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Look at that fabulous view! Today Flog It comes from just over there.
We're in a historic fishing port on the northeast coast of England. Welcome to Whitby in Yorkshire.
Perched here on the cliff top above the town on a rather windy day
there's something I must show you, it's simply quite stunning.
This, the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey. Just look at that.
It looks so magical in this light.
And in more recent history,
these haunting ruins inspired one of the most famous gothic novels -
Bram Stoker's Dracula, scary!
Thankfully it's not so spooky here on the seafront
where all the action is at Whitby Pavilion.
It looks like the whole town has turned out - a massive queue.
Our industrious experts are hard at work, Mr Philip Serrell and Kate Bateman.
And do you know, there's not a fang in sight, is there?
Thanks for turning up anyway.
It's now 9:30am, it's time to get the doors open and get the show on the road.
Coming up later in the programme, we uncover the incredible world
of Victorian photographer Frank Sutcliffe.
But now, Kate is straight off the starting blocks with some porcelain which has been in the wars.
-Hello, Jasmine and Linda.
-You've come to Flog It today
with these vases. First of all, what relationship are you to each other?
She's my nan.
OK. So what we've got here are a pair of sort of Persian-inspired ewers, or jugs.
And then there's also a pair of these.
We can't fit them all on the table. Another one of these larger vases.
-What do you think of them?
-They're nice, they're pretty.
You like them? OK.
Well, why are you selling them, Linda?
I move about so much, and unfortunately,
during all the movement, we've had a slight accident.
We can see if we turn this around, let's have a quick look. Oh, dear.
-So that's moving house and wear and tear?
I do have all the bits, it was in bubble wrap.
So I have all the pieces.
-It's quite a big restoration.
-When did you get them?
They were my mother's. She bought them in Portobello Road
in a second-hand shop over 60 years ago.
And I just remember them on a cabinet but always with flowers in.
When she died, they were left to me, plus some other...
I have decanters and other things, which I'm actually going to keep.
These, I really don't want them broken any more.
I'll tell you a bit about them. They're by a factory called Zsolnay,
and if you look at the bottom,
you've got a mark on the bottom, Zsolnay Pecs - a place in Hungary.
They're quite a strange factory, it's a little bit like Worcester with all this reticulated,
sort of pierced decoration, and then hand-decorated.
They are classic things of the Art Nouveau period,
so late 19th century up to about 1910.
They're decorated with this prunus blossom, flying cranes,
oriental inspired for these ones.
And then these ones are sort of Persian inspired,
copying Worcester of the same period.
All this pierced and reticulated work on these
makes it quite interesting and very difficult to pot,
-because you've got two layers.
Any idea pricewise?
Oh, I don't know, between 100-200 probably.
There are issues with damage and it's nice to get pairs of things.
That's about right in terms of valuation.
You could put an auction estimate of £100-£200 on them,
and then reserve-wise you could put a reserve of maybe £90
-so that it wouldn't sell for less than 90.
-Yes, I would like that.
-Are you happy with that?
-Do you think we should flog it?
Yes, I think she should sell them so she can get money for them,
and then she can spend her money.
-Spend it on something else you want to inherit?
OK, let's do it. Thank you bringing them in.
And my mother wouldn't tell me anything about it.
-I'm not surprised.
-She said one day when you're old enough,
I'll tell you what it's all about.
-Gordon, do you know what it's called?
-No, I know nothing about it at all.
Right. Clearly it's a walking cane, and that's a Stanhope, OK?
-And a Stanhope is like a really small lens
that's fitted into there.
And I think Stanhope was a manufacturer of lenses.
They're normally in little ivory pens, pencils, knives...
Not seen one in a walking cane before.
Normally you'd have a view of Whitby, or a view of Scarborough.
In this instance... I'm just going to check this out.
Well, for the benefit of the viewers at home,
-she's about, what, 5'8"?
-That's about right.
-Long, cascading brunette hair.
-Basically, she's got nothing on.
And she's... Actually, I'm just going to check this out again.
She's a very shapely girl, isn't she?
No wonder your grandmother wouldn't let you see this.
-I think it's a real good bit of fun.
I should think it's probably...1890-1900?
-I think it's interesting actually,
because there we've got a cane that's, like, worth a fiver.
-And then we put a Stanhope in there, and if the Stanhope has got a view of Whitby
or a view of Scarborough, it might be worth £20.
But, you know, it's a sad indictment of us old blokes, really.
Put a naked girl in there and all of a sudden everybody wants to buy it.
-I think at auction, you can put a very conservative estimate on it of £40-£60.
Fixed reserve of £40, and I think if you have a real good result,
-it could go and make £100-£150.
-Are you happy?
-I'm certainly happy.
Purely for research, I just need to check it out one more time.
-Welcome to Flog It.
You've brought in this fantastic cabinet.
What's inside? It has doors at the front.
Ah-ha! And it's a cutlery cabinet, by the look of it.
And these have got inlaid brass campaign handles to help it travel.
If we open it up,
what we've got is silver-plated cutlery,
not silver cutlery. Is this a family piece?
-What do you know about it?
-Yes, it belonged to my aunt.
And I think it was their wedding present from his family.
What sort of date would that be, early 20th century?
-I would think so, yes.
-It looks sort of Edwardian in style. And do you use it?
I haven't ever used it but I used to visit and when I visited her,
then yes, I used to use it.
I notice a few gaps here, there's a few things missing.
It looks like you've replaced some things with other items, so it's an incomplete set.
-Let's have a look in some of the other drawers.
These are bone-handled knives, they have silver collars.
Yes, there are actually two lots. There's another lot here, which are, I think, newer, probably.
So it's kind of a mixed bag.
It's incomplete but it's such a handsome case.
It's quite difficult to get hold of them in this fairly good condition,
-even though I'd say there are a few scratches and things.
They don't make a huge amount, because they're not that popular
-to stick in your dining room, but there are collectors out there for it.
So, any idea pricewise what you'd want to get for it?
Well, I would have thought around £100 for it.
OK. I think that's about right.
I'd probably estimate it at auction at £100-£150.
-And maybe put a reserve just below that of £80.
There are a few issues with the condition.
-OK, are you happy to send it to sale?
-Yes. Yes, I will.
OK, we'll put that estimate on and then see how it does in the sale.
-Brilliant. Thanks for bringing it.
-Emma, how are you?
-These are lovely, aren't they?
-They are, they were my great grandma's.
So were they sent to your great grandma by your great grandpa?
-So these are First World War silk postcards.
They're interesting, that one's got Britons All, then we've got the various flags.
This one initially would have had a little silk envelope in there.
And it's now got a card, which says "Dinna' forget."
And on the back it says, "I have fell in love with your photo."
-And that's from your great granddad to your great grandma?
The one that I like most of all
is this one here with this aeroplane on with Good Wishes,
because it's really stylistic and we've got the English and French flags there.
And I just think that's great.
I have to tell you these aren't worth a lot of money.
-I didn't think they would be.
-But one thing that I really have to know,
why on earth do you want to sell these?
My grandma's given me them, and said "Do what you want with them."
Don't you want to keep them?
No, because I've got the ration books,
so I've got, like, the memories of the war.
Yeah? And these are just superfluous?
Yeah, they're just sat on the shelf in the cabinet.
Because I'd be thinking that if my great granddad,
given that I'm a little bit older than you, if my great granddad
was fighting in the trenches in the First World War,
and he sent this postcard to my great grandma
and on the back it says, "Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,"
I don't know that I could part with that.
I've got photos with my great granddad and with things like that,
that were sent with the postcards.
You're an old sentimentalist, I don't think so, are you?
I think in terms of value, these at auction are going to make
£10 or £20, no more than that, and we won't put a reserve on them.
I think the one that's going to create the interest is this one here.
And this is a real Flog It question, this, but if they make £10 or £20,
-what will you spend the money on?
-I'll spend it on my son.
-That really is recycling, isn't it?
I can't convince you not to sell them?
-No, I want to sell them.
Never argue with a lady.
Well, that's it for our first four items.
We've crossed the Yorkshire border for today's sale,
to Thomas Watson Auctioneers in Darlington, Co Durham.
The sale is just about to start.
I'll leave you with a quick rundown of what's going under the hammer.
Linda is so afraid of further damaging her four Zsolnay vases
that she would rather sell them,
and I suspect granddaughter Jasmine might be hoping to reap the rewards.
Gordon's Stanhope has a saucy secret.
She's about, what, 5'8", long, cascading brunette hair.
-Basically she's got nothing on.
-Let's hope she will also attract the bidders.
The wooden cutlery cabinet which June inherited from her aunt
is going under the hammer, as she never uses it.
And finally, nostalgic old Philip is sad that Emma is parting with
her great grandma's First World War silk postcards.
Auctioneer Peter Robinson is already in full swing,
and the first of our items under the spotlight is Gordon's walking cane.
Something for the boys! It's a walking cane
and it has a cheeky little picture, a Stanhope, of a lady inside.
Gordon's had lots of fun with this, I would imagine!
-£40-£60, it's a snip at that sort of price.
It keeps a dinner party going!
Why are you selling? It's such a good laugh.
I'm downsizing, and I have that much rubbish.
-This came over from Canada?
-Yes, and my mother never would show me it.
I was nearly 20 when she said, "One of these days I will actually show you what it is."
But unfortunately she died, and it was only by chance
-that I actually saw the pinhole and I looked through it.
And I looked through it again.
-I looked through it again and again!
I couldn't believe my eyes. It was only by accident I found it.
Lovely talking point, get any dinner party going.
-Here we go.
-Stanhope cane, this time a wooden cane with a small
peephole photographic image, at £30 to start. At £30, 40.
50, 60. At £60 bid, at £60.
All done at £60, 70 anywhere?
At £60, it's near me, gentleman's bid at £60.
-Oh, come on, a bit more.
-Selling now at £60.
You'll note it was a gentleman's bid and not a lady's bid!
-Who bought it?!
-Shout his name out. THEY LAUGH
# We know what you're doing! #
Next up we've got the Edwardian wooden cutlery cabinet, it belongs to June.
-And we've got a valuation of £100-£150 put on this.
-This is a lovely thing, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
Proper piece of Edwardian kit.
Yes, and the thing they used to give for weddings at that time,
a canteen of cutlery.
-To start you off really, doesn't it, in the house?
This is a cracking thing, actually.
It's a handsome piece. It's a very attractive piece of furniture.
That's what I like it for, yes.
But it takes up a lot of space on your sideboard...
-In a small house.
-Yes, when you're downsizing.
-That's why you're selling?
Thank you very much.
405, the cabinet this time.
Does have some cutlery in it,
a collector's cabinet, nice lot in oak and walnut.
At £60 to start me.
At £60, at £60 for the cabinet.
£60, all done at £60? 70 now, at £60 for the collector's cabinet...
Can I say 70 anywhere?
70, thank you. 75, 80 now.
£80, 85. At £80 on my right.
The lady's bid has it at £80. £80 on my right,
selling then at £80.
-Sold, £80. It's gone.
-Oh well. Never mind, it's gone.
Lifestyles have changed and nobody has Sunday cutlery any more.
Let's see if the silk postcards can do any better.
Next up we've got the First World War silk postcards with a valuation of £10-£20.
Unfortunately we haven't got Emma,
but we've got her husband Alistair, who's right next to me.
These were great grandma's and great grandpa's?
-Been in the family a long time
but I know Emma is keen to say, "Look, I can part with them,"
-because she's got the ration books and lots of other items.
They are beautiful things.
It's really hard to put a value on something like this.
Well, you know, they're sort of £10 worth of postcards
and for me there's £100 worth of memories there.
Exactly, the sentimentality...
I could never sell them, but you know...
-Someone's got to sell something.
We'd be no good, would we? Hopeless.
Fingers crossed we'll get the top end of the valuation. This is it.
Number 75, three little embroidered postcards this time,
rather nice lots, one with the aeroplane on it.
At 10 bid, at £10.
At £10, all done at £10?
20 on my left, 20... 30, 40.
£30 in the balcony, at £30 for the lot now.
Selling at £30, selling now in the balcony at £30 for the lot.
-Good lad, get in there.
-Yes. Great, isn't it?
£20... £30 sold, yours.
Blink and you'll miss it. That's a good result, a very good result.
-Ring Emma up and tell her, won't you?
If you're hungry for pottery, you're going to love this next lot.
It belongs to Linda, not for much longer I reckon.
-Four Zsolnay vases, one terribly damaged.
-How did that happen?
-One of the moves.
-ONE of the moves?
-So you're always on the move?
-I'm always on the move.
-How many times have you moved now, then?
Ten times in the last ten years.
Are you fussy?
-You're just trading up all the time in property.
Have you got anything left that isn't broken?
Why haven't you settled down, why do you keep moving?
-Well, it's not my fault.
-Whose is it?
Well, you rent somewhere and they want the property back or they're selling or whatever.
-Oh, I see, right.
-Therefore you move on.
Oh, that's a shame. It's really unsettling.
And not good for your china, if it all ends up like this lot.
Let's see what we can do, let's see if we can get the top end.
It's going under the hammer.
These Zsolnay vases, two pairs. Commission bids here, 110.
-110 I'm bid for the Zsolnay. 110, 120.
130, 140... 150, 160... 170, 180...
170 the bid's with me now.
At £170 for the lot.
180, 190, 200... 210, 220...
240 with me, 250.
260 with me, 270.
-Oh, they like them, don't they?
-270 on the phone.
-At £270, are we all finished now?
-Someone with a tube of glue!
Selling at 270, all done.
-That was good, wasn't it?
A cautious estimate.
-Thank you so much.
-Just think if they weren't damaged...
-..if it was two perfect pairs.
-I could retire!
Well, they've got that great factory so that just shows it's strong.
-Yeah, good maker's name.
-Oh, thank you so much.
What are you going to put that money towards, not another deposit on another move?
Well, yeah, probably!
Well, that's the end of the first trip to the auction,
and when we return later we'll find out what has made one lady so happy.
I think Maureen's had the best day of her life here in Yorkshire, in Darlington.
In Victorian times, the remote fishing port of Whitby came to be known
as the photographer's Mecca and this was due to one man, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe.
He was born in Yorkshire in 1853,
just 14 years after the advent of photography, and as a young man
he embraced this new art form to become one of the most prolific photographers of his time.
It was here in his beloved Whitby and the surrounding areas
that Sutcliffe used his skill to document a way of life,
which was changing rapidly under the pace of industrialisation,
and the subjects of his study were local farmhands and fisherman.
Strangely enough, Whitby today hasn't really changed that much
from the time Sutcliffe was looking through his lens.
I've come to meet Mike Shaw from the Sutcliffe Gallery,
who's talking to me about Sutcliffe's photographs, methods,
and the place he carved himself in the history of photography.
Mike, thank you for meeting up with me and showing me around Whitby on such a beautiful day.
You're welcome. It's fantastic, it couldn't be better.
What brought Sutcliffe to Whitby in the first place?
Well, Frank Sutcliffe was born near Leeds from an artistic background.
-Frank Sutcliffe's father was a talented watercolour artist.
And the Sutcliffe family holidayed in Whitby when Frank was young, for quite a number of years,
and they moved to Whitby when Frank was 17.
-So they all loved it here, it was a calling anyway.
Sadly the year after they moved here, Sutcliffe's father died on the cliffs with pneumonia, painting.
So Frank was thrust to the head of the family as breadwinner,
and he chose photography as his career.
He opened a portrait studio in a disused jet workshop, actually, and never looked back.
He was probably one of the only photographers in Whitby,
taking photographs for the tourists.
-The well-off people, he made his living from that,
-but his passion was documenting the people of Whitby and the real town.
-The social history side.
That's right, which in those days was very unusual, it set him apart from other photographers.
Real characters, real expressions.
I guess maybe he got that from his father being an artist, did he?
Yeah, and probably his sense of composition as well,
which is something that you can't necessarily learn, it's in you.
So were they staged or were they spontaneous?
They have a spontaneous look to them,
-but they didn't have that luxury that we have of taking a candid photograph.
So he had to get people to pose, arrange them, and get them in general
not to look at the camera, which again was an unusual technique really because Victorian photography
is people looking straight at the camera.
Almost ghostlike, never smiling or anything, it's straight there, isn't it?
That's right, yes.
It's a sign really that he had a good rapport with his subjects.
He must have got to know them quite well for busy working people
to stop what they're doing and be arranged maybe a quarter of an hour, half an hour, into a group.
The exposures were for maybe a second or two seconds,
so that it wasn't a massive exposure time but still long enough that if anybody moved, they blurred.
Photography was a very different world compared to nowadays.
Very basic equipment, and yet technically very complex
-to accomplish a perfect photograph, really.
You had to be a technician and chemist, almost.
He would be working on a tripod,
whereas now we just hold a camera.
-It's just point and shoot, isn't it really?
In his early days, he would take out the darkroom with him
to process his glass negatives as soon as he'd taken the photograph, so it's just a different world.
-It is, isn't it? He certainly earned his money.
Was he well off at that stage?
With his becoming famous with his exhibition work,
he made a name for himself and people who were holidaying would flock
to have their photograph to have their photograph taken by him.
-So he would be the David Bailey of the day?
-That's right, exactly.
Incredible. So what were the social conditions like back then for a working person?
When you take a look at Frank Sutcliffe's photographs, you can tell that it was a physically hard life.
Lots of work, but probably compared to nowadays it was a more contented life, more neighbourly,
-and you could go out and not lock your door and things like that.
A nicer place to live, probably.
Yes. You're painting a nice picture. I wish we could all go back in time,
-Probably not, not knowing what we know now, no.
Let's talk about some of his other subject matter.
He was really busy in the summer so the majority of his photographs are actually taken in winter.
So there's some lovely snow scenes as well, rough seas,
ones of boats with children, and also when he goes out
into the country, farming scenes,
ploughing, and just some lovely rural landscapes that he's taken.
There are so many facets to his work, it's not just like a one-trick pony.
No. It's documenting social history, which is the brilliant thing.
-Yes. Even in their own day when they were contemporary photographs, they were acknowledged as fantastic.
-Nowadays they've got that added bonus of being social documents as well.
-He was a true artist and a pioneer in his day -
how does he fit into the history of photography moving forward?
Well, he did see a lot of changes in photography.
Obviously when he first started, he was coating his negatives
with the wet chemicals first of all and then moved on to dry plates.
Then really when he was thinking about retiring from photography,
Kodak brought out the Box Brownie, which was a hand-held camera,
and Kodak asked a few prominent photographers
of the day to endorse their new camera and gave Frank Sutcliffe
a camera and some film to try out.
The results from those, which we have, are OK but they don't quite have the same quality
from his glass plate work where I think he had to think more about the results that he was producing.
-But he certainly earned his place in history.
-Absolutely. He was well respected in photographic history
and just general history of this country really.
Back at the Whitby Pavilion, it's still a full house.
Kate has met up with Alison, who's showing her something exotic.
You have brought in this absolutely fantastic African tribal piece,
what can you tell me about it?
Right. Well, it's from northwest Africa, Nigeria, from somewhere near Osogbo, I believe.
My dad was stationed there during the war, 1942,
and he was given this piece by a geologist that worked there,
who was apparently a very important man to the Yoruba tribe,
and he went drinking with him one night and they probably got chatting
about this piece and he gave it to him.
OK. Won it in a game of cards or something, could be.
I wouldn't have thought so, but it's possible.
I don't actually know 100% certain, but I think that this is the face
-I beg your pardon?
-This one here?
-Yeah, I think he was the creator of the Earth and first crowned king,
and I believe that this is a crown,
and that this is Great Earth Mother and that she's actually crowning him.
Right, so it's a kind of symbolic thing.
-I think so, yes.
-It's probably ceremonial, meant to go in a place of worship of something like that.
I suppose date-wise, what sort of time did your father acquire it?
Well, that was 1942, but obviously it wasn't made for him
so it's been around a little bit longer than that.
-I think it is a bit earlier, it's probably like 1910-1920.
It's certainly early 20th century, which is a good age for collectors.
It could be a little bit older than I thought then.
It's quite unusual. Think of the workmanship that's gone into it.
All of these have been hand-threaded. In some areas of Africa,
beads and this kind of thing was used as a type of currency
because beads that weren't produced locally had to be bought in,
so the more beads, the more status and the more money you had.
This is a lot of beads so it was for somebody of high status, a king or somebody like that, a prince.
-Somebody that was highly respected in the community.
Now if we take the top off as well,
it's a bottle with a cork.
I don't know, presumably that is because it was something that was
available that they could use as a base, because the rest of it...
-she's a padded figure.
Presumably there's some wood and some padding and things in there,
-but I don't know what was in the bottle. I'm not going to sniff it and find out.
It's quite an interesting use of something that was around.
OK, well it's a brilliant piece, why are you selling it?
It sits on top of the wardrobe in a box, I don't display it because it is getting quite old,
and it's getting fragile and I don't want it to be handled.
So nobody gets to see it and it's a long way from home, and really it should be with items of its kind.
Yes, a collector of tribal artefacts.
It's really good fun, but difficult to value.
Price-wise I would have thought maybe between £300 and £400, something like that.
-Is that the kind of figure you'd be happy with?
-Yes, I think that's what I was thinking.
OK, so probably put a reserve just below the low estimate of maybe £250 reserve and a £300-£400 estimate.
-Yes. Good, good.
-Brilliant. OK, we'll send it the sale. Thanks for bringing it in.
Good morning, it's great to see you. And I wish I lived in this area because just driving
-from Pickering this morning, it's stunning, isn't it?
Do you know what you've got here?
Not really, no. I just thought it's been lying around the house and I thought I'd bring it.
-Was it your parents'?
-No, my in-laws'.
Your in-laws, OK. What do you think it's for?
-I thought probably it was for wool or string.
-I can see
where you're coming from because you could put a ball of string in there and have the thread coming out,
and cut it off at the right lengths, but do you know...
it is in fact a tea caddy.
It's from the Georgian period, the Hanover period.
You have to be very careful when you say the Georgian period because there were three King Georges.
This is George III so we're looking at the late 1700s right up to 1820,
George III period, and it is a pear wood, fruitwood, tea caddy,
-shaped like a pear.
-Oh, I see, yes.
Lots of caddies appeared in different shapes and sizes,
you could have larger ones, you could have smaller single cube ones.
Tea was very popular to drink, it became fashionable with royalty and
the well to do in the late 1600s. It was a valuable commodity.
Poor people couldn't afford to drink tea, hence it was kept under lock and key.
These caddies had
little locks on so the servants couldn't pilfer the tea.
-Oh, I see, yes.
-Because it was very, very expensive.
It was brought back from the colonies and of course
on great tall ships, which may have taken two or three months, so you can see the time and
-the effort and the danger put in to bring spices and teas home.
This is stunning though, and it basically is a single blend tea.
You could either have green tea or black tea, and if you look inside you can
see there are traces of tinfoil.
-That lined this little caddy, it kept the tea fresh.
And that's really nice, you see, the traces of that just tells me that it's so right.
That's got its original hinge, its original lock and escutcheon, and
that's more than likely silver but it's blackened off over the years.
It would have had a tiny little stalk coming out of there,
just put in afterwards,
but it's absolutely stunning, it's a lovely shape.
The collectors really go for these.
-Have you any idea of the value?
No, not really. £30?
£30, right, OK.
Well, the only thing that lets it down, the stalk's missing,
that can be sorted out, and the colour can be brought back.
I'm going to say to you...
you think this is worth £30?
Well, on a very good day in auction,
-you might get £500.
Yes, even without
the work. I'd like to put this into auction with a value of £300-£500,
have the reserve at £300,
but on a good day in this condition, that's going to do £500.
Gosh, that's lovely.
Better than a string box, isn't it?
-How are you, Norah?
-I'm fine, thank you.
-I love those earrings, they're sweet, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
-What have you brought for me then?
-I've brought you a vinaigrette.
Why's it called a vinaigrette?
-Because they put something inside to smell nice.
-To smell nice.
-What did they put in there?
Some sort of perfume.
-Let's have a look at it, right. This is a little silver box, OK?
-If we open it up,
we can see a grill there.
It's got this gilt interior, and it's hallmarked,
and that hallmark tells me it was assayed in Birmingham in 1822.
As early as that? That's older than you and me.
And then this grill lifts up, but your grill's damaged.
There's a hallmark there, there's also a hallmark on here.
So we've actually got three little bits of silver here - the top, the bottom, and the grill,
and each piece is hallmarked to tell you that it's silver.
-Just imagine living in the 1820s, right, I mean living
-conditions weren't good, were they?
-You mean it would be smelly.
I wasn't trying to put it like that, but now you've summed it up so succinctly, it was very smelly.
There was no sort of sewerage,
you know, and living conditions weren't good,
and if you were a Regency gentleman, man about town,
you would put a little bit of sponge in there, and that little bit
of sponge would have been soaked in aromatic spices
and other fragrances, and as you were walking along the road, you would
pull this out, open it up and just smell it, and it just took away the pungent smells that were around you.
So would it be used more by men than women?
Yes, I think so. This has got a few problems with it because silver is a very, very soft metal and if
you polish something where there are highs and lows in the silver, you can get little holes in it.
Now my eyes aren't that special, but can you see just there?
-Sort of, yes.
-And just there.
-I hadn't realised.
-Just little holes, very, very small holes.
-Because I've polished it too much.
-You have polished too much, Norah.
You know, these things ten years ago,
that could have been worth £150-£250.
-He tells me now.
-I've always been behind the times myself, Norah.
-These things aren't as fashionable as they were.
And you've got damage to it.
I think in the auction you've got to make that appealing to someone.
I think we can estimate it at £60-£90, and if you're lucky, it might just tip £100, you know.
We'll reserve it at 50. Now a lot of people get a bit confused with reserves and estimates.
An estimate is what you think it will make.
-A reserve is a price below which you won't sell it, so are you happy with that?
-I'm fine, thank you.
-Are you looking forward to the auction now?
-Of course I am, it's my hometown.
-Your hometown, well, that's got to be a result, hasn't it?
Let's head over to Norah's hometown of Darlington now for our final trip to the auction, where we'll see
if there's a market for Alison's African tribal statue, which was gifted to her father
during World War Two when he was stationed in Nigeria.
And Norah's silver vinaigrette, hallmarked Birmingham 1882,
is going under the hammer, and it just has a weeny bit of damage.
-I've polished it too much.
-You have polished it too much, Norah.
And finally my favourite item of the day, Maureen's pear-shaped pearwood tea caddy,
which I think should do well over my top end of the estimate of £300-£500.
And before we see these items going under the hammer,
I caught up with auctioneer Peter Robinson to see if he agrees.
-We've had some good interest for it.
-I was just about to ask that, it's been viewed and handled?
-It's been viewed and handled.
-If you were a caddy collector,
-you're going to want to have one that's pear-shaped because that is quite rare.
-Well, it is rare.
They do come in other fruit shapes but the whole concept of the fruitwood caddies are rare.
They don't come up very often and because this one is in this original, although slightly
distressed but original, condition it'll come back in a really way.
Let's just hope we can get the top end of the estimate.
I'm hoping so. We've got bids on the book, we've got one phone line booked at the moment,
we've got interest.
Maureen's face lit up because she thought this was worth £30.
When she brought it in, she thought it was a string box or something you put wool in.
Well, it's not obviously a tea caddy when you look at it from the
outside, but for the collectors of caddies, it's a special one.
-It's top of the range, isn't it?
-And they'll be after this.
-Hopefully, fingers crossed.
-Fingers crossed, can't wait to find out.
-It's definitely my brew, that one.
But I'm going to have to wait to find out how the tea caddy does, as
first under the hammer is Norah's vinaigrette.
-Now, this has been handed down through the family, isn't it?
So there's no real story attached to it, but I tell you what, it's a really good time, Philip's just
-whispered in my ear, to sell precious metals, you know that?
-Yes, he's just told me that.
Yes, in times of recession, silver and gold way up in value. What's it an ounce now?
-It's about £8 an ounce today, I think.
Yes, it's good. Paul's absolutely right, in times of a recession...
-Quickly getting the top end of the estimate here, fingers crossed.
-You never know.
-You never know, do you?
George IV Thomas Shaw vinaigrette, nice little lot this time, gilt
interior at £30 bid, £30 a low start at £30 for the vinaigrette...
40, 50... 60, 70... £60, 70...
-80, 90... 100.
110... 120, 110 in the balcony...
at £110, bid's in the balcony
at £110, selling now at £110, the bid's upstairs.
£110, the hammer's gone down.
-Great time to sell silver.
-Are you happy?
-Yes, I am, very.
Very happy. Well done, Philip. What are you putting the money towards?
Probably going to France at the end of next month to see my grandson.
-It'll be nice.
Next up, some African tribal art,
it's beaded, it belongs to Alison, and we've got £300-£400 on this.
Condition is fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
Where's it been at the moment, on display in the house, or in the cupboard?
No, it's been kept in a cupboard.
It's been in the cupboard for... Oh, it must be the best part of 60 years.
Oh, gosh, it's getting a good airing today.
Yes, seeing the light of day again.
Well, hopefully the bidders will pick up on this,
there's some other tribal artefacts here so the collectors are here.
-It's going under the hammer right now.
This African beaded item from Nigeria,
lot 330, at 150, at 150, 150, 160 anywhere...
-at £150 bid, 160... 180.
200... 220, 250... 280, at 250 in the doorway the bid...
at £250, the gentleman's bid at £250... Selling then at £250.
Just on the reserve.
Just, yes. That's still a sale.
-Yes, £250, it's a good sale.
That was close, wasn't it?
I wasn't sure, I thought that would be too low for a minute there.
-Are you happy?
-Yes, I'm happy with that.
-Got to be happy, haven't you?
-What are you going to put the money towards?
-Well, it was going towards a motorbike for my husband.
-Not for me! But it'll pay for a couple of helmets probably.
Of course it will, it'll go towards the cause, won't it?
OK, it's my turn to be the expert now, and it's that gorgeous pearwood tea caddy
and it belongs to Maureen here, and she's brought her husband along.
-Hi, Tony, is it?
-Hello. That's correct.
-This was your mum's, wasn't it?
-That's right, yes, it was.
So when Maureen got home from the valuation day, she said, "They've taken in the tea caddy."
-She actually rang us on the mobile phone before she even got home anyway.
£300-£500 we're looking at on an average day if this was
in great condition, it needs a bit of TLC, but it'd be up there in the £800-£1,200 bracket, it's that good.
-We'll see, with the defects, isn't it?
-Have a chat to the auctioneer,
he agrees with the valuation and he said there's been lots of interest, so that's good.
Fingers crossed. Good on your mum, she had a good eye.
Here we go.
300, here we are, the pear-shaped
tea caddy this time, lot number 300, and open the bidding at £300.
350, at £300... 350 bid, £400...
£550, at £550 dead ahead, 600...
650, 700... 750.
and 50, 1,000...
and 50, 1,100...
and 50, 1,200...
-They like it.
-They like it.
-Two got stuck in, they're bidding against each other.
And 50, 1,500...
and 50, 1,600...
and 50, 1,700...
and 50, 1,800...
and 50, 1,900...
1,900... and 50, 2,000.
-That's a lot of money.
2,200, 2,300... 2,400,
2,300 in front of me now, at 2,300. It's in the room at 2,300, all done.
-£2,300! Put it there.
-Two people really wanted that,
that's all you can say, and they bid each other right to the bitter end.
Yes, I never imagined that.
Oh, gosh. Well, look, there's 15% commission to pay today.
-But don't forget that's a lot of money to be going home with.
-Very nice, isn't it?
-That's going to come in handy, isn't it?
-We haven't decided what for yet.
You're shaking. I think Maureen's had the best day of her life here in the auction room in Darlington.
-Thank you very much.
-Good job she started out on a day out with her sister in Whitby, that's all it was.
-Thank you so much for coming in.
And thank you so much for watching, we've had a cracking day here, I hope you've enjoyed the show.
There's plenty more surprises to come next time on Flog It.
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