Northampton Flog It!


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Northampton

Mark Stacey and James Lewis value items in Northampton. Paul Martin steps out to discover how footwear company Crockett and Jones make their fabulous boots and shoes.


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Transcript


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There's nothing like the thrill of an auction room.

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Whether you're buying or selling, it really does get right under your skin.

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Hopefully, lots of you this afternoon are going to feel the buzz

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as you join me from this sale room to flog it.

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To find the items for today's sale, we've come to Northampton's beautifully decorated Guildhall.

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Everybody's now safely seated inside, thank goodness,

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and our two experts, Mark Stacey and James Lewis, are hard at work

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delving through all the belongings looking for all the gems.

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Hey, guys, save something for me. What have you found so far?

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-Obviously, he's forgotten to shave this morning.

-He has! I'll hold him!

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Of course, we only send things off to auction if our owners agree with

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the experts' valuations and then we can get excited about the sale.

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But right now there's work to be done, so let's get on with it.

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-# Have a nice day

-Dum dum da dum dum

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# Have a nice day. #

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-Hello, Max.

-Hello, Mark.

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A nice silver basket here. Can you give us a bit of the history of it?

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It was about 30 years ago, something like that.

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An elderly lady, she was about 90 at the time, gave me two pieces.

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This, and I don't know what the wooden cane is...

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-snake wood cane.

-Oh, right.

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Her maiden name, I believe, was Hoffman and I believe she was the great aunt of Dustin Hoffman.

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Oh, really? Gosh, how interesting.

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She was a lovely lady.

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You know what it is. It's quite straightforward. It's a little table silver basket.

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You put bread, fruit, bon-bons, anything you like really, into it.

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It's a very nice shape, a very classical shape, this sort of boat shape...

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-Boat shape, yes.

-..with this sort of laurel wreath type decoration on it there.

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Quite a nice turned handle, little hallmarks on the side of there and on the base.

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We've had a look at the hallmarks.

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It's by James Dixon, a very prolific maker in Sheffield.

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The mark is for 1913/14.

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So it's getting on for 100 years old.

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And it weighs around about 15 ounces, so it's a nice object.

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Why have you decided to sell it?

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Well, it's been in a cabinet.

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It's the old story, everyone says it's in a cabinet.

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But this really has been in a cabinet and it's been on the third shelf down,

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so we decided that we'll just see...

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I mean it's quite a nice thing and if somebody could put it on display and utilise it...

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If you do want something to use on the dining table, it's very nice. It's got that classical shape.

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One thing I do particularly like about it actually

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is this sort of foot on it, which is very Regency looking.

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-Is it?

-The style of it is.

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It's got a bit of a combination of styles. But it's a jolly nice item.

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In terms of value, silver is up and down and it will depend on who wants it on the day.

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-I would put £100-150 on it, with a 100 fixed reserve.

-Absolutely.

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-So we won't sell it below 100.

-No...

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-I'd hope that it settles somewhere between those two figures. If we can get more, wonderful.

-Wonderful.

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Can you tell me, is it sterling or is it Britannia? I can never work that out.

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This is sterling. Britannia's a much higher standard.

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But is it a cutoff? Is Britannia...

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Britannia standard is mainly 18th century, but you do actually get

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some Britannia standard reissued in the Victorian and in the 20th century.

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-But this is sterling.

-This is sterling. This is 925.

-925.

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Wonderful, that's brilliant. You've answered all my questions.

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Fantastic. I aim to please, as they say.

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-You do please.

-We look forward to seeing you at the auction.

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-I look forward to seeing you.

-Let's hope we can toast our success.

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Hilary, I have to say, we see a lot of pocket watches on Flog It,

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but not many Rolexes.

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Obviously, it is the king of watches, isn't it?

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It's the name that everybody knows.

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But I have to say, we don't see many from this period.

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So, tell me about the history.

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My mother-in-law had to go to a retirement home, a care home,

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and we were sorting through the house and found it in one of the wardrobes.

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This is what we call a gentleman's pocket watch.

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It's an open-faced pocket watch.

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During the 18th and 19th centuries, pocket watches came in various forms.

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If they didn't have a cover on the dial, they were known as an open face.

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If they had a cover both sides like that, so you open that up

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to reveal the dial, they were known as a hunter pocket watch.

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And if they had a little window in the centre of the dial, then they were known as half hunters.

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But this is a straightforward 20th century, Rolex, open-faced, gentleman's pocket watch.

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If we open the back...

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..we can see here a very good Rolex movement.

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Swiss-made. Just marked on the edge there, Swiss-made.

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But what Rolex did was they made the movements and they exported them.

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And the watch retailer in England would say,

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"OK we have a Rolex movement, we can put that into an 18 carat gold case,

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"a nine carat gold case, a silver case or a gun metal case

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"or steel."

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In this case, we've got a silver case

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marked with the anchor for Birmingham,

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the lion for sterling standard silver,

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and the K is the date letter for 1934.

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It's interesting also

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because the mark at the bottom

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is what we call the duty mark

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and that duty mark was put on to say tax had been paid on the silver.

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But that was used from the Georgian period in the 18th century

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right the way through until almost the end of Queen Victoria's reign in 1890.

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Then it wasn't used apart from one year, 1934,

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and that was this one. Just as a little commemorative mark.

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So an English silver case.

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So, how to date a pocket watch when you're looking at it?

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If you've got a winder on the top, the general rule is that it will be a 20th century watch.

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Generally, watches were wound with a little key until about 1900.

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And here we have the Arabic numerals and a subsidiary seconds dial here.

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The dial itself is made of enamel.

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Then we move away from the watch and look at the chain.

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This is known as an Albert, because Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert made them fashionable.

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This one has seen better days, I'm afraid.

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If it wasn't a Rolex and it was a standard silver pocket watch,

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it would be worth about £30, something like that.

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But isn't. It is a Rolex, and it's a good name.

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I think that this will make around £150, something like that. Is that all right for you?

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-Yeah, that's great.

-And a reserve of 120? Are you happy with that?

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-Yes, lovely, thanks.

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

-OK.

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Jacqui and Ron, we've struggled in with this. We've got it on the table.

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Let's open the box!

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We know what's inside. Look at that.

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It is a tool chest and it's absolutely jam packed full of tools.

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-Are you a carpenter?

-Yes, I am.

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Why do you want to flog these then?

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-Because I'm not using them any more now.

-Retired now?

-Retired, yeah.

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-Are you a local lad?

-I'm a local lad, yeah.

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And you've always used your hands for a living. It's a really nice thing

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to look at tools knowing that somebody has actually, you know,

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had a livelihood from these, from holding these gouges, these chisels

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and making something, and turning something.

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It's quite a comprehensive set.

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How did you come by these? Did you buy all of these individually?

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No, I bought them altogether. It was when I was in hospital

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and a bloke next to me was talking about hobbies

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and things we used to do and he said, "You're gonna use it,"

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-and I did use it.

-How much did you buy them for?

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-70 quid.

-How long ago was that?

-About 14 years ago.

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Looking at it,

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it does look like there's an awful lot of large gouges, which would have been used on a lathe.

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-Did you do much wood turning?

-A little bit. A fair bit of wood turning and all that.

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-Turning things out.

-Different sizes.

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I've counted all the chisels.

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In there, there's 24 or 25.

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Is there really? Lock at that. All these date back to the early 1900s.

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Most of them have got maple handles

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and maple is the ideal wood for a handle on a tool, because it absorbs all the shock.

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-Can I take this drawer out as well?

-You can take that one out.

-It's a fantastic tool chest.

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It's one of the best tool chests I've seen.

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So many different gouges and chisels. There's paring chisels,

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mortise chisels. Are you sure you want to sell this?

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Yeah, cos I don't use it now at all.

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-It's sitting in the garage.

-Is it?

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Sitting in the garage and I thought...

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-Did the kids go into the trade? Any sons?

-They're in the trade, but they don't want it.

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This day and age, it's all electrical. They don't want to do anything like this now.

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-I find it fascinating, because there's history in this box.

-Yeah, there is.

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There really is. A bit of your history as well.

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-Look, shall we put the whole thing into auction...

-And see what happens.

-..and put a value of...

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-..I think, £175-275?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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And a bit of discretion on the reserve.

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-Yeah.

-So if it gets anywhere near £175, you can use the 10% discretion and hopefully we'll get this away.

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PAUL INHALES

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I love that smell. I love that smell of oil, I love that smell of wood.

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There's mixed woods here, all sorts of hard woods.

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-What's it like being married to a carpenter? Has he done the up.

-No.

-Or has he started and not finished it?

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He spends hours wood carving, which is smaller chisels.

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A lot smaller, yes. Smaller gouges, so you don't need these, do you?

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-Not at all now.

-I can see why you're selling them.

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-What about your lathe? Have you sold it?

-Yeah, the lathe's gone. Sold it.

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-It's bowling now.

-Bowling.

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-Hello, Janice.

-Hello.

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Now, these Whitefriars, where did you get them from?

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I got them from a departmental store in Southampton.

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-It was called Tyrrell and Green.

-Oh, I know Tyrrell and Green. It was a lovely store.

-It was.

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-But it's not there any more.

-No.

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-It's closed down.

-Yes.

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So you bought them when? In the '70s?

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-No, in the '60s.

-So you bought them brand new?

-Oh, yes.

-Wonderful.

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Tell us what room they sat in and give us the flavour of that room.

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They were in a sitting room on a fire surround, which was very popular then with a gas fire.

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-That's right.

-And I picked the orange out because it matched a Cyril Lord carpet that I'd bought.

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Wonderful. So there was orange in the carpet?

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-Yes.

-What about the curtains and things like that? Did they...?

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They were like a gold brocade and that was in the carpet as well. It was a multicoloured carpet.

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Fantastic. Sounds very psychedelic.

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-Did you partake of anything at the time?

-No!

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So you bought them and they took pride of place there.

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We went through the '70s and '80s and '90s and all the rest of it

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and they've gradually gone off the fireplace. You're not in the same house...

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Oh, they went a lot time ago off the fireplace and I've moved around since then.

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Work has taken me here, there and everywhere.

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This one, I think, is called the guitar shape because of this curvaceous body.

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This one, I think, is known as the television vase

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because it's kind of like that sort of '60s television screen.

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Today... The prices do vary and the larger ones we see

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on the show a lot and they can still make high hundreds.

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-These ones are slightly more modest. So I would say let's say 150-200...

-Mm-hm.

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..if that's all right with you? And we'll put the reserve just a little bit below at 130,

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which means that we won't sell them for nothing.

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-So, Janice, it's time to get shot of them.

-I think so.

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And to buy something more contemporary for your home.

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-No, I want to take my grandson to New York. He's into basketball.

-Right.

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So it's to go towards his fare.

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Oh, wonderful.

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-A very worthwhile cause. We need to make as much money as we can then.

-Yes, absolutely.

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CHEERING

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Yes, there are hundreds of people inside the building, all waiting for valuations.

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Our experts have been hard at work.

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We're halfway through the day, so it's our first trip to the auction room.

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They've selected some wonderful gems and here's a recap of what we're taking.

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Although silver isn't all that popular at the moment,

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Max's bon-bon dish is good quality. It should do well.

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A name like Rolex always conjures up

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something classy and Hilary's watch, I'm sure, is no exception.

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Ronald's beautiful tool chest just wreaks of history and character,

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but will it be of interest in today's market?

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And trendy Janice invested in two Whitefriars vases in the 1960s.

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Fortunately, they're back in fashion.

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We're off down the road to Market Harborough to Gilding's auction house where, today,

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Mark Gilding is presiding on the rostrum.

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Max is first in line to sell his silver basket.

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Max, this is a classic bit of silver, I love the shape as well. Why do you want to flog it?

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Well, I'm quite desperate, actually.

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There was a rumour that my wife married me for my money.

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There wasn't any money then, there hasn't been any money since

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and there's no money now, so we're going to call THIS the money.

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We'd better come up trumps with 100 quid, Mark!

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-No pressure then is there?!

-It should do it.

-It should do. It's an honest little piece.

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I think it will attract some of the private buyers.

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-It's a nice thing to have on the side.

-Good luck, Max.

-Thanks.

-Let's see if we can money for the wife.

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George V silver basket on four cast feet, James Dixon and Son, Sheffield

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1912. Bids start here at £85. 95.

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100. In the room at £100. At £100.

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100. 110. 120. 130. New bid in at 140.

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Ooh, fresh legs.

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At 140. Your turn at 150. At 150. At 150 now. 160.

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160. Still left at 160. Shaking his head at 160.

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-Retirement is looming.

-Second house and grounds.

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£160.

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-Not quite a second house, but...

-Saving towards it.

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At least you can hold your head up high when you go home. £160.

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Right, time's up. It is for Hilary and her pocket watch.

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Lovely Rolex movement.

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£150 is riding on this.

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-Let's see if we can get a bit more for you.

-Yeah, lovely.

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It's a lovely piece of kit, with the Rolex movement.

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-Rolex ones are unusual, so, yeah, it's the name you want.

-It is, isn't it?

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Marked Rolex, Dennison case, Birmingham 1934,

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on a silver graduated watch chain.

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Commission bids straight in at £120.

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120. 130. I'm out at 130 in the room. Commission's lost. 130.

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-140. 150.

-Brilliant.

-150. You're out at the back at 150.

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It's forward at 150. 60 if you like? 150. Sold at 150.

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Yes we're gonna take that.

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That's good. Spot-on valuation.

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-Happy?

-Yes.

-What are you putting the money towards?

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Into the kitty for my mother-in-law's care.

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-Ah, bless her. What's her name?

-Olive.

-Olive, I hope you're watching right now.

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Hilary's done us proud, haven't you? Well done.

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Ooh, Ronald, Jacqui.

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I don't know about you, but I'm on the edge.

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So am I, to be honest.

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£175-250. Something like that we would really like for this chest.

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I've seen lots of people pulling the trays out. It doesn't look much, does it?

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When you look down on it and see that black dome lid, it looks, "What's in the box?"

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-But it's like Pandora's box, because it all comes out.

-That's lovely.

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-Having a good day so far?

-Yeah.

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Hopefully, I'm not going to spoil it.

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Let's flog it, shall we? Let's see what we can do. Here we go. It's going under the hammer now.

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1970, stained wood tool chest.

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I have to start at £180.

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Ooh, we've sold it.

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-Ooh, ever so pleased.

-At 180?

-Gosh, I was scared.

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180, on commission. Watching you in the room at 180. 190, looking for.

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£180, on commission and selling. Just the one bidder.

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Quality all the way.

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OK, you've got 180 quid. It's gone, a little bit of commission to pay.

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Jacqui... I'm going to ask Jacqui, because she'll end up spending it.

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-She'll spend it all for me.

-What are you gonna do with £170?

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We're going on holiday in June to Tenerife, so it's towards our spending money.

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Bit of spending money. Well, you take care and have a good time.

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We'll go with friends, so we'll have a few drinks on it.

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Good old knees up.

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Right now, we've got a bit of 20th century modern and two lovely ladies here.

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Geoffrey Baxter Whitefriars glass.

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Janice and Angela, good to see you again.

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Let's hope we get the top end of Mark's estimate, £250.

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I'm a big fan of Jeffrey Baxter, so I think

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these are classics, especially the guitar shape.

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They are and they're that lovely tangerine colour. I love them.

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I just moved in to Brighton, so I'd love some on my window ledge.

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-Spotlit.

-The light coming through.

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Let's hope that the bidders here fall in love with them. They're going under the hammer.

0:18:140:18:19

Two Whitefriars here.

0:18:190:18:20

Bids start at £100.

0:18:200:18:22

110. 120. 130. And I'm out at 130.

0:18:220:18:26

140. 150. 160.

0:18:260:18:28

Anyone else? 160. 170.

0:18:280:18:30

170 now. Forward at 170.

0:18:300:18:32

-Come on, a few more.

-180 at the back.

0:18:320:18:35

-190. 190. 200, do I see? It's 190. 200.

-Gosh!

-It's fantastic.

0:18:350:18:40

210. Forward at £210. 20 anywhere?

0:18:400:18:44

210. Selling away at £210.

0:18:440:18:48

Yes, £210.

0:18:480:18:49

Geoffrey Baxter is definitely worth investing in. Whitefriars glass.

0:18:490:18:54

What will the money go towards?

0:18:540:18:56

We're going to America soon.

0:18:560:18:58

-So who's getting it?

-Er...

0:18:580:19:00

-The grandson?

-Probably.

0:19:000:19:02

I don't know about you, but I've got a soft spot for a good pair of shoes. I love my shoes.

0:19:150:19:20

So while I'm in Northampton, which is incidentally the shoe capital of Europe, I'm gonna pop in

0:19:200:19:25

to the upmarket and classy Crockett and Jones to find out exactly how a good pair of shoes is made.

0:19:250:19:33

In 1879, James Crockett and Charles Jones, both a bit strapped for cash, set up in business with just £100.

0:19:330:19:41

They started with 20 staff, built the business up and in 1924

0:19:410:19:45

were rewarded with Royal patronage and a visit from King George VI.

0:19:450:19:50

And the company is still family run after all these years.

0:19:570:20:00

So let's go and meet the managing director, Jonathan Jones, who's a direct descendant

0:20:000:20:05

of one of the original co-founders of the company, Charles Jones.

0:20:050:20:09

Jonathan, it's good to see you.

0:20:110:20:14

What a marvellous factory. Surrounded by shoes as well. I am in shoe Heaven.

0:20:140:20:18

-It's wonderful to see a family-run business still.

-Yes, we are a family business.

0:20:180:20:22

Four generations and we're still making shoes the way that we have been for the last 100 years.

0:20:220:20:28

-You've selected a pair for me here, haven't you?

-That's right.

0:20:280:20:32

They look very practical and the weight in them, that's real quality, isn't it?

0:20:320:20:35

This is a jackboot from our current stock range.

0:20:350:20:39

It's quite a long involved process, shoe-making.

0:20:390:20:42

When people go around the factory they're surprised how long it takes to make a pair of shoes.

0:20:420:20:46

-We're talking about something like 200 different processes...

-200?!

-..something like that.

0:20:460:20:51

It takes around about eight weeks from start to finish in our factory

0:20:510:20:54

because, although we can take advantage of modern technology in certain areas,

0:20:540:20:59

there is an awful lot of hand work involved.

0:20:590:21:01

Making shoes like this, it's a bit of an art as well as a manufacturing process.

0:21:010:21:06

Do you know, they are very, very smart, aren't they?

0:21:060:21:09

-They look as though they fit you quite well.

-Beautiful colour.

0:21:090:21:12

-You can feel the difference.

-We often find that once people have our shoes on

0:21:120:21:16

-they don't worry so much about the price and become loyal customers.

-I'm going to hide my cheap ones.

0:21:160:21:21

In the Middle Ages, Northampton became the most important centre in England for the tanning trade.

0:21:220:21:29

Mostly because the town was conveniently placed for the north, London and east and west routes.

0:21:290:21:35

In addition, Northampton was surrounded by forests

0:21:350:21:39

which provided an abundance of oak bark, an essential tanning ingredient.

0:21:390:21:44

And where tanning and leather is readily available, it wasn't long before the shoe-makers gathered.

0:21:440:21:50

-And this is where it all starts. Steve is it?

-Yes.

-Hello, pleased to meet you.

0:21:540:21:59

They told me I could find you here.

0:21:590:22:01

You're the guy in charge of all the hide, all the skins?

0:22:010:22:04

This area controls all the quality for the business.

0:22:040:22:07

Incoming goods and we have to make sure

0:22:070:22:09

it meets all the qualifications and standards and quality.

0:22:090:22:13

You have some mixed hide here. I can just see by the finish. What's this?

0:22:130:22:17

This is American pull up leather. Older animal, natural scars.

0:22:170:22:22

Big scars, healed scars.

0:22:220:22:24

This is a calf, which most high class manufacturers use now.

0:22:240:22:28

This is what we start with and this is when we've antiqued it.

0:22:280:22:32

That's the basic colour. You steep it in a liquid?

0:22:320:22:36

No, what we do is, in the final stages of the shoes, we apply antique creams, polish.

0:22:360:22:42

-Very much like a woodworker.

-To enhance the grain and the anonymity of the product.

0:22:420:22:48

Where is that scar again?

0:22:480:22:50

-Did you have to repair that scar?

-No, you can't use that.

0:22:500:22:54

That'll split eventually, won't it? Right, Steve, where do I go next?

0:22:540:22:59

Point me in the right direction.

0:22:590:23:01

You have to go that way for the clicking.

0:23:010:23:04

The clicking? Sounds good.

0:23:040:23:05

-Thanks very much.

-OK, bye.

0:23:050:23:08

Hi, Graham. You're one of the clickers. Why do they call you that?

0:23:120:23:16

It stems back from a long time ago, when the knife comes from the pattern, it clicks.

0:23:160:23:21

-Show me what you mean by that.

-Here we go, round the pattern.

-Oh, yes.

0:23:210:23:26

-Just a little click off the leather.

-A little click as it comes out.

0:23:260:23:30

-So you're given a load of patterns and you've got to cut the leather out.

-That's right.

0:23:300:23:35

Obviously, you get the best part of the leather, the prime part,

0:23:350:23:40

-for the best part of the shoe, then you work away for the rest of the shoe.

-To the edges, yeah.

0:23:400:23:45

Very sharp knife. That just cut through that like butter.

0:23:450:23:48

-Let's have a look.

-Hack saw blades.

-Old hack saw blades!

0:23:480:23:52

Just grind the teeth off them and sharpen them to the shape you want.

0:23:520:23:56

That looks difficult to do, because I know that's hard to cut as quick as that.

0:23:560:24:01

-Where do I go from here?

-Down to the closing room.

-Thank you.

0:24:010:24:04

See you again.

0:24:040:24:06

-Is that difficult?

-Very.

-It looks difficult.

0:24:090:24:12

Just hope I don't mess up.

0:24:120:24:14

-That's very clever. Are the ladies shoes harder to work on than the men's?

-Yeah, cos they're smaller.

0:24:140:24:19

-Sorry to stop you in your work.

-That's fine.

-You're in perforation.

0:24:220:24:24

I can see now exactly what you are doing.

0:24:240:24:27

-Yes, I've been doing it for 25 years.

-Wow.

0:24:270:24:31

-25, yes.

-You must be very good at what you do.

0:24:310:24:34

It's looking more like a shoe.

0:24:340:24:36

Sorry to butt in. So what's that then?

0:24:400:24:43

That's a leather softener, just to put it on the toes, to help the stain, help to moisten it,

0:24:430:24:48

then put it in the machine...

0:24:480:24:50

-..which pulls it over.

-That's clever!

0:24:530:24:56

It'll stop in that last now for two or three weeks.

0:24:560:24:59

-I'm impressed with that. Thanks a lot.

-That's all right.

0:24:590:25:03

One of the unique Crockett and Jones features is the cork filled sole

0:25:030:25:06

which provides wonderful insulation. It was used for an early Ernest Shackleton polar expedition.

0:25:060:25:13

And it proved so successful it was used for a further voyage in 1914.

0:25:130:25:19

Dave, hello.

0:25:230:25:25

-Hello.

-Welting process, talk me what you are doing now.

0:25:250:25:30

We've put a strip of welting and we sew it through the ribbon on the shoe.

0:25:300:25:36

OK.

0:25:360:25:38

Which then gives us the foundation for sticking the sole and stitching through the welt.

0:25:380:25:44

That looks hard to do.

0:25:440:25:46

They told me it was good money when I started.

0:25:460:25:49

-How many do you do a day then?

-About 300 pairs. It's technically a skilled job.

0:25:490:25:54

Its uniqueness is that once you put it in, if you want to mend this at any stage,

0:26:050:26:12

-you can simply do that.

-Ah.

0:26:120:26:15

It's a chain stitch so you can remove the whole process to mend the shoe, unlike a stuck-on.

0:26:150:26:23

-Yes, exactly. Unlike my stuck-ons. You noticed that.

-Always notice what somebody's got on their feet.

0:26:230:26:29

Basically, I've got to treat myself to a new pair of shoes while I'm here.

0:26:300:26:35

You should go in the factory shop, mate.

0:26:350:26:38

Down the factory shop. I'm going to do that, Dave, treat myself to a new pair of shoes.

0:26:380:26:43

Mention my name, you get a 10% discount.

0:26:430:26:46

That was incredible. And here... well, here's the finished product.

0:26:540:26:58

Now who would have thought that there's over 200 different processes into making a single shoe?

0:26:580:27:04

Wouldn't have believed that.

0:27:040:27:06

But they don't come cheap, mind you. The average price is £250 to £350.

0:27:060:27:12

But they will last you a good 10 to 20 years.

0:27:120:27:15

So you could say a bit of a bargain.

0:27:150:27:18

It's back to the valuation. It looks like James is having afternoon tea.

0:27:280:27:33

Sandra, one of the nightmare things for an auctioneer is seeing somebody unpack a tea service,

0:27:330:27:39

because time after time, people unwrap a cup and saucer

0:27:390:27:44

that's been a treasured belonging for generations and we have to say, unfortunately, it's worth nothing.

0:27:440:27:50

Generally, today, tea services are very hard to sell. People don't use them.

0:27:500:27:55

Society has changed so much that tea services are just out of vogue.

0:27:550:28:01

But this one I absolutely love.

0:28:010:28:03

Two reasons. It's a great design and I love fish.

0:28:030:28:08

So tell me, is this something that you've used every afternoon...?

0:28:080:28:13

-I've never used this.

-Haven't you?

-No, I like looking at it though.

0:28:130:28:17

I think it's too delicate to use.

0:28:170:28:19

-I'd have liked to have put it in a display cabinet but I haven't got one.

-OK.

0:28:190:28:24

And I moved to Australia and this all came with me.

0:28:240:28:27

-Really?

-Then I moved back again and it's been sitting in a suitcase in the attic.

-So how was Australia?

0:28:270:28:33

-It was nice.

-As good as Britain?

-No.

-Brilliant.

0:28:330:28:38

I like Australia but I like Britain too.

0:28:380:28:40

Well, the tea set is lucky to have survived.

0:28:400:28:44

I've been very careful.

0:28:440:28:45

So obviously, the fact it's here means you're wanting to sell it.

0:28:450:28:49

-Yes.

-So have you fallen out of love with it?

0:28:490:28:52

No, but I'm frightened of damaging it.

0:28:520:28:54

OK, it's got some advantages.

0:28:540:28:57

The gilding and the decoration on this is absolutely fantastic.

0:28:570:29:02

It's an unusual design and it's something that's going to appeal to collectors

0:29:020:29:07

as well as somebody who will want to display it in a china cabinet.

0:29:070:29:11

It's by a factory,

0:29:110:29:13

if we have a look, Carlton China.

0:29:130:29:15

Very similar script mark to the famous Carlton Ware.

0:29:150:29:19

But this is by Burke Rawlins and Co. This would have been produced around the 1930s.

0:29:190:29:25

-It has the Made In England mark, and that was put on in 1925 and later.

-Right.

0:29:250:29:31

Before 1925, it was England.

0:29:310:29:33

But it's missing its teapot, sadly.

0:29:330:29:35

-It's teapot, I think, is in my loft.

-In your loft?

-It is, somewhere.

0:29:350:29:39

-You need to go home and go through the loft and see if you can find it.

-I will.

0:29:390:29:43

But you must do that before the catalogue goes to print.

0:29:430:29:47

The most important thing, in some ways. We need to come to a conclusion of value.

0:29:470:29:53

-I think, without the teapot, we ought to put an estimate of £50 to £80 on it. OK?

-Yes.

0:29:530:29:58

If you can find the teapot, that will up it to £80 to £100.

0:29:580:30:03

-Is that OK for you?

-That's fine.

0:30:030:30:06

-See if you can find that teapot - it'd be lovely to keep it together.

-I'll try.

0:30:060:30:10

-Dermott, Hello.

-Hello.

-Now, tell me about this clock garniture.

0:30:140:30:19

Well, we were left them by a friend about 14 years ago.

0:30:190:30:24

We haven't got much room for them now. We're getting a bit cluttered.

0:30:240:30:28

They're not in pride and place on your mantelpiece?

0:30:280:30:31

No, they're on a shelf on the stairs.

0:30:310:30:34

I think they're rather fun. Do you know what they're made out of?

0:30:340:30:38

Not really, no.

0:30:380:30:39

Because normally people assume this is going to be bronze.

0:30:390:30:43

But when you pick them up, they're very light.

0:30:430:30:45

They're made out of spelter, which is a combination of metals, which gives the effect of bronze,

0:30:450:30:52

-particularly if you paint them with a bronze colouring.

-Are they hollow?

0:30:520:30:57

Yes, they are. They are cast, but they are hollow inside.

0:30:570:31:00

So they're very delicate. It's a very fragile metal.

0:31:000:31:03

If you were to hit it, it would just break, whereas bronze, of course, is quite a strong metal.

0:31:030:31:08

These have been painted. What really attracts me to this is,

0:31:080:31:11

normally these are going to date to the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th century.

0:31:110:31:17

Late Victorian, Edwardian.

0:31:170:31:20

And they're normally classical subjects - Diana, the Huntress, Apollo, Mercury, that kind of thing.

0:31:200:31:27

But here we've got one of the early representations of the fire brigade.

0:31:270:31:32

-With their old helmets.

-It's all-action.

0:31:320:31:35

It's all-action. You've got, obviously, the chap here standing on the roof with flames billowing out.

0:31:350:31:41

And he's got his hose in his hand. The other one is about to break into somewhere to save somebody.

0:31:410:31:47

And then on the clock, you've got the chap with his ladder,

0:31:470:31:49

saving a young child.

0:31:490:31:52

And he's just saved her, presumably from the fire that he's getting away from.

0:31:520:31:57

From that point of view alone, they're quite unusual.

0:31:570:32:01

I've certainly never seen them before.

0:32:010:32:03

-They're probably French, rather than English.

-Yes, they've got...

0:32:030:32:07

There's some plaques on them that show that they are titled in French,

0:32:070:32:11

but these are normally made in France.

0:32:110:32:13

And the clock movement itself would be very basic.

0:32:130:32:17

Intrinsically, I don't think they're worth a huge amount of money.

0:32:170:32:21

What I like about them is I think they're quite rare

0:32:210:32:25

If there's two collectors out there who want them, we might set the saleroom alight. Excuse the pun.

0:32:250:32:32

There's a little bit of damage on this one.

0:32:320:32:34

-A part of his pick or whatever he's holding.

-An axe, I should think.

0:32:340:32:38

It's broken off, which is a bit of a shame, because the rest of them are in quite good condition.

0:32:380:32:43

The colour's quite good. If we were to put them into auction,

0:32:430:32:47

we'd probably be looking at £50 to £80, but who knows?

0:32:470:32:51

If two collectors want them, we might even get over the hundred.

0:32:510:32:54

-Just being the right day.

-Absolutely. Do you want a reserve on them?

0:32:540:32:58

-No, not really.

-I think we'll just let them go.

0:32:580:33:01

I think that's wise of that sort of level.

0:33:010:33:03

I think they're great and I certainly could live with them.

0:33:030:33:06

-I hope we get a good price on the day and I look forward to the auction.

-Lovely.

0:33:060:33:11

David, when I first saw this in the box, I thought,

0:33:150:33:18

"We'll have at least half an hour while you set it up,"

0:33:180:33:20

-but you put it together like a real expert. You've done it a few times?

-Two or three.

0:33:200:33:24

Whenever we're looking at optical instruments, in particular microscopes or telescopes,

0:33:240:33:30

there is one name that really does ring out above all the others.

0:33:300:33:34

And that's Dollond of London.

0:33:340:33:36

I don't know how much history you know, but I'll tell you a bit about what I know.

0:33:360:33:40

John Dollond, the first John Dollond,

0:33:400:33:44

was born in 1706, died in 1761.

0:33:440:33:47

But he was the grandson of a French silk Huguenot weaver

0:33:470:33:52

and in the late 17th century, a lot of the French came over because they were being persecuted in France,

0:33:520:33:58

and they were often very skilled workers, either silk weavers or silversmiths and jewellers.

0:33:580:34:03

So John Dollond's parents came over, had him in 1706,

0:34:030:34:08

and he started one of the most famous optical instrument makers that Britain has ever seen.

0:34:080:34:13

-Where did you get your glasses from?

-Specsavers.

-Specsavers!

0:34:130:34:17

But you could have got them from Dollond and Aitchison,

0:34:170:34:19

and they are the great, great, great, great grandchildren of John Dollond, the person who made this.

0:34:190:34:26

And Dollond of London were optical instrument makers

0:34:260:34:30

for King George the Third and also for Queen Victoria.

0:34:300:34:32

They made telescopes and they made microscopes mainly.

0:34:320:34:35

If we look at the box this microscope came in,

0:34:350:34:38

we see these wonderful flush brass handles on the sides.

0:34:380:34:41

And that indicates that it was made to be packed away and for travelling.

0:34:410:34:46

And look at that box - wonderfully fitted.

0:34:460:34:48

This takes into - what would you say - about 10 or 15 pieces, at least?

0:34:480:34:53

-Yeah.

-And all fits together beautifully into this box.

0:34:530:34:57

Then we've got other bits in here as well. We've got little turned ivory cases.

0:34:570:35:03

We've got slides made in bone.

0:35:030:35:05

You often find the most gruesome things. What's that?

0:35:050:35:08

A leg of something by the looks of it.

0:35:080:35:11

But there we go. These aren't labelled.

0:35:110:35:14

They're contemporary with the microscope, so...

0:35:140:35:17

It's what we call a monocular microscope, for obvious reasons - it has one lens.

0:35:170:35:21

Binocular or monocular.

0:35:210:35:24

And this alters a rack and pinion.

0:35:240:35:26

-There we go. But we've got a couple of bits missing, haven't we?

-Yeah.

0:35:260:35:29

-So tell me how you came to have it.

-My son gave it me three years ago.

0:35:290:35:33

Nice gift. Spend a lot of money on it?

0:35:330:35:37

No. It came out of a skip.

0:35:370:35:40

-Who on earth would put this in a skip?!

-My son.

0:35:400:35:44

-Your son put it in the skip?

-Yeah, when they cleared the house.

-No!

0:35:440:35:48

Yeah. Then he took it back out and said, "My dad would like that,"

0:35:480:35:51

so he said, "Here's part of your Christmas present."

0:35:510:35:54

I mean, really, it is the most fantastic quality thing.

0:35:540:35:58

You've saved it and I'm so pleased.

0:35:580:35:59

So, having done the research, what do you think it's worth?

0:35:590:36:03

-Couple of hundred quid, I suppose.

-It's going to be more than that.

0:36:040:36:09

We've got bits missing, so that's a slight problem.

0:36:090:36:11

But it is the best of makers in its original box.

0:36:110:36:16

And, OK, we've got a few bits missing, but you've got a lot left.

0:36:160:36:20

So I think we ought to put an estimate of 400 to 600.

0:36:200:36:23

-Mmm.

-I've seen them sell before, complete, at £1,000 to £1,500.

0:36:230:36:29

And if it's a rare model - and I'm not sure because, obviously, on a day like Flog It!,

0:36:290:36:35

we're here in Northampton Town Hall and we haven't got a reference library with us at all.

0:36:350:36:40

-But this is a lovely thing and thank you very much for bringing it in.

-Been nice being here. Love it.

0:36:400:36:45

That's it for the valuation day, and all our items seem to have something missing.

0:36:450:36:52

Sandra hasn't been able to find the teapot for her unusual Vichy tea service.

0:36:520:36:58

Dermot's clock garniture is also unusual, but it's spelter rather than bronze,

0:36:580:37:02

and one of the firemen has lost his axe.

0:37:020:37:06

Will the pieces missing from Dave's microscope blur the bidders' vision?

0:37:060:37:10

Well, auctioneer Mark should be able to tell us.

0:37:100:37:14

This is a nice little lot.

0:37:140:37:16

A good brass microscope. London maker, as you've seen.

0:37:160:37:18

Belongs to Dave. What you don't know is his son found this in a skip.

0:37:180:37:23

Wow! OK, yeah, that's a surprise!

0:37:230:37:25

Well, this is a brass monocular microscope by Dollond, London maker.

0:37:250:37:31

At the time, these were classed as amongst the finest of the optical instruments.

0:37:310:37:37

This would date from 1820, something like that.

0:37:370:37:41

I'll tell you what our experts have said.

0:37:410:37:43

-James has put a valuation of £400-600 on this.

-Right.

-That's not bad, is it?

0:37:430:37:50

I think that's quite conservative, actually.

0:37:500:37:53

-I would like to think that this would make quite a lot more than that.

-Really? How much more?

0:37:530:37:59

I would like to be closer to 1,000.

0:37:590:38:02

Very good. It's a comprehensive set.

0:38:020:38:05

It's virtually all there. There's a couple of items missing.

0:38:050:38:08

Yes, but having been found in a skip, I don't think we can hold too much against it, really.

0:38:080:38:13

Just a fantastic item and should do well.

0:38:130:38:15

-Had a lot of interest in the viewing so far.

-Fingers crossed.

0:38:150:38:18

-Let's hope we get it up there, then.

-Let's hope so.

0:38:180:38:21

And next to tempt the bidders is Sandra's tea service.

0:38:210:38:24

James, there's no teapot.

0:38:260:38:29

-There is....

-But we can't find it.

0:38:290:38:32

-Have you had a good look?

-I've had my loft inside out and back to front.

0:38:320:38:36

-But it's there somewhere, isn't it?

-I think so.

-What have you done with it?

-I know.

0:38:360:38:41

Well, we've got a valuation of £60 to £80

0:38:410:38:44

and the teapot would have crept that up to about 120, a complete set.

0:38:440:38:49

-What a shame.

-I know.

0:38:490:38:51

Unusual design for Carlton Ware, though.

0:38:510:38:53

It's a stylish set, but that gilding and those fish are brilliant,

0:38:530:38:57

-but not what you'd expect with Carlton Ware.

-No. Why are you selling this?

0:38:570:39:02

This is to go towards my central heating. My boiler broke down.

0:39:020:39:04

Oh, gosh, that's expensive. Right, we've got to help you out.

0:39:040:39:09

We need to get a new boiler for Sandra, so fingers crossed, a bit of money towards it. This is it.

0:39:090:39:14

Carlton china tea service decorated with carp

0:39:140:39:16

in gilt and coloured enamels. 21 pieces.

0:39:160:39:19

Unfortunately, no teapot.

0:39:190:39:20

-Here we go.

-Lot number 35.

0:39:200:39:22

I have to say £30. Bid 30 here.

0:39:220:39:24

35, 40.

0:39:240:39:26

He's got a commission bid on the book. That's good.

0:39:260:39:29

-There's interest in the room now.

-£60 in the room.

0:39:290:39:31

-65, new bidding, at 65.

-We've sold it anyway.

0:39:310:39:34

65 right at the back, at 65. 70 do I see? 65 and selling.

0:39:340:39:39

-Yes, the hammer's gone down. £65.

-Spot-on.

-Spot-on.

0:39:390:39:44

-Great.

-That's £65 less a bit of commission towards the new boiler. Keep you warm.

0:39:440:39:49

-Right, Dermot, your clock, rather unusual.

-It is.

0:39:540:39:57

Typical French spelter clock.

0:39:570:40:00

-But I've not seen firemen decorated...

-Never.

-Never, ever.

0:40:000:40:04

Well, we've got a valuation of £50-80, so it's cheap to me.

0:40:040:40:09

Well, it's spelter. Also, there is a bit of damage.

0:40:090:40:11

One of the firemen's lost the end of his chopper, which of course is going to react a bit.

0:40:110:40:16

But there must be people that collect fire brigade memorabilia.

0:40:160:40:20

Exactly. That's why it should put the price up.

0:40:200:40:23

That's what I'm thinking, anyway. That's my reckoning.

0:40:230:40:25

-We'll find out soon.

-In fact, we're gonna find out right now.

0:40:250:40:28

460 is the spelter three-piece clock garniture.

0:40:280:40:31

Starting at £50 for this.

0:40:310:40:33

50...

0:40:330:40:34

-£60...

-Oh, come on!

0:40:360:40:38

..And will be sold then. Away at £60.

0:40:380:40:42

-We've sold it.

-Yeah.

0:40:420:40:44

-But there we are.

-No world cruise.

0:40:440:40:47

Didn't set the saleroom alight, did it?

0:40:470:40:51

-What can I say?

-It didn't set the room alight.

-It didn't.

0:40:510:40:55

It was that one chopper.

0:40:550:40:57

A damaged chopper is always the kiss of death!

0:40:570:41:01

It was missing.

0:41:010:41:03

What are you hoping for? Secretly, deep down, what have you been thinking about?

0:41:060:41:10

I'd like £500 or £600, yeah.

0:41:100:41:13

Within James's estimate. We're talking about Dave's microscope - a boxed set.

0:41:130:41:17

I had a chat to the auctioneer earlier.

0:41:170:41:19

He said, yes, top end of that estimate. What do you think, James?

0:41:190:41:22

Come on, you've had a bit more time to sort of do a bit more research now.

0:41:220:41:26

It's always difficult in these circumstances because Dave found it in a skip.

0:41:260:41:31

-His son did.

-So it owes him nothing. I don't ever like to get people's hopes up.

0:41:310:41:36

I know, but come on, just stick your neck out. We're friends!

0:41:360:41:41

-I think it should make 1,200, 1,500.

-Right.

0:41:410:41:45

-Really?

-Dave, are you shaking?

-Yeah.

-Wouldn't that be nice?

0:41:450:41:51

I'm gonna feel awful if it doesn't!

0:41:510:41:52

Thinking about £400 or £500 last week, now he's all of a sudden going, "Ker-ching, ker-ching!"

0:41:520:41:58

Early 19th-century monocular compound brass microscope

0:41:580:42:02

by Dollond of London in a fitted mahogany box.

0:42:020:42:05

-Listen to the buzz in the room.

-Lots of interest here.

0:42:050:42:08

Have to start at £380.

0:42:080:42:11

380. 400. Now 420. At 440?

0:42:110:42:14

440 on telephone one. At 440.

0:42:140:42:16

460. 480 in the room, at 480.

0:42:160:42:19

480, at the back, at 480.

0:42:190:42:21

500.

0:42:210:42:22

And 50. 600. And 50.

0:42:220:42:26

700. And 50.

0:42:260:42:29

-Oh, yeah, keep going.

-800...

0:42:290:42:31

It's gonna be a good, steady climb, this one.

0:42:310:42:34

-900. And 50.

-Yeah.

0:42:340:42:37

1,000. 1,100.

0:42:370:42:39

1,200. 1,300. 1,300 in the room.

0:42:390:42:43

At £1,300. Away at £1,300.

0:42:430:42:47

Yes! £1,300!

0:42:470:42:50

Put it there. What a lovely Christmas present.

0:42:500:42:54

-Well done.

-Thank you.

0:42:540:42:55

What comes to mind?

0:42:550:42:57

A drink for my son. Bit more than a drink, really, I suppose.

0:42:570:43:00

Treat yourself. Holiday?

0:43:000:43:03

Do the brakes on my car.

0:43:030:43:05

-Go to Skeggy for a week.

-Go to Skeggy for a week!

0:43:050:43:07

Rent a caravan!

0:43:070:43:09

Dave, thank you so much for coming, and James.

0:43:090:43:12

What a cracking day we've had. That's auctions for you.

0:43:120:43:14

Join us again on Flog It! for plenty more surprises coming your way.

0:43:140:43:18

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0:43:430:43:46

Email [email protected]

0:43:460:43:49