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Today, we're at Norwich Cathedral, in Norfolk, where our crowds
have gathered in one of the largest monastic cloisters in Britain.
We'll be finding out about the many ingenious ways that medieval
monks used this incredible space to demonstrate their power
to the people of Norfolk.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Today, we are holding our valuations at Norwich Cathedral,
one of the most intact Norman buildings in Europe.
Completed in the 12th century,
this soaring edifice stood as a reminder to everyone that the
Benedictine monks who lived here for 500 years held sway over
the churches and the agricultural lands for miles around.
Even these cloisters, where they quietly worked,
were designed to send out a strong message - do not disturb.
we are not so harsh here on "Flog It!"
And today, all are welcome at the cathedral.
So as this great crowd of people
laden with antiques and collectibles
follow in the footsteps of the monks,
they are here to see our experts.
And there is only one question on their minds, which is...
-What is it worth?
Stay tuned and you'll find out.
It looks like our experts are praying for perfection today.
Ever elegantly attired, Thomas Plant is interested in the dress code.
Look. Breeches, knickers, leggings.
Look at that. Look at her there.
And David Fletcher has found just the thing.
Let's put a sticker on you. There you go.
And you wear it not like that.
I love a good fez.
And not like that, either.
But just like that.
And as everyone heads inside, here is what is on the show today.
David has got a bird in the hand.
It is beautiful quality.
And has his hands full.
It sits there, slightly cheeky little look on its face,
a bit like you if I might say so.
There are sketches that get everyone's heart fluttering.
And I visit a stately home that has remained untouched
for over 250 years.
The owner here portrayed himself as a Roman emperor, but in fact,
he was Britain's first Prime Minister.
And I will be finding out all about this great man later on in the show.
Well, the crowds are now safely seated inside the cathedral.
And I must say, look at this for a magnificent turnout.
But there is something I want to point out,
and it is a modern piece of sculpture.
And it is right above the crowd, suspended there.
It is a sculpture in willow
by two artists and some local students.
It is their interpretation of what would have been
suspended in this position during medieval times.
On High Holy Days,
the monks wanted to make a big impact on the congregation,
so they swung a massive angel in this spot, gilded in silver
and trailing incense to imbue worshipers with God's spirit,
which is why it was called a censing angel.
Its other purpose was to stifle the odours of the congregation,
because let's face it, back then,
most people only had a wash once a week, if they were lucky.
Anyway, thank goodness times have changed, haven't they?
We are all wonderfully perfumed today.
Let's now catch up with our experts and see who's first at the tables.
And it looks like Thomas is in fine fettle today
with a couple of ink drawings brought in by Ian
and Jackie from the hand of wildlife artist Arthur Wardle.
So, Ian and Jackie, how have you come by them?
I like pen and ink drawings and I've been collecting them.
At the time I bought these, which was about four years ago...
A couple of years ago, I suffered a bit of damage to my lounge/diner,
which means I had to remodel.
And my lifestyle grew.
-I thought it was a good time to brighten the place up.
-So Jackie is a recent addition to your life?
-Two years we have been together.
And you don't like black and white?
-I just think they look a bit dull, actually.
His place just looks so cluttered with all this old stuff.
I did have in my hall and landing as well, between the two areas, 55.
-I am now down to nine, so...
OK, well, that is quite good of you. Well done, you.
-Well, sacrifice, you know. One has to.
-Sacrifice, yeah. Absolutely.
You said you bought them four or five years ago.
And you think they are OK?
I do. I think they are excellent.
I mean, he was known for doing his exotic birds,
and here we have an exotic bird in pen and ink.
And the pelicans as well, which are sort of pseudo-exotic.
-We are looking at an early-20th-century artist.
And these would have been drawn in the 1930s, I would have thought.
-At the height of his sort of career.
But he did exhibit at the Royal Academy very young.
-He exhibited at the age of 16.
Which is an extraordinary talent.
So there is definitely a decent hand here to be seen.
I mean, what did you initially like about them?
I like the simplicity of etchings, the black and ink sketches.
-I can understand the line and form.
It gives it a simplicity, a cleanliness.
It is quite masculine to like that.
-Hence when you met Jackie...
-And what have you put in place?
-Different coloured decor.
I love colour. That is why I don't like this stuff.
I love colour.
There's a lot of grey.
-Yes. Not 50 shades of...
-That is enough of that.
That is enough of that. We don't want any more of that!
Do you mind me asking how much you paid for them?
I think it was about £100 for the pair.
-£100 for the pair.
-I think around about that.
Well, I think you've done jolly well.
I believe that if you estimate them at 150, 200 for the pair,
hopefully, you're going to get your money back.
-Well, that would be good.
-It has been a pleasure to meet you two.
A pleasure meeting you.
And we look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
Jackie might call them dull,
but I think someone will appreciate these lovely sketches.
Now, David has found a bird of a very different feather.
Now, you are wearing an owl brooch.
How old long have you owned this brooch?
Well, my cousin gave it to me about seven, eight years ago.
What happened, when her mum died, my aunt, she gave me this tin.
So I took the tin home, put it on the shelf
-and left it for about just over a month or more.
Opened the tin, turned the jewellery out, and that man had been there.
-Out popped this owl, yeah.
-She didn't even know that was in there.
-No. So it was a bit of a windfall, really.
-That was, yes. Yeah.
Let's have a close look at this.
Now, what we have is a 14-carat gold Continental brooch.
It would be better if it were English,
in which case it would be 18-carat or probably 22.
But it is very nice anyway. It has tiger's-eye eyes.
Now, the tiger's eye is a semiprecious stone, which has
a sort of three-dimensional quality.
If you were to shine a light into it and just to move around the
gemstone, it has the effect almost of following you around.
-If we were to melt this, it would melt at about £200.
But it is worth a bit more than its melt value,
mainly because people collect anything to do with owls.
People collect owls because owls signify wisdom.
Apart from that, they have a sort of stateliness, don't they?
-Have you ever seen a barn owl in flight?
-..wonderful birds, really.
So people get quite sentimental about them as creatures.
I think it is lovely. It is beautiful quality.
It sits there, slightly cheeky little look on its face,
-a bit like you, if I may say so.
And, you know, people are going to like that.
People are going to fall in love with it, I think.
So if we were to estimate it at £200 to £300,
put a reserve of £200 on it...
-Would that be all right by you?
And what can I say, really,
except that it has been a pleasure meeting you.
And a pleasure meeting you.
-You made us all laugh.
So it has been good fun
and let's hope we have even more fun at the sale.
-Yes, lovely, thank you very much.
-I'll see you there, Vicky.
Yeah, thank you.
Let's see if wise old David is right about the owl valuation
when it goes under the hammer.
As our experts keep busy, time to find out about another
extraordinary feature of the cathedral.
Covering the ceiling here are 1,000 wooden carvings, known as bosses.
Often found in churches,
they were used to decorate the intersections of the vaulted roof.
But these medieval ones are particularly special,
as the Vice-Dean of Norwich, Jeremy Haselock, can tell us.
They are a long way up and I know we can't see them
clearly from down here, but I know they depict Biblical scenes.
Can you tell me more about them?
Yeah, well, you start at one end with the act of Creation,
God creating Heaven and Earth.
Then they work through the creation of the animals, Adam and Eve,
the story of Adam and Eve.
We get Noah and the flood. We get Moses and the Pharaoh.
And then it goes right the way through to the Last Judgment.
So, in other words, it is the beginning and the end.
-It's the story.
-The whole story.
-It is the complete story.
I know they are incredibly decorative,
-but they do have a function and a purpose, don't they?
Well, a lot of people would like you to
believe that they are there as a poor man's Bible.
In other words, nobody could read, so they would see these images.
But they'd have to have pretty good eyesight to really pick out
the details there.
I know, let's see,
the people that carved these would have had a bit of artistic licence.
Would it reflect anything to do with Norwich itself?
Well, if you look at the one of Pharaoh
and his chariots being overturned in the Red Sea...
It is very graphic. The sea is red, literally.
But what you see for Pharaoh's chariot is not what we see
in Ben Hur or anything like that.
What you have actually got is a Norfolk farm cart.
-So it is what they knew.
The Last Supper, you know, the bread there that is on the table is
a sort of loaf that you'd find in a 15th-century Norwich home.
-It is full of homely touches like that.
-Very nice, though. Very nice. Thank you for talking to me.
-Not at all.
From the celestial heavens of the Benedictine monks to something
that reflects the power and the influence of a very different order.
-Well, Rob and Sal, thank you for coming.
You have brought along a Masonic watch in the form of a triangle.
Tell me, who owns it?
It was my grandfather's. He used to spend a lot of time in the Masons.
He died when I was six,
so I didn't really know him that well. My father didn't
carry on being in the Masons, so we have kept it in the family.
But it always seemed quite an interesting watch.
They are fascinating. Have you worn it?
Have you worn it as a piece of jewellery?
No. And it is so beautiful.
-It is quite heavy as well, it's quite big.
And this watch comes from the early 20th century.
It is in nine-carat gold.
And it has got what I think is one of my favourite materials.
It is mother of pearl.
And on the dial, you have the symbols of the Masonic world -
the Masonic gavel,
the compass and square,
the skull and crossbones,
the all-seeing eye,
and it has this wonderful quote on the base here.
"Love your fellow man, lend him a helping hand."
-Have you ever read that on there?
-Wouldn't that be nice if everybody did that?
-It would be.
It would be really good, wouldn't it?
And was it given as an award or was it just a bit of jewellery?
It's not... Now, it is not given as a medallion.
So it is not a medallion.
-You're not a medallion man.
-It is not a jewel. It is not a jewel, no.
It would be a working watch. It is a status symbol.
Why are you selling it?
I haven't been a Mason.
My father is not a Mason. We haven't got a Mason in our...
In your blood, so to speak.
In our blood, so to speak, so it is just a piece that we have had.
And just wanted to use the money for something that we can enjoy.
So, the valuation, what's it worth?
I'm going to be quite bullish and say £1,000.
-I think you estimate 1,000 to 1,500.
Where do you place the reserve?
I think you place the reserve roundabout the £900 mark.
-If you're happy with that, we will go for it.
-OK, great. Thank you.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
But don't go spending all the money.
I'm not sure, Thomas, it sounds as if Sal has her own plans.
Well, we have now found our first three items to take off to
auction, so fingers crossed there could be one or two big surprises.
Before that, I just want to show you another example of the symbolism
used by the clergy to show off their power.
Here, we have a modern design for the bishop. It is a wonderful chair.
But it is what it sits on. That is quite fascinating.
There's two really heavy stones there, believed to have been
from the bishop's throne dating back to the 11th century.
But it is what is beneath them that fascinates me.
Now, here we are below the bishop's chair.
Now, this is where the holy relics would have been placed.
And believe it or not, this is a chimney.
Incense would have been burned here
and the smoke would have filtered up through those vents...
There is one there which you can see.
..rising around the bishop's feet.
Can you imagine what sort of impression that would have
made on such an early congregation?
Here we have a man inspired by the holy relic below. Wow.
Anyway, right now it is time for us
to get inspired as we go off to auction.
Fingers crossed we have those great results.
Here's a quick recap of what is going under the hammer.
There are Ian and Jackie's
black-and-white sketches of
exotic birds by Arthur Wardle
that Jackie hopes to replace with
something more colourful.
The collectors should be delighted to
get their claws into
Vicky's gold owl brooch.
And Sal and Rob have high hopes
for the Masonic watch
belonging to his grandfather
when it goes under the hammer.
The power of the monks at Norwich Cathedral
extended to churches right across Norfolk, including those in Diss,
where our sale is today.
Of the 1,000 churches built in the county,
an amazing 659 have survived,
giving Norfolk the greatest concentration of medieval
places of worship in the world.
So we have come to TW Gaze in Diss to see
if our experts' valuations
will wield some influence in the saleroom.
On the rostrum today are two auctioneers - Ed Smith
and Robert Kinsella.
And here, they have set the commission at 15% including VAT.
The first lot to go under the hammer is Ian's pair of simple ink
bird sketches by highly respected wildlife artist Arthur Wardle.
I have a feeling, Ian, that with the restyling that is going on
-in your house, this wasn't to Jackie's taste.
-Not entirely, no.
-Too dull. Arthur Wardle, too dull?!
Well... OK, they are ink studies. OK? Pelicans and exotic birds.
But he specialised in animals, that was his genre.
-And I think he is a cracking artist.
-I really do.
Let's just hope there's bird lovers here.
I think there should be a few twitches.
We are going to find out right now.
-Good luck, everyone.
-It is going under the hammer.
And on these, I start in here with bids.
And I start straight in at 120. 120 I have. Is there 30?
Them two pictures here for 120 now.
130. 140. 150. 160.
180 still with me. If you want to be, 90. It is 180 still with me.
Where is the 90? We will be selling away at £180. Are we all done?
-Hammer is going down.
-That is a sold sound.
-Well done, Thomas.
Well, that is brilliant, isn't it?
Yeah. So what are you going to put that towards? A meal out, I guess.
I don't really know yet cos Jackie hasn't told me.
Well, I am sure Jackie has some good ideas.
Next, the early-20th-century Masonic watch,
the sort collectors clamour for. Sadly, we haven't got Rob.
-He's at work.
-No, he's a captain of industry today.
-He didn't want to take the day off, did he?
Well, look, you are here. That is all that matters.
And your watch is here, that is the most important thing.
Now, since the valuation day, Thomas,
you put in a valuation of 1,000 to 1,500.
-With a reserve at 900.
You have had a chat to the auctioneer in the last few weeks
-and you have upped that reserve.
-Which means the valuation now starts at the reserve of 1,500.
-But it has got to reach 1,500 for it to sell.
-Otherwise it goes home with you.
-Yep, back under the bed.
-You don't mind that.
-No, that's fine.
-Do you know... Back under the bed?
-Has it been under the bed?
-What is it doing under there?
-Well, it's just kind of...
-In a box under the bed?
-Yeah. As good a place as any.
I suppose it is, in a way. Yeah.
Right, Thomas, will it still sell or will it struggle?
Cos that's now at your top end of the estimate.
Well, I think they are quite desirable.
Even the silver ones sell for 800, 900. This is nine-carat gold.
-So you were being cautious?
-I was being cautious.
-It was definitely a seller at 900.
-Definitely. Here we are.
We're going to start at £800. I'll take 50. It's £800 bid.
Is there 50 now?
850. 900. 50. 1,000.
1,300 bid. 1,300 bid now. Is there any advance?
At £1,300 bid. £1,300 bid.
Is there 1,400 anywhere?
-Come on. Just two, isn't there?
-1,300 now. Any advance anywhere?
-1,300, any advance?
-He didn't sell it. It didn't reach the reserve.
You are happy with that. You wanted 1,500.
It was meant to be.
-OK. We give it a try, didn't way?
Sal is taking that home,
but she seems happy to put it back under the bed for now.
Well, our next lot is a bit of a hoot.
Yes, it is that owl brooch belonging to Vicky,
who is right next to me.
-I like this.
-Good fun, isn't it?
-Like you, it's good fun.
-I know. I always am.
-Well, we are looking for £200 to £300, aren't we?
Owls, pigs, kangaroos and camels.
They are the four that do it for the collectors,
for some unknown reason.
But owls are top of the list. Here we go, let's find out.
Run of bids here put me in at 150. I'll take 160 on the owl.
150 to bid.
160. 170. 180. 190.
190 bid. Is there 200 now?
Yeah, we'll get a lot, look.
220. 230. 240.
280 at the back. At 280 the bid now.
Top end of the estimate.
At the back with you, sir, then at 300. And selling...
-Well done, David.
-Well done, Vicky. Top end.
Top end - owls are in!
That is a great result for something Vicky had no idea
lay nestled in a box of trinkets.
Well, that concludes our first visit to the saleroom today.
We are coming back here later in the show, so don't go away.
Now, while we were here in area filming,
I had the opportunity to visit a house in the north of the county.
And I saw what could be achieved
when somebody was determined to leave their mark on history.
In the heart of this 1,000-acre estate in North Norfolk,
is one of the most remarkable
country houses in Britain, Houghton Hall.
As magnificent as any royal palace, it was built in the 1720s
and remains relatively untouched by time.
Looking at it,
you'd think it belonged to a member of the aristocracy.
But no, it was a politician -
our first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.
Walpole was born in 1676 into a family of Norfolk gentry that
had owned the estate for generations.
And at the age of 25, the young Robert followed in his father's
footsteps into a career in politics.
The political scene at the time was undergoing a prolonged
and major upheaval.
The balance of power was shifting from the monarch to Parliament
and politicians had divided into rival factions,
making the House of Commons a tempestuous place to be.
Robert Walpole was adept at navigating these turbulent
political waters, but it wasn't easy.
At one time, he was locked up in the Tower of London
for six months on trumped-up charges of corruption.
Nevertheless, with a nose for finance,
he quickly rose through the ranks.
In 1721, he took the position of the First Lord of the Treasury,
or as it is known for the first time, the office of Prime Minister.
Robert Walpole had arrived.
To reflect his new power,
Walpole set about building a magnificent country house,
not only to echo his political status
but also his notoriously extravagant lifestyle. And this was the result.
It is a classic example of English Palladian architecture
inspired by the ancient temples of Rome and Greece.
But it is when you go inside that you really see the extent
of Walpole's vision.
Like all the interiors here at Houghton,
this grand staircase with its hand-painted wall panellings
is the work of the up-and-coming architect
and interior designer William Kent, who was the fashion of the day.
He was commissioned by Walpole to fit the house out
at no expense spared,
and that man really did have talent.
I can't wait to look around.
But before I do, I'm going to meet John Marchant,
the head guide here at Houghton,
to uncover Walpole's vision of a grand country seat.
So this is Robert Walpole's library.
I would imagine most of the books are on law and politics and poetry,
-something like that.
It is reckoned to be a typical example of a gentleman's
library of the 18th century.
The books you see are the books you would expect to see.
What was Robert Walpole's trying to show with the design of this house?
Well, he was a Norfolk man through and through. This was his home.
It reflected his rise to power in politics,
his love of the arts.
And so he incorporated fine furniture design,
picture design, fabric design.
In every one of the state rooms,
there's a visual reminder of whose house you are in.
Because up on the ceiling or on the mantelpiece or somewhere,
there will be a motif that represents Sir Robert Walpole.
"This is my house."
Usually, it is a garter star.
Sometimes it is an elaborate monogram of his initials.
And so as you go through from room to room, you get these three aspects
of his idea behind the construction of the house all welding together.
We know he was a successful politician
and a lover of the arts, but what sort of man was he?
It depends to whom you speak, I should think.
There are those who believe he was a rogue.
And others who believe he was a statesman. It puts it in a nutshell.
And I think if you reflect on the fact that he ran
the country for 21 years,
21 years of pretty well unrivalled peace and prosperity,
that says a lot for the man as a statesman.
And maybe he cut some corners, maybe he did worse,
but the record at the end of his life really speaks for itself.
Time to have a look at some of those features.
This gladiator strategically framed by the doorway
led the gaze of his visitors into the stone hall.
And this spectacular room was the first they would have seen.
You can just imagine the impact this hallway would've had on the guests
when they first set eyes on it. It is spectacular.
It is jaw-droppingly brilliant.
This is William Kent at his very best -
striking architectural detail.
And up there, you can see the family coat of arms.
There, look, in the ceiling.
And I think here has to be the centrepiece -
a marble bust of the man himself, Robert Walpole.
There, look, in a frieze of Roman emperors.
So he surrounded himself with the great.
And here is a nice touch of vanity, look,
you see the Order of the Garter here,
look, neatly showing in one of the folds of the toga.
I like that.
Every room reflects his political manoeuvrings.
To see how shrewd an operator he was when it came to the economy,
you must step into the saloon.
Up until the 18th century,
walnut had been the wood of choice for cabinet-makers.
But the European supplies were dwindling
and it was far too costly to import it from further afield.
So to bolster up these supplies,
Walpole dropped all the import duties, the taxes on wood imported
from the colonies such as the West Indies, which introduced mahogany.
As you can see, look, this is a lovely example of Cuban mahogany.
Wonderful tight grain. And it lends itself beautifully to being carved.
And it's exciting to look at.
So not only did Walpole fit his house out with it, but he also
introduced that golden age period
of mahogany for cabinet makers such as Thomas Chippendale.
The whole house was designed with one thought in mind -
to impress upon anyone who entered that this was a true seat of power.
Walpole had 21 years on the world stage,
a remarkable achievement for any politician then and now.
But by the time he died in 1745, at the age of 68,
his fortunes had changed.
His extravagant lifestyle
and spending on this house left him mired in debt,
forcing his heirs to even sell off the contents of the house.
It was a sorry end to an incredible life.
Walpole helped sow the seeds of our modern political system.
After all, he was our first Prime Minister.
He established Number 10 Downing Street
as the official residency for the Prime Minister elect.
But I think his personal legacy definitely has to be
this magnificent house, Houghton Hall,
which projects Robert Walpole's image
of how he wanted to be seen and remembered - a powerful,
influential man with a taste for the finer things in life.
Back at our valuation day venue, Norwich Cathedral,
David has come across a fascinating book of local interest.
-Thank you for coming to "Flog It!" today.
-And you have two books with you.
And I am itching to have a look at what they are all about.
-Shall we start with this one?
-Yes. That is the Royal Calendar for 1767.
I am going to thumb through it in a moment, but it strikes me
as if it is a sort of mid-18th-century Wikipedia, really.
-Almost, yes. Yes.
-It is a book of facts, isn't it?
-Yes, it is. Yes.
Well, let's have a little look.
We start with a calendar
giving us key events for each month,
saints days and that sort of thing.
And then we move on and we find...
And I think this is amazing.
The anatomy of a man's body.
But it is slightly more than that because it relates
-the anatomy of a man's body to the signs of the zodiac.
So we start at the top with Gemini, that is the left shoulder.
We go around via Leo, Libra, Sagittarius.
And we end up with the private bits.
And I'm not going to actually say which sign of the zodiac
I'll leave that to the man or woman who actually buys this book.
Then they'll find out exactly what I am talking about.
Anyway, that is that.
We then move on a bit.
And by complete contrast,
-we have the coats of arms of the dukes of England.
And then we have
officers of the Navy,
not only a description of their roles,
a description of their ranks, but also what they were paid.
And it is interesting, isn't it, that these
were sort of considered to be key facts?
-These were the things you needed to know.
Anyway, that's finished with that.
And the second book you have brought in is what?
White's Directory And Gazetteer for Norfolk.
Again, it is a sort of history
-and a list of every single parish in the county...
..with details of the people and everything.
And it goes into some detail. Parish churches.
About the diocese itself.
And so on.
Condition, not great, I'm afraid.
-I appreciate that.
Now, clearly, you want to sell these.
Yes, I'd like... Yes.
But my view is that you take a philosophical stance, really.
-Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
-And I would like to estimate them at £40 to £60,
if that is not too disappointing to you.
A little disappointing, but fair enough.
-I'll just keep my fingers crossed that somebody really wants them.
-We'll hope for the best.
-Fine. Thank you very much.
We are in the right part of the world to sell them
and let's hope we have a good day.
While condition is important in books,
these little gems might find a history buff who's willing
to overlook the damage.
Over to Thomas now.
And he has found someone with strong links to the cathedral.
What are you wearing?
Is this a cross of St John or something?
-Yes, it is the cathedral badge.
-And does that mean you're...?
-I am a volunteer.
And what does a volunteer do?
A volunteer, in my case, greets visitors.
It is a really important job.
Well, it's enjoyable.
Yeah. Now we have asked what your badge is,
now we are going to ask you about this lovely, lovely belt.
Tell me about it.
-I got it by inheriting it.
-Now, do you have any inclination to where it is from?
-I would love to know.
-Well, it's Japanese.
-Yeah, it's Japanese.
And this is enamel work.
And it is on a base metal.
So, base metal meaning brass, copper... Not a precious metal.
And we are looking at Japan in the late Meiji period,
which is the early 20th century,
when Japan really opened up
to the West and goods came out of Tokyo.
And what you have... Each of these has got a flower and a bird.
And in Japan, every single one of these flowers has a meaning.
Most of these meanings are to do with love, fertility, children, etc.
That is what all these are all about.
Against the enamel work is a texture.
You can see the texture on the metal to make it
look like there is a ground to it. Can you see that?
-And then the enamel work is applied on. It is almost like...
We call it champleve.
So it is a flat enamel.
Unfortunately, this enamel does crack,
as you can see.
So why have you brought it along?
I can't wear it any more, really, it is too small.
I mean, I am even surprised you got into it. I mean, it is...
I think maybe my five-year-old would probably wear it now.
It would probably go around my thigh!
Well, yes. And I keep damaging it.
But I revere it because I have inherited it.
But I have no use for it any more.
And I wish somebody else would be able to use it beautifully
-and gain from it.
-I think they will do.
Now, I think, out of all of these things, with the damage,
-one has to cut back.
-If it was perfect, it would be worth hundreds and hundreds.
Yes, it would.
But I have to go with our typical auctioneer's estimate
of £80 to £100.
-On this one.
Regarding reserve, I think we have a reserve with discretion.
So we are not going to give it away. It is a lovely thing.
-Will you come to the auction?
-Look forward to seeing you there.
What an unusual piece.
And that could well pique someone's interest in the Orient.
We have one more item to find before we go off to auction.
I wonder who that is going to be. But I tell you what...
Feeling peckish anyone?
David has also found something we don't see every day on the show.
I can't think of anything that contrasts more strongly with
this magnificent vaulting in this medieval cathedral
than the simplicity of this amazing mug by Eric Ravilious.
-And this belongs to you, Terry.
-Well, it belongs to the wife, yeah.
The wife, OK.
-It's not mine.
We have seen in our job hundreds
if not thousands of commemorative cups, saucers, mugs and so on.
Each one of which relates to a particular coronation.
-But very few of those are by Eric Ravilious...
..as this one is.
And very few relate to the coronation
in 1937 of Edward VIII,
which, of course, never took place.
Sure, right, yeah.
Edward VIII was the popular royal who enjoyed the high life
and gave up the throne to marry divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson.
Since Victoria's reign, commemorative memorabilia
had been all the rage.
And Edward's succession to the throne,
planned for 1937, was no exception.
In the run up to the big day, coins, stamps,
chinaware like this Ravilious mug
were produced with images of the coronation.
But Edward's abdication before he was crowned
left behind a trail of collectibles.
But just how sought-after is the mug?
Now, I love the work of Eric Ravilious,
who I think is one of the 20th century's greatest designers.
He went to the Royal College of Art,
where he met a chap called Edward Bawden.
And the two of them forsook art and studied design.
And it shows, if you look at this particular object, I think.
The simplicity of line, the spareness of the decoration
and so on are all absolutely characteristic of Ravilious,
who was working, really, I suppose, in a sort of post-Art Deco period.
And you can see,
he was influenced by the Art Deco style in its very simplicity,
in the simple nature of the lines.
He has taken us one step beyond the Art Deco, I think.
So I love this very much.
To tell you the truth, I've always wanted to own one of these,
but I couldn't afford to buy one.
I am now going to tell you what I think it is worth.
But before I do that,
I'm going to say, will you and your wife miss it?
-Not really, no. That's the thing, we never really loved it, so...
-It is just in the cabinet, and that is where it stays.
One thing of course I should have said is that Eric Ravilious
-designed this for the Wedgwood factory.
And the Wedgwood factory is a division-one factory.
By any standards.
-So that just adds to its appeal.
Now, I think this will generate interest
throughout the world, really.
-And I am optimistic this will make £500.
-Oh, really? Wow.
What I'd like to do, if I may,
is suggest an estimate of 300 to 500,
place a reserve of £300 on it.
-Yeah, that's fine.
-And I think we can watch it fly away.
I agree with David.
The magic combination of the Ravilious name
with the Wedgwood factory should ensure this beautiful piece flies
when it goes to auction.
Well, it is finally time to say goodbye to our magnificent
host location - Norwich Cathedral.
We have had a fabulous day here today
and I know our owners have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Now, before we go,
I want to show you this because it is believed to be the only surviving
medieval altarpiece in Britain that depicts the Passion of Christ.
It was only rediscovered 150 years ago.
Many works of art were deliberately destroyed during the
English Civil War, so it is all the more amazing that this survived.
The story goes - some thrifty person used this as a table top.
The other side is a flat panel.
All of this imagery was underneath.
And somebody dropped a coin 200 years later, and they bent down to
pick it up, and they saw all of this gilt glistening.
And that is how they discovered it. What a stroke of luck.
Time to head back to the saleroom now.
And here's a quick recap of what we are taking with us.
There are Jeff's old history books.
But will their condition affect the price?
There is Jennifer's enamelled Japanese belt that conjures up
the mystery of the Orient at the turn of the 20th century.
And a Wedgwood Ravilious mug designed to commemorate
Edward VIII's coronation but withdrawn from sale
when the big day was cancelled.
So it is back to the saleroom, where auctioneer
Ed has taken to the rostrum.
First, it is the two old reference books dating to the 18th
and 19th centuries that list miscellaneous and fascinating facts.
-Jeff, fingers crossed, good luck.
Our only books in the sale today. This is quite an odd one.
We've got two leather-bound books.
One is the Royal Calendar and one, the history of Norfolk.
And it is not a lot of money, what, £40 to £60? It's nothing.
Condition lets it down, but look beyond that
and I think you've got a good investment here.
Let's put it to the test. Here we go.
I do have conflicting bids, so I have to start in at £38.
-38 I have. 40.
-Yes, someone in the room, look. And that lady is keen.
-How can you tell?
-Look, she is not putting her hand down.
-50 with the lady. Is there a five? Is £50 now.
Is there five? We will be selling at £50.
-Are we all done?
-Check the back, late legs.
Are you 60? One more, 60.
-He's out, she's in.
60 back with the lady. 60 it is. Is there five?
We will sell it away at £60.
-Well done. Great man.
-Paul, after all these years,
-you are still bullish, aren't you?
And I am also feeling bullish about Jennifer's Japanese enamelled belt.
Too tiny for most people to wear today, it is
a beautiful interpretation of exotic blooms.
Now, that was great-grandparents'.
-Yes, it was.
-So it is a proper family heirloom.
Right now, we need a buyer of quality. A discerning person.
-That hopefully doesn't want to wear it but is going to cherish it.
Here we go. It is going under the hammer right now.
Start me in on this. Start me at £100. 80 to go then.
£80, someone to start me surely on this. On 50 then. 50 bid.
50 bid. Is there five? Five I've got. 55 the bid. Is there 60?
It's £55 bid.
Any more anywhere? The belt you see.
-Five. 80 bid.
-How about that!?
80 is the bid in front now and I am all out. £80 and commission is out.
80 in front. Any advance anywhere? It will sell. It is at £80...
Do you know what, I was just sinking down there.
I was thinking, "It is not going to sell."
Then all of a sudden, late legs, late bid came in,
-then a counter bid, then... Wow, £80.
It would have been surprising if something so beautiful hadn't sold.
And finally, the one I have been waiting for -
that rare Wedgwood Ravilious mug
designed for Edward VIII's coronation that never was.
And I tell you what, everybody is after it right now.
-And there is not a lot on the market, is there?
Well, I think I said this at Norwich,
but I love Ravilious and there are some nice, interesting,
all sorts of varied things in this sale today,
but of all the things in the sale, this is what I like best.
-And me. It's great.
Well, we're going to find out what it is worth. Three to five,
that is about right on this, isn't it?
Let's hope it gets the top end plus, because he is so sought-after.
This is the name everybody wants.
It is going under the hammer now.
The Eric Ravilious Wedgewood firework display.
Commemorative coronation mug.
Good interest here.
We're going to start in at £240. I'll take 260.
£240 is bid. 260.
-There is a phone line.
-320. 340. 360.
-It hasn't come in yet.
460, and I am gone. At 460 the bid.
-460 the bid. It is there 80 anywhere?
-Yes, now he is in.
520 the bid. 520 the bid. Now, is there any advance anywhere?
I'll take... 550.
Phone is out.
Come on, phone. Come on, phone.
550 is online. 600 is bid.
600 on the telephone. I need 650 online now. £600 bid.
Is there 650 anywhere?
Internet has gone quiet. We're at £600 then.
It is on the phone. Any advance? Fair warning at £600.
-Right on, David.
-£600. Cracking result!
-Isn't it just?
Yes, did you expect something like that?
-No, 300 or 400. But 600 is marvellous.
Enjoy it, won't you? Enjoy it.
And thank you for giving us such enjoyment with Eric Ravilious
because he is one of the greatest names.
-One day, Paul, I want to own one of those.
I am going to start saving now.
I am, too. And what a great end to the show.
Well, that's it, it's all over for our owners.
Another day in another saleroom here in Diss.
I hope you have enjoyed the show.
But please do join us again for many more.
And if you have got anything you want to sell, we want to flog it
for you. See you next time.