Paul Martin visits Telford for more attic clearance surprises. Experts Philip Serrell and Adam Partridge give their valuation and everything goes under the hammer at a local sale.
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-Coming up on today's show... We'll take that.
I can feel the energy!
All that's to come on Flog It!!
And today's Flog It! is in Telford, named after the famous engineer
Thomas Telford, one of the principal architects of the Industrial Revolution.
It's famous for the world's first iron bridge, which was built across
the River Severn in 1779 by local metal master Abraham Darby III.
However, Telford is a new town, forged over 25 years ago
by joining up existing towns and villages in the area.
And it attracted a lot of high-tech Japanese and Taiwanese firms.
It's got a population of over 125,000 people, some of whom
have come to our valuation day at the Telford International Centre to show us their antiques.
Slick, hi-tech and sophisticated - that's our two experts today,
Philip Serrell and Adam Partridge, who are keen to test the mettle of our owners' antiques.
And both of them are hoping to pick an item that will turn a white heat in the auction room.
Well, we've got our owners into the warm, and Adam's really found a hot little number.
-This is one of my particularly favourite subjects, Michelle.
Very beautiful art-deco dancing lady.
What can you tell me about her?
It was my mother's, and it's been in my dad's house, and we said we
were coming down today, so he said "Bring it along"
We think it's in the style of Joseph Lorenzl,
an Austrian sculptor.
-And that's about it.
It's nice to see you've done a bit of research.
You're quite right - Lorenzl was a prolific sculptor
of this sort of subject, these glamorous, art-deco ladies.
She's got this short skirt and quite a skimpy top,
and a very glamorous cape in the form of some wings.
Whichever way you look at her,
Of course she's a table lighter. This bit comes out here.
And that would cause a spark, which would ignite a wick.
And there we have a lighter. She's on a marble plinth,
which, sadly, has been damaged at some point.
It's been quite neatly glued together.
That will affect the value a bit.
Lorenzl signed pieces - Lorenzl -
and they were in bronze.
This is a gilded spelter figure, which is a cheaper alloy than bronze.
So she's not really of massive value,
but she's really evocative of the deco period. She's total 1930s -
a period that's in vogue at the moment.
So she should sell very well in the auction room.
What I mean by very well is probably between £100 and £180.
Because she's a spelter one.
Bronze Lorenzl figures are from £500 to £2,000,
depending on size and condition.
-So is that all right by you?
-That is, yes.
Although it's from my dad's house, he's got plenty of other clutter.
As much as I like her, she's not really something I'd have my own home.
Not your style, maybe?
I do like the Art Deco/Art Nouveau period, but not something that I would have personally.
-Interesting. How are you doing?
-I'm fine, thank you.
You've brought along a pair of earrings.
-What can you tell me about these?
-Not a lot really.
I just had them left to me. I don't wear them.
So it's a shame - they're just stuck in the drawer.
I think that's a real crying shame.
This green stone that's at the bottom is what we call a peridot.
It's in a teardrop shape.
We've got these little seed pearls set.
Let's see if we can find any mark that tells us whether they're gold or not.
And there we are - nine-carat gold.
So we've got a pair of nine-carat gold peridot and seed pearl earrings.
I would think they're probably Edwardian.
I think they're really sweet. Why don't you like them?
-I've never worn them.
-Never worn them?
-Just not your thing?
I think their auction value isn't gonna be great.
I would think you're looking at probably £60 to £90.
We'll put a fixed reserve of £50.
I think that represents super value for money for someone who'd buy them.
I believe that those in the shop might be £200 to £300.
I'm hopeful that they'll sell well.
And you don't want them, so if they make £80,
will you go and buy something else that you do like with the £80?
-You're gonna buy something?
I like platinum, so I'll probably put it towards that.
-That sounds expensive to me.
Well, good luck to you.
Malcolm, thank you very much for bringing in this architectural gem.
It's a gorgeous internal post box.
How did you come by this?
It's my mother-in-law's. She remembers it being in her house as a little girl.
When her mother died it was passed on to her.
It's been left inside one of the spare bedrooms ever since.
-That's the only history you know about it?
My wife remembers playing with it when she was a little girl as well.
Just putting little notes in and opening the door.
Well, this is Edwardian.
It's early 1900s.
This would belong in a country house hotel, and would be used for
a lot of internal mail - all the guests that would be staying there for the shoot, say,
or the fishing meeting, would send each other notes.
This would be left on the counter at reception, and the receptionist
would sort the mail out for the guests.
It's made of solid oak.
And it's craftsman-built. And he's selected the timbers to make this, because he's cut across the grain
to create this wonderful decorative finish.
And that's a medullary ray,
which is a fissure which feeds the wood to make it grow.
It feeds those annual rings.
If you cut across the trunk, this is where you see all those fissures running through.
Yeah, I understand that now.
And that makes this side look a lot more pleasing.
Otherwise it would look quite boring.
Likewise, I've noticed this side has faded a lot.
It's been in the sun somewhere.
But a little bit of polish would bring that up.
It will bring the golden hue back out. In needs TLC.
If I lick my finger, watch, you can see the colour, the hue, glow from this. Look.
-Yes I do.
-It's in original condition.
It's got an eight-sided door knocker made of brass, typical of the era.
The original key, which would have been removed.
and original hinges.
And I love the fact that the craftsman who made this, the cabinet maker,
has put the two panes of glass in, but he's actually bedded them in with little cot-beadings,
which is how you should bed in glass in a door.
Everything is perfect about this.
I would say this is about 1910, 1920.
Why do you want to flog this?
Well, it's just been sitting in the bedroom and doing nothing, really.
My mother-in-law said to take that along.
Has Mother-in-law or you any idea what this is worth?
No. My mother-in-law hasn't.
I thought she may be lucky to get £40, something like that.
40, 50 quid?
-Something like that.
-60 tops? Well, I think if we put this into auction,
if two people fall in love with this it's gonna sell for £800.
You've shocked me there!
I'd like to put this into auction with an estimation of £600-800.
-And we're gonna put a fixed reserve of £600 on it,
so you mustn't sell it for any less than £600.
Fine. We'll go by what you say.
-That taken you by surprise!
You've shocked me completely.
When I looked at it I thought, "It's a piece of wood".
I didn't really register that it could be quite that valuable, to be honest.
Fingers crossed then.
In the meantime, what's Philip got his eye on?
"Fear God and honour the Queen and do good to all men.
"Elizabeth Lewis worked this in the year of Our Lord 1838."
-Who's Elizabeth Lewis?
-I haven't got a clue.
My mum says it's something to do with her grandmother -
it's my mum's side of the family, but we're not Lewises.
-So you've no idea who this belongs to?
-No, it doesn't mean anything.
But it's a family piece?
-It's been passed down, but nobody's very sentimental.
-You've brought it here to sell?
A tip for everyone at home, if you do have things like this in your family, write as much
information as you can about who the person was, when they lived, what they did, who their relationship was,
and record it all on a bit of paper. We're gonna have a history lesson.
-Can you remember history at school?
-When it refers to
"honour the Queen," which Queen was that?
-Victoria! Of course!
And it says here that this was her work in the year 1838.
When did Victoria come to the throne?
-Well done! So this is quite interesting,
cos I don't know how long this would have taken, but Elizabeth Lewis
-did this in the first 12 months of Queen Victoria's reign.
-I think that's interesting. It's not been loved at all, has it?
-Its condition isn't great.
You just want it sold?
We want it sold. It was ready for the skip.
-You just want it gone? Sold?
We will stick what we call a "come and buy me" estimate on it,
which is £20 to £40.
You could have a bit of luck. It might make two or three times that.
-That's what we'll do.
Poor old Lizzie! What on earth are we doing to her?
Next up is Danielle, with two Arts and Crafts-style napkin rings.
I brought these napkin rings, cos I don't know anything about them.
And they're made of?
-That's right. Where did you get them from?
They belonged to my granddad, and he told me to bring them today.
Did he tell you anything about them?
No, he doesn't know anything about them at all.
Well, they date from what we call the Arts and Crafts period, which is at the beginning of the 20th century.
They are made from copper, and most of the time
you're not gonna get very excited about a copper serviette ring.
But these are hand-made, they're hand-riveted at the end, and they've each got this little monogram on.
The monogram is not one that any of us recognise, but there's a lot of Arts and Crafts metalworkers.
There was the Newlyn School... These may well be from the Lake District,
where there is the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Hand decorated,
and these are ceramic, or pottery, plaques in there. They look a bit like precious stones, don't they?
That's the intention, but they're made from pottery.
We call these insets cabochon.
These may well be Ruskin Pottery - they often are.
We'd probably say, "Two Arts and Crafts napkin rings
"with Ruskin-type pottery cabochon".
So how much do you think they're worth?
Not an awful lot, but if they weren't so stylish they wouldn't be worth anything, really.
I'd say, at auction, estimate at the moment would be £40 to £60 for the pair.
-Are you gonna put them in the auction?
And who's gonna get the money?
My mum, probably.
-The auction is on a Saturday, so you'll be able to come.
I look forward to it. I'll be there as well. Thanks for coming in.
So, time to take our first batch of antiques off to auction in Stourbridge.
Will our owners' items impress the bidders of the West Midlands?
Well, here's our cast.
Michelle doesn't like her mum's stylish dancing lady,
but Adam thinks she should strike up a reasonable price at auction.
These earrings have come out of a dark drawer
to see a sparkling £60 to £90 estimate from Philip.
This sampler nearly went in a skip!
Luckily Flog It! came to town,
and Philip gave Patricia a bit of history and his estimate.
Danielle brought along her granddad's copper napkin rings - hand-made but unsigned.
Adam says they're worth £40 to £60.
My favourite was this Edwardian post-box, belonging to Malcolm's mother-in-law.
With original detailing I hope I haven't gone too far with my estimate of £600-£800.
Home for our auction today is Fieldings, right here in Stourbridge.
We have two auctioneers on the rostrum today - Will Farmer,
who specialises in pottery, porcelain and glass,
and Nick Davies, who specialises in basically everything else.
Their most famous sale here was a painting by Birmingham-born artist Walter Langley,
which sold for a staggering £22,000 - not bad for something with an estimate of £6,000.
I know we're not gonna see anything like that here today, but have any of our owners' items caused a stir?
Let's go and find out.
A classy little lot here, Nick. Earrings, nine-carat gold, seed pearl, belonging to Christine.
She's flogging them because she prefers platinum.
She wants £60 to £90 - that's what Philip, our expert, put on them.
What do they mean by seed pearl?
Seed pearls are river pearl - another name for a river pearl.
Not cultured, they'd be plucked out of a river and popped into the metal mounts.
-Are they always smaller?
-Very small, often split in half as well, so they lie flush to the metal.
These will have been made in Birmingham, about 1900, 1910,
there were literally millions of items coming out of Birmingham in the jewellery quarter. They're lovely.
I would have thought something like that, I don't anything about jewellery,
would be slightly more expensive. I would have put £100 to £150 on.
I understand what you're saying. At auction...
People are often slightly timid of buying jewellery at auction.
But these, at the guide price given, they should sell.
Well, it's time to take the gavel to the rostrum and see if any of our estimates are bang on.
Let's see if this lights up the sale room.
It's Michelle's dancing lady in the Art-Deco style.
We've got a valuation of £100 to £180.
Why are you flogging this?
Well, it was in my dad's house, and when Flog It! was on in Telford he suggested taking it down.
It was my mum's. In effect, it's going to pass on to me.
-Are you happy with the valuation?
-Adam's spot-on on this one.
Well, this is his field, you see.
You mean glamorous girls?
-Yeah, with long legs. This should do the business then?
-I think so.
It's quite nice with those back wings that hang down.
I'd like to think we'd get the top end of £150-ish - maybe a bit more.
-That would be good.
We're gonna find out right now. This is it.
870, the Art-Deco table-lighter.
We have to start here at £120, I believe. £120 I'm bid.
Do I see 125 in the room? £120 on a commission. 125. 130.
135. 140. 145. 150. 155. 160. 165.
Says no. 160 on a commission. 165 anywhere else?
165. 170. 175.
190. 185. 190 anywhere else? At £185 for the table-lighter.
All done at £185. Are we all finished this time?
£185. That's pretty good. Now, what are you putting that towards?
My daughter's trip to Italy next year.
-Wonderful. A school trip?
-Yes it is.
-Good price, Paul. You know I'm gonna say it...
I know you're gonna say - "Everything you touch...
"..turns to sold." That's it.
We have those lovely nine-carat gold pearl seed earrings going under
the hammer right now, which Christine has brought in.
We had a chat to the auctioneer - Philip doesn't know this.
You put in an original valuation of 60-90.
It could have been an 80-120, cos we think that's what they're gonna do.
Hopefully they might do the top end.
By the time somebody's paid commission, they'll reach £140.
And I know you're putting the money towards platinum earrings.
-She's never won the gold ones! Never ever!
Obviously allergic to gold.
You'll never guess what Christine used to do for a living. Tell them, go on.
I used to drive a coach part-time.
-And you were the second woman in the country to be able to drive a coach?
-Quite an accolade.
I'll be doing that if I get my valuation wrong!
Well, it's going under the hammer right now.
A cased pair of nine-carat peridot and seed pearl drop earrings,
these are the ones with the floral stems, they're lovely little things.
Bids and interest, you're gonna have to start me at £80.
80. 85 anywhere in the room? 85. And 90? And five? 100.
95 there. 100 anywhere else in the room?
At 95 for the earrings, and 95 and selling at 100 anywhere else?
All done at £95.
Still got a job.
Yeah. You don't have to drive those big coaches. Happy with that?
-Yeah? How much are the platinum earrings gonna cost?
-Have you got your eye on some already?
-I have, yes.
Happy shopping, anyway. Something towards them.
Cracking little lot, this, the Arts and Crafts napkin rings.
I love them, and they belong to Danielle.
Now, Mum's really, aren't they?
-So Mum's gonna get the money.
-Do you like them?
-Can't bear them?
If I was you I'd be keeping these.
I'd talk Mum into letting you have them.
But it's too late now, because they're gonna go under the hammer.
-And I know Adam particularly them.
They're pure Arts and Crafts, hand-made, hand-riveted, hand-decorated.
Yeah, they're nice.
Nice little things. And we have to start at £50, I believe.
£50 takes the under-bidders out. Do I see 52 in the room? I'll go.
£50 made and bid on a commission. Do I see 52 anywhere in the room?
£50 made and bid on a commission.
Don't be shy.
All done and finished at 50. All done?
Spot on. Spot on, Adam.
Right in between the estimate.
-£50. Happy with that, aren't you?
Mum's gonna be delighted as well. Thank you very much for coming in.
Right, now on Flog It! it's time for us to weave our magic, because we have Patricia
and that lovely framed tapestry, which is all about your family.
And it's being flogged for 20 to £40.
-Otherwise it was going on a skip.
-There's a lot of sentimentality here.
-No, not attached.
-Just not attached.
-It doesn't do anything for you.
-There's no danger there and you can go and spend whatever
-you want to spend and you'll get more enjoyment out of it.
Lot 70 is the Victorian framed and glazed wallwork sampler.
Elizabeth Lewis, 1838.
Bids and interest enough to start me at £80.
£80 takes the under-bidders out.
Do I see 85 in the room?
£80. 85. And 90. And five.
95, madam. 95. 100?
95 there, standing.
-100 anywhere else?
-These are now worth a lot of money.
100 at the back. 105?
110. 115. 120. 125?
120, right in the distance. We'll finish at 120. All done.
-What are you going to do with that?
-Give it my mum.
-Because it was my mum's family.
-She's a big part of the family.
A proper family day out. Flog something from the family.
-What a good result.
-Yeah, really, really pleased.
Obviously, someone values your family more than you do.
-Well done, you.
-That's such a shock,
-such a shock.
-Tell your mum to enjoy the money.
-I will. Thank you.
And talking of enjoying the money -
OK, for me, this is my favourite lot of the show. It is the star of the show.
We've got £600-£800 riding on this gorgeous little Edwardian internal post box, which is yours, Malcolm.
It was the mother-in-law's.
Your wife, your mother, you have both played with this.
So we have three generations of people that have played with this.
-So what's your name?
-Heather. Did you like it?
I know it's gonna do the six. And I hope I don't let you down.
It's definitely worth 600.
Let's find out what the bidders of Stourbridge think, shall we?
-Shall we do it?
-Right. Let's do it.
830, which is the Edwardian oak internal post box showing down here.
Interests on the telephone as well. And where do we start?
£600. 610. 620. 630. 640. 650.
660. 670. 680?
670 in the room. 680 anywhere else before I go to the phones?
670 in the room. 680, William?
680. 690. 700.
760 on Helen?
800. 820? 820 anywhere else in the room?
At £800. 820. 850?
920. £900 on the phone.
920 anywhere else? At £900. Are we all done and finished at £900?
All done? You sure?
Well, we'll take that for sure.
-Put it there.
Thank you very much for bringing that in, because that made my day.
It's not often on Flog It!
we see quality items that the bidders really, really like.
And that's why it got £900.
It's not a purist antique or anything, but it's something that is so fashionable at the moment.
Well, how exciting was that? Some great results so far.
And lots more auction action later on in the show.
I'm going to take myself off
to explore the rich, rural cultural heritage of this part of the world.
"It was a wonderful feeling to work with horses, to plough with a single
"furrow plough, following two of our draught horses plodding ahead.
"The swingletrees swaying as the traces, or chains, tightened.
"The wave of earth rearing up and turning over with the soft whisper of the shear.
"The bright breast of the plough gleaming like a curved sunflower."
That is exactly what Tarka The Otter author, Henry Williamson, felt in 1972.
But he was remembering a bygone age when the power of the horse was at the very heart of agriculture.
By the 1950s, heavy horses had all but disappeared from British farms, as the tractor took over.
They were introduced to Britain by William the Conqueror,
used to carry the immense weight of the knights in full armour.
And they've been used in the frontline of battle right up to and including the Second World War.
To find out more about these heavy horses and their use in agriculture,
I've come to Acton Scott Historic Working Farm.
These Shire horses were needed for their pulling power.
In their heyday, cargoes were determined by the amount of horses it took to pull that load.
And that expression has stayed with us today in the term of "horsepower".
We're gonna learn more about that.
Here is head wagonner Mike Bingham. What are we going to get up to today?
We're going to continue the ploughing of the root land
in preparation for sowing of spring oats next week.
We'll be using Penny and her sister, Emily, to pull the plough.
Good! lovely crisp, frosty morning. So shall we get on with it?
-An absolute perfect ploughing day.
I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this.
Well, I hope so. The day couldn't be better for us.
Ah, this is the life.
Mike, how long did it take you to learn this?
Well, I still haven't learnt it, Paul, and I've been having a go for 25 years.
Well, I've got a good teacher. That's the main thing.
The great thing about ploughing is it's an essay in perfection, and one can never achieve perfection.
I'm quite lucky I just have to follow that, in a way.
The horse should go in the furrow.
You do indeed. Penny is the furrow horse. Emily's the wagon horse.
And that's how they always work on ploughing jobs.
So, Penny will follow the furrow for you.
Walk on, Pen and Em. Walk on!
So you've got to really keep your head up,
and stand high so you can see where the wheel's going.
Yes, keep that furrow wheel at the furrow side.
Actually, this is pretty good, isn't it?
Oh, it's going very nicely.
D'you know, that blade cuts like a dream.
-And in the old days, of course, to do an acre, which a good man would do in a day...
..you would've walked nine miles at the back of a pair of horses.
Wait! So there's your furrow slice.
That is pretty good.
I'm impressed with that for the first go.
Right, this is the difficult bit, as we've got to the end of the field
and we've got to turn the horses round. So how?
This is quite difficult, but you're going to sit on the handle at the far side.
I'm going to bring horses round for this first attempt.
-Em, Pen, gee back, steady.
Steady, darlings. Steady. Steady.
Oh, dear. Whay!
It doesn't move.
Actually, it is some weight, isn't it?
There we are.
Actually, Paul, I was very unfair because I told you the wrong handle to sit on.
It's this handle you need to sit on.
I thought so. Because if you're turning that way and I put all the weight on, I'm bound to fall over!
I thought I had a good teacher.
Of course, Paul.
-Come on then, girls.
-Em, Pen, walk on.
Gee back. Gee back.
Em, Pen, walk on.
-Steady, steady, steady.
Whay! D'you know, we are moving at some pace, aren't we?
They always go quicker uphill and there's just a little hill there.
Gosh! That was hard work, but I thoroughly enjoyed that.
That was brilliant. Thank you very much.
What would I have been paid back then in the 1900s?
Well, I can remember, just remember, grandfather telling me that he was taken into service in 1900
as a 14-year-old boy, and he was paid keep plus a pair of boots plus a guinea at the end of the year.
And that was hard work. They were up at early hours.
It was extremely hard work. They started at 5 o'clock.
They groomed their horses, fed their horses, harnessed their horses up,
and then went in for breakfast at about 6:15 or 6:30.
And if they weren't out of the yard by seven in winter time
then the farmer would consider they weren't going to work that day.
And they would work right through, then, until three.
We call it one yoke.
They worked from seven to three, particularly ploughing, that was the traditional hours of work.
It was a hard life for the man and also for the farm's most valuable asset - the horse.
What's the average working life of one of these heavy horses?
We always talk, in heavy-horse terms, in "three sevens".
We say it takes seven years to train them, seven years when they're at their best,
and seven years they're like me, they wind down towards retirement.
And any years after 21 are really a bonus.
Pen and Em are nine and seven years old, respectively.
So they've both got many happy ploughing years ahead of them.
Together with Mike, they're continuing a proud tradition that has helped to make this country great.
So a lot of respect to those horses. Where would we be without them?
And, of course, a little bit of respect to our experts
ploughing their way through hundreds of antiques back at evaluation day. Let's go and see what they've found.
Well, Christina. These are lovely, aren't they?
-How long have you had them?
-About six to eight weeks.
-Six to eight weeks?
-So you've not had them long.
-I can sense that you've purchased them for a cheap amount, then.
-They've been a bargain, haven't they?
-Where have you had 'em from?
-Local charity shop.
-I can't tell you.
-You can't tell me, or I'll be straight down there after.
-Now, what attracted you to them?
Did you recognise them straight away?
Liked the colour of them, turned them up, saw the name, put it down, asked the assistant how much.
-And how much were they?
Well, they're clearly Moorcroft.
Moorcroft is so distinctive.
You don't have to look at the bottom to show they're Moorcroft, but we'll show the bottom off there,
with the signature there.
-And they're the pansy pattern, aren't they?
-You've done a bit of research?
-What have you done?
Went up to the Moorcroft factory and, actually, to the museum.
-You went to that? At Stoke?
-Did you take them with you?
-No, we took photographs, just for safety.
And they said that they're pansy pattern on a blue ground.
Because they did pansy on green and on different grounds,
but the blue's the nicest or the most popular, really, apart from the flambe ones, which are red
and incredibly desirable in the marketplace nowadays.
So your four quid would probably make you 200, 250, maybe even £300.
-So, not bad.
-So, you want to sell them?
I'm glad, because this is Flog It!
I think we put an estimate of 200 to 300,
reserve of 180, so they don't go for less.
-And then, it's a nice profit, isn't it?
-So what would you do with that profit?
-We've already planned a holiday.
-We're planning for Canada next year.
-So that will be a...
-..bit of a deposit towards it, yeah.
-Nice deposit towards a holiday.
Yeah. But I will give a bit back to the charity shop.
-That's a really nice idea, because a lot of charity shops are more clued up now.
-And it's a shame, in a way, that they're depriving themselves of much-needed funds.
But I think, for spotting it, then you should obviously have your reward out of it as well.
Helen, where'd this come from?
It came from my mother-in-law's house.
We were quite surprised to find it there, because she wasn't the kind
of lady who liked anything that looked old.
-What was her vintage?
-D'you know, it's bizarre, because that stuff now is really quite collectible.
Yes, I know. I wish I had kept the chairs and things now.
Well, I think I'm of a different age, really. How old do you think this is?
-Well, that's what I was dubious about because it looks...
-How old do you think it should be?
I think it should be 1600 and something.
-So this is a C17th stool.
-And what type of stool do we call it?
-A joint stool. And what's it made of?
Do you want to stand here and have my job?
There are a few things, first, I just want to point out to you. Can you see that there?
-There's a new bit of timber just been spliced in there.
-Well, I never noticed that.
Right. So that's either an old repair or they were
being a bit cautious with the timber when they made it.
Now let's just turn it over. Now, you called it a joint stool.
-Because it's joined together with wooden pegs.
Right. So if we just look here, you can see one of these wooden pegs.
-But in fact, this is tenoned into there and the pegs don't come all the way through.
If this has been around for the thick end of 300 years,
wouldn't there be some wear here - more wear?
These are obviously... have been tacked on in the 20th century.
But I would've expected to see some wear there.
People would have sat on this and perhaps put feet on here and there would've been more wear here.
-Can you just see that this dark patina here...
..it almost suddenly stops there...
-..like it's been painted on. Which just makes me think it's been got at a little bit.
And if you just hold it there.
Can you see here... and here?
There are marks where someone has just bashed it to actually sort of fake age. So this is oak.
It's almost a joint stool.
But I think it's C19th rather than C17th.
-In terms of value,
if this was C17th
I think it would've have been £600 to £900.
-So, I'm afraid, we're gonna have to take a nought off.
I think we need to put £60 to £90 on this, and we'll reserve it for you at £50.
That will ensure that it will sell. And I actually think that represents cracking value for money for someone.
-Because, you go and try and buy a modern little coffee table
made out of solid oak for between £50 and £100, you can't do it.
-But you can if you buy this.
-So let's keep our fingers crossed.
-OK. Thank you.
Well, Penny, what a lovely piece of Charlotte Reid you brought.
Well, you might think it's wonderful. I think it's absolutely vile.
Do you? I can tell it's not treasured.
I can see that straight away. There's no chips or cracks, but there's paint on it, there's muck and dirt.
-Where has it been living? Outside? In the shed?
It's actually been underneath the sink with the old paintbrushes in it, which accounts for the paint.
OK. That accounts for all the paint, and bits and pieces.
Living under the sink, it's not treasured, it's not out on display, in a cabinet.
I did see on a programme that Charlotte Reid was...
And I thought, "Oh, that reminds me, that's what's underneath the sink," and I did get it out.
That's why you've dug it out this morning and brought it along to Flog It.
Presumably you're keen on selling it because you don't like it.
-I'm desperate to sell it. I loathe it.
-Well, some people like Charlotte Reid.
There's quite a good collector's market for it. It's from the 1930s.
Art Deco period, which is always popular.
And you've got a few Art Deco elements here, this sort of stepped design.
This is a tube lining decoration here.
There's various patterns. I think this is "Autumn".
The two main factories that made Charlotte Read were Crown Ducal, like this one and Burleigh ware.
They also made Charlotte Read designs.
This one's signed, as well, by Charlotte Read - some aren't signed. And you've got the pattern reference.
That could easily be looked up and you could find the name of the pattern.
It's also got quite a pleasing handle, hasn't it?
-I'm going to try and make you like it before you sell it.
-I think you've got your work cut out.
Any idea what it might be worth?
-Um... 50 quid? Something like that?
-Probably about right, there.
£40 - £60 would be an estimate I'd suggest.
Promote a bit of interest in it.
Clearly, you don't want it back. So shall we do the risk of selling it without reserve?
That sounds like a really good idea.
We rarely recommend that but, when a vendor really doesn't like an object,
and it's not a major piece that's going to be undersold, then it'll find its own value without reserve.
It's fun to see what happens.
If it makes you 50 quid, how are you going to commemorate getting 50 quid for your unwanted paint-pot holder?
-Theatre tickets. Much better.
-How are you, Pat, all right?
-I'm fine thank you.
What have you brought along today? A pot-pourri. It's Worcester.
I just wanted to know if it was genuine, actually.
Why do you want to know if it's genuine?
I don't know. We bought it from the National Exhibition Centre and I liked it because of all the roses.
I'm a roses person, a pink person.
And we fell in love with it and after I bought it, I just wondered if it was genuine.
It is undoubtedly a piece of Worcester.
Worcester pots have a shape number.
This is shape No. 1286.
And it's called a crown topped pot-pourri.
And there's the crown top and there's the inner cover.
So the way it works is that this would be filled with scented rose petals, in there,
and then this would've been shut so there'd have been no scent coming out.
And when you wanted the scent to come out, this inner cover stayed off
and through this pierced crown you would get the fragrance coming out.
We can have a look at the bottom, and there it is - there is the shape number we discussed - 1286.
It's got this dot system which started in 1891,
and there are 16 dots there,
so we can date this quite precisely to 1907.
It just strikes me as being a little bit odd.
Can you see, this is like an ivory and what we call "shot silk" decoration?
And yet there, it's totally different.
I had thought that myself.
I just wonder whether it may have been that...
if this cover has been a replacement at some point in time, because they produce
Worcester painted fruit now, that has a crown-topped cover like that to it.
-When did you buy it?
-About eight to 10 years ago.
-How much did you pay for it?
-We think about £180.
I think it will show you a profit on that, provided there's no restoration and it's all A-OK as I said.
My estimate for it would be probably £200-£400.
And put a reserve on it of £200. On the basis that it's not restored. It looks very crisp around here.
It LOOKS OK, but it's difficult in these lights.
-Why have you decided to sell it?
-Well, my children aren't very keen on it.
Obviously, they've got modern houses.
It wouldn't go in their house.
And obviously, I dust it occasionally, and I'm just frightened of almost dropping it.
What is fascinating is that roses aren't that collectible.
So you have got a pot there that is £200-£400.
If that was decorated in sheep by Harry Davis, it would probably make £3,000 - £5,000.
Like it's not fashionable any more.
Absolutely. But we're going to sell it.
Hello! ...That's the end of our Telford valuation day and we've found all our items.
So I've taken the opportunity to come back here to Acton Scott historic working farm, where, earlier,
we looked at the history of the heavy horse.
Lots of other related crafts revolve around the horse.
That's an absolutely brilliant word to use right now because I'm going to take a closer look
at one of man's earliest but greatest inventions.
The first wheels invented were simply a solid disk carved from one lump of wood.
But this had two main disadvantages.
First, they were extremely heavy and second, they tended to snap and break along the line of the grain.
So to overcome this, to make the wheels a lot lighter, yet still maintain its strength,
they had to invent something called the spoked wheel.
This has been around since the year 2000 BC.
This is a very fine example of one.
Before the first-world-war in this country, every village had its own wheelwright, making these.
Here at Acton Scott Farm, we have filling this role,
the appropriately named Mike Wright. How do you do?
Now, you made this wheel, and what a wonderful job you have done. Let's just talk about carts, first.
Is it true you can identify what part of the country you come from by the cart you drive?
Well, yes, every county has its own style of wagon.
And their own colour as well.
Shropshire wagons were solidly built with heavy wheels, and solidly framed, whereas Oxfordshire wagons
where much lighter, narrow wheels, and had more graceful curves.
And is there one standard wheel size?
No, there isn't a standard size.
It depends entirely on the size of the vehicle and the use it was put to.
Wagons had big, heavy wheels to take the weight of a wagon weighing perhaps a ton,
but because of that they only have a very limited turning circle.
Whereas drays - a flatbed cart - would have smaller wheels and were much more manoeuvrable.
You've done a wonderful job on this wheel. Do you still use traditional methods?
Yes. This is almost entirely made by hand.
How long would a wheel take to make by hand? This sort of size?
That would be about a month's work for me.
-That's a long time, isn't it?
Let's talk through the parts on the wheel. What have we got here?
In the middle we have the stock, or the hub of the nave, depending what part of the country you come from.
-And what wood's that made of?
-It's made of elm.
Elm has a very twisted grain and it resists splitting when the spokes are driven into it.
Here we have the spokes, and they're made of oak for strength.
-And the rim...
-That's ash, isn't it?
-Because ash is very springy and it takes the shocks of the road well.
The rim is divided up into seven sections which are called "fellows"
-and, across the joint, they are dowelled.
-Why are the spokes shaped?
They are wider at the back than the front because most of the stress is at the back.
Wherever you can on a wheel, you want to save weight, so you...
take more material off the front of the spoke than off the back.
And it weighs in absolute ton! It is a good job it rolls.
I can see you are working on what looks like a spoke.
Can you show me how you do it?
Yes indeed... This is a draw knife.
We start with the draw knife and then I'll start moving on to the spokeshave.
I'm taking off fairly heavy pieces with the draw knife.
And working towards the lines that I've drawn on the middle of the spoke, there.
So, as I get nearer to it,
I shall use the spoke shave to finish it off.
That gives me a nice, smooth face.
-Tapering it back.
Nice curve on the edge there.
'Carpentry skills are not the only skills required by a wheelwright.
'He also needs to be something of a blacksmith, too.'
The whole wheel is held together with a tyre, and the tyre is made of steel.
Just like these ones. It is about two inches wide and half an inch thick.
That's essential for a working cartwheel.
Mike and Malcolm have already put one in the fire, to get it into shape and, as you can see,
it's cooking nicely.
The placing of the tyre on the wheel is the most crucial stage of all.
The metal tyre is made slightly smaller than the wooden wheel.
As it's heated, the metal expands.
If the hoop is too large, it won't hold the wheel together.
Too small and it could crush it completely, wasting a month's work.
It's a tense moment for the wheelwright.
The cold water contracts the metal, causing it to crush the joints of the wheel tight in a permanent vice.
WOOD AND METAL GROAN
The process is completed on the anvil, with the edge of the tyre hammered into shape
to make sure that the finish is even and that the wheel has a good roll.
I've had a brilliant day out here at Acton Scott Farm, but right now it's time to return to the hustle
and bustle of the auction room, and let's hope it's gonna be a smooth ride for all our owners.
Our experts, Adam and Philip, have teased out the most tantalising of Telford's titbits.
Here's a quick run-down of what they've found.
This stool was nestling out of place in a '60s-style house.
Although C19th and not any older, it's still worth £60-90.
Penny will need a new paint-brush holder
when her Charlotte Read jug goes to auction.
Adam's put no reserve on it as Penny can't wait to get rid of it.
Pat wanted to check if her Worcester pot-pourri jar was real or fake.
Philip thinks it's the real McCoy and should be worth at least £200.
And Christina definitely brought in the bargain of the day,
a pair of Moorcroft vases bought for only £2 each.
I just can't wait to see what they sell for.
So what does the auctioneer think?
This is a tidy little lot, and it's rare.
It's a bit of Worcester, pomander and cover. It's nice to see the cover.
-And we've got a valuation of £200-400 on it.
Well, I was spoon-fed this. I was literally brought up from childhood days with Royal Worcester.
My late aunt collected it. This takes me back to being five years old
and being taught all about Royal Worcester, so I love this stuff.
Good grounding for you at an early age.
Oh, yeah, absolutely, had to learn. Now, the estimate, 200-400.
I think we've said 200-300 in the catalogue, absolutely fine, no problems at all.
-There has been some question with regard to, first and foremost, restoration.
I've been all over this, top-to-toe.
It's absolutely sound.
There is not a problem at all.
Is the cover right for the pot?
That's where we fall down, no. It is what we've termed in the catalogue an associated cover.
It has a marginal effect on the price but not phenomenal, because
at the end of the day these things are rare, these are very expensive, and also - for anyone out there -
if you've got a smashed pot and got the cover, don't sling it
out, because people are desperate to buy the covers, cos these are often the first things that get broken.
Yeah, and how much would the cover cost somebody to buy?
-Oh, grief, I mean, I've sold covers alone at £80-100.
-OK, Will, so what do you think it's gonna go for?
I think it's gonna have a three in front of it.
It'd be nice if we could end up nudging it
with a four in front of it, but we're gonna sell, no problem at all.
It's just that cover that'll hold it back.
Christina's Moorcroft vases, what a story! Can you remember?
-Bought for just £2 six to eight weeks ago. That is astonishing, isn't it?
-Which charity shop was this, Paul?
I don't know, I think we're trying to squeeze the information out of her, we'll get it by the end of the day.
Adam, our valuer, has put £200-300 on this, and that is a stunning result, 1930s pansy pattern.
I think it's a stunning estimate!
And in the positive this, for me, is a complete teaser estimate. That is fantastic.
-Is that a "Come and buy me"?
-Oh, it's a complete "Come and buy me", I mean
this is one of my particular loves, and you're well into my comfort zone here. And they're gonna fly.
OK, come on, come on, tell me, let me into the little secret, what's fly?
There's a couple of things about them, one thing which I picked up on once they were delivered to us...
on this one we do actually have a factory fault there, it does run round.
Now, this is how they did leave the factory, so we can't be over-critical but...
taking that damage into consideration, I think they're gonna do comfortably twice estimate,
-and I wouldn't be surprised at three times.
-Wow, so you think three times estimate?
-OK, three times bottom estimate, 600-700.
Yeah, somewhere between £500-700 mark, something around that.
It would be a sorry day if they don't do that, but they're going to, they're going to.
Well, I do hope so! However, you'll just have to wait a bit for that one, so I hope you're sitting comfortably.
It's now time to flog that lovely C19th oak joint stool
brought in by Helen, valuation of £60-90, fixed reserve of 50.
-You're with your husband John. It was your mum's, was it not?
-Lots of memories there?
-Sad to see it go?
Well, they are handy pieces of kit, and loads of people use them for bedside tables.
-So I think we should do this, Philip.
-Yes, it should sell.
I mean, you couldn't buy the timber for that, could you? It's solid oak, so yeah, it should get away.
1060, we have a C19th oak joint stool.
Nice little lot. Where will we be on this? Do I see 40 to start me?
40 I have, 45 with me, and 50, sir.
50, I'll go five, and 60, and it's with you.
60, it's out and about at £60, and five anywhere else?
£60, then, back right-hand corner, are we all done at £60?
Yeah, the hammer's gone down, 60 quid, spot-on.
Whoo, that was touch-and-go, wasn't it, for a second?
It started at 30 quid. It's not a lot of money, less a bit of commission. What will you do with it?
Well, we'll probably treat ourselves to a night out.
We have something in the Art Deco style right now, it's a paint brush holder - or is it not? -
in the Charlotte Read style? It belongs to Penny!
It's not really a paint brush holder, but that's what you used it for.
It was, yes, it's not something I really like very much, so it was under the sink.
-I gather that. Are you an artist or a painter, or are you just sort of...?
-No, this was DECORATING brushes.
Well, at least you didn't throw this away, and we've got £40-60 on this with no reserve.
-Was that your decision?
-Well, it was a joint decision, because
Penny said, "I definitely don't want it back, whatever happens."
No, I just hoped I hadn't got to pay someone to take it away, cos that would be really sad.
-Good luck, this is it.
-And lot 70, we have the Charlotte Read
Crown Ducal stitch work jug. Nice one with the fruit decoration,
the hand to the right is saying...
£40 to open. I have on a commission, 40 straight in and five in the room.
Or two, if it helps. 42, 45, 48 and 50.
And two, 55, 58...58 looks away.
55, still, on my right, 58 anywhere else?
55, all sure and done?
Yes, 55 quid. Not bad, not bad for a paint brush holder!
It's a lovely jug, though.
Right, the money was going towards theatre tickets, wasn't it? So what are you going to see?
Well, we've changed our minds, I'm afraid, about that. I had some discussion with my husband,
because the jug belonged to his mother, and so the money's going to a prostate cancer charity now.
Right now we've got one that's caused a bit of stir in the auction in chat with Will, because he's positive
this lot is gonna really race away.
It's that lovely bit of Worcester, that crown topped pot-pourri valued at 200-400 by Philip Serrell.
And here we are with Pat and Jeff.
I had a chat with the auctioneer, Will, earlier.
He seems to think that because the top's intact, although it's the wrong top, it's gonna add
possibly another £200 to Philip's top end.
We could be looking at £600 here.
-How does that sound?
-It sounds a lot better than 200-400, doesn't it?
-Just a little.
But I hope I'm not teasing this up too much. Philip really does know his Worcester, he is a Worcester expert.
We know what you think. Now it's down to the bidders.
Let's find out what the bidders of Birmingham think. This is it.
Nice little lot there, associated cover, as you'd have seen.
Had a great deal of interest, and it's very, very close, and I believe
-for the top bidder to clear the under-bidders I open at £450.
£450 on a maiden bid clears everybody else.
I've got 450 on my right, do I hear 460 in the room?
It's on a commission bid, then, opening and closing at £450.
All sure? All done?
Bang, the hammer's gone down, short and sweet, £450.
Great result, top end of Philip's estimate, what is that going towards, Pat?
Well, we're looking for a painting for our dining room, and it's going towards that.
-OK, looking in here?
-Well, we have been, but I haven't seen anything at the moment, but we're still looking.
We have been looking quite a long time.
-I guess you're doing lots of art galleries, more auction rooms and antiques shops.
-That's right, yes.
OK, happy shopping, and I hope you find something really special.
Thank you very much indeed.
-Yeah, I was pleased with that, and I don't think the real top...
It might have made perhaps another £100-150, but it wouldn't have made
that much more, roses aren't that popular, but it's a good result.
Let's see if the Moorcroft can top that.
This is the one that Will has been musing and getting very excited over - our auctioneer -
it's the pair of Moorcroft vases bought in a charity shop not long ago for a couple of quid.
You lucky, lucky thing! I know you do feel a little bit guilty, don't you, Christina?
-And some of the money's going back to the charity shop.
-Adam, our expert, put £200-300 on this.
We had a chat with Will earlier, he seems to think they might do 400-600, 600-plus on a good day.
-Does he really?
I'd be surprised if they made that much, and I'd ask him why he reduced the catalogue estimate in that case.
Because he's a typical auctioneer, he's teasing all the bidders in.
-You know the score.
-That's a bit too much, that, really, but we'll see. I think they'll do about 350-400.
Well, it's gone up from Adam's estimate.
Yeah, but 200-300 and make 350, you know, that's the idea.
What a surprise, eh? What a surprise!
Let's hope they don't do 180 now, eh?
Yeah, there's us talking all this up.
Christina, don't worry, Will is a porcelain expert.
I think he knows his market here, and he's pretty sure these are gonna fly.
We have the near pair of William Moorcroft pansy pattern vases.
Have had a great deal of interest in these.
-believe I have to open to my right on a commission bid at £380.
£380. Do I hear 400 in the room?
400, 420, 440, 460, 480, 500.
And 20, 540, 560, 580, 600.
And 20, 640, 660...
£640 there in the room, at £640. Do I hear 660 anywhere else?
Otherwise I'm selling away for £640.
That's a great result.
That is better than the 200-300, we'll take that, we'll take that.
What are you gonna do? Where's this holiday gonna be?
-Canada next year.
-Canada, well, that'll get you there.
That'll make the deposit, a big help towards it and...great, it's great.
-I can feel the energy coming off you, I'm tingling as well!
-I feel bubbly!
-feel bubbly, I'm so pleased for you.
That's what it's all about, get down those charity shops,
get to those car-boot sales, because it still is out there. You've just got to know what you're looking for.
-So keep watching Flog It and learn.
As you can see, the auction's still going on behind me in the heart of the industrial Midlands,
where those Moorcroft vases proved to be hot, hot, hot!
And what about that lovely little Edwardian post box?
That had no intention of being "returned to sender".
But I hope you return the next time for lots more fun on Flog It!
For more information about Flog It, including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 2006
E-mail [email protected]
Paul Martin visits Telford for more attic clearance surprises. Experts Philip Serrell and Adam Partridge give their valuation and everything goes under the hammer at a local sale. Paul visits Acton Scot Historic Farm and explores the history of the shire horse and the craft of the wheelwright.