A collection of risqué magazines is among the items to be valued in Yeovil. And Paul Martin ventures onto the moors in search of Exmoor ponies.
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So why have all these people here, these lovely people, come to Yeovil
to queue up on a freezing cold Sunday morning,
all laden with bags and boxes containing family heirlooms,
treasures and charity shop bargains?
Well, there can only be one answer.
They're all hoping to find out that their treasures are worth lots of money.
Some of them might even make a profit at auction later.
Our two experts today are Michael Baggott and James Lewis,
the two heavyweight experts,
and boy, do these guys know their stuff. They're red hot.
The great thing about Flog It! is you never know what's going to turn up, do you?
-You don't, no. Today an Argyle.
It's not my sort of thing. It's really for Michael.
-Marvellous. What do you think? Teapot? No?
-Mmm. Looks like it.
-It's for keeping your gravy warm.
-Is that what it is?!
Very rare with a medallion.
Wow. Well, there you go. Well, it's now 9.30.
We better not make a meal of it.
Let's get the doors open, and get the show on the road.
Chris, this little gem that you've brought along,
what can you tell me about it?
Well, very little, really.
I've always collected miniature scent bottles,
and this I have no idea whether I bought it,
or whether it was given to me, I honestly don't know.
But it just sits in the cupboard with the others, and I love it.
-It crept into the house unnoticed.
-It did, really.
Well, I mean, the joy of this thing is really the outside of the case.
If we have a look here, it's tortoiseshell,
which is actually turtle shell,
and the Georgians absolutely loved inlaying it.
So they'd pierce this out and then you'd inlay
all this silverwork and then it's all been bright cut afterwards.
So you've got swags and festoons.
Um, the top's a little bit dull.
-I wonder if maybe that's a later replacement.
-Cos it does seem to have come off there and you'd expect something a little bit grander.
But there's a surprise when we open it because I have seen many, many
of these little cases and they don't have their bottles in.
If they do, they don't have their stoppers or they're cracked.
Now as far as I can see, that's all original.
That's a little 18th-century cut-glass scent bottle
that has survived in its original case.
If you pop it back in here, it's not the tightest fit in the world.
-These are made for travelling.
In coaches, along the street, it's protected in this little box.
So again, this usually takes a few knocks and damages.
I've given the game away really with the date of it.
It is a little 18th-century piece and it could date anywhere from
-Gosh, that old?
-..up to about 1810.
And they made a lot of these in Birmingham.
Birmingham produced these in quite large numbers.
-As it just arrived at your house, I can't say what did you pay for it.
-I honestly can't remember.
-I just... I really don't know.
-Any ideas what it's worth then?
Haven't a clue. Not a clue.
With its original bottle
and because it's in relatively nice condition,
we should put it into auction with maybe £100 to £150 on it.
-Fixed reserve of £100.
I could see two or three people fighting for that because it's a good old
proper antique, which I love to see.
So would you be happy to put in the auction at that?
-Reluctantly, I think.
Hopefully someone will start a new collection with this? You never know.
Dave, what an amazing collection of theatre,
the risque sort of theatre-land from the 1920s right through to the '50s.
They're not yours. Whose were they?
Well, they were Val's uncle's actually.
-Um, he died some 20 years ago. Val was the next living relative
-and when we cleared the house out, we looked in the attic and we found these.
-A sordid past.
-A sordid past.
But you know the thing is these things were...
OK, they were a little bit risque at their time,
we had women protesting outside the Windmill Club and the Folies Bergere and the Moulin Rouge,
it was really controversial.
-And whenever we get something
at auction that is revolutionary in its time,
-a little bit risque, they are really sought after today, because they're a collector's item.
But they're interesting for the historical context as well.
So tell me about your uncle, the man who collected these.
All right. He was born in 1898 and, um, was an electrician to trade
but always had quite an interest in photography...
-..and particularly the female form, I have to say, yeah.
And I remember he used to go to the baths at Morecambe and actually photograph bathing beauties.
-All secretly from behind a bush or...?
-Oh, no, no. No, no.
And his photographs were actually displayed in front of the baths.
-So I suppose if he was born in 1898, the earliest one that we have is 1927...
-..in his late twenties, is when his interest started?
-I presume so.
If you look through the magazines it's not difficult
-to see why his interest was, was generated from that.
-But they really are...
We've got here at the far end, we've got the Windmill Club.
That was the British equivalent of the Moulin Rouge I suppose.
But of course the most famous is the Folies Bergere.
Now if we have a look at this one here, wonderful, wonderful condition -
it's even got its original tissue paper over the top.
And here we have this great front cover. And if we open it up... she is unveiled to her full glory.
There she is.
And if we go all the way through, this one is particularly interesting because of one person.
There she is...Josephine Baker.
She was one of the first ever black strip dancers, or naked dancers, at the Folies Bergere.
She was very well known and has gone down in history as one of the best ever.
And really, you know, it's hard to believe how exotic it would have been seen to see
a black lady naked and that is what we're seeing. And, historically, that is why this is quite important.
And this magazine is full really of all the different theatre shots.
There we are, again Josephine Baker, there she is...
There we go. I mean, I-I, valuing this sort of thing is very, very difficult.
-I mean we've got hundreds.
-Some of them are worth less than a pound.
That has to be worth something like £30-40 on its own,
and I hope that someone with a passion for theatre history will go for these.
I think we ought to put a conservative but realistic estimate on them
and we need to protect them with a reserve as well.
So if we put an estimate of £100 to £150 on them, would that be OK for you?
-With a reserve of about £100?
-I think so.
-That would be fine.
-We shouldn't let them go for any less than that.
-Thank you for bringing them in.
-I've learnt a lot.
Pete, nice little pot. Where did you get your nice little pot from?
From a place called Sherbourne, about five miles away from here.
I know it well. Lots of antiques shops in Sherbourne.
Did you buy it in one of those?
Yeah. Well, a bric-a-brac shop I would call it.
-Not, not an expensive, um, antique shop then?
-Was it expensive then, in this bric-a-brac shop?
-It cost me a few pounds.
A few pounds?
-About 5, actually.
-£5? £5, right. This never happens to me.
I go round bric-a-brac shops and I don't... You know what I find?
-Bric-a-brac. I don't find things like this.
It looks ostensibly, when you look at it, a bit of Chinese porcelain from the 18th century.
But, of course, Chinese porcelain
was so fashionable in the 18th century,
all the English manufacturers were fighting one another to produce similar wares.
-Now, as with all porcelain, there should be a mark on it
to help us out and there we go, we've a little S.
Anyone who knows anything about 18th-century blue and white knows that a little S means Salopian
which is Latin for Shropshire which means that it is from Caughley.
-The Caughley factory which was set up as a rival to Worcester by Thomas Turner.
And this also has a distinct feature -
this gilt decoration that Turner did and also, more confusingly, you see pieces of genuine Chinese ceramic
-with this later gilt border which is English as well.
And it's a little tea canister. And the cover's there, you know,
in the bric-a-brac shop...
-It's amazing, isn't it?
-And there are no...
There is one little chip on it so that, I mean frankly, that's amazing.
230 years old.
Bit of proper genuine antique English porcelain. For a fiver!
Um, you did extraordinarily well.
-The shame is that at auction they aren't a fortune...
..because they were produced in relatively large numbers.
The only fault apart from the chip is some wear to the gilding.
-Still, we could do you a fair return on your fiver.
-I think if we popped it into auction at £60 to £90.
-So that's a clear £50 profit when it sells.
-Thank you very much.
-So you'd be happy to do it?
-Fabulous. Well, we'll pop it in the auction for you and do our best.
John, whenever I'm looking down the Flog It! queues,
I'm always searching for something unusual, something slightly different
and I have to say I found something so unusual that I've never seen one before here.
-So I'm going to sort of take this in a slightly different way.
I'm going to ask you first, what do you know about it?
Well, I had it about 1975 and I've always had it.
I've got a little bar at home and I always hang it inside the door
and a lot of people come and look at it, and always ask me what it is and I'd say,
"I used to use it for self-defence,"
and they used to laugh about it. And I hung it there and hung it there
and then when I was watching Flog It!
I thought, "Well, I'm going to take it along."
-And where did it come from?
-Well, I don't know.
Either in the family somewhere or... I'm not really sure.
Well, I think it is the most fantastic thing I've seen all day.
I'm flying by the seat of my pants to a degree
but I'll tell you what I think it is.
I think it's from New Zealand and I think it's a hunting club.
Tribal art is such a specialist field.
All I know is that about 15 years ago, when I first started as a valuer,
there was a chap who'd come to the valuation days with a shopping trolley and that shopping trolley
used to be full of absolute rubbish week after week after week.
But one day he came with a Maori paddle and the decoration on the Maori paddle
was very similar to this. I am sure that this dogtooth decoration and this hatched decoration
is classic Maori. Wonderful. Really is beautifully carved.
-And it's so heavy, isn't it?
-So I think that's either a hunting club or a war club.
I love it. I'll go away today and I'll do some research into this
and see if I can find out more.
-But if it is, and it's an early one, it could be a really good thing.
-Now I've never done this before but I'm not going to put a value on it.
-I'm going to fudge it.
I'm gonna say that without question it's worth 300 to 500, but it may well be worth more.
-And hopefully by the time the auction day comes, we might have a pleasant surprise for you
because I love it. Do you want to sell it?
-Yeah, I will sell it, yeah.
-Thank you so much for bringing it in.
I know I haven't been able to tell you much about it and I feel a buffoon
not being able to tell you much. I loved it so much I wanted to do it.
-Do you mind?
-No. That's fine.
Exmoor straddles the counties of Somerset and Devon.
It's a wild and barren place, especially in the winter months.
But there's one animal that has adapted perfectly to this beautiful but harsh landscape -
and that's the Exmoor pony.
This is the only moorland pony in Britain that can be called truly prehistoric.
Exmoors have been roaming this area for 100,000 years and they remain
largely unchanged from their Ice Age ancestors with their barrel-shaped bodies and their wide heads.
Today, I'm lucky enough to be getting a bit more of an insight into this fascinating breed
I'm here with Dawn Williams from the Exmoor Pony Society. Hi, Dawn.
-Thanks for meeting me and showing me around this beautiful bit of landscape.
-I can see a couple of ponies. Any chance of getting closer?
-Let's go and meet the herd.
-I'll follow you.
What herd is this called?
This is the Hawkwell Herd, one of the founding herds of Exmoor ponies.
What about breeding here, how many ponies do you think they breed each year?
Well, this year on Exmoor, in total,
there were 180 foals born but about 60 of those were born on Exmoor itself,
so not very many. Various things have happened to them over the years to deplete them.
During the Second World War, some of them were stolen for meat, some of them were used,
unfortunately, for target practice and the breed ended up with
only 50 ponies and 4 stallions existing in the world.
So the breeders got together, the Exmoor Pony Society worked very hard
and now it's been a conscious effort to build up such a tiny gene pool to the number of ponies there are today.
They're still considered to be endangered but there are now about 2,700 ponies in the world
so this is a huge, you know, achievement.
-If we could just go in this direction a little bit.
-We need to zigzag
and just go really slowly. OK, if we just pause here for a moment.
-You can see that mare over there is grazing...
..and she's got her back to us so you know she's showing that she doesn't find us a threat.
In days gone by, what were they used for?
Well, Exmoor ponies were actually the pillar of Exmoor society.
This is a very harsh and steep terrain, it's a beautiful National Park.
Because of its deep coombs and because of the weather conditions
and the fact it was the last place in England to have metal roads,
-for a long time it was a very inhospitable place.
-So you needed a pony to get about.
These ponies were used for harrowing fields,
even when they used bigger horses, the ponies were used for the steep-sided fields and for the edges.
They did the post rounds, they took children to school, they took supplies to and from market,
they were used for everything and they enabled the community
to communicate, particularly during the winter.
They were very important. That's Hawkwell Great Gatsby,
the stallion out with the mares at the moment.
But they're slowly getting closer, they're curious.
-He's curious, isn't he? Shall we try and get a bit closer.
Why do they rely on humans to look after them if they've sort of
been around for 100,000 years and can withstand this kind of terrain?
-Why do they need our help?
-Well, it's largely because the land is now owned.
Exmoor is a unique National Park but it is actually not very big and because there are so many people,
-the ponies haven't got these great wild areas to roam.
-Oh, I see.
-Now, if we just pause here...
-..and let Gatsby take us in.
Oh, he's lovely. I could hang around all day and watch this herd
but I'd like to take an even closer look.
-You said you've got three at home.
-Yes, I have.
-Shall we go and take a look?
-Yes, let's do that.
-I love your place. So this is where all the schooling's done.
And that is some dog. What is it?
Yeah this is... Suky! Come here, Suky.
Come on. Good boy. This is a Bergamasco from the Italian Alps.
-Looks like Dougal from The Magic Roundabout.
-His nickname is Dougal.
Now you stay there while we go in the school.
What's the first thing you do when you get the ponies back here? What would you do with them?
Well, when they come straight off the moor they obviously haven't had any human contact or very little.
They may just have seen their, their herd owner, so they are very shy,
very unused to human contact and with Exmoors, we need to socialise them.
-Right, so it's a bonding process. Very much so. Lots of love.
About six months to a year I suppose?
Some of the ponies come to it within a few days,
and you can put a head collar on and accept you touching them all over.
Some of them take a long time and a lot of patience but it's worth persevering.
OK, show me, show me one of the schooling disciplines.
OK, well, I'll ask the ponies to move off and then it's just
a process of getting them to accept that, from a distance, I'm asking to move their feet.
And what you'll do is get them to run around on one rein, in one direction and then turn them?
-And then make sure that they turn the right way and go back.
-Yes, that's the idea.
-OK. All right.
And they should always turn obviously, when they do turn, turn towards the fence.
Yes, sometimes they'll turn in if they're watching you and sometimes they'll turn away.
I love the mane, I love the long hair. Ha-ha-ha. And the feathers on the feet.
-Oh, they turned beautifully then.
How long did it take you to achieve that?
Once they'd actually accepted me, you know, touching them and putting head collars on... Hoo hoo hoo,
We're turning the other way now.
Good boys. Then, and once there's trust between you then this, this actually comes very quickly.
-Give me my hand back.
-And that's the reward really, isn't it?
And you can see they're built for working.
They're built for surviving. They're very intelligent
and they need that to exist on the moor and survive.
Dawn, thank you so much, so much for showing me
these wonderful ponies and telling me about their history.
-I'm going to look at them in a different light now.
We saw items from far and wide at our valuation day in Yeovil,
but now it's time to pack up and head to the auction.
Michael's hoping for the sweet smell of success with Christine's Georgian scent bottle.
Will the bidders be tempted by the theatre magazines and the charms of the beauties within?
I'm sure Pete's pretty little tea canister is going to prove popular with the china collectors.
And finally, if there's any trouble, the tribal club is just the thing to bring the bidders into line.
Today's auction comes from Bearne's in Exeter.
The man with the local knowledge wielding the gavel is auctioneer, Nick Sainty.
First up, we're hoping the smell of money is in the air.
I absolutely love this next lot.
It belongs to Christine. It's an 18th-century scent bottle.
£100 to £150. I wouldn't be selling it, Christine, if I was you.
-Mmm. Why, why?
-I know it's tiny and you don't look at it any more...
-I don't, no.
..but it's just so beautiful.
Neither of the boys want it. So, let's sell it, let's flog it.
I spotted this, I spotted this at the valuation day and I thought, oh, I love it, I want to talk
about it, I just want to muse over it and touch it but I didn't feel qualified to.
And I asked Michael and he said "Oh, I love it, let me do it, so..."
-Let me do it, give it to me.
-There you go, take it away.
After a tug of love.
It's a lovely thing, I mean it's tortoiseshell,
which you can't get any more, it's a finite material now.
-The work that's gone into it is tremendous but the lovely thing is the bottle's there...
and it's in perfect condition. That will hopefully make the difference today.
Well, it'll help pay for the car park fine.
-Oh, what, today? You've got a car park fine?
-Don't know yet. Might have.
Oh, dear. I know parking is a big problem anywhere now in any city
isn't it, it really is, especially around auction houses.
We'll get you away as soon as possible!
The George III tortoiseshell and pique scent bottle, cased.
Interest here, a number of commission bids.
Away here then 180, 190,
200, £210 is bid, we've reached a bid of £210. 220 will you?
It's with me at 220. 230.
240. The book is out. With you, sir at £240. 50 will you?
Book's out, it's in the room then. We're selling at £240.
That's the fine paid and a bit for yourself.
-I wish they could all be as easy as that.
-It is marvellous, wasn't it?
They're not all that easy because they're not all that wonderful quality.
No. Quality always sells. What's the money going to go towards, Christine?
Well, genuinely I've not looked at the car, there may well be a ticket on it.
It might be for that but one of my Great Danes
-has chewed up one of his beds so I think he needs another bed so...
-It's a big bed as well.
-It's a big bed.
-It's a big dog!
This lot will put a big smile on your face, can you remember it?
It was the theatre magazines, the saucy French ones belonging to Val and David.
They put a smile on our faces and I had a chat with Nick, the auctioneer,
and they put a big grin on his face. I love them.
He was dubious and thought they'd struggle but interior designers could do something with them.
-It's a question of whether they want it, isn't it? If they want it, they pay for it.
-It must have put a smile on your face when you found them in the attic.
-It did, yes, that's right.
-Especially my face. Yeah.
I'd hang on to one if I was you then. Just keep the best one.
-Of course I wasn't allowed to look at them. That's why they're in good condition.
-A collection of theatre magazines.
I'm sure you've looked through these and studied them carefully.
There is some interest here and we start the bidding at...
100, 120, 130,
140 is bid. Commission bid of £140.
50 will you? Commission bid of 140 and 50, will you?
It's with me on the book at £140.
And 50, will you?
Are you all done?
Do you want to take a second look? No?
It's on the book then and we're selling at £140.
Yes, hammer's gone down. Great. Good valuation.
-Yes, lovely, that's great.
-What are you going to do with that?
-Well, we're going to China later in the year.
-Have you been before?
-Oh, what a wonderful trip.
-That's somewhere I'd love to go.
-I really would.
-It will go towards that.
Peter is with me right now and he's hoping to do some trading up.
We've got that lovely little tea canister.
Michael's put a valuation of 60 to 90.
-70 to 90?
-60 to 90.
-60 to 90.
-Little bit of discretion on the reserve.
But this was purchased for a fiver.
-How long ago?
-About 2 months ago.
-So you are trading up. Oooh.
Well, that's the way to go, trade up, don't trade down.
We can't possibly lose on this one. Why do you want to flog it? Did you buy it to sell or...?
I bought it because I like the pattern on it. We put it on the windowsill,
we've got two cats and the cats were going to knock it off so I thought...
-Protect your investment?
-Make a bit of money.
-He's gonna do it, isn't he?
-He must do.
-He must do!
-He must do.
It's 18th century, it's in perfect condition and it's a tea caddy.
Now those are three very good points and when you think of £50,
-what can you buy for £50?
-Not a lot.
-You certainly can't buy one of those...
-Not a period tea caddy.
Hopefully everyone will think that and their hands will shoot up in the air.
Fingers crossed, it's under the hammer now.
The Caughley tea canister in the temple pattern. Interest here.
Commission bid 48. 50, 55,
£60 pounds is bid, commission bid is £60. 5 will you?
5. 70. 5.
80. 5. 90. 5.
-It's so popular.
And 5. My bid is 110. 15 will you?
The book's out. With you then at £115.
-20 new place. 130.
-Fresh legs in the room.
at £120. 30 will you?
We're all done, the book's out.
I'm selling then, the seated bidder at £120.
-Gone, the hammer's gone down.
-We'll take that.
-We will indeed.
-And I'm sure you will.
-What are you going to do with the £120?
-My other half's having an operation on her hand
-so I'm treating her to a weekend away.
-Somewhere in the country.
Ah, how lovely.
This lot is for all the academics, it's a bit of tribal art.
It belongs to John, with a value of £300 to £500.
-At the valuation day, James had a look at it and he thought it was Maori but he couldn't be sure.
The auctioneer's done more research on it and he's discovered that it's Tongan.
Hopefully there's going to be interest on this.
Why have you decided to sell this?
-Because this is your security, isn't it?
Yes, and after that I brought it back to see you to tell me what it was
really and wasn't really sure and I would like to send it back
to New Zealand, whoever buys it.
I'm pretty sure it's going to go back home, that's for sure,
because this has been picked up on the internet
and there's a lot of overseas buyers that always buy tribal art and it's lovely.
It is a wonderful thing.
Now as you say, I wasn't sure that it was Maori but it's that area, isn't it?
-All these Polynesian islands, that sort of area.
And the good thing about it is it's so crisp and that's how the academics like it.
-Anyway, ready for this?
-Shall we flog it?
-Here it is.
The late 19th century...
We catalogued it as Maori, but it is Tongan,
with zigzag and geometric decoration. There's some interest here,
a number of commission bids.
£440, £460, £480 is bid.
-That's good. That's straight in at the top end.
-500, will you?
Commission bid of 480.
500, sir. 520. 540.
That's us out.
It's in the room at £540.
560. 580. 600.
And 20. 640.
660. It's a nod of the head, distant, then.
640 closest, it's with you at £640 and we're selling, closest to me then
-Fantastic. Are you happy with that?
-Yes, very well.
-Over the moon with that.
Oh, what a minefield it is but I know that will go back to where it came from.
-It's part of their heritage and they want to treasure things like that.
Thank you. That was the most wonderful thing and we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
I hope you've enjoyed watching the show. So from Bearne's in Exeter until the next time, it's cheerio.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
A collection of risqué magazines is among the items that turn up to be valued in Yeovil.
And Paul Martin takes a walk on the wild side when he ventures onto the moors in search of Exmoor ponies.