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Today we're plundering the treasures in two cathedral cities.
And we've been stunned by the riches we've uncovered. First in Winchester...
-I can't believe it.
-Nor can I. That is just astonishing.
-I am so pleased I was so wrong.
Then in Worcester...
You're shaking! It's a wonderful Flog It! moment.
But which city will turn out to have the antiques that do the best at auction? We'll soon find out.
Welcome to Flog It!
Winchester and Worcester are both blessed with stunning cathedrals
at the heart of their cities and with glorious countryside nearby.
So it's not surprising that the people who live there
have found artistic inspiration from their surroundings.
Later on I'll be getting a taste of art inspired by the great outdoors in Worcestershire
and by the great indoors in Winchester Cathedral.
But when it comes to flogging antiques, which of these two venues will get the best results?
Winchester's queue is already on the move.
Winchester Guild Hall was built in 1871 and over the years
it's been home to the city's law courts, a police station, a museum
and a library, but today it's playing host to Flog It!
and hopefully it will be brimming with antiques and collectables
right up to its magnificent ceilings.
And helping me sort out the weird from the wonderful today are
our experts, Michael Baggot and Charlie Ross.
Valerie, I have been waiting for a piece of silver and you've come along
-on your charger today with this fabulous teapot.
-I'm so pleased.
What can you tell me? What is the family history to it?
Not much that I can tell you, unfortunately.
It belonged to my father's mother's side of the family and, really, more than that, I can't tell you.
Right, it's a super thing and anybody who knows anything about silver
will be looking at that and saying, "Oooh, that's a beautiful London teapot of about 1830," but...
HE STRAINS ..the first hint that something's up
-is that I'm having difficulty lifting it.
-And actually, the second thing is this handle.
Because it's horn and English handles are silver with ivory insulators,
or they're wood, so we're not in England any more.
Turn it over and, great, that is what we want to see, we've got a series of punches.
We've got H and C in a rectangular punch,
then we've got an elephant which is a sign of things, things not English.
-Interestingly we've got a two-handled cup and a little A.
Now these are the marks that were used by Hamilton and Company
who were probably the leading silversmiths in Calcutta
and they produced some of the best quality silver to the latest designs in Calcutta, using native craftsman.
Oh, my goodness, that's interesting.
And things were worked to a very heavy gauge.
So whenever you see something which is very elaborate,
which is also an Indian taste, and it weighs a ton,
those are the warning bells that it's going to be a piece of colonial silver.
We've got a presentation inscription on it, which is a bit worn,
but it says "Julia, Eliza and Henry Tucker to Frederick Collicott Esq,
"a grateful token of esteem and regard, Calcutta, 1832."
I would have dated this, without that inscription, between 1830 and 1835,
but we've got it spot on, that is contemporary with when it was made.
It's still not, frustratingly, as valuable as if it were English.
-Despite the fact that it's much rarer.
-Perverse, isn't it?
-Yes, very perverse.
At auction it's going to be in the region of about £350 to £550,
-that's the sort of bracket.
If you're happy for us to put it in the auction, we'll do that, we'll put a fixed reserve of 350 on it.
-And see how it goes.
-All right, well, fingers crossed.
Both sets of fingers crossed. I'm so glad to see you today.
-I'm so glad you are so excited about it.
-Valerie, you've made my day.
-Good, I'm pleased about that.
-Thank you very much.
Mike and Sue, to whom does this belong?
It's Mike's because it used to belong to his mother.
Oh, did it? Have you known it all your life?
-I have, yes.
-You have, yeah, any more clues about what it is?
We think it's from Belgium because Mike's mother was from Belgium
and she met Mike's father at the end of the war in Brussels
and they got married and came back to England to live
and we understood it was given to her for a wedding present,
but we don't think it was new when she had it.
-How interesting, and when was the wedding?
It's got a real Deco look to it so it just could have been '30s,
but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was new then.
-Now, do you know who made it?
-We did look it up.
-It's got a name on it.
-Yes, it's Val St Lambert.
Val St Lambert, who was about the most famous glass manufacturer in Belgium
and the factory was started in 1826
and Val St Lambert was the official glass producer
for the King of Belgium and the factory is still in existence today.
And what type of things does it make now then? Similar?
A lot of perfume bottles, things like that.
I mean, this, as we can see, is a flower arranger, it's a vase,
it's a bit bigger than most items of Val St Lambert that I've seen
and it has a decoration to it,
which is overlaid glass and what happens is they made the initial glass vase,
and then they put an amber layer of glass over the whole vase.
-And then they cut back to the original glass.
So you can see everywhere that it's cut in, it's back to the clear glass.
-It's back, yes.
-And it's produced a very heavy,
very high quality piece of glassware.
-It isn't, I have to say, considerably valuable.
Would you have an idea, have a little pop at it?
That's a very good valuation.
I might even be tempted to put the eternal Flog It! valuation on it
which is the 80 to 120, which you've probably heard time and time again.
-And I try to fight against it but if ever an item was suited to an 80 to 120, I think.
-It's this one.
-I think it's worth about £100.
-You are happy with us to put it into auction?
-Well, I think we'll put a reserve on it.
-We don't want to give it away, do we?
A discretionary reserve at 80 which gives the auctioneer a little bit of leeway if it gets close.
-Yes, that's fine.
-Thank you very much.
Sylvia, did you bring this in for me?
I did especially.
Well, you know I love country furniture, don't you?
-I'm a bit too big to get in it now, Paul.
-Was it yours as a child?
-No, it was my husband's.
Was it? Had it been in his family?
Well, in his family actually for 200 years, we think.
Gosh! And you want to part with it.
Yes, we've a lot of stuff, we haven't got room.
-Your husband doesn't mind?
-No, no, no because we bought a small house.
What can he remember about it?
He can remember sitting on it and he can remember his uncle mending it.
How this happened, my husband's no idea.
Well, I felt that earlier and you know when there's a fresh break, it feels quite sharp.
-And that's smoothing over the years, isn't it?
-Children have sat on that for years.
-And chaffed the back of their legs.
-So it's been in the loft?
-Yeah, about 30 years.
All my children sat on it and all my grandchildren.
-This has been in your family for 200 years.
-Are you sure you want to part with it?
Well, it's my husband's really and he said yes, do.
It's known as vernacular furniture - country regional furniture
-and it's generally known as a stick back chair.
-A stick back?
-Stick back, a Windsor stick back chair, it's got a wonderful colour to it.
-It has, hasn't it?
-And that's what collectors love.
-What, this patina?
-This patina, yes,
it's a skin, it's a build-up over the years and this chair dates late 1700s, very early 1800s.
Ahh, I thought it was pretty old.
The seat is made of oak and you can see the break
has broken, that fracture has gone right along the line of the grain.
Most Windsor chairs, most chairs, are normally made with an elm seat.
An elm seat has an interlocking, very ambiguous grain
and because the grain doesn't run in one straight direction,
it's very strong and it's pliable and it won't break.
-Now unfortunately this has got an oak seat.
-And that will split easy?
And that will split easy, yes, but it's a gorgeous little piece
and I love the little turnings, I love this steam bending,
a lot of chairs you find were made with ash sticks,
-elm seats and oak arms and oak backs and the wood didn't match.
So they would stain it all or colour it or paint it, but it's only
a scaled down version of the real thing which you and I would sit on.
-It is, oh, yeah.
-It's beautiful, but it's badly damaged.
-It is, it's a shame.
-If it was in brilliant condition,
-£300 no problem.
-But it's not, is it?
-It's not really repairable. You could do it, but the cost
of repairing it, moving this front leg forward and patching this section up would cost...
-Would ruin it.
-It would take the character and personality out of the chair.
-Yes, quite right.
-It's going to be worth around £60 to £80,
that's all in this condition, but on a good day, it might do the £100.
-Yeah. All right.
-Is that all right?
-Let's put it into auction with a valuation or £80 to £100.
-OK, Paul, that's fine.
-Let the auctioneer use his discretion at the lower end of 80.
-Yeah, thank you very much.
-Is that a sad goodbye?
Yeah, never mind, thank you very much.
Thank you for coming along today with this watch,
but you've also brought these photographs as well, so can you tell me where does the watch come from?
Well, the watch comes from my grandfather who was called Eli Pope and this is his picture there.
-And he built this five wheel bicycle and he then also
raced with it on road and on the old Crystal Palace track and he won, he got this medal for winning a race.
So rather than a cup,
-he got a watch.
-A gold watch, yes.
Well, hopefully if we have a look inside,
we've got an inscription, which is nice.
It says, "Pilsley Athletic Sports June 1st, 1895.
-"One mile bicycle handicap, won by E Pope."
E Pope, it's fantastic to see a watch with a presentation inscription,
but when you've actually got the picture that relates to someone over 100 years ago, I mean it's fantastic.
And, I mean we've got a picture of him there on... I don't know the name for a five-seater bicycle!
-They call it a quinary.
-You learn something every day on Flog It!
-I've never ever heard it.
-Even I do.
-And, there you've got a picture of, I suppose, teams of them and he's in one of the teams.
-And it seems to be at the Crystal Palace.
-Yes, that's right.
-And is this the man himself?
That's the man himself, yes.
Good Lord. I think he possibly used to carry this around
-when he was racing because it's got a fair few dents in it.
-It's well marked, yes.
But it's appropriate to a cyclist and someone of its time because it's got a special feature to it.
-Do you know what the feature is?
-I think it's a stop watch.
It is. If we press the top here, off we go and it records the seconds
and when you finish recording the amount of time, you press it again
and you've got the reading there and to reset it,
you press this side button and then again and it clips back into place.
-Any idea of what the watch is made of or...?
-I think it's gold plate or something.
The back plate is plated because for strength, but actually the case
and the bezel are 18 carat gold and the chain itself, which is beautiful.
-Very pretty, isn't it?
-Victorian chain and that is about 1892, that's 9 carat gold.
-So it was a worthy thing to win.
And it's marvellous to have the history with it.
That's really what's quite touching.
It's very difficult to value this because it's got a little chip to it.
-Which knocks the value of the watch per se.
I think if we put it into auction, we should be in the region of about £150 to £250 on it, would that be?
Yes, my brother has given me his permission to sell it.
-He's given you the thumbs up.
-Hopefully, if the auctioneer catalogues it properly
and illustrates a couple of the photographs in the catalogue it will do close to the top end of that.
-Oh, that would be lovely, yes, thank you.
-It was a great pleasure to see it.
-Thank you very much.
Well, what a game lot the people of Winchester are.
Let's have a quick reminder of what's on its way to the auction.
Michael got steamed up by the quality of this rare teapot from India.
Let's hope it brews up a storm at auction.
Next, a piece of Belgian glassware, Charlie hopes its famous name will attract the bidders.
Sylvia's chair has been in the family for 200 years, I just hope the damage doesn't hold it back.
This watch belonged to a world record holder. I think it's a real winner.
Before we find out if the bidders in Winchester will race away with our antiques,
I'm going to see how contemporary artworks can help to illuminate
the beautiful, ancient interior of the city's cathedral.
Winchester Cathedral has been at the heart of the city for more than 900 years.
Coronations, christening, royal weddings and burials have all taken place under these magnificent,
soaring ceilings which really do make your eyes lift up and gaze towards the heavens...
But the cathedral is as much a venue for the new as for the old.
Today, amongst its gothic arches, you'll see modern works of art.
Winchester is proud of the fact that it has a living cathedral that embraces contemporary art.
It not only speaks to today's visitors, it also inspires them.
My tour starts in the crypt with Canon Keith Walker, he commissions most of the new art work.
We're here to see a sculpture which has become as renowned as any of the stained glass or stone work.
Well here we are, it's by Sir Antony Gormley we've featured his work on the show before.
How did it end up getting in the crypt? It's made of lead, isn't it?
It is made of lead and it's hollow. TAPPING
Well, Sir Antony Gormley submitted a possibility for a sculpture in the Lady Chapel.
It was not accepted but in preparation for it, he wanted to walk round the cathedral.
And I showed him the way.
And we walked around on the ground floor and then came down into the crypt.
Then he suddenly stopped, as if struck by lightning.
And he said, "This is the very place for my Sound II".
And he donated it to the cathedral which is an act of great generosity.
Some winters, I know it floods down here, there's a shallow pool of water which creates a dynamic,
-gives this thing vitality.
-Absolutely right, I think the presence of water,
is what determined him to let his piece come here.
In fact, if you look down at the feet, you can see the scales
that come from water being present.
And the come up almost to the knees.
So the amount of water, when it's here, is quite considerable.
How do people react to this when they first come down to the crypt?
It's curious because I take many groups round the cathedral, 20 or 30 at a time
and I always ask people what they think and I tell them to be very honest.
Predominantly, people react positively. They seem to see the meditative quality of this.
And when I explain about the water in the cupped hands, they're very impressed.
So, the idea is water is coming out of the hole, this hollow vessel?
Yes. It's in the region of the heart, the centre of life.
It's the inner life coming out, being expressed.
And much of Antony Gormley's work is interested in crisis points.
Here, he has suffered some shock and is examining his inner self.
It is as if the person is saying, "I held my life in my hands".
Set where it is, Sound II is a deeply moving sculpture
but not what you might expect to find in a cathedral.
Other commissioned pieces however, do directly reflect traditional images of Christian art.
I like this, it's the Mercy Of Mary Towards Her Dead Son.
-You'd call it a Pieta.
-Who designed this?
This was designed and created by Peter Eugene Ball who has done
a lot of work in cathedrals and churches and follows very much his own kind of inspiration.
When the Pieta first came into the cathedral, I did wonder if we'd made the right choice.
No sooner had I thought that than tragically the Clapham rail disaster took place.
And we literally on TV and in newspaper photographs,
saw people cradling other people in their arms with all the mark of grief and sorrow which they had.
Secondly, one noted many people who worked in London lived about here.
Some of them died in the Clapham rail disaster and for literally a few months...
people would congregate in this chapel and just look
at this Pieta. It was really extraordinary.
There's so much to see in each of these pieces when you know what you're looking at.
That is certainly true of one of my favourites...
I like this, the Blue Cross, it's made of glass, isn't it?
It is. It is Czech glass,
which for centuries has been renowned for its purity and beauty.
There's a trick of the eye here. I don't know if you can work it out but there is one, isn't there?
-You can explain it.
-Well, I hope!
It's an optical illusion which pleases an artist and puzzles everyone else.
You would think the horizontal here, is broader than the horizontal there,
But these are less in length than the two uprights. It's not so.
-They are all four pieces of the same length.
-Exactly the same size?
It's very clever and it's neat.
I think beauty and appropriateness can be in stark, puritanical, minimalist structures
-as well as in ornate and flowery structures.
This is such a beautiful cathedral and is a unique part of our nation's heritage.
It's been beautifully restored. Just being inside the fabric of this wonderful building
gives you an overwhelming sense of peace and history. It's also a wonderful place to come
to contemplate where the ancient meets the contemporary and they sit in perfect harmony,
giving us inspiration for the future.
And we're hoping to inspire the bidders as we put our items to the test at Andrew Smith's saleroom -
just outside the city.
How much will they part with for the privilege of owning a rare Indian teapot,
and for the unusual Art Deco vase picked by Charlie?
The little child's chair I found deserves to be a winner.
But will it be pipped at the post by the bike race watch and memorabilia?
Let's see what happens.
This is an interesting item, gold pocket watch - that's quality.
There's a lot of work there and I love the chain
but there's a great cycling connection and we've got a valuation of 250 to £350 on the collection.
I think as a watch on its own that would probably be about right,
it's not in very good condition, it needs quite a lot of work on it.
But it does have this connection with Mr Pope who I think is on the end of the Goodies bicycle there.
-The Goodies, yes!
-He obviously didn't pass the audition,
but he went on to do great things in the cycling world and I think he was a member of the Dunlop team.
Right, so sporting memorabilia really we're looking at now.
Well, there's the clock and watch people, but there is also the memorabilia people,
getting international interest as well through the cycling connection, we think this one could fly.
We're thinking certainly in excess of 500.
That is what I call pedal power.
-Watch this space.
Right now it's time for Andrew to get on the rostrum and weave his magic.
First up is the Deco vase.
It's 1930s, it's Belgian and it's art glass and it belongs to Mike and Sue
-and, in fact, it was your parents' wedding present, wasn't it?
-My mother's, yeah.
Your mother's yeah, 1930s, wow, and you are flogging this now, we're looking at a value of £80 to £120.
Why are you getting rid of this now?
It doesn't really mean anything to us any more. His mum's gone and we've got other things
that we can remember her by, so we just decided this one could go.
-Bring it along to Flog It!
-Hey, presto, Charlie put the valuation on it.
-Which is spot on.
Yeah, I think so as well. Well, we're going to find out, aren't we?
Lot 233, this is the Val St Lambert's rose vase.
Who will start me at £100 on this? £100. £100.
80 then, £80 surely.
60 if you like, £60.
£60 bid, thank you, and 5, 70,
-and 5, 80, and 5, 90 and 5, 100, and 10, 120.
130, 120 seated, is there 30?
At £120, any more? At £120 for the last time.
-Yes, the hammer's gone down, spot on Charlie.
We'll take that, top end of that estimate.
-Yes. Thank you very much.
-What are you going to put £120 towards?
-Well, our daughter is expecting our first grandchild.
-We're going to put it in the trust fund with some other money.
OK, it's my turn to be the expert. We've got some vernacular furniture
and it's a lovely bit of country furniture, a child's chair,
and it belongs to Sylvia here and you've brought along one of your granddaughters.
-Philippa. Hi, Philippa.
-How many granddaughters have you got?
-How many grandsons have you got?
-None, so it's all girls.
-Can you remember sitting on this little chair when you were around Granny's?
Yes, it used to be sat around in the corner of the conservatory and all four of us used to sit on it.
You've all perched on that little chair? Do you really want to see it go? Bit late now, isn't it?
A little bit, but it's going towards a laptop for Gran, the money for it,
-so it's worth it.
-Yes, so I understand.
-It will keep her happy and quiet.
-So we need to get maximum money.
-Do you think so?
Oh, yee, pressure's on, isn't it?
We've got a different auctioneer for this because Andrew has taken
a quick break to rest his voice, so new man on the rostrum.
£60 can I say? 50 then, I have 50, I'll take 5 on it. At 55, 60 now,
at £55, anyone else in at 55?
60 now, and 5, 70, 5, 80.
I hate these moments where I feel like I'm letting the owners down.
-£80, anyone else in? At £80, all done.
-Just did it at £80.
-Well done, you. Thank you, Paul.
-Oh, that's all right, that's OK.
-Right on the mark.
There you go, we've got the money and it's going towards the laptop.
Get surfing, that's all I can say.
-Thank you so much.
It's about this time of day that some of you may sneak off to the kitchen and put the kettle on
and make a cup of tea, but I bet it won't arrive in a teapot
as gorgeous as Valerie's, because it's absolutely stunning.
-Silver, made in Calcutta, with a valuation of 350 to 550.
Right, well, you don't know this, but Valerie has had a chat to the auctioneer just before the sale.
-And you've upped the reserve
-to £600, but it's the top end of your estimate, though.
All is not lost, because he agrees with Valerie.
But teapots aren't as collectible as they used to be,
and Indian colonial silver isn't quite as sought after,
so I think £600 is what you would pay in a shop for it, absolutely,
but the trade value of it is more around the £400 mark. So we'll see.
Do you know what Andrew said?
He said that he's looking for £1,000 on this.
-He can look for a long time.
-Well, maybe not, who knows?
-But we want £1,000.
-We absolutely do.
We're going to find out now, because all the talking is over with,
it's purely academic, it's up to the bidders in this room.
-Let's see what they think, shall we? OK.
This is the Indian colonial teapot
-showing in the corner there, we have telephone.
-Oh, Lord, telephone bid.
And a commission bid, we'll start the bidding at 600,
is there 20 in the room?
At £600 and selling, is there 20? At £600, then, any more?
At £600 commission.
Scared off the telephone bidder.
Are we all done? At £600, last time.
Yes, the hammer's gone down. £600.
I think you were both right on that occasion.
It touched the upper end. If it had made £1,000, I'd have retired.
I'd have to be carried out of here on a trolley, foaming at the mouth!
You really had me scared, but even the phone bidder, when he heard 600, collapsed.
On the other end of the telephone like that, but it was a fantastic result.
It's got the top end, that is what you wanted.
What is the money going to go towards?
Well, we have just had our 45th wedding anniversary
and we are trying to get back to South Africa to visit our children and grandchildren,
so this is going in the pot to start to get the fund up a little bit.
-Fantastic, the pot is going in the pot. Marvellous.
-Yes, the pot is going in the pot.
Excuse the pun.
Next up, we've got a gold watch. It's 18 carat, but it's got pedal power.
There's a lot of memorabilia attached to this, because old Pope was on the back, wasn't he?
-Riding at Crystal Palace in 1896 or somewhere around there.
'97. Sylvia, it is a real gem, who have you brought along with you?
I've brought my brother along with me, who is called Peter.
-Right, hi Peter, how do you do?
-Pleased to meet you.
Let's hope, let's hope this breaks all the records, even the one at Crystal Palace.
We've had a chat to the auctioneer earlier,
he said there has been loads of interest.
-Even from abroad, and he thinks it should do 300 to 500.
-Which would be fantastic.
Why are we flogging it, though, Sylvia, why?
I don't think we know, it just came out the attic and we thought,
this is interesting, maybe other people will think so.
How long has it been in the attic?
30 or 40 years, I suppose.
Dig it out and bring it along to valuation day and, hey presto, they are in the auction room
and they might be going home with...we're going to find out right now.
Pocket watch, fantastic pocket watch.
All the cycling history with it,
-I have got to start the bidding here at £300.
£300, 320 can I say?
Against the room now at £300, 320 on the phone. 340, 360.
-It's going up.
£340, 360 you say, 360, 380, 400...
£400 and 20, 440, 460.
-I can't believe it.
520, yes, 550,
520 on the phone, 550 now, 580.
580 on the phone, 600 can I say?
No, 580 on the phone. At 580, then, have you done?
-Pedal power, £580.
I can't believe it.
Nor can I, that is just astonishing.
I'm so pleased I was so wrong.
That is the cycling memorabilia for you, unbelievable.
Sporting memorabilia is big business, obviously bigger than watch business right now.
Well, that's it from Winchester, and what a result for Sylvia and Peter
and their amazing £580 windfall,
but can we beat that when we go west to visit our rival cathedral city -
This city, standing on the River Severn,
has been famous for the production of fine porcelain since 1751,
but will any turn up at the Guildhall today?
I'll need some help to get through this lot to find out!
Luckily, I've got Davie Barby and James Lewis, today's experts, to help out.
Come on, stop reading the lonely hearts column! We have work to do!
'David's already fallen in love with his first item.'
Michael, why are you letting your mother, Sheila, part with these?
Well, there's three sons and only two objets d'art.
It wouldn't be equal anyway, cos they're different sizes.
-Why are you parting with them? Not for that reason?
-It is, yeah.
-I thought you'd say cos you don't like cleaning!
-That as well!
-Ooh, what have I said!
The trouble is, these are so ornate, aren't they?
-One is always fearful of damaging or breaking them.
-You know what they're used for?
-These are claret jugs.
-Even the little one?
-That would be an individual claret jug.
-So if you were having supper on a tray...
-..you would have a small claret jug.
These are beautiful. Where did they come from?
They were my mother's. I don't know where she got them from.
She liked to buy nice things, second-hand or antique.
-We called them second-hand then. Not antiques.
I love these.
These are French. Date-wise, probably about 1900, 1905.
They are silver mounts.
There is a silver mark for France.
Not only is the glass etched with these wonderful whiplash designs,
a feature of Continental Art Nouveau,
but you've also got the repeated designs round the top.
And also on the lid itself.
It's absolutely lovely.
Exquisite. It's the workmanship that's so good.
When you consider this was all cut by hand.
The symbols of Art Nouveau, incorporated into the designs,
were often of an organic nature.
Here you have seed pods, here.
-A seed pod.
With this sort of naturalistic detail
that whips all the way round, so it's called whiplash design.
Tcha, like that. And the whip goes along.
I would like to see these polished.
I'm sure the auction house will polish these up
to show them off to their best advantage.
-Where have they been in the house?
-In the glass cabinet.
In the cabinet. They've been there for how long?
-40 years. And did you ever use them?
What do you think they're worth?
-Well, I hope they'll be 150.
I'd say more like 350, but I could be well out.
Anything to do with wine and serving wine is very much in vogue at the moment.
I would think, if they go up for auction,
350 is closer to the mark for the two.
-350, £500, that's the sort of price level.
-So shall we put a fixed reserve of 280 on them?
-Yes, that'll be fine.
-They're very nice.
-My mum bought nice things.
She had good taste. I'm sure you have, too.
-Well, you've got Michael!
Say no more! Right.
I can't believe for one moment you've brought this in to flog.
I've got nowhere really to put it.
It doesn't go with my decor. Everyone says that.
-But that's exactly what it is.
-And that's the reason?
Yes, it's just lying in a bedroom on the floor.
-Not on a wall even?!
-Oh, shame on you!
This is a Royal Worcester artist.
-Very prolific in the 1930s
and he's renowned for his roses and other exotic blooms.
Ah. These are hydrangeas.
I'm just going to take it off the easel
and admire it while you're telling me
the story of how you came by it.
Well, it belonged to my mother
and I think she bought it in an auction in the late 1950s.
She died just over four years ago
and both my sister and myself wanted it
so it was suggested by the solicitor
that we should have a blind bid each.
-Like a silent auction.
-You obviously won, then?
-Yes, I did.
-How much did you write down?
£350. Right. OK.
It's a lovely watercolour. It's quite loose, almost impressionistic.
It's not the fine detail he would have done on the Worcester vessels.
It's so typically British, that lovely cottage garden feel about it
with lupins here and foxgloves as you look through the sash window.
-Yes. It is pretty, but as I say...
-Very pretty. Signed WH Austin.
He had a brother. They both worked at Royal Worcester in the '30s.
I do think to enhance its value it needs to be reframed
and mounted. It needs a bit of money spending on it.
-Whoever buys it will reframe it.
-Yeah, I would imagine so.
I'd love to get you your money back.
-I think it's gonna be a bit of a struggle.
Nevertheless, he is a name and we're in the right place to sell it.
We're going to the Malvern sale room so we're in the right place.
-But I'm going to put a valuation of £180 to £280.
-How keen are you on keeping it?
Not really, at all. There's no-one I can pass it on to.
My children wouldn't want it.
I think we should let the auctioneer use his discretion on the 180
so it might go for £150.
-But you know what auctions are like!
People get carried away. You tried to outbid your sister.
And I did!
-Fingers crossed, we get your money back.
John, when I was a boy, my parents used to take me camping
in a little VW camper van.
-Is that so?
-When it was wet and raining,
we'd sit in there and play chess,
a game just like this - but ours was plastic!
Yours is a little bit better!
What a fantastic set. Just look at the quality.
It's very good, isn't it?
-Chess sets are highly sought after.
-Oh, good! I like to hear that!
We have a good combination here. We have chess, we have good quality.
-And we've got travelling or campaign.
This really is a travelling chess set.
But if we put the word "campaign" in,
it always gets more interest.
Imagine you're an officer going out to the Boer War, going out to Africa,
most of your time wasn't spent fighting, it was waiting for instructions.
So you had these games to amuse you and your fellow officers.
This one is around turn-of-the-century.
-It could be late Boer War, First World War, that sort of time.
Campaign stuff is always sought after.
Just look at the quality of the carving as well.
Each one of these pieces individually turned and carved.
-They're in boxwood and ebony.
-Is it? I wondered what it was.
The best name is a firm called Jakes, in chess sets.
If we find "Jakes" on there,
then it's good news.
-I had a look at it earlier and I can't find it!
But it's a really good thing. Did you play with it as a boy?
No, I haven't. I used to play chess when I was at school,
but I've never played with that set, no.
-So where did it come from?
-It came from my mother, actually.
I don't know the origins of it.
But it's been around for a long time in the family.
-You don't use it today?
-Just want to get rid of it?
-No, we play Scrabble more than...
-That's our main interest.
I can never understand Scrabble. I can't spell!
-I'm not very good at chess, either! But never mind!
-Nor was I, really.
-What do you think it's worth?
I hope it's more than that.
-If we put 80 to 120 on it.
-Auctioneers' favourite estimate.
I think it'll do that and possibly a bit more.
-Philip Serrell is the auctioneer.
-He's a good chap. He'll market it properly.
He'll be online, letting the chess people know.
-Chess and chess pieces are fashionable. Let's see how it does.
-I'm happy with that!
-I see a piece like this, it sets your heart pounding.
-Is that so?
Because it's so good. It's so good.
The beauty is it's so early as well.
William Moorcroft trained at Wedgwood.
Went on to work with a company called McIntyre
who made ceramic insulators for the top of telegraph poles.
So the kilns had to be at a very high fired temperature.
They'd already started a small art or commercial pottery business within the industrial sector.
But it was only when Moorcroft came along
that he introduced the old decorating method of tube lining.
Tube lining is, you can feel the raised section on this piece.
That's rather like an icing sugar bag going over the surface.
That's how they decorate it.
They created these little reservoirs
so that when the colour was put in, it wouldn't run.
But because the temperature was so high, the glazes and the colours ran together.
So we have this sort of washed-out look on the greens.
What I love about this piece is the fact that it has a green ground,
not the normal sort of blue to maroon.
This has this lovely, almost celadon green effect.
The design all the way round is called pomegranate.
But you must know that from all the times this particular design of Moorcroft's
-has been on television.
-I did realise it was pomegranate, yes.
It's a lovely design. These pieces were never made to be used as vases,
-with a flower stuck inside!
-It wouldn't go!
These were set on one side, to be put on a shelf and admired.
You'd look and say, "Oh, the beautiful glazes."
Exquisite! Now the interest with this particular piece,
and why it's going to boost the price, is the date on the bottom.
Now, we have the full signature, from William Moorcroft,
a pressed-in mark and then this date, 1911.
-he was still working at McIntyre & Company.
He didn't establish his factory until 1913.
So this fabulous piece
was produced when he was still at McIntyre & Company.
For a collector, that's a lovely bonus find,
to have it dated prior to the establishment of his own factory.
This is fabulous. I love it. Price?
I'd like to see between 500 and 700.
We'll put the reserve at 400.
That's a lot of money!
It is a lot of money to have stuck on your shelf. Now...
It is. I've had it so long and it's survived such a long time.
I think I'm pushing my luck if I keep it for my children or grandchildren.
-What will they say if you part with it? Have you told them?
-Yeah. They said, "It's up to you, Mum."
Tell them to come to the auction.
They could always buy it!
Jan, thank you. You've given me a thrill today.
Thank you very much! I'm glad you were pleased!
And hopefully, the bidders are going to be out in force for today's sale.
Sheila's claret jugs can't be equally divided
between her three sons so she's decided to sell them.
Pauline's hydrangea painting is by a local artist
so here's hoping it does really well!
John's a Scrabble fan, so his campaign chess set no longer gets used.
And David's certainly excited about Jan's Moorcroft vase.
It's a very early piece and I think it could fly away.
'But before we find out how they get on at auction,
'I'm heading for the hills
'to see how the local landscape has inspired one artist.'
This is a seven-mile-long ridge of granite
separating Worcestershire from Herefordshire.
You have to agree, it is truly breathtaking.
For one man, it's truly inspirational.
Artist David Prentiss has lived in the shadow of the Malvern Hills
for almost 20 years.
Ever since he was a small child,
they've played an important part in his life and work.
Let's go and meet David and find out why this spectacular place
has rooted itself so deeply in his heart.
-David, there you are.
-Oh, hi, Paul.
I hope you don't mind me joining you.
-No, it's very nice to see you.
-What are you sketching at the moment?
I'm just having a look at this favourite view of mine,
looking down south down the hills.
-It's very early days.
-When did the love affair start with the Malverns?
I started... In fact, I was curious about what you're asking.
I must have been with my father and mother, but I think Gran was with us too.
There used to be donkeys that brought people up the Malverns.
I remember her being sat on a donkey,
"to save her legs", as my dad called it.
-I was a little boy and I was put on a donkey as well.
Malvern has become a kind of homecoming, in a way.
-You know how elderly people go back to their roots.
I think that's what's happened to me.
All I know is I come up here and work on the spot,
get a lot of images into my head and then improvise when I'm in the studio.
You'd think you'd get tired of it,
but it's the weather, the changes of conditions and the light.
It's a fairly overcast day today.
Then you get days when sun comes through the clouds.
It gets like searchlights sweeping across the landscape
and the light follows the form of the trees and the land.
-I can see.
-It's wonderful for painting.
Can we go to the studio and look at some?
Of course. I'd be delighted to show you.
-This is the studio, Paul.
-This is where it all happens.
Love the smell. Turpentine, linseed oil.
-You don't notice it when you're working in it.
Everybody says the same thing when they walk in.
You could bottle it, almost.
Gosh. I can see two styles straightaway there.
-Very block abstract in oils, and that one is watercolour.
You wouldn't think they were done by the same artist.
I have two different fan bases as well!
-You must have, actually!
Some people say, "I don't like your picture-postcard paintings.
"I like those wild abstracts." And vice-versa.
When you start an abstract, it's a question I've always wanted to ask an artist,
Does it ever go wrong? Do you think, "This is not working."
"Does it ever go wrong?"
Does it evolve into something that turns into something?
Yeah, it does. It's an interesting observation.
I put wrong things into the painting, deliberately.
I was actually taught that.
"What you do", he said, "is put a blob of bright red into the painting
"and leave it there while you do the painting
"so you've got something to fight against all the time."
It's almost a principle of the way I work now.
These paintings are going to Cornwall.
Each exhibition was 30 paintings.
You've got to be quite prolific. Is that a year's work?
About. A bit more than that.
It's not bad, though, is it?
Well, I don't have a proper job, you see!
This is a proper job!
Talking of proper job, there's one going on here.
-This is a job in progress.
Is that you, the figure down there?
The eternal toil, climbing, struggling?
I wonder, when I put figures in paintings, which I do fairly often,
whether it isn't a kind of self-portraiture in a sense.
That's what I'm interested in, being on the hills, is walking them.
That's so low. It's quite a bold move.
It takes your eye-line right down to the bottom of the painting.
What I wanted to do, Paul, it went in quite late, that figure.
A couple of days ago. I had this sense of height
and going back
and I thought it just sort of drops out at the bottom.
Right. And so in order to make your eyes lift up again,
-that's what it does.
-I wanted it to go down and up.
I see what you've done. It's really clever.
I feel like I can walk that path over those three peaks now.
-Look at that.
-It does help. One of the nice things about the Malvern landscape
is that it does have this sort of journey quality about it.
-Wherever you look.
-The more you look, you see where the journey is.
You've been painting a long time on the Malverns.
-Are you carrying on painting in the Malverns?
-I am at the moment.
I've been ill this year, so I've not been out working on the spot
which is why you're looking mainly at big oil paintings.
-I'd like to carry on.
-The calling is still there.
Oh, God, yes. It's a wonderful format.
-It's like having... You know how Monet had his garden?
He painted the water lilies for 20 years, I think.
It's just like that. I've got this wonderful garden out at the back.
The hills are right behind the house.
-It's a stunning place to be.
-Long may it continue.
-Thank you so much for showing me around.
-It's been a pleasure.
Well, I hope the fresh air is blowing through the saleroom in Malvern today,
where our old friend Philip Serrell is auctioning off all our lots.
We've got these lovely claret jugs looking for a new home.
I've got my fingers crossed for the hydrangeas.
James is keen to be champion with his chess set.
But I can't wait to see what happens when the collectors clap eyes on this unusual Moorcroft find.
Let's get the benefit of Philip's experience.
-I fell in love with this.
-You did well to spot this.
-I'm impressed, Paul. I'm impressed.
I viewed it on its own merits, really. I like the picture.
I like the hydrangeas and the fact you're looking through a sash window
looking at the lupins and foxgloves. It reminds me of my back garden.
I kind of identified with it before I knew it was by Austin,
a Royal Worcester artist.
I've put £180 to £280 on this watercolour.
I think I would pay that easily for it.
I think you're right.
I mean, it's gonna make 200 to 250.
But these were done, I suppose Reg and Walter were around in the 1940s.
These watercolours, predominantly by the Austins, were done for beer money!
They didn't earn a fortune
so all those people who painted at the factory, like the Austins, Skinton, Harry Davis,
-they all did watercolours.
-To make up the money.
Living in and around Worcester, we see these regularly.
They come up in auction. We normally have a fair stock of them
-and we've got some avid collectors.
That's what I wanted. Lots of interest. Fantastic.
First, let's see if there are any wine buffs amongst the bidders.
We've got the claret jugs. You've been raiding the display cabinet!
These have been in there for 40 years!
No interest in them any more?
-Did you realise they were worth 350 to £500?
That's a big surprise, isn't it?
-It is quality.
I love the design. Etched glass, that whiplash design.
-Typical Art Nouveau.
-Yes. You couldn't expect more from that period.
Why two claret jugs? Or is one a claret jug and the other...
I'm assuming one would be for table serving
and the smaller one would be for, say, a supper tray.
-An individual one.
-An individual one.
Well, all the talking's over with.
Let's find out what the bidders of Malvern think.
Two Continental Art Nouveau claret jugs.
Bid me for those. 300, someone. Is that a yes?
300 bid for the claret jugs. At 300.
-We're in at 300.
330. 340. Go on! 350.
-They like them!
-370. 380. It's only money!
-Your bid, madam, at 410.
-Come on, come on!
At £410, seated. They sell, then, at £410. Done!
-We'll take that, £410!
-That's not bad.
-That's not bad, is it?
Not bad at all for something you don't want to clean any more!
Don't even want to use. What will you do with £410?
I was going to give it to my three sons,
but they've told me, "Don't be ridiculous! Keep it."
My turn to be the expert right now.
I don't feel threatened. I've had a chat with Philip Serrell.
Pauline's lovely watercolour, painted by Austin, a Royal Worcester artist.
It's going to be a sad moment to sell this for you, really?
Yes, but I've no place for it at home.
It doesn't fit in with the decor.
Hopefully, you'll get lots of money.
-We'll find out right now.
Walter Austin. A watercolour study of hydrangeas. There we are.
At £50. 50. 60. 70. 80. 90.
100. 110. 120. 130.
-It's a slow old climb.
160. 170. 180.
250. And 60 with me on the book. 260.
-He's coming out at 260.
-Any more at all?
-At £260. I sell at £260... Done.
I'm happy with that. Top end of the estimate. Bang on.
What will you put that money towards? £260.
Um, I'll put it towards some tickets for relatives to join us in our home in Cyprus.
-A family reunion.
-Yes, it would be.
I've just been joined by John, ex-Lloyds bank manager!
From Yorkshire. We're doing battle right now
because we've got that lovely campaign travelling chess set.
£80 to £120, James put on it. As soon as I saw it
I knew James was the valuer. You always fight me for academic toys.
-We like those!
-We love them!
It's about to go under the hammer. Good luck, John. And James.
Lot number 240 is the 19th-century mahogany travelling chess set.
-Bids are on the book.
-Bids on the book.
£20 bid at 20. 30.
40. 50. 50 bid. At 60. 70.
80. 90. 100.
-This is good.
Don't say no. Don't put a line through it. At 130. 130.
It's your bid, sir. At £130, your bid.
-And I sell at 130 and done!
-We'll settle for that!
What will you put it towards?
My wife's talking about a cruise, but I don't think it'll go far!
-Day trip on the Thames, maybe!
-Across to the Isle of Wight!
-That would be nice.
Taking the rostrum for our final item is Sophie Hutton,
a regular behind-the-scenes expert on Flog It.
We've got quality for you and great condition. Moorcroft, what a name!
The pomegranate vase belonging to Jan,
who's flogging the family heirloom.
We have a valuation of £500 to £700 on it.
-It could be a "come and buy me".
The auctioneer agrees it's gonna fly. This is it!
Lot 503. The Moorcroft pottery vase. Lots of interest in the book
and I can go straight in at £900.
900 I am bid. 900.
-Did you hear them in the room?!
-At £900. 950.
£1,000. And 50 with me. 1,100 if you want it.
1,100. And 50. 1,200 now?
1,200. The book's out at 1,200. 1,250?
-They seriously want this!
-Excuse me while I faint!
Paul, hold on to me!
Let's hold on to each other!
1,750. 1,800? 1,800.
Phones are ringing. Room's buzzing. Electric atmosphere.
I can't get over it!
No? Two-four I have. Two-four I have on the telephone.
At two-four. Two-five anywhere in the room?
-It was a "come and buy me"!
-At £2,400, then.
Hammer's down. Yes! £2,400 for the pomegranate vase!
Listen to the room!
Jan, you're shaking!
This is a wonderful Flog It moment!
-You enjoyed it, too?
-Yes, that's what it's all about!
You get such a buzz from something going well over the top.
-Two people have fallen in love with it.
-We had four phone bids!
-What will you do with that?
I don't know. It's a large amount of money.
-Spend it wisely. Put it in the bank to start with.
That's the end of our tale of two cathedral cities.
We found some rare and unusual items,
like the bike race memorabilia in Winchester
which did so well for Sylvia and Peter, bringing in £580.
It was in Worcester that the bidders really went in to a frenzy
over Jan's Moorcroft vase,
sending the price up to a staggering £2,400.
What a great surprise. I hope you've enjoyed watching the show.
We enjoyed making it.
From Jan and myself, here in Malvern, cheerio till next time!
For more information about Flog It, including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk.