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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Today we've come to one of Britain's oldest cathedrals, known as the Ship Of The Fens.
That is just so inspiring!
Welcome to Ely, welcome to "Flog It!".
The name Ely means The Island Of Eels and is so called
because until the Fens were drained in the 17th century, it was surrounded by water and marshes.
The Domesday survey in 1087 records thousands and thousands of eels being caught in the waters.
And later I'll see if I can catch any of these slippery customers.
Let's try another one.
-No, nothing in there.
-No luck again.
But perhaps I'll have better luck later, after all eels were once a form of currency in the Fens.
And, in fact, helped pay for the stonework
for today's magnificent venue.
Look at that! Ely Cathedral.
Our experts, Charlie Ross and Elizabeth Talbot,
are already trawling the queue hoping to net a good catch to take to auction.
Well, it's now 9.30.
I suggest we get this massive queue inside and get the show on the road.
As our owners settle themselves under the hallowed roof of this ancient building,
Charlie has found something decidedly more modern.
Liz, this chap must have a name.
-Well, he was always known in our house as Scary Cat.
-Yeah, because my children were petrified of him because of his scary eyes.
-But he's got a lovely smile, he's got the most beautiful smile.
-Are your children still scared of him?
No. Well, they're not scared any more, but I think my grandchildren probably are.
-So, I'm afraid, he's... He's...
-He's reached the end of the line.
-He's reached the end of the line.
Scary end of the line.
-Do you know who made him?
-I know nothing about him.
He was bought by my great uncle, who was a bit of a collector...
-In London off the Portobello Road somewhere.
-Oh, it looks a bit Portobello Road.
-Turn of the century.
But I was given him when I was about six or seven years old, I think.
-I've had him ever since.
Now, it's made by the Aller Vale Pottery...
-Which is Torquay Pottery.
-Was at Torquay Pottery, sadly no longer going, but was started in 1865.
However, this cat is not 1865.
He's a 20th-century cat.
-But Aller Vale were quite well thought of in so much that their work was stocked by Liberty's...
-He's quite a posh cat!
-He's a posh cat!
-He's a posh cat.
-We might change the name from Scary Cat to Posh Cat.
So, because he's Aller Vale he does have a value.
-I'd like to think he was worth £100.
-Would that be satisfactory?
I'm happy with the hundred as long as whoever pays the £100 loves him as much as I do.
And when we've sold him have you got anything to put the money towards?
Well, my daughter is an athlete.
She throws the javelin for Great Britain.
How proud you must be!
I am very proud. So I follow her all over the world.
-So, the cat, the Scary Cat money would go to my...
-Posh Cat money, please.
Posh Cat money! Posh Cat money would go to my Olympic travelling fund.
Wonderful. So, Liz, we're going to aim at 80 to 120 and I think we'll put a reserve at 80.
-Thank you very much for bringing him along.
So, Marion and Ronnie, hello and thank you for bringing this wonderful selection of ceramics,
and I believe it's only part of the set.
-Is that right?
-Yes, yes. There are, I think, 16 cups and saucers, a dozen plates...
-And six fruit bowls.
So, this is by the Kirkham's factory.
-What can you tell me about the history of it?
-Well, our parents had a china and glass...
glass department in their shop and I don't think the design sold very well.
-So, they were having a new beach hut built down at Brancaster on the Norfolk coast
and it went down to the beach hut because my mother liked giving cups of tea to everybody.
-Entertaining in a beach hut!
-Two doors away Princess Diana's father, and indeed the family,
it was their beach hut.
-And as my mother liked giving cups of tea to everybody,
Lord Althorp, as he was then, he became Earl Spencer later, was given a cup of tea,
-so Princess Diana's father has actually had a cup of tea out of this.
-Well, my goodness!
It's a great sort of accolade for it, then. Do you like it?
-Is it something that you...
-Not very much.
-No, I mean, it's fun, but I wouldn't want it.
-So, where is it now? Is it all wrapped... Wrapped away?
It's all wrapped up in the roof, yes.
OK. I mean, it's so evocative of sort of, I suppose, the late 1940s, certainly 1950s.
The Kirkham's factory started I think in the late 19th century
and certainly went through the wartime producing quite merrily.
In 1962, interestingly, the factory was then amalgamated
with Gray's and then subsequently became the Portmeirion factory.
-You knew that.
Well, I think with the quantity and the condition and, I think, very much
the in vogue look at the moment will lead to a fairly good demand.
But I... I haven't seen any precedent at auction, I have to say,
so it's a stab in the dark,
-but I think a fair estimate would be between £120 and £160, so that sort of level.
-That's not too bad, is it?
-If we put a reserve on it...
-Yes, I think so.
Then, should the right people not be at that auction and maybe it needs to be in a more specialist,
sort of modern-design auction at least you've got that option.
-So we'll put a 100... A bottom estimate, a 120 reserve on it, would you be happy?
-Yes, I would have thought so.
-Yes, I think so. Or 100, shall we say?
-Shall we say 100?
-Well, that sounds fair.
We'll put 120 to 160 estimate, we'll put £100 reserve on it to look after it.
Thank you so much for bringing it in. I think it's absolutely delightful.
-Pam, can I have a sneak look?
-Yes, you can.
-Oh, look at that, it's a little chalice.
-It is. It's a communion set.
-Isn't that lovely?
-Yes, it is. It's very beautiful.
-And how long have you had this?
-We've had it quite some time now.
It came from my father in law who was a lay reader
in Anglesey in North Wales and it belongs to my husband now.
-Can we take this out and have a closer look?
-Yes, yes, do.
OK. If I hold the little cup, you hold the base.
-Let's have a look at this.
There's the assay mark. Let's have a look.
Definitely sterling silver and that's a leopard's head
and the dateline tells us it's 1845 or 1846, off the top of my head.
-I can't work it out that quick.
-Yes, well, it is engraved to a vicar... Rector...
Who had his parish in Denbighshire, North Wales, near Ruthin.
Yes, all these assay marks correspond with this one, as well.
-So, I would imagine it would be right. It's never been separated.
No, no. And I think presented by a parishioner.
So, there's a lot of history and I know...
-I know why you don't want to sell this.
-No, we don't want to.
No. There's a lot of weight there, as well.
I think a realistic auction guideline
-would be round about £400 to £600 for this.
And if you wanted to insure it,
well, I would say around £1,000 because it's going to be hard
-to go out and find another one that quickly.
-OK. That's lovely.
-Oh, thank you for showing me that.
It's quite fitting that we're here in a cathedral.
Ron, I don't think boxes come in much better condition than this.
-It's absolutely wonderful.
-Do you know what wood it is?
-No, not at all.
-Is it really?
Yeah. And do you know what this funny stuff is that's inlaid?
-Not at all.
-Well, I'm going to open it up.
-You know what it is, don't you?
It's a writing slope and it's Victorian.
It's 1860, 1870.
-And there it is in all its glory. And, do you know, I think it's got its original leather on.
I think so.
And I think it's got its original inkwells.
Your pens went in here.
We'll just pull an inkwell out.
I just want to see if they've silver tops.
No, they're silver-plated tops, but beautiful cut glass.
And the condition is astonishing for 120, 30 years old.
So, why are you selling it?
Well, it's been in the cupboard for about two years...
A year and a half, two years and never come out, so...
So how long have you had it?
-About three years.
-So where did you get it?
-From an auction.
-Well, why did you buy it?
On a whim.
-So my wife...
-You were just sitting in a saleroom?
Yeah, and I just thought that's a good price and I put a bid on.
I'm not going to ask you what the price is yet, but I will do later on.
-Have you looked in here?
If I pull this up...
Hey presto! It's on a spring.
-This panel comes out and there are the secret drawers.
-They're the ones.
It's a great design, isn't it?
-Frankly, it's as good as it gets, really, in terms of a box.
Now, that's the good news.
Bad news is I think people have finally realised after 40 or 50 years
of collecting these things that they are completely useless, or more or less.
Now, you bought it...
-Three years ago...
-Go on then.
£75. What do you think's happened to this in three years?
About the same, I would think.
Oh, ho! Not many things have stayed the same over three years.
I reckon you bought this well worth the money.
-And I think it's now worth now what you paid for it then.
So, I'm going to put an estimate of £60 to £100, fix a reserve at 60.
-If it doesn't make more than 60, well, it's only a small loss, and if it makes 100 it's a profit.
And you can say to your wife, "What a sound investment it was, I wish I'd bought three more!"
Well, that's it for our opening set of lots
as we head over the border for our first visit to the auction room.
Just off the A1 lies the delightful town of Stamford in Lincolnshire.
In the 13th century it was one of the 10 largest towns in England.
But can it still deliver the big profit based on its medieval past?
Well, we're about to find out as our lots are going under the hammer here at Batemans Auctioneers.
Liz's posh Aller Vale cat is off to auction and Liz knows just what she'll do if she makes any money.
My daughter throws the javelin for Great Britain,
so the Posh Cat money would go to my Olympic travelling fund.
Sisters Marion and Ronnie's tea set has come from the beach hut with a royal seal of approval.
Princess Diana's father has actually had a cup of tea out of them.
Well, my goodness! A great accolade for it, then.
And, finally, Ron is hoping to get back his £75 spent
on this 19th-century writing slope bought on a whim.
On the rostrum today is auctioneer David Palmer and first up is that piece of Torquay pottery.
It belongs to Liz who, can't be with us today, she's just recovering from a hip operation,
but we have her daughter Goldie with us. So, thanks for stepping in.
-Now, 80 to 120 we've got on this and I'm pretty sure it's going to do that.
-It's going to do about that.
-There's no rocket science here.
-It's not worth 50 and it's not worth 200, so...
But the cat lovers will like it.
-And they're welcome to it.
-And we're going to find out now because it's going under the hammer.
Right, lot 315 is the pottery glazed cat.
£50 for this. 50 I'm bid. 50.
5. 60. 65 now. 70.
At £70. Back 75. 80. 85. At 85.
-90 if you want, either of you two.
-Well, we sold it.
At 85. 90. 95. Make it the hundred.
See, there are cat lovers that are fighting for this.
-Can I sell then at 100? 110.
-It will scare the children!
160. 170. 180. And 5. 185. 190?
190. Back down here at £190 now.
And I sell here at 190.
With the phone at 190.
I'll take the 5 again.
At 190. 5. 200.
It'll cost you 10 this time. 210.
At 210. 220.
230. 240. 250.
Two people have fallen in love with this.
At 260. Are you sure? I'll take your 5. 265? 265.
It came from a good home.
-What did I know?
At 270. Down here at £270.
I sell on the phone.
Yes! Liz will be so pleased!
-That was the purrrfect result.
-Oh, very good.
-No, it was fantastic, yeah.
You see, what we don't like sometimes thousands of you out there absolutely love.
-Yeah, it was fantastic.
What will the money go towards, what's Liz planning to do?
I'm in training for the Commonwealth Games but they're in Delhi.
The money's going towards that. The javelin. The javelin!
-And you were injured when mum was with me.
-Are you better?
-I'm better now, so...
And Goldie's going to go to the Olympics. Yeah.
We're going to watch. How about Charlie and I, free tickets? Are you going to wangle that?
We need a few more ugly cats to sell!
I've been looking forward to this.
We have now, Elizabeth and I, have been joined by Marion and Ronnie,
whose mum and dad owned a department store.
Now, they were the shops, weren't they?
-Every market town had one.
-And you must have had so much fun.
-Working as schoolgirls in the shop.
Yes, school holidays, things like that, yes. Sold Beswick horses by the...
You could certainly do that again now.
Yes! We watch them come up for sale.
Hopefully, we'll give you some money to come home with, or you might even buy something in auction here. OK?
-Here we go.
This is seriously cool. Put it in.
£50? Straight in. 50 quid?
One day you will appreciate this.
It's really quite sophisticated.
£20 to start? 20 I'm bid. 20. 22.
25. 28. At 28 now.
32. 35. 38. 40. 45. 50. 55. Back here at 55.
Take 60 now. At £55. Is that it?
Done then at £55. Done and finished, then.
There aren't beach huts in Stamford, that's your problem.
You know, I was just about to say, "We need somebody with a beach hut."
Oh, Elizabeth, I'm ever so sorry.
-I'm sorry to you.
-I didn't think it would sell.
-It didn't sell.
Bit of a dilemma because you both own it, who's going to keep it?
What do you think, Elizabeth?
Half and half? Be fair! You know, we've got to be fair on these things.
We'll put it in another sale.
Going under the hammer right now we've got a walnut writing slope
with a fitted mahogany interior with a value of £60 to £100.
There's a lot riding on this and all will be revealed.
-It belongs to Ron. Pleased to meet you. And you've brought?
-My grandson Ryan.
-Ryan, how do you do?
-OK. Did you love antiques or football?
-Both? What's your favourite football team, then?
-Liverpool! The money is going towards young Ryan's present for Christmas.
-He wants an Xbox 360.
Right, we need 100 quid or so, don't we?
-Yes, we do, Paul.
-That's what we want.
Do you know though, on a good day, two people falling in love with this, it could get 120.
-I don't know. Ryan, this is the excitement of the auction room. Are you ready for this?
Here we go, it's going under the hammer now. Good luck, both of you.
Lot 180 is the large writing slope.
What shall we put it in at? 60 to start? 65. 70. 75.
-85. 80. 90.
New money. 95. 100. 110?
110. 120. 130?
-160. I'll take your 70, sir. 180? 180.
-I was right.
-200's a world record!
-200 down here. Sell seated at 200.
You're out at the back. At £200 now.
-Net, you can come in if you want.
-At £200. I sell seated.
-210 up there. 220. 220.
Are you sure?
220, seated. 230 if you want.
-She said, "Yes".
-He's jumped the bid by 40 quid.
-I sell down here at 250.
The seated bidder, he wants that box. At £250.
-£250! You've got your Xbox.
-How good is that, Ron?
Fantastic. It's quality. It was all there, it was complete. The condition was great, as well.
So, they loved it.
That was one determined bidder, and let's hope we reel in some more top bids later on.
Coming up, one family with high hopes for their pictures.
But had you got a figure in mind at all?
Well, we were hoping for, sort of, four for the pair, 4,000 for the pair.
But are they being too ambitious?
Right now I'm off to find out how one local fish
has wriggled its way into the very lifeblood of this region.
It's even slithered into the name.
Ely means the Isle Of Eels and was so named because of the city's trade in this little writher.
Many monarchs from Saxon times onwards have tickled their taste buds with this local delicacy.
A valuable commodity, eels have earned the nickname Fenman's Gold.
Every Cambridgeshire village paid taxes in this aquatic animal
and much of the stonework of Ely Cathedral, our valuation day location, was paid for in eels.
This may seem quaint to modern sensibilities,
but these fish were literally worth as much as gold in their day.
Someone who knows all about eels and how to catch them is Cambridgeshire man Peter Carter.
His family have a long tradition of trapping eels
and Peter still uses traditional methods and materials.
-Hi, are you all right? Sit down here, then.
-Good to meet you. I've come to have a chat with you.
Gosh, a lovely place you've got. I've caught you in the middle of making an eel trap, I guess, yeah?
Yeah, or an eel hive as they're known by their proper name.
Hive means something made of basketry.
-You're making this out of willow.
-Yeah, split willow.
That's what this is. It's a fast-growing willow.
And you just split that with a penknife?
No, no. You use a little tool, a little tool like that.
It splits into three. The way it works...
You just drive it right down the shaft.
-Look at that.
How clever is that?
And it's a tool that hasn't changed for centuries, it does the job so well.
That's incredible, isn't it?
So quick. Why... Why do you use willow for eel traps, then?
-Because on the Fen there's so much willow tree.
-And it's there.
-It's there, yeah.
So... So how does an eel trap work?
Well, you can see I've just made the first of the chairs,
-chair is an old Fen word meaning a narrow gap, and if you look in there they've got the spikes.
So, the eel can squeeze in, he'll push these apart, they can't return to come back again.
-So they're trapped.
-Then there's a second set further down which are even tighter.
-And that holds them still then and they can't move.
How long will it... How long will it take you to make this trap?
It takes about three hours to make a trap.
You're very good with your hands. Who taught you?
That's an old family trade, so that's been passed down generations, well, 500 years that we know of.
And every family had their own design.
There were slight differences, but they all work the same way.
-Is it easy to do?
-It's not too bad.
Do you want to have a go? You're welcome to have a go if you want.
-Oh, I've got to, really. I can't just sit here and watch, can I?
-There you go.
Turn the trap so that when you're going round the outside it's always the one nearest to you.
-So, like that.
Oh, have I...
-Have I just ruined that?
-No, you want to go over the top of that one.
-Of course, yeah, under and over, isn't it?
Under and over.
-So, were these eels caught just for eating?
-No, they used to use the skins a lot for making clothing,
footwear, because they couldn't afford silver and gold and, well, eel was their gold. They used to...
-I've come to the end there.
-They used to
dry the skins out and cut them, plait them and make wedding rings.
Even today they still make clothing out of eel skin.
-Yeah. You can get shoes and things like that made of it.
-Tough old things, aren't they?
Very, very strong leather when it dries, yeah. Very strong.
And this is a tradition that hasn't changed for 200, 300 years?
-Well, I was told by an archaeologist that they haven't changed for 5,000 years.
-If something works why change it?
Look at that. Is that... That one's that finished is it, there?
-Can I have a look?
-So, do you try and make two or three on the go all at once?
-It stops the boredom, then.
-It would get boring, wouldn't it?
That's incredible. Fantastic use of local resources and that's what it's all about, really.
Well, I'll leave you to set some traps and I'm going to catch up with you later.
OK, see you later.
Peter usually sets his traps in the evening.
Bait may be live worms, fish or dead animals.
Eels are a bloodthirsty fish and love nothing more than a good bit of roadkill.
The eel season lasts from March until October.
Well, we're filming this coming towards the end of the eel season,
so it's going to be touch and go whether we catch any.
And I can hear Peter coming now in his little boat, so I'm going to climb aboard,
have a chat to him and see what he's got.
Perfect day for this, Peter.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
-Yeah, and we've got the water to ourselves, as well.
-So, eels have quite an incredible life history.
Yeah, they start off in the Sargasso Sea, which is about 4,000 miles away near New Mexico,
and they start off as tiny little flatfish, they look like little willow leaves,
and they drift across on the currents in their millions
and when they get here they come up round the coastline.
They'll then come up on to the Fen.
They'll live here 20, 30 years, nobody really knows,
and then they make the six year trip back again where they lay their eggs and die. They're fantastic.
And what sort of life span is that?
They think 20 years, but there were two eels caught as Wisbech which were over six foot in length
and weighed in at 28 pounds and they reckon there must have been on the Fen a good 80 years to get that big.
The first trap is just here.
-Now you can see it.
-I can see it now.
-So, we just go beyond it.
-So, you put this one in last night?
-Shall I grab this?
-Here she comes.
-There you go.
No, nothing. Shall we try another one, then?
Yeah, let's try another one.
-No, nothing in there.
The traps are very quiet today.
No luck again.
It looks as though we're not going to have any luck today,
so we've gone back to a trap where one was caught earlier.
-Is there one in there?
-We've got one in here.
I think you can see him right at the bottom.
Oh, yeah, I can. Yes, I can. That's quite big, isn't it?
It's a nice size... A nice-sized one. Not one of the biggest.
And how much is one eel worth, then?
-Oh, it's all done on weight.
-It's just in weight, is it?
-Yeah, it's about 4.50 a pound for eels.
What about eel stocks, are they declining?
Massively, especially since the 80s.
-On the Fen especially we noticed when they changed the sluice gates, they took the wooden one's out...
-Which used to let the little elvers through, and put metal in.
-Which is kind of watertight in a way.
-Yeah. And because eels couldn't get through them any more...
What sort of decline was there in stocks?
They say about 95%.
Ooh, that's a lot, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
-That would affect your livelihood a lot.
Oh, it's made a big difference.
Some days we don't get anything in the traps now, where years gone by
you couldn't pull a trap out with them being full of eels.
Happily, new ramps are being installed to allow the elvers through.
That's surely good news as this ancient industry is an important part of the character of the Fens
and it would be tragic indeed to imagine Ely without its eels.
Back at our valuation day Elizabeth has pulled in a namesake with an offering of her own.
-Well, from one Elizabeth to a Liz.
Thank you for bringing in this charming little figure. What can you tell me about her?
Well, I used to occasionally look after an elderly lady and she'd had various hip operations, etc,
and I'd admired this in her front room and she said, "Oh, well have it."
-So I did.
But I got it home and it's really...
-It's in a cupboard. It's been in a cupboard the whole time and it just seems a shame.
-It is a shame.
So, I thought I'd get her out today and see what you thought.
OK. Well, it's by the Royal Worcester factory and it's a little...
A charming little girl seated on a little hillock
surrounded by probably what are intended to be pansies in a dress
which sort of simulates the pansies as well.
And she's cuddling her little black kitten, which is really rather a charming and endearing subject.
She's modelled by Anne Acheson, who has signed it underneath.
Now, Royal Worcester had one or two very high-profile modellers
who had different subjects that they specialised in.
-Some did historical figures, some did equestrian figures.
The most well known of their children figures
were modelled by Dorothy Doughty and her sister Freda
and they were working from the 1930s to the 1950s.
And I believe that Anne was actually a contemporary
or worked alongside in the similar period.
-She's in lovely condition.
-Yes, well, she's just sat there, poor love.
Yes. I mean, she's obviously had a very happy life
so I think realistically she should sell to a collector for between £100 and £150.
-Oh, how very nice.
-£100 discretionary reserve?
-That all right?
-Yes, lovely. That's all right. Thank you very much.
Oh, bless her. Yes.
Well, she's a charmer, I like her.
-Mr and Mrs Ross, isn't it?
-Lovely to meet you.
-Lovely to meet you.
-We're probably related.
Well, we're probably related. I don't know about you, you married into the family...
-Yes, that's right.
-You married into a great name, if I may say so.
You brought me a cardboard box which is frankly less than exciting.
-May I have a butcher's?
What an extraordinary mixture!
Where did all this lot come from?
One of my closest friends wanted to bring it along to the show
and that but she can't make it because she's not very well.
-Oh, dear. So, you've been left the job of doing it.
-So we've been left the job to do it.
-Delighted to represent her.
-Well, let's have a look in here.
Let's start at the bottom.
-That looks fabulous, but frankly is a load of nonsense.
-This looks even more fabulous and is marginally less nonsense,
but we then go on to two very nice
silver continental silver fob watches,
lady's fob watches, small, dainty,
-beautifully decorated enamel dials.
-Very pretty aren't they?
But I'm thinking, well, I'm praying, that this watch here is gold.
Ah, it's got three figures on there, 585.
It tells you it's gold and it's 14-carat gold.
-If it had got 750 on there it would be 18 carat-gold.
It's not... 14 carat gold's not so heard of though, is it?
No it isn't. You're quite right, gold is normally 9 carat...
-Or 18 carat.
Now, it's 20th century and the movement will be Swiss-made.
-It's where they may be good movements.
But the fact that it's gold means it's got some value.
-Beautifully dainty hands,
an enamel dial which has no cracks or chips on it, second hand,
-but I think we've got to take into consideration these dents.
Now, the only well to sell this lot, frankly, is to sell your complete cardboard-box worth I think.
-Because if you start trying to sell these things individually
-you're looking at a pound here and a pond there and a couple of...
-A waste of time. Value?
Come on, the Rosses, let's have a valuation.
-£60. Mrs Ross?
Well, I've got some great news.
-You're both wrong.
-I reckon that that watch itself is worth £150 to £200 even in that condition.
-That's good news, isn't it?
And then you've got a few bits of nonsense, but you've also got another 20 there and probably 20 there,
so 150, 160, 170, 180, 190.
-I think we're quite safely up to £200 to £300.
-And we'll put a reserve on, tell your friend.
-What's the name of your friend?
Tell Sue that we're going to put a reserve on and I think we'll make that the £200
with a little discretion. So, that will be good for Sue.
-And that will make her feel better.
-I hope so. It would make us all feel better, with any luck.
And even I feel better looking at this curiosity, which has certainly grabbed my attention.
What do you think this is? Anybody know? No? No?
It belonged to a craftsman and it is not an eyebrow tweezer.
Definitely not an eyebrow tweezer!
Tony, you've brought something of local interest.
This would be used by a saddler as a vice.
You could put one of the reins through there
where two or three inches of stitching had come undone...
-Because that leather's always moving.
-Tighten this, grip it fast.
And then you could stitch away.
Do you think that would be made himself or the local carpenter or...
-This would have been made by a carpenter.
-And I'd say this is circa 1800, 1820. It's a very early one.
And I want to know how you came across that.
-Are you in the equine business?
-No, not at all.
-I bought it at a car boot sale along with a saddle stand.
And they didn't cost an awful lot of money, I didn't consider it is a lot of money.
-I paid £55 for the two pieces.
I think you did rather well, Tony.
I think a realistic auction guideline would be around about £30 to £50. Isn't it lovely, though?
We have a real family affair.
We have Cherry, Mary and Sophie who have brought some beautiful paintings along
and I think there must be a story behind these, is there?
-My father was a builder-cum-film director.
And we used to buy up houses and redo them and do them up and this
was part of the contents of one of the houses we acquired.
So, he came back one day clutching two paintings.
And some other things, yes.
-Do you remember them actually arriving at home?
-I do, yes.
-Yes, yeah, when I was little, very little. So now there are three of you, who owns them at the moment?
Well, when he died one was left to my husband and one to Cherry,
so that both families got one of the paintings, but with small children around the house,
it got to the point where it was, "Hmm, they're going to get damaged."
-Right, OK. So now you're contemplating selling them.
OK. So, Mummy's thinking of selling them, Sophie, what do you?
I sort of like the geese and the duck and the river.
I quite like the river because it's got, like, two sections.
I like that one better, I have to say.
Well, they are both helpfully signed AA Glendening.
It's helpful up to the point that it now tells us it's from the Glendening family.
The awkward thing is there are two AA Glendenings, one is Alfred Augustus Glendening,
-and his son also Alfred Augustus Glendening.
But it is very difficult to be categoric as to who
was painting which painting at what time because... If that makes sense.
They are in good condition.
They could do with a clean, but I like to see paintings look their age
and I think wherever you've had them hanging they've been very happy, so that's good.
Original frames and nice honest work straight onto the market.
Have you sort of a hope about what you might realise from offering them for sale?
-We'd like enough to go on a decent holiday, each.
-Yes, not together.
-Oh, this harmony will only last for a short time!
Take the money and run. OK. But had you got a figure in mind at all or...
Well, we were hoping for sort of four for the pair, 4,000
for the pair, because we thought, you know, that way there's enough to have a decent holiday
and have the memory of having them and thinking, "We've had good out of it."
-Had something substantial out of it.
At the end of the day, it's going to be the luck of the draw on the day in the marketplace,
but I think given the average value that seems to be achievable I don't think 4,000 is unrealistic.
It might be a little bit steep, but I think it's worth trying
and I think if you try you can at least see how... how you get on.
So if we place a reserve of £4,000, we will try and satisfy your requirements,
hopefully we might get a more, but that will mean that the auctioneer
will then place an estimate to reflect that of perhaps £4000 to £6000, say, and see.
We'll take them in, £4,000 reserve and fingers crossed.
-Thank you very much.
I think that's right, fingers crossed for all our lots today.
Liz has had this figures stuck in a cupboard the whole time
she's owned it, but is pleased with Elisabeth's valuation.
Charlie's found the gold treasure lurking in this box.
The Rosses are delighted for their friend.
And, finally, if their pictures sell sisters in law Mary and Cherry are planning to go on holiday.
-Yes. Not together, no.
At least these pictures may end up reunited
as we head back for our second visit to the auction room in Stamford, Lincolnshire,
one of England's oldest coaching towns, so let's hope the bidders are going to be galloping in.
Going under the hammer we've got a bit of Royal Worcester.
It's a lovely figure, it is well marked, £100 to £150 Elizabeth put on it.
And, Liz, I have got to say, a sparkle of colour! Love the shoes!
Look at that!
The bracelet, the brooch... It's all going on, isn't it? This is it.
458 is the Royal Worcester figurine.
At 55. 60. 65.
At 65. 70. 75.
Yes, look, there's a commission bid down there at the front.
85 in the room. 90 now, net.
90. 95. I've got 95.
Net, you're going to have to go 100.
100. With the internet at £100. 110.
Keep going, net.
It's got a black cat in there.
-120. At 120.
She's cuddling a black cat. 130.
-The cat makes the difference.
-It does. That's what you've always said.
-At 130. I sell to the net at £130.
All done at 130?
-That's brilliant, isn't it?
-That is delightful.
You'll be able to put that towards all these day trips out
you're going on now you're retired.
-A bit of Huntingdon races.
Because I belong to Elite Racing Club.
-Oh, I say!
-I went to York the other week, that was nice.
-Do you have a flutter at all?
-A little flutter, a little profit.
-Not much! She's the lady to know, obviously.
-I think so.
Well, let's see how this next lot goes, shall we?
It's that box of watches.
It's a mixed lot, £200 to £300, we're hoping to get the top end.
There's a lot there, Charlie.
Well, it's going under the hammer now. Good luck.
Lot 590, a little collection of assorted watches,
pocket watches etc. Straight in, 100 for these?
£100? 100? At 100 only.
Done then at 100. 110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160. 170. At 170. 180.
At 180 now. Back here at £180.
-I want you to do better than this.
-This is good.
-Are you bidding? At 180. 180. I sell over here.
190 on the net. 200 now.
200. At £200. 210 on the net?
Net, go 210?
Are they? 210.
With the internet at £210. I sell to the net at 210.
Yes. The hammer's gone down. £210. That went to the trade, didn't it?
-Because there's a lot there.
They can split that up.
Well, I think you've done the hard work.
Go back and report 210, less commission, but I think that's...
-That was fine.
-A meal out for you two.
Great gathering, packed auction room, this is what I love to see.
Hopefully, one or two surprises.
I've been joined by Mary, Cherry and Sophie.
And we're selling the two Glendening oils.
Wonderful. I take it one of you owns one and one owns the other.
Elizabeth, we've got £4,000 to £6,000 on this.
It sounds frightening in cold light of day, but, it's worth the money for the artist.
-It is, exactly.
-I'm quite excited, aren't you?
Very excited! It's going under the hammer now.
Lot 290, the Alfred Augustus Glendenings, the pair of these.
Put them in at 2,000 to start.
Straight in at £2,000. At 2,000.
2,1. 2,2. 2,3. 2,4. 2,5, new bidder.
3,000. 3,1. 3,2.
-Here we go, look. 3,2.
-3,3. At 3, 3 now. This side at 3,3.
-At 3,3. 3,4. 3,5. 3,6. 3,7.
-That was on the phones.
3,9. 4,000. At 4,000 now.
-He's drawing the bids out.
Do you know what? In a way, it's going to be nice
whoever buys these is keeping them...
They'll be able to display them as a pair coupled together,
which is really nice, which is something you couldn't do.
6,1. At 6,100. Is that it?
-You're all out in front.
Spot on valuation, Elizabeth. There's your holidays.
-There's commission to pay, but all credit
to the man on the rostrum. He worked the bids up.
Sophie, you've got that dream holiday and I hope you've enjoyed the show.
Sadly, we've run out of time from Stamford, so until the next time for plenty more surprises, it's cheerio.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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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.