The Flog It! experts scour St Albans for the best in antiques and collectibles. Paul Martin finds out about the history of the health farm at nearby Champneys.
Browse content similar to St Albans. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Today, Flog It has come to St Albans,
a city rich in cultural heritage, with Roman ruins,
a magnificent medieval cathedral
and lots of fascinating buildings and architecture.
We're standing outside the superb 19th century town hall
which has recently undergone a total refurbishment and facelift.
The iconic frontage certainly does look the part
with the splendid portico entrance
and the wonderful ionic columns above it,
but it looks even better
with this massive great big Flog It! queue standing outside in front.
Who knows what treasures we'll find in all those bags and boxes?
Well, it's time to get everyone inside the town hall,
which used to double as a courthouse
and still retains the old courtroom...
Which is really handy because today on trial
will be the valuation skills of our two experts,
Kate Bliss and Mark Stacey, who swear the tell the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Judging by the numbers packed into the hall,
they've got a lot of evidence to sift through.
First into the dock is Margaret, who has called up an unusually exhibit.
Here we are in the middle of Hertfordshire,
and we're looking at a lovely pair of items that have come
from far, far away from here, far more eastern.
They're Russian, of course. Now, where did they come from?
They came from my father's side of the family.
They came through... He was known as Uncle Sam, and he was
my grandmother's uncle and he had businesses in Moscow.
Whenever he came home,
he always brought presents and things from there.
When I was growing up,
-they were always on the sideboard with salt in them.
And they are salt cellars. And it wasn't until I was nearly a teenager
my mother was told if we kept salt in them, it would corrode them.
So she packed them away and that was it.
They're gorgeous but they're very small, so it's not easy
to display them so we can enjoy them.
I think with objects like this, when they're so, so beautiful
and such beautiful workmanship, they really do deserve
to be in a collection with other pieces like it.
If we have a little look at this one, what we've actually got is
a Russian kovsh shape, K-O-V-S-H,
that's an old, antique Russian drinking vessel.
And it refers to their shape.
We've got silver bases and then a champ-leve enamel,
all this wonderful enamel all over them.
It's even shaded it in various colours.
Underneath, we've got the Russian mark for 1890 to 1917,
so they're pre-Revolution.
Also, if that wasn't charming enough,
we've got these lovely little spoons that go with them.
-Aren't they divine? They are lovely pieces.
You're quite right also about not keeping salt in them.
This is why often interiors like this
are gilded or have a glass liner.
-Would they have been gilded or had a glass liner?
-No, I don't think so.
I think, even if they had been gilded and they'd been rubbed,
there would have been traces of it.
-Having said that, they're lovely objects,
and the Russian market is quite hot at the moment,
which is a good thing.
I think we should put them in with a sensible estimate of £400 - £600
with a £400 fixed reserve, so we don't sell them for a penny under.
-I'm hoping that there'll be two or three Russians
who discover them through the internet.
But there are specialist dealers as well.
But I suppose from our point of view,
what we want is somebody to want them.
That's right! As I say I grew up with them on the sideboard,
and we all enjoyed them as a family.
That's a nice memory.
-It is. And I think there'll be a lot of interest at the sale.
Angela, we have the odd sampler that comes to Flog It!,
but I have to say I haven't seen one as detailed as this for a long time.
Is needlework something that you're interested in?
It is, although I can't do anything this good.
Yes, I do a bit of dressmaking and that sort of thing.
Where did this particular sampler come from?
I joined a yoga class and I mentioned that I had been
looking for a sampler, and a woman in my class said she had a couple,
so I went to her house to have a look.
And I bought one, which is a bit older than this,
and I'm keeping that one because I really like that one.
I went away without this one, got home and thought, "Well,
"the work's so fine, maybe I should buy the other one as well."
So I went back the following week and bought this one.
Right. So how long ago was that?
About six months ago.
-OK. So fairly recently.
-So why have you brought it along today? Do you want to sell it?
As you can see, it's a hunting scene, and that rankles with me a bit.
That's why I want to sell it.
-It's the subject, really.
-I think it's super.
We've obviously gentlemen shooting,
they could be a flock of ducks or geese they're shooting at.
And we've got the dogs here collecting the birds
down the bottom here.
And the landscape and the subject is worked in so much detail, isn't it?
-It's silk work of course rather than wool work,
so you get that much finer stitch,
and, of course, the moth loves silk work.
But this appears to have escaped the moth's munching for now.
-But I have to say, unfortunately, the downside
of it is that the colours have faded hugely, haven't they?
Yes, they have. I can imagine it was quite vibrant when it was first done.
Yes, exactly, particularly the landscape
has gone very dull brown and green.
I think this would have been vivid greens and blues, perhaps even red
here that you can see on the gentlemen's jacket.
And you can see we've got some water damage here as well,
where the colours have just bleached out onto the canvas.
But perhaps the most significant point is that it's signed,
-"Martha Wheeler's work, aged 13."
-I know. It's incredible, isn't it?
Isn't it just? When you step back and think about that,
a 13-year-old girl working that. That's what I like about it.
Not only do you have this work of art,
but you have a little glimpse into social history.
Who was Martha Wheeler and where did she live?
What was she doing when she did this?
So what about value, Angela?
Let me ask you, if I dare, how much did you pay for it?
I paid £120.
OK. If it was in what I call good condition and the colours
were fairly vibrant, I would say you would certainly be talking
about several hundred pounds.
-In this condition, I'm going to be a bit mean and say at auction
probably anything from £50 to £100.
I'd hope on a good day you might get your money back, but I'm gonna be
a little bit cautious because the colours are very, very dulled.
But would you be happy with that?
Yes, I'd like to give it a try.
-You're not keen on this shooting, are you?
Maybe if we can get you a good price, you can buy you another one.
-That's what I was thinking, yeah.
-Well, we'll do our best for you.
OK. Lovely. Thank you.
Bill, you've watched Flog It! many times, haven't you?
Yes, many a time.
And I can see straight away you're a fan of Flog It!
You've brought in William De Morgan tiles.
I have done quite a few William De Morgan tiles before,
but they've been more of the classical iconic ones
you'd expect De Morgan to have, with the mythical beasts,
the dragons, the Viking boats with the slight red lustre to them.
But these are quite unusual,
and they are so typical of the Arts and Crafts movement.
So tell me the story. How did you come across them?
They were found under a floor in an empty house.
-In an empty house?
-Yes. I was working on it as a builder.
We had to clear out the floor space.
Great. So you're a builder
-and you were in the right place at the right time?
-Yes. 40 years ago.
-What have you done with them?
-They've been in coffee tables.
You built a coffee table and set them in it in a panel?
-More than one coffee table.
-More than one? What, three...?
We just changed coffee table styles.
So where is your coffee table now?
Gone, gone. We finally bought one.
You actually bought...
Oh, I like the DIY ones best.
Let's have a look at the back. Yes, look, there you go.
You can just see it, "Merton Abbey".
And we're looking at about 1892 to 1897.
And William De Morgan,
the godfather of the Arts and Crafts movement
along with William Morris, really.
And you're going to see this design on a lot of fabrics as well.
This one, sadly... Did you find it like this?
-No, it broke some years ago. In your coffee table days?
Interestingly enough, you can just make out the DM - De Morgan.
I think they're absolutely divine, I really do.
Have you any idea of their value?
No, not really, only having seen your programmes recently.
As I said earlier, not the iconic William De Morgan tile
that everybody is fighting for.
-But nevertheless they have their virtues.
I can see this one being restored
and it will make quite a nice panel, won't it?
They're lovely, they really are lovely.
A little bit of arts and crafts history.
And I think, safely, we could put them into auction with a value
of £200 - £300 for the set.
-So, shall we flog them?
-Why do you want to flog them?
We need a new patio out the back. I'm doing it myself, so...
Of course you are!
-You see, you've got all the practical skills.
Lynn and Elizabeth, you're best friends, aren't you?
We've been friends for a very long.
-Since we were 16.
When we were at school.
So you know each other's tastes very well, I should imagine?
Sort of, yes, we do.
Who does this beautiful vase belong to?
It actually belongs to my mother, who is a very old lady.
-She's going to be 94.
-Is she really?
And it's always been in my parents' home,
but it wasn't given a specially prominent place.
Where did your mother keep it in the house?
-She kept it underneath the coffee table.
-On the floor?!
I think it was on the floor,
you could see it when you sat on the sofa.
What can you tell me about it? Do you like it, first of all?
I think it's very pretty,
but it's not something I would have in my house, I don't think.
-It's very, very nice.
-And do you know who manufactured it?
I know it's a Lalique,
and it's written on the back that it's Lalique.
OK. The name of the design -
and Lalique usually gave his pieces design names - is called Malherbe,
which in French I'm sure translates into this type of leaf.
And the geometrical pattern of it, the way the design
is integral to the vase, is typical of the natural forms
that are used in the 1920s and '30s.
And then we've got what's called blue patination.
So this is a staining put on top of the actual glass
to give it this lovely blue colour and tone.
-It looks much nicer since I gave it a good wash.
-Yes, it does.
Well, you have to be a bit careful about washing this too vigorously,
because this patination may come off, with too much scrubbing.
No, I was careful.
Let's have a little look at the mark on the bottom.
That told you it was Lalique.
We have a stencilled mark there.
That also helps to us date it
because after 1945 when Lalique died,
all genuine pieces are just marked Lalique,
they don't have his initial R,
so we know this is pre-1945 just from that.
And we've a lovely little retailer's label here, made in France,
which is super, which is probably an original one or close to it.
-Amazing how that survived.
-Isn't it just? From the '20s.
I think it's a super piece. I would love to own it myself,
and there are hundreds of people out there who would feel the same.
What about value, have you any idea?
I have no idea at all what it's worth.
What do you think, Elizabeth?
-£500 or so?
-Well, I don't think you're far off at all.
I'm going to be slightly conservative,
although the market is very buoyant for this sort of thing.
I'm going to say £300 - £500 at auction.
But I wouldn't be surprised if we made the top estimate
and a little bit more.
I'd like you to have a nice surprise rather than a nasty one.
So if you're happy with that,
I think we ought to certainly set a reserve at the lower end
of the estimate, so the very minimum would be £300,
and we should be able to realise that very easily, I think.
-And will you be able to come to the auction?
I won't be able to come to the auction. I shall be in Costa Rica.
Will you? Lucky thing!
So my friend Elizabeth is going to come,
and she's quite used to auctions, aren't you?
Yes, I've been to a number of auctions.
So you know what happens. Great.
I'm sure Elizabeth and I will keep a very careful eye on it for you.
That'll be nice.
Well, what a variety of items we're seeing here today!
Right now, it's time for our first visit to the saleroom.
Let's put those valuations to the test.
These little Russian suits are exquisite,
such an unusual item is not going to go unnoticed.
Despite the fading, I still think the bidders will be prepared
to take a pop at Angela's little sampler.
And found under the floorboards, Bill's William De Morgan's tiles.
All we need to do now is find the right buyer.
I've got a feeling they'll be forming a long queue
for Lynn's lovely Lalique vase.
It's a real stunner.
For today's sale, we have come to Tring and our venue
is a Flog It! favourite, Tring Market Auctions.
We're in the experienced hands of local auctioneer, Stephen Hearn
who's been working this patch for well over 40 years.
Very nice, for £70.
I love this, this is one of my favourite lots.
I think it's special. Belongs to Angela.
Not for much longer with £50 to £100 riding on this as an estimate
-put on by Kate.
Angela paid £120 for this about six months ago.
And I thought that was a fantastic buy.
It's quality, isn't it? An accomplished needlecraft there.
You'd be at the age of 13, if you took this up at the age of eight.
Is she portraying a memory of the autumn? A shooting party.
I think this is worth somewhere in the region to £300 to £400.
That's what I'd like to see that for sale for.
It would be nice to achieve £300 to £400.
I think probably the fading among the work
may hold it just under the £300. I hope I'm wrong.
You still think around £300?
I still think it could quite easily get around £300.
Well, all said and done, I think it's up to you
to weave your magic on the rostrum, don't you?
Oh dear, the magic.
Get the wand out.
I'm sure Stephan will be able to charm the bidders.
First under the hammer - something small that put a spell on Mark.
Russian salts that belong to Margaret.
We've got £400 to £600 put on these by our expert, Mark,
who has just joined us here.
I love that cross, did that come from the same place?
Yes, it's lovely, isn't it?
Turquoise is associated with Russia as well.
The salts are fantastic quality.
Pre-Revolution, of course. And the Russian market is very strong.
So we should do very well with them.
They're going under the hammer.
Let's hope they find a good home with a collector.
Now we have the rather interesting Russian silver with enamel.
The table salts and the spoons, lot number 531.
I think we ought to be looking for £500 to £600 for them.
£300 for them. Yes, £300 is bid then.
£300, £320, £350 I'm bid on them.
£380, are you 400 now? At £380.
£400 bid, at £400, if there's no further bid.
At £400 then.
£400, we had a fixed reserve.
-Just got them away.
-Yes, sold for £400.
-We've sold them, haven't we?
I'd have liked £500, actually, I'd have to say.
I just hope they've gone to a good home.
I think they will. The other thing with Russian things,
we all think of just a handful of names. One of them is Faberge.
And of course, if they were Faberge, we'd add another nought.
Exactly. Nevertheless, £400, what will you put that towards?
My youngest daughter has a dog,
and she'd to have a very expensive operation not so very long ago.
So we're going to put the money towards....
-A good cause.
-A very good cause.
We all love our doggies.
OK, it's Angela's needlework sampler.
-You look absolutely stunning.
You look like a woman who really appreciates and loves her textiles.
I really don't understand why you're selling this.
I know it's the hunting scene.
But it's so beautiful, I know you loved it.
We've got £50 to £100 on this.
You paid £120. You'll settle for £120, will you, quite easily?
-I had a chat with the auctioneer before the sale
and we both thought you had a really good buy at £120.
-Do you think so?
-Yes, I'd pay £120 any day of the week.
I know it's a bit faded but I just think so special.
It is, it's beautifully done. It's very faded though.
Just think what it would have been like when it was first done.
We should have kept it. But it's going under the hammer right now.
Isn't that a good needlework?
There it is. Typical of the period.
What about £150 for it? £100.
£50, £70, £80, are you 90, sir?
90 I'm bid. £90, 100 to bid.
110, I have, 120, are you 30?
140, 150, 160,
at 180, no. £170,
And 80 now? 80 is it, I'm selling, £170!
No further bid, it's down for £170.
Hammer's gone down. You're right, Kate.
A bit of damage put them off.
-Nevertheless, top end, and a bit more. Happy with that?
Got your money back.
That's quite hard to do in auctions.
Even though you pay your commission on that,
you still got a bit more than what you paid for it.
It was a jolly good buy.
What are you going to do with it?
I'm going to put it towards another one, but with a picture I like more.
-No hunting scenes.
-A garden scene, maybe.
-Because you're a gardener.
It's my turn to be the expert and we've got something
for the serious collector, something for purists.
Three William De Morgan tiles.
Buy two, get one free. It is bust, but we can fix that anyway.
Great story. Found while working in an empty house,
they've been a coffee table!
-Long time, long time.
Er... Yes and no, things change. Styles change.
You can't ever see yourself in a few years' time
going out and buying any more William De Morgan tiles?
No. I have actually gone purist, Shaker,
-mostly reproduction, I'm afraid.
-I was gonna say, before you said that,
still following the same principles though.
Art made by man, not made by machine.
Then you go for the reproduction. So they are...
-What you're saying is the Shaker style...
-In kit form from America.
Let you off.
Now these William De Morgan tiles.
Three of them, two and two halves.
How are we going on those? Are we going to say £250 for them?
£200 for them. What about £100, 110, £120, are you 30?
£140, 50, 160, Sir, thank you, 170,
180, are you 90?
200, 210, at 210 and you coming again, 220.
230? No, 220 and I'm going to sell them.
Gentleman has them at £220.
Sold. Short and sweet, really,
-but that's predicted, isn't it? Are you happy with that?
I'm happy with that. It's settled.
That's a good price, really.
We've got Elizabeth, we've got Kate and we've got the Lalique vase.
Unfortunately, we don't have Lynn.
A place I'd love to go.
I love this bit of Lalique, and so does Kate. What do you think?
It's lovely, it's absolutely beautiful.
She's put the reserve up to £400 so hopefully we're going to get that.
I don't think that's out of the way. My £300 to £500 is conservative.
It's really to encourage the buyers.
But 400, bang in the middle.
Let's hope somebody today picks it up for £500 plus.
-That will pay for the holiday in Costa Rica.
It's going under the hammer right now.
This is an interesting piece of glass, isn't it?
My word, there you are, a Lalique blue tinted.
I think we ought to be looking for £500, £300 are we...?
We're in. 300.
Are you 50? £350 bid for it. 380 bid for it, 400.
Another 20, £450, 480,
are you 500? 520, bid for it. 550.
I've got a new bidder at 550.
And 600 now for you. 600.
Perhaps 20, yes, 620,
just another one, 650, and 80 it is.
680, and 700...
Bit more. Come on, Liz.
Finished? 680? I shall sell it away from you at £680!
That was a good result!
-Fantastic. Who's going to get on the phone, then?
Did she take her mobile with her?
I don't know. She'll be back tomorrow evening.
-Belongs to her mother
and the money is going towards her mother's care.
Her mother is in her 90s, and has constant care.
The money's going to come in very useful.
It's quality, and quality always sells.
What a great result. That certainly got my heart pumping
and after that breathtaking excitement,
I could do with chilling out for a while.
And what better way to calm the nerves, recharge the batteries,
than to take time out at a health spa.
# You make me feel so young You make me feel so.... #
For decades people have been pummelled and half-starved
in these establishments, in the pursuit of health and beauty.
Nowadays, it's all about relaxing and pampering.
But in the early days the focus was on natural healing
and providing cures for a number of conditions
and it all started here at Champneys, just outside Tring.
And it's still a health spa today.
In 1929 a naturopath Stanley Leaf along with a grateful patient
purchased the mansion along with 170 acres of landscaped gardens
from Baron Rothschild, and set out turning it into a Mecca for those
that wanted something alternative than normal medicine, really.
And Stanley's idea was to promote treating the body as one.
Holistic health. Mind, body and spirit.
Stanley had been an obese child with a weak heart.
It was the desire to strengthen his body
that led him to seek natural cures.
An early incident in his life convinced him that they worked.
Stanley's arm was badly injured during the First World War
with shrapnel and he believed he avoided its amputation
and regained its use with a strict exercise and diet regime.
# Keep fit, take exercise
# Keep fit and you'll be wise
# That's it, grow twice your size
# Whatever you do keep fit... #
I'm here in the games room which is pretty much how it was back in the 1920s. Nothing much has changed.
Behind me there's a bronze bust of Stanley Leaf the man himself.
To find out more about him, I've come here to talk to Dennis Kylie...
..who was trained by Stanley and worked here back in the 1950s.
Does it bring back many memories?
Yes it does, actually.
Obviously it's more modernised than when I was here 50 years ago.
But nevertheless it's good to bring back the nostalgia.
What was he like? Tell me a little bit about Stanley.
Obviously he was a pioneer.
I always thought a very nice gentleman.
He was a natural healer but he liked discipline
and he ran this place like a little rod of iron.
But he was a most approachable character.
Explain a little bit more about his treatments.
Basically naturopathy or nature cure is wholeness.
You treat the person as a whole.
So all the treatments involved were things like manipulative treatment.
There was psychotherapy,
we used to have all the hydrotherapy, of course.
There was gymnastics, there were walks he arranged.
There were a lot of disciplines. Did you really have to the regime?
It was a strict regime in those days, yes.
Not so nowadays is it?
No, it's a little bit more loose nowadays.
But he was very, very strict indeed. If he said to a patient,
"Look here I want you in bed by 9.00." Then 9.00 it had to be.
-By golly you were in bed!
-You're in trouble, yes.
# Keep young and beautiful
# It's your duty to be beautiful... #
Being afraid of Stanley wasn't the only thing that had his patients turning hot and cold.
These are the famous sitz baths that we have.
We have the hot and the cold water.
The patient has a minute in the cold, four minutes in the hot
and alternates them, three times in each.
It's for the repletion, depletion of the abdomen
it improves circulation and I think, on the whole they enjoy it.
You see if you'd contrast bathing like hot and cold
you're going to stimulate an area.
In other words, if I put my hand in say cold water,
well, then, the blood will go away from it.
If I put it in hot, the blood comes...
It's like an internal massage.
It does sound like a bit of a shock treatment.
Hot one minute, perspiring, and then freezing cold.
It wasn't that strong. No, no, you could do it nice and gently.
How much can anybody stand in that that machine?
No more I would say than about 15 minutes to 20.
I'm on low at the moment, you see.
We have three different temperature gauges on them.
Do you feel faint when you come out?
No, I feel invigorated afterwards,
as long as you have shower... a cold shower and lie down.
What about diet here? What did most people eat?
Diet. Well, first of all, today they use this word detox.
They used to put people on a fast, which is probably a similar thing.
So you're detoxing. So you're resting the body.
So some people just had water. Water fast only.
Others maybe just fruit juices and so on.
Jolly good health.
Then he would reintroduce the diet very slowly.
That would be things like fruit first of all.
And then he may go on to salads for two or three days.
Whatever you thought the patient required, so that the individual
is the most important thing, which is lost today unfortunately.
It seems very soporific to walk around during the day, not working,
-wearing a dressing gown and slippers, and just relaxing.
It's a wonderful thing to do.
I know people check in here for two or three days.
But back then, did they check in for a lot longer?
A lot longer. You may have people come from a fortnight,
three weeks, four weeks, sometimes longer.
They came from all over the world for his treatment, yes.
I don't think I would have lasted four weeks of Stanley's treatments.
Thankfully Champney's today is more beauty camp than boot camp,
with the emphasis on relaxation, and providing an escape
from the stresses of a busy modern life.
Right now I'm going to enjoy the grounds
in a way that Stanley would have approved.
On my bike, getting lots of fresh air and exercise.
Back at the Valuation Day,
Mark has found something that might inspire him to keep fit.
-And now for some monkey business.
This wonderful, little cane, tell me about it. Where did you get it from?
There's not much history. My mother in law died and my late husband
just brought it home when he was clearing out the house.
-When was that?
-Over 20 years ago.
-Over 20 years ago.
-You'd never seen it in the house, your mother in law had never shown it to you?
-I wonder where she got it from?
-Strange, isn't it?
Actually we've got a nice, little baton here
-which has this nice, wooden shaft.
-A baton? All right.
-Then it's set with this solid silver monkey on the top.
-Which is hallmarked in London in 1887.
So it's a late Victorian piece, actually, and highly collectable.
People like these novelty objects.
Have you ever looked at the monkey in detail?
No, not till I was polishing it last night.
He's very nicely made, a lot of texture in his fur, his little feet.
-Nice little face with the ears, I think it's rather fun, actually.
-I think it's really nice. So it's not worth anything, then.
-Not to me.
-It's been under your stairs.
-And you can't wait to see the back of it.
Well, I think there'll be a lot of people interested in this.
I think you might be surprised. I'd like to put £100 to £150 on it.
-Is that a surprise?
-But I hope that we might even double that.
-On the day, yes.
If what I've seen happening in the salerooms recently occurs.
I think a lot of people will want to buy it.
Because it's a monkey, or...
Because of the monkey. Because it's a bit of Victorian novelty silver.
-So, whereas you hate it...
Oh, I don't hate it. I just haven't given it a thought.
-Other people would be climbing trees to get it.
Susan, is Troika something that you collect?
No, I don't collect it. I really like it.
It was a present I bought for my mother
when we went down to Cornwall in about '72, '73.
So have you brought it on behalf of your mother?
No, my mother's dead and I really love it
but I'm saving up for a VW camper van
-so that I can travel round France and Italy.
And this is going to be my fund, go towards my VW fund.
-OK, so you're having a bit of a declutter?
-So what do you like about this, do you like it?
-Yes, I do like it.
I've been humming and hahing whether to sell it or not but I just
like the design because it reminds me of the tin mines in Cornwall.
Yes, this side particularly does, doesn't it?
I can see exactly what you're saying here.
-This could be a mineshaft, couldn't it?
This side I love it because it's so different.
-It is sort of Islamic-y, isn't it?
-It looks like an Islamic mosque.
-And then you've got that
-incorporated into this very Celtic motif.
With four leaves, a quatrefoil motif.
That combined with the glazes, I think, makes it
quite an attractive piece.
Well, I have it on my windowsill
and it depends on my mood which side I have.
-Oh, that's interesting. That's a nice way to look at it.
-Yes, I do.
Well, I think the glazes aren't that unusual.
Some of the more commercial pieces are a very strong blue colour
or have a very strong contrast in glazes and design.
It's known, of course, I'm sure you know,
as a wheel vase because of the shape of it and it's a medium size.
What is it about eight inches?
There's a set estimate price which these pieces go for.
Any ideas yourself?
I thought about the 200 mark.
I think you're about right. I'm gonna say, conservatively,
150 to 200 but I wouldn't be surprised at all
-if two collectors went for this it would make 200 plus.
But, I think, 150 as a reserve would be a safety net
-and it would certainly get them interested.
-Are you happy with that?
-Well, I wish you luck with your camper van fund.
-Thank you very much.
We love boxes on this show.
-Shall I open it and show everybody what it is.
There it is a lovely little bar brooch. What's the history of it?
It was left to me in the 1960s by an elderly aunt. I've never worn it.
It's been in a jewellery box and it's just such a shame
to see it shut away and I thought, "No, it's going to go on Flog It!"
So you've had it for quite a long time, 40 odd years?
-And you've never worn it.
Brooches are difficult,
-they're not always the most fashionable thing to wear.
I mean, what we've got is a very nice simple bar brooch there
-with a floret in the middle of rose cut diamonds.
The actual main body of it is gold, then we've got a thin top sealing
-of platinum and little platinum rims around the diamonds.
The reason is that diamonds draw in colour from what's around them.
So if you mount them in a yellow metal, they'll look slightly yellow.
-So this is actually quite a nice little piece.
Now have you ever thought of selling it before,
or have you had it valued?
I've had it valued many years ago and I put it into an auction,
-a reserve of about 450...
-..which it didn't quite make.
So, I'm just looking sort of maybe it might fetch that. We don't know.
We hope so. The buyers on the day will decide what it's worth.
I've discussed it with some of my colleagues who are good on jewellery
and we feel a more sensible estimate would be 300 to 400
-with a 300 fixed reserve.
-How would you feel about that?
-Yes, I'm quite happy.
-To give it a go.
-I'm happy with that.
If we get a reasonable price, would you get another piece of jewellery
or do something else with it?
If it reached its price, no, I'll treat my little new grandson
that was born this week and also my elder son is running the marathon
for the British Heart Foundation and I'd like to contribute to that.
I look forward to seeing you at the auction and thank you so much.
You're welcome, thank you.
Let's take a last look before our items head off to the auction rooms at Tring.
There was no monkey business from Mark,
he thinks Barbara's cane will walk straight out of the auction.
Troika is an old favourite in the salerooms
but the rarity of the pattern should help Susan's vase.
Let's hope the rose cut diamond brooch sparkles on the day.
The money is going to charity and Gill's new grandson.
This should walk out the saleroom, shouldn't it? The walking stick!
Remember it's got the little silver monkey on its head.
We're looking at £100 to £150.
-Who have you got here?
-These are my granddaughters.
This is Georgia who was 11 yesterday and this is Lauren.
-And how old are you?
Oh, a big seven, aren't you? Yes...
-I think this is quality, Mark.
-Oh, I love it.
It's very cheeky, it's very Victorian.
It's just really caught my eye, the little monkey perched on the top,
fully hallmarked which is rather nice.
Late Victorian, it should easily do £120, £150.
-It's got to, yeah. Are you ready for this, girls?
The auctioneer's gonna flog it. Here we go.
Here's a good cane.
This is one for Sunday. There you are, lot 705.
The silver monkey terminal, 1887.
There you are, Jubilee year, yeah.
It's Golden Jubilee year, 1887.
What shall we say for this one, £100 for the monkey... £100?
£50? 60 I'm bid for it.
70 I'm bid. 80. 90 I'm bid. 100 I'm bid.
100 I'm bid and 10 now. 110 I'm bid for the monkey. 110...
-And 20? 120 I'm bid for it.
-This is good.
-130 and 40...
130 I'm bid for it.
Are you out at 130? The monkey's going.
For £130 then...
The monkey's gone.
-Bang, the hammer's gone down, £130.
Who gets all that?
I think we'll perhaps go out for a meal, what do you reckon?
-Yes? Family meal,
-Family meal. And a little present, I think.
-Along the way, don't you?
-A good result.
-It wasn't bad but I bet you, Paul,
those two can be cheeky monkeys when they want to be, can't they?
-Are you cheeky monkeys?
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend,
we'll find out right now. Gill, a whole brooch full of them. £400.
-That'll be nice, wouldn't it?
-It would be nice, yes.
500 hopefully, Mark.
Well yes, I mean, let's be realistic. It's a very, very pretty brooch
with some nice diamonds in there but brooches aren't the most fashionable.
No, but lots of diamonds that could get broken down
-into maybe some earrings or a ring.
-You could take the floret off and have it mounted into a band which would make a nice ring.
You haven't worn this, have you?
I've never worn it and it nearly got lost once in the shed, in a box.
-It nearly got thrown away.
So I thought let's get rid of it. I've had it 40 years.
-You've had it 40 years.
-Never worn it.
-Never worn, no.
Everything goes around in circles, fashion changes.
Hopefully, it'll start today and somebody will wear this.
It's going under the hammer now.
Now we have a gold and old cut diamond daisy brooch.
There we are. Where do we go for this brooch?
Do we do 350 for it?
300, there's some stones.
250 I'm bid for it, then. Thank you.
250 I'm bid for it.
260 and 70. And 80...
That's better. He started going in the wrong direction for a minute.
-290 for the diamonds.
300 this end. At £300.
And 10 now, at 300 then, thank you.
Going down for £300 then... Thank you.
Yes, the hammer's gone down, just.
We have a valuation of 300 to 400.
-So it's on the reserve there.
We were a bit too optimistic, thinking four to four and a half.
-What will you put the money towards?
I'm going to treat my little grandson who's a month old today.
-What's his name?
Oliver, good old Ollie, yeah. What are you gonna buy him?
-You don't know.
-I don't know.
-Let him choose!
Susan I hope you get a lot of money
-to put towards that camper van to do a tour round Europe.
-I hope so.
A Volkswagen camper van, will it be one with a pop up roof?
-And with the accessories.
-Oh yes, absolutely.
-A proper picnic.
-Flowers on the side.
-Let's hope this Troika vase gets you there.
I like it, Troika is a great studio name.
It's got quality, it's got everything going for it.
-We're looking at £150.
-It should really do that.
-There's quite a lot of Troika in the sale as well.
-Yeah, I saw that.
-So the collectors will be here.
We just need a proper job done from our auctioneer, don't we?
In traditional Cornish fashion. It's going under the hammer.
A Troika wheel vase and that's a nice example.
-Are we gonna start at £200 for it?
-Yes, yes, yes!
£200, £100 for it... Yes, 100 is bid for this piece of Troika.
Thank you. 100 is bid for it.
Now, 110. At 110, 120... 130, 140.
150 perhaps? Yes?
150 surely. 150.
-Yes! A fresh bidder
-160, you're all in a group. 170 now.
170, 180? 180. 190, is it?
190. It's gonna be 200, surely.
-It is, yes.
-At £190. 200, I'm bid.
210, 220 and 30.
Are you going to be 40? 230, and 40 now. No? 230, sir.
240 I'm bid now.
-250 and 60 is it? 260 and 70. At 270...
-He's doing a proper job.
280 now. 280... 290.
300, £300 and 310...
Are you gonna be 20?
-I can't believe it.
It's holding its value at £320 and I shall sell it away from you.
It's going at 320 then.
-Almost double its estimate.
Oh, Susan, I tell you what you've got to do...
-Thank you so much.
When you buy your camper van, use it, tour all over Europe.
You can resell it and hopefully get your money back.
-I'll flog it on Flog It!
-Bring it along to one of our Flog Its!
We'll sell the camper van.
-Shall we do that?
-Thank you so much.
-That's a great price.
We've sold absolutely everything.
All credit to our experts, they were certainly rocking today!
We've had a great time here in Tring and I can't wait to come back.
See you next soon for plenty more action on Flog It!
For more information about Flog It, including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Experts Mark Stacey and Kate Bliss scour St Albans for the best in antiques and collectibles. Presenter Paul Martin finds out about the history of the health farm at nearby Champneys.