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St Austell

Paul Martin goes back to Cornwall, where he grew up, to value collectibles brought along by the people of St Austell. Paul also meets local artist Graham Ovenden.


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Today is home sweet home for me because I grew up here in Cornwall.

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I adore this county and wherever you go in any direction,

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you're never too far away from the rugged coastline with its sweeping bays and pretty fishing villages.

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Today we are in St Austell.

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If you've never been to Cornwall, you're missing out

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because it's a special place.

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It's full of Celtic traditions, it's got tales of witchcraft, smuggling, invigorating sea air

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and I wonder what we'll find in this massive queue.

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Our venue today is Keay Theatre at Cornwall College where students learn to tread the boards,

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but all this stage atmosphere has gone to our experts' heads.

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They're waiting in the wings - Jethro Marles, Midnight Cowboy,

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and Kate Alcock who has changed her identity - you've just got married.

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-I have, so now I'm Kate Bliss.

-That sounds like a stage name! Congratulations.

-Thank you.

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-You go that way, I go that way.

-OK.

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While everyone's unpacking their treasures, Kate wastes no time in finding her first little gem.

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This is an interesting figurine. What's its history?

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We've had it about 40 years

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and we bought it in a junky sort of antique type shop in London

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and it's been on the side ever since, different places.

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We saw you were going to be here today, so we thought we'd bring it and see what you thought of it.

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This stands in a tradition of chryselephantine figurines.

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And the term "chryselephantine"

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is used to denote the dual materials we've got here

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of bronze, of course, but also of ivory.

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And it stands in the tradition which goes back to the 19th century

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and the early 20th century.

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It was very much ladies in sporting activities or exotic dancers

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in exotic, risque costumes

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and although it's in that tradition in the materials being used,

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-the subject is very different.

-Yes.

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So what we've got here, I think, is a little figure dating from the 1930s

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and it reminds me of Christopher Robin, the AA Milne character.

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-Right.

-It's obviously a child and he's dressed in his oilskin.

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He's got that charming pose as if he's striding out against the elements.

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On the back we have a signature, "Campbel", spelt with one L.

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It's possible that the signature here is a pseudonym for an artist

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because artists wanted to promote themselves by producing top-notch, top-quality work

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with a striking subject matter.

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This would be considered quite paltry in comparison.

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So artists often used pseudonyms, so they're weren't underselling themselves.

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It's also reminiscent of figurines produced in porcelain in the 1920s and '30s,

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but here we've got bronze which has been beautifully patinated

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to give it that really nice toffee brown colour.

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It just looks as if it's been lovingly handled and worn which sets it off really nicely.

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It's very saleable. Have you any ideas about value?

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-Well, we hadn't really, not when we first came here.

-No.

-Not at all.

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-What's your gut feeling?

-Well, I had hoped round about 200, something like that.

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That would be a fair estimate, £200 to £300 at auction.

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-That's lovely.

-Would you be happy with that?

-Yes, thank you.

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Charles, you don't look like the sort of chap that collects dolls,

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-not that I know what such a chap looks like!

-I saw it in an auction

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-and thought it was a lovely doll.

-You've got an eye for the dolls?

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Not really, but I just thought it was cute, interesting.

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-So when did you buy it?

-A year and a half ago at an auction in Redruth.

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-How much did you pay?

-£130.

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-You paid £130 for a doll that just took your fancy?

-Yeah.

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Somebody else was bidding on it, so it must be worth something, I thought. But you tell me.

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Let's look at the little chap. He's unusual because he is a boy doll.

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You see girl dolls all the time. He's not a large size.

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But he's got a lovely face, a cute face.

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He's got fixed eyes. His complexion and condition are good.

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He doesn't look terribly old, but he's got this marvellous outfit.

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He looks like a character from Oliver Twist.

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So he's a very appealing little chap. I'll just take his cap off.

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-He's more baby-like now. He doesn't look so grown-up.

-Not at all.

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Let's turn him over and look at the back.

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It says, "Made in Germany."

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-That's an ink stamp mark.

-Right.

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That tells us it's 20th century. If it had been any earlier,

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it would have had an impressed mark impressed into the china head.

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You also mentioned that you'd put it on eBay.

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-What happened?

-It was sold for £250.

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-Oh!

-But in the photo, the mould mark looked like a crack in the head and she withdrew from buying it.

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-Which was the mould mark that she saw?

-Around the neck, that line.

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And around its ear here.

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Anyone interested in collecting dolls should have known that what's they were, but obviously not.

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I think you've missed your chance at getting the best price

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because I don't think he's worth much more than £200, if that much.

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The amount you paid for it was the going rate.

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If we were to put it in an auction with an estimate of 140 to 180,

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-that would be a good estimate and a reserve at 140.

-That's fine.

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-Are you happy with that?

-I am.

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Let's see if he'll raise a few bids in the auction.

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Annie's brought an unusual drinking vessel, but Kate's seen a problem.

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Most people would be struck by the bad condition

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-cos we have got a very bad crack down the side, haven't we?

-Yes.

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We've got some chips on the top and a very bad patch of staining.

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But for me, it's still a very exciting mug.

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-Where did it come from?

-In the '60s, my father and mother worked

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-at Bisham Abbey in Buckinghamshire.

-When it was really an abbey?

-Yes.

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When my father and mother left, my father was given this mug.

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-And you think that this mug came from the abbey?

-Yes, it did.

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-And what do you like about it?

-I just love the creamy colour.

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-I just love the beauty of it really.

-It's a really rich colour.

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In fact, that's exactly what gives it its name

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because this type of pottery is called Creamware,

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because of its lovely, rich cream glaze and colour.

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-Yes.

-And it was introduced by Wedgwood in the 18th century,

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so we're talking a long time ago.

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-No wonder it's been through the wars!

-It's amazing it's survived.

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And Wedgwood introduced this type of Creamware

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to rival the porcelain that was being made at the time

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and the hand-painted decoration on it is very English in style

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whereas a lot of pieces in the 18th century were Chinese-inspired.

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"Chinoiserie" was the term - landscapes and pagoda buildings,

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whereas this looks like a little English cottage.

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It's only the trellis fence which is a throwback to the Chinese decoration.

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It's difficult to pinpoint an exact factory. A lot was made in the Leeds potteries.

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This possibly could be Staffordshire.

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-I think it's a cider mug.

-Do you?

-Hmm.

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You could put an awful lot of cider in there.

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-Why do you want to get rid of it?

-I'm reluctant to get rid of it because it's very special.

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-But I've got too many things.

-You need to de-clutter?

-I do.

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-So what about value?

-I have no idea.

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The condition will make a difference, but collectors will go for this.

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It's a nice bit of Creamware, a good sized piece.

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I think at auction we're going to be looking at 200 to 300 certainly,

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but we could put a reserve, if you like, at 250.

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-How does that sound?

-It sounds OK.

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Ken, when I saw this in the queue, I thought, "It's Georg Jensen!"

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-Do you know what this is?

-I don't.

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I was told it was a drinking bowl, but I don't know.

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It's modelled on an early Georgian posset pot.

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They normally had two handles, but this is one made with one handle,

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posset pots being pots for people with leprosy and things like that -

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couldn't hold a drinking vessel properly, so they used two hands.

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It's not Georg Jensen, but it is pretty damn rare.

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I want you to tell me where you got it from and what you know about it.

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I got it from my wife's parents. It was a hand-down.

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We've had it for about eight, nine years,

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just hanging around doing nothing

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and I thought I'd bring it along today and see what it is.

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It's very stylised, very evocative of the Arts and Crafts movement.

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It would be worth more with two handles. We've got green agate,

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which is a natural stone.

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It's just been polished.

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They said it was morally reprehensible to facet their stones for the Arts and Crafts movement.

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It's stamped "Guild of Handicrafts, CR Ashby".

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Here we've got some assay marks.

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There's the lion passant which says it's Sterling Silver.

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The leopard's head tells us it's London and that stylised "G" tells me it's 1902.

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-As old as that?

-Yes, that correlates with the Guild of Craftsmen.

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I'm not an expert on these, but I do love this type of thing.

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It's a gorgeous piece of workmanship.

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It's an innovative industrial design for its day.

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There's a bit of damage. Did you do that?

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-No, it was like that when we received it.

-It can be sorted out.

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It's two little dents - one there and there.

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-OK, value, what do you think it's worth?

-You tell me.

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OK, little bit of damage, I think we could put this into auction

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with an estimate, a "come and buy me" estimate,

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of £800 to £1,200.

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On a good day with two people fighting for it, hopefully £1,500.

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But on an average day, £800 to £1,200.

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-Do you want to sell it?

-Yes, please.

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Joy, you've brought in this nice watch and chain. Tell me about it.

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-It belonged to my father.

-He gave it to you how long ago?

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When he died 20 years ago, and it's been passed down.

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-There's something special about this watch.

-It tells the quarter of an hour.

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It's a quarter repeater pocket watch. I'll do it now. Just listen.

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-CHIMES

-One, two, three. One, two, three.

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Those distinctive chimes, even without opening the watch, tell me it has passed three hours -

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ping, ping, ping, and three-quarters - da-dum, da-dum, da-dum.

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So you could keep that watch in your pocket, press the button,

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-and you knew what time it was to the quarter of an hour.

-Yeah.

-So, quite an ingenious thing.

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It's in a nice, plain case, so it hasn't been personalised.

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We flick that button open and we've just gone a quarter to four,

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so that's what the chimes told us.

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The case of the watch is hallmarked nine-carat gold...

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-with import marks for London 1920.

-Right.

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Let's have a look at the movement.

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You can actually see all of the movement here,

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then you've got these two metal bars around the outside.

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When we press the button, the little hammer flicks up against the metal strip

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and it sounds like a bell, so we'll do it one more time.

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-CHIMES

-One, two, three. One, two, three.

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That's the special thing about this watch and it's in very good order.

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-Good.

-I think this is going to make over £400.

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-I think it should make maybe £500.

-Lovely.

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I think if we put an estimate of £400 to £600 as a wide estimate with the reserve at £400?

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-Yes, that's fine.

-We won't sell it for less than 400.

-No, no.

-OK, let's flog it.

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We're about halfway through our day and our experts have been working flat-out.

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It's time to put those valuations to the test at the auction room.

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Here's a recap of the things we're taking with us.

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The bronze figure reminds Kate of Christopher Robin

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and she thinks it will sell well.

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Boy dolls are rare, but will that push up the price in the saleroom?

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Annie's Creamware mug is badly damaged,

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but let's hope the quality shines through.

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I love the craftsmanship of this drinking vessel.

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It's sure to catch someone's eye.

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Jethro is confident the time is right to sell Joy's pocket watch,

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so fingers crossed on our items.

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Our travels have brought us from the valuation day in St Austell

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to Lostwithiel on the River Fowey.

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It's a thriving centre for antiques and this is home for our auction today.

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We're at Jefferys Saleroom where I catch up with Ian Morris to see what he thinks of our antiques.

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This Staffs mug belongs to Annie.

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She got very emotional because she's got to say goodbye to it.

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Our expert Kate valued this at £250 to £350, lovely bit of Creamware.

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Oscar Wilde said, "Drinking is a mug's game. The bigger the mug, the better."

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It's a cracking sized mug and it's a lovely decorated mug.

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The damage worries me. There's a chip to the rim

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and a crack through the middle of the body. This might stop it selling.

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So 250 to 350 is a good valuation for one in perfect condition?

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-In perfect condition, that would be cheap.

-What would a perfect one go for?

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-Nearer £400 to £600.

-Well, fingers crossed on this one.

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First to go under the hammer is John and Pat's figurine.

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Kate and I have been joined by John and Pat. That lovely bronze figure is about to go under the hammer.

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-You got this in a junk shop in London?

-Yes.

-How much did you pay?

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-Not a lot in them days.

-£10 or something like that?

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He's got a Christopher Robin pose.

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-It's a lovely thing.

-Yes.

-Fingers crossed. It's going under the hammer now. Good luck.

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Bronze and ivory figure there, depicting a boy in a sou'wester.

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I've got two bids at £300 and that's where I'll start. £300. 320.

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At 320, the bid's at the back. 340 now? Both my bids are out.

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340? No, we're done, selling at £320...

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Short and sweet, straight in at 300, sold for 320.

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I'll thank my dad for that. He was on the phone. No, it's a joke!

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Let's see if we can get Charlie his money back.

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-He bought this doll in Redruth for 130 quid?

-Yes.

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We've got a valuation of £140, maybe £180 on this.

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It's quite unusual because it's a bisque head doll, but it's of a boy, not a girl.

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-Too many girls.

-Hopefully, the collectors will clamber after this.

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-Let's hope so. I'm no expert on dolls.

-Nor am I.

-Nor am I.

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So none of us have got any knowledge about dolls,

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but we think it's worth this sort of money.

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Lot 361, doll figure there. £150 away? £100 to start me?

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£100? £80 I'm bid. At £80.

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I'll take 90 now. At £80. At 90.

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100. 110. At £110 I'm bid.

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I'll take 120 to get on. At £110 I'm bid.

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120 on the phone. At 120. 130.

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At 130. Is it 140...? 140.

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At 140. At 140. 150 now?

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At 140, the bid's on the phone. Are we done at £140?

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I'm selling then at £140...

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-Yes, 140! Close.

-I told you I was an expert on dolls(!)

-Not bad.

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This is one of my favourite lots that we've sold on Flog It.

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It belongs to Ken, not for much longer, a silver drinking vessel,

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CR Ashby, Guild of Handicrafts.

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I put £800 to £1,200 on this.

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-The money is going towards your bathroom, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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We're redesigning it and it'll all help towards it.

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Very nicely designed drinking bowl. Shall we say £800 away?

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£500 to start? £500 I'm bid. At £500. I'll take 20 to get on.

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At 500. 520. 550 now?

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550. 580. 600.

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-650.

-Gosh!

-700? 700.

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750. 800.

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850. 900. 950.

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1,000. 1,000 in the middle there.

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At 1,000. Is it 50 now?

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At 1,000. Are we done at 1,000...?

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-That wasn't bad, mid-estimate.

-Yeah, that was good.

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-I was a bit worried that it might just sell for 800.

-Thank you very much, Paul.

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I've been joined by Annie and Kate. We're about to flog the lovely mug.

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The big one! £250 to £350 we've got on this.

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I had a chat to the auctioneer

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and he said, in good condition, £600 to £800,

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but the condition is gonna put a lot of people off

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and he thinks it might not sell.

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-Annie told me she'd be delighted if it doesn't sell, so we can't lose, can we?

-No.

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Why were you tempted to flog it?

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I've got so much stuff. Everyone says the same thing.

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-You're de-cluttering.

-That's the only reason.

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-Well, Annie from Truro, good luck. I hope you get the top end.

-Thanks.

-It's going under the hammer now.

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This is an 18th century Creamware tankard with blue glaze decoration.

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A crack to the bottom and chips to the rim, but it can be restored.

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Can I say 250 away? Can I say £200 away? £200 I've got.

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At £200. I'll take 210.

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-At 200. 210. 220.

-He's got a bid on the book.

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-Yeah, we've done it. It's sold.

-..260. 270. 280.

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At 280, the bid's with me. 290?

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At 280. We're done at £280...

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-Yes!

-Fantastic!

-£280. You don't know whether to be happy or sad.

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I'm torn really, but my dad would be happy, he'd be thrilled.

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Joy's feeling ecstatic. Her lot's going under the hammer.

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-Lovely quarter repeater pocket watch valued at 400 to 600.

-Yes.

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-It was Dad's, but it's been in a drawer.

-20 years.

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-Happy with the valuation?

-Yes.

-Let's hope we get the top end.

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-Let's ask the man in charge.

-£400 to £600, I think that's good.

0:22:340:22:40

Time's ticking away and it's up!

0:22:400:22:43

It's a nine-carat gold case, pocket watch with white enamel dial.

0:22:430:22:48

It's got a nice chiming movement. I have two bids. I'll start at £400.

0:22:480:22:53

At £400, the bid's with me. £400. 420.

0:22:530:22:57

450. 480. 500.

0:22:570:23:00

520, the bid's right there. At 520.

0:23:000:23:02

-Joy!

-550. 580. 600. 620.

0:23:020:23:06

650. 680. 700.

0:23:060:23:08

720. 720 to my left.

0:23:080:23:11

At 720. 750? £720...

0:23:110:23:15

-720, the hammer went down.

-Oh, marvellous!

-It's a good price!

0:23:150:23:21

-Heavens!

-How about that?

-Wonderful. I can't believe it.

0:23:210:23:25

-£400 to £600, good estimate, and 720, couldn't be better.

-Superb!

0:23:250:23:30

Everyone's happy. It's a Joy moment!

0:23:300:23:33

Once upon a time, there was an artist

0:23:380:23:42

who had the vision to create a Gothic mansion

0:23:420:23:46

on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

0:23:460:23:49

OK, don't be that melodramatic. It's not that kind of Gothic.

0:23:500:23:55

It's a contemporary house designed with elements from a bygone age,

0:23:550:24:00

several bygone ages, owned by artist Graham Ovenden.

0:24:000:24:04

Graham is a renowned artist who retreated to Cornwall from London more than 30 years ago

0:24:040:24:10

to create another work of art - his house.

0:24:100:24:14

He took inspiration from the high art of the Victorian Gothic revival and built his house himself.

0:24:140:24:21

I can't believe it. How long has it taken?

0:24:210:24:25

Well, I started it 31 years ago and we're still...

0:24:250:24:30

There's another 30 years to go, but my son has taken over now. I've become old and fatter.

0:24:300:24:38

-So it's basically one big DIY job?

-Absolutely.

0:24:390:24:43

A lot of the best buildings ever built are DIY jobs, aren't they?

0:24:430:24:48

You sum up the true Arts and Crafts ethos.

0:24:480:24:52

If you're gonna do it, do it yourself with your own hands.

0:24:520:24:56

-I admire the William Morrises and the Pugins immensely because they were immensely capable.

-Yes.

0:24:560:25:03

When Morris, say, started tapestry,

0:25:030:25:06

he went out and dyed his own threads and wove his first tapestry.

0:25:060:25:11

So he understood the nature of the beast.

0:25:110:25:15

I like this. It's very abstract. Is that symbolic of something?

0:25:170:25:22

My father was an aeronautical engineer and I love the idea of flight. Here we have a crossbow.

0:25:220:25:28

-Oh, yes.

-And two crossbow bolts either side.

0:25:280:25:32

That's one way of looking at it, but they could be abstract flowers.

0:25:320:25:37

I love the idea of going up towards the sky,

0:25:370:25:41

-so we have a black star.

-Like a black hole of infinity.

0:25:410:25:46

That's exactly what it is, the idea of looking towards the sky to infinity

0:25:460:25:52

or it can be enclosing, a prison almost.

0:25:520:25:55

-It sums up the 20th century.

-Yes.

0:25:550:25:58

We have greater freedoms, but we made ourselves total slaves in the process.

0:25:580:26:04

I like the sound of the water, the energy that creates.

0:26:090:26:13

Oh, yes. When the wind blows as well, the leaves pick up the sound and echo it.

0:26:130:26:20

-It's a great symphony of wonderful natural sounds.

-Yeah.

0:26:200:26:24

I think, in fact, the further man removes himself from nature,

0:26:270:26:31

the more problems we make for ourselves

0:26:310:26:35

and that's why I'm such a supporter of the Victorians

0:26:350:26:39

in terms of the philosophy behind their design.

0:26:390:26:43

I'm talking about high Victorian design, not curly Victorian.

0:26:430:26:48

Let's go inside and have a look at some more.

0:26:480:26:51

Inside, Graham's house is as much a homage to Victorian designers as the outside

0:26:560:27:02

and examples of their exquisite decorative detail can be seen in every corner.

0:27:020:27:08

Outside in the garden, you mentioned some of your influences, the Puginesque things.

0:27:210:27:27

What other influences are there?

0:27:270:27:30

I think ornamentation in the broadest field is something

0:27:300:27:34

which has intrigued and delighted me all my adult life.

0:27:340:27:38

Now, this is the Grammar Of Ornament by Owen Jones.

0:27:380:27:42

It's a book that probably was in every major art institution

0:27:420:27:47

in this country by the middle 1860s and also in France and Germany, Europe in general.

0:27:470:27:53

And what it is, it's a brief survey

0:27:530:27:58

of all the traditions of ornamentation,

0:27:580:28:02

really from the savage tribes, as he says at the beginning,

0:28:020:28:06

and covering across all stratas of architectural ornamentation.

0:28:060:28:11

Lovely geometric patterns. They're totally different, but still work.

0:28:110:28:16

This is partly Owen Jones' genius. The whole page is wonderful.

0:28:160:28:21

If you look through the hundred plates in this book,

0:28:210:28:25

there's not a bum page anywhere in it. It's quite remarkable.

0:28:250:28:29

Here's a particularly beautiful page.

0:28:290:28:32

This is slightly more home-grown in terms of culture, which is the Celtic.

0:28:320:28:39

These are early examples of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th centuries,

0:28:390:28:45

the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow, the Lindisfarne Gospels,

0:28:450:28:50

the great masterpieces of illumination.

0:28:500:28:53

-You see these templates being used on many fine buildings and works of art.

-Indeed.

0:28:530:29:00

In its own small, modest way, Jones, by placing it together here for our delight and instruction,

0:29:000:29:07

is making a contribution.

0:29:070:29:09

Another of your influences is Dr Christopher Dresser, another great industrial designer,

0:29:090:29:16

and you've got something of Christopher Dresser's here.

0:29:160:29:20

Dresser is the first modern designer in that he hired his designing abilities out to manufacturers

0:29:200:29:27

and his Studies In Design, the book we're looking at, is really his masterpiece.

0:29:270:29:33

His ornamentation is based on a profound knowledge of nature

0:29:330:29:38

and the structure of nature.

0:29:380:29:41

His great predecessor Pugin says the same thing,

0:29:410:29:45

"One must go back to nature and understand the structure of nature

0:29:450:29:50

"before one can do good ornamentation."

0:29:500:29:53

If you read his text in here, he actually talks about ornamentation

0:29:530:29:58

as a major art form and it's not subservient to the fine arts, to painting.

0:29:580:30:04

This is pure Dresser. Notice the use of colour, which is remarkable.

0:30:040:30:09

A lot of Victorians seemed to be masters of using very rich colours

0:30:090:30:14

which remain quite harmonic within the process.

0:30:140:30:18

This is probably the most famous design of the 19th century

0:30:180:30:23

and it's based on ice crystals on a window.

0:30:230:30:27

Looking into this, you realise the 19th century is the great storehouse of advanced thought in design.

0:30:270:30:34

We tend to think of the 19th century in Victoriana

0:30:340:30:39

and high Victorian design is incredibly exciting.

0:30:390:30:43

Dresser worked obviously on metals, on canvas, in fabric. Where would he have used this design?

0:30:430:30:51

This would have been to decorate and, in fact, Dresser tells us.

0:30:510:30:56

-What does it read there?

-Wallpaper!

-Yes.

0:30:560:31:00

The wonderful quality about the Victorians is the high thought

0:31:000:31:05

that goes into the creation, but the modesty of the use of it.

0:31:050:31:09

Graham, thank you very much.

0:31:090:31:12

Back at the valuation day, Kate's getting enthusiastic

0:31:160:31:20

about some artistic decoration on a piece of Moorcroft.

0:31:200:31:26

This is a very smart-looking vase. What do you know about it?

0:31:260:31:31

I think it was a wedding present to my mother and father when they married in 1930

0:31:310:31:37

-and it's been handed down by my mother.

-Do you know the factory?

0:31:370:31:42

Yes, it's come from the Moorcroft factory. It's a Pomegranate design.

0:31:420:31:47

-You know all about it.

-I did a bit of research.

-It's a lovely piece.

0:31:470:31:52

The Pomegranate pattern is a fairly common pattern, but still a very commercial one

0:31:520:31:58

because Moorcroft, as you might have heard,

0:31:580:32:02

has very much gone up in value over the last few years.

0:32:020:32:06

There's been a surge in popularity and it's doing very well at auction

0:32:060:32:11

-and it's still very buoyant in price.

-Oh, good.

0:32:110:32:16

It's semi-baluster in shape with this lovely flared rim, a shape used a lot by the factory.

0:32:160:32:22

And the palette on the dark blue glaze is again very attractive

0:32:220:32:27

and used quite a lot.

0:32:270:32:29

So, the thing that's special about it

0:32:290:32:33

is it is a piece of art pottery and it's got the Moorcroft stamp.

0:32:330:32:38

William Moorcroft, in fact, joined the Staffordshire firm of MacIntyre

0:32:380:32:43

in about 1898 and it was at the beginning of the 20th century

0:32:430:32:48

that he brought these art forms with trailing slip decoration which you can feel here.

0:32:480:32:54

-It feels lovely.

-And these very naturalistic patterns and shapes.

0:32:540:33:00

So what about value?

0:33:000:33:02

Perhaps between £200 and £300 possibly.

0:33:030:33:07

Right. What do you base that on?

0:33:070:33:10

Well, I have to admit that in 1994 I got a valuation

0:33:100:33:15

-from London...

-Right.

-..valuers.

0:33:150:33:19

You're probably bang on with price. I would say 200 to 300 at auction.

0:33:190:33:24

I could see it making midway between there,

0:33:240:33:28

but not much more than 300.

0:33:280:33:31

We could say 250 to 300 if you like with a reserve around the 250 mark,

0:33:310:33:36

but 300 is probably its limit as it's a fairly common pattern.

0:33:360:33:42

Mike, now, books come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

0:33:420:33:47

This is a fairly impressive book. It's big and quite old.

0:33:470:33:51

And you're a bit of an authority on this.

0:33:510:33:55

I don't know about that, but it's a wonderful book.

0:33:550:34:00

It's a one-off, it's a first edition.

0:34:000:34:03

It's Smeaton's original book that he wrote

0:34:030:34:07

about building the Eddystone Lighthouse in Plymouth.

0:34:070:34:11

-Smeaton was the architect, the engineer and the builder?

-He was.

0:34:110:34:16

-Where's the Eddystone Lighthouse?

-12 miles off the port of Plymouth.

0:34:160:34:21

And it's the first rock lighthouse in Europe.

0:34:210:34:27

He built the lighthouse in stone,

0:34:270:34:29

a revolutionary design which became the blueprint of all lighthouses.

0:34:290:34:34

On the outside it doesn't tell us anything,

0:34:340:34:38

except these names and it says, "Smeaton's Account of Eddystone Lighthouse." What are these names?

0:34:380:34:45

This edition was owned by Darwin's father, so it was the library of Darwin.

0:34:450:34:51

Certain gentlemen were allowed to use it and these are their names.

0:34:510:34:56

How do you know this was Darwin's copy?

0:34:560:35:00

-My friend gave me the book, Robert Lenkiewicz.

-That rings a bell.

-He was a painter in Plymouth.

0:35:000:35:06

And because he knew I was researching my own book,

0:35:060:35:12

he bought this for me and he told me he knew it was Darwin's father's.

0:35:120:35:17

It's magnificent. Why are you thinking of selling it?

0:35:170:35:22

It's basically too good for me. It needs to have a proper home.

0:35:220:35:26

I've enjoyed it, but, as Robert would say, we only loan things. We don't keep them for ever.

0:35:260:35:33

If I can sell this, I'd like to buy a painting of Robert's.

0:35:330:35:38

I'm gonna let you do the turning of the pages. How old is this book?

0:35:380:35:44

-1791.

-And look at that fantastic image there!

0:35:440:35:48

Wonderful.

0:35:480:35:50

The Eddystone Lighthouse was rebuilt on several occasions.

0:35:500:35:55

-Yes, it was.

-How many times?

-Four times.

0:35:550:35:59

We had Henry Winstanley, John Rudyerd, John Smeaton and James Douglass.

0:35:590:36:05

The James Douglass is still out there.

0:36:050:36:08

-Smeaton's tower is on the Plymouth Hoe.

-We can see it today?

-Yes.

0:36:080:36:13

And that's the outside of Smeaton's tower.

0:36:130:36:17

And this is the interior.

0:36:170:36:19

This shows a cross-section of the lighthouse and the compartments?

0:36:190:36:25

Yeah, they were the living quarters, the rooms where the provisions were kept

0:36:250:36:31

and where the keepers lived.

0:36:310:36:33

They were out on a rock for six months and that's where they stayed.

0:36:330:36:39

I've done a bit of research myself

0:36:390:36:41

and I can tell you that a second edition of this book was sold not that long ago

0:36:410:36:48

for just under £900.

0:36:480:36:51

This is a first edition

0:36:510:36:54

and my feeling is that it ought to be worth perhaps £1,500.

0:36:540:36:59

Would you like to put it into auction with a £1,500 reserve?

0:36:590:37:05

As long as it wasn't less than 1,500.

0:37:050:37:08

Firm reserve £1,500, estimate 1,500 to 1,800.

0:37:080:37:12

-OK.

-Let's see what washes in.

-Absolutely.

0:37:120:37:16

-What have you brought for us today?

-I've brought this little box.

0:37:190:37:24

It's a clinometer with all the instructions.

0:37:240:37:28

I'm glad it's got the instructions and its original box

0:37:280:37:32

because when it comes to scientific instruments, my brain isn't very scientific,

0:37:320:37:38

but I have seen one of these before and it is a clinometer. What is it used for?

0:37:380:37:44

I imagine it's used for gauging heights and levels.

0:37:440:37:48

That's exactly right, yes.

0:37:480:37:51

And I think we can see in the instructions which are original that we have inside...

0:37:510:37:57

"The clinometer - its description and uses.

0:37:570:38:01

"A clinometer is an instrument for observing the heights and widths

0:38:010:38:06

"of objects at a known distance from the observer."

0:38:060:38:10

It looks rather like a surveyor's tool.

0:38:100:38:13

And in fact, this section opens up to an angle

0:38:130:38:18

and then we have sights on the top here which flip open.

0:38:180:38:23

In fact, you can measure the angle off the little dial here.

0:38:230:38:27

That helps you calculate the height.

0:38:270:38:31

We have a spirit level to make sure you're keeping it level,

0:38:310:38:35

but we also have a little compass which swivels, so you can keep it horizontal.

0:38:350:38:41

-It's very neat, isn't it?

-Very well made.

0:38:410:38:45

-What's it made of?

-Not oak, is it?

-No.

0:38:450:38:49

It's boxwood which was used a lot in rules

0:38:490:38:53

and little instruments, little pocket tools,

0:38:530:38:56

but the thing that really caught my eye was the maker's name in the centre of the compass.

0:38:560:39:03

"Negretti and Zambra, London."

0:39:030:39:06

Negretti and Zambra were specialists in making barometers.

0:39:060:39:12

If you see their name on an antique barometer,

0:39:120:39:15

it pushes the price up because it is a sign of very good quality.

0:39:150:39:21

That's what we've got here. The workmanship is quite superb.

0:39:210:39:26

-It really is, yeah.

-So where did it come from?

0:39:260:39:30

-My grandfather had it.

-Did he use it?

0:39:300:39:33

-What business was he in?

-The china clay industry,

0:39:330:39:37

-but whether he used it, I don't know.

-It looks like it hasn't been used at all.

0:39:370:39:42

I have seen little clinometers sell at auction without their boxes

0:39:420:39:49

for round about the £50 to £70 mark,

0:39:490:39:52

but because this one has the box and the instructions,

0:39:520:39:57

it's in such lovely condition and it has that important name,

0:39:570:40:01

I'd say 100 to 150 at auction with a reserve of just below 100.

0:40:010:40:06

-Right, fine.

-Will that be OK?

-Yeah.

0:40:060:40:10

It's a treat to see it today and I hope we get you a good price.

0:40:100:40:14

I hope you will too!

0:40:140:40:17

Gina, Steve, you've brought in a pretty little gem of a vase.

0:40:220:40:28

I think it's gorgeous. What do you know about it?

0:40:280:40:32

We bought it ten years ago from a car boot sale in Leeds for 20p.

0:40:320:40:38

-20p?

-20p.

0:40:380:40:40

-Which one of you has got the eye?

-I bought it because it was pretty.

0:40:400:40:45

-We didn't know if it was worth anything.

-It was my 20p!

-Your 20p?

0:40:450:40:50

-So do you own it?

-No, it's a present.

0:40:500:40:54

What have you found out about it?

0:40:540:40:56

We recently moved house and I was given an antiques book.

0:40:560:41:00

I saw a picture that was similar.

0:41:000:41:03

-What was similar about it?

-It was the identical shape and size.

0:41:030:41:08

It said it might belong to the Tiffany family.

0:41:080:41:11

-We weren't sure.

-Well, you're absolutely right.

0:41:110:41:16

The person who really made this style of work famous was Tiffany.

0:41:160:41:21

And he was subsequently copied by Loetz and a number of other makers.

0:41:210:41:27

When you look at this vase, do you know when they were made?

0:41:270:41:32

-1920s, 1930s?

-Yeah, absolutely right, early 20th century.

0:41:320:41:37

You can tell this from the Art Nouveau styling you've got here.

0:41:370:41:41

Now, if we just turn it around,

0:41:410:41:44

you can see this iridescence on the surface.

0:41:440:41:49

And this iridescence is the hallmark, if you like,

0:41:500:41:55

of these pieces of art glass.

0:41:550:41:58

And when we turn it up, as you have to, to look on the base,

0:41:580:42:04

-what does it say on the base?

-Aurene.

-Aurene.

0:42:040:42:08

I have not come across this particular name on the base of a piece of glass like this.

0:42:080:42:14

Now, the word "aur", A-U-R, possibly for "gold".

0:42:140:42:20

You know, the gold colours.

0:42:200:42:23

From what I can see at the moment, I think it's just a very nice vase

0:42:230:42:28

made in the 1920s period, maybe the 1930s period, in the Tiffany style.

0:42:280:42:34

If that's the case, it's probably worth £200 to £250.

0:42:340:42:39

-It's worth giving a go for that.

-Yeah.

-I wouldn't sell it for less.

0:42:390:42:44

-I think 20p up to £200 isn't bad, is it?

-Not bad.

0:42:440:42:48

If we felt it was definitely Tiffany, and I don't think it is,

0:42:480:42:53

then its value could be £300 or £400.

0:42:530:42:58

We've already seen Graham Ovenden's original take on house design,

0:43:020:43:07

but his main occupation is as an artist

0:43:070:43:10

and he's got his own original take on landscape painting too.

0:43:100:43:15

In 1975, a group of young artists formed the Brotherhood of Ruralists

0:43:150:43:20

and were following in the footsteps of the Pre-Raphaelites,

0:43:200:43:25

pursuing a romantic dream to find inspiration from an unspoilt time.

0:43:250:43:30

The original group was Peter Blake, Jann Haworth and David Inshaw,

0:43:300:43:35

Graham and Ann Arnold and Graham and Annie Ovenden.

0:43:350:43:39

They decided to escape the rat race and live in deepest rural England

0:43:390:43:44

where they could draw all their inspiration from the world that surrounded them.

0:43:440:43:50

Graham, how important is it to your work to be surrounded by such rural beauty?

0:43:520:43:59

Well, obviously, rather paramount

0:43:590:44:02

because as a painter of nature and landscape,

0:44:020:44:08

and I hope in the great English pastoral tradition,

0:44:080:44:12

the environment is pretty seminal.

0:44:120:44:15

The British Isles has some of the most varied and most beautiful landscape in the world.

0:44:150:44:22

If you think from the earliest English poetry to the great Gothic cathedrals right on until Constable,

0:44:220:44:29

nature has meant an immense amount to us.

0:44:290:44:33

Graham, can I interrupt you there?

0:44:570:44:59

-Yeah.

-You spent time in the city and started out taking photographs of the streets of London.

0:44:590:45:06

How did you make that quantum leap to painting landscapes and when?

0:45:060:45:11

I must have been aged about 12 when I started my tracking to London

0:45:110:45:16

to take the East End photographs,

0:45:160:45:19

by which time I was a serious painter as well.

0:45:190:45:23

If you actually think of it, the actual light and the romance

0:45:260:45:31

of those great long parallels of terraced streets is not so dissimilar to the country.

0:45:310:45:37

You still deal with light and shade and the mystery of dark corners.

0:45:370:45:42

You've got a lot more imagination than I have!

0:45:420:45:45

I can see your skills in photography show in your perspective

0:45:450:45:51

and in your proportion.

0:45:510:45:54

On both sides of the coin there,

0:45:540:45:56

the techniques and structure of painting and of photography are not dissimilar.

0:45:560:46:03

One must have an understanding of light

0:46:030:46:06

and the very nature of photography is the use of light.

0:46:060:46:11

Exactly. Talk me through some of your technique.

0:46:110:46:15

It looks so air-brushed, if you don't mind me saying!

0:46:150:46:18

I've never used an air brush ever!

0:46:180:46:21

If you look at areas like this, paint's been put on with my hands

0:46:210:46:26

and I suppose I use a very traditional process of using semi-transparent glazes.

0:46:260:46:32

-To create more depth?

-Yes.

0:46:320:46:35

-Say I painted in here the yellows and the greens...

-On the leaves.

0:46:350:46:40

This will have another transparent colour glazed over it,

0:46:400:46:45

so it unifies and gives harmony,

0:46:450:46:47

then will be built up and drawn into again,

0:46:470:46:51

the result being you can build up levels of luminosity and that's the crucial part for me.

0:46:510:46:58

It's following the structure of nature which is layer upon layer upon layer.

0:47:010:47:07

It sounds very labour-intense. How long will this painting take?

0:47:070:47:11

Well, you can't be absolutely specific,

0:47:110:47:15

but I would seldom paint a landscape painting inside six to eight months.

0:47:150:47:21

And quite often on the larger paintings, I'll work on them for three or four years.

0:47:210:47:27

-But I often paint six or seven paintings together.

-At a time.

-Yes.

0:47:270:47:32

Otherwise I really would be in the gutters with my begging bowl.

0:47:320:47:37

I'm a professional painter and that's how I earn my keep, you see.

0:47:370:47:42

One can't be sentimental about it. One has to work to live.

0:47:420:47:48

How important was it for you to be part of the Brotherhood of Ruralists,

0:47:580:48:04

as opposed to going it alone?

0:48:040:48:07

The support of one's comrades obviously means a very great deal

0:48:070:48:12

and it has to all artists, whatever their discipline, since the beginning of time.

0:48:120:48:18

To have that sort of moral support is obviously a huge bonus.

0:48:180:48:23

And remember, perhaps being at the sharp end of art, it's not the easiest world to exist in.

0:48:230:48:29

-People are terribly unkind, particularly the people who write about art.

-Yeah, your critics.

0:48:290:48:36

I think they have an in-built envy, in fact, and covetousness

0:48:360:48:41

to those of us who can physically do, rather than just talk about it.

0:48:410:48:46

I write books as well, so I do a bit of both.

0:48:460:48:50

Well, that's certainly given me lots of inspiration in keeping my dreams alive.

0:48:580:49:04

Thanks a lot to Graham for that.

0:49:040:49:06

From the embrace of nature, over to the hustle and bustle of the saleroom.

0:49:060:49:12

Here's a reminder of our items.

0:49:120:49:15

Moorcroft usually sells well

0:49:150:49:17

and Kate thinks Martin's vase will tempt the dealers.

0:49:170:49:22

The lighthouse book is a piece of history,

0:49:220:49:25

but will it attract the bidders?

0:49:250:49:28

Len's clinometer should definitely be helped by its famous name.

0:49:280:49:34

And last, but not least, it's Gina and Steve's tiny vase.

0:49:340:49:39

But is it or isn't it Tiffany?

0:49:390:49:41

Now it's the magic of Moorcroft.

0:49:430:49:45

We're always saying invest in antiques with good makers' names.

0:49:450:49:50

This lot belongs to Martin. It's a lovely Moorcroft vase.

0:49:500:49:54

Kate's put £200 to £300 on this. Why do you want to flog it?

0:49:540:49:59

The computer at home did a nasty crash, so I need to replace it.

0:49:590:50:04

-You need a new hard drive.

-Afraid so.

-I'd keep the Moorcroft.

-Yeah, I think I would.

0:50:040:50:10

In this saleroom we've got a lot of late Moorcroft,

0:50:100:50:14

so this early example will shine and collectors will go for that.

0:50:140:50:19

-I hope so.

-We've got a packed saleroom. It's going under the hammer now. Good luck.

-Thanks.

0:50:190:50:26

Lot 106 there, a Moorcroft vase,

0:50:260:50:29

decorated pomegranates on deep blue ground.

0:50:290:50:32

Can I say 250 away? £200 away? 150 I'm bid.

0:50:320:50:36

160. 170. 180. 190.

0:50:360:50:39

200. At £200. 210. 220.

0:50:390:50:41

-230. 240.

-They like it.

-250. 260. 270.

0:50:410:50:45

270 there. 280 behind. 290. 300? 300.

0:50:450:50:50

My wife will be pleased. Over 300 now!

0:50:500:50:53

320 at the front here. 340. 340 in the third row.

0:50:530:50:57

-At 340...

-What a great result!

0:50:570:51:00

Selling at £340...

0:51:000:51:03

-£340!

-Fantastic.

-A bit of change for you to treat the wife with.

0:51:030:51:08

-Yeah, thank you very much.

-Thank you. Good result, Kate.

-Yeah, a fair price.

0:51:080:51:14

For me, this is the big one. I went up Smeaton Tower two years ago.

0:51:190:51:24

This is a book relating to the experiences of building it and it belongs to Mike here

0:51:240:51:31

who's looking for £1,500 to £1,800.

0:51:310:51:33

It has a lot of content and history and the condition is fantastic.

0:51:330:51:38

-Beautiful book.

-Jethro was enthralled when you saw that.

0:51:380:51:43

-It's a wonderful piece of history.

-We're in the right place, we're not far from Plymouth.

0:51:430:51:49

Let's let the bidders of Lostwithiel decide for us.

0:51:490:51:53

-Hopefully, there's a few phone bids from London and the big collectors.

-Let's hope so.

-Good luck.

0:51:530:51:59

Lot 741 is a narrative of the building

0:51:590:52:03

of the Eddystone Lighthouse.

0:52:030:52:06

Can I say £1,500? Can I say £1,000 to start?

0:52:060:52:10

-£1,000 I've got. At £1,000.

-We're in.

0:52:100:52:14

I'll take 1,100 to get on. At £1,000.

0:52:140:52:17

At 1,000.

0:52:170:52:19

1,100. 1,200. At £1,200.

0:52:190:52:22

At £1,200. 13 now? At £1,200.

0:52:220:52:26

13, no? We're done at £1,200.

0:52:260:52:28

-BANGS GAVEL

-That struggled.

0:52:280:52:32

-Not the right day for that.

-No.

-That's all I can say.

-Never mind.

0:52:320:52:37

Get it in an auction room in Plymouth or a specialist maritime sale somewhere in London.

0:52:370:52:43

-It's a beautiful book.

-Stunning.

0:52:430:52:46

We have Len and his clinometer coming up now

0:52:490:52:53

and one of my researchers said it measures the angle of the dangle!

0:52:530:52:58

-How did you come by this?

-My grandfather passed it to my father who passed it to me.

0:52:580:53:04

It's been in the family and no-one's got any use for it,

0:53:040:53:08

so I might as well try and sell it.

0:53:080:53:11

You've got the memories, now you want to flog it. Let's see if we can get £150, Kate.

0:53:110:53:17

Well, it's a really finely crafted tool.

0:53:170:53:21

It's gilt-lacquered, finely engraved.

0:53:210:53:24

You've heard it from Kate. Let's try and flog it.

0:53:240:53:28

The rule, compass and two levels, all in a nice case, lot 458.

0:53:280:53:33

Can I say £80 away? £50 away?

0:53:330:53:35

£50 I'm bid. I'll take 5 to get on. At £50 I'm bid. 55.

0:53:350:53:40

At 60. And 5. 70.

0:53:400:53:42

5. 80. 5.

0:53:420:53:45

At £85 at the front. At 90. And 5. 100.

0:53:450:53:50

110. 120. 130. 140.

0:53:500:53:52

150. 160. 170. 180.

0:53:520:53:56

190. 190 on the cabinet.

0:53:560:53:59

At 190. At 190. 200 or not?

0:53:590:54:01

We're all done at £190...

0:54:010:54:04

-That's the figures we wanted. Well done, Len.

-That's made my day!

0:54:040:54:09

What are you gonna put £190 towards?

0:54:090:54:12

-Pay my parking fee out in the street, I think!

-Oh, no!

0:54:120:54:16

There's not a lot of parking here.

0:54:170:54:20

Right now we'll hopefully turn 20p into £250. That's the theory on Flog It for Gina and Steve.

0:54:250:54:32

You've got a lovely Tiffany-style vase in glass

0:54:320:54:36

you bought for 20p in a car boot in Leeds. What were you doing there?

0:54:360:54:41

We lived there and we went to the car boot on the Sunday for a look round and Gina saw this.

0:54:410:54:47

-So you zoomed in on that?

-Yeah.

0:54:470:54:50

-I just thought it was very pretty.

-What a bargain!

0:54:500:54:54

Will we do it, Jethro? You've put a valuation of £200 to £250 on this.

0:54:540:54:59

I didn't know anything about that name "Aurene" underneath.

0:54:590:55:04

-Have you ever heard of it?

-No.

-The Steuben glass works in America

0:55:040:55:09

invented this particular technique in the early part of the 20th century, around 1910.

0:55:090:55:16

Tiffany copied this style, but the value I think is about right,

0:55:160:55:21

-so 200-ish is what we're aiming for.

-Sounds good to me.

0:55:210:55:25

It's going under the hammer now.

0:55:250:55:28

It's a Tiffany-style glass vase with decoration on an iridescent base.

0:55:280:55:33

Can I say £200? 150 away?

0:55:330:55:35

150? £100 I've got. I'll take 110.

0:55:350:55:39

At 110. 120. 130.

0:55:390:55:41

140. 150? 150.

0:55:410:55:43

160. 170. 180. 190.

0:55:430:55:47

190 to my left. Is it 200? 200.

0:55:470:55:50

-At £200. 210 now? 210.

-One more bid, come on!

0:55:500:55:54

-220. 230.

-Oh, yes.

-It's a nice feeling.

0:55:540:55:57

240. 250? 250. 260...?

0:55:570:56:01

-Gosh!

-Normally at this point Jethro does a little dance.

-Not yet!

0:56:010:56:08

280 on the phone. 290 on the second phone? 290.

0:56:080:56:12

290. 300...? 300.

0:56:120:56:15

Is it 20? 320. 340, is it?

0:56:150:56:17

340. 360?

0:56:170:56:20

360. 380?

0:56:200:56:22

380. Is it 400?

0:56:220:56:25

-400. Is it 20?

-Hey!

0:56:260:56:29

420. Is it 440?

0:56:290:56:31

440. Is it 460...?

0:56:310:56:35

460. Is it 480?

0:56:350:56:37

480. Is it 500?

0:56:370:56:40

-500!

-500.

0:56:400:56:43

< 520. 540? I can't believe it.

0:56:440:56:47

540. 560...?

0:56:470:56:50

560. Is it 580? 580 I'm bid.

0:56:500:56:53

600 now?

0:56:530:56:55

600. 620?

0:56:550:56:58

-Whatever you do, do not adjust your sets!

-We haven't stopped yet.

0:56:580:57:03

650. 680...? 680.

0:57:030:57:06

700...? 700.

0:57:060:57:08

720...? 720.

0:57:080:57:11

750?

0:57:110:57:13

750. 780?

0:57:130:57:16

750, we're done then. At 750. 780 seated.

0:57:180:57:23

800?

0:57:230:57:25

800. 820 now? Yes, 820. 850?

0:57:260:57:30

820 in the room then. At 820 seated there. £820!

0:57:300:57:35

-The hammer went down, £820!

-Oh, my goodness!

0:57:350:57:40

OK, Gina, Steve, you didn't think you would get that amount of money.

0:57:400:57:45

-Not by a long way.

-250, I thought.

0:57:450:57:48

Keep doing those car boot sales, especially those ones in Leeds.

0:57:480:57:53

-It went for an awful lot of money.

-People picked up on the Aurene word on the base of the glass.

0:57:530:58:00

-And two collectors went for it.

-A lovely Flog It moment!

-Thank you.

0:58:000:58:05

What a cracking auction we had in Lostwithiel and we've been embraced with wonderful Cornish hospitality!

0:58:100:58:17

It was really pleasing to see Ken get £1,000 for his silver bowl

0:58:170:58:22

and Joy was over the moon with £720 for her watch.

0:58:220:58:26

Time's up. See you next time on Flog It!

0:58:260:58:30

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2006

0:58:510:58:55

Email us at [email protected]

0:58:550:58:58