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This is Sandon Hall, just a few miles south of Stoke,
once the famous capital of Britain's world-class pottery industry.
So, today, "Flog It!" has the Staffordshire stamp of approval.
Welcome to the show.
Sandon Hall is a grand imposing mansion in the Jacobean style.
But it's not as old as it looks.
It was built in 1852 after the previous hall burnt down
when a blowtorch was left on the roof.
So, if it wasn't the fire that gave the exterior
its chargrilled effect, what did?
The blackened stonework of Sandon Hall is down to the smoke
and the soot billowing out from the thousands of kilns
from the nearby Stoke potteries in years gone by.
It's not just pottery Staffordshire is famous for.
For many years, it was the country's capital of shoe-making.
And stepping out in their fancy footwear today
are experts Christina Trevanion...
-I love that. Are you thinking of selling that?
-Have you ever had a good cup of tea from it?
-..and Charles Hanson.
-Wow, it's like a treasure map, isn't it?
-I found your dentist.
-Oh, goodness me! Goodness me! Oh, my goodness me.
-There's an improvement there somewhere.
-There we go, there we go.
Later in the show,
a family story breathes life into some homespun relics.
-He brought them home for my mother.
-And this little girl...
-Just gorgeous, isn't she?
-..has real hair.
Charles comes face to face with a true Moorcroft original.
You're no relation, are you, to the great man William?
-I am, I'm his son.
-And there are surprises in the auction room.
You're William Moorcroft's son!
Oh, brilliant. There you go. Straightaway.
And I visit nearby Shugborough Hall
to hear about a dramatic voyage round the world.
It's a terrifying story
of endurance and survival against all odds.
Well, everyone's now safely seated inside this magnificent house
and, as you can see,
we have literally taken over the whole of the ground floor.
We need to find some treasures of our own to take off to auction,
so let's make a start and it's straight over to Christina's table.
Sister Marie, this is really rather beautiful,
this item that you've brought in to me today.
Can you tell me a bit about it, where it's come from?
-Well, I think it was my dad's 21st birthday present.
-Probably in the 1920s.
And we just always had it at home
and it was in a drawer upstairs in the dressing table
and when we were children, we'd get it out and we'd play with it
and the watch - it did have a watch with it - as far as I can remember,
-it never went, so this is all that remains of it.
-So, where's the watch gone?
-I've no idea.
We're displaying it like a necklace here, on this stand here.
But you're absolutely right -
-originally, it would have been made for a watch.
It's what we call a watch albert
and this is a particularly nice example
cos it's what we call a double watch albert,
so rather than just having one strand that you'd attach
to your waistcoat, using this little T-bar here
and then the clip here would have the watch,
it's got two, so you'd wear it in the centre
and then two loops either side,
so you'd have probably your vesta case on one side
-to hold your matches and your watch on the other.
So, it's a particularly nice example
-because it's what we call a double watch albert.
-I didn't know that.
And ladies use them today as necklaces,
so the thing that I love about this particular piece is,
if we look at each of these what we call curb link chains -
that's the shape of the curb -
every single one, every single one is hallmarked.
-And they are just miniscule.
Can you imagine being the assayer that had to do that -
-stamp every single link with this wonderful mark?
And the date mark that's on it is for Chester, 1923.
That would be about right for my dad.
-Does that tie in with dad's 21st birthday present?
-Oh, fantastic. So, it's all adding up, isn't it? It's wonderful.
But what you might not realise is that this little fob
-at the bottom here...
-..and this albert didn't start life together.
-Oh, did they not?
They were poles apart. This was assayed in Birmingham
-in 19...I think 21.
-And this was assayed in Chester in 1923.
-So it might have been that he was given this maybe slightly later
or maybe as a separate gift. But they didn't start life together.
-And, again, that's in nine-carat gold.
It's got a lovely maker's mark for Joseph Gloster & Sons
and he made a lot of these little medallions and fobs.
-So would you wear it today?
-No! I couldn't.
I'm a religious sister, so I can't wear that kind of jewellery.
So, is this something that you're thinking you might want to sell?
-OK. So, I've had a bit of a weigh of it.
The fact that it's Chester and it's a nice early one really do add
to that value but we do have to use the weight as a basis to go off.
And the weight would indicate a value
-of between £200 and £300 at auction.
-How do you feel about that?
-Go ahead, please.
-Would that be all right?
So, if we enter it into auction at £200 to £300,
perhaps with a reserve of £200,
cos it shouldn't go for any less than that, really.
-It's definitely worth at least £200.
The money actually will be going to a charity
because we've got lots of sisters out in Peru and Nicaragua.
-I've been there.
-Yes, I have.
-You pioneer, you.
And also, Zimbabwe and I've been to Zimbabwe, too,
mainly working with children out there, just playing with them
because they just needed somebody just to be with them.
It sounds like the money will be going to a fantastic cause.
-A very good cause.
-I'm so pleased.
Let's hope we get lots of money on auction day.
Gold never goes out of fashion
and neither, for that matter, does silver.
Now, tell me, whose is it?
Well, we're married, so I suppose it's both of ours, isn't it?
Who found it? Is it a family heirloom?
No, I found it on my travels, a sort of bric-a-brac shop, I think it was.
-Really? In a bric-a-brac shop?
-A few years ago.
-I think I paid about £25 for it.
-And tell me, Kim, do you like it?
-Are we talking about this or...about my husband?
-About the object.
Because what we've got here is a punch ladle
and if you were a Georgian dandy or a Georgian gent,
living in, I'm sure, a house like Sandon, back in that period,
of the age of George III, the 1780s, 1790s,
this ladle may have been on your table to serve punch with.
What is really interesting is, first and foremost,
it has that exotic whalebone handle that's been twisted and worked.
There's no hallmarks but we know, even without testing,
it will be silver, because the quality
and the look of the period was often,
one would place a coin and inset it into the base.
Why would they put a coin in there?
For luck, for charm, for interest
and, whilst this ladle dates to around 1785,
this actual coin on the inside is King James II.
-It's a groat. Now, test your history, Kim.
-When was King James II on the throne?
-1600 and something.
-He only ruled for four years.
He was on the throne from 1685
to the Glorious, what we call the Revolution, of William III of 1689.
And what's quite nice is the coin within has a value too
and this is a groat, or a fourpence, which, perhaps, in that time,
would have bought you an ale and maybe a bag of nuts as well.
-In that context of that period.
This was made perhaps ten years before the French Revolution.
It was made when mad King George III was king of England.
It has such history and that's why I love it. What a great find!
-You had a great eye.
-Is it something you're thinking of flogging today?
-What's it worth?
-No, I don't know.
-Hopefully, an absolute fortune!
I think your investment's been very good.
I think you bought really well because I would like to put it
into a sale with a guide price of between £50 and £80.
So, we're going to double up, Nick, on what you paid for it.
A reserve at £50, with discretion, so if we get a bid of £45,
with 10% discretion, we have your blessing to sell it.
It's in good condition. I'm hoping it will do quite well.
Fabulous craftsmanship and a unique item.
There's not many of us who haven't seen the stage production
or the movie of War Horse.
It's an emotional story about a young boy called Albert
and his intense relationship with his horse, Joey,
which was requisitioned to fight during the First World War.
This is Christ Church, Sandon Hall's war horse.
He belonged to the 6th Earl and, together,
they fought in and survived the First World War.
Caroline Sandon, the current Countess of Harrowby,
knows all about him.
Christ Church means so much to me because the horses, I don't know...
Now they are being celebrated but, at the time, they gave so much
and I don't know if you know, but at the end of the First World War,
-a lot of them were left in France and shot.
-Yes, they were.
And to me, it's a complete tragedy,
so I'd love to tell you a bit about him.
-This is a good story, though, isn't it?
-This has got a happy ending.
He was a front liner, on the front line, seeing action all the time.
All the time, every day, for four years.
He was actually caught in no-man's-land
-at least three or four times.
I know, and the fact is you can see he's not a thoroughbred,
thank goodness, because he was very stoic.
When horses were scattering, as you can imagine,
in the turmoil and the carnage, he stood stock still and sort of said,
-"Come and get me," you know.
-Saved his life, didn't he?
-He saved his life a thousand times.
-And he survived that Great War.
He survived. Conroy's grandfather paid a farmer in France to keep him
and said, "I will not shoot my horse.
"I'm going back to England, please look after him."
He got back to England and in 1919,
he couldn't bear being without Christ Church.
He went to France, he found him in a field,
starving to death, I might add. He then chartered a boat,
and brought him back and Christ Church lived for many more years.
-And in the end, he had an obituary in the Times.
Yeah, the only horse, as far as I know, apart from Red Rum,
who had an obituary in the Times. So, it's quite marvellous.
-And he pulled these long faces, of which you can see one there.
-He looks a grumpy so-and-so.
But he just adored his master
and he wouldn't do anything for anyone else except Lord Harrowby.
-I'm pleased you've told me that.
-It's marvellous, isn't it?
I think it's rather fitting that he's here.
I think he's quite magnificent.
Continuing the theme,
Christina hears another story of bravery from Trish.
-These were my granddad's...
-..from the First World War.
-These three here were made by a prisoner of war or him.
-And it does say, "Prisoner" on the spoon.
-Isn't that fascinating?
Those were his medals from the First World War.
-So these are grandfather's?
And this is the box that the medals came home in.
First World War medals are always named, so we can always tell,
which is interesting, who received them and what rank they were,
-what number they were, etc.
And if we look around this one here, we've got "Middlesex Regiment"
or "Midd' X R", which is Middlesex Regiment.
And what I think is particularly lovely -
obviously, we can track him down - but it's got Middlesex Regiment
on the top of this really sweet little pokerwork box.
This is what we call "pokerwork" because the embellishments
were done with a red-hot poker to make it easier to mould.
So that wouldn't be a prisoner of war then?
Not necessarily. That could have been done later.
It may have been but it's very, very fine,
so I'd say that he maybe made it to put his medals in.
-Was HE a prisoner of war?
-Yes, he was a prisoner of war.
So, did he make these items?
I'm not sure whether he actually made all of the items
-or whether another prisoner of war with him made the items...
..for him, for my mother.
-And they traded them or something like that, potentially.
-He brought them home for my mother.
-And this little girl...
That dolly is just gorgeous.
-..has real hair made of leather with lead shoes.
And I was given this when I was very tiny. I've been playing with that...
-Well, not now, but...
-But that's pretty special
cos when poor old grandfather was sitting in his prisoner of war camp,
he was obviously whiling away the hours making items
and thinking about his daughter...
-..which is really sweet, isn't it?
This, to me, is the one that stands out a bit.
I don't really know what that's for. It's rather lovely, isn't it?
-It's a lot of work gone into it.
-Yes, and it's a little purse.
And it was complete when I first received it.
I don't know how it's got broken over the years
-and there was two of them.
So I guess another one was given to another member of the family.
This one I think is wonderful.
We've got "Turkish prisoner" on the spoon
-and it's a folding spoon, isn't it?
So, he would have put this in his pocket
-and used it in the prisoner of war camp.
And I do think, to have that is really quite wonderful.
But we have to think commercially
-and we have to think what would they fetch.
If we look at any of these items here in isolation,
there's not a huge amount of value here, to be perfectly honest,
but as a collection of your grandfather's
and with that story behind it,
that is lovely and that makes it, for me.
It's so important to have that provenance
-because that, by itself, would just be a little doll.
That folding spoon, by itself, is just a folding spoon.
It's not going to be of that sort of gravitas
-that you've just explained, with the story to it.
So, I think we should be looking at £60 to £100.
What's your thoughts about offering them at £60 to £100?
-I didn't know their value. I was hoping for around £80.
-But I won't put a reserve on it.
-You just want it to go?
I want them to go to someone who'll appreciate them,
-rather than be under the bed.
-Is that where they are?
-Under the bed in a suitcase.
-Oh, my goodness!
Well, I think they WOULD go to somebody who appreciated them
and especially because we're in the centenary years of World War I...
-..there is certainly going to be that interest.
Well, you've just seen them -
three wonderful items to take off to auction.
I've got my favourites, you've probably got yours but, right now,
we're going to put those valuations to the test in front of the bidders.
Anything can happen.
This is where it gets exciting and we're going to leave you
with a quick rundown of all the items we're taking with us.
Sister Marie's solid gold watch chain
and fob will make a unique necklace.
This pretty punch ladle is a shining example
of 18th-century craftsmanship
and I love the added touch of the coin in the bowl.
And finally, this modest collection of items revealed
the poignant story of one man's experience of war.
For our sale today,
we've headed west to the Roman market town of Shrewsbury,
a place with an illustrious history and, fingers crossed,
we can make some history of our very own today,
here at Halls auction rooms.
I'm going inside to catch up with our owners
because I know they're feeling nervous right now.
You sit back and enjoy this because anything could happen.
On the rostrum is Jeremy Lamond
and the commission today is 19% plus VAT.
Right now, it's time for our first item - Sister Marie's watch chain.
It's great to see you again and who've you brought along with you?
-Now, you've been out in Africa for a long, long time.
-I have, yes.
And the proceeds of this gold albert chain are going to...?
-To the mission work of the Sisters.
-And some of that will go to Africa?
-I should think so, yes.
-I hope so!
-Good luck, both of you.
-Gold prices have gone up since the valuation day.
-They have, yes.
We initially had £200 to £300 on this, now we're looking
at a fixed reserve of £300, we're looking for £300 to £500.
Looking at the weight of the albert, it should fetch that,
so keeping everything crossed for you, ladies.
230 is the Edwardian nine-carat gold watch chain with T-bar
and Maltese cross-formed fob. Chester hallmark.
I'm bid £280.
At 280. 280. 290.
300. At £300 now.
-At £300. Selling at 300.
-AUCTIONEER BANGS GAVEL
-It sold for £300. That's great!
-That's good, isn't it?
Well done, girls - all three of you.
-Congratulations, that's wonderful.
A superior result there for the Sisters.
And next up is Nick and Kim's exquisite 18th-century punch ladle.
I used to buy stuff like this. You never use it and you think...
You go to a bric-a-brac shop and you think,
"That's so undervalued, I want to buy it, it's full of history,
it's beautifully made, I'm going to buy it."
And you get it home and you don't know what to do with it.
-Was that the case?
-It was just a quality item.
-And you can't let it go, can you?
-I can't help myself.
-No, nor can I.
You have to caress these things, hold them, then you feel history.
-So interesting, so revealing.
Fingers crossed, we can double your money right now.
-That's what we're aiming for, isn't it?
-I've every confidence, Charles.
-Thank you very much.
Lot 35, the white metal whalebone handle toddy ladle,
inset with a James II fourpence.
At 25. £35. At 35.
40, where? At £35. At 35.
40. 5. At £45.
-50, where? At £45, are we all finished?
-At £45. Last chance. 50 on the internet.
-Bottom estimate, bottom estimate.
-Selling then at £50.
-AUCTIONEER BANGS GAVEL
£50. You've doubled your money. I think that's a really good result.
-Don't forget there is commission to pay, sadly.
That's bad. But we all have to pay that, don't we?
A small but healthy profit for Nick to invest in more antiques.
And now it's Trish's World War I memorabilia.
So, why are you selling these?
-They've been in the family a long time.
They've also been under the bed in a suitcase for a long time.
-Oh, I didn't know that. That's where they've been, right?
Gosh, hiding. Well, I'm not surprised you're selling.
It's a very hard thing to value.
We've had prisoner of war memorabilia on the show before
and we've had many surprises,
-especially with the Turkish beadwork.
We could get a surprise but I don't want to big your hopes up
-because it is a hard thing.
-It is. We put £60 to £100 on it.
-And we had no reserve on it.
-And now there is a reserve. You've had a chat to the auction room?
You now want a £70 reserve, so that's now fixed at £70.
-We've got to make £70.
The collection of war memorabilia. 1914, '18.
At £40 now. At 40. 5.
50. 5. 60. 5.
70. £75, new place.
At £75. 80, where? At £75.
-And I'm selling it at £75.
-AUCTIONEER BANGS GAVEL
Hammer's gone down at 75. Well done, Christina. Good valuation.
-Well done. Brilliant.
-Thank you for bringing those in.
-It was a fascinating story.
Well, that's our first three lots under the hammer.
Time for a break and a change of scenery
and Staffordshire is such a beautiful county.
Shugborough Hall, the ancestral home of the Anson family,
is set in a vast estate of beautifully landscaped grounds
and it's a fitting backdrop to the incredible career
of one of its 18th-century sons.
Mucking about with boats rates pretty highly
on my list of things to do.
I just love it - something I've probably got in common
with a young boy who grew up here
and probably played at this very spot.
He grew up to sail real ships across real oceans.
In fact, he became only the second Englishman
to circumnavigate the world.
His name is George Anson and he grew up here at Shugborough.
He was born in 1697.
It was his elder brother Thomas
who would inherit the family title and estates,
so like all second sons, George had to seek other employment.
So he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14,
quickly working his way up the ranks
to his first command, at the young age of 22,
on a ship called the Weasel.
Fortunately, this dreadful name for a vessel
didn't affect the rest of his career.
Eventually, he became First Lord of the Admiralty.
But it was his epic voyage around the world in 1740
for which he is most remembered.
At the time of Anson's voyage around the world in 1740,
Britain was engaged in a brutal and bloodthirsty war at sea with Spain.
The aim was to weaken Spain's dominance
over the trading markets of South America
and, in doing so, give us greater access to its natural resources,
its precious metals, particularly silver.
The fleet that set sail from England under Anson's command
consisted of six warships, led by his flagship, HMS Centurion,
a formidable fighting ship capable of heavy-duty firepower.
But this was no ordinary military campaign.
Anson's orders, delivered to him on behalf of King George II,
included instructions for a secret mission -
to attack a Spanish treasure ship, laden with Peruvian silver,
as it made its way across the Pacific from Acapulco.
But between them and those spoils of war
lay the tempestuous seas of Cape Horn...
..notorious for foul weather, violent gales and thunderous waves.
Battered by relentless storms,
two of Anson's ships turned back to England.
Their captains were later to face charges for desertion.
A third ship was washed up onto the rocks
off an island off the coast of Chile.
When Anson finally reached China, he was left with one vessel,
the Centurion, and a handful of men,
some of whom, it was noted, had turned mad.
Returning to England under these disastrous circumstances
would have certainly marked the end of his naval career.
Now, whether Anson's next decision was one of pure genius
or sheer desperation, it's impossible to tell,
but he decides to have one last attempt
at catching up with the Spanish treasure ship
as it was crossing the Pacific from Acapulco to Manila.
Despite being in a patched-up ship with a crew of just over 200 men,
half the size of a normal crew,
Anson had the self-belief and the determination
to command his crew to capture the Spanish vessel.
As shown in this painting, Anson advanced on the enemy
and, at extremely close quarters,
engaged the Spanish ship in fierce combat.
Someone with first-hand experience of battle at sea
is Rear Admiral Christopher Layman.
With 35 years in the Royal Navy, he is also an expert on Anson's voyage.
So, talk me through what happened when these ships finally engaged.
The chief difference between the two
was that he was tremendously undermanned.
-He only had 200 men on board.
And he should have had double that number, really,
so he couldn't man all the guns but he made the most of it.
And his tactics were brilliant.
There was no question of firing a proper broadside,
which is firing all the guns off together.
So, instead of a gunners crew allocated to each gun,
they had roving gangs that went from gun to gun.
-Relay, like a tag team.
-In a relay.
It was desperate. They had to do it that way.
Desperate, fighting for their lives,
but they were also fighting for a fortune,
because they all knew this was the Spanish treasure galleon.
He'd been training for this for a month, you know.
He'd been tacking up and down at the point here,
where he was expecting the galleon to arrive.
-Around the Philippines?
And he got 30 of his best marksmen and put them in the tops,
trained them every day, firing at targets,
-rewarding the ones who were most accurate.
And, of course, they did tremendous damage, in the rigging, firing down.
Picking off people.
Picking off people and, first of all, I imagine,
accounting for the marksmen in the other ship, in the other rigging.
-At least, that's the order I would do things.
-Get them out first, then get the officers...
-..then get the guys firing the canons.
And, of course, while the musketeers were doing their work from the tops,
the heavy guns were hammering the ship.
-Right along the bow.
-Very effective tactics and...
-With one of those.
-With one of these.
And, to be at the business end of that when it arrives
-is not a good place to be.
-You wouldn't know about it, would you?
That would go through the port side and out the starboard, wouldn't it?
It might well do that.
And if you knew nothing about it, you were one of the lucky ones.
-The others who were wounded...
-..mostly by splinters, probably...
Yes, cos that would ricochet.
Huge splinters come from ship's side
and give nasty wound to anybody in the way.
Very effective tactics, worked very well.
She surrendered with all the treasure intact.
And each crewman, I gather, gets a part of that reward.
He certainly does. A huge prize...
-..which would set him up for life.
Capturing the Spanish ship sealed Anson's reputation
as a great military commander when he returned to England.
It took a staggering 32 wagons to transport the chests of treasure,
containing mostly gold and sliver coins,
to the Tower of London, with an estimated worth,
in today's money, of £15 million.
The Spanish treasure ship was the greatest prize ever captured at sea.
Not only had Anson delivered the gold
the King of England asked him to fight for
but, in doing so, he circumnavigated the globe,
ensuring his fame as well as his wealth.
Welcome back to our magnificent valuation day venue, Sandon Hall.
As you can see, there are still hundreds of people here.
We need to find some more antiques to take off to auction,
so we're going to make a start right now,
as we catch up with Charles Hanson.
One of my great loves, Elaine, as a young man,
which really got me into the whole psyche of antiques
and asking that question, "If it could talk, what could it tell us?",
was using my metal detector,
-digging up metal which I had no idea what it was.
-Yeah, very exciting.
If I'd found these in the soil, I may have thought,
"Well, it could be part of a tractor.
"Maybe it could be part of a horseshoe."
But, of course, these objects have a pedigree
and provenance which is so important.
If I put on a bit of a twang and became a pirate,
what might romanticise people is, of course, they are pieces of eight.
-Real treasure, real booty.
-Yes, very exciting.
that great 96-gun vessel HMS Association sunk off Sicily
and lost at sea were all of these pieces of eight
and last century, unearthed in that great London saleroom...
My boyfriend bought them as a gift -
one for my father and one for myself,
-and from the original sale in 1969.
And we can go back to 1707
when piracy was prolific on the high seas and, at that time,
pieces of eight were really the world's first currency,
which could be exchanged between continents and also countries.
And these are very well-worn, very far removed from looking like coins.
But when it comes to treasure, this really is treasure
and I love them, I really do.
-So, you've got the two.
I can see one casing is in good condition,
-which is yours, I presume.
-I can't lie.
My father was more experienced than myself
and he kept his very well and I was foolish
and didn't keep mine in such good condition.
It's had some damp-proofing, you've taped it all up, but really,
although when it comes to toys, boxes are so important,
but with these sleeves, they're not so important
because they are still evidence as to what they represent.
But what IS the most important is these two wonderful pieces of eight.
I think they're worth, today, at auction...
Got to be careful because if they were in really great condition,
they'd have been £1,000 - if they were really clean and legible.
So, I would hope we could, perhaps, put them into the sale
perhaps with a guide price of between £200 and £300
-for the two together.
And perhaps put a fixed reserve on of £150.
Yes, I think I'd like a reserve,
just because of its being so exciting.
-Aye aye, Captain. Walk the plank.
-That's it - Jim lad.
They call me Pirate Hanson, yeah.
Swashbuckling tales of shipwreck and sunken treasure,
conjured up by those tiny nuggets of ocean plunder.
And now Christina's stepped outside for her next item.
Alison, the thing I love about this mug is how much fun
-these guys look like they're having.
-They do, don't they?
It's just fab, isn't it? They're having a proper party on here.
You've got some chap falling off a log.
He's obviously had a few too many, hasn't he?
Some chappie riding a horse over here,
who looks like he's telling everyone what they should be doing.
-It's just a wonderful village scene, isn't it?
-Where did it come from?
-Well, that's a very good question.
-My grandfather picked it up at some random auction or other.
And it's been in the family as far back as I can remember
and it's eventually come down to me.
-And you've inherited it and now it's here today.
-It is, indeed.
Well, when I first saw this, I have to confess I thought,
"Hmm, that looks Continental,"
because this sort of quite high embossed work here
with the background work there is often Continental
and in the early 20th century,
a lot was imported from Holland and the low countries
and we do see it in this country and it was reassayed.
-It was imported into this country and reassayed.
I've had a really good look, because often,
when it was reassayed when it was an import,
they would stamp it F for "Foreign", which isn't very inventive, really.
-No, but it's obvious.
-That's what they did, exactly, and we like that.
If we look at the mark, I would expect to see that magic foreign F.
And if we look, we've got GNRH,
those initials in that shield shape there,
which is for George Nathan & Ridley Hayes.
We've got the lion passant for sterling silver,
three little wheat sheaves, which is the town mark for Chester.
And that, funnily enough, was also my school badge,
those wheat sheaves for Chester.
And then we've got the date letter, which is a curly, curly C,
which is for 1903.
-So, no F.
So, it must have been a British piece of silver,
which really surprises me.
It's a little mug and probably would have been used
as a Christening mug or a presentation mug.
The only thing that concerns me is we've got a bit of a dent here,
which is slightly worrying,
and you can also see on the high points,
it has been cleaned quite vigorously
and the silver has actually worn away.
-That'll have been my gran.
-Was she a good sliver cleaner?
-She gave it plenty of welly?
But I wouldn't hesitate to put £50 to £100 on that at auction.
-I think it's a great thing. Would you be happy with that?
-Happy to flog it for that?
-And would you like a reserve on it?
-What you like your reserve to be?
-Would £50 be realistic?
-I think £50 reserve is realistic.
I think if we put an estimate of £50 to £100,
maybe a discretionary reserve of £50,
-just in case we should need it.
But I think it's a lovely thing and I wish I went to a few more parties
-that look like they were as much fun as that.
Christina, you need to get out more!
And that brings us to our final item and a rather starstruck Charles.
Mr Moorcroft, good to see you.
You have an air of authority about you.
You're no relation, are you,
to the great name of Moorcroft of the potteries,
-going back to the great man William?
-I am, I'm his son.
-You're William Moorcroft's son? Goodness me!
So, that whole history which I thrive on, that's your father?
-I can't believe it!
He started it and got it going and made his name at it
and then, when he died,
-my half-brother Walter took over...
-I can't believe it!
-And I joined him in '62 until I retired in 2003.
Amazing! But, of course, away from Moorcroft,
which we ought to be talking about,
and I could talk all day to you, John, of course,
the next best thing, I think, for two men, are boys' toys.
-Yes. And you've brought in...
And, again, I'm trying to put the toys into context, in terms of date.
Looking at you and perhaps father who, of course, is a bit too old
for these to have been the great man William's,
I'm guessing they were yours.
These were mine, bought by me from new, from Bassett-Lowke,
who had a shop in Holborn in London at the time, in the early '50s.
Quite right. And, John, talk me through...
Because what I love about these toys is
they are in remarkably good condition.
-You were clearly a very careful child.
-I looked after them.
I inherited certain of my trains from friends and older people
and they were fairly battered when I got them
but, having bought these new, you tend to look after them,
keep them oiled and keep them in good condition,
-and even with the boxes.
-Yeah. And what have we got here, John?
The engine is a 446 in the early British Railways colours.
Prince Charles is the name of the engine and the two coaches -
the one on the box here is the first-class coach
and the other one is third-class
with the guards van portion underneath.
Yes, and when we look back, historically,
at the golden age of tin-plate toys,
of early Hornby, of early Bassett-Lowke...
Bassett-Lowke - they began in Northamptonshire in 1948,
so these were fairly new to the market,
maybe five or six years later when you, as a young boy...
I'd have been about 14, 15, a teenager, yes.
Well, you're doing very well, sir.
A wonderful collection and we've got the boxes.
The condition is particularly good
and this market, as ever, ever so buoyant
and in the auction, I would like to put them to a sale
with a guide price of between £200 and £300.
That would be fine.
And I propose, to keep them safe and well,
-we perhaps put a reserve at £200 with 10% discretion.
Would that be to your approval? May we flog it, Mr Moorcroft?
-May I shake your hand, sir, and say, going, going, gone?
-Thanks very much.
When I heard that the son of one of Britain's greatest ceramicists
had come to our "Flog It!" valuation day,
I couldn't let him go without saying hello.
What's the secret of Moorcroft's popularity?
I think because it's based on natural designs, natural shapes
and it's got colours which are from natural ochres
of the world, of the earth.
And because they're natural,
they don't get dated with the test of time.
It has that William Morris ethos, doesn't it?
That's what it's all about.
Yes, well, Morris and Moorcroft were both believers
in the same sort of thing - natural flowers, natural...
-Harmonising with nature, inspired by nature.
And the other big thing is its hand-work
and people appreciate something which has got craftsmanship in.
So much today is mass-produced
and doesn't have any sort of great originality about it,
but every piece of Moorcroft, because it's individually made,
is an original piece by itself.
Each one of your little pieces is a document of social history
-Thank you very much for talking to me today.
-Not at all.
Sadly, it's time to say goodbye to this magnificent host location.
Please, if you're in the area, drop in. It's well worth a visit.
But right now, we're dropping in on the auction room
for the very last time
and here's a list of the treasures we're taking with us.
Elaine's pieces of eight are survivors
of an incredible true tale of shipwreck and treasure.
The scene on this pretty silver Christening mug
put Christina in the mood to party.
And their link with a British pottery dynasty
added to Charles' excitement
about these beautiful Bassett-Lowke trains.
First, it's Elaine's sunken treasure.
Why do you want to sell those?
Well, they're just sort of sitting there, you know, not doing anything,
and "Flog It!" was coming to town. Could I resist you? Not really.
I think it's the first time ever
-we've had pieces of eight on the show.
-It's that romance,
pieces of eight, and here they are.
-Is that how you say it? "Pieces of eight?"
-Long John Silver.
-Two pieces of eight...
..from Sotheby's HMS Association auction, 1969. Ha-ha!
There they are, at £120.
Two pieces of eight at 120.
At £140 now.
At £140. All finished then?
Come on, one more.
-Uh-oh, I'm walking the plank.
-You ARE walking the plank, Charles.
-I'm sinking fast.
-Not today for those, I'm afraid. Lot 56...
-We didn't sell. We were one bid away.
-One bid away.
-So close, Charles. I'm sorry, Captain.
-Well, my son's over there.
-He'll inherit them.
-Hey, that's even better, isn't it?
-Thumbs up, yeah.
Keep them in the family.
Next, it's Alison's silver Christening mug.
-It was your grandfather's, wasn't it?
Was he ever Christened with it? Was it a present?
No, it was something he picked up at an auction.
He loved the auction scene, did he? Do you like auctions?
-This is the first one I've ever been to.
-Is it really?
-Oh, my goodness.
-Have you got your eye on anything at all?
Er, no. No, I daren't.
Keep your hands down or you might buy something.
That's why they're behind my back!
Silver Christening mug, Chester, 1903. There it is.
Start the bidding here at £50.
Oh, brilliant. There we go, straightaway.
55, where? At £50.
To a commission at £50. At £50 to a commission bid.
-Come on, a bit more.
At £50. All finished then at £50. Selling...
5 - just in time, at £55. At 55...
AUCTIONEER BANGS GAVEL Done.
-£55 - just a little bit over bottom estimate.
-Yes, somebody will enjoy it.
-Yes, let's hope so.
Well, it wasn't doing anything in your cabinet, was it?
It certainly wasn't.
And finally today,
it's John Moorcroft's boyhood train collection.
He's brought along his wife, Gill, who's even more excited than we are.
I've been urging him to sell these for 54 years.
-Did you send him out the door then, did you?
You said, "Get to that "Flog It!" valuation day, go and see Charles.
-Hey-ho, here we are. OK, where have they been all this time?
They've been in the garage for the last 20 years.
Do you know what, you must have a dry garage
because the condition's very good and the boxes are good as well.
-They're not damp and rusty, so...
-Well looked after.
Well looked after and how they should be.
We need to get these off to a collector. OK, ready?
We're going to put them to the test. Here we go.
The Bassett-Lowke scale model "O" gauge train, 440 locomotive,
Prince Charles, number 62078, with tender in dark blue, BR livery.
What about those? At 120. 130.
£130 now. At 130, Bassett-Lowke.
150. At 160. 170.
At £170 now. At 180.
190. At 190.
220. 230. £230 now.
At 240. 250.
270. At £270 now, in the room.
320. 320, the bid is in the room.
340, internet. 360.
£360 now. At 360.
At 360. 380.
On the net, 400. The bid is in the room at £400.
-At £400, are we all finished then?
-AUCTIONEER BANGS GAVEL
-The hammer's gone down.
-And I haven't got to take them home!
-£400. We got the top end.
I'm so pleased you pushed him out the door.
-That's one way to £400.
-What a way to end today's show.
Sadly, we've run out of time in Shrewsbury but I told you
there'd be a surprise and we had a lovely little one at the end.
Join us again soon for many more but, until then, it's goodbye.