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Today, we fly the Cornish flag here in Falmouth.
This is where King Henry VIII
built Pendennis Castle in 1540 to protect the country from invasion.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall was opened
in 2003, with the aim of inspiring and engaging people
with stories of boats, the people who built them,
and the explorers who took them onto the high seas.
I tell you what, we're not going to let the weather dampen our spirits
because the Cornish are used to this, aren't you?
We've got a lot of work to do and I think
we're going to have a fabulous day,
and everybody is in good spirits, so come on, let's get in.
While Philip Serrell is stealing his way through the queue...
Oh, I say! This is great, look at this!
..our new expert, Charles Hanson, is brimming over with knowledge...
All I will say is, "Long live Emperor Qianlong," OK?
-And who's he and how?
-I might tell you later.
More than 150 years of Cornish maritime history
is represented here in this museum, including this Olympic vessel.
She's called Rita, and Ben Ainslie, the man considered
to be one of our greatest Olympic sailors,
won three gold medals in her.
Now, that is a piece of history.
I wonder if our experts are having that kind of success.
Charles has set sail with the tale of an ancient mariner.
-Who is this man pictured here?
-This is Jesse Spencer.
He was a fairly distant cousin of my grandfather.
He was born about 1870
and he joined the Navy when he was about 21.
Absolutely, because this whole archive here would date that period.
That's the period, so clearly that man Jesse was a young man
-in Navy life at the end of the 19th century.
Wonderful. Because what we've got here is, first of all,
the main component in his armoury in the Navy, the naval dress sword.
And the condition of it is superb. You've clearly looked after it well.
The sword hasn't been overly cleaned, the burnished gilded work,
with the anchor clearly here to identify its type,
is in very, very nice condition. Wonderful.
And then, obviously, alongside that, we've also got this belt.
-A late Victorian belt, again with the Navy insignia
of the anchor. The clasp is complete, the belt hasn't
in any way been replaced.
It's well-worn but it's all there, as well.
And what's this, here?
That's actually a case. I think it's old waxed cotton material.
I'm not quite sure.
The sword used to live in it but it's in such a bad state of repair
that you can't actually get it back inside.
To me, it's very personal but you're feeling
-it's time to let go, are you?
-I think so.
I've tried to put it in different places in the house
-but there never seems to be quite the right place to display it so...
..I think perhaps I'm going to let it go to somebody
-who could possibly cherish it a bit better.
I think what's really important, Sarah, is if it does go to auction,
it's really important that this has a face,
it has that personal insight into this man and the pictures
go with the hardware so the new owner can very much see the man
and see where these objects originally came from.
-It's a unique archive.
It's something which you can break up and give different values on.
-The sword, typically, is a type
which can make £120, £150, £180.
It just depends on the day.
I think, with the added value in the belt and other components,
-my thought would be between 150 and 250.
-And I hope it will be going, going...
-I hope so.
-Thanks very much.
Hopefully, collectors of naval history will snap those up.
Now, on "Flog It!" we're not the only ones who've had our fair share
of strange and curious artefacts. The museum has, too,
and I've popped upstairs to show you one such collection.
Now, this is a replica of a shop that was in Market Street
in Falmouth in the 19th century
and it was owned by a local chap called John Burton,
who became world-famous for his shop of quirky curiosities,
and, as you can see, it is called The Old Curiosity Shop.
People from all over the world would gravitate to see this
because you could buy anything and he was lucky enough to buy all
of this from returning sailors from their long voyages
from all over the globe.
John prided himself on being able to supply anybody with anything quirky.
And it's said that he provided a museum in Edinburgh
with a replacement whale vertebra. Can you believe that?
Well, I've pulled a few things from out of the cabinet to show you,
so take a look at this.
Let's start with this sawfish bill.
It's technically known as the sawfish rostrum.
Now, in the sea, alive, this would be covered
with electro-sensitive pores, which allow the fish to detect food
and any movement in case it was going to be attacked.
Also on the table, we've got some wonderful examples
of some devil's masks, which are really great fun.
Now, all of these curios, all of these things, plus John's
larger-than-life personality, made his shop a must-see attraction.
The Victorians loved their curios
but today we prefer to focus on the less outlandish.
I've come to the conclusion, Judy,
that I must still be a big kid at heart. Oh, I love these.
Cos you love the racing cars? Yes?
Well, yeah. If you were going to give them away...
I love these cos you've got a Talbot, HWM Jag,
Cooper Bristol, Maserati, Alfa Romeo,
-Ferrari, before they were red.
-I wish I had them as real.
Right, we've got a box here, a York airliner, a Chivers Jelly,
a phone box, and this is what makes me feel really old,
-I had that one.
-Oh, how lovely.
-Yeah, as a kid.
-Have you still got it?
-Ah, there you are.
-I've still got lots of my toys.
-Yeah, I have.
You should have hung onto it, shouldn't you?
They're lovely. I mean, these are my real favourite,
-and I always think it's sad that... If you take this one, here...
-You've still got the original box.
-It doesn't look like it's ever been played with.
-No, I don't think so.
You just imagine someone really excited on Christmas morning,
-and you open it and go...
"Is that what they've given me?"
I've got that. So, where have all these come from?
-Are they your husband's?
-I presume that was my husband's. I presume.
-Those were my husband's. All these were, yes.
-And he kept them all?
-We need to talk value, don't we?
-I suppose so, yes.
And we must also just say, you've got a few more as well, haven't you?
-So we've got these, here, which are the best ones
and you've got a few more in a box
-but we're going to include them all as one lot at the auction.
And I think we should put a £60-£90 estimate,
with a fixed reserve of 50, and I think if you have a good result,
you might get 100, 150 quid for them.
Well, that's better than sitting in a box in my roof, isn't it?
Yeah. I wish I was allowed to buy them. I love these.
Me too. Especially that blue Ferrari.
Our auction destination today is Lostwithiel,
a small town that lies at the head of the Fowey Estuary,
here in Cornwall. And the place? Jefferys Auctions.
Remember, if you want to sell something at auction,
there is a seller's commission to pay.
Here, it's 15% plus VAT but it varies from saleroom to saleroom
so don't get caught out because these things do add up.
In charge of the proceedings is auctioneer Ian Morris.
-Now, there's a family connection, isn't there?
-There is, yes.
-The sword belonged to my grandfather's cousin and he was
in the Navy for some years until he became a member of the coastguard.
It's a nice-looking sword.
Yeah, it's a really good lot and hopefully between 150 and 250,
-we're about there.
-Right, let's put it to the test.
Here we go, it's going under the hammer.
This is a Royal Navy officer's sword, there.
The scabbard, three photographs
and you have the whistle and a pouch as well.
Can I see £200 away? 150 away?
£100 I'm bid. £100, £100...
110, 120, 130, 140, 150.
-At 150, the bid's in the middle, there.
-We've done it.
160, 170. At 170. 180 down.
180, 190, 200?
190 there on the dresser. 200 and up?
At 190, going at £190.
-Good result. Happy with that?
Yeah, well done.
'Now for some fun and games. It's time to sell those Dinky Toys.'
-Boys and their toys.
-I'm just about to say BOYS and their toys cos...
-I'm not a boy.
I know! This is what I'm saying. Judy, what are you doing?
-It's boys and their toys!
-Yes, they were my husband's.
-They were your husband's, weren't they?
I tell you what, I know he was a bit of a collector
but I think these racing cars are worth a lot of money.
I know it's being punchy but I would have thought 200 quid. I don't know.
-It would be nice, wouldn't it?
-It would be lovely.
-Keep everything crossed!
-Right, OK. Here we go. Ready for this?
-Let's do it.
A collection of die-cast model cars and planes,
including six racing cars, no less. Can I start at £50? At £50 I've got.
The bid's on the book. 55, £60,
65, £70, 75, £80, 85.
£90, 95, £100, 105, 110, 120.
Your bid, I'm out.
130, 140, 150...
150, in the middle of the room.
160 down the alleyway. 170, 180,
-190, 200, 210...
-Now, I was hoping for...
..230, 240, 250,
270, I'm bid. At 270. 280, anyone?
Whoa! It's good. It's a good result.
-I love... That's the "Flog It!" face, isn't it?
-That was good, wasn't it?
-How much was it?
-The collectors do find these things
and they keep it to themselves.
-I can't believe it, I really can't.
'What a great result for Judy.'
Welcome back to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall,
which is based here in Falmouth.
-Can I have a cup of tea, please?
-You may indeed.
-Maddie, I think this is lovely.
-How long have you had it?
-About three or four years.
-Is that all?
-What possessed you to buy it or did you inherit it or...?
-Well, I went to an auction to have a look...
-As you do.
-As you do.
I went to a viewing
-and I happen to run a teashop in St Ives in Cornwall.
I do indeed, yeah. And I thought, "Wow."
Because it's a really quaint place, actually. It's a corner shop.
It looks like an old curiosity shop and I thought, "Well, just the job.
"Put it on the outside," albeit I don't sell Lyons Tea but, you know,
it's got that vintage look about it. But have you felt the weight of it?
-It's heavy, isn't it?
-And I thought to myself,
"Hang on a minute, it might pull the building down."
So it's been in my conservatory unfortunately ever since.
-Well, Lyons were an Irish company, weren't they...?
-I don't know.
..that set up making tea and of course
they opened their famous tearooms, didn't they?
-The Corner House?
-Which I used to go to with my mother when I was...
-Well, there you are!
-I would think this sign probably dates from the '20s.
What I think is lovely about this... This is an enamelled sign.
It is, isn't it?
Enamel signs are very difficult to preserve
because, through the years, you get farmers...
They get used for target practise for airguns,
-They get used for 101 different things...
-..and actually this has survived.
-Well, what I also know is...
Is this emblematic of being by royal appointment?
-It must be, mustn't it?
-And I think what's interesting here, the animals.
-Are they lions?
They've lost their gilding, which would have been really beautiful.
A little bit. There's still some there. But I wouldn't restore it.
I'd leave it just the way it is,
and I think at auction, if this came into my saleroom,
I'd estimate it at £60-£90.
-I'd put a fixed reserve on it at £50.
-Right, that's fine.
And if you have a really good day, it could make 150-200.
-That would be fabulous.
-So what did you pay for it?
-About the 50 mark.
-But of course with commission on top
it was probably getting on for 60.
-But, having said that,
I would be satisfied with that, absolutely.
So you're happy to get it in and thank you very much, thank you.
It's been great. Thank you, Philip, nice to meet you. Cheers.
'It certainly would look great outside or even inside a teashop.'
Well, there's something I must show you.
I've borrowed it from a private collection here in Falmouth
and I've got to wear white gloves because you cannot touch this,
but it's a wonderful example of Cornish craftsmanship.
Here we go.
It's a bit of Newlyn copper. Newlyn is just down the coastline
from Falmouth, and the whole thing was started by an artist
called John Drew MacKenzie, who came down to Cornwall in the late 1800s
with many other artists to paint and he was a very good painter.
Now, he struck up a friendship with a lot of fishermen
in Penzance and Newlyn, and he realised that in stormy weather
they couldn't take their boats out to catch food.
They could not fish, they couldn't put money on the table,
their families couldn't eat,
they got into drunken brawls and they misbehaved.
He wanted to do something about that.
He thought he could teach them to paint. Well, he couldn't.
He taught them a bit of woodwork, they didn't really take to that,
and then he found out that they were repairing their fishing vessels
with sheets of copper.
And then the idea took - applied metals, yes!
Let's hand-hammer some copper work, repousse,
make something and sell it.
They could then have a living in the bad weather
and this is a great example of a broad-rimmed charger.
As you can see, it's stylised. It's decorated with fish,
seaweed and bubbles. Typical of the Newlyn class.
John Drew MacKenzie died in 1914 and then a guy called John Pearson
took over and he taught many, many people.
But Philip Hodder was one of the key players right from the word go.
He was a great artisan and this is one of his pieces.
If you can see, it says here, inscribed on the back,
"Designed by John Drew MacKenzie, work by Philip Hodder,
"Newlyn Industrial Class, Newlyn, Cornwall, 1899"
scratched into the back with a price tag of 15 shillings.
Look at that. Isn't that absolutely stunning?
But it's not for sale.
If it was for sale, something like this with that kind of provenance,
you could expect to find
in an auction room for around £2,000-£3,000.
For our final item, Charles has found something
that has been brewing since the 18th century.
Dinah, I saw this outside hanging out your bag.
-It's a wonderful pot, isn't it?
-Tell me about it.
Well, it came through a friend that knew I collected teapots,
and I'm going back about 38 years,
and he was in contact with a couple who had bought an estate in Scotland.
And he was visiting them and this was in a kitchen cabinet
and he told them I collected teapots and they said, "Fine. That's fine."
-So he got it for me, really.
So, tell me, have you any ideas on the country of origin?
-No. I was told it was Japanese.
I've assumed it was Japanese.
-That's interesting because actually it's Chinese.
And it's what we call a high-fired porcelain,
which was made during the reign or period
of a man called Emperor Qianlong.
So, if you think Boston Tea Party, in terms of historical context,
think William Pitt the Younger,
and this pot would date to around 1775.
-What we look for is the condition. Is it in good condition?
I think so, yes. I've not seen anything wrong with it.
-There's one minor problem.
Just on the rim here of the spout, can you see, Dinah, just there?
-There's a very small chip.
-Yes, very small.
-Just on the edge,
and when it comes to this market for Chinese export market porcelains,
condition is so important and the minute chip will just knock value.
-I love it. What's it worth?
-I don't know. I haven't got a clue.
Yeah. I feel we would probably estimate it to fetch
-between £80 and £120.
-Is that all?
It might move a bit but I'd rather ignite it
and give it a send-off rather than be too pushy for what was,
back then, a very important handsome teapot.
-So, I would probably, at a push, put a reserve at £80.
Put it in between 80 and 120.
-Hopefully it will brew, warm up and reach boiling point.
Well, what a day it's been.
Rain and sunshine, typical Cornish weather,
but I tell you what, we have found some real gems,
and a big thank you to our host location today,
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
We're off to auction for the last time
and here's a quick recap of the items we're taking with us.
We're hoping this iron-mounted tea sign will bring in the buyers...
..while this Chinese teapot is certain to cause a stir.
We're back at the auction rooms in Lostwithiel
and all eyes are on our auctioneer, Ian Morris.
I love this next lot. It's from a bygone era - the tea sign.
Maddie's Lyons teashop sign. It's fantastic.
-Philip, you fell in love with this.
-Oh, I'd love to own it.
-It's a great thing.
-Yeah, it's nostalgic, isn't it?
It's just a cool thing.
And with a cup of tea, it's always nice to have a piece of cake.
-It certainly is, Paul.
-Now, what have you brought along today for us?
-Well, I've brought you a cake.
-Look at this!
I mean, it's not just any old cake - it is a "Flog It!" sponge cake!
-Look at that! With a hammer on it. A gavel.
-There you go.
I'm just hoping if I get it wrong, I don't get it in the face.
-Yes, exactly. Isn't that brilliant?
Thank you so much. That's really, really nice.
And let's see if we can get top dollar for this tea sign.
-Well, let's hope so.
-I hope it does really well.
I do as well, cos I know I'd like to own it and so would you
but we're not allowed to so let's hope it really does really well.
This is it.
The wartime mounted shop sign, "Lyon's Tea Sold Here."
-I've got two, four, five bids on the sheets, there.
My top - and they're all very close together - is £85.
At £85. 90 now. At £85, 90 and up.
I have £90 right at the back. I have £90. All my bids are out.
-Gosh, they were so close, all those bids.
-At £90, I'm selling. £95.
£100? £100. 110?
At 110 a bid, 120 and up...
-110, the hammer's gone down.
-Sold. That was quick, wasn't it?
-It was a cake sign.
There was a lot of people that wanted that for 80-odd pounds
-but we got 110.
'And it was so lovely of Maddie to bring us a cake
'but what goes with cake? Here's a clue.'
Right, now it's time for tea. No, don't rush to the kitchen
and put the kettle on because we're selling Dinah's Chinese teapot
made for the European market. I like this.
I particularly like the colour, it's my favourite chocolate-brown colour.
My wife would hate it but I would buy this. I like it a lot.
-I do, Paul. It's just full of Eastern promise.
-It's the size as well which makes it unusual.
So good luck with that.
80-120. It's got to go. It's definitely my cuppa.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
A cafe au lait glazed porcelain teapot.
I've got five bids on the books, five bids on the books,
and I'm going to start at £240.
250 down. At 250, 260, 270, 280?
280, 290, 300?
300. 300 over there. I'm out on the book. 320?
-It could be more.
-420? At £400 on one of the phones.
420 at the back, new bidder. 420, 440?
440 on the phone. 460?
-480, 500? 500. And 20?
520. 550? Thank you. 550. 580?
-I like this.
-I can't believe it.
At 600, in the room.
-I know. It's for the European market. I don't understand that.
680. 700? 720? 720.
750? 750. 780?
It's in the room, they're fighting it out in the room.
-780. 800? 820?
-820. 850? 850. 880?
-It's totally amazing.
-You can see why it's so hard to put a value
on an antique now. If two people really want something...
900 in the room, then.
-And all done, at £900, going...
-Hammer's gone down.
-That's what we call a great sale.
Charles, that was a come-and-buy-me estimate.
It was, Paul, and sometimes it's not the best way...
-..but it's a good way.
Well, what a way to end a show, as well.
That's the best way to end a show, with a big surprise like that.
I told you there'd be one. Thank you for watching.
We've totally enjoyed being here in Cornwall and I can't wait
to come back, but for now, from Lostwithiel,
it's goodbye from all of us.