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Norwich is one of Britain's oldest cities
and it was made prosperous by wool and trade with Europe.
During the Middle Ages,
its impressive city walls made it larger than London.
Today, it has more than 1,500 historic buildings
within its walled centre,
making Norwich the most complete medieval city in Britain.
One of Norwich's historic buildings is our venue for today -
The magnificent St Andrew's Hall.
Already, we've got a massive queue lined up outside
to have their antiques and collectables valued.
On hand, we've got experts -
Philip Serrell, who's trucking along.
And also, he's joined by Mr Mark Stacey,
ready to blow his own trumpet...
Well, I wonder who's going to win the race to value the first item
and get to the famous "Flog It!" blue tablecloths?
Well, it is now 9:30am. I think it's time to find out.
Let's get this queue inside and get the show on the road.
Ready to blow them all in?
HE PLAYS TRUMPET
This is interesting,
as we've got a child's tea set, produced for Chad Valley.
-And it's interesting that its "Muffin the Mule,
"copyright, Muffin Syndicate 1950."
-So, we know it's later than 1950.
-Can you be more precise?
-'57. 1957, when I was 7.
-That very accurate. When you were 7?
-When I was 7, yes.
-Let me do the maths here.
-So, we now know that you're 21.
Well, I think that's really nice. This is your childhood?
It is, yes.
I can remember Muffin the Mule.
It was the year we got our first television, so this was on TV.
That little black-and-white screen, about that big, and a big wooden box.
-A Pye, yes.
-Those were the days.
-Why do you want to sell this?
-It's sitting doing nothing.
-Yeah, but, it's your childhood memories.
-I've got lots of memories.
-Don't need this.
-Well, that's nice.
One thing that really interests me about this,
-it is in mint condition, isn't it?
We've got the original box.
We've got Muffin the Mule, here
and then you've got Louise and who else have we got?
There's Grace the Giraffe,
and we've got Peregrine the Penguin
and Oswald the Ostrich.
-You could have been Dorothy the Duck, couldn't you?
Bet you wouldn't have sold it then!
So, now it's got to go.
Yeah, it has.
-I think we can estimate this at 30 to £50.
And we will put a fixed reserve of £25.
-Are you pleased with that?
-I am, yes.
I'd, sort of, thought 15 or £20, something like that...
All your memories for 15 quid?
Yeah, but this is...it's not just memories, is it?
No, I suppose not.
I'm not going to use it. I've no daughters to give it to.
Or any grand-daughters.
It's going to get sold. What are you going to spend the money on?
If it goes and makes 50 quid, what will that go on?
Well, it's my husband's big birthday coming up
and we're going away to Cambridge, so I'll put it towards that.
That will be really good. Some lovely museums there.
-Some wonderful paintings in the colleges.
-We want to go to King's College to hear the choir.
Well, you enjoy. Let's hope that Muffin does really well for you.
-Peter, Marguerite, good afternoon to you.
You've brought a rather interesting painting in to show us.
What's the family history?
My dad knew the artist, Popham.
He bought this painting about 50 years ago.
It's hung on my parents' sitting room wall until we sold the house
and it's been in a little bedroom in our house,
not shown to very good advantage ever since.
-Do you like it, Marguerite?
-I'm afraid to say, I don't.
It's one of those paintings that either you really like,
or you really dislike it. It is a bit on the heavy side.
It's got those very thick brush strokes.
You're right, it's signed down here, John Kidwell Popham.
Born in 1884. No recording of his death,
but I'm sure he is long gone by now in 2007.
And it's really from that sort of modern British school,
the use of those very heavy brush strokes,
the very earthy, autumnal colours.
I love it, I have to say. I love this style of painting.
It's obviously a rural scene here in East Anglia,
because he was an East Anglian artist.
Which is a nice connection to our trip to Norwich today.
It's in this rather older looking frame, isn't it?
this Rococo-type frame, which I don't think suits it.
I think it needs to be in a much simpler frame. But, you know,
we've got this lovely detail here, and the signature too.
We've got these wonderful... items in the background there.
-Now, you were telling me a story about that.
My father knew the artist, as I say, and, erm...apparently,
Mr Popham said to Dad that there was a lady
who saw the picture, and she said, "Oh, I can imagine playing on those haystacks,"
and he said, "I am sure not, madam. They are manure heaps."
HE LAUGHS Well, If I owned it, I'd prefer to look at them, actually, as haystacks.
-So I'm with the lady on that!
Have you ever thought about the value?
Not really. Erm...
-I looked up Popham on the internet and found a 19th-century artist, who obviously wasn't the same man.
-I couldn't find this one.
-We've looked it up,
and this particular artist sells anywhere from...
under £50 up to about £400-£500.
And I think, if this had been a summer's day, with children playing or something,
-then obviously we'd be up to the end of...
..the upper end of that estimate. I would suggest we put £150-£200 on it,
with a reserve at £100 to protect it, so we don't give it away.
-How do you feel about that?
-That's fine. Thank you.
-Thank you very much.
-How are you, Cynthia?
-Where did these come from?
-These came originally from Brighton.
-So, how long have they been in your family?
My dad bought them in an auction.
We'd just come back from Australia and we had no furniture
-and he went to the auction to buy furniture and bought these.
-I think he just liked them.
-Do you like them?
Not that keen on them, no.
What's your forte?
I prefer Lowestoft.
Really? That's a bit different.
So, you got into Lowestoft collecting because of the local connection?
Well, I've always been interested in porcelain and I've got a few Worcester pieces.
-A few teapots. Three, I think, I've got.
But these, now, don't have a place in that collection?
-Well, no. They take up precious room in the cabinet.
You'd rather get rid of these and make way for the Lowestoft?
Well, if I could afford any decent Lowestoft.
I couldn't afford anything like that in Lowestoft.
Just for the viewers at home, if this were a pair of Lowestoft figures,
what would you have to pay for them at auction?
Let me guess. £6,000?
-I would think more than that.
So, let's say 6000 to £9,000 at an auction, if these were Lowestoft.
They wouldn't be as fancy and they wouldn't be as colourful, I don't think.
Lowestoft did make sheep, but much smaller and plainer.
-I think it's fair to say that these aren't worth £6,000. Is that a fair comment?
I think these are quite late.
There's a little bit of blistering on the back.
They're spill vases,
so they would have sat, perhaps, on a mantelpiece or by a fire,
with spills in and tapers, so you would light your pipe, or whatever.
I think they date to about 1880, perhaps 1900.
-I think they're worth at auction between £30 and £50.
-Oh, really? Not a lot, is it?
That's absolutely set your face on fire, hasn't it?
Go on, then! "That's not a lot, is it?" No, it's not going to buy you a pair of Lowestoft sheep, is it?
-No, it's not.
-You wanna sell them?
-Yes, I think so.
-We're going to go and sell them?
-They've got to go.
-Out to pasture?
Now, Edna, you've brought a wonderful piece of Moorcroft pottery for us.
Where on earth did you get it?
-Well, it was left by my husband's auntie.
And...it's been in the cabinet
and now we've got all modern China,
therefore, we don't want it to get broken.
That's why we thought we'd sell it.
Bring it along and get it valued.
Well, we know straightaway it's William Moorcroft.
This wonderful use of colour, the decoration.
This very, sort of, fanciful pattern on it.
It's known as the landscape pattern.
We're looking at a date of around 1900, 1902, something like that.
It's a very early piece from when he started work at the MacIntyre's factory.
-He was brought in to create art nouveau designs,
so this is amongst the first of his designs. And when we look underneath,
we can see very clearly the Florian Ware mark
and we can see, "W Moorcroft, Des."
Which stands for designer.
-Now, it's a lovely tactile piece.
And it's going to appeal to the market, I think,
very nicely indeed. Have you ever thought of the value?
Well, we did have it valued and it was £1,200 we had it valued at.
Well, that's a very precise valuation, of course, because when we put something into auction,
we have to put an auction estimate.
And I would say, if we were putting this in now,
-we would suggest 8 to £1,200, with a reserve of 800.
But I don't think we need to worry. I think it's going to sell above that
because the market is very strong at the moment for Moorcroft.
-And I can see two determined bidders wanting that.
And why have you decided to flog it now?
We have three holidays a year and it will go towards those!
-You lucky woman.
-And we spend a month at a time there.
-And where on earth is this magical place?
-Oh, in Spain?
-And you own a place?
Well, if it does really well, maybe you can pack me in your suitcase and I'll come over for a week?
-Yes, that's right!
It's hard to imagine how people can abuse an animal, especially as sweet as these two here.
But, unfortunately, some people out there do.
Every year, hundreds of horses, ponies and donkeys have to be rescued from abuse and neglect.
Many of these horses are found in appalling conditions all around the country.
But here in Norfolk, they've been given a home where they receive proper care and medical treatment.
Some live out their lives here and others are retrained
so they can live a happy, working life with a new family.
This is Redwings Horse Sanctuary just outside Norwich,
where rescued horses aren't just put out to pasture.
I'm here to meet Nicola Markwell, who's gonna explain the philosophy behind the centre.
I gather most of the horses here get a second chance in life,
cos they get reschooled and, hopefully, rehomed.
That's the plan. We're fortunate as we are a sanctuary as well.
So, we have are the option that,
if they don't suit a life in a home or if they had medical problems,
they can stay here in our care.
This is the largest horse sanctuary in the UK, how many horses are here?
That's right, we have 1,150 in total.
1,150? How many staff have you got here?
-250, and they all work so hard.
-And you all love you jobs?
-We love it.
And every horse, like these, is an individual case, I guess?
You can bond with every single one?
Yes, and they are all different, it's amazing.
What is it with some people, why do they neglect and abuse such beautiful creatures?
What is going on in their minds?
That's the 1,000,000 question. A lot of it is more ignorance than deliberate cruelty.
People take on horses with no idea how expensive they are and how much care they need.
And then they panic - we often see a lot of neglect cases where people have just lost hope and panicked.
We get about 3,000 calls a year to our helpline which is suspected cases of concern and neglect.
And you've got to follow up all those calls?
Yes, we've got welfare advisers who can assess the situation.
Then we can send our own horse boxes and handling team.
It's amazing how quickly they turn around. They can be so poorly,
-but with some good feed...
-..And love, they turn around amazingly well.
Who've we got here?
This is Gulliver. Come here, sweetheart.
He's only a baby. He's only 14 months old.
-Oh, he's beautiful.
-He is beautiful.
He's not ready for rehoming yet,
-but we've got him down here so he can have some handling work with our team.
-Where did you find him?
With his mother at just a few months old.
She was in a very poor state, very skinny.
She'd been giving all her nutrition to him, through her milk.
-So, he was in fine condition.
-Is she here too?
She's at our Ada Cole rescue centre in Essex.
She's got lameness problems, so she'll stay in our care now.
-She's made a great recovery, we're very pleased.
Something's caught my eye down there. Look at this.
-Aah...a little Shetland.
I just noticed on his chart, he's called Roquefort.
Yes, he's part of our cheesy group! That's why he's called Roquefort.
We've also got a Camembert, an Edam and a Mozzarella.
We rescue them in groups and so we give them group names, so that later,
when they are rehomed or move about the sanctuary, we know where they came from.
We also have a chocolate group, American states,
Lord Of The Rings, you name it, we've got it!
-I guess you have to do that, there are so many horses here.
The staff all name them and enjoy coming up with the names.
It's so easy to fall in love with a little Shetland.
He's got a naughty glint in his eye, I think!
Yes, he has.
-Horses and ponies that have a bit of character are much more fun than really docile ones.
They've all got their own personalities. They're full of life, they're brilliant.
Roquefort's gotta do some work. Would you like to take him out?
I would love to, I'll lead him.
Obviously, you've got to exercise them every day, but do you work them every day or every other day?
Yes, they do have a break. But we try to keep them in work.
Look at this!
It's like taking Bluebell for a walk.
Here we go.
And the sun's come out, as well.
Shall I hand Roquefort over to you?
-There you go.
-Emma, pleased to meet you.
What a lovely all-weather arena.
Yes, come rain or shine, we don't get any mud in here and keep going.
And I can see you're lunging and long-reining?
Yes, we've got the three stages of training going on today.
Lunging, long-reining and the backing and breaking process.
The horses that we get in here have never been ridden before.
So, we have to train them to accept the rider's weight and someone on their back.
-And, who's this?
-This is Milky Way.
Milky Way, aww!
He's from the chocolate group.
And what are you going to do with him right now?
We start with basic leading,
just to make sure the horses are handleable and comfortable with us being around them...
That's the most important thing, to bond with a human being.
Otherwise, you can't pass them on, you can't rehome them?
That's right. They've got to be comfortable around humans and really happy with us.
And then we add the tack - the bridle,
the lunge caverson and the saddle.
And then, we move on to lunging,
which is where the horse is receptive to the human voice - the first natural aid.
And here, we've got somebody just putting some weight on the back of a horse. This is the scary bit!
Yeah, we've got Karen, Marie and Bounty behind us, here.
Bounty is also from the chocolate group.
What they're doing is getting the horse ready to accept the weight
and also gradually putting weight onto the pony's back.
Providing you've done the build-up work correctly,
generally, they're quite good to be sat on for the first time.
It must be quite sad when,
after two or three years of rehabilitation, reschooling,
bonding, falling in love with the chocolate family, the cheese family,
and then you have to say goodbye. You must get tearful?
Well, the staff do get attached but they know that when they go out into the home,
they can have the one-to-one attention that,
when we're working with such a large group of horses, we can't give.
And it's really the end aim to get the horse out into a home
and to have one-to-one attention with a new guardian.
-That's the goal, isn't it?
So, while we're sad to see them go, we're happy that they're moving on.
-It's a happy tear in the eye, isn't it?
It's a tear of accomplishment!
-Well, carry on the good work, won't you?
I'll watch everyone at work now, myself.
One of the sanctuary's recent success stories is Owl.
He was among a group of mares and foals rescued by Redwings in 1994.
They were destined for slaughter as they had been running wild on a common and nobody wanted them.
A few months ago,
nine year-old Harry and his mum, Julie, fell in love with Owl
after seeing him in the sanctuary and he moved into his new home.
And with all the staff working so hard,
I'm sure many more rescued horses will be getting a second chance of a better life.
We had plenty to look at in our valuation day in Norwich, but now we're off to auction
to sell the cream of the crop.
Muffin The Mule charmed generations of children.
Let's see if Dorothy's tea service will do the same for the bidders.
Peter and Marguerite's rural scene is pretty as a picture,
but we want to see it whip up a storm.
Next, it's the Staffordshire sheep,
which I think might do better than Philip's valuation of 30 to £50.
And lastly, it's the Moorcroft Florian vase.
it's got the name, but will there be enough collectors there to get the top price for Edna?
Well, I really do enjoy being here at Thomas Gaze and Sons in Diss
because there's always something to see.
You can find some bargains as well.
There's three sales running simultaneously.
We're inside with the antique and fine art auction, but outside,
there's an architectural salvage auction going on at exactly the same time and also, over there,
on that bit of car park over there, there's the agricultural sale.
There really is something for everybody and I've spotted something I would love.
It is a Victorian, cast iron tree guard
and I've just planted a lovely little acer
and I think it will look so sweet in there
and it'll protect it from the horses nibbling at it.
Failing that, it'll be great to grow your runner beans on, wouldn't it?
And today, the auctioneer is our very own Elizabeth Talbot.
Next up, Muffin the Mule memorabilia.
It's that lovely tea set belonging to Dorothy. We've got the tea set,
we haven't got Dorothy. She's on holiday.
She can't be with us today. But we've got our expert, Mr Philip Serrell.
30 to £50 on this.
It's not a lot of money. We thought it was a bit of a "come-and-buy-me" when we had a chat about it.
-What do you mean by that?
-Oh, tempt the bidders in.
We think it should be, sort of, 50 to £100,
-because there's quite a bit of lot there.
-We'll find out.
-We should do.
-I was a Muffin the Mule fan.
-So was I.
-I never liked Andy Pandy.
Oh no, I liked Andy Pandy. I liked the Flower Pot Men.
They might be saying we're the Flower Pot Men if we get this wrong.
is the 1950s Muffin the Mule child's tea set, by Chad Valley.
It is complete and I start at £22.
25, 28, 30,
2, 35, 38,
42 with me. At 42 now.
45, 48, 50,
5, 60, 5, 70, 5,
85, 90, 5.
95. With me, at 95 now.
-That's a good price.
-More like it.
110. 120, 130.
At £130. Are you all done at 130?
-That's what I wanted to see.
-That's what I wanted.
-It's people buying back their memories.
Well, right now we've got some fine art for all you art lovers.
It's got a lot of local interest.
It's by a local artist and it belongs to Marguerite, here.
You came to the valuation day with your husband. Where's Peter today?
He's just recovering from a minor operation.
-Oh, successful though? He's on the mend?
-Yes, he is.
-Give him my best wishes.
Mark, you fell in love with it at the valuation.
I did, I've never heard of the artist but I love those earthy, modern British colours.
And that's really what attracted it to me. And it's a local view.
Where better to try it than a local sale room?
It's bold, it's confident, it's put on with a palette knife.
Let's hope the estimate is a nice, punchy one and we get a little bit more than the 150.
-We are always hoping.
-We want a lot more than that.
Going under the hammer right now.
Lot 20, now.
Early 20th century oil on canvas,
pastoral landscape. I'll start at £75.
-£75 is bid, at 75 on the oil painting.
-That's a bit low.
There's a bid left on the book.
130, the lady's out. At 130.
It's going up. Slowly, but its getting there.
-They like it.
At £210 and selling.
-210! We're happy with that.
-The hammer's gone down at £210.
-That's very good.
-Not bad, is it?
-No, that's not bad.
What are you going to put that money towards?
Well, I'd buy a romantic dinner for two.
But my husband wants me to buy some glamorous underwear!
But I know which I'd rather have.
Well, things are going really well. I've been joined by Cynthia
and we're just about to sell her little Staffordshire spill vases,
the little lambs, so tactile.
Why do you want to flog these?
Well, we've had them a long time in the family.
And we just needed space in our cabinet.
OK, a bit of space. They're not that big, are they?
-So, what are you making space for?
Well, if I get enough money, I can buy some Lowestoft.
Oh, that's big bucks, isn't it?
It is, yes. I'll have to be saving a long time.
Well, we got a valuation of 30 to £60 on these spill vases, Philip.
To go towards some Lowestoft. I'm pretty sure they're gonna sell.
I'd be bitterly disappointed if they didn't.
That market's hardened a little bit, but they've got to join the flock.
Lot 160 now, the two 19th century Staffordshire spill vases, there.
Interest on the sheet shown here. Can I start at £22?
At 22, 25, 28,
30, 2, 35, 38.
40's bid and I'm out.
42, new bidder.
50, 5. At 55.
This is good!
And 60's the back.
70's now by the door. At 70, where's 5, again?
-This is more like it.
95 is the gallery, at 95, now. 100, I'll take.
At 95. Round it up someone. At 95, are you all done?
Yes. That is a sold sound!
-£95, Cynthia? A bit of Lowestoft coming your way, I think.
-I hope so!
Elizabeth's stepped down to give way to auctioneer Steve Stockton,
and the tension's building for the sale of the Moorcroft vase.
I've been waiting for this moment. We've got some real quality for you.
It's a Moorcroft, Florian Ware, it belongs to Donald and Edna.
I've got Donald next to me but unfortunately, Edna cannot be with us.
But we've got our expert, Mark Stacey, that put the 8 to £1,200 on this.
Now, I've had a chat to the auctioneer just before the sale started.
And she said it may have just peaked, Moorcroft,
and she might be looking at 6 to £900 for it, so...
I have to say, I don't agree.
I said, "Mark knows his stuff."
I don't agree. I think you've got to look at the piece.
It's an early piece, it's Florian landscape, wonderful colours.
Right at the beginning of the output, it's a big organic lump.
Just what the collectors want.
-It should make £1,200.
So, Donald, why are you flogging this?
Well, it doesn't really go with our...house, you know.
We're all modern, of course, and we've only got a few antiques.
-It doesn't really go in the... ambience of the house.
So, it's time to flog it, really?
-Well, let's hope we can get you the £1,200 plus...
-Let's hope there's a lot of interest. Figures crossed.
-We're gonna find out!
All the talking is over with. Now, it's the moment of truth.
This is it. Good luck, Donald.
We have the Moorcroft Florian Ware, landscape-patterned vase.
Circa 1902, lovely example, in good condition.
And I'm going to start with me at £500. £500, do I see 20?
Moorcroft at £500, do I see 20?
600, now, do I see 20?
780, I'm out.
In the room now, 780. Do I see 800?
Yes. Telephone bid now.
800, 820. 850.
-We sold it.
-Go on, Donald!
-Yes, it's going on, come on.
It's £1,300 on the telephone.
Any advance on 1,300?
-You were so right, Mark.
-It hasn't peaked yet, has it?
-Not even in East Anglia.
Gosh! £1,300, Donald, you're happy!
-I'm very happy.
-Well, I'm glad you brought it in.
It's a cracking shape. I thank you so much, Donald.
Thank you for bringing so much quality onto the show.
Lovely, my pleasure.
Well, the auction is still going on
but it's definitely all over for our owners,
and they've all gone home very happy
because we've sold absolutely everything today.
So, all credit to our experts.
They were spot on the money.
We've had a fantastic time here and I hope you've enjoyed watching the show.
We've loved making it so, until the next time, from Diss, cheerio!
For more information about "Flog It!", including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle
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