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You could be forgiven for thinking we've just
hopped across the Channel to Paris, but in this case not.
We are in County Durham.
And we're just on the outskirts of a small market town called
Barnard Castle, and this is the magnificent Bowes Museum.
It is formidable. Welcome to "Flog It!".
This is a French chateaux built in the North of England
in the late 19th century.
And it houses outstanding collections of European fine
and decorative arts.
It was the brainchild of Josephine Bowes, a French actress
and artist who married John Bowes,
who was the illegitimate son of the tenth Earl of Strathmore.
Both were keen collectors, and John wished to bring new
dimensions into the lives of the people in his native County Durham.
And what a wonderful job they did.
Well, we've certainly got a healthy queue of people wanting to
make the most of the day here at the museum.
Hundreds have turned up, from all over County Durham and beyond,
laden with antiques and collectables,
here to see our experts, to ask that all-important question, which is...
-What's it worth?
-Stay tuned and you'll find out.
-Do you want to go inside, everyone? ALL:
-Yes! Come on, then.
And providing the answers to today's questions are our experts,
-Five gold rings.
-There's a song about that somewhere.
..and David Harper.
Handbags don't suit me, I've got to tell you.
I've tried them. Doesn't work.
While they all find their way through the museum to the picture
galleries, let's take a quick look at what's coming up.
Today, our experts have brought an international flavour with
items from India...
Well, I've got to say, that is
one of the most glamorous pieces of furniture I have seen.
This has been pierced and carved in the most exquisite way.
But I explore something a little closer to home,
the history of the music hall.
David Harper is in one of the picture galleries,
and has spotted a small masterpiece in silver.
Gina, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that you've brought me
-something so small when we've got these huge Canalettos behind us.
-But you work here.
-I do, I work in the shop here...
-..which is a great privilege.
-Tell us about it.
It's a piece that belonged to my mother.
I remember it for many, many years sitting in a cabinet.
It is a bit sad because, of course, it was made to be used,
and what for?
-Was it a cream jug?
-Yes, it is a miniature cream jug.
But it is so elegant and it is in, I know it is only small,
but it is in the right environment, isn't it?
-And of course it is silver, you know that.
-I do know that.
When this form of jug was designed,
drinking tea was an incredibly involved process, and very expensive.
In, I don't know, 1700, the average
teaspoon of tea equated
-to one week's wage for a servant girl, a maid.
-Very expensive stuff.
So the things that people used to take tea were often of very high
-quality, and made out of things like that.
-Like that. I see.
-How old is it, do you think?
-I've no idea.
I can date it by the hallmarks,
but of course the shape and the style tells you something as well.
So that form and shape dates to the mid 18th century.
So from ten feet away, you might think that's George II, 1750.
A couple of things start to tell you that it isn't.
One, the decoration, which is very 19th-century in its style.
A Georgian one would be incredibly plain, but it is so elegant
with the handle, feet, with the shell design, it is absolutely gorgeous.
But let's move on from the Georgian period.
Early part of the 20th century
we've got the Edwardian time, and it's a Georgian revival.
So in the Edwardian period, everybody loved anything Georgian.
-Oh, I see.
-So they started making, of course, reproductions.
Look at the dates. Can you see the lion side on?
-That tells you it is silver.
-We've got an anchor there, tells you it was made in Birmingham.
We've got "WD", which is William Davenport. He is the maker.
-And we've got the letter "D", which is 1903.
-So there you have it.
-It is fascinating.
-It is gorgeous.
Solid silver, George II, 1750 in design,
but made during the Edwardian Georgian revival period.
It is a beauty.
To make something like that now would cost you a few hundred pounds, it really would.
But in auction, that today... What would you guess?
-I think you are about right.
I think we would have to estimate it at 30 to 50. Sounds ridiculous.
It is too cheap. It really does.
Even to me, handling these things for 500 years I've been doing
-this, it still seems too cheap. But that's the market price.
-But would you be happy?
-Yes, let's go for it.
-It will get you...
-Have some fun with it.
-And you can go for a high tea somewhere really posh.
-The Bowes Museum.
-There you go. Perfect.
-And you'll get a staff discount.
-You can have two high teas.
That is not a lot of money for a real antique.
-Now for Elizabeth, and something magical.
You have a nice magic lantern,
and what looks to be a quite interesting collection of slides.
But what's the story behind them?
The story is that my mother passed away in January,
and we were entering the house and we found this in the loft.
Have you learnt a lot about it, or are you still...
-I found out that the lantern was made in Bradford...
..circa 1890 or something like that.
It's the slides that I couldn't find anything out about,
apart from it says on the box, "Canadian Pacific Railroad".
So is there a chance that your mother will have
inherited from her parents?
My dad picked it up on his travels somewhere.
Oh, right. Well, the fact it has been left in the loft means it has actually
survived in very good condition, so that is an advantage.
It has not travelled very far actually as a piece of equipment,
because it was made in Bradford by the Riley brothers.
Joseph Riley and his two sons, Herbert and Willie, they started
doing film shows for children's orphanage and national home...
And they put on entertainment for communities,
and obviously for the children at the orphanage as well,
so they could share these views of long distant lands back home
to people who wouldn't ever see them otherwise.
It was a good way of entertainment, a good way of education.
The slide would obviously sit in the carriage there.
And then the light would have been projected
-onto the wall at the...
-The far side.
-So simple, yet so effective.
-It's very simple, yes.
Oh, this is rather fun. Now this is... It is
somebody standing with their arms outstretched with sort of an
edifice of arches or architecture stretching out beyond them.
It looks like they're in water.
It looks like the hot springs somewhere near Banff.
Oh, yes, my goodness.
You see, for people who had never seen these distant lands,
this would have all been very, very...
I'm excited, so they would have thought it was amazing. Wonderful.
This model's been converted
from what originally would have been a little candle lantern.
A candle in here and there'd have been a chimney
to let all the fumes out.
It's later been converted to take an electric bulb, so it's usable.
Have you actually plugged it in and used it?
Yes, I've had it working at home
and I've been through some of the slides on the wall at home.
It works just as well now as well, I guess.
Yes, it works just as well now.
They're a fantastic window and collectors of history in different
formats would take this as a lot of resource material, which is great.
I think, for having waxed so lyrical about it, we have to be careful
and mindful that this type of lantern is not the rarest.
-So would you be happy to put £100 firm on?
-That all right?
-Put an estimate of 100, 150.
And we'll just see.
But, as I say, because there's so many strands of interest
and so many strands of collectable interest,
you may find that if you get the competition between people who
want this lot for different reasons, hopefully it will push the price up.
-Yeah. Fingers crossed.
Talking about collections, I have something rather special to show you.
The walls here of the picture galleries in the Bowes Museum
are literally plastered with paintings in the 19th-century style.
This is how you exhibited back in the 19th century, sort of high and low.
A lot of them are Spanish.
Now John and Josephine Bowes' art dealer friend actually persuaded them
to buy Spanish paintings somewhat against their own taste,
but luckily enough, they took his advice and they bought some.
One is a Goya, possibly the most famous Spanish artist,
and they also have an El Greco here, look - The Tears Of St Peter.
They picked this one up back in the 1800s for £400,
which was an absolute snip.
So, by investing all that time ago -
and thank goodness they listened to that art dealer -
they now have a collection which is so envied worldwide.
I think this is the greatest collection of Spanish paintings
anywhere in the UK
and it's all here at the Bowes Museum for us to enjoy.
So they listened to sound advice
and that's exactly what we're going to do right now
with our next item and our next expert.
And it is David Harper who is delighted with his find
which is rather different and comes from foreign climes.
Well, I've got to say, that is one of the most glamorous
pieces of furniture I have seen in a very long time.
Mr and Mrs Glam or what?
How is your house furnished?
-Not with that, no!
I think because it's quite ornate, which I do like.
I am a bit concerned about what it's made of.
-That does concern me a bit.
-OK. Is it displayed?
It was, but out of the way because it's quite intricate
and I'm a bit worried about getting it damaged.
-OK. What about you, David? Do you love it?
-I like it,
but it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the furniture
-in the house.
-OK. So it's been in the family for how long?
-40, 50 years.
Well, listen, it is definitely exotic. It's Anglo-Indian.
So it comes from the Indian sub-continent.
It was made from about 1880, so it was made for - undoubtedly -
British people living in India in the 19th century
absolutely at the height of the British Empire.
This thing was glamour personified.
Superb quality. The wood is rosewood, that's a real hardwood.
Bearing in mind how hard it is, just imagine how difficult it must have been
-to inlay in that marquetry decoration...
-A lot of work.
..using ebony and - do you know what the white material is?
-Well, we think it's ivory.
-It is. It's ivory.
Now, of course,
we're talking about a completely different time in history.
You know, this is elephant ivory, today it's totally not acceptable
and illegal in actual fact to work new ivory.
And the rules are pretty strict.
Erm, something has to have been made pre-1947 for it to be legal now.
-Anything after '47 is actually illegal to sell.
So this is well into the safe zone.
But, of course, because it is ivory, it does have an effect
because it's becoming less and less acceptable or...
Is that how you feel, Jeanette? Is that a problem for you?
It is a bit, yeah. It is a bit.
At this time, during the 19th century,
campaign furniture was very popular,
so that is anything that can be easily packed away and moved around.
-So it's flatpack?
-It's flatpack. That's what it is.
-Nothing new in this world. It's a flatpack.
So whether it was made to put into a ship and transport
back to the UK or whether it was made for those living in India
with a lot of money and those that would move into the hills
at the height of the summer to the coolness
and take some furniture with them.
-Dining tables, sideboards...
-A different world.
Oh, my gosh, all packed up, flatpacked
and bunged on the backs of elephants and camels. It's just amazing.
Erm, the condition - there are bits missing.
Bits of ebony and little bits of ivory.
-And, of course, the top comes off, doesn't it?
And the base folds flat.
-Shall we just demonstrate?
-Yeah, so that top...
Comes up. If you'd just fold that up.
Look at that. There you go.
Put a bit of bubble wrap, call your local carrier,
and off it goes anywhere in the world, yeah?
Pretty safely. Don't worry, we'll just put that on top like that.
So, in auction, you would have
to put it in at £200-300 as an estimate.
We can't keep it, so whatever it makes, it makes.
Shall we put a little bit of discretion on it?
-It might sell for 190 on a bad day.
-You're the expert.
-You can do wonders with 190 quid.
Yeah. It should do more.
Good, that's a lovely thing. Thank you very much.
-See you there.
I totally understand David's enthusiasm for that table.
It is a beauty.
Well, there you are.
Three items and three happy owners, all hoping that their antique
will go to record-busting levels way over what our experts predict.
That's what the saleroom's all about.
Anything can happen, you know that.
Sit back and enjoy this roller-coaster ride
as we put them to the test.
Here's a quick recap of everything that's going over to the saleroom.
First, something that punches above its weight in my mind -
the Georgian revival silver cream jug.
Elizabeth thinks the magic lantern could have wide appeal
in the saleroom.
But will it shine brightly enough for the bidders?
And last but not least, the highly glamorous flatpack -
the inlaid rosewood table.
We're heading west to the Lake District,
which is home to our saleroom - 1818 Auctioneers.
We have two auctioneers looking after us today,
Kevin Kendal and David Brookes.
The commission here is 20% including VAT.
And we're starting with a quality piece.
-Good luck, Gina.
We're just about to sell the wonderful little silver cream jug,
the Edwardian one. Why are you selling it?
I thought it might be more useful to have the money
and perhaps buy a silver photo frame.
-And put a nice photograph in it.
-Which would be more useful.
-Still a bit of silver though.
-Still a bit of silver. We'll see how we go.
It's very, very stylish, isn't it?
And being small, I think is often very lovely.
It's very delicate and a great starter piece.
For anybody's collection. And it's going under the hammer right now.
Small silver cream jug. Birmingham 1903.
Start me 40. Pretty jug.
-Come on, lad.
-£30? £30. Thank you, madam. £30 bid.
-There you go. Good.
32. 35. Come back to you.
38. 40. No? 40 in the room.
We're bidding now on the internet? I've 40 in the room.
-Yeah, there's another bid, look.
-Lady's bid at 42. 45.
60 in the room.
We're in the room here at £60.
-That gets you that silver photo frame.
-It does, it does!
I'm very pleased with that. Thank you both.
Well, thank you for bringing it in.
What a good start.
And now for some magical time travel.
Just think, Peter, before TV,
-it was all magic lanterns and slides.
-Really was a bygone era.
-A bit before my time.
Yeah, and mine, thank goodness!
In fact, it would have been a wonderful event.
You drew the curtains, Dad got out the projector
and all of a sudden you were transformed into another world.
-OK, let's put the value to the test.
It's going under the hammer right now.
A magic lantern here.
I've got bids. They're a bit low, but it's a start.
I'm going to start the bidding with me at £40.
£40 bid. 45.
50. Five. 60. Five.
70. Five. 80. Five.
95 only. 95, bid's on my right.
I'm going to sell at 95. 100 now.
-Peter, it looks like they're going to a very serious collector.
160. 170. 170.
170, all done this time, then?
We're all done at 170?
-Yes, done it.
-Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. Well done.
OK. Thank you very much.
We are on a roll. Let's see if our next item can do as well.
Going under the hammer right now,
we have a table belonging to Jeanette and David.
Sadly, they cannot be with us today,
-but we do have our expert David and we have that lovely table.
The wonderful inlay on it - it's beautiful. Great quality.
-It's quite an acquired taste.
You can picture it in a lovely London apartment room
where it is going to look a fortune!
-We're trying to sell it here.
-I know, I know.
You're making me slightly nervous that it might not go.
Sitting alongside provincial furniture.
Anyway, let's give it a bash. Here we go.
It's going under the hammer now.
Early 20th-century Anglo-Indian occasional table.
I'm going to have to start the bidding with me at £230.
Looking for 240. At 240.
-It's a nice piece, isn't it?
-260, we've jumped to.
All commissions are out. 280 on the phone.
-320. I've 340 on the internet there.
360. 380 on the internet.
400 on the phone.
450, we've jumped to on the internet.
500 on the phone.
550 on the internet.
-600 on the phone.
-This is more like it.
-On the phone at £600.
-They're going to be very, very pleased with this.
Yeah. It's gorgeous.
700 we've jumped to.
At 7... Oh, 750.
Have we got 800 on the phone?
-800 on the phone.
On the phone at £800.
£800 sold. That's a great result and a lovely thing to find up here.
-Well done you, David.
-Thank you. Marvellous.
What a result! And that makes three in a row.
Well, there you are, that concludes our first visit to the auction today.
We are coming back here later on in the programme,
hopefully for one or two big surprises,
but right now, we're in for a real treat.
Get your dancing shoes on - we're off to Leeds for a bit of a singsong.
good evening, ladies and gentlemen!
That was the cry of Leonard Sachs,
the chairman of the very popular BBC variety show The Good Old Days,
which was broadcast from Leeds,
here at the 150-year-old Leeds City Varieties,
the oldest music hall in the country and it's located up this
rather unassuming narrow lane, as you can see.
In fact, here we are now.
The Good Old Days was first broadcast in 1953
and it ran for an incredible 30 years,
and it was responsible for making household names
out of entertainers like Morecambe and Wise and Ken Dodd.
This was invented by a man in America,
a little baldy-headed fellow called Kodak,
and he has invented this!
Could I have...? I want you to watch the birdie here.
The long-running show celebrated Britain's rich history of music-hall
entertainment, which spanned the mid-19th and 20th centuries.
The format was simple -
popular entertainers would perform shows from the period,
while the audience dressed up in traditional Edwardian costumes.
And it all happened in here.
Gosh, this theatre is absolutely breathtaking.
The moment you walk into the auditorium, and you notice all
the fixtures and fittings, you heart starts to beat faster.
The excitement levels rise and you see this gilt, deep burgundy
and lush fabrics on the seats.
This is real history. Time has stood still.
But, of course, Leeds City Varieties isn't just famous for staging
the BBC's The Good Old Days.
Acts such as a young Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini and Marie Lloyd,
the greatest music star of the day,
all performed here on this very stage at the turn of the 19th century.
# And suppose it makes you fat
# I don't worry over that
# For a little of what you fancy does you good. #
You can just imagine the atmosphere with a sea of faces all so close
looking at you, cheering, heckling and joining in, bold and boisterous.
But to be fair,
the noise wasn't always down to the on-stage entertainment.
Before the Leeds City Varieties became a music hall in 1865,
it actually started life as a pub, The White Swan,
or the Mucky Duck as the locals at the time affectionately named it.
Even as far back as 1766,
the premises had a singing room at the back of the pub,
which is now the stage of the City Varieties.
The music halls differed from the more traditional theatres,
in that beer was allowed to be sold and drunk on the premises.
That probably accounted for the rowdiness
of the variety hall audiences,
because drinking paid such a huge part
in the appeal of the music halls in this country.
Owners sometimes paid closer attention to the amount of beer
they could sell rather than the quality of the entertainment.
Someone who has appeared on this stage with The Good Old Days
is the president of the British Music Hall Society, Roy Hudd.
Give us a flavour of the atmosphere of the music hall
when it was in its heyday.
Well, it was very much a working-class show.
And in the early days, of course, it was always based on booze.
Now, they found out - the publicans -
after doing this for about 100 years, they suddenly realised
that when certain customers said, "We're coming in on Wednesday,"
more people came in because they knew that those customers
would sing something.
So they started to draw people in.
And so they started to pay the amateur singers
and that was how the whole business of music hall really started.
And eventually it became so popular,
these particular singsong nights,
that they started to build special buildings on the side of the pubs
to accommodate the huge crowds that used to turn up.
They called them halls of music, music halls.
And that's it? As simple as that.
But the chairman was always very much in evidence
in those early days, rather like Leonard Sachs did here.
-And the chairman was usually the bloke who owned the pub.
-And he booked the talent?
-He booked the talent.
He knew exactly who his customers wanted to see.
And he'd sort of control it.
And the role of the chairman, when he used to bang his mallet
and shout out "Order, order!"
People think he did the same job as the Speaker in the House of Commons.
-Trying to control a drunken mob!
Not quite, because the original shout of "Order, order,"
was to instruct the audience to order another round of drinks.
And if they didn't, he wouldn't put the next turn on,
so it was "Come on, order, order, and I'll put him on.
-"Order now! All of you."
-Do you know, I never knew that.
There you are, you see? There's a lot of things you don't know, Paul!
Sadly, developments in film and radio
brought the curtain down on music hall entertainment.
Luckily though, for the Leeds City Varieties,
the BBC's decision to bring The Good Old Days here gave the theatre
a new lease of life.
Again, Roy Hud, who frequently appeared on The Good Old Days.
So let's talk about The Good Old Days for you.
The Good Old Days for television - it was fantastic.
-Over 30 years it ran.
And was that a good break for you?
It was a terrific break for so many people,
because for the first time ever,
you were presented in a proper way to an audience
-that wanted to be entertained.
You know, and you wanted to do it,
cos this atmosphere is fantastic and on that stage,
to get out there and work at that audience, packed to the roof
and they all wanted to laugh!
First of all, I must say how wonderful it is, folks,
to be back here in Leeds again.
The Miami of Yorkshire.
Was there extra pressure because this was being filmed
-and it was going out to an audience of sort of 12-18 million?
That was the turning point for you?
It wasn't the turning point, but, my God, it did me a lot of good!
Cos everybody saw The Good Old Days and so I got nice summer seasons
and nice pantos and everything, purely just by appearing on there.
Les Dawson, Ken Dodd, Ray Allen and Lord Charles...
-I watched it with my mum and dad religiously.
-There you are.
They were in love with it.
-It was the first time I came across Danny La Rue.
Danny, one of his first shows was here.
# Oh, what a beauty
# Never seen one as big as that before
# Oh, what a beauty
# It must be two foot long or maybe more
# It's such a lovely colour, nice and round and fat
# I've never seen a marrow quite as big as that
# Oh, what a beauty
# Never seen one as big as that before... #
-And you're still playing them?
You've got your own chair here, haven't you?
Well, I have indeed, yeah. I'm not sitting in it.
I think they've removed it after my last act.
# Everybody knows me by the end of me old cigar
# Oh, the end of me old cigar
# Ta-ra, ta-ra, ta-ra
# Everybody knows me by the end of me old cigar. #
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Although the variety circuit that's powered the music halls
is long gone, it is still with us in some variation on our tellies now,
with shows like Britain's Got Talent.
And as for the Leeds City Varieties itself, well,
after a recent refurbishment, this place has never looked so good
and it will continue to be the country's oldest music hall.
Back at the Bowes Museum, there is still plenty of action going on
at the valuation tables in the picture galleries
where Elizabeth Talbot is continuing the musical theme.
Ian, I love this box you brought in today.
Lovely, Victorian rosewood box.
What can you tell me about this wonderful box?
Well, I inherited it from my late mother.
As far as I'm aware, it's been in the family since 1850, 1860 time.
Right, that would tally very much with the style of it.
And if we look inside, we can see why it is so significant.
Look at this.
So, this is a beautiful, beautiful Victorian music box,
Swiss in origin. How's it come to you through your life?
Do you always remember it being part of the family?
-Well, we are a very musical family that I come from and...
-So we did use this a lot.
-Are you looking to sell it?
-Because it's passed down the family and you're musical...?
This has been under the bed for a few years now,
because I was frightened if it's outside, it got knocked
or stained or something because it is in good working order.
So I decided that I would sell it.
I'm delighted to see it so thank you for bringing it in.
This is what's called a comb and cylinder movement
for obvious reasons. As it revolves, it plucks the teeth on the comb.
A lot of people have found that their teeth have dropped out.
The teeth on the comb have dropped out through metal fatigue
-and overuse so this is just in lovely, lovely condition.
The other thing which is also rather nice is that
it is such a long cylinder so therefore it has the capacity
to play as many as 12 airs which is a good number.
-Again, the smaller ones tend to play only perhaps three or four.
And for a collector of musical boxes,
the more music you can play on a cylinder the better.
The more elaborate the tunes are the better.
-It's a ratchet wind one?
-It's not a key wind, it's a ratchet.
-No, it's a ratchet.
-There's the ratchet.
-Yep. If you want to play right through,
-you've got to wind it up probably a dozen times at least.
-So if you pull it a few times, then we'll have a listen.
MUSIC BOX PLAYS
That is really lovely, isn't it?
That is so mellow and rich
and the fact that's the same music that was being heard
by your ancestors decades and decades and decades ago...
-150 years ago, probably.
It really links the generations.
It's a magical piece and I think it has
so many qualities about it which is lovely.
Having said that, we can find no name on it
so I can't attribute it to any particular manufacturer,
if it were one of major manufacturers of the 19th century,
we could get a bit more excited about it.
But I'd like to think it would fetch in the region of about
£180 to £250, something like that.
-Would that appeal to you?
You'd be happy to sell it? We can put a reserve on it obviously
so that it's, you're comfortable that it's going to be looked after.
-..or something like that, yes.
So if we put £150 firm and then we'll have one final farewell tune
and then it's off to a new home. Yeah.
-Thank you for bringing it in, it's lovely.
MUSIC BOX PLAYS
That is a splendid musical box but right now I'm going to show you
a mechanical music player that will simply take your breath away.
Every day in the museum, there's a special event that takes place
just after lunch, in fact, two o'clock to be precise,
where quite a crowd gather and we've got a healthy one here today to watch
the automation of the Silver Swan.
This was made by the silver smith James Cox of London
in the early part of the 1770s.
There's 30lbs of sterling silver here and it cost a great deal of money.
It was exhibited in the Paris show in 1867 at a cost of £2,000
and the Bowes picked this up for a real bargain.
Two years later, they bought it in Paris for £200.
So, there you go.
But right now Mike is coming to wind it up
and it is now fastly approaching a few seconds to two o'clock.
Here we go. Enjoy this.
MUSIC BOX PLAYS
What an exquisite piece of engineering.
Now, while the valuations continue in the blue gallery,
David has found a quiet spot to examine some artwork
that is close to his heart.
Now, Alison, I know this scene very well indeed. Are you a local girl?
-Yes, yes, Barnard Castle.
So, Alison, tell me about the background, where did it come from?
It came from my great aunt. It was inherited from her.
-Otherwise I know nothing else about it.
-Was she a Barnard Castle lady?
Yes, she came from just outside Cotherstone.
OK, so we recognise these landmarks of Barnard Castle.
There is the famous Butter Market, that octagonal shape building
-which actually is a roundabout...
And I see it every day, ten times.
-And then we've got this building here which is now gone.
Demolished a long time ago and I recognise all of these
-and they haven't changed, have they?
We've got a little furnishing shop here, we've got a cafe,
my friend's antiques shop's there
and then we've got the estate agents and my office is just out of sight.
It's about there
and so that's where I spend my time
when I'm in Barney, as we call it. It's a lovely thing.
-Little etching so it's effectively a print.
By someone called Florence Bell. What's the connection?
-Is there a connection?
-I don't know who she is,
whether she was connected to my great aunt or not, I don't know.
All I do know is that my great aunt valued it
very much from a sentimental point of view.
-So this was quite important to her though?
How old was she? Cos I'm just trying to date the scene here.
She was 96 when she died in 1989.
So she would remember Barnard Castle just like this
with the market going down the bank here, the road called The Bank.
-I mean, today this is full of traffic.
Florence Bell herself doesn't necessarily crop up
-as a well-known artist...
..but I have had prints by her over the years
and my previous research came up that Florence Bell
is buried in Barnard Castle.
Oh, lovely. Oh, I didn't know.
I had no idea.
There is a Florence Bell and it seemed to tie in.
-Well, that's the first time I've heard anything about her.
Well, I mean, you can go and see... I mean, it may well be her.
-Florence Eva Bell.
-So they probably knew each other.
Yes, well, she was 96 when she died, my great aunt, so, yes,
they probably did. She could've been a friend, yes.
Are you thinking that you don't have room for it now?
Well, just sell it to raise money for a charity I support.
-Right. Oh, that's sweet of you.
Now, are you hoping for very much because...?
No, I don't think it would raise a terrific amount.
No, I don't think it is. I mean, as much as we love it
and you can really appreciate its beauty and its sentimental value,
in the cold, hard auction market, it's probably £30-£50.
Yes, yes, uh-huh.
It's not much so I think that would be sensible, 30-50,
with a little bit of discretion. How do you feel about that?
-Yes, that's fine. Every little counts.
And a quick jump over the Pennines and a day in the lakes, how's that?
-Sounds like a great day out.
-OK, let's do it.
-We'll see you there.
-OK, thank you very much. Thank you.
It usually helps to have some local knowledge
but Elizabeth will have to go much further afield to find her next item.
Paddi, you have brought some exquisite, exquisite shells
to show me today. Tell me what you know about them.
Well, my grandfather was a sailor,
-he was in the Royal Navy...
..and he travelled widely in Japan.
I remember him talking about the South China Sea,
-isn't that romantic?
-It is, it sounds stunning. Yeah, it does.
We think these might have come from the Polynesian Islands,
somewhere in that sort of area.
I mean, it's lovely that you had that relationship with him
-and he could tell you stories so you've got...
-I wish I'd listened.
Well, we're all the same when we're little.
He had so many stories to tell and I just didn't listen at all
and now I regret it so much.
Why have you brought them today?
Well, my daughters, they have their own style of decor,
they're not particularly interested in them now.
I suppose it's not as easy for them because if they don't have
personal contact with the person who brought them back,
-it's perhaps slightly devoid of that link.
-That's right, yes.
We have two here, we have two abalone shells
and we have a nautilus shell here.
Now, nautilus shells like this which are in themselves
very, very fragile.
Once they... I mean, this has been pierced and carved
in the most exquisite way and I have seen them
where they've been used in that format
with a little bulb inside and used as a little lampshade.
It does work very effectively!
But nonetheless, this is just beautiful.
The workmanship is stunning so that's the nautilus shell.
But it's the abalone shells which I'm particularly drawn by.
-Now, we normally see abalone shell in that format.
It's often referred to as mother-of-pearl,
it's used for inlay in furniture,
it's used for decoration in jewellery,
very occasionally do you find it where the craftsman
has actually turned his attention to the shell
and like carving a cameo shell brooch
where they carve away layers of the shell to form
a three-dimensional, raised pattern,
this is what's happened here. It's very much a cameo format.
We have this little montage of two figures travelling out
through the jungle on a hunting expedition.
So they're there, the master with his nice feathered headdress
and his assistant here coming up behind and then this shows them
having had a successful hunt
and the master with his feathered headdress is there standing
with his feet either side of a boar who they've managed to entrap.
So, they were made for the Victorian traveller,
the Victorian tourist, very much for the Western market.
There is no doubt that there's a little bit of damage,
particularly on this one.
It's bound to have a little bit of an effect
but I don't want to be too negative on that.
I think the figure I have in mind though for the three
is probably in the region of about £150 to £200 for the three together.
I would keep them together.
-I wouldn't split them down, you'd keep them as a little lot.
And would you be happy to sell them for that sort of figure?
-You would? You would?
-How about we put on a reserve of, say, 120 fixed?
-You sound hesitant.
-If you'd rather...?
-No, no. No.
But hopefully that will still leave margin for a bit of competition,
-they might do a little bit more than that.
Thank you so much for bringing them in. They are a delight,
they are really lovely.
Well, I quite like them myself now.
I've talked them up too much!
I love those shells, they are absolutely beautiful things.
Well, there you are, you've just seen them.
Our experts have made their final choice of items to take off
to the saleroom which means, sadly,
we have to say goodbye to the Bowes Museum,
surrounded by wonderful art and antiques all day long.
Hopefully we'll make some history of our own today
but let's say goodbye to all our people as well
and thank you so much for turning up.
Well, we wouldn't have a show without that lot, would we?
But right now we've got some business to do in the saleroom.
Let's put those valuations to the test
and here's a quick recap of what's going under the hammer.
Ian's musical box is in excellent condition
and plays a number of tunes, all of which should appeal to the bidders.
The etching of Barnard Castle shows a local scene
but will they like it in Cumbria?
These shells from the other side of the world are spectacular.
I think they should be in the hands of a new owner very soon.
We're back at the auction rooms and the atmosphere is building
and auctioneer David Brookes is selling our first lot.
I love this next lot because I'm a bit of a shell collector.
-Paddi, do you know what they call shell collectors? Conchologists.
From the conch shell. Conchology.
-Oh, yes, I didn't know that.
And you've got a nice nautilus shell there, the iridescent one.
Good thing is they've been in the cabinet
-because that nautilus shell is very brittle.
And they are worth absolutely nothing
if you haven't got the right edges that nature has formed around them.
We did... I priced them reflecting of the condition
which I hope was fair to... People have got to start somewhere.
-They've got to start somewhere.
-If they're going to collect.
And the nautilus one there, good decorative lot.
May we ask 200, please? £200 for the three shells. 200.
Start me at £100, then.
£100 bid, I'm bid. 110.
Are you bidding? 120.
Commissions are out. It's 120 now on the internet. 120 on the internet.
Any further interest? At £120 on the internet and going.
-It was quick, wasn't it?
-That's very good.
-Yeah, well, it was OK.
-We're happy, we're happy. It was OK.
-Are you happy?
-Oh, yes, of course.
-And it's a day out on "Flog It!", wasn't it?
Well, good for Paddi, she sold her seashells.
Let's see how the etching goes.
-Well, fingers crossed, Alison. You don't need it, David.
Not a lot of money riding on it
but I'd like to think we'd get more for this etching by Florence Bell.
-Why are you selling it?
-It's to raise some money for a local charity.
Fingers crossed we get lots and lots of money. Every penny helps. OK?
-Ready for this?
-Here we go.
-Raring to go, aren't we?
The 19th century etching - Florence Bell.
-It's Barnard Castle, showing the detail there.
£50 for this, please. 50.
Start me 30. Start me 20 then, please.
-Thank you, sir.
£20 bid in the room.
22. Can I see you?
Yep? 30, sir?
-That's a bit of keen bidding.
32? 32. 35.
-Go on. Go on!
No? You're thinking about it? Be sure.
At £40 in the room there. Your bid, sir, at £40.
-Well done, spot-on. It's gone.
And all the money is going to the charity.
Yes, that's very kind.
-They've waived the commission, very kind.
Yes, that's lovely.
I'm so pleased it went at the top of the estimate
and now we end on a musical note.
Well, so far so good.
Right now it's time to make some music here in the saleroom
-with Ian's musical box and there's 12 airs to choose from.
-This has been in the family a long time.
-My great grandmother.
What about the next generation? Didn't they want to own it?
I think she would prefer money.
It's kind of a hard thing to inherit, I must admit. I'd like to see
-a surprise on this one...
-That would be nice!
-..cos there are
-a lot of collectors out there, aren't there?
-I hope so.
-Fingers crossed, OK?
-Anything can happen, let's hit the high notes.
Here we go.
It's Swiss and I believe it's an Ami Rivenc.
Ooh, we have a maker's name. That might add value.
Start bidding with me at £100 exactly. With me at 100.
Looking for 110. 120.
130. 140. 150.
Commissions are out. 150 in the room.
160 on the internet I can see.
170 in the room. Gets you on the net. 180. 190.
Someone's fighting against someone on the net.
190 in the room. 200. 220.
-This is more like it.
-We'll get a little surprise, maybe.
360. 380. 400.
Ian's happy and we haven't finished.
Any further interest at 400 on the internet and selling?
-Is that a bid just in time?
-Yes, late bid.
..to take on the phone.
Give you chance on the internet. It's 420 on the phone now.
-420 on the phone. Going...
-Hammer's going down, ready for this, Ian?
That's a nice, big hammer sound, isn't it? "Boof!"
£420 for you, that's more like it.
-The family will be happy with that, won't they?
-To my daughter, yes.
-What's your daughter's name?
-Well, hopefully you'll treat yourself and the wife, OK?
Well, there you are, that's it,
another day in another saleroom for "Flog It!"
and some happy owners, all credit to our experts
and our auctioneers on the rostrum - they did us proud.
If you've got anything you want to flog, well,
we want to sell it for you. Bring it along to one of our valuation days.
But, for now, it's goodbye from all of us.