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If you look on the back of an old £20 note,
it may give you a clue where we are today.
Because you have Edward Elgar, who was born in a village not far from here.
Next to Elgar, there's a cathedral.
And that's the famous cathedral of Worcester.
MUSIC: ELGAR'S ENIGMA VARIATIONS
When I think of Elgar, the first thing that comes into my head
is the Enigma Variations, possibly his most famous work.
Each variation is a representation of a different friend.
He dedicated the piece "To my friends, pictured within."
Today's two experts are both good friends of mine.
David Barby and James Lewis.
They'll be valuing all the items brought in to the Worcester Guild Hall.
It looks like half of Worcester has turned out to see us today.
Before they're even seated, David's ready for a nice cup of tea.
-Is this something you really want to sell?
-It is, yes.
-Why do you want to sell this?
-I have too much of it.
It sits in the cupboard and I have better use for the money.
How much do you think this will go for?
Anything, really. I'm not bothered what it goes for.
-Is it something you don't like?
-I do like it,
but I don't use it.
-People don't have pretty, pretty china anymore, do they?
-They have very plain stylish cups and saucers.
A lot of youngsters now don't even use cups and saucers.
They have a mug with a dunking teabag. Horrendous! Still,
This is an interesting set. It's Paragon porcelain.
Originally it was Star China.
In the 1930s it became Paragon China.
They're always renowned for quality porcelain.
In fact, they even made for the royal family.
This particular piece - there's a mark on the bottom -
clearly states "Replica made for Her Majesty the Queen."
That would have been the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth.
So we're looking at an Art Deco period.
You can look at this angled grip and see comparisons with Clarice Cliff.
-But this is porcelain, not pottery.
And also Challeck, particularly.
The design is vibrant, it's jazz age,
full of colour, full of life.
I think this is quite charming. It's rather "refined"!
-But this is only a fraction of what you've got?
-So you've got a tea, coffee and fruit service?
-But there are one or two pieces with hairline cracks.
-But you want to get rid of the whole lot?
If this goes up for sale, allowing for those bits of damage,
but it's a comprehensive set.
I would hope it's going to go for about 150 to 200. That price range.
But I think the auctioneer may play a bit cautious
-with the reserve price brought down to about 100.
-100 is fine.
-Are you content selling to that level?
-I'm happy with that.
-You've got a deal!
-Thank you very much.
Martha, what a fantastic little box! Is it what you keep your jewels in?
No, it's really been on display at home for many, many years.
I've always liked the studding on it.
-And a nice piece of wood. I've adored it.
-It was my husband's late mother's.
She lived till 92.
-I guessed it wasn't your mother, cos you're not from Worcester?
-I'm from Vienna in Austria.
-So what brings you to Worcester?
I knew a long time ago
that Adolf Hitler was not going to invite my family and myself
So we left under rather tragic circumstances.
So when did you leave?
1939. Just one year after Hitler invaded Austria.
And having lost 17 family members...
We felt very fortunate to be allowed to come to this country
and I've got a great feeling. I'm more pro-British than the British themselves!
Because they saved our lives!
-How many of you came over?
-Just my parents and myself.
-And then I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful, charming Yorkshire man.
And I'm married and very happy.
-That's the end of the story.
Well, this is as British as you can possibly get.
And it's probably made locally.
-Originally made around 1820. It's been around a long time.
And it was, and still is of course, a jewellery box
with a ridge here where you'd have had a tray.
There'd be a detachable tray in there.
It's been lined with green baize much more recently.
But these bands are satinwood and rosewood.
The thing that pins this down to a local area
are these little cut steel additions.
And the base, really,
for the cut steel industry was Birmingham.
There was a chap called Matthew Bolton who made ormolu and metal bits and pieces
and cut steel. They were used on everything,
on books, on the studs of bindings, fine bindings,
on sword hilts, to decorate the swords,
and they would gleam and so now you've got this wonderful patination.
When new, they'd have shone like diamonds.
Bright cut steel.
The contrast between that and this wonderful striped rosewood
and the pale satinwood and the mother-of-pearl inlays here.
What I've always loved is that it's never lost any of these studs.
The quality of it, the quality of the workmanship is fantastic.
What's it doing here? Why isn't it still on display?
Well, my husband and I are both in our 80s.
We have many, many items, fire screens, this, that and the other,
it's very pretty, very nice,
but we're Scrabble fiends, we have many Scrabble trophies on display,
and this is just one more distraction!
You'll go on a Scrabble holiday with the proceeds?
We have been on Scrabble holidays, yes!
This will do really well. I love it.
It's not the sort of thing to make big money.
But if we put 50 to £80 on it, I think that's about it.
-Happy with that?
Let's take it and see how we do.
-Your name is Victor?
-This is your grandson-in-law?
-So who does this belong to?
-And where did you acquire it?
-I won it playing whist.
-At Worcester Porcelain, there used to be 30 or 40 tables every week.
-At the Worcester Porcelain social club?
-I'd imagine you won this about 50 years ago.
I'd say between 40 and 50 years ago.
Good. Because that's when this figure was produced.
-I think round about 1952.
-And it was designed by an artist called Freda Doughty.
-And it's called Punch.
-There is a companion figure, which is called Judy.
-You haven't got the companion figure?
So you've just got Punch.
-Now, this is a comparatively rare figure.
It follows in the tradition of porcelain figure production.
So you think in terms of Doulton,
all those companies made figures of a similar nature.
There was a terrific market from the 1920s right through
to the middle of the '80s producing these figures.
-This was part and parcel of that tradition.
-Very few factories now produce figures.
It's nice to know you went to their social club
and they actually gave a figure as the whist prize.
But why get rid of it now? You're 92. It's been with you most of your life.
It's something to do. Something to be interested in, seeing it go.
-After I kept it all these years.
-It's a day out at the auction.
A day out at Flog It. Can you afford the time?
Well, I don't do nothing else!
-They'll take me.
-Yeah, with pleasure.
-You could get time off?
-I'll make sure I do, yes.
Now, this is going up for auction. It's going for auction at Malvern.
Malvern's got a very good reputation for selling Worcester porcelain.
I'll put a price range of 150 to 200 on it.
But I hope, with my fingers crossed, that it should do between three and four.
-Because it's a rare figure.
There's just something at the back of my mind
which says that this might be a seconds.
-That's why it was given as a whist prize.
If so, it'll be in the 150 to 200 range.
Well, let's hope that we can get a decent figure for this little Punch.
Helmy, Charlie, what a fantastic object!
Tell me how you found it, where you found it and why you bought it.
Well, we were having a holiday in the '70s, I think it was,
and we were in the south of England.
And we saw this auction sale, come what have you, along the street,
-and we saw that and thought, "Oh..."
-It's so unique.
-You know, it's...
-It's something we hadn't seen.
I thought, "That's got to be worth something."
OK. Do you know what it is?
-Not really, no.
It's a pewter charger.
If we turn it over, we have a mark.
Just in the centre, there.
In block capitals, it says "Tudric".
Tudric is the name that Liberty's put on their pewter.
Underneath we have a four-digit number, 0116.
That's the design number of this piece.
The earlier the design number, the more sought-after it is, generally.
And this is a really early design. They go into many more numbers than that.
Tudric started in 1902.
A piece with the number 116
is going to be 1903, 1905, that sort of period.
But the most important thing is who designed it.
Now, there are two main designers that we think about
when we look at Tudric pewter of this period.
The first one is Archibald Knox.
He made pewter designs, silver designs,
he made flatware, dishes, vases,
everything. Sometimes you can buy the pewter with enamel.
He really was a very versatile designer.
Looking at this, it just doesn't look to me like an Archibald Knox design.
Then we have to look at the other designers it could be.
One of those is a chap called Charles Voisey, who worked at Liberty around the same time.
It does look very similar to Charles Voisey's wallpaper
where these birds start large, are cut off at the end
and graduate down to these little ones at the end.
But today, on a valuation day here,
without the internet and the right books to do this,
it's a bit of a guessing game.
We need to do the research before we get excited because it might not be.
It could be by another designer.
-What did it cost you?
-We've got no idea.
-We wouldn't have paid £50 for it.
-No, we wouldn't.
That's not bad, then.
It's been rubbed, battered, dented, dropped. It's seen better days.
-It's been polished. You should never polish pewter.
That just shows you how long it takes
for pewter to go back to that colour again.
This has been polished probably 40 years ago and the patination still hasn't come back.
It probably never will do.
So, value. I've been trying to avoid this subject!
If you don't know the designer...
150 to £250.
It's a bit of a stab in the dark.
If it is by one of the important designers, it'll make a lot more.
Well, we did say it would be worth £200 to us because we like it.
-Put a reserve on it. £200?
-I think so.
-So it doesn't go below that.
-We'll see how we do.
This is the beautiful setting of the county ground in Worcester
where, during the summer months, you will frequently hear a quintessential English sound.
Leather on willow!
You may think a cricket bat is made of a simple piece of willow
which has been machine made.
Well, think again. Up the road from here is a workshop
where former Worcestershire cricketer Duncan Fearnley
will show me the true art of hand-crafting a world-class cricket bat.
Duncan started to make cricket bats over 50 years ago in his native Yorkshire,
to subsidise the income he got from playing cricket.
When he retired from playing in 1968,
he formed his own company which has become one of the most recognised names in cricket,
supplying bats to world-class players such as Alan Border
and Ian Botham.
Duncan, it's great to meet you. You're surrounded by wood, as I expected!
-They're always made of willow?
This is how it all starts. If you can imagine that's the tree,
when it's felled, it's felled to 30 inches long,
which is that length.
If I can just show you an example of that being like that,
the bark is then taken off
and that is one... That will make one cricket bat.
So in effect, you'd probably get about eight bats out of that tree.
So these are the blades of the bats. You've cut them into sections. What next?
Well, we get a situation where we put a face on the blade then.
At that stage, you could not play cricket with a blade like that.
Now, here we've got a press behind me
which the next process, when the blades got to this stage
will be to press it.
As you see, I'm hardly hitting that and it's as soft as putty.
It's dead as a dodo. You couldn't hit a ball with that.
-So we go to another example now
which I've had for years just to show anybody that does come in,
we've got the soft piece there
which is like that, as an example.
We press it on the press very slowly
and you can see there how it starts.
There's a different sound altogether, then.
To me, that's the most important tool in the business,
cos if it's not pressed properly, it won't play properly.
The amount of pressure applied by the press is critical
as no two pieces of wood are alike, even from the same tree.
That face will never get touched again until the bat's finished.
And that now...
you think about the ball at 90 miles an hour,
-that's the sort of pressure.
-It just marks it.
-There's that recoil back. It'll hit the ball a long way.
If you do it yourself, you'll feel it kick back. Hold it and it kicks back.
-The mallet and the blade.
That's the secret of good bat making. Good willow and properly pressed.
The next process involves adding a handle to the blade.
And this is made of cane
and has rubber springs running throughout to absorb the shock of the ball.
So this is the next process, by gluing it and just tapping...
Just in there and just...
Then that's glued overnight and it's ready for working tomorrow morning.
-That's one that's been glued yesterday.
We've taken the shoulders out and that's ready for hand finishing now.
A top-class player will come to the bench at that stage.
The secret of a good bat is to leave as much wood in it as you can
with the lightest possible pick-up.
-But what would suit you wouldn't suit me, so you need the player to say it's right.
Duncan has done this hand-finishing for players such as Viv Richards,
Clive Lloyd and Sunil Gavascar.
So I would take it to that stage on the first, where you have your mould.
And then you can get rid of a lot of material this way.
But we won't do it all. We'll just take the nose down to whatever the player wants.
But you leave the eight inches there as big as you can.
And leave as much on the edge as you can
with the lightest possible pick up so you alter your balance from here.
Some players want you to bring the middle back a bit.
Other players - Graeme Pollock used to like it big and bulky at the bottom.
Everyone's got their own little way.
It's what makes it interesting for me, is the manufacturing.
Don't you just love the smell of those clean willow shavings?
That, when it's planed,
that, all the time,
-my old willow grower used to have a piece in his mouth all day!
You can actually tie it in a knot, it's so flexible.
The better the quality, the better you can do that.
So we get that shape then,
and then we get to the stage where the bat will be sanded and finished.
It's ready to go into the shop.
That is incredible. That is the story of the cricket bat.
After a busy morning's valuations we're off to the auction.
Here's what's going under the hammer.
Like David I love this Paragon porcelain tea set
containing over 50 pieces.
This 19th-century jewellery box has beautiful workmanship
and has a "come and buy me" price of 50 to £80.
Victor was a sprightly 92 years young
and won this Worcester porcelain figure playing whist.
And if I was allowed to, I would buy this stunning Liberty pewter charger.
I think James has offered a very tempting estimate.
We've come over to Malvern to our very own Philip Serrell's sale room.
We're getting two for the price of one. Not just Philip on the rostrum
but also auctioneer Sophie Hutton.
Let's have a chat with Sophie to see what she's got to say about my favourite item.
A lovely couple brought this along -
Charles and Helmy -
and they would love to sell it.
Our expert has put a valuation of 150 to £250.
It's Liberty's. It's Tudric. It's their version of pewter.
-Made in 1905.
We've had a lot of interest in it, because of the name more than anything.
I did some research to find out the designer, but to no avail.
But we have had significant interest over the top end of the estimate,
-so who knows?
-Over the top end, so it could fly!
-It could fly.
-Much like these birds.
-It's very stylistic, isn't it?
-Unusual for a Liberty's piece.
You don't often see them with this decoration.
You'd imagine it to have enamel on it. But it's a lovely piece.
And in pretty good condition. A bit dented round the edges,
but no splits or repairs.
-It's got the look, hasn't it?
-It certainly has.
-It has the look.
What would you like to think this would sell for?
As I say, we've had interest over the estimate.
-We have a phone line booked.
-That's a good sign.
Hopefully, there will be others as well.
-I'd think 300 to 400.
Well, for our next lot, it certainly is a lot of lot.
There's 53 different items!
It belongs to Fred, hopefully not for much longer.
-It's the Paragon.
-Why are you flogging it? There's a lot of it.
-I need the space!
-I was gonna say, it takes up a lot of space.
Who uses these big tea sets now?
-Will we get that top end?
-It's for purists, that love the Art Deco period.
-It has the excitement of colour. Yes, we shall do.
-It's under the hammer right now.
Lot number 465. I start at £160 on the book bid.
At 160, 160, 170, 180.
-180. 180. At £180 only.
At £180 only. Any more at all?
-200 with me. 210 now?
-The top end.
220. 230, is it?
On the phone at £230.
-This is good.
Your bid. At £230, done. Thank you.
-Sold! The hammer's gone down.
-I'm not taking it home!
-No, you're not taking it home!
-There's a lot to take home, isn't there?
Next up, Martha and her dust catcher!
That's right, isn't it?
It's a lovely little jewellery box. We've got 50 to £80 estimated on the value of this.
Are you selling it cos it catches dust?
We've got a four-bedroomed house which is already crammed with things.
Because at the age of 80-plus, one collects so much over the years
that there's just no more room, even for this!
Well, it's a lovely little item. James fell in love with it.
It's not a lot of money, but you never know.
If two people fall in love with this like you have, it'll push it up.
There you are. 235.
The satinwood and rosewood studded jewellery box.
Give me 50 or £60 to start.
Well, cheap enough. 30 I'm bid. At 30.
30 bid. 40. 40 bid. 50, yes?
50. 50 bid.
At £50 only. 50. 50 bid.
You're all being very mean. At £50 only. Any more?
Surely one more.
Don't hold that up yet. At £50 and done, then.
At 50 and done.
Sold. He sold it at £50. No more dust!
I don't mind. I only wanted to meet you and come on the show!
Victor, say goodbye to this little kneeling boy. Royal Worcester.
A beautiful little thing. Lots of quality. 300 to £400.
I'm quite excited. David's here.
-This is a fairly late figure.
-But it's rare.
-It's rare, yes.
All we're missing is Judy, the little girl. This is the boy.
-This was won at a whist drive?
-Yes. Yes, yes.
-So you're a good player, then?
-I'm not now!
It's going under the hammer right now.
590. Punch, modelled by Freda Doughty. There you are.
I'm bid £100 on the book. At 100. 100.
100. 110. 120.
130. 140. 150.
160. 170. 180.
It's only money. One more.
-At 200 with me.
200. Any more? At 200. 210.
210. Any more? Telephone bid.
At 210. 210. 210. Is there any more?
At £210. And I sell at £210.
He's not selling it?
Yes, he's put the hammer down. £210.
-There was a reserve of 150, Victor, so it has sold.
Under David's estimate, which is disappointing, since we're in Malvern.
That's right. Very close to Worcester.
But it's gone for £210 and I'm very pleased.
Yeah, I'm happy.
I've been waiting for this next lot. I'm getting so excited.
Helmy and Charles, thanks for joining us.
This is the Tudric plate, that lovely charger,
made by Liberty's.
We've got an estimate of 150 to 250.
That's a "come and buy me". This could be the sleeper.
-If it's by Voisey, by somebody like that, it might do really well.
Lot 311. The Liberty Tudric pewter charger.
Lots of interest in this. I can go straight in at £450.
-It's a Voisey.
£450. Straight in.
At 450. 450. Any more in the room at 450?
450. 480 on the phone.
480. 500. 520 now?
-I feel faint!
-580 I have on the phone. At 580.
At 580. 580. 600?
580 I have, then.
Selling if we're all done at £580.
Crack! That's a "sold" sound and we love it!
I knew this one would fly.
-That's a surprise, isn't it?
-It'll pay a few bills, won't it?
-You'll use it to pay a few bills?
It's a fact of life. We've all got bills.
-Treat yourselves, though, surely?
-We do that anyway!
Thank you so much for giving us such a wonderful surprise and coming in.
-Thanks for flogging it!
-We have to digest this now.
-I think we'll have to, as well, James.
-We will. Good result.
That's it. Sadly, we're coming to the end of our day here
in Philip Serrell's sale room in Malvern.
We've had a wonderful day. It was nice to see so many smiling faces from our owners as they left.
I hope we've put a smile on your face, too.
So join me for many more surprises the next time on Flog It!
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