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Parham Park in West Sussex dates back to the 16th century
and throughout its history,
only three families have left their mark on this historic building.
Like so many of the stately homes we come across
in our valuation days, they all have something to tell us about our past.
Today we're going to be showing you some of the fantastic locations
we've recently visited as we've uncovered some more treasures
from our grand tour of the country.
Sit back and enjoy! Welcome to Flog It!
Today's show is a little different from the normal.
We've been touring the country
and we revisited some of our busy valuation days from this series.
Our experts listen to the stories about your treasures,
valued them, and we took them off to salerooms around Britain.
Today we go back to Margam Country Park in Wales
which houses the longest Georgian orangery in Europe.
At the valuation day, Catherine Southon
was captivated by this painting.
You just want to pick up this child
and give him a little bit of a cuddle, don't you?
And we do love to be beside the seaside.
Highcliffe Castle overlooking the Jurassic Coast in Dorset
was a stunning setting where Philip Serrell
got some DJ-ing lessons.
What sort of music is your thing then, Keith?
It's the old mirrorball with the '70s, Dancing Queen.
-Are you a bit of a Travolta man?
-I have been known in a white suit.
We also visited the glorious Powderham Castle in Devon.
Dating back to the 14th century, it's been a stronghold
for the Courtenay family for more than 600 years,
and it was here that a well-known GI got Claire Rawle all shook up.
-You know, he was so sexy.
-He sort of brought something
to the music world that was quite different.
I'll leave that word for you, I don't know.
Yeah, yeah, well, that's fair enough!
And I'll be taking a tour around Parham House
and admiring the antiques, as well as finding out
about the part this country home played in the war effort.
During the Second World War,
30 schoolchildren from Peckham in South East London
were evacuated to this large country house in Sussex.
It must have been a culture shock.
Later on in the programme, I'll be talking to one of the evacuees
to find out what it was like being a city kid on a country estate.
We started our valuations at Powderham Castle in Devon.
In these grand surroundings,
Will Axon uncovered an item of real quality.
Well, Brian, Sue, welcome to Flog It!
and this rather wonderful venue we're sat in.
We're sat in the dining hall at Powderham Castle -
and look around you, I mean, the linen fold and the carving,
-it almost looks medieval, doesn't it?
Would it surprise you that this room was only finished
-about nine years before your hip flask was produced?
Is that a fact?
-I see it's monogrammed. Family connection, perhaps?
We inherited it about a year ago from my cousin,
who sadly passed away,
and he was quite a collector of all sorts of things,
and this is part of the collection
-which we thought we would move on.
He had a good eye, I think.
And I'm assuming you've inherited that good eye. Has he, Sue?
Tell me, what does he collect at the moment?
Well, he doesn't really collect anything at the moment,
-but he has got a good eye.
-And he watches all the programmes.
-And he says, "Yeah, 60 to 100," and he normally gets it right.
So I've got a bit of competition here, have I, about the estimate?
Well, listen, I'll tell you a little bit about the actual flask itself.
Hallmarked 1869, silver and silver gilt,
it's layered with a thin coating of gold.
Similar to the top, as well,
although I can see that the gilt has rubbed off that top.
It's obviously been well used, shall we say?
But what really interested me
was this sort of monogrammed engraving on the front,
-and this almost like a sort of coronet above it.
-I mean, that, to me, smacks of someone of some import.
-No ideas who that could be?
-None at all.
I mean, it's nice in the fact
that whoever had the right to use this monogram
would probably be looking for fine quality pieces,
accessories, perhaps this was part of a nicely fitted leather case
with a whole range of dressing pieces and so on.
Tell me, Brian, where do you see this at?
-I did run it through a saleroom.
-But it's still here. It didn't sell?
-It didn't sell.
-The estimate on it was between 100 and £150.
To be honest with you, he's not 100 miles out there
with that estimate, 100 to £150.
I could quite see it at that. But who knows what happens on the day?
-It's a strange psychology, auctions.
In that, if it looks overpriced, people tend not to bid.
-If it looks attractive, then people tend to get carried away.
And then they'll stand there with their bidding arm in the air
-and they're all happy.
-Maybe we ought to put some alcohol in it!
-Exactly. Well, I was going to ask - has it been used?
-Not by me.
Well, listen, it's interesting, bearing that fact in mind,
-that it has been exposed to the market at some stage.
-So we're going to have to take that into account.
What I would say to you is - do you want to take it home?
-Or are you happy for it to...?
Quite happy for it to find its level. Yes, indeed.
Listen, I'm going to be perhaps a little bit cheeky,
but I'm going to slash that original estimate
and I'm going to say to you -
can we put it in with an estimate of say 50 to £100?
A nice, wide estimate. And I would fix the reserve at that £50.
-And I think this time around,
you will be leaving it at the saleroom.
-Well, let's do it.
-It'll find a new home.
-Are you happy with that, Sue?
-That'll be good, yes.
-If you have to pass it by?
-Very good, yes.
And what's the money going to go on?
-Are you going to maybe buy something else that you do like?
The money will go to cancer charity,
which is sadly what my cousin died of.
Well, that gives it a more sort of rounded finish, doesn't it?
It's gone full circle.
-Well, listen, Brian, Sue, all that's left to say is cheers!
-And I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
Chin-chin. Bottoms up.
Our travels then took us to South Wales and Margam Country Park,
near Port Talbot, where Catherine Southon happened upon a moving tale.
Joan, this picture almost speaks for itself. It's beautifully painted.
We've got this lovely little boy, sitting here on his chair,
holding his favourite toy. Perhaps he's about three or four.
There must be a great story behind this and I would love to hear it.
Well, it's a lovely story, actually,
because this little boy's name was Ernst
and he was of a Jewish family
and they fled Germany just as Hitler was taking power.
-And they took all their wealth to South Africa.
Years later, when Ernst grew up, as a young man,
he went into the textile industry, where he met my grandad.
So, were they friends throughout their lives, or...?
How did you get the painting?
They stayed friends throughout their adulthood then,
and eventually Ernst moved to Cardiff and so did my grandad,
sharing a flat together.
-Sadly, Ernst died before my grandad.
-He left all his wealth to my grandad.
When my grandad died, he left the flat to my sister and myself.
-So, did you know him?
-I didn't know Ernst, no.
Just all the stories that my grandad told us.
I did put him on the wall at one time,
but as my children are getting older, I asked them,
and no, they don't want anything to do with it,
and he's now living under my bed.
Oh, gosh! Is he?
-Don't put Ernst under the bed, after all he's gone through!
We can't hide him under the bed!
So I thought I'd bring him along today,
see if I can get any information and whatever.
Well, I haven't been able to find out
a huge amount of information for you, I'm afraid,
because we've looked up these initials and we've drawn
a bit of a blank, which is such a shame.
Well, I tried at one time,
-and I couldn't come up with anything either.
It is a shame, because it would have been wonderful to uncover the artist
and find out who he was, because he was clearly a very good artist.
This is something that people will get excited about at auction
because it's a charming piece.
The colours, the blues in the little almost sailor-type scarf
that he's wearing is really super. The eyes are so beautifully painted.
You just want to pick up this child
-and give him a little bit of a cuddle, don't you?
Cwtsh, in Wales.
-Aw, a little cotsh.
-Well, he doesn't deserve to be under the bed.
-I know, bless him.
Let me tell you that, Joan.
He's absolutely stunning, isn't he? But doesn't fit into my, erm...
Doesn't fit into your lifestyle.
No, and I will be sorry to see him go,
-because he's absolutely beautiful.
-He is beautiful.
Well, what's it worth? is the question.
And I think if we knew the artist,
it would be easier for us to work out.
It was painted in 1906, so this is when he was only a few years old.
-But I think we should easily make £200-300 on it.
-Oh, thank you.
I'm going to put a reserve of £160 and we'll see what happens.
-Thank you so much for bringing Ernst along.
And it's been lovely to meet him and lovely to meet you.
-And his little dog.
-And his dog.
-And his dog, yes.
I'm glad Joan got her painting out from under the bed.
It was too good to hide away.
Back in West Sussex, I've made a rather fine discovery.
Now, here in the Great Parlour at Parham,
there's something I want to show you, and it's this -
it's an ironbound walnut travelling chest and it dates to around 1650,
and it's known as a bargueno.
It literally is a travelling chest, as you can see.
Handles on either side.
And it's on its original stand, which I really like.
But this kind of piece of furniture
was a portable piece of kit and they date right back to the Middle Ages
and you could get everything inside this travelling chest.
Wait till I open it.
By virtue of pulling these little scallop shells out,
which are known as lopers,
you find them on bureaus in the 17th and 18th century, as well.
Now, it has fall front. This has two purposes.
It not only protects the interior,
but also it acts as a perfect writing surface,
so you can stand here or have your scribe stand here with his quill
and write for you - but look at that. Little drawers everywhere.
It's like a facade of a city.
Look at this, with wonderful classical columns.
It has everything you want -
and look, gilded little piece to pick out the scallop shells inside,
suggesting it's been on some historical tour.
Ebony, ivory, black and white setting off against each other.
Isn't that beautiful? And it is a fruitwood.
It's walnut, so it is susceptible to a little bit of worm,
but you can forgive it that,
but it's the patina that I particularly like.
The years and years of polishing and caressing.
It was meant to be picked up by two burly guys with iron handles
either side here, loaded on to the back of a horse and cart
and off you went, and then you'd set it up wherever you desired.
To have something like this on its original stand, well,
that's just highly sought after. Not many exist.
This house is just full of magnificent treasures,
but right now, we need to look at some more treasures of our own,
so let's go over to our expert for our next item.
And as we continue our journey around the country,
it was at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset
that Philip Serrell met Keith.
-Keith, I've got to ask you something.
-Yeah, what's that, Phil?
Have you had a nice, relaxing, quiet day?
-Not particularly, no.
-Why's that, Keith?
It's because I probably spent about six hours and more
-waiting to see you, Phil.
-Has it been worth it?
-I think it has.
-To see the main man!
-There's my man!
Now, Keith, a little bird told me that at the weekends, you're a DJ.
That is correct.
I'm past my sell by date, but that's the sort of thing I do.
And what sort of music is your thing then, Keith?
It's the old mirrorball with the '70s, Dancing Queen.
-Are you a bit of a Travolta man?
-I have been known in the white suit.
-I think it's time to move on, don't you?
-I think so.
I think we'd better sort this out, hadn't we?
-Where have they come from?
-I bought them at collectors' fairs.
I like going to toys fairs.
It's stuff I couldn't afford when I was young.
My parents couldn't afford to buy me it and when I saw them,
I bought it - and there's other things as well.
I'm a bit of a collect-a-holic.
What you said then is actually quite poignant.
You probably didn't realise you said it.
But you go and buy things that your parents couldn't afford to buy you.
-So, what attracted you to these two?
My father was on the railways, so that probably got me.
-That's where it comes from. These are Hornby.
-They're Hornby, yeah.
-Yeah, that's true.
And Hornby was really prevalent in between the war years, wasn't it?
-From about 1920 to 1938.
I mean, there's an expression with toys, isn't there? Mint and boxed.
That's correct. And they're boxed, but, yeah, sort of mint,
but the box is not really mint.
But I think they're in jolly good condition, aren't they?
-So, when did you buy these?
-These were bought ten years ago.
So, if you bought these ten years ago,
why do you want to sell them now?
Because I'm trying to declutter some of what I've purchased
in the past and most stuff, when I buy it, I try and buy it good.
So, when I get rid of it, it's still in a good state.
The only thing is that the value now
probably won't be as good as what I paid for it originally.
-It's not what it was, is it?
-Isn't that just lovely?
I think that at auction, I would offer these two as one lot.
That's I wanted to do, yeah.
If you hadn't told me you bought them ten years ago,
I would tell you 60 to £90 for the two, reserve them at £50,
but I don't know what you've paid for them.
-Is that what you say now?
-That's sort of what I'm thinking.
-Yeah, I would go with that.
-So we put 60 to 90 on them as an estimate.
And we'll reserve them at £50. Now, you can tell me what they cost you.
I think one of them might have cost me around £80 at the time,
which would have been a lot of money.
But the thing is, and what people forget about this business,
-is you've owned this for, what, ten years?
I've had the pleasure of looking at it,
I've not really had it up and running too much,
but hopefully they're still working.
They've been shoved away for a little while now.
The thing is, Keith, at least if you sell these
-and realise some money, you can reinvest it.
-I will do.
It will go back into buying something else.
-Well, that's great - and I hope they do well for you.
Well, I must say,
everybody has been working flat out all over the country,
looking for some real treasures,
but here, in the West Room at Parham,
I have made a bit of a discovery myself.
It's a rather curious looking scientific instrument.
It's beautifully made. It's made of Cuban mahogany.
It's known as a waywiser,
and the word comes from the German word "wegweiser"
meaning something to show you the way,
and that term was also given to what we now call the trundle wheel -
and this is a trundle wheel, basically.
It measures the distance between two points.
This particular example was made in 1790 by G A Adams,
a London maker to King George III -
and I love this brass scientific dial.
It really is a proper gentleman's piece,
with an outer circle of Roman numerals.
One hand which points to either - listen to this -
poles, yards, chains, or furlongs.
Right, it's now time for us to go over to the auction rooms
to see how our experts' items fared -
and here's a quick recap of what went under the hammer.
At our valuation day at Powderham Castle in Devon,
Brian and Sue brought along this high quality hip flask.
And this portrait of a young boy was valued by Catherine Southon
at Margam Country Park in Wales.
Keith, the DJ at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset,
brought along his Hornby train set
and was hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel
when it went to auction.
Remember, whether you're buying or selling, at every auction,
there is always commission and VAT to pay.
In the maritime city of Plymouth,
auctioneer Anthony Eldred was the man on the rostrum,
testing the market for the hip flask
that Will spotted at Powderham Castle.
I've just been joined by Brian and Sue,
and going under the hammer right now, we have the hip flask.
It's really good quality.
I like this a lot and it should do the top end.
And we're in the right area for a hip flask, aren't we?
Yes, hunting, shooting, fishing, across the moors.
-Have you ever used one?
-No. Have you?
Do you know something? My wife's got one.
-That's cos she's married to you.
-I just take the bottle.
-Here we go.
Victorian silver mounted glass hip flask - and £50 bid for it.
At £50. Five, if you want it.
At 55. And 60. Five.
70. And five.
At £75. I'm bid 80 now online.
Oh, that's good.
At £90. Bidding's on the net. At £90.
I estimate around 100.
-That's good. 90's better than 50.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you, Paul.
We then made tracks to the auction house at Wareham in Dorset.
John Condie was the man with the gavel.
Did the bidders get steamed up over the Hornby train set?
We have something for the boys right now.
No wonder Philip picked this lot.
-It's a Hornby 00 gauge train set belonging to Keith.
-Here it is.
It's going under the hammer right now.
Goods train set. In their boxes, there.
I'm straight in at £50.
£50 bid. 55. 60.
Five. 70. Five.
80. £80, commission bid.
At 85. Anybody else? £80, then.
We're going to sell at 80.
Going at £80.
BANGS GAVEL Are you happy with that result?
I am happy with that result, because there are other items
-in the auction that I'm interested in.
-And Flog It!,
it's always inspired me to buy.
So, there we go.
So glad we were able to help you, Keith.
Next stop, Wales, to Rogers Jones & Co saleroom in Cardiff.
Ben Rogers Jones was the auctioneer.
And going under the hammer was the portrait of Ernst.
Joan, fingers crossed.
Something for all you fine art lovers, it's an oil on board.
It's a young three-year-old boy painted in the early 1900s.
-It's been under Joan's bed for a long time.
-It certainly has, yeah.
-Nice and tidy.
-Where should it be?
-It should be on the wall!
I know. My children are not interested in it.
-And it's such a shame.
-Wish we knew who it was by.
Provenance is what it's all about,
but we always say on this show - quality always sells.
This is quality. Good luck. This is it.
This charming portrait at £150, it is to sell. At £150. At 150.
Is there 60 now? 150.
-Oh, come on!
-At 150. I have on commission.
-It's gone commission.
He's got a commission bid.
-160 in Ireland.
-Oh, good. Oh, in Ireland.
Is there 70? At 160. At 160. Is there 70? £160.
All done, here it goes at 160.
-Not a lot of money, but it's gone.
I was hoping for a bit more on that.
I think you'd rather have the money than stick it back under the bed.
-I certainly would.
-Exactly. It's doing nothing under the bed.
-And someone's going to enjoy that.
Thank you for bringing that in.
And I hope you enjoyed the whole Flog It! experience.
I certainly did, yes. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Well, that's it for our first three items,
but we'll be returning to valuation days and salerooms
across the country later on in the show.
Back in East Sussex, Parham House has stood proudly
since the Elizabethan era,
and, during World War II,
it played an important role in the war effort,
when the estate welcomed some new arrivals.
On the 1st of September 1939, German troops entered Poland.
Whilst in Britain, millions of children boarded trains
that would separate them from their families.
Codenamed Operation Pied Piper,
this was the mass evacuation of more than three million children.
Two days later, war was declared on Germany.
I can't imagine what that must have been like,
being sent away from your family and the world you know
and being put into the hands of complete strangers.
Parents having to send their children away,
not knowing when or even if they would see them again.
30 of the evacuees came from Peckham in South East London
and were brought here to Parham House.
One of those evacuated was Ron Callon.
He was nine years old when he arrived with his younger brother.
Today, he is 85 and has come back to Parham House to share his memories.
-Hi. It's a pleasure to meet you.
Tell me, what were you feeling, the first time you arrived here
-with your brother?
Scared, as well?
Coming down the hill in the coach, we couldn't believe
that we were coming to a situation as big as it is.
And, obviously, all the kids on the coach were getting more excited,
-the more they saw of it.
And we came into the courtyard,
they couldn't believe that they were going to live in house like this.
Wow, yeah. And just look it at it.
The youngsters got far more excited, cos when we arrived,
Mr and Mrs Pearson was outside and the two girls.
There was only two girls then at the time.
There was a big barrel of apples and all these kids got off the coach
and they just went berserk. Instead of going for the apples,
they went for the fountain behind them.
-Yes, to fiddle about with the fish.
And they suddenly realised there's a barrel of apples there,
so they had them and they were eating them all the time.
And the Pearson family, they were laughing their heads off.
The family, the Right Honourable Clive Pearson and his wife,
Alicia, and their three daughters took on the role of teaching
the evacuee children the ways of the countryside.
In an attempt to get them to eat vegetables,
they were given their own plots and tasked with growing their own.
-Churchill made a statement - Dig For Victory.
So, the Pearson family decided they'd do their bit,
so along the wall, we had all the plots and each child had one,
so there was 30 plots, and they had all the same types of things,
they couldn't grow a lot
-because there wasn't a lot of room on there.
So, we grew lettuce, cabbage, carrots, potatoes,
-things that you use every day.
And we enjoyed it - and from there on in,
I've been gardening all my life.
-So, it did change your life a bit.
This started you off on to gardening.
I like flower gardens, I do them.
I've had allotments in the past,
but I've now got a nice vegetable patch, as well.
-Such a change from Peckham.
-Very much so. Couldn't get more.
Ron's bond with Parham has continued over the past 75 years,
and he has returned to visit on special occasions.
Today, he still remains in touch
with the Pearsons' great-granddaughter,
Lady Emma Barnard, who lives at the house.
-How lovely to see you.
the Great Parlour in the main house was turned into a classroom,
and the children lived in the servants' quarters.
Come through from the Great Hall,
and I think you might remember this room, Ron.
-Oh, very much so. Yes. I learned a lot.
-Has it changed a bit?
I tell you what, you can evacuate me right now.
LAUGHTER This is smashing, isn't it?
-And this was your classroom.
-It was, yes.
And I enjoyed every moment of it.
How did your great-grandmother feel
about children running around the house -
or were they only allowed to have a certain part?
Well, they actually couldn't have the run of the whole house
because my great-grandparents had taken in a lot of people
who were waifs and strays from the war.
So, 30 evacuee children and then old governesses
and a few old aunts and funny people like that,
so I think you had, Ron, this classroom,
and then you were allowed to have lunch and dinner in a dining room.
They had the run of the estate.
And my great-aunt Veronica trained them to come to a dog whistle,
and she had various signals,
so one was you can go away now, doot-doot was come back,
and then there was a third whistle, which was - come back immediately!
And of course, it was the only way
that she could get the boys in from outside,
was to stand outside and give the whistles.
-It's just a great idea.
-She was very persuasive, your auntie.
-Oh, she was very strict.
But she loved the little boys, they loved the children.
Of course, the children had only come with 24 hour rations,
and practically the clothes they stood up in,
so they weren't equipped for country life. So one of the things that...
Your first Christmas present, I think, were dressing gowns.
-Dressing gowns and slippers. Yes.
And all the children got dressing gowns and slippers
and some of the little boys, I remember her saying to me,
were so excited about having dressing gowns for the first time
that they never took them off,
so they ran around for weeks wearing these dressing gowns.
Yes, some of the youngsters, they used to come to school in them.
Instead of an overcoat, they came in their dressing gown.
-It sounds like it was an adventure for you.
A children's paradise. It really was.
For a boy from a deprived area of the city,
suddenly life was good, but even here,
he was unable to escape the devastating effects of war.
-You must have had mixed emotions when the war was over.
-Very much so.
-You returned to your parents.
-I had some not very nice experiences.
My elder brother, he was 16, he'd just finished his naval training
and he came to see us, and two days later,
we heard that he'd got a ship at Portsmouth called the Hood
and of course, that was the last time we ever saw him,
-when he came, cos he was killed on the Hood in 1940.
The death of Ron's brother Billy just two days after his visit
to Parham may have been the catalyst for a further tragedy.
We've still got the letters,
asking my father to give him permission
to go to sea before he was 17.
Unfortunately, he gave him permission to do so,
and of course, that's the last time I saw him.
It's believed that Ron's dad could never forgive himself
for signing the permission for his 16-year-old son
to go to sea, and, soon after, he too died.
Which the family believe was caused by a broken heart.
The fact that Ron would never see his elder brother or father again
has made his time at Parham all the more poignant.
Memories always keep coming back. It's like coming back to home.
-Yes, it's lovely to have you back.
-It's always lovely.
From September 1940 to May 1941, London was heavily bombed,
and more than one million homes,
including Ron's in Peckham, were flattened.
Around 40,000 civilians were killed and 46,000 more seriously injured.
But thanks to places like Parham House,
millions of children like Ron were kept safe during the war years.
The children stayed here at Parham for three years,
until the War Department requisitioned the house
for the Canadian Army in 1942.
The evacuees were then rehoused locally.
They weren't reunited with their parents until the war ended.
Ron's experience here at Parham in this large country house
changed his life and everything he's done since then
has been inspired by his time here.
Now, it's time to continue our journey around the UK,
where we cross the border from England into Wales,
to our valuation day at Margam Country Park
and tapped into Mark Stacey's Oriental wisdom.
-Sharon and Fiona.
-Tell me about this wonderful pot.
-It belongs to our father.
It's kept in the living room, up on top of a high cupboard.
So, it's lucky it's surviving.
-Do you like it?
-It's out of sight, you can't always see it.
We've got things in front of it.
-So you've got a lot of clutter in your house.
-Yes, my mother has.
In my mother's house, yes.
And do you know anything about it?
It belonged to my father's grandmother,
and it's come from Annan in Dumfriesshire,
where my grandmother lived, great-grandmother,
and it was kept on the dining room table in front of a window.
-Oh, wonderful. Well, of course, it's not Scottish.
-You know that, don't you?
This pattern is known as Cantonese Famille Rose.
Now, the Famille Rose bit comes from this lovely, delicate shade of pink.
And we call it Cantonese because all this type of ware
was exported from China via the port of Canton,
-so it's always referred to as Cantonese.
-Famille Rose ware.
It's very difficult to date, because it's been going for a long time,
but I think this is probably mid to late 19th century,
and the amazing thing about it, it's travelled quite a lot,
from China to Dumfries, to Wales,
but it's still in very good condition.
-So you've been very good, looking after it.
-Never touch it.
You're not allowed to touch it?
Not allowed to touch it till this weekend.
Well, I think it's lovely -
and it's got the very typical panels of figures,
as I mentioned, and birds and butterflies,
with branches of flowers.
And it's this lovely Chinese shape,
and the Chinese market is still quite buoyant at the moment.
And particularly for this pattern.
-Have you got any idea what your little plant pot is worth?
We should put it into auction at 200 to £300, with a £200 reserve.
-Will Dad be happy with that?
-I think he'd be very happy.
And I think it might fly, you know.
-Will he share some of the proceeds with you?
-Oh, that's not fair, is it?
-You've had to sit here and put up with this.
-Shame him into it now.
-Yes, come on, Dad! They need a percentage.
I'll see you at the auction.
As you know, beautifully designed furniture is my thing,
so I thoroughly enjoyed our valuation day
at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset.
Lesley and Alison, thank you so much for bringing some furniture in.
I mean, this really is my passion.
And it's a wonderful stick-back chair.
Now, you're sisters, so this has been in the family a long time,
so who owns it right now?
It's actually our mother's.
It was our father's chair, and he sat in it all the time.
And we think before that, it was actually our grandfather's.
We don't know where it came from,
but it's always been in the house and it's always been sat on.
Oh, it's had a lovely history, it's been in the family a long time.
I mean, this type of furniture
was typical of the working rural classes
throughout the 18th and 19th century.
This particular one is a West Country stick-back.
A lot of this is steam bent.
Now, stick-back chairs, you can have a comb-back,
which has got a straight shoulder, or you can have a hoop-back.
Obviously, we have the hoop-back.
The arm is made in three parts. One section there,
one section here and a lap joint into another section there.
So, it's relatively easy to make - but by the late 18th century,
the turn of the 19th century,
these were being mass produced all around the Slough area,
where the trees grew, the elm and the ash,
they loved that chalky soil.
So that was the centre of mass production.
That's why they're coined the Windsor chair.
They weren't really made in Windsor, there's nothing to do with royalty,
it's just that they were made in that area.
Now the definition of a Windsor stick-back chair means,
all the components are socketed into the seat.
When I mean socketed in,
exactly like the hammer shaft into the head of a hammer. OK?
So you start with the elm seat.
It's cut out to resemble a saddle, so it's nice and comfy.
The elm has a wild, ambiguous grain.
It's interlocking, it never runs straight.
That's ideal for punching loads of holes in.
If I turn it over,
you can see this chair has lost a little bit of height.
If you look at this ring turning here,
it's short by about two inches
because these chairs really stood on stony floors
and muddy floors in workers' cottages,
and they've rotted over the centuries.
But it's a lovely example of a West Country stick-back,
and I love it to bits.
It's got a lot of history, thank you bringing it in.
Now you want to know the value, don't you? Any idea?
Not really, no.
We've had no expert ever look at it.
-One person sort of said possibly 100.
Well, given its condition
and the fact that it's lost a little bit of height, has devalued it.
I'm going to say £200-£300.
A reserve at £200. With a 10% discretion. It's beautiful.
-So thank you so much for bringing it in.
-Thank you. It's great.
Our travels know no end.
In the pretty setting of Powderham Castle in Devon,
Claire Rawle's spotted an American army recruit
who's signing up became an international event.
# I'm all shook up. #
Well, Peter, a photograph of the King.
It's really good, as well. It's a brilliant image.
So what can you tell me about it?
All I can tell you is that my wife had a pen pal in Germany
called Reinhard, and they were writing to each other
in their teens,
and Elvis suddenly got conscripted and went to Germany
to do his national service,
and when you see his pose he was signing autographs.
Oh, I see, so, he's actually looking down.
He was looking down to sign autographs,
and that's when Reinhard took the photograph.
-So he was very relaxed.
Then he went away and got it developed and then came back
-at a later date and got Elvis to sign it.
Of course when we look at the back we have the signature there.
He has only just got there, as well.
-Everybody wanted Elvis.
-Yeah, he was so sexy.
He brought something to the music world that was quite different.
I'll leave that word for you, I don't know.
Yeah, yeah, well, that's fair enough!
So then what happened to it?
Then in 1980 she decided that for curiosity
she sent it to Sotheby's to get a price on it,
which they gave her a rough price
and authenticated that it was an original
which we have a letter for and then she put it away.
Unfortunately, I lost my wife two years ago,
and I was clearing out all the bits and pieces,
and in her bra and knicker drawer was this of Elvis.
Where else would you keep it?! Really, yes.
Excellent, so you saved him. I particularly like it.
I think it's a lovely image of him. So the friend took the photograph?
-Her pen pal.
-So it's a completely private taken photograph...
It's lovely because he's not posing,
he's not really looking at the camera, is it?
It's a really individual portrait.
There were a few others but I haven't been able to find them.
They weren't signed. That was the only one that was signed.
-That was the only one that was autographed?
Oh, right. The great thing with anything autographed,
especially by somebody of this magnitude, is you do need history.
-So first thing a buyer will ask you when you're selling this,
how did you get it? How did you know this is where it came from?
-You've got cast-iron provenance.
-It's 100% genuine.
Very often... I mean, OK, you've got the Sotheby's letter,
-but it is you that has the provenance.
-And the history.
Sometimes purchasers will say, could I have
a letter from the vendor, maybe sort of backing it up.
That's something you'll have to think about.
-I think it should be estimated at £70-£100.
-Yeah, that's fine.
-Does that sound fine?
-Yeah, that's fine.
I'd put the reserve at just under the bottom estimate, about 65.
-I think that actually would make a lot more than that.
-You just never know.
-That's absolutely fine.
-If you're happy with that?
-That's good, is it?
I think we need to get him out into the open,
and a collector will treasure that.
Have you got any ideas what you're going to put the money towards?
I'll take my mother-in-law out for a meal,
because I'm looking after my mother-in-law.
Well done. Excellent. That's lovely.
I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-I look forward to see how it goes.
-I'll be there.
-It'll be interesting to see what reaction it gets.
-Yeah, that's fine.
Thanks for bringing it in.
-It's a lovely story, as well. Thanks, Peter.
That our final item and we'll see how it fared
in the saleroom shortly.
But before that, I'm back at Parham House
where there's something rather fun at the bottom end of the garden.
Now I just had to show you this magnificent Wendy House
which was built into the side of the garden walls here.
It's beautiful, it's like a mini cottage.
I love the fact it's got a gallery up there.
This was built by Clive Pearson in the 1920s
for his three daughters to play in.
Sadly, there's no time to play today.
It's over to the auctions now and here's a quick recap
of all those items that went under the hammer.
At Margam Country Park in Wales,
Mark Stacey felt that this Cantonese flowerpot had plenty of promise.
As you probably well know my love of wooden furniture
makes this stick-back chair found at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset
And kept in a knicker drawer, a signed picture of Elvis
in his Army uniform
from our valuation day at Powderham Castle in Devon.
Right then, back to Wales and Rogers Jones & Co saleroom
in Cardiff. Ben Rogers Jones was on the rostrum.
Sisters Sharon and Fiona were excited
about selling their dad's flowerpot.
Well, if you want quality,
just look at this next lot going under the hammer.
It's a jardiniere on stand, and it is Famille Rose.
I think this is superb.
Sharon and Fiona, I'd be keeping this, but I guess...
-Who owns it out of you two sisters?
OK, look, good luck.
What are we going to get for this, do you reckon?
-We'd like to get 200.
Look, it's a very buoyant sale so far.
I mean, we should get the top end for this, at least.
This is it, good luck, girls. It's going under the hammer.
The Canton Famille Rose planter with stand.
-I've got 150 to start.
£150, is there 60 now?
At 150. Who's coming in? 160, 170.
170 with me.
180, 190. 200.
At £200 online.
-We've got 200. We've got the reserve.
I was hoping for more than this.
£200 is online.
Anybody else now? £200.
Online now. Everybody done, fair warning to you all at £200.
We just got it away.
Just got it away.
I thought that might do a bit better, Paul, didn't you?
-Yes, I did.
-I really did.
It's what people are prepared to pay on the day, isn't it?
You've summed it up, that's what an auction is all about.
If you had somebody else that was prepared to push them,
you just don't know what's going to happen, do you?
We got there.
And they weren't the only sisters selling off the family heirlooms.
When we headed to Wareham in Dorset,
John Condie was the auctioneer,
and sisters Lesley and Alison
were hoping for a good return on the stick-back chair.
It's just about to go under the hammer.
That was my valuation £200-£300.
-It's great to see you again, sisters, Lesley and Alison?
-Are you having any regrets?
-This is a good decision, is it?
-Hopefully it'll go to be loved.
-It'll be loved.
-Do you know what?
I thought you may have changed your minds.
I thought I bet you withdraw it or change your mind.
I wouldn't blame you, because it is such a beautiful piece,
-it really is.
-If we go home with it, we'll be happy.
-If it sells, we'll be happy.
I'd be really happy if it sells for over the £300 mark,
because it's worth every penny.
Hopefully the bidders will agree, as well.
Let's find out exactly what it's worth right now.
A nice Windsor chair, stick-back, there.
Off we go, I'll start at £100 for it.
100. 100. 110. 120.
180 here. 180.
180 bid. At 180.
190 make it.
£180, then. Anyone else coming in for the nice little Windsor chair?
Oh, come on.
Gosh, it should've gone.
Look, it's gone, anyway. It's gone.
It has. We're pleased.
Thank you for bringing it in.
We hardly see any furniture, and, for me,
that was the best moment of the day, seeing that lovely chair.
-Thank you so much.
-No, thank you very much.
It's been a great day. Thank you.
Auctioneer John Condie used a little discretion,
as the stick-back chair sold just under the reserve.
Next to our final stop of the day which was back in Plymouth
and for auctioneer Anthony Eldred,
it was a little less conversation and a little more action
with Peter's photo of Elvis.
There's something poignant about looking
at an old black and white photo of Elvis.
He was, in his day, the most sexiest man on the planet, wasn't he?
Are you selling this for any reason,
or you'll just let a collector have it?
-Just let it go.
-It's signed, as well, isn't it?
-I think whoever buys it has got to mount it
so at the back there's a bit missing
-so they can turn it round.
It's such a nice thing, isn't it?
Right, it's going under the hammer.
Hopefully we've got some Elvis fans here. He's big all over the world.
Surely he's going to sell down here in the West Country. Let's find out.
This signed photograph of Elvis Presley
and £50 for that one.
At 55, 60, 65.
A lot of bidding on the internet. I'm bid £180 for it.
Oh, it's great.
The face, he's just sulking. He's got that broodiness about him.
In the room then at £250.
-250. This is good. This is really good.
-I can't believe it.
Quickly online if you want it.
300 quid! That's a good result.
At £320. I'll sell it at 320.
Such a lot of money - it was a tatty photograph, as well,
but, gosh, that's really cheered me up.
It's made my day. I hope it's made yours, as well.
Peter, I know it's made yours. Look at that grin.
Thank you so much for bringing that in.
That's it for today's show.
I've had a wonderful time exploring the treasures here at Parham Park
and finding out about their fascinating wartime stories,
and you've shown us your treasures from around the country
and we've had some great fun in the auction room.
So join us again soon for many more surprises when those antiques
go under the hammer.
Until then, it's goodbye.