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Today we're in Cumbria,
and Muncaster Castle is the magnificent setting
for our valuation day.
John Ruskin, the Victorian art critic and writer,
once described this view as "the gateway to paradise".
On a day like today, you know what? I totally agree with him.
You can follow the Esk Valley all the way through to Scafell Pike -
look - England's highest mountain.
Today we're hoping for one or two highs ourselves in the auction room.
Welcome to "Flog It!".
The Lake District here in Cumbria is a national park
of mountains, lakes and valleys covering around 900 square miles.
Over the centuries, this scenery has inspired writers, poets,
artists, walkers and climbers alike.
There are 16 lakes in the area, with Windermere being the largest
and Wastwater the deepest.
Now, I didn't want to frighten anybody, but did you know that
this castle is considered to be
one of the most haunted buildings in the country? Did you know that?
-That's what we like to hear.
And it didn't put them off from turning up laden with antiques and collectables.
They're here to see our experts
to ask that all-important question, which is...
What's it worth?
Stay tuned and you'll find out.
And talking of our experts, James Lewis is here,
and he's got castles on the brain.
It's a castle ice bucket in a castle.
I can't think of anything more appropriate to find here than that.
And he's teamed up with Adam Partridge,
who has a taste for the Orient.
Those are quite smart. They are Japanese.
And they're lacquered.
Lacquered, not knackered!
While everyone gets seated,
here's a quick look at what's coming up on today's show.
Some may find today's show a little spooky.
And there's a few surprises at the auction.
Well, this is good.
Oh, fresh bidder.
Are we all done?
Well done. There you go.
What's the link between this portrait,
this chestnut tree, and tomfoolery? Well, I'll tell you later.
But first, let's get inside and get this party started.
We have literally taken over every room in this castle.
Hundreds of people everywhere. There's such a wonderful atmosphere.
Right now, we've got to find some treasures worthy
of such a magnificent surrounding. So let's make a start.
Let's catch up with one of our experts
to find that first important item.
James has brought the first item home to roost.
-Josie, my daughter, is seven.
And we have pet hens at home.
-And she has a pull-along toy almost identical.
-It was probably made two or three years ago.
-And that was made in Germany
-about 1910, 1920.
-Yeah, that's right, yeah.
But it wasn't that one
that I thought was such fun.
-It was this one here.
And when I saw you outside in the lines with this,
I just could not resist.
Just look at that.
-Isn't he brilliant?
-Oh, he's lovely.
Isn't he just great fun?
-Look at him. I could just play with that...
-..all day. Yeah.
He's kept his colours well as well, hasn't he?
The great thing is, this one is a good little toy.
And he is by Lehmann - good German maker. Early 20th century.
Probably around the same sort of period as the hen and chick.
-Tin plate, so made in sheets of tin...
-Yeah, that's right.
..and stamped out,
-and then just put together very cheaply.
-Oh, yeah? Oh.
Up until about the Second World War, Germany were leading the way,
-and then Japan took over.
-That's right. Yeah.
But he's great. Tell me, are these things you played with as a kid?
No, we weren't allowed to.
-They were always in a display cabinet in them days.
You could look, but you did not touch.
-That's not much fun as a toy, is it?
-I know. No good at all.
So who did they belong to?
-That one belonged my uncle.
-How old would your uncle be today?
-And his birth would be in May, so he'd be 112.
And I'm just a spring chicken. And I'm 82.
82. Well done. Fantastic!
What are they worth? The chicken and the cart,
But the Lehmann monkey, he's got to be 50 to 80.
-Yeah, that's right.
-60 to 100.
So let's put £60 to £100 on them. Two together in one lot.
-And reserve of 60.
-And if they don't make that, I will be stunned.
Leave him with me for the rest of the day.
Leave him for the rest of the day! Get up to mischief!
He's not going to be packed up ready for the auction until later.
James, you cheeky monkey!
Time for a bit of fresh air, I think.
Well, it's a glorious day here, Alison, here at Muncaster.
-Couldn't be nicer.
-Couldn't be nicer. What a wonderful view here.
But look at that behind us.
Yes, isn't it something, eh? Something special.
I can't see that it gets any better than that, does it?
No, it doesn't at all.
You've brought something of local significance, haven't you?
John Peel, the famous huntsman. There he is there.
What you've got, if I may,
is the Royal Doulton commemorative for John Peel.
They made a series of these sorts of commemoratives
probably in the 1920s.
And you can see the handles
fashioned as a fox's head above a whip
to show it's hunting.
And there's the famous man himself.
-He must have been a very popular character.
-Apparently so, yeah.
Let's see. This is nice, because it's got loads on the bottom.
And, of course, the famous song. D'ye Ken John Peel?
But this is very good, because it tells us all about him.
"The hardy huntsman of the Cumberland fells.
"Beloved of his compatriots. 'Birds of a feather.'
"Born on November 13th...
"and died on the same day, November 13th, 1854."
Now, this one, as you can see again,
Royal Doulton, the famous factory. "This is number 37."
-And 500 made.
-And have you had it on display?
-I had it on display for quite a while.
-Then, like everything else, you think, "I'll have a change."
It got put in the cupboard. It's just a bit chunky, really...
That's it. And they're not as popular as they used to be.
-So values have maybe dropped a bit
-in the last 10, 20 years on these.
-Any idea what it's worth?
-Something like that?
Well, I think if it was perfect, it would be.
I think with the ear damage, you've got to be a bit more conservative.
I think it's going to be somewhere between £100 and £200.
-Hopefully more, of course.
-So, reserve-wise, I would probably suggest 100.
And an estimate of maybe 120 to 180.
-That should hopefully pull them in to bid on it
and we'll hopefully get the 200 or so.
Put a fixed reserve for 100 or something like that?
-Yeah, I think that's a good idea.
-That's a fair thing.
I'm pretty sure it will sell well. If it made a couple of hundred,
would you put it towards anything specific?
-Well, yes, a little family holiday.
-Have you got grandchildren?
-How nice to have a grandmother to take them on a holiday.
-Yeah. Look and listen, other grandmothers!
# D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay...? #
John Peel was a Cumbrian huntsman who was immortalised
in the 19th-century folk song D'ye Ken John Peel?,
meaning, "Do you know John Peel?"
# D'ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away
# With his hounds and his horn in the morning...? #
He was known to be a tough huntsman.
He would set off at daybreak
and cover more than 50 miles over some of the bleakest fells.
Years after Peel's death
the song suddenly became a hit in London dancing rooms.
# ..in the morning! #
There you are. Now, while our experts are working hard downstairs,
I've nipped up here into this bedroom
because I want to show you something.
This particular room is renowned for its paranormal activity.
There's a lot of spookiness going on up here.
Lots of people have felt a chill and they've seen ghosts,
particularly in this room.
In fact, this was the bedroom of Margaret Pennington,
who died here in 1871 at the age of 11
of what was described as "screaming fits", probably high fever.
Now, I have a compass.
It's on a phone, but it does the same thing.
It tells us where north is. And north is over there.
But when I move a compass around,
you see, because it picks up electromagnetic fields...
Now north starts spinning. Now, that is spooky.
A compass shouldn't do that. You can walk around anywhere
and north has always got to be over there with a compass.
Yet, strangely enough, in this room, north is all over the place.
I'm feeling rather chilly. I'm tingling, in fact.
I'm going straight back downstairs right now
to catch up with our experts.
It looks like James has his own unearthly visitor.
That thing, is it alive or dead?
Well, we're not sure.
-It's pretty horrendous.
-She's not very pretty, is she?
Just look at that. This is meant to be for a child.
-But look at that face as it raises...
-She's from a horror movie, isn't she, really?
That... Have a look at what we're talking about here.
Close your eyes, and I want a genuine reaction.
Well, there we go.
Glad you agree!
I'm sorry. I feel I've been really so rude about the doll.
But, no, it's a great, fun talking point.
One of the famous "Flog It!" questions is,
why are you selling it?
I don't have to ask, do I?
None of the family will sleep in the house.
-They just don't like her in the room.
-I'm not surprised.
If we take the doll out,
and behind its head we've got a series of marks.
There we are. Armand Marseille, German bisque-head doll.
About 1910 in date.
And the thing that I find amazing is that these were designed
for children to sleep with and to be comforting.
It's anything but.
But the bed itself is brilliant.
It's a classic model, 1860, 1870,
-of a Victorian mahogany half-tester bed.
It could have been used as a salesman's prop,
to be taken from house to house - "This is what we make" -
and obviously, deliver full-size versions.
-But these are very popular for doll and teddy bear collectors.
Dolls like that are not as popular as they once were,
-but miniature furniture has a really good following.
So I think we should probably sell the doll with the bed.
I think we should put £100 to £150,
with the idea that we should probably get towards the 200 to 250.
-Would you like to put a reserve on it?
I think the family would just like her to go to
somebody that might enjoy her.
I don't think that's possible!
I think, let's cover her up with a nice big sheet
and pretend she's not in there.
# Got myself a crying, talking sleeping, walking, living doll... #
Well, we're now halfway through our day.
Our experts have found their first items to take off to the saleroom.
I've got my favourites. You've probably got yours.
But right now let's put those values to the test.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
Anything can happen in an auction room.
This is where it gets exciting. So stay with us.
Here's a quick recap just to jog your memories of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
James has high hopes for the tin toys,
if we can prise them out of his possession.
The Royal Doulton John Peel jug could appeal to the collectors
and locals alike.
We can only hope that this porcelain doll
and mahogany bed catch someone's eye.
They had better,
because Deborah definitely doesn't want to take them home.
We are heading north to Carlisle for our auction today.
Dominating the city for the past 900 years has been Carlisle Castle,
which apparently has a few ghosts of its own.
They include a king, a caretaker and two medieval soldiers.
We, however, are a few minutes down the road
at Thomson, Roddick & Medcalf saleroom
and are hoping for a different kind of phenomena.
So all eyes are on our two auctioneers, John Thomson
and Steven Parkinson.
At 150 on the telephone.
You can have a go on the internet if you want.
At 150. That's yours.
Remember, if you are buying or selling something in an auction room,
there is commission or a buyer's premium to pay.
Now, here it's 15% on the hammer, plus VAT.
So do factor that in, because it does add up.
You don't want to get caught out.
Make no mistake. At £150.
Going under the hammer right now, Josie's tin toys.
Lots of fun with these at the valuation day.
-And I have to say, you look so healthy.
-Thank you very much.
You look really happy and healthy.
-Is it the sea air up there or something?
-Yes. Sea air.
-Lots of gardening?
-Yes. I love my gardening.
-Get into trouble, but never mind.
-You get yourself into trouble? Why?
There's a lot I can't do now, since I had my accident,
-so I go to do it and somebody helps me.
-Oh, bless you.
Look, these toys have been in the family for 80 years,
and we're going to sell them right now. Here we go.
Rather fun. It's a German Lehmann tin plate figure.
Tom, the climbing monkey, and another there.
£20 I am bid. £20.
2, 5, 8, 30.
35. 38. 40. 42.
45. 48. 50. 55.
This will all help pay for a bit of gardening, won't it?
Anyone else? 65. 70. £70.
All done. Nobody else? 75. £80.
85. 90. £90.
At 90. Last call.
At 90. At 90. At 90.
-Thank you very much.
-That's going to help out, isn't it?
-I'll go and buy something for the garden.
-It will, won't it?
Well, Josie, that's better than the toys gaining dust in a drawer.
380. 400. 420.
All finished at 420?
Next up, the Royal Doulton commemorative jug.
Alison, your John Peel jug is just about to go under the hammer.
It's time to say goodbye. This one will go. Local interest.
-It's got to go.
-It should do.
-It should do, shouldn't it?
The market for these things has gone down in recent times,
but you'd still hope it'd make £100.
I'm not a big fan of these Doulton kind of things.
-No? They're all right.
But this one is a little bit different. It's more colourful.
-Slightly more interesting.
-It is, really.
-Isn't it? Ready for this?
-OK, let's enjoy the moment. Right, here we go. Tally ho!
This is a nice one. John Peel one, just for this area. Perfect.
Quite a lot of interest in this.
I'm going to start straight in at the 100 bid.
I thought he was going to say three.
110. 120. 120. 130. You're in now.
At 130 in the room. 130. 140. 150. 150 on the net.
160. 160. They're going mad. 170.
180 if you like. 180. 182 in the room now.
At 180. 190. 190. 200. At 200 in the room.
-This is good.
-In the room now.
-End up in a local house.
-260, in fact.
260 on the net. You're out, are you? At 260. Are you sure?
At 260 we're going to sell. At 260.
Bang on. 260. That's not a bad price, is it?
-That's not a bad price.
Yeah. I think that one was a little bit...
Had a little bit more going for it than...
-It had a bit of damage, too.
-Just a smidgen.
-Who did that? You?
-SHE COUGHS Yes.
-I'm afraid so.
You can't hide anything from me!
At £380. Are we all done at 380?
Right, our next lot. It frightens the life out of me.
Thank goodness it's here to be sold.
It's the doll in the tester bed. It's an Armand Marseille.
It's a great make. A German bisque-headed doll.
It belongs to Deborah, who sadly cannot be with us today,
but her husband, Andrew, can,
-who I'm sure will be glad to see the back of it.
-It's not a blokes' thing, is it, James? No.
-James gravitated towards this.
-I don't like it.
It's going under the hammer right now.
There are a lot of doll collectors out there and you know who they are.
What may I say for that? £80 or 50?
50 bid. 55. 60. 5. 70.
-£80. Anyone else? At 80.
-At 80. At 80.
I thought you'd get extra for the bed. But look...
The bed's worth it! But...I don't know.
-Do you think that doll's put people off?
I don't like the articulated eyes.
-Blink, blink, blink, spooky, spooky, spooky.
Well, there you. That was fun.
Our first lots done and dusted under the hammer.
We are coming back here later on in the programme, so don't go away.
We could have that big surprise I promised you.
Before we return to Muncaster Castle to find some more antiques
to put under the hammer, I'm going to be doing a bit of sleuthing,
finding out about Tom Fool,
a jester who may have been up to no good.
Muncaster Castle has been home to the Pennington family
for more than 800 years.
Today they share it with visiting tourists
and, some would have you believe, ghosts.
One of these unearthly residents could be Tom Skelton,
also known as Tom the Fool.
He was the jester here around the turn of the 17th century
and his antics may well have given rise to the term "tomfoolery".
Well, it's up to you to decide
if there is any truth in this old chestnut.
But legend has it that Tom Fool would regularly sit
under this very tree here at Muncaster Castle,
taking in the views.
And weary travellers would come up to him
and ask him for directions to London.
But for some poor souls, instead of directing them across the river,
he sent them straight down there into the quicksand.
Now, I don't imagine they found that very funny at all.
But apparently that wasn't the worst of his misdeeds.
This painting is a portrait of Tom Skelton, alias Tom Fool,
and it shows a man of position and authority -
not normally a look associated with a jester in a cap and bells.
To try to understand how Tom could have two very opposing roles
in the castle, I'm meeting with owner Peter Frost-Pennington.
Peter, as jesters go, he doesn't look that funny, does he?
He certainly looks a bit disreputable.
I'm not sure I'd invite him along to any children's parties these days.
But he was the fool here.
And he was meant to be in charge of the place for a while.
And he certainly entertained the visitors.
It must be quite a privilege.
Surely this is quite rare to have to have hired help
having a full-length portrait here on the wall.
Well, it is an extraordinary portrait,
because the...servants never got painted.
And he was a servant. But we think it's a parody portrait.
This is the fool. He was the idiot. He was the one everyone laughed at,
and yet he's painted as if he's a great lord and master.
-Is this his last will and testament?
This, they say, is his last will and testament.
It is written in doggerel rhyme. And it's interesting,
cos it says "all his living is in good strong beer".
And he is painted warts and all with his big beer belly
bursting out over his belt.
And it also says, "When I am bury'd, then my friends may drink.
"But each man pay for himself, that's best I think."
-I saw that!
-And that's because he's a servant.
-He can't afford the beer.
-Everyone had to pay for themselves.
But he wants a big party when he goes and no-one is to forget him
and we certainly don't forget Tom.
During the 15th and 16th centuries,
the court fool played an important role.
They were the political satirists of their day,
and the only ones in court who could tell the monarch
what an idiot he was and still keep their heads.
Up here in Cumbria, Tom Skelton was far enough
from the royal court in London
not to worry about his own head.
But legend has it he did have something to do with someone else's.
The story goes that there was a young lady of the house
called Helwise Pennington,
which I think suggests a little bit what her character was like.
She was engaged to be married to the next posh guy down the road.
And unfortunately, she fell in love with a young carpenter.
And this carpenter was a bit silly,
cos he was boasting about his conquest,
saying, "I am Helwise Pennington's boyfriend."
But news of the affair got to his...her fiance
and it all got a bit embarrassing.
And Tom was asked to sort the situation out, cos it was very wrong
that this servant was having an affair
with a young lady of the house.
So the story goes, he lured the carpenter to a bedroom near here
on pretence of meeting Helwise, his girlfriend,
kept him drinking - plied him with strong cider -
at which point Tom picked up his hammer and chisel,
chopped his head off with it
and dragged the headless body downstairs.
Even today, we have visitors sometimes say,
when they're standing looking at his portrait,
they hear footsteps behind them.
And they expect someone to be standing behind them.
They turn around to see, and there's nobody there.
And some authorities think it's not footsteps,
it's the thud, thud, thud, thud
of Tom dragging the headless body downstairs.
Peter, I believe there's a chance that you and your family think
that Tom inspired the fool in Shakespeare's play King Lear?
Yes. We believe Shakespeare spent some time in the north-west of England
as a jobbing actor before he made the big time.
And of course he picked up all the folk tales
and met some of the personalities,
whether he met Tom or knew the story of Tom...
And that crucial scene in King Lear is of the stupid king
who's lost his kingdom,
wandering around on the blasted heath accompanied by the fool.
And the fool isn't really a fool. The fool is the clever one.
And the king is the stupid one.
So it's just exactly what Tom's saying in that portrait.
"I'm meant to be the idiot, but you lot in government,
"you're the real idiots of the piece."
And I think Shakespeare is really good at going, "I'll keep that."
-Put quill to paper.
-Put quill to paper.
"And I'll ferret that away and make a play out of that."
I keep saying it and no-one's told me off for it, so maybe it is true.
So powerful are the myths surrounding Tom Fool
that his legend is still alive today.
Each May, Muncaster Castle holds a competition where entertainers
from around the world compete to be crowned the Fool of Muncaster.
The title is currently held by Abigail Collins.
-PUTS ON ACCENT:
-Look at you.
You're a burning hunk of man love, darling. Hello!
You have to love a man you can just wipe clean!
-Yes, look, just a bit of Windolene.
You want to try this? I think it's very good.
'I've always been naughty,
'playing tricks since I was a small child.'
And that's where I really feel the spirit of Tom Fool.
The whole idea of tomfoolery, buffoonery,
is something that... I still play tricks now,
and I don't think I'll ever stop playing tricks and doing gags.
OK, so I make quick transformation for you.
Hold your horses, people. Here I go!
When I go to come out, there'll be nobody here.
What makes a good fool?
For me, what makes a good fool it's important to distinguish
the difference between fooling and clowning.
You see it very clearly in Shakespeare
between the idea of a natural fool, a clown.
The clown doesn't know that the clown is stupid,
and that's why the clown is funny.
Whereas the fool in Shakespeare is witty and cynical
and they're there to pull people down
and to shine the mirror up to human nature.
So that's the difference.
I suppose the modern equivalent of fooling would be stand-up.
We see it in sitcoms. The fool never really disappeared. Here I am!
Oh, my gosh!
It's good. Yes, you like it now?
Just a little kiss.
Are we having enough? Do we want to see more?
'For me, being a female fool, it's a really important role,
'because the fool is there to challenge social mores
'and to push the envelope. And that is always what I do.'
I hope that I never tip it too far over the edge.
But for me, that's where...
The fun is always where you get the tension in a performance
and working out how far you can take it.
You know, it takes years of abuse to get a body like this, boys and girls. I know.
It seems the legacy of this fiendish fool will be kept alive
in a way that many of us can enjoy.
But with tales of chopped-off heads and creeping ghosts,
you can rest assured I won't be sleeping in the castle tonight!
# If you wanna come back it's all right, it's all right
# It's all right if you wanna come back... #
Back amidst the fun and commotion of our valuation area
people are still flocking to the tables,
keeping our experts very busy.
The grand hall is now an off-screen valuation area.
But through here in the library...
..Adam Partridge is just about to start one of his valuations.
So let's take a closer look at what he's talking about.
How did these Japanese panels end up in deepest Cumbria?
-They belonged to my husband's grandfather...
..who was in the Navy.
And I know that he was out in Shanghai.
Whether he was in the Navy during the war or before the war, I don't know.
-You don't know what years he was in service?
Well, these were brought back by traders,
merchant seamen, Navy people, as souvenirs of the time.
This style of decoration with this relief applied work
is the Shibayama style,
which was actually derived in the 18th century.
And you see really exotic Shibayama panels in ivory and mother-of-pearl
and very, very fancy inlays.
And these are basically later ones that were made for export.
-So these would have been made around 1900 or thereabouts.
So they're literally cheaply made, even though they are very ornate.
Your ones are in bone rather than in ivory.
So any elephant lovers will be happy to own these anyway.
Typical scenes of daily life are depicted in them.
And of course the very famous Mount Fuji in the background,
which is depicted in so many... Japanese art and things like that.
-Do you like these?
-Yes, yes. But they've been...
wrapped up in a drawer.
I saw that ancient paper that you've got them wrapped in.
-And so they're not on display?
There's nowhere to hang them, really.
So why have you decided to sell?
You like them but you don't display them?
-Presumably they take up too much room?
-I'm hoping to go to Australia.
-My family is over in Australia.
So you're going to go and join them. It would be lovely to get out there.
Now it's down to the gritty bit of the value.
I think they are going to be about £50 a pair.
So maybe £100 to £150 for the lot.
-I think that's about the money, really.
I don't think they're going to make much more.
And we should put a little reserve on them at 80 just to stop them.
-You're looking uncomfortable.
-A bit higher?
-I'm trying to get you...them sold for the best price.
-We can't put it up to 90?
-We could put it up to 90.
OK, let's put 100 with discretion, so that means 90.
-Estimate 100 to 150.
And if they stop at 80, don't let me say "I told you so".
Let's hope we can help Jean with her trip to Australia.
Back on the home front, James has uncovered a set of instruments
that are not for the faint-hearted.
It's about 100 years since the beginning of the First World War.
And I have to say when I see things like this...
..I'm just so glad I live today and not then.
Because this is the most gruesome set of instruments
you can possibly imagine.
We see a lot of field surgeon's kits.
But they didn't seem to have changed an awful lot
from the Napoleonic Wars through to this stage here.
All that we haven't got is a saw to chop someone's leg off.
-Now, these belong to you, don't they?
How did you come to have these in your possession?
Pretty much by chance, really.
I bought a box of military books.
And this just happened to be in amongst it.
Dorothy, you know a little bit more about these things, don't you?
Yes. I was a nurse from the '50s.
And how did the equipment charge from the First World War?
-The scalpel. Now they're disposable.
Before, we just put them on the end.
-But they... That's beautiful, I think.
-I think that's probably saved lots of lives.
That's...Spencer Wells forceps for opening the wound
or for tying off a vein or an artery.
And that could be used for opening a wound.
But I think the most beautiful thing was this small case
-with the needles in.
-That's lovely, that.
It will be interesting to know whether it was German or British.
As far as I know, it's German.
And it seems to be, you know, of its time the best kind of quality.
Wonderful quality. The one major difference to the tools
that were being used 100 years earlier,
they realised the importance of keeping them sterile.
-Because 100 years earlier they would have been
in a brass-bound mahogany box.
-When you lift it open, it would be velvet lined.
And these tools, I guess, when they were still fairly dirty
-would have been slotted back in like this.
That's not exactly the most ideal sterilised condition,
whereas here, of course, they're wrapped up in something you can boil.
-They can go in there.
-And go in there.
So, what's it worth? I think it has a limited market.
I don't think it is early enough to have a great following.
But First World War stuff is now becoming more and more sought after.
So 30 to 50?
£40 to £60?
Something like that.
Let's put £30 on it.
-I think it's good value at £30.
-I do as well.
I think it's a good talking point.
-I still don't think it's beautiful.
-Oh, I do. I think...
Well, Dorothy and James will have to agree to disagree on that one.
But while we're on the subject of saving lives,
I found a box here in the house with a fabulous story to tell.
Now, I've spotted something in the library and I am fascinated by it.
Another great piece of family history.
It's a medicine chest belong to the fifth Lord of Muncaster,
He fought against the Russians in the Crimean War in the 1850s.
And he took this medicine chest with him.
It's quite a comprehensive piece of kit
that any field surgeon would be proud of.
And it's full of glass bottles containing ointments
and tinctures, and it's got a pestle and mortar. It's got syringes.
I'm absolutely fascinated by some of these glass bottles.
Look. Laudanum. That's all gone.
There's all sort of tinctures here,
potions and cures.
Look at this. Little, tiny iron.
You could heat that up and seal some wounds on the skin.
It sounds pretty gruesome, doesn't it?
A staggering 250,000 British and French men
lost their lives during the Crimean War due to disease.
It was during the three years of the conflict that Florence Nightingale
revolutionised the treatment of soldiers and paved the way
for yet further advances in how we care for our sick and wounded.
It was on this battlefield that the fifth Lord Muncaster
had a narrow escape.
I want to show you this. There's his cap that he wore.
He was in the 90th Rifles.
And he stuck his head up a parapet to look out at the Russians.
And some Russian took a shot at him. Look at that. That's a bullet hole.
Went right through his cap, right through his hairline.
Thankfully, he survived that
and he went on to live right through to his mid-80s.
There's a happy ending!
Now, Adam is back out in the sunshine.
It's a glorious day here at Muncaster, isn't it?
It's perfect, perfect.
And a very famous factory of porcelain you've brought along.
What can you tell us about it? Where did you get it from?
Well, it's probably been in the family,
I don't know, 40 or 50 years.
My father bought it actually in Switzerland.
He had offices in Zurich.
So he's bought it maybe from an antiques shop over there.
-I think so.
-Obviously by the very famous Meissen porcelain factory.
One of the finest porcelains of the world,
arguably THE finest porcelain,
although perhaps the Crown Derbys and Worcesters and Mintons
of this world might argue, as might Sevres and various others.
-I'm sure they would.
-But one of the top names.
-It originated in about 1710.
And they made lots of figures like this
throughout the 18th and 19th and 20th centuries.
And they are characteristic for their blue crossed swords mark.
That famous blue crossed swords trademark underneath.
And we've got the shape number there as well.
So why have you decided to bring it along to "Flog It!"?
Oh, well, it's actually sat in the back of the cupboard
-or a display cabinet. It's been there for such a long time.
My eldest daughter is hoping to go to Australia on a sports tour.
So really it was to help fund, hopefully, her trip to Australia.
So turn that dusty old ornament at the back of the cabinet
-into something that...
-Not so nasty.
-Dusty, not nasty!
I said "dusty", not "nasty"! I wouldn't say that. I'm not that bad!
I think it's quite pleasant. It's not my taste, really.
But it's very nicely modelled. I can certainly appreciate them.
The main famous modeller of these was Kandler in the 18th century.
I think this is a 1900s or slightly later version
of the very famous Meissen figures.
If that was a period one from the 1770s,
-it'd be worth thousands of pounds.
-But I'm afraid I don't think it is.
But look at the quality of the faces...are very nice.
When you are looking at these things, the faces are beautiful.
They're absolutely beautiful.
And the colour. I love the colours of them. They're gorgeous.
Sadly, the more I look at it, I see quite a bit of damage.
Little bits... Lots of little bits on the end.
You can see these white bits showing.
-He's lost an arm here.
Maybe he was meant to be like that.
Yes, perhaps. Yes. Yes, of course.
He was probably meant to be...
-"This is what happens when you bite your nails."
-In good order I can imagine it making £500.
-Because of the damage, I think we have to bring it right down.
-Perhaps as low as 150 to 250.
I think it will find its level
and hopefully it will be a bit more than that.
But I think that should be enough to entice people to bid.
-But there's a lot to put right.
-It's still a beautiful thing.
It is a beautiful thing. Shall we put a reserve on it - £150?
-That's good, that's fine.
-We don't want it really going for any less.
-And hopefully it will go on and make a little bit more.
Let's hope we can make plenty of money for your daughter's sports tour.
That would be nice.
Well, there you are, that's it.
Our experts have now found their final items.
So it's time for us to say farewell to Muncaster Castle,
our magnificent host location today. It's really done us proud,
and the hundreds of people who have turned up.
But right now it's time for us
to head off to auction for the last time.
And here's a quick recap of what's going under the hammer.
See you in Carlisle.
Bye-bye, everyone. Bye-bye!
These early 20th-century Japanese panels
show everyday life in Japan.
But how will they translate back here?
Will it be touch and go for this First World War field surgeon's kit?
It's a top name,
so hopefully we'll get a top price for this Meissen statue.
We're back in Carlisle, and the auction room is in full swing.
360. 380. 400. 420.
All finished? Thank you, sir.
Going under the hammer now,
four Japanese inlaid panels belonging to Jean.
All the proceeds need to get you off to Australia.
It's a lot of money, isn't it, getting there?
It's a long way. It's a long flight.
Will we get top money for this? Is it too touristy?
-I don't think they're going to be easy things.
I don't wish to be pessimistic, just realistic.
-I think if we sell them, we should be pleased.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
They're going under the hammer right now.
897 is these rather nice Shibayama panels. What may I say for these?
150 or 100?
40. 40 I'm bid. At £40 bid.
2. 5. 8. 48.
50 on the net. 55.
55. 60. 65.
-65. £65, all finished.
-I don't think they're going to go.
-They're struggling, aren't they?
75. Last chance. 75. At 75.
I'm sorry, they're just a little short of the reserve.
-They're not sold.
-We're sorry about that.
They haven't gone, have they?
Well, thanks for giving us the pleasure of looking at them.
-No. I hate to say...
-I brought my bag with me, anyway, to take...
-Oh, did you?
-Yes, I came prepared.
What a shame.
But souvenirs like this made for the export market
don't tend to make the big money.
Now let's hope we don't have a horrid end
to this field surgeon's kit, which is up next.
-Dorothy and Stephen, good luck with this.
I think it's quite gruesome, I really do.
-But it's a field surgeon's kit, possibly German,
from the First World War. Going under the hammer right now.
-Good luck with this, James.
-This is it.
What may I say for this?
30, 20? Never know when you'll need it. 20 bid.
£20. 20 bid. 22. 25.
28. 28. Anyone else?
28. 30. 30. 30.
-Yes, come on. It's worth 30. It's worth...
At 30. At £30 only. All done.
-At 30. Sold.
-It was a bargain.
-It was a bargain, wasn't it?
-It was, it was.
Dorothy is thinking, "I would have taken it home
"and operated on a leg of lamb, on a Sunday roast!"
Ha! Well, that's another item sewn up.
Are we all sure? At 380. Are we all done at 380?
Going under the hammer we've got a great name in porcelain - Meissen.
We have seen it on the show before. We've got a cracking piece.
Fingers crossed we get the top end of Adam's estimate.
-It's a group of figures, isn't it?
-Yes, yes. A beautiful thing.
It's beautiful to look at with the young children.
-Been in the family a long time?
-50-odd years, something like that.
-Are you a massive fan? Not really, no.
-Nor am I, unfortunately.
But there are a lot of collectors out there.
I'm not sure you should call it a cracking figure.
Is that the best choice of words for it?
Look, there's a tiny bit of damage.
But when you look at the detail and all the figures,
there's a lot going on.
Hopefully, someone will like to own this piece.
It's a very smart piece of porcelain.
Yeah. I'd rather have that than a cup and saucer in Meissen.
Right. Here we go. Let's sell it.
Start here. The bid is with me at...
-We're going to start at 320.
-Here we go. THEY LAUGH
400. 420. 420. 420.
-It's like we set you up, isn't it?
At 460. 480, anybody? At £500?
Would you believe that?
520. It's still going. At 520. At 520 bid.
At 520. At £520. Are we all done? All sure?
£520! Well done.
Well, there you go. There's always a surprise.
-I told you there'd be one.
-Just getting my disclaimer in.
"It may not sell."
That's amazing. That is amazing.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
And what a way to end the show. We're totally baffled.
So was our auctioneer, Steven.
He said, "I can't believe it." But the hammer went down.
-And you're going home with the money.
-I'm very happy.
It doesn't get any better than that. I hope you enjoyed watching.
It's goodbye from Carlisle!