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There are hundreds of people here today.
What a brilliant turnout and they've all come to ask that all-important question. Which is?
What's it worth?
If you're happy with the valuation, what are you going to do?
Today, Flog It! comes to you from the thriving seaside town of Southend-on-Sea, in Essex.
This modern seaside resort developed from the ancient village
of Prittlewell and was once just a handful of cottages.
And it's this pretty suburb which provides our venue for today, Southend High School for Boys,
and the people turned up in their hundreds.
I'll need help to dig through all the wealth of bags and boxes,
and on hand are our experts Thomas Plant
and Will Axon.
Well, judging by my watch it's now 9.30. I think we should get this massive crowd inside, don't you?
-Let's do it.
Later in the programme, I'll be finding out about the local man
whose pioneering work helped catapult this sport into the Olympics.
Well, that's all to come. Right now, I think Will has already spotted something.
Let's take a closer look.
-Well, Sally, thank you for coming along to Flog It! today.
You've brought me a piece of furniture, thank you.
It's obviously a chest of drawers, but it's not full size. What can you tell me about it?
It was given to me by an elderly gentleman that I was companion to many years ago.
He's passed away now. He was in a gas attack during the war.
-And he could have registered blind, but didn't.
And I used to read to him and I used to accompany him to operas or wherever he wanted to go.
Amazing. But he never registered?
No. And I did that until he died.
-Really? But he passed on this to you as a sign of his gratitude?
So you've had it how long?
-I've had it 40 years.
And he had it a few years...
-You don't know?
-No. He already had it when I met him.
-Have you any ideas how old it is?
-I mean, looking at the style of the chest of drawers, the way this corner is panelled
and the way this plinth is integrated with the bottom drawer,
it's a typical Victorian chest of drawers.
So we're probably thinking 1870, that sort of period, 1880.
-Yes. So it's got a good age.
-It's quite old.
-Older than you and me put together.
Looking at the front of it... I'll just tip it back.
You've got a few little areas here.
These are probably water stains.
I see here, there's slight variations in the handles.
Through the years some have broken. You don't have the key for them, do you?
No, unfortunately, I've never had a key for it.
-But I think, generally...
With age, exactly, it's in reasonable condition.
Value-wise, have you thought what it could be worth?
Never. I haven't got a clue.
To be honest, I'm going to be frank and say this is a bit big for collectors of miniature furniture.
I must admit it was bigger than I actually remembered it.
-I thought it was narrower.
I really did. I was quite surprised how wide it was.
When you put things away and rediscover them,
-there's always a surprise.
-It's grown overnight!
Looking at it, it's not so small that you can't utilise it for something.
I've got little girls and I think they would love to put this into their bedroom.
Probably better than the miniature because you can use it.
-You are going to appeal to a wider audience.
-Yes. You can use it.
-Two edges to each sword.
So what I'm going to say to you is, estimate-wise, £50-£100. How do you feel about that?
-You're happy with that?
-What about a reserve?
You don't want it back, do you?
Not really, but I don't want it to go for nothing.
-Shall we put a £30 reserve on it?
-It's got to be worth £30.
-At least, yes.
-Cos it's a nice, genuine piece.
I know it's not going to be a lot of money.
Could potentially be 30, might be 100. What are you going to do with the money?
-It's our silver wedding anniversary next year.
-You don't look old enough.
-Second time around.
-Second time around!
-My husband's already had one.
-So he's doing well.
-And it's our silver wedding next year.
-Is it? Oh, wonderful.
Whatever we get, we'll put the money towards that.
-Good. Fingers crossed. £50-£100.
-And we've agreed a £30 fixed reserve.
-£30 fixed reserve.
-And see you on the day.
Lovely. I look forward to it.
-You've brought along something quite fine. Do you know what it is?
The only thing I know about it, it's a Chinese card counter.
OK. I'm just going to rewind you and stop.
Yeah, so we've got that far.
Japanese card counter.
-Or, as we like to call it, gaming counters.
So it's not just for one game.
-It's for lots of different types of games.
I don't know all the card games it's associated with.
-It's certainly made with very high-quality materials.
-Do you know what those materials are?
-Ivory, presumably, and mother of pearl are the only things I could say for sure.
This is a rosewood base.
-With ivory lift-up counters and that lovely snap.
-Listen. It's lovely, isn't it?
Beautifully made and, as you say, mother of pearl,
green-stained jasper, probably, abalone and that's probably going to be mother of pearl there, as well.
-Oh, right. So a good variety of materials then?
-I was always curious about the gold inlay.
-That's not gold inlay.
-No, the gold colouring.
-Gold colouring, yeah.
On lacquerware, Japanese lacquerware, it's called raised sprinkled picture,
which is Takamakiye or Hiramakiye, which is two Japanese words.
But this isn't the same on rosewood.
It's a raised gold leaf. So there would be a build-up of paint and then they would have put the gold on top.
Straight on to paint, not metal?
Yeah. Not on to metal. There'd be no metal in there.
-That's certainly painted and therefore it's quite fragile.
-This is probably made in Tokyo, presumably, I'd say the date would be 1900, 1920s.
-Oh, as old as that.
Yes, it's certainly got some age.
I've always admired it, but it's not into my collecting kind of sphere.
-I like bronzes more.
And how did you come by this?
It was in an auction and I was looking at some jewellery in the case, but that caught my eye.
-It looked so beautiful, I bid for it.
-Don't tell me what you paid for it.
-I reckon we should put this in at £60-£100.
-With a discretionary reserve of around about £60, just to give the auctioneer a bit of leeway.
-What did you pay for it?
-I paid 65, including the commission.
-We're there on the money.
-We're right there on the money.
I'm quite pleased about that.
I think it's a very nice thing and I look forward to seeing it at the auction.
What a day we're having in Southend. I've just been joined by Pat,
who's just produced the most amazing Louis Wain watercolour.
We've seen some Louis Wain before.
-Tell me all about it, Pat. How did you come by it?
My father was given the picture by Louis Wain.
He worked in a lunatic asylum.
What was your father doing in a lunatic asylum?
He lost his job as a designer in the '30s and he went to work
in the lunatic asylum as a painter and decorator. And Louis Wain was in there.
-He was going mad and because they both talked about art, he painted this picture for my father.
-What a lovely story. And this has been in the family ever since?
-Who's responsible for it being crinkled up in a ball?
-What happened there?
I didn't know who Louis Wain was and the picture got put in the bottom drawer and left and forgotten about.
It became creased, I'm afraid.
Do you know what the great news about this is?
-Not only is it signed by Louis Wain in the corner but, if we take this off,
-as you know, on the back, signed by Louis Wain is a bit of poetry.
What he's talking about is the picture on the reverse. He's talking about the flight of pheasants,
which we've got up here, and he's talking about the blue kitten, which is hiding in the tree.
I suppose it's sweet, but not really my taste.
Do you know, he was tormented at school and his education suffered?
He was depressed a lot as a young lad.
Eventually, he got a job for The Sporting News.
Worked in London, illustrating dogs mainly, and it wasn't until he met his wife, who was a cat lover...
And because she was suffering from cancer at the time, he wanted to cheer her up,
so he used to do little doodles and sketches of their black and white cat as a hobby for his wife.
-And then it became an obsession.
-Exactly. I think he wanted to get inside the cat.
And he wanted to draw the cat with all the characteristics that he understood that a cat had.
-This is why he does these faces.
And this cat is like a little boy climbing a tree, looking out and going, "Oh, look what I've seen."
-I didn't realise he was that famous...
When I first received the picture.
And his cats seem to be madder and wilder in later years.
-Like normal cats.
Then they became human cats and eventually, just kaleidoscopes of colour.
-Mad cats, yeah.
This is probably in the middle of his illness.
-The composition's very, very good. What do you think it's worth?
-I've no idea.
-If this was in perfect condition and hadn't been screwed up
-into a ball, we'd be looking at £1,000 straightaway.
-But, because we've got the verse on the reverse side, that puts the value back up.
So I'm going to pitch this at £800-£1,200, as a valuation, and I'm pretty sure we'll get the top end.
But we need to start at a figure of around £800.
-So we'll have discretion on the 800.
-That would be wonderful.
I'll see you at the saleroom and I think this is going to go to a cat-loving home!
So, Jasmine, thank you very much for coming and what a pretty name.
It is lovely. Years ago you never heard of it, but...
I'd love to call my children Jasmine or Rose, but I can't because of my surname.
-I couldn't say Jasmine Plant.
-Everybody would laugh at it.
But, we're here to talk about your vases.
Now, tell me, how did you come by them?
I worked for an elderly man a couple of doors away.
He lost his wife and he wanted somebody he could trust to do a bit of housework for him.
I offered and he was so pleased, cos he knew me.
And he was going to throw them out.
-And he asked me if I'd like 'em.
That's a very sweet gesture.
These are really nice. Do you know what they are?
-Do you know where they're from?
-Well, the decoration is certainly Oriental. It's Asian.
-Yeah, it's Oriental.
-The actual vases are pottery and they're
British pottery and they're what we would call Staffordshire Prattware vases.
And they're very nice. They're ovoid, aren't they?
So when you had them, did you display them?
-Yeah, I had them in me cabinet.
-Had them on display for years.
-Do you have an idea of how old they are?
-No, no idea.
-They're about 1850s, 1860s.
Some of it was quite domestic pottery, used to contain anchovy paste and gentlemen's relish.
These vases are purely decorative.
And these scenes here are just transfer-printed.
There are lots of scenes on the Prattware which are very collectable,
but this one here is particularly nice, there's a lot going on.
Yes. My brother thought they were very pretty.
Very pretty, very busy.
I can't think of the pattern immediately, but I'm pretty sure
it's something to do with the Cheongju River. I like the way the pattern goes all the way round.
They are actually a pair, aren't they? I think they are.
Course they're a pair. Absolutely. So, you've had them on display,
you've enjoyed them, you've brought them to us today. Do you have an idea what they're worth?
I did take them, about 15 years ago at Sotheby's.
-And they did value them at 250-300.
Yeah. 15 years ago this stuff was very popular and selling extremely well.
Now, they're doing just as well, but not so exciting.
There is still a market there for them, but 15 years ago they were really hot property.
Your £250 estimate is probably correct.
I would like to put them in at £200-£300 with a fixed reserve of £200. How does that grab you?
Yes, that sounds all right, yeah.
And we're staying in Essex for today's sale.
We've travelled north to Stacey's Auctioneers and Valuers in Rochford.
This is where we're putting our valuations to the test.
Fingers crossed we're on the money.
So, here's a quick reminder of what we've brought with us.
Will the bidders be tempted by Sally's Victorian chest of drawers?
This is probably a bit big for collectors of miniature furniture.
I must admit it was bigger, when I got it out, than I remembered.
Will valued it at £50-£100, but could the size put off the bidders?
Les' impulse buy, this Japanese card counter, is returning to auction.
Will he get his money back?
And I love the signed Louis Wain watercolour belonging to Pat.
I didn't know who Louis Wain was and the picture got put in the bottom drawer and left and forgotten about.
Despite its hard life, I valued this cool cat at £800-£1,200.
And finally, the pair of Staffordshire Prattware vases, given to Jasmine by an employer.
-He was going to throw them out.
-And he asked if I'd like them.
That's a very sweet gesture.
But just how sweet? Well, to find out I've caught up with today's
auctioneering duo, brothers Mark and Paul Stacey. Congratulations.
A family-run business. Great to see you again.
-We've met before at your old auction rooms.
So let's start with this lot.
-What do you think?
-I'm not familiar with the Prattware pattern,
but I believe it's called "the junk", for obvious reasons. I love the Oriental pattern.
The actual moulding of the vases as well, fantastic. It's all there.
I think we'll get a nice surprise on these, Paul.
Oh! They could be in a bidding war.
-That's what auctions are all about. That's what you guys love.
-Working them up.
200-300 we've got on these. What do you think, Paul? Do you agree?
Definitely, yes. I'd go one more than that and I think they might just tip the 400 mark, maybe.
-Could we get a little more than 400?
-It depends on how deep the pockets of the collectors are.
Well, we'll find out shortly, but first it's time to sell Thomas' other discovery.
Going under the hammer we've got a Japanese card counter.
It belongs to Les, standing next to me. Hi, Les. It's good to see you.
-Hi there, Paul.
-Hopefully, we'll be counting the money after this lot.
I think it's beautiful. The detail work in it is so interesting.
-And you got it at auction?
-Not long ago?
-Not long ago.
It was just a matter of interest. It looked so beautiful in the cabinet.
Why are you selling this now then?
Well, it's served its purpose. I've had it, I've felt it and I want to move on.
Trade upwards. It caught our expert's eye.
-Tommy, who's standing next to me.
-You liked this.
I love these! I think they're really tactile.
The ivory, the rosewood and the little animals inset.
Hmm, beautiful, really beautiful.
Fingers crossed it'll do the top end. It's going under the hammer now.
The Japanese, rosewood card counter.
With ivory markers. Where shall we be for this then?
Start me up at about £30 on this lot then. 30 to start. 30 anywhere?
30 I'm bid. Thank you. 32. 35.
-Come on. We need a bit more.
42. 45. 48. 50.
-55. 60. At £60 now...
Gentleman's bid, middle of the room.
And I'm selling at £60.
-We just made it!
-That was all right!
What will you put the money towards?
-There's commission to pay, don't forget.
-There's commission to pay,
-but I'm looking for little bits of bronze still.
-I love it.
Well, I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, ever since the valuation day.
It's my turn to be the expert. You can guess what I'm talking about.
That wonderful watercolour by Louis Wain
with the poem on the back.
And it belongs to Pat, who's right next to me now.
Now, you've been away since I last saw you.
-South of France.
-Did you enjoy it?
-I loved it, yes.
-Do you go there often?
I go there every year for the jazz festivals, so, yes, but I was a bit late this year.
Hopefully, you might be able to go back again
next week with the proceeds of what we get for this!
-I hope so.
-I know there's a phone line booked on this.
I had a chat to the auctioneers yesterday...
both the brothers. They loved it.
It's unique to have the poem on the back. Hopefully, it will push the value up.
-Oh, I hope so.
-So do I.
Going to wave goodbye? Here it is.
Louis William Wain as catalogued. Lovely picture.
One, two, three bids I have and I'm clearing the book at £780.
The bid's here with me at £780.
Are we all done? Commission's at 780. 800 anywhere.
No bids? At 780. Last time then...
Selling at £780.
We just sold it under the reserve.
-That's not bad, is it?
-I thought it would do better than that, but there you go.
-I'm happy with that.
-Gosh, that was short and sweet.
-Where were the bidders in the room?
I don't know, but that's... I'm happy.
Good. Good. You can go back to the south of France if you want.
At £90. 95. 100...
This next lot didn't arrive in a transit van or an estate car, like most chest of drawers.
Sally carried it in, didn't you?
-And it's that wonderful little miniature one that Will, our expert, has put £50-£100 on.
-Why are you selling it?
Because I don't use it and it was full of rubbish.
-So it's got to go?
-It's got to go.
It was only sitting on the wardrobe doing absolutely nothing, just full of rubbish.
-You won't miss it at all then?
No. There you go.
That's the name of the game, flog it. Will we get that top end?
Like you say, with these chest of drawers, it's not like it's a high-collectors' piece.
-Or an apprentice piece.
It's not something for the miniature furniture collector.
You can use them, so in that sense, it's got a marketplace
in that it can be used, but it's not going to be that sort of high money that the collectors' pieces are.
But I'm confident we should get within estimate.
Nevertheless, it's a great piece of storage. Going under the hammer now. Good luck.
-Here we go.
-A Victorian, mahogany apprentice chest.
A nice little chest.
There we are. To clear the book, I must start the bidding at £50.
Straight in! Straight in.
AT £50. 55. 60. 65.
-Oh, this is good.
At £80 now. On the book. Are we all done?
Make no mistake. Against you all at £80.
-Hammer's gone down.
-That is lovely.
-That's a good result?
-Better than I expected.
-A fair price.
-Don't forget there is commission to pay.
-They'll put a cheque in the post and you'll get that in a few weeks.
-I look forward to it.
Is it still going towards the anniversary?
-Our silver wedding anniversary.
-I was about to ask.
-Yes, our anniversary next year.
-What's your husband's name?
-Tony, look after her on the big day, won't you?
Oh, these are nice. I like this next lot.
We've got a pair of Prattware vases.
We've got £200-£300.
They belong to Jasmine. Who have you brought along for support?
-Lorraine, pleased to meet you.
-Looking after Mum today?
-Yes, I am.
-Why are you selling them?
-I've got to clear out, she said.
She? Under orders. Got to clear out.
-This could be your inheritance!
I wouldn't know. I'd bin it all.
-She would've thrown it all away.
Yeah. Thrown it all away.
There's a bit of value there. The auctioneer liked them.
-Yeah, a lot of interest. So, Thomas...
We could get the top end of your valuation.
I'd be really pleased if we got the top end for you, Jasmine.
-We could certainly get mid-estimate.
Very good. And what's wonderful is they are in lovely condition.
They are. Not chipped or nothing, are they?
-They've been looked after. That's all credit to you.
The pair of Staffordshire-ware, Prattware vases.
A little bit of interest and I'm clearing the book at £160.
Bid's with me at 160. 170 anywhere?
Are we all done then at 160? 170. 180.
Thank goodness, a phone line booked.
190. 200. Against you.
At £200. Here with me, commissions, at £200.
Coming on the phones. 210.
-On the phone again.
On the phone at £210. Are we all done?
I'm selling at £210. Last time.
Yes, we've done it! £210! Got to be happy with that.
Thomas was spot on with his estimate. Happy?
-You going to split the money up?
I thought you might say that.
And later, we'll be heading back to our Southend location
to see our experts pull three more lots out of the crowd.
A car-boot bargain, ceramics from overseas and an heirloom that's been in one family for over 100 years.
First, I'm heading to the nearby town of Brentwood,
the place where one local man launched an exciting sport.
Jumping up and down on a piece of stretched fabric or animal skin, in order to fly
in the air, is an age-old pastime. Up until the 1930s
you'd probably find that in a travelling circus or fair.
But when local man, Ted Blake, got involved, his pioneering efforts, here in Brentwood, Essex,
catapulted trampolining towards the Olympic sport we know today.
After excelling at sport in the Army Physical Corps,
Ted took his talents to teaching at a local Essex school.
He introduced a purpose-built trampoline to his gym class and pretty soon
his squad were giving high-profile demonstrations of what was then called "rebound tumbling".
Ted was soon hired by an American chap called George Nissen, who shared his passion for the sport.
And after developing modern trampolines in the States in the 1930s,
George crossed the Atlantic and set up in a factory in nearby Hainault.
Once on board, Ted set about putting trampolining on the map.
Ted sadly passed away in 1998, two years before trampolining was showcased in the Sydney Olympics,
but he can be credited with introducing the modern trampoline to Europe
and developing it as an international sport.
Brentwood is still the hub of trampolining activity.
One of its three clubs train here at Brentwood School.
But before I see them in action, I've come to the library to find out more about Ted's pioneering work.
And who better to talk to than his son, Tim.
Do you share your dad's passion for trampolining?
I worked for the Nissen Trampoline Company in Brentwood some years ago.
I'm currently helping Dave Kingaby, of the Brentwood Trampoline Club, compile a history of the sport.
What can you tell me about those early days, when Ted joined forces with George Nissen?
Well, that started in 1956 when Ted took on an office in Hainault.
He was lucky in that the factory next door could actually manufacture
the trampolines to Nissen's specifications.
In 1957, the national press took an interest when they heard that Ted's daughter... my sister, Debbie...
had been jumping on a trampoline in his backyard.
They wanted to take some pictures and see what the trampoline was all about.
-Good exposure really?
-Great exposure for him.
He went out to promote the business and the trampoline.
He used to take his demonstration trampoline around the country on the roof of his car.
He used to unload it at schools and educational establishments...
The military were interested, even circuses.
..Do a performance on the trampoline, show them the benefits,
and then move on to the next one.
-It sounds simple, doesn't it?
-I suspect it wasn't, in those days. It would have been hard work.
-Especially on the roof of the car.
Yeah. And with no motorways to contend with, it must have been difficult, but he got through it.
So as well as my sister being used to show the effects
of the trampoline, I was Nissen's crash-test dummy during the '60s and '70s.
-They used to lift me up and drop me on to the trampoline to see what broke.
-How old were you?
I was somewhere between 15 and 21, that's the sort of timescale.
And invariably it was me that broke, because the trampoline was so reliable.
So was there any sort of resistance?
What was the reaction? Was there any competition?
Initially, there wasn't any competition, certainly here.
In the States, there was a little bit.
As interest grew, more people produced trampolines, but mainly as toys.
They were things to be used in the garden.
No-one actually produced a trampoline like Nissen
-that had the performance required for competition.
-Why the move to Brentwood?
They had to move out of the existing premises in Hainault because it became too small.
Then they moved to Romford, on the Eastern Avenue, for a while.
Then in the mid-60s, they moved to Brentwood,
-where the factory was up until it closed in the mid-80s.
I believe it's still very popular in Brentwood today.
Trampolining's really taken off. There are three major clubs...
the Brentwood Trampoline Club, the Recoil Twisters and Levitation, of which I believe the largest one
has over 300 members. So there's certainly potential for national, if not Olympic, champions.
It's very popular. So how much were you and your father
involved in getting trampolining recognised as an Olympic sport?
Me, not much. I worked for a separate division of the company. Ted Blake and George Nissen
always had a long-term ambition for trampoline to be in the Olympics.
Were they turned down at first?
They were. I think, to be honest, George Nissen pursued that
right up until the Year 2000, when it was there as a showcase for trampoline.
Tim, thank you so much for sharing a bit of history with me.
It's been fascinating cos, for me, that's where it all started.
I'm going to leave you and go down to the gym
and bring this right up to date and meet some Olympic hopefuls.
-You'll enjoy yourself.
-Thanks a lot.
Brentwood Trampoline Club was established in the late '80s.
It boasts a high-performance coach who works with talented juniors,
like 17-year-old Scott and 12-year-old Hannah.
Hannah, hi. It's Paul. Pleased to meet you.
That is fantastic.
-Jump down here, young man. Scott, you are brilliant.
Very scary stuff up there. How long have you been trampolining?
For about eight years.
-Eight years? And how many hours a day do you put in?
-Three hours a day
-and probably up to about 18 hours a week.
-A lot of dedication.
-What are your goals?
-2012 and '16.
Do you consider yourself to be the best in the country at your age?
Oh, I hope so, yeah. I do hope so.
-Hannah, how long have you been trampolining?
-About four years.
Yeah? Are you going to get as good as him?
I hope so.
-Have you won much so far?
-Yeah. I've won national championships twice.
-Have you really?
-You've got to be good.
-Got to be good. Is it tough?
-Er, to represent Great Britain one day.
Good for you! I know you've got some moves to show us and we haven't seen you yet.
So, come on, hop up. Let's have a look.
She's got the highest jumps at the moment, probably, for a 12-year-old.
Ted Blake's commitment and passion for trampolining has made this sport so fascinating and exciting.
And I tell you what, we've got some real talent here.
I've got high hopes for the 2012 Olympics, so watch this space.
It's time to jump right back to Southend High School for Boys,
where Will is trying to unlock the story from this young, budding dealer.
This is quite a display of keys you've brought along for us to have a look at, today.
Sally, Jack, who do these belong to?
Are these things you've collected over time or...
-No, I bought them altogether.
-From an auction, was it?
-No, it was a boot sale.
-You're a bit of a booter?
-What attracted you to buying these?
I was at a boot sale with my mum and my dad and I just saw them
and thought I might me interested to see how much they were worth.
-OK. And do you mind me asking what you paid for them?
-I paid £2 for 'em.
That's not a lot. I haven't counted how many there are,
that's about 10p each?
-Have you done a bit of research since you bought them?
I have no idea about any of them really.
OK. There are one or two that I do recognise.
Now, the first ones, of course, that draw your attention are these larger ones here.
I had a closer look at those and just felt the weight,
and to me I think they're probably reproduction keys, for decorative purposes, that sort of thing.
Then looking through, I can see another one here which is a steel one.
Generally, the steel keys are earlier and they tend to date from around the 18th century.
So that's probably a George III key in steel.
And the other one that caught my eye... which I don't know a lot about,
-is this double-ended key. Now, that seems fascinating.
Why they did double-enders I don't know. Two for the price of one?
There's an interesting variety of keys. You're not tempted...
any of these, they don't do anything for you?
-No, not really.
If these are worth more than £2, what's the money going to go towards?
I'm looking for driving lessons.
-Good, you've got to learn how to drive.
None of these will start a car. I don't think any were designed for a car.
There's plenty for your money. A few, more interesting than others.
I would say, if you're happy at a valuation of around that sort of £50 mark...
Shall we say, £40-£60 for the lot? How do you feel about that?
-It's not a bad investment, is it?
-Are you going to want them back if they don't sell?
Shall we put a reserve on at sort of £20?
-Half the bottom estimate.
At least you've got something back. You're going to make something on your £2.
The key to selling these is a low estimate.
So £40-£60 with a reserve at 20.
-Mum, happy for him to go with that?
Good. Well, we'll see you on the day. That's all that's left to say and good luck.
-Thank you very much.
-Johann, nice to meet you.
-Thank you for coming in.
-I want a brief history about you.
Well, I've been living in Holland since late 1973.
Being the youngest of a family of five. My parents moved to Holland.
-My mother being Dutch.
-How often do you come over?
Once a year to see my favourite sister, as it were.
-She rang me and said, "Johann, I know you love antiques.
-"I insist you bring something over to Flog It!"
-Tell me about this.
Well, that's going back ten years.
I went to a market and on one of the stalls I saw the bowl.
But when I saw "Wellington Inn", I thought, well, it seemed a bit quirky.
I thought, "Would they have had that kind of humour, straight after the Battle of Waterloo?"
When I saw the word "Shorthose", I knew Shorthose went bankrupt
or stopped producing in 1822. I said, "Well, this must be a contemporary."
So you bought it from this stall in Utrecht?
That's right. An elderly couple...
-They were selling it? They didn't know what it was?
-It wasn't a specialist, like you get in England.
I don't think they realised it was celebrating the Battle of Waterloo.
Well, it is, obviously this is Waterloo, the High Street
and the Wellington Hotel, which is still there, actually.
The bowl is dated from about 1817, just a couple of years after
-the Battle of Waterloo, which, as we know, is June 1815.
It's a commemorative bowl, but it's a bit of a fun commemorative bowl.
It's not a picture of Wellington, which is strange. It's all about the place...
-Rather than commemorating him as the great general.
As pieces of commemorative china go, it's quite a rare one.
I haven't seen one before. It's in very nice condition.
The only one very minor issue is just this very small hairline just here.
But going to value for sale, there are a lot of collectors out there
for Waterloo and Napoleonic china and collectables, Wellington especially.
I would say £500-£700 would be a very sensible estimate.
-I would have gone more if there wasn't that hairline.
-Yeah, which I never really picked up on.
Yeah, but it's an old hairline and, you know, these things happen and you can see it's stained, etc.
But as it is, it's in very nice condition for its age.
-So £500-£700 with a fixed reserve of 500 and I can't wait to see it sell.
Well, Frank, I like the look of this impressive clock.
-It is lovely.
-Well, it's beautiful.
-And I probably don't need to tell you that it's a skeleton clock.
-Well, I called it a cathedral clock.
Yes, they do have that architectural look.
-Frank, I'm going to lose the dome, so then you can have a proper look at the clock.
But before I do, I notice there's a bit of damage on this dome.
-That's been since year dot, that.
It looks like it's been glued for a while. That will affect the value
when I come to give you a value, as these are very expensive to replace.
But let me get rid of that.
Now I'm going to be brave and put it on the floor next to me, so don't forget to remind me it's there.
Where's it been living at home? Is it on display?
Oh, yes. It's been on display all the time, 25 years I've had it.
You've had it 25 years?
Father died 25 years ago...
-And he had it before you?
And his father had it before him.
I suppose it's been in the family about 100-odd years, I suppose.
So there is a chance that maybe it was even bought new at the time.
-Just, just. Yeah?
The actual skeleton clock itself, as a design of clocks, started in France in the mid-18th century, so 1750s.
It was really an excuse for the French clockmakers
to show off, to tell people, "Look how good I am.
"Look how complicated I can make my clock."
In England, we didn't get into manufacturing these until early 19th century,
-so you're talking 1810, 1820s.
And sure enough, in 1851, the Great Exhibition, that's when a lot of them were displayed.
Because the public saw them, they thought, "I really want one of those.
-"I'd like one of those for my home."
-So after 1851, they started to be mass produced.
So I think, just looking at the work in it and the complicity of it, this
is a post-1851 skeleton clock, so one that has been produced from a factory for commercial purposes.
Let's have a look at the clock.
It's not over-complicated. It's got everything you'd expect.
You've got the fusee movement with the spring barrel, which releases the spring and turns the hands.
You've got this typical silvered dial at the front. That's fine.
I was looking at the movement and it looks quite clean inside.
-Have you had it serviced or cleaned?
-I had it serviced three months ago.
-So it really is ready to go.
Now we come down to the question of value.
Now you took it in for a service.
Did you take it to a specialist clockmaker or a clock restorer?
Yeah, a clock repairer I think.
OK, clock repairer. And he gave an idea of value, did he?
I said to him, "What do you reckon it's worth?"
And he said, "To insure it would be worth about £2,000."
£2,000. Well, there's always going to be that discrepancy
between an insurance valuation and a sale valuation, shall we say?
-A big difference.
And with a £2,000 insurance valuation, I think he's come in a little punchy, to be honest.
This one I think, in the present market, I would say,
if you want to sell, and I'm trying to put the best price I can for you.
-I don't want to give it away.
An estimate of £300-£500.
-Bearing in mind that it's not the Rolls-Royce of skeleton clocks,
but what I'm willing to do for you is reserve it fixed at that £300.
Now I'm usually a man who likes a no reserve, so I'm making an exception here.
We'll reserve it at £300 fixed. I'm confident that it will sell.
All we need is two people on the day and, hopefully, it will fly.
With Frank's clock on board, it's time to return to the auction and here's what's up for sale.
Jack's key collection only cost him £2, so if Will's valuation
of £40-£60 is on the money, this budding young dealer has got a great eye.
Johann travelled from Holland with strict instructions from his sister.
She rang me up and said, "Johann, I know you love antiques.
"I insist you bring something over to Flog It!"
So will the Waterloo bowl he packed, dating from 1817, go on to victory?
And finally, after 100 years in Frank's family, he's ready to let go of that marvellous skeleton clock.
He's hoping for the top end of the estimate to be divided between his five children.
But now with brother Mark Stacey ready with his gavel, let's join our next seller.
Going under the hammer we've a collection of Georgian keys.
These could open a few doors for some collectors and dealers
if they're here now and they're in a buying mood.
They belong to Sally and Jack.
-Hi, hello. Now, I know you got these in a car boot, didn't you?
So do you do many car boots?
-Have you been lucky? Made a bit of money?
Yeah. Hopefully, this will do quite well.
-And I know the money today is going towards driving lessons, yeah?
Are you teaching Jack already a little bit? Hmm?
Never! No. Are you going to?
I'm not that brave.
-Is Dad? Is Dad going to?
-He might, yeah.
-Get him some professional ones first.
-It is expensive.
-Fingers crossed we get the top end of the estimate. I'm pretty sure we will.
We haven't put them in at a lot of money.
They didn't cost you a lot and they're a quirky lot.
At the money we've put them in at, they've got to sell. A tidy profit.
We're going to find out right now. Let's open a few doors.
We have a box containing old keys, including a George III steel key.
A bit of interest here, on the book. Straight in at £30.
-Any advances on 30?
-A few bidders.
32. 35. 38. 40.
42. At £42 now. 45. 48.
At £48 now. Are we all done then?
50. Fresh bidder against you now.
-55. 60. 65.
-They're creeping up.
70. 75. At £75 now.
Still on my left and selling at £75.
-Yes! That was a good trade lot.
-That was a good trade lot.
Someone will make use of those keys.
-They're going back in a nice piece of furniture.
-Well, done. Good luck.
-And I hope you pass first time.
He might be getting up early a few more times.
After a tidy profit like that, it's worth getting up!
New bidder. 110...
Let's hope this next lot doesn't get the boot,
because it's a bowl and it's celebrating Wellington's great victory
over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815, and it belongs to Johann.
-We've a lot of money riding on this... £500-£700.
-It's really nice.
-I hope the best, otherwise it will be my Waterloo!
It will be, yes. Why are you selling this?
-When you collect, you have to part with things.
-Of course you do. And that's the way of trading up.
You have to sell some things to buy some more. Let's ask Thomas, our expert.
What do you think? You fell in love with this.
I did fall in love with it. It's lovely.
I must admit, I'm a little bit nervous about my valuation.
-I could have over-cooked it.
-Well, we've got it right now. Good luck.
-I hope so.
-Here we go.
White-transfer, Shorthose bowl.
Wellington Hotel, Waterloo. That's a rare one, that one.
Where are we going to start? £300?
300. Let's get going at £300. 310. 320.
330. 340. 350.
At £350. 360, new bidder. 370. 380.
400. At £400. Any advance at £400?
-Are we all done?
Last time then. £400.
-Just failed there.
-We did meet our Waterloo, didn't we?
We did. Maybe we could break into the song.
Maybe too specialist, I think?
Yeah, there is another auction room on another day and, as you said,
you could put it into a fine art and antique sale.
-Or hang on to it.
Maybe the time to sell it is in 2015, when anything to do with Wellington
and the anniversary of the battle, will fetch big money.
Maybe that's a date to hang on to it and then put it into the sale.
I'm trying to work out how old I am.
There's enough time yet, mate.
OK, let's pick the bones out of this next lot, shall we?
It's an old skeleton clock and it belongs to Frank.
It's mid-Victorian. Frank, who have you brought along?
-My wife, Mavis.
-I love the tan.
-Have you been on holiday?
-Oh, nice for some, isn't it?
-It was nice, yes.
-That's why we're selling the clock.
-Is it? Ha!
We've got our work cut out then, haven't we?
Will, what can we do for them?
We had a bit of a haggle on the day about price again, the usual story.
We try and keep things realistic.
But £300-£500 is a sensible estimate for this type of skeleton clock.
It's got no hybrid parts on it, which is what the clock dealers
are looking for, so it's going to hold its value.
Should do. They're conversation bits, aren't they?
Someone sees them who's not used to seeing them, "What's that?
"How does it work?" You know, see how it's made.
That's the thing about skeleton clocks, all about how they were made.
A 19th-century, brass, skeleton clock, as catalogued.
Two bids I have and I'm clearing the book at £380.
380, straight in.
On commissions, here with me at £380. 390...
-I'm looking for another bidder.
410. 420. At £420 now.
Still here with me, commission bid, at £420. Are we all done?
-That was good.
Well done, Will. Mid-estimate.
One of us can go.
-Right! A nice weekend, here you go.
-You think? Yeah?
-Where are you going? Where do you fancy? Where do you normally go?
-Sometimes Turkey or sometimes...
-No, a weekend.
-Get out to Bournemouth.
-Very nice. The Jurassic coastline down there.
Poole, take in a bit of Poole.
-Yeah, Lulworth Cove.
-Yeah. Oh, congratulations. Have a nice time.
As you can see the auction's still going on, but it's all over
for our owners and I have to say, that wasn't a bad day!
Do join me again soon for many more surprises on Flog It! But until then, cheerio from Essex.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The team look for antiques on the Essex coast, as Paul Martin brings Flog It! to Southend-on-Sea. On hand to help Paul delve through the bags and boxes are experts Will Axon and Thomas Plant.
Paul thinks an original Louis Wain is the cat's whiskers, Thomas finds a fascinating Waterloo bowl, but its Will who wins the battle at auction when a 19th-century skeleton clock goes under the hammer. Paul meets the son of a local man who launched trampolining in Essex in the 1950s, and two Olympic hopefuls demonstrate the exciting sport it has become.