Paul Martin presents this edition of the antiques series from Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Experts Caroline Hawley and David Harper value items.
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Today we are in the West Midlands and hundreds of people are
flocking here to see us at Wolverhampton's Art Gallery
and now, I'm on the balcony and just look at this wonderful sculpture.
It's a sheep and it's flying in the air but all is not what it seems.
Just watch this.
And it is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Fooled again. Welcome to Flog It!
The city of Wolverhampton was a leading manufacturing centre
during the Industrial Revolution and was also known for coal-mining,
iron and steel production.
Today, it's still a buzzing city and hundreds of people have
turned up to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, that fabulous
building there behind us, laden with antiques and collectables,
to see our experts who will steer them in the right direction,
off to the auction room. But first, name me the answer
to that all-important question which is...
-What's it worth?
Let's find out.
So let's meet today's experts.
We have a very excited Caroline Hawley.
I love it. Having a licence to handbag dip!
Morning, all. Good morning.
And David Harper is making sure everyone is in good spirits.
Have you had a little tipple this morning?
-Is that why you brought this?
And have you ever wondered what happens when our experts like an object?
-Are you going to sticker it?
-I think I am.
OK, you sticker it. She's going to sticker it.
And that is not as bad as it sounds, I promise you.
It won't hurt a bit, madam.
Later on in today's show, some people have all the luck.
Imagine finding this necklace at a jumble sale for just £4.
It's a Ceylon sapphire
and this rather lovely diamond here.
And will this cat get the cream at auction?
And I'm down here in the vaults of the art gallery,
where there is an extraordinary collection of pop art,
works by the likes of Andy Warhol and Sir Peter Blake.
But first we had better get back upstairs in the art gallery
and see what Caroline has already uncovered.
So, Barbara, tell me all about this lovely pot.
We were on holiday in Dorset, looking around the shops.
-As you do.
-As you do.
Went into this charity shop and on the shelf up high, I could see this.
First of all I thought it might be Morecroft
or something like that, you know, something with flowers on.
I asked the girl if she would reach it down for me
and she reached it down.
I thought how lovely it was.
What attracted you to it?
It sounds strange, really, but it was the flowers.
I can remember when I was a little girl, my cousin was...
During the war, she made some curtains out of
very rough material and she embroidered these foxgloves
all the way up and it reminded me of that. It was only £7.
Well, I think it's gorgeous.
-It's Royal Winton...
-Royal Winton, yes.
..which is the trademark of a company called Grimwades...
-..which was set up - the Grimwades company - in 1885,
by brothers Leonard and Stanley.
And this is part of a group of pots called chintzware
which became very popular from 1928 onwards.
And at the height of that period, there were almost 60 designs,
different designs made.
They were very often floral patterns,
very often more closely decorated.
Yes, yes. I've seen those.
Yeah. This, I think, is lovely,
with the foxgloves at the front.
Lovely colouring and this great condition all the way around.
It is lovely. The more I look at it, the more I like it.
It's got such a lovely feel to it, hasn't it? The glaze is wonderful.
I'm very envious of you finding that in the charity shop.
-You wouldn't have done if I'd been there sooner.
-Now, do you have any idea what it's worth now?
-No, no, no.
Well, I would think it's still a popular piece.
-It's not going to be worth a fortune.
-No, no, no.
But I think it's going to be worth £30-£50.
-Yes, that would be fine, yes.
-And what about a reserve?
-Say £20, something like that.
Well, I would agree with you because you don't want it back, do you?
No, no, no.
-Because you'll be out hunting for other things.
-So, if we put it in, £30-£50 with a fixed reserve at £20.
-Brilliant. And keep hunting.
-Thank you very much, Barbara.
-Lovely, thank you.
Now over to David for some advice on timekeeping.
Now, Gail, I do think you need a new bedside clock. I do.
It hasn't got bells on.
-Please don't tell me you use that as your bedside clock.
-No, I don't.
-Right. Tell me what you do use it for.
-In a cupboard.
It comes from my father's side of the family and it goes back
-a long, long time.
I think originally it was from a very old, big house
that a relation worked for.
-Right. Would they have been in service?
-No, not in service.
She looked after one of the children of the house.
-Almost like a governess.
What we have left is the remnants of that early life and it is an
-oversized pocket watch, isn't it?
I mean, as far as pocket watches go, it's a biggie. Let's be honest.
-That is a very big pocket watch, isn't it?
Feel the weight of that. Imagine that dangling off you.
-With the chain as well.
And then the idea is, of course, when you are finished with
your watch during the day or you are going travelling,
you are getting your carriage and when you go and stay with friends
at the weekend, you take it with you and it becomes your bedside clock.
-It's a great design. Does it work?
-I wouldn't know.
Well, shall we try it? Let's have a look. I'll give it a bit of a wind.
-I never knew that.
-Isn't that lovely?
-Isn't that lovely, though?
The mechanics of these things are almost medieval.
As long as they are well serviced and well wound, they'll work
but if that hasn't been used for generations, it's amazing.
A couple of twists and it's off again.
-The pocket watch is silver-plated...
-..with an enamel face.
-No markings that I can see on there. No retailer's mark.
The case itself is obviously a wooden case,
lined in a leather or leatherette.
And then the front facing there, if you can just see, there's hallmarks.
-And made in 1908.
-So, it's in a cupboard.
-What do you want to do with it?
We are decluttering and, no, it's too heavy to carry around with you.
-So, I don't... I wouldn't have it around my neck.
-You would look a bit eccentric, wouldn't you?
All right. Well, it's all down to money then, isn't it?
And it's got age and everything else but it doesn't have
-a fantastic value.
Because the silver front is just a very thin bit of silver.
The watch is just plated. No maker's mark on it.
-So it's probably only worth about £30.
-Is it really?
It's ridiculously low for such an interesting object
-but that's probably all it's worth.
-Does that disappoint you?
Well, no, no. Because I've got no idea. I came with an open mind.
-Do you want to reserve it at 30?
Put a reserve on and then because of the age of it,
if it doesn't go for that, I will keep it...
-..and hang it around my neck.
On that note, I think it's time for me to take a little tour around
the gallery, which has on display the works of many gifted locals.
Now, I can't pass this bronze sculpture without talking
about it and admiring it.
It's called Golden Youth and it was created by
Robert Jackson Emerson in 1939.
Emerson was a very well-respected painter,
sculptor and teacher in the early part of the 20th century.
And I think this sculpture shows his passion for the female form
He had a successful career with commissions all over Italy
and a lot of his work is here in the gallery.
In fact, his reputation as a teacher in the 20th century
is almost legendary.
A lot of his pupils went on to become famous sculptors themselves.
Now, I wonder if Caroline has any noteworthy designs on her table.
-Hello, and welcome to you and your jewels.
I am chuffed to bits, as they say in Yorkshire, to see these.
And as soon as I saw them, I thought, "Ey up, Charles Horner."
And they are all by Charles Horner, the great Chester silversmith.
So how on Earth have you got all this Charles Horner...?
I looked through an auction catalogue
about two and a half years ago and picked out the things
-that jumped off the page.
I knew nothing about Charles Horner and everything that I liked
Then I had a look to see who he was and now I can look in antique
shop windows and go, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." Or whatever.
So is this your total collection of Charles Horner?
-You've got more?
Thimbles, quite a lot of thimbles of Charles Horner.
But I don't really want to sell everything.
You've made a very, very wise buy
in all of these because the condition is fantastic.
We keep banging on about condition is everything,
always buy the best you can afford.
But you have and it does make a difference.
These little Charles Horner pins here, they are beautiful but
if they were bashed and crushed, they are not worth anything.
They are lovely and I love this dancer.
-I didn't believe that was Horner.
-No, nor did I.
I've had a good look with a glass and she is.
-Sometimes I buy these items in bags of bits.
This came in a bag of bits. And it cost me... Would you like to know?
-Yes, I would.
So, we've got to put a price on them, haven't we, Barbara?
I would think, realistically,
£200-£300 at auction.
-How do you feel about that?
-That would be fine.
-And would you like a reserve?
-So, 200 OK?
-We will fix it at 200.
We'll estimate them at 200 to 300.
-Well done, Barbara...
-..for building such a lovely collection.
-And I really look forward to going to auction with you and selling it.
-And selling it. Thank you very much.
-That's a pleasure.
Well, there you are.
We found our first three items to take off to auction.
This is where it gets exciting. We're now going to up the tempo.
I've got my favourites, you've probably got yours.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
Here's a quick recap just to jog your memory of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
Barbara was drawn in by the flowers on this Royal Winton vase so let's
hope these lovely foxgloves will catch someone else's eye at auction.
Now, I don't imagine there will be any time wasters
around this silver travel clock come pocket watch.
Well, it's got the province and the style, so we shall see
how this collection of jewellery by Charles Horner will do at auction.
We are heading 40 miles north to the market town
of Whitchurch in Shropshire.
Now, one thing you notice here is that there are lots
of fantastic-looking clocks all around the town.
Well, that's because this was home to one of the oldest
clockmakers in the world.
JB Joyce were established in Shropshire in 1690
and moved to Whitchurch in 1790.
Their work can be found across the globe from Sydney to Shanghai
but no place has more examples than Whitchurch.
Especially here at Trevanion & Dean auction rooms because this
in fact was the old Joyce factory.
And dotted around the saleroom there are a few clues to the past,
like this old clock, which is still ticking away.
With time going fast, we had better get on with the auction,
and Christina Trevanion is on the rostrum.
Remember, you will need to factor in the seller's commission
in a saleroom. Here, it's 17% plus VAT.
Now, will the history of this old clock-making factory help
when it comes to selling this timepiece?
# Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock... #
-Gail, good luck.
The travel clock is about to go under the hammer.
It's not a lot of money but it is a nice thing, isn't it?
-I'm thinking very positive.
-Yes, so we are hoping.
OK. Not 30-40, more like 40-60.
It's going under the hammer right now.
Lot 170 is the silver goliath pocket watch and case.
There it is. Lot 170.
-And I am bid straight away £30 with the commission at £30.
35, 40, sir. 45, 50.
55. Clears my commission bid, sir. It's yours at £55.
Looking to 60 now. At £55, if we are all done then, at 55.
What's lovely about that, that now has a new lease of life.
Someone's very excited to own that watch and it will go on
-for another few more generations. Marvellous.
-Well done, you.
-Thank you very much.
-There's a beauty in everything.
Next up, the Royal Winton vase.
They missed that down in Dorset, didn't they?
You did well, then, Barbara.
-It was nice.
-Have you sold these before?
Yes, I have. Yeah. And it's pretty. It's got foxgloves down the front.
-And that's what attracted you to it.
-Very feminine, isn't it?
It is. It's pretty, nice quality...
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
-Here we go. Let's put it under the hammer.
Lot 382 is the Royal Winton Grimwade ovoid vase.
Interest here on my book at 20. £25.
Here with me at £25.
Looking for 30 now.
30 is bid online. Looking for 5.
At £30 then, if you're all done.
It's against you all at £30.
Online at 30.
My heart. £35.
At £35 then, if you've all settled at 35.
40. He's back. Oh, my goodness! What are you doing to me?!
45. Slow burners here at £45.
At £45, if you've all settled.
Well done, Christina. Great auctioneer.
Do you know, I've left the space on the shelf where it was
because I didn't think we'd sell it.
I've got to put something else on then.
Ye of little faith, Barbara.
-You knew we'd sell it.
-Well done, you.
Now it's the collection of Charles Horner jewellery.
Good luck, both of you.
Barbara, this is the moment where we stick it to the bidders. Yes,
we're talking about the hatpins, aren't we?
Good name, great name. Quality, quality, quality.
And we always say on the show - quality sells.
-Are you expecting millions?
I want a million. £1 million.
We're good, but not that good.
OK. We need some fierce bidding.
We're going to find out what the bidders think right now.
-Good luck. Let's hope we get the top end. Here we go.
Lot 100 is the collection of Charles Horner.
All sorts in the lot there.
-Give me 160. At £160 is what I'm looking for.
-We're looking for a bid.
180, where are you? It's at 170 with me.
-190 I have.
-Looking for 200. It's got to be 200 if you want it.
-200 is bid.
240 against you, sir. 260?
250 I'll take. At 250. 260.
Straight back, sir. Will you go 270?
270 is bid.
At £270. Room bidder. Make no mistake.
Sold in the room. £270.
It's not a million but it's still a good amount of money.
-I'll bring some more next time.
Well done, both of you. That was a good result.
Quality always sells.
If you've got something like that, come and join us.
Dust them down, bring them in, and we'll flog them.
We are coming back here later in the show, so please do not go away.
We could have that one big surprise.
Now it's time to return to Wolverhampton Art Gallery,
but not to join up with our experts straight away.
I'm going to have a look at one of the collections that's not
currently on display.
I've been told, down in the vaults, in the basement,
there's a unique collection of pop art. And I'm going to check it out.
When pop art emerged in the 1950s and '60s,
it was seen as disposable and insignificant by the art world.
Many art critics believed this was a passing fad
that would soon disappear.
But they were wrong.
Pop art grew to become one of the most recognisable styles of
This way. Gently.
Marguerite Nugent is the current curator
of Wolverhampton Art Gallery,
and she has agreed to show me their exclusive collection.
Lichtenstein and Warhol are big, big names in American pop art
-and they're big names here, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
And we've got quite a number of pop works in the collection.
I mean, just here we've got work by Peter Blake, for example,
Allen Jones, Joe Tilson.
That's just a few of the artists that were collected during
the 1970s and '80s mostly,
by curator David Rodgers, who was very pioneering in terms of
what he was trying to acquire for the collection.
-He was clever, wasn't he?
-Thinking ahead of the game.
-He had the foresight.
He'd been brought in by the council to run the gallery.
He'd come from a gallery in London and
he had some quite exciting ideas.
He thought this was something that could be a brand
that's quite unique for Wolverhampton.
So he started to collect pop art.
It was controversial at the time when those works were being acquired
because it was perceived that the council was spending a lot of
-money on art.
-Too much money!
And if you take the Lichtenstein, for example...
-This one here.
-I mean, that was bought in 1975 for £25,000.
At the time, you'd think... Well, now it's worth millions.
But at that time, you know,
you could have bought a house for that amount of money.
So it was a little bit frowned upon, I suppose.
Particularly by the local media.
And I guess back then pop art really
wasn't sort of embraced by the intellectuals.
It wasn't proper art, was it, really?
-Well, it was a new thing, I suppose.
-It was a new thing. Too radical.
Yes. And it was portraying the every day.
And if you look at the Peter Blake cigarette packet painting
that we have, it's just a painting of a cigarette packet.
And that's what the pop artists were doing.
They were taking everyday items and turning them into art.
This is by Joe Tilson. A lot of the pop artists were using giveaways.
-Those kind of things you'd get in cigarette packets.
-Yeah, like advertising as well.
-Yeah, like advertising.
They were using that quite a lot as inspiration in their work.
-I like that as well. I like the collage-y kind of thing.
This is, again, by Joe Tilson.
This is based on a press image of Che Guevara
that was published after he was killed. And it was sort of
-the idea to prove that he was actually dead.
But it was an image that was very familiar in the press.
I'm quite privileged you let me down in the vault today.
Your secured storeroom, as it were,
underneath the gallery. Will you have these on display?
Yeah, we have a dedicated pop art gallery space.
So the collection is on display there on a rotating basis.
The gallery's star attraction is this piece by Andy Warhol.
The screen print was brought in 1979 for £1,600
and is now worth tens of thousands.
Andy Warhol's work brings together a number of important elements
in pop art - glamour, for one -
and that's supplied by America's First Lady,
an international style icon in her own right, Jackie Kennedy.
And here she is grieving at the sudden loss of her husband,
who was assassinated in 1963, JFK.
The whole thing was played out on the world stage.
It was a media frenzy. Everybody saw this happen.
What Warhol's done, he's taken the front cover of Life Magazine,
he's cropped it, he's remodelled it and intensified the whole thing,
so now, as a nation, we can grieve with Jackie Kennedy.
In Britain, the pop art scene started developing
in the early 1950s.
By the '60s, artists like Sir Peter Blake and Pauline Boty
were at the forefront.
Films were being made about them.
And they were embracing their new medium.
This is a Rudy.
-I don't know who the lady peeping out of his eye is.
And that's an announcer announcing that Castro has won.
# A foggy day in London town... #
There were very few female artists among the founding members of
the British pop art movement but Pauline Boty was one of them.
I've always had very vivid dreams
and I can remember them very, very easily.
I've used the kind of atmosphere of the dreams in my collages.
I think there are two things about this.
One is that I often take the moment before something
has actually happened, and you don't know if it's going to be
terrible or it might be very funny.
The other thing is that something very extraordinary is actually
happening and everyone around isn't taking any notice at all.
# I want to be loved by you, just you... #
This painting by Pauline Boty
is another of the gallery's prized possessions.
It's called Colour Her Gone.
In Boty's painting, Marilyn Monroe is boxed in by grey panels
as she looks up at the viewer from a background decorated with roses.
The painting was made after Marilyn died.
Boty copied the face from a photograph that appeared on
the cover of a magazine in November 1962.
This is a rare painting by Pauline Boty
as she died at the age of 28 from cancer.
And many of her works are unaccounted for.
Pop art was now being accessed by a wider audience.
In various interviews, Sir Peter Blake claimed he may even have
had something to do with the invention of the name pop art.
A group of us were having dinner in the very early '60s,
a group of painters, with Lawrence Alloway.
He was very much a mentor of the younger artists.
And he was a critic. Very involved with the ICA.
We were talking about what I was doing and I explained that
I was trying to make an art that was a parallel to pop music.
You would read it in the same way.
And he said, "What, a kind of pop art?"
And I maintain that's how the phrase came about.
It was artists like Sir Peter Blake, Pauline Boty and many others
in Wolverhampton's collection,
that have paved the way for other young talent.
They managed to break down the division between high and low
culture, by incorporating their own hobbies, interests
and experiences in their work.
It seems to me David Rodgers, the curator of the museum back in
the '60s and '70s, was a very clever man.
He had the foresight to put this collection together,
which holds around 70-odd pieces,
many by key players who were at the conception of pop art.
And here they all are in this unassuming gallery in Wolverhampton
for everybody to enjoy.
Back upstairs, our experts are being kept busy
with people still flocking to the valuation tables.
So, what curious item has David found?
Now, George and Margaret, this is a fascinating object.
Do you know what it's for?
-It's for incense, isn't it?
Tell me why you have this object.
Well, we acquired this object. It was actually given to us.
We didn't purchase it.
And we just liked it because it's unusual and we didn't have
-anything like it.
-How long have you had it for?
-20-odd years. OK.
-We've had it on show in the house.
On show in the house, but we've never used it.
You've never fired the baby up?
Strictly speaking, it's called a koro.
It's a Japanese incense burner.
We know it's Japanese because if you look at the flower decoration,
that is the chrysanthemum.
And the chrysanthemum is the national flower of Japan.
The shape is the tripod shape, which represents stability.
A lot of the oriental pieces do have so much more going on in them
than you ever imagine.
Made from bronze.
And it is designed to help you meditate.
To contemplate. To relax. So that's what it's all about.
When you fire it up,
you either drop the little pellets in there or you put the sticks in.
And the plumes of smoke will envelop the room.
Cleansing the room.
But it's also a time for you to meditate and to pay reverence
to long gone ancestors.
The smoke represents the spirits of the ancestors.
I think it's probably late-19th, early-20th century.
-As beautiful as it is, they were probably mass-produced.
There's no markings on it.
But I think, as a piece, it's got great story value.
You know, it's a talking piece.
You're making us keep it at this rate.
This is not the idea. I want you to flog it.
How much do you think it's really worth?
Well, it would only go in at 40 to £60. It might do better.
But because it doesn't carry any marks,
that's the estimate it would need to carry.
-Are we going to go with it?
-40 to 60.
It'll be interesting to see how it goes anyway.
Do you want to reserve it?
-It'll make what it makes.
-I'll see you at the auction.
So, while we're feeling relaxed,
we had better see what gems are on Caroline's table.
John, you don't strike me as the sort of guy that wears lovely
pendants like that or even trips around in
a gorgeous pocket watch like that.
Not at all.
How on Earth did they come into your possession?
My daughter got them from a jumble sale.
-A jumble sale?!
-About six months ago.
Were they on the same stall?
I believe they were on the same table, yes.
Could you tell me what your daughter paid for these things?
The necklace was £4, the watch and chain was £5.
Well, I am shocked and stunned.
We'll start with the pocket watch.
This is hallmarked silver.
It's marked 1884 - London.
It's silver and enamel.
Cleaned up, that would look absolutely stunning.
The chain that goes with it isn't marked,
so we would have to call that white metal.
But I'm sure that will be silver if it's tested.
It's got a replacement ring, which is a brass one
as opposed to a silver one.
It's a lovely quality chain...
which goes with the watch.
Not of huge value. Something like this is 40 to £60.
-But £5 was paid for it?
So that is a HUGE profit margin already, isn't it?
Now, the necklace, on the other hand,
I don't know whether you know, but I love all things French.
And I think, I'm wanting to think that this is French.
It came in this little box, which is...
Now, this is from a jeweller in Nantes in France,
and it is just gorgeous.
It's a Ceylon sapphire, pear cut,
and this rather lovely diamond here,
with small diamond chips above,
and then this oval is little diamond chips.
The chain... I haven't tested it,
but I would think that is either white gold or silver.
But that is altogether gorgeous.
And I am going to stick my neck out.
I wish it was wearing that.
But I'm going to stick my neck out and say...
400 to 600 on the necklace.
Very good, yes.
-Now, would you like a reserve on that?
And are we allowed a bit of discretion on that,
-or do you want to...?
-I would imagine so, yes.
Yeah. So, 400 with discretion.
Excellent. And I'm very, very jealous.
I'm going to go to sleep dreaming about jumble sales tonight.
-Thank you, John.
Earlier on, we looked at the gallery's
unique collection of pop art,
which features works by the likes of Sir Peter Blake and Andy Warhol.
Now, I'm just about to meet a chap, a local chap,
who was an artist in residence here at the gallery,
whose work was very much inspired by the pop art movement.
He's brought along some of his pieces for us to look at, as well.
And his name's Loz Taylor, and he's with me right now.
Thank you for coming in.
So, what is the driving force with your work?
Well, consumerism was all around
in the '60s and '70s,
but people weren't really picking up on it, the general public.
It took the pop artists of the '60s
-to really show the people what consumerism was all about.
And these days, I believe gambling and speculation is something that
really needs to be picked up on, because it really is all around us.
-So, talk me through some of your pieces that you brought along.
Well, I was able to take the numbering colour code from the dog track,
and the numbering colour code from the roulette wheel in a casino,
the zero, and create a zero to nine piece.
Once I had the colour code sorted,
I was then able to extend it
and put letters on each of the colours
to create a gambling alphabet.
And the gambling alphabet enables me to create gambling word art.
"Get yourself an edgeucation,"
-as you can see, I've misspelled education.
-Deliberately, I hasten to add...
..because I wanted to get the word "edge" in,
because everybody needs an edge to beat the competition.
And I'm trying to say, "Gamble intelligently," as well.
Hence, "Get yourself an education."
-It's very clever.
-Now that you've explained it.
For me, it was random numbers over there with different colours,
and I didn't know what the colour code was,
-and now it all makes sense.
-It's very clever.
If you want my money, I think I'd invest it into good pop art.
I think that's got the future.
-Thank you for popping in.
-Thank you, Paul.
You're a very busy man, you've got lots of commissions on the go,
-so thank you very much for coming in.
-Thank you. Cheers.
Now, I wonder if our experts are having any luck
at our valuation tables.
Well, look at this. John and Diana, you're bringing your family pet in!
I mean, what's all this about? A black cat!
Where did you get it from?
It actually came with a house that we bought in 1989.
It was found in the garage.
But believe it or not, we did finish having a black cat,
an old English black, she was called Flossie.
Very, very similar.
I mean, it's funny, isn't it?
It's an enamel sign, it's advertising,
but in this environment, it almost looks like a piece of art,
-It does, indeed.
He seems to draw you in with his eyes.
Oh, he's mesmerising you. He's trying to sell you something, Diana.
That was the whole idea, this is all about making money.
Do you know what it's made from?
Well, enamel is a fantastic material.
I mean, it's long-lasting, it keeps its colour,
its appearance, and the glossiness for much longer than print or paint.
And so they were made, of course, to sell products.
Now, interestingly, here in Wolverhampton,
this was an area for making advertising enamel signs.
It probably was on the wall of a tobacconist or newsagent,
probably in around 1920.
The Black Cat cigarette range was introduced in 1904.
And that was one of the very first mass-produced,
Do you know where the black cat symbolism comes from?
-I've absolutely no idea at all.
This company was founded by Don Jose Carreras,
he was a Spanish nobleman.
And during the 19th century,
they had a shop on Wardour Street in London, a tobacconist.
And they had a shop cat.
A black cat.
And this big, lazy black cat
would spend his whole day in the shop window...
-Do you all have cats at home that do this?
You know, sit in the sun, all day long, and it took off.
It was like, "Well, do you know where that tobacconist,
"what's it called? I don't know, it's got a black cat in the window."
And it became the black cat shop.
And the company, the House of Carreras, thought,
"This is a great idea.
"We'll introduce a range of cigarettes,
"and we'll call it after our pet cat, the Black Cat range."
So, dating to around the 1920s or '30s.
But you've got it for free, that's the best way to get anything.
Well, we had to buy a house.
-What did the house cost you?
-40,000, let's work out...
-But we got a free sign.
-A free sign.
What is it worth? What do you reckon?
£25-ish, something like that?
No, I'd say about 50.
Well, I think in today's market, we're going to get more than that.
It's seen life, it's seen excitement,
it's seen the Second World War, for certain.
And it's lived a life.
And it shows it.
And to me, that gives it a great appeal,
but its value decreases with every scratch and mark.
I think, to be sensible, we go at 100 to 150 as an estimate,
and I think you might do very well, I think, with online bidding.
-That's more than we expected.
-Very good, really surprised.
-Yeah. It's not going to pay the mortgage off, is it?
-We haven't got one.
-It's paid for, fortunately.
-Well, lucky you!
Hey, he's rich, but I'm afraid he's married, ladies.
How very exciting. Marvellous.
-I will see you in sale.
Lovely, thank you.
I see what Diana means about those cat's eyes.
Well, he's already had plenty of lives.
I wonder where his next one will be?
Well, they say the people from Wolverhampton
are some of the friendliest in the world,
and I think that's a true statement.
I've met lots of lovely people, lots of new friends.
You can all come home and have a cup of tea with me if you want!
We've had a brilliant time here.
Our experts have now found their final items so, sadly,
it's time for all of us to say goodbye.
Give the camera a big wave!
We're heading over to the auction room
to put our final valuations to the test.
And just to jog your memory, here's a quick recap
of everything that's going under the hammer.
Let's hope this incense burner
will give us a sweet return at auction.
And can we add a couple of noughts to the end of the £4
paid for this sapphire and diamond necklace,
together with a silver pocket watch bought from a jumble sale?
And, finally, will this black cat
be a lucky sign at auction?
Now, back to Shropshire and the market town of Whitchurch,
where the auction is in full swing.
Aaron Dean and Christina Trevanion are our auctioneers.
First up, the incense burner.
George and Margaret, it's great to see you again.
-We have a valuation, David, of around, what, £40?
I mean, it's quite low. It looks like it should be worth much more.
-Yeah, I was thinking 80 to 120.
Where's the classic auctioneer's discretion on that?
I know, but we see them quite often, they're not that rare.
Had it been Chinese, we would have put a much higher estimate on it.
-But it's got age and it oozes character, and it's fun, isn't it?
It's here to sell, and it's going under the hammer right now.
Lot 345, ladies and gentlemen.
A Japanese incense burner.
Who's going to start me at £40, there? 40?
Surely somebody at 40?
At £40 for the koro there.
30, dare I say it? 30?
Nobody burns incense around here!
Surely someone at 30.
And at £30, I have online,
I knew someone would come in for this.
Internet's going to take this at 30,
if there's no advance on 30?
And selling at 30.
-Gosh, that was good value for money.
Well, you didn't want to take it home, did you?
No, no, we're fine.
-Yes, it's fine.
-We've enjoyed it.
-We didn't expect anything big bucks, like.
Well, thank you for bringing it and being part of the show!
Not quite the sweet return we wanted, but what a sweet couple!
Next is the pocket watch and necklace,
bought at a jumble sale,
and John has brought his daughter along with him.
-It's Francine, isn't it?
-Pleased to meet you.
-You spotted this?
-In a jumble sale?
I think this should do around £40-£50, like you said.
Not a lot of money for a single fob watch but, nevertheless,
you're going to make a good profit.
145 is a Victorian ladies' silver fob watch and chain, lot 145.
Bid me £30 for it?
£30 is bid. £35?
Yes, we're in!
40 against you. I'm out.
At £40 in the room.
At £40. 45?
At £65 with the gentleman.
With you, then, sir, at £75. If we're all done?
Looking for 80, but I'll sell at 75.
£75. Well done, you.
Good luck for our second lot,
also found by Francine, and you didn't pay much for this, either.
-Are you excited about this?
Did you think it was worth an awful lot more?
I knew it was special, yes.
What attracted to you to it in the first place?
Did you just gravitate towards it?
-Like a magpie.
-It is beautiful.
-Oh, it's French! Ooh!
-I want it!
-I'm a bit of a Francophile.
Something tells me you do like this a lot.
I do. I really like it.
And I would really love to have been at that jumble sale.
Well, it's going under the hammer right now.
-Someone else is going to buy it.
-Here we go.
Les find out who.
Lot 85 is this sapphire and diamond lavalier.
Bid me, what have I got? 300. 320.
Bid me 320 on it?
300 is bid.
380 I have online,
at £380, clears my book.
I'll take 390 if it helps.
It's at £380.
At £380, I will sell this, make no mistake...
-Happy with that!
-You're not jumping up and down!
-I don't jump up and down.
She's planning her next jumble sale, aren't you?
-Oh, dear! That's turning a good profit. That's fantastic.
-Well done, you.
-Well done. John...
you've got to get her to jumble sales more often.
So, that's £75 for the pocket watch
and the discretionary price of £380 for the necklace.
This means Francine has made a total of £455.
Well done, you.
Now, all eyes on the Black Cat sign.
-I like this.
-I love it to bits.
-I love looking at that black cat, looking at you.
-And, of course, advertising signs, very big in this area.
Condition's good as well. It's not brilliant, but it's not bad.
-I've seen a lot worse.
-So have I.
And when they are immaculate, we know they take off, don't we? So...
-This is in pretty good... I think it should do well.
-I do as well.
-I'd frame it.
-Yeah, I would.
-I'd frame it.
-I love it. Love it to bits.
So, good on you for salvaging it.
And, hopefully, a collector's going to enjoy this.
We're going to find out what they think of it right now.
Lot 429 is the much admired
Black Cat Virginia cigarette enamel advertising sign.
And interest here, as you will expect, I've got, straight away,
I've got 80, 90, 100, £120.
Well, it's gone...
I'm going to have to start this online
At £400, I have on the internet,
Which completely wipes out all my commission bids. I've got 420.
Looking for 460.
It's at £440, internet bidder now,
£440. It's against you all.
Online at £440.
That was the perfect result, wasn't it?
It was, exactly.
Good on you!
Talk about a lucky black cat!
Wow! What a surprise!
-That's a shock, isn't it?
-It is a shock!
-My gosh, everyone... And that was short and sweet, straight in.
-Straight in at 400.
Wow. What a way to end today's show.
We were hoping for that big surprise, and we got one!
That lucky black cat. Look out for the black cat the next time,
and join us for many more surprises to come.
But until then, from the West Midlands, it's goodbye from us.
This edition of the antiques series comes from Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
Experts Caroline Hawley and David Harper are on hand to value items and take them off to auction. Turning up out of the hundreds of bags and boxes is a jumble sale find that proves to be a valuable piece of jewellery.
Presenter Paul Martin delves into the gallery's unique collection of Pop Art.