This edition comes from Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, where finds include a pristine 19th-century silver prayer book and a selection of Tom and Jerry cartoons.
Browse content similar to Herstmonceux 34. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Today, we're in Sussex and this is the stately ballroom
of Herstmonceux Castle near Battle.
As you can see, our stewards are putting
the rows of chairs out for our owners
and our crews are making the final checks on their equipment.
And out here, the most important people of all, our visitors,
hundreds of them, who have come from far and wide.
I hope you've brought some great treasures along today.
Welcome to Flog It!
Our host venue, Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex,
looks immaculate for a building that is nearly 700 years old.
But it wasn't always so.
In the 1800s, it had become a ruin,
fallen into disrepair after a century of neglect.
Fortunately, recent owners took the castle under their wing
and brought it back to its former glory,
giving us a glorious location for our Flog It! valuation day.
Look at this. What a fantastic crowd we have today
and the sun's coming out. We're going to be in for a good day.
Are you going to have a good time, everyone?
-Yes, of course you are.
Look, we need to get this crowd inside
to get on with the valuations.
It is now 9:30.
We're going to get the doors open and we are going to find out exactly
what's it worth?
And we're going to take the best items off to auction and,
fingers crossed, we are going to have
one or two big surprises. So, stay with us.
And joining us on our quest
to find the finest antiques brought in by our visitors
are our very own antiques experts.
With a keen eye for collectables, it's Jonathan Pratt.
And entertaining the crowd, it's Catherine Southon.
# Do do do do do do! #
They'll be battling it out
to unearth the best treasures to take to auction.
Off on your hols, Jonathan?
Oh, maybe, maybe.
While everyone gets seated and settled,
here's a quick taste of what's coming up later on the show.
Jonathan gets to try out one of his finds.
-What would you like?
-Oh, yes, cup of tea with one sugar, please.
One sugar? Oh, right, OK, there we are.
Our auction really moves Catherine.
I'm doing a little dance!
And I discover a piece of history that's very futuristic.
This looks pretty impressive.
It looks like something out of a Bond movie set.
Having a good time, everyone?
-Yes, that's what it's all about.
Look at this. It looks like chaos, but believe me,
Flog It! is a well-oiled machine.
Lots of cogs working together.
Everybody knows exactly what they're doing
and I know you're going to have a good time.
We're all here to learn something and, hopefully, you will, too.
We're going to crack on with our first valuation.
Who is that lucky owner going to be?
We're going to find out right now, as we join up with our experts.
So, do you want to pour?
Do you want to be mother?
you've brought along a nice tea service and I'm always amazed
with children's tea services how, actually,
any of it survived, frankly.
I've got kids and I've seen tea services and they get destroyed.
Well, it was mine when I was a child.
-I've got two daughters
and they did get to play with it a bit
when they were young, as well.
So, you were, you were given this tea service by your mother,
-is that right?
-Well, I was adopted
and the tea service was given with me.
-But I did track down my birth mother
years later and asked her about it. And she said,
"Well, it must have been Aunt Jane's, because I smashed mine!"
-So, the sisters both had these when they were little.
That's sweet, isn't it?
-Well, it's a Grimwades tea service.
So, it's quite finely potted.
Grimwades came around, sort of, you know, 1900, and, you know,
at that point, tea was becoming,
tea was becoming available for the masses.
And then, obviously, at the end of the 19th century, circa 1900,
that's when we see Beatrix Potter
and she's up in Cumbria, isn't she?
And she was writing her stories of Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten,
who we've got, and Squirrel Nutkins. And so, those books were
first published at the end of the 19th century.
Cup factories like Grimwades
realised they could endorse products and market them
-to a new audience, being children.
-So this would have been produced -
from the shape of the tea service, as well -
probably around the '20s, '30s.
Well, we've got all sorts going on in here and, you know,
I think every parent is familiar with this, you know,
with the characters and the storylines.
And so we've got Mittens, Tom Kitten and Moppet...
playing. In this instance, obviously, Tom Kitten's...
He's naked. He hasn't got his blue coat on.
Oh, I hadn't noticed that.
And he's here, there he is in his proud suit.
So, lovely tea service and there's
a big collectors' market for children's things.
So going to the value, well, I mean, this chap here,
-he's not going to hold much tea, I don't think.
So bearing that in mind and it is a popular tea service
but bearing that condition element in mind,
I would say a sensible estimate would be £180-£220.
-And, then, maybe, we put a reserve just below,
giving us a little bit of wriggle room
for the auctioneer of maybe £150?
-Yeah, that would be fine, yeah.
-OK. That's wonderful.
Well, there we are. I think, after all that, it's thirsty work, this,
isn't it? So, maybe... What would you like?
Oh, yes, cup of tea with one sugar, please.
One sugar? Oh, right, OK, there we are.
Well, that's wishful thinking, Jonathan. We haven't got time for tea breaks.
There are hundreds of people here and even more items to look through,
so let's crack on and see what Catherine has found.
Mary, this is a beautiful card case that you've brought along.
Can you tell me a little bit about where you got it from?
Well, I inherited it from my mother.
And I'm pretty sure it came from a place in China called Weihaiwei.
My grandfather was a missionary and he was sent out there.
And I inherited it and that was really about it.
Is it something that you remembered from your childhood?
Yes, but I wish I'd asked a bit more about it.
You never asked any questions?
-Well, it's certainly
a card case. It's actually made in China.
-And it probably dates from around 1850 or 1860,
that sort of period.
And the quality of the carving is absolutely superb.
And it's carved not only on one side but also on the back and also around
the sides, as well. And then, you open up the top, here,
and that's where your calling card
would have been placed, in the top, there.
But it's been made in Canton for the Western market.
And is it something that you always admired in your family?
Yes, oh, yes, I think it's amazing.
Because it's in lovely condition.
The quality of the carving here is absolutely superb.
And on one side you can see that these little figures
are playing a game.
These always do make
good money at auction. It is ivory,
so we do have to be very careful in stating that it is pre-1947,
so it is legal to sell items like this at auction.
But they always command good prices.
Any ideas on price?
You should be doing my job!
You are absolutely spot on.
If I was to put this into auction, I would say probably around 200-£300.
But they do command high prices.
The Chinese are really hot on these at the moment,
so it wouldn't surprise me if it did make 400 or £500.
-But I think, let's put it in at 200-300,
with a reserve of £200 and it should do very well, indeed.
How does that sound you, Mary?
-Thanks very much.
-Does that sound good?
-Well, you've really looked after it
and I hope that'll go to
someone who will also look after it in the same way you have.
Thank you so much, Mary.
It's been lovely to meet you.
Back over to Jonathan's table now
and it looks like a very famous figure
has scurried on to his table.
-Are you a big cartoon fan?
-I am, yes.
I remember Tom and Jerry from a long time ago.
I think I spent my childhood watching re-runs of these guys,
-I think it's just nostalgia, now,
-for those times.
-So, who did you want to win all the time?
-Oh, the mouse.
-Because he's so small.
It's that, that sort of, archetypal rivalry, isn't it?
-It's the cat and mouse.
The origins of this go right back to 1940, OK?
I hadn't realised that.
So the creation of...the creation
of these two characters
by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera,
who came up with these characters in 1940,
and they worked on throughout the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s.
I think there was a bit of a lull
-and they have reproduced them recently.
And the production company that
I think did it was Warner Brothers,
right, because you saw the big logo, there, at the end.
-That's it, yeah.
-You know, and the theme tune.
I think we can probably hum it away now.
Well, we've got Jerry, here.
And we've got a view of Jerry in various poses, OK?
Nicely separated by acid-free tissue paper.
And then we hit some drawings down the bottom,
where he's wielding a book.
-And at the moment, no cats involved.
There's Tom cat, Tom cat's down the bottom there, OK.
Now, so those viewers who don't understand
-how cartoons were done in the old days...
You know, they were literally drawn and painted onto celluloid,
which is a hard plastic.
Yes. They would do cell by cell, folding over, folding over,
each movement, sort of stop-start animation,
they might understand a bit more like today.
-So, an enormous amount of work.
-So, how did you come by these?
Well, I went to a book fair in Lewes about five or six years ago
and he happened to have these for sale, as well,
and I just was intrigued by them.
And he said he got them in a job lot
and didn't really know what to do with them.
And I just, sort of, it was a bit of an impulse thing,
I thought, oh, that's really, really nice and I might frame one or two.
-So I bought them...
..intending to do that, but I never have.
How much did you pay for them?
Well, he wanted about £30 and I beat him down to about 20.
-And I didn't pay any more,
I'm sure I didn't pay any more than that.
It doesn't seem like a lot of money.
-But there is the "What do you do with them?"
I know, but they were so unusual and I just fell in love with them.
It was a bit of an impulse, really.
What do you want for them?
I don't know. It would be nice to get my money back.
It would, wouldn't it? OK, let's say £40-60 and let's put,
just to protect you, a £20 reserve on it.
-And you're going to get your money back, I promise you.
Yes, all right. Yes.
Well, Jonathan, we shall find out soon enough.
Well, there you are, you've just seen them,
our experts have now found their first three items
to take off to auction.
This is where it gets exciting.
You've heard what they've had to say.
You've probably got your own opinions,
but right now, it's down to the bidders.
Let's find out what they think.
Let's find out exactly what it's worth, as we go into the saleroom.
Here's a quick recap of all the items we are taking with us.
Julie's tea set might be a children's toy,
but I'm sure it will get the bids pouring in.
Mary's card holder is so beautifully carved,
it's sure to do the business at auction.
And the Jerry cartoons are a delightful little set.
Let's hope the collectors will sniff them out.
We are off to Rye, down on the south coast of Sussex.
In medieval times this pretty town was right on the coast,
but the sea has retreated since then,
and now only small ships and fishing boats bob on the river.
Well, this is what I like to see.
A packed auction room full of bidders and fine art and antiques.
On the rostrum, we have auctioneer Kevin Wall
and the sale is just about to start.
Let's catch up with our owners
and, fingers crossed, we get some great surprises.
Our items are going under the hammer at Rye Auction Galleries.
Like all auctions, there's commission to pay
and, here today, it's 15% plus VAT.
Kevin Wall is the man on the rostrum
and he is fast approaching the Beatrix Potter tea set.
-Good luck to you, Leigh.
-Time to say goodbye to the tea set,
going under the hammer right now.
We've got a Grimwades Beatrix Potter tea set
and I am a big Beatrix Potter fan.
-Oh, yes, yes, I love it.
-What about you?
-Oh, yes, definitely.
-Got all the books?
-I did have them.
They got handed on to my children.
Do you know, I've still got all the books
and I've read them to my son and also to my daughter.
They are so tatty, but they're still complete.
Good luck with this. Why are you selling this, anyway?
I'm actually trying to raise some money for a new sofa.
Not terribly exciting.
Right, OK. So, we need something to sit on,
this is a good start, isn't it?
-Fingers crossed we sell this.
Good luck. Right, let's find out what the bidders think.
It's going under the hammer right now.
Lot number 40 is the Grimwades Beatrix Potter child's tea set.
There's a small bit of damage to it, but however, I start it at 100, 120,
150, 180, 200, 220.
-We are in there.
-250, 280. 280 I'm bid.
290. 300. 310.
At 310, my commissions are out, it's on the phone now, at 310.
Do I see 320?
At 310 here on the phone, at £310, you're all out, on the telephone,
Sofa! Sofa, so good!
-Register that trademark!
-Hey, look, good luck with that one.
-Thanks very much.
enjoy it and put your feet up on the sofa and watch Flog It!
If you've got anything like that you want to sell,
then bring it along to one of our valuation days.
Details of up and coming dates and venues, you can find
on our BBC website or our Flog It! Facebook page.
Come along and join us. Dust them down and bring 'em in.
Hopefully, we're coming to a town very near you soon.
Right, there's no time to waste. Today's auction is fast and furious.
So, it's time for a bit of Tom and Jerry.
Wendy, good luck.
-Oh, thank you.
-Going under the hammer right now,
we've got those cartoon strips, the Warner Bros ones.
I love these. You got them in a fair in Lewes.
I did. Yes. I got carried away by them.
-Memories of Tom and Jerry bashing each other over the head.
Hopefully, hopefully, we'll get you your money back, plus a bit more.
Well, good luck with this.
-I think these deserved to be
framed in strips on the wall, don't you?
I think they are good children's bedroom things, aren't they?
I mean, I grew up on Tom and Jerry.
So did I. Yeah. Good luck, both of you.
-Going under the hammer right now, this is it.
Lot 235 is a selection of Warner Bros cells and drawings.
These are quite a few laughs over them and I've got, what have I got,
12 to start. 12 only.
Do I see 15? Unusual little lot, £12.
Do I see 15 now? 15, 18, 20, sir.
20 is with you. At £20, do I see two now?
At £20 only, have we all done and finished here?
At £20, then.
-Well, there we are.
-Oh. That's all right.
Just about got the £20 back.
Do you know, for a moment it was that...
I heard that sound of Tom scraping his nails.
Going... Oh, it was Jerry, wasn't it,
or Tom, both of them were going...
Down the side of a ship when they were trying to escape something,
-and that noise.
-That's fine, I got my money back,
that's all that mattered, really.
Oh. It's going to a new home, which is brilliant.
-Yes, they'll be used, where I didn't use them.
Well done, anyway.
And right now, it's Mary and our third lot of the day.
Going under the hammer right now, we have a Cantonese ivory card case.
It belongs to Mary and I think this one's going to fly away.
It's good to see you again, Mary.
And how have you been since the valuation day?
Oh, yes, still upright.
Now, this card case has been in the family a long time.
It was your mother's. She lived in China.
-For a little while.
But I don't know whether she brought it back, or...
-I really don't know.
Your grandfather was a missionary in China.
-A lot of history there.
-Are you ready for this?
OK, let's put it under the hammer
and find out what those bidders think.
Here we go.
Here we are.
It's a 19th-century Chinese, shaped, ivory card case.
Another nice piece they are showing and I've got 150 to start,
150 with me.
At 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200, 200 here, 200,
210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, at 290,
we're doing the coco here.
300, 320, 340, 360, 380, 400, 420, 440,
460, at 460, on the next deal, 480 now.
At 500, at 500, do I see 520 now?
-Oh, I'm so pleased for you.
-This is wonderful.
-At £520 now.
At 520, have we all finished here?
Oh, bless you, brilliant, well done, Mary.
Quality always sells, doesn't it?
Doing a little dance.
That's a great result, that's a great result.
How do you feel about that?
Oh, very pleased, thrilled.
Thank you so much for coming along
to the valuation day and bringing it along.
-Oh. It was beautiful.
It's a shame, I could talk to you all afternoon.
Why don't you stay with us and watch the rest?
Well, that's the end of our first visit to the auction room.
We'll be back later on with three more exciting sales.
Now, it's time to head back to Herstmonceux, our host location,
but before we go back inside the castle,
I want to show you something quite spectacular
that's also on the same grounds.
And just up the hill it really is quite something.
This is like the set of a futuristic movie.
It's actually a very impressive and quite unique science park,
with all kinds of exhibits
for visitors to experience hands-on science.
And these strange green domes contain enormous telescopes,
designed to explore the universe.
They were once the heart of one of the most advanced astronomy sites
in the world. So how did they get here and what became of it?
Our story starts in London in 1675.
King Charles II wanted to improve navigation for sailors,
because too many ships were getting lost and wrecked.
So the Royal Greenwich Observatory was built
and, from here, astronomers created the principles
of longitude and Greenwich Mean Time.
Greenwich led the world of astronomy,
but by the 20th-century,
pollution from smoke and streetlights made it redundant.
So, the decision was made to build a brand-new state-of-the-art
facility in the countryside and the grounds
of Herstmonceux Castle were chosen.
However, when the first dome appeared on the horizon,
the local residents weren't that happy.
In fact, they were upset.
They thought it looked ugly and it ruined the peacefulness,
the tranquillity of the medieval castle and its surrounding area.
So, the architects went back to the drawing board and redesigned
the project, to make it into something more in keeping
with the area. The buildings were clad with local Sussex brick,
similar to Herstmonceux Castle.
The copper domes were coated with a chemical to turn them green quicker,
helping to blend in with the countryside.
In 1957, the site was finished,
looking quite beautiful and distinct.
Telescopes from Greenwich were brought down and carefully installed
into their new country homes -
each dome containing a different kind of telescope for studying the
cosmos, with grand names like the Astrographic and the Yap Reflector.
And my favourite is this, the Thompson Refractor.
For over 100 years, this has photographed the sky at night.
Now this can snap photographs
of the stars 100,000 times fainter than what
we can see with our naked eye at night.
That is very faint.
This was the golden age of the Royal Observatory.
At its peak, with over 200 people working here,
it was the largest facility of its kind in the world.
Scientists led the way in research,
including finding the first-ever black hole,
and, not surprisingly, the site was a popular destination for one
of the longest-running TV series in the world,
presented by the legendary Sir Patrick Moore.
This is Herstmonceux Castle,
astronomically, the most famous castle in the world.
It's the headquarters of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
As the name suggests,
the Greenwich Observatory was originally in Greenwich Park.
This is a big telescope and very suitable for this kind of work,
but of course, it's also very much of a precision instrument
and, by remote control, as Diane is doing here,
you can point it exactly in the right direction.
Even playing a special part in the nation's timekeeping.
Now, do you recognise this sound?
Yes, that's the BBC pips.
Now, they were generated from
the Observatory's incredibly-accurate atomic clock
that was based here, then transmitted to the BBC,
to be used on TV and radio sets.
The medieval estate of Herstmonceux Castle
had truly become a part of the modern world.
But this golden period was short lived.
30 years after the Royal Observatory
opened its doors here at Herstmonceux,
it was almost made redundant.
The large telescopes were moved out and, in 1990, it closed its doors,
leaving just the old historic telescopes.
The site reopened in 1995 in its current reincarnation -
a science centre open to the public.
Dr Sandra Voss helps run the centre.
The Royal Observatory in London was established for over 300 years,
but it only lasted 30 years here.
Why is that?
Well, the reason why it came out here
in the first place was the light pollution
and air pollution from London.
And it only lasted 30 years here
really because the light pollution was encroaching again.
Astronomers now do all their research in La Palma,
but we've still got all the telescopes here.
I mean, it seems such a shame,
but I know you've put the whole area to good use, haven't you?
I mean, it's not been wasted.
-Not at all.
-Things are still happening.
Yes, things are still happening and we've brought the astronomy back.
We've got three of the historic telescopes working,
so the general public can come and have a look through the telescopes
when we've got open evenings.
We're trying to inspire the next generation in science,
not just in astronomy, but in science in general.
I've been inspired looking at those telescopes,
so it's a brilliant thing.
Going from the world's foremost astronomy site
to an inspiring science park might be
a bit of a step down for these magnificent telescopes,
but it's not all over for serious astronomical research
on the Herstmonceux estate.
Take a look at this.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the grounds,
not far from the green domes,
this special telescope is the
only working leftover from the Royal Observatory days.
Dr Graham Appleby has worked here at Herstmonceux since 1969.
Graham, hi there.
-This looks pretty impressive.
It looks like something out of a Bond movie set.
What we're doing with this telescope
is tracking satellites in orbit round the earth.
How many satellites will be up there?
We'll be tracking something like 50 or 60 during a night.
-That's a lot.
-And the laser's firing at 2,000 shots per second.
-Getting a lot of data.
So, it hits the satellite, then bounces back.
Bounces back and we time how long it takes to do that.
This is essential support
for navigation, as we know it, on the surface of the Earth these days.
GPS in our cars and our aircraft all depend
on support from stations like this.
So, really, the Royal Observatory
was set up to help sailors navigate the oceans and, now,
in a slightly different way, but helping us to get around.
Precisely, yes, yes.
It's a good legacy of that original 300-year-old set-up at Greenwich.
Mm. It's great to have a chat with you, Graham,
and I'll let you carry on. I know you can't do an awful lot
with the cloud cover, but I'm sure there's plenty to do.
There certainly are plenty of things to do.
-Thank you very much.
-Very nice to meet you, Paul.
The story of Britain's Royal Observatory
is a tale of one of the most famous scientific institutions
in the world for over 300 years.
And in this quiet corner of Sussex
is a testament to mankind's obsession
with the stars, with space, with the whole universe and our place in it.
Back at the castle, just across the estate,
our experts have been working away
looking through all the antiques that have been brought in,
And out in the gardens, Catherine has something that
would have felt right at home in the Royal Observatory.
Colleen, it's wonderful to come out here.
It seems very calm, very tranquil.
So, what have you brought for me to see?
Right, I've bought this.
-Which I didn't know what it was, when I first saw it.
Oh, what did you think it was?
I thought it was a military shell.
-Don't ask me why, other than the fact
that it was in my uncle's cabinet, along with militaria, swords.
-So, that's why you thought a shell.
-Well, I certainly know what it is,
but I'm interested to see, really,
who this was made by and when it was made.
-Do you know anything more about that?
-Right, because the first place you look on a telescope,
when you're trying to identify who it is made by,
is you open up the drawers and
the first section here, the first drawer,
that tells us exactly who it was made by,
so we've got Spencer, Browning and Rust.
Now they were a firm that manufactured scientific instruments,
and when I say scientific instruments,
I mean navigational instruments.
So, mainly octants, sextants and, also, telescopes.
They were manufacturing in the 18th and 19th-century
and this, I would probably date from the first half of the 19th century,
so perhaps around 1830-1840, that sort of date.
Was he a collector, your uncle?
Well, a modest amount, yes.
As I say, militaria and that.
Well, this is something, this is a telescope that has been used.
You can tell that really by the way
that this drawer has been going in and out
of the main body of the telescope.
It's actually a day or night telescope,
which means it can be used in different types of light,
so different situations.
And then you've got a little cover there, can you see that?
Where you would open up and you could actually look through it.
But it is in lovely condition,
-because these do often split over the years.
Quite often we find that they crack or split.
This bit at the top, that's not its original cap.
-Originally, I'm going to hand that to you,
you would have had a rather nice brass cap on the top.
So that will affect the value slightly.
You can see there where it would have been, once upon a time,
but it would have been brass, certainly not that.
I think that's a replacement.
The important thing with these is to see if you can use them.
Let's have a look, what can we see?
Can we see the Observatory?
Well, it's certainly in good condition and the lenses
are in good condition. There is no cracks or chips.
-And I think something like this would
probably command about £80-100 at auction.
How does that sound to you?
Yes, that's... that's quite reasonable.
Would you be happy to sell it at that?
Yes, I think so.
I'm not going to use it.
-I'm not going to do anything with it, so, yes, I mean,
if it's of interest to somebody else, that's fine.
OK. Would you like to put a reserve on it?
-Yes, I would.
-Because it's something obviously that's been handed down
-through the family.
-It meant something to your uncle.
So perhaps if we put a reserve on of £70, does that sound OK to you?
Yeah, yeah, that's fine.
I hope it goes to someone who's going to use it.
-It should be used, it's a great instrument,
great maker and it's been lovely to meet you.
-Thank you very much, Colleen.
And while we're out in a spectacular castle gardens,
there's a unique feature I want to show you.
Out of all the garden ornaments, my favourite has to be the sundial.
Not only is it a scientific instrument,
it's practical and functional,
and this is a classic example.
So, as the sun is shining, it casts a shadow
that moves as the day progresses.
Sundials have been around for thousands of years and have come
in all shapes and sizes,
but the basic design hasn't changed much until recently.
Now, here at Herstmonceux there is a sundial that is really quite unique.
And here it is. To give it the full name,
it is a reclining equiangular sundial.
This hi-tech looking dial was erected here in 1975,
to celebrate 300 years of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
How it works? It really is quite simple.
You see this rod here?
Well, this gives you the reading and it slides up and down
on this pole here,
so you can actually fine tune it to get the timing more accurate.
The sun is shining up there, it's a good, clear day,
it is casting a shadow on the outer ring over there, on the 15, look,
it says nearly 3:30pm.
And by my watch, it's just gone 3:30pm.
It's not bad, not bad at all.
Needs a bit of fine tuning to meet Greenwich Mean Time,
but it just goes to show how simple and how beautiful sundials can be.
Back inside the castle, there is still plenty of buzz.
Next up, it's Jonathan, with two intriguing finds.
You've brought two beautiful objects.
-Are they family objects? How have you come by them?
They've come through the family on my mother's side.
OK, did the family ever use them?
No, they've just been stored in a drawer.
How far back in the family do they go?
My great, great grandparents got married in 1862.
-So they've come through my, um...
three generations, four generations?
And you believe that certainly they were your great great-grandparents?
This is mourning jewellery.
Black is associated with mourning.
It tended... It comes through the Victorian period,
particularly when Albert died, Prince Albert died,
and he died in 1861.
It might have been their parents who had it
for some form of mourning and it was given to them at that time.
That date is actually from 1870,
1880, probably thereabouts.
It is...pearl, gold and probably
uh...jet, which is fossilised coal,
which again, was a very popular Victorian material
because it was a natural black, very hard and very shiny.
These, on the other hand, these are interesting, because you're...
Whether the family actually used these.
-I wouldn't know.
-I think they are great,
cos they are lorgnettes.
The origins of these are French,
essentially, the word "lorgne" means to squint.
They are not actually used for looking through as such,
they were more as pieces of jewellery, sort of a vanity thing.
They come in all shapes and sizes and to find one in nice condition
in gold is a little bit of a rarity.
-..why are you selling them?
Because I have two sons who are
not interested in anything of any antique history
and I've got to an age now where I don't really want to be
weighed down, weighted down with all these things.
-Very sensible, too.
-I think someone else can enjoy them.
I would say they are worth..
..ah, gosh, what's the worth?
probably £150-£250 at auction.
Looking at the brooch here,
nice condition, nice quality, interesting antique object.
The estimate, I would say £40-£60, which judging by your face,
doesn't... Not as much as you might have imagined.
-No, not quite.
-It is good quality,
it is gold, it is not marked, it could be 15 carat gold.
It's that sort of quality.
I would suggest maybe putting a reserve, just protect it, £40 on it,
and see what happens.
-I'm happy with that.
We will be splitting those two little treasures
into separate lots for the auction.
And finally, Catherine has made her way to the castle bridge.
Hazel, you've brought along this really stunning prayer book.
And I think it's stunning, really,
because of the enamel, the colours are really quite special.
They really jump out at you, they are very vibrant.
And, actually, in rather nice condition.
Where did you get this prayer book from?
It was my mother's.
It has been in a household for a long time.
So, it was handed down?
-I believe so, yes.
-Because it doesn't strike me
as an English piece. I think it's probably Continental.
Is it something you had in your house for a while?
As a child did you look at it?
Yes, I think so and possibly we broke the clasp.
Let's look more closely at it,
because the first thing you mentioned there is
the fact that the clasp is broken.
We are missing a little clasp on the side there, we can see.
But I love the fact that you've got,
it looks like real pearls inset on the corners.
For me, it is really the enamel and the quality of the enamel.
The best bit about it...
..is the back. Now look at that.
That speaks for itself to me.
We've got the cross here, but also these wonderful growing plants.
We've got really crisp colours,
crisp enamel in a wonderful Art Nouveau style,
and I would say it dates from the late 19th century,
bordering on 1900, but certainly got that lovely Art Nouveau style to it.
Is the book itself in good condition? Let's have a look.
Looks like it's missing a page.
-It does look as if...
-At the beginning. But generally speaking,
it looks in OK condition. It's one of those things, really,
that, it's not so valuable because of the religious content,
but I think people will be drawn towards it as,
indeed, I was, because of the colours,
the enamel. Really, the overall quality of it.
Because of that, I would suggest an estimate of 100 to 150,
-with a reserve of £80. How does that sound?
Are you happy to sell it at that?
-I don't think we should put discretion on it,
-I think we should have fixed reserve and, hopefully, let it fly.
-Thank you so much, Hazel,
it has been lovely to meet you
and it will be lovely to see
-how this goes at auction.
-All right. Thank you.
-Had a good time, everyone? ALL:
Yeah, so have I, so thank you so much for turning out.
The people of Sussex have given us
such a warm welcome and we found some
fantastic treasures worthy of such a magnificent host location.
So now, it's time to say goodbye to Herstmonceux Castle,
as we go over to the auction room for the very last time,
and here's a quick recap of all the items that are going
under the hammer.
Catherine spied with her little eye,
a wonderful wood and brass telescope
that is bound to catch the eye of the collectors.
Determined not to be left out,
Jonathan spotted an elegant lorgnette and brooch
to take to auction.
And I'm sure that enamel prayer book will fetch a heavenly price when it
gets to auction.
Back in the saleroom, Kevin is working his way through the lots.
He set his sights on the telescope.
Right, it's time to find out if we can find a buyer for your telescope.
-Yes, let's hope so.
-You excited about this, Colleen?
-Have you been to an auction before?
-Well, they don't all look like this.
-This is very silver in here.
It's a great little auction room, but they vary all round the country,
so next time you get the chance, go and visit your local one.
I'm going to go to others now, yes.
-Get the atmosphere.
Well, I think we'll do all right on the telescope.
-I think so.
-I think you've priced that spot on.
Let's find out what the bidders do,
because it is going under the hammer right now.
Lot 265 is the Spencer, Browning and Rust brass wooden-bound,
single draw, day and night telescope.
There it is.
I've got to start it at 55. 55.
Do I see 60? At 55.
Very cheap. At £55, are we done and finished, then?
I'm afraid that's not going to sell then. Shame.
Well, he didn't put the hammer down, we didn't reach the reserve,
and I'm shocked at that,
because that was a lovely thing and you would think
in an old harbour town like Rye, everyone would want a telescope
like that, even if it's just a prop to use as a bit of fun.
I'm surprised. Really surprised.
It lives on a little bit longer.
That's a shame, but fingers crossed
Pauline's brooch and lorgnette will sell.
Going under the hammer right now,
we've got a lorgnette and we have got a mourning brooch.
It's the mourning brooch coming up first, so why are you selling these?
Well, because I've got so much stuff that, you know, it's just...
-I don't know what to do with it, to be honest.
And my sons don't want any of it.
-So, they've told me, "Mum, get rid of it all."
So, that's what I decided to do.
-Take them down to the valuation day and get on the show.
OK, Jonathan. We've got the mourning brooch coming up first.
Yeah, it's nice quality and, you know,
you can buy antique jewellery reasonably priced and build up
collections of these things. And academically,
they're quite interesting and that's what this is.
It's in nice condition and is, sort of, very typically Victorian.
-But doesn't suit boys.
-Let's see if we can get £40-60 for this.
It's going under the hammer right now.
is the carved jet mourning bar brooch
with applied gold and 32, I've got.
32. Do I see 35?
38, 40, sir?
40 here. Two, is it, now?
42. 45. 48. 50.
No? At £48, are we all done and finished?
-Spot on, Jonathan.
Right, now the lorgnette.
-We're looking for around £100, £150 for this.
-Fingers crossed, Pauline. Here we go, this is
Lot 490 is an antique lorgnette.
Rather decorative. I've got 100.
110 to start.
110. 120, are we now, for the lorgnette?
Do I see 120? 130.
140. 150. 150's here.
150. 160, is it, now?
At 150, have we all done and finished?
-You were a bit shocked there, weren't you?
It did go, though. It went on that £150, plus the mourning brooch,
that's a total of £198.
-Just shy of 200, OK?
-I think that's a good day's work.
-Yes, thank you very much.
That's just what we needed, two great sales to get us back on track.
Going under the hammer right now we have a silver enamelled prayer book
belonging to Hazel.
Unfortunately, Hazel cannot be with us right now.
We do have the prayer book and we have our lovely expert,
Catherine Southon. And you like this, don't you?
I like the enamel work, as well.
Do you know what? The best thing about it was when you turned it over
and the enamel on the back was beautiful.
Really nice quality.
Well, it's been in Hazel's family a long time and I'm sure she'll
be pleased to get the top end of that result.
It's under the hammer now. This is it.
Lot 430 is the late 19th-century order of morning prayer book.
Here we are. And I've got to start it at 65.
At 65. 70, is it?
100. 110, sir?
110, 120, 130.
Ooh, ooh, ooh!
-It's gone quiet.
We bring you in, 250. 260.
270. 280. 290.
-Fantastic! I wish she was here.
300. 320. 340.
Hazel, where are you? This is amazing.
At £560, it's on the telephone.
The other phone is out. The room is out. 560 here.
At 560. Did the internet come in?
At £560, are we all done and selling, at 560?
-560. You didn't see that coming, did you?
-No, nor did I.
I thought maybe two.
-Unbelievable. I'm thrilled.
-Do you know what?
We always say, quality always...
Well, there you are. That's it. It's all over for our owners.
As you can see, the sale is still going on, but what a day we've had.
The atmosphere has been terrific here.
I've lost my voice, but more importantly,
the owners have gone home happy.
Job done on Flog It! Join us again, for many more surprises
in more auction rooms to come,
but until then, from Rye, it's goodbye.
This edition comes from Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, where antiques expert Catherine Southon finds a pristine 19th-century silver prayer book and Jonathan Pratt falls for a selection of Tom and Jerry cartoons.
Presenter Paul Martin takes a look at the telescopes of the Royal Observatory at Herstmonceux.