Ely Flog It!


Ely

Paul Martin is joined by valuers Charlie Ross and Elizabeth Talbot at Ely Cathedral, where they discover a variety of interesting antiques and collectables.


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Transcript


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Today we've come to one of Britain's oldest cathedrals, known as the Ship Of The Fens.

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That is just so inspiring!

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Welcome to Ely, welcome to "Flog It!".

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The name Ely means The Island Of Eels and is so called

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because until the Fens were drained in the 17th century, it was surrounded by water and marshes.

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The Domesday survey in 1087 records thousands and thousands of eels being caught in the waters.

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And later I'll see if I can catch any of these slippery customers.

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Let's try another one.

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-No, nothing in there.

-No luck again.

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But perhaps I'll have better luck later, after all eels were once a form of currency in the Fens.

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And, in fact, helped pay for the stonework

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for today's magnificent venue.

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Look at that! Ely Cathedral.

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Our experts, Charlie Ross and Elizabeth Talbot,

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are already trawling the queue hoping to net a good catch to take to auction.

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Well, it's now 9.30.

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I suggest we get this massive queue inside and get the show on the road.

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As our owners settle themselves under the hallowed roof of this ancient building,

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Charlie has found something decidedly more modern.

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Liz, this chap must have a name.

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-Well, he was always known in our house as Scary Cat.

-Scary Cat?

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-Yeah, because my children were petrified of him because of his scary eyes.

-Oh, right.

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-But he's got a lovely smile, he's got the most beautiful smile.

-Are your children still scared of him?

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No. Well, they're not scared any more, but I think my grandchildren probably are.

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-So, I'm afraid, he's... He's...

-He's reached the end of the line.

-He's reached the end of the line.

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Scary end of the line.

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-Do you know who made him?

-I know nothing about him.

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He was bought by my great uncle, who was a bit of a collector...

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-Right.

-In London off the Portobello Road somewhere.

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-Oh, it looks a bit Portobello Road.

-Turn of the century.

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But I was given him when I was about six or seven years old, I think.

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-Yeah.

-I've had him ever since.

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Now, it's made by the Aller Vale Pottery...

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-Right.

-Which is Torquay Pottery.

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-Was at Torquay Pottery, sadly no longer going, but was started in 1865.

-Gracious.

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However, this cat is not 1865.

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He's a 20th-century cat.

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-Is he?

-But Aller Vale were quite well thought of in so much that their work was stocked by Liberty's...

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-Really?

-No less.

-Right.

-So, posh!

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-He's quite a posh cat!

-He's a posh cat!

-He's a posh cat.

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-We might change the name from Scary Cat to Posh Cat.

-Posh Cat.

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So, because he's Aller Vale he does have a value.

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-I'd like to think he was worth £100.

-Right.

-Would that be satisfactory?

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I'm happy with the hundred as long as whoever pays the £100 loves him as much as I do.

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And when we've sold him have you got anything to put the money towards?

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Well, my daughter is an athlete.

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She throws the javelin for Great Britain.

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How proud you must be!

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I am very proud. So I follow her all over the world.

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-Yes.

-So, the cat, the Scary Cat money would go to my...

-Posh Cat money, please.

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Posh Cat money! Posh Cat money would go to my Olympic travelling fund.

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Wonderful. So, Liz, we're going to aim at 80 to 120 and I think we'll put a reserve at 80.

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-Right.

-Thank you very much for bringing him along.

-Thank you.

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So, Marion and Ronnie, hello and thank you for bringing this wonderful selection of ceramics,

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and I believe it's only part of the set.

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-Yes.

-Is that right?

-Yes, yes. There are, I think, 16 cups and saucers, a dozen plates...

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-Right.

-And six fruit bowls.

-OK.

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So, this is by the Kirkham's factory.

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-What can you tell me about the history of it?

-Well, our parents had a china and glass...

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glass department in their shop and I don't think the design sold very well.

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-Right.

-So, they were having a new beach hut built down at Brancaster on the Norfolk coast

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and it went down to the beach hut because my mother liked giving cups of tea to everybody.

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-Entertaining in a beach hut!

-Two doors away Princess Diana's father, and indeed the family,

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it was their beach hut.

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-Oh, really?

-And as my mother liked giving cups of tea to everybody,

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Lord Althorp, as he was then, he became Earl Spencer later, was given a cup of tea,

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-so Princess Diana's father has actually had a cup of tea out of this.

-Well, my goodness!

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It's a great sort of accolade for it, then. Do you like it?

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-Is it something that you...

-Not very much.

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-No, I mean, it's fun, but I wouldn't want it.

-So, where is it now? Is it all wrapped... Wrapped away?

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It's all wrapped up in the roof, yes.

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OK. I mean, it's so evocative of sort of, I suppose, the late 1940s, certainly 1950s.

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The Kirkham's factory started I think in the late 19th century

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and certainly went through the wartime producing quite merrily.

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In 1962, interestingly, the factory was then amalgamated

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with Gray's and then subsequently became the Portmeirion factory.

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-Portmeirion, yes.

-You knew that.

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Well, I think with the quantity and the condition and, I think, very much

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the in vogue look at the moment will lead to a fairly good demand.

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But I... I haven't seen any precedent at auction, I have to say,

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so it's a stab in the dark,

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-but I think a fair estimate would be between £120 and £160, so that sort of level.

-Yes, yes.

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-That's not too bad, is it?

-Yes, yes.

-No.

-If we put a reserve on it...

-Yes.

-Yes, I think so.

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Then, should the right people not be at that auction and maybe it needs to be in a more specialist,

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sort of modern-design auction at least you've got that option.

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-Yes.

-So we'll put a 100... A bottom estimate, a 120 reserve on it, would you be happy?

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-Yes, I would have thought so.

-Yes, I think so. Or 100, shall we say?

-100?

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-Shall we say 100?

-Yes, yes.

-Well, that sounds fair.

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We'll put 120 to 160 estimate, we'll put £100 reserve on it to look after it.

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Thank you so much for bringing it in. I think it's absolutely delightful.

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-Pam, can I have a sneak look?

-Yes, you can.

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-Oh, look at that, it's a little chalice.

-It is. It's a communion set.

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-Isn't that lovely?

-Yes, it is. It's very beautiful.

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-And how long have you had this?

-We've had it quite some time now.

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It came from my father in law who was a lay reader

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in Anglesey in North Wales and it belongs to my husband now.

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-Can we take this out and have a closer look?

-Yes, yes, do.

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OK. If I hold the little cup, you hold the base.

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-OK.

-Let's have a look at this.

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There's the assay mark. Let's have a look.

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Definitely sterling silver and that's a leopard's head

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and the dateline tells us it's 1845 or 1846, off the top of my head.

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-Yes, yes.

-I can't work it out that quick.

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-Yes, well, it is engraved to a vicar... Rector...

-Yeah.

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Who had his parish in Denbighshire, North Wales, near Ruthin.

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Yes, all these assay marks correspond with this one, as well.

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-Yes.

-So, I would imagine it would be right. It's never been separated.

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No, no. And I think presented by a parishioner.

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So, there's a lot of history and I know...

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-I know why you don't want to sell this.

-No, we don't want to.

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No. There's a lot of weight there, as well.

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I think a realistic auction guideline

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-would be round about £400 to £600 for this.

-OK.

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And if you wanted to insure it,

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well, I would say around £1,000 because it's going to be hard

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-to go out and find another one that quickly.

-Absolutely, yes.

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-Happy?

-OK. That's lovely.

-Oh, thank you for showing me that.

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It's quite fitting that we're here in a cathedral.

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Ron, I don't think boxes come in much better condition than this.

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-No.

-It's absolutely wonderful.

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-Do you know what wood it is?

-No, not at all.

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-It's walnut.

-Is it really?

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Yeah. And do you know what this funny stuff is that's inlaid?

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-Not at all.

-It's brass.

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-Oh, right.

-Well, I'm going to open it up.

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-You know what it is, don't you?

-Yes.

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It's a writing slope and it's Victorian.

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It's 1860, 1870.

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-And there it is in all its glory. And, do you know, I think it's got its original leather on.

-Really?

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I think so.

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And I think it's got its original inkwells.

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Your pens went in here.

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We'll just pull an inkwell out.

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I just want to see if they've silver tops.

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No, they're silver-plated tops, but beautiful cut glass.

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And the condition is astonishing for 120, 30 years old.

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So, why are you selling it?

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Well, it's been in the cupboard for about two years...

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A year and a half, two years and never come out, so...

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So how long have you had it?

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-About three years.

-So where did you get it?

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-From an auction.

-Well, why did you buy it?

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On a whim.

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-So my wife...

-You were just sitting in a saleroom?

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Yeah, and I just thought that's a good price and I put a bid on.

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I'm not going to ask you what the price is yet, but I will do later on.

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-Have you looked in here?

-Yes.

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If I pull this up...

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Hey presto! It's on a spring.

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-This panel comes out and there are the secret drawers.

-They're the ones.

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It's a great design, isn't it?

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-Wonderful.

-Frankly, it's as good as it gets, really, in terms of a box.

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Now, that's the good news.

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Bad news is I think people have finally realised after 40 or 50 years

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of collecting these things that they are completely useless, or more or less.

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Now, you bought it...

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Ta-dah!

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-Three years ago...

-Yeah.

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-At auction.

-At auction.

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-Go on then.

-£75.

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£75. What do you think's happened to this in three years?

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About the same, I would think.

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Oh, ho! Not many things have stayed the same over three years.

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I reckon you bought this well worth the money.

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-Really?

-And I think it's now worth now what you paid for it then.

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So, I'm going to put an estimate of £60 to £100, fix a reserve at 60.

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-If it doesn't make more than 60, well, it's only a small loss, and if it makes 100 it's a profit.

-Profit.

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And you can say to your wife, "What a sound investment it was, I wish I'd bought three more!"

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Exactly.

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Well, that's it for our opening set of lots

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as we head over the border for our first visit to the auction room.

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Just off the A1 lies the delightful town of Stamford in Lincolnshire.

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In the 13th century it was one of the 10 largest towns in England.

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But can it still deliver the big profit based on its medieval past?

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Well, we're about to find out as our lots are going under the hammer here at Batemans Auctioneers.

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Liz's posh Aller Vale cat is off to auction and Liz knows just what she'll do if she makes any money.

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My daughter throws the javelin for Great Britain,

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so the Posh Cat money would go to my Olympic travelling fund.

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Sisters Marion and Ronnie's tea set has come from the beach hut with a royal seal of approval.

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Princess Diana's father has actually had a cup of tea out of them.

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Well, my goodness! A great accolade for it, then.

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And, finally, Ron is hoping to get back his £75 spent

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on this 19th-century writing slope bought on a whim.

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On the rostrum today is auctioneer David Palmer and first up is that piece of Torquay pottery.

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It belongs to Liz who, can't be with us today, she's just recovering from a hip operation,

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but we have her daughter Goldie with us. So, thanks for stepping in.

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-No problem.

-Now, 80 to 120 we've got on this and I'm pretty sure it's going to do that.

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-It's going to do about that.

-Yeah.

-There's no rocket science here.

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-No.

-It's not worth 50 and it's not worth 200, so...

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But the cat lovers will like it.

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-Yeah.

-They will.

-And they're welcome to it.

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-Yes!

-And we're going to find out now because it's going under the hammer.

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Right, lot 315 is the pottery glazed cat.

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£50 for this. 50 I'm bid. 50.

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5. 60. 65 now. 70.

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At £70. Back 75. 80. 85. At 85.

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-90 if you want, either of you two.

-Well, we sold it.

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At 85. 90. 95. Make it the hundred.

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See, there are cat lovers that are fighting for this.

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-Can I sell then at 100? 110.

-110.

-It will scare the children!

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120. 130.

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140. 150.

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160. 170. 180. And 5. 185. 190?

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190. Back down here at £190 now.

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And I sell here at 190.

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With the phone at 190.

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I'll take the 5 again.

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At 190. 5. 200.

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It'll cost you 10 this time. 210.

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-At 210.

-Fantastic.

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At 210. 220.

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230. 240. 250.

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Two people have fallen in love with this.

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At 260. Are you sure? I'll take your 5. 265? 265.

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It came from a good home.

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-265.

-What did I know?

-270.

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At 270. Down here at £270.

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I sell on the phone.

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£270.

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Yes! Liz will be so pleased!

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-That was the purrrfect result.

-Oh, very good.

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-Wasn't it?

-No, it was fantastic, yeah.

-Incredible!

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You see, what we don't like sometimes thousands of you out there absolutely love.

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-Yeah, it was fantastic.

-Great.

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What will the money go towards, what's Liz planning to do?

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I'm in training for the Commonwealth Games but they're in Delhi.

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The money's going towards that. The javelin. The javelin!

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-And you were injured when mum was with me.

-Yes.

-Are you better?

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-I'm better now, so...

-Good, good.

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And Goldie's going to go to the Olympics. Yeah.

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We're going to watch. How about Charlie and I, free tickets? Are you going to wangle that?

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We need a few more ugly cats to sell!

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I've been looking forward to this.

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We have now, Elizabeth and I, have been joined by Marion and Ronnie,

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whose mum and dad owned a department store.

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Now, they were the shops, weren't they?

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-Every market town had one.

-Oh, yes.

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-And you must have had so much fun.

-Oh, yes.

-We did.

-Working as schoolgirls in the shop.

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Yes, school holidays, things like that, yes. Sold Beswick horses by the...

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You could certainly do that again now.

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Yes! We watch them come up for sale.

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Hopefully, we'll give you some money to come home with, or you might even buy something in auction here. OK?

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-Here we go.

-Wow!

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This is seriously cool. Put it in.

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£50? Straight in. 50 quid?

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Oh.

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One day you will appreciate this.

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It's really quite sophisticated.

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£20 to start? 20 I'm bid. 20. 22.

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25. 28. At 28 now.

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-Started low.

-Very low.

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32. 35. 38. 40. 45. 50. 55. Back here at 55.

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Take 60 now. At £55. Is that it?

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Done then at £55. Done and finished, then.

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There aren't beach huts in Stamford, that's your problem.

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You know, I was just about to say, "We need somebody with a beach hut."

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Oh, Elizabeth, I'm ever so sorry.

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-I'm sorry to you.

-I didn't think it would sell.

-It didn't sell.

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Bit of a dilemma because you both own it, who's going to keep it?

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What do you think, Elizabeth?

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Half and half? Be fair! You know, we've got to be fair on these things.

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We'll put it in another sale.

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Going under the hammer right now we've got a walnut writing slope

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with a fitted mahogany interior with a value of £60 to £100.

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There's a lot riding on this and all will be revealed.

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-It belongs to Ron. Pleased to meet you. And you've brought?

-My grandson Ryan.

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-Ryan, how do you do?

-OK. Did you love antiques or football?

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-Yeah.

-Both? What's your favourite football team, then?

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-Liverpool.

-Liverpool! The money is going towards young Ryan's present for Christmas.

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-Xbox 360.

-He wants an Xbox 360.

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Right, we need 100 quid or so, don't we?

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-Yes, we do, Paul.

-That's what we want.

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Do you know though, on a good day, two people falling in love with this, it could get 120.

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-I don't know. Ryan, this is the excitement of the auction room. Are you ready for this?

-Yeah.

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Here we go, it's going under the hammer now. Good luck, both of you.

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Lot 180 is the large writing slope.

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What shall we put it in at? 60 to start? 65. 70. 75.

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-80.

-It's gone.

-85. 80. 90.

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New money. 95. 100. 110?

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110. 120. 130?

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130. 140.

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-160.

-160. I'll take your 70, sir. 180? 180.

-I was right.

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-190. 200.

-200's a world record!

-200 down here. Sell seated at 200.

0:17:460:17:52

You're out at the back. At £200 now.

0:17:520:17:54

-Fantastic.

-Net, you can come in if you want.

0:17:540:17:57

-At £200. I sell seated.

-Hammer down!

-Yeah.

-210 up there. 220. 220.

0:17:570:18:03

Are you sure?

0:18:030:18:05

220, seated. 230 if you want.

0:18:050:18:09

-She said, "Yes".

-250.

0:18:090:18:13

-He's jumped the bid by 40 quid.

-I sell down here at 250.

0:18:130:18:16

The seated bidder, he wants that box. At £250.

0:18:160:18:20

-£250! You've got your Xbox.

-Yay!

0:18:220:18:27

-£250!

-How good is that, Ron?

0:18:270:18:29

Fantastic. It's quality. It was all there, it was complete. The condition was great, as well.

0:18:290:18:34

So, they loved it.

0:18:340:18:35

That was one determined bidder, and let's hope we reel in some more top bids later on.

0:18:360:18:42

Coming up, one family with high hopes for their pictures.

0:18:420:18:47

But had you got a figure in mind at all?

0:18:470:18:49

Well, we were hoping for, sort of, four for the pair, 4,000 for the pair.

0:18:490:18:54

But are they being too ambitious?

0:18:540:18:57

Right now I'm off to find out how one local fish

0:19:000:19:04

has wriggled its way into the very lifeblood of this region.

0:19:040:19:07

It's even slithered into the name.

0:19:070:19:09

Ely means the Isle Of Eels and was so named because of the city's trade in this little writher.

0:19:090:19:16

Many monarchs from Saxon times onwards have tickled their taste buds with this local delicacy.

0:19:210:19:26

A valuable commodity, eels have earned the nickname Fenman's Gold.

0:19:260:19:31

Every Cambridgeshire village paid taxes in this aquatic animal

0:19:360:19:41

and much of the stonework of Ely Cathedral, our valuation day location, was paid for in eels.

0:19:410:19:46

This may seem quaint to modern sensibilities,

0:19:460:19:49

but these fish were literally worth as much as gold in their day.

0:19:490:19:53

Someone who knows all about eels and how to catch them is Cambridgeshire man Peter Carter.

0:19:590:20:05

His family have a long tradition of trapping eels

0:20:050:20:09

and Peter still uses traditional methods and materials.

0:20:090:20:13

-Peter?

-Hi, are you all right? Sit down here, then.

-Good to meet you. I've come to have a chat with you.

0:20:130:20:18

Gosh, a lovely place you've got. I've caught you in the middle of making an eel trap, I guess, yeah?

0:20:180:20:23

Yeah, or an eel hive as they're known by their proper name.

0:20:230:20:26

Hive means something made of basketry.

0:20:260:20:29

-You're making this out of willow.

-Yeah, split willow.

0:20:290:20:32

That's what this is. It's a fast-growing willow.

0:20:320:20:36

And you just split that with a penknife?

0:20:360:20:38

No, no. You use a little tool, a little tool like that.

0:20:380:20:42

It splits into three. The way it works...

0:20:420:20:45

You just drive it right down the shaft.

0:20:450:20:48

-Yeah.

-Look at that.

0:20:480:20:49

How clever is that?

0:20:490:20:52

And it's a tool that hasn't changed for centuries, it does the job so well.

0:20:520:20:56

That's incredible, isn't it?

0:20:560:20:57

So quick. Why... Why do you use willow for eel traps, then?

0:20:570:21:00

-Because on the Fen there's so much willow tree.

-And it's there.

-It's there, yeah.

0:21:000:21:05

So... So how does an eel trap work?

0:21:050:21:07

Well, you can see I've just made the first of the chairs,

0:21:070:21:10

-chair is an old Fen word meaning a narrow gap, and if you look in there they've got the spikes.

-Yeah.

0:21:100:21:15

So, the eel can squeeze in, he'll push these apart, they can't return to come back again.

0:21:150:21:21

-So they're trapped.

-Then there's a second set further down which are even tighter.

0:21:210:21:25

-Yeah.

-And that holds them still then and they can't move.

0:21:250:21:28

How long will it... How long will it take you to make this trap?

0:21:280:21:31

It takes about three hours to make a trap.

0:21:310:21:33

You're very good with your hands. Who taught you?

0:21:330:21:36

That's an old family trade, so that's been passed down generations, well, 500 years that we know of.

0:21:360:21:42

And every family had their own design.

0:21:420:21:44

There were slight differences, but they all work the same way.

0:21:440:21:47

-Is it easy to do?

-It's not too bad.

0:21:530:21:56

Do you want to have a go? You're welcome to have a go if you want.

0:21:560:21:59

-Oh, I've got to, really. I can't just sit here and watch, can I?

-There you go.

0:21:590:22:03

Turn the trap so that when you're going round the outside it's always the one nearest to you.

0:22:040:22:09

-So, like that.

-That's it.

0:22:090:22:12

Oh, have I...

0:22:120:22:14

-Have I just ruined that?

-No, you want to go over the top of that one.

-Oh, sorry.

-That's right.

0:22:140:22:19

-Of course, yeah, under and over, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:22:190:22:22

Under and over.

0:22:220:22:25

-So, were these eels caught just for eating?

-No, they used to use the skins a lot for making clothing,

0:22:250:22:31

footwear, because they couldn't afford silver and gold and, well, eel was their gold. They used to...

0:22:310:22:37

-I've come to the end there.

-They used to

0:22:370:22:40

dry the skins out and cut them, plait them and make wedding rings.

0:22:400:22:45

Even today they still make clothing out of eel skin.

0:22:450:22:47

-Do they?

-Yeah. You can get shoes and things like that made of it.

-Tough old things, aren't they?

0:22:470:22:52

Very, very strong leather when it dries, yeah. Very strong.

0:22:520:22:56

And this is a tradition that hasn't changed for 200, 300 years?

0:22:560:22:59

-Well, I was told by an archaeologist that they haven't changed for 5,000 years.

-Wow!

0:22:590:23:05

-If something works why change it?

-Exactly.

0:23:050:23:07

Look at that. Is that... That one's that finished is it, there?

0:23:070:23:11

-Yeah.

-Can I have a look?

0:23:110:23:13

-So, do you try and make two or three on the go all at once?

-Yes, yeah.

0:23:130:23:17

-It stops the boredom, then.

-It would get boring, wouldn't it?

-Yeah.

0:23:170:23:21

That's incredible. Fantastic use of local resources and that's what it's all about, really.

0:23:230:23:29

Well, I'll leave you to set some traps and I'm going to catch up with you later.

0:23:290:23:33

OK, see you later.

0:23:330:23:36

Peter usually sets his traps in the evening.

0:23:410:23:45

Bait may be live worms, fish or dead animals.

0:23:450:23:48

Eels are a bloodthirsty fish and love nothing more than a good bit of roadkill.

0:23:480:23:53

The eel season lasts from March until October.

0:23:530:23:57

Well, we're filming this coming towards the end of the eel season,

0:24:120:24:15

so it's going to be touch and go whether we catch any.

0:24:150:24:18

And I can hear Peter coming now in his little boat, so I'm going to climb aboard,

0:24:180:24:22

have a chat to him and see what he's got.

0:24:220:24:24

Perfect day for this, Peter.

0:24:320:24:34

-Beautiful, isn't it?

-Yeah, and we've got the water to ourselves, as well.

0:24:340:24:38

-Yeah.

-So, eels have quite an incredible life history.

0:24:470:24:50

Yeah, they start off in the Sargasso Sea, which is about 4,000 miles away near New Mexico,

0:24:500:24:56

and they start off as tiny little flatfish, they look like little willow leaves,

0:24:560:25:02

and they drift across on the currents in their millions

0:25:020:25:06

and when they get here they come up round the coastline.

0:25:060:25:09

They'll then come up on to the Fen.

0:25:090:25:11

They'll live here 20, 30 years, nobody really knows,

0:25:110:25:15

and then they make the six year trip back again where they lay their eggs and die. They're fantastic.

0:25:150:25:20

And what sort of life span is that?

0:25:200:25:22

They think 20 years, but there were two eels caught as Wisbech which were over six foot in length

0:25:220:25:28

and weighed in at 28 pounds and they reckon there must have been on the Fen a good 80 years to get that big.

0:25:280:25:34

The first trap is just here.

0:25:410:25:43

-Ah.

-Now you can see it.

0:25:430:25:44

-I can see it now.

-So, we just go beyond it.

-So, you put this one in last night?

0:25:440:25:50

-Yeah.

-Shall I grab this?

0:25:500:25:53

-Here she comes.

-There you go.

0:25:560:25:58

No, nothing. Shall we try another one, then?

0:26:040:26:07

Yeah, let's try another one.

0:26:070:26:08

-No.

-Got anything?

-No, nothing in there.

0:26:160:26:19

The traps are very quiet today.

0:26:190:26:21

No luck again.

0:26:210:26:23

It looks as though we're not going to have any luck today,

0:26:230:26:26

so we've gone back to a trap where one was caught earlier.

0:26:260:26:29

-Is there one in there?

-We've got one in here.

0:26:290:26:31

I think you can see him right at the bottom.

0:26:310:26:34

Oh, yeah, I can. Yes, I can. That's quite big, isn't it?

0:26:340:26:38

It's a nice size... A nice-sized one. Not one of the biggest.

0:26:380:26:40

And how much is one eel worth, then?

0:26:430:26:45

-Oh, it's all done on weight.

-It's just in weight, is it?

-Yeah, it's about 4.50 a pound for eels.

0:26:450:26:52

What about eel stocks, are they declining?

0:26:520:26:54

Massively, especially since the 80s.

0:26:540:26:57

-Why's that?

-Several reasons.

0:26:570:26:59

-On the Fen especially we noticed when they changed the sluice gates, they took the wooden one's out...

-Yes.

0:26:590:27:04

-Which used to let the little elvers through, and put metal in.

-Which is kind of watertight in a way.

0:27:040:27:09

-Yeah. And because eels couldn't get through them any more...

-Oh, gosh.

0:27:090:27:13

What sort of decline was there in stocks?

0:27:130:27:16

They say about 95%.

0:27:160:27:18

Ooh, that's a lot, isn't it?

0:27:180:27:19

-It is, yeah.

-That would affect your livelihood a lot.

0:27:190:27:22

Oh, it's made a big difference.

0:27:220:27:24

Some days we don't get anything in the traps now, where years gone by

0:27:240:27:28

you couldn't pull a trap out with them being full of eels.

0:27:280:27:30

Happily, new ramps are being installed to allow the elvers through.

0:27:320:27:36

That's surely good news as this ancient industry is an important part of the character of the Fens

0:27:360:27:42

and it would be tragic indeed to imagine Ely without its eels.

0:27:420:27:47

Back at our valuation day Elizabeth has pulled in a namesake with an offering of her own.

0:27:580:28:04

-Well, from one Elizabeth to a Liz.

-Yes.

0:28:040:28:08

Thank you for bringing in this charming little figure. What can you tell me about her?

0:28:080:28:12

Well, I used to occasionally look after an elderly lady and she'd had various hip operations, etc,

0:28:120:28:20

and I'd admired this in her front room and she said, "Oh, well have it."

0:28:200:28:23

-So I did.

-Very nice.

0:28:230:28:26

But I got it home and it's really...

0:28:260:28:28

-It's in a cupboard. It's been in a cupboard the whole time and it just seems a shame.

-It is a shame.

0:28:280:28:34

So, I thought I'd get her out today and see what you thought.

0:28:340:28:37

OK. Well, it's by the Royal Worcester factory and it's a little...

0:28:370:28:41

A charming little girl seated on a little hillock

0:28:410:28:44

surrounded by probably what are intended to be pansies in a dress

0:28:440:28:48

which sort of simulates the pansies as well.

0:28:480:28:50

And she's cuddling her little black kitten, which is really rather a charming and endearing subject.

0:28:500:28:56

Yeah.

0:28:560:28:57

She's modelled by Anne Acheson, who has signed it underneath.

0:28:570:29:01

Now, Royal Worcester had one or two very high-profile modellers

0:29:010:29:06

who had different subjects that they specialised in.

0:29:060:29:09

-Oh, yes.

-Some did historical figures, some did equestrian figures.

0:29:090:29:13

The most well known of their children figures

0:29:130:29:18

were modelled by Dorothy Doughty and her sister Freda

0:29:180:29:22

and they were working from the 1930s to the 1950s.

0:29:220:29:25

And I believe that Anne was actually a contemporary

0:29:250:29:28

or worked alongside in the similar period.

0:29:280:29:31

-She's in lovely condition.

-Yes, well, she's just sat there, poor love.

0:29:310:29:35

Yes. I mean, she's obviously had a very happy life

0:29:350:29:39

so I think realistically she should sell to a collector for between £100 and £150.

0:29:390:29:44

-Oh, how very nice.

-£100 discretionary reserve?

0:29:440:29:47

-Oh, lovely.

-That all right?

-Yes, lovely. That's all right. Thank you very much.

0:29:470:29:52

Oh, bless her. Yes.

0:29:520:29:53

Well, she's a charmer, I like her.

0:29:530:29:55

-Mr and Mrs Ross, isn't it?

-It is.

-Lovely to meet you.

0:30:010:30:04

-Lovely to meet you.

-We're probably related.

-Hi, Charlie.

0:30:040:30:08

Well, we're probably related. I don't know about you, you married into the family...

0:30:080:30:11

-Yes, that's right.

-You married into a great name, if I may say so.

-I did.

0:30:110:30:15

You brought me a cardboard box which is frankly less than exciting.

0:30:150:30:19

-May I have a butcher's?

-Yes.

-You can.

0:30:190:30:21

What an extraordinary mixture!

0:30:230:30:26

Where did all this lot come from?

0:30:260:30:27

One of my closest friends wanted to bring it along to the show

0:30:270:30:31

and that but she can't make it because she's not very well.

0:30:310:30:34

-Oh, dear. So, you've been left the job of doing it.

-Yes.

-So we've been left the job to do it.

0:30:340:30:38

-Delighted to.

-Delighted to represent her.

-Absolutely.

-Well, let's have a look in here.

0:30:380:30:43

Let's start at the bottom.

0:30:430:30:45

-That looks fabulous, but frankly is a load of nonsense.

-Right.

0:30:450:30:50

-OK.

-This looks even more fabulous and is marginally less nonsense,

0:30:500:30:55

but we then go on to two very nice

0:30:550:30:59

silver continental silver fob watches,

0:30:590:31:02

lady's fob watches, small, dainty,

0:31:020:31:05

-beautifully decorated enamel dials.

-Very pretty aren't they?

0:31:050:31:10

But I'm thinking, well, I'm praying, that this watch here is gold.

0:31:100:31:18

Ah, it's got three figures on there, 585.

0:31:180:31:25

It tells you it's gold and it's 14-carat gold.

0:31:270:31:29

-Right.

-If it had got 750 on there it would be 18 carat-gold.

-OK.

0:31:290:31:33

It's not... 14 carat gold's not so heard of though, is it?

0:31:330:31:37

No it isn't. You're quite right, gold is normally 9 carat...

0:31:370:31:40

-Yes.

-Or 18 carat.

-Yes.

0:31:400:31:42

Now, it's 20th century and the movement will be Swiss-made.

0:31:420:31:46

-Right.

-It's where they may be good movements.

0:31:460:31:48

But the fact that it's gold means it's got some value.

0:31:480:31:51

-Yes.

-Beautifully dainty hands,

0:31:510:31:53

an enamel dial which has no cracks or chips on it, second hand,

0:31:530:31:59

-but I think we've got to take into consideration these dents.

-Yeah.

0:31:590:32:02

Now, the only well to sell this lot, frankly, is to sell your complete cardboard-box worth I think.

0:32:020:32:09

-OK.

-Because if you start trying to sell these things individually

0:32:090:32:13

-you're looking at a pound here and a pond there and a couple of...

-Yeah.

-A waste of time. Value?

0:32:130:32:17

Come on, the Rosses, let's have a valuation.

0:32:170:32:21

Mr Ross.

0:32:210:32:23

-£60?

-£60. Mrs Ross?

0:32:230:32:26

-75?

-£75.

0:32:260:32:28

Well, I've got some great news.

0:32:280:32:30

-You're both wrong.

-Ah!

0:32:300:32:32

-I reckon that that watch itself is worth £150 to £200 even in that condition.

-Marvellous.

0:32:320:32:40

-That's good news, isn't it?

-Great news.

0:32:400:32:42

And then you've got a few bits of nonsense, but you've also got another 20 there and probably 20 there,

0:32:420:32:48

so 150, 160, 170, 180, 190.

0:32:480:32:50

-I think we're quite safely up to £200 to £300.

-Wow!

0:32:500:32:53

-Wow.

-And we'll put a reserve on, tell your friend.

-Yes.

-What's the name of your friend?

-Sue.

0:32:530:32:58

Tell Sue that we're going to put a reserve on and I think we'll make that the £200

0:32:580:33:03

with a little discretion. So, that will be good for Sue.

0:33:030:33:06

-Excellent.

-And that will make her feel better.

0:33:060:33:08

-Yes.

-I hope so. It would make us all feel better, with any luck.

0:33:080:33:11

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:33:110:33:13

And even I feel better looking at this curiosity, which has certainly grabbed my attention.

0:33:130:33:19

What do you think this is? Anybody know? No? No?

0:33:200:33:23

It belonged to a craftsman and it is not an eyebrow tweezer.

0:33:230:33:28

Definitely not an eyebrow tweezer!

0:33:300:33:33

Tony, you've brought something of local interest.

0:33:330:33:36

This would be used by a saddler as a vice.

0:33:360:33:39

You could put one of the reins through there

0:33:390:33:42

where two or three inches of stitching had come undone...

0:33:420:33:44

-Yeah.

-Because that leather's always moving.

0:33:440:33:46

-That's right.

-Tighten this, grip it fast.

0:33:460:33:52

And then you could stitch away.

0:33:530:33:55

Do you think that would be made himself or the local carpenter or...

0:33:550:33:59

-This would have been made by a carpenter.

-Yeah.

0:33:590:34:01

-And I'd say this is circa 1800, 1820. It's a very early one.

-Yes.

0:34:010:34:07

And I want to know how you came across that.

0:34:070:34:09

-Are you in the equine business?

-No, not at all.

0:34:090:34:14

-I bought it at a car boot sale along with a saddle stand.

-Right.

0:34:140:34:17

And they didn't cost an awful lot of money, I didn't consider it is a lot of money.

0:34:170:34:21

-I paid £55 for the two pieces.

-OK.

0:34:210:34:24

I think you did rather well, Tony.

0:34:240:34:27

I think a realistic auction guideline would be around about £30 to £50. Isn't it lovely, though?

0:34:270:34:32

-Absolutely beautiful.

-Absolutely gorgeous.

0:34:320:34:36

We have a real family affair.

0:34:430:34:44

We have Cherry, Mary and Sophie who have brought some beautiful paintings along

0:34:440:34:48

and I think there must be a story behind these, is there?

0:34:480:34:51

-My father was a builder-cum-film director.

-Oh, right.

0:34:510:34:54

And we used to buy up houses and redo them and do them up and this

0:34:540:34:59

was part of the contents of one of the houses we acquired.

0:34:590:35:03

So, he came back one day clutching two paintings.

0:35:030:35:05

And some other things, yes.

0:35:050:35:08

-Do you remember them actually arriving at home?

-I do, yes.

0:35:080:35:11

-Right.

-Yes, yeah, when I was little, very little. So now there are three of you, who owns them at the moment?

0:35:110:35:17

Well, when he died one was left to my husband and one to Cherry,

0:35:170:35:22

so that both families got one of the paintings, but with small children around the house,

0:35:220:35:26

it got to the point where it was, "Hmm, they're going to get damaged."

0:35:260:35:30

-Right, OK. So now you're contemplating selling them.

-Yeah.

0:35:300:35:33

OK. So, Mummy's thinking of selling them, Sophie, what do you?

0:35:330:35:36

I sort of like the geese and the duck and the river.

0:35:360:35:41

I quite like the river because it's got, like, two sections.

0:35:410:35:48

I like that one better, I have to say.

0:35:480:35:51

Well, they are both helpfully signed AA Glendening.

0:35:510:35:54

It's helpful up to the point that it now tells us it's from the Glendening family.

0:35:540:36:01

The awkward thing is there are two AA Glendenings, one is Alfred Augustus Glendening,

0:36:010:36:07

-and his son also Alfred Augustus Glendening.

-Oh, helpful(!)

0:36:070:36:11

But it is very difficult to be categoric as to who

0:36:110:36:14

was painting which painting at what time because... If that makes sense.

0:36:140:36:19

They are in good condition.

0:36:190:36:22

They could do with a clean, but I like to see paintings look their age

0:36:220:36:25

and I think wherever you've had them hanging they've been very happy, so that's good.

0:36:250:36:30

Original frames and nice honest work straight onto the market.

0:36:300:36:35

Have you sort of a hope about what you might realise from offering them for sale?

0:36:350:36:41

-We'd like enough to go on a decent holiday, each.

-Yes, not together.

0:36:410:36:44

-No.

-Not together!

-Not together.

0:36:440:36:47

-Oh, this harmony will only last for a short time!

-No, no!

0:36:470:36:50

Take the money and run. OK. But had you got a figure in mind at all or...

0:36:500:36:54

Well, we were hoping for sort of four for the pair, 4,000

0:36:540:36:58

for the pair, because we thought, you know, that way there's enough to have a decent holiday

0:36:580:37:03

and have the memory of having them and thinking, "We've had good out of it."

0:37:030:37:06

-Had something substantial out of it.

-Yeah.

0:37:060:37:09

At the end of the day, it's going to be the luck of the draw on the day in the marketplace,

0:37:090:37:13

but I think given the average value that seems to be achievable I don't think 4,000 is unrealistic.

0:37:130:37:21

It might be a little bit steep, but I think it's worth trying

0:37:210:37:24

and I think if you try you can at least see how... how you get on.

0:37:240:37:27

So if we place a reserve of £4,000, we will try and satisfy your requirements,

0:37:270:37:32

hopefully we might get a more, but that will mean that the auctioneer

0:37:320:37:36

will then place an estimate to reflect that of perhaps £4000 to £6000, say, and see.

0:37:360:37:41

We'll take them in, £4,000 reserve and fingers crossed.

0:37:410:37:45

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:37:450:37:47

I think that's right, fingers crossed for all our lots today.

0:37:490:37:52

Liz has had this figures stuck in a cupboard the whole time

0:37:520:37:54

she's owned it, but is pleased with Elisabeth's valuation.

0:37:540:37:58

Charlie's found the gold treasure lurking in this box.

0:38:010:38:04

The Rosses are delighted for their friend.

0:38:040:38:07

And, finally, if their pictures sell sisters in law Mary and Cherry are planning to go on holiday.

0:38:070:38:14

-Yes. Not together, no.

-Not together!

-Not together!

0:38:140:38:17

At least these pictures may end up reunited

0:38:170:38:20

as we head back for our second visit to the auction room in Stamford, Lincolnshire,

0:38:200:38:26

one of England's oldest coaching towns, so let's hope the bidders are going to be galloping in.

0:38:260:38:31

Going under the hammer we've got a bit of Royal Worcester.

0:38:340:38:37

It's a lovely figure, it is well marked, £100 to £150 Elizabeth put on it.

0:38:370:38:41

And, Liz, I have got to say, a sparkle of colour! Love the shoes!

0:38:410:38:47

Look at that!

0:38:470:38:49

The bracelet, the brooch... It's all going on, isn't it? This is it.

0:38:490:38:54

458 is the Royal Worcester figurine.

0:38:540:38:59

At 55. 60. 65.

0:38:590:39:01

At 65. 70. 75.

0:39:010:39:03

Yes, look, there's a commission bid down there at the front.

0:39:030:39:06

85 in the room. 90 now, net.

0:39:060:39:09

90. 95. I've got 95.

0:39:090:39:12

Net, you're going to have to go 100.

0:39:120:39:13

100. With the internet at £100. 110.

0:39:130:39:18

Keep going, net.

0:39:180:39:19

It's got a black cat in there.

0:39:190:39:21

-Look, she's...

-120.

-120. At 120.

0:39:210:39:23

She's cuddling a black cat. 130.

0:39:230:39:27

-The cat makes the difference.

-It does. That's what you've always said.

0:39:270:39:30

-Yes.

-At 130. I sell to the net at £130.

0:39:300:39:33

All done at 130?

0:39:330:39:35

-£130, Liz!

-That's good.

0:39:350:39:40

-That's brilliant, isn't it?

-That is delightful.

0:39:400:39:43

You'll be able to put that towards all these day trips out

0:39:430:39:46

you're going on now you're retired.

0:39:460:39:47

-A bit of Huntingdon races.

-Are you?

0:39:470:39:49

Because I belong to Elite Racing Club.

0:39:490:39:52

-Oh, I say!

-I went to York the other week, that was nice.

0:39:520:39:55

-Do you have a flutter at all?

-A little flutter, a little profit.

0:39:550:39:59

-Not much! She's the lady to know, obviously.

-I think so.

0:39:590:40:02

Well, let's see how this next lot goes, shall we?

0:40:080:40:11

It's that box of watches.

0:40:110:40:12

It's a mixed lot, £200 to £300, we're hoping to get the top end.

0:40:120:40:15

There's a lot there, Charlie.

0:40:150:40:17

Well, it's going under the hammer now. Good luck.

0:40:170:40:19

Lot 590, a little collection of assorted watches,

0:40:190:40:23

pocket watches etc. Straight in, 100 for these?

0:40:230:40:26

£100? 100? At 100 only.

0:40:260:40:28

Done then at 100. 110. 120. 130.

0:40:280:40:31

140. 150. 160. 170. At 170. 180.

0:40:310:40:36

At 180 now. Back here at £180.

0:40:360:40:39

-I want you to do better than this.

-This is good.

0:40:390:40:41

-Are you bidding? At 180. 180. I sell over here.

-Yes!

0:40:410:40:44

190 on the net. 200 now.

0:40:440:40:47

200. At £200. 210 on the net?

0:40:470:40:49

Net, go 210?

0:40:490:40:52

Are they? 210.

0:40:520:40:54

With the internet at £210. I sell to the net at 210.

0:40:540:40:59

Yes. The hammer's gone down. £210. That went to the trade, didn't it?

0:40:590:41:02

-Yes.

-Because there's a lot there.

0:41:020:41:04

They can split that up.

0:41:040:41:06

Well, I think you've done the hard work.

0:41:060:41:08

Go back and report 210, less commission, but I think that's...

0:41:080:41:11

-That was fine.

-A meal out for you two.

-Yes, absolutely.

0:41:110:41:15

Great gathering, packed auction room, this is what I love to see.

0:41:200:41:24

Hopefully, one or two surprises.

0:41:240:41:26

I've been joined by Mary, Cherry and Sophie.

0:41:260:41:30

And we're selling the two Glendening oils.

0:41:300:41:32

Wonderful. I take it one of you owns one and one owns the other.

0:41:320:41:37

Elizabeth, we've got £4,000 to £6,000 on this.

0:41:370:41:41

It sounds frightening in cold light of day, but, it's worth the money for the artist.

0:41:410:41:46

-It is, exactly.

-Hope so.

-I'm quite excited, aren't you?

0:41:460:41:48

Very excited! It's going under the hammer now.

0:41:480:41:50

Lot 290, the Alfred Augustus Glendenings, the pair of these.

0:41:510:41:57

Put them in at 2,000 to start.

0:41:570:41:59

Straight in at £2,000. At 2,000.

0:41:590:42:02

2,1. 2,2. 2,3. 2,4. 2,5, new bidder.

0:42:020:42:07

2,6. 2,7.

0:42:070:42:09

2,8. 2,9.

0:42:090:42:12

3,000. 3,1. 3,2.

0:42:120:42:15

-Here we go, look. 3,2.

-3,3. At 3, 3 now. This side at 3,3.

0:42:150:42:20

-3,3.

-At 3,3. 3,4. 3,5. 3,6. 3,7.

0:42:200:42:26

-That was on the phones.

-3,8.

0:42:260:42:29

3,9. 4,000. At 4,000 now.

0:42:290:42:33

4,1. 4,2.

0:42:330:42:38

-4,3. 4,4.

-He's drawing the bids out.

-4,5.

0:42:380:42:44

-Sophie, 4,600.

-4,7. 4,8?

0:42:440:42:49

4,8. 4,9.

0:42:500:42:54

Do you know what? In a way, it's going to be nice

0:42:540:42:57

whoever buys these is keeping them...

0:42:570:42:58

They'll be able to display them as a pair coupled together,

0:42:580:43:01

which is really nice, which is something you couldn't do.

0:43:010:43:04

5,4.

0:43:040:43:06

5,5.

0:43:060:43:08

5,6.

0:43:090:43:12

5,7. 5,8.

0:43:120:43:15

5,9. 6.

0:43:150:43:18

6,1. 6,2?

0:43:210:43:24

6,1. At 6,100. Is that it?

0:43:240:43:27

-You're all out in front.

-£6,100.

0:43:270:43:32

-Yes.

-Yes!

-£6,100.

0:43:320:43:35

Spot on valuation, Elizabeth. There's your holidays.

0:43:350:43:38

-Yes.

-There's commission to pay, but all credit

0:43:380:43:40

to the man on the rostrum. He worked the bids up.

0:43:400:43:43

Sophie, you've got that dream holiday and I hope you've enjoyed the show.

0:43:430:43:46

Sadly, we've run out of time from Stamford, so until the next time for plenty more surprises, it's cheerio.

0:43:460:43:52

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:44:090:44:12

E-mail [email protected]

0:44:120:44:15

Presenter Paul Martin is joined by valuers Charlie Ross and Elizabeth Talbot at the spectacular venue of Ely Cathedral, also known as The Ship of the Fens.

A twentieth-century cat has some luck at the auction whilst two sisters-in-law want £4,000 for their pair of pictures - but are they being too ambitious? Also, Paul investigates the ancient trade of eel catching in the company of Peter Carter.


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