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This is Gloucestershire, a county brimming with mystery.
The Murder Of A King deals with the Tudors and a sham marriage, all that happened in this family home.
I'll be coming back here later to reveal all.
First, through the snow to Stroud to get straight down to business. Welcome to Flog It!
By the mid-18th century, Stroud was riding high on the wealth of its woollen industry.
The buoyant population needed somewhere to meet and a space for leisure and entertainment.
So one of Stroud's landmark buildings hit the map - the Subscription Rooms.
People have gathered for today's show
and who better to entertain this lot than a pair of antique experts.
Today's dynamic duo are Kate Bliss and James Lewis.
They have already got stuck in as the room fills up with items of all shapes and sizes.
I'm the first to uncover a fabulous piece of local history.
Cathy and Ray, where do we start? Which album?
Look at this.
Condition is absolutely wonderful.
Beautifully presented as well.
-Whose are they?
-They belong to me.
I found them in me dad's loft
and I'm pretty sure that they belonged to my aunty, his sister.
-So they have been in the family a long time?
-A long time.
-Have you thumbed through these and had a look?
-Quite impressive, aren't they?
They're local topographic scenes around Bristol, Weston-super-Mare,
Stroud, Cheltenham, all over Gloucester which is great,
because we're putting them into a local sale room. So bound to be lots of local interest.
This is where we are sitting today, inside the Subscription Rooms.
That is the canal tunnel.
This is just down the road.
Yes, down the road.
And that is priceless to somebody that lives locally
and wants to learn a little bit about their civic history.
This one - slightly more commercial. It is not necessarily all on Stroud.
They are greeting cards. There are photographs in the back.
But we do get to some of Stroud at the very back.
Stroud's Fire Brigade.
You see, that one postcard might be worth somewhere in the region of £15.
Fire Brigade memorabilia is big business, so is early police memorabilia.
Let's have a look at this third one.
These are slightly farther afield, they have gone to London.
My aunty lived in London for a while.
This one's lovely but not local.
But those two are going to do the business for you.
-Have you any idea of value?
-Not a clue.
Look, on a good day, I don't want to get your hopes up,
-but on a good day you could be look at £200 plus.
I can't wait to find out what is going happen.
Cathy, I always think when I see something like this, it just makes me think how times have changed.
Our lifestyle today, how it rushes about,
putting your butter and jam or marmalade on your toast as you are rushing out to get to work.
Here we have a pair of solid silver butter dishes
that would've graced a breakfast table around 100 years ago.
-Can you imagine anybody using them today?
-Neither can I.
-Certainly not me.
But what a wonderful time it must have been to have the housekeepers
coming and polishing your silver for you and laying out the butter
and the jams, and what a relaxed lifestyle it must have been. I think they're great.
They're in George III style with this fluted border,
almost like a stylised honeysuckle blossom at the angles here.
They are solid silver. If you turn it over, you have a clear set of hallmarks.
The mark on the left is the maker's mark. The goldsmith.
Then we have the Sheffield mark, the lion passant and the gothic T,
which tells us it is 1911.
So is this something that has been in the back of sideboard for years?
No, it has been given to us by an elderly friend. I think it belonged to her mother-in-law,
who would have been married just after the turn of the century.
And we belong to the local choir.
We raise money for charity.
So the friend has given it to me to raise money for our charity for this year.
So when it comes to value, they're not the most fashionable things...
-I do understand.
-But they're in good condition.
They are in a fitted, velvet-lined leather box,
they have got their original knives - all things in its favour.
I think we are still going to get somewhere between £60 and £100.
-Yes, that is OK? It will help towards the charity.
This is a really interesting architectural antique. Has it come from Stroud?
As I understand it, it's come from a pub in east Bristol which was demolished, I believe...
-in the late '50s, early '60s.
-How did you come by it?
My father-in-law was in the pub trade
and one of his customers said, "Would you like this pane? It's going to be chucked in the skip."
So of course he said yes and it's been in his garage ever since. Or until three or four years ago
when he said to me would I like it?
What made you bring it along to sell today?
Basically I can't do it justice.
If I keep it, it's stuck in my garage and it needs to be on show somewhere.
Well, it's great to see it.
From a design point of view, it's a really interesting piece.
Obviously, it could be seen as an advertising panel, if you like,
with the name of the brewery, Georges and Co, across the front.
But also, for somebody interested in glass,
it shows lots of different techniques incorporated in this panel.
We have got something similar to what's called hobnail cutting, but of course this is moulded.
We have got a Tudor Rose here,
balanced in the centre and on your side,
and we have got little faceted glass medallions.
Almost like jewels.
All incorporated in these lead borders and that in itself
is a technique which goes back hundreds of years, used in churches of course.
So it is a really interesting piece of design.
Date wise - it is difficult to pinpoint it.
I think it could be anything from late 19th century, 1880 through to 1920s or 1930s.
It is unique.
Do you have any idea of values?
I guess it's what someone's prepared to pay for it.
I think that is a sensible and realistic attitude to have.
Because you're right, things at auction, it depends whether the right person is there on the day.
I am going put an estimate of about £150 to £250 on it.
-Where will you find another one? That's what excites me.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
-My pleasure. Thank you.
John, what I'd like you to do is take yourself back 200 years
and imagine you're an 18th century gentleman, somebody of title, of the middle classes,
and you want to impress your neighbours and your friends.
In exactly the same way as today we would have a 52-inch plasma screen, an iPod, all the technology,
things were no different in the 18th century.
But in the 18th century, it was porcelain.
This was made in the first 30 years of porcelain manufacture in the UK.
It was made in the Derby factory around 1775.
So this is cutting edge technology of its day.
Only the very rich could afford it.
So is this something that's been in the family for many years?
No, it was given to me about 30 years ago as a Christmas present and I've treasured it since.
This was originally one of a pair.
Almost all the 18th century porcelain figures were made in pairs. Gentleman and a lady
and they would have been a perfect match.
On a piece of porcelain that has been around over 200 years,
it is bound to have little knocks and scuffs and possibly more serious breakages.
If we look at the extremities like that, the corners of the tricorne hat
and the flowers and have a nibble.
You can tell the difference between restored and original parts
because the restored parts are soft and the original parts are hard.
So if we check the hand here.
And that is soft.
So that's been restored.
And yes, the edges of that hat, that has been done as well.
So it has had some restoration but it's been done really well.
I think you ought to put an auction estimate of £150 to £200 and protect it with a reserve of £150.
-Is that OK?
-Far more than I expected.
-What did you think?
Blimey, I could have been much meaner, couldn't I?
Well, I have seen quite a few tea sets today.
But this is a bit different.
Is this a family piece, where did it come from?
It belonged to my mother, who is no longer with us with unfortunately.
We found it in a box when we were clearing out the house.
-I thought it was rather pretty and so I thought I'd bring it along.
-Is it something you are looking to sell?
Well, maybe if the price is right.
-I don't want to sell it if it's not really going to make anything.
-Is it something you like?
Yes, I like it. It is really pretty.
What intrigues me is we have this bamboo effect
to the handles and spout of the teapot.
-It is quite a dinky little pot.
It is certainly a tea for one, or tea for two at the most.
Almost what you might call a bachelor's set and they have all got these stylised bamboo handles.
But when you look at the engraved decoration on all three pieces,
you have got something very English, because I can see butterflies
and a bird which I would say, with that forked tail, is a swallow.
The sign of a very English summer, isn't it?
-Yes, we get swallows in the barn where I work.
-Every year, they come back every year.
-To the same place?
That decoration not only makes it just a bit different,
-but I think it makes it quite pretty.
-Yes, it does.
And I would say at auction, I can see it making between £100 and £150, perhaps £200 on a good day.
-Is that a nice surprise?
-Yes, I thought maybe 80 at the most.
I would suggest putting a reserve at the lower end of the estimate, so at £100. And it should do that.
Do you think your mother would be pleased?
Yes, I think she would, yes.
-She used to watch Flog It! too.
It is time for me to go west to the small town of Berkeley in Gloucestershire
and reveal all about that unique family home I mentioned earlier.
In the 11th century, Roger de Berkeley built a wooden fortress on this mound
overlooking the River Severn, to stand guard against attack from across the border in Wales.
His descendants established this Norman keep in the 12th century.
But what makes this castle so unique today, is that despite being touched
by almost every major event throughout the last millennium, the Berkeley family still live here.
The Berkeley history is a colourful tale of skulduggery, vanity and murder.
A story that could easily have ended quite differently for the Berkeley family.
I'm going take you on a whistle stop tour through history,
stopping at a few important dates on which the Berkeley family nearly lost this grand home.
Let's start in 1327 with a plot to kill King Edward II, led by his wife, Queen Isabella.
She became angered by her husband's influential friends.
She gathered strong allies against him and Edward was
forced to renounce the throne, with their son taking over as king.
But Isabella didn't stop there.
Edward was imprisoned in this little room that I am just about to go into
and her plan was for him to be ill-treated so eventually he'd meet his untimely end.
Her plan had a deathly odour.
Animal carcasses were thrown into this dungeon and left to rot.
The hope was that disease would then fill the air
and fatally infect Edward, who was imprisoned next door.
But Edward was made of strong stuff and the rotting carcasses had no effect.
What happened next is the cause of much debate.
Isabella needed Edward to disappear
and it is widely believed he was murdered here in this room by a red hot poker.
But many others believe Edward escaped with the help of Lord Berkeley.
At his trial, Lord Berkeley claimed he was away at the time of Edward's murder
so he managed to escape prison and remained in residence at the castle.
So the charge of murder failed to separate the Berkeleys from the castle.
But by the time of the Tudors, it was the Berkeleys' vanity
that again nearly lost them this castle for good.
In the 1400s, William, Baron Berkeley,
fancied an upgrade on his title
and he struck a deal with the crown to become a marquis
on the condition that, upon his death, the castle be handed over to the Tudors.
Henry VIII took advantage of his country home and left his mark.
The Berkeley family were separated from the castle for 80 years
until Henry's daughter Mary became Queen and returned their family home.
They soon became earls and kept a firm hold on their castle.
But after 200 years, the Berkeley family's world was rocked by yet another scandal,
this one thick with love and lies.
This is a portrait of the 5th earl,
a handsome and distinguished looking chap. In the 18th century, he fell in love with this beautiful woman.
Mary Cole, the daughter of a tradesman.
He was so smitten, they tied the knot in a discreet ceremony and even started a family.
After all, they were married.
Or so she thought. A rumour emerged that her marriage was a sham.
Mary challenged the earl and it turned out to be true.
The consequences were long-lasting.
The earl did the decent thing and an official wedding did take place.
The eldest son and heir born before that wedding was declared illegitimate.
He could no longer inherit the title, only the castle.
The next legitimate son to be born became the sixth earl.
But when he left the castle, the earldom left with him.
After 100 years, the title did return fleetingly to the castle.
Randall Malbury Berkeley was the eighth and the last earl
to take up residence here as he died without male issue.
In his time at the castle, Randall Malbury Berkeley undertook much
of the restoration that has created the medieval castle you see today.
The earldom may have left the castle, but, amazingly,
after a rocky 900 years, the Berkeley family still call this castle home.
Charles, it is a real pleasure to meet you.
I can't believe I'm talking to you, considering what your relatives and your ancestors have gone through.
You must be the luckiest man alive.
I wake up every morning and it's incredible.
You are going to be the 28th generation to take over the family home.
Yes, and when you look at it like that, there have been all these other generations of Berkeleys
who have lived here, grown up here, who have defended the castle,
it is quite daunting, but it is a wonderful privilege to still be here.
Looking forward, what immediate challenges are there for you?
I would like to bring the castle more alive at certain times.
We have got a wonderful castle, we have wonderful guides who tell the story in a fabulous way.
I would like to get more children enthused about coming in and looking and seeing what we have.
Being able to learn about what it was like living here
in medieval times, Tudor times, just to bring it alive a bit more.
That is my plan and to make it more accessible to everyone.
I am sure you will do that.
Charles, thank you so much for meeting up with me today.
I thoroughly enjoyed looking around and I know you are going to succeed.
-So good luck for the next 1,000 years!
So off to auction goes
Terry's stained glass window that came out of a Bristol pub.
Kate has certainly raised the bar.
I'm going to put an estimate of about £150 to £250 on it.
Where will you find another one?
He will be joined by John who is cashing in his Christmas present, that charming figure.
And Kate spotted that bamboo and swallow decorated tea set belonging to Debbie.
I would say at auction, I can see it making between £150, perhaps £250 on a good day.
Not so rare, but very stylish are Kathleen's butter dishes.
James is confident this silver twin set will spread some joy.
And lastly those beautiful postcards.
Cathy and Ray are hoping they have mass appeal. Will they be right?
Here we are at today's auction room, Moore, Allen and Innocent, just outside of Cirencester
and I can't wait to get inside and join in with all the action.
And helping us on the rostrum today is auctioneer Philip Alwood.
Hopefully we can spread some good news for Kathleen's charity.
That is where the money is going on these silver butter dishes.
And they're quality, dated 1911. Tell us a bit about the charity, where's the money going to?
It is through our choir, the village choir, Alveston Singers - I must get that in! -
and it's to the Alzheimer's Society and Great Western Air Ambulance.
All our monies go to charity.
Two good charities.
James, the pressure's on.
But I'm not feeling it today.
-They're gonna sell.
And silver is up in value. It is the thing to invest in now.
-So hopefully someone will invest.
-What is the choir called?
-You heard it here!
But let's see what sort of noise we can make with the auction.
The silver butter dishes in the case here.
We've got the phone booked on these. Yes, we have the phone
and we can start at £60. At 60 I have.
And 5 if you like now.
At £60. At 5, 70,
5, 80, 5, 90,
5, 100, at 100. 110 if you like.
At 100. 10. 110.
130, if you like, on the phone.
130 on the phone. At 130. At 130.
140 now anywhere?
130 on the phone.
At 130 you are all sure?
-Isn't that brilliant? Yes.
-I am thrilled to bits.
-I am as well.
There was no reserve on this, they had to go.
That is excellent, I'm really pleased.
I love this next lot, it is something I would buy.
It needs to have a creative mind behind it.
It's a stained glass window, belongs to Terry and made by Georges and Co.
But it's finding the right space to put this into.
Or the right commercial setting. There are plenty of businesses called George.
This is such an individual thing that it's either going to fly, or miss it completely.
This is the kind of thing that I would go and buy.
I'd think, "One day, I'm going to find the right place for it," and it never really happens.
That's right, it didn't happen and justice needs to be done to it.
Hopefully someone here will have that wall in mind. Let's find out, shall we?
Lot 354, the leaded glazed window.
Who'll start me? Should be 200 really.
Start me at 100. At 100 I'm bid.
At 100, 110, 120, 130,
140, 150, 160 if you like.
At 150. At 150. At 160. 170.
At 160, I thought it may make more.
I want it, I want it.
Just £160. It is better than being in the garage
where it could get damaged.
-It's a reasonable result.
-It is reasonable, yes.
Given to John 30-odd years ago, it is a Derby figure and we have got a value of £150 to £200.
-That is a cracking present.
-Isn't it wonderful?
Why have you decided to sell it now?
It has been sitting in my garage for five years and I thought it was time to de-clutter a bit.
-Can you remember who gave it to you?
-Yes, I can.
I wonder if they will be watching.
-I hope not.
-You have the best expert here, because James Lewis is based in Derby. You like this.
It is a fantastic figure, great period, it's the height of the Derby porcelain factory's figure making.
-It is great.
-Good collector's piece and it is a purist's piece.
Nice date to it.
1775 is ideal for figures so I think it will do well.
It's one of the oldest things in today's sale. So I know that's exciting.
-Apart from you!
-Apart from me.
-I wasn't going say that.
Let's find out what the bidders of Cirencester think. It's going under the hammer now.
The Derby porcelain figure.
Showing on our left here, hopefully.
Can I start you here at £85 on the book.
At 85, I'll take 90 now,
At 85, 90, thank you, 5, 100, and 5
110, 120, 130, 140, 150,
lady at 150, 160 now.
At 150 on my left, here. 160 now. Selling on my left at 150.
150. The hammer's going down at the low end.
At £150 are you all done?
It's going, John.
It's gone down 150. It's sold.
That is a good result. In estimate.
What's the money going towards?
Well, I think it's time to have a holiday, put the money into a holiday fund.
-Somewhere that's got some sunshine, that would be nice.
The collection of postcards is just about to go under hammer and they belong to Cathy and Ray.
We have a value of £200 which we talked about.
Lots of social history captured here and hopefully the collectors are in the room.
You have lots more mementos from great aunt, so you don't mind selling these.
Up in the loft, out of sight.
Now they're going to be out of mind. Here they go under hammer.
Lot No 284 is the three early 20th-century postcard albums.
A lot of Gloucestershire.
Who will start me? Start me at 100?
100 I'm bid. At 110 if you like.
110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, the book's out.
-180, 190. 200. 210, 220, 230, 240...
-This is more like it!
250, 260, 270, 280, 290, 300, 320, 340,
360, 380. On my left now at 400.
420 if you like. At 400, are you all sure?
£400 for that. How about that?
-That was great.
-I love it. I love it, there was a tear in your eye.
That was worth it.
Well, I've just been joined by Debbie who has a change of heart.
She doesn't want to sell her silver teapot set with the bamboo decoration which Kate valued. Oh no.
We had a value of £100 to £150 on this,
and I know you have come along in the meantime and put the reserve up.
Showing now is the tea set.
Aesthetic style piece, London 1879 by Martin Hall and Co.
and I can start you at...
-Oh, my goodness!
..280, 300, 320,
340, 360, 400.
At 400. We are going to go to 410.
At 410. 420 if you like.
At 410. At 410. At £410...
420, 440 at 440.
At 440, 460, can I say now?
At 440, you are sure now? At 440.
Hammer's gone down.
-What a wonderful result.
-I'm really surprised.
All that change of heart going on.
I know my mum would be really pleased, wouldn't she?
"Oh, I didn't want to sell it", and you've done it! £440.
-It goes to show...
-..Quality always sells.
Thank you for joining us and I hope you have enjoyed today's show.
Sadly, that's all the time we have from Cirencester.
Until next time, there's gonna be plenty more surprises,
keep watching and you can now go and make that cup of tea. Cheerio from Cirencester.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Paul Martin brings Flog It! to the Subscription Rooms in Stroud along with trusted experts James Lewis and Kate Bliss, hoping to unearth great items.
James finds an 18th-century porcelain figurine and Paul uncovers an amazing collection of postcards. But it is Kate's keen eye that spots a silver tea set with a difference.
Paul also tells the story of nearby Berkeley Castle, home to the Berkeley family for some 900 years.