Edinburgh Flog It!


Edinburgh

Paul Martin and the Flog It! team are in Edinburgh at Our Dynamic Earth. Finds include a Meissen tea set and an advertising gimmick designed by a famous Scottish artist.


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Transcript


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Spend, spend, spend...that's what I love to do, go shopping.

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Edinburgh is home to the oldest department store in the world - Jenners, here.

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But shopping is definitely out of the question today, because it's all about selling. Flog It is in town.

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Edinburgh truly is a remarkable place.

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16,000 buildings are listed as architecturally

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or historically important, and the whole city is a World Heritage site.

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And what really makes Edinburgh special

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is its breathtaking landscape, set amongst volcanic hills.

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Our home for today is Our Dynamic Earth, this striking building you can see behind me.

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It's at the foot of those volcanic hills,

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but thankfully they haven't erupted for 350 million years, so...

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I think we're safe today. Well, the volcano may be dormant, but we can't

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say the same for our experts, Adam Partridge and James Lewis.

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They're like coiled springs, so let's set them loose with the first valuation.

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Now, Janet, I have to say, when I first saw you in the queue with this plate, I loved it.

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But one thing I was not expecting and that was to turn it over and

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see that it was by Royal Worcester, because this is a classic piece

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of arts and crafts, art nouveau design.

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It's just such a mishmash of styles.

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We've got almost Japanese influence here with the bamboo lattice border,

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then you've got these arts and crafts flower heads, then you've got these art nouveau scrolling tendrils.

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And you've got these great budgies in the middle of it! Really odd, but tell me, how did it come to be here?

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It's always been referred to at home as the budgie plate.

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It was my granny's and she used it for bread,

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but after she went to stay with my mother,

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it was hung on the wall,

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and after my mother died, it got put in a cupboard and that's where

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-it's been for the last eight years.

-Really?

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Well, I should think, when it was fashionable, from 1880 to 1900, this would have been certainly not

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in the cupboard but out on proud display, because it's by Royal Worcester, one of the

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leading factories, and if we look at the mark on the back, we've done this so many times on Flog It,

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but look at the dots.

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The first one put on in 1891.

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Five of them.

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So 1891, '92, '93, '94, '95.

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1895. And also we've got a painter's initials, there.

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It's not somebody I know. It's not one of the major Royal Worcester

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artists, but this now comes under two different collecting fields.

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There are those people that collect Royal Worcester,

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but there are also those people that collect anything to do with budgies.

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Yeah! Those are the budgie collectors and breeders in the UK.

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What do you think it's worth?

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I have no idea. To me it's a plate.

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-Do you know, to be honest, I don't know either!

-That's two of us, then.

-I've never seen one, but I love it.

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But you always have to be careful that when you love something, you don't go over the top.

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But a lovely thing, and I think if we put an estimate of £40 to £60 on it, I think we should be about there.

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-Very good.

-If it makes more, I'll be thrilled.

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So will I!

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-So on that basis, are you happy to send it off to auction?

-Very happy.

-Lovely.

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Because I don't want it to be in the cupboard for the rest of its life.

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No, it's great! It shouldn't be in the cupboard.

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Somebody will really love that. Let's see what it does.

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-Hello, Marjorie.

-Hello.

-I'm Adam.

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-Pleased to meet you.

-Pleased to meet you too.

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I always find it quite sad sometimes when people are selling medals.

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-Are these family medals?

-They were my grandfather's medals.

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And can I ask why you've brought them along to Flog It today?

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-There's nobody else in the family to leave them to.

-Right.

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It's just my brother and I. Neither of us are married, so...

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Well, that makes a little more sense.

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When people have children and grandchildren and everything

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else, you think, "What a shame that the family history's going,"

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but now I can understand it a bit more.

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So they're going to be named along the side to your grandfather, there?

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Yes, it should be P Kerr or Peter Kerr.

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-Gunner P Kerr.

-Yes.

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There we are. RA. Royal Artillery.

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-Yes.

-There we are. So this is the war medal and the victory medal from the First World War.

-Right.

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-The 1914-1918 war, and this one is known as the Mons Angel.

-Yes.

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Little bronze plaque there, which depicts these French soldiers with their

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bayonets drawn, and you can see on the bottom "Victoire De La Marne",

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-which is 1914. And you can see the French flag on the side.

-Yes.

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Now, they're all fairly ordinary items to the collectors, so that's

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-why we're going to suggest selling them as a group.

-That's fine.

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-Estimate would suggest £50 to £80 on them.

-Yes.

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-I think they should make that. Maybe more.

-Good.

-I think we should put a reserve of 50 on.

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-That's fine, yes.

-Because we don't want them going for 20 quid.

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-No.

-Because everybody's going to be unhappy then.

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So, do you collect anything else?

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-I collect thimbles.

-I had a feeling you were a collector.

-A collector of thimbles.

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-What's the term for a thimble collector?

-A digitabulist.

-A digitabulist?

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-Digitabulist.

-How many thimbles do you have?

-About 1,000.

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-1,000?

-And I never use them and I can't sew!

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Why thimbles? Because they're small and pretty?

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Because they were small and pretty and somebody bought me one.

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The first one, I think, was Charles and Diana's wedding.

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-OK.

-And children of a friend bought them for me.

-So it's only been 20 years or so

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-you've been collecting them?

-Yes.

-1,000 in 20 years.

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I belong to a thimble club as well, so I buy from them.

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-Just ceramic or silver, gold?

-Oh, silver. I've got one made

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out of Edinburgh rock, I've got a KGB thimble,

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I've got one made out of salmon skin, crystal, wood.

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-So you've got pretty much an example of every known type of thimble?

-Yes.

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Very good. So £50 to £80.

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-Not a lot of money, but I bet I can guess where it might go.

-Oh.

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-More thimbles?

-No!

-No?

-No.

-OK.

-No, I'm going to New York

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just before Christmas for Macy's sale. So some of it will go to that.

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-I shouldn't have presumed, should I?

-Some of it'll go there. The rest will go to my brother.

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-Oh, of course. Yes. You must...

-Keep him sweet.

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-..split it with your brother.

-Yes.

-Because he might be watching.

-He probably will be!

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Lynn, coming here to Edinburgh, I was expecting to see Scottish provincial silver, Wemyss pottery.

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Just about the last thing on the list was a bit of Meissen porcelain. So tell me, what's it doing here?

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Well, I was left it in my parents' will when they died

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and I've had it now since about 1979, and because I've got a small house,

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it usually just stays in the cupboard under lock and key.

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So is this part of a collection or is it a one-off that your parents had?

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Oh, no. My mother collected china and she collected china in all forms.

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Older china,

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little tiny cups from various countries that she visited.

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Oh. So is this something that you think she brought back when she was visiting Germany?

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-I think so, yes. Probably, yes.

-Because what we're looking at here is...

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Well, they were called tea or coffee for one, but they were also called cabaret sets, and sometimes

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you'd expect to see just one cup and saucer, but if you give it a bit

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of a move around, there is room for two, which would have been a cabaret set.

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So this was probably made around 1950, 1960.

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It could be 1930s at the earliest, really.

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But this style was continuously produced from about 1760, 1770,

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all the way through into the 20th century.

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Now, the Meissen mark is probably the most famous mark of all porcelain factories.

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If we turn it over,

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there we have the famous under-glazed blue swords of Meissen.

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And people pick up a piece of porcelain

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and turn it over and see those and assume instantly that it's Meissen.

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But that is also the most copied of marks.

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So you see this mark not only on Meissen porcelain but on Paris porcelain from France,

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Samson porcelain from France, and also Staffordshire did it,

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Minton porcelain from England used the crossed swords mark.

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One of the ways of confirming it's Meissen is to see these

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impressed marks together with the blue swords. And it's a great set.

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It's in good order. We've got a little tiny chip there, but really that's nothing to work about.

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-That was there when I got the set.

-It looks as if it's been there for a long time.

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-Yes.

-But it's pretty.

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It does have a limited demand.

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We're always saying how out of fashion tea and coffee services are, but when it comes to something

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-like this, that would just look so pretty on the side, wouldn't it?

-Yes.

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It's not necessarily a useful thing - it's more of a decorative object now.

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-Yes.

-And there is a market for them.

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A little set like that at auction, I should think if we put an estimate of £70 to £100 on it,

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it should make that. If it makes over 100, 120, then we've done very, very well.

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Shall we put 70 on it as a reserve?

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-Yes.

-Let's do that. Sure you want to sell it?

-Yes.

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-Yeah? Let's take it to auction and see how we do.

-Thank you.

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And we're about to do just that, so let's have another look

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at all the items that are going under the hammer.

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James loves this unusual Royal Worcester plate.

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Let's hope the bidders do too, and Janet's budgie flies away today.

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Marjorie wants the sale of these First World War medals to provide

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her with plenty of spending money for her shopping trip to the Big Apple.

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And tea sets aren't the most fashionable right now,

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but it only takes a couple of bidders to push the price up,

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so it could be a refreshing result for Lynn.

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For today's sale, we've nipped down the road to Rosewell,

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just south of Edinburgh, to Thomson Roddick Auction Rooms.

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This is a wonderful old auction house. It did have a different past.

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It is an antique within itself and it's just had a new facelift.

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Our auctioneer is Sybelle Thomson, who's leading the proceedings,

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and the first item to go under the hammer is the Royal Worcester.

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The Royal Worcester plate with the budgie design on it.

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It belongs to Janet. We've got the plate. We don't have Janet but we've got her sister, Helen. I like this.

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-I really like this.

-Two budgies.

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-Was this Grandma's?

-Yes, it was. Yes.

-And this got divided up between the two of you.

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Yes. I can remember it hanging on the living room wall at my mum's house but, you know,

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-she never did anything with it, but my granny used to put bread on it.

-Ah!

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Right, we've got £40 to £60, James.

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-It's not a lot of money, is it?

-It's not a lot, but it's hand-painted,

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it's got a bit of transfer-printing there, but it's a lovely design. It's just a very acquired taste.

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-Yeah. The budgies will sell it!

-I hope so.

-Of course they will. Let's give it the tweetment.

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Here we go. This is it.

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284, Royal Worcester.

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And I can start this at £20. 20 bid.

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20 bid. 20 bid. 25, 30, five, 40, five, 45.

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Any advance on 45?

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For Worcester at £45.

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-It's gone down. £45, Helen.

-Yes.

-That's OK.

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-That's fine.

-You're happy with that, aren't you?

-I'm quite happy, yes.

-You looked slightly worried, there.

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-No, no, no. No point it lying in a drawer, is there?

-Exactly, no.

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-Get it out there and flog it. That's what it's all about, isn't it? If you don't want it.

-Yes, exactly.

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Right, it's Marjorie's turn now.

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We've got a Royal Artillery medal and that plaque.

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-Yes.

-It was your grandfather's.

-It was.

-We've got a top-end estimate put on by Adam, our expert, at £80.

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Could we do any more on that?

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Probably not, but these have all got a certain book value in a way,

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so I think probably fairly accurate.

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-I'm touching wood, here!

-It's sort of an academic piece, really, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-Yeah, interesting, but not especially valuable, I don't think.

-OK. OK. Well, fingers crossed.

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-Yes.

-This is it.

-Everything crossed!

-This is the moment we've been waiting for, isn't it?

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-Yes.

-Right, here we go.

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Various bids on this and we start them at £35.

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35, 38, 40, five, 50, five, 55.

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Anyone going on at 55? For the medals at £55?

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Who am I missing?

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Selling to the gentleman at 55.

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-At £55.

-Hammer's going down.

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-£55.

-Good.

-That's OK, isn't it?

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-Yes, yes.

-That's good.

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No major surprise, but it's pretty much what we thought.

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-And that's supper out, really, isn't it?

-Well, yes.

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-It's not a lot of shopping.

-No. Well, it'll go towards it. It'll go towards it.

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It's Lynn's little Meissen tea set.

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I like this. It's quite cute.

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It's not like a big, big tea set, more like a little trio, but there are four or five pieces.

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-And it was your mum's, wasn't it?

-Yes.

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-They never used it?

-No, no, no.

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-And you've never used it?

-No.

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-The condition is immaculate.

-Yes.

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-And we've got £70 to £100 on this?

-Yes.

-It's in the 18th-century style.

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-It does have the look.

-But 20th century.

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-But 20th century.

-If we were talking about 19th century, it'd be mid-hundreds.

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If we were talking about 18th century, it would be thousands.

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-Yes.

-But it's still a really lovely-quality lot.

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-Yes. Good luck, Lynn.

-Thank you.

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Hopefully we can get you the top end. This is it.

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The Meissen coffee set.

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I've lots of bids on this and I'm starting at £200. 200? 200?

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200? 200?

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200? 200? Who's going on at 200?

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-That is more like it!

-Wonderful!

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200? 200? Selling all the time at 200.

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Any advance on 200? 220, 240.

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240? 240?

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Selling on commission at £240.

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Yes! Gosh, straight in at £200.

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Very good, eh?

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-That's what I call a very good result.

-That is fantastic.

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-I'm really pleased.

-Thank you very much.

-So, there's commission to pay.

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It's 15%. They deduct that from the cheque that they send you in the post.

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So what will you put that towards?

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I'll put it towards a holiday to Vancouver.

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-To Canada, to Vancouver?

-Yes.

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Have you family out there?

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Yes, I've got my brother and his wife and his children.

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-Brilliant. Absolutely fantastic.

-So that'll really help.

-A family reunion Canada.

-Very nice.

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-It's great to see you, Lynn.

-Thank you very much.

-What a good result!

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Well, some good results there. We're now halfway through our auction.

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We're coming back here later on in the show, so don't go away.

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But we've just seen how this place has worked as an auction room, but it hasn't always been that.

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For years, it was run in the style of a Gothenburg pub.

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To understand what that means and why, we've got to go back in time.

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Now, the story starts deep underground, where thousands

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of people risked their lives searching for Scotland's black diamonds.

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Now, that's coal to you and me.

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Coalmining has existed in this part of Scotland since the 13th century.

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With the Industrial Revolution, demand for this valuable resource rocketed.

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The small mines in the area were failing to keep up, and the industry was about to go super-size.

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The Lady Victoria Colliery is now home to the Scottish Mining Museum.

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It was sunk in the early 1890s by the Lothian Coal Company.

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It was the first of Scotland's super-pits and it was to prove innovative in many ways.

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New technologies, including the use of steel pit props and electricity for power and light,

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made it the greatest mine of its age.

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In its lifetime, it produced a record 40 million tonnes of coal,

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and all of that was hauled up the 500m shaft by the largest winding engine in Scotland.

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But perhaps the best innovation of all came with the Lothian Coal Company's treatment of its workers.

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Founder Archibald Hood believed that a happy worker was a productive worker, and raising their living

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standards was just as important as improving their working conditions.

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So he set about building the model village for his workforce and here at Newtongrange,

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each miner was given good housing, complete with its own front and back gardens,

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so they got some outside space.

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It was a pioneering scheme. And it wasn't just housing. There was a welfare park,

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bowling green, a picture house and even a pub, the Dean Tavern.

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Now, the pub is called a Gothenburg, which meant it was run like a trust and all of the profits it made were

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used to benefit the local community, and the name came from the town in Sweden where the system originated.

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Archibald Hood introduced many other Gothenburgs to villages in the surrounding area too.

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'It all sounds great, but things aren't always as good as they seem, and local historian Ian MacDougall

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'is here to explain why and tell me about the notorious colliery manager who was in charge of it all.'

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So what was life like back in the early 20th century,

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working for the Lothian Mine Company here in Newtongrange?

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Well, very hard, as it was for all miners, whichever company they worked for in that period.

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A very dangerous job indeed, with serious accidents, almost daily occurrences,

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fatalities.

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-I want to know all about this guy, the manager.

-Mungo Mackay.

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Well, he was a tall man, 6ft tall, a very commanding presence.

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He apparently carried a walking stick about with him, always, and used it on occasions to enforce...

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Administer a little bit of force.

0:18:560:18:58

Well, he was in control of most of the pits of the Lothian Coal Company

0:18:580:19:05

from the 1890s until virtually his death.

0:19:050:19:09

He controlled the miners not only down the pit, but the miners and their families in the houses that

0:19:090:19:14

-the Lothian Coal Company provided for them.

-But at least these miners had houses.

0:19:140:19:18

They were given accommodation, with little back gardens.

0:19:180:19:22

So life was OK at points?

0:19:220:19:25

Well, in that way, yes.

0:19:250:19:27

But they were tied houses, so as long as you had the job, as you say, you could have the house.

0:19:270:19:33

If you lost your job, you also lost the house.

0:19:330:19:35

-So it kept you in work, so you didn't want to argue against Mungo.

-Exactly.

0:19:350:19:39

Otherwise you'd make your wife and kids homeless.

0:19:390:19:41

That's right. It was another means by which he was able to control the miners, both down the pit...

0:19:410:19:45

Sort of more like that, really, under the thumb, so to speak.

0:19:450:19:49

Did he have anything to do with his pub?

0:19:490:19:51

Very much. The Dean Tavern, the pub we're sitting in here,

0:19:510:19:55

was founded by the Lothian Coal Company in 1899.

0:19:550:20:00

So you couldn't even come here for a drink, after a hard day's work?!

0:20:000:20:03

You would be very wary, unless they were numbered among his informers and spies.

0:20:030:20:08

-You'd be very wary.

-Because he was always spying on them?

0:20:080:20:11

Well, this was one of the bases, the old miners said, of his great power

0:20:110:20:16

in the village and in the pit.

0:20:160:20:18

He used, they thought, about half a dozen men.

0:20:180:20:23

-Sneaks, yeah.

-They listened.

0:20:230:20:26

For instance, if a miner came to the Dean Tavern on a Saturday night

0:20:260:20:30

and met his friends and had a drink or two and got a bit merry,

0:20:300:20:35

and went home and his wife was waiting for him, a bit disgruntled,

0:20:350:20:40

as Burns put it, "nursing her wrath to keep it warm,"

0:20:400:20:44

and an argument ensued between husband and wife,

0:20:440:20:47

and one of Mungo's spies happened to live next door or was passing in the street

0:20:470:20:54

the miner would be reported.

0:20:540:20:56

He was summoned up to the green table and told if he didn't behave himself

0:20:560:21:00

in his house with his wife, he'd be put out. He'd be evicted.

0:21:000:21:04

And there were examples of miners and their wives and children

0:21:040:21:08

-being evicted onto the street by Mungo Mackay.

-Yeah.

0:21:080:21:11

'There was another side to him.'

0:21:180:21:21

He was unanimously considered to be an outstandingly able mining engineer,

0:21:210:21:26

probably the most able mining engineer in Scotland in his generation.

0:21:260:21:31

So he was a good thing for the mine? He made it a profit?

0:21:310:21:34

He certainly did, yes.

0:21:340:21:35

Lady Victoria Pit,

0:21:350:21:37

which was the main one of the Lothian Coal Company, here in Newtongrange,

0:21:370:21:41

was an extremely profitable, well-run pit, and he saw to that.

0:21:410:21:45

Mungo is long gone and the Lady Victoria no longer a working pit,

0:21:480:21:54

but the Dean Tavern is still here,

0:21:540:21:56

it's still at the centre of the community today

0:21:560:21:59

and it's still run as a Gothenburg pub.

0:21:590:22:01

Sadly, most of the others didn't survive.

0:22:010:22:04

We'll return to the mining town of Rosewell later

0:22:120:22:14

but for now, Adam's spotted something quite unusual.

0:22:140:22:17

-Welcome to Flog It. What's your name?

-Fay.

-Fay?

0:22:170:22:22

And what's that short for?

0:22:220:22:23

-Euphemia.

-Euphemia! That's an unusual name, isn't it?

0:22:230:22:27

-Yes, it is.

-Is that a Greek-derived name?

0:22:270:22:30

Well, I was told it was Greek,

0:22:300:22:32

and my father's brother married a Greek girl

0:22:320:22:36

-and that's what her name was.

-OK.

0:22:360:22:38

-Euphemia.

-But you want me to call you Fay?

0:22:380:22:41

-Fay.

-OK.

0:22:410:22:42

You've brought along something that I've never seen before.

0:22:420:22:45

-Where did you get this bowling ball decanter from?

-Singapore.

0:22:450:22:49

Right. And when did you get it?

0:22:490:22:50

1968.

0:22:500:22:52

Right. So would you like to demonstrate what it does?

0:22:520:22:56

You take the top off,

0:23:000:23:02

there's a drinks set,

0:23:020:23:03

-then you take the decanter out.

-And then it plays.

-And it plays.

0:23:030:23:07

What's the song that it's playing?

0:23:070:23:10

TINKLY MUSIC PLAYS

0:23:100:23:12

It's 'Oh, What A Beautiful Morning,' isn't it?

0:23:140:23:16

Put that back in and that stops it playing.

0:23:160:23:19

Have you ever used it?

0:23:190:23:20

-No.

-No! It's not the sort of thing you'd use. Do you play bowls?

0:23:200:23:24

I used to, in Singapore.

0:23:240:23:27

Right. Did you live in Singapore?

0:23:270:23:29

My husband was in the RAF.

0:23:290:23:31

-Right, OK. I bet it brings back some memories, doesn't it?

-It does.

0:23:310:23:36

It's the place where I adopted my son, in Singapore.

0:23:360:23:40

-He's here today, isn't he?

-He's here.

-He's a nice boy.

0:23:400:23:43

I met him as well.

0:23:430:23:45

We came home here in 1971

0:23:450:23:49

-and I fell pregnant with my daughter that I have now.

-Oh, really?

0:23:490:23:53

I was told I couldnae have any children.

0:23:530:23:55

Oh, that's lovely.

0:23:550:23:57

So there are a lot of memories associated, aren't there?

0:23:570:24:00

-I hope you've got other things that remind you of those times.

-Oh, yes, a lot.

0:24:000:24:04

-So selling this doesn't mean it's forgotten about.

-That's right.

0:24:040:24:07

-So you're having a clear-out?

-I am,

0:24:070:24:10

because my family doesn't want them, so what's the use of keeping them?

0:24:100:24:14

Well, it's good fun, isn't it? It's a quirky object.

0:24:140:24:17

More and more people are interested in 20th-century novelty stuff.

0:24:170:24:21

-I don't know it's going to make a lot, really.

-I'm not bothered about that.

-OK.

0:24:210:24:25

-But we'll put it in the auction.

-I'm just happy to meet you lot.

0:24:250:24:29

Ah! Excellent!

0:24:290:24:31

We'll put an estimate of £20 to £40, shall we?

0:24:320:24:35

-Lovely.

-We'll put no reserve on it, let it go, and hopefully...

0:24:350:24:38

-It'll get a good home.

-..we'll get a good home for it.

0:24:380:24:42

I'll see you again at the auction and we'll stand there together

0:24:420:24:45

and hope it bowls them over.

0:24:450:24:47

Thanks for coming to Flog It.

0:24:470:24:49

Jeanette, have you come far today?

0:24:550:24:57

Just about six miles. Not far.

0:24:570:24:58

-Oh, not too far.

-No.

0:24:580:25:00

Well, if you had come a long way, and you were in the 19th century,

0:25:000:25:03

-this is the sort of thing that you'd bring with you.

-Oh, right.

0:25:030:25:06

It's basically a lady's or a gentleman's travelling companion.

0:25:060:25:10

It would have come in probably a leather case,

0:25:100:25:13

or a shagreen or shark skin case, to protect this rosewood.

0:25:130:25:18

And it's beautifully fitted with little jars and covers

0:25:180:25:22

that would be silver plated to start with.

0:25:220:25:24

This would be for face powder and ointments and creams

0:25:240:25:28

but also here, we've got two inkwells.

0:25:280:25:31

One for black ink and one for red ink.

0:25:310:25:34

And under there, pen compartment,

0:25:340:25:37

gaps here for scissors and nail buffers and that sort of thing.

0:25:370:25:40

And in here, for your letters and papers.

0:25:400:25:43

I'm sure you've seen it, but at the side we always have

0:25:430:25:46

-a little secret compartment there to keep your jewellery in as well.

-Yes.

0:25:460:25:51

So how did you come to have it? Is it a family piece?

0:25:510:25:55

It was given to me by my mum's friend. When her mother-in-law died,

0:25:550:25:59

she was clearing out her house

0:25:590:26:00

and she said, "You pick anything you like."

0:26:000:26:03

This was something that I saw and I immediately liked,

0:26:030:26:06

and thought, "No, I would like to keep that."

0:26:060:26:08

I've had it for about 20 years now,

0:26:080:26:10

and it just sits on a shelf and stores buttons and things like that.

0:26:100:26:14

-Oh, really? So you have at least been using it.

-Yes.

0:26:140:26:18

Not very practical, I'm afraid.

0:26:180:26:19

You could just never use it today, could you?

0:26:190:26:23

The little mother-of-pearl section on the top there

0:26:230:26:27

was to engrave your name or initials.

0:26:270:26:29

We call it rosewood because of the smell when the tree was cut down.

0:26:300:26:34

This is a South American tree

0:26:340:26:36

-and when they cut through the wood it smells of roses.

-Oh, right.

0:26:360:26:39

That's why it's called rosewood.

0:26:390:26:41

Not, as many people think, from rose bushes in the back garden!

0:26:410:26:45

But there we are.

0:26:450:26:47

Date-wise, it's about 1840, 1850.

0:26:470:26:49

-Really? I never realised it was as old as that.

-Very early Victorian.

0:26:490:26:53

-Very plain, very standard in form, but a good, practical object.

-Yes.

0:26:530:26:59

So, what do you think it's worth?

0:26:590:27:01

I'd probably have thought about 150.

0:27:010:27:03

Ooh, I'm going to disappoint you.

0:27:030:27:05

-That's all right.

-50.

0:27:050:27:08

-Really?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-But it does just show, though, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

0:27:080:27:11

It does just show that antiques are affordable.

0:27:110:27:14

For something of that age, what a thing to buy.

0:27:140:27:18

It's not in good condition, either.

0:27:180:27:20

It needs a polish. We've got bits of veneer missing at the front here,

0:27:200:27:24

-but other than that it's not bad.

-Mm-hmm.

0:27:240:27:27

-Saying it's 150 years old, it's not bad.

-Yeah.

0:27:270:27:31

So £50 to £70 as an estimate.

0:27:310:27:33

-If it makes more than that, great.

-Yeah.

0:27:330:27:35

-But I don't think it'll make your 150.

-Not bothered about that.

0:27:350:27:39

-Are you sure?

-Yeah, absolutely.

-Still want to flog it?

-Yes, yes.

0:27:390:27:42

-Let's take it along and see how we do.

-OK!

0:27:420:27:44

Can you guess what it is? It's got form. It's got sculptural form.

0:27:500:27:54

Take a closer look.

0:27:540:27:56

You can just make out it's an elephant.

0:27:560:27:58

-Yes.

-That's exactly what it is. Are you a modernist?

0:27:580:28:02

No, I'm a bit old-fashioned, really.

0:28:020:28:05

-You're a traditionalist?

-Yes.

0:28:050:28:06

-You like your proper antiques.

-Yes, I do.

0:28:060:28:09

Right, OK. So, do you know what this is?

0:28:090:28:11

Yes, it was a promotion by Nairn Williamson of Fife, early 70s.

0:28:110:28:17

-73.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:28:170:28:19

And the elephant was chosen, really, for its sculptural form

0:28:190:28:24

and also because it can retain a lot of information.

0:28:240:28:26

And that's where the information is, inside there,

0:28:260:28:29

because lots of documents were kept in there.

0:28:290:28:32

I think it's absolutely stunning.

0:28:320:28:35

This was designed by the British artist Eduardo Paolozzi.

0:28:350:28:40

In fact he's Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.

0:28:400:28:43

It's for the Nairn Flooring Company.

0:28:430:28:45

-That's correct.

-Cushion floor.

0:28:450:28:47

-Yes.

-And plastic flooring.

-And armour flooring as well.

-Yes, you're right.

0:28:470:28:52

It was very popular in the 70s,

0:28:520:28:54

everybody had to have that sort of flooring in their kitchen, in a way.

0:28:540:28:58

This was for the reps to have, really.

0:28:580:29:01

The reps kept their paperwork in there.

0:29:010:29:03

It's made of the same material that was used in the flooring

0:29:030:29:08

but when you look at it, for me,

0:29:080:29:10

that really does sum up that sort of cubic block work of the 60s.

0:29:100:29:17

You know, the late 60s? The brutal architecture of the South Bank.

0:29:170:29:20

You know, when you see the South Bank?

0:29:200:29:22

-Yeah.

-And you see the architecture, that drab grey.

0:29:220:29:25

But that really appeals to me.

0:29:250:29:27

That really does appeal to me, and I love this little elephant.

0:29:270:29:30

I really do. Problem is, we've got some damage there, haven't we?

0:29:300:29:34

-Yes, we have.

-Just there. Let me take that bit off.

0:29:340:29:37

So how did the trunk get broken?

0:29:370:29:40

We used to handle it by lifting it by the trunk and we used to keep our bank books in there.

0:29:400:29:46

And it used to just sit on a unit and you just picked it up, and through time it just got broken.

0:29:460:29:51

You picked it up by the trunk?

0:29:510:29:53

-Yes.

-That's the kind of thing I would do, though, so I can't get annoyed with you.

-No.

0:29:530:29:57

These were freebies, really. The reps had them.

0:29:570:30:00

That's really good, look. I've turned it upside down.

0:30:000:30:03

You can see a signature there, just at the bottom, there.

0:30:030:30:07

-This is number 244 out of a limited range of 3,000.

-Yeah.

0:30:070:30:12

Which is striked into the base. I think it's fantastic.

0:30:120:30:15

The fact that it's limited edition will add to the value of it.

0:30:150:30:19

-Right.

-Unfortunately...

0:30:190:30:22

-The trunk's not...

-The trunk's damaged. That will detract from its provenance and its value.

0:30:220:30:28

Have you any idea what this is worth?

0:30:280:30:31

I said to my wife, "If it's a couple of hundred pounds, it's always something."

0:30:310:30:35

It's been sitting in the attic for 31 years.

0:30:350:30:38

-31 years!

-Yes.

-Gosh!

0:30:380:30:41

It's not going to be everybody's cup of tea. What does the wife think?

0:30:410:30:44

She doesn't like it at all. She never has.

0:30:440:30:47

I can put up with it but, as I say, it's been up in the attic for so many years now.

0:30:470:30:53

-I'll be as well getting rid of it before any more damage happens to it, actually.

-Yeah.

0:30:530:30:59

Well, I think we could put it into auction with a value of 200 to 300 quite easily.

0:30:590:31:05

I think it is quite rare. I don't know how many have survived.

0:31:050:31:08

I know the Victoria and Albert Museum have one example.

0:31:080:31:12

-That's right.

-So it's in good company, isn't it?

0:31:120:31:15

-Oh, it is.

-I think it's great.

0:31:150:31:17

I really do think it's great.

0:31:170:31:19

It's one of the quirkiest things I've seen on Flog It!

0:31:190:31:21

It's definitely good, contemporary 20th-century modern and I think that's the way

0:31:210:31:26

the antiques and art market is going right now. That's where the big money's spent.

0:31:260:31:30

-Let's hope big money's spent on this little elephant, Bill.

-We'll just have to wait and see.

0:31:300:31:34

We'll find out later on in the show, that's for sure.

0:31:340:31:37

-Good day to you, George.

-Good day.

-How are you doing?

-Fine. Very well.

0:31:420:31:46

Good. You've brought this lovely gold pencil. What can you tell us about it?

0:31:460:31:49

Well, it was given to me by a friend that I used to care for for about

0:31:490:31:54

20 years, and he had told me he'd received it in 1950 as a present.

0:31:540:32:01

Well, that sounds absolutely right, judging by the design of the pen and

0:32:010:32:05

-the case and everything else, it dates to about the 1950s.

-Yeah.

0:32:050:32:09

That's right. You've got a nine carat gold pen with this engine-turned

0:32:090:32:13

decoration, and it was retailed by the famous firm Mappin & Webb.

0:32:130:32:18

-Yes.

-So that was a nice thing to give to you, wasn't it?

-Yes, it was.

0:32:180:32:22

And have you used it since?

0:32:220:32:24

No, I've never used it at all. I've just had it lying in the drawer.

0:32:240:32:27

It's not the sort of thing you use on a daily basis, is it?

0:32:270:32:30

-No.

-But it's the sort of thing that every gentleman should have, if they've got everything else.

0:32:300:32:35

"What else shall I get?"

0:32:350:32:36

-"What shall we get him for Christmas?" "How about a gold pencil?"

-Uh-huh.

0:32:360:32:41

It's quite interesting and nice. When you get that out, it propels.

0:32:410:32:46

You turn the end and there the lead comes out.

0:32:460:32:50

Any idea what it might be worth?

0:32:500:32:53

Well, I maybe think about 50.

0:32:530:32:56

-50 quid?

-50 quid.

-Good guess.

0:32:560:32:58

Pretty good guess. I would think it should make £50 or £60.

0:32:580:33:02

Gold prices are quite strong and also, it's still quite popular in the current gift market.

0:33:020:33:09

So that's the sort of price we'd put it at. And why are you selling it?

0:33:090:33:12

Just because it's never used and it just lies there and I thought I may as well sell it now.

0:33:120:33:18

Not doing much good in a drawer, is it?

0:33:180:33:20

-No.

-And would you have anything in particular you'd spend the money on?

0:33:200:33:24

-I'd just maybe put it towards a holiday.

-Oh, yeah?

-That's right.

0:33:240:33:28

Anywhere in particular? Where do you like going?

0:33:280:33:31

Well, I don't go abroad now but I think maybe just

0:33:310:33:35

down south somewhere, you know?

0:33:350:33:37

-OK.

-I've friends in Marazion.

0:33:370:33:39

-In where?

-In Cornwall.

0:33:390:33:41

-Oh, right.

-In Penzance. Marazion.

0:33:410:33:43

OK. So you could go there?

0:33:430:33:45

-I could go there.

-Very good. Would you like to put a reserve on it?

0:33:450:33:48

-I think I'll put a reserve on it, yes.

-What do you think we should put?

0:33:480:33:52

At what price would you rather stick it back in the drawer?

0:33:520:33:56

-Oh, well...

-40?

0:33:560:33:57

-Yes, I think so. Yes.

-Shall we stick 40?

0:33:570:34:00

-If it doesn't make that, it's worth keeping.

-That's right.

0:34:000:34:03

Let's hope, if it makes 50 or 60, we'll both be right, won't we?

0:34:030:34:06

-That's fine.

-And that's a lovely feeling.

0:34:060:34:08

So thanks for coming along.

0:34:080:34:10

Thank you very much.

0:34:100:34:12

It's auction time again and here's our remaining lots.

0:34:120:34:17

Fay brought this bowling ball all the way back from Singapore.

0:34:170:34:21

Will it hit its target and achieve a strike today?

0:34:210:34:24

Jeanette's travelling compendium has also covered its fair share of miles over the years

0:34:240:34:29

and with no reserve on it, it'll definitely be journeying onwards.

0:34:290:34:33

No-one's going to be able to ignore Paolozzi's elephant in the auction

0:34:330:34:36

room but will the damaged trunk ruin Bill's chances of a good sale?

0:34:360:34:42

And will George's nine carat gold pencil

0:34:420:34:45

propel its way to a golden price?

0:34:450:34:49

Just before the auction starts, I'm keen to hear what auctioneer

0:34:520:34:55

Sybelle Thomson thinks of Eduardo Paolozzi's thoroughly modern elephant

0:34:550:34:59

Gosh, my eyes lit up when this walked in.

0:34:590:35:02

Well, it didn't actually walk in by itself, Sybelle.

0:35:020:35:04

Bill brought this along. It's a shame about the damage on the trunk.

0:35:040:35:08

I said, "How did that happen?" and he said he used to

0:35:080:35:10

-carry it around by the trunk.

-Oh, dear! What a shame.

0:35:100:35:13

-Yeah.

-But, oh, it's a great piece.

0:35:130:35:14

And very rare.

0:35:140:35:17

But how many have survived, I don't know. I've said £300.

0:35:170:35:21

But I think a lot won't have survived, because it was produced by Nairn's Lino in Kirkcaldy.

0:35:210:35:25

It was a publicity thing. They gave them away.

0:35:250:35:28

And the reps would have given them away and the people would have probably thought...

0:35:280:35:32

-What a funny-looking elephant.

-Yeah.

0:35:320:35:34

So I think it'll do well. And he is in the news a lot at the moment.

0:35:340:35:37

Yes. Well, obviously, the exhibition at Edinburgh, the big gallery there, and local boy.

0:35:370:35:44

Wonder if the gallery's got one.

0:35:440:35:47

I bet they have. Do you know, I think, at the end of the sale, we'll know how many have survived.

0:35:470:35:53

Because the bidding will dictate that and tell us, won't it?

0:35:530:35:56

There's been a lot of interest off the internet.

0:35:560:35:58

-Has there been much?

-Yeah, we've got a couple of phone bids booked and

0:35:580:36:02

one or two private collectors who collect his work are interested.

0:36:020:36:05

So, £600 to £800, possibly?

0:36:050:36:09

-Possibly. I'm quietly confident.

-Good.

0:36:090:36:12

If you love bowling you will love this next lot.

0:36:200:36:23

It's that lovely little decanter. It belongs to Euphemia, here,

0:36:230:36:27

and Kevin. Good to see you again.

0:36:270:36:29

Now, you are mad keen on bowling, or you were, won't you?

0:36:290:36:35

-Yes.

-Yes!

-I was sponsored by Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes in Singapore.

0:36:350:36:40

So you were pretty good?

0:36:400:36:42

You were pretty good, I'd say, wasn't she, Kevin?

0:36:420:36:45

-I think she was, yes.

-Yeah.

-I've got medals as well.

-Have you?

0:36:450:36:48

Yeah.

0:36:480:36:50

Adam, red hot on the skittles, there.

0:36:500:36:53

Yeah. Distinguished company.

0:36:530:36:55

-Mmm. I'm useless at that. Absolutely useless.

-Are you?

0:36:550:36:58

The ball goes all over the place.

0:36:580:37:01

But we've got a valuation of £20 to £40.

0:37:010:37:03

-Yes, I think we're on the right lines. It's a novelty item.

-Yeah.

0:37:030:37:06

I can't see it being worth a fortune but it would be nice if it...

0:37:060:37:09

I think it's so kitsch, it's fantastic.

0:37:090:37:12

It's such a nice surprise.

0:37:120:37:14

-Yes.

-You don't know what'll happen.

-That's right.

0:37:140:37:16

We don't know what'll happen right now, but we'll find out.

0:37:160:37:19

It's going under the hammer now.

0:37:190:37:21

178a, the Japanese bowler's decanter.

0:37:210:37:23

Rather unusual, with the musical movement.

0:37:230:37:26

And I've bids on this and we're starting at 12 bid.

0:37:260:37:28

12 bid. 12 bid. 12 bid. 12 bid.

0:37:280:37:30

15, 18, 20, two, five, eight, 30, two, five, eight,

0:37:300:37:38

-40, two. 42. 42.

-Well, this is good!

0:37:380:37:42

42. 45.

0:37:420:37:43

45. 45. Anyone else want in at 45?

0:37:430:37:47

-At £45.

-Yes!

0:37:470:37:51

-Good.

-Oh, the skittle's down, there.

0:37:510:37:54

-Adam said that it would be about that.

-He did, didn't he?

0:37:540:37:57

He knows his onions, Adam does.

0:37:570:38:00

-There was no reserve, was there?

-No, that's right.

0:38:000:38:02

It had to go. Let it roll.

0:38:020:38:04

Let it roll! Roll with it.

0:38:040:38:06

That's really good, isn't it? What are you going to do with the £45?

0:38:060:38:09

-I'm putting it to the Heart Foundation.

-The Heart Foundation?

0:38:090:38:12

-I've had problems with my heart so I'm putting it to the Heart Foundation.

-That's really nice.

0:38:120:38:17

I wish people who bought stuff from charity shops and profited on it would do the same.

0:38:170:38:21

Oh, there's a lot of sick kids in Edinburgh Hospital as well.

0:38:210:38:26

-You're very kind lady, aren't you?

-Yeah.

0:38:260:38:28

-Isn't she, Kevin?

-Yes.

-I've done the can-can for sick kids.

0:38:280:38:32

-And got £600.

-You did the can-can?

0:38:320:38:35

Didn't I do the can-can?

0:38:350:38:36

-Yes, you did.

-# Duh duh duh duh... #

0:38:360:38:38

-Shall we have a...?

-I cannae do it now!

0:38:380:38:41

You can't!

0:38:410:38:43

Jeanette, I like this little travelling compendium.

0:38:510:38:53

Lady's or gent's. Not a great deal of money but it's all there.

0:38:530:38:57

-Yeah, it's got a few faults but with a bit of love and care, it could have a great colour.

-Yeah.

0:38:570:39:02

Let's hope we get that top end, plus a little bit more, shall we?

0:39:020:39:05

-That would be nice, yes.

-That's what we want. It's going under the hammer now. Good luck.

0:39:050:39:09

Rosewood travelling compendium.

0:39:090:39:12

£50 for this? 50? 30?

0:39:120:39:15

Come on. It's got the decorator's look, hasn't it?

0:39:150:39:17

40, five, 50, five, 60, five, 70, five, 80.

0:39:170:39:23

£80. On my right at £80.

0:39:230:39:25

Any advance on 80? At £80.

0:39:250:39:29

James, you're so right.

0:39:290:39:31

-The top end, there.

-That's fine.

0:39:310:39:32

-That was a steady climb, wasn't it?

-Good.

-Someone's now got a useful bit of storage.

0:39:320:39:37

-Another button box.

-Yes, absolutely. That was great.

0:39:370:39:40

-There's commission to pay but at least there's a bit of money in it.

-That's fine.

0:39:400:39:44

It'll do a couple of good lunches.

0:39:440:39:46

I've been joined by George and Adam. We've got that gold Mappin & Webb pencil going under the hammer.

0:39:530:39:58

-You've had this for 20 years.

-Yes.

0:39:580:40:00

-Now it's time to let it go and flog it.

-That's right, yes.

0:40:000:40:03

Let's hope we get the top end of Adam's estimate, yeah?

0:40:030:40:05

-Were you happy with the estimate?

-Yes.

0:40:050:40:08

It should do the £60 to £90-odd, shouldn't it, Adam?

0:40:080:40:11

-Well... Certainly 50 or 60, anyway.

-50 or 60.

0:40:110:40:13

-Yeah, I would have thought so.

-Nine carat gold?

-Yeah.

0:40:130:40:15

It's going under the hammer now.

0:40:150:40:17

Let's do it! Come on, let's do it!

0:40:170:40:19

20. 20 bid. 25, 30, five, 40, five, 50.

0:40:190:40:23

£50. Any advance on £50?

0:40:230:40:27

Yes! It's gone down. Just, just got it in estimate there, £50.

0:40:270:40:32

-Happy with that?

-Yes, quite happy.

0:40:320:40:34

-Yes.

-Sure?

-Yes.

0:40:340:40:36

-£10 above reserve, so it means there were two bidders.

-Yeah.

0:40:360:40:39

-So at least we got a fair result.

-Yeah.

0:40:390:40:41

It's a packed saleroom, Bill.

0:40:460:40:49

-You've had the little elephant now 31 years?

-Yes.

0:40:490:40:52

-I think it's time to flog, don't you?

-Yes.

0:40:520:40:54

We're going to do that right now. I had a quick chat to Sybelle and she loved it as well.

0:40:540:40:59

It's iconic. It belongs here in Scotland and she said she's got a couple of phone bids.

0:40:590:41:03

-Has she?

-Yes.

-That's good.

-Yes.

0:41:030:41:05

Shame about the damage, though.

0:41:050:41:08

Sybelle has been auctioning all day.

0:41:080:41:09

She's taking a rest right now but on the rostrum we've got

0:41:090:41:13

-her colleague, Willie Smith, so we'll leave it up to Willie to do the honours, shall we?

-OK.

0:41:130:41:17

And knock the hammer down on this.

0:41:170:41:19

-This is it.

-Now we're coming on to lot 457a,

0:41:190:41:23

the Nairn elephant sculpture document holder by Paolozzi.

0:41:230:41:26

It's a very nice item. There's quite a lot of interest in it.

0:41:260:41:29

We're starting the bidding at £240.

0:41:290:41:31

-Ooh, good!

-Any advance on? 260, 280, 300, 320 beside me, 340.

0:41:310:41:39

340 on commission, here.

0:41:390:41:41

Any advance on £340 for it?

0:41:410:41:43

360 beside me. Any advance on £360? On the telephone at 360.

0:41:430:41:48

Oh, come on. Push the telephone.

0:41:480:41:49

380, 400, 420, 440, 460,

0:41:490:41:56

480, 500, 550, 600,

0:41:560:42:02

650, 700.

0:42:020:42:05

This is more like it, isn't it?

0:42:050:42:07

-Yeah.

-750, 800.

-Don't you just love auctions?

0:42:070:42:10

850, 900, 950.

0:42:100:42:14

-Oh, we're going to get the 1,000!

-950 this side on the telephone.

0:42:140:42:17

Are you bidding on the other side? 950 beside me on the telephone.

0:42:170:42:21

All done at 950. 950.

0:42:210:42:23

Bill! I think...

0:42:230:42:24

Gosh, you must be so happy, surely?

0:42:240:42:26

-Yes. That'll pay for the new washing machine.

-The new washing machine?

0:42:260:42:30

Plus something else, hopefully?

0:42:300:42:31

We've had our holiday this year so it will go towards next year's holiday.

0:42:310:42:35

OK. There's a bit of commission. It's 15% here.

0:42:350:42:37

That's how the auction room earns their money

0:42:370:42:39

and their wages but nevertheless, that's a great result, isn't it?

0:42:390:42:43

-It really is.

-Very pleased with that, yes.

0:42:430:42:45

Sadly, after all that excitement, we're at the end of our show.

0:42:520:42:55

As you can see, the auction's still going on behind me

0:42:550:42:58

but all our owners have gone home, and they've gone home happy because we've sold absolutely everything.

0:42:580:43:04

And the highlight for me was Bill and his elephant, making a staggering £950.

0:43:040:43:09

That is where the smart money is today, in 20th-century modern.

0:43:090:43:13

If you've got anything like that, we'd love to see you at our next valuation day.

0:43:130:43:18

So until the next time, it's cheerio.

0:43:180:43:20

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

0:43:200:43:23

made, visit the website at bbc.co.uk

0:43:230:43:26

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:330:43:36

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:360:43:39

Paul Martin and the Flog It! team are in Edinburgh at Our Dynamic Earth. Experts James Lewis and Adam Partridge are on hand to look for hidden treasures.

Finds include a Meissen tea set in perfect condition and an advertising gimmick designed by a famous Scottish artist. Paul also discovers more about the area's mining heritage and hears about an infamous mine manager called Mungo Mackay who ruled with an iron rod.


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