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This medieval castle overlooks the city of Lancaster's truly eventful history,
through the War of the Roses to the Industrial Revolution
and right now it's about to witness another great historic event,
because today "Flog It!" is in town.
Lancaster made its fortune during the 18th century, when its port was one of the busiest in the country
and its civic buildings certainly show off their wealth and their pride.
Today's venue is the very imposing town hall.
Rummaging through the bags and boxes of this massive queue today,
we've got our two experts, Mr Philip Serrell and Anita Manning.
And Anita's quick to hog today's first item.
..this is a great laugh.
-"Flog It!" is so much fun, especially when people bring in a group of very sinister pigs.
-Yeah, they're hideous, aren't they?
-Sarah, tell me all about these.
When I was little my mum started a bank account and we got this little piggy first.
And then when you saved a certain amount, you got
another one and another one, until you got the whole set.
-And by the time you got, I suppose, to Dad...
-Yeah, you had...
-You were worth a couple of bob?
As a child, yeah. 100-odd quid, yeah. It's not bad.
So what happened when your kid got to £100?
We went to an account that gave better interest.
Very good, very good. Wise mum. Always listen to your mum.
Exactly, yes. Will do.
So really what they were was a saving incentive and your darling mum
decided that she would start off
-and get you into saving. Is that right?
And it's worked reasonably well.
-Did you have them in a row?
Yeah, they were on the shelf in the bedroom,
peering down at us as we played with our little toys.
-To me they look a bit sinister.
-Do they feel like that to you or do you love them?
-Do you love them, Sarah?
In a very special way I'm sure, yeah. I mean, you've got the boys
and then you've got Mum and then you've got the funny-looking uncle.
I'm not sure what he is, but I'm not particularly keen on him.
-Is that not the sister?
-I don't know!
I think it's supposed to be, but he just looks funny.
Well, they're great fun, they're great fun and they are collectable, they are.
They were doing a little better three or four years ago.
They are made by Wade, who made little animals.
They made little Wade Whimsies which children collected, little humorous objects and so on.
And I think these are in that sort of vein.
Price - I would say that we should put them in
with an estimate of perhaps £50-£80.
They may do better than that, they may do better, but I think that's reasonable enough.
A tenner apiece for all that fun.
Ladies, shall these little pigs go to market?
-I think they will, yes.
-Let's flog them!
-How are you doing, Richard?
-Very well thank you. Very well.
Ever thought about silver polish?
-No. I've never seen 'em for I don't know how long.
-What do you mean?
Well, I moved house about 18 years ago and they went up into the loft
and when I saw your advert, I decided to go and dig them out.
So these haven't been cleaned for 18 years?
I'm guessing it's between 16 and 18.
-I'll let you off.
-They've been wrapped up.
I think they're nice. They're a 20th-century copy of an 18th-century stick, OK?
If these were 18th century, which they're not, they'd be £1,000, £2,000, right?
These are very much 20th century. If you turn one over,
we can see they're not actually solid silver. This is loaded.
It's almost like a plaster base.
So they are loaded silver, 20th century. What are they worth?
I think in auction we could put an estimate on them of £100-£200.
We'll put a reserve on them of £100. Are you happy with that?
-I'd like a reserve a bit higher perhaps.
-You said up to £200.
-If you have your reserve higher than the estimate, you're breaking the law.
-So I think 100-200.
I don't mind you putting perhaps 120 on them and then we'll estimate them at 150 to 250.
-OK, put it at 120.
-Are you happy with that?
-That's ideal, yeah.
-So 120 reserve, 150-250 estimate.
-They might go and make more.
-But the beauty of an auction is that the market will dictate what they're going to make.
Because people will bid on them on the day.
They will be catalogued. They'll go on the internet.
And all those things will ensure that they make what they're worth.
-So 18 years ago, why did you put these in the roof?
They're not something that you stick around as an ornament, are they?
-That's just what they are.
-I know they're not functional. I'm not going to stick candles in them.
-Did you never have a power cut?
-Yeah, but I've never stuck candles in them.
I'm going to let you off for not cleaning them, but let's hope they do well at the auction.
Eileen, this has certainly caught my eye.
For one reason - the little label on the back of this.
So I want you to tell me how you came by this toilet mirror.
I bought it in a local auction warehouse, because I liked it.
-How long ago?
-About three years.
-Were you looking for something like this?
-No, but I saw it and liked it.
I didn't like these bits on the top especially, but the drawers and just the general look of it.
-It's just a nice mirror.
-They're slightly over the top.
Sort of brass, the neo-classical finials.
-They don't quite sit that well, do they?
But it is an over-the-top piece.
It's not what I would say is a period piece.
It's not a 17th- or 18th-century piece.
-Unfortunately, this is early 20th century.
So it's going to have all those elements of nouveau riche and over the top about it.
It's got a nice bit of cut, bevelled glass though. That's a bit of quality.
Let's just take the drawers out and have a look.
The whole construction is made of mahogany, which is nice.
That's good. It's an exotic hardwood. This is a Spanish mahogany.
It's not that sort of lovely flamed, figured Cuban mahogany you'd expect from the West Indies.
-So it's a cheaper mahogany.
But it is quality. Look, it's all dovetailed, as you can see.
-And from a wonderful furniture maker local to this area - Gillows of Lancaster.
They later joined forces with a company from Manchester called Waring.
And this is a Waring and Gillows.
I'm just going to look at the back. If I can turn this around, Eileen.
I won't say goodbye. I'll just hide myself.
Yeah, in fact, I'll take that out.
Then I can see you. How about that?
If you hold that.
And I just do that. Yes, that's the all-important little label. If you clean that up...
It says "Guaranteed, designed and manufactured at our Lancaster factory"...
-"Waring and Gillows".
So there you go. There's its little tag.
Purely because of that, we hopefully will get your money back.
We've got to put this into auction with a value, I personally believe,
And if you want to, we can put a reserve on of 150.
-Protect it a little bit.
-Cos it is useful and I'm sure you use it, do you?
-Well, we used to use it,
but we've since moved and don't have so much need for it any more. That's why I want to "Flog It!".
-OK. Well, we'll try our very best for you.
-Fine, thank you.
-David, welcome to "Flog It!".
Tell me, is this a family piece?
No, it isn't. We bought it about 15 years ago for our Victorian house that we lived in at the time.
-Uh-huh. Did you use it as a coal box?
-No, it was purely ornamental.
It just fitted in nicely with the fireplace.
Did you have a wonderful Victorian fireplace with a copper canopy and your coal box sitting at the side?
Well, let's look at it closely.
It is a coal box and if we lift the lid here, we can see the compartment,
-complete with liner, and we would keep our coal here.
We have this handle affair at the back, which in actual fact
is not a handle, but it was the slot that we would put a little shovel in.
-And there would be a matching shovel, so there's something missing for a start.
Now it's not the best of boxes.
-But it's not the worst.
-It's made of oak
-and we have this carved detail here, which is Victorian.
But this is a little Arts and Crafts going into Art Nouveau motif,
where we have these more flowing lines in the handle and these details here.
Would they come originally with this?
Yes, I believe that it is original.
I mean, as well as being functional objects, they were decorative as well.
This box has no function these days.
People are not using coal fires and they have fallen from favour.
I remember, maybe ten years ago, this would have done perhaps £70 or £80.
-It's not going to do that now.
They have fallen greatly from favour and this one is not complete.
It doesn't have the shovel, so that's going to affect the price as well.
-Have you moved to a smaller house?
-Well, moved to a modern house.
A modern house, uh-huh.
-So it hasn't got any fireplaces at all and it doesn't fit in with the house.
I would, I'm afraid, only estimate this in the region of £25-£40.
Now, are you happy to sell it at that?
-Let's just sell it. Let's just go for it.
-See what we get for it.
We'll put a reserve of £20.
If it doesn't do £20, you can take it back
and hand it to your charity shop.
-Are you local lassies?
-No. Well, we are...
-No, yes, no, yes?
-Come on, make your mind up.
-We're from Bolton-le-Sands.
-Bolton-le-Sands. Where's that then?
-About four miles down the road.
-That's on the sands then, on the sea, is it?
-Is it nice?
-Tell me about these then.
-They belonged to two old ladies that I...
-That's not you two, is it?
-No, I just wanted to establish that. Go on.
..That I'd known for about 30 years.
-I used to go and help them when they had a holiday flat.
-They were two really lovely old ladies.
-They clearly liked you, cos they gave you these, didn't they?
What do you know about them?
Not a lot, except that their father worked for the Leeds Fireclay, which became Burmantofts.
-I thought you said you didn't know very much?
-Well, that much.
So if we just turn one of these over, we can just see on the base here, it says "The Leeds Fireclay Company".
-And as you so rightly say, they became Burmantofts.
-And Burmantofts produced those sort of...what? about 1890, 1900...
those really decorative, big, bold vases in real in-your-face colours
-with dragons and serpents.
-Have you got any of that?
-Just a dragon.
-You've got a dragon?
-I think that these are in-house paperweights.
That were almost like advertising for the Leeds Fireclay Company
and I think that these might have been given away or possibly sold.
Their condition leaves a bit to be desired, doesn't it?
-They scrubbed everything, these ladies.
-I'm sure they did.
-Spring cleaned and everything was scrubbed.
-So I think that's why they were...
They're chipped and nibbled everywhere, but I think they're quite a bit of fun.
-I think you've got to put a £50-£80 estimate on them
-and I think that you put a reserve on them of £40.
-Why do you want to sell 'em?
My son has qualified for the World Triathlon Championships.
-World Triathlon Championships?
-Yeah. They take place in June in Vancouver, in Canada.
So he is in the World Championships
-and you want to sell these to go and watch him?
So we've really got to hope then that our little Leeds lions do very well for him.
-I think they will.
-I hope so.
-Do you not like them? Is it just to raise money?
I like them. We just want to raise some money. I want to help her.
I think that's brilliant and, on the basis of that alone, I hope they make a fortune.
-Oh, I wish they would.
Quicksand, swirling currents and deep tidal channels.
They're just some of the perils that await anybody without
lifelong knowledge of the beautiful, as you can see, look at that, but notorious Morecambe Sands behind me.
Now, I certainly wouldn't go for a walk out there without the expert
knowledge of an extraordinary man, and his name is Cedric Robinson MBE.
Cedric descends from generations of fishermen.
When he was a young boy, his father used to take him out on the Sands
in a horse and cart looking for early morning cockles, shrimps and small fish.
They brought home their catch and cooked it, ready to sell on their market stall later on in the day.
In 1965, Cedric was invited to take over as Queen's Guide to the Sands, an ancient
royally appointed position that dates back to the 16th century.
Then, the job entailed safely guiding local residents
who wanted to take a short cut across this dangerous shore.
Nowadays, Cedric leads groups of up to 400 people at a time,
as he has done so for the past 44 years.
Cedric, tell me all about the work of a sand pilot.
Exactly what do you do and how did you get into this?
Well, when I left school I didn't want to do anything
but be a fisherman, the same as my father, and that's where the learning came in.
Right, good local knowledge of the tides and the sand.
Yeah, dad followed the Sands all of his life so he was a great help to me.
Exactly how big is this area? How many square miles of sand have we got here?
Well, it's very deceptive but it does cover approximately 120 square miles.
That's a lot. Do you know all this like the back of your hand?
Well, I've probably been over every inch of it in my lifetime.
You need to know it and you need to live it to know it.
How do you know where the quicksands are? How do you learn that?
-Well, you don't, do you?
-They say you learn by your mistakes,
but luckily I haven't had many mistakes but I've seen incidents over the years,
I've seen horses go down in quicksand, I've seen taxis disappear in seconds.
If you follow the Sands regularly, you know day by day.
If you're only a part time fisherman, you don't learn the same.
-How do you test if the sand's moving?
-Well, I can read it. As we come out
I'm reading these sands like you would open a newspaper in the morning and read the newspaper.
In the lower areas where the tide comes in and goes out.
The tide comes in a lot faster than it goes out and that's where the main changes are.
So, that's where... and always test with a stick, never just go walking or never drive a tractor straight
through a river, you'd find you'd suddenly go down and lose the lot. So, you test with a stick.
Sometimes it's disappointing, you get ten yards off the side and that stick would disappear up to the hilt.
Then you have to retrace your steps and start again and look in a different area.
As a fisherman, it's vitally important to know these sands.
You may remember the dreadful tragedy of the 19 Chinese cockle pickers
who lost their lives during a cold, wet night in February, 2004.
It was a dreadful tragedy. Were you involved with the emergency services at all there?
I wasn't able to go out... I am a Honorary Fellow of the University
of Central Lancashire and we'd been invited away that day, we didn't get
back till evening and my son said the phone had been non-stop and he told me of the terrible tragedy.
We saw lights out in the bay. It was dark and terribly cold.
I was able to assist by telling them about the area and how the tide would come in.
You've obviously seen a lot of tragedy in your days and it's made
the news headlines, especially with the cockle pickers, but what about local incidents which never make
-the press and news, it must happen day in and day out, doesn't it?
-Yeah, it is a dangerous environment.
There were four young lads and they came on the other side, Bolton le Sands, near Morecambe.
They thought they'd walk along the coastline to Morecambe and two of them were a bit more
adventurous and went out into the bay but within ten minutes of leaving the shore they'd drowned.
That's how dangerous it is, you just go out for a paddle for ten minutes.
Absolutely, yes, without knowing what you're doing, always stick to the safety of the shore.
What sort of preparations do you make before you take people out on a long walk?
Well, a walk doesn't just happen because the river moves every day. The tide comes in and goes out again.
So, I go out with a tractor and I've got some good pals to help me.
-That's your team, isn't it?
-That's my team, yeah.
We arrive at the river, trousers rolled up, barefoot, a stick apiece.
And I will say we'll go at it
so many yards apart and we'll walk slowly, not fast, and test with the stick.
So, do you plant these laurels as a marker?
Yes, I plant them out for the benefit of my driver because he has to come out this side sometimes on his own
and he wouldn't be able to find his way to the river without the markers.
So, you have to renew them for every walk in the lower areas.
And I gather you've taken some famous people out on your walks, haven't you?
Well, there seems to be so many over the years.
Yes, crossed the Sands with His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
And that was a wonderful experience.
He did get a bit annoyed with the helicopter flying above us, so noisy,
but they were there for protection really, I think.
In case he'd gone down in the quicksands but as long as he was with Cedric he wouldn't do that.
What are you going to do with all your knowledge?
Are you passing this on? Is anyone else going to be doing this?
No, very sadly my own family, they've all got good jobs and
I mean it would have been ideal if my son had followed the sand and he'd taken in my footsteps but I'm...
People say to me, "Who's going to come along after your time, when are you going to retire?"
Well, that time hasn't come. I know when that time will come, you know, and it hasn't come.
There's life in the old dog yet.
My father lived to 102 so I've a few years left yet.
Did he? Gosh. That's a good innings.
'While Cedric has an often dangerous and responsible job, it doesn't pay the bills.'
So, to supplement the princely sum of £15 per year that Cedric receives
from the Duchy of Lancaster, he cultivates the land behind his grace and favour home.
But his true passion is following the Sands.
'What a remarkable job in a very unusual part of our island.'
It's the crew.
'Long may Cedric be able to continue his vital work guiding
people across this beautiful landscape.'
Well, it's time to leave the packed valuation day and head off to the auction.
These Wade money boxes may have been designed as promotional gifts,
but we don't want to give them away today.
They might not have been cleaned for 18 years,
but Richard's hoping his candlesticks will certainly shine in the saleroom.
Eileen's mirror's got a great label, so that should be reflected in a decent sale price.
And I like these paperweight lions, so let's hope for Margaret's sake
they're a roaring success.
Richard hopes his coal box will stoke up today's bidders
and create a bit of heat in the saleroom.
I've just been joined by Philip, our expert, along with our owner Richard.
About to go under the hammer - the silver 20th-century candlesticks.
A valuation of £120-£180. Richard, why are you selling these? These have got the look.
They are only ornaments after all, aren't they?
And they just stand there in a display cabinet.
They're doing no good. Somebody else can have the benefit of them. I'll have the money.
I would use them. I would light them - put a candle in and use them at the dinner table.
-I daren't do that.
The pair of period-style... They are 1960s, but in the period style
and I have interest in these lots
I'm going to start the bidding with me on this one at 130. 130. 130.
Not a lot of silver collectors today.
No, there aren't, Richard, you're right.
130. 40. 150. 150. You're all out in front on this lot.
-We're selling then. Are we all done?
The hammer's gone done. That was short and sweet.
-I think they've sold well.
-They've sold well.
Richard, £150, what are you going to put the money towards?
-It'll have to go towards a holiday.
-Where do you fancy going? Saving up for?
-Possibly end up in Majorca or somewhere like that.
Right. Now going under the hammer is a very handy piece of kit.
It's the little coal bucket and it belongs to David, £25-£40.
It's cute. It doesn't have its shovel. Nevertheless, it should sell.
It's not a lot of money and five, six, seven years ago, this would have made maybe 60, 80, perhaps even 100.
-But they've gone out of fashion...
-..a little bit.
But this one has very nice copperized Art Nouveau strapping, so I'm hoping that that will help it along.
It's got the look, hasn't it? It's quite decorative. It's not a boring, carved oak one.
Lot 475 is the late Victorian, probably Edwardian, coal podonium.
The Art Nouveau strapwork decoration.
And I have interest in it. I'm going to start the bidding with me at £30.
-It sold straightaway.
35. 40. Five. 50. £50 now.
£50 bid. £50 and we sell away.
No further interest and we sell away then at £50.
-That's really good. It did have the look.
Imagine if you had the little shovel with it.
Maybe double your money. But that's fantastic.
-There you go.
-Are you surprised?
-Thank you. Excellent.
We need top money now for Margaret, cos we've got two little Burmantofts lions.
They're paperweights. We're looking at £50-£80.
I love them. The money's going to a great cause, isn't it?
Well, my grandson has won a competition...
He's a triathlete... to go to the World Champion games in Vancouver.
And it's costing a lot of money and I thought anything would help, so that's what the money's going to.
How much do you think he has to raise? A couple of thousand pounds?
Oh, that's just the start.
-Hopefully he can get the £80 for that, at the top end of the estimate.
-I bet they don't sell.
Here they go. This is it.
Yeah, the paperweights. Models of Empire lions.
And can I ask £50 for a start?
-50, if you like. 50.
£30. Thank you, sir. £30 bid. 35.
40 now. £40 in the room. 40 bid.
40 bid. 40 bid.
£40. Going this time then at 40.
-He sold them at 40.
-Well, every little helps, doesn't it?
-A little bit, yeah.
-It really does.
-Yeah, it's something.
I hope that's a start and he can raise a bit more locally and get himself to Vancouver.
That's what we want. Thank you.
-You're a good gran, aren't you?
Well, I've just been joined by Sarah and Jill, mum and daughter.
Hello. You're both looking fabulous.
We've got the Wade money boxes, five of them.
It's not a lot of money, but it's just about the right money.
£10 apiece. You've got the full set there.
They've gone down a little in price, but I'm sure they should do 50.
And I'm sure they've had a lot more money in them in their day, haven't they?
How much did you manage to save?
Oh, actually a few pennies.
About £100 or something like that.
Well, that's not bad going, is it?
-What did you save up for? Can you remember?
Oh, probably sweets, knowing me.
Well, we're going to find out what the bidders think right now, OK?
Good luck. Let's hope we get the top end of the estimate. Here we go.
Thank you. Lot 280, the five Wade money boxes. NatWest piggies.
Start me for this please. £80. 50.
I'll go with the commissions at £40 now.
40. 45 now at the back of the room.
-50 now with me. 55.
-50, we've done it.
In the second row, with the lady at 55.
Little money, but it's going now at £55.
-Yes, sold! That got rid of them, didn't it?
-It did. They're gone!
Are you saving for anything now?
I don't know. We'll find something to spend it on I'm sure.
That's nice. You include Mum.
-Good luck with the career. I know you're off to do a Masters soon, aren't you?
-I am, yes.
-So good luck with that.
Thank you very much. Cheers.
Eileen, I think we need a bit of luck on our side right now.
-Do you think so?
-Waring and Gillows, it's a great make.
-But is £150-£250 a true reflection on the price of this little toilet mirror? I think it is.
Well, you paid that for it.
You paid 250, didn't you?
-No. Not quite.
-But with commission, it was about 230...
..in auction three years ago.
-Had a chat to Kevin the auctioneer before the sale.
And he said he thinks it's worth somewhere in the region of 60-90.
-Is that all?
But I don't know. That's his opinion. Obviously, he's an auctioneer.
He knows the local scene, but you bought this not far away
and a different auctioneer had a different opinion,
-because he sold it to you for £200 plus commission.
So where do we stand? Hopefully, somewhere in the middle.
-And we've got a valuation of 150-200, fixed reserve at 150.
-I hope we get it.
-Now lot 500.
It's the early 20th-century, mahogany toilet swing mirror.
It does bear the Waring and Gillow label. What can I ask for it?
Nice little mirror. 200 if you like. 150.
Start me £100, somebody.
100. We'll start at £70 then.
£70 on the bid. 70 bid. 70 bid.
-70 bid. £70...
-I can't see anybody bidding. Can you?
-£70. Gone this time at 70.
Sadly, that has a reserve and we can't sell I'm afraid.
Oh, dear. You win some, you lose some, don't you?
It's a great name in cabinet-making.
It doesn't deserve to be sold for 60 quid.
What are you going to do with it?
Just take it home. Perhaps sell it another time.
Well, I'm disappointed. I really thought that name would sell it.
And here's why.
Gillows of Lancaster is one of the most illustrious names in the history of cabinet-making.
Now here at the Judges' Lodgings Museum
they have one of the finest collections of Gillows furniture in the world.
I have hit the jackpot.
The story really begins in 1728, when Robert Gillow
opened his cabinet-making firm right here in the heart of Lancaster.
And through a combination of exceptional craftsmanship,
good business sense and access to exotic hardwoods imported from the Americas
via the port of Lancaster, Gillows rapidly became one of the leading cabinet-making firms of its day.
Robert married Agnes Fell in 1730 and they had two sons, Richard and Robert Junior.
Richard trained as an architect and was made a partner in the firm in 1769,
the same year his brother Robert was.
But he was based down in London, the fashionable capital city and soon, with clients all over the country,
the business rapidly expanded, producing the most exquisite pieces of English, 18th-century furniture.
Now take this stunning example.
It really is the centrepiece of any gentleman's study.
It's a library table and it's meant to be a centrepiece. It's an island.
You're supposed to walk around it and appreciate it from every face, side -
those wonderful serpentine shapes.
This was commissioned by Sir James Ibbetson of Denton Hall and is known as the Denton library table.
Now he originally approached Chippendale, another leading cabinet-maker of the day.
It's from a line drawing from Thomas Chippendale's book, first published in 1754,
but the year is now 1778 and Thomas Chippendale declined to make this.
He felt his styles had moved on.
He was more fashion orientated.
This is where Gillows comes into the frame, because they made this piece,
enhancing their reputation as a cabinet-maker rather than a designer.
And they've copied very closely Chippendale's early 1754 design.
I absolutely adore it.
What I love about it is the fact that the top is so rough. It's not been restored.
I love the fact that leather has a variegated hue with wear and it almost takes on the patina of wood.
That obviously is the front, flanked four drawers on each column with a central drawer.
Here we've got two base cupboards on each column with a central drawer.
This is quite interesting. If I pull the drawer open this way,
it disappears on your side.
And vice versa.
I think that's very, very clever.
They have selected the finest Cuban mahogany possible to build this piece.
And that was just one of the many new materials that had started to come into the country.
The 18th century was the age of discovery and exploration.
Lancaster was a busy port with ships coming and going to the New World.
Gillows were in the right place at the right time.
A perfect example of how the company took advantage
of the growing trade of different exotic imported hardwoods
is shown here in this little lady's workbox. It's absolutely stunning.
There's 72 different variations of wood here, imported from all over the world -
the Americas, the tropics, Australia, the Indian sub-continent,
along with our own woods from the British Isles.
They're all numbered so you can find out exactly what they are.
Now we're all familiar with elms and oaks and yew woods,
but there's some woods on here that I've not come across
and 200 years later, this little box is educating me.
Number 30 here.
Now that's a purple wood. Just look at the grain on that.
That's an exotic hardwood from the Americas, but it's like a volcanic explosion.
It's sort of erupting all over the place.
A very tight, dense and decorative grain.
Here is a classic ebony. We've seen that from the Americas before, used for stringing an inlay detail.
But here's a softer version that I've not come across -
number 26, and that's a green ebony.
You can actually see the grain in this. It's slightly lighter.
What a wonderful box.
It's no wonder Miss Elizabeth Gifford commissioned this to be made by Gillows in 1808.
And if I open it up, it's not just the cabinet-maker's swatch,
so he can show off to clients what woods are available,
it's got a practical use as well, because just look at that.
A lovely fitted interior. Isn't that splendid?
Little compartments, all beautifully dovetailed.
And there's the example, look, of the ebony stringing.
Everything fits so beautifully.
And here's the all-important thing, the stamp - "Gillows, Lancaster".
Gillows ability to exploit new materials from overseas certainly enhanced the company's reputation
as one of the country's leading cabinet-makers.
But it was its patronage from Lancaster's high society
which really gave the firm a seal of approval amongst social circles.
Now take this lady, for instance.
Mary Rawlinson. Looks very formidable, doesn't she?
But at the time, she was one of Lancaster's most wealthiest women
and her husband made his fortune in the West Indies slave trade.
And he was also Lancaster's biggest importer of mahogany.
Mary commissioned Gillows to make this magnificent bookcase
and it is considered to be one of their finest pieces. It's absolutely stunning.
By now the firm is well established by some 40 years or so
and Gillows spared no expense in making this wonderful piece.
Their top craftsman, brothers Thomas and John Dowbiggin, built this and I've got to say,
just standing back and looking at its architectural proportions, it's mind-blowing, it really is.
The whole carcass is solid Cuban mahogany, but they've used a decorative veneer
laid on the top. Just look at the grain, the way it's curling.
This is called a flamed curl and you can see why.
There's a natural join here, where this piece has been cut from one piece and opened out,
so it's mirrored on this side.
It really has the most wonderful inlay detail up there.
That's inlaid in satinwood.
Now that is a lifetime's experience.
Working your way down, the handles are beautifully silvered
and the quality of the casting is absolutely tremendous.
Very, very crisp.
The bulk of the piece, where the weight is, has been softened architecturally with canted corners.
It doesn't meet at a right angle. It's softened.
And it also gives you a chance to show off more inlay skills,
because it's been decorated with sort of ribbons and swags.
Not too much, not too over the top, because this is a gentleman's piece.
It still retains a sort of masculine feel to it.
And the whole thing stands so proudly on wonderful, over-the-top bracket feet.
Look at the dragooning on the top there, with a little tear.
That's so beautiful.
It's commissions from rich and powerful patrons like this
that have cemented the firm's success,
guaranteeing Gillows of Lancaster a place in English cabinet-making history.
Well, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
It's time for me to go back to the valuation day and join up with our experts.
-How are you doing?
-Very well, thank you.
-How did you come by it?
-An employer I used to work for threw that out,
and some other books out, so...
-Throwing it out?
-Throwing it out, yes.
-I've no idea, whether because it was damaged or not, I don't know.
We'd better have a look and see what it is!
Let's just be very careful with it.
And it tells us here, it's Collections...of Genealogy...
and Topographical...for Bedfordshire, by Thomas Fisher, 1817.
It's got wonderful aquatint engravings
and there's over 100 of them.
Basically this is a book,
that tells us all about the history of Bedfordshire.
It's got lots and lots of wonderful plates in there.
-I've marked this one earlier, because I think that one,
if I just spin it round...
I think that's absolutely lovely.
We've got our bridge here,
and this wonderful, old - I guess Elizabethan - hall,
which is Radwell Hall and Bridge,
You've got this really moody sky over it.
I think it's a really beautiful engraving.
Condition of this is not great.
It's got damp, there's quite a bit of staining to some of the plates.
-But it's absolutely lovely.
If we turn the page, here's another one -
it's Newbury in the parish of Flitton, Bedfordshire.
The sad thing is, a lot of these houses aren't there any more.
What I really want to happen, is I want someone in Bedfordshire
to get on the internet, and to come and buy this book from us.
I want them to take it home and enjoy it, to love it...
Because, to me, that's what should happen to it.
This spine, here, is splitting,
-and it's really not in the best condition.
Someone's got to look after it, and love it.
We need the auctioneers to check on it,
-make sure all the plates and engravings are there.
I'm sure they are, and I think it'll do quite well.
-I think an auction estimate of this is perhaps 120-180...
..and I think a reserve ought to be £100.
-But I think you need to give the auctioneer some discretion.
-If he gets to between £80 and £90, I think you ought to let it go.
So, if that makes £100, what will you spend it on?
Well, we just had a carpet fitted in the living room,
and I need one for the stairs.
So, your book on Bedfordshire is going to become a carpet?
It's a funny old world, isn't it?
-Let's hope it does really well, might do the landing as well!
-It might do!
-They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend.
-So they say.
And you brought us a diamond.
It's absolutely lovely.
-Tell me, where did you get it?
I was given it by my great aunt before she passed away, but I don't use it.
How long ago was that?
-Probably about 15 or 16 years, I'd say.
-Have you worn it at all?
Only once. I wore it to a wedding on a black dress and it looked lovely.
-But I was afraid of it falling off, cos it is quite big.
-And though it's got a safety pin...
-You were frightened of losing it.
-Mm, I was.
-Ah. Time to sell it.
-I think so.
Now, when we look at a diamond, we look at the cut and we look at the size.
-In this one, it's mounted on 15-carat gold and platinum.
-It's a brilliant, round-cut...
-And people will like that.
To size the diamond we need a special tool,
but I would say it's in the region of a quarter of a carat.
-So it's a reasonable size.
-It could be changed into a ring.
I thought about that, but I wondered whether somebody would do it justice.
-You've got to make sure you get the right jeweller who's doing the right job...
-..and that he's going to look after the stone.
-I wouldn't want it spoilt.
-It belonged to your aunt. Did you know her?
-Do you think a loved one may have given her that?
-Possibly, although she was never married, but you never know.
-She was a maiden lady?
-She was, yeah, she was.
-But I mean, if you don't wear it, I always say, pass it on to someone who will.
And what you can do is perhaps to use the money to buy something that you would wear.
-And that you would enjoy.
-Or pass it on...
-Or pass it on to me.
Sure I could make use of it.
Would you like this diamond brooch to be passed on to you. Is it Ross?
-No, it's Josh.
Well, probably, but only to sell it in the future, so...
It's him and his sister, so, probably the money will be going to them anyway.
Yeah, yeah. Well, estimate...
Have you had it valued before?
A long time ago for insurance.
-And that was about £200.
-I would estimate this brooch in the region of £200-£300.
-Would you be happy to sell it at that?
-I think I would be.
-We'll put a reserve of, say, 180 on it, which means that we can't sell it below that.
Two to three is a conservative estimate and I think that someone will fall in love with this.
-OK. I hope so.
-Thank you so much for bringing it along.
I'll see you at the auction.
-Thanks a lot.
How long have you owned this?
It's been in the family, I think, for about 60 or 70 years.
And why do you want to sell it?
-Because I don't like it.
-I think cos the wood's too dark and it's just ugly.
-Do you agree, John?
I agree. It's too dark, dour.
-Can I throw my threepenny worth in?
I think it's horrible.
I think the problem with this is that the key part of this long-case clock
is this really nice brass dial with an eight-day movement by Thomas Lister of Halifax.
-And I would guess he might have been turn of the 1800s, somewhere around there.
But your eyes are averted from that by, can I say this, this dreadful case, right?
And you've got an oak case here that may or may not be original for that movement. I suspect it might not be.
But the Victorians got bored very easily.
They had no television and they either bred or they got hold of furniture and they carved it.
And the Victorians got wonderful 18th-century oak bureaus that today might be worth £1,000
and they turned them into £200 bureaus by carving them.
And this case has all been carved, I would guess 1880-ish, to look Jacobethan, which is a nothing term -
a cross between Elizabethan and Jacobean.
So you've got, in my eyes, a really lovely movement
and this awful case.
And I think it's interesting, cos you've had this in your family for 70 years and it's come down the line.
-I suspect that everybody's thought the same thing.
-I would have thought so.
-And you're thinking, "Oh, my Lord! I've got the clock."
You know, but you can't sell it, cos it's a family heirloom.
We've tried to give it to other members of the family, but nobody wants it.
In my eyes, you've got to make this a really attractive proposition
to the buyer to sell it and hopefully create a bit of competition,
otherwise, I'm afraid to say, it's coming back home.
No, it's not.
Well, you have to be sensible about this, right?
And my view would be that you put a £400-£600 estimate on it and you put a £300 reserve on it.
-Now, that still doesn't guarantee that it's going to sell,
but I think you'd be silly to sell it for less than £300.
-That's fair enough.
-But that's your call.
-Are you happy with that?
-We'll go with that.
-Welcome to Flog It.
-It's lovely to have you along and for you to have brought this cute little pair of clogs.
Now, there's something special about these, they are made by the magic name.
ALL: Clarice Cliff.
Tell me, Pauline, where did you get them?
They were given to me by a friend.
They were his sister's, and he passed them on to me.
-Yes, that's a long time they haven't seen daylight.
-Was it a chap that fancied you?
I don't know.
-Did he know they were worth a couple of bob?
-Well, they weren't in those days.
-Going back a long time, you know.
-Do you like these?
-No, not particularly.
Paula, what do you think of them?
I don't like the colours, they are too bright for my liking. I like something more subdued.
Well, I think that's fair enough.
-Yes, we find that with Clarice Cliff items, you either love them or you hate them.
-I love the shape, a pair of clogs, they're so sweet.
-They are nice, yes.
You know, you could do a wee sort of...
-Clog dance with them.
The thing which is going to sell them, in the main,
will be the magic name of Clarice Cliff.
The work that she did is greatly sought after,
particularly the bright patterns with geometric designs
and although these are quite small objects, they do reflect the patterns that people like.
Now, if we look at the back stamp here, we can see "Bizarre by Clarice Cliff".
Now, the Bizarre range was introduced in 1927
and there were various patterns within the Bizarre range.
This particular pattern is called Sunburst.
And this was introduced in the 1930s.
So, we can date it exactly.
Price, you look like a canny sort of wee woman, what do you think these will get?
I don't know about £100, £120?
Right, you think £120, you think £300. I think we should go somewhere in the middle.
I find that if you estimate conservatively,
that will encourage the bidders, because they'll think I'm going to get it cheap.
-So, I would like to put them in at £200 to £300
-with a firm reserve of £200.
-And I think they will go higher than that.
But let's keep our estimates at a...
Do we three ladies agree?
Do we agree, Mother?
-Let's go for it, let's flog them, let's clog it.
Just before we head back into the auction, here's a quick reminder of our remaining lots.
There's nothing rough about this diamond.
Let's see if today's bidders can spot its potential, so that Joshua can make a bit of money.
This is an intriguing piece, but unfortunately the damage to the spine
of Jilly's Bedfordshire book might just affect the final price.
Talking of potential, this clock's well and truly hidden behind
its ugly Victorian case. Sue and John really don't want to have to take it home again.
And I'm hoping Paula's unusual Clarice Cliff clogs
will spread some sunshine in the sale room.
From Bedfordshire to Lancashire, it's that gorgeous topographical book belonging to Jillian. Hi there.
-We've got a value put on by Phil, of £120 to £180, fingers crossed.
It really is quality.
So, why are you selling this, just remind us again.
Because it's too big for my bookshelf and it's just gathering dust.
Really, that's the real excuse, is it?
Look, fingers crossed. We've got a room packed with bidders.
It's a gorgeous book, great topographic scenes.
I see this going back to Bedford, do you know.
-I hope so.
-I hope so.
-It's going to be a real bind if it doesn't sell.
-Phil, leaf it out.
Anyway the bidders are here, let's hope the hands go up for this one.
-Here it is.
-Lot 15 which is the historical volume,
with nice illustrations as well, almost 200 years old.
What can I ask here for a start? Couple of hundred. £100 to start.
£100... We'll start then at £50 only.
£50 bid, I'll take a 5... 60...
£60 now, 60 bid... 60 bid. 60 bid.
5 if you like, 65... 70...
5...80... 90... £90 at the very back, £90 are we all done?
Are you all out this time? Have you all done at £90?
Phew, well done Philip, hard thing to value but we got there, we got there.
-That's not bad, is it?
-What are you going to
put the money towards? There is a bit of commission, it's 15% here.
That's how the auctioneers earn their wages.
It will go towards a carpet for my stairs.
Carpet for the stairs.
Next up, a family heirloom. It's a wonderful diamond pin. It's belongs to Susan.
-And you've brought Joshua along. Good to see you both again.
-Why are you selling this?
Cos I wasn't wearing it really and it was just sitting in a drawer.
Because it was so heavy and I was just frightened of losing it.
It's absolutely gorgeous.
-I mean, it really is.
Obviously, it's not something Josh is going to want to inherit,
-but I'm sure he could do with the money, couldn't he, Mum?
-He could, yeah.
Would you wear this?
It's lovely. Yes. I don't wear a lot of diamonds, you may have noticed.
-But I like this one and the auctioneer has measured it.
We have half a carat there.
-So that's a substantial size.
-And it's in a classic, simple setting.
So do we get the 300 or the 200?
Well, it should go...
-It's got a sparkle.
-It should go over, shouldn't it?
-It should go mid-estimate.
Oh, right. OK!
-That's you told!
-I know. It is, isn't it?
I'm going to stick my neck out and say we want a little bit more.
-We always want a bit more. Good luck.
-It's going under the hammer now.
We now come to lot 235.
Yellow metal and diamond bar brooch.
Stamped 15 carats and half a carat. 200 for this please? 200.
Start me £100 then. Thank you. 100.
You bidding, sir? 110. 120.
140 in the pink there. 150.
160. 170. 180. 180 now in the pink.
In the pink, £180. Any advance?
Gentleman in the pink now at £180. It's going.
He's put the hammer down. That is a sold sound.
Right on its fixed reserve, £180.
-That's fine. That's a good result.
I was waiting there, weren't you?
-There's me talking it up. You said it was going to do bang on in the middle, but we've sold it.
-We sold it on the reserve.
I don't think the jewellery lovers were here today.
Next up, Sue and John's eight-day long-case clock.
It's a great movement, great dial, shame about the case.
The Victorians got to this one, but we've £400-£600 on it, a reserve of three.
John disowns this clock. You don't like it.
-I don't. Not at all. It's appalling.
-He refuses to talk about it even!
Let's hope we get it away for you today...
-I hope so.
-..cos you don't want to be putting it back in the car.
We've actually pitched this to sell it
-and if we don't, then it really isn't a good day, is it really?
-It's pitched to sell.
-We would like to sell it.
-It's a giveaway price.
-We would all like to see it go.
-Every single one of us.
We come now to lot 463, which is the dark oak, long-case clock.
Heavily carved, rather attractive clock there.
May we say 600 for this, please? Start me 400 then, please.
400 anywhere? We'll take three then. £300.
-Ooh, we're in! We're off to the races.
450. Are you bidding?
500 now on the rail. It's on the rail at £500.
-And selling at 500.
-Here to be sold at £500 now and going.
Hammer's gone down mid-estimate.
£500! We were all being so negative.
-We'll help him load!
-Oh, yeah, yeah!
-Thank goodness for that.
-That's great. Thank you.
£500, less the commission, of course, which is 10% on £500.
-So there you go.
-Thank you very much for that.
He says he wants to leave the case with the vendors! He's only taking the movement.
-Don't blame him.
-We'll store it for next winter's firewood.
I've been waiting for this one. It's Flog It, it's Clarice Cliff time.
It's got to be the star of our show, the two little clogs.
£200 to £300 on this lovely Sunburst pattern belonging to Pauline, Paula and here's Paul, the three Ps.
We are Ps in a pod, over to our expert Patricia...
It's quite funny, isn't it? Paul, Pauline and Paula.
Yes. Well, they are good names.
£200 to £300 we've got on this.
We should get you the top end of Anita's estimate.
-I think that's a bit of a come and buy me.
-We'll get a good result for you both.
I'll hold you to your word.
OK, all right.
Lot number 310 is the pair of Clarice Cliff, the Bizarre range,
the Sunburst pattern and we have bids on the books for this one.
We are going to start the bidding with me at £320...
Straight in over the top end of the estimate.
£320 bid, 320 bid. 340... 350...
360.. 360 in the room now... 360...
-360... 380 for you sir, 400...
I'll take 20... 400... 420... 450...
The phones are out, the bid's in the room and we're selling at 600.
-£600, the hammer's gone down.
-That's good, isn't it?
I said to my daughter I'd have to get a plastic carton to bring them home in case we didn't sell them.
Oh, ye of little faith. You know what? That's a brilliant result, they really did love them.
Thank goodness you looked after them and tucked them away because it's all about condition.
Those Clarice Cliff collectors are really fussy.
So, there's 15% commission to pay in today's sale.
That's how the auctioneer earns their wages and pays for all of this.
What are you going to do when you get the cheque, in the post, in three weeks' time?
-Oh, my daughter will tell you that.
-Go on then.
We're going to donate it to animal charities.
-One in particular or split the money?
Maybe the Brook Hospital for sick animals.
And where's that based?
Well, London, but they help all over the...
-All over the world.
Oh, lovely, oh, do you know what? You've definitely made my day, thank you so much for coming in.
And you have made my day, too.
Oh, bless you.
We've had a fantastic time here in Kendal.
I hope you've enjoyed watching the show today.
There's plenty more surprises to come but for now, it's cheerio from all of us.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
This edition comes from Lancaster where Anita Manning and Phillip Serrell are scrutinising family treasures. Meanwhile, presenter Paul Martin can't resist taking a closer look at the work of one of Britain's finest cabinet makers, Gillows.