Lancaster Flog It!


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Lancaster

Anita Manning and Philip Serrell are scrutinising family treasures in Lancaster, and Paul Martin looks at the work of one of Britain's finest cabinet makers, Gillows.


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This medieval castle overlooks the city of Lancaster's truly eventful history,

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through the War of the Roses to the Industrial Revolution

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and right now it's about to witness another great historic event,

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because today "Flog It!" is in town.

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Lancaster made its fortune during the 18th century, when its port was one of the busiest in the country

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and its civic buildings certainly show off their wealth and their pride.

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Today's venue is the very imposing town hall.

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Rummaging through the bags and boxes of this massive queue today,

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we've got our two experts, Mr Philip Serrell and Anita Manning.

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And Anita's quick to hog today's first item.

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Jill, Sarah...

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..this is a great laugh.

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-It is!

-"Flog It!" is so much fun, especially when people bring in a group of very sinister pigs.

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-Yeah, they're hideous, aren't they?

-Sarah, tell me all about these.

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When I was little my mum started a bank account and we got this little piggy first.

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And then when you saved a certain amount, you got

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another one and another one, until you got the whole set.

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-And by the time you got, I suppose, to Dad...

-Yeah, you had...

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-You were worth a couple of bob?

-Well, yeah.

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As a child, yeah. 100-odd quid, yeah. It's not bad.

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So what happened when your kid got to £100?

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We went to an account that gave better interest.

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Very good, very good. Wise mum. Always listen to your mum.

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Exactly, yes. Will do.

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So really what they were was a saving incentive and your darling mum

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decided that she would start off

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-and get you into saving. Is that right?

-Oh, yeah.

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And it's worked reasonably well.

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-Yeah, relatively.

-Did you have them in a row?

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Yeah, they were on the shelf in the bedroom,

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peering down at us as we played with our little toys.

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-To me they look a bit sinister.

-Yeah.

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-Do they feel like that to you or do you love them?

-No.

-Do you love them, Sarah?

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In a very special way I'm sure, yeah. I mean, you've got the boys

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and then you've got Mum and then you've got the funny-looking uncle.

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I'm not sure what he is, but I'm not particularly keen on him.

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-Is that not the sister?

-I don't know!

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I think it's supposed to be, but he just looks funny.

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Well, they're great fun, they're great fun and they are collectable, they are.

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They were doing a little better three or four years ago.

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They are made by Wade, who made little animals.

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They made little Wade Whimsies which children collected, little humorous objects and so on.

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And I think these are in that sort of vein.

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Price - I would say that we should put them in

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with an estimate of perhaps £50-£80.

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They may do better than that, they may do better, but I think that's reasonable enough.

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A tenner apiece for all that fun.

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Yeah, exactly.

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Ladies, shall these little pigs go to market?

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-I think they will, yes.

-Absolutely. Definitely.

-Let's flog them!

-OK.

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-How are you doing, Richard?

-Very well thank you. Very well.

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Ever thought about silver polish?

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-No. I've never seen 'em for I don't know how long.

-What do you mean?

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Well, I moved house about 18 years ago and they went up into the loft

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and when I saw your advert, I decided to go and dig them out.

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So these haven't been cleaned for 18 years?

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I'm guessing it's between 16 and 18.

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-I'll let you off.

-They've been wrapped up.

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I think they're nice. They're a 20th-century copy of an 18th-century stick, OK?

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If these were 18th century, which they're not, they'd be £1,000, £2,000, right?

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These are very much 20th century. If you turn one over,

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we can see they're not actually solid silver. This is loaded.

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It's almost like a plaster base.

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So they are loaded silver, 20th century. What are they worth?

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I think in auction we could put an estimate on them of £100-£200.

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We'll put a reserve on them of £100. Are you happy with that?

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-I'd like a reserve a bit higher perhaps.

-What?!

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-You said up to £200.

-If you have your reserve higher than the estimate, you're breaking the law.

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-OK.

-So I think 100-200.

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I don't mind you putting perhaps 120 on them and then we'll estimate them at 150 to 250.

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-OK, put it at 120.

-Are you happy with that?

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-That's ideal, yeah.

-So 120 reserve, 150-250 estimate.

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-They might go and make more.

-That's OK.

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-But the beauty of an auction is that the market will dictate what they're going to make.

-Yep.

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Because people will bid on them on the day.

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They will be catalogued. They'll go on the internet.

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And all those things will ensure that they make what they're worth.

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-Fine, yeah.

-So 18 years ago, why did you put these in the roof?

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They're not something that you stick around as an ornament, are they?

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-That's just what they are.

-I know they're not functional. I'm not going to stick candles in them.

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-Did you never have a power cut?

-Yeah, but I've never stuck candles in them.

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I'm going to let you off for not cleaning them, but let's hope they do well at the auction.

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Eileen, this has certainly caught my eye.

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For one reason - the little label on the back of this.

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So I want you to tell me how you came by this toilet mirror.

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I bought it in a local auction warehouse, because I liked it.

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-How long ago?

-About three years.

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-Were you looking for something like this?

-No, but I saw it and liked it.

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I didn't like these bits on the top especially, but the drawers and just the general look of it.

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-It's just a nice mirror.

-They're slightly over the top.

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Sort of brass, the neo-classical finials.

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-Yes.

-They don't quite sit that well, do they?

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But it is an over-the-top piece.

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It's not what I would say is a period piece.

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It's not a 17th- or 18th-century piece.

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-No.

-Unfortunately, this is early 20th century.

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So it's going to have all those elements of nouveau riche and over the top about it.

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It's got a nice bit of cut, bevelled glass though. That's a bit of quality.

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Let's just take the drawers out and have a look.

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The whole construction is made of mahogany, which is nice.

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That's good. It's an exotic hardwood. This is a Spanish mahogany.

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It's not that sort of lovely flamed, figured Cuban mahogany you'd expect from the West Indies.

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-So it's a cheaper mahogany.

-Right.

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But it is quality. Look, it's all dovetailed, as you can see.

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-And from a wonderful furniture maker local to this area - Gillows of Lancaster.

-Yes.

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They later joined forces with a company from Manchester called Waring.

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And this is a Waring and Gillows.

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But this is circa 1920.

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-Right.

-It's got the attributes of a George II piece from the 1740s.

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It's got those lovely bracket feet.

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-Quite over the top.

-Yes.

-Very architectural.

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But unfortunately what lets it down as a piece of furniture is the fact that it's been stripped back.

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It's been over-cleaned and varnished.

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It's not got original patina. There's nothing you can touch

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-that gives it a sense of history, if you know what I mean.

-Yes.

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I'm just going to look at the back. If I can turn this around, Eileen.

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I won't say goodbye. I'll just hide myself.

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Yeah, in fact, I'll take that out.

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Then I can see you. How about that?

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If you hold that.

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Right.

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And I just do that. Yes, that's the all-important little label. If you clean that up...

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It says "Guaranteed, designed and manufactured at our Lancaster factory"...

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-Right.

-"Waring and Gillows".

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So there you go. There's its little tag.

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Purely because of that, we hopefully will get your money back.

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We've got to put this into auction with a value, I personally believe,

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-of £150-£250.

-Right.

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And if you want to, we can put a reserve on of 150.

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-Yes, please.

-Protect it a little bit.

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-Cos it is useful and I'm sure you use it, do you?

-Well, we used to use it,

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but we've since moved and don't have so much need for it any more. That's why I want to "Flog It!".

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-OK. Well, we'll try our very best for you.

-Fine, thank you.

-Thank you.

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-Are you local lassies?

-No. Well, we are...

-No, yes, no, yes?

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-Come on, make your mind up.

-We're from Bolton-le-Sands.

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-Bolton-le-Sands. Where's that then?

-About four miles down the road.

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-That's on the sands then, on the sea, is it?

-Yes.

-Is it nice?

-Very nice.

-Bracing walks?

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-Lovely.

-Tell me about these then.

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-They belonged to two old ladies that I...

-That's not you two, is it?

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-No!

-No, I just wanted to establish that. Go on.

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..That I'd known for about 30 years.

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-Yeah.

-I used to go and help them when they had a holiday flat.

-Yeah.

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-They were two really lovely old ladies.

-They clearly liked you, cos they gave you these, didn't they?

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Yeah, yeah.

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What do you know about them?

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Not a lot, except that their father worked for the Leeds Fireclay, which became Burmantofts.

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-I thought you said you didn't know very much?

-Well, that much.

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So if we just turn one of these over, we can just see on the base here, it says "The Leeds Fireclay Company".

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-That's right.

-And as you so rightly say, they became Burmantofts.

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-Yes.

-And Burmantofts produced those sort of...what? about 1890, 1900...

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those really decorative, big, bold vases in real in-your-face colours

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-with dragons and serpents.

-Yeah.

-Have you got any of that?

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-Just a dragon.

-You've got a dragon?

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-Yes.

-Blimey.

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-I think that these are in-house paperweights.

-Right.

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That were almost like advertising for the Leeds Fireclay Company

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and I think that these might have been given away or possibly sold.

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Their condition leaves a bit to be desired, doesn't it?

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-They scrubbed everything, these ladies.

-I'm sure they did.

-Spring cleaned and everything was scrubbed.

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-Yeah?

-So I think that's why they were...

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They're chipped and nibbled everywhere, but I think they're quite a bit of fun.

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-Yeah.

-I think you've got to put a £50-£80 estimate on them

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-and I think that you put a reserve on them of £40.

-Right.

-Why do you want to sell 'em?

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My son has qualified for the World Triathlon Championships.

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-World Triathlon Championships?

-Yeah. They take place in June in Vancouver, in Canada.

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So he is in the World Championships

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-and you want to sell these to go and watch him?

-Yeah.

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So we've really got to hope then that our little Leeds lions do very well for him.

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-I think they will.

-I hope so.

-Do you not like them? Is it just to raise money?

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I like them. We just want to raise some money. I want to help her.

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I think that's brilliant and, on the basis of that alone, I hope they make a fortune.

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-Oh, I wish they would.

-Thank you.

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Well, it's time to leave the packed valuation day and head off to the auction.

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These Wade money boxes may have been designed as promotional gifts,

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but we don't want to give them away today.

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They might not have been cleaned for 18 years,

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but Richard's hoping his candlesticks will certainly shine in the saleroom.

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Eileen's mirror's got a great label, so that should be reflected in a decent sale price.

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And I like these paperweight lions, so let's hope for Margaret's sake

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they're a roaring success in the sale.

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Well, this is what I like to see, a jam-packed, very busy saleroom.

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Hopefully, they're going to be bidding on all our owners' lots in just a moment.

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Before the sale starts, let's catch up with auctioneer Kevin Kendal

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and see what he has to say about some of our owners' items.

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Well, we're in Lancaster, so we had to pick an item of Gillows furniture.

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This was the closest we got, Gillows and Waring. It belongs to Eileen.

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She got this in auction locally three years ago and she paid £200 for it.

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She doesn't want it any more, but wants, believe it or not, her money back.

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So I've kind of tucked it under the £200 mark, with a reserve of 150.

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I think she will struggle. It really is what the market isn't wanting at the moment.

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Oh, dear. So do you think she paid too much for it?

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A little bit too much for it at the time and the market has come back a bit since then.

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Incredible, in three years. What would you put on this?

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-80-120?

-If you're lucky, really.

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Sort of 70-100, yeah.

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Well, I think we've got to try and get her her money back.

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But I don't think she'll be disappointed if it doesn't sell, cos she doesn't want to lose money.

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It's attractive enough. It's just not what's in fashion at the moment.

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And if she does sell at £150, she's still got to pay commission on a seller's premium.

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-Yeah, unfortunately we have to eat.

-Got to eat. That's how you pay your bills.

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And Kevin will be joined today on the rostrum by his colleague David Brookes.

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Well, I've just been joined by Philip, our expert, along with our owner Richard.

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About to go under the hammer - the silver 20th-century candlesticks.

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A valuation of £120-£180. Richard, why are you selling these? These have got the look.

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They are only ornaments after all, aren't they?

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And they just stand there in a display cabinet.

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They're doing no good. Somebody else can have the benefit of them. I'll have the money.

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I would use them. I would light them - put a candle in and use them at the dinner table.

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-I daren't do that.

-I would!

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The pair of period-style... They are 1960s, but in the period style

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and I have interest in these lots

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I'm going to start the bidding with me on this one at 130. 130. 130.

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Not a lot of silver collectors today.

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No, there aren't, Richard, you're right.

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130. 40. 150. 150. You're all out in front on this lot.

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-We're selling then. Are we all done?

-They're going.

-At 150!

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The hammer's gone done. That was short and sweet.

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-I think they've sold well.

-They've sold well.

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Richard, £150, what are you going to put the money towards?

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-It'll have to go towards a holiday.

-Where do you fancy going? Saving up for?

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-Possibly end up in Majorca or somewhere like that.

-Oh, lovely. Little short trip.

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-Only a short one.

-Well, enjoy it.

-Aye.

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65. New bid. 32.

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We need top money now for Margaret, cos we've got two little Burmantofts lions.

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They're paperweights. We're looking at £50-£80.

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I love them. The money's going to a great cause, isn't it?

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Well, my grandson has won a competition...

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He's a triathlete... to go to the World Champion games in Vancouver.

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And it's costing a lot of money and I thought anything would help, so that's what the money's going to.

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How much do you think he has to raise? A couple of thousand pounds?

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Oh, that's just the start.

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-Hopefully he can get the £80 for that, at the top end of the estimate.

-I bet they don't sell.

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Here they go. This is it.

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Yeah, the paperweights. Models of Empire lions.

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And can I ask £50 for a start?

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-50, if you like. 50.

-30.

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£30. Thank you, sir. £30 bid. 35.

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40 now. £40 in the room. 40 bid.

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40 bid. 40 bid.

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-Five anywhere?

-Come on.

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£40. Going this time then at 40.

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-He sold them at 40.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-Well, every little helps, doesn't it?

-A little bit, yeah.

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-It really does.

-Yeah, it's something.

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I hope that's a start and he can raise a bit more locally and get himself to Vancouver.

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That's what we want. Thank you.

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-You're a good gran, aren't you?

-Well!

-Top gran!

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Well, I've just been joined by Sarah and Jill, mum and daughter.

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Hello. You're both looking fabulous.

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We've got the Wade money boxes, five of them.

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£50-£80.

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It's not a lot of money, but it's just about the right money.

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£10 apiece. You've got the full set there.

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They've gone down a little in price, but I'm sure they should do 50.

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And I'm sure they've had a lot more money in them in their day, haven't they?

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How much did you manage to save?

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Oh, actually a few pennies.

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About £100 or something like that.

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Well, that's not bad going, is it?

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-Yeah!

-What did you save up for? Can you remember?

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Oh, probably sweets, knowing me.

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Well, we're going to find out what the bidders think right now, OK?

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Good luck. Let's hope we get the top end of the estimate. Here we go.

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Thank you. Lot 280, the five Wade money boxes. NatWest piggies.

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Start me for this please. £80. 50.

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I'll go with the commissions at £40 now.

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40. 45 now at the back of the room.

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-50 now with me. 55.

-50, we've done it.

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In the second row, with the lady at 55.

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Little money, but it's going now at £55.

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-Yes, sold! That got rid of them, didn't it?

-It did. They're gone!

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Are you saving for anything now?

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I don't know. We'll find something to spend it on I'm sure.

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That's nice. You include Mum.

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-Mm-hm.

-Good luck with the career. I know you're off to do a Masters soon, aren't you?

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-I am, yes.

-So good luck with that.

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Thank you very much. Cheers.

0:18:230:18:25

Eileen, I think we need a bit of luck on our side right now.

0:18:310:18:34

-Do you think so?

-Waring and Gillows, it's a great make.

0:18:340:18:38

-Yes.

-But is £150-£250 a true reflection on the price of this little toilet mirror? I think it is.

0:18:380:18:45

Well, you paid that for it.

0:18:450:18:47

You paid 250, didn't you?

0:18:470:18:48

-No. Not quite.

-200?

-Yes.

0:18:480:18:50

-But with commission, it was about 230...

-Yeah.

0:18:500:18:53

..in auction three years ago.

0:18:530:18:55

-Had a chat to Kevin the auctioneer before the sale.

-Right.

0:18:550:18:58

And he said he thinks it's worth somewhere in the region of 60-90.

0:18:580:19:02

-Is that all?

-I know.

-Ooh!

0:19:020:19:05

But I don't know. That's his opinion. Obviously, he's an auctioneer.

0:19:050:19:09

He knows the local scene, but you bought this not far away

0:19:090:19:12

and a different auctioneer had a different opinion,

0:19:120:19:15

-because he sold it to you for £200 plus commission.

-Yeah.

0:19:150:19:20

So where do we stand? Hopefully, somewhere in the middle.

0:19:200:19:23

-Yes.

-And we've got a valuation of 150-200, fixed reserve at 150.

-Mm.

0:19:230:19:29

-I hope we get it.

-Now lot 500.

0:19:290:19:30

It's the early 20th-century, mahogany toilet swing mirror.

0:19:300:19:34

It does bear the Waring and Gillow label. What can I ask for it?

0:19:340:19:38

Nice little mirror. 200 if you like. 150.

0:19:380:19:41

Start me £100, somebody.

0:19:410:19:43

100. We'll start at £70 then.

0:19:430:19:45

£70 on the bid. 70 bid. 70 bid.

0:19:450:19:48

-70 bid. £70...

-I can't see anybody bidding. Can you?

-No.

0:19:480:19:52

-No.

-£70. Gone this time at 70.

0:19:520:19:55

Sadly, that has a reserve and we can't sell I'm afraid.

0:19:550:19:57

Oh, dear. You win some, you lose some, don't you?

0:19:590:20:01

It's a great name in cabinet-making.

0:20:010:20:04

It doesn't deserve to be sold for 60 quid.

0:20:040:20:07

What are you going to do with it?

0:20:070:20:09

Just take it home. Perhaps sell it another time.

0:20:090:20:13

Well, I'm disappointed. I really thought that name would sell it.

0:20:160:20:20

And here's why.

0:20:200:20:21

Gillows of Lancaster is one of the most illustrious names in the history of cabinet-making.

0:20:210:20:26

Now here at the Judges' Lodgings Museum

0:20:260:20:29

they have one of the finest collections of Gillows furniture in the world.

0:20:290:20:33

I have hit the jackpot.

0:20:330:20:35

The story really begins in 1728, when Robert Gillow

0:20:440:20:47

opened his cabinet-making firm right here in the heart of Lancaster.

0:20:470:20:52

And through a combination of exceptional craftsmanship,

0:20:520:20:56

good business sense and access to exotic hardwoods imported from the Americas

0:20:560:21:00

via the port of Lancaster, Gillows rapidly became one of the leading cabinet-making firms of its day.

0:21:000:21:08

Robert married Agnes Fell in 1730 and they had two sons, Richard and Robert Junior.

0:21:080:21:14

Richard trained as an architect and was made a partner in the firm in 1769,

0:21:140:21:19

the same year his brother Robert was.

0:21:190:21:21

But he was based down in London, the fashionable capital city and soon, with clients all over the country,

0:21:210:21:27

the business rapidly expanded, producing the most exquisite pieces of English, 18th-century furniture.

0:21:270:21:34

Now take this stunning example.

0:21:460:21:50

It really is the centrepiece of any gentleman's study.

0:21:500:21:53

It's a library table and it's meant to be a centrepiece. It's an island.

0:21:530:21:57

You're supposed to walk around it and appreciate it from every face, side -

0:21:570:22:01

those wonderful serpentine shapes.

0:22:010:22:05

This was commissioned by Sir James Ibbetson of Denton Hall and is known as the Denton library table.

0:22:050:22:12

Now he originally approached Chippendale, another leading cabinet-maker of the day.

0:22:120:22:17

It's from a line drawing from Thomas Chippendale's book, first published in 1754,

0:22:170:22:22

but the year is now 1778 and Thomas Chippendale declined to make this.

0:22:220:22:30

He felt his styles had moved on.

0:22:300:22:32

He was more fashion orientated.

0:22:320:22:34

This is where Gillows comes into the frame, because they made this piece,

0:22:340:22:39

enhancing their reputation as a cabinet-maker rather than a designer.

0:22:390:22:44

And they've copied very closely Chippendale's early 1754 design.

0:22:440:22:50

I absolutely adore it.

0:22:500:22:52

What I love about it is the fact that the top is so rough. It's not been restored.

0:22:520:22:56

I love the fact that leather has a variegated hue with wear and it almost takes on the patina of wood.

0:22:560:23:03

That obviously is the front, flanked four drawers on each column with a central drawer.

0:23:030:23:08

Here we've got two base cupboards on each column with a central drawer.

0:23:080:23:12

This is quite interesting. If I pull the drawer open this way,

0:23:120:23:15

it disappears on your side.

0:23:150:23:17

And vice versa.

0:23:170:23:19

I think that's very, very clever.

0:23:210:23:24

They have selected the finest Cuban mahogany possible to build this piece.

0:23:240:23:32

And that was just one of the many new materials that had started to come into the country.

0:23:330:23:38

The 18th century was the age of discovery and exploration.

0:23:380:23:41

Lancaster was a busy port with ships coming and going to the New World.

0:23:410:23:46

Gillows were in the right place at the right time.

0:23:460:23:49

A perfect example of how the company took advantage

0:23:530:23:56

of the growing trade of different exotic imported hardwoods

0:23:560:24:00

is shown here in this little lady's workbox. It's absolutely stunning.

0:24:000:24:04

There's 72 different variations of wood here, imported from all over the world -

0:24:040:24:10

the Americas, the tropics, Australia, the Indian sub-continent,

0:24:100:24:14

along with our own woods from the British Isles.

0:24:140:24:16

They're all numbered so you can find out exactly what they are.

0:24:160:24:20

Now we're all familiar with elms and oaks and yew woods,

0:24:200:24:24

but there's some woods on here that I've not come across

0:24:240:24:28

and 200 years later, this little box is educating me.

0:24:280:24:31

Number 30 here.

0:24:310:24:33

Now that's a purple wood. Just look at the grain on that.

0:24:330:24:36

That's an exotic hardwood from the Americas, but it's like a volcanic explosion.

0:24:360:24:41

It's sort of erupting all over the place.

0:24:410:24:43

A very tight, dense and decorative grain.

0:24:430:24:45

Here is a classic ebony. We've seen that from the Americas before, used for stringing an inlay detail.

0:24:450:24:52

But here's a softer version that I've not come across -

0:24:520:24:54

number 26, and that's a green ebony.

0:24:540:24:57

You can actually see the grain in this. It's slightly lighter.

0:24:570:25:01

What a wonderful box.

0:25:010:25:03

It's no wonder Miss Elizabeth Gifford commissioned this to be made by Gillows in 1808.

0:25:030:25:09

And if I open it up, it's not just the cabinet-maker's swatch,

0:25:090:25:13

so he can show off to clients what woods are available,

0:25:130:25:16

it's got a practical use as well, because just look at that.

0:25:160:25:20

A lovely fitted interior. Isn't that splendid?

0:25:200:25:23

Little compartments, all beautifully dovetailed.

0:25:230:25:28

Sliding lids.

0:25:280:25:30

And there's the example, look, of the ebony stringing.

0:25:300:25:33

Very fashionable.

0:25:330:25:35

Everything fits so beautifully.

0:25:350:25:39

And here's the all-important thing, the stamp - "Gillows, Lancaster".

0:25:390:25:44

Gillows ability to exploit new materials from overseas certainly enhanced the company's reputation

0:25:490:25:55

as one of the country's leading cabinet-makers.

0:25:550:25:58

But it was its patronage from Lancaster's high society

0:25:580:26:01

which really gave the firm a seal of approval amongst social circles.

0:26:010:26:06

Now take this lady, for instance.

0:26:060:26:07

Mary Rawlinson. Looks very formidable, doesn't she?

0:26:070:26:10

But at the time, she was one of Lancaster's most wealthiest women

0:26:100:26:14

and her husband made his fortune in the West Indies slave trade.

0:26:140:26:18

And he was also Lancaster's biggest importer of mahogany.

0:26:180:26:22

Mary commissioned Gillows to make this magnificent bookcase

0:26:280:26:32

and it is considered to be one of their finest pieces. It's absolutely stunning.

0:26:320:26:36

By now the firm is well established by some 40 years or so

0:26:360:26:39

and Gillows spared no expense in making this wonderful piece.

0:26:390:26:43

Their top craftsman, brothers Thomas and John Dowbiggin, built this and I've got to say,

0:26:430:26:48

just standing back and looking at its architectural proportions, it's mind-blowing, it really is.

0:26:480:26:54

The whole carcass is solid Cuban mahogany, but they've used a decorative veneer

0:26:540:26:59

laid on the top. Just look at the grain, the way it's curling.

0:26:590:27:02

This is called a flamed curl and you can see why.

0:27:020:27:06

There's a natural join here, where this piece has been cut from one piece and opened out,

0:27:060:27:12

so it's mirrored on this side.

0:27:120:27:14

It really has the most wonderful inlay detail up there.

0:27:140:27:18

That's inlaid in satinwood.

0:27:180:27:20

Now that is a lifetime's experience.

0:27:200:27:24

Working your way down, the handles are beautifully silvered

0:27:240:27:28

and the quality of the casting is absolutely tremendous.

0:27:280:27:31

Very, very crisp.

0:27:310:27:32

The bulk of the piece, where the weight is, has been softened architecturally with canted corners.

0:27:320:27:37

It doesn't meet at a right angle. It's softened.

0:27:370:27:40

And it also gives you a chance to show off more inlay skills,

0:27:400:27:43

because it's been decorated with sort of ribbons and swags.

0:27:430:27:47

Not too much, not too over the top, because this is a gentleman's piece.

0:27:470:27:51

It still retains a sort of masculine feel to it.

0:27:510:27:55

And the whole thing stands so proudly on wonderful, over-the-top bracket feet.

0:27:550:28:00

Look at the dragooning on the top there, with a little tear.

0:28:000:28:03

That's so beautiful.

0:28:030:28:06

It's commissions from rich and powerful patrons like this

0:28:060:28:09

that have cemented the firm's success,

0:28:090:28:12

guaranteeing Gillows of Lancaster a place in English cabinet-making history.

0:28:120:28:16

Well, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

0:28:160:28:19

It's time for me to go back to the valuation day and join up with our experts.

0:28:190:28:23

-Sue.

-Hi.

0:28:330:28:34

-They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend.

-So they say.

0:28:340:28:40

And you brought us a diamond.

0:28:400:28:42

It's absolutely lovely.

0:28:420:28:44

-Good.

-Tell me, where did you get it?

0:28:440:28:46

I was given it by my great aunt before she passed away, but I don't use it.

0:28:460:28:51

How long ago was that?

0:28:510:28:53

-Probably about 15 or 16 years, I'd say.

-Have you worn it at all?

0:28:530:28:58

Only once. I wore it to a wedding on a black dress and it looked lovely.

0:28:580:29:01

-But I was afraid of it falling off, cos it is quite big.

-Yeah.

-And though it's got a safety pin...

0:29:010:29:06

-You were frightened of losing it.

-Mm, I was.

-Ah. Time to sell it.

-I think so.

0:29:060:29:10

Now, when we look at a diamond, we look at the cut and we look at the size.

0:29:100:29:17

-OK.

-In this one, it's mounted on 15-carat gold and platinum.

-Right.

0:29:170:29:24

-It's a brilliant, round-cut...

-Right.

-And people will like that.

-OK.

0:29:240:29:30

To size the diamond we need a special tool,

0:29:300:29:34

but I would say it's in the region of a quarter of a carat.

0:29:340:29:38

-So it's a reasonable size.

-OK.

-It could be changed into a ring.

0:29:380:29:46

I thought about that, but I wondered whether somebody would do it justice.

0:29:460:29:49

-You've got to make sure you get the right jeweller who's doing the right job...

-Absolutely.

0:29:490:29:55

-..and that he's going to look after the stone.

-I wouldn't want it spoilt.

-Yeah.

0:29:550:29:59

-It belonged to your aunt. Did you know her?

-Yeah.

-Do you think a loved one may have given her that?

0:29:590:30:04

-Possibly, although she was never married, but you never know.

-She was a maiden lady?

0:30:040:30:09

-She was, yeah, she was.

-But I mean, if you don't wear it, I always say, pass it on to someone who will.

0:30:090:30:15

And what you can do is perhaps to use the money to buy something that you would wear.

0:30:150:30:21

-Mm-hm.

-And that you would enjoy.

0:30:210:30:23

-Or pass it on...

-Or pass it on to me.

0:30:230:30:26

Sure I could make use of it.

0:30:260:30:27

Would you like this diamond brooch to be passed on to you. Is it Ross?

0:30:270:30:31

-No, it's Josh.

-Joshua.

-Josh, yeah.

0:30:310:30:33

Well, probably, but only to sell it in the future, so...

0:30:330:30:37

It's him and his sister, so, probably the money will be going to them anyway.

0:30:370:30:41

Yeah, yeah. Well, estimate...

0:30:410:30:45

Have you had it valued before?

0:30:450:30:47

A long time ago for insurance.

0:30:470:30:49

-And that was about £200.

-Yeah, uh-huh.

0:30:490:30:52

-I would estimate this brooch in the region of £200-£300.

-Right.

0:30:520:30:58

-Would you be happy to sell it at that?

-I think I would be.

0:30:580:31:01

-We'll put a reserve of, say, 180 on it, which means that we can't sell it below that.

-OK.

0:31:010:31:08

Two to three is a conservative estimate and I think that someone will fall in love with this.

0:31:080:31:16

-OK. I hope so.

-Thank you so much for bringing it along.

-Thank you.

0:31:160:31:19

I'll see you at the auction.

0:31:190:31:21

-OK.

-Thanks a lot.

0:31:210:31:23

How long have you owned this?

0:31:290:31:31

It's been in the family, I think, for about 60 or 70 years.

0:31:310:31:36

And why do you want to sell it?

0:31:360:31:38

-Because I don't like it.

-Why?

0:31:380:31:41

-I think cos the wood's too dark and it's just ugly.

-Do you agree, John?

0:31:410:31:45

I agree. It's too dark, dour.

0:31:450:31:47

-Can I throw my threepenny worth in?

-Absolutely.

0:31:470:31:50

I think it's horrible.

0:31:500:31:52

I think the problem with this is that the key part of this long-case clock

0:31:520:31:57

is this really nice brass dial with an eight-day movement by Thomas Lister of Halifax.

0:31:570:32:03

-And I would guess he might have been turn of the 1800s, somewhere around there.

-Yep.

0:32:030:32:09

But your eyes are averted from that by, can I say this, this dreadful case, right?

0:32:090:32:16

And you've got an oak case here that may or may not be original for that movement. I suspect it might not be.

0:32:160:32:22

But the Victorians got bored very easily.

0:32:220:32:25

They had no television and they either bred or they got hold of furniture and they carved it.

0:32:250:32:32

And the Victorians got wonderful 18th-century oak bureaus that today might be worth £1,000

0:32:320:32:39

and they turned them into £200 bureaus by carving them.

0:32:390:32:43

And this case has all been carved, I would guess 1880-ish, to look Jacobethan, which is a nothing term -

0:32:430:32:52

a cross between Elizabethan and Jacobean.

0:32:520:32:54

So you've got, in my eyes, a really lovely movement

0:32:540:32:59

and this awful case.

0:32:590:33:02

And I think it's interesting, cos you've had this in your family for 70 years and it's come down the line.

0:33:020:33:09

-I suspect that everybody's thought the same thing.

-Probably right.

0:33:090:33:12

-I would have thought so.

-And you're thinking, "Oh, my Lord! I've got the clock."

0:33:120:33:17

You know, but you can't sell it, cos it's a family heirloom.

0:33:170:33:21

We've tried to give it to other members of the family, but nobody wants it.

0:33:210:33:24

-Which tells you something, really, doesn't it?

-Yes.

0:33:240:33:27

Now in terms of value, if this clock was in its original state and had a lovely colour

0:33:270:33:34

and the movement was absolutely bang on,

0:33:340:33:37

you could be talking anywhere perhaps between £1,500 and £2,500.

0:33:370:33:42

Now, I think that whoever buys this

0:33:420:33:46

will put this movement in a better case.

0:33:460:33:50

-What they're going to do with this I don't know.

-What would happen to this case?

0:33:500:33:54

-Firewood.

-No, I didn't say that.

0:33:540:33:57

I mean, there are buyers for it, but, in my eyes, you've got to make this a really attractive proposition

0:33:570:34:04

to the buyer to sell it and hopefully create a bit of competition,

0:34:040:34:08

otherwise, I'm afraid to say, it's coming back home.

0:34:080:34:13

No, it's not.

0:34:130:34:14

Well, you have to be sensible about this, right?

0:34:140:34:18

And my view would be that you put a £400-£600 estimate on it and you put a £300 reserve on it.

0:34:180:34:25

-OK.

-Now, that still doesn't guarantee that it's going to sell,

0:34:250:34:29

but I think you'd be silly to sell it for less than £300.

0:34:290:34:34

-That's fair enough.

-But that's your call.

0:34:340:34:36

-Yes.

-Are you happy with that?

-We'll go with that.

0:34:360:34:38

What will you do with the money?

0:34:380:34:40

-Erm...

-Buy a new clock.

0:34:400:34:42

Buy a new clock!

0:34:420:34:44

-David, welcome to "Flog It!".

-Hi.

0:34:500:34:53

Tell me, is this a family piece?

0:34:530:34:55

No, it isn't. We bought it about 15 years ago for our Victorian house that we lived in at the time.

0:34:550:35:01

-Uh-huh. Did you use it as a coal box?

-No, it was purely ornamental.

0:35:010:35:06

It just fitted in nicely with the fireplace.

0:35:060:35:08

Did you have a wonderful Victorian fireplace with a copper canopy and your coal box sitting at the side?

0:35:080:35:14

Absolutely, yes.

0:35:140:35:16

-Absolutely.

-OK.

0:35:160:35:18

Well, let's look at it closely.

0:35:180:35:20

It is a coal box and if we lift the lid here, we can see the compartment,

0:35:200:35:27

-complete with liner, and we would keep our coal here.

-Right.

0:35:270:35:32

We have this handle affair at the back, which in actual fact

0:35:320:35:35

is not a handle, but it was the slot that we would put a little shovel in.

0:35:350:35:42

-And there would be a matching shovel, so there's something missing for a start.

-OK.

0:35:420:35:47

Now it's not the best of boxes.

0:35:470:35:50

-Right.

-But it's not the worst.

0:35:500:35:52

-Um-hm.

-It's made of oak

0:35:520:35:55

-and we have this carved detail here, which is Victorian.

-Right.

0:35:550:35:59

But this is a little Arts and Crafts going into Art Nouveau motif,

0:35:590:36:06

where we have these more flowing lines in the handle and these details here.

0:36:060:36:11

Would they come originally with this?

0:36:110:36:14

Yes, I believe that it is original.

0:36:140:36:16

I mean, as well as being functional objects, they were decorative as well.

0:36:160:36:21

This box has no function these days.

0:36:210:36:24

People are not using coal fires and they have fallen from favour.

0:36:240:36:31

I remember, maybe ten years ago, this would have done perhaps £70 or £80.

0:36:310:36:38

-It's not going to do that now.

-Right.

0:36:380:36:40

They have fallen greatly from favour and this one is not complete.

0:36:400:36:47

It doesn't have the shovel, so that's going to affect the price as well.

0:36:470:36:51

-Have you moved to a smaller house?

-Well, moved to a modern house.

0:36:510:36:55

A modern house, uh-huh.

0:36:550:36:57

-So it hasn't got any fireplaces at all and it doesn't fit in with the house.

-Yeah.

0:36:570:37:02

I would, I'm afraid, only estimate this in the region of £25-£40.

0:37:020:37:07

Now, are you happy to sell it at that?

0:37:070:37:09

-Yes. Yes.

-Let's just sell it. Let's just go for it.

-See what we get for it.

-Yeah.

0:37:090:37:14

-We'll put a reserve of £20. If it doesn't do £20, you can take it back and hand it to your charity shop.

-OK.

0:37:140:37:21

Just before we head back into the auction, here's a quick reminder of our remaining lots.

0:37:230:37:28

There's nothing rough about this diamond.

0:37:280:37:30

Let's see if today's bidders can spot its potential, so that Joshua can make a bit of money.

0:37:300:37:36

Talking of potential, this clock's well and truly hidden behind its ugly Victorian case.

0:37:360:37:42

Sue and John really don't want to have to take it home again.

0:37:420:37:45

Richard hopes his coal box will stoke up today's bidders and create a bit of heat in the saleroom.

0:37:450:37:52

Right. Now going under the hammer is a very handy piece of kit.

0:37:580:38:02

It's the little coal bucket and it belongs to David, £25-£40.

0:38:020:38:05

It's cute. It doesn't have its shovel. Nevertheless, it should sell.

0:38:050:38:10

It's not a lot of money and five, six, seven years ago, this would have made maybe 60, 80, perhaps even 100.

0:38:100:38:18

-But they've gone out of fashion...

-Yeah.

-..a little bit.

0:38:180:38:21

But this one has very nice copperized Art Nouveau strapping, so I'm hoping that that will help it along.

0:38:210:38:28

It's got the look, hasn't it? It's quite decorative. It's not a boring, carved oak one.

0:38:280:38:33

Lot 475 is the late Victorian, probably Edwardian, coal podonium.

0:38:330:38:37

The Art Nouveau strapwork decoration.

0:38:370:38:40

And I have interest in it. I'm going to start the bidding with me at £30.

0:38:400:38:44

-Oh, yes!

-It sold straightaway.

0:38:440:38:46

35. 40. Five. 50. £50 now.

0:38:460:38:50

£50 bid. £50 and we sell away.

0:38:500:38:52

No further interest and we sell away then at £50.

0:38:520:38:56

-Cracking! Excellent!

-That's really good. It did have the look.

0:38:560:38:59

Imagine if you had the little shovel with it.

0:38:590:39:02

Maybe double your money. But that's fantastic.

0:39:020:39:04

-There you go.

-Are you surprised?

-Thank you. Excellent.

0:39:040:39:08

Next up, a family heirloom. It's a wonderful diamond pin. It's belongs to Susan.

0:39:140:39:18

-And you've brought Joshua along. Good to see you both again.

-Thank you.

-Why are you selling this?

0:39:180:39:23

Cos I wasn't wearing it really and it was just sitting in a drawer.

0:39:230:39:27

Because it was so heavy and I was just frightened of losing it.

0:39:270:39:30

It's absolutely gorgeous.

0:39:300:39:32

-I mean, it really is.

-Very pretty.

0:39:320:39:34

Obviously, it's not something Josh is going to want to inherit,

0:39:340:39:37

-but I'm sure he could do with the money, couldn't he, Mum?

-He could, yeah.

0:39:370:39:41

Would you wear this?

0:39:410:39:42

It's lovely. Yes. I don't wear a lot of diamonds, you may have noticed.

0:39:420:39:46

-Yes.

-But I like this one and the auctioneer has measured it.

0:39:460:39:50

We have half a carat there.

0:39:500:39:52

-That's good.

-So that's a substantial size.

0:39:520:39:55

-That's good.

-And it's in a classic, simple setting.

-Right.

0:39:550:39:59

So do we get the 300 or the 200?

0:39:590:40:02

Well, it should go...

0:40:020:40:04

-It's got a sparkle.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:40:040:40:06

-It should go over, shouldn't it?

-It should go mid-estimate.

0:40:060:40:09

Oh, right. OK!

0:40:090:40:12

-That's you told!

-I know. It is, isn't it?

0:40:120:40:14

I'm going to stick my neck out and say we want a little bit more.

0:40:140:40:17

-We always want a bit more. Good luck.

-Thank you.

-It's going under the hammer now.

0:40:170:40:22

We now come to lot 235.

0:40:220:40:25

Yellow metal and diamond bar brooch.

0:40:250:40:27

Stamped 15 carats and half a carat. 200 for this please? 200.

0:40:270:40:30

Start me £100 then. Thank you. 100.

0:40:300:40:33

You bidding, sir? 110. 120.

0:40:330:40:35

-Come on.

-130. 140.

0:40:350:40:37

140 in the pink there. 150.

0:40:370:40:40

160. 170. 180. 180 now in the pink.

0:40:400:40:44

In the pink, £180. Any advance?

0:40:440:40:47

Gentleman in the pink now at £180. It's going.

0:40:470:40:51

He's put the hammer down. That is a sold sound.

0:40:520:40:54

Right on its fixed reserve, £180.

0:40:540:40:57

-It's gone.

-Um-hm.

0:40:570:40:59

-That's fine.

-That's fine. That's a good result.

0:40:590:41:01

I was waiting there, weren't you?

0:41:010:41:03

-There's me talking it up. You said it was going to do bang on in the middle, but we've sold it.

-Yeah.

0:41:030:41:08

-We sold it on the reserve.

-Yeah.

0:41:080:41:10

I don't think the jewellery lovers were here today.

0:41:100:41:15

Next up, Sue and John's eight-day, long case clock.

0:41:220:41:25

It's a great movement, great dial, shame about the case.

0:41:250:41:28

The Victorians got to this one, but we've £400-£600 on it, a reserve of three.

0:41:280:41:34

John disowns this clock. You don't like it.

0:41:340:41:36

-I don't. Not at all. It's appalling.

-He refuses to talk about it even!

0:41:360:41:40

Let's hope we get it away for you today...

0:41:400:41:42

-I hope so.

-..cos you don't want to be putting it back in the car.

-No.

0:41:420:41:46

We've actually pitched this to sell it

0:41:460:41:48

-and if we don't, then it really isn't a good day, is it really?

-No.

0:41:480:41:51

-It's pitched to sell.

-We would like to sell it.

0:41:510:41:54

-It's a giveaway price.

-We would all like to see it go.

-Yes.

-Every single one of us.

0:41:540:41:58

We come now to lot 463, which is the dark oak, long-case clock.

0:41:580:42:03

Heavily carved, rather attractive clock there.

0:42:030:42:06

May we say 600 for this, please? Start me 400 then, please.

0:42:060:42:09

400 anywhere? We'll take three then. £300.

0:42:090:42:12

-Ooh, we're in! We're off to the races.

-350. 400.

0:42:120:42:15

450. Are you bidding?

0:42:150:42:17

-500.

-Wow!

0:42:170:42:19

500 now on the rail. It's on the rail at £500.

0:42:190:42:22

-And selling at 500.

-Yes!

-Yes!

-Here to be sold at £500 now and going.

0:42:220:42:27

Hammer's gone down mid-estimate.

0:42:270:42:29

£500! We were all being so negative.

0:42:290:42:33

-We'll help him load!

-Oh, yeah, yeah!

-Thank goodness for that.

0:42:330:42:36

-That's great. Thank you.

-Well done.

0:42:360:42:38

£500, less the commission, of course, which is 10% on £500.

0:42:380:42:44

-That's fine.

-That's fine.

-So there you go.

0:42:440:42:46

-Thank you very much for that.

-Thank you.

0:42:460:42:48

He says he wants to leave the case with the vendors! He's only taking the movement.

0:42:480:42:53

-Don't blame him.

-We'll store it for next winter's firewood.

0:42:530:42:56

What a day we've had up here in the Lake District.

0:43:040:43:06

All credit to the Kendal Auctions.

0:43:060:43:08

They've looked after us and I can't wait to come back.

0:43:080:43:11

We've had many surprises today and many happy faces and I hope you've enjoyed the show.

0:43:110:43:16

Join us again soon. For now, it's cheerio.

0:43:160:43:19

For more information about "Flog It!", including how the programme was made,

0:43:190:43:23

visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle

0:43:230:43:26

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:270:43:30

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:300:43:33

Anita Manning and Philip Serrell are scrutinising family treasures in Lancaster. Meanwhile, Paul Martin can't resist taking a closer look at the work of one of Britain's finest cabinet makers, Gillows.