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Today, we're at one of the most romantic buildings
in the country - Grade I listed Highcliffe Castle in Dorset,
which has many fascinating features hidden in its furthest recesses,
and we'll be looking at some of those later on in the programme.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Our valuation day is at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset,
where the sweeping hills and rugged coastline reveal a past
that goes back to prehistoric times.
The fossils of ancient dinosaurs can still be uncovered in the rocks,
as well as the remnants of early Britons.
The castle isn't quite that old
but, nevertheless, it holds its own kind of secrets.
Look at this magnificent setting. Hundreds of people have turned up
and we're going to be taking over
all of the formal lawns for our valuations.
And, of course, fingers crossed,
one or two of you will be going home with a small fortune in the auction.
They're here to show our experts their antiques and collectibles,
some of which have been hidden in cupboards
or under the stairs for many years.
And if you're happy with the valuation, what are you going to do?
ALL: Flog it!
As our crowds get their objects out,
our experts have their eyes on the prize.
But Christina Trevanion doesn't seem to know what to do with it
once she's got it...
It probably would help if I opened it, wouldn't it, really?
..while Philip Serrell has found the model for several objects.
Just hold on just a minute.
A slight pout. A bit of a pout, look.
-Like that, out there like that...
That leg like that. It is!
It's you, isn't it?! When did you model for that?
That sets the tone for the day.
And later on in the show... Christina is modelling again.
Philip is playing games.
-Look at that little mouse.
-I know, he's lovely.
And there are some great surprises at the auction.
And later on in the programme, I'm going back in time
to find out how you use a tool like this
to make a building like that.
Our valuation day venue, Highcliffe Castle,
might look like a medieval stronghold,
but it's only been here since the 19th century,
when its great turrets, stained glass and embellishments were taken
from medieval buildings in France to decorate this vast structure.
And what a beautiful job they did.
Well, the sun has come out and everybody is smiling
but, right now, things are going to get a whole lot better.
We have our first item and it's with Philip Serrell.
And he's found an object with something interesting hidden inside.
Now, that looks, to all the world,
-like you bought a little football, doesn't it?
But you and I know it's not that, don't we?
So, if we just open that up like that... There we go.
This is a Masonic pendant and, if you look at it,
these are called the working tools, here, of a mason,
cos you've got the square and the level and the compasses,
you've got the columns here, you've got the all-seeing eye just there,
and you've got all these other symbols and ciphers,
all of which, in Masonic terms, are very, very emblematic.
So, Masonry, in this country,
I suppose started off in the 18th century,
so do you come from a long family of Masons
or is this something you bought or...?
No, no, I come from a family of Masons, yeah.
My father, my grandfather,
all the uncles that I can think of are Masons.
-So, every male in your family was a Mason.
-Yes, including my mother.
So, your mum was a Mason. Now, many people don't know
-that there are, sort of, lodges for ladies, aren't there?
Did your dad wear this?
No, I can't remember seeing him with that
because they kept it secret and I used to peek into the briefcase
and you'd see aprons and gloves and...
Someone once told me there's an expression
that Freemasonry is not a secret society,
-but it's a society with secrets.
But all that's changing now because there's this great move
that Masonry should be much more open
and people should know what's going on, and quite right it is.
So here, you've got this lovely little Masonic ball
and perhaps the most important symbol and cipher on it
is that one up there which says nine-carat gold!
-OK, so no more Masons in the family?
-Not looking like there's going to be any more?
-It's time to go?
-It is, it's time to go.
I think, at auction, it's going to make probably £80 to £120
-and I think I'd probably recommend a fixed reserve of £80.
-Are you happy with that?
And let's hope that the auction room is full of Masons,
all of whom haven't got one of these and are desperate for one.
As we know on this show,
Masonic memorabilia is highly sought-after
and I'm sure there will be plenty of eager buyers
for this mysterious pendant.
There are more secrets hidden in the nooks and crannies of this castle.
In the attic, there are architectural remnants piled high,
which will eventually go on display,
and in the lower floor of the castle,
there's a fascinating feature.
This is below stairs, where the servants would have been
and this is the butler's staircase.
Only the butler could use this staircase
and I'll show you where it ends up, if you follow me.
It's quite narrow.
He couldn't be a portly sort of chap, that's for sure.
Anyway, here I am, I'm at the top,
and this is where he would arrive, rather discreetly,
to greet guests, upon arrival, at the front of the house.
And just look at that for an entrance! Isn't that spectacular?
Well, right now, it's time to catch up with our experts
to see what else we can find to take off to auction.
Christina's found an object that depicts the kind of people
who would have been greeted at the doors of a castle like Highcliffe.
-It's such a pleasure to welcome you two here.
-It's Doortje and Jan, is that right?
Very, very huge welcome to "Flog It!" and to England,
-cos you've travelled here specially today, haven't you?
-And where have you come from?
-Just to see us today.
-The south of Holland, yes.
What an honour to have you here. Thank you so much for coming.
You have brought, today,
the most quintessential of English pictures with you.
Where on earth did you get it from?
Um, we bought it a few years ago in an auction in Belgium.
-And what attracted you to the picture?
-The humour in it?
-It's wonderful, isn't it?
-And the more you look at it, the more you see, don't you?
So this is a fairly iconic image. I have seen quite a few of them.
It's by a chap called Charles Johnson Payne,
who was an artist at the turn of the century. He actually died in 1967.
-And his most prolific work was between 1900 and 1920.
He's more popularly known as Snaffles
and the reason that he was called Snaffles is cos originally,
-his logo was in the form of a horse's snaffle, a horse's bit.
So that's how he became known as Snaffles.
This isn't an original.
It would be great if it was, but it's not, sadly.
But he was known for producing these prints,
so it's a hand-coloured lithograph and it's, effectively, a print
which has been hand-coloured
to introduce these highlights of colour.
We've got this wonderful hunting scene here.
He was famous for depicting the leisure time,
the pastimes of the very upper echelons of society.
And this one here, we've got the title here which says...
I love it! And every one of them, I would imagine,
has been taken from life, because they're so detailed.
He's picked up all these wonderful little idiosyncrasies.
We've got a chap smoking a cigar here, this chap doffing his hat,
saying good morning, and I think that's glorious.
He did the sketches and he was famous for these sketches,
and then, originally, it would be Snaffles' sisters
-who would hand-colour them...
..and pick out all the different colour elements to them
and have the colours wonderfully balanced.
You've got the three grey horses sort of equidistantly spaced,
but one of them is behind,
this one is really bringing the eye to the centre of the picture,
as a lovely focal point, and this one is leading the pack,
so it just creates this wonderful sense of movement.
And I think that's really clever and it was very typical of his work
that he would use this quite muted palette but very effectively.
And I think what's even nicer,
we've got this wonderful description down here.
It says here, "Published April 2nd, 1913,
"by Messrs Fores, 41 Piccadilly, London."
At auction, I would say somewhere in the region of £100 to £200.
-How would you feel about that?
-Yes, it's OK.
-Would that be all right?
-And how much did you pay for it, if you don't mind me asking?
-OK, so you can't be too disappointed with that.
-Would you like to protect it with a reserve?
I would suggest a discretionary reserve of £100
and I'm fairly sure that we'll find it a new home at that.
I think it's a wonderful thing and thank you so much
for travelling so far just to come and see us.
-We're truly honoured, thank you.
-It was our pleasure.
Yeah, it was our pleasure.
The Dorset coast, just a few yards from the castle
and our valuation day, is famous for the animals and fossils
that lie hidden in its limestone cliffs.
And just look what Kenneth has brought me.
It is the footprint of a dinosaur.
Yes, it's the footprint of an iguanodon.
Are you a budding palaeontologist?
I was interested in palaeontology as a kid
but I was helping my father at my uncle's quarry,
making tiles, and I was splitting the rocks,
cos they needed to be split to a certain thickness
-to make roofing tiles.
But when I split it open, I could see a dinosaur footprint.
My dad said, "Oh, they're no good.
"You can't use them as roofing tiles."
Well, I think this is worth an awful lot more than a roofing tile.
Basically, that's the raised section,
-so that sits on top of this.
-And you split this with your chisel...
..straight down there. That's the footprint.
That's the impression of its toes, so its heel section's missing.
But you can see it better from that section, can't you,
-which is upside down?
-Yes, so that's its foot really, isn't it?
So, these things, really,
iguanodons, were on the menu for T Rexes, weren't they?
Cos these were plant eaters. I think this is fantastic.
It's possibly one of the most exciting things
I've ever seen on the show.
The new wave of antique collectors now, it's all about curios
and things that are different.
I think it's fascinating, absolutely fascinating!
How much do you think these two sections are worth?
It's about £30-worth of stone.
Yeah, I think you give it a valuation of £200 to £300,
with a reserve of £180, OK?
-Yes, most definitely!
-Wow, what a find!
And we have found our first three objects.
But before we put them under the hammer,
there's something I want to point out and it's around the main tower.
You see these gothic cluster columns?
Well, hidden amongst the little gargoyles, there are two faces
that are slightly out of keeping with the gothic architecture.
One is wearing spectacles and the other is a female
and they're just a small homage to the bespectacled site agent
and the female architect that worked on this restoration project
and I think that's quite clever.
Right, we're off to auction
and here's a quick recap of what's coming with us.
The Masonic pendant, owned by Chris's family,
who's ready to pass them on.
Doortje and Jan's very British Snaffles print of the hunt,
brought all the way from Holland.
And will the buyers be lured by the amazing dinosaur footprint
uncovered in a quarry?
On our way to the saleroom at Wareham,
we had to stop off and show you something
that's always mystified the locals - the Cerne Abbas Giant.
It might dominate the area,
but its purpose is hidden in the mists of time.
One theory is that it was carved out of the ground by the local priests
to taunt one of their number who had misbehaved.
Well, there will be no misbehaving at the auction.
We're off to Cottees,
where our first lots are about to go under the hammer.
John Condie is on the rostrum
and here the commission is 20% plus VAT. It can vary,
so be aware of that if you are selling.
Our first lot is Chris's gold pendant with Masonic symbols,
which has been in the family for generations.
I've got to tell you something, OK.
I wasn't going to but I can't keep it a secret.
The room is full of Masons. Somewhere in here there's Masons.
I don't know who! THEY LAUGH
But there's a few in here, so I think we're going to sell it.
A Masonic nine-carat gold pendant.
I'll start at £50 for that one.
5. 60. 5. 70.
85 on the net.
90. 95, two of you.
It's going up.
120 here. 130.
140. 140 bid.
-It's doing well.
150 now. 150.
Do you want to come in? 160 now, fresh bidder.
170. 180 I've got.
180. 190 now.
Internet bid at 190.
-It's very good, but it's a lovely thing.
Anyone else want to come in? Your last chance, at 190 then.
GAVEL COMES DOWN Yes, hammer's gone down at 190.
That was unique, wasn't it, and it had the secret inside it.
-Someone's going to enjoy it and use it.
-I hope so.
-Maybe another Mason.
-You never know.
And we probably never will!
And now it's time for the early 20th-century Snaffles print,
brought in by a couple all the way from Holland.
Doortje and Jan, it's great to see you again
and thank you for flying in from Holland.
-We have international jetsetters on this show!
And Snaffles is so British, you had to bring Snaffles home, didn't you?
-Have you bought something to replace it yet?
-Not yet. I will be.
-The day is yet young.
Do some shopping here in the saleroom later on.
Anyway, good luck and thanks for coming over
It's great to see you again. Fingers crossed you go home with a few bob.
It's the Snaffles print.
Start me at £60 for this lot then.
-Nice print at 60.
-Yes, 60 on the net. £60 is bid.
-I should hope so!
65 now. 70. 5.
-It's creeping up, creeping up.
85 bid. 90.
5. 95 bid.
-100 make it?
£95. 95 here.
100 now, lady in the room. 100.
110, anyone else? You're out, on the internet.
-£100, lady in the room, at £100.
-GAVEL COMES DOWN
Thank goodness we're sending you home with some money
for all the effort you've made.
And you never know, we may see you again.
-If we find something else, yeah.
-I really hope so.
How wonderful to have international "Flog It!" followers.
Our third lot is that incredible dinosaur imprint
from the Jurassic coast.
We are, literally, walking with dinosaurs,
because we that iguanodon footprint, the cast,
going under the hammer, belonging to Kenneth.
I think every schoolboy in the county
is going to ask their parents to buy this for them.
Well, I was expecting some scientist to get a microscope up to it
and see what he trod in and see if there was any insects
-or something like that in it.
-At least we rescued it from your shed,
-that's the main thing.
I know the reserve's been dropped to £120. Was that your decision?
Yeah, I just didn't care. I just want it out of the house.
-You just want it to go.
Well, fingers crossed it does two to three plus a bit.
It's going under the hammer right now.
We've got the interesting dinosaur footprint.
£100 for them?
Yes, thank you very much. A strong voice.
£100 bid. 100.
140 bid, on my right. 140.
-Come on, let's get you £200.
170 anyone else? I thought these might do a bit better.
At £160...for the fossil footprints.
-GAVEL COMES DOWN
-It's gone. Are you happy?
Well, it didn't cost me nothing. It was like a day's work, really.
-But what a find.
At least you had the pleasure of finding that and uncovering it
because that was the very first time in millions of years
that that has been revealed.
And you can't put a price on that, can you?
Well, there we are. Three good sales so far today
and it's nice to escape the mayhem of the auction room.
Now, for the best part,
an antique expert can work out the history of an object
by looking at makers' marks, construction methods,
materials and styles,
but what if an object is old, and I mean really, really old,
and virtually nothing is known about the people who made it?
Well, that's where archaeologists come in.
Recently, I met up with some
to find out more about the prehistoric people of Dorset.
The British landscape is full of the intriguing remains
of ancient civilisations - barrows, standing stones and hill forts.
It's hard to imagine how these prehistoric people lived,
so how do we discover what they did and why?
I've come to a place that is dedicated to finding out.
This is the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne
and all of these amazing structures have been built
using traditional techniques and methods.
I'm going to be finding out more about the work that goes on here,
chatting to some of the experts,
who are going to introduce me to some of our ancient ancestors.
First up is John Gale,
an archaeologist at Bournemouth University,
who specialises in Bronze Age Britain,
which lasted from around 2000 BC to 800 BC.
So, how do we know how these people lived?
Well, archaeology, as you probably know,
is all about excavation and survey.
It's the relationship of what's left, the objects,
but also the way that the structure is built.
This roundhouse, for example,
was composed mainly of below-ground post holes and stake holes
and, of course, they create a pattern on the floor, so...
So you're looking at the footprint?
Exactly, it's the footprint we look at and then we look at
the features inside the house - the hearth, for example.
That can be picked up because the burnt soil still survives.
And then, of course, we'll record the presence of objects
-in relation to places within the structure as well.
Brilliant, isn't it?
All those little tiny things, those little clues you piece together.
If you ask any archaeologist why they get into this,
it's about reconstructing, about telling a tale, telling a story.
We're really storytellers at heart.
A lot of things you find are just fragments,
but I notice you've got a complete pot there.
-Can I have a look at it?
-Yes, of course.
-It's quite rare to find complete pots...
-..at this age.
-This is more or less 4,000 years old.
-Where did you find this?
I was excavating a barrow site,
only five miles away from where we're sitting at the moment.
A barrow site meaning a long barrow?
A barrow site meaning a cemetery, because in the Bronze Age,
they tended to construct barrows in groups
and they are, essentially, monuments for the ancestors.
And this was contained in a burial pit under a barrow,
-alongside two cremations.
So, archaeologists can tell us what ancient people left behind
and work how they may have lived.
But how do we get from these theories
to the reality of these fantastic buildings?
Paul Grigsby might be able to shed some light.
He was a builder by trade but now works here,
bringing his knowledge of construction
to the recreation of the past.
So how do you start by creating an ancient structure?
It's all to do with the evidence
and we looked at Bronze Age houses or hut circles
and tried to recreate the building as close as we can get it
-to the same sort of structure that would have been...
So you kind of copied stone from stone.
-The keystones here, you copied that to start with.
You copied the size and some of these larger stones to build up on.
Yeah, the difficulty then becomes, when you start to build a wall
and they're estimating about a metre high
-because of those keystones for the door...
You've got to try and work out what happens to the stones above that,
so we looked at other sites. There's about 3,000 hut circles on Dartmoor.
We looked at lots of other sites
and it turned out they weren't doing a traditional stone wall job on this
by knocking the edges off and making everything fit nice and neatly.
They were working it out like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, essentially.
And what covers this?
We're going to thatch it,
very similar to the buildings we have onsite,
which are thatched with wheat straw.
-And what about tools?
-Tools they'd use for this...
-Obviously, nothing's going to cut the granite.
But the hazel will be cut with either bronze or stone tools.
-Have you any examples of these tools?
-Yeah, they're just here.
-OK, so this is a stone, a flint axe.
-That's the earliest?
That's the earliest.
We're going back how many thousands of years?
You're looking at probably 5000 BC for this sort of axe.
This is a reproduction, so this isn't original.
Someone's created that.
Then we move on to this one, which is a bronze tool.
It's starting to look more serious.
Yeah, and again, it's not sharp, though. It's not like a steel axe.
It's not a sharp thing. You can keep them sharp. You can hone it...
-Whereas you can't with that.
-No, not so well.
You'd have to take the edge off and start again.
I was just thinking, you know, on some of that felled stuff there.
-Can I have a go?
-You can try.
-Um...that would be a better chance.
-I don't want to damage it.
No, you won't damage that.
Let's try it on this.
That's not bad!
Look at that! That's brilliant!
-Can I have a job?
-Yeah, got loads to cut!
So, experimental archaeology takes the theories
of traditional archaeologists and tests them out,
seeing what works and what doesn't.
I'd love to find out more about those ancient tools,
so it's time to meet Mark Vyvyan-Penney.
He's a wood carver who makes bronze tools using ancient techniques.
I can see you're using an odd pair of bellows, bringing up the fire.
What are you about to do?
Well, I'm using these bag bellows, which are made of leather,
to pump air into this furnace, and in the furnace,
there's a crucible and in that, there's some scraps of bronze.
-What do you hope to make?
-Well, there's some moulds there
for some chisels and a little axe. It might work...
-..it might not.
Just a second.
-Is it nearly ready?
-The metal is ready.
It's liquid, so I can now pour it into one of the moulds.
You need some glasses though.
-They wouldn't have had these in the Bronze Age.
But we've only got one pair of eyes.
So, there we go. I'm going to pour it into a mould.
That happened quite quickly. You've got no control over it.
-Well, you know that it's going to last 11 seconds.
It's 11 seconds before it freezes. I'm quite pleased with that.
This was the whole point of the Bronze Age.
It was this amazing technology that they discovered
and they went from copper, which is really soft,
-to putting tin with it, which makes it really hard.
Do you belong to a particular group of artisans
that sort of wear the clothing you're wearing
and do this kind of thing as a passion and a hobby?
Yes, I'm in a group called the Ancient Wessex Network
and, yes, you're right, it is a passion.
We want to make things from the past.
We want to make it the way they did.
Will that bronze now be cooling down in that mould?
-Will you have to break it apart?
-The moment of truth.
-The moment of truth, yeah. So, here's some water.
And if I bring that mould over...over there.
There we go. That's still quite hot. So...
So, we've got there...
It's a bit bent but I can knock that back into shape,
and there's a chisel.
That's quite incredible, isn't it? That's brilliant.
Will you be able to use that on some of your carvings?
Yes, it would be very authentic then, wouldn't it?
What a great way to explore the past,
hands-on, testing things out
and becoming immersed in the lives of ancient Britons.
A place like this really does show us
how the expertise of people from diverse backgrounds
can come together to help us advance our knowledge of the past.
It really is quite incredible.
So, the next time you go for a walk in the countryside
and you come across a stone circle or a hill fort, stop for a moment,
have a good look and think about the people who created them
and how amazing it is that the remains of those sites
are still with us today, playing a prominent part of our lives,
all of these thousands of years later.
Welcome back to our valuation day venue, Highcliffe Castle,
where down below, our valuations continue.
Our experts are hard at work,
hopefully unearthing some more treasures to take off to auction.
But I doubt if anything will date as far back as the Bronze Age.
Let's catch up with the team.
And Christina is definitely looking to the 1960s for her next object.
-Sue, I love this Biba coat.
-I REALLY love this Biba coat.
-It is so fab! Where did you get it from?
-Well, I'm not sure.
I know Biba had catalogues out and I know they had a shop in Kensington.
-Did you ever go into the shop?
-Yes, I did.
-Did you? What was it like?
-Oh, was it?
-Black and gold, with very loud music.
And mirrors everywhere. But you couldn't see the clothes.
-It was just awesome.
-I've heard that.
Somebody said that they had to take the clothes to the window.
-They saw something in the dark... Do you remember this?
Oh, ladies! We've got a fashionista pack behind us.
Did you have to take the clothes to the window in order to see them?
-That's right, yes.
-Oh, my goodness, that's wonderful!
Let's start at the very beginning.
Barbara Hulanicki started the Biba brand in the mid-1960s
and it started out as a brand that wanted to bring
cheap and affordable clothing to the masses in the 1960s.
And that it did, and it was incredibly successful.
-Started out as a mail order catalogue.
And then they very quickly built up a fantastic client base
because it was cheap and affordable but it was stylish, so stylish.
-They opened a shop in Kensington. Is that the one you went to?
Oh, fantastic. Then they went on and on
and they continued with the mail order as well,
-which is really important to the history of Biba.
-Cos you didn't have to go to London to own a Biba piece.
You could get it through the post, effectively.
If we look at this piece, yes, it's an incredibly stylish piece.
If we start with the material, it is quite itchy. Was it nice to wear?
-I do remember it being itchy, yes, I do.
-When you wore it, were you fidgeting all day?
Did you have Saint Vitus's dance or something?
-I had to wear it because you just felt so good.
So, a little bit itchy,
which kind of goes along with that cheap, affordable clothing aspect,
but just look at it! It's just gorgeous.
Double-breasted. If we spin her...
This might be a male model, but we'll spin him/ her round
and we've got, look, acres of material here.
It is just beautiful, isn't it?
I bet you swished around London in this, didn't you?
-Oh, no, on the Isle of Wight.
-You swished around the Isle of Wight.
So I felt very, very fashionable.
And were you the envy of all your friends?
-Well, yes, because no-one else had one.
-I bet. My goodness!
It's 1960s, but it has got that sort of Edwardiana appeal, look,
about it that was very much a Biba style.
I'm wiffling on about Biba,
but we'd better just make sure that it IS Biba, hadn't we?
Let's look at the label. Oh, yeah, perfect.
So, was that very much the style of the shop as well,
-this wonderful black and gold?
-Yes, it was.
Oh, what to put on it?
I mean, it doesn't fetch as much as I would hope it to fetch at auction.
Having that name in it, obviously, is imperative,
otherwise it would be a nice tweed coat.
I'm going to be modest,
but I would hope that it would fetch in the region of £50 to £70.
-A reserve of maybe £50,
with some discretion, should we need it.
Hopefully, with some internet interest
and some fashionistas, which I think we've got here...
-..it might go up.
That coat really captures an era.
The 1960s swept aside old ideas about fashion for the elite.
Designers like Mary Quant and Ossie Clark exploded onto the scene,
making clothes for young people,
who had the highest income since the Second World War.
They wanted a modern look that suited their freer lifestyle
and their taste in music.
And for the first time, they had a place specially designed for them,
the high street boutiques, filled with the new modern look -
colourful clothes in unusual fabrics and the maxiskirt.
Christina's certainly hooked on the Biba maxicoat
and we hope our buyers will be too.
And as I join the crowds, I've come across something
by a pop group who were the epitome of 1960s cool.
Lynne, what have you got in there? What's in your bag?
-A Rolling Stones autograph.
-Ooh! Hey, who likes the Rolling Stones?
-I love the Rolling Stones!
Oh, it's a signed...
Oh, look at that. It's a boarding card. Where's that from?
Hurn Airport, as it was then, in the early '60s.
-That's Bournemouth Airport.
-It's now Bournemouth Airport.
They flew into Bournemouth Airport?
-Yes, and my parents got the autograph.
-At risk of death!
Look, there's Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman...
..and Charlie Watts.
-Wow. And you've looked after that ever since.
Were you a big Stones fan?
Yes, I saw them at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond.
Yes, cos they grew up in Richmond, didn't they?
-Yes, they were pretty disgusting then.
They didn't have baths very often.
-They didn't have much money then, did they?
-No, they didn't.
That's brilliant. If you put that into any auction
anywhere in the country, £600 to £800, no problem, OK.
-And it should do the top end.
-Thank you very much.
Not for sale today, but it's wonderful
when you bring in unusual objects for us to look at.
Now, what would Philip have been doing in the 1960s
and what's he got at his table?
So, you brought along this early 20th-century ping pong bat,
-is that right?
-What's your name?
-Are you from round here, Jane?
-I'm local to Highcliffe.
And you know exactly what this is, don't you?
I do know it's a Mouseman piece but...
And we know it's a Mouseman, because we've got a mouse here.
-I did think a Mouseman paddle but...
The chap who made this was a man called Robert Thompson,
who came from Kilburn in Yorkshire.
He was born in the late 1870s and died in the 1950s.
This is his signature. Everybody knows this is Mouseman.
Do you know how it came about?
I think it was something to do with the pews in a church
-and he used to...
-You're getting good, aren't you?
-How do you know all this?
-I'm interested in antiques,
I've heard a little bit about his work,
so I know he used to put the mouse into the pews.
-Why did he do that then?
-Ah, that I don't know.
Yes! No, let me tell you.
-His first job was the interior of a church...
..and he and his workmen were talking
-and they claimed to be as poor as church mice.
-It makes sense now.
-And Mouseman was born.
We talked about patina and that's got patina by the bucketful.
And all that patina is is the grease and grime
off your hand that's just polished that, as time's gone by,
and it just gives it that lovely colour.
I would think this is probably 1930s.
Early Mouseman wares have this lovely dark colour.
-The slightly later wares have a lighter colour.
And it's hugely collectible. Have you had this a long time?
Well, it came to me through a donation to our shop.
-Oh, so you're fundraising.
-We're fundraising yes.
-This was given to you.
-This was given to us by one of our donors.
Do you know what?
I think this is going to make you probably over £100.
-Is that good?
-That's good, yes!
I think we should put £100 to £150 on it as an estimate.
-We'll fix reserve it at £80.
-That gives the auctioneer a bit of leeway.
-Just look at that.
-Look at that little mouse.
I think that Robert Mouseman has made
-a whole generation of people become unfrightened of mice.
Christina's definitely not concerned about her next object. Far from it!
You know how to excite a girl. My goodness!
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend
and oh, my God, these are gorgeous! Why aren't you wearing them?
-Well, they're not my style, are they?
-Are they not? No?
-So, in this instance, they're NOT a girl's best friend.
What we've got is a beautiful pair of diamond drop earrings
and we've got a rather lovely lady here who...
-Well, it looks like she's modelling them for us.
So, where have they come from? Who is this lady?
-She is my grandma but she died in 1950.
-But she was 75 when she died.
So, I don't know how old she is in that photograph
but she was married three times.
-They might have been a present from a husband.
-Was it third time lucky?
-Yes, could have been, yes.
-Even just looking at the box that they're within,
they really are very beautiful
-and very beautiful quality, exquisite quality.
-Was she an affluent lady?
-She loved her jewellery.
I don't know a lot about her. She lived in London.
So she was in possibly quite a high society set.
-She could have been, yes.
They are within this box which says, at the top...
One of the best addresses in London.
You've got a Bond Street jeweller here, Hunt & Roskell.
They designed and retailed exquisite pieces, expensive pieces.
There was nothing about the, sort of,
standard run-of-the-mill jewellery about them.
They only did the very best,
and absolutely typified by this beautiful pair of drop earrings.
Each one a four-diamond drop,
each one with a brilliant cut diamond,
so we know that they are 20th century,
rather than Victorian or earlier,
because they wouldn't have had the brilliant cut at that point.
That was only developed in the 20th century.
They are set in platinum, probably with an 18-carat gold back,
-although they're not marked, which is quite frustrating.
But they're a good colour, they're a good clarity,
and all of that is important because it all makes a value for us, OK.
At auction, I wouldn't hesitate to put an estimate
of between £800 to £1,200 on them
and I think a firm reserve at £800.
-How would you feel about that, Barb?
-That sounds wonderful.
Well, you've just seen our experts pick out
their final three items of the day, so now, we have to say goodbye
to our host location, Highcliffe Castle.
We've had a wonderful time here
and I'm sure everybody who's turned up has thoroughly enjoyed it.
And the weather has just been perfect!
But right now, we've got to change the tempo.
We've got some unfinished business to do in the saleroom.
And here's a quick recap of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
The designer Biba coat
that Sue swished around in during the swinging '60s.
We've got the classic Mouseman cheeseboard,
which can't go wrong at auction.
And a pair of diamond earrings.
They're not to owner Barbara's taste
but are they set to adorn someone else's ears?
We're about to find out, as we head back to the saleroom,
where John Condie has our next lot, the Biba coat that charmed Cristina.
What a coat! Biba and this is fantastic.
-Why don't you want to keep it?
-It doesn't fit.
It's been in the loft for 43 years.
-Why hang on to it in a box, wrapped up?
That label, that Biba label, people will pick up on it online.
There are plenty of collectors of vintage clothing,
especially women's clothing, and they sell well.
-And it's so wearable, it's so wearable!
-I don't think I'm going to cope with this.
-You've got to be tough, OK?
You've got to be strong. It's going under the hammer right now
and, hopefully, it'll find a new home,
-This is it. Good luck, Sue.
Original woollen coat, with the Biba label to the collar, of course.
I remember shopping there myself.
I was there, I was there!
Right, I've got interest and I'm bid £50 straight in.
50. £50. 55.
60. 5. 70.
-Oh, it's gone.
-It's gone well.
100. 110. 110, I've got.
110. 110. 120 now?
120 bid. 120.
130, anybody else?
At 120, in the room. You're all out on the net.
It's selling in the room.
GAVEL COMES DOWN
-That hammer's gone down.
-I don't know what to say because I'm gutted!
-I'm really pleased for you.
-Yeah, no way did I expect that!
-It is fantastic for me.
-Thank you so much.
We are delighted, really, Christina.
Double the estimate for the ultimate in '60s style.
Our next lot is from a craftsman
whose work has also stood the test of time.
Jane, it's great to see you.
We're talking about Robert Thompson, Mr Mouseman.
-And we have a cheeseboard.
-I thought it was a table tennis bat.
It could be. It has a duality to it, yes, yes. He's cheeky, isn't he?
-So, this was a charity shop find, I gather.
So, fingers crossed, we should get £100 plus for this.
I'll be really disappointed if it didn't make three figures.
-Well, everything counts to our charity, so...
-It does, doesn't it?
-Whatever we can make.
OK, good luck, both of you. It's going under the hammer right now.
Mouseman cheeseboard. Got the typical mouse to the handle there.
I've got a bit of interest on the book for you.
80, I've got to go.
£80. I've got a gentleman there at 80. £80.
85, anyone else want to take it on?
The gentleman there at 80. 85 on the internet.
90 now. 90.
95, make it. We're out on the internet. It's 90.
Anyone else? I'm closing it.
-At £90 then.
-GAVEL COMES DOWN
-Fantastic, thank you very much.
-Every penny helps for that charity.
-Keep up the good work, won't you?
-I will do.
Time for our final lot of the day,
the drop-dead gorgeous diamond drop earrings, set in platinum.
-Barbara, your earrings - well, your gran's earrings.
It's time to say goodbye.
-These are definitely going to sell.
-They're so beautiful.
-Did you know they were quite valuable?
That's why I didn't like them left in the house when I went out.
-I sincerely hope you get lots of interest for them.
They're still so wearable today,
especially in that white gold or platinum.
-They're very stylish, aren't they?
-Very stylish. Best of luck.
Here we go, this is it.
Lot 312, the lovely pair of diamond drop earrings,
set with four lovely graduated diamonds there.
-I have got interest presale.
And I'm starting at 700.
850. 900 on the internet.
950 in the room, lady's bid.
1,100, I've got.
1,200, lady's bid.
-1,300 on the internet.
1,300, internet bid.
1,400 on the telephone.
1,400 on the telephone.
1,500 close to me.
1,550 comes in over here.
Ooh, there's a bidder in the room at 1,550.
And 50 now.
1,650, it's close.
-1,700 do you want to go?
-Are you all right?
1,700 here, next to me.
Anyone else coming in? I'm going to sell.
You're all out elsewhere. At 1,700 they go.
GAVEL COMES DOWN
-Barbara, that's fantastic news!
Well over the top end. Brilliant.
-You had faith in those, didn't you?
Oh, they sold themselves.
They were just stunning, they really were.
-So, congratulations, that's great.
-Well done, you.
-You're a bit speechless.
-I am lost for words.
-You don't know what to say, do you?
How about, "What a way to end today's show"?
I hope you've enjoyed it.
We promised you a surprise and we delivered.
Join us again soon for many more.