Browse content similar to Ragley Hall 7. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
To my eyes, this beautiful,
magnificent, 17th-century house is a work of art.
It's an absolute gem and it's built in the Palladian style,
after the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, who tried to
recreate the style, the proportions and the symmetry of ancient Rome.
Friends and countrymen, we come to you not from Rome today
but from Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.
Welcome to Flog It!
Ragley Hall is a fine house, saved from destruction
in the 20th century by Hugh, Eighth Marquess of Hertford,
the father of the current marquess.
The burden of inheritance tax nearly spelt the end for this
magnificent house. However, in 1958,
the marquess took the step of opening his home to the public
and introduced all sorts of inventive income-generating
attractions to bring in visitors - like waterskiing on the lake.
That's what I call showmanship.
The marquess really knew how to make a splash.
What a fantastic crowd we have here today,
all waiting expectantly for the doors to open, hoping
they're going to be one of the lucky ones to go to auction later on.
Thankfully, no waterskiing needed here today.
Hundreds of people have turned up from all over Warwickshire
and beyond laden with antiques and collectables.
And the great thing about this show is they don't know
what's in those bags and boxes, it's up for our experts to tell them.
And there is only one question on their lips, which is...
ALL: What's it worth?
Stay tuned and you will find out.
And who better to provide that information than our two
Oh, hello, look at that! That's beautiful!
And Will Axon...
I think you've got to trust the man holding the razor, haven't you?
It's a bit nippy out here. And there is no reason to hang about.
So it's time to get these good folks settled inside.
While they all find their way through the house to the Great Hall,
let's take a quick look at what's coming up on today's show.
As ever, Christina is on the lookout for a star item.
Where is the Faberge egg to go in it?
-Well, that would be good.
-That would be lovely. Yes.
Will has a celestial find which has down to earth origins.
Where did you buy it? A specialist dealer or a bookstore?
One of those things you hear time and time again
but you don't believe it - it was in a boot sale.
-No! I don't believe it.
And I find a labour of love
which has created a corner of heaven at Ragley Hall.
Do you know, I'm lost for words.
The Great Hall here at Ragley is a feast of baroque plasterwork.
Just look at it, it's quite awesome. This technique is known as stucco.
And it's a plaster mixture of lime, gypsum and marble dust,
all mixed up together.
And it's perfect for fine, detailed work.
The ancient Romans developed it to decorate their ceilings.
And it has been widely used in grand country houses like this ever since.
And it does provide the perfect backdrop for our valuations today.
And who knows, we might find something as old as this
Venetian torchere, which dates back to 1756.
If it's out there, our experts will find it.
Christina has already spotted some superb silver.
Philip and Susan, thank you so much for bringing this in.
It's a really rather beautiful little cup, isn't it?
-Where did it come from?
I bought it in Chipping Camden from a church fete 44 years ago.
Half a crown.
-In old money.
Did you think twice about buying it?
No, I just liked it. I thought it was lovely.
Susan, did Philip buy this before you got married?
-And he was allowed to keep it?
He certainly was because I thought it was a beautiful piece.
I love the colours of it.
They really are, aren't they, they are beautiful.
And it's like a little stained-glass window in itself.
It's just fabulous.
And the work is what we call cloisonne work,
as you probably know,
where you put this wonderful sort of molten material into this wire
work detail. It's incredibly intricate. It really is stunning.
I would suggest this was probably originally used as an egg cup.
Very big eggs.
Very big eggs. Or potentially as a salt.
The reason I say salt is we've got this gilded interior,
so it obviously wouldn't have corroded it.
It is a piece of Russian silver.
I'd expect to see a really good set of marks on the bottom cos
the Russians were very good - like the British when you
think of the British hallmark - were very good at marking their wares.
Let's have a little look and see what we can see.
We've got the George and the Dragon town mark there from Moscow.
So we know it was certainly marked in Moscow.
We've got the 91 zolotnik mark there,
which is a mark for silver fineness. So we know it's of fine silver.
We've also got a great date there for 1874, which is fantastic.
And that will be contemporary obviously with the piece.
It was certainly registered in 1874.
And then we've got the maker's mark there, which is
a chap called Viktor Vasilyevich Savinsky.
And I didn't know that off the top of my head. Sadly.
-Very well said.
-But great marks.
And it really certainly helps to
have those in able to attribute the piece.
The thing that really slightly bugs me about this is the damage on it.
Yes, I realise that.
I think it has certainly seen a few good parties, hasn't it?
Collectors of cloissone
and small Russian works really want to see things in perfect condition.
It's a slightly limited market because it is an egg cup.
Or because it's a salt. But nonetheless, at auction, I
would hope it would fetch somewhere in the region of maybe £80 to £120.
How would you feel about that?
-That's your famous answer, isn't it, £80 to £100?
-80 to 120.
Yes, I think... It's a good auctioneer's estimate.
-I'd be happy with that.
-80 to 120.
Would you like to put a reserve on it?
I'll go by your advice.
OK, I would suggest a reserve of £80 with discretion should we need it.
The only thing I have left to ask you was...
Where is the Faberge egg to go in it?
-Well, that would be good.
-That would be lovely. Yes.
-If only we knew.
-If only we knew.
Now that's wishful thinking.
Will also has a very good find. Two rare watercolours.
Derek, tell me, are you a collector of Royal Worcester?
Absolutely not. I know very little about it.
Really? So how come you've got these in your possession?
When my mother died about ten years ago,
we were clearing the house, and they just turned up in a drawer.
-I didn't even know she possessed them.
-It's amazing what you find in houses when you clear them.
Did you like them when you saw them or did you think,
-"What's this old tat?"
-No, I love them.
But again, cliche I suppose, what do I do with them?
Yeah, there is that element.
I mean, in my mind, they are crying out to maybe be framed
-and hung on the wall.
-Actually, I absolutely agree with you,
but they are a bit small for my taste.
-And if I put them on a wall...
-Yes, they are a bit small.
I mean, the Stintons...
I don't know if you've done any research on these,
but the Stintons were a family who were all employed by Royal Worcester
to paint on their porcelain.
So on the vases, saucers, plates, that sort of thing.
Whole tea sets decorated by them.
They are the pieces that command a premium.
-But at the end of the day, the Stintons were artists.
They had to practise.
They probably painted for their own interest as well,
just to develop their own skills.
They know their subject well, shall we say.
And that's why, you know, you can
-believe that those two ducks are taking flight.
And you can believe the way that pheasant is just protecting
the female pheasant there who is just sheltering slightly.
He's got it dead right. We are not far from Royal Worcester.
-Just up the road.
-20 odd miles.
So I was hoping that we would get a piece of Royal Worcester.
-But I wasn't expecting to get watercolours on card.
When would you say they were painted?
He hasn't dated them, but I would have thought
they are going to be from 1890, maybe up to sort of 1920, 1930.
They've probably spent 100 years together, why separate them?
Exactly right. You are quite right.
I think they are probably worth between £50 and £100 each.
So add those together. I was no good at maths.
-But £100 to £200 would be a sensible estimate.
You know, at the end of the day, you want them to sell.
So let's put them in that estimate.
Reserve wise, you know, I'd say tuck it in just
-under the bottom estimate. Say £80.
I'm pretty sure that, excuse the pun,
these are going to fly at the auction.
I love them! They are two little masterpieces.
Talking of masterpieces, I'm taking you off to the
green drawing room to see something special,
brought in today by Evie, which she has no intention of selling.
Evie, I absolutely love this! Thank you for bringing it in today.
I tell you what, we've picked the right room to get this.
-It's a Walter Langley. The Newlyn School. Now look.
Do you think the owner of the house should own something like this?
It fits this room perfectly, doesn't it?
-It's beautiful, isn't it?
-Can you see that?
-Isn't that lovely! It actually gives me
a good opportunity to quickly look at the back.
-It's never been reframed.
-It's got its original label.
In Pensive Mood by Walter Langley.
He is my favourite watercolour artist.
It's an inherited piece from my mother-in-law.
And she inherited it from her uncle.
-An uncle did some work for Walter Langley.
And the painting was payment for the work.
-Gosh! They were obviously in Cornwall, were they?
Yes, it was some photography work. But I don't know what it was.
-What lovely provenance!
-Is there anything in writing?
-It's a nice story, though.
If you put this into auction today, I think an auctioneer would be
quite crafty and catalogue this as 8,000 to 12,000.
-He knows he could sell it at 8,000.
-At the lower end.
But you might be lucky.
It would look great on anybody's wall, wouldn't she?
Evie, I think it's lovely.
I wouldn't sell that if it was mine.
Over to Christina now,
who is talking to someone who does want to sell.
Helen, this looks quite exciting.
Where on earth did you get this little delight from?
I actually got it from an uncle of mine
who died about five or six years ago.
-Right. So you've kept it since then?
And do you like it?
I do like it. I've never used it. And I don't think that my uncle used it.
That would explain why it's in quite such good condition.
So often you find these that have been used
and you've got chips around the rim here or around the base.
Or the bee has come off.
-So it's in great condition.
Obviously these things were made for a purpose.
And that purpose was that it was a honeypot or a preserve pot.
Most appropriately honey because
it's in the shape of this wonderful beehive.
And just to check, I am absolutely sure you are absolutely right,
but let me just check.
There we go. There she is. Splendid. There is her name.
That wonderful Clarice Cliff mark on the base there.
And it's in that typical Clarice Cliff colour palette,
with these wonderful crocuses - orange, purple and blue.
They just shout Clarice Cliff, don't they?
She was so famous for that crocus pattern.
She was a fantastic woman, really.
She started out as an apprentice to the Wilkinson Pottery in 1924.
And it quickly became quite apparent that she was an incredibly
talented potter and painter.
And in 1927, she moved to the Newport Pottery, which is
this one here, "Newport Pottery Company, England."
And she was given her own workshop.
The fact that we've got this wonderful hand-painted section
here, which is still in good condition.
-So it is hand-painted?
-We've also got hand-painting to the bee as well.
What do you think it's worth?
I haven't got the faintest idea. I really don't know.
At auction, I would say probably in the region of £80 to £120.
Something like that. How would you feel about that?
Oh... SHE LAUGHS
-In a good way or a bad way?
-In a good way.
-Good! Phew! You terrified me.
THEY LAUGH No, definitely. Wow.
I would suggest 80 to 120 with a reserve of 60 or £70.
How would you feel about that?
-Reserve at 60 or 70?
-I'll go for 70 then.
-Go for 70. If we say 70 firm.
-With an estimate of £80 to £120.
-Are you happy with that?
It's a lovely thing. Thank you so much for bringing it in.
It might turn out to be a different sort of honey pot.
You never know. You never know.
I hope so. Clarice Cliff usually sells well.
Right now we are going off to auction for the first time.
You've just seen what our experts have found.
You've probably got your favourites. I've got mine.
But right now it is literally down to the bidders.
We are in the hands of the auctioneer.
Let's get over to Bigwood's and get the sale underway.
Here is a quick recap of what's going under the hammer.
The Russian silver cup is a beauty so it should shine at auction.
If I collected Royal Worcester, I know I'd want these beautiful
watercolours by one of our top artists.
And this little Clarice Cliff honeypot is charming
and should appeal to the collectors and the non-collectors alike.
If you head ten miles or so east from Ragley,
you will come to Shakespeare's birthplace -
Just on the outskirts, in an old Victorian schoolhouse,
is Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers.
Inside the busy auction house, excitement is mounting.
Taking the sales today, we have two auctioneers on the rostrum -
Christopher Ironmonger and Stephen Kaye.
And we have something very familiar to kick us off.
-Well done, Helen.
Without you, we wouldn't have our cliche today.
-You know what I'm talking about.
Just to jog your memory, it's that honeypot. Yes, it's Clarice Cliff.
-You've got to have a bit of Clarice Cliff.
-You have, haven't you?
-You have, yes, you have.
-OK, so why are you selling?
I like it, I like the little honeypot, but I've never used it.
It's sitting in a cupboard, so I thought, "Well,
"I'm quite happy to sell it."
Cute little thing. And I know it will find a buyer.
-And it's so... It just screams Clarice Cliff.
It's just so archetypal of what people want from her.
It doesn't do anything for me, but I know it does for this lot out there.
We are going to put it to the test.
Clarice Cliff now. 1930s crocus patterned honeypot.
£80 bid. Down here at 80.
90 now. At £80 for the honeypot. At 80.
90 do I hear?
At 80 at the front of the room.
90 on the net. 100?
90 on the net. At 90. Is it 100 now?
At 90 on the net. It's going to sell at 90. Is it 100 now?
At £90. It's going to be sold if you are done and finished.
-Clarice never lets us down.
-She doesn't, does she?
-God bless her.
-Fantastic, well done.
-There you go.
-I am pleased.
-Well done, you.
Clarice Cliff is just one of those names that always sells.
And now for another reliable name.
-Derek, fingers crossed and good luck.
Everybody loves Stinton's work. Especially on Royal Worcester.
But here you get a chance to buy on card as works of fine art.
-I think these will do quite well.
-Let's hope so.
Very affordable. Why are you selling them?
I've no interest, really.
I still appreciate the work, but they've just been lying in a drawer.
Right, let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
We are going under the hammer right now.
James Stinton - Cock And Hen Pheasant In A Landscape Habitat.
And the companion, Mallard Taking Flight.
They are little watercolours. They are signed. On card there.
I've got an opening bid of 80 on the book. At £80.
-I bet we'll get there.
-Do I hear 90 now?
At £80. I thought these would cause a bit more interest.
At 90 on the net.
At 100 on the book.
I've got 100 commission.
120 on the net? At 110 on the net.
110 on the net. At 110.
110 on the net.
I'm out and the net is in.
120 is in.
At £110. They are going to go at 110. Are we done?
Hammer has gone down at 110. Good auctioneering.
It's not dear, is it, if you wanted to own a bit of artwork...
-That is it.
-..by one of the best-known artists in the world?
No, and I'm sure that if you are a collector
of Royal Worcester, you'd want to honour those.
It's another aside to the porcelain. It all makes sense.
-It's just bulks out a collection, doesn't it?
That was a lucky find for someone.
And now we have something rather eggs-quisite.
Philip and Susan, good luck.
I know it's not a lot of money, but it's a nice little item.
We are talking about the little Russian silver egg cup.
If you like to go to work on an egg,
you need something like this, don't you?
-Do you think it will be acquired by a Russian?
I don't know. I don't know. I tell you what,
if it's that one missing one from a set, which it
does come from a set, you might find a little bit of interest.
-Let's hope so.
-This is what auctions are all about, isn't it?
I'm slightly worried now I'm thinking it out.
Thanks for that, Paul.
The yolk will be on me. Ready? It's going under the hammer.
The Russian egg cup with the blue enamel.
I've got some bids here on the book.
-I can start at £85.
Straight in. Fantastic.
90. Five. 100. And ten. 120. 130.
I'm going 165. Make it 170.
I'm out. Anybody else?
All done at £170?
-I tell you what, no messing around there.
-That's fantastic! Well done.
-Well over the top.
-Are you happy?
-Yes, I am.
Perhaps someone has the rest of the set after all.
That concludes our first visit to the saleroom today. So far so good.
Three happy owners.
We are coming back here later in the show, so don't go away.
Can you remember earlier on I was telling you about Hugh,
the waterskiing Eighth Marquess of Hertford, who saved Ragley Hall?
Earlier in the week, while we were filming in the area,
I had a chance to look at another of his ideas to bring in the crowds.
This one is quite spectacular.
As a boy, Hugh inherited Ragley from his uncle
after a long period of neglect.
Because of his age, it was held in trust for him.
But the hall was in a sorry state
and Hugh didn't have the money to put things right.
Some might have seen it as a poisoned chalice.
But he fell in love with the house.
I've always regarded real life as being Ragley.
School, Army, business,
anything else was merely a tiresome interruption to real life.
I always adored it.
It was touch and go financially, but Hugh was outraged
when the trustees proposed pulling it down.
I really was horrified,
so I did what I'd been told was the rudest thing you could possibly do.
I sent all my trustees postcards in pencil.
Saying I hoped the subject of the demolition of Ragley would
never again be mentioned.
Nowadays, it seems extraordinary to think this fine Palladian house
could have been reduced to rubble.
But it was thanks to Hugh's steely determination
and his vision that disaster was averted.
He obtained grants to help restore the roof
and opened the house to the public to raise more money,
trying all sorts of imaginative ways to attract the crowds,
including the famous waterskiing display on the lake.
MUSIC: Hit And Miss by The John Barry Seven Plus Four
We got going and built a ski jump.
I fell in the first 17 times I went over.
And we put a flaming hoop over it, with straw, covered in tar,
you know. Set fire to it and jumped through that.
Thousands of people came.
And it really was a huge success.
Because at that time, 1960, nobody, or very few people, had ever seen
waterskiing, unless they had been to the south of France or somewhere.
It was a new thing.
And Birmingham flocked in vast numbers
and cheered every time I fell in, which was quite often.
And I remember there was one day...
..after a Whit Monday bank holiday,
when we actually had 7,000 people watching the water skiing.
I was driving down to the bank that evening with a little
clerk from the estate office who came as my sort of escort.
To be safe.
And as I was driving, I was juggling these leather bags full of money.
And I said, "Do you realise that we have taken enough money in one
"day to buy a new motor car?"
And, gloomy little man, he said,
"Yes, or Your Lordship could reduce the overdraft."
Of course I bought the car. I bought a wonderful Daimler dart.
Despite that moment of extravagance,
the marquess achieved his ambition of passing
the house on to his son, who lives at Ragley today with his own family.
The existence of this beautiful, this magnificent interior,
which showcases some of the greatest craftsmanship from the 17th and 18th
centuries, is largely down to his hard work and his resourcefulness.
So it's hardly surprising really that he wanted to
leave his mark on his ancestral home.
And it was the flamboyant marquess's idea to add another
An enormous mural that covers the entire south staircase.
Work started on it in 1969.
Called The Temptation,
it tells the gospel story of the devil offering Christ the world
and all its riches if Christ would fall down and worship him.
Alongside this biblical story, it shows contemporary
images of Hugh's family, the pets and a menagerie of tropical animals.
The artist who created this masterpiece is Graham Rust.
It's a real privilege to meet you. You are a genius.
-Thank you. No. Not at all.
-An absolute genius.
Do you know, I'm lost for words.
That's the devil tempting Christ, isn't it,
-with all the riches of the world?
The devil was saying, "Christ, all this could be yours."
Which meant that we could more or less put anything that one wanted to.
-You got the green light, really.
Had you tackled anything on this scale before?
No, not at all. I'd only really had a couple of mural commissions before.
-Minute in comparison.
-Single walls compared to this.
I mean, look, the ceilings are adorned here. The balconies.
Everything. Did you have any help doing this?
-No, I didn't.
-This is all your hand.
What we established was that I would be here for one week per month
-For how many years?
Well, it was originally going to be five years
and it turned out to be 14.
So you became part of the family, really, didn't you, for a few years?
Yes, indeed. It was like a second home to me.
And a lovely home at that.
Do you know, the dog looks real.
When I walked to the foot of the staircase, I thought the dog
-The dog biscuits are sort of balance there to give the illusion.
To tease. It's exactly that.
The greatest complement ever was when I was working on those portraits,
we had a scaffold rail all the way along in front.
And I stepped back at one point and lost my balance
and I grabbed my own balustrade, which, of course, was painted.
Nearly lost my grip. Fortunately, I didn't.
-You are all right. You are all in one piece.
Can we have a tour upstairs? Because it's starting to hurt my neck.
Let's get higher up.
Well, you should try painting a ceiling if this hurts your neck.
I've counted 31 portraits.
Their four children, their godparents and very immediate family,
like Lady Buchanan-Jardine.
She refused to be included in this unless I painted a UFO.
So we put it in.
But it does rather attract a raised eyebrow here and there.
What does this mural tell us about Hugh?
He made an enormous contribution to the house, Ragley, and the estate.
And I think, partly, that was because of the threat when he was
a child of losing it that bound him even more tightly to the place.
And this was his gift to us.
I think he...
I think he was pleased with it in the end.
Well, Hugh certainly picked the right man for the job.
Back in the Great Hall, the valuation day is still at full tilt.
And Will has come across a real enthusiast.
Ian, tell me,
have you come at this book as a book man or a star man?
-Star boy really.
Sort your interest in the stars has been with you
-since you were a small lad?
-Yes, since secondary school, really.
I had a maths teacher that looked very much like Einstein.
-What a fine look for a maths teacher.
And he was totally dedicated to astronomy.
And he just captured me from a very early age.
From then on, it's been my hobby.
Yeah, so that's a passion that has stayed with you right up
-Right up until today, tonight, yes.
If the weather is fine, then I shall be out there.
It is one of those things that I've always been fascinated with
because what you brought along today is this catalogue of Reynolds's
Coloured Diagrams. Hand-coloured diagrams.
Physical maps, scientific and historical charts and illustrations.
And so on. I mean, I'm just going to have a
look at one or two of these sheets because rather than them
being a bound book, they are actually loose leaves, aren't they?
-And we've got one here. The phases of the moon.
This is a transparent diagram.
So if I hold this up to the light, you can
probably see crescent moon, first quarter. Full moon. Last quarter.
And there, in all its glory is, of course, the sun.
All beautifully presented and in good condition as well.
Where did you buy it from? A specialist dealer or bookstore?
One of those things you hear time and time again
-and you don't believe it, it was a boot sale.
-No! I don't believe it.
Yes. One of the boots had a collection of astronomical books,
mostly modern, that I picked up.
And underneath it, this was there as well.
Brilliant. How much was it at the boot?
It came as a package. Five books for one pound.
Five books for one pound? That is the deal of the century.
I think you've done very well there.
Your good luck to be a keen-eyed spotter
and drawn in by the astronomical books in the first place.
Chart of the heavens showing - interesting spelling of showing -
"shewing the stars visible on any night throughout the year."
-That's quite a bit of kit, isn't it?
-It is. It's not too bad at all.
There is the Great Bear there.
Yes, the Ursa Major, I can stretch to seeing that.
-And that helps you pinpoint the North Star as well.
And then you go star hopping, as we used to in the good old days.
So once you've got the North Star,
you know where everything else is in relation to it?
You pick out the major constellations
and then you can find your way round the sky that way.
That's amazing. Yes, the spine is a little bit tatty.
We've got some staining to the boards.
I mean, would you be happy for it to go at £60 to £80 as an estimate?
-What about a reserve?
-Is there a price under which you wouldn't sell it?
-Perhaps the lower estimate, really. 60.
-Shall we reserve it at £60?
-Yeah, because, at the end of the day,
if it doesn't sell, you can take it home
and you can boast to all your friends about how little it
cost you and what a useful bit of kit it is.
Certainly for someone who is gazing up at the stars.
What a fascinating book. I could spend hours looking at that.
Nearby, Christina has come across a charming collection.
What a wonderful little menagerie you've brought to my table.
I feel like I've got a zoo in front of me here. They are wonderful.
How did you come by them?
I had them from my mother and I think she had them from her parents.
Do you know where they got them from?
-No, I'm afraid I don't.
-Family legend hasn't travelled down?
-Family legend, that's right.
-What a shame.
They are, especially this one over here,
just the most exquisite quality.
And I really, really hope when I turn them
upside down I'll see that magic little mark that I'm hoping to see.
Which is by a chap called Franz Bergmann, cos
he really was the master creator of what we call cold-painted bronzes.
Let's have a little look, see what we can see.
Oh, brilliant. There it is. Fantastic.
They got the typical Bergmann mark -
this wonderful shield-shaped cartouche on the bottom here.
And that just doesn't surprise me at all.
The quality that has gone on in this piece here is just stunning.
You can see all the individual teeth.
-And he's got some serious weight to him, hasn't he?
Bergmann was working in Vienna.
He was a second-generation foundry owner.
And he specialised in not only animals but nudes as well.
But mainly in these miniature animals.
And he really is very, very collectable now
because he was such good quality.
We call them cold-painted because they basically weren't fired.
They were painted with dust
so that's why they are cold-painted rather than fired.
-And the little Squirrel Nutkin over here.
Have we got a mark on him?
No, we haven't, sadly. No mark on him.
So nobody has owned up to making him.
But again, the detail in that is quite lovely. I wouldn't have been
surprised to have seen a Bergmann mark on him.
They all date to about the 1900 period.
Out of the three, which is your favourite?
-Squirrel Nutkin. He is your favourite.
He's lovely, isn't he? And a red squirrel as well,
which we don't see much of in this country any more.
At auction, I think we'd probably be looking at putting them as one lot.
Putting the three in together as a lot
rather than splitting them up separately.
And I think your Bergmann piece there would be the star of the lot.
I think, at auction, as lovely little collector's items,
I think we'd probably be looking at a collective
value for the three of maybe £100 to £200.
-How would you feel about that?
-That sounds all right.
-Does that sound all right?
-Would you be happy to sell them for that?
So if we said 100 to 200, what about a reserve?
Would you want to put a reserve on them?
Yes, I think I should put a bit of a reserve on.
-A bit of a reserve on.
-I would suggest a discretionary reserve at £100.
Which usually means about 10%, effectively.
So if we said an estimate of £100 to £200 with a discretionary
-reserve at 100.
-Will you be sorry to see them go, Jill?
Um, well, in a way, but...
These young people don't like the nice things, do you know?
-But I think collectors really will love him.
-They should do.
Hopefully he will roar away for you and make you lots of money.
Thank you so much for bringing him in.
-It's been a real pleasure to see them.
-Nice to meet you.
Yes, you too.
What a charming owner.
And now time to explore a little more of the house.
I've slipped away from the hustle
and bustle of the valuations in the Great Hall,
with its fabulous baroque plasterwork, to show you this room.
The red saloon.
It's an absolute time capsule.
This room is the same today as it was in 1780,
when James Watt designed it.
There's a couple of things I must show you.
Firstly, up there, in the ceiling,
painted in the panels are the signs of the Zodiac.
Painted by a lady, Angelica Kauffman,
a Swiss-born artist.
Came to London in her prime.
And in 1781 she was one of the 22 founding members
of the Royal Academy in London,
headed up by Joshua Reynolds. Now that's quite an accolade.
And that's a lot of talent. It really is.
The oldest work of art in the house is this one here,
painted in 1602 by the Dutch artist Cornelius Van Harlem,
one of the leading Northern Mannerists in the Netherlands.
This is the golden age of Dutch art.
And it shows a story from the New Testament.
Jesus' miracle, the rising of Lazarus.
He has been buried for four days, yet Jesus brings him to life.
With onlookers looking on in absolute amazement.
This was picked up by the first marquess in 1764 for just £25.
I'm saying "just £25", but that was a great deal of money back then.
But it does sound a little bit like a Flog It! story, doesn't it?
Talking of which, why don't we now join up with our experts
and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
Over to Will, who has found our last item of the day. And it's a corker.
Penny, you must have some muscles in your arms
because you've lugged these from home, have you?
-With the help of my husband, yes.
-Right, I was going to say,
because they are not what they first seem, are they?
-They are obviously pictures, but they are not paints.
Tell me, what do you know about them?
My mother thought they were from Holland.
That's what I was told anyway.
I'm not really sure. I've always just wondered what they were.
In my mind, there is no doubt that these are Italian.
-Yes. These have been produced for some time in Italy.
Right back to the time of the Grand Tour, where the
great of English aristocracy,
perhaps even someone who lived in a house like this,
would have travelled to Italy to expand their knowledge,
to learn more about the arts
and to appreciate beauty through sculpture, plaster casts and so on,
and to buy souvenirs to bring back with them to furnish
homes like this that we have the privilege of being in today.
And they are made of stone.
They are inlaid sections of stone. Made up to make a picture.
The pieces of marble, stone, other minerals that they use,
they are actually cut to shape.
-You can imagine them almost like a jigsaw puzzle, can't you?
Each piece produced separately
and then brought together to produce this image.
These are probably most likely to come from Florence, which is an area
of Italy that was well known for producing what we call pietra dura.
Pietra dura literally means hard stone.
It basically says what it does on the tin.
What happened to them, Penny? Do you think they fell off the wall?
I think that's what happened, yes. Yes.
Because they have got some weight to them, haven't they?
-They are very heavy.
-They are. Which is why I asked about...
You had a bit of a workout getting them to us today.
But what I'm pleased to say is that it hasn't actually damaged
the stone panels themselves.
I think we're looking, for each picture, around the £50 mark.
How does that sound?
Yes. Yes. Yes, well, it would be nice to get more but...
-It's always nice to get more.
-We will have to see.
-But you've got to pitch these things realistically.
-Let's put an estimate on of, say, £150 to £250.
What is the minimum you wouldn't want them to sell under?
-100 or so.
-Shall we say 100? It's a nice round number. £100.
I think they are not going to struggle at auction.
I think they are worth £50 each.
-They are interesting.
-They are interesting. They are different.
They are decorative. And I think that on the day, there is going to
be an interior designer out there who has got their eye on these
and just think they are going to look
perfect in a scheme for my lakeside Italian villa.
I might even offer to deliver them.
That's it. Our experts have now made their final choice of items to
take off to the saleroom, which means, sadly,
we have to say goodbye to this magnificent venue. Ragley Hall.
It has done us proud.
And we have found treasures worthy of our surroundings.
And now we have to put them to the test in the saleroom.
Here is a quick recap of all items that are going under the hammer.
Let's hope the heavenly book about the stars gives us
a meteoric result.
This next lot with the Bergmann tiger is one for the collectors.
In Italian, pietra dura means a hard stone.
With these pictures, it's not going to mean hard luck.
We are back at the auction rooms and the atmosphere is building.
All eyes are on Christopher Ironmonger,
who is selling our highly informative first lot.
This next lot was bought for one pound in a boot sale.
Let's hope when it goes under the hammer, it goes out of orbit.
Because it's the astrological book belonging to Ian. And I like this.
It's full of charts and maps, it's all hand drawn.
The fact that it was bought at a boot fair, you know,
I live for things like that.
Get up early, get out of the boot fair, find something,
get it cheap, get it sold and make a tidy profit.
Let's find out what this lot thinks. It's going under the hammer.
This is it.
This is rather interesting. Astronomical diagrams.
I've got an opening bid on the net of £60.
-70 now? At £60 on the net, it's going to go.
At £60. 70 surely?
-I thought this would fly. 70. 80 net.
-There is no-one in the room.
90 now. You don't come across these very often.
And it is in lovely condition.
Diagrams inside. Very interesting.
At £80 on the net.
Going to be selling it at 80.
Final warning at 80. Are we done?
Well done, £80. That was a great buy.
It is click and buy now in the saleroom.
Most people are buying online.
-Good for you.
-Thank you very much.
Job done and it's off to a new home.
And now we need a really good result for our next owner.
We are on a mission. Fingers crossed.
We're with Jill and Christina.
We are raising money for the air ambulance, a great charity.
We are selling three cold-painted bronzes,
made with that lost wax method.
One of them is definitely a Bergmann.
One possibly might be. Now, tell me a bit more about the air ambulance.
Why are you raising money for them?
-Because they took me from my home to the hospital in Oxford.
-Were you stranded or stuck or...?
-I had an acute heart attack.
But thanks to them, I'm still here.
-Right, OK, we need to raise money.
-Don't we just.
-We are on a mission.
-Best of luck, Jill.
-Let's find out what the bidders think.
They are going under the hammer now.
In the manner of Bergmann,
a suit of three gold patinated bronze animal figures.
-I've got an opening bid here at £80.
-Lady bid at 110.
I'm going to sell at 110.
-This is better.
-You've got a bidding war.
220 at the table. At 220.
They are going to be sold.
At £220... Lady's bid at 220.
-That was very good.
-That's brilliant. Yes.
That's what we wanted.
The air ambulance does such a marvellous job.
Now we have those fabulous stone pictures made from Italian marble.
Good luck, Penny. You know what we are talking about.
There's three of them and they are set in stone.
It's Italian pietra dura. Drawn literally in stone. Lovely pictures.
-I know there is a little bit of damage, but so what?
I mean, you know, it sums up for me the Grand Tour.
-It sums up everything like that.
-That's exactly right.
Why are you selling them, Penny?
I inherited them from my mother and we've got loads of things.
-They don't really fit into the colour scheme that we have.
-But I appreciate that they are...
-Yeah, they are quality.
-There is a weight to them. There is an honesty about them.
-It gets exciting. Let's see what happens.
A suite of three, probably Italian, late-19th-century pietra dura
Straight in at 460 then. 460.
The centre of the room at 550.
-600 on the net.
650 in the room.
650 in the room.
700 on the net.
700 on the net.
750 in the room. 750.
150. 850 room.
850 in the room it is.
This is why auctions are so great.
900 on the net. 1,000, sir?
1,000 in the room. £1,000 in the room.
I've got £1,000 in the room and it's selling.
1,100 if you want to carry on now.
1,100 they've gone.
-Penny, listen to this.
-£1,100. On the net at £1,100.
Is it 12 now?
Are you sure? You've tried hard.
At £1,100, are we done and finished?
The hammer has gone down.
Everyone is happy! £1,100. You see, quality, quality, quality.
They deserve to make that sort of money.
-And you've got near enough £1,000 to spend.
-That's a great result.
And where do you think you want to go on holiday next year?
-We planned it.
-There you go.
-Lake Como or something like that.
You could buy some more, bring them back with you, pay for the holiday.
And what a way to end today's show.
I promised you a big surprise, didn't I?
Well, we delivered. How about that?
Quality always sells. A proper antique.
If you've got something like that, we'll flog it! See you soon.