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Torquay

Experts Philip Serrell and David Fletcher join Paul Martin in the seaside town of Torquay. While they go looking for bargains, Paul visits a 16-sided house in Exmouth.


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Well, I'm down here in Devon at this extraordinary 16-sided house, and later on in the programme I'll be

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finding out about how two spinsters filled it full of treasure, but right now, let's hop over to

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the valuation day in Torquay to find some gems of our own. Let's flog it!

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Torquay is often referred to as the Queen of the English Riviera.

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Situated on the South Devon coast, it overlooks Torbay and is within

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striking distance of Paignton and the fishing port of Brixham.

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It was also the home to crime writer Agatha Christie.

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Today, we're focusing our detective work on the Palace Hotel on Torquay's sea front,

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and leading the search for all those important treasures are my team of trusted experts.

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A fine fleet of local people already moored up outside,

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ready to declare their wares,

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and on duty today we have new expert Mr David Fletcher, and of course

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a familiar face, if we can call him a veteran, Philip Serrell.

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And my voice is really playing up today so fingers crossed I'm going to get through it.

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But that's not going to stop me getting on with the job,

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so let's get this huge crowd inside and start hunting through those bags and boxes.

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And later on in the programme, we meet a lady who already has plans to spend her winnings.

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-What have you got in mind?

-I want to buy a laptop.

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A laptop. Gosh, good for you.

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Now, first up at the tables it's Philip who's found something with a hint of romance.

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-So it's Angela...

-Angela, yes.

-And Samantha.

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-Yes.

-And do I get a bit of a sense that there's a relationship here, in terms of you are related.

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-I'm auntie.

-I'm niece.

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Auntie and niece. But clearly, in years, you're so close together.

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-Thank you.

-Not too far.

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Well, you're both a lot younger than this, aren't you? What do you know about it?

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It was my mum's.

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It's always been in the house as long as I've known. That's all I can remember.

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-So you've known that all your life and you've brought it along and you want to sell it?

-Yeah.

-Why?

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My mum's gone into a home, so it's just packed away in my home, and so we just thought we'd sell it.

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Antiques are a bit like clothes, really. Sometimes

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they're fashionable and sometimes they're not fashionable,

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and this was worth more ten years ago,

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which is my way of sort of preparing you for some bad news, really.

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Um, it's a three-handled loving cup.

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-Do you know why they've got three handles?

-To pass it around?

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-Clever girl, isn't she?

-She is.

-Where did you pick that up from, then?

-Oh, I know all about it.

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What they don't know is that I told them that earlier,

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so what you do is you hold it like that. Go on. And that's why it's

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a three-handled loving cup. It does the rounds and we all take a sip.

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Let's just have a look. Royal Doulton, OK?

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That's an impressed mark into the stoneware, so it's Royal Doulton.

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I would date it around about 1890.

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I think, at auction, we could probably put £20-£40 on it,

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and I'd put a reserve of 15 quid on it, something like that, just to ensure that

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you know, it's not going to...

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Can we not up the reserve a little?

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-What?

-Can we not up the reserve a little bit more?

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So what should the reserve be?

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About 30, at least.

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Listen, point of law here, right?

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And this is serious. If you go to an auction and an auctioneer publishes

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an estimate, the reserve, by law, has to be below the bottom estimate.

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So if you want a £30 reserve on it, and it might make it, you've then got to put your estimate at £30-£50.

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OK?

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So, if it were mine and I made a decision to sell it, I'd probably put £20-£40 on it, reserve it at 20.

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If you're lucky, it might make 50 or 60,

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and if you're not, it'll make 20 or 30. But you've got to be happy with that.

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-Yeah.

-Yeah? But I like your style.

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All right?

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Olive, I don't often use the word pretty but this is a very pretty little scent bottle.

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-Yes, I think so.

-It was made in France, and I'm pretty certain it dates from the 18th century.

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It's enamelled onto copper

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and it decorated in the so-called Rococo style,

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which is a French style of the mid 18th century, really.

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It's characterised by these C-scrolls and S-scrolls.

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They are laid in white onto a turquoise ground, and you've got two very nicely

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painted little panels opposing each other,

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each one of which depicts an agricultural landscape.

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The only thing which worries me just a little bit is the mount

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which I don't think is of comparable quality to the bottle itself,

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and in addition to that, it doesn't sit very well on the neck...

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-No, it doesn't, does it?

-of the bottle itself, and I'm concerned that this is later.

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The original mount might've been lost. Who can say?

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Or damaged. It might also be covering

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a bit of damage to the lip of the neck which is a little bit worrying.

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Was it a present? How did you come by it?

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A friend of mine gave it to me.

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OK, and they know that you're selling it?

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Yes, he does.

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He does! OK.

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So he's happy for you to do that and you're perhaps going to go and do something nice with the proceeds?

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-I am, yes.

-What have you got in mind?

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I want to buy a laptop.

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A laptop? Gosh, good for you. You'll have to teach me how to use it when you've got it!

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Oh, that's wonderful.

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I think this is super, and I would estimate it at between £100 and £150.

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Now, I hope that it will make more than that

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because I'm confident that someone will be able to do something really nice with the gilt metal mount.

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So, if you'd be happy with that...

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-Yes, I would.

-OK.

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Well, what we'll do, we'll put it in the sale

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with an estimate of £100-£150 with a fixed reserve of £100, so it won't sell for less than £100.

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-Thank you.

-OK, Olive. Well, you enjoy the proceeds.

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The room is full of people to chat to, so I just hope my voice holds out.

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The great thing about Flog It! is we get out all over the British Isles

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and we love to see things of local interest.

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Now, coming to Torquay, you'd expect to see maritime memorabilia or some Motto ware pottery, but

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I've bumped into Carol and her granddaughter Tessa, hello!

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Who were both born and bred in Torquay.

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-We were, yes.

-But you've also taught me something...

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Bonzo the dog, created in Torquay...

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-By George Studdy.

-A local artist.

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-Yes.

-So tell me a little bit more about him.

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I think he became the artist after he moved away from Torquay.

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He was born and bred and his parents and everything were round here, and after he married,

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-he tried to bring his wife back down to Torquay, which he loved, and he married a Parisian...

-OK.

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and she liked the city life and she didn't like living in Devon.

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-Oh, didn't like the Riviera?

-No, no.

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But he had a fascination for dogs and, um...

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-And this was...

-This was the first one before he created Bonzo, and it

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was taken up by, I think it was the Sketch newspaper, and then he...

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And the rest is history, really, isn't it? Bonzo the dog.

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-And here we've got an annual.

-Yes, I bought that...

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And do you like looking at Bonzo the dog, Tessa?

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-Ah, he's cute.

-He's lovely, isn't he?

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We've got a little dog at home that's very much like him.

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Have you? Is he called Bonzo?

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-Er, no.

-What's he called?

-Ginty.

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-Tin-tin?

-Ginty.

-Oh, gin.

-It's gin and tonic.

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Who gave him that name!

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The person who owned him before I did, but he's such a loveable, naughty little boy, like Bonzo.

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Aw, thank you very much. You taught me something today.

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-Alistair, how are you doing?

-All right, thank you.

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-You're a collector?

-Yes, I am.

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These are a real collectors' lot. Don't tell me yet, cos I'm trying to work out what they are.

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We've got little silver... When you pick them up first,

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they look maybe Chinese silver, but they're not?

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-English hallmarks on the bottom...

-Yes.

-..which we'll look at in a minute,

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and there's a hole in the top which can suggest a whole host of things.

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I've seen bougie boxes and wax jacks that have been altered look like that,

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and I've also seen bigger lignum vitae barrels with a hole in the top where strings come through.

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-Yes.

-Am I getting close?

-Well, yes, I think you are. I think you're well on the track.

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So go on, tell me.

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Well, I think I know what they are. I think they're cotton-reel boxes.

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So you'd drop your cotton reel, you'd pull the cotton out, thread it through there...

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And then you don't have any trouble.

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-Pop that on there and then you just pull your thread out?

-Yes.

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Ah, right. So are these something you've bought or?

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No, they belonged to my first wife's family.

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Her grandfather, so I think they're 1870s or 1880s.

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Let's just have a look at the mark.

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They're certainly late 19th century.

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The maker's stamp is A & J Zimmerman,

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and the anchor tells us that they were assayed in Birmingham.

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So why do you want to sell these?

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Well, they belonged to my wife's family and I've got quite a few

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mementoes of my wife, and I think I can pass those on and use the money to go and collect something else.

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Eyes on anything in particular?

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Well, I have. I'm sure that one exists somewhere.

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I've got one or two English-hallmarked ring boxes...

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-Yeah.

-..which I like to collect, and I'm sure I have never seen one...

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there's a gold one somewhere.

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Start saving, start saving!

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Well, I might pay the money if I can find one. I haven't found one yet.

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I'd better bring you back down to earth sharpish, hadn't I?

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As far as the value of those.

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I think, at auction, these...

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-We can estimate them at £50-£80. Is that all right?

-Yes.

-We'd need to put a reserve.

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We can put that at £50, if you want to give the auctioneer 10% discretion, you can.

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-Yes.

-Or you have it fixed at £50.

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-I'll fix it at 50, thank you.

-OK, so we'll estimate them at £50-£80 with a fixed £50 reserve, and if you have

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a bit of luck, they might even creep up towards the £100 mark.

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Now, I suppose you could call Leica cameras the Rolls-Royce of the camera world.

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The Leica factory is a German factory and, in the

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1930s, they developed the first compact camera with a 35mm lens.

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This has a 50mm lens and I think dates from the 1950s.

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Would I be right in surmising that?

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Yes, my father purchased it

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in the early 1950s.

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OK. And he was a keen photographer, was he?

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Yes, he used it a lot, some very fine photography from the camera.

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Have you still got the photographs he took with it?

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-Yes, and we got a lot of slides made from them.

-Really?

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Yes, very good-quality slides, yes.

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You'd expect him to be an enthusiast because I think, had he not been an

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enthusiast, he would not have bought a really quality camera like this.

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-Yes.

-Right, so are you selling it, really, to raise money for yourself

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or for your father, or are you going to share the proceeds?

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Er, well, he said he'd be quite happy for us to use it any way we wish, and maybe a holiday.

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Well, I think the proceeds won't buy you a holiday, but they'll go towards a holiday.

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OK, that's fine.

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It has to be said that the condition is not very good, really.

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It hasn't been used for a long time, by the looks of it, and it has

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been gathering a bit of dust over the years. It comes complete with this which is the light meter...

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That's right.

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..and this, which does what?

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It's the sunshade for the lens.

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And then, to complete the assembly, really, you have the original handbook.

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-Yes.

-Which again is just a little bit tatty.

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I notice on the leaflet that it says...

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it has a New York address. Did your father buy it in New York?

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Yes, he was in the US at that time. He was working there.

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He was working, OK. Do you have any idea of what it might be worth?

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-Not really.

-I think a serious collector will pay you between £100 and £150 for this,

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so I suggest we place that on it as an estimate,

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with a reserve just below the bottom estimate of say £90.

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-OK, that's fine.

-Would that be OK?

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-Yes.

-Jolly good.

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Well, that's our first group of items to take off to auction,

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so let's have a quick reminder of what's going under the hammer.

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Despite being out of fashion, Philip is still confident

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that the bidders will get a handle

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on Angela's mum's Royal Doulton loving cup.

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Can Olive fulfil her dream of buying a laptop with this beautifully

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enamelled 18th-century scent bottle, with an estimate of £100-£150?

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And I love this lot, a pair of silver cotton-reel boxes.

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Philip is confident he can pull in the bidders

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with an estimate of £50-£80,

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and Alistair is hoping to use the money to buy his dream ring box.

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-I've got one or two English-hallmarked ring boxes.

-Yeah.

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I have never seen one. There's a gold one somewhere.

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And finally, Naveed is cashing in

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this snappy 1950s camera belonging to her father.

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He's produced many photos from this Leica model.

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She's keeping those but the camera has to go.

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And this is where we're selling all those items today...

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Eldreds Auctioneers and Valuers in Plymouth.

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Auctioneer Anthony Eldred is wielding the gavel

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and he has some thoughts on those lovely cotton-reel boxes.

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I absolutely love these.

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I really do. I've not seen anything like this before.

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Philip's put £50-£80 on these. I think one of them's worth that.

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Yes, I would agree with you totally. I have a collection of string boxes.

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I would love to own one of the those for the estimate.

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-I think they will probably make perhaps £100, £150, something like that.

-They're charming, aren't they?

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Absolutely charming.

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And that's the great thing about this show, you come across things you've never seen before,

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-and I've not seen anything like that before.

-And neither have I.

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They're going under the hammer shortly but, first, that loving cup.

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Next up, the three-handled Royal Doulton mug. Now, we've got Angela but where's Samantha?

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-She flew off to Egypt this morning.

-Without you?

-Without me, yes.

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I thought you two went everywhere together.

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-No, no.

-So you've come down from Middlesbrough?

-Darlington, actually.

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From Darlington. A long way.

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Seven hours' drive.

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Philip, we've got to make more than the estimate on this.

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Got a bit more for the petrol.

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80 quids' worth of petrol for a £20 mug. I think I'm going to go.

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-And a hotel room.

-Why have they gone down in value so much?

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I know the scene on it is a stag-hunting scene.

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Now, that's not me. I don't really like that, but it's still quality.

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-It's yesterday's antiques.

-Mmm, well, we are in the West Country.

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There's a lot of hunting, shooting and fishing. Hopefully somebody's going to pick up on this one.

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We're going to find out. Here we go.

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Next, it's a little Royal Doulton stoneware three-handled mug.

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Bid 20 for it, at £20, two anywhere?

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At £20, two if you want it. Two, five...

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At 25, 28, 30, and two now.

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At £32 in front of me.

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At £32, all done?

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Hey, they are out of favour, aren't they?

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Well, that's been a really worthwhile exercise, hasn't it?

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-32 quid.

-That'll get you to Exeter!

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It's the taking part.

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-That's a good job for you cos there isn't anything else.

-Lucky I'm not in need of money.

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In the frame right now coming up is a Leica 50mm camera.

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It belongs to Naveed and we have just put the estimate up, haven't we?

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Yes, I did contact the auctioneer and he recommended that £150 was a good reserve.

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So the £150 now is the lower end, £200 hopefully the higher end, so your end is the same as David's

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high, which is good, which is good, and I'm pretty sure this camera will sell for £150, £160.

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That's what we're looking for. The auctioneer has given this a lot of exposure in the catalogue.

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The bidders will find it.

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There it is. It's got its book with it

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and all sorts of accessories, and I'm bid 135 for it.

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At £135, 40 if you want it.

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At £135, 40 anywhere?

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At £135, then. Quite sure?

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Come on! He's not going to sell it.

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-Oh, just short. 135.

-Oh, right.

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Ohh! I think what you might have to do is have a chat

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to the auctioneer after the sale and see if he knows who the bidder was.

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-They can contact him and let it go at 135.

-OK.

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In the end, Naveed decided to hold on to her father's camera.

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So next up are these lovely cotton-reel boxes.

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Alistair, cracking lot. My favourite lot of the day, I think, these two little silver cotton-reel holders.

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-Really?

-They may be tiny but, for me, they are a big lot and at £50-£80.

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I think I'd pay £50-£80 for one, so buy one, get one free.

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Had a chat to the auctioneer earlier.

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You don't know this, Alistair.

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We both kind of waxed lyrical over them, thinking, "Aren't they lovely?"

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And we thought they'd probably only be worth sort of 50 quid if they didn't

0:18:170:18:21

have the hole in the top that you poke the cotton through, but they're so special, they're so different.

0:18:210:18:26

-I think they are.

-We were sort of thinking, "Well, surely they've got to do £200."

0:18:260:18:30

I mean, that's what I'd like to see, but I don't know.

0:18:300:18:33

-Maybe I'm bigging this up, but I would be prepared to pay £200 for them.

-Are they scarce or rare?

0:18:330:18:39

They're going to really appeal to sewing collectors,

0:18:390:18:42

so if you've got two sewing collectors...

0:18:420:18:43

They're more for that market, really, rather than the silver collector.

0:18:430:18:47

Let's hope they get well over £150, shall we? Here we go.

0:18:470:18:50

It's a little pair of Victorian, embossed cotton-reel holders.

0:18:500:18:54

I'm bid £70 for them. Against you all in the room at 70.

0:18:540:18:58

At £70, against you all. And five and 80,

0:18:580:19:01

five and 90, five, 100 and five. At £105, ten if you want them.

0:19:010:19:07

At £105 at the back there.

0:19:070:19:10

All done at 105?

0:19:100:19:12

Yes, £105!

0:19:120:19:14

Not quite what I was hoping for.

0:19:140:19:16

-I was hoping for a bit more, but that's a good price.

-Yes.

0:19:160:19:19

110, 15...

0:19:190:19:21

Going under the hammer right now, we've got Olive's scent bottle,

0:19:250:19:29

with a value put on by David of £100-£150.

0:19:290:19:32

This is a bit of quality, something from the 18th century.

0:19:320:19:35

-So I'm told.

-Proper, proper antique.

0:19:350:19:38

-We were a little bit concerned about the top, weren't we?

-Yes.

0:19:380:19:42

That worries me a little bit but, apart from that, I think it's really good.

0:19:420:19:46

-Yeah, it's lovely.

-Pretty, isn't it?

0:19:460:19:48

Very. Why are you selling now, though?

0:19:480:19:51

Er, well, because I want to get a laptop.

0:19:510:19:55

-Do you?

-Yes, because I've got a lot of friends abroad and...

0:19:550:19:59

-It's a good way of keeping in touch, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:19:590:20:02

They say, "I'll send you an email," and I say, "You can't."

0:20:020:20:05

Because I haven't got a computer.

0:20:050:20:06

-Yes.

-Well, let's hope we get the top end of David's estimate.

0:20:060:20:09

Ready, Olive? This is it.

0:20:090:20:12

Next, it's an enamelled scent bottle.

0:20:120:20:14

There it is, painted with panels, and several bidders.

0:20:140:20:16

I'm bid £140 for it. Against you all...

0:20:160:20:19

Straight in. Several bidders.

0:20:190:20:22

At £140, then. Five anywhere?

0:20:220:20:24

145, 150.

0:20:240:20:26

At £150.

0:20:260:20:28

At 150, take five if you like.

0:20:280:20:31

At £150, then. All finished at 150?

0:20:310:20:35

-Yes, £150! Spot on.

-Top estimate.

0:20:350:20:39

Yes, spot on. Well, done, David.

0:20:390:20:41

Enjoy the rest of the day, Olive.

0:20:410:20:43

What a good end to our first visit to the auction.

0:20:430:20:45

Now time for something that inspires a bit of travel.

0:20:450:20:50

Tucked into a corner of Devon and looking every inch like it

0:20:550:20:59

belongs in a fairy tale, is A La Ronde in Exmouth.

0:20:590:21:03

Built in the 1790s, this home was created for two spinster cousins, Mary and Jane Parminter.

0:21:030:21:09

If you look closely, you can see it's rather unique.

0:21:090:21:11

There's something so fascinating about this. It's got 16 sides.

0:21:110:21:15

It's a cross between a home and a little temple.

0:21:150:21:17

It's raised on a platform so it's got uninterrupted views of the estuary there, the River Exe.

0:21:170:21:22

It's absolutely stunning, but the ingenious thing is it lets the sun in from every single angle.

0:21:220:21:29

You see, as the sun curls around the day, it floods the building with natural light.

0:21:290:21:34

Back in the 18th century, Exmouth was the choice locale of the rich and fashionable.

0:21:340:21:39

It was a magnet for the cousins who sourced the best land they could

0:21:390:21:42

in a most desirable location with a remarkable view.

0:21:420:21:46

Here, they set about building their fantasy home.

0:21:460:21:49

A La Ronde is a stunning realisation of what must've been quite a whacky

0:21:490:21:53

idea, but what inspired them to build this in a time when,

0:21:530:21:57

architecturally speaking, classical revival with its clean, formal lines was the order of the day.

0:21:570:22:03

Well, the answer is a holiday in the sun.

0:22:030:22:04

You see, what you see here is the result of having your senses stirred

0:22:040:22:08

and your mind seduced by wonderful architecture steeped in religious history.

0:22:080:22:13

You see, it was the done thing back in the 17th and 18th century to escape the bad weather of England -

0:22:130:22:18

a bit like it is today, really -

0:22:180:22:20

and do a grand tour of Europe, taking in all these wonderful things.

0:22:200:22:25

Basically, it's an awful lot of souvenir shopping for our two intrepid explorers.

0:22:250:22:29

Typically, it was the male family members, the young bucks,

0:22:290:22:33

who were sent to experience everything Europe had to offer.

0:22:330:22:36

They returned home one to three years later, full of

0:22:360:22:39

gusto, knowledgeable about every art form and in the ways of the world.

0:22:390:22:44

Now, it's one thing to embark on a grand tour if you're male for a couple of years, but quite another

0:22:460:22:52

if you're female, single and travelling for ten years.

0:22:520:22:55

That's a long time.

0:22:550:22:57

I've come to meet Trevor Adams, a volunteer here at A La Ronde,

0:22:580:23:01

to find out more about Mary and Jane's history.

0:23:010:23:04

-Hello, Paul.

-Hi, Trevor. Thanks for meeting me.

0:23:060:23:09

-Have a cup of tea.

-Thank you. Good timing.

0:23:090:23:10

-It's just started to rain outside.

-Yeah, we're better in here, I think.

0:23:100:23:14

We're in the tea room below the house.

0:23:140:23:17

This was the staff accommodation underneath here, and the kitchens of the house, and the two ladies

0:23:170:23:21

wouldn't have come down here very often. They lived on the floor above.

0:23:210:23:26

-So they had some staff as well, did they?

-They had about three staff.

0:23:260:23:29

Gosh. What were Mary and Jane like?

0:23:290:23:30

Jane was a very strong lady.

0:23:300:23:33

She was independent, she was skilled in languages, she knew a lot about travel, she was talented musically.

0:23:330:23:44

Mary was regarded initially as being very much under the influence of Jane.

0:23:440:23:50

Obviously they were very wealthy. Were they independently wealthy?

0:23:500:23:53

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

0:23:530:23:55

The family came from North Devon, and they were traders,

0:23:550:23:59

and they were trading in sugar and tobacco and wines.

0:23:590:24:05

Mary in fact inherited a lot of money from her mother's side of the family.

0:24:050:24:10

They left in 1784 and they came back in 1794. It was ten years away.

0:24:100:24:15

-A long time.

-It was a long time.

0:24:150:24:17

-And Mary, when she left, she was only 17.

-Gosh that's young.

0:24:170:24:20

She had just been orphaned and she was a ward of Jane, who was her cousin,

0:24:200:24:25

-and Jane was 34 when she left.

-Well, they must've kept diaries.

0:24:250:24:29

Do you know where they went and how they went about it, throughout Europe?

0:24:290:24:34

Yes. They started obviously from London.

0:24:340:24:37

'June 22nd, 1784...

0:24:370:24:40

'set off from London at 5.30am, passed through Greenwich, breakfasted at Dartford.

0:24:400:24:44

'Very fine, pleasant country.

0:24:440:24:46

'Onto Rochester, the river very pretty. June 23rd...

0:24:460:24:51

'arrived Calais half past three.

0:24:510:24:53

'A most charming passage. Sick twice but did not spoil my enjoyment.

0:24:530:24:57

'Went to des Angers, walked around.'

0:24:570:25:01

We know in detail where they went as far as Dijon, but then

0:25:010:25:05

it gets a bit blurred because the diary that they completed

0:25:050:25:11

was put for safe keeping in World War II into a county record office,

0:25:110:25:16

and it got destroyed with bombing, unfortunately.

0:25:160:25:20

But fortunately there was a transcript of the first six weeks, so we know the first six weeks.

0:25:200:25:24

We've got great details of them

0:25:240:25:28

getting involved in various local things, going to plays, descriptions of churches, the museums, the towns.

0:25:280:25:35

'A very pleasant large city with 16 churches, a most elegant cathedral with a beautiful pulpit.

0:25:350:25:42

'We saw the King, a corpulent man, not strikingly agreeable.

0:25:420:25:47

'The Queen is tall and elegant-featured.

0:25:470:25:49

'The playhouse is quite superb, the ceiling most delicately painted.'

0:25:490:25:55

As well as documenting their travels, Mary and Jane Parminter also gathered an extensive

0:25:550:26:00

collection of souvenirs from every leg of their European grand tour.

0:26:000:26:06

Upstairs here, every part of every room is packed with artefacts from their decade of collecting.

0:26:060:26:12

And there are literally hundreds and hundreds of them.

0:26:150:26:19

So you've been on your travels for a few years and you may have purchased some fine art

0:26:260:26:31

and some sculpture, but also lots of curios, things that grab your attention.

0:26:310:26:34

It's a spur of the moment thing. But what do you do when you back home?

0:26:340:26:38

Well, here is the answer.

0:26:380:26:40

It's a cabinet of curios. It's jam-packed.

0:26:400:26:43

There's something in here for everybody, and there's no better way to spend a wet and windy afternoon

0:26:430:26:48

than sitting in here, reminiscing, bringing back all those memories of your travels and your adventures.

0:26:480:26:55

Many of these souvenirs can help us trace Mary and Jane's journey across Europe, like this purpose-built

0:26:550:27:01

table, set with a fan that can only be purchased at the base of the explosive Mount Vesuvius.

0:27:010:27:08

This table, very much like the one over there housing the fan, was also built in 1802.

0:27:080:27:13

That's eight years after they returned from the grand tour.

0:27:130:27:16

This was built in Exmouth.

0:27:160:27:18

Now, the clever thing about this is, the top surface,

0:27:180:27:21

has been inset with most wonderful semi-precious stones, foreign coins,

0:27:210:27:26

and lots of miniature reliefs of Roman emperors and classical figures. It's absolutely ingenious.

0:27:260:27:32

This must've taken hours to do but it really does show a great artistic flare.

0:27:320:27:37

Now, this, to me, is a most sensible way of displaying your little curios brought back from the grand tour,

0:27:370:27:43

rather than stick it in a shoebox and put it away in a cupboard. That's so clever.

0:27:430:27:48

Jane and Mary were travelling at a time when photography just didn't exist in the world.

0:27:540:28:00

The 18th-century equivalent of a picture postcard was to have work produced by an artist.

0:28:000:28:05

One such chap, Piranesi who was based in Rome,

0:28:050:28:08

produced work specifically for the grand-tour market.

0:28:080:28:12

And looking around at the numerous sketches, they must've had quite a time.

0:28:120:28:17

It's not just the contents of this 16-sided house that have their heart in Europe.

0:28:180:28:24

The architectural design does too.

0:28:240:28:27

The benefits of this extraordinary shape can be best appreciated from here,

0:28:270:28:31

the central octagonal around which all the rooms are formed.

0:28:310:28:35

Cleverly, it allows light to flood into every room throughout the day,

0:28:350:28:41

showing off the collection to its best advantage.

0:28:410:28:43

And true to the spirit of the tour, the cousins got the idea from Europe too.

0:28:430:28:48

The story in the family is that it was based on a church in Ravenna

0:28:480:28:54

in Italy, San Vitale, and that is an octagonal church,

0:28:540:28:58

and it's very finely decorated with mosaics.

0:28:580:29:01

As I say, the story is that they wanted that design incorporated into A La Ronde, and you've got here

0:29:010:29:10

the mock mosaics, you've got the shell gallery which really looks like mosaic from ground level.

0:29:100:29:17

You've got the decorations of the feathers in the feather frieze,

0:29:170:29:20

real feathers, and that's supposed to be based on a European design.

0:29:200:29:24

And did they live here happily ever after? Is it a great ending?

0:29:240:29:28

Oh, there's a great ending.

0:29:280:29:30

Jane was the older of the two and she died well before Mary.

0:29:300:29:34

Mary, she set up a charity...

0:29:340:29:37

a local school that she built and financed the children

0:29:370:29:40

and the school teacher, and they built a small church of their own.

0:29:400:29:43

-Oh, lovely.

-Yeah.

-Lovely.

0:29:430:29:45

-And Mary lasted on till she was 82.

-Did she?

-Yes.

0:29:450:29:49

So what happened to this house and the wonderful collection that belongs here once both cousins died?

0:29:490:29:57

Well, Mary left this very long will.

0:29:570:29:59

There was a lot of money involved in her will.

0:29:590:30:03

In today's money terms, she left cash bequests of nearly a million pounds.

0:30:030:30:08

-Wow.

-And there was a lot of land,

0:30:080:30:12

property and so on that she dispensed in the will as well.

0:30:120:30:17

An unusual part about the will, and this perhaps illustrates their independence, is that the will states

0:30:170:30:24

that the inheritance was to be to the nearest unmarried kinswoman.

0:30:240:30:28

They only wanted it to stay in the family, and they wanted it to stay in the female line of the family.

0:30:280:30:34

And in fact, people who married after they inherited should have given it up. Most unusual.

0:30:340:30:41

Now, back to the Palace Hotel in Torquay, where there's still plenty

0:30:570:31:00

of bags and boxes to rummage through.

0:31:000:31:03

Philip has found something that's a real family heirloom.

0:31:030:31:05

Helen, it's warm in here, isn't it?

0:31:070:31:09

-I know.

-Blimey.

-Getting warmer.

-How long have you owned this?

0:31:090:31:13

It's been allocated to me all my life.

0:31:140:31:17

It was bequeathed by my grandmother.

0:31:170:31:20

Do you know, it's funny cos, for me, charm bracelets are very sort of a 1960s, 1970s, Bernie Inns,

0:31:200:31:25

black-forest trifle and all that sort of stuff.

0:31:250:31:29

The age of the fur coat, aren't they?

0:31:290:31:31

-Yeah, they're not fashionable now.

-They're not at all fashionable.

-No.

0:31:310:31:34

I think, if we put this up to auction,

0:31:340:31:37

it's probably going to get scrapped, OK?

0:31:370:31:40

Someone might retain this gold bracelet and melt the charms...

0:31:400:31:46

-Right.

-which are gold. And if we have a look just here, you can see that each link

0:31:460:31:52

is hallmarked just there, and we've got these little charms just here.

0:31:520:31:58

We've got a cow bell, cuckoo clock,

0:31:580:32:01

-there's our padlock. They all had those, didn't they?

-Yeah.

0:32:010:32:04

And, in terms of what this is going to be worth, it's gauged by weight.

0:32:040:32:09

There is no better time to sell this

0:32:110:32:14

cos gold prices are up there. OK?

0:32:140:32:17

Yeah.

0:32:170:32:19

I cheated a bit and I weighed this earlier, and I think it came out at

0:32:190:32:22

around the 60g mark, and I think we can put an estimate on this of £300-£400.

0:32:220:32:29

-Right.

-We'll put a reserve on it of 250 for you, and I think that, if...

0:32:290:32:35

Gold prices fluctuate daily.

0:32:350:32:37

-Providing we don't have a sudden dip in gold prices, it'll sell.

-OK.

0:32:370:32:43

-And it should sell for perhaps just the top side of £400 if things stop the way they are today.

-OK, yeah.

0:32:430:32:49

-Now, are you happy with that?

-Yeah, I am, actually.

0:32:490:32:52

-It'd be good if it made that sort of money. £400.

-It would be nice.

0:32:520:32:55

What are you going to spend that on?

0:32:550:32:56

Probably a holiday, towards a holiday or a weekend away.

0:32:560:32:59

-You could go to Paignton!

-No, thank you. It's a bit too close.

0:32:590:33:03

Well, that's upset Paignton. You can't say that.

0:33:030:33:06

Well, it's a bit too local.

0:33:060:33:08

It's very fanciful, Richard. It's a wonderful bonbon dish.

0:33:140:33:17

-So how long have you had this?

-I've had it since my mum died.

0:33:170:33:21

It was left to me, and prior to that it was in the family, possibly from the '20s.

0:33:210:33:26

It might have been earlier because my granddad was a prisoner of war in Belgium.

0:33:260:33:31

I think it's Belgian and I think he either picked it up in an auction after the war or, if

0:33:310:33:36

it was possible, he would've brought it back from the First World War, but I don't know the full history.

0:33:360:33:41

-No. It is lovely.

-Yes.

0:33:410:33:43

It's got that lovely Baroque style about it, sort of over the top.

0:33:430:33:48

Everywhere you look, there's detail, which is great, and it flows everywhere.

0:33:480:33:52

Where have you had it in the house?

0:33:520:33:54

-I'm afraid it's been in the cupboard because my wife doesn't like it?

-Doesn't she?

0:33:540:33:58

No. No. I like it but I think she thinks it would be just a dust trap.

0:33:580:34:02

Well, I guess it is in a way, isn't it?

0:34:020:34:04

It's going to be very hard to clean.

0:34:040:34:07

But it's in beautiful condition.

0:34:070:34:09

It's not been re-gilded at all, which is good.

0:34:090:34:13

This is a spelter. It's a mixed metal, but you can see it's been hand-finished.

0:34:130:34:18

There's no roughness to it, which is good, which is really, really good.

0:34:180:34:22

-And look at the peacocks.

-Yeah.

0:34:220:34:23

And this is a nice touch as well, having the enamelled flowers.

0:34:230:34:28

But of course, the bowl itself, the glass...

0:34:280:34:32

-that's Venetian.

-Yeah.

0:34:320:34:34

It's the best, and those air-twists...

0:34:340:34:37

-They're beautiful, aren't they?

-Incredible. Mesmerising.

0:34:370:34:40

It is fabulous.

0:34:400:34:43

I would suggest this is

0:34:430:34:46

circa 1860s, 1880, and it would've been a tourist piece at the time.

0:34:460:34:53

-Right.

-Which is quite nice.

0:34:530:34:54

Um, have you any idea of value?

0:34:540:34:57

Years ago, somebody looked at it and said about £200-£300, but that was donkey's years ago.

0:34:570:35:04

It probably hasn't changed much since then.

0:35:040:35:07

Well, I would like to give it a valuation of £200-£300,

0:35:070:35:12

but put a fixed reserve on of £200.

0:35:120:35:13

Yes, I'd like to do that. Yes.

0:35:130:35:15

Who knows? On the day, it could do a lot more.

0:35:150:35:19

-Fingers crossed.

-Good. Yes.

0:35:190:35:20

-Hello, Heather.

-Hello, David.

-I love this.

0:35:290:35:32

We have two for the price of one.

0:35:320:35:35

If you like pocket watches, there's a pocket watch.

0:35:350:35:37

If you like wristwatches, there's a wristwatch.

0:35:370:35:40

Tell me a bit about it.

0:35:400:35:41

Well, I inherited it from my mother, who in turn

0:35:410:35:45

-got it from her great-aunt Julia who always wore quality jewellery.

-Right.

0:35:450:35:50

So it came as the two pieces, but my mother used to wear that piece

0:35:500:35:55

just on a gold bow as a brooch that she used to wear most times that she went shopping.

0:35:550:36:01

-So she used it every day?

-Yeah.

0:36:010:36:03

I think what's happened here is that,

0:36:030:36:07

conscious of the fact that pocket watches

0:36:070:36:09

were going out of fashion,

0:36:090:36:11

somebody has made this bracelet mount to match the pocket watch.

0:36:110:36:17

Pocket watches became unfashionable at the end of the 19th century.

0:36:170:36:22

-The pocket watch is in an 18-carat gold case, which is French.

-Yes.

0:36:220:36:30

The movement is Swiss and the dial is enamel.

0:36:300:36:34

The bracelet itself is English, marked 18-carat, and the two have

0:36:340:36:43

been, as I say, married together to the extent that the detail here...

0:36:430:36:48

the winder and the loop...

0:36:480:36:49

have actually been copied on the mount, which I think is fascinating.

0:36:490:36:53

So the whole thing is symmetrical.

0:36:530:36:56

-Why do you want to sell it?

-Well, in this day and age, you can't really wear it.

0:36:560:37:01

It's not suitable or practical, so I'd rather see it go to someone

0:37:010:37:05

that could enjoy it and have the lifestyle...

0:37:050:37:08

And you can buy yourself a nice, practical watch.

0:37:080:37:10

-Well, I'd like to buy a nice piece of jewellery that I could wear every day.

-Something that's wearable.

0:37:100:37:17

Wearable, quality and small.

0:37:170:37:19

I quite agree. That's a lovely thought.

0:37:190:37:21

I consider these together, and of course they should

0:37:210:37:25

be sold as one lot, to have a value in the region of £200-£300.

0:37:250:37:30

-Right.

-I'd suggest a reserve of just under £200.

-That would be fine.

0:37:300:37:34

-Say 180.

-That would be fine.

0:37:340:37:37

Now, time for our second visit to the auction room in Plymouth.

0:37:370:37:40

And top of the list to sell is Helen's gold bracelet.

0:37:420:37:45

Philip's confident it will charm the gold-diggers

0:37:450:37:48

and reach the top end of his £300-£400 estimate.

0:37:480:37:52

Next, it's my find...

0:37:540:37:55

this beautifully decorated bonbon dish,

0:37:550:37:58

looked after by generations of Richard's family.

0:37:580:38:01

And finally, will the bidders fall for Heather's gold pocket watch

0:38:010:38:05

and wrist mount which David thinks are a real bargain.

0:38:050:38:09

But before we find out, let's sell the charm bracelet.

0:38:160:38:20

-All done.

-Helen, I think we'll do well on the charm bracelet.

0:38:200:38:23

I really do. We're looking at £300-£400 which Philip has put on.

0:38:230:38:27

Scrap value is well up on gold right now, so it is a good time to sell. Did you ever wear this?

0:38:270:38:33

I wore it actually quite recently, which instigated my selling it

0:38:330:38:37

because it kept catching on clothes and it was quite heavy to wear.

0:38:370:38:41

So I thought I might as well get rid of it. I'm not going to wear it again now, so...

0:38:410:38:45

Well, let's hope we get that top end.

0:38:450:38:46

Yeah, I think they sort of went out with Bernie Inns and black forest gateau, didn't they, really?

0:38:460:38:51

-They did a bit, yeah.

-Will any of them ever come back?

0:38:510:38:54

I don't know, but it's a way of investing money in something which you can quite easily liquidate.

0:38:540:38:58

Let's see how we get on.

0:38:580:38:59

Next, it's a 9-carat gold curb link bracelet, ten charms.

0:38:590:39:05

It's bid £250 so start it at 250,

0:39:050:39:07

at 260, 270, 280, 290, 300, and 10 and 20 and 30 and 40.

0:39:090:39:15

At 340, 350, 360, 370, 380, 390, 400 and 10. At £410, then.

0:39:150:39:25

All done at 410?

0:39:250:39:27

£410!

0:39:270:39:28

Well, it's better than sitting in a jewellery drawer, isn't it?

0:39:280:39:31

Exactly, yes. What are you going to do with the money?

0:39:310:39:34

I think I might buy another piece of jewellery that I will wear.

0:39:340:39:37

That's great. Putting money back into the trade. That's what we love to see.

0:39:370:39:40

Next up, the bonbon dish, and it's my turn to be the expert, and I've just been joined by Richard.

0:39:460:39:50

We've got £200-£300 on this, we've got a packed auction room.

0:39:500:39:54

Everybody's been bidding like mad, so fingers crossed this has been spotted. No regrets?

0:39:540:39:59

-No regrets, no.

-No second thoughts.

0:39:590:40:02

Well, fingers crossed we get the £200-£300.

0:40:040:40:06

I think this is real quality. This is it.

0:40:060:40:09

Next, it's a 19th-century pressed metal and glass bonbon dish.

0:40:090:40:14

£160 starts that. At 160, 70 if you want it.

0:40:140:40:18

At £160, 170, 180, 190 and five, 200. At £200 here.

0:40:180:40:25

On my right at 200.

0:40:250:40:28

At £200, take ten. You all done, then? And ten.

0:40:280:40:31

At 210, 220,

0:40:310:40:33

230, 240.

0:40:330:40:37

At 240, against you at the very back. At £240, bidding's near me.

0:40:370:40:42

Are you all done at 240?

0:40:420:40:45

Brilliant. Well, it's gone. 240, mid estimate. Ever so pleased with that.

0:40:450:40:49

-Very pleased indeed.

-Pleased?

-Yeah, excellent.

-It's gone.

-Yeah.

-It's gone.

0:40:490:40:53

-Yeah, it's been in the family for a long time.

-Yeah. Well, good luck anyway,

0:40:530:40:57

and enjoy the money, won't you?

0:40:570:40:59

Heather, this is a super item. I know it was your mum's.

0:41:050:41:07

It's the watch mounted into the bracelet, and she wore it a lot.

0:41:070:41:10

We've got £200-£300 on this, put on by David, our expert.

0:41:100:41:14

It's rare and it's unusual.

0:41:140:41:15

-Yes.

-I can understand why you want to sell it.

0:41:150:41:18

It's not that practical, is it?

0:41:180:41:20

It's not practical but it's gorgeous.

0:41:200:41:22

Your mother used to wear this as a brooch.

0:41:220:41:25

Yes, most days she'd wear it on a suit...

0:41:250:41:28

-Oh, bless.

-..and she loved it.

0:41:280:41:30

You could wear it either way, showing the clock or showing the back with the scrolling.

0:41:300:41:34

She had real style, then, didn't she? Oh, I could just imagine it.

0:41:340:41:37

-It is a good piece.

-Yeah, absolutely. I love it.

0:41:370:41:40

Well, let's find out what the bidders think. Here we go.

0:41:400:41:43

It's a ladies' 18-carat gold, cased, half-hunter keyless pocket watch.

0:41:430:41:48

I'm bid £200 for it exactly.

0:41:480:41:53

-Straight in.

-210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270.

0:41:530:41:59

At £270. 280, 290.

0:41:590:42:03

At 290, still in the room.

0:42:030:42:06

300 and 10. Against you seated.

0:42:060:42:10

320, 330, 340, 350, 360, 370, 380, 390, £400, and 10.

0:42:100:42:23

At £410 now.

0:42:230:42:25

Bidding's standing at £410.

0:42:250:42:28

Last chance, then. All done at 410?

0:42:280:42:31

That's a good sound.

0:42:320:42:34

-A solid whack of the old gavel.

-I didn't expect to get that much.

0:42:340:42:38

I thought I'd get maybe a couple of hundred and I'd buy some premium bonds. It's something I've never had.

0:42:380:42:44

Well, treat yourself. Treat yourself, pamper yourself to a nice

0:42:440:42:47

-little long-weekend break.

-That 'd be lovely.

0:42:470:42:49

Well, that's it. It's all over.

0:42:520:42:54

It is for our owners, and the auction has literally just finished.

0:42:540:42:57

We've had a fantastic day here.

0:42:570:42:59

The highlight for me had to be the big smile on Heather's

0:42:590:43:02

face, because her family heirloom turned out to be a real winner.

0:43:020:43:06

That gold bracelet went for £410.

0:43:060:43:09

I hope you've enjoyed the show so, till the next time, from Plymouth, it's cheerio.

0:43:090:43:14

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:340:43:36

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:360:43:38

The Flog It! team visit the seaside town of Torquay, where presenter Paul Martin is joined by experts Philip Serrell and new man in town David Fletcher. There's plenty to keep the knowledgeable pair busy, but that doesn't stop Philip from dishing out a bit of history. All the experts' valuations are put to the test when the lots go off to auction in the nearby town of Plymouth.

Meanwhile, Paul takes time out to visit a 16-sided house in Exmouth that was inspired by Europe, then designed, occupied and furnished by a pair of travel-loving spinsters.