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Today's show comes from this very impressive Scottish mansion.
It's Pollok House and it's situated
in 360 acres of Pollok Country Park.
It's hard to believe this calm, tranquil oasis,
which also houses the famous Burrell Collection, is only three
miles from the city centre of Glasgow.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Pollok House was the ancestral home of the Maxwells.
It was built in the 1740s when
Glasgow was prosperous.
The city became a trading hub
for sugar, tobacco and cotton, and
a few decades later Glasgow would
become a major industrial city.
And here, in Pollock Country Park, the Maxwells enjoyed
a privileged life of luxury, in a house full of treasures.
Later in the show,
I'll be sharing with you many gems from this Scottish Georgian
home, such as its impressive collection
of Spanish art.
The real interest lies in that pearl in her headpiece.
It's known as the Peregrina, and believe me,
that pearl has had an amazing life.
But before that, we'll be heading into England to take a look
back at some of the valuation days we visited across the country.
Our travels took us to Falmouth, to the
National Maritime Museum Cornwall, where against a backdrop
of great boats, Philip Serrell found something of interest.
You know you're really famous
if people just refer to you by your initials.
We also visited the Milestones Museum at Basingstoke,
in Hampshire, where you had your items valued amongst
the recreated historic streets.
And at the RAF Museum at Hendon, in London, it wasn't just
the historic aircraft that captured Anita Manning's imagination.
-What we see here is a romantic scene...
..where a young chap is serenading
two young women.
It's an idyll,
-especially for the young guy.
And finally, we start today's show at another stately home,
the exquisite 18th-century Ragley Hall, in Warwickshire, where
Charlie Ross found a quiet corner under an awe-inspiring mural
called The Temptation.
The mural tells the story of the devil trying to seduce Christ
to fall down and worship him by offering him the world
and all its riches.
But was Charlie enticed too?
Sue, the things you brought here really do match up with
the settings, don't they?
-Do you know what they are?
-You must have opened them up.
-Well, yes, they're necessaires.
-Necessaires, French word, as in, necessary.
What a lady must have
all day to keep herself looking trim
And we've got two quite different examples here.
One 19th century,
-one 18th century.
Quite extraordinary. How did you get it?
-Well, I got it from my mother. She died nine years ago.
Where she got it from, I don't know.
We emigrated to Australia in 1955.
-So she hasn't come back, but I have.
And then when she died, nine years ago,
I went over and I brought these back with me.
Had you any recollection of them being there before?
No, no, none at all.
The first one we have here
is an ivory case, 19th century, French.
We open this one up, press the button,
and hey presto.
And what strikes me immediately
is the fact that everything
-that should be in there is in there.
And it's extremely rare.
Nearly always someone's used the thimble and not put it back in,
or the scissors, there's a penknife in there.
These are silver-gilt
and I get the impression that
something like this has never been used.
A great example of French workmanship of the late
19th century. This, I'm sure
is Georgian, so it's earlier than that.
If we press the button and open it up, we are
-into the 18th century, George III, late 18th century.
Now, the wonderful thing about this, I think,
is if we lift out this little scent bottle...
-..look at the colour of the lining.
-Look at that turquoise.
That shows you this
would have been that colour...
-That's right, yes.
But that shows you what a vibrant object it
must have been to begin with.
Now, the downside with this is
-that a lot of these bits aren't original.
I can see immediately, I'm just going to slide that in there,
and you can feel the way that fits that,
-that is certainly original.
-Snug, yes, yes.
But here we have got
a little needle case,
-That's 20th century,
-without a shadow of a doubt.
-Somebody's put that in, yeah.
So, somebody's just slipped that in there, and actually,
if you look carefully, it's not a perfect fit, is it?
It's not a fit, no.
-..potentially more valuable had it
got its original lots,
and later, but perfect.
-So we've got two examples of the same thing.
I'm going to watch your eyebrows here.
I'm not going to tell you they're worth thousands cos they aren't.
I'm going to come back to 250 to 350
-as a saleroom estimate...
-..with a fixed reserve of £200.
And I think that will get the interest going,
and we'll get a sale.
-Yes, that's lovely, thank you very much.
We'll find out how Sue's necessaires fared at auction later.
Even though one was made from ivory,
we were able to sell it, as it was made before 1947.
Unlike many stately homes of the 18th century,
Pollok House has a particular feature which makes it stand
out from the others, and believe it or not, it's this.
Paint! Paint on the walls.
It probably doesn't mean much to you and I - that's what we've got -
but back in the day, it was fashionable for a house
of this importance to have silk wall coverings,
so why wasn't it here?
Well, the house was so close to industrial Glasgow
they thought it would be impossible
to clean. So there you are.
But it didn't put them off buying this magnificent clock.
It is a very special longcase clock.
Just one look at the dial tells you
there's something very different about it.
It was built to special requirements given by
Sir John Maxwell, the third baronet, and it's made by Craig of Glasgow,
in 1764. It bears the Maxwell family crest, of course,
but it is an astronomical longcase clock.
It gives us the date
and the signs of the zodiac,
and believe it or not, it also
gives you the time of the tides.
We're quite close to Glasgow Bridge here, so I guess the Maxwells would
keep an eye on the shipping movements coming in and out
if they were importing special pieces from far-flung places.
And right in the centre, you can see the constellations
that are only visible to Pollok House. So, at night-time, if you
go outside in the grounds and look up,
that's what you're going to see.
It really is beautiful.
I bet if somebody winds that up, it would
strike on the most beautiful chime.
Pollok House is certainly crammed with amazing objects
and fascinating collections
and, talking of collections,
at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, Elizabeth Talbot
met a father and son with a great set of toys
that have barely seen the light of day.
Anthony, Phil? Yes.
Thank you for coming in with what is
a very exciting collection here.
Now, I know a little
bit about Corgi, which
we can talk about in a little while, but you tell me what
you know and whose the collection is and who does it belong to?
Well, the collection belongs to myself, it sat up in the loft
for many, many years because unfortunately, I wouldn't let...
I was never allowed to play with them. He never let me,
he never let me touch them.
-What is that saying about what he thinks of you?
-It was saying...
-Of the toys, not of you.
It was saying to save them for a later date
when they were worth some money and we could enjoy them together.
That's sound advice, fair enough.
-So they've not seen the light of day for some while?
-Not for some while,
no, they were probably last sort of out of their boxes, I would say
when I was about sort of 13 or 14 years old,
in my bedroom, so that's going
back a good 30-ish plus years.
So at that stage, when you were a younger boy, did you collect
Corgi toys quite avidly?
Yeah, the first one I got was
-a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.
That was in 1973. My uncle bought that for me.
And then I started the collection from there.
So, do you still collect?
Are you adding to your collection all the time?
-I'm not adding any longer. No, I stopped in about the '90s.
And the collection's currently about 100 vehicles.
I mean, Corgi was a
trade name which was established by
the firm Mettoy, who were a very
well-known toy manufacturer,
earlier in the 20th century, and in
1956 they launched the Corgi range.
It was really, actually, one of the
ones that you have at the front,
the James Bond vehicle, which became
so popular at the time that it
launched their reputation
for being fantastic manufacturers of the diecast vehicle.
I mean, that really kind of catapulted them from being an
average manufacturer that was OK, to something which
really was grabbing people's attention, the here and now.
Do you have a favourite amongst these?
I do, I like the one at the front there where he fires
-out of the seat...
-He ejects out of the seat.
-He ejects out of the seat, yeah.
-Have you now any idea
of the current value?
On a good day or a bad day, probably around about £300, I think,
for the whole collection. Maybe a little bit more on a good day.
Yeah, 3 to 4, 3 to 500 is about the right sort of mark, I would think.
If you're happy to offer them for sale at that sort of value
-with a £300 reserve...
-..and then let's see...
See what happens, yeah.
-Then, you will presumably share the results of the sale?
-Do you have aspirations for what you're going to do?
-We both follow our local football club, don't we?
I follow Worthing, our local football club. They play Guernsey every year
-so we'd want to...
-Guernsey's a bit of an expensive trip.
-..go away for the weekend.
-What a great idea.
Well, touch wood, we can get you to fly over there
and have some expenses as well and have a lovely, memorable trip.
-Fingers crossed. That would be super. Thank you.
What a great little lot.
It certainly took me back to my childhood.
Next, Philip Serrell came across an item related to
one of his favourite sports,
at our valuation day at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
Mike, are you a cricket fan?
I'm not as such. I'm aware of cricket and sometimes follow it.
My grandfather was the passionate cricket aficionado.
I love my cricket.
And what I love, is that
you know you're really famous
-if people just refer to you by your initials.
So, WG, William Gilbert Grace,
a lot of people reckon he's the greatest cricketer that's ever been.
He's certainly the most, probably one of the most famous
cricketers that's ever been.
And this is a handkerchief.
Don't think you're meant to blow your nose on it,
but it's a handkerchief
that charts WG's career.
And it would have been sold after the event, with
a portrait of the great man here,
champion cricketer of the world.
They must have made thousands of these,
but thus is a real collector's item now,
and there's a lovely story about WG Grace
towards the end of his career.
He went out to bat and there was a bowler the other end, who
no-one had ever heard of, and he bowled WG Grace first ball.
WG Grace turned round, he picked the bails up,
put them back on the stumps and said,
"Young man, they've come to see me bat, not you bowl," and carried on.
-Which is, I like the style of a man who'd do this.
-Yeah, great story.
How long have you had it?
Probably about 20 years.
My grandfather gave it to me,
and it was given to him by his father,
and they used to go and watch WG Grace together.
And what do you think it may or may not be worth?
I've really no idea.
-I've really no idea.
clearly the only person who's going to buy this is
-a cricket nut.
-But there are huge, huge, you know,
number of cricket fans out there who, I think, would love this.
I think I can see it in a private collection.
I can see it in a club house.
In terms of value, I think you need to put £80 to £120 on it,
and I would put a reserve on it of £60.
-You never know, you might get Mr Kevin Pietersen after it.
Well, that's it for our first set of valuations,
as it's time to find out how they fared at auction.
The Corgi car collection was rescued by Anthony from his attic,
and a trip to Guernsey to watch the footie depended on its selling.
Sue's two necessaires charmed Charlie, and it was
wonderful that one of them came with all its original contents.
And finally, there was Mike's WG Grace handkerchief,
which Philip hoped would make
an easy catch.
Remember, with every auction there's varying rates of commission
and VAT to pay, whether you're buying or selling items.
We put Elizabeth's valuation of the Corgi car collection to the
test first, when it went
up for sale at Andrew Smith and Son,
On the rostrum was Andrew Smith.
I had the Batmobile,
and as soon as my mum gave it to me,
do you know what I did?
Ripped the box open, threw it away
and played with the car.
I can understand you
-not playing with these, keeping the boxes, sensible guy.
They were played with a little bit, but then back in the boxes.
-Yeah. What about you, Phil?
-He never let me play with them.
I always tried to but he never let me play with them.
-Now we have a value of...
-3 to £500.
Hopefully there will be a bit of interest on the net for this one.
-They're good search words, aren't they?
-Exactly, yes. That's
-something they can search for.
-See the Dynamic Duo's got it all sorted.
Anyway, let's put it to the test, shall we, guys?
Yes, let's have a look.
£300. 300 we have on the net.
Is there 20? At £300, we are selling.
Is there 20?
-Come on, internet.
We are selling, make no mistake, at £300, then,
for the very last time.
-You're right, the net did work. Cos otherwise it
-wouldn't have been bought in the room.
-So, it did its job.
-But sadly they've gone at the lower end.
-Lower end, but they're gone. That's the thing.
And that £300 should have gone a good way to getting Anthony
and Phil to Guernsey to watch their team, Worthing, play football.
Next, Mike's WG Grace handkerchief went under the hammer
at Jefferys Auctioneers,
when we travelled west to Lostwithiel, in Cornwall.
Wielding the gavel was Ian Morris.
Mike, you brought the cricket memorabilia to the right expert.
-So I hear.
-There's only one doctor.
THEY CHUCKLE Oh, right.
Let's find out what the Cornish market think of this, shall we?
-Here we go, it's going under the hammer.
WG Grace, £50 a bid.
At £50. At £50.
Take part to get on. 55. 60.
5. 80. 5. 90.
£90 the bid's with me.
110, the bid's with me.
At £110. 120 up?
140? 140. Your bid, I'm out.
At £140. Seated. 150 up?
Done, at £140.
-I think that's hit it for six, that has.
But it was a very straight bat.
Bowled the maiden over.
No googlers there.
Well, it was all out for the WG Grace handkerchief
with a great result.
Finally, we headed north, to Warwickshire,
and Stratford-upon-Avon where Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers
were selling Sue's pair of necessaires.
Auctioneer, Stephen Kaye, decided to split the items into two
separate lots, with a reserve
of £100 on each.
Susan, quality, quality, quality
-and it always sells, doesn't it?
-Yes, I hope so, hopefully.
And not "necessairely", though, but it does.
In this case, it will.
-So are you ready for this?
I think these are going to go for, hopefully, a little bit more.
-We're going to find out right now.
Let's hand the proceedings over to our auctioneer.
Lot number 50
is the little necessaire.
I've got £100 bid on the computer.
110, at the back.
Anybody give me 120? 120. 130. 140.
-We've got it. We've got it.
-150. 160. 170.
-Chap on the stairs.
200. And 10.
200 with Christian and 10.
220. 230, sir.
260 with Christian.
Anybody else? 270. 280.
300. And 20. 340. 360.
Oh, this is exciting, isn't it?
-I can't believe it.
380 with Christian.
Anybody give me 400?
For £380, are we all done?
-Yes, hammer's gone down.
-One down, one more to go.
Here we are.
Another little necessaire,
this is also extremely pretty.
Let me give you 110, thank you.
I've got 110 from Christian. 120. 130?
140. 150. 160.
I've got 150 in the room.
150 in the room, anybody else?
160. 170. 180. 190.
200. And 10.
-Good, up and up.
290, I've got. Anyone else?
At 290, it's a little treasure.
That is fantastic. That's a grand total of £670.
But, look, all credit to you for
-looking after it, you know?
That's lovely. That's
really, really nice.
If you've got anything like that, we would love to sell it for you.
Bring it along to one of our valuation days.
You can find details on our website,
or check the details in your local press. But, what a result!
Well, some happy owners there, and we'll be going back to the
auction room a little later on in the programme.
Now, I want to share with you a very special collection.
Most walls in British stately homes are adorned with wonderful
works of art that date back centuries, executed by artists,
prominent artists, British, French, Italian and Dutch.
But back in the 1800s, a rather different,
and at the time, ground-breaking group of paintings
found its way here to Pollok House in Glasgow.
And as a result, the house boasted the largest
collection of Spanish art in Britain at the time.
The man responsible for the collection was
Sir William Stirling Maxwell.
He was a public-spirited gent,
who served twice as a Conservative MP for Perthshire.
Pollok House was passed to Sir William
from his uncle in the 1860s.
Sir William had also inherited a substantial fortune from his
father, which allowed him to
indulge his passion for Spanish art.
Portraits of the Hapsburgs,
the most important royal family in Europe,
rulers of Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries,
are a constant feature in Sir William's collection.
And here is a portrait of Charles II.
Now, he was the last in the line of the Hapsburgs in Spain,
but he had a rather unfortunate feature,
a protruding chin.
And that's thought to
be down to inbreeding,
the Hapsburgs were so desperate to keep their European dynasty running.
He did get a bad deal because his teeth were so badly misaligned,
he couldn't chew his food.
But for Sir William, it wasn't about the aesthetic.
He was more interested in the stories behind the painting -
who this chap was, why he looked like that,
who was the artist.
So, how did he start to collect?
I'm meeting Pippa Stephenson,
Curator of European Art from
Glasgow Museums, to find out more.
So how did Sir William first get interested in Spanish art?
It started in 1841, when he took a trip to Spain, this is
when he really developed his love and his passion for Spanish art.
He decided to stay there for two
years and, in that time, he got
to know Spanish art,
he got to know different collections
and he decided to write
Annals Of The Artist, which he published in 1848,
the first scholarly catalogue, or book of Spanish art,
to be written in the English language.
Well, that's quite incredible. So, he had a real passion?
He wasn't just advised by an art advisor,
"This is what you've got to do."
He wanted to be a real, genuine educator,
and, you know, come across as the lover of art that he was.
And I would imagine this is quite unusual at the time.
Absolutely. Other people were generally travelling around
other parts of Europe.
Spain was seen as quite an exciting and a new place,
but, nevertheless, in the mid-1800s, art collections in Britain were
still dominated by Dutch and Flemish art, and Italian.
So for an art collector like William Stirling Maxwell,
to begin collecting these unknown names was quite a thing.
And over the years,
Sir William amassed an eclectic group of paintings.
And believe me, there are some real treasures here.
Take this painting, for instance.
It was acquired in 1851,
and that's Anne of Austria.
Now, she was the fourth
wife of Philip II of Spain.
The real interest lies in that pearl in her headpiece.
It's known as the Peregrina, and it means the wanderer,
or the pilgrim, and believe me, that pearl has had an amazing life.
It was found in the Gulf of Panama in the 16th century,
and somehow it ended up in the coffers of the Spanish royal family.
It's been worn by several different European monarchs,
including Mary Tudor.
In fact, there's another painting here at Pollok House with
that same pearl in a lady's stomacher.
Also, that pearl was owned once
by Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the 1960s, Richard Burton bought that pearl for his wife,
and she had it set into a necklace.
In 2011, her collection was sold off
and that necklace went under
the hammer. It made more
than seven million pounds.
What a life that pearl's had!
Now, over here is Anne's husband,
Philip II of Spain,
a very powerful and important man
and boy, doesn't he just look it?
The painting accentuates
his stature, with that wonderful,
sort of handmade armour
at no expense spared.
That fits beautifully.
That's a lightened blue steel
inlaid with gold.
But this painting actually makes him look larger than life
because, in the flesh,
he was only five feet tall.
Apart from the fascinating
stories behind Sir William's Spanish
art collection, there is also
the pedigree of the extraordinary
artists who painted them,
like El Greco
Famous artists now,
but in the mid-19th century,
they were less well-known.
Well, we've all heard of Goya, but how popular was he
back in the day when Sir William was touring Spain?
Well, he wasn't very well-known at all and, in fact,
when Sir William was thinking about Spanish art
and buying Spanish art, these two Goya paintings are two
-of the first to ever enter the UK, when he bought them in 1842.
-Tell me a little bit about the painting. What's it called?
It's called Boys On The Seesaw, so you have these children,
these boys that are squabbling and playing
and pretending to be soldiers and religious figures.
So, just like these young boys that are playing and messing around,
and kind of fighting with each other,
he believed that real members of religion are also fighting.
He criticised society, he had quite
a bleak view, he experienced
war first-hand and, consequently,
-his paintings do show a slight darkness.
-A slight darkness, yeah.
Yeah, darkness, yeah.
And here we are his, the other part of the pair.
It's so nice that they are still here on display.
-Same kind of subject matter as well, isn't it?
That's right, we have the boys playing soldiers
-in this particular scene.
-So, obviously, never designed to be
split up and I'm so pleased they haven't been.
-Right, you've saved the best till last, haven't you?
-I have a very special painting for you.
-Come on, then.
Painted in the late 16th century, our final stop is this.
The gem of Pollok House's art collection.
And here she is. Our Lady In A Fur Wrap by El Greco.
She's beautiful. She follows you around the room.
Absolutely, isn't she wonderful?
Yeah, and she looks like she was painted,
let's say, in the 1920s, not back then.
She has a real modernity to her, and a timeless beauty.
There's something about the way she's looking at you,
this kind of intimacy and directness,
that really sticks with people, I think.
-And she has done for centuries. And we don't know who she is.
She's a complete mystery to us.
When Sir William bought her,
he thought it was a portrait of El Greco's daughter.
She's been thought of as different members of royalty, empresses,
duchesses, but the truth is, we'll never know.
I think he was in love with her. THEY LAUGH
I think that is the mother of his only child.
Some people do say there's no other person it could be
than someone who was in love with the artist, as you say, because
there is this kind of seduction and sensual nature to the painting.
Well, thank you for showing me this and thank you
for showing me around the house.
-It's been brilliant. Thank you.
-It's a real pleasure.
My foray into art didn't end at Pollok House in Glasgow.
Back across the border, around 400 miles away,
a painting caught my interest at our valuation day
at the Milestones Museum, in Basingstoke.
Ian, what can you tell me about the oil painting?
Very much family links.
Basically, my dad got it from his dad's sister, given to him
in his will, so other than that, I know very little, other than
they thought it was called The Letter.
So, it's just been in our dining room,
-and it was above our dining room table.
-The first thing I noticed,
I love the setting.
It's definitely English School.
It's a good oil on canvas,
just from looking at the image
and looking at it stylistically,
that it's mid-Victorian.
It's sort of circa 1860,
-somewhere around there.
I'm just going to ask you if we can just lift this off
and have a look, because what
attracted me, if we look here,
what attracted me to this was here, look.
"The Zennor Poet, St Ives, Cornwall."
Now, I'm just wondering, is there a Cornish connection in your family?
-Not that I'm aware of. We're Irish.
There's a lot of paper labels. Now, the first thing you can tell is
if you feel this canvas, can you feel that?
It's very tight. It's been restretched.
I would imagine there's been some damage on this
during its life.
If we can lift this up.
So it's been relined,
which means another canvas has been
stuck onto the back of it.
There might be a few patches, that's been touched in.
But the narrative is very strong.
I like this.
I like what it represents.
The artist is very, very skilful.
I like the expressions,
I like the skin tones.
There's some very strong
qualities about this painting,
but there are also some weak qualities.
If you look at the cat here,
-that's rather poor.
-Can you see that?
Now, because it's been relined,
-I would suggest it's been slightly cut down.
Because we've lost the artist's signature.
Yeah, we couldn't find a signature on this one.
No, I've looked everywhere, and sometimes,
it might be hidden somewhere in a basket
or on the paperwork he's reading, but
I think it was signed,
it's been cut down because it's been relined.
I think the market for this
sort of genre has slightly dropped.
Without provenance, without any kind of
it's really, really hard to get those top figures for this.
I think it would be sensible to put a guide of 6 to £800 on this,
-with a reserve at £600.
-I don't think you should let it go for anything less than that.
I think there is some quality there.
-And I rather like it.
Later in the programme, we put my valuation to the test,
along with our second lot of items.
But first, we headed over to the RAF Museum at Hendon,
where against a dramatic backdrop of historic aircraft,
something more domestic caught Anita's eye.
Avril, these are two beautifully looked-after pieces of silver.
-And I love silver. Tell me, where did you get them?
Well, I got them from my mother, but she inherited it from her
-own mother, so it's really from my grandmother.
And I don't believe my mother used them. And I have never used them.
Now, the round tray first of all.
It has this wonderful empty cartouche in the middle.
And in this space here, we could put our initial or a monogram.
It is empty so something could be added to that.
That is a good aspect of it.
If we look at the rim, we have these wonderful embossed flower
and leaf motifs. Again, a good aspect of it.
And these embossed flowers are joined by this lovely wavy rim.
I like that.
It's also what we call a footed tray,
which means that it stands on feet.
And again, we have decorative, or fancy, feet there.
People who collect silver like to see nice, clear hallmarks.
And if you rub these hallmarks, it makes it more difficult.
But I know this little emblem here tells me that it's Walker & Hall.
And although it is well rubbed, I recognise this.
Walker & Hall were good makers -
good makers of silver and good retailers.
Now, I've had a very careful look at this hallmark,
and I can see that it is Chester.
And I would date this to probably, from its design,
So before I give you a price on this, I'd like to go onto
-this tray here, which is a different style altogether.
-It has probably been part of a dressing table set.
And the brush and mirror would have backs that would be embossed
-with the same motif as this.
Now, the marks are a bit clearer on this one.
It's Birmingham. It's 1900. So it was just at the turn of the century.
And it was made by Henry Matthews, one of the good Birmingham makers.
-And what we see here is a romantic scene...
..where a young chap
-is serenading two young women.
It's an idle,
-especially for the young guy.
-I would like to split them up.
I would put an estimate of £200 to £300 on this tray,
with a reserve of 200.
-On this one, I'd like to put 150 to 200.
And if we can, maybe a little discretion on this one
-because it's only part of something.
-Would you be happy with that?
-Yes, that would be OK.
-Two lovely items.
I'm sure they'll do very well and I hope that my estimates will be
-conservative and that they'll go much higher.
-Thank you for bringing them along.
-Thanks a lot.
Two very different but equally immaculate silver trays,
and Anita was clearly delighted by both.
Back at the sumptuous Ragley Hall in Warwickshire,
Will Axon's spied an item that was far from perfect.
Sylvia, Jane, these are in a right state. You haven't
looked after your collection of postcards very well, have you?
-No, I haven't, have I?
-What's going on with these?
Well, they were found years ago and, you know, looked through...
-FOUND years ago?
-Where did you find...?
Where did you find three postcard albums, under a bush?
Dad found them. He worked at the council tip
-and people were throwing them away.
-Yes. So he just gathered.
-So he thought, "Well, I'll have that."
Yes! Too interesting.
Was he proud of them? Did he...?
-Well, yes, he thought, you know, "That's interesting."
It covered a lot of subjects.
Well, you say "covered a lot of subjects",
there's something in these albums for everyone, isn't there?
-I mean, this one that we've got open here...
We've got landscape.
-We've got a religious scene down there at the bottom.
We've got a memorial card for Lord Kitchener.
We've got The Crooked House.
-That's it, yes.
-The famous pub.
And I've had a look through this album here...
I'll be careful cos, as I've said, they are slightly fragile.
-I love this one here, look. Napoleon's tomb.
-There it is.
-And we've got the Eiffel Tower, of course.
So it almost gives you a sort of snapshot into someone's life,
-perhaps where they've been travelling.
And I love these ones here. Look at these.
-This is probably a family portrait...
-Looks like it.
..where you've brought the photographer in
and he sets up the studio.
And he's done them like a little Mad Hatter's tea party.
-It's rather sweet, isn't it?
There is a market for postcards.
And the really sought-after postcards are the very unusual ones.
That's it, yes.
You've got things like early aviation, early travel,
Without going through every single page here and singling them out
and adding them up and seeing which ones are more desirable than others,
I think we're just going to have to go with giving a blanket
valuation for the whole lot.
And whoever buys them, or bids on them, is going to know
-exactly what they're looking for.
-Of course they will.
They're going to have a flip through, they'll say,
"I want that one, that one, that one."
So you've got one album here, you've got another album here,
-and they're all pretty much full, aren't they?
-That's it, yes.
I've seen albums like this, certainly in this quantity,
-make £100, £200, that sort of level.
So I think if we were able to put them in at that sort of level,
-how would you feel? I mean, if we said 100 to 200?
-Are you happy with that, Jane?
-What about a reserve?
Shall we let them go?
-Let them go.
-Let them go.
-Oh, I like you, living dangerously.
-I like no reserves.
-Yeah, I like no reserve.
-They need a good home.
And without reserve, we are on for a definite sale.
-See you at the auction.
Trust Will, he always lives dangerously.
Before we return to the auctions to find out how well our final
items sold, I'm heading back to Scotland to show you some more
Well, they say every picture tells a story, and that's
definitely true here at Pollok House.
Take these wonderful paintings, for instance, in this room.
They dominate the walls. I love the scale of them.
They are hunting scenes. They are royals.
They are by a little-known Dutch artist called Gerrit Malleyn.
But they were never intended to be hung on the walls.
Now, you're probably thinking, "Why is that?"
Look at them, they're magnificent.
Well, they're called tapestry paintings or cartoons.
I've never come across this before in my life,
but they were intended to be slipped between the weave of a tapestry
so whoever was making the tapestry
could follow the outline with a stitch.
So they had to be painted full-size, the size of the tapestry.
That's why they're so big.
There was also another way of turning
a painting into a tapestry, and that was by tracing the pattern
onto the bare warps and then hanging the painting behind the weaver.
Tapestries dates from the Middle Ages
and their calibre is judged on four main factors -
the fineness of the weave, the quality of the materials,
the skill of the weavers at translating the design and, of
course, the quality of the painting from which the tapestry was copied.
Over the centuries,
many famous artists have produced tapestry paintings,
including the Spanish painter Goya, whose work I was admiring earlier.
Goya worked for the Royal Tapestry Factory
at Santa Barbara
and had painted 63 tapestry paintings for two Royal palaces.
Now it is time to see how well our final batch of items
sold at auction.
Avril's two silver trays were passed down from her
grandmother in pristine condition.
If only the same could be said for Sylvia's postcard albums,
which were found on the council tip by her father.
And finally, there was Ian's painting - The Zennor Poet -
which came from my home county of Cornwall.
The painting was the first to go at auction back at
Andrew Smith & Son near Winchester,
where Andrew Smith took to the rostrum once more.
-Very. Nervous but excited.
-I'm nervous. I'm quite worried.
-Here we go.
-I've got my lucky pom-pom.
I've got my fingers crossed. Here we go.
Start me at £600.
Try 400 to get it going.
£400. Thank you. And 20.
At £400. And 20.
-Right, OK, it's a start.
450. 470. 500.
And 20. 550.
-They sold it.
At £600 up at the top there.
We are selling. Is there 20?
-At £600 for the very last time...
-I'm pleased with that.
Yes! That was close, but I am ever so pleased.
And I hope it is going to a good home.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
-No problem. Thank you, Paul.
I'd like to think Ian's painting found its way back to Cornwall.
Next, we travel back to London to Chiswick Auctions,
and William Rouse was on the rostrum.
Avril's pair of silver trays was up for sale
and being sold as two separate lots.
Well, we've got a real treat for you right now.
We're serving up a Victorian silver tray in the Georgian style,
with pie crust edges.
-And I like this, Avril.
-I like it a lot.
£200 to £300. I think we could see the top end, plus a bit more,
because of its style. It's got something about it.
Let's find out what the dealers here think, shall we?
It's going under the hammer now.
396 is a Georgian style salver.
And there we go. Start me, £200 for it.
I thought so. £200 is bid. 210 is bid.
220. 220 here.
Anybody else then? At 220 in front of me. Is that it?
All finished and done? 220...
It's gone at 220. You were right.
It's gone at 220.
-Did our best.
That was a good price to get us off the mark.
And although Avril's second silver tray had a lower estimate,
we all hoped it would sell just as well.
We are going to find out what the bidders think right now. Here we go.
£150 for it. 150.
170 on the internet. 180.
220 in the room.
230 on the internet.
230 on the internet is bid. Anybody else?
At 230, here at 230...
-Deserved. Well deserved.
-There you are.
-Because it had that...
..little bit of decoration,
-that little bit of extra something.
-It was unique as well.
Thank you for bringing that in, cos it was lovely.
A fantastic result that was.
The two silver trays sold
for a total of £450, and Avril went home happy.
Now for our last stop on today's show, and we returned to
Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers,
where Stephen Kaye was on the rostrum.
We were here to sell Sylvia's battered postcard albums.
We always have lots of surprises with postcard albums.
And you know, something that might be valued at 200 to 300 sometimes
reaches £600. But it's really hard to say.
We'll put them to the test right now. They're going under the hammer.
I can start here on the book at £200.
Anybody give me another 10?
210. 220. 230.
-Someone in the room now.
-That bid on the book, look.
-No? 400 on the book.
450. I'll go 500.
I've got 500 here.
You don't want to top it?
Selling at £500.
I knew something like that would happen. It always happens
on those postcard albums. It is such a tricky thing to value.
The collectors were here. Great job done on the rostrum.
So we're all very happy.
Well, that's it. Sadly, we are coming to the end of the show.
But we've had some great results in auction rooms across the country
and we've seen some wonderful treasures here,
at Pollok House in Glasgow.
It's been a real privilege. I hope you've enjoyed the show.
So until the next time, it's goodbye.