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When Scottish-born doctor Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin
he changed the course of medical history
and later on the in the show we'll be looking at how this Nobel Prize winner did it.
Welcome to Flog It!
And this is where Fleming was born, Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire.
Crowds have gathered outside today's venue, the Palace Theatre,
at this busy junction at the heart of Kilmarnock.
Judging by this lot, we've certainly got our work cut out.
Well, there's a great show in town today and all these players
are hoping to take centre stage with their prized possessions.
Our two leading stars are David Fletcher and James Lewis,
spot on experts here. Well, it's now 9:30,
it's time to get the doors open, get the show on the road and, as they say, let's raise the curtain.
As everyone gets settled in here's a sneak preview of what's coming up on today's show.
James finds time to give untrained fashion advice for the style-conscious modern lady.
Forget going to Louis Vuitton, one of these top London stores
and paying a couple of hundred pounds for one of those, why not buy that?
But first, James has spotted a familiar favourite
and has invited owner, Leticia, to take a seat at his table.
Leticia, tell me, what is a piece of pottery made in the Midlands in England doing up here in Scotland?
-I really don't know. It belonged to my grandmother.
-And I remember it from when I was a child in her house.
-Is she local?
-Yes, yes, she was Scottish, too.
-And is she a collector of this sort of thing?
-Yes. She did.
She liked to collect antiques and she had quite a lot of interesting pottery, especially vases, she liked.
-The rim, the metal rim we have here, is probably silver because it's tarnished black.
-If we give it a bit of a rub...
..it will come up silver.
But the reason why the metal rims were added is because the glazes were quite delicate and...
-To stop it chipping.
-It would chip easily. Yeah.
-That's quite a clever idea isn't it?
Yeah. But if we turn this over we've got a very clear impress mark, Ruskin Pottery, West Smethwick 1909.
Now, Ruskin was a factory that started in 1904 with a chap called William Howson Taylor.
Some of his marks include a little scissor mark,
-just looking like a pair of scissors with the blades open.
And Ruskin's main selling point was the variety of glazes.
-You get crystalline glazes in the 1930s, you get lustre glazes,
but you also get this, which is known as sang de boeuf, or oxblood.
This is the most popular of all of them and this is dated 1909.
-Of course, that's just five years after the factory opened, so it's lovely and early.
-But do you like the glaze? Look at the colours.
-Yes, it is unusual.
The blood red, we've got the little white specks and we've got this wonderful,
it's almost like a moonlight haze that comes round over it.
So, why is it here?
Well, we have a modern house and I've lots of ornaments and I have a lot of jewellery that was my grandmother's
so that's got more sentimental value for me than the vase, I think.
And where do you keep it? In the cupboard or out on display?
-No, it sits on top of the piano.
-So, tell me, what do you think it's worth?
-I have absolutely no idea.
Would £60 to £100 be OK for you as an auction estimate?
-Yes, I think so.
-You'd be happy at that?
-How about £100 to £200?
-Well, that would be better.
Yeah. Two to three?
-Keep going. Where do you want me to stop?
Do you know, I love this, I think it's a great vase,
-and, with a sang de boeuf glaze, I think it's worth £400 to £500.
-Is that all right?
-Might make a bit more.
-Might make six on a good day.
And a reserve of four?
-Happy with that?
-Yes, I'll take your advice, yes.
Fantastic. Let's stick it in at that and see what happens.
Whilst our experts take a look around at the items coming in today,
I've spotted something that's right up my street.
Eric, you brought this along to the right person
because I am a big football fan.
James and David love their rugby and cricket but I prefer football.
Tell me a bit about it, because I know it's a Scottish cap.
Well, I got it from my wife's uncle in 1968.
-And how did he come by it, then?
-Well, he was really pally with
the Rangers players, the captain, he gave it to my wife's uncle.
What a lovely trophy to have.
It's dated 1902 to 1903 season, it is obviously from the home internationals
-because it says here Scotland v England.
Sporting memorabilia is big business if you have the star of the right team.
Forwards tend to fetch a lot more money than defenders and, of course,
if this player played for someone like Celtic or Rangers, clubs that are big now,
it's going to fetch a lot more money, so do we know who he was and who he played for?
He was a Smith and he played for Glasgow Rangers.
He's going to be well sought-after, very collectable.
Do you know, the condition, it isn't too bad for its age, is it?
It's still got all its braiding, its gold wire work,
which is what the collectors will look for.
It's got its strong hue of blue, and the emblem is still all there, Scotland v England.
Why do you want to sell it?
Well, I've got a son and a daughter and four grandchildren, so...
-Not one of them can own it really, you've got to split it up and that's a fair way of doing it.
-Have you any idea of value off the top of your head?
If we put this into auction with an auction guide of £1,200 to £1,500
and hopefully we'll get £1,800 to £2,000, that's what I'm hoping for.
-I'd like this to see £2,000 on a good day.
-Great, that's fine.
But we do have to tempt the bidders in. Happy with that?
-OK, I'll see you at the auction.
-What do you do for a living?
Well, I'm retired now but still do a little bit of house clearing.
And I guess that's where you came by this?
-Yes. It was lying tucked away in a cupboard.
-So it wasn't hanging on the wall?
Edward, this is a very attractive subject, typically late Victorian.
It has all those sentimental elements that the Victorians loved so much.
You know, a pretty, young mother with a pink bloom on her cheeks,
a little tubby baby, or toddler, I suppose, a spray of flowers, a pink frock.
I think it's only fair to say it's not a great picture...
-although it's a charming composition.
-Technically, there are flaws.
I think the mother is lovely,
she looks terrific.
Her hands, I must say, are not terribly well painted.
You can learn a lot from looking at the way an artist paints hands.
-There is a certain amount of damage here.
Bitumen has taken over and rather...
corroded the varnish and is actually starting to eat into the canvas a bit.
Is it the sort of picture you like?
It's quite attractive. It attracts you to it.
-And the frame, I think it's a lovely frame.
The frame, I should mention, I think is period, contemporary with the picture itself.
-Again, a bit of damage down there.
It's not a connoisseur's picture, for the reasons I just explained -
the quality just isn't quite there, but I think it's a good decorative image.
-I would suggest an estimate in the region of £100 to £150.
-Does that sound OK to you?
-Yeah, that sounds all right with me.
I think a covering reserve would be in order at a bit less than £100.
-Shall we say £80?
-That'll be fine, yeah.
-OK, and what will you spend the money on?
Well, I'll split it with my son-in-law and probably go out for a meal.
You'll have to give some proceeds to the person who helped you clear the house.
-Yes, it was my son-in-law.
-It was your son-in-law. OK.
Alison and Eileen, tell me who is the owner of this lovely little bag?
Well, we both own it. We're sisters and this was our grandmother's.
Was it? Oh, so is it the sort of thing you had in your dressing up box as little girls?
-Probably was. We're not sure it was.
-Played ball gowns and things.
Yes. I think that would be about it.
We were allowed to look at it but not touch.
Oh, really? So it's got lots of childhood memories.
-Yes, it has.
-Yes, it has.
It's a lovely little bag. I mean, it is so classic of the Art Nouveau period.
You know, it has these wonderful sinuous lines and stylised flower heads and foliage.
Art Nouveau basically was a movement totally inspired by nature.
Although it isn't a true cartouche, that was left plain
so that you could engrave your owner's initials onto it, and if we open it up,
there we have little divisions, one for probably a little ivory notelet
for when you were at your ball, you'd have a little ivory notelet and a pencil
so you could make sure you knew who your next dance was with,
a little aide-memoire, and then little sections in the centre for sovereigns and maybe for stamps,
and a little thing at the end for a bit of paper money if you were feeling flush at the time.
And the idea of the ring at the top would be that that would be put through the lady's finger
and when she was dancing she'd be able dance with the purse held high.
No pockets, of course, in the dresses,
and she wouldn't have to worry about where she'd left her purse while she was dancing.
The three very clear marks, the lion passant, which means it's English sterling silver,
and then we've got the Chester hallmark, there, with the three wheatsheafs
and the K for about 1910. 1910, 1911.
Forget Louis Vuitton, a top London store, and paying a couple of hundred pounds for one of those,
why not buy that?
-And you know none of the other ladies at the ball are going to have one of these.
-And the little things inside?
-Let's have a look. Isn't that lovely?
A little souvenir from the exhibition of 1901.
This, of course, was the great time of exhibitions.
The first one, the first grand one, London 1851,
and they were every sort of five or ten years all through that period.
It's gilt brass with a blue enamel front.
-It's not going to be worth an awful lot.
-But I think it's quite fun to keep it in the purse, don't you?
-I bet that's been in there for almost a hundred years.
-Why sell it?
-Well, it's been just hidden away. We keep it in a cabinet...
..so it would be nice for somebody to appreciate, maybe a collector or somebody who could enjoy it.
OK. I think...
if we put an estimate of £60 to £100 on it, that's a fair and realistic estimate.
-I hope it will go towards the upper end of that.
So I think we should put a reserve on it of 60, protect it at that,
we'll take it to the auction, do our best and see what happens, eh?
-Well, see you there.
-Thank you very much.
-Yes. Look forward to it.
We're halfway through our day.
We've found some fantastic items, which means we're going to put those valuations to the test.
It's off to the auction room and, as you know, anything can happen, so while we make our way over there,
here's a quick rundown, just to jog your memory, of all the items we're taking with us.
We've just seen it, Eileen and Alison's family silver in the shape of a lady's purse
complete with souvenir charms from Glasgow's 1901 exhibition.
This charming piece was nearly lost in a house clearance.
Edward spotted it and David feels it may bring in a bit of spending money for the dining-out fund.
Next, with strong links to Scotland, Eric's footballer's cap.
James and David love their rugby and cricket but I prefer football.
And, with an estimate of £1,200, I hope someone will be as taken with it as I am.
And finally, a piece of Ruskin.
Good oxblood colour and shape.
Leticia is hoping that, with a reserve of £400, it's going to draw in a bid or two.
We've come across country
to the Great Western Auction Rooms in Glasgow, where we're selling.
First, I caught up with auctioneer Anita Manning to share some thoughts on the Scottish cap.
Now, hopefully this is going to be very rare, this is one of my valuations. Eric brought this in.
It belonged to a left back, a chap called Smith, who played for Scotland only three or four times.
I did more research on it. This chap, a very fast winger,
a great player, tiny little guy, I think he was only 5'6",
very light and very fast.
Now, the added thing with this particular cap, I felt sort of 800 might be about the price...
-..but when I did my research I realised that this cap may have been given to Alexander Smith
at the match in March 1902.
Now, at that match there was a disaster during the match.
-Part of the stand fell in, people were killed, 500 people were injured...
..so it may be that that fact will give this...
-A little bit of added interest.
-A little bit of added interest.
So I'm happy to give it a good try.
And let's just hope it hits the back of the net.
That's interesting research. Let's see how it does later, but for now it's on with auction.
It's amazing what you can find in a house clearance. This is one of those lots.
-It belongs to Edward here who did that house clearance.
And this was on the wall, was it, or just lying around?
-Lying in the loft.
-Good for you for picking it up.
-The builders would have come in and skipped the whole thing.
-That's what they do.
-Good luck. This is it.
Lot 369. Now, this is a 19th-century oil, ladies and gentlemen.
Can we say £300?
£300 for the Victorian oil?
-Bit optimistic, I feel.
Will you start me at £100? 100 bid.
With you, sir, at £100, the Victorian oil, mother and child.
Any advance on £100?
Seems cheap at 100.
Any advance on 100? All done at 100?
-Yes, sold it. £100, bottom estimate.
-That's OK for a house clearance find.
-Yes. Better than going in the skip.
Next up, a silver purse and two book charms
-belonging to two very charming sisters, Eileen and Alison. I got that right, didn't I?
Did you see this little purse and the book charms as you were growing up as little girls in Mum's house?
-Yes, we did.
-I don't quite know when we saw it but we definitely saw them over the years.
Lots of memories. Lots of memories here, James.
Yeah, a sweet little thing, and there is lots of silver in the sale.
-Yes, our dealers are going to be here.
Fingers crossed, somebody is going to pick up on this, it'll find a collector and we'll get the top end.
-Here we go.
And a lovely little Art Nouveau embossed silver purse.
It's Chester 1910 and it has two little book charms,
one depicting scenes from the Glasgow exhibition of 1901.
Lovely wee thing there.
I'm holding bids, ladies and gentlemen,
I'm holding bids and I can start the bidding...
-Eileen this is good.
It's with me at 30. 40, 50...
-I've got excited then.
-60, 70. 80, I'm out.
It's on the floor at £80.
It's on the floor at 80.
Any advance on 80? 80, 90, 100, 110, 120.
£120. It's with you, sir, at 120.
Any advance on 120? All done at 120? 120.
-That's a good result.
-Happy, very happy.
-Very happy. Very happy.
Well, you know what they say don't you? If the cap fits, wear it.
There's a clue to what's next.
Yes, it's that Scottish football cap, it belongs to Eric and it's just about to go under the hammer.
Now, I had a quick chat with Anita before the auction started.
I just hope, because it is a one-off,
it's so rare, that people will go that little bit extra to buy it.
So hopefully we're going to get £1,200 for it.
-Hopefully. We're going to find out right now. This is it.
Lot 218 is this Scottish international football cap,
Scotland versus England 1902-1903,
presented to Alexander Smith of Rangers football club.
Will you start me at £1,000, ladies and gentlemen? 1,000?
600, then? 600, 600, 600 bid...
It's going in the wrong direction.
Any advance on 600? 650.
700, 750, 800,
900, 950, 1,000...
-It's creeping up.
Any advance on 1,000?
Any advance on 1,000?
Any advance on 1,000?
-It didn't sell, Eric, I'm ever so sorry.
Yeah, I think that £1,000 was a psychological barrier, it was a round figure,
one big round figure, and people didn't want to push over that.
It's disappointing news for Eric.
Maybe the crowd are more pottery-driven.
Well, I've certainly been waiting for this one, it's that lovely Ruskin pottery vase.
-It belongs to Leticia, here. It's been on your piano for 30-odd years.
This is it.
Lot 568 is the Ruskin pottery, high-fired cylindrical vase.
Start me at 400.
-200. 200 bid.
Any advance on 200?
Any at 220?
240, 260, 280, 300,
320, 340, 360, 380...
And there's a telephone bid.
400 on the other phone.
420, 440, 460.
With Les on the phone at 460.
All done at 460, 460.
-£460, got it away.
-Is it within estimate?
-That's really good.
-Happy with that?
-Yes, very happy.
-What will you put the money towards?
-A nice family meal to start with.
-Well, enjoy it, won't you? And treat yourself, as well.
Well, that is a good price and a perfect present for somebody
with an eye for detail and a passion for design.
And later on we'll see how I could have been quite passionate about an item given half a chance.
You zoomed in on it, you focused it, you grabbed it.
We'll be back at auction later but, for now, I'm heading down to London.
I'm on the trail of a man who took the very same journey that I've just done,
from Scotland down here to London, but he was only 16 years old and he had the good fortune
of being in the right place at the right time.
And his name was Alexander Fleming.
Many things that we rely on from day to day were the result of a complete but harmonious accident.
Velcro, nylon, Teflon. Safety glass, even,
but can you begin to imagine a world without sugar substitutes?
What about something that could change the fate of mankind?
How about medicine?
Penicillin, a wonder drug, yes.
The identification of the fungus penicillium chrysogenum
was one such blissful accident that changed the face of medicine forever
and it sparked off an antibiotic revolution, saving millions and millions of lives in the process.
The humble laboratory now, the Fleming Museum at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington
is where Scotsman Alexander Fleming made his monumental discovery.
Born to a farming family in Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire in 1881,
the young Fleming, equipped with his natural desire to learn, arrived in the big city of London.
After a dismal job as a shipping clerk he set about a career in medicine.
In 1901, at the age of 21, he began at St Mary's hospital as a medical student
and then worked there when he was qualified, staying for 49 years.
Although he had wanted to become a surgeon,
places were limited, so he began a career as a bacteriologist.
It was 1928 and, as always, Fleming's desk was awash
with numerous test tubes, bits of equipment and old petri dishes.
I'm starting to build a picture of what it must have been like
when things we take for granted, like sanitation and the NHS, did not exist,
and, to gain a better understanding of what penicillin has meant for mankind and medicine,
my journey across London continues. I'm off to speak to GP, Gillian Jenkins.
-I think we've painted a picture here with the right setting.
-I think it's wonderful.
Tell me about the early part of the 1900s.
The early part of the 1900s, for most people, still involved
very little knowledge about nutrition, about sanitation.
People, on the whole, lived rather sort of messy lives.
Your average person didn't get the sort of medical treatment we'd expect.
They hadn't got the money or access to doctors,
so people lived with a lot of squalor that we wouldn't accept now.
And the average life span was really only about 50.
-Really? So young.
In general, what were most people dying of?
On the whole, it was infections that carried a lot of people off.
There was no real good treatment for them.
Let's talk about some of the methods used for treating patients. I know some of them are quite horrific.
Yes. Before modern medicine as we know it, medical care was fairly basic and, yes, fairly...
-To say the least.
We've got here, all sort of lotions and potions and cure-alls which I dread to think what's in them,
but things like arsenic were used.
-You sort of have the very...
Leeches, blood-letting, and then basic surgery, if you couldn't sort of suck the blood out of it,
-or paint it over with some toxic lotion, you'd hack it off.
Often without anaesthetic, or much anaesthetic.
People didn't understand fully about infection and preventing it.
How did Fleming go about his work?
Fleming seemed to live in the typical type of scientist's lab
but maybe with even less order than, say, some of the other guys he was working with at the same time.
He had no access, of course there were no computers, so he didn't have
any of the hi-tech stuff we'd expect today.
He would have simple methods, he would have simple equipment,
he'd have a microscope, he'd have petri dishes,
he lived in this rather messy environment with things everywhere
and dust and dirt, and it was the serendipitous way that he made the discovery about penicillin.
How did that come about, then?
-Well, Fleming tended to have his lab in a bit of a mess...
..and he didn't clear up after himself and it benefited him in the simple way that he went away,
having left petri dishes of this agar,
trying to culture different bacteria which he was looking at - how bacteria grow.
When he came back he discovered that the blue-green common mould that we see,
-that grows on bread...
-Bread, cheese and things.
It landed, because of his open window, some had grown on the agar gel, but not only had it grown there,
the staphylococcus had been killed off by it.
So he realised, where perhaps other people hadn't made the link,
that the mould was producing something that killed bacteria.
-And it's from there on he worked.
How does it actually work?
We know that penicillin works on the cell wall.
The process involves something called beta-lactam and it breaks down the cell wall of the bacteria
-so that when it tries to reproduce, or even before then, the cell lyses, it bursts...
So it causes the cells to just rupture instead of being able to multiply and continue the infection.
-Talk about some of the illnesses it can cure.
-An awful lot of infections, chest infections...
-Throat, skin, urinary tract infections, kidney infections.
In particular, certain groups you've got, particularly soldiers in wars where the other,
the old way of them being treated was so ineffective that most of them either died or needed amputation.
-It offered them health when they didn't have any option.
-Yeah, a new lifeline, basically.
It took another 12 years for penicillin to emerge as the miracle drug.
Although Fleming's observations did not go unnoticed, nothing substantial came of his findings
until a team in Oxford took up the research, enabling them to identify a way of purifying the substance.
By 1939, and the onset of World War II, penicillin was being produced and effectively administered
and lives were being saved.
In 1944 Fleming was knighted, his contribution to the world of medicine was acknowledged.
In 1945 he was awarded, along with two other scientists, the Nobel Prize for medicine.
From London I'm heading back up north to Fleming's home town and our valuation room
in Kilmarnock's Palace Theatre.
Deirdre, tell me about it.
Well, it belonged to my great aunt and when she died,
her husband, my great uncle, had to go into a home
and they asked me to clear the house and to keep anything that I wanted
to keep and just distribute it among family and things.
So I tried to give it away to...
all the members of the family. I asked them if they wanted this pot and nobody wanted it, so I thought,
"Och, I'll just keep my teabags in it in the kitchen," so that's what it was used for.
So their loss is your gain.
It wasn't made for teabags, of course.
It was made in Wemyss in the Wemyss pottery,
not a million miles from here, in Fife,
and it is typical of the sort of product
-that was made in that factory during the 1920s.
Hand painted in the freest possible manner, really.
Crafted objects a million miles, really,
-from the Art Deco objects we see from the same period.
This is different altogether, really.
More sophisticated, some would say, others might disagree,
far more interesting, I think and above all, more personal, really.
These products are known as Wemyss
in honour of Lady Grosvenor who lived at Wemyss Castle.
-Right, I didn't know that.
-Well, that's how it gets its name.
I dare say it was made to contain
something like sugar, possibly tobacco,
you know, a household commodity...
-So, your teabags are not a million miles off the mark.
Why do you feel you don't need it any longer?
Well, I looked at a magazine one day and it said it was a collectable
and I wasn't using it as a collectable
and I'm sure there are people who collect this kind of thing.
Good point, and a collector will probably look after it better...
-..than you would be able to if you are using it every day.
-With the best will in the world you're going to chip it or knock it if you're not careful.
And what will you use the money for?
I've got grandchildren that I see every day and it would be nice
to have some play equipment in the back garden for them to play on.
-A swing or a trampoline or something.
That's a great idea. So have you any idea what it might be worth?
More than that. I think we would place an estimate,
oh, in the region of four times that on it.
-So I would suggest we went for £200 to £300,
and that, if you were happy, we agreed a reserve...say of 180.
The only problem you'll have is finding something else to put your teabags in.
-You hadn't thought of that, had you?
Jane, I have to say, I absolutely love it.
-It's mad, isn't it?
-It is. It is fun, yeah.
We've got a Victorian desk weight and paperclip, desk clip,
cast in bronze as a monkey jockey riding, what looks to me like a...
I think it's a greyhound.
-I think it's a greyhound.
-I think so.
-Yeah. Quite a muscly greyhound.
It is yeah, yeah, quite strong.
But isn't it crazy? Only the Victorians would do such a thing.
-Tell me, how did you come to have such a fantastic thing?
Well, I inherited it from my mother and she, in turn, inherited it from her parents.
I've always known it. It was in my grandparents' house when I went on holidays
and later when I lived there and it's just always been there.
-And I bet you did this as a kid, didn't you?
-Oh, yes. Yes.
-It was always referred to as the horse...
..and I think it was a long time before I realised it wasn't a horse, at all.
Did they realise it wasn't a horse?
Yes. They called it that out of fun.
The centre for this type of work was Austria.
There's one factory
that always calls out this sort of quality and that's Bergman.
-Sometimes you see a little mark,
I've had a good look over this, and I couldn't see a mark anywhere.
-Sometimes it's a vase with a B in the centre.
Sometimes it's marked, quite clearly, "Bergman",
and sometimes it's marked "Namgreb",
Oh, yes, right, I see.
-It's cold-painted bronze.
The fact that it's got its original paintwork means a lot
because these things, because they were fun,
because they were often novelty animals,
kids got their hands on them and played with them
and as soon as you get a kid playing around with cold-painted bronze
-the paint chips off all over the place.
You can see a bit of the damage on his jockey cap.
-But really it's not in bad condition.
Well, considering it's probably, what? 100 years old?
-Yes, it was made probably 1870, 1890.
-As long ago as that?
Yeah, somewhere round there. But it's useful,
it's practical, it's in good condition
and it's novelty, and those three things are all in its favour.
The rectangular stand that it's on is in walnut.
-Oh, I wondered.
-It's got that lovely golden glow.
-It has, yes.
And we've got these little areas round the outside of patination.
Why is it here?
To be honest, I haven't used it and it hasn't really had a place on show, you know.
-And I suppose, as well, because I've known it all my life
-to a certain extent it's lost its wow factor for me a little bit.
-You know, because I'm so used to it.
-What do you think it's worth?
Having listened to you, I thought possibly about £100.
-The £100 should be increased to £300 to £500.
-Really? As much as that?
-That is good news.
-Brilliant. So why don't we put £300 on it as a reserve
and if it doesn't make that, take it home and enjoy it for a bit longer.
Put it somewhere I can use it. Yes, that sounds ideal to me. You've made my day.
Marjorie, we know that it's silver because it's hallmarked.
Now the hallmarks tell us two or three things.
They tell us, firstly, the maker.
In this instance the maker was Robertson Belks.
They tell us where it was assayed, and in this case we know that it was assayed in Sheffield
because it has the crown, which is the mark of the Sheffield assay office,
and we know that it was assayed, most importantly of all really,
that's the thing we really need to know, in 1889.
Finally, it bears the head, the bust, the portrait bust of Queen Victoria,
which tells that duty has been paid on it.
I notice the inscription on this refers to a person or a couple who were evidently publicans.
-That's right, yes.
-Who were Mr and Mrs Mills?
That was my grandparents and they owned the hotel in Anstruther.
-They owned the Commercial hotel.
So how did it come to end up with you?
It's not actually mine, it still belongs to my dad.
-To your dad. OK.
-And he just asked me to get it valued today.
OK. And you got it valued and you decided to sell it.
-He has, yes.
-And he's happy with that?
-I think so.
-Good. You've spoken to him.
Don't want to do anything that your dad wouldn't want us to be doing.
It's decorated in the neo-classical style
and, as you can see, there's a frieze of
what look like gladiators, really, almost as if they're being led to battle, with a goddess in front
holding a laurel leaf, looking as if she may indicate peace,
so perhaps she's trying to stop the conflict which might otherwise occur.
And continuing that theme it has this wonderful cast Grecian helmet on the top of the finial.
Now, I think that this is worth between £300 and £400.
With luck and a foreign wind it might make more.
I'd like to suggest, if we may, a reserve of 280...
-..just below the £300 mark.
And are you mindful of what you might spend the money on?
-Not really. It's not up to me.
-OK, that's your father's decision.
-Perhaps he'll take you away somewhere nice for a weekend.
-Hopefully he'll give me some of it.
-I'm sure we'll do very well with it.
Marjorie's happy and the jug completes our selection of items bound for auction.
So let's recap.
David thought Marjorie's family silver jug
should fetch a handsome price and has set the reserve at £280.
Next, James was completely smitten with the Bergman brass monkey on a greyhound.
It may have lost the wow factor for Jane but,
with an estimate of between £300 and £500, it's going to be a serious contender for any buyer.
From treasured keepsakes to teabag holders, Deirdre may have just recognised its potential
but David spotted the Wemyss pot instantly and valued it accordingly.
I think we would place an estimate...
oh, in the region of four times that on it.
Let's not mess about, let's get straight over to the auction rooms
where Deirdre's Wemyss ware is ready and waiting to go under the hammer.
I absolutely love this next item, it's one of my favourites.
It's Wemyss, it's a lovely pot, it's in at £200 to £300 and it belongs to Deirdre here
and not for much longer.
-And I know you kept your teabags in this.
-Are you here by yourself today?
-No, my daughter's with me and my husband's over at the other end.
-Hello. There she is.
-What's her name?
-What a fantastic name. Neriana.
-Never heard of that before.
-Nor have I.
-They're more than useful, these items, we shouldn't underestimate their decorative value.
-They were ahead of their time when they came out, you know.
-It's almost timeless.
-You can put it in a little twee cottage on a dresser...
..or you can put it in a hi-tech apartment and it's got the look.
-The question is...
will it go at the lower or top end or could it shoot right through the ceiling on this one?
It's all down to the magic of Anita Manning, who's on the rostrum right now.
-Let's get on with it, shall we?
-Let's do it. Here we go.
493 is the large Wemyss preserve pot and cover with plums.
Start me at 200, ladies and gentlemen, start me at £200.
Start me at 100, then.
-100, 100 bid.
100, 110, 120, 130...
-Right, now we've got going.
-140, 150, 160, 170, 180.
190 on the phone.
£190 on the phone.
For the Wemyss preserve pot.
190. Any advance on 190?
Any advance on 190?
All done at 190? 190.
-Well, we got there.
-Got there, yeah.
Just. It was the lower end.
Wing and a prayer but we made it.
Next up we've got that wonderful silver claret jug.
It belongs to Marjorie. Well, Marjorie's dad, who you've brought along. Richard, pleased to meet you.
-Pleased to meet you.
-Bit of quality.
-Love it to bits, I really do, and I think David does, as well.
-We've got £300 to £500 on this.
-Now you brought it along for a valuation, purely for a valuation,
and we've ended up putting it into auction.
-So you had to go home and tell dad, did you?
-Had to get permission.
-"I left it there.
"It's going under the hammer." Did you mind?
-No, I don't mind.
-You don't mind at all.
Have you used this a lot?
I hadn't seen it for 50-odd years.
-It's been in a cupboard.
-No, I'm not into these at all really.
-Good luck. Thank you for bringing it.
-It's going under the hammer.
163's a Victorian silver claret jug.
That's a beautiful item.
Will you start me at £200?
Start me at 200.
With you, sir, at 200. Any advance on £200?
Any advance on 200? 210.
-210 behind you.
-Quite slow, isn't it, Marjorie?
210. With you, sir, at 210.
Any advance on 210?
Any advance on £270?
All done at 270? All done at 270? 270.
-We didn't get there.
-We didn't quite make it...
-We'll keep it.
-We were £10 short of that reserve.
-Yes, that's hard luck.
Anyway, it's a happy ending
because you were surprised it was going into auction
-and at least you know its value now.
Take it home and put a good claret in it.
That's what I'd do.
-Jane, this is a wonderful thing.
-Possibly the nicest thing in the auction.
-That's very nice.
It's a cold-painted bronze, it's the monkey riding a greyhound as a letter holder
and James Lewis beat me to this at the valuation day.
You zoomed in on it, you focused it, you grabbed it.
-First time for everything, I suppose.
-It's good, isn't it?
-I love it, I love it.
I've just got to ask, why, why, why are you selling this?
Well, I've been used to it all my life, I've got really sort of used to it, and now I've inherited it
-I find I don't use it and you know you get used to it...
-You don't have to use it, just look at it!
I'm not looking at it, it's tucked away in a desk and it's lost its wow factor for me...
-Because I've known it, literally, all my life.
-It's so good and it's so quirky and I've not seen this one before.
Let's find out, shall we?
Lot 523 is this superb cold-painted bronze letter holder
depicting a monkey sat upon a greyhound.
-Start me at 200.
-Right, we're in.
200 bid. With you, sir, at 200.
Any advance on 200?
220, 240, 260,
440, 460, 480...
It's down to two people in the room.
Isn't it, yeah.
-She's good. It's so rare.
Any advance on £680?
All done at 680? All done at 680? 680.
Slowly, slowly catch the monkey there.
-Anita worked that one out.
-I can't believe that.
After commission there's still a lot.
It's a lot of money for something I had sitting in a corner.
What are you going to put it towards?
-Well, we are off to Canada...
-Oh, are you?
..in a couple of weeks time so it'll provide a nice little bit of spending money.
-But there may be a new digital camera in the offing as well, you never know.
-Oh, good. Snap away.
I could see that on your desk in your office in your auction room.
So could I.
-But you're not having it.
-No, I know.
We've had a brilliant day here and it's all been down to Jane and James.
-I hope you've enjoyed the show. I've loved being in Scotland and can't wait to come back.
So, until the next time, cheerio.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
It's Kilmarnock that plays host today to the Flog It! team, with experts James Lewis and David Fletcher doing the valuation rounds at the Palace Theatre. James spots something shiny and is drawn to dish out some fashion advice with a 1901 silver handbag. And David spots his own piece of silver as he takes a look over a jug that has been in the family for years. All the experts will have their valuations put to the test over at the auction rooms and tensions rise as the bids come in. Also, Presenter Paul Martin traces the work of the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered penicillin.