Experts Philip Serrell and Charlie Ross enjoy a day out at the seaside at Tenby. Paul Martin discovers the craft of harp making is undergoing a mini industrial revolution.
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For the last 37 years, an extraordinary event has taken place
every winter on this very beach.
Yes, on Boxing Day, hundreds of bathers turn up
to brave the elements and have a dip in the freezing cold sea.
Where else could Flog It be, but in Tenby.
The crazy Boxing Day swimmers brave the freezing water here in Tenby
to raise money for good causes and the organisers
reward all those taking part with a commemorative medal.
And there's also a prize for the best fancy dress.
But mostly, people just enjoy taking part.
Tenby - well, it's that sort of town.
And the same spirit has brought all these people out here today
to join the Flog It queue outside De Vallance,
the community centre, in the heart of Tenby.
Taking the plunge today with their valuations
are our experts Philip Serrell and Charlie Ross.
Now, will they sink or will they swim? What do you reckon?
-Swim. Yes, of course they will.
Right now, it's time to get the doors open and get this massive queue inside.
First to the table is Philip with what can only be described as a gift.
Brenda, how you doing?
Very well, thank you.
Now, I think this is really, really interesting.
I've got one of these at home that was my grandfather's.
They're always known as Queen Mary's gift box, aren't they?
-But they're not really Queen Mary's cos they are...?
-Right. And I'm going to let you tell me all about it now,
so you're going to become the Flog It expert
-and I'll sit here and listen.
-The ambition of my life!
-Come on, then.
-Well, this box was given to me by an elderly gentleman
about 25 years ago, cos he knew I collected tins
and I've got dozens of them and then I opened it up
and inside was the original contents with the card from Princess Mary
to the troops, which said, "With all best wishes
"for a happy Christmas and a victorious new year."
And this was in 1914.
And then there was the original tobacco...
and the cigarettes...
..and the badge with "Victory" written on it. Yeah.
So, let me just take one of these...
Look at that, eh?
There's no health warning on those, is there?
No, and it's got Princess Mary's stamp on it.
It's got Princess Mary's monogram just there, hasn't it?
And let's just see what else it's got in there.
Have you seen that?
-Isn't that just lovely?
-That's Princess Mary.
-Her photograph seated.
Let me just shut the box up so we can just still see this cover.
What we see in the sale room today is normally just that, isn't it?
-Cos these contents have long since gone.
And the thing that I always think is really really sad
-is they make little or no money.
-No, I know.
Mind you, there were thousands of them distributed, weren't there?
-Yeah, but I mean how many Beswick horses were there made?
And that, without the contents
in an auction's probably, what, £5 or £10?
-Yes. Something like that.
-And no more than that. And for people
who've lost family in the First World War,
I think they ought to be worth a whole load more than it is.
Why are you selling it?
Well, I've got so many hundreds of tins
and the house we're in now,
you can't display them like we used to be able to
and I saw Flog It was coming and thought I'd find something quirky.
You'd take it to Flog It and Flog It.
Yeah. I don't know how many people have seen one with the contents.
No. And that's the key thing, cos the fact that you've got all of this.
I just think that's absolutely lovely
and I think at auction this is going to make between 20 and £40.
-And I think that you need a reserve on it at £15.
I think if someone's got 20 quid at the auction,
-they've got a real bit of history there, haven't they?
And so, well done you, for bringing it in.
-Some museum might buy it.
-Let's live in hope.
-Let's live in hope.
-I don't know.
Carol, I spotted this across the room.
You were sitting there holding this and I almost ran over to see you
because I got so excited about it. I think it's a splendid object,
-rather wacky and wonderful.
-How did you come by it?
-Well, my mum bought it.
-It must have been a jumble sale, or some kind of sale.
And then, when she passed away, my son had it...
but he's a bit of a coward, so...
-he sent mother today.
-Did he come with you?
-He's outside, I think.
-But he wants to sell it?
-Do you know anything about it other than what you see?
No, nothing at all. We didn't even know what it was used for,
It's a French word. It's an epergne.
French word for a central table display. Normally, they're glass.
You see trumpet shaped vases,
in a holder and they're quite often cranberry glass, Vaseline glass.
This - I have never seen a combination of
death and flowers!
This is, after all, a fighter plane,
from obviously the First World War and it's even got some working parts.
-That goes round. And the rudder works, as well.
And it's dated 1919, so we know when it was made.
-Right at the end of the war.
The vases come out
and you see it's got that sort of yellowy look, brass look...
-I think, originally, it was silver plated.
-It's been well brassoed.
It's been well cleaned to such an extent
that there is no silver plate left on that, whatsoever.
But I think it's beautifully modelled
and I think it would be hugely collectable for the right person.
-Why does he want to sell it?
-It's just stuck in the cupboard.
It's no good in the cupboard. He doesn't like it, presumably.
My mum had it out when she had it.
-You've no idea what it might be worth.
-Nothing at all.
But, on the other hand, if I told you it was worth £3,
-you probably wouldn't want to sell it.
Did he say, "Mum, I'll sell this provided it makes so much?"
-And what did he say?
-Well, will it be worth us going to the auction?
-Which is what?
-30, we'd say it would cost.
I think it's worth £200 or £300.
Oh, I think he'd sell it for that. Definitely.
-I think we ought to put a reserve on it.
If we say £200 to 300 and put a fixed reserve of £100 on it,
so the auctioneer mustn't sell it, under any circumstances, below that.
-And hopefully I'm proved right and it is worth £200 to 300.
-Right. That's fine.
-Do you think that's fair enough?
I think a collector's going to have to have this.
-I have never seen anything like it before.
I've never seen an epergne as a plane.
I shouldn't think anybody else has.
Francis, thank you for bringing in one of my favourite items.
-I'm a tea caddy collector.
-I've got half a dozen at home.
Oh, my goodness. Now I know where this is going!
-No, it's not going to my house, unfortunately.
-How long have you had this?
-I've owned it for a few years.
My mother died in 2001, I think it was, and I inherited it then.
But I think it's been in the family for some time.
-Oh, that's nice.
-But you don't want it, you don't use it?
Well, I'm a collector of other things, Paul,
and there's only sufficient room in one's house for various things.
-Do you live in Tenby, by the sea?
-I live in Tenby, by the sea. Yeah.
You've got a sort of naval theme going on there, a sailing theme.
Well, yeah, there's not many of us old matelos left, you know.
Let's have a look at this. Now, this is a lovely, lovely example.
I think the inside is more striking and prettier than the outside.
Yes, it is. You're right.
Architecturally, there's a lot more interesting caddies on the market,
but look at that. Three compartments on the inside.
And lovely colouring.
-Cuban mahogany. Brought back from the West Indies.
I absolutely adore mahogany
because if you select the grain properly and cut across the grain,
you get this wonderful flame figuring,
which you can see they've achieved on the front face... coming up...
-and on the top face.
-And of course, on both sides, as well.
Made in London, do you think?
Possibly. Yes. It looks like a typical Regency piece.
-This is a George III - 1805, 1810, something like that.
These were very very popular from the 17th century onwards.
-Tea was brought back from the colonies from India.
It was such a valuable commodity,
only the real rich people could afford this.
Hence, most caddies had a lock on them
-to stop the servants from pinching the tea.
Little ivory finials that you can lift the lids off.
These would have been lined with a foil paper, to keep the tea fresh.
-It's lost its lining. Two of these lids have a camber on them.
They do, don't they?
But that can be sorted out by a restorer.
This compartment would have been a green tea and one for black tea.
This would be an exotic blend or you could make your own mixture.
-And the word caddy basically comes from the Malay word catty,
which is a weight of tea and it was always sold in a certain weight.
-So that's where we get the word caddy from.
-I've never heard that before.
I think it's really, really nice. And I don't think this is
-going to sell to a purist tea caddy collector.
He's going to be after something slightly more different,
but as a treen box, I think it's definitely going to sell.
-Now, let's get down to the value.
With the lid sorted out and with the original foil linings,
we'd be looking in the region of £200 to £300.
-Right. OK. Yep.
-So I think we should put this into auction,
-with a value of around 100 to £130.
Put a reserve on at £100,
but we've got to pitch it at the lower end because of the damage.
Right. Right. No problem.
-Let's go with it.
-Let's Flog It.
Are you a bit of a drinker, Flo?
-Well, I like a drink.
-I don't suppose your favourite tipple is?
-No. It's not Guinness.
-What do you drink then?
-I drink cider.
-Oh, gawd, that's fighting talk, that is!
Oh, I don't drink a lot of it, but I like a cider.
-How much, Flo?
-If I go out for an evening, I have about three halves.
-Are you sure that's not pints?
-Not pints, no.
I'll let you off, then. Where d'you get these from then, Flo?
-Well, it was a Guinness rep that we were friendly with.
-And he gave them to us in the mid-1970s.
And we read were collectables.
-So we thought we'd come and...
Time to get them gone.
-Time to get them gone.
-Well, the man who invented this
"My Goodness - My Guinness" campaign was Gilroy.
And he sort of invented the posters and the caricatures
in the 1920s and '30s
and these are by Carlton Ware.
I think these are probably Wade.
And they're all based upon that Guinness advertising theme,
-but what have you done with them?
-I don't know.
I reckon, Flo, you packed these after your three halves of cider,
cos we've got...
that's broken off there, this poor chappie's got two broken legs.
Our kangaroo, he's not going to hear a thing, is he?
We've got a chip down here.
Not quite sure what's happened on the back, there.
Then we've got our Wellington boot and the turtle that I think's lovely.
-Yes. The turtle is nice, isn't it?
They'd all be lovely, Flo, but you've played football with them!
If these were in perfect order, you could well have £150, £250 here...
but you haven't and that's because condition is everything.
I think that you've got probably £30 to £50 worth.
We'll put a fixed reserve on them of £30.
The thing is, you know, they're going to be properly catalogued. They'll be in the catalogue.
They'll be on the internet, and people who collect Guinness memorabilia, they'll be there...
-but really, take these two away and you've got sort of buy two, get five free, here.
Well, let's hope they do really well at the auction for you,
-and it's been lovely to meet you.
-If they do well, can I have a cider with you.
Let's just have a final reminder of what's on its way
to the auction room, starting with Phillip's find,
Princess Mary's gift box with all its original contents.
It's a real little time capsule.
The silver biplane epergne is yet another reminder of a bygone era.
Hopefully, the overzealous cleaning
won't have rubbed off too much of its value.
I love Francis' Cuban mahogany tea caddy,
but the condition may hold it back.
"My goodness," is all I can say about the damage on five
of the little Guinness miniatures, but hopefully,
the tortoise and the Wellington boot will save the day.
Well, we've left Tenby and the coast behind us and we've travelled inland
to Carmarthen, to today's auction room. Peter Francis Auctioneers.
And it's known locally as The Curiosity
and I think, here comes a real curiosity now.
Hello. No, it's not. That's today's auctioneer, Nigel Hodson.
That's what I call arriving in style. It's good to see you.
The Princess Mary gift box is also a bit of a curiosity,
so let's see what Nigel makes of it.
We've seen these on the show before. Princess Mary gift boxes.
It belongs to Brenda and she is a box collector, but I think she wants to sell this one.
I do think though, Phillip's put a come and buy me
on this, he's put 20 to £40 and I think it's worth £60.
I reckon you could be right.
The really nice thing about this, as I'm sure you know, Paul,
is that as we very often see them in the sales,
they're just an empty box that has been used as a tobacco box
by the soldier, after he's smoked the original tobacco
and cigarettes that was inside.
There you have the original tobacco and cigarettes
and also, the card from Princess Mary.
-I always find them really poignant, to be honest.
And the First World War is nearly 100 years ago.
I reckon it's potentially an area of collecting in the future.
I really do. And just as an interest...
Oh, look at that.
-There is another one.
-I've just met a collector.
Here's one I prepared earlier.
-This is yours, is it?
-This is mine.
Something that I bought in the 1970s when I first started work
in the sale room. I thought it was wonderful that mine, too,
had the original tobacco and cigarettes.
One or two of the cigarettes have been smoked.
Mine also has the little card in its envelope.
I remember being horrified when,
having seen it as part of a job that we were dealing with,
I sort of set my heart on buying it in the sale
and in 1974, or whatever it was, I had to part with £16 for it
which was an awful lot of money when I was earning about £10 a week at the time.
But it's been a prize possession ever since.
So £20 is very cheap.
I think, well, either that or I paid a king's ransom for mine,
one or the other, but this has got pretty much the original,
as you can see, the original gilded finish.
There is a slight problem with this as it's got a split in the corner,
which I noticed when I was looking at it for somebody.
Are tin collectors that fussy?
It was one of the questions that was particularly asked
by somebody who was enquiring about this item before the weekend.
-Hence the 20 to £40 which he's picked up.
-It's going to sell.
I reckon it will sell. No problem.
This is all very casual, which is quite fitting, really,
because we're going with the flow and we've just been joined by Flo.
We've got that wonderful Guinness memorabilia, Carlton Ware and Wade.
We all love Guinness memorabilia and I certainly hope the bidders here
in the sale room do and we get a top buy for this today.
Good luck. It's going under the hammer and the auctioneer's selling over there.
The collection of various Guinness advertising figures.
What do I say? £50 away for the lot. £50 for the Carlton Ware.
20 to go, then.
20. 20's on the front row.
At £20 I'm bid. At £20. At 20 only. Five.
25. 30. At 30 on the front. £30 is here.
At 30 on the front row. Five do you want now?
Here, at £30 only, no more.
-Short and sweet.
-Sold them. They've gone. £30.
Yeah. Went within estimate.
20 halves of cider, Flo, isn't it?
Yes. I don't mind about that.
It's not down to the money.
No, it's down to the wonderful people like Flo here.
If you're looking for something unusual and out of the ordinary,
you're watching the right show.
Carol, we've got this gorgeous little epergne of yours and
I totally agree with Charlie on the valuation of £200 to £300, you know.
I think it's a hugely collectable item, in the right hands.
Whether the right people will be here today... fingers crossed.
That's what auctions are about.
-They are a bit scary, aren't they?
It's time to batten down the hatches and weather the storm here.
We're going to put this under the hammer now.
I think this is great and if it doesn't sell,
it's the wrong auction, the wrong day. There's another auction, OK?
-This is it.
-A very unusual epergne which is a first for me.
I've never seen an epergne modelled as a biplane.
This is such fun.
First World War biplane with trumpets coming out the fuselage.
-How mad is that?
-What do I say for it?
In your hands, it's an unusual thing.
Never seen the like. What's it worth? £200 away to put me in.
-200 to put me in.
-He's got no bids on the book.
100 to start me. For the epergne.
-100 to start me.
-Oh, come on.
50 for it. 50, the lady in the corner. At 50.
Can't believe this.
At 60 here. 60. 70. 80.
At 80. 90. At 90. The lady in the corner at £90.
Oh, have we got a discretion on this?
Do I see 100 now? In your hands at £90.
A lady's bid in the room. All done.
In the corner then, at £90 only.
-We sold it at £90.
100 reserve on it.
He used a bit of discretion.
I think that's not enough.
-It wasn't exactly chocks away, was it?
-No. It wasn't exactly.
-It didn't fly, did it?
No. Do you know, for me, it just put a smile on your face
and they're the kind of things you should invest in.
It reminds me of The Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machine,
that wonderful wacky movie. It's gone. OK. It's gone. We've got £90.
Right now, we have a change of auctioneer
and Jeff Thomas is now on the rostrum.
Up for grabs now, a Regency tea caddy. It's quality.
Belongs to Francis. We've got a valuation of around £130.
A fixed reserve at 100. It's the first of the caddies.
There's several here in the sale, so we're testing the market right now.
-Oh, right. We're pioneers.
-There's a lot of people here
I hope they're not sitting on their hands and they're here
to wave them to buy this. It's going under the hammer now.
Lot 470. Early 19th century mahogany tea caddy.
As shown there, catalogue number of 470.
Start me on this one, what, £100?
Let's hope it's a worthwhile day out from Tenby.
Well, I hope so. I've dressed up for it, Paul.
£50 away. £30. 30 only bid. At 30, I got 30.
Come on. He's struggling.
30. 40. 50. 60.
At 60. £60.
£70 is it? At 60. Gentleman's bid, here, 60.
At 60. 70. At 70. £70 bid.
At 70. At £70. 80, is it now? At £70, are you all done then?
He didn't sell it. He's put the hammer down and he didn't sell it.
£70. Well, I'm pleased he didn't sell it for £70
cos we want 100 quid for it, really.
Yes. I'll be guided by you. Yeah.
-It was worth that.
-Well, there we are.
I don't know. It's a full room. They just don't want tea caddies.
-Luck of the draw, isn't it?
-Yes. I'm really sorry.
Never mind, Paul. It's been fun.
Next up, I've been joined by Brenda
and Phillip, our expert and we've got the Princess Mary 1914
commemoration gift to the soldiers in the First World War,
with a cheeky little valuation by Phillip. 30, 40, hopefully £50?
It had, though, to be fair, it had some damage to the tin, didn't it?
-It was cracked.
-You look too close, your eye's too good!
I didn't spot that. Nigel spotted that.
Don't go telling all these other people here about it now.
-But we think it could do the top end of the estimate.
-40, 50, £60. That's what we want.
-Up there. 60 odd.
-It's going under the hammer now. Good luck, Brenda.
This is one of the First World War period gilded brass tobacco boxes
that you come across quite regularly in sales, but unusually
with this one, it contains the block of tobacco and the cigarettes,
which originally came with it.
This is one, he obviously wasn't a smoker, so very politically correct.
Nice for the collector to have all the bits and pieces inside. Lot 425.
Some interest from collectors with me and I can start the bidding...
two bids very close together, in fact,
I can start the bidding at 50.
-That's a real good price, isn't it?
60 in the room now. At £55 I'm bid. With me at £55.
Against you all, then. At £55. Is there 60 in the room?
Are you done then? To sell? Against you all, then. At £55.
Yes. That hammer's gone down. That's good.
Do you know, I mean, buying into a piece of social history for £55
and you get something like that, I think that's really special.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you so much, as well.
When I think of romanticised Wales, I'm imagining rolling green hills
and wonderful stone built workshops isolated in the countryside,
with possibly beams of sunlight sort of glittering in
on a lone artisan working inside there...
using hand tools, working with his hands, creating something
and hopefully listening to the sound of a gentle strumming harp.
However, here in the village of Llandysul, near Carmarthen,
a mini industrial revolution has taken place.
The old handicrafts have been replaced
by computers and technology, transforming the art of harpmaking.
And it's all down to a small community of workers.
The project is called Telynau Teifi and it's spearheading
the mechanisation of harpmaking, creating employment
and harnessing the skills and enthusiasm of young local people.
The scheme is the brain child of Allan Shiers, who began making harps
as an artisan, 30 years ago.
Tell me a little bit about harps. It's such an unusual instrument
to be involved with. How did that happen?
I worked for a chap called John Weston Thomas,
who resurrected the craft of harpmaking in Wales, cos prior to that, it had died out.
I worked for five years and stayed in contact with him
when I went to teach at the Welsh Instrument School.
So, his harps were the ones to have for anybody that was into Celtic music?
-What was it like to make your very first complete harp?
-Can you remember that day?
-Yeah, I can.
John Thomas and I worked together.
We said we'd make two halves in parallel,
so he could keep an eye on me and then at the end,
the people came to play them and they were just
equal to each other and that was quite a moment.
He always said that eventually, the pupil should exceed the master
or the master has failed, which is daunting cos he was a great chap.
And then, he's died now, but we've gone on to make concert harps
which he never did, so we're taking that on to the next generation
and expanding what we do.
What's the difference between a concert harp
and one of the standard harps?
If you thought of, say, a mode of transport as being a bicycle and a motor car, they're both very...
-as different as that.
-Appropriate for different needs, but the complexity of parts
is about 2,000 moving parts in a concert harp,
but far less in a folk harp or a Celtic harp.
How long would it take you to normally build a Celtic harp?
By hand, it would be about six or eight weeks.
And then a concert harp, about a year.
I remember thinking "Crumbs, I've spent...
"however many weeks making that harp and somebody's actually paid for it."
-And that must be a nice feeling.
-Well, when they play it,
when the harp sings for the first time,
it's quite a special moment, really.
At my age, you start thinking, "Hang on, how can we pass this on
"to the next generation before I lose my skills."
The best way to do it, I felt, was to actually make it into
a community business, if we could, involving the local authority.
Bought an old school,
so we built it into a team of people, rather than an individual.
The question was how you did it,
how you actually changed from a craft into a community business,
a one-man band to seven or eight people
and then the way that you communicated those skills
using appropriate technology to take away the drudgery,
and free you up to do the creative stuff. That's the bottom line,
does it frees you up to be creative? I think that's the best way.
These youngsters coming in have been brought up with computers
and they'll be using skills I don't have
and that's great cos it's a cross-fertilization.
I need them and they need me and that makes the team more balanced.
Do you think there might be a danger that
-all the old ways might be replaced?
-I don't think so.
I think the quality of the wood and the soundboard
and the acoustics, are still very human
and even though we've done something on a machine,
it still has to be hand finished and toleranced and fitted,
so all the machines do is break the donkey work down.
We have people who are a bit like I was when I was 16,
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Anxious to learn
and get the thrill of actually turning stuff into things.
-And then when it's played, what a reward!
I think that's human nature. That doesn't change with age.
I still get the same buzz, but for me, it's nice to see
one of the lads who's done something, sit back and I know exactly
what's going through his mind and that's very creative.
If a 16 or 20-year-old can do that, there's a chance this will survive.
Do you think the definitive harp has been made yet?
No. I wouldn't keep struggling, I think,
and the harp, to some extent, is still in its infancy.
Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati violins, that's the absolute,
I don't think we've got there with the harp and that's exciting.
The work of Allan Shiers' Telynau Teifi community
is certainly ongoing.
Not only are they embracing new technology to improve the instrument,
but they're also closely working with Cardiff University
to improve the instrument's sound.
You can definitely say the future of this stunning instrument
is in safe hands.
Back to the valuation day now,
and Phillip has found yet another piece of militaria.
-And Karen, how are you?
-I'm OK, thank you.
I think these are absolutely lovely. Tell me all about them.
They were given by my grandfather
to my grandmother at the beginning of the Second World War.
Was your grandfather in the Second World War?
I don't believe he was in the Second World War.
-I know he was in the First World War.
But whether they'd had a regimental function, I'm not sure.
-Do you know which regiment he was in?
-And these are the colours of?
-The Royal Artillery.
-And this is the emblem of?
-The Royal Artillery.
I'm told by our soundman who reckons he was in the Royal Artillery,
they are the senior regiment.
-So, that's a bit special, isn't it?
I think these are lovely quality, actually.
And your grandfather was Alex.
-And your granny was Alice.
-Yep. That's it.
-So, this is just a little lipstick compact,
with this lovely enamel decoration round it.
I would think this is silver, but it's not hallmarked.
And you've got to put it back just right, haven't you, otherwise
your motif doesn't match or line up properly.
And this is a little powder compact and if we just have a look inside,
this is silver and it'll be hallmarked...
they're going to love me here cos I'm going to get powder everywhere.
Do you want me to hold that?
And this is a hallmark and this is by the Goldsmith & Silversmith's Co,
which is like one of the best hallmarks you can get,
-I think this is absolutely lovely. Let's put it back together.
That's just marvellous. Can I ask you something, here?
These are not hugely valuable.
I think we put an auction estimate of 60 to £90 on them
-and a reserve of 50.
-Why are you selling them?
I think...my mother and I have looked at them
and we think, if we... We're not inclined to use them
and we just think maybe somebody that either collects compacts
or collects royal artillery we'd maybe rather
see somebody really like them and display them.
Rather than have them in a cupboard or a drawer,
-You want to share them...
-..let someone else have them.
The bizarre part about antiques today is that I think if you wanted to go
and replace those new, they might cost you £500 or £600.
-You can add a nought on the end.
-But ladies don't use these, do they?
Well, on that note, we'll put it into the auction and hope
that the good ladies of Carmarthen,
not only have a royal artillery connection, but they do use...
Yeah. That'll be great.
-Now, Gerald, you are on a mission today, aren't you?
-You have been sent here.
I've been ordered to sell these.
-By your wife.
-By my wife.
-She didn't want to come along, herself?
-No. She's cooking.
How long have you been married?
-Oh, 50 years, I suppose.
-Seems like 50.
-No. I'm not going to say that!
In case that does come up.
I said it. I'll get away with it. Do you know what they are?
I didn't until I was told today.
-You've been told they're Stourbridge glass.
-Stourbridge glass. Yes.
So where did they come from?
Well, my wife bought them in a boot fair.
-A few years ago. Yeah.
-Do you know what she paid for them?
-No, I don't.
-She probably wouldn't admit it.
But she liked them, I know.
I think the great thing about these, Stourbridge factory
was really the only factory near Birmingham, making this sort of
quality glass, late 19th century,
-1880, 1890, so they've done 100 years.
-That's going back a bit.
And to be perfect is good, isn't it?
Extraordinary. I can't see any damage in these at all.
They're double overlay and unusually,
you have this lemon yellow over the white interior.
Extra quality, if you like,
with these wonderful castellated tops that are crimped as acanthus leaf
round the tops and they are perfect.
-Not even a chip I've seen.
-Amazing, isn't it?
-With similar bases.
Pinched through the middle here,
round the waist and the feet are perfect, as well.
I suppose, if one had any criticism, it would be
the colour wouldn't necessarily suit everybody.
No. They like red, don't they?
I think if you were to say that these were in cranberry glass,
crumbs, I think you'd be doubling the value,
-not that we've said the value, yet.
So, there's got to be some sort of value attached to these
otherwise you'd be taking them home to the missus, wouldn't you?
Oh, yes. I'd be in trouble, otherwise.
-Would she be happy with £50, do you think?
I think we could estimate these at 100 to 150.
I wouldn't want to see the reserve at much more than 75.
-That would be fine.
-Do you think that'll get her over the bar?
I think I could get away with that.
We'll do that. Thank you very much for bringing them along.
-That's all right.
-We just hope the auctioneers
keep them in the same condition they're in at the moment.
-Oh, yes. That's a point.
-We'll instruct them to.
Thank you, Gerald.
-Is your name really Dai Morgan?
-It is, yes.
-I've never met a Welshman called Dai Morgan.
-True Welshman, Pembrokeshire born and bred.
What do you do around here, Dai?
I work for a waste management company in Pembroke.
-What else do you do?
-I'm the head doorman here at the De Valance.
Head doorman here!
-You haven't had any trouble with the BBC, have you?
-No, not yet.
-But is that your job to, sort of, eject people?
That must be a tough old job.
-No. I actually love it.
-I love it.
-Frighten me to death, that would.
-No. It's good.
-You get to meet loads of different people.
-I should say you do!
-Where's this come from then?
-This is my girlfriend's grandfather's.
-And she wants to sell it.
-Her mum does.
-Why does she want to sell it?
I'm not too sure.
-Just time to go.
Basically, gathering dust.
-Do you know what it is?
-It's a Rolex watch.
-You're absolutely right.
Let's jut have a look at it. If we open up the front here,
you can see that the big hand has actually been replaced at some time.
Yes. I was told that.
But, otherwise, the face appears to be in not bad order, at all.
If we turn it over and look at the back,
we can actually see
on the wheel here is indeed...
-The word Rolex.
-..the word Rolex.
-Those magic words.
And it's also got Rolex written on the case and W&D,
-who were in fact quite well known case manufacturers for Rolex.
And we've got import marks, I think, for somewhere between 1915 and 1920,
so we can say that this is probably just before the First World War.
-Would that tie in with what you know about it?
Yes. Yeah. He actually - my girlfriend's grandad -
-he actually swapped it with a colleague in the war.
-Do you know, I love watches.
And I was looking through a watch catalogue the other day
-and I think a Rolex made £62,000.
-It wasn't one like this.
-This was a 1970s Rolex.
And a lot of people buy Rolex, they don't want the simple old-fashioned Rolex
where it doesn't say Rolex on the face.
It's almost like, if I've got one, I want everybody to know it.
-I think this is a pure collector's item.
I think at auction, you'd put an estimate on it of £100 to £200.
I think we'd put a fixed reserve of £80.
-How does that sound to you?
-That's fine. Yeah.
-It's cheap for a Rolex, isn't it?
-It seems cheap and for the age as well.
-You never know, might be lucky on the day.
Well, that's a great philosophical attitude to take towards auctions,
-but fingers crossed.
Time to take another look at our lots as they head off to the sale room in Carmarthen.
The collectors will love the lipstick and powder compact,
with the Royal Artillery insignia.
The time has come to see what the bidders make of
the pre First World War Rolex watch.
And finally, lemon yellow may not be to everybody's taste,
but the Stourbridge glass vases are in perfect condition
and they're real quality.
Gerald's Staffordshire glass vases.
Nice pair. Good quality.
-I'm not sure about the lemon colour, personally.
He got them in a boot fair. I don't know how much for,
but Charlie's put a valuation of 100 to £150 on them.
Ouch, I would say to that,
but perhaps Charlie knows more about them than I do.
I'm not keen on this sort of glass, at all.
Perhaps the lemon colour is why they're worth the money.
But I think we might struggle to make that sort of money.
-I hope I'm proved wrong.
-Obviously no interest, so far?
Not that I've had any dealings with.
No. No. Not that I've noticed. No. No. I've tried to avoid them.
-I shouldn't say that, really, but there you go.
-Look. Fingers crossed.
-Either you like canary yellow or you don't.
-And we don't.
I think we might be on a sticky wicket with this one.
For you, sir.
We're just about to sell your silver compact.
-It is a family heirloom.
-It is, yes.
-Any regrets, cos it was your grandparents?
-No, not really.
We're too concerned that, because it's got enamel on it,
it would get damaged if we used it.
I totally agree with what Phillip said. He said to me earlier...
you can imagine this down the Burlington Arcade,
it would be twice as much money if not three times.
I mean, it's so individual, it's so cleverly put together, as well.
-I think it's a really lovely stylish thing.
-Well, good luck.
-Thanks very much.
-It's going under the hammer now.
Let's just hope this family heirloom brings you lots of money.
-Here we go.
is the silver compact.
Octagonal form. Engine turned decoration.
Interesting for me, it's got the insignia of the Royal Artillery,
-which was my father's regiment, there we are.
-Best buy it then!
On the book at £50.
Get in there!
Bid's at 50. May I say 60 now.
60, the lady behind us. 60. 70 at the very back.
80 on my right. 90 at the very back.
100 on the right.
At £100 I'm bid. With you, madam, at £100.
At £100 I'm bid. May I say 110?
With you, madam, on my right.
Selling then. All happy?
-They'll either give it to someone who's in the same regiment
or they'll wonder what the hell they're ever going to do with it!
-It's gone. £100. Happy?
Coming up next, we've got the pair of Stourbridge glass lemon coloured vases.
How can you forget those? Well, I've been waiting for this little moment.
I'm pleased to be joined by Gerald, their owner.
We've got a valuation of £100 to £150.
We had a chat to the auctioneer before the sale started, Charles.
Don't tell me.
It's the colour. We just didn't like the colour.
I think Nigel and I both agreed with each other
that they just might struggle at that sort of money,
but we don't know. I mean, it's not our field, the speciality.
That's going for them. Size... perfect. Pair... yes.
not so good. Just not so good.
If you had to choose a colour, this would be the last colour
you would choose in the world, but never mind.
We're going to find out exactly who buys them and who pays what
right now because they're going under the hammer.
Pair of canary yellow Stourbridge glass vases.
There you are. What do you say for those? What are they worth?
-He's not sounding enthusiastic, is he?
100 for those?
50 to get on then, surely?
50. Opening bid £50 away for them?
-20? Bad as that? Oh, dear.
At 20's all I'm bid. A seated bid at 20. 30 here.
At 30. 40. 50.
Well, done. 60. We're nearly there.
£50 is all bid. At 50.
At 50. May I say 60? No more?
At £50 is all we have. No more?
At £50, not to be sold there I'm afraid.
Gerald, it's not our day.
It was that lemon, wasn't it? That lemon colour.
Gerald, couple of bids short.
-Yeah. Pity we didn't put them pink.
A cranberry would definitely sell. So sorry they've got to go home.
Never mind. It's one of those things.
-Another sale another day, as you say.
-We tried our best.
-Couldn't do better.
Right now, we're going to find out
who's going to give us £100 or £200 for Dai's Rolex watch.
You could say time's up really, couldn't you?
We'll find out in about one lot time.
Yeah. I don't want to be doing time.
Quality, though and I think the name Rolex will help sell this.
I like it cos it's subtle, it doesn't blaze out Rolex.
Yeah. Not sort of big logos of Rolex all over it.
Well, Dai, let's hope we get that top end.
It is time to find out right now what's going on with that one. This is it.
404, the little early 20th century Rolex silver wrist watch.
-Interest here with me.
-Oh, that's good.
£100 is what I have here with me.
-At 100. 120 on the settle.
180 I've got. 180.
200 bidding away at the back now.
-210 is all I have. At 210.
220 is now in the room. At 220 in the room. 220.
At 220 in the room. 220. Any more?
-That's good. That's good.
Fantastic. That's quality.
Rolex is a quality watch.
£220, less a bit of commission.
You went to see a spiritualist a few days ago, didn't you?
-I did, yes.
-Did they predict that?
-They didn't. No.
Well, what can I say? What a great day we've had.
Our owners have gone home happy. Big smiles on their face.
This is my spiritual home, Wales.
It started off in Tenby by the coast.
It's ended up in Carmarthen,
in a wonderful auction room, surrounded by Welsh oak.
It doesn't get much better.
I hope you've enjoyed today's show, so until the next time, cheerio.
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]
The team enjoys a day out at the seaside at the Tenby valuation day.
Experts Philip Serrell and Charlie Ross entertain and inform the crowd with their erudite valuations.
Meanwhile, Paul Martin discovers that the ancient craft of harp making is undergoing a mini industrial revolution in the nearby village of Llandysul.