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The writer Robert Louis Stevenson once said of this city
"No situation could be more commanding
"for head of the kingdom and none better chosen for more nobler prospects."
Well, today, Flog It, if you haven't guessed it, comes from a very busy Edinburgh.
Scotland's capital could be described as a divided city.
There's the old, medieval town with the castle on one side and the Grecian-style New Town on the other.
But in more recent times, it's public opinion that has split Edinburgh, and the cause?
The new Parliament building, opened in 1997.
It certainly makes a bold statement.
Here we are, surrounded by lots of Edinburgh locals.
I'm going to ask them one question -
what do you all think of your Parliament building, which is just over there?
Does it get the thumbs up or the thumbs down?
Oh, well, how controversial is that?
Up or down, I don't know. But somewhere less controversial is our home for today, Our Dynamic Earth.
Our Dynamic Earth was opened in the year 2000 to celebrate the planet
and it's one of the top destinations for Edinburgh's tourists.
But today it's all about antiques.
And leading the way are our experts, Adam Partridge and James Lewis.
-Welcome to Flog It.
You've brought along something that caught my eye -
quite an interesting piece of Art Deco pottery.
Where did you get this from?
From my mother. It was always kept in a drawer in my mother's house, wrapped in an old towel.
When she died, I brought it home and I did exactly the same thing.
I put it in a drawer, and it's been there ever since.
How interesting. So it's never been on display?
Not that I can ever remember.
I'd have guessed it had some sort of plant
in it, because you have this discolouration on the bottom here.
Well, if it did, I have no recollection of that.
It's never been on display.
It dates from the 1930s and it's a piece by one of the most well-known
ceramic designers of the 20th century called Charlotte Rhead, who worked in
-the potteries at Stoke-on-Trent at a similar time to Clarice Cliff, who everybody has heard of.
Charlotte Rhead was known for these tube-lined designs.
And most of her things were vases and bowls and big trays and chargers with various designs.
This is quite an unusual design for her, because they're mainly stylised
flowers and foliage, and here you have more trees, really, haven't you?
-Condition is pretty good, apart from this discolouration in the middle there.
But apart from that, I can't see any major chips or cracks or anything like that.
The most desirable of her pieces are the ones that are signed on the bottom. And luckily,
-yours is one of those that is signed on the bottom.
-Oh, I see.
This will be a pattern number. This number here.
So you can look it up and find out what the pattern's called.
And this mark here is the manufacturer's mark.
Burleighware, Bur-leigh stands for Burgess and Leigh of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.
So we see a lot of these in the area where I'm based,
quite near there.
So they're not hard to value. It's not especially valuable.
I think they're good value.
They're undervalued. When you see sometimes the huge prices paid for Clarice Cliff and the likes of that.
-And this is probably going to make £40, something like that.
-That's fine. That's fine.
-We could put an estimate of £30 to £50.
-What's made you sell it?
Well, maybe somebody somewhere might enjoy it and appreciate
the design. I'm afraid I don't.
Yeah. It's not to your taste?
-Not a big wrench?
-No. The wrench was when my mum died. Anything after that...
-It's just an object, really?
Well, let's hope it does well at the auction, and I shall certainly be there to cheer it on
-and hope it does well.
-That'd be really good. Aye, I'd like that.
What a fantastic pocket watch.
You know, you really don't see many of these around today, but that is as good an example as you'll see.
It's such a shame these things have gone out of fashion, isn't it?
-Very much so.
-I think the only people left that wear these are
eccentric antiques dealers and the odd auctioneer, but as objects, people do love them and collect them.
They come in so many different styles and, of course, they've been used
in England from the 17th century right the way through until wristwatches took over in the 1930s.
This is what we call an open face pocket watch.
In other words, the dial, or the face as people call it, is completely open.
It's also a key wind pocket watch.
In the 20th century, we tend to find that a little top winder has been put on the top there.
You just wind it up in the same way as a wristwatch, without the use for a key.
If we open up the back...
a lovely set of hallmarks there. 18, for 18-carat gold.
So it's a solid gold one. Then we've got the three wheat sheaves, which is the mark for Chester.
And we've got a date code for 1870.
So it's a really nice quality watch. Close it up.
-So tell me, it arrived here at the Flog it tables...
What is its history up to now?
Well, when it's been in my care, it's been lying in a drawer.
Prior to that, I'd say 12 years ago, my grandfather died, and I got it when I was clearing the house.
-I can't ever remember it being used.
-Well, watches such as this, now, are worn predominantly at weddings,
-official functions, but they're not used daily.
So this will find its home probably to a collector.
I would say
over £100, £200?
It will be over £100.
I think it will be around £200.
I think we ought to put an estimate of £180 to £250.
-And probably a reserve of £180 so it doesn't go below that.
-And on that basis, I think it will do very well.
Let's take it along and see how it does.
Good, thank you, yes.
Mary, welcome to Flog It and thank you for bringing the best thing I've seen all day today.
-In fact, the best piece of Monart glass I've ever seen.
-And I've seen a lot of it.
-Probably not as much as up here in Scotland, because it came from Scotland, as you probably know.
Where have you got it from?
Well, it belonged to my granny and then my mother.
-And it was passed down to my sister and myself.
-So it's come all the way down the family?
Probably from when it was made.
Monart was made at the Moncrieff Glass Works.
A Spanish family started the business. The Ysart family.
So you have the "Mon" from Moncrieff and the "Art" from Ysart
-combined to make the name Monart.
And this is a wonderfully big piece. I mean, most of the ones I see
are going to be this high and little bits and pieces.
-And that just completely blows them away.
-It is, it's lovely.
We've never seen a piece as big.
No, I've never seen one either.
And you've got the typical Monart effect, with the gold speckles of the aventurine that's used in there.
And I'm sure, on the base, you'll have the raised mark on the base.
Which, it's such a big thing, we'll just carefully lean it over and...
Oh, you've got the original sticker as well. The original label.
Yes, the label is on.
And a lot of Monart glass is distinctive by this raised circular pontil on the base,
-but there is no further proof you would need than this here.
And I would call that exhibition quality.
That's the sort of thing they would have taken to their shows to say, "Look at what we can do here."
This is the top end of glass making, really.
So, why have you brought it along to Flog It?
Well, it belongs to my sister and myself, and we just wanted to find out what it was worth
and we don't really have the space to sort of have it in the house.
It's a big thing.
-A nice position.
-You can't just stick it on the sideboard, can you?
-So you can't split it with your sister.
So that's another problem. It's about the best piece of Monart you'll see.
-In Scotland, people are going to fight for that.
-Oh, that's good.
-My estimate would be £800 to £1,200.
I initially thought less, but because it's such a big piece, I think it should be achievable.
-Oh, that's good.
-How does that fit in with your expectations?
-Yes, we thought about £1,000.
-Well, that's right in the middle.
-It's along the lines we were hoping.
I don't think that's unrealistic.
If we could put a reserve of £800, it won't go for any less.
And I presume the money will be split?
Oh, yes, 50/50.
-And thank you for bringing just a wonderful piece of glass.
Kerry Rose, every time I see Beatrix Potter, it's childhood memories,
isn't it? Did you grow up with them as well?
They were in my gran's room a lot, and I learnt to play with them, so, yes.
And did you get Beatrix Potter stories read to you as a kiddie?
Yes, I did. It really interested me.
I love everything to do with Beatrix Potter, the stories, the figures, anything I could get my hands on.
-Who was your favourite?
-It would have to be the frog or Sir Isaac Newton.
And where is the frog?
-He's at the front.
-Oh, it's a frog, I thought he was a toad.
He's a frog.
I have to say, my favourite is Mrs Tiggywinkle.
I always remember Mrs Tiggywinkle.
That was the story my parents used to read to me when I was small.
And, of course, now, Beatrix Potter is bigger than it ever has been.
And there is a massive following.
Now, the earlier the figures, the more valuable they are.
And the original Beswick figures had a gold backstamp.
Then later they had a brown.
Then, eventually, they were taken over by Doulton and Royal Albert.
So if you've got figures like this at home, look underneath.
And if we've got a brown backstamp, like this,
-it's a reasonable age, but not the very early ones, late '70s or '80s.
Individually, some of them are more rare than others.
You do get some of them that are worth in the high hundreds.
-There's none of those here today.
-This little chap here, he's Pickles.
He's quite rare. And the chap that I thought was a toad but isn't, Mr Jackson, he's quite rare as well.
So those two are probably the best and they're worth £50 to £80 each.
And then the others are around £20 to £25 each.
So if we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
So we've got £160 there.
And we've got...
I think we ought to have an estimate of £250 to £300.
-And a reserve of £200.
-So we don't go below that.
But if you love Beatrix Potter, why are you selling them?
I've got a baby in the house now.
So I can just see everything getting ruined, so I want to sell them on,
get some money and get him toys that he can play with.
-And he'll ruin these. And I can see them in pieces.
Yes, exactly. So, I mean, I am sure they will sell no problem at all. I'm confident.
-Good morning, Emma.
These are surely not your toys from childhood?
-No, they're not.
-No, they're rather older than that.
-Where did you get them from?
-My aunty gave me them.
She hopes they'll be worth a lot of money
and I can flog them for a lot of money, but I'm not sure.
-She hopes or you hope?
-I think she hopes, but I'm a bit more sceptical.
-A bit more realistic.
-But they are interesting. They're fun and mildly collectable.
Do you know where she got them from?
She got them from an old lady clearing out her attic.
OK, clearing out the attic.
You've got the twin tub.
Hoovermatic washing machine by Chad Valley. Tin-plate washing machine.
-Have you ever used it?
-Because it does work.
You've got your twin compartments there and your water and your switch for wash and dry, and wash only.
You can drain it and you've got this winder on the side.
So I think the idea was that little girls washed their dolls' clothing in it.
And it's got the original box, which is nice to see. It cost 25s 6d.
That's quite a lot, I think. So it was quite a posh toy.
I actually sold one of these a few years ago, and it made about £20.
So it's not worth an awful lot. Then we move on to the typewriter there.
It doesn't look as though would. But we've got instructions on the back.
You insert the paper,
turn the selector wheel to choose your letter and then press it and you can type away on it.
-Have you ever used that one?
It's not worth a lot, but probably worth more than a real typewriter.
They're virtually impossible to sell now in today's age of computers.
So I would suggest putting these in the same lot.
An estimate of £30 to £50 on the two and see what they make.
-What do you think?
-You're not going to miss them?
Where do they live at the moment?
-In a cupboard.
-That's no good, in a cupboard.
Will you do anything with the money?
It's not a lot, but...
-I'm going on holiday.
-So a bit of spending money on holiday.
-Excellent. Well, have a good holiday, Emma, and thanks for bringing them.
I've come to visit one of Britain's outstanding contemporary painters.
Her name's Barbara Ray and she's chosen the city of Edinburgh to be her base.
Barbara is a member of the Royal Academy since 1999.
She's been made a Commander of the British Empire, so she really does have a lot of talent.
Barbara travels the world collecting inspiration for her paintings,
brings it back to here where she gets to work, so what better place to meet her than in her studio?
Barbara's work is absolutely terrific.
It's bold, expressive, abstract and exceptionally vibrant.
Just look at the piece that greets you at reception.
I absolutely love it. It does put a smile on my face looking at that.
Now, I know some of you fight shy from so-called "modern art",
and if that's your response, then I'll challenge you to stay with me
for just a few minutes to meet up with Barbara, because she just might change your mind.
-How did you start painting?
-I went to Edinburgh College of Art.
And the way that we were taught in the first two years there
was very much study, study of life drawing, life painting, still life.
Looking for the vanishing point, perspectives, everything like that.
Doing all the basics. And one of the lecturers there sent us outside once a week to go and draw,
go and collect information, like go to a brickworks, go to a coalmine, go to a brewery.
And so my work became based on what I'd seen outside.
And so that kind of has followed me throughout.
So it's not always about landscape.
-It could be about...dogs.
People sometimes refer to you as a landscape artist, but you're not, are you?
No. What I think I do is I use landscape, I think I use landscape...
I use it as the starting-off point.
There's usually something to do with
what man has done to the landscape, whether it's farming in Tuscany,
the way that they've changed the land over centuries.
And in Spain, for example, what the Moors created in the landscape,
all the terraces and the aquifers and the way that they left their mark.
So it's what people have done to the landscape, and in the ruins that I've been doing quite recently,
that's to do with somebody constructing something, and then over years, it's been left to go derelict.
And then people come along and decide to decorate it with graffiti
or posters or things like that.
And so this is all about
the ruined buildings. There's doorways.
There's a couple of doorways.
There's a doorway here. A yellow doorway there.
And then this is...
Graffiti that was on the wall that you were talking about.
And there's torn posters here.
And just all the things that might accumulate
as a building deteriorates.
That's fantastic. It's so colourful.
So how's the travelling changed your work?
Well, one of the things that really changed my work was being invited
to go to Sante Fe, to work with another artist in his studio.
So, when I went to Santa Fe, the first thing that struck me was the clarity of the light,
you know, the fantastic blue skies,
the adobe buildings, but more than that, working in Santa Fe
in a much bigger space than I was used to,
-that's when I started to work with the paintings on the floor.
Using big brushes, sweeping brushes, that kind of thing.
So these canvasses this size are done on the floor.
-Yep. Sometimes upright, sometimes on the floor,
but as you can see, when they go upright, interesting things happen.
-Starts to run.
-Like the drips happen, and the drips are really part of the working process.
What about Scotland? Obviously, you paint around here at lot.
Yes. I like to work in Scotland,
and of course, my studio is here in Scotland, but I haven't actually done
very much work in Scotland over the last few years.
When I'm working in an area, I'm thinking about the history quite
often, and I suppose that comes through even in this ruined building.
-And in Skye, for example, on the west coast of Scotland, when I go
there, I think about the Highland clearances and how the land has
changed and all the people that have been cleared off the land, presence of them still being felt there.
Does it change sometimes when you're actually starting this, you stand back and you think -
well, hang on, that's sort of happened by accident, but I like it?
-Let's go with it.
-I don't have an end result in mind.
-I never know how it's going to turn out.
-Well, that's quite exciting.
It is. I would hate to predict what was going to happen.
I'm creating something, or recreating an idea of what it was like to stand
in front of this building.
-You've got some sketch books over there.
-Can we go and take a look at them?
-Cos obviously that's like your personal diary, really, isn't it?
So this is in France.
-So I would just go out into the countryside and do a study of what seems interesting,
and in this case, it's a vineyard, and I don't have any idea when I'm doing this that this will become
-anything else other than a sketch book.
Nothing else could happen to it, but it's a record of where I've been
and a response to the area and the landscape.
I've got to say, your work is so collectable, and it really has been
a fascinating insight into you, the person, your memories and sharing
-your studio space with me for the day, and it's been a real honour.
Now, this is a bit of fun.
It's a Victorian modulator. What does it do?
Well, it's a teaching aid for music.
Basically, it's a tonic sol-fa.
So, the teacher would stand here with the baton, and all
the pupils would be singing, "Doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te, doh."
It picks out the fifths and the tonics and the fourths as well.
And it helps you modulate. It's a fantastic thing.
I've seen them printed on paper before.
This one is a full drop and it's printed on linen, so it's had a lot of use and you can roll it back up.
If you were to put that in auction today, it would fetch around £30 to £50 in that condition.
And talking of auctions, right now, it's time for our first batch of antiques to go under the hammer.
And first up is the toy typewriter and Hoovermatic washing machine.
I wonder if it will clean up in the auction room?
Isa's Art Deco bowl is one of Charlotte Rhead's more unusual designs,
so my guess it is will be snapped up today.
What a superb quality item this gold watch is, but it's time
for it to go, and I'm sure it's going to do well for Gillian.
It's fantastic to have a lot with local interest, and such a superb piece.
Monart doesn't get any better than this.
And Kerry Rose is scared her new baby might wreck her childhood, favourites
so it's time for them to find a new home.
Well, for today's sale, we've travelled just south of Edinburgh
to Rosewell, by bus, to the Thomson Roddick Auction Rooms.
Fingers crossed we're going to have a fantastic day.
Today's auctioneer is Sybelle Thomson.
Let's see what she has to say about one of our lots.
This is nice. It's not my kind of thing, but I appreciate good studio pottery.
A bit of Charlotte Rhead.
It belongs to Isa. It was her mother's, and Isa has just inherited it and doesn't want it.
We've got a valuation of £30 to £50, which isn't a lot for Charlotte Rhead.
No, Charlotte Rhead is very collectable.
She probably has been a bit overshadowed by Susie Cooper and Clarice Cliff,
but this is the Sylvan pattern and it is actually quite collectable.
I think she might get double the bottom estimate.
-That's good - £60-odd, then?
I think that's still relatively cheap.
Yes. It's very collectable.
Fashion dictates prices, that's the problem.
-A few years ago, that would have fetched quite a bit more money.
-Oh, yes, £100 or £150 easily.
But a nice piece, and her popularity is growing.
Next up, something unusual. A typewriter and a washing machine. Now, is this Flog It?
They're tin toys and they belong to Emma here.
-You're looking fabulous.
-Are you looking forward to this?
-Let's hope we get the top end of Adam's estimate.
Unlikely, but you never know!
We don't often get washing machines on Flog It, do we?
But it is a bit of fun, isn't it?
-What are you hoping for?
I hope it gets the top estimate.
-You'll put the money towards what?
-I'm going on holiday on Sunday, so...
-Where are you going?
Let's hope we can get you there with a little bit of spending money.
It's going under the hammer now.
British Supertype tin-plate typewriter and a Chad Valley washing machine.
A nice, interesting lot for the toy collector.
And I can start these at £20.
20 bid, 20 bid, 20 bid. 25, 30.
Yes, there are some hands in the room, that's good.
45. Right beside me 45. Selling to the gentleman at 45.
Any advance on 45?
Yeah. That put them in a spin.
£45, that's good. That's great.
-That will help you in Mexico.
-Mum and Dad taking you?
No, I'm going with my boyfriend.
-For a month.
Gillian, it's nearly time. It's time for the pocket watch to go under the hammer.
We see a lot on Flog It and I think this is one of the best ones I've seen for a long time.
-It's a lovely one. It's gorgeous.
-A great example of the period and it's in nice order. Yes.
You would be keeping it if it was yours, wouldn't you?
-Yes, I would.
-So would I. It's not a lot of money as well, considering what has gone into making this.
The equivalent today would be £3,000.
And lots of people spend £1,000 on a watch today so it's a good thing to have.
It's going under the hammer.
18 carat gold open faced pocket watch
and I have two closed bids and I'm a starter at £180.
-Oh, straight in, Gillian, £180.
-220, 240, 260, 280, 300, 320.
Oh, this is more like it.
340, 360, on commission at 360.
Any advance on 360? At £360.
-Oh, that is a great result.
Justice is done because that was a really nice watch.
And you know, we're not allowed to buy things and I was thinking,
"Gosh, if that went for £200 I would like that!" That was a brilliant result.
-That was quality throughout.
-So what are you going to spend your money on?
-A new dishwasher.
-A new dishwasher!
-Are you really?
Has the old one packed up then?
Yes, and I'm missing it. I'm on my second bottle of washing-up liquid.
I can't be doing with it!
It's big, it's bold and it's local.
We've got a Monart vase just about to go under the hammer
with a valuation of £800 to £1,200, belonging to Mary.
I think it's absolutely gorgeous.
We've seen them on the show before
and we've reached £800 to £1,200 for smaller ones, so fingers crossed this is worth a little bit more.
On a good day, it's got to be, Adam?
I think it's a wonderful example and we're hopefully going to get
-a good result today.
-We're going to find out right now.
The very impressive large, red Monart vase.
-I'd like to see this do £1,800.
£1,000? 500? I've got 450 bid.
-Who's on the telephone? 450?
-Should be a good place to sell it, really.
500, 520, 550, 580,
600, 620, 650, 680, 700,
720, 720, 720.
Anybody else want in at 720?
750, 780, 800?
Selling all the time at 800?
800, 800. In the front row it looks a lot for the money at 800.
Selling in front at 800.
-Any advance on £800?
Selling once, selling twice at £800.
Oh, you're so right.
Just a grand less than your prediction, Paul.
You know, I was rather hoping for something special from that.
-I was as well.
-I was too, but never mind. That's good.
Kelly Rose, were you a big Beatrix Potter fan?
I liked the figurines that used to sit in my gran's room and I used to sit and play with them all the time.
-So you remember them when you were so high, looking at them?
We have a valuation of £200 to £300 put on by James. 12 figurines.
Yes, they're not the oldest ones but they're all in nice order and there
are a couple of rarer ones there, so fingers crossed they'll do well.
Let's hope we get the top end of James's estimate.
-Good luck. This is it.
-12 Beswick Beatrix Potter figures.
£200 for the lot? 200, 100.
100 bid. 120, 140,
160, 160, 180, 180, 180, 180, 200.
200, 200, 200, anyone going on at 200? The bid is on my left.
Any advance on £200? At £200.
Sold it. £200.
We just did it. Within estimate.
-That's OK, isn't it?
-We'll settle for that.
Yes, maybe I'll get something nice for £200.
I'm sure you will. Enjoy the shopping.
If you're potty about pottery, you're going to love this next item.
It's by Charlotte Rhead and belongs to Isa, but not for much longer.
-I can say that now definitely.
-It's a lovely bit of Charlotte Rhead. It's a gorgeous little bowl, so why are you selling this?
Well, nobody has enjoyed it in my family and when I
did a search on Charlotte Rhead I discovered that she had
breast cancer and subsequently died from it.
And because I'm in remission from breast cancer, if there's
-any money that's where it's going to, cancer care.
-Oh, bless you.
Let's hope we can get top money.
Charlotte Rhead is a great name, Adam, you know all about this.
-I think her work's really nice.
-On a good day will we get more than £50?
On a good day we'll get about £70, I think.
Well, let me tell you, I had a quick chat with Sybelle, our auctioneer,
and she said on a really good day it would double your bottom end.
-So hopefully that's £60.
-It will still be excellent.
We're going to find out exactly what it makes right now. Here we go.
For the Charlotte Rhead Art Deco octagonal bowl
and I've two bids and we're started at £30.
30 bid, 30 bid. 35, 40, 5, 50, 5, 60, 5, 70.
£70 on commission. At 70.
Any advance on 70? At £70.
-Well done, Adam.
-And thank you so much.
What a lovely lady.
Edinburgh is only one of a handful of cities in the world
declared as a World Heritage Site because of its incredible and historic buildings.
Today I've come to visit one of its newest and most controversial.
It's possibly the most talked-about building in Edinburgh.
The home of the Scottish Parliament.
When Scotland voted to govern itself back in 1997, its new Parliament needed a home.
And what it got was something out of the ordinary.
Catalan-born architect Enric Miralles was commissioned to build it.
Miralles' vision was for Parliament to sit comfortably within its setting.
So his concept focused on the relationship between the building and the landscape.
The way the building juts out of the ground echoes the shape
of the nearby volcanic mountains and the roofs of these buildings were designed to look like leaves.
He died before the Parliament was finished so we'll never know what a lot of these features,
like these granite and oak panels on the outside of the building, really mean.
People think those shapes look like hairdryers.
To me, they look like the Scalextric triggers for driving cars. But who knows?
You've got the look at the building, work it out for yourself and enjoy it.
So far so good, I've liked the outside.
So let's find out how these architectural statements continue on the inside.
This is the main entrance hall and the first thing you notice is these wonderful -
there's three of them, great big, concrete vaulted ceilings
and they are so incredibly smooth to touch.
They contain Kemnay granite from Aberdeenshire.
The stone floor throughout is from Scotland.
Up there are crosses that have been cast into the wet concrete and that
emulates 13th-century stonemasons' work on early cathedrals.
And that shape represents the cross on the Scottish flag.
Above these two great big oak double doors is a huge great big stone lintel up there,
removed from the original building where Parliament was held until it was dissolved in 1707.
The idea is today, members have to pass through there.
They see that and it reminds them of their origins and history.
How does this building work in the running of modern political life?
This is the debating chamber, an incredible space.
Today I've been shown around by the Presiding Officer, Alex Ferguson.
-So pleased to meet you. Thank you for showing me around.
-Not at all.
-What is your role here, Alex?
My role is similar to the Speaker at Westminster with minor differences,
principally chairing debates in the chamber from
the seat down there, above and in front of the members.
Everywhere you look, it's beautifully put together.
-Some dynamics of architecture are beyond me. I'd need to spend time here.
How long have you been here?
We've been here over four years. Walking around this building, which I know well, I find new things.
New dynamics. New spaces and different views and different symbolism.
It's a constant exploration and voyage of discovery.
It's definitely got an energy about it.
I'm glad you feel like that, because I feel there is.
There's a very different feel.
You can walk into an area and feel a palpable warmth and another area
where you feel much more light and openness and accessibility.
Almost every time you turn a corner there's a different feel.
I like the symbolism cut through the louvre in the light there. Little men, are they?
Indeed, little men. I commend you for
picking that up, because most people think they're bottles.
They represent the people of Scotland listening to their Parliament in action.
You can see them all around the walls in different
-colours as well.
-And that's the public gallery?
The public gallery stretches right along and you can get about 250 people in it.
It's really close.
That is something that people often comment on, how close it is.
You can almost reach out and touch the members.
We decided to keep it open and accessible -
it's about the Parliament and people working together.
What is the general public's reaction when they get inside?
I like the bit when you say, "When they get inside", because
what usually happens is that people come in with a frown on their face.
By the time they've seen the sheer quality of the workmanship and
the warmth and all the different aspects,
nearly always they leave with a smile and I do find that exciting and encouraging.
Miralles's attention to detail is second to none.
It's absolutely mind-blowing, from these lovely sweeping curves of the laminated seats to the laminated
oak beams that are trussing this roof over a vast expanse, and it's just a joy to behold.
I love the natural light scoops everywhere.
Looking through that window over there is an internal courtyard, but looking at it,
it looks like 13th-century architecture with flying buttresses
jutting out, supporting the building. It really is good.
It's craftsmanship at its very best.
This must be one of the most controversial buildings of modern times.
It has been described as a concrete blot, a Lego set gone wrong.
That's probably partly due to the fact that it cost over £400 million.
But the dust has now settled.
This building has won many great awards for architecture, including the prestigious Stirling Prize.
It is unashamedly modern.
The detail inside is absolutely incredible. It is full of vitality.
You've got to see this.
I absolutely love it.
And if I'd have been one of the Scottish craftsmen
working on this project, I'd be very proud of myself.
With the minutes ticking away,
it's time to get back to Adam at the valuation day.
-Welcome to Flog It!
-You've brought an interesting medal.
-Where did you get it from?
-I don't know.
It really just arrived in the house. It appeared with other things.
Any idea how long ago? Sounds a bit suspicious that, doesn't it?
Maybe about... 20, 30 years ago.
Right. It just appeared one day. Well, I don't know.
-It came out of a box or something.
-Have you ever heard of Trooper S Telfer of the Scottish Horse?
-No. So it's not a family medal.
-There's no reason for you to keep it then, I suppose.
-No reason, at all.
OK. As you can see, it's the South African medal
from the Boer War, which was 1899 to 1902, was it?
-Something like that.
-Something like that.
-Yes. Turn of the century.
It's one of the more collectable medals because there's a lot
of different combinations of clasps or bars that you can get on these.
There's about 16 different ones here and you've got the two
South Africa, Transvaal, Orange Free State and Cape Colony.
Any idea what that one's worth?
-I think that's quite a good guess.
It doesn't have its ribbons, unfortunately.
-They're not lying around in another part?
-Never seen them.
If you had, they're orange and red type of ribbon affair on there.
-I'd put something like 50 to £80 on it.
-Put a reserve of 40 on that one?
-So it doesn't go for less?
Well, thanks for bringing it.
I'll come to the auction and we'll stand together and hope it goes
-for a good price, to a nice collector.
-Thank you. Look forward to that.
For a Scottish tea service, the last thing you would expect to entice you into eating
cakes off this would be insects and bugs all over it!
The reason is it's not Scottish, it's French.
They eat anything, it wouldn't put them off.
But here we have a Paris porcelain.
French tea or coffee service from the early 19th century.
What's it doing here in Edinburgh?
It belonged to my granny who used to work for Lord Hamilton of the Dalzell Castle in Motherwell.
And when he died, she was allowed to furnish a home from Dalzell Castle.
And she took it from Dalzell.
We've got a tea or coffee pot there made around 1810, 1820, in France.
And, I have to say, I love the decoration on it.
The idea of painting insects on your porcelain came from Meissen in the 18th century.
Whereas the porcelain was so valuable in those days, but once you fired it in the kiln,
if it had a blemish on it, you wouldn't throw it away as a second, as they do today, you'd say,
"Oh, I've got a black mark there, what can we do? I know, let's paint a little beetle over it."
But this, 200 years old and in lovely condition.
The gilding here is as good as the day it was made.
Sadly, the finial has been off at some stage, but that could be restored, so you would never know.
This is something that has graced your china cabinet for the last however many years?
No, I don't have a china cabinet.
-Since my mother died it's been in the cupboard. I've never taken it out and never used it.
Never. I don't have a china cabinet or anything like that.
Therefore, to stick it on the bathroom windowsill
or something, I thought, "No, that's not what it's for."
I'm sure somebody will love it.
I hope somebody will have other parts that they can reunite.
This would have been one of thousands of services made in this style at that period.
So you will find people with a cup and a saucer, a plate and sugar bowl.
-if you can find people to buy other bits and reunite it, that would be lovely.
-It would be.
So now we need to come to a value.
The teapot is the bit that is damaged and that's what people collect, really, as a main piece.
We've got a coffee cup and no saucer.
We've got a plate on its own and a milk jug with no sugar.
So I think if we put an estimate of £60 to £100 on it, with a firm
reserve of £60, so it didn't go below that, I think that would be OK.
How do you feel?
I had no idea how much it was going to be at all.
And whatever we get, my sister and I have to share it, because it came from my mother.
-There's not going to be a lot to share.
-No, but then we can buy something different that we
might not just spend normal money on.
While you're here, have a look and see if there's a bit of porcelain
or a painting or a vase or something that you might like to replace it.
That would be a good idea.
Megan, how are you today?
Fine, thank you. How are you?
I'm very well too.
No-one has ever asks me back, so thank you for that.
And how have you come to own this lovely little ivory box?
When my Aunty Ceri moved into her new house,
the guy who owned it before left a lot of rubbish in the attic.
So he said, "You can keep whatever is in the attic and just chuck it out if you don't want it",
so we chucked everything else out, but we kept that and a couple of other things.
So he did left some quite good stuff in the attic, but he was too lazy to clear it out.
-And he thought he'd be generous and say you could keep it. Wow, that's quite good.
-Do you like it?
-Yes, it's different, I like it.
It's very, very intricate.
It's amazing carving, actually.
-It's carved from ivory.
It dates from the end of the 19th century. So over 100 years old and it's Cantonese.
Made for export. Export ware, but it is amazing, that carving on there.
It's clearly been in an attic
quite a lot, because it looks like you've got the contents
of the vacuum cleaner underneath it.
Which is quite hard to remove,
because you don't want to snap any of this decoration off.
A circular trinket box there, it's all carved, even on the bottom.
Even the base is carved. Have you seen any damage on it anywhere?
No, I don't think so.
That's just an age crack there,
nothing to worry about that.
But that top is really very nice indeed.
-So, you've decided to sell it?
-Why are you selling it?
Because it's just lying about the house.
We're afraid it'll get broken. If we sell it, I'll give half the money to my Aunty Ceri
because she was the one who gave it to me.
And the money I'm going to put some of it towards my mum, because my mum's a single parent
and she does her best to get us everything we want, but sometimes she's struggling.
That's nice. What a nice daughter you are.
That's really nice to hear.
-So you're going to not keep much of it yourself.
-No, very good.
Any idea what that's worth? No.
-I'm not sure.
-I think I would put the reserve about £80 to £100.
And I think it will make £100 to £150.
So, shall we put an estimate of £100 to £150 on it, with a reserve of £100 with a little bit of leeway?
-If it gets to £90, £95, we'll let it go, but not less.
-Does that sound good?
Brilliant. Thanks for bringing it in.
Now, Betty, who's the friend you brought along with you?
-Not a childhood sweetheart?
No. No. It was a friend that gave me it and she's not here any more.
-Oh, I see. So it's not something you've grown up with?
-Well, your friend, how old was she?
Well, that would tie in, cos this doll was made around 1920.
So, it was probably hers when she was a child.
-I always think it's amazing, really, because these dolls are
made out of such fragile porcelain, known as bisque,
bisque headed dolls and they're given to children.
People often say can't let the child have this, can't let the
child have that, can't have antique furniture because, the child might damage it, but,
100 years ago, children were given porcelain headed dolls to play with.
And this is a classic example.
Almost all of these dolls that we see, with these bisque heads,
were made in Germany.
Armand Marseille was probably the leader.
The way we tell is by picking the doll up,
lying her face down and lifting up the wig at the back.
And there we see Heubach Koppelsdorf.
That's for Ernst Heubach, who was a doll maker
around 1910, up to about 1930.
And whenever we're looking at a doll,
there are various things that we need to look at to come up with a value.
Rarity is one, but also, the complexity of the doll.
This one has what we call sleeping eyes.
If you watch the eyes when we tilt the head back...they sleep.
-So, what do you think she's worth?
-Haven't a clue.
With everyone going minimalist, the doll market crashed,
I suppose in the early '90s, early to mid-'90s.
And really it never recovered.
But the interiors now, they're coming back to a very warm personal
interior, where people are making a home instead of a showhome
with these horrible laminate floors.
So I think the doll market is coming back.
It's not as strong as it was once,
but this doll in the height of the market would have been £150.
Maybe a year ago, she'd have been down to 30 to £40.
Now, I should think you'll get 60 to 100. So, it's on the up, again.
-So, on that basis, do you want to flog her? Take her along?
-Let's see what we can do.
It's now time to head straight back to the auction room,
and here's a quick reminder of all the lots going under the hammer.
Let's hope the bidders award
Marjorie's Boer War medal the attention it deserves.
Also, it's time for Janet to let go of her decorative tea set.
I wonder if the bidders will take a flutter on this one.
James' choice of the 1920s doll
will probably catch the eye of the collectors.
And Megan wants to give something back to her mum
with the sale of this ivory box,
so let's hope it will fetch a good price.
Today's auctioneer is Sybelle Thompson,
who has something to say about the Boer War medal.
Nice piece of history, here.
South African Boer War medal in absolutely mint condition, really.
Belongs to Marjorie and she's had it in her house for 30 odd years, can't remember where it came from.
Didn't know the owner so she's happy to sell it.
And we got a valuation of sort of 50 to £80.
It was a very hard won and hard fought medal to get because it was a very ferocious conflict.
Particularly interesting are the clasps
-because it refers to the region that the soldier was stationed in.
Yeah. OK. Rather than conflicts.
Well, the condition's superb, I must admit.
Surely we've got to get more than £80?
I would like to think we'd get round 100, 150 for it.
That's more like it. 100 to 150.
Betty, we've had lots of dolls on the show before and
they always tend to do really well, especially the bisque head ones.
This has been in your cupboard for a long time.
-And were you surprised when James said "Oh, yes, that should do round about £60 to £100?"
-Yes, I was.
Yeah. Hopefully, it's going to do a little bit more than that, but it's not in good company.
There's no other dolls here. There's no other kind of doll memorabilia, either.
-That's the problem.
-That is a slight problem but there
are lots of interior designer type things that are used to dress a room.
And this comes into that category, as well, so I've got my fingers crossed that it'll do OK.
Just have to take your chance.
Come on, fingers crossed. Ready.
Here we go. This is it. We're going to the hammer now.
The German bisque doll with the sleepy eyes.
I have interest in this and we've started at £50. 50 bid. 50 bid.
-55. 60. Five. 70. Five.
-Five. 90. Five. 100. 110.
They love it. This is more like it.
140. 150. On commission at 150. 160.
160. Bid's in the room at 160.
Anyone going on at £160?
Yeah. That's more like it.
-That's a great result.
-That's a good result.
-It was, wasn't it?
They always sell well, so I'm really surprised. That's really good.
James was saying it had bitten its fingers off, as well.
It had, it had chewed its nails.
It's the moment of truth. It's a packed sale room.
-Will we get the top end for that Boer War medal?
Fingers crossed. We've got a little battle to fight here.
Let's talk to our expert, Adam. I had a chat with Sybelle.
-Always worries me when you say that.
-Doesn't it?! I get frightened too!
When she wants to talk about some of my items.
But she said it's in really good condition and there's been interest.
-So she's hoping for 100 to sort of £150.
-That'd be nice.
That would be really good if we get it...if we get it.
It should make 100, anyway.
Don't want to build your hopes up.
-What have we said? We'll find out exactly what the bidders think right now, right here.
This is it, Marjorie. Good luck.
South African medal with five clasps.
Various bids on this and we've started at £65.
70. 75. 80. 85. 90. 95.
100. 110. 120. 130.
Oh, this is more like it, Marjorie.
140. Bid's in the room at 140 for the medal, at 140.
Anyone else going on, at 140. 150.
-160. Still at the table at £160.
Yes. That's exactly what Sybelle said earlier before the sale.
I put her on the spot and she said 100 to 150
and I went, yes, the top end, come on. So we did get that.
-We got £160. Well, done.
-What are you going to do with that?
I'm going to New York in December, so Macy's, here I come.
Next, the French teapot. That belongs to Janet.
We've got the French teapot.
We have Janet's sister, Helen, here. Can you remember this teapot?
I remember it in my grandmother's house and in my mother's house.
So how come that got divided up between the two of you? How come Janet got it?
After our mum died, she kept it until decided what to do with it.
OK. Will you split the money?
-Yes. It's going under the hammer right now.
283, the 19th-century porcelain part tea set.
A nice tea set. £50 for this?
50 bid. 55, 60, 5, 70, 5, 80, £80.
Any advance on £80?
Anyone going on? At £80...
That is spot on mid-estimate, James.
That was a hard one to value, it really was.
-You've got to be happy with that?
-Oh, yes, very happy.
Dividing the money?
Half and half.
Less a bit of commission.
You've done the hard work here and Janet did the hard work at the valuation, so it's even.
A little bit of the Orient comes to Edinburgh.
A lovely little Cantonese trinket box.
It belongs to Megan. Hi there.
-Since the valuation day, Megan has something to show us.
Let's just have a look at this.
-Well, I was on my friend's bike and I hit a curb and I went flying forwards.
And you fell off?
I went right over the handlebars.
Oh, I bet that hurt, didn't it?
-Is it broken?
It's broken right beneath my wrist, straight across.
-Oh, so there's a few weeks with that on?
We wish you all the best of luck. I hope you get well soon.
-You look fabulous.
This is exciting. Is this your first auction?
-What do you think?
It's really interesting.
There's so much to look at you don't know what to look at,
but right now we should concentrate on Adam, our expert.
-Were you pleased with the valuation?
I think this is quality. Really, really good.
Encouragingly, there is a lot of Oriental stuff in the sale today.
-Which I was really pleased to see.
And it's fetching good prices as well.
It's in good company. Under the hammer now.
This is it. Look over there.
100, 110, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 220, 240, 260.
Oh, they absolutely love this.
300, 320, 340,
It's not stopping.
-This is a good price.
-This is great.
-Her first auction experience and you're going to end on a real high.
-Oh, my God.
460. It's against you. 460. 480?
500, 500. 520. 550?
-£550, Megan, they love this!
There's a couple of phone bids.
There's a guy on the phone bidding from home.
My goodness me. Didn't you find it in a house?
-What is Aunty going to say?
She's going to go mental!
She's going to go mental!
I'm going mental, never mind my aunty.
-Listen to this.
-780, on Jocelyn's phone.
Would anybody else like in at £780?
Sybelle has just put the hammer down at £780!
Now, that's a lot more than £150-odd, isn't it?
Gosh, I'm tingling. You must be tingling.
Adam, that went for a staggering amount.
Not a great estimate in the end.
-It doesn't really matter. As you said, there was a lot of Oriental.
-The right sale.
You were only planning on spending £100, weren't you?
You have £780 to split, it should go a lot further.
-I bet you can't wait to tell Aunty, can you.
Oh, it was so exciting.
-Were you shaking?
-I certainly was.
How about that! What a fantastic day, just south of Edinburgh.
Sybelle is on the rostrum doing her stuff, but it's all over for our owners.
All credit to our experts because we've sold absolutely everything.
It's been brilliant. The highlight was Megan's face.
It just lit up with a staggering £780 for the little Cantonese box.
What a surprise. That's auctions for you. So join me for many more.
Until the next time, it's cheerio.
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