Paul Martin is in Great Yarmouth to find more valuables waiting to go under the auctioneer's hammer. Paul also visits the childhood home of Admiral Nelson.
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Welcome to Great Yarmouth where hopefully today we'll have some sweet success on Flog It.
Thank you. We've come to the town hall today here on Great Yarmouth's South Quay.
This fine building is a really good example of the Victorian opulence
scattered all over the town. There are even two piers.
Today, Great Yarmouth is hosting a different show - it's our show
and hundreds of people have brought their unwanted antiques,
hopefully getting great valuations from our experts.
We'll take some of the best items to be sold at auction
here in Diss in Norfolk.
-I don't believe it.
-Neither do I.
-Nor do I.
So, let's get started.
Hold on. Thomas has got his eye on a rather shapely young lady.
Thank you for bringing this wonderful, delightful lady along.
She's beautiful. Tell me about her. How did you come...?
I bought it at a local flea market about ten years ago
and fell in love with it then.
-It was love at first sight?
-It certainly was ten years ago.
And I thought, "What a wonderful figure and colour!"
-The dimensions as well.
-It is great.
As you know, it's in a spelter, rather than being in a bronze.
You would've bought this in the late '20s, early '30s
if you couldn't afford the bronze,
the actual bronze figures, because they would have been expensive.
This was mid-range because the lesser items were done in plaster,
then painted in a bronze effect,
but this spelter look here with the decoration has worked very well.
It has got such nice attention to detail and features on her face
and down on her feet you've got her little toenails
and her fingernails. It's a nice detail to have.
She is classically Deco in this bathing suit
with this wonderful hair.
It was such an opulent time with the age of speed.
You had the Spirit of Ecstasy Rolls-Royce
and technology was moving forward.
Women got the vote, it was quite a modern time
and this just reflects that modern, forward-thinking time, I think.
-How much did you pay for her?
-The guy wanted roughly about £85,
but I got him down to between 50 and 60.
So, you did quite a good barter really.
-You got quite a good discount.
£80 was quite reasonable. I think 55 is very good.
It's a nice-looking figure at £55.
-Would you be happy to let her go?
-Why sell her?
-I'd like to buy something different,
-maybe a painting.
-Let's hope we sell it.
-We'll put it in at 100 to 120.
-That would be very good.
-Discretionary reserve at £100. Would that be OK?
-As much as that?
We can put the reserve at 80.
80 would be fine.
We'll put it in with the estimate at 100 to 120
-with the reserve at £80. That's sensible.
-I'd be pleased with that.
Bob, thank you for coming along today.
It's so nice to see something out of the ordinary,
this wonderful collection of seals.
Where did you get them from?
This was the first one I bought because I'm interested in chess.
Oh, right, because it's the knight.
-I needed a knight to complete a chess set.
But then I found it was actually a seal.
That then encouraged me
to sort of look round for more seals to add to him.
The knight was the starting piece. That's fantastic
that that's why you started collecting seals.
This is really interesting. We've got so many different materials.
I like this one which is a lovely combination of different woods.
We've got walnut and rosewood
and it's really beautifully made, really lovely quality. Fantastic.
Also this ivory one which is very smart and nicely turned as well.
It's a shame we've got this crack, but it's so beautifully made.
Very simple seal at the end.
How long ago did you start collecting?
Probably about 15 years.
So, how come you brought them along to sell them?
Well, I told my daughter that if something happens to us,
she's got to go through the house with a fine toothcomb
and she said she would just get someone in to clear everything.
-She has no interest in the collection?
-Are you still collecting?
-I can't resist them.
It's not the sort of thing you see very often.
No, the last one I picked up at auction.
I bought something else for £1 and this was thrown in as an afterthought.
That is a very nice one.
What's very interesting about them is they've got different markings,
but what's nice about this one is the armorial stamp on the bottom.
That's what people will probably go for, so with this thrown in,
-that was a bit of a bargain.
That was very nice. I would say, value-wise,
we should put an estimate of £200 to £300 on
-and then hope they would make a lot more.
-Hope they fly.
Congratulations are in order because I've just joined Mervyn and Tina who got married yesterday.
-So, from the wedding day straight to the valuation day?
-Breakfast in bed, then joining the queue outside?
-It certainly was.
That's dedication with antiques!
And thank you for bringing this in.
I will now reveal what's inside this wonderful specimen case.
It is in fact a collection of butterflies,
beautifully mounted and presented.
-Tell me all about it.
-It belonged to my father.
His grandfather collected them when he was in the army in India in about 1880, 1890.
And when he died in about 1946, 1947, my father acquired them
and they hung up in my grandmother's house until she died in 1982.
As I'd always admired them, I asked if I could have them as the collection was being dispersed.
-I've had them for 22 years.
-Have they been on the wall?
-In my grandmother's house.
-But not on your wall?
They're definitely not English.
Could well be brought back from India. I imagine so.
They're late Victorian, 1880, 1890.
-So, have you seen these before?
You must be thinking, "What's the rest of his furniture like?"
Would you like to hang on to them? Should we be flogging them?
-Depending on the value, I guess.
They wouldn't last long on the wall being hung by this flex.
This is so dangerous. This is early Victorian cabling!
And it's just about to go here,
so you've had it stored somewhere.
I've had it in my loft, the worst place you can store anything.
The box has been shut and they've been laid flat, so that's good.
Have you any idea of their value?
-Not at all.
-It's a hard one to put on this.
A lot of auction rooms won't want to take these in
because we are not allowed to sell in auction an endangered species
like collections of butterflies like this or beetles
and birds' eggs, things like that.
There is a date threshold. This precedes that.
It's before the 1900s. It's not been fiddled with.
This cabinet has not been tampered with, the glass is original,
so there's nothing added to this recently. We'll get away with this.
Plus you can see it's late Victorian,
the sunlight's got to it, it's faded.
If we put them into auction, we should get between £75 and £100.
-If two people want them, it'll do a little bit more.
-It's not the everyday collector that'll want this.
-I realise that.
I want it to go to a better home.
Would this money go towards the honeymoon? You're going on one?
-Yes, it would.
-Where are you going?
-You won't want to come home. Be back for the auction!
Patricia, tell me about this jewellery you've brought today.
It belonged to my late husband's grandmother.
Then it went to his mother, then it came to him.
Then when he died some years ago now, it came to me.
-Did you wear it?
-I only wore it a few times.
I haven't made a practice of wearing it
because the earrings are heavy.
What is interesting about them is that yes, they are gold,
but there's a mark on the back.
It's very small, but it's a kite mark, the registration mark.
And if it was struck a little bit better,
and even with my times ten lens, I can't actually make out
the letters to do with the registration mark
which would give me the exact date,
but it does help me decide if these are Edwardian or Victorian.
These are definitely Victorian.
Definitely Victorian. Do you know what these stones are here?
-Yes, a girl's best friend.
They're diamond... what we call rose-cuts.
Old, brilliant-cut, rose-cut diamonds.
Sort of nicely set within this star setting.
Some people call it a gypsy setting with a star to make it look bigger
on this raised mount here.
-Yes, I see.
-It's lovely. They've been really nicely made.
It's great it's in its original box, a great suite of jewellery.
But, Patricia, your daughters wouldn't be interested in this?
-Not in this, no.
-Not fashionable enough for them?
Normally, when we value jewellery, we value it
just by breaking down its true material, gold and diamonds.
We add a little bit on for its age, especially in this case here
and being its original case. The gold would not weigh a great deal.
-So, any idea of value?
-No, not really, no.
It's gonna be worth between £150 and £250 for the suite.
-Would you be happy with that?
We'll definitely sell it for you and also it's so nice,
it could do a little bit better.
-There's always that chance.
Now, what jewels did our experts choose?
Thomas was rather taken by the curvaceous figurine,
but was his figure of £100 to £120 a little too hot?
Catherine hopes the seals will get the seal of approval
and reach the £200 to £300 target.
I was enchanted by the newly weds' butterfly collection
and I hope it'll make £75 to £100.
Thomas thinks the Victorian jewellery set could sparkle
and make £100 to £200.
'This looks like a pretty setting to tell you all about Diss.'
Ready? 'And this fella looks like he's happy to get in on the act.'
OK? He nipped me!
He took a chunk out my arm! Hey, you!
OK, this is the one. You be good.
..which is one of the original two...
..one of the town's original two centres...
'They say never work with children or animals! Once more then...'
We're in Diss for our auction and I'm standing on Fair Green,
one of the two original town centres, and this whole area was a vibrant meeting place,
but today just hosts the odd fair.
Our travels have brought us to Thomas William Gaze and Son
where Alan Smith, the auctioneer, will cast his expert eye over something we've brought along.
Expert Catherine Southon valued these 21 seals
-at £200 to £300.
-There's a lot of lot there.
Well, there is, and basically it's a pre-formed collection,
which is to its advantage in one regard and to its disadvantage in another.
Bob collected these for the last 15 years.
His daughter doesn't want them.
There's a holiday riding on this, so will we sell them?
I think so. Collectors often say, "I've got that one and I only want this one."
That's the problem, but I'll do my damnedest.
What do you think about the valuation, 2 to 3?
If you price them individually, it should come to that. As a group, it's touch and go.
You're slightly dubious on this.
-Because I said a holiday's riding on this.
It might be a shorter holiday than I'd hoped.
At 150 now. Where's 160...?
Right now we need a seal of approval from the bidders. In fact, we need 21 seals.
Catherine, £200 to £300 valuation you did at the valuation day.
Since then, Bob's had a word with the auctioneer
and he put a reserve on of £250.
-You've upped it?
-With discretion, so it could go for 225.
-You think I'm too mean?
-Not overly generous is what I'd say.
-Let's find out what the bidders think.
Number 230 is the collection of seals.
A lovely overall collection here.
-It is lovely.
-The auctioneer said they would do the lower end.
At 150 I'm bid. At 150.
Where's 60? At 150. Where's 60?
At 160. 170. 180.
190. 200. 220. 240.
It's in the room at £240. Where is 60?
Middle bid now at 240 only.
60 anywhere? Whole collection, 240.
Yes, the hammer's gone down, £240. Catherine was right.
-There was no need for the extra pressure.
-Right in the middle.
-You're happy with that?
And whoever bought that is very happy!
Any more? At £50 now.
I'm selling at 50... 55.
We have Patricia's lovely earrings and a gorgeous brooch to sell.
These have been in the family a long time?
-Yes, they have.
-They look like they suit you. Why are you selling them?
Because the earrings have a big hook and they flip about.
-I like earrings that hold...
-We're looking for £150 to £250. Happy with the valuation?
Let's see if we can get the top end. Will we do it, Thomas?
-I don't know. It's quite a nice set.
-There's not a lot of jewellery here.
Number 60 is the jewellery.
And showing this side.
It's a lovely little suite here.
I'm starting at the bottom end estimate, £100 bid.
At £100, I start. At £100, it's before you all.
At 100. 110. 120.
130. 140. 150. 160.
-It's going up.
At 160. Where's 70?
170. 180. 190.
200. At £200 I'm bid now. Where's 10, if you like?
We have the 200. We're looking for more. At £200, is there 10?
We're at £200, we're selling 200...
-Brilliant! £200! That was good.
It went static for a little while. It got stuck on £90.
-What will you spend £200 on?
-It will be on the five grandchildren.
-A bit of commission to pay, but you'll get around £200.
-Not bad, eh?
-Not bad, Thomas.
-He knows his onions.
This is the valuation I did on the Victorian butterfly collection.
-£75 to £100, brought in by...?
-Tina and Mervyn.
They just got married the day before the valuation day.
-You've come back from your honeymoon.
-What's life like in the real world? You didn't want to come home?
-Where did you go?
-Look at the tan!
Let's hope these butterflies fly away.
The auctioneer agreed with my valuation.
-So hopefully we will sell them. We'll find out right now.
Number 140 is the butterflies,
nice collection of Victorian butterflies here.
-These are good.
100? £50 starts?
£30 if you like, the butterflies?
Thank you. 30. 5.
40. 5. 50. 5.
60. 5. 70 bid.
£70 is here now. Where is 5?
-At £70, where is 5 again?
Middle room at £70. Is there 5? At 70, middle room now...
-He sold them. Are you happy with that?
-Sorry there was no-one else to challenge.
-One thing we've decided,
we're going to give the money to my father as they were his.
Keep the money. You've already spent your money on honeymoon.
-We certainly have.
-You'll be paying for that for a few years.
110 now. Where's 20...?
If you'd like to find out more about antiques
or buying and selling at auction, log on to our website.
We've got some Art Deco going under the hammer now.
This is Rodney's spelter figure.
Will we get the right figure? The valuation is 100 to 120.
-Hoping for a bit more?
-120, 130, yeah.
-Would you be happy with £200?
-More than happy.
I have a feeling it might do £200. It's got the casting of a bronze.
It's a spelter figure.
-It's the poor man's equivalent.
-But she's got the figure.
-I like this.
Thomas, I know this is your bag. Can we get a little more than 120?
I don't know. Sometimes Art Deco goes slightly off the boil.
-It's a tough one.
-I want to see this do £200.
We'll find out right now.
Number 50, we have this decorative and attractive Deco lady here.
She starts at just £50. At £50, she starts.
And she's nice quality. 60. 70.
100. 110. 120. 130. 140.
At £140, she is. Where is 50?
-At 140, she is. Where is 50?
She's attractive. At £140...
Did it, 140. Got you a little bit more than the 120.
-You were spot-on, Thomas. Happy with that?
-What's that going towards?
-A season ticket at Norwich City.
-Your local team?
-Delia Smith's team?
-I hope they stay up.
-Definitely will. Thanks very much.
You're staying up, but my team's going down. I'm so disappointed.
-Can't win 'em all!
Gosh, what a beautiful necklace! Look at that.
I know a few necks that will look absolutely stunning around,
but the source of amber may be a lot closer to home than you think.
# Like pebbles on a beach
# Kicked around, displaced by feet
# Oh, like broken stones... #
What a stunning day! I just had to get some fresh sea air.
And you've got to admit, it's absolutely gorgeous.
The area isn't just rich in natural beauty, but in natural treasure
because it's only here in all of the UK that you can find this
and it's amber.
This piece dates back 30 to 50 million years
when all of northern Europe was one big antique pine forest.
Amber is a fossilised sap, the resin from the tree
which runs down the deep furrows of the bark,
often trapping insects into its sticky solution.
When the ice melted, the amber was deposited.
Some of it landed on the sea bed right off of this coastline
and often on stormy days, the sea tosses up pieces of amber on to the beach
and I know where I can find the biggest piece of amber ever found in the UK.
I've come to the Amber Museum in Southwold
where owner Robin Fournel is the man with the Midas touch.
-This is a gorgeous piece.
-Oh, wow, it is big.
-It's a boulder. You could make a bracelet out of that.
-Or a pendant.
-It's a gorgeous piece.
-This was literally washed up on the beach?
No, it was trawled up by two fishermen a couple of years ago.
They were a mile north of Southwold at Covehithe and a mile out to sea
-and they brought this up and they were delighted.
-I bet they were.
How much would a piece like this cost on the open market?
Today, amber prices have gone up, so I would expect £4,000 to £5,000.
Really? What a lot of money! Better than catching fish, I must say!
Why is just one side polished?
We open the window on the amber,
so we can look in and see the different colours and tones.
That's a nice way of putting it. Why is it always found around here?
Because it's believed by scientists
that the great glaciers of all those millions of years ago
deposited some amber, as the fingers of the glaciers went out,
underneath the North Sea, so there's a bed of amber under the North Sea.
-You've been in the business 20, 30-odd years here?
-Yes, 30 years.
How much amber have you found?
Don't tell anyone, but I've never found any.
I'd love to find a piece, but I never have.
-I go with my two sons walking on the beach.
-But you don't see any?
My son has once. I gave him £1 to get an ice cream and he came back with ice cream and a piece of amber
-and he tried to sell it to me.
-Chip off the old block!
-How regularly is it washed up?
-Not so much as it used to be.
-One or two pieces a week.
-And what sort of size? Something like this?
Not as large as that, sadly. That's a lovely piece.
They're usually more like a cherry size, that sort of size.
-So, not very big, I'm afraid.
-And the value of something like that?
Depends on the quality, £10, £15.
Tell me about this crown.
It's probably the most popular piece in the museum.
Everybody mentions it. It's beautiful.
It was made in about 1920
for a German family.
I don't know if they fell on hard times, but it came up for auction.
-Is that how you acquired it?
Dare we talk about value today?
Well, it's frightening, this, yes.
This is actually insured for £20,000, but it's a wonderful piece.
The darker the piece, the more expensive, the older it is.
-How does it change colour?
Imperceptibly, over the years, it slowly deepens in colour,
from a bright yellow of modern amber
-to the deep, golden yellow.
That's where the value is.
-This would be older than this.
-It hasn't turned colour.
-It'll take 2,000-3,000 years.
It's not only colour, it's also what's inside it.
-A trapped insect...
-Makes a big difference.
-Lots of money.
-You've got a little spider here. Lots of spiders are trapped.
It's a particularly stunning piece because the insect is quite large.
Smaller insects usually got trapped.
-Bigger ones could fight their way free.
-Or lose a leg.
But this is quite a large sample of a creature.
That's about 50 million years old.
That has been identified by the Natural History Museum.
They are a contact with pre-history.
Before man walked the Earth, insects were trapped in the amber.
OK, let's say this didn't have the spider. That age, that colour.
How much would that be worth?
-Without the insect.
-With the insect in, what's it worth?
-650. Big difference.
-There is, isn't there?
If you wanted to collect amber, what would be good to start with?
I'd suggest something like this, which is a lovely piece
-with a tiny insect trapped in there.
-You could get it mounted into a pendant.
-Yes, here's a pendant.
That's amber mounted in silver, on a silver chain.
-We sell that for £18.
Or you could go for the top end, something kitsch. A galleon.
-I don't like it, though. What would that cost?
-I paid £15,000 for that.
-I can appreciate the work, but it's not really my cup of tea.
But it's greatly admired, I have to say.
-Because it is so expensive, there are fakes on the market.
-This is your fakes section.
The only way to test amber is the hot pin test.
Heat a pin up and prick it into the amber.
If it smells of sap, that's right. If it smells of plastic, it's fake.
The one with the little gecko is so obviously a fake.
You just wouldn't see that.
Of course, you can always see in genuine amber
how the creature's struggled to get out.
-This was obviously very dead.
There's nothing fake about our valuation day.
It looks like Catherine's found a genuine treasure.
-Sylvia, you've brought this lovely bear. Who's this?
-I call him Ted.
-I played with him when I was young.
-I'm going to take him off you.
He's absolutely gorgeous. He is huge, isn't he, for a teddy bear?
-He's wonderful. He does look a bit sorry for himself, though.
But he is a lovely bear.
I'm having a baby soon. This sort of thing, for me, would be perfect.
Where did you get him from? You've had him since you were a child.
-Was it bought for you?
-No, it was bought for my uncle,
who then passed it on to my brother, who then passed it on to me.
-my uncle, and Ted.
-Oh, there he is. Oh, that's fantastic.
-In perfect condition there.
-He looks bigger than my uncle.
Oh, isn't that lovely? A photograph showing exactly...
I don't know if you know, but he is a bear by the German maker, Steiff.
First of all, this wonderful character on his face. A lovely, pronounced snout.
Lovely black boot eyes as well.
He's so adorable. Oh, he's such a lovely, lovely bear.
I can't believe that you're wanting to let him go.
He's, you know, getting... He's been up in the loft for so long.
I think somebody needs to see him. No-one sees him up in the loft.
I want him to have a good home that'll appreciate him.
Do you know where he came from?
-Do you know much about Steiff?
-Not very. German, isn't it?
That's right. It is German. It was a lady called Margarette Steiff
who started up the factory.
She made a felt pin-cushion in the shape of an elephant.
That was the first thing she did, back in the late 19th century.
1884, she made this pin-cushion.
That's why, early on, the bears that they made and the soft toys
that she consequently made,
they had buttons in their ears but they didn't have the name Steiff.
They had the elephant symbol, the first thing that she made. That's how to tell early pieces.
This is much later in date.
It's not one of the first things that was produced.
This was more the beginning of the 20th century.
I'd say, because of these lovely black boot eyes,
which are so adorable, it's pre-First World War.
Later on, you get glass eyes.
-Now, he really is a bit sorry for himself.
-Yes, isn't he?
His stuffing is coming out all over me.
He's a little bit limp, and he's lost a lot of fur round his nose.
He did growl when I first...
-He's lost his growl.
At the back they have got this hump where they had the growler.
-When you tipped him up...
-He did growl.
-He made that noise.
-What do you think it would be worth at auction?
-I honestly don't know.
-I'd like to say a price, but I'd be well out.
-No, go on. Give it a stab.
I'd like it to be about 100. In that mark. I don't know.
In perfect condition, we'd be looking at four figures.
-In perfect condition.
-But, and it's a big "but"...
..we can see here all his insides coming out. There's holes.
Moth holes. A lot of the inside of him has come out.
Lots of thin, skinny areas, particularly around the nose,
which is important because it is the pronounced snout where we get this character from.
He's lost a lot of fur, and colour.
The colour is important on these. It would have had a golden colour.
Now it looks more sort of grey.
Greeny colour, which is a shame.
Value-wise, it's going to drop right down.
-It'll be between £100-£200.
-That's more what you were thinking.
-Yes. I was hoping at least 100.
Let's hope that somebody finds him and loves him, just like you did,
and will cherish him, and make somebody very happy. He's lovely.
Ivy, you've brought along two dishes.
You think they're one thing and I think they're another.
-You think they're Newlyn.
-I was only going by the pattern.
It's got the fish and I thought, "Oh, Newlyn."
But they are stamped on the base with this ostrich mark.
That's the mark I expect to see for early items from the WMF Factory.
WMF is a German manufacturer
who did Art Nouveau items, and were great exponents of the subject.
They did maidens, they did fish.
They did copperware, glass. Everything.
They were a massive company, but they still make today.
Certainly cutlery. If you go into a department store, you'll see WMF.
I believe they're those. Or they could have been blanks and then done later in Newlyn.
But they look a bit too stylised to be Newlyn,
because of the way the reeds or the seaweed is.
It's got a whiplash to it, which is a continental Art Nouveau trait,
like you see in Paris on the Metro system by Hector Guimard.
It's got that similar, sinuous, whiplash line, just like these.
Why did you buy them?
Well, on reflection, I must have bought them well before 1996.
I was buying copper kettles for my husband.
He collected them, but he was very sick, so I was out checking them.
I thought, "That looks like Newlyn."
You thought, "Oh, I like these."
-More copper for him.
-They're lovely. Did you pay much for them?
-No, no, no. Probably in the region of £30-£40.
-That's fine, then.
-We're going to get you 40-60.
-That's a profit.
-These are quite fashionable now.
-Happy with that?
-Yes, that's fine.
That money, what will you do with it?
All the money from these is going to the Ukraine children on the street.
-They're turned out of their homes.
-I need more than that.
-Not for these, but I need more.
-This would be a start, then sell other things.
-Let's hope they sell well.
-That would be lovely.
-We'll firm up the estimate at 40-60.
-They are rather delightful.
We'll do our very best. Hopefully, we'll get more.
June, you've brought a wooden box.
-Not a normal wooden box.
-No, it's a musical box.
-Where did you get it?
Well, it came from my father.
He used to have a curiosity shop, and anything he took a fancy to,
he used to take home, and he used to have this beside his bed.
-Do you know anything about these, in terms of where these are made?
We can open this up and we can see that it's a Swiss musical box.
Made in Switzerland towards the end of the 19th century.
Date-wise, probably about 1880s.
In the front here, we've got the tune sheet,
the list of all the airs that would be played.
It's got the tune indicator as well. On there,
it's got the number of airs.
-As each tune is played, the arrow moves on.
-I didn't realise that.
Maybe it doesn't on this if it's not in perfect working condition.
But that's what should happen.
Over here it's got the start and stop levers, and change and repeat,
so you could repeat the tune and have the same tune going on and on,
-or flick it to "change" to play a different tune.
-It played different ones.
I thought it sounded pretty. That's the only thing that I really know.
-It was the sound, the music.
-That's why you're interested in it.
This little piece, that's the metal comb. Right at the end of each of these teeth is a little prong.
It tings against the little pieces sticking out of the cylinder,
and that gives it the lovely sound.
The box is probably rosewood. That was the common material.
On the top, there's a little transfer motif.
-Unfortunately, it's not in very good condition.
We have got this crack along here. That really will affect its value.
-It belonged to your father. You must be attached to it.
-Yes, I am.
But as you get older,
you realise that you've collected several things over the years
-and your children probably don't want them.
-Any ideas on value?
Erm... Maybe 100? I wouldn't really... I've no idea.
I don't think you're far out.
-It would be worth about £150-£200.
-Something like that.
-How does that sound to you?
A simple example, not in the best condition. But if you'll gamble, I'll gamble.
Let's just hope that it does well.
I love being by the coastline. For me, it's a sense of freedom.
It gives inspiration. Out there are wonderful countries to discover.
Being islanders, the sea is our key means of defence against attackers.
We need a navy, which brings me to my schoolboy hero, Horatio Nelson.
He was born in 1758 just along the coast from here in Burnham Thorpe.
From these beaches, he set sail at the age of 22 to join the navy.
By 1800, he was ennobled Lord Nelson.
Having lost an eye and an arm in action, he returned home here
to await orders from his country.
The people of Yarmouth were so proud of Nelson, they commissioned a monument.
That's it, built in 1815, 30 years before London got around to raising their tribute in Trafalgar Square.
It commemorates his victories.
The greatest was Trafalgar, where Nelson achieved immortality by defeating the French and Spanish,
dying at his moment of triumph.
The statue of Britannia on the top faces Nelson's birthplace.
All that was 200 years ago. What more excuse do I need to find out more?
And what better person to talk to than Charles Lewis?
Not only is he a local chap, but he's also writing a book on Nelson.
What was the connection with the navy for Nelson?
-Why did he go into the navy? Who was he influenced by?
who had been in the navy, and it was his uncle who got him to sea in the first instance.
His uncle, interestingly enough, had fought a battle in the Caribbean
some years previously, and it had been a minor triumph.
That was celebrated each year in the Nelson household,
-on what was to become Trafalgar Day, October the 21st.
-Right on that day?
-The same day that Nelson was to die on.
-That's quite ironic.
This image is an image which every schoolboy knows.
It has become an icon, this scene. It looks like they're not ready for battle. Looks like a training day.
It does. It's before the battle.
It shows Nelson about to send up his famous signal, "England expects."
He was a wonderful naval tactician. These tactics won the battle. Talk me through it.
He'd a lot of time to think what to do with this fleet when he found it.
Normally, when two fleets came into battle, they fought in parallel lines. It was established procedure.
Nelson was keen to surprise them with something revolutionary.
He approached the French fleet at right angles, which meant...
-They couldn't shoot.
-They could fire at him but he couldn't fire at them.
His cannons pointed to the sides.
Actually, his ships endured about 40 minutes of approach when they were under fire from the French,
so his ship was a virtual wreck when it broke through the French line.
Then it was a free-for-all,
and British superiority and training really told in the end, and the French and Spanish were defeated.
But, of course, the other thing that happened is that Nelson died in the battle.
There's a lot to see. You singled out a few of your favourite items.
-Let's muse over these.
-It's difficult to choose favourites.
There's such a variety.
These are typical examples of Nelson memorabilia.
There's a nice toby jug there.
-Staffordshire figures. Lovely little snuff box.
-I like that.
-It's enamelled tin.
-Yes, it is.
-Cute snuff box.
-Tell me about this.
-That's a strange-looking thing.
It's supposed to be one of Nelson's pen-knives.
Not what you'd expect a pen-knife to look like. The term has changed.
That would have been used to trim a quill pen.
-Hence the name, pen-knife.
Any idea of the value of that? Crikey, if that is Nelson's, that's worth thousands and thousands.
I think this toby jug is highly collectable. It's a classic thing to collect.
Something like that is going to set you back a couple of thousand pounds.
We have the 200-year anniversary of Nelson's death now.
What will things be like in, let's say, 2205?
These will be twice as expensive.
Get buying and get collecting. In 200 years' time, they could be worth a lot.
This seascape depicts the Battle of Trafalgar, fought in 1805. On it there's an inscription.
"England expects every man to do his duty."
We expect every expert to do their duty. Here's what they found to take to auction.
Sylvia's teddy lost his stuffing after all that cuddling.
Catherine thinks he may only make £100-£200. Hmm, I wonder?
Thomas hopes Ivy's copper plates could dish up cash for charity,
and has estimated £40-£60.
We hope the music box might hit the right chord
and make the valuation of £150-£200.
First, Alan and I are in need of a bit of a cuddle.
Sylvia's Steiff teddy bear. He's a winner. He's my favourite lot.
-Catherine has put 100-200 on him.
-We'd all love to buy him for that.
I'd like to say £1,000-£2,000.
I think she's undervalued him. He's got the attributes that you want.
-Look at the look.
-You'll never see a little face like that again.
OK, well, he's a German bear.
Steiff. Margarette Steiff.
All that he needs. He's got his tag in his ear - left ear.
Vertical stitching on his nose. Needs packing.
-I love the nose. Some little kid has been carrying the bear by its nose.
-Boot button eyes.
-Long, narrow feet.
-And long arms.
And underneath, that felt, which is again typical of the factory.
This bear was made in 1909.
He's 95 years old, so it's a grandfather bear.
-We should sing Happy Birthday.
We have put him in our catalogue at 400-600. Your figures were low.
-What do you think it might make?
-Add a bit, we'd be happy.
If he was the bigger size, you would have won the lottery.
He's not that, but he's good.
-I think you're holding something back.
-No, no, I just fancy him.
-Put your neck on the block.
-I will put my neck on the block. 1,200.
-OK? We'll see. We hope for the best.
How exciting. If Ted makes that, we'll all be thrilled. We'll see.
-June, we're about to sell your father's rosewood music box.
Right place, right time. A lot of instruments here. People have come for that. This'll catch their eye.
-We're looking for £150-£200.
Why are you selling the music box?
As you get older, you get clutter.
-It's hard to split a music box into three.
-You've got three kids?
-Will we do it?
-Difficult to sell.
There's not a huge market for them.
If it sells, it'll be around the low estimate. It won't take off.
-Dad was an antique dealer.
-Something like that.
-Must be right, or he wouldn't have kept it.
-Anything that Father liked ended up down home, not in the shop.
Number 95. We have the little music box.
In nice order. I'll start bottom end of estimate at £100 only.
-At £100, I'm bid.
At £100 only. Where's 10? At 110.
120. 130. 140.
At £140, is bid.
50, do you like? 140. 150. 160.
170. 180. 190.
200. At £200, is bid.
At £200 now. 10, if it helps.
At £200 now. At 200...
210. 220. Written bids still have it at £220.
May I say 30?
At £220. It goes away on £220.
-220. So Dad had a good eye, didn't he?
There's always commission to pay in auctions. It varies from 15 to 20%.
So there's a bit of commission to pay. What'll you do with the money?
-Presents for the grandchildren.
Two lovely copper plates next.
-They're Ivy's, but not for much longer.
-Not a lot riding on it.
-£40-£60. But it's going to a very good cause.
-Tell me about it.
Poor people in other countries, particularly in Ukraine.
We're sending money to the street children.
-They're terribly deprived.
-How did you get involved in this?
-Through the church.
My Bible says if you have anything you want to get rid of, sell what you have and give it to the poor.
Let's hope we get top money. A good maker. I can't pronounce the W.
The M is "Metalworken" and the F is "Fabritiken". Something like that.
-We'll have to wait.
-Is it a come-and-buy-me?
I think we're looking at £40-£50.
Let's find out. Good luck, Ivy.
Number 125. WMF, in brass. Nice to see these Art Nouveau dishes.
-I'll start at just £30. A nice pair.
30. A collectable maker. £30, I'm bid.
Where's 5? At 30. 5. 40.
5. 50. 5.
At 55, is bid. Where is 60? 55 is bid.
Where is 60? At 55, they're done.
55. Nearly top end. That was good.
He said they're brass. They're copper.
-A good result.
-Yes, I'm happy.
Now we've got the most exciting lot.
Sylvia's little Steiff teddy bear. In fact, it's a large teddy bear.
-Are you ready for this?
-Lots of mixed emotions?
I can see a little tear. Sorrow.
-I would not sell this bear. Why are you doing it?
-Nobody wants him.
-I'm trying to download what I've got.
-All of the UK will want him.
He is gorgeous. He's got the right attributes.
-I spoke to the auctioneer. I said to him I'd pay £800 for it.
This is gonna be a roller-coaster ride. Pull your chair up to the TV.
-That would be great.
-Pain and joy.
-I think joy.
-You put a cheeky 100-200 on this.
-I went low because he is very poorly.
-But he's fabulous. Should do well.
-Auctioneer said it might do £1,200.
-Oh, my word!
-Then we'll all be crying.
-Pleasure and pain. You like that. Good luck.
Number 35 is the magnificent Steiff teddy bear here.
-He IS magnificent.
-Looking very happy there. What may I say here?
Shall we start him at £500? £300?
-I'm bid £300.
At 3. 320. 350.
380. At £380.
400, if you like.
At 380. 400. 420?
At 420. 450.
480. At 480.
-(There's no stopping.)
650. At 650. 700.
750. At 750. 800. 850.
-(I've gone all pink.)
-At 950. 1,000.
-(Your cheeky 1 to 2.
-It certainly got them interested.)
-(I thought I'd get 90.)
-(Oh, my word.)
At 2,000. 2,100.
(I don't believe it.)
2,200. At £2,200.
-The other phone's out. 2,200.
-(What a moment to remember.)
At £2,200. He's a fine bear. At 2,200.
Hammer's gone down! Yeah! Well done. £2,200.
-I don't believe it.
-Neither do I.
-Nor do I.
100-200 should've been 1,000-2,000.
-You were prepared to have a £90 reserve.
-You've got £2,200.
-What are you going to do with that?
-I don't know.
-What comes to mind?
-Then decide what to do with it.
-Thank you very much.
You've made today's show. That's what auctions are all about - the roller-coaster ride. Brilliant.
We've had the stuffing knocked out of us with that incredible sale.
What a day. The auction's still going on. Our owners have all gone home happy. We've sold everything.
Not so much a teddy bear's picnic as a teddy bear's field day.
Sylvia's Steiff teddy bear reached a staggering £2,200.
If you've got antiques and collectables you want to flog,
bring them along to one of our valuation days. See you next time.
Subtitles by Subtext for BBC Broadcast - 2005
e-mail us at [email protected]
Paul Martin is in Great Yarmouth to find more valuables waiting to go under the auctioneer's hammer. Experts Catherine Southon and Thomas Plant estimate the value of each object and ask if the owners wish to sell. Paul scours a Suffolk beach in search of pieces of amber and visits the childhood home of his schoolboy hero - Admiral Nelson.