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Today we're going to be celebrating the people who make things
with their hands. We are at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.
For this imposing building,
we have to thank a whole raft of talented craftspeople,
from the stonemasons who fashioned the exterior,
to the woodcarvers and the people who made
the plasterwork on the inside with such finesse.
Where would we be without them?
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Ragley Hall is a treasure chest of extraordinary craftwork,
from the fine ceilings, exquisitely decorated, by James Wyatt,
to the bed made for the first of many visits
by the Prince Regent in 1796.
These interiors just shout quality.
So much in the house is a product of immense skill.
It's extraordinary to look at the astonishing chandeliers
and the furniture and to reflect that it was all made by hand.
But it's now time to get outside and meet the crowd.
Our job today is to value all the treasures
that this wonderful crowd have brought along
in their bags and boxes.
I can guarantee one or two big surprises
and also a rollercoaster ride at auction.
Right now, it's time to test the knowledge of our experts
and right now I feel like Lord of the Manor up here
looking at all my people!
There's only one question on this lot's lips, which is...
-What's it worth?
Well-informed auctioneer Christina Trevanion should know
the answer and be able to spot any superior craftsmanship.
And what's that?
Let me guess, let me guess.
And her partner today is undoubtedly crafty.
Yes, it's Will Axon.
-What sort of age is it?
-I don't know.
-Look out, look out.
-Nothing to see here, madam.
-Are you sure?
Where are you paddling?
I don't know, someone told me there was a creek
I'm rather good at paddling up.
So it's time to lead our queue through the house to the Great Hall
where our valuations will be taking place.
While our experts start gearing up, and our crew do their final checks,
here's a sneak preview of some of the mysteries coming up on today's show.
Will is on the lookout for clues.
We like a little note.
Let me have a look at that.
Christina spots an unusual, but apparently useful item.
I predict you are going to sell...
And I have a look at something in the house
which has been the cause of some debate.
I've seen enough of his work at Hampton Court Palace,
at Petworth House and at St Paul's Cathedral
to actually say, well, look, in my opinion, they are 100% right.
Well, here we are in the Great Hall. Everybody is safely seated
and there's a wonderful air of anticipation
and excitement as they're all hoping it could be you, you, or you,
going off to auction later on in the programme
and going home with a small fortune,
and that's where we start right now with our first valuation.
That first lucky person to go off to the saleroom
and we're with Christina Trevanion.
Christina has picked out a piece of craftsmanship.
Philip, are you a tea or a coffee man?
-Ah, how appropriate.
Well, it is a tea caddy.
Where's this rather beautiful specimen come from?
Well, it's from my great-aunt and she got it from Stratford-upon-Avon
when she was a young woman, first married.
OK, and did she buy it from an auction, or from a shop?
-I think she bought it from a shop.
She used to talk about always visiting the antique shops
-and before she died, she gave it to me.
-Had you admired it?
I had always admired all her antiques.
Oh, fantastic, well, she obviously had a very good eye.
-Do you know how much you paid for it?
-I haven't a clue.
It dates from George III, so 1760 to 1820.
-I would say probably towards the late end of the 18th century.
It's so typical of its time.
If you imagine, at that sort of stage, tea was incredibly expensive,
it really was, and the lady of the house would have a tea caddy
where she would be able to put - if we open it up here -
her green tea and her black tea
and she would mix it according to her taste.
And it was lockable.
We've got this wonderful lock on the front here
and she would literally keep it under lock and key.
We can't imagine that now, if we pop to the supermarket and buy teabags,
it seems ridiculous, doesn't it?
Also, the material this tea caddy is made from here is, again,
very typical of its time.
It's something that we would probably be aghast at using now,
-tortoiseshell, is it not?
But this really was the only material at that stage
that you could heat and mould
so that we could get these wonderful curves on the box here.
Is that put on wood?
Yes, it will be on a wooden carcass, as well.
I think we can see a little bit of the wooden carcass behind it here.
-Unfortunately, we have got a little bit of damage around.
If we were as old as that, I think we'd all be damaged.
You're absolutely right and I'm not nearly as old as that
and I've got a few chips and cracks, I can assure you.
We are very, very tightly legislated these days in this country
and if tortoiseshell or ivory is pre-1947,
then we can offer it for auction, which this very much is.
Anything post-1947 is absolutely not allowed to be offered.
You do get reproductions of tea caddies like this
and, unfortunately, they are quite common on the market now
but everything that I can see here is very much contemporary
-with a piece that I would expect from the George III period.
-The damage worries me.
And that will affect the value. OK?
So I think at auction I would say £200-£300
and I think we want to protect it
so I think if we put a firm reserve at £200,
I would hope that it would sell for that.
-How do you feel about that?
-I feel very happy, yes.
-Yes, shall we do that?
-Do that, yes.
Splendid, and what are we going to put the money towards?
Well, some more antiques, some Moorcroft.
Expanding your Moorcroft collection, I like it.
So we're going to exchange a tea caddy for a piece of Moorcroft.
-Which could be done on the same day.
-Ah, you never know.
I love it when collectors want to invest in more antiques.
Over to Will now, who's made a flamboyant choice.
Well, Gabrielle, please tell me that the rest of your house is
decked out in a similar style to your clock garniture.
-I just wish it was.
Unfortunately, no, I've got quite a modern house,
so this is totally out of character with the house.
The clock in the centre,
garniture either side, very much late 19th century
with its architectural centrepiece
and these wonderful ormolu mounts which is gilded bronze.
It just smacks of quality. Where have you come by it?
It was inherited from my grandmother on my dad's side
and when she died, this actually languished
in my stepmother's stables for quite a few years.
In the stables?
Yeah, and as my sister and I never inherited anything
when my grandma died, we said we'd like to have that.
-That was how it came to us.
-Right, OK, that's nice.
So it's been given pride of place in your home, has it?
No, it's kind of gone backwards and forwards between our houses
and literally stayed in storage.
Well, let's just have a closer look.
Here we've got the central dial.
White enamel painted with these floral garlands,
-a pretty little dial, isn't it?
You would be surprised how many dials we see that have been damaged
because if you just knock them, the enamelling is very fragile
and it'll star crack.
It may even chip off, so it's nice that that is in good condition.
-Having said that, I did notice there is a bit of damage up here.
-There is, yeah.
-Did that happen in the stables?
No! I don't know when that happened, to be honest.
-Not on your watch.
-Not on my watch, of course.
-Let's blame your sister as she's not here.
-That might be a good idea.
A lot of clock collectors are fussy about the movement,
-that's what sells a clock.
Have you had a look inside, have you tried to see who's made it?
-Yeah, it's Japy Freres.
-Yes, exactly right, Japy Freres.
They were French firm, founded in the early 19th century,
a father and his three sons.
They're a well-respected clock maker for this type of clock.
-Have you ever thought of value?
What's it's worth to you and your sister?
We did look online and we saw, you know,
really top-notch ones in great condition
-went up to £1,500, which got us a bit excited.
But, you know, looking at it I did think it's probably going to be
less than 500 in the way it is.
We're always telling people, you don't want to overcook something
by putting too high a value on it.
I think we'd be doing your sister a favour, as well,
if we sold it because I bet you two have had enough
-of playing tennis with it, backward and forward.
And she would like the money as well to go and visit our dad in Florida.
Oh, he's gone for the sunshine.
But as far as value goes, you mentioned under £500.
I think you're probably right to be fair
and I'd like to pitch the estimate at, say, £300-£500.
-How does that sound to you?
-I think that's about right.
We don't want it to go for any less than £300.
OK, that's fair enough.
At the end of the day, it's your item, let's fix the reserve
at £300 and, who knows, hopefully it might be two tickets to Florida.
-Oh, you never know.
-You never know.
-Wouldn't that be nice?
Well, that would be a good use of the money.
There's something I must show you, it's away from the valuations
and it's this, it's a screen, but it has
Spanish leather panels inset within it.
It was only recently discovered up in the attic and put on display.
It makes you wonder what else is up there, doesn't it?
I'd love to go up there and have a root around myself.
But, anyway, these panels actually date back to the mid-17th century
and it's a technique known as cuir de Cordoue,
literally meaning from Cordoba, a town in southern Spain.
This is where the centre of manufacture was
back in the 17th century and it really is an alternative to
tapestries on the wall which was very fashionable, but so expensive.
Here we have a cheaper option.
The best ones are the ones that have been embossed.
Now, to get them embossed, you have to soak these leather panels
onto a wooden mould that's been carved
with a bit of a relief with the pattern.
It's compressed and left to dry naturally.
Once the leather has dried out, it can then be painted,
gilded and finally lacquered.
There you go, it's ready to go up on the wall.
Hey, presto, leather wallpaper.
It is beautiful and just look at the colour.
This is completely original. Actually, talking of colour,
I think we should have a bit of local colour right now.
Let's go back for another valuation.
And it's back to Christina, who's found a mystery object.
Peter, I have to say, this is not the usual type of thing that I see
-on my table, but I find it fascinating nonetheless.
Where did you get it?
Well, I was cleaning items where I used to work,
and my friend,
he brought me this item,
would I clean it?
-Believe it or not, it was painted blue,
so I had to strip it all off for him
and the next time I saw him, he said,
"You can keep it, I don't want it."
-Really? "I've changed my mind."
-And that's how I got it for nothing.
It's almost like a sort of fortune teller's ball, isn't it?
-Do you know what it's used for?
I thought it would be from the weather centre.
-Very nearly, yes.
-I was hoping you'd help me out on that.
I certainly shall.
This is a sunshine recorder.
Sunlight would enter the sphere
and then it would create some sort of pinpoint light
and you would basically put strips of card along the inside here
and then it would burn a line,
so you'd be able to determine your hours of sunshine
that day or that week.
That would certainly have provided very useful information
to people that needed it at that particular time
and I've got some information here on the front
and it was made by a company called Casella in London
and this is actually titled here, Sunshine Recorder,
which is the Mark IIIC.
Now, the Mark I was developed by John Francis Campbell in 1853.
This was a sort of later version of it.
I love how it is such precision engineering, isn't it?
-Scientific instruments are not the prettiest of things.
They were made to be measuring instruments,
-but this has a particular charm about it.
It's almost like a globe in itself. It's wonderful
and there is certainly sort of an aesthetic appeal there as well.
I think, painted blue, obviously, you've done the right thing
in bringing it back to its original pattern, its original colour.
What material is it made of?
It's made from a lacquered brass,
-which would explain why it's quite so heavy.
It's certainly a substantial, weighty thing, isn't it?
You've obviously put a lot of man hours in it to clean it.
Why are you selling it?
I've had it for 40 years
and someone out there I'm sure would appreciate it more than what I did.
-They fetch in the region at auction of about £100-£200.
How would you feel about that?
-Would you want to set a reserve?
Well, yes, £100.
-£100. So you'd be disappointed if it didn't go for more than £100?
-So much work...
What I think we'll do, then,
-is we'll put an estimate of 100-200 and a firm reserve of £100.
-Then we'll keep everything crossed.
-Are you happy with that?
-And I can't resist it, but...
-IN MYSTERIOUS VOICE:
-..I predict you're going to sell.
-I feel like I need some big hoopy earrings on now.
Christina's right - a crystal ball would come in
very handy on this show.
There you are, you've just seen our experts
make their first choice of items to take off to auction.
Now, I've got my favourites, you've probably got yours,
but let's find out what the bidders think, it's down to them.
Let's get over to the saleroom
and here's a quick recap of what we're taking.
The elegant George III tea caddy has some slight damage,
but it should still attract the bidders.
This ornate clock garniture deserved to be displayed
on a fine mantelpiece,
so hopefully this is its chance.
And the sunshine recorder - well, that's got to be a British invention.
Now it's time to sell our items.
This is where we test our experts' valuations, at Bigwood Auction Rooms,
just outside Stratford-upon-Avon.
Now, do remember, with every saleroom,
you have to pay commission, whether you're buying or selling.
Here today, if you're selling something,
it's 15% plus VAT on the hammer price. If you're buying something,
it's 17.5% plus VAT on that hammer price,
so do your sums, because it does add up.
Now, let's catch up with our owners and get on with the sale.
We had two auctioneers wielding the gavel today on our behalf,
Christopher Ironmonger and Stephen Kaye.
We are starting with a little Georgian gem,
the tea caddy.
Absolutely love it, Philip.
I'd like to see this do 400, I really would.
I would as well, but there is a bit of damage there,
-which is going to affect the value.
-You need to have such a workman that is going to be able to fix it.
-But it can be done?
-It can be done. It's a good model.
There are plenty of tea caddy collectors out there.
There certainly are.
And if there aren't, it's a good starting point!
-Very good starting point.
-Especially at 200-300.
It will sell, definitely, but hopefully for a little bit more.
OK? Here we go, this is it.
The Regency tea caddy, very pretty veneers.
-I've got some bids and I can start here on the book at £200.
-A good start.
-I'll take 210 from anybody else.
210 on the web, I'll go 220. Make it 230.
Brilliant, come on.
We've got 220 on the book here. Anybody else?
Come on, push the book.
£230 on the web, are we all done?
-It's gone, in estimate.
-Someone got a good buy there.
I think it's a reflection of the damage, though, honestly.
-Nonetheless, it's gone, OK? You're happy?
What a very pretty thing with a lucky new owner.
Now for something with a definite presence.
Going under the hammer right now, something for your mantelpiece,
something very showy indeed, a clock garniture belonging to Gabriele
and it's great to see you again, and who's this?
-So you're going to split the money, right?
Did either of you want to own it?
No, not really.
-It doesn't suit a modern interior, it's too big.
A great-looking trio, though, and it's complete, so 300-500,
not a lot of money for a lot of lot.
-Will it sell?
-I think so.
These type of things now are appealing to the decorators' market.
People may not want a clock on the mantelpiece,
but they want something to dress the mantelpiece
-and these are perfect for that.
-It's got to be the right setting,
but you need a tall mantel over that fire.
We're going to find out what the bidders think right now.
The early 20th-century French white marble ormolu clock garniture.
What about £300 for it?
Sounds like a low start to me, but 250, surely.
-250 I bid.
At £250, 260, 280,
-He's going home with it, I bet.
340, 360, 380, 400?
380, the gentleman on my right.
-Is it 400 anywhere else?
Going to sell it at 380.
Final warning and finished at 380, are we done?
HAMMER FALLS Yes, hammer's gone down.
We are happy, aren't we? £380.
-Thank you for bringing it in. BOTH:
-Thank you very much!
That's what we like.
Now for Christina's final choice.
We have a first on "Flog It!" - it's a sunshine recorder.
Is it sunny in the room today?
Yes, of course it is, just look at Christina. Look at that!
Peter, it's great to see you.
-I hadn't seen one of these before.
So, for me, it's great, because I learned something. Will we sell it?
There's a dark cloud emerged,
because the auction house have stated that it is an Asian copy
of the English version and I don't think it is, I really don't.
If it's an Asian copy, it won't sell.
We're going to let the bidders decide.
-Are you ready for this, Peter?
It's going under the hammer right now, this is it.
-I can start the bidding at £100 on the net.
-At £100 on the net, I'm going to sell it.
Is it 120 in the room, surely?
It's got 120 in the room. 140, is it?
At 140 on the net. 160, sir.
160 in the room.
-180 on the net.
200? At £180. It's going to be sold, make no mistake, at 180.
-Brilliant, great result.
Thank you so much.
The sun definitely shone.
There we are, the market decided.
Lady's bid at 220.
Well, that's it, that's our first three lots
done and dusted under the hammer.
We are coming back here later on in the programme, so don't go away.
There could be one or two big surprises, but right now,
I'm heading back to our valuation day venue, Ragley Hall,
to show you some very special craftsmanship.
Ragley Hall is one of the earliest of England's great Palladian houses.
It's a feast of the finest workmanship.
The baroque plasterwork in the great hall was designed by James Gibbs.
And James Wyatt's decoration graces a number of the state rooms.
While several great craftsmen have left their imprint
on this rather fabulous building, there's one name in particular
that stands out for me and he's responsible for this matching pair
of swags that you see above the door.
There's one here and one over the other door in the library.
It says, "Believed to be by Grinling Gibbons."
Well, I've seen enough of his work
at Hampton Court Palace, at Petworth House and at St Paul's Cathedral
to actually say, "Look, in my opinion, they are 100% right."
This is what Gibbons was famous for.
These wonderful, naturalistic swags and droplets, it's superb
and he really does breathe life into wood.
Gibbons, who was born and trained in the Netherlands,
arrived in London soon after the Great Fire in 1666.
He brought with him his outstanding craftsmanship,
flavoured with the new continental baroque style.
And for a man of his talents, there was plenty of work around,
helping to rebuild the city over the next seven years.
This guy was so prolific, everybody in power that had money wanted him.
Including Charles II, for whom he did so much work
that he became known as "the King's carver".
Though he also worked in marble, stone and bronze,
it is chiefly for his outstanding virtuoso wood carving
that he is remembered.
From Petworth House to the choir of St Paul's Cathedral,
his work ranks amongst the best decorative carving of his day.
And his influence is still alive in the 21st century
as wood carver and restorer Charlie Oldham,
who's a modern apostle of Gibbons, demonstrates.
You're working in a limewood, which is great to carve with,
because it's light, yet it's very strong.
Yeah, in a way, it's a very bland wood,
but it's perfect for carving, cos the grain doesn't detract.
You can do very fine, little detail on it.
Do you draw everything you're going to carve actual size, to scale?
Yeah, drawing really is the key
and I think that's probably what put Gibbons
-ahead of everybody else as well.
-A good draughtsman?
Fantastic draughtsman, yeah.
The lions going through the ornament,
they all tie in and flow beautifully.
You've got your template drawn out on a piece of paper.
You transfer that over onto this flat piece of limewood
-and then you're starting to give it a definition.
You've not shaded that in, have you?
I can see that, as all you're doing is you're being creative,
-you're creating those shadows.
-We're working very shallowly,
we're just tucking one thing under the other.
But you have to have an understanding of the flower to be able to do that.
-Don't you, really? I couldn't do that!
-Well, do you want to have a go?
-I'd love to have a go.
-Talk me through what I have to do.
-And the tools.
-So we go here. You dig the heel of the tool in.
That's very clever, that you can stay on the line!
-HE CHUCKLES I'll try on that one, shall I?
I'm not going very deep, cos I'm frightened of mucking it up.
You don't need to go deeper than that, that's good.
We'll draw them out with pencil, pencil's a really useful tool.
There we are, so we're just giving an idea of the petals there
and we can follow that with the tool.
I'll watch you do one very carefully.
You want to tuck one...
..a bit under the other one.
Gosh, it's a hell of a lot of work, isn't it?
-When you look at the garlands in the library...
How long do you think that took him?
It's very difficult to estimate, but when you're actually carving,
time actually goes frighteningly quickly.
-That looks good.
-Does it? It's a bit deep, I think.
Shall I just pare that down there?
Look, it's taking me back in time.
Back to the late 1600s.
Becoming part of history.
It's not very good, it's rubbish.
-That's all right.
Yep, we'll just tuck this next one under.
Do you know, it looks easy.
I think that's one of the things about Gibbons -
he did make things look easy.
And you've actually worked on conservation pieces, haven't you?
Where was that?
Yes, Gibbons-style work in the Redland Chapel in Bristol.
It was quite daunting.
The first pieces I did were central pieces of the alter panel,
-so I had to model those and then carve them in wood.
I then go into the foliage and flower work
and then eventually carving whole sections to replace ones
-which had been lost over the end.
You've got some samples of your work here that you brought in.
Let's have a quick look at a couple of them.
-Like the picture frame.
That's one I did after I'd done the Redland Chapel,
I felt quite fluid with the stuff, so I thought I'd design a frame,
It's got all the same elements that we had there.
That's beautiful. How long did that take to do?
Well, it's about three weeks' work. It does take a while.
It's labour intensive, isn't it?
It certainly is, yeah.
I realise, just from having that little go,
how difficult it is, it really is hard to do.
You've got some drawings there and obviously these are working drawings
for things you've got to carve, am I right?
-That's right, yeah. This is a flower based on an acanthus leaf.
Acanthus leaves are great fun,
-because you twist 'em round to anything.
And it's a good example of a repeated pattern
you see throughout the 18th century, don't you?
-On columns and around doors and pediments.
Thank you so much for giving me a little lesson.
-Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Grinling Gibbons certainly sets the benchmark
as far as wood carving goes and I think it's easy to imagine
Charlie's work coming from the same workshop.
Welcome back to the great hall at Ragley,
where Will has found some fantastic wood carvings
which are a little more far-flung than Grinling Gibbons.
Michael, you haven't left your canoe outside, have you?
Cos I'm loving this paddle you've brought me.
Tell me, are you a collector of tribal art?
No, not really, no.
I just saw them in a very small auction house
in South Cumbria a few years ago.
-I thought I appreciated the carving on them.
-My son lives in Wellington, New Zealand...
-..and I thought they might be Polynesian, that one.
Did you ask your son's opinion? What did he think?
Well, I sent photographs as an e-mail attachment to my son.
I said, "Please go to the Maori museum in Wellington
-"and ask them about them."
And he didn't.
Sons, eh? Who needs 'em!
-I got fed up with this, so I wrote directly to the museum...
..enclosing the pictures again.
I said, "If my son does bother to come round,
"tell him that they're the long-last paddle
"given to Captain Cook by the chief of the Cook Islands."
When he eventually went,
they went through this little charade with him.
So he all of a sudden thought that his dad
isn't as mad as he thought and he had actually discovered
-a long-lost treasure, but it was a wind-up!
Did they manage to tell him anything about them?
-I've got a little note from them, if you want to see it?
That always helps. We like a little note.
Let me have a look at that.
"The paddle in the images - Austral Islands in east Polynesia.
"The intricately carved paddles were made in the 19th century..."
I would agree with that. "..in large numbers.
"Ceremonial or trading situations
"and wonderful examples of wood carving."
Wow, that's amazing. That's actually quite a nice little note
to maybe keep with them. Let me give you that back.
They've said the Austral Islands, which is great,
we've pinpointed it, but you haven't just brought along the one piece -
you've also brought this along as well.
I think this one is early 20th century.
Once you get into the 20th century,
the collectors start to lose a little bit of interest,
more people are travelling
and more pieces like this are bought as a souvenir.
In my mind, I think most of the value out of these two
-is going to be in the ceremonial paddle.
It's got this wonderful, intricate what we would call chip carving.
It's literally chips of wood being taken out
to create this all-over geometric pattern.
Significance to each individual tribe.
Then here on the pommel, what I think is rather nice
is that we've got what I would call these little tikis,
little sort of charms to ward off evil spirits.
-You mention you saw them in an auction house.
-So you've had to put your hand in the air to buy them.
Can I ask you what sort of money you had to pay?
I paid, I think, 410 for the pair.
-No telephone bidding, no internet.
-No internet connection.
Nothing like that, it's just sort of bric-a-brac, really.
I have seen these make £1,000,
a little bit more,
-so let's straddle that £1,000 mark.
I'd like to put them in at £800-£1,200.
I think most of the value is going to be carried by this paddle,
Let's keep them together.
You bought them together, it seems a shame to split them up
and who knows?
It might be making its way all the way round
to the other side of the world once we've sold it.
Michael, I look forward to seeing you at the auction
and I think we could have a little flyer here.
Well, with the internet, the world is our oyster.
Christina's next choice comes with a good tale attached to it.
This is a rather wonderful sort of creepy-crawly piece, isn't it?
Yeah, it's lovely, yeah.
-Where did it come from?
-It's got a bit of a funny story, really.
My brother-in-law was doing a house clearance and he invited me over
to have a look at a few bits and bobs.
We looked in the garden and we found this lying on its side.
It was covered in mud and earth.
It caught my eye and I picked it up and started dusting it off
-and that was what was underneath.
-Oh, my goodness!
You've obviously got a fantastic eye for quality.
You pick it up and it's got some weight to it, hasn't it?
It's got some serious weight, which is always a good sign
and this wonderful grasshopper here,
-that is incredibly complicated to make.
The piece de resistance for me,
if we look at his bottom, if you like, and, of course,
on the bottom, wonderful little mark there for Baccarat.
-Now, have you heard of Baccarat before?
Obviously, I did the same as you, turned it over and saw that
and sort of researched Baccarat.
Then found out I think it's French, is it?
That's absolutely right, you really associate them
with a range of paperweights they produced from the mid-19th century
and they still produce them today
-and they are very, very collectable.
This little chap is quite unusual. I find it phenomenal
-that somebody would have used him as a plant pot, though.
I suppose quite appropriate,
because you've got this grasshopper here and the flower,
so maybe they were thinking, "Well, the floral theme,
-"we'll continue with that."
But why on earth you put him in the garden, I do not know.
-Lucky find for you.
Baccarat made the grasshopper vase between 1890 and 1920.
Because it's quite angular, it sort of points me
slightly toward the later end of that period,
but then you've got echoes of the Victorian period,
with a grasshopper, which is very symbolic
and this wonderful scrolling floral and foliage,
-which again is very typical of that Victorian period.
I just think he is a gorgeous thing, but I do think,
having spent however many years in the garden
-has taken its toll quite extensively, hasn't it?
We have got a chip on the front here.
We've also got chips on the corners here and here
and, unfortunately, we have got a chip on the top,
which has got a spreading hairline crack down the side.
It's a very difficult thing to put a value on,
because glass collectors do want things
-in absolutely perfect condition.
So, in perfect condition,
-they can make up to a couple of hundred pounds.
Unfortunately, it just goes to show
how much damage really does affect a value,
but I love the fact that you got him out of a garden
and I would really love to see what the market wants to pay for him.
So how would you feel about putting him into auction at £30-£50?
-Yeah, that's fine.
-Would that be all right?
-Would you like to put a reserve on him,
or shall we just see what happens?
You could put a reserve of 30 on if you like.
-Shall we say 30 with some discretion, should we need it?
Promise me that you will go and spend
whatever he makes on another antique.
-Definitely, I will.
-Brilliant. Well done.
-Thanks so much for bringing it in.
It may have some chips, but it's better than digging up a potato.
The great thing about having the freedom of Ragley Hall today
is that you never know what you're going to come across.
I've been saving this one until last.
It's not every day you come across something like this.
It is of course a coronation robe.
The last time this was worn
was at the coronation of the Queen,
but I'm sure many of you remember that wonderful day
and it will not be worn again until the next coronation.
Of course, robes have been worn
since the Middle Ages as a sign of nobility.
These gowns are made with crimson silk velvet with a white ermine
trimmed around the top. There's a way of telling these apart.
It's very, very subtle, but you've got to know what to look for.
What's the difference between a robe that a baron would wear,
or an earl or a marquis? I'm going to tell you right now.
It's to do with these black seal skin spots. Look.
There's three on this side.
Yet there's four on that side,
so that's known as "three and a half" - it's not totally three,
it's not totally four, so it's not symmetrical.
This belongs to a marquis.
If it was all four,
it would belong to a duke.
If it was just a row of three dots,
it would belong to an earl
and if it was two there and two there,
all the way around,
that would belong to a baron. There you are.
All very clear when you know what to look for,
so do look out the next time, it's a good, fun game to play.
Talking about traditional skills and craftsmanship,
these gowns have been made by the same company,
Ede & Ravenscroft, since 1689, so there you go.
Now it's time for us to enjoy the skills of our experts.
Back to Will now, who's found a delightful early piece.
Wendy, I like a drink as much as the next man,
or lady, but this isn't much fun, is it?
Nothing like the glasses you get today!
Tell me, is this part of your collection of 18th-century glasses?
-Did you not know that?
-No, I didn't.
-Yeah, this dates from about 1770.
Do you think you'll be a bit more careful with it now?
-I probably ought to be, yes!
-What did you know about it? Tell me.
Very little. It was given to my husband
by an old gentlemen where he used to live
and, really, ever since we had it, we haven't done anything with it,
it's just been either in a cupboard or tucked away.
My husband passed away two years ago
and I thought it was time to start
clearing some of the bits and pieces out
that I'd got in different cupboards.
-It's not as if your husband was a collector of period glass?
-It was literally a gift out of the blue.
-That's right, yes.
Well, what we love about it is this opaque twist in the stem,
which is done at the point of blowing the glass.
This is all hand-blown, of course.
What they do is they use rods of coloured glass
and insert them into the stem and while they're blowing them
and the glass is still warm and malleable,
they incorporate this twist. Then if they're really ambitious,
they add another twist inside the twist that's already gone.
It's amazing when you think about the work.
-That must have been a clever man to do that.
You get different colours, you get yellows, reds, greens,
some colours rarer than others.
The fact that yours has got
this yellow cane down the middle of this opaque twist,
it just lifts it a little bit above the plainer examples.
People like a little bit of decoration,
so that introduction of colour helps with that.
Now, I see that there's a small chip on the foot rim.
Glass collectors are very fussy.
-It has to be in perfect condition for it to make top dollar.
So I'm going to have to just be a little bit conservative
-in my estimate, because of that.
-But, me personally, that wouldn't put me off.
It's so small, isn't it?
It is small and at the end of the day,
it doesn't necessarily affect what the item is.
It's still a lovely example of an 18th-century cordial or wine glass.
Have you any idea what it might be worth?
-Not really, no.
-Never tempted to use it?
Listen, value-wise, if it was perfect,
-I'd be saying to you 100-150 all day long.
I think, because of the chip,
I'll have to tuck the estimate under that £100 mark.
-So if we could try it at, say, 60-90?
-That sort of figure? How does that sound?
What about a reserve? Do you want it back, now you've decided to sell it?
-Are you going to gamble with me?
-Let's put it in without a reserve, then.
Listen, for someone who wants a genuine example
of 18th-century glass blowing,
-£60-£90 sounds like a bargain to me.
Well, I think the only thing left to say is chin-chin, bottoms up and...
-We'll find a bigger glass to bring next time!
Gosh, no reserve and such a lovely item.
That's it, our experts have now made their final choice of items
to take off to the saleroom, which means, sadly,
we have to say goodbye to this magnificent venue, Ragley Hall.
It has done us proud and we have found treasures
worthy of our surroundings
and now we have to put them to the test in the saleroom.
Here's a quick recap of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
The two carved paddles made their way here
from the other side of the world,
and who knows, after the auction, they may be making a return trip.
Following a spell in the garden,
I think it may well be time for the grasshopper vase to take off.
And the 18th-century drinking glass may have a small chip,
but it's still very appealing.
As we return to the saleroom, all eyes are on Christopher Ironmonger
as the auction continues.
We're setting off with Michael's carved wooden paddles.
Right, are you ready for this?
We have what's known as ethnographica coming on the show,
meaning tribal art and artefacts.
We've got two paddles belonging to Michael,
-with a whopping great price of £800-£1,200.
We've seen these things fly.
Definitely South Seas, Polynesian, anything like that - big money.
Anything African - small money.
I don't know why, but that's the way of the world.
Very hard thing to value.
We're going to find out what they're worth right now, this is it.
South Sea Islands carved timber paddle.
And a double-ended paddle as well. Who's going to start me on this?
-£1,400, there's an opening bid.
At 1,400, are we done?
-That's not bad, is it?
-That's really good!
"That's not bad, is it?"
I think it was the Polynesian,
the South Seas paddle, that everybody wanted.
It was rounded, it was lovely.
Listen, Michael, you've done your research and so on
and at the end of the day, you've been proved right,
-so, well done, sir.
Well, that was short and sweet.
Well, if you like your glass, you'll be familiar with Baccarat
and we've got a choice item right now belonging to Danny.
The "glasshopper" vase,
found in a garden.
-That's right, yeah.
-I can't believe that!
I know, it was a lucky find.
Obviously, it's not in mint condition, is it?
No, it has suffered from its time in the garden,
-in the compost heap.
-Bet the grasshopper loved it!
I bet it did! Exactly, it's where he belongs.
Let's hope it's not compost, if you know what I mean.
We're going to put this to the test, here we go. Good luck.
Rectangular cast and moulded glass vase.
Fashioned as a grasshopper. Got 30 on the net straight off.
-Fantastic, it's sold.
At £30 only, I'll take 5.
I'll take 5 if you like, cos we're going to sell it at £30.
Seems a cheap buy at £30.
-Yeah, it is.
-Is it 5?
Going to be sold on the net at £30.
-There you go, £30 sold.
That's a bonus, isn't it?
-Let's go and do a bit more garden hunting, shall we?
That's right, yeah!
-Brilliant, well done, Danny.
Not bad for a garden find.
Now for our next piece of glass, which also has a chip,
so fingers crossed.
Wendy, we are so excited. Look, we match, look at this.
-Purple is in.
Going under the hammer right now,
we have the double-helix, opaque, air-twist, stemmed wine glass.
-How about that?
-Proper 18th-century piece.
We love everything about it, it's a proper piece of history.
-Whatever you do, don't go away, this could fly.
Here we go, it's going under the hammer now.
The 18th-century cordial glass there.
-160 on the net.
-160, straight in.
220, 240, 260. In the room at 260.
280 on the net.
300 in the room, 300 in the room.
-300 in the room it is.
300 in the room, 320 on the net. 340 in the room.
They love this, they love it.
360, net. 360 on the net.
-370 in the room.
370, it's going to go in the room at 370.
400, it's gone on the net.
£400. Is there any advance on 400?
Are we...? 420 net.
450 net. 500 net.
600 on the net.
-I told you not to go away, didn't I?
-Listen to this!
700 do I hear?
This is the final warning at 650.
650 and the hammer's gone down, Wendy.
-That is great.
-What a result.
-A bit of a "come and buy me", Will.
Hang on a minute, I get a handshake and he gets a hug!
All right, I'll have a hug with you as well, then.
-Do you know what did it?
-It was the colour in the air-twist stem.
You try hand-blowing that and doing all that detail.
That is a great art from the 18th century.
-Look, there is commission to pay, it's 15% plus VAT,
-but enjoy the money.
-Thank you so much for coming on the show.
If you've got anything like that, we want to see it,
but, unfortunately, we've run out of time!
It's goodbye from Bigwood Auction Rooms
and what a wonderful way to end the show.
-Come here, Will. Let's say goodbye.