Paul Martin and the team are at the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare. Experts Anita Manning and Michael Baggott pick out some choice antiques to go to auction.
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In 1927, this building, the Winter Gardens, was opened as a venue to entertain the townsfolk and
the holidaying masses that came to this resort of Weston-Super-Mare, but today this glamorous building
is gonna be packed full of antiques because Flog It is in town.
Over the years, the Winter Gardens played host to dances, concerts and
orchestras and is even featured in the movie "Remains Of The Day".
Well, let's get inside and see if today's headliners, Anita Manning
and Michael Baggott, our two experts, have drawn the big crowd.
Well, the Pavilion Ballroom is already packed out and it looks
as if we're in for quite a performance today.
Later I'll be visiting Tyntesfield, a historic property
that was rescued from the gavel at the eleventh hour.
It even got to the stage where they called in London auctioneers Sotheby's and Christie's
to come down here and catalogue the entire contents of the house.
Over at the Winter Gardens, it's our job to hunt out
valuables to go under the hammer and Michael is already stealing the limelight with his first find.
Valerie, thank you for bringing this very interesting dish in today.
Before I tell you anything about it,
can you tell me, where does it come from?
Well, my father would have bought it about 1945-46.
He used to go round the antiques and collectables shops in those days
and he obviously bought it there and we've had it in the family ever since.
Did he have a passion for early ceramics?
No, no. He was interested in all things.
Oh, marvellous, marvellous - true antiquarian collector!
Yes, indeed, yes.
The first time I saw this, my heart nearly stopped.
-Unfortunately, it wasn't what I thought it was.
To all intents and purposes, this appears to be a Majolica dish.
-Now this isn't the Majolica that we're familiar with that's made by Minton's and Wedgwood.
-This is the original tin-glazed earthenware that those designs and feel were based on.
The shape of this dish should be 1580 to 1600,
if not a little earlier, and this decoration around here is basically
-grotesques, and when you think of grotesques, you think of grottos.
But what basically happened is in the middle of the 16th century, there were excavations in
Nero's Palace in Rome.
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
-And as they dug down into the "grottos"
-they uncovered the fabulous decoration on the walls...
-Aah, I see.
..which were these Bacchic and classical figures with very fine leaf-scroll work and of course,
-that is a Roman hanging lamp, that is a Roman vase.
-Oh, I see!
So all of this decoration, people went mad in Italy at the time.
-Oh, I see!
-They were enthralled by it.
And this is typical of what a Majolica dish of that period would look like.
Unfortunately, she was the first thing to strike a chord of worry,
because the originals are very stark and geometric and completely in profile.
Now this with figure, we can see the curls rolling down and the necklace
and the locket which is more in keeping with a Victorian lady.
The next thing we have to do is turn it over,
and we've got a factory mark there, which I'm not familiar with.
-The finish here, this pancake glaze isn't all that it should be.
It should be a little bit paler and there should be slightly more marks
coming through, so I think this falls into this category
-of an 1850s-1860s Italian copy meant to deceive.
-I hesitate to say what it had been worth were it right.
we won't worry about that.
-I'll have to tell you, it would have been about £15,000 to £20,000.
Have you got any ideas what it might be worth as a 19th century copy?
No. I've been vaguely told it could be £350 to £500.
I think it's certainly in that area.
I think if we were to put it into auction, we would put an estimate of £300 to £500.
-And we put a reserve of £300, possibly with a little auctioneer's discretion if it creeps up
to that figure, but it's certainly a lovely thing.
-Thank you, yes.
-But why now have you decided to sell it?
Well, I'm getting to the stage where I need a bit of money, I'm afraid!
We've enjoyed it, we've loved it and I do admire the artistry, but...
-The work is fabulous.
-There you are, yes.
It's time to move on, but we'll put it in the auction and hope it does very well for you.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
It's turning out to be a really busy day at the Winter Gardens and the ballroom is still filling up.
Mary, welcome to Flog It!
-It's a delight to have you along
and it's also lovely to see this pair of Worcester jugs.
-Yes, they're nice!
-I love Worcester.
-So do I.
-When you see it,
you know that it's always quality.
Tell me, where did you get them?
Well, they were my grandmother's and I expect she had them
as a wedding present, so they've been in the family for,
well, nearly a hundred years, I suppose.
I see. Well, why are you wanting to sell them?
It's the usual case that my daughter won't want them,
the grandchildren won't want them, so I thought I'd sell them and then I'd give the proceeds to my daughter.
-She'll be thrilled, yes!
That's wonderful and that's the thing to do if you don't love them or don't have them on display.
Yes. Well, I've got lots of other bits at home.
Oh, I see, a Worcester collector?
-So you've kept perhaps the best pieces?
I have, yes.
Well, I mean these are still very bonny. They aren't actually a pair.
-No, I realise that.
-They are two different types of vases.
But Worcester, these vases are hand-painted, so each one is an individual work on its own.
-They look nice together!
-Yes, well they're from the same mould.
I particularly like this very sweet handle with the rosette here.
I think that's a lovely part of it.
Well, let's look underneath.
Now, I had a wee glance at these earlier on and we have the back stamp for Royal Worcester here,
and we have, as you probably know as a collector of Worcester, you will be able to date it
from these little dots on either side of the back stamp,
-so we can date these from 1903.
Little Edwardian vases, pretty, nice quality.
Price... now what do you think?
-I was hoping for about £100.
-Well, I think that's fair enough.
-To estimate it, probably £100 to £150.
-Oh, well, that would be nice.
Yes, that would be nice, but they are not exceptional pieces.
-No, no, I understand that.
-They're fairly standard Worcester.
I would feel that a reserve of about £80 might be the most reasonable.
-Yes, I'd like a reserve.
-We'll put a reserve on it of £80, if you're happy with that.
-I'm happy with that.
-Let's hope that they do well at the auction.
£100 to £150, reserve of £80, but let's hope it goes much further than that.
We'll see, won't we?
Well, Carl, there's no need for me to tell you what it is...
it's a banjo!
No, it's a lovely bed-warming pan.
-Has it been in the family a long time?
-Yeah. My great-grandma had it
and then my nan had it, and she had it displayed as an ornament and then my mum had it, had it
displayed as an ornament as well and then I took it on and unfortunately it's not been on display, so...
So where has it been, tell me?
-In the shed!
-In the shed! Shame on you!
-I know, I know.
It's really, really quite incredible to think that these bed-warming pans
-were used in the mid 1600s.
-Yeah, it's a long time ago.
Well, this one's not that early, it's sort of around 1780, somewhere around there.
You'd have got the servants to put hot coals in here from the fire,
run that upstairs, put it straight underneath the blankets and warm the bed up, and once it's warmed the
-top of the bed up, you normally put it underneath the bed.
-Oh, I see.
So it just sort of gives a little more heat throughout the night.
What lets it down, unfortunately, is good quality ones would have had a lovely walnut or fruitwood handle
with some nice rich turnings on the shaft.
This one is quite crude.
It's of ash, and somebody has stripped it because they've stripped it of its patina.
The decoration is nice. All this is punch-work, somebody sat
there with a hammer and a punch and punched that out.
The good ones towards the end of the 16th century would have had this lovely sort of
riddle work, armorials put on it, slightly more pictorial and with a lovely date.
The collectors want those ones, and they're prepared to pay around £1,000 for one of those,
but it's got to be a very early one with a date.
Sadly, this doesn't fall into that category. Any idea of its value?
-No, not really.
-If we put this into auction, I would expect to get around £40 to £60.
-It's not a lot of money for a lot of history.
But at least if I sell it, somebody will appreciate it.
And put it on the wall, Not in the shed.
-It's not appreciated at home, so...
-Let's put it into auction with a value of £40 to £60 and
-let the auctioneer use discretion at the lower end on the 40, OK?
I'm hoping it will get the top end plus a bit more, but you never know with auctions, you just don't know.
It's a gamble, but we're gonna find out, that's for sure!
Chris, thank you for making my day today
and bringing along my almost favourite thing in the world,
-I couldn't believe it when I saw you in the queue with these.
Tell me, how do you get such a wonderful assortment of spoons together?
Just rummaging in auctions.
-Rummaging in auctions!
-Yes, through piles and piles of spoons, knives, forks and everything else.
-You must be a very good rummager!
-Well, we try!
-To put these together.
Really, the star of the show of these spoons, this wonderful large example,
and I can tell you where it was made before looking at the hallmarks by one feature.
Do you know what that feature is?
-The rat tail?
-The rat tail.
It's a late Fiddell pattern spoon and you only ever get rat tails on English silver, up to about 1750,
then the rat tail goes away and even in Channel Island silver, it's about 1770, but for some peculiar reason
that nobody knows, it persists on Irish flatware so without much doubt I can tell you that's Dublin,
and if you look at the marks, we've got the date letter for 1822, so it's George IV.
Rather curiously we've got two maker's marks and that's something you also get with Irish silver...
you get the maker's mark, which in this case is "LK"
but then you get a retailer's mark,
and that in this case is "TWY"
with a plus sign, which is for Edward Twycross
-and you get his mark on quite a lot of flatware at this period.
Well, then we rush from Dublin
closer to home today in Weston and we've got this lovely Exeter pair of sugar tongs
and they were made in Exeter in 1835 and they were made by a man called John Stone and you can see here
we've got the lovely period initials on the bow, they're wonderful things.
Then we're north of the border to Glasgow and we've got a set of six
teaspoons here and they're from 1836, and then we finish up and we're back over to Ireland and we've got a pair
-of spoons for Dublin, but this time 1885, so you've encapsulated all the parts of the UK...
..nearly, and nearly the whole of the 19th century.
Any idea what this as a group at auction is going to be worth?
-Maybe 50 plus.
-Maybe 50, yeah.
I think that on its own is £20 to £30, because it's Irish.
Those, bizarrely, are only about £10.
That set of six is nice, being Scottish.
They're about another £20 to £30 and those two, probably £10 to £15
so if we put it all together and say £50 to £100 to excite interest.
-And if we set a reserve at £50 on them so you know if it doesn't make that
on the day, you can take them home and maybe pin them on a map
of where they've come from over the British Isles, but
thank you so much for bringing them in and hopefully the silver buyers will be there on the day.
Well, what a marvellous day this is turning out to be here in Weston-Super-Mare.
We've found our first batch of items to take off to auction,
but which will be the stars of the show when the hammer falls?
Well, before all that happens, let's quickly remind ourselves of what's going under the spotlight.
Valerie's Majolica style dish was a Victorian copy but it didn't stop Michael from admiring it.
The first time I saw this, my heart nearly stopped.
Unfortunately, it wasn't what I thought it was!
Mary's Worcester jugs have been in the family for years,
but she wants to sell them and pass the proceeds on to her daughter.
I thought Carl's bed-warming pan was hot property
and I'd like to see a bidder rescue it from the shed at £40 to £60.
Not a lot of money for a lot of history!
Well, at least if I sell it, somebody will appreciate it.
And Chris's silver spoons took Michael on a journey across the British Isles.
With an estimate of £50 to £100, where will they go next?
And this is where all our items will end up, the Clevedon Sale Rooms.
It's a packed house.
Let's hope we're gonna get some cracking prices!
Wielding the gavel this morning is Mark Burridge,
and the first item to go under the hammer is the Majolica style dish.
It belongs to Valerie.
-I shall miss it!
Why do you want to sell it, then?
It's just standing there, that's it, isn't it? I will pass it on.
-You can't withdraw it now, it's a bit late, isn't it?
-£300 to £500, though.
-That would be very useful.
-It would be, wouldn't it?
-That's what we've got on it. I like it!
-It's a beautiful thing.
It is, it is gorgeous, and the condition is so good.
-Fingers crossed we get the top end of that estimate.
And lot 280 is the Italian Majolica dish there,
it's lot number 280 and £280 my bid on the book.
£280 straight in!
£300. 300 on the phone, 320...
340, 340, 360, 380, 380, 400, 420?
No? 420, thank you, fresh bidder in the room. Anyone else 440?
Selling then, make no mistake, on £420.
It's gone. £420, Valerie!
Lovely! Very useful, very useful.
What are you going to do with that?
-Keep it in the savings...
-My niece has to have half of it because it's a bit of her inheritance.
-So she'll have half.
-All right. That's generous of you.
-Thank you very much.
-It was one of the nicest bits of ceramics I've ever seen on Flog It!
I'm here with Chris. Remember the silver?
We're selling that at £50 to £100 because we want to buy hat pins!
-What's that all about? Do you collect?
-Charles Horner, yeah.
-Oh, only... Only the best make, Michael!
-If you collect anything, only collect the best!
-How many have you got?
-And a pair of gold ones as well.
All right, OK. Nice collection!
We've got to get you up to 12 today then, haven't we?
-You took the words out of my mouth!
And lot 540, we've got the silver as in the catalogue there.
50 I'm bid on the book, five now, 55, 55, 55.
£50 on the book, and five, five, five we look.
At £50 a maiden bid, five, five, five, anyone else?
All done selling on £50 then.
-Got away at the lower end.
-Oh, just, didn't we!
It's a start, though, it's a start, OK.
You had to get rid of them, didn't you?
-Oh, well yes, because I don't collect them.
-No, no. It's...
You go the right sale room, you will find a Charles Horner hat pin for £50 so we'll do it that way!
Right! I'll send you to buy one!
-Good luck, anyway.
-Thank you for coming in.
Things have been a bit hot and cold right now but this one certainly is gonna be
bang in the middle - it's gonna be lukewarm, because it's Carl's bed-warmer.
Now, we said on the day, didn't we, we've got a reserve of £40
but we've relaxed that because you don't want to take this home?
-You've made up your mind?
I would be taking it home if it didn't sell
for anything under £40, but that's your decision, because I know what you're gonna do.
Put it back in that shed, aren't you?
Unfortunately, yeah, unfortunately.
Well, fingers crossed, OK, someone is gonna love it.
And lot 20 is the engraved copper warming pan there,
lot number 20. What's got £10 to start me?
£10, £10, £10, £10. Ten bid, 12 now, will you?
12 will you, 12 will you? Maiden bid of £10, who's got 12?
All done. Are you all done?
-All done and selling on £10 only, then.
Well, you're not taking it home!
-But you're not going home with much money, either!
-No, no, unfortunately!
It was worth the experience. I enjoyed the experience.
I've just been joined by Mary and we've got some quality going under the hammer, and we say on Flog It,
if you want to invest in antiques, invest in quality condition, good name, this lot has got the lot.
There's a premium on this - Worcester jugs, £100 to £150.
-We've got a fixed reserve at £100. You've just upped that?
-I don't blame you.
If they're gonna sell at £80, they were gonna sell at £100 anyway.
-Protect them, protect your interest.
Why do you want to sell them?
I just wanted to come to Flog It, actually!
-Have a bit of a gamble!
480, the two Royal Worcester jugs,
-both the same shape there, 1903, what can we say, 55 with me?
£60 with you in the room.
-60, five, 70, five, 80, five, 90, five, 100. Now ten.
-110 behind you, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160...
-Oh, my gosh!
£150 behind you, madam. 160 is it?
All done at £150 then.
-Yes, top end of the estimate!
-Worth the gamble!
-The quality came through.
-Good valuation as well.
-150! My daughter's sitting over there!
-That's a nice result.
-Yes! I'm so pleased!
Anything else you'd like to bring in future?
-Lots of things!
-We'll see you, details in the local press, don't forget.
-We're coming to an area near you soon and we'd like to see you!
Later I'll be back in the auction room, when I find myself outnumbered two to one...
-I think you look great!
-I'll be wearing it again tonight!
-He's a bonny laddie!
-He looks a bonny laddie!
It's a good job he's married, he could be going home to Glasgow as husband number four!
This magnificent country house, Tyntesfield, lies just up the road from Weston-Super-Mare
in a small village called Wraxall, and just looking at its facade,
it is an architectural triumph - the detail is superb,
but behind closed doors, it's a property with a difference.
Not only is there an insight into Victorian family life,
but there's also a genuine piece of conservation work in progress,
and it's the side of a National Trust property we rarely, if ever, get to see.
The story of the house begins in 1843 with William Gibbs.
He made his fortune from importing guano, solidified bird-droppings,
from South America, to be used as fertiliser.
The great wealth he accumulated enabled William to purchase
a Regency property, which was on this site.
William Gibbs re-modelled the house into the ornate Gothic revival building which is in evidence today.
At its height as a family home, Tyntesfield would have been a grand, thriving property
with a host of staff working in the house and on the surrounding land.
It had its own farm, slaughter house and even a quarry.
In 2001 with the death of Lord Wraxall, William's great grandson,
Tyntesfield as a family home sadly came to an end.
Lord Wraxall, who was a reclusive bachelor, lived here all alone
and he bequeathed the mansion to 19 of his family members,
giving them instructions to sell the estate, the land, the house and all its contents.
As one of the last intact Victorian grand houses,
the National Trust had a considerable interest in the property,
but not the funds to secure the purchase.
So, with the clock ticking away,
they launched a vigorous campaign to raise the £25 million required.
It even got to the stage where they called in Sotheby's and Christie's
to come down here and catalogue the entire contents of the house,
give everything lot numbers ready to be auctioned off.
But at the eleventh hour, with considerable donations from the general public, private donations
and even a promise from the Heritage Lottery Fund,
the National Trust were able to buy Tyntesfield for the nation
so we could all enjoy it but in a first for the National Trust,
they decided they wanted to renovate the property to its former glory,
but not behind closed doors - they wanted the doors open immediately
so we could all enjoy the conservation work in progress and watch the whole thing unfold.
I've come to talk to Sarah Schmitz, who is the House Manager here,
to find out a little bit more about this unique project.
Sarah, thank you very much for meeting up with us this afternoon.
-What I've seen so far I'm very impressed with.
This is what you expect from a National Trust property - it's magnificent!
Absolutely! It's big and there's lots of gold and beautiful furniture
and things like that but it's not really how a lot of the house looks.
It's really a work in progress,
so whereas in many places the National Trust might perhaps close the house down
to complete the project works, what we're trying to do here is to do it on display so that people can see
what we're doing and be involved in it and engage with it because that's what's important to Tyntesfield.
Can we have a little tour?
Yes, certainly. Come on through.
Our first stop was Tyntesfield's grand library.
Well, it certainly looks different in here.
Why did the National Trust choose this particular house for this unique project?
Something to do with timing, really, through having so many donations,
over 70,000 people donated to the Trust to save Tyntesfield.
There was a lot of interest.
-I guess you want to see how your money is spent.
So open the doors up, let them in and let them enjoy it and they'll keep coming back!
Definitely! Well, our vision for Tyntesfield is all about access and involvement and engagement,
it's about doing as much as we can for as many people as we can.
What kind of condition was it in when the National Trust took this over?
It was the favourite haunt, a country haunt of the ancestors of Lord Wraxall, so although some bits
were covered up and some things were closed down and so on, and areas were off-limits,
-the house wasn't completely kind of dead and quiet and full of cobwebs and spiders.
-Where did you start?
For the Trust, in this property, it's been looking at the risks
and priorities within that so, for instance, putting enough lighting in
so that people can see when they come to visit.
Keeping on top of the woodworm and things like that!
Yes, woodworm and a significant moth population, all that side of things,
the things that kind of growl at us, more often.
Do you catalogue every single item?
Just about, yes. We do have to take practical decisions about whether it's realistic to do everything
within a series but wherever possible we try to keep everything listed
so that we know exactly what we've got.
What are some of the unusual items that you've uncovered?
Well, all sorts of things still come to light, even now
while the inventory team are working.
In the basement recently we came across some theatre sets and
we're hoping to maybe use them in the future. We don't know yet.
It must be so exciting for the National Trust members to see this.
-Well, we think so, and we like everyone else to think so.
What a beautiful ceiling!
-What was this room?
-Believe it or not, it's the dining room.
We normally display it with a dining table and dining chairs.
However, in the move of collections we have to designate some spaces for
storage while other rooms are cleared out.
It would be nice for the public to see
the conservation works, see all this storage racked up, sort of organised chaos, but also come back and
see it come to light, you know, see it come to fruition and see that gorgeous dining table.
Yes, indeed. It is a beautiful dining table and it will come up out of storage just like everything else
with the end of the project, part of the attraction of a historic house
is that close proximity to the objects,
it's seeing them in context, it's not just about a set of vases
or a set of beautiful tablecloths or anything like that,
it's about seeing them perhaps in the way they were used and feeling the ambience around them.
So you won't mind cross-pollinating in certain rooms things from the 1960s and '70s
with things that the family collected from Queen Anne to George I?
Definitely not, no.
-It's part of the family history, the accumulation of each generation on top of each other.
-I like that.
Yes, I'd like to think that you can hear the echoes of all the people that sort of laughed and danced and
drank and so on in here, or maybe ate their dinners at the tables and had banquets and so on.
It's part of imagining the people that were here and the families and servants and so on.
So far, has it been a success?
Very much so, yes. We've managed to pass our half million visitor mark last season and we're looking to
really expand on that successfully this season and engage with lots and lots more people in what we're
trying to do, so we think it's been a success thus far and we think it will continue to be in the future.
I think it's a wonderful project.
It shows a lot of initiative and I think you're going to succeed.
We're back at the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare, where Anita is in sparkling company.
-Jean, you've heard the old saying "diamonds are a girl's best friend"!
This is a pal that I would really like to have! I like diamonds.
I'll sell it to you!
And I think this is a gorgeous one. Is it your own ring, Jean?
Well, it is mine but it was given to me, you know.
An elderly friend gave it to us, so...
-Was it a lady or was it a gentleman friend?
-Have you worn it?
-No, no, not at all.
Are you not into diamonds?
Well, it would only fit my little finger anyway, it's a bit small.
It is actually quite a small ring.
It would have to be resized for most people.
-And it's quite thin.
-It's quite thin, it's been well-worn.
Now, we have measured this diamond and we have.
0.70 carats in it so it's between a half and three-quarters of a carat.
When we look at diamonds there are several things which we have to take into consideration -
size, clarity and cut.
The cut of this is a round brilliant.
It indicates that this is probably from the beginning of the 20th century,
so it's quite an old diamond.
The clarity of it, we have quite a big inclusion.
Yes, I've been told that.
And that's gonna hold it back a wee bit.
Difficult to see with the naked eye, but once you look through it with a magnifying glass,
you can see this inclusion, but it's still quite a desirable item.
Now, it was given to you by a friend.
Is there a wee bit of sentiment, do you feel sort of...?
Well, not really because it's a long time ago
-when she gave it to us and she said if you want to sell it, do.
If we wanted the money, sell it.
Price-wise, I would estimate it possibly £450 to £650.
-Would you be happy to sell it at that?
-We'll put a firm reserve of £420 on it.
-Well, I'll be at the auction to hold your hand.
And let's hope that there are plenty of women there who fancy having a
-nice substantial diamond like that.
-Let's hope so!
Maureen, thank you for bringing this wonderful collection of tiles along.
Can I ask you, where did you get them from?
Well, they were in the house.
My mother-in-law had them and she said they came from a washstand.
Ah, well, I can believe that because there's two things with these.
Firstly, we've got an odd number.
If you see them in a fireplace you usually have four and four
or five and five, so you always have an even number of tiles,
so it's highly suggestive that they were in a wooden frame, probably running
along the back as a splashguard and they are, of course, Minton tiles
and all we have to do is turn them over and there we've got the Minton globe back stamp
and emblazoned Minton's Chinaworks, Stoke on Trent
and they really were the premier quality of tile manufacturers
and often artist/designers would buy their blanks and at home decorate them.
In this case we've got the various biblical scenes
that would have been popular in the late Victorian period.
I don't know if you ever noticed in the speckling by the water jug, we've got the initials IMS
and the I should be a J
and it's for J Moyer Smith, who did a lot of the aesthetic designs.
-Really you would hope for something a little bit more upbeat.
We've got turning the water into wine, and I'm all for that!
Gets a plus
And then we've got probably the most risque -
Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden
and Eve seems to be taking it slightly better than Adam,
and then, of course, we've got various scenes from the life of Christ.
Now, have you ever given any thought to what they might be worth?
No. In fact, this is the first time I've really looked at them.
They were in a cupboard in my mother-in-law's house when I knew about them.
-She died 13 years ago at the age of 97...
And I remember her saying to my husband, "don't forget the tiles in the back sitting room cupboard"
and then they came and they went in yet another cupboard
where the electricity meter is and they just sat there.
Fabulous! I mean, the severe biblical nature of them will hold them back
-to probably a restricted market of simply tile collectors that want these designs.
And I would imagine that this is seven from maybe a series of 12.
I think they're worth between £10 and £15 each.
That's about their level.
Had they been polychrome or scantily-clad ladies or even Shakespearean scenes, which he did,
or seasons, then they might have been sort of £30 to £40, so I think if you're happy,
we'll put them into the auction for £60 to £100, put a fixed reserve of £60
and, you know, if you get two tiling enthusiasts that really want them,
they might make £120, so we'll keep our fingers crossed.
-Yes, I'm happy.
-Splendid, and see how they do on the day.
Mike, I was so excited when I looked at these lovely little figures.
Tell me, where did you get them?
My father got them about late '40s
and happened to be walking past the shop, spotted them and went back in and bought them.
I wonder what he paid for them, all those years ago. Do you know?
Well, there was a figure banded around 45, something like that.
Well, it could have been, especially the wages then!
-So, they were obviously passed down to you?
Let's look at them closely because something of this quality deserves to be looked at closely.
Do you know who the carver was?
-Yes. Ferdinand Preiss.
-Yes, that's excellent, excellent!
Well, he was one of the most prestigious ivory carvers
of the Art Deco period.
I would date these from maybe 1915/1920.
His figures are highly prized.
If we look at them, they're on an onyx base
and the quality of the carving is so fine
and so beautiful and so precise.
We have a little girl figure here holding a box, possibly Pandora's box
and we have the little boy who is holding a ball.
Now, if you look at the beautiful features in their face and the wonderful hair,
we can really see the quality of the carving
in these figures. If we look at the back,
we see his signature here...
They are in beautiful condition, the artist is highly-prized.
You can understand why I'm delighted!
Now, why do you want to sell them?
Well, my children are grown up and neither of them are interested as such.
I would put an auction estimate of £1,500 to £2,500 on them.
I think that's a reasonable and perhaps conservative estimate
and we'll put our reserve price on them,
a fixed reserve of £1,200 but we want them to get more.
-I hope so!
-I hope so, too!
I love them, I love them!
Over at the auction room, what will Mark Burridge make of those figures?
They belong to Mike and he inherited them from his father who bought them
in Bristol in the '40s and paid £45 for them.
It's a nice story because they hadn't been on the market before then,
they do appeal to modern tastes, very good name, Ferdinand Preiss.
It's got everything you want in an investment piece -
-condition, maker's name and fresh to the market.
-And fresh to the market.
It was a lot of money back then in the '40s, £45!
£45 would have bought you a very good motor car, if not a deposit on a house!
Probably a third of a house, I think!
A third of a house, yes!
Will we get the top end?
We have had interest and I think we may well have telephone bidding on this lot.
-It's the best lot in the sale.
At the moment, best lots are selling very well.
And it's on the front page of the catalogue, which is undoubtedly going to help.
Also going under the hammer today is Jean's diamond ring.
Will it find a new best friend in the sale room?
Well, this is a pal that I would really like to have!
And Michael is praying that someone will splash out £60 to £100 on Maureen's Minton washstand tiles.
Now it's time to put our final round of valuations to the test.
This really is a sparkler... £450 to £650...
-and you've never worn it!
-It's too small!
Oh dear, that's just such bad luck, isn't it?
The diamond's not too small - it's nearly three quarters of a carat!
Ooh, we could do something with that!
Do you think it might get remounted, or bought by the trade?
I think it probably will.
But the diamond there is a good size and it's in nice condition.
Well, let's hope it goes this time. We have tried before.
-Have you, in auction?
-Yes, and what did it reach?
I've forgotten. It was a long time ago!
It was a long time ago! Times have moved on, now!
Here we are in Clevedon, we've got a packed house, so fingers crossed we're gonna get that top end.
600 is a solitaire diamond ring, what can we say there?
-I've only got £400 to start me. 400...
Give me £300 then. £300, nice solitaire ring there, £300?
Doesn't look like you want it today.
I'm sorry, we'll move on, then.
There's me saying "times have moved on"!
Aw, I'm so sorry.
That's all right.
We haven't got the value wrong, though, have we? The price is right?
I think the fact that it was a small shank may have influenced private buyers.
It wouldn't have influenced the trade but the private buyers,
if a lady tries it on and it doesn't fit her,
does she want to go and get the shank changed? That may have influenced it.
Next up, the Minton tiles...
great name, great lot and they belong to Maureen.
I think they're worth at least £12 each and we've got seven of them.
-Hence the estimate!
-Hence the estimate!
Minton is such a good name.
The only trouble is the subject matter being biblical.
-But even though it's biblical, they managed to get a couple of scantily-clad ladies in there
-so there's hope, isn't there!
-There is hope!
Lot 100, the Minton seven blue and white tiles there, biblical scenes, lot 100, interest here.
£90 on the book, 100 in the room, ten with me, 20, 30, 40, 50, 50...
Gentleman here at £140, selling on £140 then.
Yes, that got our blessing!
I think there was a higher force at work here today!
Mike and Anita have been looking forward to this moment...
it's the Preiss figures, they're just about to go under the hammer.
We've got £1,500 to £2,500.
It's down to the bidders in the room.
Hopefully we've got some phone lines booked as well and there's some bids left on the book.
And the photograph on the front!
-And of course he's done us proud, yes, with a picture on the catalogue.
I've got to say,
I'm being surrounded by the Scottish clan!
They're ganging up on me!
You're not Scottish though, are you?
-What's the connection? Have you got... what clan is this?
-Campbell of Argyll.
But my grandmother was a Thompson.
-And that's where it ties in. There's a set to the Campbells.
And do you dress like this often?
-I wore it last night!
-I think you look great!
-And I'll be wearing it again tonight!
-He's a bonny laddie!
He is a bonny laddie! It's a good job he's married,
he could be going home to Glasgow as husband number four!
580, you've got the two Preiss ivory figures, both signed.
I gather they've not be on the market since the vendor's father
bought them in 1945, so they haven't been about before.
What can we say, who will start me, please £1,500?
£1,000 here, £1,100, 1,200,
1,300, 1,300, 1,400 in the room.
1,500, 1,600, 1,700,
£2,000 in the room, 2,100 sat down,
2,200, 2,200 fresh bidder, 2,300, 2,400, 2,500, 2,600...
-Oh, this bidding...
-2,800, 2,900, £3,000.
£2,900 in the room, sat down.
£3,000, anyone? At £3,000, fresh bidder.
Are you all done, then?
Selling on £3,000.
-Well, done, Dad!
-Well, done, Dad!
Yeah, what a clever dad, eh!
-Oh, that was...
-And well done for you for looking after them as well! Anita, a great item as well...
-Oh, thank you!
I hope you've enjoyed today's show.
What a wonderful end, and obviously quality always counts.
If you've got something like that, we want to see it, so from Clevedon until the next time, it's cheerio.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Presenter Paul Martin and the team are at the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare. Experts Anita Manning and Michael Baggott pick out some choice antiques to go to auction, like two Worcester jugs and a selection of spoons from all corners of Britain.
Paul Martin goes behind the scenes of a big restoration project undertaken by the National Trust, and the auction room is set alight by two Ferdinand Priess figurines.