Coventry Flog It!


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Coventry

Experts Will Axon and Michael Baggott join presenter Paul Martin at Coventry's magnificent cathedral. Michael discovers an exciting selection of Japanese carvings.


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Transcript


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I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by works of art

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by some of Britain's most important 20th-century artists -

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Dame Elisabeth Frink, John Piper, Graham Sutherland.

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And who knows what other treasures might turn up through the door today

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as Flog It is in the spectacular setting

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of Coventry Cathedral.

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What a fantastic crowd we've got today.

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Just look at the queue. It starts up on the cathedral steps

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and it comes all the way around here and just goes on and on and on.

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And all of these people turned up to put their faith in our experts,

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Michael Baggott and Will Axon.

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Well, it's now 9:30.

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-I think we should get the doors open, don't you?

-Yes!

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And get the show on the road. Let's do it.

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And it's an item that's a little worse for wear

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that grabs Michael's attention.

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Anne, thank you. I always love to see a bit of silver, erm...

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but not in such a distressed state.

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What's happened to this poor fellow?

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Well, I'm afraid that was me being very rough. It was fine yesterday.

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-Because I was bringing it, I cleaned it...

-Oh, no!

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-It bends slightly and I sort of encouraged it back...

-Ah.

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-I wrapped it up very well...

-Oh.

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..but it was only when I got to the show this morning

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when it had actually completely broken off.

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-Oh, good grief.

-So I have to admit I'm guilty on that, Michael.

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-And this was done by polishing it?

-By polishing it.

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-You didn't use an angle grinder did you?

-I didn't use an angle grinder.

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-You must be the strongest polisher in Coventry.

-Definitely.

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-That's frightening.

-Yes.

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-But it bent a little and you bent it back?

-Yes, it bent a little.

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It goes to demonstrate, actually, one of the things about how these candlesticks are made.

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When I first saw them, I thought wonderful, 18th-century candlesticks.

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But if you look at the bottom...

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we've got a set of hallmarks here for Birmingham

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and we've got the lion passant and the date letter for 1977.

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-Right.

-I don't have to look that up to know that's 1977

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because that was the year of the Queen's silver jubilee, wasn't it?

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-Oh, of course, yes.

-25 years

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and at the assay offices, they put this little Queen's head mark,

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which is the jubilee mark.

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So a lot of silver of that year will bear that particular mark,

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-so it told me instantly.

-Ah, right.

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And this is a pattern, a very standard 18th-century pattern,

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that we call cast shell and scroll,

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because we've got the shells there and the scroll decoration.

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And they're made, actually, in four pieces.

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So we've got the little sconce here, which is one piece

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and then the stem is cast in two pieces.

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The thing about cast silver is it's very brittle.

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When you hammer a piece of silver and make it,

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-you impart strength to it, almost like a spring.

-Mm-hm.

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But when you cast it in its molten form and let it cool,

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especially if there's a slight imperfection,

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it's very brittle.

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So I don't think that was superhuman strength, Anne.

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-SHE LAUGHS

-I think that's a little flaw

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that simply has made it come across and then by bending it back,

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-because it's so brittle, it's just gone ping.

-Ah, right.

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-Which is a shame.

-I don't feel quite so guilty now, then.

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You've nothing to be guilty about.

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On the upside, it's not a big job to have it done.

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A silversmith will repair that for about £25-£30

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and you'll never know that it had been broken.

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So that's the upside.

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Because they're not early... If they were original 1740s

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-they'd be £1000-£1,500 all day long.

-Right.

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But being modern replicas makes a big difference,

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and the damage makes a little bit of difference, too.

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-I think we should put them into auction at £250-£350.

-OK.

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-And put a fixed reserve of £250 on them.

-Right.

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And they'll fall within that estimate.

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-I don't think they'll perform dramatically over that.

-No.

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They're a fixed commodity but somebody might want an example of the jubilee mark.

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-Ah, that's a point, yes.

-And they're also good useful things.

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-So if you're happy with that?

-I'd be very happy with that.

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Splendid. We'll put them into the sale and hope for the best.

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-Thanks for bringing them in, Anne.

-Thank you.

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-Steve, you obviously know what this is.

-Er, yeah.

-It's a tobacco box.

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-Yeah.

-You've seen them on Flog It before.

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There was one just like this that James Lewis found and valued.

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So tell me about this one's history and how you came by it.

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Well, I'm an avid car-booter and I bought it in a box of odds.

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I didn't really know what it was but after watching the programme...

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-You got quite excited.

-I nearly fell off the sofa, it was so exciting.

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Mind you, that one was a very special one, it was so crisp

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-and it was dated...

-Yeah, it was.

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..and it had ownership, the gentlemen's name was on the reverse of the tobacco box.

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But nevertheless, it is period.

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Because sometimes you think, "Oh, it could be a fake."

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-How much did you pay for this?

-I paid £14 for four items.

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-And that was one of them?

-And that was in the bottom of the box.

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It's wonderful.

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It dates from around 1660 to 1720 and it's spot on. It's not a fake.

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If you had a dozen, you could date them within five years of each other.

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They were sort of in fashion for around 40 years.

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So you could be quite specific about this.

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-All right.

-Definitely owned by somebody called IF.

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There's IF there.

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And there's a little tulip there in wriggle work. You see that?

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-That's wriggled into the brass.

-Yeah.

-And a little heart there.

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They're possibly done in the early 18th century

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but not when this was made.

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And of course, tobacco, prior to sort of 1720, was very expensive.

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-Oh, right.

-Hence you had to keep it under lock and key

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and this one, well, obviously there's no escutcheon, there's no key,

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but there's a little code, as you know.

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And if you play around with the half moon,

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play around with these little arrows...

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-And when you get them in the right direction, that opens.

-Yeah.

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And there's your vessel for the tobacco.

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-It's a very, very clever little lock.

-Yeah, it is.

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The condition of it is worn.

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The one we had on the show a couple of years ago,

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you could see the impress marks in the sun's face and on the moon.

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-It was a little crisper.

-Yeah.

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This one is not going to be quite as valuable.

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I think James put something like £400-£600 on that one.

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It sold for around £500, didn't it? Or 580.

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-640, I think it was.

-Oh, was it? Somewhere around there.

-Yeah.

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Erm, I think we should put this one into auction

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with a slightly more "come and get me" of 200-300,

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-if you're happy with that.

-That's fantastic.

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If you do the 300, it'll topple over that to about 350, 380.

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-That'd be fantastic.

-We'll put a reserve on, don't let it go for a penny less

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and hopefully, it'll create a bit of buzz in the sale room.

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-I'd like to see this do the 300 plus.

-Yeah.

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-And I shall see you then.

-That'd be superb.

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Valerie, thank you for bringing this little treasure along.

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I love spoons and you've brought a cracker along today.

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Can you tell me, where did you get it from?

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My husband bought eleven spoons...

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-and this one was er...

-Really?

-..in the lot.

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And he bought them 40 years ago.

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Good grief. Were they a lot money at the time?

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-I think he paid £15 for 11 spoons.

-Crikey, crikey.

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-Have you any idea where it was made or when?

-I know nothing about it.

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This calls for the eyeglass to come out, now.

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And we've got some marks in the bowl.

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And we've got the standard mark 88,

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which is 88 zolotnik and that tells us that it's Russian.

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And next to that, we've got a small figure of St George on horseback,

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which is the Moscow town mark.

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And then we've got the maker's mark, which is CC.

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Unfortunately, I can't tell you who that is off the cuff

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but I can tell you that it was made in Moscow

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-between about 1880 and 1895.

-Oh, that old.

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And it's very typical for a Russian spoon.

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You get two types of decoration, really, on Russian spoons.

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You get niello, which is a black sulphurous material

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which they engrave and rub it in and fire it.

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Or, and to my mind the better and more decorative ones, are enamel.

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And you've got all this wonderful fine enamel decoration.

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This is cloisonne enamel

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and basically all these little cells are made up of fine silver wires

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which have been individually soldered on

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to the body of the spoon.

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-So imagine starting off with a blank spoon...

-Mm.

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..and putting each one of those in place.

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It's mind blowing, the amount of work that goes in.

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And then they're filled with different coloured enamels

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and fired in a kiln.

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It's a lovely thing and Russian items have gone up in popularity a great deal

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since your husband bought it 40 years ago.

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But can I ask you now why you've decided to sell it?

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We never look at them. They're away in the safe, so...

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-So what do you do with them?

-There's no point, is there?

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-So they might as well go...

-Not really.

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Well, if he bought 11 at £40,

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it works out at about, let's say, £4 each.

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It's worth a lot more than £4 now.

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Because the cloisonne's in really super condition,

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I'd be very disappointed if it didn't make £70-£100.

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-And we should certainly put a fixed reserve of £70 on it.

-That's fine.

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And if two people really fall in love with it

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and really want a wonderful example of a Russian cloisonne spoon,

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we could do over the 100, maybe 120.

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-So I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

-Thank you.

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-And thank you for bringing me a spoon in.

-Thank you.

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-June, this is an interesting selection of pieces.

-Yes.

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What can you tell me about them? Are these things you've collected?

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No. These were things that my mother bought

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when she was a dealer in Coventry.

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She came from Oxford with my father

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and my mother pulled back the net curtain of the rented house that they lived in

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and put three items from her wedding presents in the window.

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With the pound that she sold those for, she went to her first auction.

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-Really? And it grew from there.

-Yes, it grew from there.

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Let's have a look at these pieces.

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We've got two pairs of hat pins. They're early 20th century.

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-We've seen the date marks - 1908.

-Yes.

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Now, they're interesting. You've got the hat-pin market

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-and then you've also got the golfing collectors.

-Yes.

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They're a slightly mad lot, I think.

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They say that you either love golf or you hate it.

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So I think that's going to appeal to both of those sectors

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of the market.

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Then we've got this sweet little photograph frame.

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Again, late 19th century, I'd imagine, turn of the century.

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The only trouble with this is we've got a little bit of damage there,

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as you've seen, which does happen with this type of silver

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because it's so very thin when they start with it.

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Which carries us on neatly to this desk blotter or desk folder,

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which is the same technique as the photograph frame

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-but on a larger scale.

-Mm.

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And I've had a quick look over it and there doesn't seem to be any damage at all on this,

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which is nice.

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And then we've got this little interesting christening mug,

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which I'm going to ask you, what can you tell me about it?

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It certainly wasn't my christening, I'm afraid.

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I've no idea. I really thought it was Dutch.

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-Maybe I'm wrong.

-Well, let's have a look at it.

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If we turn it upside down, we can see the mark underneath.

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-You can just see an AC...

-Yes.

-..above another stamp there,

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-which is the stamp for New York.

-Oh, wow.

-So it's American

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and dates from around the mid 19th century, that sort of period.

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-So it's an interesting piece of American silver.

-Yes, yes.

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You don't get to see that much of it, actually.

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-Not hugely valuable, though, but interesting.

-But pretty.

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And then we've got these two little scent bottles,

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one which looks as if it's probably continental,

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with a continental silver mount, hence there's no hallmarks,

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which can be common on small pieces of silver from the continent.

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And then this, I suppose it's a Bohemian glass scent bottle.

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I mean, have you had an idea of value?

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-Do you remember what they were marked up for in the shop?

-I've no idea.

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-How much do you think?

-I suppose if we go through each of them.

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Yes, right.

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-The two pairs of hat pins, they've got to be worth £10-£20 each.

-Yes.

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We've got the little photograph frame with the bit of damage.

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-That should be £10.

-Yes.

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The two scent bottles that we've mentioned,

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I think again, £10 for the two, that sort of level.

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So we've got 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60.

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I would perhaps say 40-60 for the christening,

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so that takes us up to 100.

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-And the blotter's got to be worth 50, 80, maybe £100.

-Yes.

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So, I think, as a group, I'd quite like to put an estimate on

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-of £150-£250.

-Right.

-How do you feel about that?

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Yes, I'd be quite happy with that, I would.

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-Would you like a reserve?

-Yes, I would, please.

-Yes, very wise.

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-If we set the reserve at £150 with some auctioneer's discretion...

-Yes.

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..I'm confident that on the day,

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-we should get the crowd in and get these pieces away.

-Very good.

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We'll have to leave this wonderful setting now to see how our items will do at auction.

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Will a last-minute polish have put paid to a good price for Anne's candlesticks?

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At £200-£300, will the bidders see Steve's tobacco box as a pinch?

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It might be little but Valerie's Russian spoon

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is certainly big on style.

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And June's mum had great business acumen

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but will her silver do just as well for her daughter?

0:15:160:15:19

From Coventry, it's just a quick trip down the A46

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to the village of Tiddington, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon,

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where we've come to Bigwood fine art auctioneers.

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Hosting the proceedings today are auctioneers Christopher Ironmonger

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and Stephen Kaye.

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Right, remember those silver candlesticks, the pair?

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How could you forget them? They're just about to go under the hammer.

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We don't have Anne with us today but we've got her daughter, Tracy.

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-Pleased to meet.

-You, too.

-This is Michael.

-Hiya.

-Hello.

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Our valuation was 250-350, we've also had a chat to the auctioneer.

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Christopher agreed with the valuation

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but he said you might struggle and if they do go, it's at the lower end.

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-So I take it you've had a word with him.

-We did, a little word.

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-You've lowered the reserve.

-Oh, that's good news.

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-Usually, the reserves are going up.

-What have you changed it to?

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-To 200.

-Right, OK.

0:16:130:16:15

Lot number 65 are some candlesticks.

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They're the cast ones.

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I've got a bid here. I can start at £200.

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-Straight in.

-That's good.

0:16:230:16:25

On the book at 200. I'm going to sell them.

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Anybody else interested?

0:16:290:16:31

-Straight in and straight out.

-Are we all done at £200?

0:16:310:16:34

GAVEL BANGS Blink and you'll miss that one.

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-That was an accurate valuation.

-It's a good job we lowered the reserve.

0:16:360:16:40

There was no-one here to bid any higher.

0:16:400:16:42

Right, it's my turn to be the expert. Fingers crossed I get it right.

0:16:460:16:49

-Steve, good to see you again.

-Thank you.

-We've got that 17th-century brass tobacco box.

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We've seen one on the show before. We've got £200-£300 on this,

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as it has had a bit of extra wriggle work done to it,

0:16:580:17:02

but it's going under the hammer now, so good luck.

0:17:020:17:05

And 560 is the novelty brass tobacco box.

0:17:050:17:10

Interesting little item, this. What am I bid for it?

0:17:100:17:12

A couple of hundred, surely?

0:17:120:17:14

100 for this to get me going.

0:17:140:17:17

100. 100, I'm bid. 120, is it?

0:17:170:17:19

120, 120. 140? 140.

0:17:190:17:22

Will you go 160? At 140 it is.

0:17:220:17:25

-It's not selling.

-At 140...

0:17:250:17:28

-Oh, well.

-I'm pleased we put a reserve on that.

-Yeah.

0:17:280:17:31

-You wouldn't want to let that go at £160, would you?

-No.

0:17:310:17:34

Well, stirring things up right now we've got Valerie's spoon.

0:17:390:17:42

I'm joined by Michael, our expert. Your husband has a very good eye.

0:17:420:17:47

I think you could make a healthy profit on this one.

0:17:470:17:51

-Michael's quite confident of £70-£100.

-It should do.

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-And you've done some homework.

-I promised I'd look up the maker

0:17:540:17:57

and I'm not making it up when I say the maker is Strognanoff.

0:17:570:18:00

-Stroganoff!

-Not the meal but the silversmith.

0:18:000:18:03

I promise you it's that one.

0:18:030:18:05

But it's such a pretty spoon, it should do above the high estimate.

0:18:050:18:08

-That's good.

-Fingers crossed.

0:18:080:18:11

Lot number 50 is the Russian silver gilt spoon

0:18:110:18:14

with the twist stem.

0:18:140:18:16

Er, 50 quid to kick me off?

0:18:160:18:18

-50, thank you, 50, I've got.

-We're in.

0:18:180:18:21

And 5. 60? And 5? And 70?

0:18:210:18:24

At £65, I've got. Anybody else? At 70 and 5?

0:18:240:18:27

At £70 to the hand. Anybody else?

0:18:270:18:31

Are we all done at £70?

0:18:310:18:34

GAVEL BANGS Well, we got it away. £70.

0:18:340:18:37

-That's brilliant.

-That's not bad for a car-boot find all that time ago,

0:18:370:18:41

-for 15-odd pounds.

-No, very good.

0:18:410:18:43

-You've got to be happy with that.

-Very good.

0:18:430:18:45

Well, it's June's turn now. We've got a mixed bag here, haven't we?

0:18:510:18:54

-We certainly have.

-Lovely little lot.

0:18:540:18:57

We need to raise £150-£250, the more the better

0:18:570:19:00

-because you're a bit of a globetrotter, aren't you?

-I am.

0:19:000:19:03

-You've just come back from Vancouver.

-Yes.

0:19:030:19:06

-Why have you been there?

-We have a son there

0:19:060:19:09

-and we have three grandchildren.

-Ah.

-So we go every year.

0:19:090:19:13

-Oh, fabulous.

-It's really wonderful.

0:19:130:19:15

-So you're putting the money towards the trip next year?

-Yes.

-OK.

0:19:150:19:20

-We certainly are.

-Shall we put some pressure on our expert?

0:19:200:19:23

-Thank you very much.

-They have been split. We've got £150-£200.

0:19:230:19:27

Yeah, the auctioneer knows his market.

0:19:270:19:29

I think for the later lot he's left the blotter and the christening mug.

0:19:290:19:33

-Yes.

-And the earlier lot is the hat pins, the photograph frame

0:19:330:19:37

and the scent bottles.

0:19:370:19:38

Lot number 80.

0:19:380:19:40

Oh, this is a nice mixed lot.

0:19:400:19:42

There's some hat pins fashioned as golf putters,

0:19:420:19:45

unusual sort of thing,

0:19:450:19:47

and there's the little photograph frame

0:19:470:19:50

and other little bits in the lot.

0:19:500:19:53

-I've got some bids.

-Ooh, listen.

-Is that good?

-I'll open at £60.

0:19:530:19:57

-£60.

-Yeah. So it's away.

-£60.

0:19:570:19:59

Anybody give me 70?

0:19:590:20:01

At 65, 70. And 5?

0:20:010:20:05

At 80? And 5?

0:20:050:20:06

80 down here and I'll take a fiver off anyone else.

0:20:060:20:09

Are we all done at £80?

0:20:090:20:12

-That's OK.

-Yeah, that's fine.

-That's only the first lot.

0:20:130:20:16

It was estimated at 50, I think.

0:20:160:20:18

85, it's the desk folio.

0:20:180:20:21

Erm, and there's also a mug with it as well.

0:20:210:20:25

How about starting me at 80 quid?

0:20:250:20:27

-80 quid?

-Yeah.

0:20:270:20:29

Thank you. Anybody give me another 5? At 90. And 5?

0:20:290:20:32

And 100? And 10.

0:20:320:20:34

£100 here. 110, 120.

0:20:340:20:36

130? Richard, 140?

0:20:360:20:39

150.

0:20:390:20:41

140 I've got in the front here. Anybody else?

0:20:410:20:43

All done at 140...

0:20:430:20:46

-Yes! £140.

-That's good.

0:20:460:20:48

-That's fantastic.

-So 220 in all.

0:20:480:20:50

-Happy?

-I'm very happy.

0:20:500:20:52

-That was the top end of the estimate.

-It was, yes, so I'm happy.

0:20:520:20:56

-I'll get my cased packed.

-Get the case packed.

-Yes.

0:20:560:20:59

-A bit of shopping in Vancouver.

-Of course.

0:20:590:21:02

-If you need someone to carry your bags.

-OK, Will.

0:21:020:21:05

-I'm in!

-You're in.

0:21:050:21:08

Earlier on, we saw Coventry cathedral packed with hundreds of people,

0:21:220:21:25

antiques everywhere, with all of our cameras and lights.

0:21:250:21:29

But I couldn't resist coming back in a quieter moment,

0:21:290:21:32

just to absorb the atmosphere

0:21:320:21:33

and reflect on a lot of the architectural detail.

0:21:330:21:36

For me, it's one of the most successful and inspirational builds

0:21:360:21:41

of its age.

0:21:410:21:42

It captured the mood of the public at one of the most important times

0:21:420:21:46

in British architecture.

0:21:460:21:47

And to understand why, we've got to start outside.

0:21:470:21:51

These are the skeletal remains of the original St Michael's Cathedral,

0:22:050:22:09

which was built during the late 14th and early 15th century.

0:22:090:22:12

It was destroyed during the Coventry blitz

0:22:120:22:15

on November 14th 1940.

0:22:150:22:18

Tens of thousands of other buildings were damaged or destroyed in Coventry

0:22:210:22:25

the same night

0:22:250:22:27

and over 500 people lost their lives.

0:22:270:22:29

The ruined cathedral at once became a very potent symbol

0:22:290:22:34

of the devastation of war.

0:22:340:22:36

The scars caused by aerial bombing

0:22:360:22:38

were clearly visible in many other cities too,

0:22:380:22:41

and the nation mourned.

0:22:410:22:43

But these feelings of despair soon gave way

0:22:430:22:45

to a strong sense of determination

0:22:450:22:48

and the very next day the decision to rebuild the cathedral was made.

0:22:480:22:53

It was most important and monumental of all the postwar buildings

0:22:530:22:57

and it came to represent the hopes and aspirations

0:22:570:23:01

of a war-torn population.

0:23:010:23:02

At the time, the minister for works said,

0:23:040:23:06

"We cannot tell how many people are waiting in this country

0:23:060:23:10

"and abroad for this church to rise

0:23:100:23:12

"and prove that English traditions live again after the blitz."

0:23:120:23:16

200 architects drew up plans and after months of deliberation,

0:23:180:23:23

the winning submission was chosen.

0:23:230:23:25

Basil Spence's design drew him into the media spotlight

0:23:260:23:29

and he became a household name,

0:23:290:23:31

which was unprecedented for an architect.

0:23:310:23:33

But his design came in for a lot of criticism.

0:23:390:23:42

The traditionalists found it too modern

0:23:420:23:44

and the modernists thought it wasn't modern enough.

0:23:440:23:47

Ironically, it is probably this middle ground

0:23:470:23:49

that made this building such a huge success.

0:23:490:23:52

The work took under seven years to complete

0:23:530:23:55

and Her Majesty the Queen attended the consecration

0:23:550:23:59

on 25th May 1962.

0:23:590:24:02

Everybody flocked to see what was dubbed Britain's first space-age cathedral.

0:24:020:24:07

And walking in here today through these glass doors,

0:24:080:24:11

I can only imagine what the public must've felt

0:24:110:24:15

when they were presented with this.

0:24:150:24:17

What a stunning vista. It's so overwhelming.

0:24:170:24:20

These windows were decorated by the artist John Hutton,

0:24:200:24:24

beautifully etched with images of saints and angels.

0:24:240:24:28

Quite stunning.

0:24:280:24:29

But it's that glass wall that you look through

0:24:290:24:33

that gives you an uninterrupted view of the ruins of the old cathedral.

0:24:330:24:37

And radically, Spence left them there in their entirety

0:24:370:24:41

as a constant reminder of the destruction of war.

0:24:410:24:44

It also offers a powerful connection between old and new,

0:24:480:24:52

traditional and modern,

0:24:520:24:54

a sentiment Spence has continued throughout the building.

0:24:540:24:58

The cathedral is made from sandstone, the same material as the original,

0:24:580:25:02

but whilst the outside is stark and modern,

0:25:020:25:05

the nave has all the proportions and atmosphere

0:25:050:25:08

of a traditional gothic cathedral.

0:25:080:25:10

This gothic style is also reflected in the vaulted ceilings

0:25:120:25:16

but Spence took a thoroughly modern approach to it.

0:25:160:25:20

The folded squares you can see up there

0:25:200:25:22

with the slats of wood that are inset inside them

0:25:220:25:25

aren't actually attached to the roof.

0:25:250:25:27

It's a suspended ceiling, a false ceiling.

0:25:270:25:29

It's very light in structure, which means these stone columns

0:25:290:25:34

aren't actually load bearing

0:25:340:25:36

and I love the way they terminate just off the floor,

0:25:360:25:41

just resting on little tiny brass pins.

0:25:410:25:44

It's so clever. It's almost as if these stone columns are floating.

0:25:440:25:48

But the great thing about the design is,

0:25:480:25:51

wherever you are in the cathedral,

0:25:510:25:53

your view of the altar is never spoiled.

0:25:530:25:55

One of the other key features of the cathedral

0:25:550:25:59

is the use of that most traditional of materials, stained glass.

0:25:590:26:03

In these and other works of art in the building,

0:26:030:26:05

Spence gathered together the foremost artists of the time,

0:26:050:26:08

including John Piper and Graham Sutherland.

0:26:080:26:11

It's a real celebration of British arts and crafts from that period.

0:26:110:26:15

To this day, it remains an important place of pilgrimage

0:26:170:26:20

while continuing to be at the spiritual heart of the community.

0:26:200:26:24

Lay canon Heather Wallace is with me

0:26:240:26:26

to explain why she thinks it's such a special place.

0:26:260:26:29

-Heather, thank you for talking to us today.

-Thank you.

0:26:290:26:32

When was your first connection with the cathedral?

0:26:320:26:34

I came to the area in '58, so the building was going up,

0:26:340:26:39

the staff were being appointed.

0:26:390:26:40

There was a lot of controversy.

0:26:400:26:42

Some people thought it was right, some thought it was wrong,

0:26:420:26:46

-but I think it's all right, it's worked.

-It's done a good job.

0:26:460:26:49

-I think he's done a tremendous job.

-It has worked.

0:26:490:26:51

-There's a wonderful atmosphere, a warmth in here.

-Mm.

0:26:510:26:54

-What do you think everybody's impression is as they walk in?

-If I take a party around,

0:26:540:26:59

I ask them to be quiet and to feel the silence, feel the size.

0:26:590:27:03

And of course they're moved by the ruins very much.

0:27:030:27:05

Yeah, there's a nice dichotomy.

0:27:050:27:07

You come down the steps out of the sadness, if you like,

0:27:070:27:10

into the hope, which is very important.

0:27:100:27:13

That really does work for me, seeing that, seeing the ruins.

0:27:130:27:17

-Yes, yes.

-It's quite a poignant reminder.

0:27:170:27:20

There was a lot of argument about whether they should keep the ruins

0:27:200:27:23

but Basil Spence came up with this idea and it was the right one,

0:27:230:27:27

to have the whole cathedral, part of it ruined and part of it new.

0:27:270:27:31

And we've had people from all over the world come

0:27:310:27:34

and really come to terms with the fact of their own problems with the war

0:27:340:27:38

and you realise that there is always an answer to war,

0:27:380:27:42

there's always an answer to pain

0:27:420:27:44

and you can come in and you can feel that there's hope, really,

0:27:440:27:47

and this is what the new cathedral is, it's hope for the future.

0:27:470:27:51

-Lots of special memories for you?

-Lots of special memories.

0:27:510:27:54

We had a Songs Of Praise with Dresden

0:27:540:27:56

and it was out in the ruins

0:27:560:27:58

and it was a very powerful Songs Of Praise

0:27:580:28:00

when you realise that they were then in East Germany

0:28:000:28:02

and the bombing of Dresden and the bombing of Coventry is very much linked

0:28:020:28:06

and we are very close to Dresden.

0:28:060:28:08

The 50th anniversary of the bombing, when we had the Queen Mother

0:28:080:28:12

and the President of West Germany.

0:28:120:28:14

And the codename for the bombing was Moonlight Sonata,

0:28:140:28:18

this is what the Germans used as a codename.

0:28:180:28:21

Our organist played the Moonlight Sonata

0:28:210:28:24

and we had autumn leaves falling onto the altar...

0:28:240:28:27

-Oh, beautiful.

-..one for every person who had died in the bombings.

0:28:270:28:31

So, yeah, lots of memories and lots of happy times, too. Yeah.

0:28:310:28:34

MUSIC: "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven

0:28:350:28:38

And what a wonderful privilege to able to hold our valuation day

0:29:040:29:08

in such a remarkable venue, surrounded by the people of Coventry.

0:29:080:29:12

Will is delighted

0:29:120:29:13

when he comes across a piece closely connected to our host city.

0:29:130:29:16

-Well, Nic, thanks for coming in today.

-OK.

0:29:160:29:20

And when I found out that we were going to do the valuation day in Coventry,

0:29:200:29:24

one of the things I thought we might get a chance of seeing

0:29:240:29:27

were some Stevengraphs and you've brought one in for us,

0:29:270:29:30

-together with another.

-It's a good job I did then!

0:29:300:29:32

-What can you tell me about these?

-They're just family pieces.

0:29:320:29:36

They were inherited.

0:29:360:29:37

-Originally they belonged to my great-grandmother.

-Right.

0:29:370:29:41

It was in a book of old Coventry and that's where we found them.

0:29:410:29:45

They were in the book. And that was passed to my granddad

0:29:450:29:48

and when he died, they passed the book along again...

0:29:480:29:51

-So it's come down the family.

-So it's travelled down. They're family pieces.

0:29:510:29:55

So the Stevens factory

0:29:550:29:57

was originally one of the Coventry silk ribbon manufacturers.

0:29:570:30:01

Now, in the late 1800s, the silk ribbon industry came under pressure

0:30:010:30:06

-from cheap imports coming from outside.

-Right.

0:30:060:30:10

So they had to kind of rethink their tack

0:30:100:30:13

and they started producing these woven pictures in silk.

0:30:130:30:16

So they were still using the same technique as weaving silk ribbons

0:30:160:30:20

but instead, they were weaving these pictures in the silk itself.

0:30:200:30:23

Oh, right.

0:30:230:30:25

So, really, when we say a Stevengraph, that's what we mean.

0:30:250:30:28

-We mean a silk woven picture.

-OK.

0:30:280:30:30

This one here is what we call a souvenir silk.

0:30:300:30:34

This would originally have been loose, as it is here, or framed.

0:30:340:30:37

These here, there's two here that I think have been stitched together,

0:30:370:30:40

-whether they were always like that, I don't know.

-Right.

0:30:400:30:43

We've got a nice touch here in that we've got St Michael's Church,

0:30:430:30:47

-which is outside of the window to my left.

-That's right, yeah.

0:30:470:30:51

Not looking quite as grand as it does there

0:30:510:30:54

but nonetheless, you can still recognise the spire, can't you?

0:30:540:30:57

And above that we've got this chap, Rev Widdrington

0:30:570:31:00

and he was the vicar of St Michael's, Coventry.

0:31:000:31:03

-So lovely sort of local touch to those.

-OK.

0:31:030:31:07

Now, you say they've come down through your family.

0:31:070:31:10

-Not something you're interested in keeping?

-Not really.

0:31:100:31:13

We don't collect anything like that as a family

0:31:130:31:15

and we just thought we'd like to pass them on

0:31:150:31:18

and if anybody's interested in that kind of thing or they collect it, it'll come in handy.

0:31:180:31:23

Well, they are collected.

0:31:230:31:25

Because there were so many different subject matters and designs,

0:31:250:31:28

there's a lot there for people to collect,

0:31:280:31:30

-so people tend to like that.

-That's the collectable factor.

-Exactly.

0:31:300:31:35

-So have you had any idea of value?

-Not at all.

-Have you seen similar items sold?

-No, never.

0:31:350:31:40

-Well, they're not hugely valuable.

-No, no.

0:31:400:31:43

I think we're going to estimate them, I would think, at £30-£50.

0:31:430:31:48

-All right.

-How do you feel about that?

-Fine.

0:31:480:31:50

-And would you be happy to go without reserve?

-Yes.

-You would?

-That's fine.

0:31:500:31:54

Well, that suits me. We've got a guaranteed sale, shall we say.

0:31:540:31:58

You've decided to sell them, so they're definitely going to go.

0:31:580:32:02

30 to 50. If they don't make the 30, I might have to make it up myself,

0:32:020:32:05

but I'm confident that we'll get them away for you.

0:32:050:32:09

-That'd be brilliant. Thank you.

-Thanks, Nic.

0:32:090:32:11

Karen, you've really made my day today,

0:32:160:32:18

bringing this little collection along.

0:32:180:32:21

Can you tell me where they've originally come from?

0:32:210:32:24

They came to me via my father and from his father.

0:32:240:32:28

-Right.

-Acquired before 1918, which is when my grandfather died.

0:32:280:32:33

Well, I'd say your grandfather had quite a good eye

0:32:330:32:36

when he was buying these.

0:32:360:32:37

-As you might know, most of these are ivory.

-Yes.

0:32:370:32:41

-They're actually all from Japan.

-Right.

0:32:410:32:45

And the earliest one is this one here

0:32:450:32:47

and funnily enough, he isn't ivory.

0:32:470:32:50

He's bone.

0:32:500:32:52

And you can tell that because you've got that very coarse, open grain.

0:32:520:32:57

And that is a netsuke. If you were a Japanese gentleman,

0:32:570:33:01

-you wore a robe with no pockets...

-Yes.

0:33:010:33:03

-..and a wide sash round your waist.

-Yes.

0:33:030:33:07

So everything you needed was carried in a series of small pouches

0:33:070:33:11

and they're secured by a cord that goes through the sash

0:33:110:33:15

and then to stop it slipping down, you have a toggle or a netsuke.

0:33:150:33:19

After about 1870, Japanese dress was banned,

0:33:190:33:23

so the netsuke carvers thought, "What are we going to do for a living?"

0:33:230:33:27

And they moved on to little carvings like this.

0:33:270:33:30

-Technically, this is still a netsuke.

-Right.

0:33:300:33:32

It's got two carved holes for the cord

0:33:320:33:35

but they're just a vestige of what it used to be.

0:33:350:33:38

It's really a little three-dimensional carving.

0:33:380:33:41

We've got a little turtle or a little devil

0:33:410:33:44

being caught under a cabbage leaf

0:33:440:33:47

and it's beautifully and sensitively carved.

0:33:470:33:50

That's a lovely thing. Going on from that,

0:33:500:33:53

this is really super quality.

0:33:530:33:55

And that's a little chap cutting the divisions in a comb.

0:33:550:33:59

-He's a comb maker. We're left with these four...

-Right.

0:33:590:34:02

..which are little okimono, little carvings,

0:34:020:34:05

but they're of less good quality.

0:34:050:34:08

And I would imagine that we would put all of those together

0:34:080:34:12

in one lot at auction

0:34:120:34:13

whilst we treat these as separate entities.

0:34:130:34:16

-OK.

-So we would say £80-£120 for those,

0:34:160:34:19

-with a fixed reserve of £80.

-Right.

0:34:190:34:22

These are a little more speculative and would be individual lots.

0:34:220:34:26

This, because it's bone, even though it's early, £60-£100

0:34:260:34:32

with a £60 reserve.

0:34:320:34:33

It could do a little bit better.

0:34:330:34:35

These two are the stars for me.

0:34:350:34:38

-The oni grasping the little turtle under the leaf, £150-£250...

-Right.

0:34:380:34:46

-with a fixed reserve of £150.

-OK.

0:34:460:34:48

And this little comb maker,

0:34:480:34:50

even though he's got a slightly broken comb, again...

0:34:500:34:54

Actually, £200-£300 for him,

0:34:540:34:57

with a fixed reserve of £200 because he's so delightful.

0:34:570:35:00

Well, I think.. I normally say I hope these do well at auction,

0:35:000:35:04

I'm sure they will do well at auction

0:35:040:35:06

-and we'll be there to see how well they go.

-Fine.

0:35:060:35:08

-Thank you for bringing them in.

-It's a pleasure. Thank you.

0:35:080:35:12

Sheila, what an explosion of colour you've brought in.

0:35:230:35:26

I'm glad you like it. It's so misty, though, and soft.

0:35:260:35:29

-Yeah, it really catches the eye.

-Yes.

0:35:290:35:32

Anyone who's watching who is aware of this earthenware pottery

0:35:320:35:36

will automatically recognise it as Poole,

0:35:360:35:40

mainly because of this very typical Poole palette,

0:35:400:35:43

where you've got these nice strong colours,

0:35:430:35:45

the design with this strong geometric banding around the vase.

0:35:450:35:51

You've got these geometric, jazzy, stylised leaves and flowers

0:35:510:35:57

and sort of a cloudburst.

0:35:570:35:59

Here we've got the centre bowl, two preserve pots, shall we call them.

0:35:590:36:03

Sugar or marmalade or whatever.

0:36:030:36:06

-It's nice it's still got its wicker handle.

-Yes, I rather like that.

0:36:060:36:10

-That's rather nice.

-Yes.

0:36:100:36:11

And again, good strong colours,

0:36:110:36:13

that sort of high Art Deco.

0:36:130:36:15

And you must have bought them or did you inherit these pieces?

0:36:150:36:19

No, it was the family, it was in the family when I was little.

0:36:190:36:24

I don't know where my parents got them.

0:36:240:36:27

-So the reason for selling is?

-SHE LAUGHS

0:36:270:36:30

-Gas and electricity.

-Oh, dear.

0:36:300:36:33

Two words that I'm not keen on, especially with winter on the way.

0:36:330:36:36

I'm not going to say that waffly thing about let somebody else enjoy them.

0:36:360:36:42

-I would like the money.

-You want the cash.

-Yes.

0:36:420:36:44

-You want the readies. It would be nice to spend it on yourself, though.

-Yes.

0:36:440:36:48

-Have you had any idea of value?

-Absolutely none at all.

0:36:480:36:53

-None at all.

-Never even crossed my mind to think about it.

0:36:530:36:56

Well, I would say these two are the more desirable pieces.

0:36:560:36:59

-Now, they're definitely worth £100-£150 for the two.

-Really?

0:36:590:37:05

-That's very good.

-And hopefully they'll make a bit more.

0:37:050:37:08

Like I say, they're good strong designs,

0:37:080:37:10

they will be desirable, good shape, as well.

0:37:100:37:12

-This is nice with the twin handles.

-Yes, it's a pretty shape.

0:37:120:37:15

Then here, again, you're going to appeal with the preserve pots

0:37:150:37:19

because there are people who collect them.

0:37:190:37:22

I would say you're probably looking at £100-£150 for that lot, also.

0:37:220:37:25

Very nice, very nice.

0:37:250:37:27

So let's split the two. Do you want to put a reserve at 100?

0:37:270:37:30

-I would like a reserve, yes, please.

-Very sensible.

0:37:300:37:33

-We'll put 100 on each.

-Right.

-Yes?

-Yes.

0:37:330:37:35

-So £100-£150.

-Not bad at all.

-So we should get a minimum of £200.

-Good.

0:37:350:37:41

-I'll see you there on the day.

-Thank you.

0:37:410:37:43

-Fingers crossed we get it away for you.

-Keep our fingers crossed.

0:37:430:37:46

Well, let's all keep our fingers crossed as we take our last lots

0:37:460:37:50

to the auction.

0:37:500:37:51

The Stevengraphs might not be Nic's thing

0:37:510:37:54

but Will thinks the Midlands connection will help them fly.

0:37:540:37:57

Michael's convinced Karen's Japanese carvings

0:37:570:38:00

will race out of the auction room.

0:38:000:38:02

And Sheila's hoping the sale of her Poole pottery

0:38:020:38:05

will make a real dent in her fuel bills.

0:38:050:38:07

We've got some local interest. The Coventry silks are about to go under the hammer.

0:38:090:38:14

They belong to Nic who unfortunately can't be here

0:38:140:38:17

but we've got our expert, Will - he's put a no reserve on this.

0:38:170:38:20

Another no reserve. Good job Nic's not here.

0:38:200:38:23

They could go for a fiver and she won't tell you off.

0:38:230:38:26

No, I'm confident in these.

0:38:260:38:27

As you say, local interest, with the Coventry connection.

0:38:270:38:30

-£50?

-We've put £30-£50. They've got to be worth 30, they could make 50.

-Yes.

0:38:300:38:35

Lot number 485 are the two Stevengraphs,

0:38:350:38:40

regarding the city of Oxford and Coventry.

0:38:400:38:42

-Erm, I've got some bids here on the book.

-Oh, great.

0:38:420:38:46

-That always helps.

-And I can start at £35.

0:38:460:38:49

I'll take 40 from anybody else.

0:38:490:38:50

I'm on the book at 35. Anyone else?

0:38:500:38:54

All done at £35...

0:38:540:38:57

GAVEL BANGS I'm pleased with that.

0:38:570:38:59

-That's what they're worth.

-Yeah. We'll get on the phone to Nic.

0:38:590:39:03

And 20 and 2... I'm out.

0:39:030:39:06

Right, it's now Sheila's turn. We've got some Poole pottery.

0:39:070:39:11

-One large bowl and four little pots, Will?

-That's right.

0:39:110:39:14

-We've put a job lot together to keep the value up.

-Right.

0:39:140:39:17

-You split them on the day.

-Yeah.

0:39:170:39:19

You've got a nice, good-sized bowl there,

0:39:190:39:21

a shallow dish and you've got the other bits as well.

0:39:210:39:24

-It's a lot for your money.

-They're pretty.

-And practical.

0:39:240:39:27

The first lot, they're nice, slightly earlier ones.

0:39:270:39:31

Nice lot, this. £80 for this one.

0:39:310:39:34

60, then. 60, I'm bid. The bid's there at 65, at 70, 5, 80, 5

0:39:340:39:41

90, 5, is it? At £90, at £90. Are you all finished at £90?

0:39:410:39:46

-Are you all done? All done?

-GAVEL BANGS

0:39:460:39:48

-The hammer's gone down but he didn't sell them.

-I don't think he did.

0:39:480:39:51

-Didn't he sell it?

-We've got a fixed reserve of £100...

-Yes.

0:39:510:39:55

-..as agreed with Will.

-Yes, yes.

0:39:550:39:57

Selection of '60s Poole earthenware.

0:39:570:39:59

All as described there. Rather a nice lot, this.

0:39:590:40:02

There we are. Who's got 70 to get me started?

0:40:020:40:05

60, then, come on. 60, I'm bid, 60 and 5, do I hear?

0:40:050:40:09

65, 70, now. 75, 80, is it?

0:40:090:40:12

80, 85. 85. Will you go 90?

0:40:120:40:15

At 85 it is. At £85.

0:40:150:40:17

Are we all finished at £85? All done?

0:40:170:40:20

GAVEL BANGS They were sitting on their hands.

0:40:200:40:23

They've probably got bills to pay as well.

0:40:230:40:26

-Yeah, probably.

-They're not buying for the reason that you're selling.

0:40:260:40:30

It's a confusing old world, isn't it?

0:40:300:40:33

Are you sure?

0:40:370:40:39

Next up, Karen's netsuke. It is a touch of the Orient.

0:40:390:40:42

Lovely Japanese carvings.

0:40:420:40:44

-The detail is superb on some of these, you've got to agree.

-I do.

0:40:440:40:48

You must've looked at them and mused over them.

0:40:480:40:51

-Unfortunately, they've always been hidden away.

-In a box.

0:40:510:40:54

-They've never been on show.

-You've split them into four lots.

0:40:540:40:58

-Talk us quickly through those.

-The little monkey bone netsuke,

0:40:580:41:01

which you can tell because it's flecked,

0:41:010:41:04

that's the most esoteric of the four and that might struggle.

0:41:040:41:08

But the other three are fine, Japanese ivory carvings.

0:41:080:41:11

I had a chat to the auctioneer before the sale started

0:41:110:41:14

and we both loved the carpenter, the guy with the saw.

0:41:140:41:17

-Yes, the comb maker.

-Oh!

-He's making combs.

0:41:170:41:20

And lot 365 is the carved bone netsuke,

0:41:200:41:23

fashioned as a seated monkey wearing an overcoat.

0:41:230:41:26

40, I'm bid, 40 and 5. 50, is it?

0:41:260:41:28

50 and 5, do I hear? 60.

0:41:280:41:31

And 5. On this phone now, at 60. I'm going to sell it to them.

0:41:310:41:34

All done?

0:41:340:41:36

The first's one sold for 60. Here's the second.

0:41:360:41:38

20th-century Japanese ivory okimono,

0:41:380:41:40

the man with the body of a monkey and three seated figures.

0:41:400:41:43

Who's got 50 for this? 50.

0:41:430:41:46

50, 60, 70. 80?

0:41:460:41:49

70, over there. At 70. Back of the room at 70.

0:41:490:41:51

-Here, 80.

-80 on that phone.

0:41:510:41:53

80. Would you like 90? At 80. On this telephone at £80.

0:41:530:41:57

Last chance. I'm going to sell it at 80.

0:41:570:41:59

-The bid's up here.

-GAVEL BANGS

0:41:590:42:01

-Yes.

-Just made it.

-Here's the third.

0:42:010:42:04

Lot 367, an ivory Japanese carved okimono, an artisan,

0:42:040:42:08

a seated worker with his saw on a block.

0:42:080:42:11

150? 150, I'm bid. 160, is it?

0:42:110:42:14

At £150. At 160. 160, 170. 180?

0:42:140:42:18

180, 190. 190, 200?

0:42:180:42:20

At £190. Are we all finished?

0:42:200:42:23

Are you sure?

0:42:230:42:25

-GAVEL BANGS

-Yes!

-Fourth and final one.

0:42:250:42:29

A little monster pulling a turtle.

0:42:290:42:31

Who's going to start me at £100? Straight off at 100. 110.

0:42:310:42:35

120? 120. 130, now.

0:42:350:42:38

-Come on, come on.

-£130, there.

0:42:380:42:41

-130, 140?

-140? Yes.

0:42:410:42:44

140, 150? 150. 160?

0:42:440:42:46

-Yes.

-160. 170?

0:42:460:42:47

-180?

-Yes.

-180. Will you go 200, madam?

0:42:470:42:50

-200. 220?

-Yes.

-220.

0:42:500:42:52

240? 240.

0:42:520:42:54

-260?

-260? Yes.

-260.

0:42:540:42:58

280? 280. 300?

0:42:580:43:00

-Yes.

-300. 320? 320.

0:43:000:43:03

-340 on the top phone?

-Yes.

-340. 360?

0:43:030:43:05

340. On the top phone at 340. Any further advance on 340?

0:43:050:43:10

GAVEL BANGS

0:43:100:43:11

-Oh, brilliant!

-A fantastic result.

-Thank you.

-I tell you, Karen,

0:43:110:43:15

-you've got £670.

-Brilliant.

-That is fantastic.

0:43:150:43:19

-Quality always sells.

-Yes, that's the mantra.

0:43:190:43:22

Remember that. Quality always sells.

0:43:220:43:24

What a fantastic day we've had at Bigwood's auction rooms.

0:43:240:43:27

I think that was the final act from Stratford-upon-Avon,

0:43:270:43:30

so from all of us here, it's cheerio until the next time.

0:43:300:43:33

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:560:43:58

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:580:44:00

Experts Will Axon and Michael Baggott join presenter Paul Martin at Coventry's magnificent cathedral. It's a busy day as the people of the town turn out in force.

One man in the queue is hoping his tobacco box can live up to the price achieved by a similar one shown previously on the series. Michael discovers an exciting selection of Japanese carvings, and Will finds an impressive collection of silver.