Experts Susan Orringe and Mark Stacey dig up some gems for sale in Weymouth. Paul Martin visits the Isle of Portland to see old and new uses for its famous stone.
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There's sea and sand, antiques on hand, the public are here.
So's the auctioneer.
This is how Flog It works. You bring your unwanted antiques
and collectables to one of our valuation days.
They, the experts, value all the antiques brought
to the table and tell you exactly how much they think they're worth.
He, the auctioneer, sells the items in this saleroom.
Fingers crossed for a good result because sometimes we don't always get what we are hoping for.
No, no, no, no, no. Oh, no.
But sometimes, we get a nice surprise.
That sound is a "sold" sound.
The hammer's gone down. That is brilliant.
Hundreds are queuing up at the Pavilion Theatre in Weymouth -
all laden with antiques and collectables.
They're here to see our experts - Mark Stacey and Susan Orringe.
So let's not keep them waiting any longer.
-A lovely piece of Wemyss you've brought us today.
We can all see what it is.
Let's have a bit of the family history.
It belonged to my mum.
We found it in a cupboard after she died.
-I've had it on the sideboard since.
-And you didn't know it was there?
Not in my mum's, no.
-But you recognised it when you found it?
I'd seen it on television before, similar things.
It's a very bold design. It's very recognisable, isn't it?
And the Wemyss factory based in Scotland, in Fife.
They produced a massive series of wares at the end of the 19th century
and it was a great favourite with the late Queen Mother. She collected a lot of it.
They are particularly well known for those very large pigs
that they used to use as door stoppers.
And they can make a lot of money.
This piece is a nice example - a biscuit barrel
and it's titled as well - with "biscuits" which I love.
It's great fun.
And when you found it, did it excite you?
-It did. I thought it was very pretty.
-It's nicely marked.
We've got the painted mark here
and then also on the side we've got the impressed Wemyss mark.
It's going to date to about 1890.
Nice condition. There's a little bit of crazing,
but you find that with Wemyss, so don't worry about that.
It's a very soft pottery and it's very highly glazed
and decorated, so it chips quite easily.
Have you thought about the value?
I hadn't until we saw one on TV before.
We were getting a little bit concerned
because we've got a grandson and he's a real livewire.
So we thought, maybe sell it.
It's a cracking piece.
I like it very much indeed.
If we were putting it in to auction I would feel very comfortable putting £200 - £300 on it.
-Then we'll put a reserve of 200.
-We don't want to give it away, do we?
Maybe with a bit of discretion for the auctioneer,
10% or something like that, if you're comfortable with that.
-But I think it will sell very well.
Thank you very much. I look forward to meeting you again at the auction.
Let's hope we'll take in a Hobnob together.
This is a bit of a wow factor, isn't it? Really stands out.
Looks like it could be French.
Yes, I'm French. We're from France, yeah.
And you live over here now, do you?
-Yes. We brought it with us from France.
-Do you like being in Weymouth?
-Yeah, we got to keep the Med kind of vibe
and don't want to move anywhere inland.
Yes, it's lovely round the seafront, isn't it?
Yeah. I see that it's a heavy piece of glass -
the sort of hobnail cut decoration round here and this panel cutting round there.
It's quite a nice oval.
And then they've added this - it's not bronze,
it's a gilt metal mount... these handles.
And then this is stuck on.
That lifts off there and then you've got this sort of gilt metal base
and it's quite nice.
The scroll and leaf decoration round it on the sort of gallery rail.
Date-wise, I would say it was about 1920, that sort of Empire style.
-I think it's a nice piece. Do you have other pieces like it?
-She did have.
We had another piece that was kind of similar, but it broke.
-First time one, we put in the bin.
-Oh, OK. So, do you use it?
Yeah, we've always had it in the house, always used it.
Mum got really quite upset when you were quite interested in it.
She's had it longer than I've been around.
-Oh really, Oh God!
-I think she got a bit emotional.
It might be quite hard for you to part with it.
-So you really think you might want to sell it?
-She wants to.
-I need the money.
-Oh, you need the money.
This would do quite well because it's very decorative and it's that kind of...
it's unusual and it would look quite good somewhere.
Have you thought about its value?
Not very. No.
If we put it in at a conservative estimate of £100, £150...
-That would be nice.
-Would that be all right?
-We can put a reserve at the lower end.
-We'll try. Hopefully, it will do well.
There really is a fantastic holiday atmosphere going on here on the valuation day.
I've just been joined by one family on holiday - David and Tessa and kids, Kitty and Millie.
Yes! And Mum and Dad have brought in something to flog, haven't they?
-Do you like this? What about you, Millie?
-So whose is it? Is it yours, Tessa?
-Yes, it is.
-Tell me about it.
It belonged to my grandfather and was up in the loft.
My mother still lives in the house where she grew up.
We were rummaging up there one day and David saw it,
said he liked it, so Mum said we could have it.
It was hanging in our kitchen, but we've re-decorated and it doesn't suit any more.
It doesn't need to be in the kitchen. It could go in the hall.
It doesn't seem to suit any of the rooms at the moment.
We do like it. We have loved it when it's been on the wall.
I think he's absolutely charming. He really is fantastic.
He's been done by a Mr Alvin Burt.
If you couldn't afford a portrait in oil - let's say a family portrait or a portrait of yourself -
you went to a miniature artist because he could do one a lot quicker
by virtue of the fact that they're tiny.
You could have a little portrait done of yourself or a little miniature figure of yourself.
And here's the cost - because you could go to his studio, which is wonderful.
Gives this a little bit of history, here we are.
"Miniature painting taught," so he gave lessons
"in striking likenesses."
"Coloured Profiles, full length, Ten shillings and sixpence."
Or just as a miniature, three shillings.
This is worth considerably more than that.
Portrait miniatures are big business.
He reminds me of Mr Pickwick or someone like that,
especially with the chair, sitting on a lovely bentwood Windsor chair.
It's got the look. The decorators will love this and the dealers,
purely because of the provenance on the back.
It looks typically William IV, it's just pre-Victorian.
lovely, contemporary rosewood frame, which is totally original.
You can tell that because if you look at the back -
you can see it's got the original rusty pin holes that are holding the frame together
and the fact that the brown paper is still intact in places.
It has a little bit of damage. It's what we call foxing.
But that's nothing.
A little bit of preservation and TLC will stop that from going any further.
It's signed and it's dated.
Can you see that?
-Signed Mr Burt, 1836.
-That is a long time ago.
-That is a long time ago, isn't it?
-Let's talk about value. What do you think it's worth?
-I have no idea, at all.
I'm going to put this in with a brave punt of £300,
but with a reserve of 250. Would you be happy with that?
-If it doesn't sell, you get to keep it.
-If we keep it, we'll find somewhere special for it.
So let's call it a valuation of £250 to £300 and I hope it gets to the top end.
-Thank you very much.
Audrey, I'm really pleased you brought along this pocket watch.
What do you know about it?
It belonged to my grandfather
and was passed down to my mother in about the 1950s.
-Did your grandfather used to wear it?
-I never knew him.
-He died in the 1920s.
I'm sure he did wear it, but probably just on Sundays.
What's nice is, this is known as a hunter pocket watch.
It's a hunter because it's enclosed so therefore if you went out hunting,
-rather than have an open face, this piece of gold would protect the glass.
So you get hunters, half-hunters and open face.
So that's nice to have, just to protect that.
And and if we have a look at it,
if you notice the maker, Thomas Russell and son, Liverpool.
-Was there a connection?
-Yes. The family came from Liverpool, yes.
-My mother lived in Liverpool.
And you've got a subsidiary dial here.
This is a seconds dial on there.
You can see that.
It's a keyless watch. You would just wind it at the top here.
And if we look at the back, we can open into the movement.
And you've actually got a seven-jewelled movement.
You can see the seven jewels.
It's nice. It's actually nine carat gold as opposed to 18.
What's also nice is, you've got this chain -
this curved link chain and then you can use them as necklaces.
What's nice about this one is, it's not graduated.
-It would sit better as a necklace, if you wanted to.
They'll probably sell the two items together, but...
Why are you thinking of selling it?
Because there isn't anybody in the family who would ever use it.
-They're just not used and it's sat in a drawer for 50 years.
-Seems a shame, doesn't it, when somebody else could enjoy it?
-And have you thought about its value at all?
-I've wondered but I have no idea.
-If we were to put the two items together, the watch and chain,
we could put them in for between £150 and £200. Would you be happy?
Yes. Yes, that's fine.
What we can do it is put the reserve at the lower end,
-so put the reserve in at 150.
-I think so, yes.
That would be all right? We'll do that for you. Thank you.
There's a holiday spirit in Weymouth
and it's nearly time to see if the auction house is in a sunny mood.
Before we get under way, let's remind ourselves what's going under the hammer.
Linda brought in a wonderful biscuit jar.
But will it sell for £300 or crumble in the heat of the auction?
Sarah and Christine bought this fantastic bowl in France.
But will they be bidding au revoir for £150?
I love the Clark family's miniature.
But will it make a massive profit at £250 to £300?
And finally, Susan found this lovely pocket watch,
but will Audrey be taking home £200 in her pocket?
This is where our antiques will go under the hammer. Duke's saleroom.
Before the action starts, let's catch up with auctioneer, Gary Batt,
who knows more about the local market than anybody.
Will our items cut the mustard?
And could Mark have been a little more generous with one of his valuations?
Linda's Wemyss biscuit barrel - found in a cupboard.
Mark Stacey's put £200 - £300 on this and it's as clean as a whistle.
No chips, no damage.
I say that's a very easy estimate really
because Wemyss is very collectable.
It's one of those areas of late 19th century, early 20th century ceramics
which is growing and growing in value. It's a very important factory.
I think it was in Kirkcaldy in Scotland and people really like it.
I'd have thought it would certainly be £300, and again, it could be more,
it could be £400 - £500 if you get the real collectors of it.
This is a good pattern, the blown out, wiped out roses. Very saleable.
Not quite as desirable as the cockerels.
You get those black cockerels, which are really strong, but it's what people want.
-It's a nice, intact object.
-Would you like this for home?
I'd like it. I wouldn't put my biscuits in it
because we eat more than you could fit in there, having young children.
But I would like it. It's a nice thing.
I'm sure it would be a good investment as well.
OK. Stick your neck out. What will it do?
-Well, this is only a semi-educated guess but, 450-500.
-Thanks very much.
Introducing some continental flavour in the show now -
we've got Sarah and Christine who are French.
-But you speak good English.
Mum's not so good on the English, but Mum did bring in this gorgeous little continental glass fruit bowl.
Which you're flogging.
-It's going under the hammer. Isn't it?
In just a moment. But we want, what?
More, more, more, more.
Let's hope it gets to the top end of £100-£150.
This was bought in France, wasn't it?
-Susan, will it do the top end?
I hope so. We want lots of money for it.
It's a nice, big, heavy cut-glass bowl, with a nice gilt rim.
It's just about to go under the hammer. It's the next lot. What's "under the hammer" in French?
-Comment? Le marteau.
-Sous le marteau.
-Sous le marteau.
-And will they like this, do you think?
SHE SINGS IN FRENCH
-She's singing a French song.
Lot 135 is this very pretty
Art-Deco style cut-glass and gilt-mounted bowl.
At £50 to start me.
50 bid. 55, I'll take.
55. 60 anywhere now? At 55.
60 anyone? 60.
5. 70, 5, at 70. Near me at 70.
5, 80. 5 90.
At £85... 90? Will anyone accept?
£85. 90 anywhere?
Are we done then? Quite clear? 90 anyone?
-He didn't sell it, did he?
-Why are you glad? Because you want to keep it?
Why did you put yourself through all this purgatory then?
I wanted more. I wanted £150.
-I know you want more, we all want more.
-£150 would be nice.
Not that, no.
I'm so sorry but thank you very much for coming in and lighting up the whole saleroom with your French.
Now it's the Wemyss biscuit barrel going under the hammer brought in by Linda and Eric.
Quality item. Great pattern. Looks like it's brand new.
-You've never used this, have you?
It is early 1900s, sort of early Edwardian.
It's quality. I love the pattern. The auctioneer said, and you don't know this,
-he would put 3-4 on it not 2-3.
I need a seat.
It's going under the hammer right now. Let's see if it does the top end.
And now Lot 267 -
this very attractive Scottish Wemyss factory biscuit barrel and cover.
£100 to start.
100 is bid. And 10, shall we say? 100 is bid.
And 10? 110, 120, 130, 140, 150,
160, 170, 180, 190, 200, and 20, sir.
240, 260, 280, 300,
and 20, at £300 near me.
£300 seated? 300.
And 20, anyone like? In the room, are we all quite clear?
It's going nearly, at £300, I sell...
He's done it. Top end, Mark.
What's the 300 quid going towards?
Eric's night out.
-Is that right?
-She said it would go on treating herself.
I disagreed with that since.
Treat the family I suppose.
-Have a good night out.
-Yes, we will.
Thank you for coming in.
Pressure's on. It's my time to be the expert.
Let's see if I can get this right. It's that lovely miniature painting by Mr Burt.
I've been joined by Tessa and David but something's missing - I think it's the kids.
-Kitty and Millie - where are they?
-They're at school today.
-We said they had to go.
-They're very angry.
-I bet they are because they were going to try
-and talk you into giving them the day off school.
-They tried very hard.
Bless them. Let's hope you can go home with a great surprise.
Let's hope you get the top end. I'm feeling really scared
because this is a general sale and I think this is quality -
something for the connoisseur. It's beautiful.
You know I wouldn't be selling it. You know I'd love to own it, but I can't.
-I think it's a little treasure.
Hopefully, if to people love it as much as I do, they will bid it up - and it'll do £300.
-It's going under the hammer.
Lot 348, a Burt miniature portrait of a gentleman,
inscribed and dated, Newbury, 1836.
Who'll start me off with this lot at £200?
150, anyone, 150 is bid.
160, 170, 180,
190, any advance on 190? At £190 all done...
-Bids petered out. I'm sorry.
That was worth a lot more than £190.
I'm glad he didn't sell for that. We'll take it home and we'll find somewhere to re-hang it.
And enjoy it.
I've just been joined by Audrey and John who are going to sell Audrey's granddad's hunter pocket watch.
-It's nine carat gold.
Why are you flogging something that your granddad had? You could keep that and use it.
-But no-one in our family wears a suit any more.
-What about John?
-Does he do Sunday best?
-No, I don't.
-Very quiet on a Sunday.
-Not for me.
Burlington Bertie - I can see it.
Good luck. Let's hope we get the top end of the estimate.
It should do £150. It's got a fob and it's nine carat gold.
Yeah, and with the chain, it should do very well.
It's nice, being a hunter as well.
And it's working.
Yes, so high hopes for it.
Time is up. It's going under the hammer. Good luck.
Next lot is lot 314, coming up.
This gentleman's nine carat gold
hunting-case pocket watch with a chain.
Quality lot at £100. £100 is bid.
110, I'll take on the side.
120, anyone like in the room?
120, near. 130, 140,
170, 180. I'll come back, sir, 190.
200. And 10.
-This is quality.
They love it.
Quite clear, going at £220 and selling.
Hammer's gone down. Got to be happy with that. Haven't you?
Very happy, yes.
More than I could have dreamed. Yes.
What's it going towards?
My father wore the watch, so I will split the money between his four great-grandchildren.
That's sensible, that's a nice idea. He would like that, wouldn't he?
-Treat yourself as well.
-Somewhere along the line.
-Maybe a trip on the Waverley tomorrow - the paddle steamer.
-Good result, Susan.
-Very good result. I'm very pleased.
I think it did well. Just shows you the quality, doesn't it?
Quality always does the business.
We travelled just a few miles down the road from our valuation day
to the very dramatic Isle of Portland which is famous for this -
Portland is made of a distinctive limestone
formed 140 million years ago.
The cliffs are relatively soft.
The stone in the heart of the island is so strong,
it's used in construction all over the world.
Builders were quick to realise that Portland stone was incredibly hard wearing.
In 1539, even Henry VIII built a castle made from this stone
and after the Great Fire of London,
Sir Christopher Wren ordered 6 million tons of it
to rebuild the city of London and St Paul's Cathedral.
The popularity of Portland stone reached a peak in the 1800s
when as many as 800 men worked in the quarries.
Their skills are kept alive by people like Punt Saunders,
who is going to show me a little of the quarryman's back-breaking work.
-So tell me what you're going to do here.
-I'm going to split this stone.
These are the old ways with wedges and scales.
I'm going to make a pit right across the stone and put these in and cut them that way.
I've seen logs in a forest split with wedges and beetles, so I guess it's the same sort of technique.
-Running with some kind of grain?
-That's right, yes.
-What did you call these again?
OK. And when did these come out of fashion?
-When did they stop using these?
-1955, I think, yeah.
-These came in.
-So the idea is, you drill holes in there?
Drill holes in there, put these in and just tap them along
and it should split.
If it was a very high stone you put some up and down the side
to help it on as well.
Also make the cut much greater.
And is this the average-sized rock that you'd be splitting?
No, it's much bigger than this.
This is just a small one. Yes.
Are you going to give it a clout, see if we can split this?
-Shall I stand back?
No, you're all right.
Almost playing a musical note there on each one.
There it goes.
You can hear it, can't you?
Quarrymen in the 1800s shifted tons of stone a day by hand.
Life was tough. But there's no stopping progress.
A revolution is going on, deep inside Portland where the stone is being mined -
not quarried from the surface - for the first time.
One man who knows all about stone mines is Mark Godden.
How does life differ to a quarryman back in the early 1800s, with all the modern technology?
-It's got to have changed.
-As an industry, it was obviously much more labour-intensive.
We're able to produce large quantities of material with relatively few people.
Whereas back then, the emphasis was on mass employment -
hundreds of people in the industry.
And you can imagine it being dragged with ropes and pulleys,
wooden cranes getting it down the cliff face.
-Horses. Lots of horses.
Of course, this was an island, so they'd have gone by boat.
The island's very self-sufficient.
A lot of quarrymen also did things like fishing and gardening...
-to supplement their incomes.
-Typical islanders - a real hardy race.
Quite insular. Not much interchange between the island and the mainland
up until 150 years ago, when the railway came.
And where is all this rock going to go now?
Most of this material that you see around you here will end up going on
to projects in London - both restoration projects and new buildings as well.
Before it reaches the building site, the stone must come here to a mason's yard.
In the early 1800s, stone had to be moved by carts
or dragged on wooden sleds, so stonemasons' yards had to be close to the quarry.
Although the steam railway was built in the mid-19th century, the masons' work was still hard, manual labour.
The work is now highly mechanised.
Here at Albion Stone, they can handle rock
the size of two double-decker buses - every week.
Since mining started on Portland in the year 1200, 32 million tons of stone
has been transported to stonemasons all over the world.
It's been used in the United Nations building in New York,
Waterloo Bridge and of course, BBC's Broadcasting House.
With all this stone left, there's plenty more landmarks to come.
Right now, it's time for me to join up with our experts on valuation day.
Christine, you've brought your daughter
and also a lovely collection of seals.
Are you a collector of them?
Yes, I've been collecting for about 18 years.
I started off with just a simple one - for jewellery more than anything else.
Then I found they've got heraldry on the bottom of some of them
and I became fascinated.
Finding families and where they'd come from, who owned them perhaps in some of the cases.
But I've got too many, now.
-How many have you got?
-I suppose probably about 60 or so.
-Really? Oh, gosh.
-I think it was time to get rid of a few.
-Do you like them, Caroline?
-Yes, I think they are very attractive.
There are some beautiful ones.
I don't know anything about the heraldry like my mother does,
but I find it fascinating looking at it, and the history of them.
And do you display them? Do you keep them in a cabinet?
Yes, I have got them in a cabinet, but they are difficult to see
because they are rather small...
but I wear them when I can.
It's nice to be able to wear something you're collecting.
And it's a talking point. You pick this one out - this is an nice agate one.
Yes. I thought it was very attractive.
Yes, with the gold around it, and I think it's got some initials on.
Yes, I don't know whose the initials are.
I should think someone Victorian?
-Yes. It's a nice quality, isn't it?
And these two are nice - silver ones -
18th century, probably the 1780s, something like that.
But they're quite... it's quite nice to hold them
and think who might have worn them and used them.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
And then it's nice you've got the desk ones here.
-This one has got a bone handle...
..as opposed to a ivory. There's a little ship on that,
which is quite nice, for Weymouth and things.
Yes, very appropriate. I hadn't thought of that!
Very appropriate. These are probably more 19th century.
Ivory handles... This is a nice turned ivory one, isn't it?
You've got a little bit of a crack on that one. This one is more...
it doesn't appear to have a great deal of age to it.
It doesn't have the quality of some of the ones you've got here.
Although it's still got a Victorian feel to it, but it's not...
The definition's not very good on it.
And so I think that's more of a copy.
Where do you buy them from?
Various places. Quite small sales at one time,
but now they don't usually appear quite so readily.
You don't seem to be able to get hold of them.
I suppose they're getting old, like I am.
But it's like everything, isn't it? Once you start collecting it...
-Why do you want to sell these ones?
Well, ideally, I'd perhaps like to buy another one
that was better quality and maybe had the heraldry on.
-And I think it's time I got rid of a few of them anyway.
And any idea, from what you've been paying, what they might be worth?
It's difficult to say because I bought them some time ago,
but I wouldn't have thought an awful lot of money.
Yeah. I think, if we were to put them in,
-we would look maybe at putting a reserve on of 400.
-With an estimate of 450.
-That would be lovely.
-Would that be all right?
-That would be nice. I could buy another seal.
-It's quite a collection here.
To collectors, they should do quite well.
So let's just hope people are going back to the days
-of crests and things like that.
-Let's hope people write letters now!
Jenny, Barry, a great-looking pair of vases,
but before we find out what they are, can you fill us in on the family history?
Well, originally, my husband used them for an ashtray.
I dislike them intensely.
They got knocked about a bit, chipped.
I was eventually going to throw them away and my husband kept saying,
"My grandfather designed those." And I said, "Yeah, yeah, right."
But looking into the history of them,
he did design them for Linthorpe.
-Well, let's get hubby to have a word now, Jenny.
Give us a little bit of the family history.
-I'm intrigued that those were designed by your grandfather.
-My grandfather was a design...
Not a designer - a painter, or whatever.
And when he died, my mother took them obviously.
To cut a long story short,
Mum went and then we inherited them and as I say,
-I used them as an ashtray as I was walking down the porch.
-What was your grandfather's name?
-Arthur Pascal Shorter.
-Yes, Arthur Pascal Shorter.
And I did notice, actually, on one of the vases, we have got a monogram of AS,
which obviously ties in with that, which is lovely.
And of course, the magical word you've mentioned is Linthorpe,
because Linthorpe was an interesting factory
and has become a lot more collectable over recent years because of the association of Christopher Dresser,
which is a very, very well-known and very forward-thinking Victorian designer
who produced actually things that were very Art-Deco looking,
even though they are 30 or 40 years earlier than the Art-Deco period.
What I particularly like is these fuchsias. Because I love fuchsias.
I remember, as a child, I used to go up and pop them. Did you ever do that?
-Yes, I did.
-I loved popping fuchsias all over the place.
But they're lovely and they're very, very well done.
The slip decoration is very, very finely done.
You've got lots of details in the leaves.
He might have produced them just for the family. As you say, you have had them restored.
-There's some restoration where the chips were.
But they're a really fine-looking pair.
-Have you ever thought that they might be worth anything?
Well, really, I would have liked to get the restoration money back, which was £200.
So I'd like to get that back, but other than that, I have no idea.
Well, I think we should be able to get you the £200 back.
I think it all depends on whether we can attract the right buyers.
We've got to put down the provenance. We've got to mention your grandfather's name.
-We'll mention the restoration, but I would put an estimate of between £300 and £400 on them.
-Would that please you?
-And we'll put the reserve as 300 with 10% discretion.
-That would be fine.
-And I think the auction house certainly is a good one
and I'm sure they'll want to put them on the Internet and get all those Linthorpe collectors in.
-And why now, though, do you want to sell them?
Well, we've got three children, we've gone through the family and nobody wants them.
They think they're hideous.
So...we're selling them.
Well, in one way, the nice thing is
that they're going to go to someone who collects Linthorpe.
-And they're interested because of the wonderful history of your grandfather.
And I think we should attract a lot of interest.
I'll look forward to seeing you at the auction
-and thank you, for taking part in the show.
-Thank you very much.
Dorothy and Brian, I see you've brought along a nice pair of oil paintings for me.
-What can you tell me about them?
My parents found them in the attic of a house we lived in.
They were just sitting up there and we got them down and had a look at them.
-Your parents had put them up there, or...
-No, no, no.
They must have been there from the previous owners, so we were very lucky to find them.
-Oh, so they're a bit of a bonus then, aren't they?
-They certainly are, yes.
So they're actually oil on canvas.
-And they are signed at the bottom, on both of the pictures -
Abraham Hulk, Junior.
Yes, we were unable to read that until today. We didn't realise.
-It is hard to read, but you can just make it out.
-You can now.
-And there's Senior and Junior.
And Abraham Hulk, he was working a lot in the Surrey area and this is a picture in Dorking.
It's actually written on the back. It's a scene in Dorking
and I think this, again, is a scene somewhere in Surrey,
but I'm not 100% sure where.
-It has got on the back, Tread...
-The Treadmills. Yes.
But they were... they were established artists.
They did landscapes and marine art - they knew they were selling...
-Oh, I see.
-So they did churn them out a little bit.
But they were of some standing.
-He exhibited at the RA - over 20 pictures...
You know, it's not bad going, is it?
-Was it mainly just in that area, in Surrey?
-Mainly in the Surrey area.
-So yes, not bad at all.
I particularly like this picture.
I don't know if you've got a favourite.
Yes, that's always been my favourite.
You know, I think this has been quite well executed, hasn't it,
with the sailing boat here?
You know, it looks a quite nice, tranquil setting.
They have been nicely done. There is...
there's a little bit where the canvas is coming through in areas.
My mother used to hang it on the gas meter,
to hide the gas meter,
so I think that might be the damage on that one.
Yes, you can see the light coming through there.
I think that's what it is, yeah.
So why are you thinking of selling them?
Well, we had them on the wall for a few years,
but we're more into modern art now
and we put them back in the attic and we thought, "It's not right for them."
Brian, have you ever had them valued or considered their value or anything like that?
Yeah, it was about 10 years ago, I think, when they were valued.
When we had them actually framed.
-We had a rough estimate then.
-And what did they say?
-I think it was about 150 or something, the pair.
The market is a little bit slow, I have to say,
particularly for this sort of Victorian oil painting, as you say,
people either are going more in for the modern art
or more for the minimalist look and things,
-so it's not that commercial.
So I have to say that probably, today, you know, we would look at sort of £150 to £200 for the pair.
-But would you be happy with that?
We can put them in the auction and just give them a go and...
They ought to do well. They're a known artist so they ought to do more than that.
But just to sort of cover it, we'll put a reserve on for you.
But let's face it, it's better to get, you know, sort of £150
-than chuck them back in the attic.
I mean, we got them out of the attic before we came.
-Yeah, that's where they were.
-So anything's a bonus, I suppose.
We do a lot of Moorcroft on this show and I don't normally go for it any more
-unless it's something a little bit unusual.
-And your leaning bowl of Weymouth is quite interesting here.
Tell us a little bit of the history of it.
Well, it's just that I bought it at Gray's Antique Market in London...
..in the 1980s.
Right. So what attracted you to it?
Well, the pansies, I think.
-Well, pansies are for thought, aren't they, Rosalind?
I like them. And what did you pay for it in the 1980s?
About £59, something like that.
-Well, that's not bad, is it?
-Not bad at all because, actually, if we look at the bowl -
we can tell it's Moorcroft even though we can't see the mark on it.
But if we turn it upside down, we've got a nice pewter stand here,
which is sort of hammered pewter, as the decoration.
And we've got the mark of Tudric and then Moorcroft underneath as well.
And the shape number, here.
Or design number for the stand, which is rather nice.
And they're very typical bowl decorations of Moorcroft,
the nice blues and the deep colours and things, you know?
-Somebody has dropped something on it, though. It's slightly tilted to one side.
So somebody would have to spend a little bit of time building that stand up again, somehow.
But it is a very decorative fruit bowl.
-Have you thought what it might be worth today?
I wasn't sure, because I thought this would take away any value.
-What, the pewter stand?
-Oh, no, no.
Moorcroft, like a lot of other factories, went to Liberty's
and they combined their designs to sell them through the Liberty's store.
So it hasn't taken anything away from the value.
The slight shifting has, but I think we've got to be sensible about it.
It's a realistic market. If we were putting it in for sale,
I would have thought we should put it in somewhere in the region of £150 to £250.
Something like that. Would you be comfortable with that?
-And maybe give the reserve a 10% discretion.
But why do you want to sell it now, Rosalind?
Well, I'm de-cluttering.
We're all de-cluttering at the moment.
-But nobody wants my old '70s clothes!
Earlier in the programme, we saw how stone from Portland has been used for buildings all over the world.
But there's another, totally different,
use for the island's rock.
The 200 year-old workings here at Tout
are Britain's first sculpture quarry,
where ancient geology collides with contemporary art.
The rocks have been exposed by hundreds of years of digging.
And the sculptors have painstakingly shaped them
where they came to rest, in a truly stunning outdoor gallery.
I'm meeting up with Hannah to talk me through the works,
which are great to look at, to touch and to explore.
-It's a really good sound, isn't it?
Yeah. That's better. Sounds like a Buddhist chant now.
-Isn't that lovely?
Artists come from all over the world to work here
and each of them brings new and different ideas.
Look at this. There's a surprise on every rock if you look carefully.
Well, this is the piece I've been looking forward to seeing - Antony Gormley. Very dynamic, isn't it?
It's carved from the whitbed, which is the good building stone
where they had to get to to get the stone out,
and it's a beautiful figure. It's life size.
And it's called Still Falling,
as in time, still in time, but still falling.
It's on a really significant part of a rock face here.
So you have the whole strata.
We featured Antony Gormley's work before with the Angel of the North.
How important is it for his involvement here?
It was really important in '83 because he was the first artist, one of the first artists,
to come here. And he talked about the skills, he talked about the inspiration from the environment,
all of the things that kind of matter, really,
how it could be used as an exhibition and a studio space.
He is right, isn't he, really?
It is one big, outdoor art gallery.
There's a heart-warming treat in every nook.
This piece, by Timothy Shutter, called Hearth, reminds me of what some of Portland's stone has become.
I think what's been done here is amazing
and it shows the artists' work in an entirely new way.
Tout is not just for established artists.
Sculpting courses are run here and people from all over the world
come to learn the techniques of stone carving
handed down by the masons centuries ago.
You're responsible for all of this school. Why did you start one here?
Well, it's working with stone in the place of origin.
It's working with the tradition, passing on skills.
-It's a heritage, really.
And it's working with the material in a rough, you know, really, from a raw piece of stone, really.
-What are you working on now?
-Well, it's...the stone sort of suggested a wing.
So there's a kind of a feather there, really, a wing.
moves along here, it comes up, it goes down there.
Let's look at the tools you're using - traditional hammer and chisel.
Yes, they're basic tools. They're tools that were used years ago.
These tools haven't changed since the beginning of civilisation.
Punch, which is a point.
Artists call them points, masons call them punches.
-That will do almost everything for you.
-That one's a gouge.
That's a gouge - a bit more complicated.
It's a smaller chisel, for more detailed work.
You know, so if I wanted to work with the, the curve...
-It's like a pencil.
You know, it draws the form, really.
The sculptors work with fantastic precision and patience.
It doesn't look easy, but there's no harm in trying.
Actually, it is very, very therapeutic.
We've seen that Portland stone has been quarried for centuries
and is being used in ever-changing ways
and it looks set to be a part of island life for many more centuries to come now.
This is my attempt at a face.
That's what it's saying to me, so I'll chip away. I'll catch up with you a bit later.
We're off to the auction, but let's get a quick reminder of what's going under the hammer.
Christine's desktops got the seal of approval from Susan
and if they reach £450,
it will be something to write home about.
Jenny and Barry were going to bin their vases
but now they could be going home with £300 to £400.
This lovely pair of oils, brought in by Brian and Dorothy,
could see them go away with £150 to £200.
And finally, although Rosalind's bowl has a tilt,
it could still make £250.
Fingers crossed for our lots.
Now let's get some insider knowledge on how they just might do.
A pair of oils on canvas, brought in by Brian and Dorothy. Now, they got really lucky.
They found these when they bought their house
and they've been in the attic ever since - and looking at them I can see why.
I really don't like them.
But somebody will like them. There's always a buyer for something, as you know.
And our expert, Susan, has put £150 to £200 on these as a pair.
That's a bit of an estimate that doesn't really say anything
in particular because these are signed Abraham Hulk, Junior,
son of Senior, and if they are by him,
and I think therein lies the question, they will be more valuable
than that estimate, so they could be £500, £600 because they are a good size and they're very decorative.
Actually, he painted in a smaller scale normally,
but I think there's an element of doubt
-as to whether they are or are not by this particular artist.
-What do you think?
I would be more cautious, I think.
I think they're quite widely painted and they're rather diffused
and he painted in quite a detailed style.
And I wouldn't really be putting my, kind of, hand on my heart
and saying, "I know they're definitely by Hulk,"
so I think £100 to £200 would be realistic,
if they're not by this particular artist, which I think is most likely.
Now, this one's quirky.
Rosalind's Moorcroft bowl, with Tudric base. Yes.
We see a great deal of this on the show but it is the first one we've seen with a Tudric base.
Our expert, Mark, who's also an auctioneer, Mark Stacey,
he's put a very wide £100 to £250 estimate on this,
with a 10% discretion, which takes it down to £90.
Now, where is its real value?
Well, it is a very wide estimate and it's probably -
one doesn't want to pick on fellow auctioneers -
but a bit of a cop-out because it's wider than we would normally think of.
It is a fine bowl and people like to collect Moorcroft.
The base, it's good that it's stamped Tudric.
It's a pewter base and Archibald Knox was the designer for these pieces.
It was a big, big name in that area.
The base is actually slightly wonky if you look at it closely,
which I think can't help.
I would have thought, to refine that estimate
would have been relatively sensible.
And if we thought of 150, 180, 200 - it might be more realistic.
Not that I would want to criticise any auctioneer
-for using a wide range nowadays.
So it's going to sell whatever happens.
Certainly, with the lower estimate as it is,
I think we can be fairly sure it will sell.
It might not necessarily make the top end, but you never know -
you get two collectors that really want it and it's unusual with a Tudric base.
They might decide it's the thing to have and off we go.
-It's not an exact science, is it?
-It isn't, if only it was.
And there's another cliche as well!
Well, this next item's guaranteed to leave its mark
because it is a collection of seals,
brought in by Christine and Caroline. Mum and daughter?
-Yes, she's a big collector and she's really selling your inheritance, in a way.
Great little collection. Why are you selling them?
-I know you've got 60-odd.
-I've been collecting a long time and I'd gone into the heraldic ones,
which I find more interesting, so I want to get rid of some.
And they are more collectable as well because anything with an armorial on it.
-You're not daft, are you?
Mind you, you should get £400.
Yes, it's a lovely collection. There's 10 of them - that's only £40 each.
They've got to be all right and there's some nice Georgian ones there and some silver, some ivory ones.
-They should be fine.
-So it's got the mark of approval from everybody?
-To go under the hammer. This is it.
298 is now the next lot, coming up, which is this nice little collection
of ivory, silver, pinchbeck fobs and seals. £200 if I can?
200 is bid. At 200.
And 20. 220. Any advance on... 240.
260 on the side.
260, 280, 300, good lot.
320, 340, 360, £340 then, on this side. 340.
360 will anyone say? At £340.
380, 400, £400?
400 on the side. Any advance on 400?
I'll take 20 if anyone likes. Are we quite clear?
Selling, then. Going for £400.
Yes! How about that. Happy?
Very, very pleased.
That's lovely. Thank you very much.
We've had a wonderful time, so thank you very much.
Up for grabs right now, a pair of Linthorpe vases
brought in by Jenny and Barry here. Lovely couple.
Why are you flogging these vases?
-Because, simply, nobody wants them in our family.
-No, they don't.
Come on - your grandfather made them.
The children don't want them, so... I don't know.
I used to use them as an ashtray.
Yeah, exactly. And he's giving up smoking, isn't he?
-He's put on a bit of weight.
-Don't point that out.
There's a lot of good investments gone into that.
-Cost a fortune.
-When we talk about antiques on the show,
we talk about investing in quality, condition and a good maker's name.
This lot has got the lot, but it's also a pair and there's always a premium on a pair
so fingers crossed we'll get the top end. We're looking at what, £300 to £400?
-We are, yeah.
-But you've actually put the reserve fixed now at £300.
-So there's no discretion, so we're going to find out,
but first let's ask expert Mark Stacey.
-Will they do the top end?
Well, we did have a typing error in the catalogue.
I'd like to think it was a typing error because they did put Linthorpe-type vases.
-They did, didn't they?
-But they are Linthorpe, not Linthorpe-type.
Now, lot 118,
this pair of very attractive brown-glazed Linthorpe vases.
Good luck, they're going under the hammer. This is it.
Lot 118, and who'll start me with this lot, please, £200?
-200 to get on?
-Come on, don't sit on your hands.
I have 150 bid, take 160 now from anyone?
150, 160 anywhere?
From collectors, 160? 170, 180,
And 10, 210?
It's like pulling teeth.
40 anyone like? Going then now at £230.
-He's not sold them.
-Just shy of the reserve, well, by 70 quid.
I'd rather take them home, really.
I think that's a sign that your grandfather is saying, "Hang on to them."
They tried flogging them and it didn't work.
We're going to find out why.
Right now. From this chap.
What could you say, Paul?
I think, I mean, £300 was certainly not expensive.
It just wasn't the right buyers on the day.
I mean, I would have loved them. I mean, I could live with these.
I thought they were charming. I love the fuchsia one.
-You might get them.
-What, as a present?
-I've got £10, 10, 10, 15.
20, anyone? At 20.
It's time to find out what the bidders think
of those two oil paintings we looked at earlier, brought in by Brian and Dorothy.
I must admit, OK, I love fine art, I love oils on canvas but those ones didn't really appeal to me.
That's why we're selling them.
Thank goodness you said that! I didn't know how you felt about them,
but it was a pretty good gambit - you're flogging them, so you don't want them.
No, they've been in the attic for some years.
We're looking at a valuation of 150, around there.
-Hopefully 200 top-end.
I had a chat with the auctioneer earlier. He was a bit dubious.
A bit damaged, one of them has got a hole in and he was a bit...
They've been catalogued as "In the manner of,"
so they're thinking they may not be by this artist.
I think it's cautious cataloguing and they ARE by the artist.
-See, he wasn't sure...
-He's quite commercial...
He thought it was too loose - it didn't have the detail. We'll find out.
We're going to find out. This is it. Good luck.
Now we're onto lot 399,
which are the oils on canvas, signed Abraham Hulk, Junior.
Who'll start me off at £100 again?
£100 is bid. And 10. For the Hulks.
110, commission bid 120. 130, anyone like? 130, 140. 140, 150.
160. 160, with me? 170 bid.
180 commission bid with me. 180.
Are we all done at 180 now? All out?
With me, it goes.
They've gone under the hammer.
I said earlier that someone will buy them.
There is no accounting for taste.
Just not my taste or yours.
-There we go.
-OK, 180 quid.
What are you going to do with that?
-We were hoping to retire on what we got but...
-Yeah, come on.
But as we got that, we're revamping our garden so we'll probably buy a greenhouse or something.
Yeah, or plant something up.
Nurture it and think of Flog It!
Well, the greenhouse would be a nice memory, wouldn't it?
Ready to do auction battle right now is Rosalind and the Moorcroft bowl, which we all love.
And you do, but you've had this, what, 25 years?
Now you've decided to flog it. Why, after 25 years?
-I need the room.
-What, that much room?
It's a lovely Moorcroft bowl. I've not seen one on Tudric base before.
But I prefer them without the base. I'd rather just have the bowl.
I would, I would too.
I like it with the base. You don't like Tudric and I like it. I think we should call the whole thing off.
He thought I'd sat on it!
I'm not going to ask you what you're doing.
-Have you ever used it? Did you use it?
-Not all all?
-Just in the cabinet.
It's going under the hammer right now. This is it.
I've got my lucky dice.
And it's showing number 6.
Good luck. Good luck.
And now lot 170, which is this Moorcroft Tudric bowl.
Moorcroft bowl with a Tudric base.
£50 to start? 50 bid, thank you, sir.
50. And 60, I'll take from anyone in the room.
60, 70, 80,
90, 100, and 10.
-Good, good, good.
-120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170.
180, 190, 200,
-They like it!
-240. 260, right at the back?
280, 300, and 20.
Money back, plus!
At £320 in the room, seated. You're at 320.
At 320? Any advance on 320?
All perfectly clear, I sell in the middle of the room, £320.
£320! That sound is a "Sold!" sound!
The hammer's gone down.
-That is brilliant. Happy with that, aren't you?
-Very happy, thank you very much.
-I was as well.
-It's not bad, is it?
-I was getting a bit worried because the auctioneer said the bottom end, so...
Well, I should have gone one to 320.
I think everybody should go and sit on their bowls with Tudric bases, don't you?
It might increase the prices.
One to 320!
Well, that's it, it's all over for our owners, and all I can say
from Dukes in Dorchester is, "You win some, you lose some!"
That's auctions for you. That's what makes them so exciting.
I was astonished that my picture didn't sell and quite amazed that Susan's choice did.
I can't wait to find out what happens at our next auction,
and I hope you can join me. See you soon on Flog It.
If you'd like to take part in Flog It, then come along
to the Memorial Hall in Wrexham on Sunday, 15th January.
The doors open 9.30am to 4.30pm.
We'll see you there.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 2006