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Darlington

Paul Martin and experts Will Axon and Adam Partridge are in Darlington. Paul visits the childhood home of author Lewis Carroll.


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Today we're at the Gateway to the North. Welcome to Flog It from Darlington.

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Darlington is a busy market town situated in the north-east of England in historic County Durham.

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The area's most celebrated author Lewis Carroll grew up

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just down the road in Croft-on-Tees.

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The parish nestles in the picturesque countryside of North Yorkshire along the River Tees

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and the town's famous inhabitant has certainly left his mark.

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Let's hope Darlington proves to be a wonderland of antiques today.

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And already rifling through the heirlooms here at the Dolphin Centre are experts Will Axon

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and Adam Partridge.

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The clock is ticking, so let's get the doors open. We don't want to be late for our very important date.

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And Adam has already been bowled over by some cards featuring sporting heroes of the past.

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-Hi, Sue.

-Hi.

-Welcome to Flog It.

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-You've brought along a collection of cigarette cards.

-I have.

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We see a lot of these in our auction business. Where did you find yours?

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I found them in the attic when I was clearing out the house of my new partner

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-before he moves up to the north-east.

-OK.

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-Where is he moving from?

-Maidstone.

-Do you want to say hello to him?

-Hi, Ray.

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-Hi, Ray. Does he watch Flog it?

-I think so, when he's not working.

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Does he know where they came from before? Can he shed any light on them?

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He knows that his mother smoked and he assumes that that's where they're from.

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-She smoked quite a bit.

-Yes.

-You got one of these for every packet.

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-Scary, isn't it?

-It makes you realise how much people used to smoke.

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These date from the '20s, '30s.

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-We've got examples of cricketers which are quite interesting.

-Yes.

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-Some famous names - Wally Hammond and Harold Gimblett. I'm quite into my cricket.

-Good. I'm not.

-No?

-No.

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Then we've got a few others, the usual kind really.

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These are quite nice with the medals, military crosses and things.

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There's a few pages of those

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and what particularly caught my interest, being a keen poultry keeper, were these ones

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-because I've got this breed of birds called Brahmas.

-They're so pretty.

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-They're lovely and they've got big, hairy legs. Big, fluffy legs.

-I'll say no more.

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They're real roadrunners.

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This page caught my eye because you've got first-aid techniques which are quite interesting -

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-how to stop bleeding from the nose.

-I'm not sure why you need your arms in the air.

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-Pulled up as well.

-Yes.

-We could re-enact it, but I don't know...

-No, thank you.

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Then we've got another album here which is all your typical flowers, flora and fauna, and animals

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which you see a lot of the time.

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-It's an interesting collection, but not a valuable one.

-No, OK.

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-We would put that in at no reserve, so it makes whatever it makes.

-Yeah.

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Which is probably gonna be between £20 and £40, but possibly closer to 20.

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-It won't make a lot of money, but what else will you do with them?

-Nothing.

-So, happy to sell?

-Yes.

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I won't ask you what you'll do with the money. How do you spend £20? Parking and petrol?

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-Or going out for a drink.

-That's a much better idea.

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-When are we going?

-I don't know. No, I wouldn't go with you.

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-Ray would have something to say?

-Yes.

-Thanks for bringing them along.

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-It's a pleasure.

-I look forward to the auction.

-Thank you.

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Dane, thanks for coming along today and bringing these pieces.

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Is this some of your formal wear you're getting rid of? It's very sophisticated.

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-Where has this come from?

-I'm not too sure. It's come from the family.

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But it's something I unearth every time I move house. I find it in the back of a cupboard or something.

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It's a nice suite of jewellery.

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You've got the four studs at the front there,

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each one centred with a diamond.

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And then you've also got the matching ring which again is centred with a diamond.

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They've come through the family. You've probably not had them valued?

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No, they've always been in the back of a cupboard. Every time I move house, I find them again.

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-You thought it was time to do something about it?

-Yeah.

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How many people do you know that wear studs today?

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-Not many at all.

-Exactly. And I'm afraid that affects the commercial side of these pieces.

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But I've got a sneaking suspicion that I know what's gonna happen to these studs at the sale.

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I think they're gonna be bought by someone who will turn them into cufflinks.

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-Oh, right.

-You can imagine two of these joined together,

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nice, smart cufflinks with a diamond centre piece.

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-And how many people do you know who wear cufflinks?

-Everybody.

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So plenty of people wear cufflinks. No-one wears studs.

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That's what's gonna happen to them.

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As cufflinks, they're probably gonna be worth £300, £400, £500.

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We can't value them at that now because someone has to work on them.

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I would say, for the whole lot, including the ring, which is nice,

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but not terribly commercial...

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I suppose the ring is worth £50 to £80, that sort of level.

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The four studs, I would value at 150 to 250, so if we're gonna put all the pieces together as one lot,

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I would suggest an estimate of £200 to £300,

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and perhaps setting the reserve at 200 with discretion. I don't know how you feel about that.

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-That seems fine.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-200 with discretion. If the auctioneer gets to 180, he'll probably sell them.

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-If you're happy at that, £200 to £300, see you at the saleroom.

-OK.

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-It's always good to see things of local interest from Darlington. This is Julia. Born and bred?

-Yes.

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-What's the best thing about Darlington in a few words?

-Friendly.

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-Good atmosphere, people look after each other?

-Definitely, yeah.

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Lot of history here as well. And you're clutching a bit. Tell me a bit about this interesting bottle.

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I was digging the garden up and I found it.

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-In your back garden?

-Yeah, it's got the Darlington train on.

-Where did it run from?

-Darlington to Stockton.

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It's in incredibly good condition.

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"Darlington Bottling."

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It's mineral water and there's the tiny little train on the front,

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the little locomotive.

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-If you put that on the windowsill in the kitchen, that'll catch the light.

-I have it on the mantelpiece.

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It'll remind you of your roots every time you look at it.

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If you were clever, you could put coloured minerals and bath salts in there and use it in the bathroom.

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-I never thought of that.

-Ah!

-Clever, aren't you?

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-Good morning.

-Good morning.

-Alan?

-Yes.

-And Judith?

-Yes.

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-What made you bring the violin?

-I haven't played it for 40 years.

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I never was a violinist really, so I'd rather that somebody had it that could get some pleasure from it.

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-So it's been in a cupboard for 40 years?

-Yes.

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How did you end up owning it?

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I was a music student at a college.

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Violin wasn't my first instrument and I was roped into playing in the orchestra.

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-Really?

-They had a very scratch orchestra.

-"Scratch" being the...

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Operative word. Because of my playing! I had to rush off and get a violin from somewhere.

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So I went to the nearest junk shop and found that one there.

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-How much was it? Do you remember?

-The dealer wanted a fiver and I knocked him down to £3.

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£3, but that was 40 years ago.

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What would £3 be in relation to a day's wages then or something like that?

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My grant then was £7 a week.

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-So it was no mean sum really.

-Nearly half of my weekly...

-Half of your week's grant.

-Yeah.

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Judith, have you ever had any interest in the violin?

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I have. My ancestor played in the Philharmonic

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and all the top orchestras and he also played for royalty.

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-Oh, really?

-Yes, in London.

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And I was always interested, but unfortunately, being one of ten children,

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we couldn't afford any violins or instruments or anything.

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-And you've not been tempted to learn?

-Not really.

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It's a very hard instrument to learn.

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This is a fair instrument. It's a German-made instrument.

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It's got a pine table. The front we know as a table.

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If we go to the back, we've got a two-piece back there...in maple.

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Also in nice order and the scroll intact.

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A lot of violins that have been played a lot, enthusiastic players sawing away,

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they lose their corners here and here, but your corners are still intact.

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And there are no cracks which is crucial.

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You've got two old catgut strings in the middle as well.

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-They've been on there for...

-At least 40 years. They were on when I bought it.

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If we tune it up... There we are. So it's in tune.

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OK, to the valuation bit. Any idea what it's worth?

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-Around 100 maybe?

-Yeah, that would probably be the top end of my estimate really.

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Even though it's 1886 and in good condition, it's not rare, it's not particularly valuable.

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I would expect 60 to 100 estimate and you may just get the three figures for it.

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We should put a reserve on it of £50 to stop it from going for nothing.

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-I would feel awful if it made 20 quid.

-So would I.

-It would be awful.

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-If it doesn't make that, it's worth taking it home. You play music yourself.

-Yes.

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Would the money go towards something specific musically or just into Judith's back pocket?

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-No, no.

-It might pay off a week's council tax.

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That's a sobering thought, isn't it?

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Thanks for bringing it along. I'll be back to see you at the auction.

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Let's hope it goes well and we leave on a high note. Sorry about that.

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-Helen, one thing to ask you this morning... Who let the dogs out?

-My fiance.

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-His collection, is it?

-Yeah. His mum had bought a couple before.

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And then he took over from there.

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Beswick, a well-known, collected make. Good factory.

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These are typical of the sort of pieces they made.

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Any favourites of his? Do you know which one is his favourite?

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I don't know which one is his, but that's my one, the little one here.

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Let's have a look at him.

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A little Border terrier.

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-Border terrier?

-Looks like one.

-I'm not terribly good on my dogs.

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I know we've got a few here. There's a spaniel and the Dalmatian.

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-This little chap, is that a chihuahua?

-Looks like it.

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Then you've got the big Afghan hound at the back there, elegant pose there with the beautiful coat.

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-Do you know what sort of money he perhaps paid for them?

-One or two of the littler ones was £4 or £5.

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-£4 or £5.

-Back in the '70s, '80s.

-OK.

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He's done OK because I would suspect that value-wise now,

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you're probably gonna be looking at around the 150 mark for the group as a lot.

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I don't think there are gonna be any rare variations in this lot here because those ones make the money.

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They call them the Colourways where you'll get a Dalmatian and perhaps it's got different coloured spots.

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Maybe it's got liver-coloured spots or something like that,

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so there might be slight variations on some of these that make them collectable.

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But if we put them in at, say, 150, do you think your fiance would be happy with that?

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-Do you need to phone him to check?

-I already checked. He's happy for them to be sold.

-He wants them sold.

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He thought with them being stuck up in the loft in a box, they're not getting appreciated.

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-They're not on display?

-No.

-So doing no good up in the loft.

-No.

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OK, let's put a sensible reserve on them. Let's say 150 with some discretion for the auctioneer.

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So, if he gets to perhaps 130, he's gonna sell them.

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-Any idea what he'll do with the money? He might buy you a nice surprise?

-Fingers crossed.

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-Maybe I'll get a real puppy instead.

-So you're after a real dog?

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I might persuade him slightly.

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Fingers crossed, on the day, we get close to 150 and I hope he buys you something nice.

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-Thank you.

-See you, Helen.

-Thank you.

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Helen's 12 Beswick dogs join the line-up

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of our first items going to auction.

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Their kennel mates are... Sue's collection of cigarette cards.

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Here's hoping a collector snaps all of these up.

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Will a bidder with style spot the potential in Dane's dress studs

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and matching ring?

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And finally, could a bid of the right notes awaken Alan's abandoned violin?

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This is where all the action is taking place today - Thomas Watson Auctioneers in Darlington.

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Things are starting to warm up. There's an air of anticipation amongst the bidders.

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Let's hope, by the end of the show, things are gonna be steaming.

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And wielding the hammer that will decide the fate of the items is auctioneer Peter Cartwright.

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We've got three cigarette card albums with a value of £20 to £40.

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We've got all the albums, but not the owner Sue, but we do have Sue's best friend also called Sue!

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So when did you two first meet?

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-We met at school.

-A long time back.

-High school at the age of 13.

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-And you're still best friends?

-We're still good friends.

-And you live close by?

-Yes, I live in Darlington.

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-So you know her better than anybody?

-Pretty well, yes.

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She's gonna be expecting that top end. Adam, can we get £40-plus?

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-Possibly.

-Possibly.

-But they're all fairly common cards.

-Oh!

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-Oh!

-You don't have to say they're common.

-"Common" as in we see a lot of those types.

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-I'm so sorry.

-You never saw these, did you?

-No, I didn't.

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-You can always bid on them if you want to.

-I don't think so. They're not my thing.

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We're gonna find out what this lot think now. Good luck, everybody.

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Lot number 45 is the three albums of cigarette cards Colin's showing you,

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circa 1920s and '30s, these.

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Can I have 15 to start on the cigarette cards?

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At £15. 20 seated. At £20. 5 now for the lot? At 25.

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30, sir? At £25 in the gallery. 30. 5?

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At £30 in the gallery. At £30. Are we all done at £30?

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35. 40, sir. 45.

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50. 5. 60.

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5. 70. 5. 80...?

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-There's possibly one rare one there!

-Are we all done now at 75?

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-Yes, the hammer's gone down, £75.

-More than I thought.

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-Well over estimate. She's gonna be so pleased.

-Very pleased.

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-Are you gonna ring her up or will it disturb her?

-No, I'm going to ring her up.

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Next up, we've got a great pair of cufflinks. Well, it could be if you use your imagination.

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We've just been joined by Dane. It's those lovely four dress studs. Cracking item.

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-I'm sure that's what's gonna happen to them.

-They're crying out to be made into cufflinks.

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They'll be really classy with the black onyx and diamond inset.

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-And there's the ring which is a bonus.

-Just to set off the ensemble, a little onyx ring on your pinkie.

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Suits you, sir!

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Lot 255 is the four 18-carat and platinum dress studs

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with diamond set on black, together with the almost matching ring.

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Interest in this lot opens us up at £120.

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Hopefully, we'll creep up there.

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130. 140. 150?

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At 140 with me, still the bid at 140. 150 now for the lot?

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Are we all done at £140? All done at 140...?

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No, we didn't get those away.

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Don't put them back in the cupboard.

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-No.

-The back of the wardrobe. I think another sale on another day.

-Yeah.

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Next up, a collection of 12 Beswick dogs about to go under the hammer and they belong to Helen.

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-They're your fiance's collection.

-Yeah.

-He's hiding up the back. He's a bit camera-shy.

-Very.

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We're looking for £150 which isn't a lot of money for 12 Beswick figures.

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That's just over a tenner a piece and they've got to be worth that.

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-Got to be barking if they go for less than that!

-Like it.

-Like it.

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Lot number 285, a collection of 12 Beswick dogs,

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including the bulldog, Dalmatian, terriers, etcetera.

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I can open these up at £110. At 110. 120 now?

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120. 130. 140 upstairs, the bid.

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150 now for the lot? At £140 in the gallery. At 140.

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150 now for the lot? Are we all done at £140 in the gallery, at 140...?

0:18:100:18:14

Yes, he's put the hammer down. He's sold with a bit of discrepancy.

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-We had a reserve of 150.

-Yes.

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-Phew, just!

-Just.

-Good result though.

0:18:210:18:25

Yeah, bearing in mind that the Beswick market is a little bit on the wane.

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-So we've done well.

-I'm happy.

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Next up, we've got that lovely Victorian violin valued at £60 to £100, belonging to Alan and Judith.

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-He's a bit of a muso then, is he? A good musician?

-Definitely.

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-Did he serenade you?

-No.

-Never? Surely, he must have done.

-Yes.

-Of course he did.

-Sometimes.

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At the end of the bed with the guitar.

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-You are a good guitarist?

-Absolutely.

-And violin was your second instrument?

-Yes.

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-So why are you selling this?

-I haven't played it for 40 years.

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-It's just been in a cupboard.

-Will we get that top end, Adam?

0:19:050:19:09

I think we'll be lucky to get much more than three figures for it.

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-But sometimes with violins, people think they've found something...

-A bargain.

-We might get a surprise.

0:19:130:19:19

-Fingers crossed.

-Bit unlikely.

-It's going under the hammer now.

0:19:190:19:23

Lot number 30 is this violin by Maggini with the bow.

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In its wooden case, this lot.

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-I have interest in this lot and I can open it away at £80.

-Straight in.

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At £80 for the violin. 90 now for the lot? 90.

0:19:350:19:38

100. And 10, sir...?

0:19:380:19:40

110 on the telephone, the bid.

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At 110. 120 now for the lot?

0:19:430:19:45

At £110. On the phone at £110. Are we all done at 110...?

0:19:450:19:50

Yes, the hammer's gone down at 110.

0:19:500:19:52

It played a good tune right to the end. 110 quid, that's not bad.

0:19:520:19:56

-No.

-More than I thought.

-What will you put that towards?

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-I might pay a week's poll tax with it.

-A week's poll tax!

0:20:000:20:04

-Or I might put it towards a gallon of petrol.

-I get the message.

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Before heading back to the valuation day,

0:20:140:20:17

I've travelled north to the picturesque Yorkshire town of Croft-on-Tees,

0:20:170:20:22

once home to a writer who created some memorable characters.

0:20:220:20:26

Do you remember the Cheshire cat?

0:20:270:20:30

You know, the one that mysteriously grinned down through the trees

0:20:300:20:34

in that classic children's novel, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland?

0:20:340:20:38

After annoying Alice for a little while with his clever remarks,

0:20:380:20:42

it gradually started to disappear, leaving nothing but a grin.

0:20:420:20:46

Well, this stone carving here in St Peter's Church in Croft-on-Tees

0:20:460:20:50

could well be the inspiration for that character.

0:20:500:20:54

Just look at this little grin here.

0:20:540:20:56

Its author Lewis Carroll, otherwise known as Charles Dodgson, had easy access to this church

0:20:560:21:02

and that grinning little stone carving because his father was the rector here.

0:21:020:21:08

Archdeacon Dodgson was the Rector of St Peter's Church from 1843 to 1868.

0:21:080:21:15

And Charles spent many happy years just across the road from the church

0:21:150:21:20

at the splendid rectory

0:21:200:21:22

which was the Dodgson family home for 25 years.

0:21:220:21:26

He was one of 11 children, educated first at home,

0:21:260:21:30

then later at Rugby School.

0:21:300:21:32

Although he was a somewhat awkward, sickly child with a weak chest and a stammer,

0:21:320:21:38

by the age of 11, Charles was already showing his extraordinary talent of storytelling.

0:21:380:21:44

Charles compiled his verse into magazines

0:21:440:21:47

and much of the inspiration was provided by the sprawling grounds of the rectory.

0:21:470:21:52

Amongst the many magazines that Charles invented was one quite special one, The Rectory Umbrella,

0:21:520:21:58

used for household circulation only, so you had to be quite privileged to look at that one.

0:21:580:22:04

But the inspiration came from this very tree that I'm hugging here.

0:22:040:22:09

You can imagine looking up there and seeing that naughty Cheshire cat.

0:22:090:22:13

During the past 29 years, the rectory has been lovingly restored

0:22:140:22:18

by its owners Jane Atkinson and her husband Peter.

0:22:180:22:23

And over the last three decades, Jane has gained a real insight

0:22:230:22:27

into the childhood of one of Britain's great literary figures.

0:22:270:22:31

-Jane, it's a real pleasure to meet you.

-Hello.

0:22:330:22:37

What a fantastic place! Look at it.

0:22:370:22:39

-It's immaculate.

-Well, it's green and casual.

-You must have worked your fingers to the bone.

0:22:390:22:45

-When did the Dodgsons finally leave the premises?

-Lewis Carroll's father died in the July of 1868,

0:22:450:22:51

then they had to leave in September, so it was three months of packing up and going to Guildford.

0:22:510:22:57

-What happened then?

-The new rector did a lot of alterations to it.

0:22:570:23:01

-Everyone wants to put their mark on a house.

-Definitely.

0:23:010:23:05

The entrance originally had been here around the side of the house and he moved that to the front

0:23:050:23:11

and that had been a window in Lewis Carroll's time.

0:23:110:23:14

When you first saw it, it hadn't been lived in for a few years.

0:23:140:23:18

No, the ground floor was empty for a couple of years, but it had a lovely, warm, comfortable feel to it.

0:23:180:23:24

-A dream house.

-Yes.

-You found out it was the childhood home of Lewis Carroll. How did you feel then?

0:23:240:23:30

It was a lovely connection and we've met a lot of very interesting people through it.

0:23:300:23:35

-Have they all given you their input and their suggestions?

-Yes.

0:23:350:23:39

Some have had photographs of the sisters sitting under trees here and have shown us that.

0:23:390:23:46

Charles Dodgson went on to become a brilliant student at Christ Church, Oxford.

0:23:460:23:52

And there he met the daughter of the Dean, Alice Liddell,

0:23:520:23:56

who famously became the inspiration for the Alice books.

0:23:560:24:00

Charles and his friends would take Alice and her siblings on boating trips on the River Thames.

0:24:000:24:06

And on one such outing, Dodgson recounted the first story of Alice's Adventures Underground.

0:24:060:24:12

Alice begged him to write the story down and the rest...is history.

0:24:120:24:17

-How do you think the Dodgson family felt when they first arrived?

-I think they loved it.

0:24:230:24:28

They were a big family. There were already ten children. They had gardens and a house.

0:24:280:24:34

-Just looking at that, it is a lovely family home.

-Yes.

0:24:340:24:37

-Ten children would... It would ring with enthusiasm and happiness, wouldn't it?

-Absolutely. Yes.

0:24:370:24:44

-That's a fabulous staircase. You can imagine the kids running down, Charles leading the way.

-Yes.

0:24:440:24:50

This is nice. Talk me through this.

0:24:500:24:53

We asked an artist friend of ours to do a painting of the house for us

0:24:530:24:57

and he thought it would be nice to have the Alice connection put in, hence all the figures.

0:24:570:25:02

It really works. I gather there's been interesting objects found?

0:25:020:25:06

Yes, in the 1950s, when they were turning the house into flats,

0:25:060:25:10

they found objects under the floorboards that relate to the stories in Lewis Carroll.

0:25:100:25:15

Could the items found in the rectory be the inspiration for Charles' famous Alice stories?

0:25:160:25:22

"Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind

0:25:250:25:29

"that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat pocket or a watch to take out of it."

0:25:290:25:36

And here are those intriguing little treasures that the builders found under the floorboards in the 1950s.

0:25:410:25:47

We start off with a tiny little glove which in its day was brilliant white,

0:25:470:25:52

but has turned a dirty brown over the years.

0:25:520:25:55

Remember the white glove dropped by the white rabbit?

0:25:550:25:59

"Oh, my fur and whiskers!" So there's a reference point there.

0:25:590:26:03

There's a tiny brass thimble there.

0:26:030:26:05

Can you remember the story where Alice was given a little thimble as a prize by the Dodo?

0:26:050:26:11

There's another little connection.

0:26:110:26:13

And this one, I love this, a tiny little, battered leather child's shoe.

0:26:130:26:18

This could have been a reference point to the poem that Charles had written, The White Knight's Song.

0:26:180:26:25

"And now, if e'er by chance I put my fingers into glue

0:26:250:26:29

"Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot into a left-hand shoe..."

0:26:290:26:35

Charles Dodgson, Lewis Carroll, had an incredibly fertile mind.

0:26:390:26:43

It's wonderful to think that the seeds of that creative imagination were sown right here

0:26:430:26:49

at the rectory in Croft-on-Tees where the wonderful world of Lewis Carroll was born.

0:26:490:26:54

Back at the Dolphin Centre in Darlington, Will has been inspired by an old Flog It favourite.

0:27:050:27:11

Well, Terry, you probably don't need me to tell you what you've brought in to us today at Flog It.

0:27:120:27:19

I suspect the viewers have already screamed at the TV what you've brought, a nice piece of Moorcroft.

0:27:190:27:25

To be honest, I didn't realise...

0:27:250:27:27

It did have the name on it on the bottom, but I didn't realise that there was any great interest.

0:27:270:27:33

It was in the bottom of several things that I brought this morning.

0:27:330:27:37

It is well documented that Moorcroft does well in the salerooms, is well collected,

0:27:370:27:43

depending on various factors such as shape and pattern and so on.

0:27:430:27:48

I mean, you've got here, I suppose, a slender vase in the pomegranate pattern.

0:27:480:27:53

That's the design that we see.

0:27:530:27:55

Typical Moorcroft design with the tube lining, then the colouring in.

0:27:550:27:59

What can you tell me about it? How did you come by it?

0:27:590:28:03

Is it something you've bought or inherited?

0:28:030:28:06

No, we got it as a wedding present 24 years ago

0:28:060:28:10

and it's been in a cupboard because it didn't match the decor. We just stuck it in the back of a cupboard.

0:28:100:28:17

-You're still married, I hope? That's not the reason for selling it?

-No, definitely.

-Good. Excellent.

0:28:170:28:23

-About to celebrate 25 years of...?

-Next year.

-Congratulations on that.

-Thank you.

0:28:230:28:28

Back to the piece here, I noticed on the vase, if I spin it round here,

0:28:280:28:32

-we can just see a couple of blemishes. Do you see those?

-Yes.

0:28:320:28:37

Those happened in the firing of the piece. There would have been perhaps a bit of grit or an air bubble

0:28:370:28:44

that has, in the kiln, heated at a different rate to the surrounding clay, causing a small explosion.

0:28:440:28:50

That's why it's created these.

0:28:500:28:53

I looked underneath because when that happens, they're occasionally sold as seconds.

0:28:530:28:58

When they come out imperfect, they adjust the mark to the base and they sell them at a reduced price.

0:28:580:29:05

But this is fine. It's got the Moorcroft mark underneath.

0:29:050:29:09

And the signature also.

0:29:090:29:11

-So have you had it valued? Any idea what sort of value...?

-No idea whatsoever.

0:29:110:29:16

If I offered you £20, £30 for it, do you think that's fair?

0:29:160:29:20

-Something like that. Maybe 40.

-Maybe 40?

-Yeah.

0:29:200:29:23

Because of the two small blemishes that I've pointed out, the firing defects, I'm gonna hold it in

0:29:230:29:30

and I think it's gonna be valued around 80 to 120.

0:29:300:29:34

-How do you feel about that?

-Yeah, I'd be delighted with that. Smashing.

0:29:340:29:38

Do you have to check with the wife? Is this gonna scupper your 25 years?

0:29:380:29:43

-No.

-She won't mind if you sell it?

-No.

-Good.

0:29:430:29:46

-Shall we reserve it at 80 with a bit of discretion?

-Yes, please.

0:29:460:29:50

-We'll put a reserve on, £80 with discretion, and hopefully we'll get the top end.

-Thank you.

-No problem.

0:29:500:29:56

-John, you've just made my day.

-Good.

-You really have.

-Good.

0:30:010:30:05

A wonderful piece of table treen.

0:30:050:30:07

It's a spice tower and I think it's absolutely delicious.

0:30:070:30:11

It's got the right look and the right colour. Tell me about its history. How did you come by it?

0:30:110:30:17

It was a family heirloom and my mother's just passed away.

0:30:170:30:21

-And it's come into my possession.

-Can you remember seeing this as a little boy?

0:30:210:30:26

-Yes.

-Did you play with it?

-No, I wasn't allowed to.

0:30:260:30:30

-A clip round the ear from Mum!

-Yeah.

-Aw! Your mum had good taste.

0:30:300:30:34

-Right.

-She really did. I just think this is so tactile.

0:30:340:30:38

It's beautifully turned on a lathe.

0:30:380:30:41

Quite an accurate modelling lathe.

0:30:410:30:44

They've even managed to put a screw thread through,

0:30:440:30:47

so every compartment has a proper bottom,

0:30:470:30:50

but it sits tight, so it doesn't really matter in which order you put these back.

0:30:500:30:56

You could put the cloves back on top of the nutmegs or the ginger back on top of the cinnamon or vice-versa.

0:30:560:31:02

It really doesn't matter. It's beautiful. It's a lovely piece of sycamore and it's aged so well.

0:31:020:31:08

I would say this is very early 19th century.

0:31:080:31:12

This is sort of circa 1800, 1810, somewhere around there.

0:31:120:31:16

What's gonna appeal to the treen collectors has got to be its beautiful, variegated colour.

0:31:160:31:23

It's so nutty. You can't fake colour like that.

0:31:230:31:26

-Can you see that?

-Certainly.

-It's beautiful.

0:31:260:31:29

So where have you had it then? What have you done with it?

0:31:290:31:34

Well, as I say, it's just come into my possession. I've just had it on the top shelf of a wardrobe really.

0:31:340:31:40

-Kept it out of the way.

-Kept it out of the way, yeah.

0:31:400:31:43

I mean, we live in a modern house and there's not anywhere to put it really.

0:31:430:31:50

Somebody else might appreciate it more than we do.

0:31:500:31:55

There's a lot of people that collect treen, items of wood, table treen,

0:31:550:32:00

this size, maybe fruit bowls or snuff boxes, things like that.

0:32:000:32:05

But there's a lot of spice cabinet collectors and spice jar collectors,

0:32:050:32:10

so we've got a double hit here of collectors.

0:32:100:32:13

It's a lovely period thing. It's put a smile on my face.

0:32:130:32:17

I know for a fact, when we put this into auction, this will sell really well.

0:32:170:32:22

-Have you any idea of the value?

-I was thinking about £200, £300.

0:32:220:32:27

I think you're spot-on.

0:32:270:32:29

I'd like to put it into auction with an auction estimate of 200 to 300, but put a reserve on at 200.

0:32:290:32:35

-Yeah.

-So it won't go for any less than 200.

0:32:350:32:38

I think it's worth £200 of anybody's money.

0:32:380:32:41

It's beautiful. I would be keeping this if I was you.

0:32:410:32:46

But it's certainly made my day. It's put a big smile on my face.

0:32:460:32:50

It really has. That's one of the best spice towers I've seen.

0:32:500:32:55

-Craig, how are you doing?

-Not too bad, Adam. And you?

-OK, thanks.

0:33:040:33:08

You're very smart at the top and then it terminates in boots.

0:33:080:33:12

-I've been out working today.

-Hence the boots.

0:33:120:33:16

-Yeah.

-It's not a fashion statement then.

-It's not.

-I don't know anything about fashion.

0:33:160:33:21

This is rather a fashionable thing. This is pretty smart.

0:33:210:33:25

-What do you think of this?

-It doesn't really fit in with my minimalistic living room.

0:33:250:33:31

Where did you get it from?

0:33:310:33:33

I got it from my nan who recently emigrated to Malta.

0:33:330:33:37

Then obviously when moving, because of the weight of it and everything else that she was taking with her,

0:33:370:33:43

-she said, "Do you want to take that?"

-Sacrificed the elephant.

0:33:430:33:47

Prior to that, it was a relative that lived in the grounds of a stately home in Northumberland.

0:33:470:33:53

The person sold it to a developer who came in and gutted the whole place.

0:33:530:33:58

This was one of the things that was going in the skip.

0:33:580:34:02

Being in the grounds and selling his house, he went to the subcontractors and said, "Can I take this?"

0:34:020:34:08

-They said, "Yeah, whatever."

-"What do you want that piece of rubbish for?"

0:34:080:34:13

Do you think that's when we lost the tusks?

0:34:130:34:15

-Possibly, yes.

-We're missing tusks.

-Yeah.

-Ivory tusks it would've had.

0:34:150:34:20

-And also I've noticed that we're missing some eyes out of the tigers.

-Three eyes.

-Three eyes missing.

0:34:200:34:26

The eyes of the tiger missing. One, two, and one of these up here.

0:34:260:34:30

-Yeah.

-So it's got its problems. And probably in that skip, or wherever it went in, the wooden base.

0:34:300:34:37

It would have had a hardwood base with recesses

0:34:370:34:40

for these bits to sit in.

0:34:400:34:42

So it's incomplete, but it is bronze.

0:34:420:34:46

-It's a hell of a weight.

-It is.

0:34:460:34:48

It's Japanese and it dates from what they call the Meiji period

0:34:480:34:52

which is 1868 to 1912.

0:34:520:34:56

-This is probably late 19th, early 20th century.

-Yeah.

-Around about 100 years old or thereabouts.

0:34:560:35:02

It's not particularly scarce. There are lots of similar models around.

0:35:020:35:06

You've got the elephant on their own, being attacked, and different versions of this type of thing

0:35:060:35:11

with the generic signature mark somewhere under here. I can just about feel that.

0:35:110:35:16

-I've sold these entire for about £1,000 to £1,500.

-Yeah.

0:35:160:35:20

Bearing in mind it isn't entire, it's got its problems,

0:35:200:35:24

-my estimate would be £600 to £800. How does that sound?

-Fantastic.

0:35:240:35:29

I think we should put a reserve on it, just slightly less, 550, so you get a chance of getting it away.

0:35:290:35:35

-Because you want it sold, don't you?

-Yeah.

-You don't want to cart it home again.

0:35:350:35:40

You won't thank me if you've got to carry it home after the auction.

0:35:400:35:44

-The money's gonna go halfway between you and your nan?

-She wants me to go over to Malta and see her.

0:35:440:35:51

-It'll pay for that.

-You'll spend your bit on going over to see her.

0:35:510:35:55

-Thanks for bringing it along.

-You're welcome.

-See you at the auction.

0:35:550:35:59

-I might get some boots to match! Cheers.

-Cheers.

0:35:590:36:02

It's time to put our experts' valuations to the test as we head back to auction.

0:36:020:36:07

Here's a quick reminder of what's going under the hammer.

0:36:070:36:11

Terry's vase might be small, but the Moorcroft name should help it make a big impact.

0:36:110:36:17

I fell in love with John's spice tower, but will the bidders be as keen?

0:36:170:36:22

Let's not forget Craig's bronze, the elephant being attacked by tigers.

0:36:220:36:27

Will it have a better day at auction?

0:36:270:36:30

Before the hammer falls, let's check in with auctioneer Peter Cartwright.

0:36:300:36:34

-What do you think?

-Personally?

-Personally.

0:36:350:36:38

-Not a lot.

-I tell you what though. There's a lot of work there.

0:36:380:36:43

I've not seen a bronze like that before. £600 to £800, that's relatively priced.

0:36:430:36:48

I think it is relatively priced.

0:36:480:36:51

They are quite popular, these bronzes of wildlife.

0:36:510:36:54

-The elephant is being taken down, not everybody's cup of tea.

-No.

0:36:540:36:59

But it is an interesting piece. It's missing its ivory tusks which may hinder it a bit.

0:36:590:37:05

That's solvable and the little glass eyes in the tiger are missing.

0:37:050:37:09

But Craig, he wants to sell this. It was his nan's. They're going 50-50 on the money.

0:37:090:37:15

I reckon they'll get 400 quid each.

0:37:150:37:17

I agree with our expert. This should do the top end.

0:37:170:37:21

It's very different.

0:37:210:37:23

-I'm not so sure.

-No, I wouldn't give it house room either.

0:37:230:37:28

I don't like the subject matter, but there's plenty of people out there that would buy this bronze.

0:37:280:37:34

I'm sure there is, but my concern is the tusks.

0:37:340:37:37

They will be replaceable, but at what cost? I would be looking more at the bottom end.

0:37:370:37:42

-Looking at 600?

-I would be looking more at 600.

0:37:420:37:45

We'll find out in just a moment.

0:37:450:37:48

When we talk about antiques, we always say invest in quality, condition and a good maker's name.

0:37:540:38:00

This next lot has got the lot. A bit of Moorcroft, belongs to Terry and it's the pomegranate pattern.

0:38:000:38:06

We've sold plenty. Hopefully, this one will be no exception. Will we get 150 quid for it?

0:38:060:38:12

We could do. I'm not gonna promise anything. But it's got a nice shape, it's easy to display.

0:38:120:38:18

-And in the saleroom today, there's a selection of Moorcroft.

-Collectors will be here.

-Hopefully.

0:38:180:38:23

Lot number 315 is the Moorcroft pomegranate, trumpet-shape vase.

0:38:230:38:29

And I have interest in this lot. We'll open this up at £120.

0:38:290:38:33

-120 straight in.

-Yes!

0:38:330:38:36

-140. 150?

-Yes, that's better.

0:38:360:38:39

At £140 with me, the bid. With me on commission then at... 150.

0:38:390:38:43

-160. 170.

-Still on commission.

0:38:430:38:46

At £170 and I'm out now. The gentleman's bid at 170...

0:38:460:38:50

The hammer's gone down at 170. It never, ever lets us down.

0:38:510:38:56

-It doesn't.

-It's like Clarice Cliff. It always does the business.

0:38:560:39:00

-Fantastic.

-Quality always sells.

0:39:000:39:02

-With a maker's name, something like Moorcroft, it's always gonna sell.

-I'm pleased.

-I'm really chuffed.

0:39:020:39:08

-That's a nice present for your grandchildren.

-For something in the back of a cupboard.

0:39:080:39:14

Next, we've got a cracking bronze with a value of £600 to £800.

0:39:190:39:23

-It belongs to Craig and hopefully it is here to sell.

-Hopefully.

0:39:230:39:27

I had a chat to the auctioneer a little bit earlier.

0:39:270:39:31

He said it might struggle, but I think this will get the top end. I'm quite impressed by it.

0:39:310:39:38

I think you've loved it as well. The damage won't hold it back too much.

0:39:380:39:42

Not major damage. It's a big, showy lump, isn't it? For £500, £600, must be worth it.

0:39:420:39:47

-I don't like the subject so much.

-No, a bit gruesome.

0:39:470:39:50

-But I love the modelling on it.

-Yeah, well modelled, nicely cast, attractive bronze.

0:39:500:39:56

And there will be someone that will buy this. There's got to be.

0:39:560:40:00

Hopefully, it's someone in the room. It's going under the hammer now. Good luck.

0:40:000:40:05

Moving along now, it's this Japanese bronze elephant.

0:40:050:40:09

On its hind legs. Interest in the lot. I can start this away at £400.

0:40:090:40:15

At 400. 450 I'll take? At £400 for the bronze.

0:40:150:40:19

-Come on.

-450 now? At £400 with me, the bid... 450.

0:40:190:40:23

500. And 50? 550 on the telephone.

0:40:230:40:26

At £550 on the telephone. 600 now?

0:40:260:40:29

-At £550.

-Yes!

-Are we all done at £550...?

0:40:290:40:34

-He's knocked it out, 550. Just got it away.

-Scraped it away.

0:40:350:40:39

-Pleased?

-Yeah.

-And you'll split the money with your aunt?

-Yeah.

0:40:390:40:43

-What will you do with your half?

-Go over and see her. She lives in Malta.

0:40:430:40:47

It's a good sum of money. And that is a great example of why you should put a reserve on something.

0:40:470:40:53

-It would have made 300, 400 quid and it's worth more.

-Yeah.

0:40:530:40:57

-We've protected it, we've done a good job. Well done.

-Thank you.

0:40:570:41:01

John, this spice tower is a cracking item. I love it.

0:41:060:41:10

I had a chat to Peter the auctioneer and he agreed with the valuation.

0:41:100:41:14

Fingers crossed, we'll get that top end.

0:41:140:41:17

It's one of those things that you can't help but fall in love with.

0:41:170:41:21

-Yeah.

-He's parting with it today. You don't know what to say.

0:41:210:41:25

-You're slightly reticent, thinking, "Have I done the right thing?"

-No, I've made my mind up.

0:41:250:41:31

-I hope it goes to a good home. I really do.

-Yes, that's important.

0:41:310:41:35

We'll find out right now. It's time to wave goodbye, John, because this will definitely sell. Here we go.

0:41:350:41:41

An interesting lot now.

0:41:410:41:44

We've got the 19th century, treen ware, Victorian spice tower.

0:41:440:41:48

I can start this away at £200. At £200. 210 now for the tower?

0:41:480:41:52

At 210. 220. 230.

0:41:520:41:54

240. 250. 260. 270.

0:41:540:41:58

At 270 in the room, the bid. At £270.

0:41:580:42:01

270 for the tower. Are we all done at £270? 280.

0:42:010:42:05

At 280. 290. 300.

0:42:050:42:08

And 10? At £300. In the door at £300.

0:42:080:42:12

Are we all done at £300...?

0:42:120:42:14

-The hammer's gone down. I'm happy. You've got to be happy.

-Yeah.

0:42:140:42:18

It's nice when you get the top end of the estimate. I love that item. We won't see another one.

0:42:180:42:24

All credit to you for looking after it. It was in pristine condition.

0:42:240:42:28

It had such a feel-good factor. It had its own personality. What will you put the money towards?

0:42:280:42:34

My wife is taking early retirement shortly and we're going on a Caribbean cruise.

0:42:340:42:40

Sadly, we're coming to the end of another show. We've had a fantastic day in Darlington.

0:42:450:42:50

We've made new friends and unearthed some bygones.

0:42:500:42:53

My highlight was John's spice tower.

0:42:530:42:56

I'm so pleased it sold at the top end of the estimate, a real quality item.

0:42:560:43:01

I hope you've enjoyed the show. Until the next time, cheerio.

0:43:010:43:04

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2009

0:43:230:43:27

Email [email protected]

0:43:270:43:30

Paul Martin and the Flog It! team are in the busy market town of Darlington, where locals have scoured their homes to find items to excite antique experts Adam Partridge and Will Axon.

Ann searched her attic and came up trumps with a collection of cards; Adam thumbs through the sporting heroes, but it is 'poultry' that really catches his eye. And Will rummages to the bottom of Terry's items and pulls out a small vase with an impressive name. Paul cannot believe John wants to part with a fantastic spice tower that was once in pride of place in his mother's kitchen! And while this gem heads to auction, Paul visits the childhood home of author Lewis Carroll to explore the place that could be the inspiration behind the famous stories.