Experts Will Axon and Michael Baggot join presenter Paul Martin at Coventry's magnificent cathedral. Finds include a collection of Clarice Cliff and a trio of watches.
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It's further from the coast than any other British city.
It was bombarded during the Blitz
and it's renowned for the legend of Lady Godiva,
who famously rode naked through the streets of the city.
Have you guessed where we are yet? Of course you have.
With all those clues, today, Flog It! is in Coventry.
It's time for me to head to the venue and meet with our experts,
Michael Baggott and Will Axon.
Our home for the day is Coventry's iconic cathedral
and what a great turnout.
What treasures might be amongst this lot?
It's a great honour
to be filming in this stunning structure.
Built in the 1960s,
to replace the previous cathedral destroyed during the war.
It's become one of the most famous buildings for its period in the country.
Right. Let's get things started. First up, it's over to Michael.
June, thank you for coming along today and bringing these marvellous watches.
You've got rather a selection here. Where did they come from?
After they were married, my mother and father came to Coventry in 1929.
They rented a two-up and two-down house. She pulled back the curtain,
put three of her wedding presents in the window.
She sold them for £1 and went off to the auction sale and bought another lot.
That's the most unusual start to an antiques shop I've ever heard.
-She really built up and had two shops, in the end.
-Went to four auctions a week.
So, these were, at some point, stock?
-These were stock.
-Right. Let's have a look at this one.
This is obviously the most interesting.
Lovely gold face, which is typical of the early 19th century
where you get the whole dial done in machine-engraved gold.
And we should be able to access the movement.
-And we've got a crowned 18, for 18-carat gold, which is great.
And we've got the London town mark and the date letter for 1824.
-Oh, my goodness.
-So that's super.
But if you've never seen inside,
it's got a fabulous movement, with this beautiful pierced balance cock.
And right in the middle there, is a diamond end stone,
as the diamond allows the least resistance,
for it to run on,
which is marvellous and it's signed Barwise of London.
It's a lovely thing.
The case is in super condition and it's on this very short little
later Victorian nine-carat chain, with this little swivel fob.
This little enamel watch is not in a precious metal and that would be a little lady's fob watch.
The hoop's now missing. Probably dates to about 1900.
Then we've got this, which is the more standard pocket watch that we do see on Flog It!
And that's a gentleman's.
And again, if we access the movement...
-that's London 1839.
A nice standard watch.
Unfortunately, missing the glass and several cracks to the enamel dial.
So, June, any idea what the value is of these?
I'm afraid I haven't. No.
As I say, that's probably, with its defects, £10 or £15.
A little chip to the enamel.
That's going to be a project for somebody that restores watches.
-And again, that's £20 or £30, but this really is the star.
-So I think £150 to £250 for that, as it is.
And if we add these in and say at auction £200-£300
-and set the reserve at about 180.
-That would be lovely.
-Gives the auctioneer a bit of discretion.
And that's another little segment of your mother's stock
moved along and you might be able to tackle the rest. That's super.
-Thank you so much for bringing them in.
-Margaret, thank you for bringing this in today.
It's obviously, I don't need to tell you, a framed tile.
-What can you tell me about it?
It was a keepsake to my husband from a friend
that had left where he was living.
-That was 25 years ago.
-That's a nice touch, isn't it?
And he doesn't mind you selling it, cos he's not here today, is he?
-No. No. He's golfing.
-Oh, you're a golf widow, are you?
-Well, let's have a look at it.
We can see here that it's got
quite a lot of depth to it, hasn't it, as a tile?
I mean, a lot of the time, we think of tiles
as being decorated quite flatly.
-But this is a technique known as intaglio moulding.
Now, that's when the actual impression is pressed into the tile,
you get different depths and when the glaze is run over the design,
it pools in the deeper areas and just gives you these darker areas,
which again, helps highlight the lighter area. Just gives depth.
It's from the sort of genre,
that sort of early 20th century, late 19th century, where,
from the middle of the 19th century,
the art potteries really started to expand,
in the fact that there were
a lot of individualistic designs being produced.
There was the Arts and Crafts Movement.
There was the sort of reaction against mass production,
but nonetheless, these firms that were mass producing pieces at the time, they would employ designers
to perhaps design one-off pieces for them,
but then still manufacture them in the mass production style.
So, they were trying to appeal to that, sort of, common aesthetic
of a reaction against the mass produced.
Now, have you any idea who this tile is produced by?
-It was from the Pilkington factory.
-You're quite right.
And we know that because we've had a look at the back
and we've found the impressed P, for Pilkington.
-Probably its original frame.
-Yes. I think it is.
I suspect this probably dates from around 1900, that sort of period, though the technique was actually...
I think started in France in the mid-19th century, certainly the second half of the 19th century
in France, with this intaglio moulding. But, you know, it's nicely done, nicely moulded.
It's good crisp quality.
But I would think, you know, in its original frame,
a Pilkington tile like that, in good condition,
there's just a couple of areas of flaking I can see there and some crazing to the glaze,
-but that's to be expected.
-I would suggest it's going to be around the £50 mark,
-so I'd like to put it in at 40 to 60. I don't know how you feel about that?
-That's fine. Yes.
We don't have to phone your husband on the 18th hole, put him off his last drive and ask if it's OK?
-No. I'm sure that'll be all right.
-OK. £40-60. Do you want a reserve on that,
-or are we just letting it make what it makes?
-I think we'll just let it make what it makes, shall we?
That's the right attitude. Being an auctioneer,
I quite like to see a lot in sale without reserve, cos to be honest,
the market'll decide what it's worth, but it should be £40-£60.
-See you there.
-Thank you very much.
You'll never guess what Eileen collects. Well, here goes.
Carefully does it.
Look at that. And there is about 100 spectacles here.
So, tell me a little bit about yourself, Eileen.
Are you a Coventry lass?
I was born in Coventry, yes. And I left school
and went straight to work as an optician's receptionist.
Hence the love for spectacles.
That's right. I've worked in optics for 42 years...
-You've been collecting ever since?
-..and I've been collecting ever since.
-What have you done with your collection? Does it go to work with you?
I've taken it to work and people have asked me if they can have a look at them.
I've brought them in,
-showed them and they've just loved them.
-What a bit of fun.
-I bet they must have a laugh with you, mustn't they, at reception?
-They do. Yes. Yes. They do.
-Can you remember the first pair you bought?
-I can. Yes. This is the first pair.
I'm not sure whether it's brass or bronze, but they used to have them so they extended at the sides,
so they fitted people's heads better.
Oh, suits you.
They're fantastic. They really are. The condition of some of these is incredible.
-This is lovely, because of the way they used to do the wooden cases.
-That's nice. A bit of treen.
Yeah. Let's have a look at those. They look like silver. There's some hallmarks there.
-No. They're not hallmarks, actually. They're EPNS, they're silver plates.
And they're about, I guess, circa 1820, 1830.
I think you're about right on that. Yes. Yes. That's right.
Well, these are the most serious of the collectable spectacles,
you know, the historical factor.
And these are the, sort of, kitsch 1970s plastic Americana,
which I think are such good fun.
I'm going to be Elton John, here.
Look. That's what it says. And who are you going to be?
-I'm going to be Dame Edna.
So where did you pick these ones up from?
These ones we had when we used them for display in the window
when we were doing the window displays.
Why do you want to part with them?
I think now that it would be nice for other people to look at them
instead of them being stuck under a bed and I've retired now.
-So you don't work in the opticians?
-There's no-one to show them to.
-I think we've got to sell them as a collection.
-I would like that.
-They should stay together.
-I'd like that.
-Lots of love, care and appreciation's gone into this
and I love the way you've displayed them. Do you want to put a reserve of £150 on these?
-If that's what you think. Yes.
-I don't think they should go for anything less.
-There's a lot here.
-Yep. OK. Fair enough.
-And it's going to force people to bid up to £150.
Shall we call the valuation £150 to £250? Fingers crossed, they make a lot more.
-Shall we do that?
-Let's do that.
Sheila, what an explosion of colour you've brought in.
I'm glad you like it. It's so misty, though, and soft.
-Yeah, it really catches the eye.
Anyone who's watching who is aware of this earthenware pottery
will automatically recognise it as Poole,
mainly because of this very typical Poole palette,
where you've got these nice strong colours,
the design, with this strong geometric banding around the vase.
You've got this geometric, jazzy, stylised leaves and flowers
and, sort of, a cloudburst.
Here we've got the centre bowl, two preserve pots, shall we call them.
Sugar or marmalade or whatever.
-It's nice it's still got its wicker handle.
-Yes, I rather like that.
-That's rather nice.
And again, good strong colours,
that sort of high Art Deco.
And you must have bought them or did you inherit these pieces?
No, it was the family. It was in the family when I was little.
I don't know where my parents got them.
-So the reason for selling is?
-Gas and electricity.
Two words that I'm not keen on, especially with winter on the way.
I'm not going to say that waffly thing about "let somebody else enjoy them".
-I would like the money.
-You want the cash.
-You want the readies. It would be nice to spend it on yourself, though.
-Have you had any idea of value?
-Absolutely none, at all.
-None, at all.
-Never even crossed my mind to think about it.
Well, I would say these two are the more desirable pieces.
-Now, they're definitely worth £100-£150 for the two.
-That's very good.
-And hopefully they'll make a bit more.
Like I say, they're good strong designs,
they will be desirable, good shape, as well.
-This is nice with the twin handles.
-Yes, it's a pretty shape.
Then, here, again, you're going to appeal with the preserve pots,
because there are people who collect them.
I would say you're probably looking at £100-£150 for that lot, also.
Very nice, very nice.
So let's split the two. Do you want to put a reserve at 100?
-I would like a reserve, yes, please.
-We'll put 100 on each.
-Not bad, at all.
-So we should get a minimum of £200.
-I'll see you there on the day.
-Fingers crossed, we get it away for you.
-Keep our fingers crossed.
Steve, thank you for bringing along something with a bit of a local flavour.
Where did you get it from?
I purchased it off a friend. He just wanted to get rid of it, so I liked it, so I bought it off him.
-Was it something he'd had for a long time?
-I've no idea.
I don't know the history of it.
-What attracted you to it when you saw it?
-I just liked it.
The decoration that was on the front.
-Bit unusual, isn't it?
-Yeah. Very unusual. Yeah.
Well, the trick with this, of course, is what is it?
And you open it up and you see that, low and behold, it's a little ladies' stationery box.
And you'd have your correspondence in here and you'd maybe have spare pens and accessories in there.
You've got this very typical late William IV, early Victorian
faded electric blue-green lining that you get on period pieces.
The other thing you see when you open it up is how wonderful
-and bright all the gilt lacquered decoration originally would have been.
It's made of papier mache.
Papier mache was very fashionable in its lacquered form from about 1800, 1810,
right through to about 1850, 1860.
There are very good makers that you look for and they have stamps.
Well, if you want to see one name, on a bit of papier mache, that's the name you want to see -
Jennens & Bettridge.
They were working at the early part of the 19th century, in Birmingham.
-And they made some of the finest. Another name you might see is Henry Clay.
What I haven't seen before, which is very interesting,
is patent inlaid gems.
This cover decoration which is faded a little bit now, is their
patent gemmed inlaid decoration, which I haven't seen before
and it's very interesting.
It would have been part of a whole suite of desk items.
And I think, at auction, it's somewhere between £100 and £200.
It's difficult with the distress on it.
Had it been perfect, I would think £400-600 with no problem.
Somebody will want it for that mark, I think, more than anything else.
-So if we put it in at 120 to 180, would that be OK?
-Yeah. That'd be brilliant. Yeah.
-And we'll put a fixed reserve of 120.
And it might be a bit hit and miss on the day, but we'll give it a go
-and keep our fingers crossed.
For my little jaunt out today, I've travelled to the outskirts of Birmingham,
and I'm going to witness the training of a new recruit, and he's on his way to becoming
a valuable member of the urban search and rescue team, here at Bickenhill Fire Station.
The urban search and rescue team are a technical rescue unit that set up camp on this purpose-built complex
earlier this year, gathering together local firefighters,
to form a special part of the West Midlands Fire Service.
But instead of responding to fires,
they're experts in attending calls where there's a potential for someone to be trapped.
And as well as all of this machinery, which is packed full of the latest high-tech equipment,
this unit also uses one tried and tested tool - man's best friend.
A dog's skill at sniffing out lost or trapped casualties has long been documented.
During the war years, they were used with great success
to locate casualties buried in buildings destroyed by the Blitz.
And search and rescue dogs have been reported as early as the 17th century.
The dogs used today by the urban search and rescue team carry on that tradition.
Currently, this unit can only call on canine teams from neighbouring counties,
but all that is about to change. Meet Simba.
And the man who is responsible for Simba's training is Paul Jobbins, a firefighter for over 17 years.
Before I meet Paul, he's keen to show us Simba in action.
A difficult scenario has been set up to mimic a real-life incident.
This will certainly test Paul and Simba's search and rescue skills.
One man who's been there and done it all is Paul's mate Steve Buckley,
and he's from the neighbouring Cheshire Fire Services.
He's got a wealth of experience, he's been on hundreds of call-outs with his dog Bryn.
Very brave man and brave dog.
So I think Steve here - hi, pleased to meet you - is going to be
the best judge on Simba's performance during this exercise.
I think this is fabulous. It looks like a derelict factory.
What's the objective of the scenario?
The scenario today is we've got a collapsed building and our only access point is from above.
So we're going to raise Simba and Paul up there, and he'll start his search from up top,
bring him down, and we've got a casualty.
We've got a real person in there!
Yeah. That's James from the production, one of our runners!
You've made it on telly, James! What are we going to do with him?
-We're going to cover him up.
Let's not make it too easy.
Put a bit of rubble on him.
-Are you all right, James?
-Good man. Right, OK.
-Hopefully, Simba will come down and find him.
-Right. Shall we stand back and watch?
The lads are using a pulley system to haul them up.
Aw, look at that!
-He's enjoying that, isn't he?
-It's all about trust.
They will trust one person, won't they?
-That's brilliant. That's absolutely fantastic.
-Quite chilled out.
-Look at that!
He's so relaxed. That dog is so relaxed.
Now they'll lower Paul down onto the top of the roof.
He'll take him out of his harness, his lift harness, and put him in his trigger harness now.
Once he's in that, he's ready for the search.
This is incredible. It's just all built on trust.
DOG YELPS AND WHINES
Aw, that's brilliant!
Yeah, Paul's working him now through the collapsed structure.
-They've got to be quick.
YELPING AND BARKING
Straight onto the casualty and the indication.
-He's just letting Paul know...
-What is it? What is it?
..that he's found something.
What is it? Good lad!
-One casualty located on the first floor.
-And then the reward.
-He's got a squeaky toy.
-That's him now.
-Oh, look at that.
-How did Simba do?
Very good. Very good. You saw there, he was...
-he was quick, thorough.
-So, he's earned his stripes today?
He's earned his stripes, well and truly, today.
Let's talk about Simba. Wonderful long-haired German Shepherd.
I've got one myself and I'm just in love with German Shepherds.
What training goes into working with the dog?
Well, the dogs enjoy quite a wide variety of training
and we try to do it on a daily basis in one form or another.
I try and get him out in as many different environments - derelict sites and demolition sites.
Basically, it's about keeping it fun for the dog, and always
giving him that reward, his toy, giving him a lot of encouragement.
So how long does Simba have left in his training?
All being well, I'll stick my neck above the parapet and say
by the summer next year, as long as I don't let him down.
It's basically up to me now. Yeah.
-Well, good luck, Paul.
-Thanks very much.
I think Paul's certainly found the perfect partner.
It's a strong bond between man and dog, and Steve also has his loyal four-legged friend, Bryn.
This successful partnership came out of a life-changing trip when Steve volunteered to work overseas.
We went to India in 2001, which was...quite an experience.
-That's with the earthquakes?
-Yeah. There were teams from all over the world and a German team
had dogs, and that's the first time I saw dogs actually working.
They were so quick over the ground. It took us an hour to clear a building
where the dog was doing it in minutes.
So the dogs in India inspired you, so when you came back to the UK,
you said to the boss in Cheshire, "Right,
"I want to work with dogs, I want a dog in the team". And it's about finding the right dog, then?
-So you found Bryn and thought, "Yeah, he's the one"?
Yeah, without a shadow of a doubt.
Any incidents you can tell me about, where Bryn's come in really, really handy?
Yeah, we were in this area a few months ago
with a building collapse and we were the first dog team to get there.
We sent Bryn in, he indicated.
Unfortunately, the guy was deceased, but the dog's indicated,
which allowed the lads from the West Midlands to get in to exactly where the guy was.
Are you very proud of Bryn?
Certainly. Certainly. Couldn't have asked for a better dog, actually.
-You've got a tear in your eye, thinking about him.
-I wouldn't go that far!
Steve and Bryn provide crucial support to the fire services outside their region but,
for the West Midlands Fire Service, getting a canine team of their own is key.
Well, as you can see for yourself, what a fantastic team.
Good luck to Paul and Simba.
They're well on their way to becoming the first search and rescue canine unit
here in this region, a vital tool for the West Midlands Fire Service.
So many people and so many antiques,
but right now, we're going to put our first valuations to the test.
We've picked our crop of the bunch, so far.
It's now time to put them under the hammer.
While we make our way to the auction room,
here's a rundown of what we're taking with us.
Of June's three watches, the gold one stood out for Michael.
It alone could be worth £200-£300.
Will got his hands on Margaret's Pilkington framed tile.
With no reserve, at least we've got one guaranteed sale.
Eileen's incredible collection of spectacles spans decades
and it's an important part of her life.
And for that reason, I want it to sell and to sell well.
And Sheila's hoping the sale of her Poole pottery
will make a real dent in her fuel bills.
And, finally, it was the unusual patent mark
that stood out on Steve's stationery box.
Today, we've travelled across Warwickshire
to the village of Tiddington,
just outside Stratford-upon-Avon.
We're the guests of Bigwood Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
and their home is this wonderful old former Victorian school.
It's a classic old building.
It's the right place to sell antiques in, that's for sure.
And wielding the gavel for us today
will be auctioneers Christopher Ironmonger and Stephen Kaye.
Everything is set, so let's get started with our first lot.
Right, it's now Sheila's turn. We've got some Poole pottery.
-One large bowl and four little pots, Will?
We've put a job lot together to keep the value up.
-You split them on the day.
You've got a nice, good-sized bowl there,
a shallow dish and you've got the other bits, as well.
-It's a lot for your money.
The first lot, they're nice, slightly earlier ones.
Nice lot, this. £80 for this one.
60, then. 60, I'm bid. The bid's there at 65, at 70, 5, 80, 5
90, 5, is it? At £90, at £90. Are you all finished at £90?
-Are you all done? All done?
-The hammer's down, but he didn't sell them.
-I don't think he did.
-Didn't he sell it?
-We've got a fixed reserve of £100...
-..as agreed with Will.
Selection of '60s Poole earthenware.
All as described there. Rather a nice lot, this.
There we are. Who's got 70 to get me started?
60, then, come on. 60, I'm bid, 60 and 5, do I hear?
65, 70, now. 75, 80, is it?
80, 85. 85. Will you go 90?
At 85 it is. At £85.
Are we all finished at £85? All done?
-They were sitting on their hands.
They've probably got bills to pay, as well.
-They're not buying for the reason that you're selling.
It's a confusing old world, isn't it?!
Are you sure?
I hope you lot are focusing right now at home.
If not, then you need glasses.
And Eileen here's got quite a few pairs you could have.
What a great collection, wasn't it? I've been waiting for this moment.
The auctioneer didn't say anything to me before the sale started.
-So, I think he, kind of, agrees with the valuation.
So fingers crossed, we're on the right money.
-You've got something to show me, haven't you?
-I have. Yes. This is a pair that's not going to auction.
Look at that! That's fantastic!
Do you ever wear these outdoors, at all?
Only when we've been to a party and just had some fun at a party.
-Well, good luck.
-Good luck, Eileen.
Extensive cased collection of spectacles, principally from
the 1870s through to 1930s.
And I can open the bidding at £150.
At 150 with me, a bid on the book.
Is it 160 in the room? 160 is it?
At 150. All these spectacles for 150. That's only £3 a pair.
Come on. At 150.
160. 170. 180. 190.
Oh, I think this is good.
At £190. Are we all sure?
-I'm ever so happy with that.
-Pleased. I'm really pleased.
A little bit more than the lower end,
which is good, isn't it?
Yes. Yes. It is. Yes. Yes. I am happy with that.
Thank you so much for bringing in such a lovely little collection.
I meet lots of collectors, but you're in my top five now.
Thank you. That's very special.
-I love those, as well. Look after them.
-I will. Thank you very much.
Next up we've got Margaret's Pilkington tile.
We've seen the tiles on the show before
and we've also seen lots of no reserves.
One of my personal favourites. I like the no reserve.
Let the market decide what it's worth.
-Auctioneers always say that, don't they?
You'll be cross, won't you, if it only goes for a tenner?
We'll have to wait and see, won't we?
I'm sure some clever person knows it's Pilkington.
There's always a wise guy in the sale room. Everyone wants a bargain.
-That's why you come to auctions, isn't it?
-Yes. It's true.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes, things go cheap. Sometimes, things go expensive.
I hope it's the second one!
So do I, I think, now.
Earthenware tile, portraying two clerical gentlemen
at the wine by the table. There we are.
Who's got, say, £40 for this one?
-£30. Come on. Get me started. It's quite nice. £30.
-We're in, 20.
-25, do I hear?
At £20. This is no money at all.
£20. Do I hear 5? At £20.
I'm going to have to sell it at £20.
-25, if you want to carry on.
£20, it's going to go. You all done?
You haven't got to take it home with you. That's the plus.
Never mind. I'll go and see
what my husband says now.
-It was worth it for the experience.
-Yes. It was.
We've got a bit of quality right now for you. A great name.
A lovely papier mache stationery cabinet.
Belongs to Steve. You've got a good eye,
cos you got this for 30 quid off a friend.
-Did he have lots of other good gear?!
-He does have a few bits.
-Can Michael and I see him?
-Can he be our new best friend?
-He can. We'll arrange that later.
-I wouldn't buy it without the stamp.
-No. No. I think that's the thing.
If you're going to buy papier mache, unless it's in fantastic condition,
or a beautiful item, go for a stamped mark.
Jennens and Bettridge or Henry Clay.
-Yes. So good for you.
-Thank you very much.
-All from Birmingham.
-Good luck, guys.
It's going under the hammer now.
Jennens and Bettridge Victorian lacquered stationery box.
Very nice piece, indeed.
80 as a start, then. Come on.
80, I'm bid. 80. The bid's there at 80. 90. 100.
110. 120 is it? At £110. I thought it would make a lot more than this.
-Yes. So did I.
-Is it 120, now?
Are we all done? You disappoint me.
At £110, are we all sure?
He didn't sell it, did he?
-No. I'm pleased you put a reserve on that.
-I am, as well.
It deserves to go maybe into a sale
-where there are other boxes and papier mache.
And I'm sure that's going to make them. That's a very rare patent.
It had such character and charm.
That's something you wanted to pick up and not put down.
-So hang on to it, at that sort of money.
-Yeah. I will.
That was close. Just £10 short,
but it's never nice when lots don't sell. Next up are June's watches.
Before the sale, I spoke to auctioneer Chris.
He decided to split them into two separate lots
to try to make the most of that lovely gold one.
Let's hope they can break our little run of bad luck.
If you're in the market for a pocket watch,
you've come to the right place,
You've gotta be in the sale.
You've gotta be in it to buy it. June's flogging it.
-We've got three of them, which have been split up.
Had a chat to the auctioneer earlier.
He said the gold one, alone...
-Is a star.
-Is the star.
-I know. I know.
And it's worth the estimate alone.
That's why he split them.
I wasn't too sure about the other two, actually, being commercial,
but if he's happy to put them in
a low value lot and not a lot of auctioneers are happy to do that.
They like to bulk things together.
He's quite happy to get £40, he said, for the other two.
But it's the big one with the fob and the swizzle.
-Keep your fingers crossed.
-I've got them crossed.
-Barwise is a good name.
And it's a good watch.
And they're going under the hammer now. Good luck. Good luck.
Victorian hunter case gentleman's silver pocket watch, by Jason Bush.
Let's get £30 for them.
Anybody? 30, I've got. 32. 35.
37. And 40. And 45.
£40, gentleman at the back.
Christopher's spot on. He said £30.
-Yes. Spot on.
-Anybody give me 50?
All done at £45?
-Now, we're on the money, aren't we?
-But it's this next one.
If the poor ones can make 50... brace yourself.
A rather nice pocket watch by Barwise of London.
I've got a number of bids here on the book and I can start at £220.
Straight in at 220.
240. 260. 280. 300. And 20.
I'll take 320 off anybody else.
320, I'm out. Anybody give me 340?
At £320 with this gentleman.
Are we all done?
-What's that? 360 altogether, or 365, actually.
-It pays, sometimes, to split these things up, doesn't it?
Thank you so much.
It is said that Godiva
rode naked through the streets, protesting against the grievous
taxation imposed on the people of Coventry, by her own husband.
Now, we're all familiar with the legend of Lady Godiva
and she will always be synonymous with Coventry, so while I'm here,
I thought I'd find out a little bit more about her.
Now, what I'm interested in is what is fact and what is fiction.
We all know the story behind Godiva but what's the truth in the legends?
Did she really exist? And did she really ride
naked through the streets?
And the man I hope will have some of the answers is local historian
and city tour guide, Roger Bailey.
Now, we've arranged to meet here
inside the city's brand new history centre, which is just opposite the cathedral.
There we go. Look at that.
Roger, thank you very much for meeting me here today
and sparing the time. Now, we're all familiar with
the legend of Godiva, but what do we know about the real-life person?
What are the facts?
There's not a lot of facts. We know she got married to Earl Leofric in 1035.
A very powerful man. He controlled an area we used to call Mercia.
He was the power behind the king.
And then, later on, we know she owned lands in Coventry
and then she died in 1067. And she's also mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
So there's definitely a link between Godiva and Coventry.
Most definitely. She owned lands in this area.
It was a very small place. In actual fact, it probably wasn't even a town.
More like a hamlet or something of that scale.
It was mostly a religious place at the time she would have been around.
But let's not forget Leofric
and Godiva owned lands right across the country.
It wasn't just in Coventry.
So, a very wealthy family.
Very. And a powerful family, as well.
So, when did the legend, as we know it, first appear?
Well, Roger of Wendover actually wrote it down
about 130 years after the riot was supposed to have taken place.
He had a reputation for elaborating,
so what was probably a good story was an even better story
-by the time he got his hands on it.
-Written in the tavern, no doubt.
Probably. Over an ale. Yes. That's more than likely. Yes.
What about the evidence they cut tax at the time?
There is evidence that tax was reduced around the 1040s, early
1050s, but whether that was just an evolutional process or whether it had
something to do with a lady on a horse, we simply don't know.
Well, look, I'd like to think
that she was directly responsible for that, wouldn't you?
I'd love to think that, but there's no proof to say that.
I mean, even though taxes might have been reduced, whether that
had anything to do with a young lady on a horse, with or without
her clothes on, I can't promise that.
She existed, but we don't know about the horse and the clothes.
She definitely did exist and she did have links to Coventry
and she was a very religious person, gave money to the church.
That we know. Anything else, we have to guess at.
As part of this glorious new centre, the city council has established
a permanent exhibition devoted to Godiva. And here it is.
It's absolutely wonderful.
And it's clear the legend is still very much alive, as you walk
the streets of Coventry.
Her legacy is everywhere.
But there's one person who's doing more than anyone else to keep
the legend alive and relevant to modern Coventry.
Pru Poretta is the current official Lady Godiva and as well as attending
many city functions, she also works with the community and ethnic minorities.
We met in the ruins of Coventry's very own Benedictine Monastery.
It's great that we've met up down here, because there's
definitely a connection with the ruins here and Lady Godiva.
There is. Yes, Paul, because this is the undercroft of
the first cathedral of Coventry, the church that Godiva was the benefactor
of with her husband in 1043.
So, tell me, the connection with Lady Godiva. What's inspired you
and how long have you been doing this?
I was elected by the City of Coventry in 1982 to be Coventry's official
Lady Godiva. To ride the horse in a fantastic Godiva procession.
One that we hadn't really had like that since the Victorian times,
-but little did I know, that decades later...
-How many years later?
26 years later, I'd still be working as Godiva, in the city.
And I think it's become a mission, really.
Godiva isn't just about a naked woman on a horse.
-It's really getting back to the truth and the spirit of Godiva.
And my work, really, is involved with education, with schools,
with the communities, the real story of Godiva which is giving up yourself
to help those which have not and making a difference for the future.
So what does your work involve today? What are you doing?
It involves working with very young children, to older students,
so from nurseries, primary schools, senior schools, universities.
I work with the museums.
-I work with the city.
Obviously, the tourist board. I'm a tourist guide.
And not just in Coventry.
-All over the country.
It now goes throughout the Midlands, throughout the UK, really and abroad.
It's different every day.
What does Godiva really mean to you?
Can you sum up the legend?
Well, I'd say that she was a woman who gave her voice
to those who weren't counted, to those who didn't have a voice.
When we talk about her taking her clothes off or becoming naked,
I think we're having to strip down,
even the story of Godiva, to get back to the beginning,
that she made a difference. She had a great love of people,
encouraging them and letting them know that they can do things well.
And that the whole thing about Godiva is anyone can be Godiva.
It's giving of yourself to help others.
Well, whatever is the fact or the fiction, it's quite clear that,
via Pru and the new exhibition, the legend is alive and kicking.
Coventry has had a difficult history, recently.
And the ruins and new cathedrals are certainly testament to that.
And I think the legend is so important to the people of Coventry
because it gives an identity and a history to this great city.
Welcome back to Coventry Cathedral and not to mention
hundreds of people, plus one dog...
It's time to join our experts. Let's see what they've found.
Dorothy, are you a keen amateur photographer?
Does this set-up belong to you?
No. It doesn't. It belonged to my late brother.
-He was a very keen photographer.
-Do you know what date he bought it?
Yes. He bought it in 1951.
-OK. And do you know how much he paid for it, as well?
-He paid £125 for it.
You've either got a very good memory or...
Unfortunately, I haven't got the receipt with me, this morning.
I did see the receipt last week.
That's how I was aware how much it cost, how much he paid for it and when he bought it.
Well, the original receipt
is always a nice thing to have when you're selling pieces, so it might be
worth having another rummage and see if you can find it.
-The more important bits are the camera itself,
the lens that's all ready with it, which is a screw lens.
Again, that helps date it to sort of pre-1954/5, I think it was,
-when they turned to the bayonet attachments.
And you've got the spare lens and the original box,
which is a nice touch.
It's a little bit tired, but it's been well used.
-It has, I'm afraid.
-He actually used this to take photographs?
-Oh, indeed. Yes, he did.
He was a prolific photographer.
Yes. He enjoyed taking his transparencies. He loved doing that.
He's obviously decided to pay that little bit extra
for a good name because have you ever come across the Leica name before?
I have seen it in the very good camera shops, yes, but I mean,
I've never been interested enough to go into it any more.
The Leica name is one that is well collected.
-Date-wise, you say he bought it in 1951.
So he would have probably bought it new.
I would think so. Yes.
Because I've had a look at the serial number, which is how you date the cameras, the Leicas.
And I phoned a man who knows and he's looked it up for me, kindly.
-And it's dating at 1950.
-Oh, so it was new.
-Ties in nicely, doesn't it?
And then I also mentioned to him that there was a spare lens and he said
"Oh, the lens can sometimes be worth the same as the camera.
-If you do sell it, which hopefully you will...
-..what's the money for?
-I've recently started a new hobby
and I do find that things are quite expensive these days, so it would
-help fund this new hobby.
-And what is that new hobby?
Well, I'm crafting now, as a lot of other people are.
-There seem to be no end of people crafting.
Hand-made cards and things like that.
-Yes, but I'm loving it, so I don't mind.
Hopefully, this'll go towards some materials for your hobby.
If I said to you, can we put it in sale at £200-300...
-would you be happy with that?
-Yes, I would.
With a reserve at 200, we should be able to get it away for you.
And then, hopefully, we'll keep you in crafting for the next six months
-to a year. How's that?
-That would be very nice!
Kathleen, thank you for bringing this very curious
lovely bowl along today. Can you tell me where you got it from?
Belonged to my late sister-in-law, as far as I know.
Was she a great collector of things oriental?
There were quite a lot of things that came from the East, I think. Yes.
-Did you know where it's from?
It's a lovely Chinese bowl, that lovely classical shape.
And if we have a look, wonderful enamel decoration
and the predominant colour on there is obviously green, so it's
what we could call famille verte, which is a colour palette
introduced in the reign of the Emperor Kangxi.
He reigned from 1662 to 1722 and you tend to see it from about 1680 onwards.
The only thing that you don't see in that early pallet is this iron red,
which you'd associate
with Imari pattern and actually, later wares from the 19th century.
And this, I think, dates to that later period, about 1880
up to about 1900, when we had the taste for oriental things again,
firstly, from Japan and then the Chinese ware started to flood in.
We've got these lovely lotus blossoms in the iron red
and then the fronds and leaves picked out in green.
And in between them we've got these little Buddhistic characters.
And the emblem at the bottom is another Buddhistic symbol.
That's the endless knot, which means eternal life.
And you get these characters just popped on.
They're supposed to be auspicious, but I think they've got a little bit
more to do with marketing than anything else.
The only problem with it is that we've had a little bit of damage
to it. Is that something that's...?
-No. Not happened in your time.
They look fairly old chips.
Slightly more seriously, we've got a little hairline crack there
which is discoloured, as well.
And strictly speaking, this class of ware, these later pieces,
are really only sought after when they're perfect.
And also, the finer the potting,
the finer the decoration, the more valuable they are.
So, it's a great interest for me to see it because it's quite an unusual
design for later Chinese ceramics.
But in terms of value, it's not going to set the world
on fire, I'm afraid. Have you got any idea what it's worth?
It's ridiculous to say and this is why people should go out and buy it,
-but it's about £10-20 worth.
Yes, I know. It's ridiculous, really,
for something that's 100 years old and handmade, but you can find these
things, so I suggest we put it in with a £10-20 estimate on it.
I don't think we'll bother with a reserve, if that's all right.
We'll see how it goes.
Really and truly, if there are two oriental dealers there,
they should pay the £20 for it.
-But why have you decided to sell it now?
-Decluttering, getting rid. Well, it happens so often.
It's probably why you can buy them for a tenner nowadays!
Thank you so much for bringing it.
-We'll put it into the auction and hope it does better than the low estimate.
Thank you very much, Kathleen.
Well, I suspect this doesn't need any introduction
to either yourself, myself or the people viewing at home because
I think everyone's going to recognise this as Clarice Cliff.
What can you tell me about it?
How have you come by it? Do you like it? Is it in use?
I only like it because I remember it as a child.
It belongs to my grandma.
-She had the entire tea set.
And we used to use it round the fire at teatimes.
Oh, that's a nice touch, she used it.
Now, we've got three egg cups here in the front. Now, the egg cups are
quite rare, because a lot of them did get broken.
-They either got knocked off or fell off.
You've got two there damaged, but one perfect, which is nice.
You've got the cream jug, I would call it,
and then we've got the sugar bowl.
-Yes. Sugar bowl. And that's perfect.
If I turn this over, she's quite
handily told us what the pattern is here. Lodore...
I suppose that's pronounced. It's got here by Clarice Cliff, which is nice.
We like to see that.
And then Wilkinson Ltd.
Now, Wilkinson was the firm that she originally joined,
in the early 20th century.
And the reason this one carries a Wilkinson emblem, because she moved before these were produced.
-This design was produced around 1929.
The reason it's got the Wilkinson marking
-is because these patterns are known as the lithograph patterns.
They didn't need as much skill to paint these patterns
as the freehand painting of the bizarre range, for example.
-Do you like it? You either love it or hate it.
Well, only because it's a touch of nostalgia I like it,
but I'm not that keen. I wouldn't go out and buy it myself.
No. Well, I like these sort of slightly whacky shapes,
these conical shapes, so I think that adds a certain...
-It's a popular shape.
Shame you haven't got the rest of the service, cos that would be nice.
And what about value? Have you thought about value?
Have you seen what her sort of pieces go for?
I have had a value about ten years ago now between 70 and £100.
For this little group here.
-That's around the right figure.
I'd like to say the top end of that, so I would suggest
putting a reserve of £100 on these, with discretion for the auctioneer?
-Are you happy with that? That's
-So, estimate 100 to 150. Reserve at 100, with discretion.
And I'm pretty confident we'll get these away for you.
-Clarice Cliff is always well received.
Anne, thank you. I always love to see a bit of silver, erm...
but not in such a distressed state.
What's happened to this poor fellow?
Well, I'm afraid that was me being very rough. It was fine yesterday.
-Because I was bringing it, I cleaned it...
-It bends slightly and I, sort of, encouraged it back...
-I wrapped it up very well...
..but it was only when I got to the show this morning
when it had actually completely broken off.
-Oh, good grief.
-So I have to admit I'm guilty on that, Michael.
-And this was done by polishing it?
-By polishing it.
-You didn't use an angle grinder, did you?
-I didn't use an angle grinder.
-You must be the strongest polisher in Coventry.
-But it bent a little and you bent it back?
-Yes, it bent a little.
It goes to demonstrate, actually, one of the things about how these candlesticks are made.
When I first saw them, I thought wonderful, 18th-Century candlesticks.
But if you look at the bottom...
we've got a set of hallmarks here for Birmingham
and we've got the lion passant and the date letter for 1977.
-I don't have to look that up to know that's 1977,
because that was the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, wasn't it?
-Oh, of course, yes.
and at the assay offices, they put this little Queen's head mark,
which is the jubilee mark.
So a lot of silver of that year will bear that particular mark,
-so it told me instantly.
And this is a pattern, a very standard 18th-century pattern,
that we call cast shell and scroll,
because we've got the shells there and the scroll decoration.
And they're made, actually, in four pieces.
So we've got the little sconce here, which is one piece
and then the stem is cast in two pieces.
The thing about cast silver is it's very brittle.
When you hammer a piece of silver and make it,
-you impart strength to it, almost like a spring.
But when you cast it in its molten form and let it cool,
especially if there's a slight imperfection,
it's very brittle.
So I don't think that was superhuman strength, Anne.
-I think that's a little flaw
that simply has made it come across and then, by bending it back,
-because it's so brittle, it's just gone ping.
-Which is a shame.
-I don't feel quite so guilty now, then.
You've nothing to be guilty about.
On the upside, it's not a big job to have it done.
A silversmith will repair that for about £25-£30
and you'll never know that it had been broken.
So that's the upside.
Because they're not early... If they were original 1740s
-they'd be £1000-£1,500, all day long.
But being modern replicas makes a big difference,
and the damage makes a little bit of difference, too.
-I think we should put them into auction at £250-£350.
-And put a fixed reserve of £250 on them.
And they'll fall within that estimate.
-I don't think they'll perform dramatically over that.
They're a fixed commodity, but somebody might want an example of the jubilee mark.
-Ah, that's a point, yes.
-And they're also good useful things.
-So if you're happy with that?
-I'd be very happy with that.
-Splendid. We'll put them into the sale and hope for the best. Thanks for bringing them in.
We have to leave this wonderful setting,
to see how our items will do at auction.
Will focused in on Dorothy's Leica camera.
She wants the money to carry on her craft hobby.
Fingers crossed it does well.
Kathleen's oriental bowl is certainly exotic.
Michael's £10-£20 valuation doesn't seem like very much,
but you never know, it could race away.
Gillian brought in an old friend of ours - some Clarice.
It's an unusual collection and a great pattern, so should spark some interest.
Will a last-minute polish have put paid to a good price for Anne's candlesticks?
20. And two. I'm out.
Right, remember those silver candlesticks, the pair?
How could you forget them? They're just about to go under the hammer.
We don't have Anne with us today, but we've got her daughter, Tracy.
-Pleased to meet you.
-This is Michael.
Our valuation was 250-350, we've also had a chat to the auctioneer.
Christopher agreed with the valuation,
but he said you might struggle and if they do go, at the lower end.
-So I take it you've had a word with him.
-We did, a little word.
-You've lowered the reserve.
-Oh, that's good news.
-Usually, the reserves are going up.
-What have you changed it to?
Lot number 65 are some candlesticks.
They're the cast ones.
I've got a bid here. I can start at £200.
On the book at 200. I'm going to sell them.
Anybody else interested?
-Straight in and straight out.
-Are we all done at £200?
-Blink and you'll miss that one.
-That was an accurate valuation.
-It's a good job we lowered the reserve.
There was no-one here to bid any higher.
Dorothy, I hope they've given this Leica camera full exposure in the catalogue.
-It cost about £125, I gather.
-You've got the original receipt.
That's always a nice touch, when you're selling things.
Just adds a bit of provenance to something and people like that.
The 1950s Leica 35mm camera.
There we are, with the lens, etc.
And I can start the bidding here at 120 on the book, with a bid at 120.
Is it 130 now? 130. 140. 140. 150.
150. 160. 170. 180. 190. 200.
210. 200 on my left. At 200.
I'm going to sell it at £200. Is there any further advance?
It's going to be sold. Are you done?
Yes. We got it away. £200.
-Dorothy, Dorothy, you're not saying anything.
I'm very happy. Thank you very much.
-Got me worried then.
-I'm very happy.
-That's what we valued it at.
200-300. It may have made a little bit more in a scientific instrument
sale or a collectors' sale,
but someone's happy and you're pleased with your sale.
That's right. That's fair enough.
-We've got to help Kathleen declutter right now, haven't we?
A touch of the orient comes to Stratford upon Avon
and it's a Chinese little bowl. £10-20.
Why is that so cheap, Kathleen?
-It's like all my favourite meals. It comes with chips.
20th century Chinese porcelain bowl. £20 for it.
Five to get me going, then. Five. Five, I'm bid. Five. Six, do I hear?
Oh, they're off now.
At eight. At ten. At £8 at the front of the room.
Ten, surely. This is no money, is it?
At £8. I'm going to sell it at £8.
If you're all done and finished at £8. Are you sure?
It's so underpriced.
It's so underpriced.
It's my first single figure sale for Flog It! in about six years.
So that's something. I know it's not much of a comfort to you.
-It's the Flog It! experience.
-It really is.
You're going to like this. Next up, we've got some Clarice Cliff!
It belongs to Gillian and I think she's wearing the iris pattern.
It looks fantastic. I love that.
-Isn't that lovely?
Is that a recent purchase?
-No. I've had it for ages.
-Cos it looks sort of '70s, '80s. Is it?
-Yeah. I thought so.
-Could well be.
-They call it vintage.
I love it, though. Really nice.
Nice and bright and fresh. Now, Clarice Cliff.
We've got some egg cups.
And there's a nice bowl in there, as well. What did we put on it? 100-150?
-And we've reserved it at the bottom figure.
-Yeah. With discretion.
-It's an unusual pattern.
We're going to find out how unusual right now, at Bigwoods,
as it's going under the hammer. Good luck.
This is the 1930 earthenware decorated in the Lodore pattern.
Rather nice and there's been strong interest.
I can start it on the book.
Multiplicity of bids here.
340, on the book.
That's how rare the pattern is!
340 with me. At 350 over there.
I've got 360. 370, sir?
360, on the book here. At 360.
That was excellent.
-I'm pleased with that.
-I bet you are.
-Don't you like Clarice now?!
I wish I had loads of it, cos I'd be flogging it.
-In the back of the wardrobe.
£360. Less a bit of commission, of course. They deduct that off.
Well, we're coming to the end of another show.
The auction is still going on behind me,
but it's all over for our owners.
They've all gone home happy, even if we didn't sell everything.
I think they've had a great time
and I hope you've enjoyed watching.
Our experts did really well, under the circumstances.
It's not an exact science, but that's why we love auction rooms.
See you next time on Flog It!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Experts Will Axon and Michael Baggot join presenter Paul Martin at Coventry's magnificent cathedral. With a great turnout, our experts are spoilt for choice.
Will is confronted by an old friend of the show, a collection of Clarice Cliff, Michael takes the time to value a trio of watches, and Paul spots an unusual collection that spans decades.
Whilst in Coventry, Paul takes some time out to explore the truth behind the famous legend of Lady Godiva.