers crossed. That could be a good thing, could be a bad thing.
But it should be picked up online.
-It's a lovely lot you have. That ration pack is so cool.
Good luck. This is what auctions are all about. Here we go.
I've got interest in this. I've got to start at 30.
£50 bid. At 50.
£50 I've got. 55 anywhere?
55, anybody else? I'm going to sell at 50, then. Your last chance.
-You'd think it would go for a lot more, wouldn't you, really?
I think it's one of those things, isn't it?
If you buy it, what do you do with it? It's just a talking point.
-Gino, thank you for bringing that in.
-Philip was spot-on there with the value...
-..so good on him.
Great. Thanks very much.
I'm glad that fascinating reminder of the trials of war
has found a new home.
Time for our final lot of the day,
the drop-dead gorgeous diamond drop earrings, set in platinum.
-Barbara, your earrings - well, your gran's earrings.
It's time to say goodbye.
-These are definitely going to sell.
-They're so beautiful.
-Did you know they were quite valuable?
That's why I didn't like them left in the house when I went out.
-I sincerely hope you get lots of interest for them.
They're still so wearable today,
especially in that white gold or platinum.
-They're very stylish, aren't they?
-Very stylish. Best of luck.
Here we go, this is it.
Lot 312, the lovely pair of diamond drop earrings,
set with four lovely graduated diamonds there.
-I have got interest presale.
And I'm starting at 700.
850. 900 on the internet.
950 in the room, lady's bid.
1,100, I've got.
1,200, lady's bid.
-1,300 on the internet.
1,300, internet bid.
1,400 on the telephone.
1,400 on the telephone.
1,500 close to me.
1,550 comes in over here.
Ooh, there's a bidder in the room at 1,550.
And 50 now.
1,650, it's close.
-1,700 do you want to go?
-Are you all right?
1,700 here, next to me.
Anyone else coming in? I'm going to sell.
You're all out elsewhere. At 1,700 they go.
GAVEL COMES DOWN
-Barbara, that's fantastic news!
Well over the top end. Brilliant.
-You had faith in those, didn't you?
Oh, they sold themselves.
They were just stunning, they really were.
-So, congratulations, that's great.
-Well done, you.
-You're a bit speechless.
-I am lost for words.
-You don't know what to say, do you?
How about, "What a way to end today's show"?
I hope you've enjoyed it.
We promised you a surprise and we delivered.
Join us again soon for many more.