Paul Martin is joined by experts Mark Stacey and Adam Partridge in the university city of Bangor, north Wales. Mark finds a silver purse and Adam values a French violin.
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Today we're in one of the smallest cities in Britain.
But it's said to have the longest high street in Wales,
and its pier, Garth Pier, is 1,500 feet long.
It's Wales' second largest pier. So where are we?
Well, we're in North Wales
in the small but perfectly formed city of Bangor.
For such a small city I'm delighted to see such a large crowd
gathering here outside Bangor University's Prichard-Jones Hall
and I can't wait to see what's in some of these bags and boxes
because, hopefully, there's going to be something really interesting
that's going to bring some big results for our owners
when we put them under the hammer later on in the show.
'There are surprises in store for some of our owners.'
Rather have the money than have them stuck in a drawer, wouldn't you?
Or stuck in me!
'And some of our experts.'
Tell me a little about yourself first of all.
Where do you come from?
So, whose antique knowledge will we be testing here in Bangor?
Heading the team, our Adam Partridge,
who gave up his studies at Oxford because he found himself
more often in an auction house than at a university lecture hall.
If Mark sees that, he'll be really jealous!
And Mark Stacey, whose enthusiasm for antiques
and thirst for knowledge has given him an expertise
now sought-after by the very top names in the business.
-You really are a charmer, aren't you?
-I try to be.
Let's start with Mark, who's with Margaret
but he's not giving much away.
-You've brought a charming little piece of silver in
but we don't want to reveal what it is at the moment.
Where did you get it from?
From a very elderly lady who was with me when I was born.
No. What do you mean with you? Your mother, you mean?
She was with my mother when I was born.
And what was she doing with your mother?
She came in an emergency because she had just done her midwifery.
-And did you stay friends all your life?
-All our lives.
Yes. I moved away from this area
but I came back and re-contacted with her.
And you've ended up back in Bangor.
Yes, back in Benllech in the promised land.
Well, it is a lovely little thing. I think it's about time
-we told everybody what it is.
-Silver, of course.
-Yes, of course.
-And when we open it, it's a little purse.
-And it's Victorian.
It's Victorian. The mark has unfortunately rubbed,
-so we can't see the date mark.
But it's got Victoria's head on there.
-And I think it's around about 1880.
-I can't imagine where it came from.
Well, you can imagine, can't you?
A fashionable young Victorian lady going out for the evening,
-she'd have her bag...
-To a ball.
-To a ball.
And there she would have, in here, maybe a few half sovereigns.
-To pay for her taxi cab.
Well, horse-drawn cab, of course, in those days.
But I think it's lovely, I just love that shape -
it's so simple and yet so elegant, isn't it?
Elegant is the word.
-And what do you think it's worth?
-I have no idea whatsoever.
Oh, no, I would think a little bit more than that!
That's what they all say. That's what they all say.
I do think it's worth a bit more than that.
I don't think it's hugely valuable.
No, I don't think I'm going to go sort of a lottery...
No, I don't think so.
But I would put it in - because it's such a charming piece,
and I think it would catch on to people -
-I would put it in at an estimate of £60-80.
It might go a little higher on the day. I would put a reserve on it.
I would put a reserve of £50 on it.
-Yes. That would be...
-Would you be happy with that?
I'd be very happy with that.
But aren't you just a little bit sad to see it go?
But I have a number of other things,
particularly liked or used when she was alive.
And I can see that you're quite a determined lady, Margaret -
-once you've made a decision, that's it.
-Yes. That is very true.
-I have been like that all my life.
-We have to be, don't we?
-Yes, life puts that on you.
An item like that just brings the Victorian era back to life.
Adam kicks off with a couple whose names are easy to remember.
Paul and my wife, Pauline.
Paul and Pauline! That's a good start already, isn't it?
-Corny but true.
-Easy to remember, yes.
I was instantly attracted to this on a number of levels.
But it's a wonderful shape, isn't it, that streamlined shape?
I could imagine a cad driving it.
-Absolutely. Are you a motoring enthusiast?
-My goodness, yes.
-Since I was probably about three, I should think.
I've been very lucky with cars.
-I've had everything from a Mini to a Rolls-Royce.
-Have you? All sorts.
What do you make of all this, Pauline?
Well, he's very fortunate because he married a petrol-head wife, as well.
-So you share that passion?
-We do. Very much so.
-We have hundreds of model cars.
A load of Dinkies, but one of the reasons I brought it in today
was I've never seen anything made out of Bakelite.
-You've never seen one of these before?
That's really fortunate because I have. In fact,
I've sold one in my auction rooms about three or four months ago.
-So I know quite a bit about it, which is quite unusual.
-Well, you're the expert!
-Firstly, where did you get this one from?
-Is it something you've bought recently?
It was a birthday present from my parents, I think
-when I was about three.
-There's a tiny hole in the front.
Just trying to do my maths here... Was that in the '40s?
About 1948, I think,
and I used to pull it round the garden on a piece of string.
But my parents were very poor.
And one of the reasons I've brought it in today was I'm wondering
whether it could be new in 1948 or whether it predates that.
-I think it predates that. I think it predates that.
It looks 1930s.
Typically 1930s. It's got that real Deco streamlined shape of the 1930s.
-It's a wonderful shape.
And on the back you've got the mark of CODEG, C-O-D-E-G.
-Is that British or not?
It stands for Cowan de Groot and Co.
Which they shortened into CODEG, and they were a British toy firm
and, in fact, they still are retailers of toys now, I believe.
They're still in the toy business
but they're not called CODEG any more.
They're back to Cowan de Groot, as they used to be.
But that's why it's called a CODEG car. Made of brown Bakelite.
They also did a cream model, as well,
-which would've been pretty swish, as well.
-It would, wouldn't it?
It's very Poirot, too. You could see him in it.
That's right, yes. So, you want to know what the one I had made?
Indeed I do.
-The one I had was damaged.
But we only estimated £20-40 because of the damage but it made 95.
-I mean, it's obviously worth £50-80.
-Sounds pretty good.
There is a piece missing.
I have dim a recollection there may have been a Perspex windscreen.
The windscreen's missing. I think we go with a 50-80 estimate.
-How does that sound?
-That sounds absolutely fine.
-Is that all right?
-And a reserve of 50?
Because you don't want it to be undersold, do you?
That would be heartbreaking.
It would, because you kept it all those years.
Now, it's not a massive sum of money, £100.
It's probably not even enough to fill up your Rolls-Royce, is it?
Not these days!
So I shan't be asking what you're going to do with the money.
My wife always treated me, she's very good,
so I'm going to treat her and put it towards a weekend in Paris, I think.
What a fun thing, and for Bakelite it's in pretty good condition.
I'm mad about wood, so it's hardly surprising
that Sandra's piece of treen has caught my eye in the queue.
-What's the story? How did you come by this?
We had to clear out my mother's house 18 months ago.
I wonder if you can guess what that is.
It's a nice bit of turned lignum vitae.
It's an exceptionally hard word.
You know what it is, obviously, don't you? Have you used this?
That's where the handle is. There's the mechanism. That screws back on.
Ready? Is there anything in it?
Remnants of something inside.
-It's all gone over your clothes!
-We thought they were coffee beans?
They would have been coffee beans, yes. This is to grind coffee down.
If I had to stick my neck out, I'd say this is Continental.
-Yes, possibly French. About 1820.
This is a lovely bit of table treen.
It's called treen because it's obviously made from the tree.
-Look at this lovely ambiguous grain. Can you see that?
-It is nice.
-Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
-I like the knot.
There's a knot in the wood.
-And a knot at the bottom, as well.
-Yes, lots of heart and soul.
-Isn't that lovely?
Would you like to put it into auction?
I think it's worth around £100-150. I don't know what you thought.
-I had no idea. No idea.
There's a bit of damage to it, just there, but you can see
that is so early, it softened up, it's not as if it was done last week
-and it's got a brittle edge.
-Indeed. It's a long...
-Let's put it into auction with the old auctioneer's cliche,
And I'm just rather hoping it'll do the sort of 120-150 mark.
-That would be nice.
It's got to feel right, and if it feels right, someone in the auction
will pick that up and go, "Oh, oh, that is so tactile, I love that,"
caress it, not want to put it down. They're going to want to own that.
And, hopefully, they'll put their hand up and buy it.
-See you on the day.
What a nice thing. I love early pieces of treen.
Next, Adam's extensive knowledge comes in handy with some
mystery objects brought in by Jill.
Well, Jill, these are fantastic little items you've brought
-along here today.
-Do you know what they are?
-Where did you get them from?
-Does she live in the countryside?
I think probably they came from her father originally.
Or her grandfather. He was in the farming industry.
Well, that helps, really.
They are Georgian, early 19th century, and they are fleams.
-Fleams, which are blood-letting instruments.
So, we've got a little group of people behind us
and I thought we could do a demonstration.
They're blood-letting instruments
and three blades there, and this one is stamped Borwick,
Borwick was quite a well-known fleam maker.
He was in Sheffield.
Roger Borwick. And he started about 1790 until 1860,
so I would think that's early 19th century.
They're horn handles, both similar things,
and there are collectors of medical apparatus,
medical instruments out there.
-But more veterinary than human.
-I think so.
-Quality, aren't they?
They usually make £20 each, something like that.
I'd be tempted to put an estimate of 30-50 to be realistic.
-Yes. Each, or...?
-For the two. I would put 30-50, realistically.
-Would you have them back if they didn't make a certain price?
Oh, I don't know.
-No, I don't think so.
-Oh, there's some input there. "Let them go!"
-Let them go.
-Let them go.
Really, it's not a lot of money, but they're interesting objects.
There'll be a lot of people watching this
that have no idea what they are and what they're for.
-Well, I didn't know what they were until I brought them today.
I've managed to teach someone something. That's wonderful.
Hopefully there'll be people watching this at home saying,
"We've got one of them. I never knew what it was for."
So, a quick reminder of the first few items which will be
up for sale at auction.
Mark's find was first - the little silver purse.
What a glorious reminder of bygone elegance.
Adam picked out the Bakelite car
because he's recently sold one in his own auction house.
The treen coffee grinder was my choice.
The wood is superb and it has a wonderfully worn quality.
It caught my eye and I don't think I'll be the only one.
Adam unravelled the mystery of Jill's fleams,
the blood-letting instruments,
and once again they give us a glimpse into the past.
These little pieces of history haven't got far to go.
They are being sold at Rogers Jones and Co Auctioneers & Valuers
in Colwyn Bay.
It's looking busy, which is always a good sign.
We're kicking off with Jill
and her husband, Peter, with their pair of fleams.
We haven't seen these on the show before -
this is a first for "Flog It!" Fleams, I believe, Jill and Peter.
-Hope they were never used!
-Well, they were at one time!
-They were only for veterinary use, these.
So how did you come across them?
-Found them amongst my mother's things.
-Oh, did you?
-Not a lot of money, £30-40.
It's the kind of thing not a lot of people would want to buy.
At a fair, you'd have to give 30 or 40 each for them,
and sometimes a touch more, so I think we should be about right.
-That's positive. Happy?
-Rather have the money than have them stuck in a drawer.
-Or stuck in me!
Two bone-backed, three-bladed fleams, one marked Borwick,
the other indistinct.
Bid me. £50 for two fleams.
20, thank you, sir.
20 I'm bid. 20. 442, 25.
45 I'm bid. Is there 50? At £45.
Everybody done now? Any further? At £45 and going.
We nearly did it. That's not bad. A really good result, isn't it?
-Yes. Very happy.
-They could easily have been discarded.
-The type of thing you wouldn't look at twice.
That's the great thing about antiques - classic recycling!
You can't get anything greener than antiques.
A spot-on valuation by our expert.
Next up, it's the Pauls - me, Paul and Pauline and their Bakelite car.
I've just read in my notes, this was your birthday present
when you were three years old. Oh, you can't sell something like that!
Would you sell something that you were given
-when you were three?
-I'm very sentimental, so probably not.
Nor would I! I really wouldn't.
-My mum would go absolutely mad.
-I've got that many cars.
All over the house and in the loft.
-This was unusual. I thought it might appeal to you.
-It did. I love it.
It was a gorgeous shape. Here we go. Good luck, you two.
Paul, Paul and Pauline, how about that?
-I feel a bit out of place!
-You do, don't you?
A Bakelite CODEG open tourer sports car.
-It's got the look.
Doesn't need taxing, doesn't need insurance.
It don't need petrol.
It starts with me at £80. At 80 I'm bid.
The bid is on the book here at 80. 80 bid.
A typical piece of that period Bakelite, wonderful. 85? 90?
-Show us your money!
95. 100 with me.
At £100. 5 again. 5. 110.
110. 110 bid.
My bid on the book.
Coming back at £110.
Well done, auctioneer. Yes, £110.
Paul looked like he really enjoyed himself then, just...
Teasing the extra money out of the bidders. Yeah.
I promised her a treat, so I'll have to do it now, won't I?
-What's it going to be?
-Ooh, very nice!
What a good result.
You can remember the 19th-century coffee grinder
that I valued at 80-120 belonging to Sandra.
Well, we've got that going under the hammer now.
Unfortunately, Sandra can't be with us
but we do have her daughter, Joanne. It's good to see you. It really is.
Now, since the valuation day, the family have been in touch
with the saleroom and they've now put the reserve up to £600.
-That's a great big quantum leap in value.
-It really is.
It says to me, really, that somebody in the family
-doesn't really want this to go.
They've done a little bit of research into it and, like you say,
it's sentimental, it was my grandmother's.
-It's hard to let things go.
-Yeah, it is, isn't it?
Anyway, let's find out what happens because, you know, it's interesting.
-And this is what auctions are all about.
-That's right. You never know.
-You just never know. Good luck, Joanne.
Here we go.
The 19th-century lignum coffee grinder. Bid me 500.
Early piece of treen. 400.
200, I'm bid at 200. At 200 on the book. Where is 50? At 200.
50 anywhere? At £200. Is there 50?
At £200. 50 I'll take.
At £200. Afraid this is a nonstarter, at £200.
-Well, it's good, it's going home.
-It's going home.
It's not meant to be sold, is it?
She's looking down on us, she's saying, "Don't sell that."
-Yeah, and you've got kids, you've got a little boy.
-I have, yes.
-That'll be his one day.
-Yeah? Don't ever sell it.
Shouldn't really, should we?
Oh, well, we've all learned our lesson there, haven't we?
Next we have Margaret and her charming Victorian silver purse.
Well, we do say condition is everything in this game
and this lot has the lot. It's got the look, the condition, as well.
It belongs to Margaret. It's that lovely Victorian shell-shaped purse.
It's not a lot of money and I expect this to fly out the room. Oh, I do!
-Has it just been in a drawer?
-Not on display?
-Not on display.
It's a lovely-looking thing. It caught Mark's eye.
It's a charming little bit of Victoriana, Edwardiana.
I mean, it's something that nobody would use today
but you can imagine a lady going to the ball,
keeping a sovereign there for the carriage on the way home.
-Yes, that's right.
-Keeping a little dance card in there.
-It's just wonderful. And it should sell well.
It's going to go to a collector who's right here in this room.
The Victorian silver shell coin purse. It's a little beaut.
-It starts with me at 80. 80 I'm bid.
-It's gorgeous, isn't it?
-You see, they love it.
-90 anywhere? £80 with me. 90.
90 I'm bid. 90.
£90 only. Leave the gate open at 95.
-Is that 100? 100. £100.
And again now. 100.
This is good.
Get it up to £100. Yes!
You see, straight in at 80. Quality...
Quality always sells, that's what we keep saying -
if you're going to invest in antiques,
make sure it's great condition.
-It was lovely, wasn't it?
-It was very nice.
A good result for a good thing.
And, when we return later, Adam has a bright idea of how antiques
could help the financial health of the country.
It's been up in the loft now for 20-odd years.
If we could clear every loft in the land,
I think we'd solve the economy.
I've crossed the Menai Strait to the Isle of Anglesey to visit
Plas Newydd, one of Britain's superb country houses.
And, like so many of these fine establishments,
it was given over to the National Trust,
which has maintained it since 1976.
Well, there's plenty of history here -
parts of this magnificent house date back to 1470.
But today I've come to look at something relatively more modern
and that's the 20th-century work of artist Rex Whistler.
In 1936, when the sixth Marquess of Anglesey had architects to remodel
the complete wing of this part of the house, he commissioned
Rex Whistler to paint a mural on his recently created dining room wall.
At the time, Rex Whistler was an extremely fashionable choice.
He was highly versatile. Not only did he paint
but he also turned his hand to book illustration and theatre design.
He was an absolutely delightful chap,
very popular with the country house set in heady interwar years
and he became personal friends with many of the families who commissioned his work.
And today I'm lucky enough to talk to the present Lord Anglesey,
who still resides here in this magnificent house,
Plas Newydd, and he's going to talk me through the mural
and share some of his personal memories of Rex Whistler.
Lord Anglesey, how did the commission come about
and what was the brief?
Ah, well, it's very interesting, that, because when my father
made this room specially for him, other people asked that.
And the answer was, he had just become THE fashionable painter.
-Did the family have a say in what was going on in the mural?
He discussed it with us all the whole time.
How old were you when Rex was here painting then?
I was... When he first started, I was about 15, 16.
Yeah. Did you take a liking to him? Was he a fun, artistic chap to know?
He became for all of us, including my five sisters,
an absolutely adorable friend.
He loved children. He used to allow us at all stages,
-when it was just charcoal on canvas, to paint in.
-Have a little scribble.
How long did it take him to do?
In good summer weather, he would come and stay here for a fortnight.
Trouble was that, as he was a very, very fast worker,
-if the sun was shining we often found him not at it.
-He was sunbathing, was he?
This is absolutely beautiful.
Will you walk me through the story?
First of all, there is him as the gardener.
I don't think he'd ever got a weed out of anywhere.
Isn't that a wonderful perspective?
-You feel like you can walk right through those arches.
Well, that was what he was a particular master of - perspective.
He got those arches exactly right.
-Yeah. Show me how the story unfolds.
-Shall we start here?
-First of all, here are three dogs.
The one on the cushion always wore the best real pearls.
-She was very spoilt.
This is my favourite house of the whole thing.
This Gothic bit here.
Perfect symmetry he's captured.
It's almost like the work of an architect, isn't it?
Well, he had this extraordinary memory.
If he'd seen that building in reality ten years earlier...
-He could capture it and remember it?
-No, but more than that.
-He could tell you exactly how many windows there were.
Exactly how many panes there were in the windows and how many doors
and everything else. He could remember it absolutely.
The water looks like it's moving.
But I remember as he was leaving and had to leave it unfinished, he said,
"Of course I should have made this water calm inside here."
Yes, it's in the harbour, isn't it?
This was a ship he painted out. I think you can see it.
I can. You can just see the mast.
-Why did he do that?
Because he said one day, "There are too many ships here."
Big brush, out it goes.
Next day, it's finished.
There's my father's pre-First World War yacht.
Those were the days when we were rich.
You said with a big smile!
Then this is very fascinating
because one evening we were all rather drunk
and about to go to bed, and Rex said,
"There's a ship here which I want to take out, too."
In the morning we came down and here was this.
This wonderful island.
He did that overnight, did he?
He did it overnight and finished it off in the course of that day.
It must have been great for you to get up as a teenager
and come downstairs, wander through here and say,
-"I wonder what Rex has done next."
That happened often. Now the most important historical thing is...
-Hey, look at the footprints.
-We've got footprints. Why are they there?
Whose are they?
Someone's just come out of the water.
-Or like Neptune.
-Neptune! You're quite right.
There is his crown and his coral sceptre with a golden tip.
He was a master at doing this rigging.
My father, who knew about rigging, was amazed.
-The detail is very good, isn't it?
It's as if he spent time at sea to understand that.
Well, he hadn't at all.
He'd merely observed, but he'd seen them.
He was always observing. My father said,
"It's incredible! You've got them almost exactly right."
-Nice, isn't it?
I don't know who that is, but it's probably my twin sister, Kitty.
Ah, she's holding a little doll.
Yes, you're right. I've never noticed it before.
Thank you very much. Yes, thank you.
Here is this great town. It's full of all sorts of things.
Here is an amazing...
-It's like a little helter-skelter.
And a fair going on there, which is nice, isn't it?
-How about that?
Look at that as a backdrop.
-A wonderful mountain range.
-Yeah. Here is my father...
..as the creator of all this.
-Was your father really happy with this mural?
-Oh, amazingly happy.
-We all were.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
Here, I long to know what happens up there.
So what happened when Rex finished the mural?
-Did he come back and stay often?
-No, because the war came, you see?
He didn't finish it, as I've shown.
He then became an officer in the Welsh Guards.
He wanted to go over and fight.
"I want to go and get killed."
And he did, as well, didn't he, at the age of 39?
Then he got killed before he saw a suspicion of a German.
It was a mortar, wasn't it, in Normandy that got him?
It was indeed.
Oh, I was in Italy at that time
fighting the Nazis, too, when I heard the news,
and my first reaction was...
"Oh! He was so incompetent at anything
"except painting and drawing."
So, there you are, Rex Whistler's marvellous 18-metre mural.
Wasn't that a real eye-opener?!
I just think it acts as a time capsule, really.
It gives us a glimpse into the past in the 1930s with all the glitz
and the glamour that the privileged had living in houses like this.
A last flowering of life, if you like,
before it was cruelly swept away for ever by the Second World War.
At the Prichard-Jones Hall in Bangor,
there's still plenty to be examined.
Our team of experts are at full tilt,
working their way through the crowd.
Adam is in his element.
He's with Edwina and Ivor,
and they have a violin case on the table.
-I'm always excited to see a violin case.
It's one of my areas, violins. It is one of the things I know about.
So, tell me a bit about yourselves. Where do you come from?
We live in
-Do you really?
-Yeah, we do.
-Can you say that, Edwina?
-And I'm not Welsh.
-You're not Welsh?
Well, you did very well there. And you brought a violin, too.
-Can't get much better. Now, the case looks a bit tatty.
Where did you get it from?
It belongs to my son-in-law, Peter.
-Does he know you've got it?
Last night, he said, "I've got a violin in my attic.
"Would you like to take that along?"
And how has it come to be in his attic?
Well, he doesn't play it. And neither do the grandchildren.
How did he get it? Where did he get it from?
It belonged to his grandfather.
Peter played this in a youth orchestra.
-But he doesn't play it any more.
-Shall we have a look at it?
You can do.
There we go. Now then,
let's get the instrument.
That bridge has fallen off, but that's not a major problem there.
That can be put back up.
You're lucky that you haven't got all the strings on it,
otherwise I'd be playing it.
Then we'd clear that hall pretty quickly.
It's got a one-piece back there.
Sometimes they have a two-piece back, or a one-piece back.
This is a one-piece back made from maple.
And on the front there, we call that the table,
the violin people, rather than the front.
That is made from pine.
Inside, there's a label.
I can just glimpse a label there.
It says M Costelli, Paris.
Luthier Artistique, 1895.
-So it's French.
-She's smart, isn't she?
This Costelli sounds like an Italian name.
The Italians were very well known for the finest violins.
French violins are also quite highly regarded, and then usually
another step down to the German violins,
which were more mass produced.
This is in pretty good condition.
People will think, "Oh, it is no good, it's got no strings."
-But it really doesn't matter.
-It can be restrung.
It can be restrung for £60, something like that. Not a lot.
Under £100 you can get that into a playable condition.
There's no cracks, which is the major thing.
He was obviously quite enthusiastic, Grandad,
because he's managed to knock a corner off there.
That's from really enjoying it with a bow
and maybe just caught that as he's been playing it.
Really enjoying himself, bang, off goes the corner.
But that's just a cosmetic thing again. That can be sorted.
Now, we always check the bows, as well,
because, sometimes, the bow can be worth more than the instrument.
Let's have a quick look at that one.
-What is this? Horsehair?
That's right. You haven't got any
special individual value with the bows.
So, what do you think your broken violin
in a tatty old case is worth, then?
-Haven't got a clue.
-Not a clue.
-Know nothing about violins.
-Not at all.
-Would you take that?
-I think it's more than that.
I mean, French violins can make a few hundred pounds.
The most famous ones can make even more than that.
This Costelli isn't a very well-known or highly regarded maker.
So I'd go on the cautious end and I'd put 100-200 estimate.
-And put a reserve of 100.
-Definitely worth £100, whatever happens.
All day long. If it doesn't make £100,
-then it's not worth selling it.
So, I would try that.
Put 100 reserve. If it doesn't sell,
you'll have to take it up and learn it.
I could give you some lessons.
Nice idea, but I don't think they'll be taking up the violin.
I think it will sell.
Dora, why are you selling such a pretty-looking vase?
Well, it's only stuck in the cupboard.
Only stuck in the cupboard, is it? It's charming, isn't it?
-It is, I like it.
-It is lovely colours. Really spring colours.
These very delicate oranges and greens.
-Yes, that took my eye when I saw it.
-It is. And is it a family piece?
-You bought it?
It must be 18 years ago.
-Gosh! And what did you pay for it 18 years ago?
-Half a crown.
-Half a crown? 25 pence, isn't it?
-25 pence now, yes.
-And is it a bargain, do you think?
-And have you used it to put flowers and things in?
-I did, yes.
-When we had the cats and dog, I said no.
-I think it is lovely.
You've looked after it, you haven't damaged it,
which is the main thing.
It's a really, really nice piece. I don't need, actually...
We will look at the mark, but I won't need to look at the mark,
cos I know who designed this vase.
Very typical of her work and
we've filmed a lot of things of hers on the show.
It's not Clarice Cliff,
it's the other well-known Art Deco design, Charlotte Rhead.
And we know technically, straightaway,
with this lovely two blind decoration.
And I love the shaped, ribbed body.
We will just have a look at the mark.
And there we've got C Rhead, Crown Ducal,
which is one of the firms she worked for.
And then a shape number, as well.
But it really is quite typical of the 1930s, that mottled glaze,
that lovely decoration.
And you've had it a long time. Why have you decided to sell it today?
18 years, I think I've had it.
I'm getting older, nobody wants it.
Nobody wants it? It's a bygone era, isn't it, now?
Well, I think it's a lovely item.
It's not going to be worth a huge amount,
because it's quite a small piece by Charlotte Rhead.
The things that make a lot of money are the big decorative chargers.
But I think, if we were putting that vase in for auction,
we'd be looking at around £40-50.
Would you be happy with that?
-Ish. And more.
Well, we all want more, don't we?
I think we've got to be sensible.
It is a nice little piece, but if we put 40 to 50 on it,
we might then hit the £50 or £60 mark.
And we'll put a reserve of 35, is that all right?
Dora certainly got a bargain there.
Next, Adam has spotted some quality decanters.
-Steve, welcome to "Flog It!"
-How are you doing?
-Good. You've got a nice thing here.
-Yes, it is very precious.
-I hope so.
-Well, is it precious to you sentimentally?
-In a way, yes.
But it's been up in the loft now for 20-odd years,
doing nothing, so...
If we could clear every loft in the land, I think
we'd solve the economy.
The amount of stuff people have in their loft. Where was it before?
How did it come to be in your family's possession?
My grandfather and granny and my mother worked in a hall in Formby.
-So they were in service?
-In service, yes.
You know, last of the upstairs and downstairs people.
My granny was the cook and my grandfather was the butler
and my mother was a maid.
-And where was that?
-That was in Formby Hall.
And so, how do you think they got these?
-Do think they were given them by...
-I think they were given to them.
As a sort of thank-you gift? Or retirement gift or something?
Could have been.
It's a very posh thing, this.
It's made out of... Look at the thickness of the wood, as well.
It's made out of coromandel, which is an exotic
and expensive timber that was mainly used to make small things.
You don't see much furniture made out of it. It was all boxes and
small things like this.
It's fitted with two really nice-quality decanters.
-Was it English made, do you think?
-Yes, it is.
Definitely English made. And another sign of quality...
Well, you've also got the key, which is quite unusual.
-Most of these have lost their keys by now.
-And you've got this special type of lock on here.
-Bramah patent lock.
Well, these locks are a special, secure lock.
I remember you saying, before we started, you said,
-"Don't shut it, because it's a terrible thing to open!"
-That's because of this lock.
-Oh, I see.
It's a patent lock and it's wonderful quality. Bramah's patent.
-And you only see it on fine things.
So it's also another sign of quality.
-That's why it took us ages to open, then.
They used to use that for...
as they were travelling along, in carriages and things?
In a carriage or, yes, if you're travelling out
and, rather than take your liquor just in a bottle,
the more refined people would take them in decanters,
in a fitted coromandel case,
with a flush brass carrying handle on the top, as well.
It's just all lovely quality, really.
Now, of course, it is, what, 1850s or so,
-so it's been around 150 years plus.
-150 years plus.
It's had a few...bit of a hard life in places, hasn't it?
-It's not too bad but...
-A few little nicks in it.
With these things here,
they're always nice on the front and on the top
-but then they were cheaper on the sides and back.
And then, if you see on the side there, you've got a bit of damage.
And, on the back, it's not nearly as posh as it is on the front, is it?
No, no, that's right.
So that's often the way with these things. It's a nice thing.
-What do you think it might be worth?
-What do you think it's worth?
I don't know, I haven't a clue, really, to be honest with you.
Realistically, in that order,
because the glass isn't perfect, either.
-There's few little minor grazes, aren't there?
But I would have thought
between £100 and £200 is your likely realised price.
-Sounds all right.
-Maybe a touch more,
but I think that's probably fairly realistic.
-I would put a reserve of 100.
And if doesn't make 100,
maybe give it 10% leeway just in case,
if that's all right with you?
-If it doesn't make 90 quid, £100, then keep it.
But all in all, a good-quality object.
If it makes 150 quid, what will you do with it?
-Finish my kitchen off.
Now that's a story I've heard before.
Next, Mark meets Valerie, who's brought in a little family heirloom.
Now we've got a little bit of a savoury item coming up here,
-haven't we, Val?
-This lovely period set.
What do you do with such a grand-looking object?
It was my father's, possibly my grandmother's
-and, when my father died, I kind of took it on.
-You took it on.
You've got a bit of a Scottish accent there, haven't you?
-I have, yes.
-And we see that there's a Dundee name there, as well.
So it's all indicating that it might be Scottish, actually.
-So is it something you use on a regular basis?
No, I'm afraid not.
I'm more the kind of plastic tub of salt and a mustard jar.
You can wash it up easily, without all the polishing.
-It's really rather nice.
What we've basically got is two little pepperettes,
two little table salts and the little mustard
with the spoons, as well, which is rather nice, actually.
-So you've had it quite a long time?
-It was my dad's.
And I've had it for ten years, since he died.
Living in a cupboard, not being looked at.
-Living in a cupboard, unfortunately, yes.
-It's a shame, isn't it?
It used to get put out, the mustard pot, when I was a child,
I remember seeing that. I don't remember the whole set.
Well, in fact, it is hallmarked.
Each piece is silver.
-But it's not Scottish.
-It's hallmarked in Birmingham.
1902. So it's Edwardian.
-Just over 100 years old.
And it's very much in that Edwardian style.
It's sort of reminiscing - reviving, if you like -
the sort of Georgian period, where you had very neoclassical shapes.
-With little festoons and things like that.
And this is very typical of a style which would have been sort of 1790.
-But this is 1902.
But a jolly nice and I would say practical set,
except that we don't tend to use these sort of things.
We don't eat formally any more,
we don't have housekeepers to look after our silver cupboards.
If we were putting this into auction,
I would probably say somewhere around about the £100 mark.
-And with a reserve of £80.
I would probably say fixed reserve, actually,
-so we don't sell it under £80.
But tell me, you've had it for at least ten years.
It's been in your family a long while before that.
Why have you decided to flog it today?
My father was quite grand
-and would have quite like to have seen it being used, really.
-And I never use it, so it seems silly...
-Time for it to go?
Someone else could maybe enjoy it and actually put it on a nice table
-Absolutely. Well, I think it will appeal to a private buyer
cos it's all there, in its case, which is always very nice.
-But also it will appeal to a trade buyer.
Someone who specialises in buying and selling silver.
No point leaving something so nice sitting in a cupboard.
Let's remind ourselves of the remaining items
to go under the hammer at auction.
I really don't think that Ivor and Edwina's son-in-law, Peter,
should worry - there won't be any problems selling his French violin.
And I think Dora will be getting a good return on her half a crown
when the Charlotte Rhead vase goes under the hammer.
Steve needs to get on with that kitchen,
so let's hope the sale of the decanters will help fund it.
And Valerie's cruet set caught Mark's eye,
so let's hope it does the same in the sale room
and the bidders like it.
There's a lively atmosphere at the auction house, so fingers crossed.
And first up are Steve's decanters.
His wife, Anne, has joined him,
probably because she's keen to get her kitchen finished, too.
-Fingers crossed, Anne and Steve, OK?
I know you're feeling a bit nervous.
We're just about to sell the decanters.
-We are looking for about £100-200. OK?
-Happy with that?
-Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
-Confident as ever. Cocky as ever.
-Yes, he is.
Let's hope we get the top end, OK?
Good luck, it's going under the hammer right now. This is it.
And the very nice amboyna decanter box, containing two decanters.
Nice, with mushroom stoppers.
Bids all over the book on this one.
Whoa! Straight in.
-That's the lot number.
-That's the lot number!
You got keep alert at auctions! Believe me!
70 if you like. At 170. 180?
180 bid. Is there 90? At 180.
Level money? At £190.
I'd better not fan, I might bid it.
Level money? At 190.
-That's a good result.
-Top end of estimate.
We'll settle for that. I think that's drinks all round.
£190. Well done, Adam. Happy with that?
-It was our anniversary the other day.
I was just about to say,
-what would you put the money towards or spend on?
46 years together. Still in love, as well? Happy as ever?
-Just about, yeah.
Of course they are!
Next up, the pretty Charlotte Rhead vase.
It's a lovely little vase, valued by Mark, our expert.
-It belongs to Dora and I'm ever so jealous.
-Are you now?
Yes, because Dora lives in Anglesey.
I don't want the Charlotte Rhead vase,
but I'd love to live in Anglesey. Have you got a sea view?
-Oh, and a bit of land?
-All the way from Holyhead to the, um...
-And have you lived there all your life?
-No, 30 years.
-Where were you before that?
-Near Pwllheli. Between Nefyn and Pwllheli.
-North Wales, born and bred, then?
-What a great part of the world, isn't it?
You look so healthy, as well. It's all that sea air, isn't it?
-All the gardening.
-All the gardening! Do you like gardening?
Hey, good luck with the Charlotte Rhead vase. Everyone will love this.
I had it for years before I found the name on it.
It is rather sweet, the design. Very typical of her.
The auctioneer liked this. The auctioneer liked this.
He said it would do well. And it's going under the hammer right now.
Lot 219, the very nice Crown Ducal wide-necked vase.
Number 213 to the base. Start on the book... I've got book bids.
It starts at 70.
-Oh, lovely, £70.
-Straight in. Top end.
At 70. 70 bid.
70. It's a little beaut.
5. 80. 80 bid.
5. 85. 90. £90.
Coming back? 90 with me.
Anybody else? At £90.
That's not bad, is it, £90?
Final call at £90. Level money would be nice.
-That's very good.
-Make no mistake.
Great result and good luck, good luck with the garden.
-I bet all the money's going on some more plants, is it?
-A bit of it!
And a bit of manual labour?
A strong young man in to sort of do some...?
No, it's all you.
Now, that's the spirit, Dora!
So far, so good, which brings us to our next lot,
and it's been in the cupboard for about ten years.
Can you guess what I'm talking about?
Well, probably not, as most of our lots
have been kept in cupboards or drawers for about ten years.
But it's the five-piece cruet set belonging to Val.
Never, ever thought of using it?
-Well, I'm not really posh enough to have a silver cruet set...
..with the miniature teaspoons and...
You know, it's lovely but it's not something I would really use.
No, it's got all the bells and whistles, hasn't it?
-I mean, it's a showy piece.
-It is nice, it's a showy piece.
Yeah, and you'd think it would be worth an awful lot more
than sort of 80-120 but I guess nobody wants them?
No, I mean, we don't eat the same as we used to, Paul.
We now have, you know, much more informal dinner parties,
where we sit around the table with our friends,
swigging glasses of white, red...
Champagne and oysters in Mark's case, isn't it?
Well, I wouldn't like to comment. I do live near the sea!
348, the cased five-piece silver cruet set with spoons.
Bristol blue glass liners.
Birmingham, 1902. Rather nice. £100?
100. 100 I'm bid. Thank you, sir.
-Oh, 100's bid.
100 bid. 120. 130. 140.
-Hey, Val, this is very good.
170, 180. 190. 190 bid.
Out at the back also. Halfway down, the bid. Your bid, sir.
This could be going to a local hotel or something, couldn't it?
Anybody else coming in? At 190. 190. All done?
Gosh, what a surprise!
-There's us playing it down, saying no-one wants them.
Well, you see, there's a lot of grand houses here.
-Posh houses in Colwyn Bay.
-A lot of posh, big Victorian houses.
A lot of guesthouses and a lot of hotels here.
-That's the market for it.
-Maybe they'll get us round for dinner!
That's more like it. We like to see people go home happy.
Our final lot is the French violin
belonging to Ivor and Edwina's son-in-law, Peter.
Edwina and Ivor, good luck with this one.
We're just about to put the violin under the hammer.
And it's a good job Adam Partridge was on our valuation day
cos he's the only expert that understands violins!
We all go, "Ooh, this is nice.
"Unfortunately, Adam's not here today."
Because he doesn't do every single one.
We kind of pass the violin around.
Will this do a little more than 150?
It should make 200 or 300, really, I suppose.
But it has got a few condition issues, just the corners,
cosmetic things, which may put people off.
I think the estimate's about right.
I'd like to see it make a bit more, of course.
That would be nice for everyone.
Good luck. It's going under the hammer now.
Very, very nice violin. Had a lot of interest in it. Start me, £300.
-Come on, where are the hands?
Opening bid of 100.
-I'm feeling nervous now.
At 125, 150.
That's good. That's what you wanted.
Is there 200? At 175.
200. A new bidder at 200.
25. 225 online.
-This is good.
-250 on the phone.
Now it's creeping up. Now they don't want to lose it.
300 on the phone.
300 I'm bid.
350 on the phone.
At 350. 75 online.
People find it everywhere now, don't they?
400 on the phone.
I'd like to be going 50s now.
-500 on the phone.
At £500. 525.
525 online. Final call.
All done? No second thoughts?
-I was a bit cautious.
-That ended in a crescendo, didn't it?
What a wonderful moment, eh?
You can find details of our next valuation days
by logging onto the internet and going to...
Click F for "Flog It!" and then follow the links
to find the list of towns that we're coming to soon.
Paul Martin is joined in his search through the local antiques and collectibles in the university city of Bangor, north Wales, by a team of experts headed up by Mark Stacey and Adam Partridge. Mark finds a silver purse which brings back a bygone era, and Adam plays to his strengths when valuing a French violin.
Taking a break from the antiques, Paul travels across the Menai Straits to hear Lord Anglesey's memories of Rex Whistler painting the famous mural at Plas Newydd.