Experts Will Axon and Kate Bliss join Paul Martin in Nantwich, Cheshire. Paul finds an interesting Aboriginal art collection and visits Biddulph Grange Garden.
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You've caught me out, naughty but nice.
These chips are fantastic but there's one thing missing... that's more like it.
I've come to a picturesque market town which owes its name to salt.
Welcome to Flog It from Nantwich in Cheshire.
The actual name Nantwich gives away its long association with the salt
industry, for the suffix of the town, "wich", means brine town.
The salt industry in the town started as long ago as the Roman
period and it thrived for centuries until sadly the last salt house
in Nantwich closed in 1858.
However, its legacy still lives on in the area - it's because of salt production
that other industries have sprung up that rely on salt such as tanning and the making of Cheshire cheese.
Well, perhaps our experts will find something related
to the local industries here, I'm outside the Nantwich Civic Hall and who have we got?
The wonderful Kate Bliss and the equally charming Will Axon and it is
now 9.30, time to get the doors open and get this massive queue inside.
The valuation day is filling up quickly and there are hundreds of people waiting to be seen.
Later in the programme, I will be taking a trip around the world, from Egypt to China.
For now it looks like Kate's got something
that's come from a little closer to home.
This is a really interesting watercolour,
-is this something you've had on the wall?
-I've not had it long, only had it few weeks.
I bought it off the internet.
-So is that something that you like to do, buy and sell a bit?
-I do, yeah.
What can you tell me about the artist? We've got a clear signature here, do you know anything about him?
-I don't know what dates he dates from,
but I think this particular one was painted in Norfolk.
Why do you think it's Norfolk?
Apart from it looks quite flat.
Exactly, yes. Probably one of the reasons.
Well, you could well be right.
-J Horner, signed down here, was actually John Horner.
And he was really active in his work
sort of about 1876 through to 1890, and the thing I like about this one
is the accuracy of the detail, and it's almost architectural really in the detail that we've got here.
If we look on the buildings here, on the barn and on the farmhouse,
you can almost see the individual tiles on the roof, can't you?
-But what's really fun is this little tableau that's going on down here with the two fishermen.
Again, the detail is really precise, you can see the creases in his trousers and the light
reflecting off the water on to his face, which really gives it a really crisp finish, doesn't it?
Now the market, which I'm sure you know if you buy and sell a little bit doing pictures, the market for
watercolours particularly of this sort of period isn't that buoyant at the moment.
-But I have to say this is a particularly accomplished work
and I think, even so, this should sell quite well.
I'm going to put a conservative auction estimate of 200 to 300 on it
because I think it is really well executed.
-Would you like to put a reserve on that?
-If I possibly could, yeah, probably 200 or so.
That's fair, lower end of the estimate and hopefully get quite a bit more than that.
That's great. I mean, if doesn't sell, I'll keep it anyway.
-Well, that's a great attitude.
Well, Peggy, John, hello there.
-How are you?
-I'm very well, and yourself?
I'm well, thank you.
Now look at this, what can you tell me about it?
It's a cigarette case which I bought about 30 years ago...
And did you buy it from a jeweller's perhaps or a dealer, to keep your roll-ups in?
No, I bought it off a bloke that was hard up.
Oh, dear. So he needed a bit of cash.
-He offered it to you, and do you think you paid a good price for it, £90?
Well, I think so on today's prices, yes.
I mean it's a good example here, for example that
not everything to do with antiques and auctions is all about fine art
and something that's been crafted or created from scratch, sometimes, I'm afraid, it's all about just...
I'm gonna say it... scrap value,
especially when it comes to gold.
So what I've done, I've brought along my scales here, have you got any idea
of what you think it's worth, how much it weighs?
Roughly about three ounces.
Three ounces, well that's a decent weight, isn't it?
It almost doesn't feel like three ounces.
-Let's pop it on the scales here, you said around three ounces, we've
got 3.28 ounces, so you weren't far off there, John. I think you knew what you were buying, didn't you?
So now we know how much the cigarette case weighs, we've got to work out or
-find out what carat gold it is, any ideas?
Well, if we have a look inside here, similar to the silver hallmarking,
you can just see it there, the 9 carat gold mark.
Here you've got the maker's mark, which is the Goldsmith and Silversmith Co. Ltd, of London.
-Nice quality really, it would've been an expensive item when it was bought.
-So have you any idea what 9-carat gold's at at the moment?
-No, I haven't a clue.
Well, as we're filming, it's at about £220 an ounce, times by three,
that makes over £600 in scrap value.
I don't think we should put it in the auction at that £600 level, I think that might
put people off.
What we want is for people... 300 to 500, I mean if you've
got that, if we reserved it at that 300 mark.
That's fine, smashing. Thank you.
Well, I shouldn't really call an elegant basket like this a good
lump of silver, but there's quite a bit of silver in that.
-It is heavy, yes.
-Is this a family piece?
-It was given to my father as a gift from two spinster clients.
And their house was opposite my school, so I used to wave at them every day as I left school.
So I don't know whether I persuaded them to
give him the gift of whether it was because he was such a good manager.
Well, that's a nice story. So you've had it ever since, have you?
Yes, 45 years, and I have polished it every fortnight since then.
-Have you really?
-My biggest worry is am I polishing away the centre?
Right. Well, let's have a little look at that because, it's a lovely shape
first of all, isn't it, a beautiful sort of oval shape
echoed in the handle here, and it's got lovely reeded borders around the outside, again on the handle as well,
and what's known as gadrooning around the centre of the basket, and this is reminiscent of
a much earlier Georgian style, if you like, in the neo-classical style.
However, it's not 18th century in date because if
we look at the side here, you can see the silver hallmark, it's marked from
Sheffield and 1897, so it's right towards the end of Victoria's reign, but a good bit of silver.
-Now you say you've been polishing it every fortnight for some 40-odd years?
-45 years, yes.
I think the actual reeding and gadrooning is still in nice
condition, and the handle here also, but what has happened is the base has
been pushed down slightly, which may have been done with vigorous polishing over the years, and so you
can just see the outline of where the pedestal is attached on the base and you can see that little oval there.
-Yes, that was my worry.
-So a good lump of silver but why do you want to sell it?
I'm downsizing, I will have nowhere to display it, and I
-think my polishing days are over.
-I think you've had enough of polishing.
I've had enough of polishing.
I would say even though it's got quite a bit of silver in it,
we're probably looking at around £150 to £200 mark.
-Does that sound reasonable?
-It's lower than I'd hoped.
What sort of figure were you...
I was thinking perhaps 200 to 300.
We could try it at that if you like but I think if we said 150 to 200,
it might get buyers interested and encourage them.
If you would like to put a reserve of 200, we can try that for you.
-You'd like that?
OK, well let's do that. Let's put a reserve of 200 and see how we get on.
I think you've certainly got a chance, but I think at 150 you might just entice people in perhaps
a little bit better, but it's your basket,
-I hope it goes really well.
-And if it doesn't, I will go back to polishing.
Thank you very much.
Well, Leslie, they say small is beautiful and personally I'd subscribe to that
because, you know, not being a six-footer, but what have you brought in here for us to look at today?
I've brought a piece of Moorcroft, I believe it's MacIntyre.
That's right. Well, you've in one sentence basically told us all we need to know.
You've got the name Moorcroft and the name MacIntyre,
because what you've got here is indeed a MacIntyre vase...
the company MacIntyre, of which William Moorcroft headed up their art pottery department.
Now we all know Moorcroft nowadays, of course, he's a well-known name,
we've seen plenty of Moorcroft on Flog It and it always sells well.
Now this, we're taking a step further back in time, shall we say, to when William
Moorcroft was experimenting with this tube lining, which you can see here.
Generally, when pieces are made in miniature, they tend to be
-more valuable than the large pieces.
Is this something that you've bought, do you collect this?
No, I actually found this at a bric-a-brac sale in Llangollen in Wales.
Dare I ask what you paid for it?
-Get off... 10p?
-You didn't do that, did you?
-Unfortunately that was already on.
Cos unfortunately it has got a small chip on the rim.
I think if it had been perfect,
your 10p investment would have been a very good investment because that does detract from it.
But even so,
I think you've done very well here.
It's in this typical blue
of the MacIntyre, the Florian range is the range, but the actual pattern
-we've got here is called Honesty, because I think you did a little bit of research, didn't you?
-You took it to the museum?
-The Moorcroft Museum itself, yes.
I know them well, yes.
-They told me it was about 1903.
-I mean 10p, what can we say it's worth now?
It's nicely marked, it's signed underneath, like I say, a precursor
of this tube line decoration which Moorcroft made into such a household technique, shall we say.
-I would put it in the auction at about £150 to £250, how do you feel about that?
Brilliant, I think that's great.
-So we'll see you on the day, £150 and reserved it at that?
-yes, we'll go with that.
-Reserve it, bit of discretion for the auctioneer, we don't want to struggle.
-I'm confident that it's going to do that, if not more. Brilliant, see you then.
-Thank you very much.
Malcolm, I've had the pleasure
-of valuing one of these before on Flog It!
I think so has Philip Serrell as well.
-We both like our boy's toys.
But this is a classic little Schuco car,
typical of tin-plate German toys from the early 1900s.
-But this one has got a gear-shift stick.
And you know, as well, how that works, don't you?
-Do you want to wind him up?
What's the story? How long have you had the cars?
Erm, about 65 years.
-They came to me as presents...
-..in about 1941, '42.
-And it's something you're thinking of selling?
Why? They've been with you most of your life.
They've been with me for many years
but my children are not interested in them, children or grandchildren.
-You've never played with that one, have you?
-I have but not too often.
Not as much as this one!
-What have you been doing to that one?
-That's been in a few crashes.
-Have you got the other front wheels?
-No, no. It's a bit sad, really.
Go on, let this one go. Let's watch it work.
And it's gone into reverse?
Hey presto. Look at that.
-And it's got articulated steering.
You can turn the steering wheel. Look at that. Reversing into my pen.
Normally, it's a litho transfer print for the colour.
-This is spray-painted on, which is quite nice.
If I turn this over...
you can see the litho print saying Schuco.
It's in such good condition, this little car
-and that's all credit to you... Well... ..for not bashing it about.
Any idea of value?
Erm, probably about £100 or thereabouts - 120.
-And I'm hoping that's the low end.
-I'd like to put this into auction with an estimate of £100-200.
This little one will sell in the same lot as this.
That's... That's the value.
-Here is, hopefully, £180 on a good day.
-OK. This one, we'll throw in.
If a collector has a lot of these Schuco cars,
he'll use this one to break up and use the spares.
OK. That's fine.
-Well, let's put them into auction, then, at £100-200.
It's time to go to the auction now at Firth.
This is Biddulph Grange Garden in the heart of Staffordshire,
and if you pause for just a moment and listen...
you can hear the sound of silence, albeit a bit of birdsong.
It's so beautiful and peaceful here.
It's not only just a place to come and relax, but taking a trip
around these gardens is like touring the world because it's packed full of beautiful and exotic plants.
When this place was conceived back in the 1840s, it went totally against the popular Victorian trend
of broad expanses of grass and water.
Instead, by contrast, Biddulph Grange Garden broke new ground by employing natural
screens such as yew trees, hedges, and walls, to create informal groups of separate gardens, each with
their own distinctive character and mini-microclimate, many reflecting faraway worlds like China and Egypt.
Visitors were encouraged to navigate their way through
the garden rather than have it revealed to them all at once.
The conception of this rather unusual garden was principally the work of three people,
James Bateman and his wife Maria, and their good friend Edward Cooke.
James Bateman was born in 1811 into a wealthy family that made their money from coalmining.
From a very young age, James was fascinated by orchids, which became the passion of his life.
In 1838, James married Maria Egerton-Warburton.
Now, Maria had rather unusual gardening tastes for the period because she loved
herbaceous plants, as well as having a big passion for lilies, which she was well known for.
The Batemans moved here to Biddulph Grange in 1840, and with the help, a lot of help, from Edward Cooke,
they set about creating Biddulph Grange Garden.
Over the next 20 years, they brought together shrubs such as skimmia reevesiana...
..bamboo, and varieties of rhododendrons
from the Himalayas and China, plus a variety of trees from abroad including the monkey puzzle tree
from Chile and other extraordinary elements from all around the world.
Another fascinating influence on the design of this garden was arguably religion.
You see, James Bateman was a millenarian, he believed
in the second coming of Christ, so when you start your tour, it's that influence you experience first.
And to help us understand this, I've come to have a chat with Paul Baker,
who's the National Trust Property Manager here at Biddulph.
There you are, Paul. Thank you so much for showing me around today.
-It's a pleasure.
-Does the tour start here for everybody that visits the gardens?
Do they come through this gallery?
Sadly not any more, but they would have done when
James Bateman had his garden open to the public in the 19th century.
So they would have come in through his geological
gallery, which is where we are now, and they'd have been able to see his
display of fossils and geological specimens which were on the wall to our left here.
How does the rest of it fit in with this?
Well, very interestingly, he believed that a second coming
was due, almost imminently, and all the existing plants and so on
would be swept away and have to be collected all over again.
He also believed certain plants had a very specific role and appeared at specific times in the creation story.
So ferns, which we have quite a lot of in the garden itself now, appeared
quite early because they took the longest time to get turned into coal.
The other great passion he had was orchids, and he believed those only
arrived on the scene when Mankind arrived because they were there to beautify the world for Mankind.
So they wouldn't appear until we get to the end of the gallery.
That's absolutely incredible.
Look at that, it's a little bit of Egypt, surely?
Yes. It's been transformed into Egypt, here we are, the Egyptian court.
Perfect symmetry everywhere.
Who was the creative genius, the driving force? Because I know Edward Cooke was a painter.
Was he the visionary or was James really?
A lot of the actual design work we believe was Edward Cooke, cos although he's
better known as a painter today, he was also well known as landscape designer in Victorian England.
-And Bateman did acknowledge how much debt he owed to Cooke in the design of the garden.
-Can I look in?
-Yes, go ahead.
And out into the sunlight.
And into Cheshire in the blink of an eye, if you look behind.
Oh, yes. Look at that, 1856.
The initials James and Maria Bateman above the window.
That's so cute, isn't it? And as quick as that.
-Well, let's go and see some more.
-Yes, we're now in the pinetum,
and just coming up on the left here, we've got some monkey puzzle trees.
So where are we now?
-Just coming into the China section of the garden.
-So is this symbolic of the Great Wall?
It is, and if you look down to your right...
Ah, what a treat.
-Now that is a visual impact, isn't it, seeing that?
That little temple in the lake.
-It's all based on willow pattern plates, the iconography you see on a willow pattern plate.
So you have the temple, that bridge with the zig-zag fence.
-Can we go and have a look?
-Yes, of course.
It looks so inviting. Well, I can see lots of bamboos planted.
Right. There's quite a wide variety of plants from China, we
have some acers, actually from Japan, they're the very deep purple variety.
Oh, gosh. Come autumn, they'll be worth seeing.
They are spectacular in the autumn.
We've also got probably the oldest surviving golden larch in
England growing here, that was also brought back by Robert Fortune from one of his many travels out in China.
-What a visionary.
-Oh, he was, and he was also the man who smuggled all the tea plants
out of China into India as well, when he was employed for a while by the British East India Company.
So when you have a cup of tea today, it's obviously due to Robert Fortune in large part.
A complete, leisurely tour of Biddulph would take a few hours.
There are many other areas which I haven't had time to explore today
such as the Glen, which was based on the Scottish rock formations,
and the Italian garden, which was a popular choice of garden during the era.
And it's amazing to think that over 160 years after the first conception
of Biddulph Garden, it remains here today for everybody to enjoy.
Let's have a quick reminder of all the items that are going under the hammer.
The watercolour by John Horner could be a real hit but if not, Paul the owner has a back-up plan.
I mean if it doesn't sell, I'll keep it anyway.
John bought his cigarette case 30 years ago for just £90
and today, Will thinks it's worth its weight in gold.
For the past 45 years, Jill has lovingly polished
her silver basket and now it's time to see if it will sell.
And if it doesn't, I will go back to polishing.
And when it came to the Moorcroft vase, Will was impressed by Leslie's eye for a bargain.
-Dare I ask what you paid for it?
-Get off! 10p!
We're also selling Malcolm's two Schuco cars
which he's had for 65 years.
Will we get a lucky bidder to drive them away?
Well, you've seen all our items and now it's time to put our experts' valuations to the test,
and we're going to do it right here
at Adam Partridge Auctioneers and Valuers at North Rode outside Congleton.
The sale is just about to start.
It's absolutely packed in there, so let's get inside.
Next up, we've got a cracking bit of Victorian silver, a little basket,
and Jill's selling it because you're so fed up with polishing it.
45 years of polishing.
You'll wear it away, won't you?
-You didn't polish it every day though.
-Anyway, you want to sell it, don't you, now?
-And I know Kate said 150 to 200.
And you're angling for that, and I know that you were sort of having a haggle.
-Bit of a haggle.
-You were hoping for 200.
-You're hoping for Kate's top end.
-So now you've actually said, "right, we want £200".
Let's hope we can get a bit more so we're all happy.
Yeah. So the reserve is actually 200 now, which is fine, but my feeling is that realistically at auction, it's
-sort of between the two really.
-We'll wait and see.
Good luck, anyway, both of you.
And it's Sheffield 1897, another basket here and I'm bid 160.
-170? 170... 180, 190?
190, your bid, take 200.
At 190... 200, 210...
-We've sold it.
There you go, that's great.
220 in the crowd here, 220... any more this one now? 220...
all done? At 220... thank you.
-Great. Well, done.
-Thank you very much.
Well done, Kate. What are you going to put the money towards?
We've got 15% commission to pay on this, don't forget, Adam's got to earn his wages.
Well, this was an experience, so I'm going to use for another experience.
-Perhaps lunch on the Orient Express or tea at the Ritz.
-Very nice, I like your style.
-Thank you very much.
£50, £50 is bid. 50 I have, 55 now?
It's now my turn to be the expert
and next up it's those two lovely Schuco cars.
One is in incredible condition.
They belong to Malcolm. We've got the cars here but we don't have Malcolm.
He's cruising the Caribbean but we've got his daughter here, Elizabeth.
-You can remember these as a little girl, can't you?
I can. I can the remember the little red car, yes.
I had to put it back in the box afterwards.
I don't blame Dad for making you do that, as well.
-That was his pride and joy, wasn't it?
-Yes, he loved his cars.
-Do say hello, won't you, and let him know how it's gone.
-It's going under the hammer now.
The Schuco 4001 Examico clockwork car
and a Schuco Studio red tinplate racing car, racing number 9.
Two Schucos in the lot, there.
Let's try £100 for the two Schucos. 100?
60 bid. £60. Take 5 now.
At 60. At £60. I have 5.
70 bid. At £70. 5?
80 now. 80 bid. 5, then? 85.
90 bid? 85 we have.
-85 is the bid. Is there 90?
At £85... 90. In the room at 90.
At £90. Is there 5 now?
We're selling at 90 in the room. All done at 90?
-He's used discretion, the 10%.
-We just about got them away.
-He'll be happy, he'll be happy.
-He will be happy.
Except when I spend his money.
Oh, well don't tell him that, will you?
-And say hi from us, won't you?
-I will do. Thank you.
-Peggy and John, it's good to see you.
-Have you been looking forward to this?
-I have, very much.
We're just about to put under the hammer this gold cigarette case, and there's an awful lot of weight here.
You're looking at £300 to £500, you've got a fixed reserve at £300.
-It's worth top estimate scrap.
-So I'm looking to break that top estimate.
-Right, here we go.
Around 93 whopping grams we made that,
and commission interest here has to start us at 600 straight in.
-Told you! Straight in at £600.
Are you all done at 600? Not very exciting, is it?
600 bid, at 600... 620, 640...
660, 640 still with me, 640 are you all done on this?
£640, 15% commission to pay here. What will you put the money towards?
It's either going to be a piece of Swarovski or a large flat screen TV.
-You like your glass then?
-I do, and he loves his football.
-He loves his footie.
Next up, we've got a lovely little watercolour with a value of £200 to £300, and it was brought in by Paul,
who is playing the game, because you got this on the internet a few weeks ago, didn't you?
-Hopefully we're doubling your money plus, right now.
So you've got a keen eye.
-I like to think so, yeah.
-Do you do a lot of this?
-A little bit, but not a great deal.
-And you've had much success?
well, a little bit.
Kate, a bit of competition.
-You've been giving me tips.
So we've got a value of 200 to 300.
We have. The watercolour market is unpredictable, as I'm
sure Paul knows, so it's either going to do really well or we're going to miss the boat, so one or the other.
-We'll soon find out.
-We're going to find out. Here we go.
J Horner, watercolour fishing scene, start me £200 please.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass that one.
-Didn't sail for you.
-A punt, a bit of a gamble.
-It was, yeah.
I quite like it, I'd sooner take it home anyway.
Put it back on the wall. OK, thank you very much.
That's a shame. Give it a while, stick it in a dark corner, fish it
-out again, because I think the right person just wasn't here.
-I will do.
He's got a good track record, that artist, so I think in a different sale you might have some luck.
Smashing. Thank you.
Well, it is all out there if you bother to open your eyes and go and have a look.
-And that's exactly what Leslie did when you were in Wales.
-10p this next lot cost at a bric-a-brac sale.
It's a bit of Moorcroft and we valued it at £150 to £250.
Not a bad return on 10 pence.
Small is beautiful, but condition is everything with
ceramics, so we've kept the valuation down.
If it was perfect, it would be in the high hundreds, but it's still going to do well.
-Well, let's hope it does that 250, we're gonna find out right now.
There we are, the Honesty pattern there on a roughened surface there.
-I'm bid 160 to start, is there 170?
-160 bid, at 160.
Any more now on this one? At 160...
All done... 170... 180, 190...
200, 210... 220, 230... 240.
There's a bidder in the room.
-And there's a bidder in the room.
-320... 340, 360... 380,
400, 420, 440... 420, am I bid one more if you want?
420... at 420, your bid now 440, we're in the room.
At 440 I'm selling this one, are we all done? At £440.
Thanks very much.
That is just incredible!
That'll divide up nicely, though, there's a lot of children.
-We blew the top end away, which is what you like.
Yeah. Leslie, thank you so much for bringing that in.
To find out more about Moorcroft, I've come to the heart of the British pottery industry.
This area is so synonymous with the trade that it is traditionally referred to as the Potteries.
You may know it as Stoke-on-Trent.
Today, Staffordshire boasts some 350 potteries.
Renowned names like Clarice Cliff, Royal Doulton and Moorcroft with its exquisitely vibrant style
were all born and based here, producing everything from the little egg cup
to the most expensive bowls and vases.
They may be all the rage today, but the industry has been around for centuries.
Pottery was established in the West Midlands in the early 1700s,
but it wasn't until 1897 that the world was introduced to a style legend.
William Moorcroft caught the attention of a local pot manufacturer, James Macintyre & Co.
And that moment marked the official birth of an artistic genius.
Young William Moorcroft already had a reputation as a gifted painter, even though just a recent graduate,
and he started working for Macintyre's as a lead designer.
With his vibrant, colourful designs inspired by nature, he soon captured the market
and he even boldly placed his signature on the bottom of every Macintyre pot.
He was a visionary designer and revolutionary in his approach to ceramic art.
Demand for William's work soon exceeded any other designer in the firm.
In 1912, aided by money from Liberty of London, Moorcroft left Macintyre's employment,
taking with him 12 members of staff to start his factory.
They marched 500 metres from the old premises to Moorcroft's factory,
taking with them sketches, designs, pot moulds and tools.
A new age of ceramics had dawned and the iconic Moorcroft was born.
'Today, Moorcroft is a much loved, worldwide brand. Its delicate,
'but intricate detail delights thousands upon thousands, and it's been a bit of a regular on Flog It.'
-How about 150, 250?
-They're not worth that.
-They're worth 300 to 500.
-You are kidding?
'It doesn't often disappoint us when it comes to selling on at auction.'
-That is a great Flog It moment.
'So to find out why it's so sought after,
'I've come to the Moorcroft Visitor Centre to meet MD Elise Adams
'and take a look at their stunning collection.'
What an incredible room! Moorcroft is vying for my attention everywhere.
I'm surrounded! What is this room called?
This is the Moorcroft Museum, part of the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre here in Stoke-on-Trent.
-How long have you been working here?
-I've been at Moorcroft for 12 years and slowly worked my way up.
Being a living art pottery, there's always something new happening.
-We've got a few pulled out from the cabinets.
-I've started with some early pieces.
This is where William started when he worked at Macintyre's, a local firm that was founded in the 1830s.
He started with pieces like this. This is Aurelian Ware.
-It's flat to touch. It's not like the pieces of Moorcroft which have the...
-Where did he get his inspiration?
-Very much from his environment.
A lot of British flowers, things that he would see day-to-day.
Then these pieces lead on to other pieces that come forward.
But he was very clever at this stage because, although he was working for Macintyre,
-he was signing all his wares "Moorcroft". How did he get away with that?
-He was very canny.
Macintyre's don't seem to have objected.
Pieces like this, it's got the Macintyre backstamp on it,
but then clearly in green is William's signature.
He's branding his own name, he's setting himself up for when he's going to go it alone,
so people are knowing these pieces as Moorcroft when in fact they're Macintyre's.
What's distinctive about this piece?
It's the very first range that William designs when he moves to this new factory in 1913.
This follows in 1914 and it's called Persian Ware. The shape was inspired by Middle Eastern culture.
William starts to work with Liberty & Co in London and they buy pieces of Macintyre Ware.
He then designs specific ranges exclusively for them such as this powder-blue ware
which they used in their Liberty tea rooms.
-From blue to red.
-This was his technique, wasn't it? It was his little invention.
This was something he held very close to his heart.
He only passed the recipe on to his son Walter on his death bed in 1945.
He didn't let anyone else fire or load the kilns.
What period are we looking at now?
We're coming forward a little bit in time here to more contemporary pieces
and pieces by William's son Walter who takes over the factory in 1945.
But we do start to get away a little bit from what Moorcroft is all about.
There's very little tube lining on the pieces which is the opposite to what William had devised.
Let's talk about the new designers. Do they have to have a good archive knowledge of previous designs?
They do, but they're very careful to always be moving forward.
But the process of Moorcroft has changed very little. It's tube-lined, painted and dipped by hand.
So, from that point of view, in 112 years, very little has changed.
That's great to see some animals.
It's by Kerry Goodwin, one of the newest members of the design studio.
She works here on our factory and is here today, so if you would like to meet her and have a look round,
-we can see how this kind of piece is made.
-That'll be interesting.
The first stage of the process is mould-making.
The craftsman hand-makes each mould with plaster of Paris.
Next, the piece is cast. The mould is filled with liquid clay and then emptied, leaving a wet shell.
When the clay has dried, the mould is removed, revealing the shape.
The vase is then placed in a damp room overnight to harden.
The dried vase needs to be smoothed. It's mounted on a lathe and any seams removed by hand.
That's precision work.
Excess flakes of clay are removed with a sponge, dipped in water
and those familiar stamps are then pressed into the base.
The pattern is inked on to a clear sheet of paper with a special ink mixed at the factory,
then the wet design is pressed on to the pot with the tube liners to follow.
Once the pattern has been pressed on to the pot,
the famous Moorcroft tube lining can begin.
They follow the pattern precisely, laying it on to the pot.
It's a good job my work is being overseen by the designer who created this piece, Kelly Goodwin.
My hands are so thick and clumsy, I'm worried that I might break off what's already been done.
That's hard. That's very difficult.
-It's not going, it's not running.
-You're doing quite well.
Come the final glaze, that will be very vibrant like this, won't it?
Yes, the glaze is the main part because the colour soaks into the pot itself.
Once you put the glaze on, it turns into precious jewels.
-All the colours come through.
-The whole thing just comes to life.
-Do you want to finish this?
-It would take me two days, not three hours.
-Can you finish it off for me?
-Yeah, I'll finish it off and send it through the kiln.
Thank you so much.
And thank everybody here because they've shown me the secrets behind Moorcroft. It's alive and kicking!
It's time to head back to the valuation day at Nantwich Civic Hall.
There's no let-up for our experts and with plenty of people still arriving,
who knows what we'll unearth?
Richard, you've brought quite a selection of jewellery.
You don't look like the man who wears a brooch or perhaps
a gold bangle, so tell me where have these come from?
Well, they belonged to my sister, who worked in an antique shop
and she collected quite a lot of quirky things, really.
-And they've been in a drawer ever since.
-Let's have a look.
We've obviously got here two watches as well as this, I think, rather impressive mourning brooch.
If I turn it over, we can see on the back we've got a rather nice inscription, haven't we?
-In memory of...
-and then the name there, "Esquire", and that's 1861.
Then if we move on to this rather nice little bangle wristwatch, for want of a better word.
You've got this rather stylish rectangular face, which is typical of that sort of
Art Deco period when rectangular watches really came into their own.
If we look on the back, we can see that it's cased in 18-carat gold.
And then if we move on further still really into the Deco
period, we've got this rather fine...
I would call it a cocktail watch.
Have you ever had an idea of value, I mean, did your sister ever sort of let on to what she paid for these?
-Not a clue.
-I suppose the mourning brooch here, I would have thought
you'll probably be looking at 30 to 50, 40 to 60 perhaps on that.
Then if we move on to the little
brooch glass cocktail watch with the paste settings, I would say on that,
you're probably looking at maybe similar sort of money, maybe 40 to 60, something like that.
Then if we come to the little wristwatch there,
you should be looking at about 120 to 150 mark for the wristwatch.
So if we tot it all up, where does that take us...
sort of 120, 150, so it's going to be between the 150 to 200 mark. What do you think about that?
If we estimated at 150 to 250, would you be happy to see them go at that?
I certainly would, yes.
Are we reserving at the bottom figure?
-No, I would like to get shot really.
-Let them make what they make. I like your approach.
-Thank you very much.
David, this is a staggering collection of Aboriginal art here
in beautiful Nantwich in Cheshire.
-Indeed it is, that's right.
-Most of this is from Darwin, isn't it?
That's right, Northern Territories of Australia, yes, and a bit in Queensland.
How did it get to Nantwich?
Well, it got to Nantwich because I was working for the Department of
Defence in Australia and I was posted into Darwin, and
had the opportunity to travel around the missions and Melville Island, where some of these come from.
Aboriginal art is fetching such good money right now.
Not only are the Australians buying it back, it's their social history.
They want to fill their museums with this wonderful, sort of almost
mosaic work, which is painted with pigments from the earth,
different coloured clays.
-Absolutely, and on bark.
-On gum tree bark.
You got these in the '50s.
Yes, well '59, '62, that period.
This is so striking, look at this.
Yes, and this is a very,
in a sense, religious symbol.
You see it in all Aboriginal art from wherever the tribes, you get this circle,
the circle of life, I think is a simple way of putting it.
And this one's signed on the back, it's called Ghost Women, and it's by Wandi-Wandi who's 50-years-old.
-Let's look at the three items on the table, start with the didgeridoo.
Again, that's a genuine piece in the sense of how they made these.
-This hole was eaten out by ants.
White ants, and then they cut off a piece and they decorate it.
-No doubt these were all ceremonial rather than everyday use.
-They look ceremonial, actually.
Why are you thinking of selling these, though, today?
Well, I only live in a very small house and I collect, and you move on.
And I still have got six other pieces of this to remind me of
-Are you interested in art or just Aboriginal?
Not particularly, I'm into Moorcroft now.
-I know it's a dirty word but I've got 250 pieces of it.
Oh, yes, it's only down the road.
Crikey! Well, I'm pleased you brought this in rather than Moorcroft.
We've not seen things like this before and it excites me. Right.
Let's get to the valuation, the business end of the conversation. I think
they should go into auction as a collection.
If someone wants to buy this beautiful piece, they're going to want that one and that one.
-There's a lot of Darwin's social history here and it should stay together.
I'd like to put a value of £300 to £500 on the whole lot.
If we have a lot of excitement pre the sale, Adam can use his discretion and split them up.
-But this is where it gets exciting.
Whatever you do, don't go away. Let's watch this lot go under the hammer.
Well, Roy, I love what you've brought in to Flog It today.
-A Hornby train, a clockwork train.
Now, it looks in remarkable condition, bearing in mind its age.
Has it not been played with or...?
Not been played with since my dad left it to me and I don't think he played with it much.
-So it was your father's?
-So this is going to date from around that sort of... The late '20s.
-I think so, yeah.
-It's possibly early '30s. I think you've done some research, haven't you?
-Yes. It was 1929.
Frank Hornby, he brought out this range of toys
under the banner of Hornby
as British toys for British boys.
And we can see that here you've got two rather nice carriages,
each named - Arcadia with the crest, here.
-They look like first-class carriages.
-They do, yeah.
-And then you've got this LMS, I suppose it's a...
-A horsebox, something like that.
-And then this little working crane.
-A rig, yeah.
What's nice about them, though, is you've got this original transfer printing
and the original paintwork to the carriages.
-Passed down to you from your father.
No grandchildren? No children you could pass it on to?
-I've got one son and he's never shown any interest.
-He might when you tell him what it's worth.
-He might take an interest.
-He's had it. It's going to the lounge fund.
-The lounge fund?
-Nice comfy chair?
-Serious work, then.
Well, I think, you know, estimate wise, let's see if we can get close to your new ceiling.
I would think... I mean, there are some chips and some slight losses.
It has been played with but the basics are there.
I would say you're looking at £200-300.
-I don't know how you feel about that?
-Yeah, fine, fine.
You're happy with that? Shall we reserve it at that bottom figure?
Yeah, I think so. 200, yeah.
So let's say 200 with discretion, 10% either way for the auctioneer.
So he'll sell it at £180, that sort of level.
-But I'm confident that on the day, we should get more.
-More for it.
-See you on the day.
-This is a lovely little, what I would call, apprentice piece, chest of drawers.
Is it a family piece?
It is, yes. It came from my paternal grandfather's when he passed away
in 1938, and he migrated from
Cornwall in 1860 to Nantwich, when the local malting works down the road was in its full production.
So it's quite feasible it came with him from Cornwall.
-Right. And do you remember this as a boy then?
-Yes, I remember it because it came with a big sea chest, yes.
Why have you brought it today?
To get it valued and exactly to see what it is, more than anything.
OK. Well, it's quite intriguing, I think, because we've got quite a lot of different materials here.
I think this was made by a carpenter who was making chests of drawers as
a living, he was making pieces of furniture, and he may well have made this little piece to take round
and show prospective clients, to see what sort of piece they would like him to make for them.
Because what we've got here is a very plain pine carcass.
-Oh, yes, very simple.
-A very affordable softwood.
But then on the front we've got veneers of different woods, and at the top here,
these two little drawers have got amboyna, a really exotic rich wood.
If we put that one back and look further down, we've got a polished oak veneer,
hen further down a different wood again, the third drawer
down, and I think that's probably beech, looking at the flecking in it.
It's certainly not oak. And then the last long drawer at the bottom there we've got an oak veneer again.
So I think the cabinetmaker would have taken this little piece along
to prospective clients, and shown it to him and said,
I can make it for you with an amboyna veneer or an oak veneer, and showed him the different examples.
And I think they would probably be different price bandings
accordingly because amboyna would be a very expensive and perhaps the oak and beech less expensive.
-And it's standing on these lovely little turned feet, which are rather sweet.
Those little feet together with the moulding on the top makes me think
-that it's around 1860, 1870, so late Victorian in date.
So what about value, have you any idea, sir?
No idea whatsoever.
OK. Well, I think if we put this into an auction for you shortly,
I think we'd be looking at anything between £100 and £200.
-So I think a fair auction estimate would be 100 to 150, we'll put a reserve of around £100 for you
so it doesn't go for less than that, and I think you might well find some
collectors really bidding against each other to win this little piece.
-Thank you very much for bringing it along.
Thank you for explaining to me.
Jeffrey's apprentice piece joins the other items we're taking to auction,
but before we see if they sell well, let's have a chat with Adam about the collection of Aboriginal art.
I'm such a big fan of ethnic art, and when David came into
-the valuation day, I threw myself at this Aboriginal art.
-I can imagine it. Yeah.
It was too much to take in, really!
I put £300 to £500 on the whole lot and I said
likely Adam will have a closer look and then decide to split them.
-A sensible estimate.
We've split them into lots as I think these are the strongest, and I've done these three first.
Hopefully those will make the 300, and then we can...
-Whatever's left will make up the difference.
I would love these three panels to double our estimate, that's what I'm secretly hoping for, and they all go
back to Australia so they can be viewed by young Australians as part of their social heritage.
Absolutely right. I really hope they do very well.
-We've had 30 or 40 emails on them.
-They're going back to Australia.
-How much money? We're going to find out.
Adam's just about to get on the rostrum so whatever you do, don't go away.
Other items we're selling alongside the Aboriginal art are
a collection of two elegant watches and a mourning brooch,
their owner Richard is taking a real gamble with this lot.
Are we reserving at the bottom figure?
No, I would like to get shot of it.
Roy's Hornby train set has been languishing unloved
in the attic, but now it's heading off for a new destination.
And having travelled all the way from Cornwall to Nantwich,
where will Jeffrey's chest of drawers end up after the auction?
Your bid 220... I'll take 230.
This next item is a classic example of something that's been left in the loft for 25 years,
untouched and boxed.
It belongs to Roy, it's a Hornby train set.
-A typical kind of attic thing, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
It's great. If you've stopped playing with it or you don't want to use it,
store it away, it doesn't take up much space, put it in the attic.
25 years later...
-We moved it three attics.
Well, 25 years later, it's worth, hopefully, £300, maybe more.
-We've put 200-300 on it, haven't we?
I think the carriages are sort of where the value is.
Nice that it's in its box.
Anyway, it's going under the hammer, Roy. Good luck.
A good Hornby train set, this one and I'll sure you'll agree
and I've got a range of bids again.
And I suppose that means I can start at £280 bid.
-290 now, please.
-290, 300, 320.
-Straight in at £280.
-..380, 400, 420, 440,
460, 480, 500 and 20. 520 in the room.
520. Can I see 540 now?
At 520. At 520, I like it.
At 520, we're all done and selling at 520.
That's absolutely fantastic.
Don't forget, there's 15% commission to pay here.
That's more money than we all thought. What are you going to spend it on?
-Hopefully, my new ceiling, Paul.
-How about that?
-That'll get that, a plasterboard ceiling and a bit of emulsion.
You could say, we've hit the roof. I like it. Very good.
-Or gone through the roof.
-Gone through the roof.
One of my favourite pieces in this sale, a small apprentice
piece, it's a chest of drawers, showing off a young man's skill.
And it belongs to Jeffrey and it was his grandpop's.
Now your grandpop had great skills, he was an apprentice, but not in woodwork.
No, definitely not, no.
It's a family trade cos you've all been in the welding business, haven't you?
All been in the heavy engineering, the local works at Crewe, yes.
But there's history in that chest of drawers.
-Oh, there is, yes.
-And I think at 100 to 150, Jeffrey's going to say goodbye to it.
I hope so, it's just a little bit different having that range of veneers on the front there to show
-off what he could make.
-Good luck, Jeffrey,
Kate. The little chest of drawers are going under the hammer
right now, let's hope Adam can get the top end of the estimate.
It's the apprentice-made miniature chest, 19th-century with
specimen veneered drawers, amboyna and oak and various timbers there.
I can start with a bid of £100... take 10, £100 is bid...
is there 10 for the miniature chest?
At £100... any more? Come on, it's worth a bit more.
At £100. Are you all done? At £100 for the miniature chest.
It's gone, though.
At £100... you're all finished then at £100?
Short and sweet at £100, we sell then.
It's gone straight in and straight out. £100, Jeffrey.
-We sold it.
-Yes, it went.
There is commission to pay, it's 15%, but hopefully there's enough
money left for to treat your wife to supper or something like that.
Yes, I always pass the money on to my wife.
-Always pass the money on to the wife.
£50... 50 is bid, take five, at 50 I have... 55 now? 55.
Richard, you're playing with fire.
There's no reserve on this lot and it's a mixed lot.
There's a silver watch, a gold watch, some pearls. What's going on, no reserve?
What happens if we only get a £20 bid in the auction room?
Oh, don't say that. No, I'm confident, and today gold and silver's been selling well.
Well, surely this package, these three things put together,
we've got to be looking at around £200 or £150.
Yeah, I think we said sort of round £150, didn't we?
-150 you quoted.
-That's right, yes.
How did you let him get away with no reserve?
-Well, he's just got this smiling face.
-Yeah, I can turn it on.
Charmer, isn't he?
But things like these find their level, you know?
It's going to sell for what it's worth, fingers crossed, otherwise I am in trouble.
-Personally I've no idea.
-No, nor have I.
Me neither. I'll tell you one way to find out.
We are going to find out right now.
Let's hope Adam works some magic. Good luck both of you.
Which is a Victorian 9-carat gold mourning brooch,
an Art Deco 18-carat gold lady's wristwatch,
and an Art Deco marquisette lapel cocktail watch, what do we say for these?
Couple of hundred?
£100 bid... 10 now, at £100...
Come on, some bidding, I want 110...
120, 130... 140, 150... 160, 170...
160 bid... 170, 170... 180, 190...
200, 210... 220, 210 the bid.
At 210 now, 210... any more, are you all done?
At 210. All finished at 210, hammer's up, 210.
Phew, well done.
-Both of you took a gamble, it paid off.
I'm as pleased as you are that that made mid-estimate on what we said.
She'd be pleased if she was here.
-Yes, good. You were, really.
I've been looking forward to this, the Aboriginal art.
-We've got a packed house here.
-We certainly have.
But I'd like to think there's a few phone lines booked from Australia, lots of internet interest.
I talked to Adam prior to the sale, he has split
the whole lot up now, selling them separately. Good luck, here we go.
Lot no. 80 is the first one,
the bark panel painted with natural earth pigments by Wandi-Wandi.
120 I have... at 120 here, is there 130 now anywhere? At 120...
130 on this phone, is there 140... 140, 150...
160, 170, 180.
This is a good sign, this is a good sign.
170 on this phone here...
all done now 170, we sell at 170.
It's £170, that's the first item, here we go with the second lot.
-Goana and snakes hunting by Wally Puru.
-Another phone line.
-Hopefully that's Darwin at the other end.
At 180, all done now.
-Oh, lovely, isn't that nice.
-Third one to go.
-There we are, the last one, 210.
220? At 210 with Sue's phone...
At 210, are you all done on this one now? 210.
And the hammer down on 210.
180 on the phone here, 180 for the killing stick.
180, all done at £180.
There's the fourth lot, £180. This is great.
130, 140. 150, 160...
170, 170 on this phone. Same buyer.
That's £170 for the didgeridoo, this is fantastic.
We've sold everything so far, this is the last lot.
And the final one is the wooden spear in the form of a snake,
There we are there, 300...
320, 400 on the spear.
500, 560, 580.
620... 640, yeah?
620 with Sue's phone, £620...
-Anyone in the room want a go now? At 620...
All done now at 620, we sell this lot 620.
Yes! Well, the hammer's gone down, £620.
-We've sold all of those lots, David.
How fabulous is that?
-That got a round of applause. A grand total of £1,530.
-What are you going to do with that?
-It's going to be divided into two.
One is to WaterAid and the other is
-to the Salvation Army.
-All the money is going to two charities?
-That's very generous of you, David.
No, not at all. It's all your work.
-Thank you so much for bringing this in.
If you've got something like that at home, we want to see you at one of our valuation days.
Check the details in your local press, because we're coming to a place near you soon.
From Cheshire and Adam Partridge's Auction Rooms
-it's goodbye from David and myself.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Members of the public try to make money out of their antiques at auction. In the picturesque market town of Nantwich, Cheshire, experts Will Axon and Kate Bliss join Paul Martin in valuing antiques.
Paul finds an interesting collection of Aboriginal art that has come from the other side of the world. Inspired by a particularly fine piece of pottery, Paul gets a guided tour of the Moorcroft factory - and he takes a trip to Biddulph Grange Garden in nearby Staffordshire.