Browse content similar to St Albans 9. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
For over 900 years,
this beautifully decorated church has dominated its surroundings.
Its long history is reflected in a mixture of architectural styles that
make up the building.
From the Norman period, right through to its great Victorian restoration.
There's even a recent addition.
Carved in stone is the head of the late Queen Mother,
there in the west porch, which sits comfortably alongside all
the other carvings over the centuries.
So, what is this special place?
Well, today the show is coming from the magnificent
St Albans Cathedral and Abbey.
It really is so special. I feel like I'm in heaven.
Welcome to Flog It!
St Albans Cathedral and Abbey in Hertfordshire is a striking church,
which is packed to the rafters with beautiful decor and art.
From its many ceilings, which are both painted and ornately carved,
to its glorious stained-glass windows, the intricate
high altar screen, this cathedral really is a stunner.
We're hoping this crowd have brought along an abundance of antiques and
treasures that have the wow factor and I can tell you this lot are
champing at the bit to get inside,
because they want to ask that all-important question, which is...
-What's it worth?
And if you're happy with the valuation, what are you going to do?
And to help put a value on Hertfordshire's antiques
and collectables are our experts, Claire Rawle and Jonathan Pratt,
and it looks as though Claire has already spotted something of interest...
Oh, right, cor, that's a magnificent one, isn't it?
Lovely brass and very large carriage clock type, isn't it?
Can I sticker you? I rather like that.
..whilst it's Jonathan himself who is causing a stir in the queue.
How are you?
All the better for seeing you!
-Gosh, he's blushing, isn't he?
-No, I don't... It's hot out here, isn't it?
Right, time to get back to the antiques and collectables, Jonathan.
So, let's get this show on the road.
While everyone gets inside and makes themselves comfortable,
here's a quick look at what's coming up later.
Landing on our tables is a beautifully carved Arts & Crafts
bowl with a fabulous pedigree.
It's got quite an interesting history, hasn't it, this one?
All associated with George Bernard Shaw.
And there are some happy owners at the auction.
-A good night out on that.
You will, I bet you... I bet you will.
And I'll be taking the short trip north from St Albans to this
medieval cave that lies beneath the streets of a small town called Royston.
The walls are adorned with many religious figures,
but who carved these images is something of a mystery.
Everyone is taking their seats here in the nave at St Albans Cathedral
and Abbey, which lays claim to being the longest nave in England and one
of the longest in Europe, at a whopping 85 metres.
Well, I think this space is absolutely fabulous, warm and embracing.
Believe it or not, this nave didn't look like this back in the medieval period.
These subtle stone walls would have been brightly coloured,
adorned with many wall paintings depicting biblical scenes,
and it's said that one pilgrim of the period entered the cathedral
and when he saw this, he fell to his knees and thought he'd arrived in heaven.
Let's hope Jonathan is also in paradise with his first valuation.
So, Elizabeth, you've brought this mirror along for me.
-Do you know anything about it?
All I know is it belonged to one of my grandparents and it came,
I thought it came, from my grandmother's house.
-Why are you selling it?
-Well, it is just always stood down the
side of the cupboard as far as I can...
My mother died 12 years ago and it's just stayed there.
I hadn't liked the colour of the surround,
so it didn't go with anything where we lived, so, um,
I like the actual design, but not the colour.
I haven't put it up on the wall.
-It's never hung on the wall in 12 years.
I don't remember it hanging on my mother's wall, either.
Well, age wise it's late 19th century, OK?
It's very much in the Arts & Crafts style.
It's handmade, hand beaten, which was very much the sort of ethic
of the Arts & Crafts movement.
You've got this planished ground, hand beaten ground,
and then raised flowers.
There's a symmetry to it, which gives you that sort of
Arts & Crafts, more than like an Art Nouveau.
It's very much more English Arts & Crafts.
These little panels here, these little cabochons, little bosses,
are glazed pottery.
Normally it's Ruskin pottery. Very much of the time.
It's quite nicely made, actually.
It's very simply made. You see these and you think of Newlyn,
where there was a big sort of industry down there,
or up in the Keswick School, who did a lot of this sort of thing,
or the magic name would be Liberty's, if you could find that,
but it's not Liberty's, I'm afraid.
It would be great if it was.
But style wise, it's very nice, late 19th century.
I think at auction, it's going to be worth between £100 and £150.
-How does that sound?
-I thought it might be more.
Yeah, it could be a little bit more.
I could be a little bit more generous, I could say £150 to £250.
I wouldn't want to go too much more than that.
-It could make more than £200.
-Right. But we'll put a reserve of £150 on
-it and let's see what happens at the auction.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much, see you then.
What a beautiful Arts & Crafts mirror to get us started,
and it would seem that school is very much in vogue today.
Robert, you've brought in this beautifully carved Arts & Crafts
style wooden bowl. It's got quite an interesting history, hasn't it, this?
So tell me what you know about it.
Um, all associated with George Bernard Shaw.
-He died in the 1950s and his effects were auctioned off and my
mother attended the auction and purchased this.
George Bernard Shaw saw out his days in Hertfordshire at Shaw's Corner,
which isn't a million miles away from St Albans.
Shaw was hugely famous in his own lifetime and was known as a
socialist propagandist, literary critic and prolific dramatist,
whose work includes the play Pygmalion,
which was later adapted into the popular musical, My Fair Lady.
Shaw was the only person to win both the Nobel prize
and an Academy Award.
Goodbye, goodbye all of you.
The interesting thing is that on the side, here,
we've got a raised cartouche with initials carved into it and you
believe they're the initials of his wife?
-Yes, Charlotte Payne-Townshend.
As soon as I saw it I thought, wow, that's just beautiful.
Things at the moment from the Arts & Crafts era
is just going crazy.
People love it. Of course, Bernard Shaw himself had quite
a tie, he was friendly with William Morris,
and, of course, his wife was also a member of the Fabian Society.
They eventually married, I think I I'm right in saying, about 1898.
The interesting thing is that this bowl is very, very much from that
period, so it would be really nice to think it was something that was
crafted specifically for her at about that time.
It's very... Well, I say typical, it is very much a one-off piece,
but this sort of naturalistic work, lovely flowing lines,
plants and things there.
Their idea was to go back to very naturalistic,
very pure ways of making things and very natural items that had appeared
in history hundreds of years before.
So it just ties in really well with the Arts & Crafts movement.
It's got a few splits on it.
That's where the wood has just dried out over the years,
which I think is part of its character, really.
I don't see it as being a huge problem.
The only thing I'm slightly...
A bit of a query, it's got a lip on the inside.
Usually that means there would have been a cover,
however I think it stands alone as a lovely decorative piece.
We need to talk about value which is quite difficult, because it has a
good history, a very good connection, a very interesting connection,
so it would be lovely to know who actually carved it.
It's somebody with some skill, because it's beautifully carved.
I think a sensible estimate would be £300-£400.
-But we could see it make a lot more.
-So my mother did the right thing?
I think your mum did, didn't she?
Yes. She obviously had a good eye.
I would suggest putting the lower end of the estimate as a reserve.
-If you're happy with that?
-I'm fine with that.
Excellent. I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-And see what everyone else thinks about it.
Earlier in the programme, I was telling you that during the medieval
period, this cathedral would have been a blaze, a riot of colour,
looking down the nave right now and seeing all the stonework.
You would've seen wall paintings covering them with bright chromatic hue.
It was storytelling at its best, but sadly during the reign of
King Henry VIII and the reformation, all of these wall paintings were
covered up with a whitewash.
They weren't rediscovered until, well, over 300 years later.
Sadly the process of removing this lime based whitewash destroyed a lot
of the detail and the colour in the storytelling,
but you can still make out some of the images.
If you look up here, you can see a representation of Christ.
Of course, this story was very important to the Christians during
the medieval period.
And here, on this pillar, another very important man,
a local man, Alban, who sacrificed himself to save a Christian priest.
He became the first martyr in this country and the cathedral is named after him.
What fascinating wall paintings.
Right now an impressive piece of art has found its way to Jonathan's
Tony, what have we got here?
This is a wonderful little autograph book.
Yes. On the first page, there, you'll see a drawing made by
Dame Laura Knight in 1950 when I was a kid.
She was staying in the same hotel at Colwell that my mother and my sister
and I were staying and that's the picture she drew.
She must have had a word with my mother and maybe she was asked to
draw a picture, but I mean she drew it willingly,
and as you can see, it's very good.
You get autograph books and they're full of autographs and it's always
wonderful when the person does embelish it.
For her to have drawn you this figure here,
which is very much the subject she was dealing with...
She was very much known for her work with theatre and circus
performance and things like that, so she's drawn this French clown,
the sort of Pierrot type clown.
You can see it's done continuous line.
She is a collectable artist now.
She was the official artist for the Nuburg trials
after the Second World War.
-Do you remember her being there with you doing this?
Yes. She drew it whilst we were watching.
She would've been in her early 60s in 1950.
She signed it Laura Knight.
But at this time, also, she was a dame.
A dame is pretty much the highest accolade.
It's the female version of a knighthood.
-She has just signed it Laura Knight,
which is kind of humble in a way.
Because she's an artist, she doesn't want to be...
From what one remembers, she was extremely pleasant.
That is really nice to hear.
Because it's drawn into a book like this, it is a work of art rather
than an autograph, so I'm looking at it as a signed work of art,
so it's very astute of your mum to say,
"Would you mind doing a drawing, as well?"
I think that is really brilliant.
I notice also in here that...
The other page there is the women cricketers who were having their
fortnight in Colwell as well at the time.
The signatures there are Myrtle Maclagan and Betty Snowball.
I think both played in the first-ever women's Test
-and that was before the war.
Molly Hyde, who is at the top there,
she was the England ladies captain at the time.
It's an interesting collection.
I think there is a great interest now in ladies cricket.
My advice would be, and I hope you don't think I'm going to willingly destroy...
if you decided to sell,
we get this page removed and sold as a separate lot.
-Would you consider that?
-I see this as a piece of modern art.
I see this as something which will ultimately, one day, be hanging on a wall.
My feeling, this is probably worth about £150-£200.
I think that probably, that little group, is about £40-£60.
I think confidently a reserve of, let's say,
£140 on the Dame Laura Knight and sell the ladies cricket team
without reserve and see what happens.
-That's absolutely fine.
I am very pleased to have seen such an exciting object here at St Albans.
-Thank you very much for bringing it along today.
We're having a fantastic time here at St Albans Cathedral and Abbey and
our experts have already found some amazing things, so it's time to test
their valuations as we pay our first visit to the auction room.
Here's a quick reminder of the items we're taking with us.
Elizabeth's Arts & Crafts mirror has stood by the side of a cupboard
for the past 12 years, so now it's time to find a wall for it to hang on.
Purchased at an auction of George Bernard Shaw's effects,
it appears Robert's beautifully carved wooden bowl bears the
initials of Shaw's wife.
Finally, Tony's drawing of a French clown by Dame Laura Knight,
is a superb piece of modern art,
and let's not forget the lady cricketers autographs,
which were also in the same book.
We are staying in Hertfordshire to sell our items but we're heading
west from St Albans to Tring Market Auctions based on the edge
of the Chiltern Hills in the small town of Tring.
Gosh, there's about three salerooms all working at once.
There's the collectables here, we've got the antiques here.
In a moment, Stephen Hearn's getting on the rostrum.
I'm going to catch up with our owners.
Fingers crossed. Don't go away. We could have one or two big surprises.
Let's get on with it.
Remember, whether you are buying or selling,
there's always commission and VAT to pay at every auction.
Here, if you're selling, the rate is between ten and 15%.
Stephen Hearn is on the rostrum wielding his gavel,
so it's time to test the first of our valuations.
Tony, thank you so much for coming along to our valuation day.
It's great to see you here today.
Tony brought along that wonderful autograph book with the ladies
cricket team plus Dame Laura Knight which Jonathan valued.
You kind of valued it in two lots.
I did originally, yes.
The auction has decided to sell it as one lot with the album because if
one of those lots like the ladies cricket team didn't sell, it would
be very hard to send back to you in half, wouldn't it?
Hey, it's going under the hammer right now.
Give me £150 for it.
100 for it. 100.
At ten, 110. 120, 130, perhaps?
Yes. 130. £40, now? No?
130, it's going to sell at £130.
-Well done, sold. Thank you for bringing that in.
It's been a real pleasure for myself and Jonathan to muse over that.
That's nice, isn't it?
There was no danger of Tony having to take that item back home.
Next under the gavel is that fabulous Gothic wooden bowl
which we believe has the initials of George Bernard Shaw's wife carved on it.
Why are you selling this, Robert?
Well, I fear that in a few years' time it may have disintegrated.
Woodworm is eating away.
That is as good a reason as any.
Let's see if we can make that £300.
What about £500 for it? No? No £500?
I thought we were going to start there. 400? 300?
Anybody got £100?
20, 120, 50, 80, 200, 220.
No? 220, then, at £220.
-That is a shame.
-Sorry about that.
-I don't like these moments. It's awful.
But at least we protected it with the reserve.
That's the safe thing to do. It hasn't gone for nothing.
It's still yours. There is another day in another auction.
Finally, Elizabeth's Arts & Crafts mirror has made it onto a wall.
I like the copper work. I like the enamel. Why are you selling it?
Because we haven't had it up on the wall since I inherited it from my
mum 12 years ago. So I took a look at it and I thought,
"Well, perhaps I ought to sell it".
It doesn't quite suit the decor.
-No. I think this is going to find a new home.
I like the look of it. Good luck, both of you.
It's going under the hammer right now.
Let's find out what it makes.
What about a couple of hundred for that one? Or 150 for it.
100 bid. Yes, 100 we have.
120, is it? 130.
40. Two of you want it.
50. Thank you.
-Brilliant, it's sold.
-160, 70, 80.
90. It's got to be two, hasn't it?
£200 now. And ten, is it?
No. It's going then, I shall sell. For £200, then.
-I was going to say the gavel's gone down but he's not using
a gavel. The pen's going down.
Sold. Elizabeth, it's gone, £200,
and what we always say is quality always sells.
-And when the porter was holding that up,
that bevel caught the light and it shimmered everywhere.
And that was a sign of good quality. That's going to find a new home.
-So thank you for bringing that in.
-It's a pleasure.
£200 now, ten, is it?
Well, there you are, that's our first visit to the auction over with,
with some great results for our owners.
Now, we're coming back here later on in the programme.
Don't go away.
But before we head back to the valuation day to look for some
more treasures to put under the hammer,
I want to show you Royston Cave.
It's a mysterious site that's baffled people for centuries.
This is Royston,
a small market town close to the border of Hertfordshire and
Cambridgeshire, which, for centuries, has kept a secret.
To visitors, Royston looks similar to any other small English town.
But unlike other places, buried almost 30 feet below its streets,
is a site that has been a mystery to people since it was first discovered
nearly 300 years ago.
Britain has many fabulous historical sites that tell us about our history
and the people who have lived here.
Now, one site you may not have heard much about lies behind this rather
unassuming wooden door.
It leads underground to a cave which poses more questions than it has answers.
Royston Cave is a man-made chalk cave, unique in Britain for the
numerous medieval carvings it has on its walls,
with similar carvings found in Central Europe and the Middle East.
Well, here we are.
Oh, wow! Once you enter the cave, it really is quite special.
It's magical. There's something about this place.
Looking at all the carvings on the wall, all the imagery.
Look at this, it's bell-shaped and it's all man made.
Sadly, no historical records exist of who made this cave and what its
purpose was for, but that hasn't stopped historians and academics
over the years coming up with all sorts of theories.
In 1742, the cave was discovered by accident,
half full of earth and debris.
Unfortunately, the soil was discarded
which means we have no way of dating the origins of the cave
with today's technology.
Luckily, we are left with the wonderful carvings
that help to try to interpret the mystery of the cave,
and recent research carried out on some of the costume
and armour carvings date them as far back as the mid-14th century.
Most of the carvings show Christian religious symbols,
images such as the crucifixion of Christ,
or the image of St Christopher,
the patron saint of travellers.
Now this figure is believed to be St George, the patron saint of England.
And there he is, look, a proud man,
sort of holding his broadsword up in the air,
a symbol of strength and power.
At the top of the sword,
that's believed to be the 12 disciples with Jesus Christ
and the one squeezed in there, the small one, that's Judas.
Now this young family, look here,
that could be Jesus Christ with his parents, Mary and Joseph.
I particularly love this horse.
I think that's beautiful, it really is.
And here, this is a good one, look, it stands out.
St Catherine with the Catherine wheel.
She's holding the Catherine wheel up in the air.
And here, the crucifixion of Christ with onlookers and mourners.
With the large amount of religious carvings on the wall,
many historians have speculated
the cave could have been a secret hideout
and a meeting place for worship for a group of knights
who were part of the first Crusades to the Holy Land.
They were the Knights Templar,
a powerful religious and military group
that quickly spread across Europe, often described as warrior monks,
who protected pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land from attack.
Records from the 12th century tell us the Knights Templar
had a base nine miles up the road,
and they would have visited Royston to sell their produce here
in the markets. Now, I like that theory of the Knights Templar.
I believe in that one.
But there are many other theories
and you will have your own if you visit, as well,
because once you get down here in this cave,
your imagination runs wild.
It could be a dungeon!
It could be a secret meeting place.
It could be a Masonic Lodge.
It could be some kind of folly that a hermit has created.
Who knows? But all of these wonderful stories
have made this place flourish.
Not only has Royston Cave baffled many people,
it has also influenced them, too.
Liz Beardwell is a local artist and for over ten years,
she has been making prints that echo the carvings found in Royston Cave.
Our surroundings here in the cave,
all of these carvings in the wall that have been cut into the chalk
have inspired your work.
Yes. It's interesting how it is kind of, almost a parallel process.
You've got the solid chalk walls.
You're carving into it with a knife, a chisel, whatever the artist used.
And in lino printing, or wood, you're doing the same thing,
you're carving in and shaping out that figure.
Well, I haven't seen your work yet and I'd love to,
but I'd also love to have a go, if you don't mind showing me.
Yes, should be good.
-OK, let's go.
We've walked the short distance to Royston Museum
to see how Liz makes her cave prints.
What we've got here is a piece of lino that I use.
I've already started cutting it,
so we've got the figure of St Christopher beginning to appear.
And what I need you to do
is start cutting round the head to make it stand out more.
OK. Do you trust me?
Here goes. I see you've got some lines I can follow
and it is very much like cutting into the chalk, isn't it?
-It is, yes.
Carving round the figure, getting the features out.
And getting that lovely, deep relief.
Exactly, and the ink is going to stay on the top bit
and where you cut out, it's going to stay white.
Yes. I have done this a couple of times before.
I can see that, actually.
-I kind of like it.
It's really good working with a tool, isn't it?
-That's really nice.
-It's not too bad, is it?
-And the head's really coming out now, yes.
Well, I've added a few lines.
-And I'm sure you'll work on that later.
But this one, this is one you prepared earlier,
and I know you're going to print off of that one,
so I'll let you run through the process.
First of all, we have to get the right amount of ink.
This is the first time this has been inked up,
so it might not come out so well the first time.
So if you just roll it.
This is going to be the first time you've seen this.
Yeah, there you are, you see. You see how the image is appearing.
Yeah. Oh, this is exciting.
Do you know what? That looks fabulous.
What are we going to print it on?
Well, we've got an even more fabulous thing to print it on.
It's right here.
This is a Columbia press.
-Go on, then.
-We put the lino on there
and then you are going to put a piece of paper
nice and square on the top.
That's right. This comes down, keeps everything together.
You have to wind this handle through so if you'd like to do that.
Oh, that runs so smoothly.
It is a fantastic press.
And it locks into place?
Yeah, then you pull that across.
That's it, and then just put it back again.
Easy, isn't it?
-Shall I lift this up?
-Yes, just lift that up.
If you just lift up the corners.
-No, it's probably fine, absolutely fine.
-There you are.
-Brilliant, look at that!
Made on a Columbia press.
That is fantastic, isn't it?
-Yes, aren't you clever?
-No, you are.
-Aren't you clever?
It looks a lot better in print than it does in the lino, doesn't it?
And that's inspired by the Cave.
-What, what is your theory?
I like the theory that it was used to store butter and cheese
for the market but, then, when the Templars fell out with the Priory Church,
they started using it as a...
..chapel. You know,
you feel it's a special place and I think I like the Knights Templar.
-I like that.
-Well, do you know what?
I agree with you. And I'm sure there are many, many other theories.
-Liz, thank you very much...
-It's been an absolute pleasure.
-..for showing me around today.
Yeah, thank you.
In all likelihood,
we will probably never know who made Royston Cave
and all of those carvings,
but with all the mystery surrounding the Cave,
I'm pretty sure it will continue to attract more theories
and inspire more people like Liz.
It's now time to find our final three items
to take off to the sale room,
as we pay our second visit to St Albans Cathedral and Abbey.
Back in the nave, as you can see,
there are still hundreds of people waiting for a valuation.
Are you having a good time?
-Well, look, you're nearly at the front of the queue
so, hopefully, one or two of you
are going to go home happy and very rich,
if you go through to the auction later on.
It's time to find out what other treasures
our experts have uncovered.
Over on Claire's valuation table is a collection of paintings.
Noreen, these little cat pictures,
they're ever so sweet but they're not everyone's cup of tea, are they?
-Are you a cat person?
-No, dog person.
Oh, right. So you're not terribly fond of these?
They are sweet but not a cat person, no.
So how come you've actually acquired them if you're not a cat person?
My mum bought them in the '70s in an antique shop in Scotland
and at that time, she said,
"These are valuable, take good care of them".
Right. So there's five children in the family and I'm the only girl.
And it's not the kind of thing a boy wants, so I ended up with them!
OK, well, don't be... Don't be too worried.
They're actually quite popular.
Do you know who, anything about the artist at all?
Do you know anything about them?
No, I did have a search on the internet and couldn't find anything.
OK. Well, they are signed with a monogram, BB, Bessie Bamber,
who actually came from Birkenhead.
She worked in the early 20th century, sort of 1900, 1910,
and she specialised in painting cats, kittens,
and occasionally puppies.
And the other thing she specialised in is painting on glass
because these are all painted on opaque glass.
Yes. So if you dropped them, there'd be no picture.
-It would break.
She used to make a lot of money, like thousands.
She used to be very, very expensive.
Like a lot of things, it's coming back a bit.
However, there is a very strong market for all things feline.
-You know, a lot of people, they are not all doggy people,
lots of people like felines.
And actually, I think Bessie captured the character of cats
and so people that like cats will very often look at a picture
and think, "Oh, that looks like my cat, I must have it".
And painting on glass will also bring things to life.
There has been...
It was a big fashion for painting on glass in the 19th century.
The Chinese did it very well much earlier.
But you get this sort of wonderful background, and this, sort of,
-almost lifelike... I mean, they do, don't they?
-They're very lifelike.
Yeah, they're very lifelike, which, if you don't like cats,
is really quite frightening, really.
So, I'd put the pair in at 300-500.
I'd put that one in at 300.
And that one at about 150-180.
I'd use lower estimate as the reserve,
but there's no point in overcooking them.
-I think they'll do well because they're cats.
-So if you're happy with that?
-Yes, I am.
-Good, OK, I'll see you at the auction.
I think they'll make a purr-fect present for someone.
A purr-fect present!
MUSIC: The Lovecats by The Cure
Oh, very good, Claire.
Next, Jonathan is examining a piece of jewellery brought in by Pauline.
-This is a family thing, is it?
-Yes, it is.
My mother inherited it, I presume, from her mother.
How far back do you think it goes in your family?
-Well, pre-1900 certainly.
-Oh, good, do you really think so?
Oh, it must be, yes, yes.
-I mean, that's the age of the piece, as you well know.
It dates from the late part of the 19th century.
There's a great deal of popularity
for this kind of star type of emblem.
It's meant to be worn as a pendant.
You've got this little bail here and then this little fitting below,
which is in gold, grain set,
with little seed pearls on the radiating points
-and a little diamond in the middle.
What I love about jewellery like this,
you often see them just loose in a jewellery box,
and what I love about it is you've got the original case for it.
She has the box, yes.
And it's a nice case at that -
you know, little gilded edge on the top of it, leather. So nice quality.
I like the colour of the interior. It's very a la mode,
and it's cut out which I think is always a very nice thing.
You know, they cut out the velvet interior to fit it,
-so you know it's original cos it fits it.
You often see this sort of thing for watch cases and larger jewellery,
-but it's quite nice to see it for a little piece like this.
It's not terribly big but beautifully made.
So what one looks for...
On the back here, we've got in a rectangle, 15 -
15 carat gold.
-And it was used for better quality pieces of jewellery.
And then we've got a maker's stamp on there as well.
-And obviously you know, because you've seen this...
..you've got a very tiny little pin which I think is really sweet.
So what you can do is open the pin up,
-slide off the bail and then you can wear it...
..just as a little star brooch.
It's more saleable as a pendant, really,
because that's more wearable today.
Ladies will wear a necklace rather than a brooch so much.
But it's just lovely condition, beautifully presented.
Why do you want to sell it?
It's been sitting in a drawer, in the box, for years and years.
I've worn it two or three times.
I think it needs to go to somebody who will wear it and use it a lot.
When we come to the value of it, I think it's worth about £100.
-I would suggest an estimate of 80 to 120, a reserve of £80.
And I think in the auction, because it's so nicely presented,
because it's such a nice condition
compared to the other ones of similar antique jewellery,
it would be the one that everyone wants to go for.
-Excellent, thank you.
-But I love it. Thank you for bringing it along.
-Thank you very much.
-Next stop, auction.
-Next stop, auction.
Unlike the wall paintings I showed you earlier,
which were slightly hard to make out and faded,
these nave screen statues are brightly coloured,
and they give you a good idea of how the cathedral
would have been decorated back in the medieval period.
However, they aren't centuries-old.
Instead, they were made recently and were installed in 2015.
And it's believed they are the first coloured statues
to have been restored to a medieval screen
since the Reformation in the 16th century.
The statues are of seven martyrs,
four of which have local connections,
and include St Alban, who the cathedral is named after.
And the other three are modern martyrs
and include St Elisabeth Romanov,
who was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
It took five years from start to finish to complete the statues.
The painting alone took five and a half months
and the colour palette used was taken from the faded wall paintings.
These martyrs are made of stone,
but the nave screen wouldn't support the weight if they were solid,
so they've individually been hollowed out.
The martyr on the end, Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
around 14 stone has been hollowed out from him.
He was a Lutheran pastor who opposed the Nazis,
and he was thrown into a concentration camp.
But you have to admire the exquisite detail.
When you look at them, they are so lifelike.
And I admire this attention to detail
because I've been told that Dietrich was taken to a local optician
to be measured up for those spectacles.
Now that's attention to detail.
And back over on the tables, Claire is focusing in on a collectable.
Jenny, it's lovely to see you here today,
and thank you so much for bringing your clock in.
Now, here we are, standing in this wonderful cathedral,
which dates from the 11th century.
Very, very ancient.
And your clock, really, is a comparative newcomer.
It's really quite modern in comparison but it is 19th century,
-which is actually quite old, isn't it, really?
So it's rather magnificent and actually, it's very heavy, isn't it?
-It's very heavy.
So you obviously staggered in with it today. Tell me a bit about it.
-What's the history?
-Well, my father-in-law bought it,
and then he gave it to my husband.
I think we've had it for about 35 years,
but we've never had it out!
-It's always been put away.
What, you've never actually had it out working at all?
-No, never, never.
-Really? What, do you just not like it or...?
Well, we did, but my husband just liked clocks
but he never seemed to put it out. He just put it away.
-So I don't know. So I got it out today.
-Sort of dragged out from the cupboard?
But I think it's actually quite magnificent.
-It's obviously in the design of a carriage clock.
-It is, yes.
Strictly speaking, it's known as a timepiece rather than a clock
-because it doesn't strike.
-It's purely telling the time.
It doesn't do anything fancy, like ring bells or gongs or anything.
But it absolutely sings quality, doesn't it?
-It's a lovely, lovely thing.
-Yes, it's very nice.
It really is and I'll tell you what's also really nice.
This is a brass case that's been lacquered,
-and the colour it's sort of acquired over the years is wonderful.
I like also the handle with this simple,
almost like sort of palmette casting there.
Another sign of quality in clocks is the bevelled glass.
You've got the lovely bevelled glass panels, which is part of its weight.
-A lovely silvered dial
with beautiful engraved decoration on it.
And then you've got the retailer's name.
-That's right, yeah.
-So Martin & Co.
-It has a very good movement in it.
-It has what's known as a chain-driven fusee...
..and the chain would control the spring
and only allow it to release steadily,
-so it made it much more accurate.
Chain-driven, again, more expensive than the gut-driven ones.
-So it was an expensive clock in its day.
The clock market is a little fickle at the moment.
-Yeah, I understand.
-There's a lot of clocks that aren't selling anything
like they used to, partly because there are fewer and fewer people
who will put them right if they go wrong.
Had you got a figure in mind at all?
-I thought about £500.
-But they say it might go a bit lower.
-But I don't mind.
I think a sensible estimate at auction would be 300 to 400.
-So we're not that far away.
-No, we're not. No, that's fine.
So if you're happy with that, we'll put a fixed reserve of 280 on it.
-I shall really look forward
-to seeing you at the auction.
-Yeah, OK, thank you.
And, yeah, I think it'll do very well indeed.
-Oh, good. I hope so.
Well, there you are. That's it. Our work is nearly done here.
Our experts have now found their final items to take off to auction
so we have to say goodbye to St Albans Cathedral and Abbey.
But right now, we're going to put those valuations to the test.
Here's a quick recap of all the items
that are coming with us off to auction.
Noreen isn't much of a cat person,
so it's time for her collection of Bessie Bamber paintings on glass
to find a new home.
Star-shaped, 15 carat gold with seed pearls and a diamond in the middle
and if that wasn't enough, Pauline's pendant boasts its original box.
And, finally, we are selling Jenny's carriage clock,
which is brass lacquered with silvered dial, bevelled glass
and a good movement, so it really has it all going on.
To test our three final valuations,
we're heading back to Tring Market Auctions.
First under Stephen Hearn's gavel is those glass paintings.
Well, if you like your pussycats, your little furry friends,
you're going to love our next three lots.
They're all by Bessie Bamber. Beautiful works of art.
They belong to Noreen, who sadly cannot be with us,
but we do have our expert, Claire, and her best friend, Margueritte.
And you've known her for about 10, 12 years or so?
-Ten years, yeah.
-She was my neighbour and is my best friend.
-And she's on holiday, I gather?
-Where's she gone?
-She's gone to Scotland.
Right, OK, so you're here, standing in for her.
Do you like these?
-No, you don't have to do.
Well, that's the great thing about art. It's so subjective.
It's an arbitrary concept.
What I like, you may not like and vice versa.
And I'm sure there's plenty of you out there
that do love these little pussycat pictures.
Right, let's find a new owner for these cats, shall we?
The first picture is going under the hammer right now.
What do we say for this one?
250 to kick it off. 200 for it, then.
150, I'm bid for it.
160, I have. 180, I have.
200, I'm bid. 220.
And 50. And 80, is it?
At 280. 300.
At £300 then, it's going.
I shall sell for £300.
-First one down.
-Good start, isn't it?
-You'll be able to tell her later on, you can ring her up.
-Yes, I will.
Right, now we have three kittens playing.
100 for it. 80 for it. 90, 100.
And ten has it. And 20.
And 30 has it now.
-Thank you very much.
Down it goes then for the £150.
Thank you, sir.
Brilliant auctioneering, Stephen. Two down, one to go.
Again, the subject is kittens.
There we are. What shall we say, £400 this time?
Or three, or two?
150, thank you.
-Right, we're in.
70, 80. 190 I have now.
£200. And ten?
210 we have now.
Yeah. 60, 70.
At 290... 300.
-You've got to go over the top.
At £300, then.
That's £750, all at the lower end, but all sold.
-That's the main thing.
-You can get on the phone and tell her.
Yeah. Yes, yes, I will.
I'm sure the new owner of those Bessie Bamber paintings
feels like the cat that got the cream.
Next under the gavel is Pauline's star-shaped pendant.
It's got everything going for it.
Why are you selling it?
Because it's been sitting in a drawer,
it's been in its box in a drawer and it's not been used.
-OK, and you don't wear it?
-It's not been worn at all, no, no.
-It was my mother's.
-Brooches fall in and out of fashion, don't they?
Anyway, look, this one's going under the hammer right now.
Let's find it a new home. Here it goes.
What about that one?
100 for it, or 50 for it.
Yes, 60 I have.
90 bid. 90, I'm bid for that one, then.
Going, then, to sell at £90.
-There we are - did it.
-You said 80 to 120.
-That was nice and quick as well.
It was, actually, wasn't it? Blink and you'll miss that.
-Thank you very much.
-And thank you, Jonathan.
# We're gonna rock around the clock tonight... #
Now for our final lot of the day.
# We're gonna rock, gonna rock around the clock tonight. #
Well, tick-tock, time is up.
No, don't disappear, don't go away, keep watching.
We're just about to sell Jenny's mantel clock or carriage clock.
-It's a bit of both, really, cos it's quite a large one.
But I'll tell you what, it's got the look.
Now, why are you selling this?
I've got two boys and I can't split it.
-So it's going.
-It's got to go.
It's going under the hammer right now,
and I'm sure it's going to find a new home.
Right, very good clock.
I don't know, where shall we start?
£300, shall we start, for it?
Yes. I've got it. I thought you'd like that.
300 we're bid, then?
320 is it? Yes?
350. 380. 400.
420, I have it.
And 450. 480. 500 now.
You're out. 520, we have it.
Are you 50?
600, he says.
At £650, then.
720, is it? 720.
Ding-dong! THEY LAUGH
-He's on the phone.
You see, they love this cos it's oversized, it's so unusual.
920, is it?
Yes, and 950.
£1,000. I've got £1,000.
£1,000. I'm shaking, I'm shaking!
1,000 in the room, then.
At 1,000, I'm going to sell.
There's someone on the phone - is the phone still in?
Give you time? No?
At 1,000, it's yours, sir.
The pen's gone down!
He doesn't use a gavel, he uses a pen,
but the pen is mightier than the sword, isn't it? How about that?
-Jenny, fantastic, isn't it?
-Have a good night out on that.
-You will! I bet you will!
I bet you will! THEY LAUGH
Oh, thank you for being a big star on our show.
-Thank you, thank you very much.
-What a wonderful way to end today's show.
I hope you've enjoyed that big surprise.
It certainly took us for one, didn't it?
Ooh, I'm still tingling! That's what auctions are all about.
Join us next time but, until then, from Tring,
it's goodbye from all of us.