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The natural world -
it's been a source of inspiration for many sculptors, right down
to their creations of tiny but fragile creepy-crawlies.
I've been given the delicate job of helping to carve the antennae
of a butterfly, whose wingspan measures 15ft from tip to tip.
Find out later in the programme what this has to do with
some of our great British carvers and whether or not I make the grade.
Welcome to "Flog It!".
And this is where we are today, in the heart of Hampshire,
amongst vintage vehicles and recreated shopping streets.
I've been joined by hundreds of happy people
here at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke,
who are being serenaded by a folk singer "Flog It!" style.
# There's a programme on the telly
# Been on it every day
# Goes chasing round a country
# Different place to stray
# Only 40 minutes to clear your stuff away
# That's the fun of "Flog It!"
# What's it worth, they say
-# That's the fun of "Flog It!"
# What's it worth, they say. #
Stay tuned and you'll find out.
Our crowds are arriving in droves here, at the Milestones Museum,
where they've recreated some of the businesses that
thrived here in Hampshire from the 18th century onwards.
And already pounding the streets, looking for the best items to flog
are experts Elizabeth Talbot and James Lewis.
-A lovely colour, isn't it? Quite a talking point.
And they both recognise a good bit of bling when they see it.
Whoa. That's your scale, isn't it, James? My goodness me.
That's a night out in Derby, isn't it?
I'm sure it is.
And it's a show packed with the surprising and the mysterious,
as James has discovered.
I had no idea what it was.
Elizabeth has come across a rare wartime object.
One could not ask for anything better.
-So, all very exciting to see all this.
And James has identified
an Oriental vase that could go into four figures.
The gilding would have been as gold as you could possibly imagine.
But which one will ring up the highest price at auction?
We're in the money!
As the crowds pack this wonderful venue, time to go over to
James for his first item, and what a start to the show.
He's come across an object that has puzzled most of us.
But our off-screen expert, Sophie, has been doing some research.
Sophie came up with, I think, a genius idea.
-Tell me more.
I just want to drag you down to it first.
I want you to tell me - where did it come from,
how did you come to find it,
and what do you think it might be?
-I found it at a car boot.
-What? Oh, no!
A dealer, what I would call a dealer's stall
in a box of rubbish.
It fascinated me when I saw it and, you know, the grime,
the baked-on grime and, you know, clearly the age of the wood.
-What did you pay for it?
-And how long have you had it?
-Within the last six months I got it.
People are speculative, they don't really know what it is.
-I mean, initially, you think it is a club.
But then the holes at the end are telling me it's not a club,
and if it were a club,
why would you want to be using that nice carving to get damaged?
Well, let's start to work it through.
Without question, as you've already said, hand-carved.
It has the most wonderful patination.
And patination only comes through handling and feel and use.
The hat is what period?
In my opinion, it's 17th century, but I'm no expert.
That's just from me looking on the net at that style of hat.
The hairstyle, again, that long hair is typical of that period.
And what sort of person would have had that sort of hat?
Erm... A sailor.
I think that is possibly...
..a late-17th-, early-18th-century false leg.
-Did they carve them... Was it...?
-We've never seen one, any of us.
-It's Sophie that has come up with it.
And I think she is a genius.
-Sounds good to me.
-Well, I think it's brilliant. And I love it.
And what is it worth? I have absolutely no idea whatsoever.
-What would I sell it for?
-More than £3, hopefully.
-I think 300.
-A bit lower.
-I'd be happy if it sold for 100.
-I love it. Well done, you.
That's the kind of "Flog It!" first that makes our day.
Now I can't wait to see what the bidders will make of it.
Now, Elizabeth's first item is by a designer well known to
"Flog It!" viewers, although the pattern is anything but familiar.
Well, as well as I like your wonderful pink jumper,
I also like your wonderful jug.
What do you know about your jug that we can't already
guess by looking at it?
Not a lot. It was not bought by family.
My sister-in-law, about 13 years ago, moved into a flat.
And sitting on the draining board was this article with some
washing up mops.
And when she died, we cleared her flat out,
and believe it or not, it's Clarice Cliff.
-Nobody realised that until afterwards?
And did she continue to use it with the washing up brushes and things?
-Probably she did.
I mean, it's interesting, Clarice Cliff,
if it isn't liked, it's often sort of degraded
-or put down to doing something that is quite a menial task.
Until somebody looks at it again and realises.
So, now you know it is Clarice Cliff,
you're looking to sell it?
Do you not want to keep it in the family and sort of say,
"I have a piece of Clarice Cliff?"
-Do you not like it?
-No, I don't. And the chil...
-I've got two daughters...
-None of them like it?
Well, one daughter has three German shepherds.
Oh, that wouldn't last very long then, would it?
The reason I stopped you to talk about this was because,
although I've seen a lot of Clarice Cliff in my time,
this pattern is not a very common pattern, and therefore it's quite
nice to see a slightly different version that we can talk about.
And it's called the Cabbage Flower pattern, which was produced in 1934.
-Oh, yeah. A year after I was born. So I was one year old.
-Oh, look at that. I think you are wearing better than the jug.
There's a bit of damage to it here.
Well, my husband said, "You are not taking that thing."
He said, "It's got chips all over it."
Well, you can tell that nothing went wrong with your item here.
It seems to me, cos it's got quite a Deco style and shape to it.
The handle is quite conventional, but this panelled kind of baluster
shape is very much of the 19...sort of late 1920s, early '30s.
And so in 1934, when this was being painted, it would
-have been high to fashion.
It's not the rarest, but it's unusual. A nice shape.
The fact is, damage will just keep kind of restraints
-on what people pay.
I think that that will probably fetch roundabout £80 to £120.
-I think that's a fair estimation.
-Would you be happy to sell it at that?
Rather. Oh, said it with gusto.
And shall we put a reserve on it for you? Do you want it with a reserve?
-No, no reserve.
-It should probably mark quite comfortably.
-Well, listen, thank you very much for bringing this in.
-It's had a very interesting life.
-Let's give it a new chapter at the auction and see.
I'm sure there must be someone there that collects Clarice Cliff.
I'm sure there will.
Of that we can be certain.
It's a well-known phrase that a craftsman is
only as good as his tools,
and I've come across something that definitely proves the point.
Look at that! Isn't that lovely?
-Where did you get that?
-It's my father's. He used to use it.
-Was he a carpenter?
-No, he's a cabinet-maker.
Oh, well, there you go. That's a very fine smoothing plane, isn't it?
Do you know what this is worth?
I had an estimate about four months ago,
and they said between £600 to £800.
You know what? I was going to say that.
So, it not only has great monetary value, this,
-but also sentimental value.
Do you know what? You shouldn't sell this.
I mean, I'd gladly put this into auction for you if you want me to.
Well, what should he do? What should he do, folks?
£600 to £800!
Flog it! Oh, look, the pressure is on now.
Anyway, that's lovely and I love that.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Well, I'm pleased to say that one is a keeper today.
But it's given me a taste for carving, and later on in the show,
I'll be getting my hands on some equally wonderful woodworking tools.
And now for his next item, James has found a furry friend.
-OK, Tim, who is this?
-A bear, my sister-in-law's bear.
-Yeah, a bear.
-Does he not have a name?
No, I haven't given him a name, no.
No, she was given it as a gift from a lady that she looked after.
-And did that lady give him a name?
-Not that we know of, no.
You poor bear!
But he can't go for the rest of his days without a name,
-so I think we need to christen him.
-I don't know, something like Paul? Or Martin?
-Paul the bear.
This old bear is a bit of a character.
-But do you know what to look for for an early bear?
OK. First thing, boot button eyes.
Second thing, a hump on the back just below his head.
-Third thing, very long arms.
If his arms come down to the side of him,
-longer than his bottom, then he's an early bear.
Then you look at things like the stitched-over snout.
This snout has been re-stitched at some stage and, of course,
his pads aren't original either.
-But he's what we call a mohair bear.
And if he was to go and have a professional clean,
he'd be a lot fluffier, have a lot more life in him.
So, how long has he been with you?
Erm, my sister-in-law's had him three or four years.
-Just had him in a cupboard, like.
-In a cupboard?
-Aw, poor bear.
-OK, date... About 1910, 1920, that sort of period.
-She wants to sell him, I guess.
-The market for bears isn't as strong as it once was.
But the market is still good.
I still think he's worth... £300 to £500.
-Something like that.
-But he needs a bit of work.
So, I think to...
Take that into consideration.
-Let's put £200 to £300 on him.
-Let's put 150 as a firm reserve.
-And let's see how he does.
-That's great, yeah.
And it looks like Paul's also got a few friends.
This is just one of the shops here
whose contents have been pieced together by volunteers.
And it's not just the window displays that echo the past.
And the old street signs
and the shop signs that you can see above the windows have been
painstakingly recreated from old photographs
by two local sign writers.
Now, that really is a dying art. It's a great skill.
And I think they've done a terrific job.
But right now, we're going to test the skills of our experts.
You've just seen their first items.
I've got my favourites, you've probably got yours.
Let's see what the bidders think, shall we?
Here is a quick recap of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
There's Gary's extraordinarily late-17th-century carved peg leg
that stumped James.
Bought for only £3, will it go through the roof at auction?
And will Ruth's slightly damaged Clarice Cliff vase
with that unusual cabbage design
appeal to the bidders?
And could we be in for a big surprise when Tim's
early-20th-century bear, now named Paul,
goes under the hammer?
Our sale today is in Winchester,
which has quite a history of stunning art,
dating back as far as the 12th century,
like this incredibly rare and beautiful illuminated Bible,
which is now housed at Winchester Cathedral.
Today, you can see examples of arts and crafts across the town,
from traditional to ultramodern, but always thought-provoking.
This is the moment I've been waiting for.
It's auction time,
courtesy of Andrew Smith & Son just outside of Winchester.
This is where we put our experts' valuations to the test.
Anything can happen. I hope they are on the money.
Let's go inside and catch up with our owners.
And don't forget, you have to pay a commission,
which here is 18%, including VAT.
Today, we have two auctioneers,
Andrew Smith and Nick Jared,
wielding the gavel.
And first up is that Clarice Cliff vase
with the Cabbage Flower pattern.
-Ruth, good luck.
-See, Ruth didn't let the show down, did she?
-Bit of Clarice Cliff.
Clarice Cliff, yes.
It wouldn't be "Flog It!" without Clarice Cliff, would it?
There will be people out there that will like this.
-That's the main thing.
-Oh, this is it.
A few months ago on telly, I did see a plate...with the same pattern.
-On one of our shows?
-It must have been, it must have been.
-She never watches anything else.
-Oh, bless you.
-You can learn a lot, can't you?
-Of course you can.
-I'm always learning.
That's part of the joy of it, absolutely.
-Look, your lot is coming up now, ready for this?
-Is it? Oh, good.
Here we go.
Here is the Clarice Cliff bizarre jug. Cabbage Flower pattern.
Start me at £80. £80
Good Clarice Cliff jug for £80. £80.
Try 60. £60, surely. £60.
40, then, to get it going. £40, surely. Try 30.
£30. 20. £20, surely. A Clarice Cliff jug for £20.
-Nobody wants it.
-Yes, yes! We have it.
£20 on the net, and starting at £20.
-Is there two in the room? At £20, any more? At £20.
At £20. 25, is there seven?
At £25, we will sell. Make no mistake. At £25.
27 we have now. Make it 30. At £27.
30 we have. £30.
Oh, it's gone to 30.
32. At £30, then.
For the last time at £30.
Well, that was a journey, wasn't it? THEY LAUGH
I'll tell you what, though...
-Best rid of.
-Somebody will love that and enjoy it.
-And they won't stick a mop in it either.
Well, they could put a mop into it.
Clarice Cliff is a path well trodden,
and this one was damaged, which might explain that result.
But Ruth seems happy to flog it on, and that is what counts.
Next up is the slightly dogged turn-of-the-century bear
named after me.
He's not a Steiff, but I've got all the right attributes -
the long arms, the hump back, paddy paw.
The right stuffing.
For me, he's got those characteristics that you
fall in love with and you say,
"I can't leave him here. I've got to take him home."
-He's got a great face, doesn't he?
-See, I needed you home, I really do.
This could be the next Paddington Bear, couldn't it?
Anyway, look, it's going under the hammer right now.
I have to start you here at £100.
110 can I say now?
£100, and ten is it?
-£100. 110, yes?
-We've got 130 on the net now. 140 I have. 150.
-150 then. At £150, and on the net at 150.
-160 can I say anywhere else?
It's still going on, on the net. At 170.
-180. 190. 200.
It's all on the net. Shout if I've missed you here.
At £190, and on the net at £190, all done.
At £190, have you done, last chance.
-That was a good result, 190. Spot on, James.
Sister-in-law said, "I'd be happy with £50," so she's done all right.
Everyone loves the bear, don't they?
And now it is time for Gary's early prosthetic leg,
possibly made for a pirate or a sailor.
We can only speculate.
-Gary, good luck.
I've been waiting for this one cos this is absolutely fabulous.
Any pirates out there, you will want this.
You'll want to own it, if you know what I mean.
Long John Silver, it's a peg leg.
We're going to take three quid right now and hopefully into £300.
-I mean, what an unusual thing.
-Have you ever seen one?
No, I haven't. I think this is a first.
Yeah, and it's great.
It's a piece of folk art as well.
Whittled away by someone on deck, you know, with a marlin knife.
-You know, with hours to spare at sea. I mean, it's unique.
It's a one-off, and hopefully we're going to get a one-off price for it.
We're going to find out now.
The peg leg, there it is, with its, erm, funny face.
I've been told I have to do a pirate voice, but I'm not sure I can. Arr.
There, that's it. Start me at £50 for it, surely.
50. 50. No?
-Are to be £50 a peg leg.
-How often do you get these at £50? 55.
I've got 65.
-Got 65. 70, five.
-Oh, it's going to be a slow climb up to 300.
-110, I have on the net, at 110.
-Oh, it's going on at 130.
I have now 140. £130. If I've missed you in the room, shout.
140 on the phone. 150?
240. Yes, 240. 260.
At £280, are we all done at 280?
Finished at 280, then. Last chance.
-That was great.
-Well done, Gary. Thank you for bringing that in.
That was a lovely find.
-Just goes to show what's out there at the car boot.
-Doesn't it just.
What a great object.
Might be a "Flog It!" first, but it might be a "Flog It!" last as well.
Never going to see another peg leg. No, never.
But a great result for such a brilliant carved curio.
The ancient art of wood carving has strong traditions in Britain.
Not only were they created by the medieval craftsmen who
decorated our churches,
but by master sculptors like the great 17th-century artist
He brought an extraordinary realism to his interpretation
of the natural world that had never been seen before.
I met Hampshire artist Alex Jones who has continued
the tradition with a contemporary flourish.
He likes to bring his audience close to the kind of nature
some of us are usually at pains to avoid.
You know, I am a bit of an arachnophobe,
especially big hairy ones. HE LAUGHS
But I love the enormity of scale.
Why so big?
Because basically, I think we need beasts around us
and things like that.
And the way to change someone's perception of something is to
make it big and exciting and, yeah,
it just changes the way you look at stuff.
And also, we are used to seeing, like, squirrels and rabbits
and things like that, sort of easily palatable.
I want to make something that is a bit more edgy.
And because wood is so beautiful,
I came up with the idea that, what happens if you carve something
that if people thought of as really revolting and horrible but had
the beauty of the traditional woods and things like that?
So you start to fall in love with it.
Exactly. You end up with a paradox. You end up with a push and a pull.
You get pushed away by the subject matter
and then you could pulled in by the material and things like that.
-And that's the energy that interests me.
And what woods have you used there?
Basically what we've got here is some good old English oak.
All the lighter bits are made in oak.
And then inlaid is black walnut, or American walnut.
It's one of the things that pulls people in.
If you use natural woods and their colours, then people come in closer.
-As soon as they hear it paint or stain...
..you're sort of distancing people, aren't you?
-I'll always try and use natural woods.
Then for the final touch, the eyes are done in ebony.
They are from the keys I collect from pianos and stuff like that.
You also have to show it as people see the real spider, which is
when it's in your bath on the wall, you see it from above.
And that's the shot, that's the bit that freaks people out
when they see it like that and it's suddenly bigger.
-Yeah, it's a lot bigger.
You wouldn't want to come across the blight of that, would you?
No, definitely not.
And it's not just creepy-crawlies he carves
but plant life like this dandelion.
That's lime, isn't it?
-I recognise that.
-That's right, yes. That's lime.
The dandelion is all about weeds and things,
cos the client who commissioned it used to love his garden.
And I love the idea of taking some of the weeds that he spent
his whole time pulling up and making a seven-foot-one that he couldn't.
So, to make it into something exotic and exciting.
And with this guy here, I actually had a house spider.
I had him as a pet for a couple of months and he was called Stanley.
And literally, when I did the last bit of carving, he died.
-One of those big harvest spiders, so he's enormous.
So I almost feel a part of him maybe still inhabits the sculpture.
'Alex's method is to observe nature in the wild,
'but he has been known to wrangle the odd creature,
'which can lead to unsettling situations at home.'
I have carved a scorpion.
Actually got hold of an Imperial scorpion for a few years,
which was actually one of the most boring pets.
But the one thing it did do was frighten the baby-sitter
by clanking around the cage every night, so that was worth it.
Alex's work is usually commissioned
and can range in price from £1,000 upwards.
But they do take up months of effort to complete.
His workshop is in his home, which is crawling with the creatures
and plants he has recreated in wood.
Along with a few real ones.
But it's at the back of the house where
they emerge from the raw materials, including his latest commission.
Yes. This is one of the wings of a very,
very large butterfly that was commissioned
by Lords Hill Academy
in Southampton to be made with the children.
And they wanted something that symbolised peace and regrowth.
And also the whole symbolisation of butterflies is ideas growing.
-The actual structure, so it's a little bit like making...
-The skeletal structure of the wing is oak.
-It's like making a spitfire. These bend the wing.
Because the last thing you want is just a flat wing.
And that's bending some very thin ply and then on the ply, a little
bit like making a roof, is different veneers, scales of veneers.
And, of course, the butterflies are based on real butterflies.
I've been looking very closely at dead
and living ones cos I want the details to really ring true.
And I've been told there's some finishing touches to do,
-which hopefully you might let me have a little go.
-I need an expert carver like yourself...
-Oh, no, no, no.
..to come and work on the antenna.
We are carving the antennae, so shall we go through to the studio?
Yeah, come on.
'This butterfly has been crystallising for two years
'with incredible care and attention from Alex,
'so I can't afford to get this wrong.'
Well, there's the body of the butterfly. It's growing.
It's getting bigger.
One last remaining wing there and one of the antennae.
-Now, this is the bit I'm going to be working on.
OK, so, come on, talk me through it.
First of all, you got the lines here.
You quickly got the segmented antenna.
What we need to do is make a stopping point into the wood,
-so whenever we carve into it...
-It's going to stop on that point.
Exactly. And it's not going to run away. So...
And then we take the next chisel, pared-down.
-There, do you want to have a go?
-Do you trust me?
I do, implicitly. Shouldn't I?
There's a lot of work that's gone into this so far, isn't there?
But maybe it'll just end up very short antennae, don't know.
-We'll see what happens.
-Are you ready for this?
-Yes, go for it.
That's good. That's really good.
I don't hit as hard as you cos I'm not so confident.
And then what I should...
I should stop now on that and then go for the V
and take that round and I think you're getting there with the depth,
actually, there on that one.
That's perfect. That's really good.
-Good, sharp tools.
-I'm glad you think so, yes.
Without a sharp tool, it makes it a little harder.
Yes, go for it. Yes, yes.
I'm enjoying this.
I could be out in the studio all night long doing this.
Well, I'll come back later, if that's all right.
I'll go and have my tea and come back.
I think it might go horribly wrong.
But I've thoroughly enjoyed being a little part of this antenna.
What an inspiring man who's definitely passed on the bug.
Just take a look at the finished version of this elegant butterfly.
Assisted by yours truly.
Welcome back to Milestones Museum -
our wonderful, magnificent valuation day venue.
Now, before we join up with our on-screen experts,
I want to show you our holding bay with our off-screen experts.
They do all the hard work before our on-screen experts hit the scene.
Anyway, let's get straight over to Elizabeth Talbot for her first item.
-Julia, thank you for bringing your lovely casket in.
Now, I'm attached to it because I just like the design and the shape,
but you tell me what you know of it first.
It's come from my mother's house
-and I think she...it must have been her parents'.
-It belonged to her parents.
-So, you remembered it all your life,
you can remember it being part of your life?
-I've never seen it before.
We cleared the house out and there it was. And I've never seen it.
-It was in a room upstairs.
-Well, it's a lovely thing to see.
I mean, in terms of, first of all, its age, I think it would
probably date from anywhere between 1890 to possibly 1910.
-It's very much late 19th to early 20th century.
-Would that fit in with the family?
-Yes, it would.
The reason I think it's that sort of era is that it's very
influenced by the late Art Nouveau period.
The decoration is a very flowing, very fluid,
naturalistic kind of design, which is
very reflective of the Art Nouveau motifs that we see.
It's an interesting combination of several different skills here.
We have decoration, which is applied by pen and ink,
and then the outline, which is all hand-drawn, it's all freehand.
The decoration is then stained using different colours to
absorb into the wood.
And in its day, it would have been far more vibrant.
I think at the ends, you can see
that the sun hasn't faded it so much.
The greens would have been a really strong backdrop to the
honeysuckle, which I believe would have had far more of a pink and
possibly gold and yellow coloration to it to make it stand out.
And then the feet employ another craft,
and that's a form of poker work where
they would heat little metal rods and incise the wood to give
both the texture, the sort of dimpled effect,
and also use the colouration of the singed wood to give
-the browns almost a wicker effect on the feet.
So, in terms of the shape, which baffles me a bit.
Do you know any more about the history of it
as to where it came from?
Absolutely none, except that if it came from my grandparents,
-then it might have come from Switzerland or Germany.
Ah. I think of the two, Switzerland probably sounds more likely.
I think it's got the elegance
and the style is probably more Swiss than German.
-So that is interesting.
Now, in terms of it, what it is,
it's a little box, casket with a lock.
It could, therefore, be for precious jewels or something,
but then equally in the 19th century and in the days
when boxes were very commonplace, you could have locked
away your stationary, your nice writing paper, etc, in it.
So, a little bit of damage, little bit of fading as we've said.
Any idea of value?
-No, not a clue.
Value-wise, I'd be disappointed
if it didn't make sort of £40 to £60.
-Would you be happy to sell at that sort of level?
-Mm, yes, that's fine.
-Would you like a reserve on it or just let it...?
-Let it go?
I think just let it go for whatever.
It'll carry a 40 to 60 estimate then.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
-OK, thank you.
As our crowds wait for their valuations, we are
all lucky to be serenaded again by our folk singer for the day,
Rob Mills, with his own composition written especially for us.
# Can I just remind you
# Don't give stuff away
# Let the experts see it
# Let them have their say
# They'll have their suggestions
# What the folks will pay
# The auctioneer will flog it
-# What's it worth, they say... #
Well, they look happy,
so let's leave them to enjoy themselves while we find James,
who's unearthed two objects
that seem to have made him all lyrical too.
Graham, there is something about bronze for me that is
I think man's relationship with bronze goes back
so far that there's something so tactile about it.
-With these two, the quality is very different,
although its history and the periods are probably not so different.
Are these family pieces?
They are. They were acquired by my uncle, who died in Holland,
and I think he might have either bought them
in Holland or brought it over from Indonesia or that area.
-He was quite high ranking in the Dutch army,
or East India army, at the time.
-Just before the Second World War.
-So he was an official?
Because what we've got in front of us are two very different things.
-Let me just start with this.
Which, I'm going to be quite disparaging about...
That's all right.
That sums it up, as far as I'm concerned.
Yes, it's bronze and it's got its roots in the Far East Chinese.
The casting is crude, the colour is poor,
it's got great big lumps all over it, and basically, I hate it.
But then we come to this one.
Which, I know you've done it before, but just humour me
and pick them both up at the same time, if you would.
This, the difference in weight is incredible, isn't it?
Light and tinny, and this one is fabulous.
The gilding would have been bright,
would have been as gold as you could possibly imagine when it was done.
It's turned yellow, it's become a soft, honey colour, which is
what happens to it over years of use, of oxidisation with
the atmosphere, and that is something that you just cannot fake.
-How old is it, do you think?
-18th century, OK.
I love it.
And that one...
Oh, blimey. At the moment, what I'd like to put on it...
..subject to further research...
£6,000 to £10,000.
Don't believe it.
-£6,000 to £10,000.
I never thought it was worth that much, by a long way.
When it comes to a reserve,
I do not even want to go there yet with you, if that's OK.
What I'd like to do is research it, do a bit of digging,
see where we go.
We'll see if we can discover some more information on that bronze
and get every penny of that cracking valuation for Graham.
James, though, isn't the only one to find something really special.
Mark, good morning.
Thank you very much for bringing this wonderful, wonderful figure in.
I'd like you to tell me all you can about it.
Well, it was a piece that my mother bought some years ago.
-She used to collect antiques and do some antique shows.
And this, along with The Evacuees,
was a piece that she particularly liked.
I'm not sure where she got it from, but I know it was in her
display cabinet in the lounge for many years.
And, sadly, my mother passed away 2.5 years ago, just
over 2.5 years ago, and this was one of the items
that was bequeathed to me.
But it doesn't fit in with my style, with our decor at home.
-It's been in a box.
And I think it's too nice to be in a box
and I think my mother would rather someone else enjoy it.
Well, this is made by the factory of Royal Worcester,
which obviously is well known to most people.
It was modelled by a lady called Eileen Soper.
And Eileen was an artist primarily known for etchings.
-She was a child prodigy.
She actually was the youngest person to ever be
-enrolled in the Royal Academy at the age of 15, just 15 years old.
She illustrated, of all things,
Enid Blyton's The Famous Five books at one point.
-So she was very well known for her...
-Oh, I can see the sort of...
-Yep, it's very...
Absolutely. Very typical of that period.
This series, which was produced by Royal Worcester
between 1941 in 1942, was a war-themed series.
And actually, there were eight figures
originally designed for the set.
In actual fact, only seven were ever produced
because the eighth was thought to be too distressing.
They actually never put that into production.
So, Take Cover, which in itself, from the expression and the sort of
-body language is quite poignant, isn't it?
But, as a series and as models, they are very rare.
Very unusual to come across one, and you say you have two in the family?
-Yes, yes, we do.
-Your sister has the other one?
Yes, she has The Evacuees.
Well, not only that, but if they are both in this excellent
condition, one could not ask for anything better.
So it is all very exciting to see all this.
I think, realistically,
if it were offered for auction this year with an estimate
of between £600 and £800, I think that would not be out of the way.
That would be lovely.
-You'd be happy with that?
-That would be a nice fitting circle of it, I do believe.
Obviously for such a rarity, we would put a reserve on it for you.
Erm... And if we put £600 on it, but perhaps with auctioneers discretion.
Yeah, I wouldn't want it to go for less than that.
-I think that sounds very fair.
Thank you so much for bringing it along. It's lovely.
Things should bode very well for that rare figure.
Back in 2011, the entire set of seven sold for £7,200
at Bonhams, the auctioneers.
So, let's see if Elizabeth's valuation is on the money.
If you'd like to take part in "Flog It!",
this is where your journey starts, a valuation day just like this one
at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues
you can find on our BBC website.
Just log onto...
Follow the links, all the information will be there.
We would love to see you,
so come on, dust them down and bring them in and let's flog them.
Now let's remind ourselves of the three final items
that we are taking off to auction.
There's Julia's wooden casket
with the interesting poker work.
Graham's two bronzes,
as different as chalk and cheese,
with vastly different prices to match.
And Mark's poignant Royal Worcester figures.
Will their rarity cause a storm
when they go under the hammer?
Back at the sale room, there's a healthy number of bidders.
Nick is on the rostrum
and first up is that late-19th-century wooden box.
Julia, good luck.
This is where we find out what is it worth, your little casket.
I love it. I love the painting. Good quality.
-I'm pretty sure it's Swiss, I agree with you.
-Oh, that's nice.
-It's got a pitched roof on it. I love it.
-It's lovely quality.
Combination of poker work and staining,
and the pen and ink work on it is just lovely. A bit faded now, but...
-I think that it's joy, though.
I'd rather see lived in slightly, yeah, with a bit of personality.
-Well, look, good luck.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
The Continental Art Nouveau casket.
This is a lovely bit of wood.
I have to start you here to clear
all bids at £45.
And five, 60. At £60, in the room, at 60.
Gentleman's bid at £60. I'm out.
At 60, you? 65. 70. And five.
-It's a decorator's piece, isn't it?
At 70 in the room. 75, do you mean? 75. 80. And five.
It's 80 in the room, gentleman's bid at 80.
Five, we're going to say on the net. Have to be quick. At £80, then.
-£80, great result.
Hammer has gone down, £80. That'll make a great present for someone.
Yes, it will. Yes.
Next, it's Mark's Royal Worcester figure group called Take Cover,
which is part of a set of seven pieces with a war theme.
-£600 to £800. It's quite poignant looking at them, isn't it?
Taking shelter, it's kind of a hard thing to understand for us,
But it captures quite a lot of the essence of what was
happening at that time during the war.
Yeah, and I love the fact that there is a correlation with
the Enid Blyton books.
When you look at your Royal Worcester,
-you can actually see the Enid Blyton characters.
-They come to life, yes.
Yeah, it kind of brings it home for me, that part of it, anyway.
Let's find out what the bidders think. Here we go.
The rare Royal Worcester figural group.
This is from the wartime series Take Cover. Start me at £600.
£600. £500, then, to start me. £500, surely.
£500, thank you. And 20. At £500, any more? All done at £500?
Well, I'm afraid we are tantalisingly close,
but I just can't let it go at that level.
-Sorry about that.
-That's a shame.
-Thank you anyway.
That's all right. We had fun trying, didn't we?
What a shame, but I do agree with Elizabeth - it's a
pleasure to see such a thought-provoking object.
And I'm sure it will do well in the future
if Mark still wants to sell it.
Time for our last lot of the day now, it's those two bronzes.
The smaller, estimated by James at a massive £6,000 to £10,000.
But auctioneer Andrew Smith thinks that figure is a bit too steep.
The Oriental market is just so hard to predict.
I think every expert has been proved wrong on at least one occasion.
We just felt that the estimate it came in with was, although
certainly in the range we'd hope to get at auction, but if it went
in with that sort of guide, it may just kill off some of the interest.
So, we prefer to see it in
with just shaded down a bit, just to get as many buyers in as we can.
I'm pretty confident it's going to sell in the sale.
There has been a lot of good interest in it.
So, with a revised estimate of £4,000 to £6,000 and a reserve
of £4,000 to kick-start the interest,
let's see what happens with it.
Having found all that out, are you regretting selling it?
Do you think, "Actually, I should've kept it"?
I have got a few other little smaller things at home which
would go to the children. I thought because it's worth so much money...
The money's going to come in handy.
-I think it could come in handy at this stage, yes.
Well, we're going to start with the first one.
I could say the tatty one.
-We're not worried about this one, are we?
-Not particularly, no.
It's one up from a baked bean can, this thing.
Here we go. It's going under the hammer.
The auction house have upped the valuation
on the cheaper bronze vase to £40 to £60
because they think it's from Thailand.
Start me at £40. £40. £40.
-£40. £40. Come on, come on.
-Get it going.
£30, surely. £30. 20, if you like. £20.
£20. Start me at ten, then. At £10 anywhere? £10, surely. £5.
Five? Well done at the front. As I said, at £5.
Ten on the net, even better. 12.
Worth going another one?
12, well done. 15, sir. 17. Go on.
-No, no, no.
-This is a struggle, isn't it?
-It is a struggle.
In the room at 17, it's your last chance.
Sold it, right. And now for the one we've been waiting for.
Chinese bronze vase, the 18th-century vase.
-Oh, I'm shaking. I'm nervous for you.
-So am I.
-Oh, Graham, good luck.
Start me at £4,000. £4,000.
-4,000 we have. Thank you.
-It's got in at 4,000.
-We are up to £7,000 on the net already.
-Straight out. Come on.
-Gosh, that was a quick jump, wasn't it?
-Yeah, four to seven.
At £7,000, selling on the net.
If you are all done at £7,000... You sure?
£7,000 then, for the very last time...
-You're in the money! Hey, did you know...?
-Thank you very much.
It jumped from four, someone online went seven.
It was like, wow, seven grand.
-I can't believe it. Amazing.
What's the first thing going through your mind?
I don't know, I just can't believe it.
I think I shall have to treat the family, certainly.
I think you will, won't you? THEY LAUGH
-What a way to end the show.
We've had a marvellous time and I hope you've enjoyed it.
See you next time for many more surprises.