St Albans Flog It!


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St Albans

Experts Mark Stacey and Kate Bliss find some gems in St Albans, while presenter Paul Martin visits the cathedral to get to the root of the city's name.


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Now, who was Britain's first Christian martyr?

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This might be a clue. This marvellous cathedral

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and abbey church behind me was dedicated to him. He was St Alban and today,

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Flog It comes from the town named after him... St Albans.

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Even though St Alban sounds virtuous, which indeed he was, and I'll tell you why a bit later,

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this place is reputed to have more pubs per square mile than any other town in the United Kingdom.

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And this one is supposed to be the oldest in Britain.

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It's called Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and it boasts many illustrious visitors,

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one of whom was Sir Walter Raleigh.

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Well, the weather is slightly inclement. It's been raining but thankfully there are no puddles,

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so our gallant expert, Mark Stacey, doesn't have to take his cloak off for the wonderful Kate Bliss.

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-Are you enjoying this today?

-Yes.

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-Loads of people.

-What have you seen so far?

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Oh, lots of interesting items, Paul. I can't wait to get them inside and unwrapped.

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Well, I think it's 9:30, the doors are open, let's get them in.

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We're in the town hall today and some of the owners of family heirlooms you can see below

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are getting rather excited.

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Let's see who has made it to the valuation table first.

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-Hello, Dee.

-Hello.

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It wouldn't be Flog It if we didn't have another piece of Troika.

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-Yes.

-Now, where did it come from?

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Well, it belonged to my parents,

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and in the '60s and early '70s we took many holidays in Cornwall,

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although I don't remember exactly where they bought it.

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It was probably on one of those summer holidays and they've had it ever since and my father

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died several years ago and my mother has recently moved into a care home,

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so this has come to me, and I wondered if I ought to keep it

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but I think they would rather like to think that other people had seen it,

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-someone else had bought it.

-And do you like it yourself?

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I do like it, yes, I do.

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-And this looks almost the original shade?

-It is.

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So, if we take the shade off, Dee, and then we can have a little look at the lamp base.

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We've got a typical Troika shade...

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very geometric, very abstract, this circular shape, and if we turn it round,

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you've got a completely different design on the other side,

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so you can actually use all sides, so if you get bored with looking at that one, you just turn it around.

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If we turn it upside down we can see we've got a cover which will almost certainly be marked Troika,

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possibly then with an artist or designer signature on it, initials, but very much late '60s.

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I think if it was a slightly stronger colour where we had a sort of dark blue background

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and brighter colours, we would probably be looking at £300,

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£400. I think because it's got that sort of paler, earthier colours,

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we're probably looking at sort of £150 to £250, with £150 reserve.

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How do you feel about flogging it?

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-Yes.

-Wonderful! Well, I look forward to seeing you at the auction.

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-Thank you very much, Mark. I look forward to it as well.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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What a handsome bear, Zoe! So has he got a name?

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-Rupert.

-Rupert? Rupert the Bear!

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-Now we've got three generations here. How old are you, Zoe?

-Six.

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And this is mum, Caroline, isn't it, and we've got your grandma with us, so who does this bear belong to?

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-My mum.

-Your mum? So how did your mum come by this?

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When I was about three, my mum's family worked in a house in St Albans, in Hangar House.

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-Called what, sorry?

-Hangar House.

-Which is a big country house, not far from here?

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Hangar Park in London Colney.

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-OK.

-And apparently when I was three, the lady...what was her name?

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-Calladine.

-Lady Calladine, she took me upstairs to choose something from the nursery, and I chose this.

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-What a lucky girl!

-Mum said there were loads of soft lions up there,

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but I chose the bear.

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-You wanted the bear?

-Yes.

-Not interested in anything else?

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No, the bear. I don't remember it, but I still like him!

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-So has he been much loved?

-Yes, very loved, yes.

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-Ride it up and down the road!

-Did you?

-Yes. Mum lives on a hill,

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-so my brother had his go kart and I had Rupert!

-Did you have races?

-Yes!

-Poor Rupert!

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Now he's up in Mum's loft and that's where he's been for quite a few years, so he's just up there.

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I've got three daughters, my brother has got children as well

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and you can't divide him between six children, or...

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He's in a remarkable condition considering you used to ride him down the hill!

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He's got lovely fur, and he's straw-filled,

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and he's got a few characteristics which help us to date him.

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If we look at his eyes, the early bears that were made -

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in Germany - of this sort of type, had what were called "boot black" eyes, or "boot button" eyes...

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little tiny black button eyes, rather like the buttons on boots, hence they got their name,

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and then from the 1920s glass eyes replaced them and then from the 1950s, the plastic eyes came in,

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and I think that's what we've got here, with the amber surrounds, and also the wheels help us date it.

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Now I would put this probably post War, perhaps 1950s even,

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and we've got two little tell-tale signs as well.

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We've got a label actually on the wheels' axle, on the base here.

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It's Muhlhauser, and it says sportspiel, which is German for a sporting toy,

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or something that moves, basically I think and Muhlhauser would be the manufacturer of that metal base,

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but...is there anything else you have noticed about his ears?

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Have you seen a little button in his ear?

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-Well, you've pointed it out to us...

-But you didn't see it before?

-No.

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Well, we've got a little button here which is characteristic for, really, the top of the tree

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in toy manufacturing in Germany, the factory called Steiff, and there were different

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little buttons in ears for different periods of manufacture and this also helps me to tell me that it is 1950s.

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Does it do anything else, Zoe?

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-Yes. It growls!

-Listen to that! BEAR GROWLS

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Can we hear it again? Oh, yeah! BEAR GROWLS

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Well, I think it is super that that still works. Lovely.

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So what about value? Any ideas?

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-Not at all.

-Well, if he was slightly earlier, if he was 1910 or slightly later, then we'd be talking

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several hundred pounds, but I still think

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as a sort of 1950s in date, he's going to be worth £100 to £150 at auction.

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-Not bad for an old bear, is he? Thank you very much for bringing him along.

-OK.

-I rather fancy him myself!

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Cathy, this doesn't look like the usual violin cases we normally see.

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Well, I presume it is a violin.

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I can see the violin bow there.

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Let's have a look. Shall I take this out?

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-Yes, please do.

-You don't sound like you're from St Albans. There's a slight Irish...

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There is an Irish undertone there but I have been

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made a British citizen now. You're in safe hands.

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-A St Albans' citizen!

-St Albans it is, yes.

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Well, let's move the case.

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I'm kind of getting the picture of what this is all about now.

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I like the original case, that's nice.

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The bow, that's OK.

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It's a typical student bow.

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Some bows are worth an awful lot of money

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if they're silver mounted, but this one is a typical student bow with

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probably no value whatsoever, but this is what is intriguing me, because it's not a violin, is it?

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-No, it isn't!

-Aah, look at that!

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It's a practice violin!

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How wonderful!

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Tell me all about this.

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Well, unfortunately I have very little to tell you because it was given to my husband by an uncle

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and he gave us no information about where it came from at all.

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My husband plays the violin, but has a very long neck

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and consequently can't make use of the practice violin.

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-Can I have a look?

-You may.

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Aah! That is exquisite!

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Just look at that shape!

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That is a typical "S" scroll

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that you see on the sound holes either side on the violin.

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That is so beautiful.

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There's a little bit of age to this, you know.

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I would say that is over 100 years old.

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-Really?

-Yes, yes.

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-This is made of mahogany.

-Really?

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Yes, and obviously it would be used to practice fingering positions.

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Yes. I'm sure you're right.

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Any idea of the value?

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None whatsoever. None whatsoever.

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It has kind of puzzled me, really, because this one is a hard one to value.

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I can see this quite easily doing £300, put it that way.

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Oh, goodness, wow, yes, OK.

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-That sounds good to start with, doesn't it?

-It does.

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It might even do £400, but I don't want to get your hopes up.

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-No.

-But I think that is where we have got to pitch this. Yes, let's protect this with a fixed reserve

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-of £250...

-Mm-hm.

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..And put it into auction with a value of, hopefully £300 to £400.

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-Wonderful!

-I'm sure it will find...

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-A good home.

-..A really lovely home.

-Yes, indeed.

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Irene, James. Now, you've brought a nice gold Albert chain to show us.

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-It is a family piece?

-It's my husband's.

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Is it? Where did it come from, James?

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My father gave it to me 20, 25 years ago.

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Do you think it was handed down to him by his father, or did he...?

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Really that's where I haven't got a clue.

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I don't know where it came from originally.

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I don't know whether it has ever been used. I can assume it has, but I don't know for sure.

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-Have you used it yourself?

-No.

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-Have you?

-No.

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Because people do wear them, actually, these days as neck chains,

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but basically what we've got is a nice nine carat gold Albert watch chain.

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This is a gentleman's accessory for keeping his pocket watch

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and other things on and we've got a nice little seal down here

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which has got a bloodstone on one side.

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There's a cornelian on the other side.

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Not marked, so nobody has put their family crest on that, and that's quite a typical sort of shape.

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So, where has it lived with you all these years?

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In a little...

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leather pouch...

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-In my bedside table.

-It never sees the light of day, really.

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17 years it has been in there, and Jim hasn't known!

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So, it's time for it to go?

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Yes, I think so.

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Well, gold is doing quite well at the moment, the prices are quite high because of the current

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world economic situation, and we've weighed it.

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It comes in at about 60 grams, I think.

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I would have thought we should put this in with an estimate of something like £250 to £350...

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-Wow!

-With a £250 reserve.

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Crikey! I didn't realise that.

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-Is that all right?

-That's good.

-Does that please you?

-It does.

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Better than sitting on the bedside table.

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-Yeah.

-You can put the money to better use, although it's a very attractive thing.

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That's wonderful, so I look forward to seeing you at auction, and let's hope you get a good price.

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Thank you very much.

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Well, we're seeing such a variety of items here today,

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but right now it is time to put our experts' theories to the test,

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and find out if they're on the money.

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It's our first visit to the sale room - here are the items we're taking with us.

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Pity about the colour, Dee! Blue might have been better, but Troika always does well.

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Zoe's Steiff bear, Rupert, climbed out of the loft straight into

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the auction room where, with a bit of luck, he's going to find a new home.

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What an unusual piece! I'm hoping there will be plenty of bidders

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in the sale room who might appreciate Cathy's shapely practice violin.

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And with gold prices riding high, Irene and James' chain should do really well.

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Now, I wonder whose heirlooms will be tempting the bidders today at Tring Market Auction.

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Well, it's nearly auction time.

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You've just heard what our valuers think back at the valuation day,

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but what does Steven Hearn think, our auctioneer? Let's get his opinion.

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This is a bit of quality. It belongs to Irene and James.

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It's a nine carat fob chain.

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We've got £250 to £350 on here.

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-Phew!

-Well, gold is fetching a lot of money right now.

-Well, yes. We're in a period of good pricing for gold

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and other precious metals and it's just right for that gentleman about town, PAUL, isn't it?!

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That's right, gentleman about town.

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I don't like the bloodstone, though.

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Oh, dear! Well, it's a good weight, you know.

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You've got 60 grams, excluding the fob, so if you start breaking it down,

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and also a lot of the value now can be attributed to the fact that unfortunately,

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once it moves on from the sale room we could have two ladies' bracelets,

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we could have a pendant, or we could just have it... With 60 grams,

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60 grams at metal prices today...

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-Scrap metal.

-..That's going to achieve its reserve for scrap metal!

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And it may get broken up by the trade, so it has got legs, hasn't it?

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I think so. I think so, and I think we could be close to £500.

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-Suits you!

-Suits me!

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This Troika lamp should light up the room. Your mum bought this in Cornwall, didn't she?

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Yes, she did. My mum and dad, on a holiday in Cornwall and she's now moved into a care home.

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-Does she mind you flogging it?

-Oh, no! She's given her permission.

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She's very happy for us to sell it and she'd like the money to go towards my daughter's wedding.

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Oh, how super! She will be watching this!

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-Yes, she will!

-I think you'll enjoy this and what a great way of putting money towards the wedding.

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We've got lots of Troika in today's sale.

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-Which is a good thing.

-The buyers are here, the collectors are here.

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-Let's find out what this is going to do.

-Let's.

-This is going under the hammer now.

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Lot number 214.

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Troika, and we have the vase and the shade is in the store.

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£100 to start me, thank you. £100 I'm bid then.

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And ten I have bid now. 120... and 30. Are you 40, sir?

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140, 50 is it? £150 now.

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And 60 I'm bid for.

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And 70 now. No? 160 then.

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60, we've reached it.

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Thank you. At £160, then. Thank you.

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He sold it - £160!

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-Brilliant, brilliant!

-That's not bad, is it!

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No. That might pay for my outfit!

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No, it will pay for the hat!

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You know as well as I do, a wedding is so expensive, isn't it?

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-But it will pay for...

-I'll tell you what you can do. You could buy the shoes and hire the hat for that!

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Yes, what a brilliant idea!

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Thank you, Paul!

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We see plenty of Steiff bears on the show and they all go,

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but a Steiff with wheels, that's definitely going to go!

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It's about to go under the hammer.

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I've been joined by the gorgeous Zoe, Kate, and, of course,

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mum and grandma - Maureen and Caroline.

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Three generations are going to wave off. What is teddy called?

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-Rupert.

-Rupert! They're all going to wave Rupert off!

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We've got £100 to £150, so what are you going to do with the money?

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Hopefully we're going to get loads.

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I'll put it in the building society for my three daughters.

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I think we could do... ooh, £250 hopefully.

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Well, there are two other bears in the sale.

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They're just ordinary teddy bears and they've actually got good labels,

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too, so I think that will attract the toy buyers.

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-I think it is in for a good chance.

-Right. Good luck, you two.

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Good luck, Zoe. It's going under the hammer now.

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Lot number ten. We have now the Steiff pull-along bear.

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This is a lovely one.

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What a lovely condition this is in. Isn't that a grand one?

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Rupert is coming on now!

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Well, at least we think he's going!

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20 for him, 80 for him.

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Are you £80 madam? £80. £90.

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Are you £100?

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Yes, £100 I'm bid then.

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100 for the bear. £110 I am bid now for him.

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£120. £130 now...

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-It's going up, Zoe!

-140. 150, sir.

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£150. And 60, and 170 we have now.

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170 for him. Are you 80?

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180, yes, that's... 190 now.

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180, then, I'm selling bear.

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At £180 then. Thank you very much.

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-Yes. Great result!

-Well, done!

-Yeah!

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-180!

-Rupert has done the business!

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180!

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We're all happy with that, aren't we? Lots of smiles?

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-Yes.

-I can share the 80 or 100.

-Sorry?

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She'll have the 100. They can share the 80!

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-What a smart cookie!

-That is a shrewd business lady down there!

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Right. My turn to be the expert. I've just been joined by Cathy

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and we've got that wonderful "S" scroll training violin,

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it doesn't make a lot of noise, so you can put it with somebody practising

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-and learning their fingering.

-Indeed.

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It is a great cause. All the money is going to charity, so tell us a little bit about it.

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Well, I have been a volunteer for many years at Grove House in St Albans.

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It is the local day hospice and we treat not only cancer patients,

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but patients with other life-threatening illnesses and we have to raise an awful lot of money

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so anything that we can do, we like to in order to increase the funds.

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-Right. So we need top dollar, right here, right now, don't we, basically?

-We'll do our best.

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We'll find out because it's going under the hammer.

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There we are, the training violin.

0:19:210:19:23

I think that one we ought to be looking somewhere in the region

0:19:230:19:26

of £300 for it, surely.

0:19:260:19:27

300, 200 for it.

0:19:270:19:29

Yes, at £200 then.

0:19:290:19:31

At £210. Are you 20, 30 now and 240 and 250 is it? At £260...

0:19:310:19:37

and 70 now... 280 and 90. No?

0:19:370:19:41

At £280... then I'm selling at £280.

0:19:410:19:48

-Thank you.

-Yes! That's OK, isn't it?

-It will do very nicely, thank you.

0:19:480:19:51

-He sold it. Just did it, just, just, just did it.

-Mmm-hmm.

0:19:510:19:56

Remember that swivel!

0:20:050:20:06

My word, didn't it go on the end of that Albert watch chain.

0:20:060:20:09

It belongs to James and Irene.

0:20:090:20:11

We're looking for around £300, aren't we? £250 to £350.

0:20:110:20:15

Had a chat to the auctioneer and he said it's got to do that.

0:20:150:20:18

The gold is worth that at scrap value.

0:20:180:20:20

Unfortunately that is what you judge a lot of these values on,

0:20:200:20:23

because the fob itself, while it is quite nice quality, it is not rare,

0:20:230:20:27

it is not 18th century, it hasn't got a good armorial or anything like that on it,

0:20:270:20:31

so it basically is the gold value and we're riding a bit of a high in gold at the moment.

0:20:310:20:36

-It's selling well.

-The right time to sell it.

-It's going under the hammer. This is it.

0:20:360:20:40

Very fine quality Albert chain, with the bloodstone swivel fob.

0:20:400:20:45

Lot 586. Where do we start for this one?

0:20:450:20:47

Do we start at 200? Thank you.

0:20:470:20:49

-200, I'm bid there. At 220...

-That's a good in.

0:20:490:20:52

240, 260, at 280, £300, 320,

0:20:520:20:56

-340, 360, 380...

-Wow, they love it!

0:20:560:21:01

£400, 420, 450, 480, £500, 520, 520.

0:21:010:21:09

On my right at 520, then.

0:21:090:21:11

You lose it, sir. I'm selling on the right here.

0:21:110:21:14

It's going for £520. Sold.

0:21:140:21:16

Yeah, £520! James, you were standing with your mouth open!

0:21:160:21:20

Good grief!

0:21:200:21:23

-Wow!

-That was wonderful!

0:21:230:21:24

Just goes to show, doesn't it? If you've got stuff like this

0:21:240:21:28

lying around, bring it into one of our valuation days.

0:21:280:21:30

We'd love to see you. You can get details on our BBC website or just check details in your local press.

0:21:300:21:36

Come on, bring it along!

0:21:360:21:38

Have you ever wondered what is behind the name of the village,

0:21:470:21:50

the town or the city that you live in?

0:21:500:21:52

Well, sometimes the answer can often reveal a fascinating glimpse into the historical events

0:21:520:21:58

that have shaped the place you live in, and St Albans, well, that's definitely no exception.

0:21:580:22:03

During the Roman occupation in the 3rd century AD,

0:22:060:22:09

St Albans was called Verulamium.

0:22:090:22:11

It was the second largest town in the Britain.

0:22:110:22:14

You can still see remnants of the Roman occupation here today.

0:22:140:22:19

The ruins of St Albans' Roman theatre, for example, were unearthed in 1847.

0:22:190:22:25

This was the scene of all sorts of Pagan ceremonies and entertainments

0:22:250:22:29

played out in front of several thousand cheering spectators.

0:22:290:22:34

Now, among the crowd here, some 1800 years ago,

0:22:340:22:38

was a man whose name would go down in history.

0:22:380:22:42

And he was called Alban.

0:22:420:22:44

St Alban was the first Christian martyr in Britain and is venerated

0:22:500:22:54

to this day by the cathedral for his integrity,

0:22:540:22:58

courage and self-sacrifice.

0:22:580:23:00

And someone who knows all about Alban's extraordinary life story

0:23:030:23:06

is Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans Cathedral.

0:23:060:23:10

So, tell me about this extraordinary man, Alban?

0:23:100:23:14

Well, Alban was a citizen of Verulamium,

0:23:140:23:16

that is the Roman city that is down the hill from the cathedral.

0:23:160:23:22

It was one of the biggest of the Roman cities.

0:23:220:23:25

Alban lived around about the middle of the third century, about 250 AD,

0:23:250:23:31

and it was a time when the Christian faith

0:23:310:23:36

fell in and out of favour with the empire.

0:23:360:23:38

It all rather depended on the whim of the emperor whether Christianity was legal or not.

0:23:380:23:43

Alban himself was not a Christian, he was a Pagan.

0:23:430:23:47

He would have worshipped the old Roman gods and sacrificed to the Emperor as citizens had to do,

0:23:470:23:52

but the important thing is

0:23:520:23:55

that he befriended a Christian priest at a time when Christianity

0:23:550:24:00

was out of favour and when a time of serious persecution came, he took him into his house,

0:24:000:24:06

he hid him from the authorities. This is despite the fact

0:24:060:24:09

that he wasn't Christian himself, but he must have been impressed by this priest,

0:24:090:24:14

and began to learn a little bit about Jesus and about the Christian faith.

0:24:140:24:18

But of course the day came when the Roman soldiers were looking for him,

0:24:180:24:22

came to the house and Alban protected the priest by changing clothes with him.

0:24:220:24:27

Because Alban was a citizen, he had a special cloak.

0:24:270:24:29

The priest, by taking the cloak, would have been able to pass

0:24:290:24:33

through the guards, through the city walls and escape, which he did.

0:24:330:24:37

Alban took the priest's garb, so he was wearing a priest's cloak

0:24:370:24:40

and when the soldiers came they therefore arrested Alban as the priest, so he took his place.

0:24:400:24:46

Incredibly brave, deeply Christian thing to do.

0:24:460:24:49

So Alban was taken to the Roman forum, put on trial and asked his name and religion.

0:24:510:24:57

He replied, "My name is Alban and I'm Christian".

0:24:570:25:01

This was enough to incriminate him and he was taken to be beheaded

0:25:010:25:04

on the site of where the cathedral stands today.

0:25:040:25:08

Legend tells us that spring water miraculously

0:25:110:25:14

popped up out of nowhere and began to refresh Alban right at the moment of his death, and on seeing this,

0:25:140:25:22

his executioner refused to carry out the deed and converted to the faith, there and then.

0:25:220:25:28

He was also beheaded and became Britain's second martyr.

0:25:280:25:33

His replacement, another executioner who did carry out the execution

0:25:330:25:38

on Alban, is said to have gone blind shortly after, his eyes

0:25:380:25:44

literally fell out. Now that is an incredible story.

0:25:440:25:48

Do you think we can witness the same sort of courage today, Jeffrey?

0:25:580:26:04

-Well, there's an answer here, I think. Here we've got a...

-Gosh! Brightly coloured!

0:26:040:26:08

-They are, yes.

-They would have been, wouldn't they?

0:26:080:26:11

Yes. The Medieval statues would have been very brightly coloured. These are very modern ones.

0:26:110:26:16

These were made by our young people here at the abbey. They're actually made of papier mache.

0:26:160:26:21

-Very clever, very lightweight.

-Yes, they are!

0:26:210:26:24

Yes, they were made by a group of our young people for our pilgrimage

0:26:240:26:28

and they represent modern martyrs.

0:26:280:26:30

We've got Alban in the middle there, with St Amphibalus, the priest

0:26:300:26:35

that he rescued on his left, but all the others are 20th century martyrs.

0:26:350:26:39

-I can recognise one - that's Martin Luther King.

-That's Martin Luther King, yes.

0:26:390:26:43

Then on Amphibalus's left here, we have Manche Masemola.

0:26:430:26:47

She is a South African martyr, a young girl

0:26:470:26:50

who was converted to Christianity but very much against the wishes of her family and very tragically

0:26:500:26:56

her martyrdom, her death, was arranged by her own parents.

0:26:560:27:00

She was stoned to death in the Transvaal, that was about 1928.

0:27:000:27:04

And then more famously, I think, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, right at the end,

0:27:040:27:09

of course, was martyred under the Nazis in 1945, just right at the end of the War.

0:27:090:27:14

-It looks like St Alban is in good company today!

-Absolutely!

0:27:140:27:17

I wonder how many people today know the remarkable tale of heroism attached to the city of St Albans.

0:27:200:27:25

Or that their home town's name commemorates a man

0:27:250:27:28

who was prepared to give his life for what he believed in.

0:27:280:27:32

St Alban is buried in the tomb behind me, and as you can see,

0:27:340:27:38

the stonemason's work is absolutely incredible.

0:27:380:27:41

His shrine really is the centrepiece of the cathedral, and for nearly two millennia, thousands of Christians

0:27:410:27:47

have made the pilgrimage to his final resting place.

0:27:470:27:51

Back in St Alban's town hall, Kate has found something for a sweet tooth.

0:27:590:28:04

Lynne, I would call this a pretty, smart silver sugar caster.

0:28:040:28:07

But I doubt you use it, do you?

0:28:070:28:09

No, not at all. It's kept in the cupboard.

0:28:090:28:11

-Is it?

-Yes.

-Stashed away?

-Yes, it certainly is.

0:28:110:28:13

Where did it come from?

0:28:130:28:15

It was actually a wedding anniversary present for my parents for their 25th wedding anniversary.

0:28:150:28:21

OK. So how long ago was that?

0:28:210:28:23

-Mid '80s, I think that was.

-OK. Right. So, do you like it?

0:28:230:28:26

Yes, I like it, but it's not, sort of like, to my taste to actually have out on display.

0:28:260:28:33

Well, the sad thing is, they're just not very practical, these days.

0:28:330:28:37

People don't need sugar casters really. I know in the States

0:28:370:28:40

they sprinkle on their doughnuts,

0:28:400:28:42

but today, we don't use them in this country at all.

0:28:420:28:44

-No, no.

-I have to say, the design

0:28:440:28:47

dates from right back to the mid 18th century, to about 1760,

0:28:470:28:52

the Georgian period, when things, of course,

0:28:520:28:55

would have been used at the table

0:28:550:28:58

in a pretty well-to-do household in the dining room and would have

0:28:580:29:02

been a very normal accoutrement to have on the dining table.

0:29:020:29:05

It's what I call a baluster shape,

0:29:050:29:08

obviously with this pierced lid here, which comes off.

0:29:080:29:13

There we go.

0:29:150:29:16

So we've got the hallmark just here, as you would expect, on the side,

0:29:160:29:20

dated for London 1894 and these initials here,

0:29:200:29:24

G M, stand for G M Jackson, who is the silversmith, quite well known,

0:29:240:29:30

but the date, I just told you, is 1894.

0:29:300:29:33

So, it is a Victorian piece,

0:29:330:29:34

although the design goes right back to the Georgian period.

0:29:340:29:38

-Oh, right!

-So, I am afraid the good news is if it was Georgian,

0:29:380:29:42

it would be about to £600 to £800 at auction.

0:29:420:29:45

The bad news is that it is Victorian,

0:29:450:29:47

-and, if you like, it is in the Georgian style.

-Yes.

0:29:470:29:51

-And as it is, it is worth £60 to £90.

-Right. I won't moan at that.

0:29:510:29:58

-If you're not using it...

-Yes.

-..it's going to be a bonus.

0:29:580:30:01

-That's right, yes.

-So you're not worried about getting rid of it?

0:30:010:30:05

-Not at all.

-Pleased to see the back of it?

0:30:050:30:07

-Yep!

-Well, thank you very much for bringing it along.

-Thank you. Thanks.

0:30:070:30:11

-Hello, Neil.

-Hello.

-One of my favourite items.

0:30:250:30:28

Now, Geoffrey Baxter for Whitefriars, this Banjo vase.

0:30:280:30:31

Tell me about it. Where did you get it from?

0:30:310:30:33

Well, I used to work in a department store up in Oxford Street,

0:30:330:30:37

and Whitefriars were clearing out a warehouse,

0:30:370:30:41

and they found a load of vases,

0:30:410:30:44

and they were selling them for 15 shillings or 75 pence.

0:30:440:30:49

-75 pence?

-And it didn't matter whether it was a large vase like that

0:30:490:30:53

or one of the small Whitefriars' vases.

0:30:530:30:56

-So you bought it for 75p?

-Yes, I bought it for 75 pence,

0:30:560:31:00

and in fact, on the first day of clearance,

0:31:000:31:03

only about half a dozen vases went out on display.

0:31:030:31:06

They were bought by the staff, weren't they?

0:31:060:31:08

-Most of the staff bought them for wedding presents.

-Of course, at that sort of price!

0:31:080:31:13

-It's amazing, isn't it?

-Indeed.

0:31:130:31:14

And you've had it on display, have you, at home?

0:31:140:31:17

-Yes, but it's been at my parents' house.

-Oh, right.

0:31:170:31:19

And my dad's not very well, so basically we would like to buy him something with it.

0:31:190:31:25

To cheer him up? Oh, wonderful!

0:31:250:31:28

Well, I hope we can, because I don't...

0:31:280:31:31

We can certainly turn 75p into a bit of a profit,

0:31:310:31:34

because this particular shape vase - the Banjo vase -

0:31:340:31:37

comes, of course, in 12 different colourways,

0:31:370:31:41

and depending on the colour, depends on the value, really.

0:31:410:31:45

Those striking ones, all the rare colours that were tried,

0:31:450:31:48

but weren't commercial, weren't produced so much.

0:31:480:31:52

This is the willow pattern, which isn't the more sought after design.

0:31:520:31:56

-Oh, no, but for 15 shillings...

-For 15 shillings...

0:31:560:31:58

You had not much choice, really.

0:31:580:32:00

No, no, but it's fantastic,

0:32:000:32:02

and we've done a lot of Whitefriars on the show, so we all know how it was made.

0:32:020:32:06

Now, we know it was by Geoffrey Baxter,

0:32:060:32:08

but it still remains quite popular, although the prices have become more realistic

0:32:080:32:13

than they were two or three years ago, so my estimate

0:32:130:32:16

-on this would be somewhere around £500 to £700.

-That would be fine!

0:32:160:32:21

-So quite a lot more than the 75p!

-Indeed!

-Which is really good news...

0:32:210:32:24

and we'll put the reserve at £500, with 10% discretion,

0:32:240:32:29

but I think, you know, we'll have... Hopefully, they'll be a few other bits of Whitefriars in the sale

0:32:290:32:35

-and that will rub together and we'll get a good price.

-Let's hope so.

0:32:350:32:39

-And you're happy to Flog It now?

-Yes, indeed.

-Wonderful!

0:32:390:32:42

-I look forward to seeing you at the auction.

-Thank you.

0:32:420:32:45

Denise, what a splendid piggy wig! Isn't he great!

0:32:550:32:59

Yes, he's lovely. Always loved him.

0:32:590:33:01

-Do you feel quite attached to him?

-Well, I do, really.

0:33:010:33:03

He belonged to my husband's nana, and he used to sit on her hearth,

0:33:030:33:07

and when she passed away, it was the first thing I said, could I have?

0:33:070:33:13

What can you tell me about the manufacturer of him?

0:33:130:33:15

Do you know what factory he is?

0:33:150:33:18

-He's Wemyss, which is a Scottish factory.

-That's right.

0:33:180:33:21

And I know they closed in the 1930s.

0:33:210:33:23

-The factory was in Fife, in Scotland, named after Wemyss Castle and the family who lived there.

-Oh, right!

0:33:230:33:30

So it wasn't the manufacturer, then?

0:33:300:33:32

-No.

-Ah!

-And if we just have a look underneath,

0:33:320:33:36

I'm just looking for the all important mark,

0:33:360:33:39

and there we go, so we've got the standard mark here,

0:33:390:33:42

impressed on the base, and that helps us to date it as well.

0:33:420:33:45

We've got Wemyss Ware there.

0:33:450:33:48

I would say he's roughly sort of circa 1900.

0:33:480:33:50

-Oh, right!

-Perhaps a little bit later.

0:33:500:33:52

The factory started in 1880, but in 1883, a very important man joined.

0:33:520:33:58

His name was Karel Nekola. He was actually a Bohemian designer,

0:33:580:34:02

and he brought to the factory a very distinctive hand-painted style,

0:34:020:34:07

which is what you normally associate with Wemyss,

0:34:070:34:10

and instead of this sort of lime green glaze,

0:34:100:34:13

he hand-decorated useful and ornamental wares

0:34:130:34:17

with big cabbage roses, with animals...

0:34:170:34:21

The most sought after of his designs are cockerels and hens...

0:34:210:34:24

-I didn't know that!

-Or ducks amongst reeds, which he hand-painted.

0:34:240:34:28

I have to say, the hand-decorated wares are more commercial. They're a little bit prettier,

0:34:280:34:34

-and I have noticed, sadly, he's lost his tail!

-Yes, he's missing his tail!

0:34:340:34:38

-Did that happen when he came to you?

-No. He was always like that.

-Right.

0:34:380:34:43

And I guess it was because he was against the hearth.

0:34:430:34:45

So what about value?

0:34:450:34:47

You've always been attached to him, you say. What about monetary value?

0:34:470:34:52

I've always thought he was collectable,

0:34:520:34:54

but I've never really known how much he was worth,

0:34:540:34:57

because he is a plain glaze.

0:34:570:34:59

I know the ones that are painted are more valuable,

0:34:590:35:02

-so that's why I brought him along today.

-OK.

0:35:020:35:05

-I can see a collector paying £400 to £600 for him...

-Really!

0:35:050:35:11

..certainly at auction.

0:35:110:35:12

-Would it be all right to put a reserve on?

-Certainly. Yes.

0:35:120:35:15

-I would suggest a reserve at the bottom level, so at £400.

-Right.

0:35:150:35:18

-OK.

-I certainly hope he would fetch that.

-Yes, I would as well.

0:35:180:35:22

Will you be sad to see him go?

0:35:220:35:23

I will, in a way, but then my husband has just retired and we're

0:35:230:35:28

planning on spreading our wings, so we don't want to take a pig with us!

0:35:280:35:32

Let's just remind ourselves of what we've got before we head off to the sale room.

0:35:350:35:40

Lynne's glad to be rid of her sugar shaker, so let's hope it spreads sweetness in the auction today!

0:35:410:35:46

Well done, Neil! What a buy!

0:35:490:35:52

I don't think we'll have any problem making a profit out of your 75p!

0:35:520:35:57

And if pigs had wings, Denise's should fly right out of the auction room!

0:35:570:36:02

So, it's back to the auction room where Steven Hearn is on the rostrum.

0:36:120:36:17

Denise's Wemyss pig. Now, Kate's put a valuation on this at £400 to £600.

0:36:210:36:27

-Well, that's a fair valuation for a pig without a tail, isn't it!

-Mmm.

0:36:270:36:33

He is an old pig. If we turn him over, belly up as they say,

0:36:330:36:37

you can see underneath, he's got a good impressed crescent mark on there.

0:36:370:36:41

-Yes.

-Which is going to put him as one of the earlier piggies, and he is probably going to be 1885, 1890.

0:36:410:36:48

Another good sign of these older pigs is the furrowing

0:36:480:36:51

or the wrinkles on his snout and his face.

0:36:510:36:56

You know they do say, Paul, the more wrinkles you get, that dates you, you know!

0:36:560:37:00

Ha ha ha! Well, I'm getting a few!

0:37:000:37:03

Well, there you go. Say no more about the pig and the wrinkles,

0:37:030:37:07

but price wise, I think it's...

0:37:070:37:09

-I think he'll go beyond the estimate.

-Yes, he's got to, hasn't he?

0:37:090:37:14

It's a great name, the condition is there.

0:37:140:37:16

As you say, the tail's missing.

0:37:160:37:18

-If we had the tail, you'd be looking at £800 to £1,000.

-Well, there you are!

0:37:180:37:22

Right, it's time to put the Victorian sugar caster under the hammer,

0:37:310:37:35

and we've got £90 hopefully, top end... £60 to £90 on this.

0:37:350:37:38

-It's good to see you, Lynne.

-Thank you.

0:37:380:37:40

-Who is this you?

-This is Katie.

0:37:400:37:42

Hello, Katie. We've got our expert Kate here,

0:37:420:37:45

who fell in love with this. You like this.

0:37:450:37:47

Yeah. It's a Georgian design, and of course, it's Victorian.

0:37:470:37:50

Silver... It's not the most commercial item in the world,

0:37:500:37:53

but it should sell well!

0:37:530:37:55

It's just about to go under the hammer, Katie. Not really bothered!

0:37:550:38:00

Anyway, this is it.

0:38:000:38:01

There you are, lot 629, the sugar caster.

0:38:010:38:05

1894. Victorian one.

0:38:050:38:07

£80 for it. 50 I'm bid for it.

0:38:070:38:09

Five, 60, five, 70, five, 80...

0:38:090:38:12

-Brilliant!

-Five, 90...

-Fantastic!

0:38:120:38:14

-Five, 100, surely.

-Excellent!

-At £100...and five now. No?

0:38:140:38:19

Sir's got it then, for £100.

0:38:190:38:20

I'm selling to sir for £100, then.

0:38:200:38:24

-Sweet!

-Brilliant!

-Perfect!

-£100!

-Top of the estimate.

0:38:240:38:28

Perfect! What do you think, Katie?

0:38:280:38:31

£100!

0:38:310:38:33

Oh, it's still gone right over her head, hasn't it!

0:38:330:38:36

-That was a great result.

-Yes, that was brilliant!

0:38:360:38:38

My mum's got one of these at home - a Banjo Whitefriars vase.

0:38:510:38:54

She'll be interested to know.

0:38:540:38:56

She's got the same colourway. This one goes under the hammer.

0:38:560:38:59

It doesn't belong to my mum, but to Neil.

0:38:590:39:01

We've got £500 to £700 on this, Mark.

0:39:010:39:03

-Yes, we should...

-I think we're going to get that.

0:39:030:39:06

We should do, should do.

0:39:060:39:08

-Happy with that?

-I am indeed!

0:39:080:39:09

He should be, cos he only paid 75p for it, didn't you?

0:39:090:39:12

-I did indeed!

-If we get £700, what would you put the money towards?

0:39:120:39:17

Well, hopefully towards my dad's...

0:39:170:39:19

helping him towards some of his care at home.

0:39:190:39:22

Well, it's about to go under the hammer right now!

0:39:220:39:25

Right. Here's another good piece of Whitefriars. There you are.

0:39:250:39:28

Nice Banjo, in willow. What do we say for this one?

0:39:280:39:31

Are we going to get around £600 for this one? £600?

0:39:310:39:35

Are we £400? £300 bid, thank you.

0:39:350:39:37

320 I have it now. At 350 and 80, 400, three of you, 420...

0:39:370:39:42

-Good!

-Are you 80? 480 now.

0:39:420:39:46

-Come on!

-480 I'm bid for it. 480.

0:39:460:39:49

500 I'm bid, 520, sir, and 550 there. 58... 50 in the corner.

0:39:490:39:55

580, yes? 600 we've got it.

0:39:550:39:58

As 620 now. 620, 650, 680 now.

0:39:580:40:03

At £680 then, you're out in the room.

0:40:030:40:06

I'm selling away from you then at £680, then. Thank you.

0:40:060:40:10

£680! We're gonna settle for that!

0:40:100:40:14

-I think you are, Neil!

-Yes, I am indeed.

0:40:140:40:16

Better than 75 pence, isn't it?

0:40:160:40:18

It is, indeed! It's a good profit.

0:40:180:40:20

Right. What's next? Off to market?

0:40:350:40:37

Yes, you've guessed it, the Wemyss pig, which belongs to Denise.

0:40:370:40:40

-Hello, Denise!

-Hi.

-Who have you brought?

0:40:400:40:42

-This is my son George.

-George, pleased to meet you.

-Hi.

0:40:420:40:45

-I gather all the proceeds are going to George's...

-Driving...

0:40:450:40:48

-Driving lessons.

-How many have you had so far?

0:40:480:40:51

None so far. I'm waiting until summer, cos I've got my exams.

0:40:510:40:54

Oh, OK. OK. So this Wemyss pig should do...should do £400 to £600!

0:40:540:41:00

-Kate, you fell in love with it.

-I'm hoping!

-It will!

-Even with the missing tail?

-He's off to market.

0:41:000:41:04

This is it. Ready? He's hot to trot. It's going under the hammer.

0:41:040:41:08

Right. Now we change direction, and we start off with the Wemyss pig.

0:41:080:41:13

There he is. Lost his tail.

0:41:130:41:15

What shall we say for him? Are we going to start him off at £500?

0:41:150:41:19

500, 400 for him? Yes. 400. That's it. I thought you would like that.

0:41:190:41:23

-400 is bid for him, then.

-Straight in!

-At £400.

0:41:230:41:26

420 we're bid, at 450, 480, 500, £520, 530...

0:41:260:41:33

-That's good!

-Yeah.

-That's very good!

-580, 600...

0:41:330:41:37

We've got somebody on the phone, that means they're keen!

0:41:370:41:40

680 is it for him? 680, 700 we're bid, 720...

0:41:400:41:44

-Oooh!

-720 and 750, I have it. 780, yeah...

0:41:440:41:48

-This could be a new car as well!

-At 750 for him. 780.

0:41:480:41:52

800 bid. Are you going to bid 20? 820, 850, 880 now, £900.

0:41:520:42:00

Gosh! Could we do that magic thousand?

0:42:000:42:03

920. 950. Is he 980? Let's get where we should have started.

0:42:030:42:08

-£1,000.

-Yeah!

-1,000 I'm bid for him. £1020 now?

0:42:080:42:12

Yes? No. £1,000 then for pig.

0:42:120:42:16

-£1020.

-Oh!

-We have a new bidder at £1,020.

0:42:160:42:20

The new bid against it, there you go, just one bid takes it.

0:42:200:42:24

He's going then at £1,020, then.

0:42:240:42:28

-£1,020, yes, bang, under the hammer!

-Oh, that's brilliant!

0:42:280:42:32

-George and Denise, what do you think of that?

-That's fabulous!

0:42:320:42:35

-Oh, I'm really, really pleased!

-You're pleased!

-I'm just ecstatic!

0:42:350:42:39

A group of lessons.

0:42:390:42:41

If you pass first time, well, there's probably £500 left

0:42:410:42:45

in the kitty to put towards a car.

0:42:450:42:46

That's definitely going towards a car, then!

0:42:460:42:49

Oh, what a kind mum! Give your mum a big hug!

0:42:490:42:51

Yeah, thanks, Mum, for the new car as well!

0:42:510:42:54

-"Thanks, Mum!" "Thanks, Mum!"

-And maybe some new clothes?

0:42:540:42:58

That's what I call a great mum. I mean, what a great result as well.

0:42:580:43:02

That is double what I thought.

0:43:020:43:03

I thought we might top the top of my estimate,

0:43:030:43:06

but with the damage, that's a very good price.

0:43:060:43:08

-I'm really pleased!

-Right. I think that's great!

-That's brilliant!

0:43:080:43:12

George got his driving lessons, we've had a brilliant day in Tring.

0:43:120:43:15

I hope you've enjoyed the show. Join us next time for plenty more surprises on Flog It.

0:43:150:43:20

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:390:43:41

Email [email protected]

0:43:410:43:43