Antiques series. Paul Martin and experts Will Axon and Catherine Southon visit Lissanoure Castle. Paul finds a rather valuable creature and Catherine goes global.
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Today we're in Northern Ireland, just a few miles in from the dramatic coastline of County Antrim.
We're here to enjoy the magnificent scenery and the antiques.
Welcome to Flog It!
Talking of beautiful scenery, we've all heard of the Giant's Causeway,
but it's amazing to think that when it was first discovered in the late 17th century, there was a split
over whether it was created by man, nature or a big giant!
There's no disputing it is a stunning, beautiful sight.
Later, I'll explore the myths and the facts.
So many people have arrived today that we've filled up Lissanoure Castle's barn.
We have a giant-sized task on our hands. Hundreds of people have been waiting patiently
so let's get started.
The first thing I have to do is introduce you to our experts.
We have Catherine Southon, who started in galleries
but moved on to a speciality in scientific and maritime objects.
And joining her we have Will Axon, an auctioneer and valuer in Yorkshire and Rutland.
Will is a bit of a hoarder, but judging by what's come in, I don't think he's alone!
Coming up on today's show: I find an eye-popping treasure.
My eyes went boom when I saw this!
-So does Catherine.
-It's one of the best pieces I've seen on Flog It!
And I find a piece of magic.
Legend has it that if you wriggle three times while sitting in this chair
and make a wish, it'll come true.
Lissanoure Castle's barn in County Antrim is filling up
and I think it'll take us a while
to get through everyone.
Catherine Southon is our first expert to the tables. Let's take a look at what she's spotted.
Peter, it's lovely to see a nice early piece of silver here. Do you know much about this?
I got it at a house clearance in County Sligo about 13 years ago.
Including commission it was £146.
OK, so what drew you to this?
-It was just very attractive. I liked the raised work on it.
It is very nice. I'll tell you something rather interesting.
If you turn this over, you can see it's quite early,
18th century, the little cup here.
We can see here that it's made in Newcastle.
There's the Newcastle marker. And the date letter there tells us it's 1760.
When you look at silver of this period, a lot of cups were plain.
This decoration here was done much later.
What actually drew you to this, the decoration over here,
is something much later, probably Victorian in date.
We'd usually be looking at quite a plain cup for 18th-century silver.
What I like is we've got initials here, the maker's initials.
That's John Langland. It's really nice to identify it and know who it is made by.
-And it hasn't been polished away!
-Absolutely. The marks are nice and crisp, which is wonderful.
You were attracted by the decoration. Do you have it on display in a cabinet?
Not in a cabinet, on a table.
-My wife collects perfume bottles.
-It's among those. Some have silver tops.
-It probably complemented them nicely.
-You say you paid £146 for it.
-You'd like to see a little return.
-Why are you selling it?
-I need the money!
Fair enough. Need I say more? I think today you could easily get £200-£250 on that.
-How does that sound?
-Perhaps we should put a reserve on of £180?
-Yes, that'll be fine.
-And we'll take it to auction.
-The only thing letting it down is the Victorian decoration.
-Which drew me to it!
-That's unusual. It's something you picked up on.
If this didn't have the decoration, you'd probably be looking more at £300, £350, something like that.
But hopefully more people at the auction will have the same idea and they'll like this decoration.
-I hope it does well for you.
-And let's hope it gets you a little bit of a profit.
That's a quality item to start the show and now we go from silver to a bit of gold with Will and Ian.
Ian, thanks for coming today. I could see you in your waistcoat with this in your watch pocket.
-Does this watch ever see the light of day?
-No, I've never used it.
-It doesn't see the light of day at all.
-It lives in a drawer?
-This is a very rare outing for it.
-Is it something you inherited? You wouldn't buy something you didn't use.
-It's been inherited.
-It was my grandfather's.
-Those were the days when they really did use the old pocket watch.
A well-to-do grandfather. He's got a gold-cased pocket watch.
Not very good for telling the time when you can't see the dial. Do you know what we call these?
-Em, the hunter?
-You're right. The full hunter. You've got that and the half hunter.
-Half hunters have the small, glazed aperture on the middle so you can still see the hands.
The full hunter is as we have here. Two hinged covers on each side to stop the glass getting broken
when you're out hunting.
We can see a good, nice, clean dial which is what we like.
Crisp, clear numbers. No real damage on that enamel dial.
Once they're damaged, they're very difficult to fix. And the maker is Waltham, USA.
Waltham are an American manufacturer of clocks.
They produced a wide range of clocks and watches. I noticed on the back of the case you've got the mark
saying it's a Dennison case.
So the movement's American, then it was put in a gold case in this country,
hence the English hallmarks. Value-wise, the fact that it is gold-case comes into it.
Say I say it's worth £100, £150, what do you think?
-Yeah! Sounds all right.
-Sounds all right?
I think we should put it in at that level. If we say £100-£150,
I'm hoping for 150 or a bit more, just for the weight of gold in it.
Let's reserve it at that £100. It's daft to let it go for less.
And hopefully you'll get 150 or more. What will you do with it?
-I'm sure my wife's already decided!
-Oh, dear. It's like that, is it?
-Well, go home and tell her I said it was worth 20 quid.
Nice plan there, Will. Let's hope it does make more than £20.
Next up, it looks like Christine has brought in something right up Catherine's street.
As soon as I saw this name Betts, I pounced on you in the queue!
Betts is known for making portable globes.
That's exactly what this is. I'll let you open this up.
I find if you press it down at this end, it's easier.
I can't push it up.
There we go.
What a spectacular piece. Also known as the umbrella globe.
Obviously you can appreciate these are very fragile and often get torn.
-This looks to be in immaculate condition.
-It's very rarely opened. It's kept in the box at home.
That's another thing. To have its original tube is something you don't hear of.
-Where did you get it?
-My mother and father had it in Scotland when they went to auctions in Ayr.
-I inherited it.
-They clearly had a fantastic eye.
This is one of the best pieces I've seen on Flog It! It's wonderful as I'm passionate about globes.
I'm so interested in it. On here is the cartouche.
We've got the name Betts. "Betts's Portable Terrestrial Globe.
"Compiled from the latest and best authorities."
Betts produced these globes for quite a period.
This one probably dates to early 20th century.
Someone has written in pencil there "pre-war". Was that your dad?
I don't know. Could have been.
-It's not something you're interested in?
-It doesn't get looked at
and I'd rather somebody else could enjoy it. I thought it had belonged to a school.
Or perhaps a gentleman travelling on a ship around the world.
As a travelling instrument, it's something he could get out and perhaps track his journey.
-Do you have any idea of price on it?
-Not really, no.
I would like to say that we could easily get £400-£500.
I think perhaps we should put a reserve on of about 350.
-But I think maybe £400-£500 at auction.
-It's a superb piece and any day that should make £350 at least.
-Are you sad to see it go?
-Yes, I am sad in a way but my dad would be so pleased
that other people were interested.
-And I'm sure it'll go to a good home.
-A lot of people will get excited.
-I'm excited, anyway! Let's hope it makes top end. Thank you, Christine.
There's certainly enthusiasm a-plenty for the globe.
We'll see how it does a little later.
Next up, I spy something else sweet.
-That looks absolutely fabulous. What do you recommend?
-Meringues. I made them.
-Bless you. How much do they cost?
-I'll get someone to pay you a bit later! I haven't any money!
I bet they all say that! Got to keep your energy up. Look at the size of the queue here.
It's going to be a long day. We should let our experts get on with it while I have a bite of this.
How embarrassing! Thankfully, Will is taking things seriously.
Frank, you look like a man who likes to wear a bit of bling.
-Is this your personal sovereign ring and coin?
-Where does this come from?
-I got that one there
-about 20 years ago.
-And that one there belongs to my wife.
And she no longer wears it.
-Does she know you've got it?
-I hope so or we're both in trouble!
Now I suppose two years ago a sovereign was worth maybe £70-£80.
-That sort of level.
-Nowadays, it's probably £120-£150,
just for the single full sovereign. That's a sort of indication
-of how much the price of gold has gone up.
-So up to £120, £150 for the full sovereign.
The half sovereign, while it's been mounted in a ring, I've had a look at the mount.
If it's been soldered in, then that does devalue them.
Coin collectors can't get them out of the ring crisply.
But I'm pretty sure that's been mounted in a way that could come out again, so that's good.
In our saleroom, the buyers start at one end of the cabinets, they weigh everything,
they know exactly what they'll pay for these.
So it's easy for us because this type of thing always makes its money at sales.
What I would say is can we put it in at an estimate of £150-£250
with a fixed reserve at £150?
So we'd be looking at 150 upwards. What do you feel to that?
-Do you have to phone the wife?
-Well, you said £150-£250.
So what about putting a reserve of 200 on?
If I put the reserve at 200 - it might make 200 - I'd need to put the estimate at 200-300.
The reserve can't be higher than the bottom estimate, by law.
If you say 200, let's compromise, meet each other halfway
and I'll say 200 with 10% discretion for the auctioneer.
-Worst-case scenario, he'd sell at 180.
Let's go for £200-£300, then, as an estimate with the reserve at £200 with discretion.
I still think at 180 they should make that. If they get to 200, great.
-And the wife will be happy.
-She'll be happy.
Right now I'm going to give you a lesson in some local history.
The dramatic coast of County Antrim is famously known for the Giant's Causeway, a World Heritage Site.
But there's more history here than you might realise.
The Causeway School has been here since it was erected in 1914.
It was built in memory of a wealthy local man, Lord Edward Macnaghten.
His family were dedicated to the area and thought it needed a bigger and more progressive school.
But this was to be no ordinary building.
In fact, famous architect Clough Williams-Ellis, the man behind the village of Portmeirion,
was commissioned to design it.
The famous artistic influences didn't stop there.
The Macnaghten family were friends with artist Rosamund Praeger.
The school is lucky enough to house five works by Praeger.
There's some sculpture, including a panel of Lord Macnaghten,
and drawings for a series of artworks based on Gaelic legend.
'The school was closed in 1962 and was unfortunately left to deteriorate
'until 1987 when it was reopened as a museum.
'Fortunately, it's been restored to its former glory and now used
'to teach classes from Northern Irish primary schools about how they would have been taught last century.
'Ann, or Miss Kilpatrick, has agreed to give me a lesson.'
-Ann, it's wonderful to meet you. You're obviously head teacher here?
-Sometimes you would think so, yes.
But Daniel McConaghy was the first headmaster here.
This school was called the Lord Edward Macnaghten Memorial School
and it was created to give children here at the Causeway the very best education.
Children had to walk for miles to come to school, very often in their bare feet.
-Not everyone had a pair of shoes.
-No, life was tough.
-It was indeed.
-Hopefully, the kids today appreciate how lucky they are.
But I bet they get frightened when they first clap eyes on this and they see the canes here.
Yes, they're always worried about the canes.
'Of course, things would have been very different back then.
'There would have been around 50 pupils of varying ages per room
'with some of the older ones instructing the younger children to help out the teacher.'
I can see many items here today that will remind the viewers at home of their own schooldays.
-Lots of memories here.
-What are we looking at here?
-This is the punishment book.
The "crime" and the punishment was noted down.
-Shall I read a couple out?
-"Throwing bread while the principal was absent for a few minutes."
He got two slaps with the cane. How about that?
There's a girl there. She threw a stone and it cut another girl on the forehead in the playground.
She got two slaps, one on each hand.
Throwing a snowball in school - two slaps and the cane!
Lots for throwing things, really.
Nothing's changed. Kids are still throwing their pens and rubbers, maybe not bread, at each other.
Lots of toys around. Children were various ages.
Yes, they were here from when they were four until they were 14.
-That's a big age group.
-How many children would have been here?
-Initially, there would have been about 100 children.
-There really wasn't enough room for everyone to sit down.
-Go on. Give it a go.
That's cute, that, isn't it?
'Of course, these methods of teaching are a lot different from those in modern schools today.
'That's not to say that going back to basics would be a bad idea.'
So are we standing in the right position?
Yes, our toes have to be exactly at the studs to toe the line.
-Why are there studs on the floor?
-Because children had to come here to stand for a standing lesson.
-Because there weren't enough seats?
They had to toe the line and stand up very straight, hands by their sides.
-Do you think that's where the phrase "toeing the line" came from?
-Yes, I think it is.
I love the floor. This is pitch pine and it really has stood the test of time.
It's full of character, lots of ink stains.
You see where it's worn all around the knots? They're impervious to wear as they're full of resin.
-Now, when you walk on it, you can feel the knots. It's quite uncomfortable.
-Yes, under your feet.
But that's its life, that's its character.
-There's ink everywhere, isn't there?
-They must have been chucking it around. Lots of blotting paper.
-This is the window here.
You'd put this on your page and you would use your dip pen and ink
to copy exactly what you see.
This would have been a really important lesson back in Victorian times.
-Do you know what they say? The pen is mightier than the sword.
-To be able to read and write is a real gift.
-It certainly is.
Can I have a go at copying some of that and see how difficult or easy it is with these old nibbed pens?
You'll find there's even more ink going over the floor and the desks.
-You'll be better at the teacher's table.
-Can I sit here?
Do you know something? I feel quite important here. It's really nice.
Oh, dear, look! You've got something prepared for me.
I've only just picked the nib pen up. I haven't started and it's already all over my fingers.
That's not a good sign, is it? And Ann's just walked off laughing!
My father was a schoolteacher and I used to watch him work quite a lot when I was a little boy...
That's it. I've given it my best shot. I'm already covered in ink.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my lesson here and soaking up the atmosphere.
It's reminded me of one of my first schools many, many years ago.
And I'm just going to pick my little window off and leave it here with you to look at.
And now for my favourite part of the show.
Let's head straight to the auction and see what the bidders think.
So we're selling
Peter's decorative silver cup,
Ian's nine-carat gold pocket watch,
Frank's sovereign ring and coin,
and Christine's antique pop-up globe.
Let's see what the market's like at McAfee Auctions in nearby Ballycastle.
This is what I like to see - a jam-packed auction room. I hope they bid on our lots.
Before the sale started, I had a quick word with today's auctioneer Gerry
and this is what he said.
Catherine fell in love with this and we've got a value of £400-£500.
Now my gut feeling is it's worth every penny of that,
but to get to that figure, I personally would pitch this at £200-£300.
It's a lovely thing and great to have the cover.
I haven't sold one before, so I'm somewhat blind.
I think it's punchy at £400-£500.
-It may do OK. There have been inquiries.
-One English call. Not sure if they'll be on the phone.
But I'm not overly hopeful.
-It's a cracking thing.
-The condition is superb.
I think because of its rarity and its condition, it should go.
Fingers crossed, it might get away, but just a wee bit cautious.
Hopefully we'll find some worldwide bidders here, Gerry, and this could just go out of orbit. Keep watching.
Well, I've got high hopes for it, but there's only one way to find out. It's first under the hammer.
We're looking at £400-£500, with its original case. Beautiful.
We've got a reserve of £350.
-It's one of the nicest things I've seen.
-I'm sorry to see it go.
It was my dad's and I'm sorry he wasn't here to share this today.
-He would have loved it.
-Let's hope the people recognise the quality and want to own this.
It's a rare gem.
Lot 440 is the Betts patent portable globe.
In excellent condition.
-And it has its original tube.
-Also in that condition.
£400 for it?
Starting me at £200. £200 now for the portable globe.
-At £200 for the portable globe.
-Oh, come on. This is such a fantastic piece.
At £200, the portable globe now. At £200.
£200. 220. 240.
Portable globe at 240. 260.
At 260. 280. At 280 now.
You've got £300. The portable globe now at £300.
320. At 320.
-One bid away.
At 330 for the portable globe.
Last call before we leave it.
At £330. Sorry, I'll have to leave that. The owner hoped for more.
It was close. We were literally one bid away. If he'd used discretion
at 340 or so. We'd a fixed reserve at 350.
-But I really didn't want to sell it for nothing because it is a really fine, fine piece.
-And such sentimental value as well.
-Maybe it's meant to be.
-And you've to hang on to it.
Well, that's a shame, but Christine does seem happy to keep it for now.
Next up is the gold pocket watch.
A favourite of mine, but owner Ian couldn't make it to the auction, so it's just Will and me.
-I like this. I like this a lot. Watches are good value.
Certainly when they're gold-case, they've got value in the case. I'm sure someone will fancy it.
A dressy thing. Let's find out what the bidders think.
Lot number 620 is the gold gent's hunter pocket watch.
Waltham of USA. An American watch.
Perfect working order. What do we get for that?
150 for it? 150? 130?
-Come on, come on.
£100? £100 for it?
£60 bid. £70 here. £80 here.
-£100. 110. 120.
140 beside me. A lovely pocket watch there.
£140. At 150. New one in at 150.
160. 170. Beside me at £180.
I am selling it now at 180. All out and selling at £180.
-Pleased with that.
-That's a very good result.
-We'll have to tell Ian now.
-Give him the good news.
Above estimate. That's a good result.
Now it's time to see how Frank's sovereigns fare.
They've been split into two lots, the coin going first.
Let's put the gold under the hammer. We've just been joined by Frank.
We've got the half sovereign and the full sovereign first.
It's a good time to sell gold.
We have a very good gold sovereign.
1876. In a presentation box. A very nice gold sovereign.
150 for the gold sovereign? 150?
125? Start it off at £100.
-Got to be worth more than that.
115. Bid left at 120.
125. With me at 130.
130 for the gold sovereign. 130.
135 beats me. At 135. At 135 for the sovereign.
-Should be more than this.
-Sovereign at 140.
155. 160. 160 here.
170. Here now at 170. Selling it now at £170.
Sovereign there at £180.
-I'm selling this at £180.
-That's a good result.
Right. Let's see what the next one does.
A lovely gold half sovereign. Well set in a gent's ring.
£100 to start me for this one?
Play it the hard way. 50 I'm getting. 60. 70.
80. £80 now. At £80 now. 90. 100.
-110. 120. 130 beside me.
At 130. Selling the ring now at 130.
-At 130. 140.
-This is great. This is great.
Selling the ring at £150. All out?
What a good result! Great result. Top money. That's top gold prices.
-You've got to be happy.
-Yes, I am.
-Well done, Frank.
-Are you going to treat the wife now?
-Treat myself, too.
A great result for Frank and his wife.
Now Peter's silver cup.
-Why are you selling it, Peter?
-I really don't know!
-Have you thought about it?
-I thought I might be able to use the money for something else.
Hopefully we'll get £200-£250. That's what Catherine's hoping for.
-This is it.
Now we have a very good silver tankard.
Fantastic silver tankard. 250 for it?
A couple of hundred pounds for it? A very good silver tankard.
Newcastle, 1760. An early one.
£100 to start me. At £100. £100 beside me now.
At 100. And 10.
-120. 130. 140.
160. 170. 180. Beside me now at 180.
The tankard now at 180. At 180 beside me. 180.
We'd like slightly more now. Bidding's at 180.
The bid's beside me at £180. Selling at 180.
-That's the reserve.
-Right on the reserve. Well, we did it.
-We did it. Just.
-That was close. It was exciting. Up and up and up. It just stopped and that's it. OK?
-We did our best. It's gone and it's sold.
-Thank you, Peter.
-Thank you very much.
Someone got a good deal for such a decorative piece, but at least it made the reserve.
So far, so good. You've just seen our first few lots going.
We are coming back here later, so don't go away. There's going to be one or two big surprises.
While we're filming in the area, I took the opportunity to explore
one of the most dramatic coastlines in the world. Look at this.
County Antrim in Northern Ireland, home to one of the most dramatic and luscious coastlines in the world,
known as the Causeway Coast.
It's here at the top of the cliff that I start my journey to see the wonder of the Giant's Causeway.
It's a World Heritage Site, visited by half a million people a year.
It's the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, but was it created by nature or legend?
That's what I'm here to find out.
The discovery of the causeway was reported to the wider world in 1694.
Such a dramatic sight of the rock columns jutting into the sea caused much discussion
as to whether it had been created by nature, man or a local giant.
It gained notoriety as word spread and after an artist, Susanna Drury, painted it in watercolours.
The causeway soon became a tourist attraction.
Commercial opportunities opened up for many people. All along the path,
there were stalls selling home-made souvenirs and refreshments for all the travellers.
One lady even set up her little shop by a well, selling the water but with free whiskey,
using a loophole in the law to get away without charging for alcohol.
So what did they come to see? Well, looking at the Grand Causeway,
a spectacular sight, a series of basalt columns, some 40,000 of them.
It really is quite breathtaking.
The majority of the columns are hexagonal in shape,
but there are many five, seven and eight-sided versions.
It's so understandable to see why many people thought that this could have been created by ancient workers
in a brick-like fashion. Or single-handedly by one giant.
But the legend of the giant allegedly responsible for the creation of it
is a story in itself, so we'd better start there.
The legend begins many years ago when Finn McCool and his warriors heard that a giant,
Benandonner, from Scotland, was up for a fight.
Finn and his rival started throwing rocks at each other in the sea,
creating the causeway we see today!
When the Scottish giant arrived, Finn ran to his wife to seek some advice.
She suggested that he dressed as a baby and lay in the cradle
so when Benandonner saw the size of Finn's baby, he thought his dad must be absolutely massive.
So he beat a hasty retreat back to Scotland, tearing up the causeway.
There are many versions of this legend and many other stories featuring Finn McCool.
He remains today an important figure in history.
But if we're talking giants, how big are we talking?
This rock is reputedly the giant's boot, kicked off by Finn or Benandonner when he ran home.
Apparently, it works out at a size 93.5.
Compare that to my size 9.5 and you get an idea of just how huge he was.
And there is a lot of other evidence littered throughout the coast supporting the McCool legend.
In the first bay, we see Finn's trusty steed,
a camel so tired from his journey that he's still sitting.
And over on the far bay are the chimneys of his house and his organ,
but another bit of magic has captured my imagination.
I've perched in this natural seat, the Wishing Chair.
It's right in the middle of the causeway.
Legend has it that if you wriggle three times while sitting in this chair, and make a wish,
it's bound to come true. So let's give it a go.
There we are. I'm not going to tell you what I wished for, but this chair is jolly comfortable.
In fact, it's so well worn, it's perfect.
But I can't come here today and not talk about the likelihood that the causeway was, in fact,
a natural geological event. Volcanic movement millions of years ago forced lava above ground
and when it cooled down it shrank and cracked to form this pattern.
I can see why many people thought this was man-made. These columns seem to float out of the ground
and appear regular in shape and size and in brick-like fashion.
Just look at that. But there are other causeways around the world,
including one in Staffa, home to the Scottish giant Benandonner,
thus perpetuating the myth of the causeway.
Whatever the reasons behind the Giant's Causeway, whichever you choose to believe,
this has to be one of the most dramatic sights in the world
and, for me, this part of the causeway is like taking a walk with the ancient Irish spirits.
There's a unique combination of majesty and sheer beauty.
Our valuation day is at Lissanoure Castle in County Antrim and there's plenty more to explore.
Coming up: it's a large bird that catches my attentions.
The biggest I have seen if it is what I think it is.
Will turns make-up artist.
Do you not powder your nose with it or sit it on a dressing table?
Catherine's instincts kick in.
I love this platinum and diamond combination.
And there's a mystery behind a pair of candelabras.
How does glass from mid-Europe come to be in Northern Ireland?
First up is Will, who is talking to Janet about her compact.
You've brought a bit of the Middle East.
What can you tell me about this box?
My father had it made for my mother back in 1941
when he was in India. It's made from Indian silver rupees.
-He gave the craftsman 200. The craftsman kept 100 as his fee
and the other 100 was melted down and he used a foot-operated lathe to scoop out the inside
and he then engraved the top to make it into a compact. The whole thing cost £7 and 10 shillings.
-In old money.
-OK, good value.
What really caught my eye when you brought it out
-was this decoration on the cover. We've got this Middle Eastern boat...
..within this nice florally-engraved border, which again made me curious.
Let's have a look inside. We're both cheating a bit - there's a nice type note inside
that tells us when it was made, where, and what it was made of.
I like the little bit that says any of the shavings from it
were literally his little profit. He probably swept them all up and put them in his Christmas fund!
I've had a close look. As is often with Middle Eastern silver,
-it's not marked at all.
-So we have to be a little careful.
-We'll have to catalogue it as white metal. So your father commissioned it for your mother.
-Do you not powder your nose with it or have any dressing table to sit it on?
-It's in a drawer in my jewellery box. It's never seen.
-We hear that a lot.
-I don't think it will be hugely valuable.
But it's interesting. It's just a little bit different.
I mean it's obviously going to be worth £7.50. He'll get his money back, or you will.
-I'm going to say to you it's going to be worth around £40.
-Right. That's fine.
-If it's OK,
-I'll put the estimate at £30-£50.
I'm pretty known for asking people not to put reserves on things.
If you want to sell it, let it sell. How do you feel?
-I think we'll let it go.
-So we'll put the estimate at £30-£50, we'll live dangerously without a reserve
-and I'm confident that on the day it's going to find a new home.
-Well, I hope so.
-I'll see you at the sale.
That's an interesting item.
Next up, Catherine is at the table with Martin and Elaine.
What a piece of Belleek this is. Absolutely beautiful.
We have a bonbon dish that was probably originally one of a pair.
-Where did this come from?
-My mum's house.
She's passed away now three years ago.
She used to frequent all the charity shops, so she must have picked it up in later life.
Let's turn it over because your mother had quite a good eye.
We can see here the mark on the bottom, the Belleek mark.
It's from the first period. It was the early stamp.
The reason we know that is it's the black stamp and it just says the name "Belleek".
-Later on, they added "County Fermanagh". Is that right?
Later on, they also said "made in Ireland", but this is the early stamp with just "Belleek" on it.
This stamp was used from 1863 to 1890,
but I think that this piece probably dates from more towards 1888, 1890, that sort of date.
But I just love the delicate colour here,
this wonderful pink that we can see here, the highlighted pink on the coral and the shells.
And also the way that we've got the nice, delicate pink around the outside.
Why do you want to sell this? Does it not sit nicely in your home?
-The fear is of it getting broken. And I have two older brothers. We can't share it as it sits.
I think the best way is for us to sell it and share the money
and buy something, then we can have something each.
Elaine, you really don't like this. I can tell.
I'm getting the vibe.
-It's lovely, but it just doesn't fit in with our house.
-It doesn't fit in your house?
-You've got children, have you?
-Yeah, and a dog.
-And a dog?
It's definitely no place for a dog. It's far too delicate, isn't it?
Belleek used to fetch rather high prices.
I think the prices are slightly lower now.
A lovely piece like this, I would say at auction would probably fetch between about £70 to £90.
-How does that sound?
-I don't know the value of it, but hopefully somebody can...
Well, £70 to £90, I think, and let's put a reserve on of £70.
And I hope that it really does do the top end of that
because it is a nice piece, a nice, early piece, nice colour.
I think the thing to do is send it off to auction
and let's hope we attract lots of other Belleek collectors
-who have one bonbon dish and want another.
-And need the pair.
Now I've headed out to the courtyard to talk to Caroline.
Tell me about this bronze.
It's been in my family from the beginning of the 20th century.
It belonged to my great-grandfather who lived in Sutton.
And it's been passed down through the family to me.
-In the family all that time.
-Yes, I remember it as a child.
-Where do you have it at home?
-Sitting on the fireplace.
-I hoped you'd say that. These look best on the hearth.
-It really is a large bird, isn't it?
-The biggest I have seen...
if it is what I think it is. Can I tell you?
Let's turn it upside down. I'm looking for a maker's mark. There - a B inside a vase.
-Can you see that?
-Yes. What does that mean?
-That means it's made by Franz Bergman.
-And this is the real McCoy. This is an Austrian, cold-painted bronze.
The Bergmans were an Austrian family working in practice from around 1861 to 1936,
just before the start of WWII. The family specialised in small animals.
And some figures, but mainly animals. They loved animals.
And they could model animals almost life-like,
like this one is, in wax. That's how they worked that.
Then a mould is taken from the wax and cast in the bronze.
-It's the best way of reproducing images like this.
Then they're painted when the bronze is cold, with life-like colours.
This bird, this cock pheasant, has been repainted at some stage.
Just here, the plumes on the breast. You can see that it doesn't have the consistent wear
that the rest of the bird has.
It's got so much expression. So much expression.
the good news is it's worth a lot of money.
So I'm very impressed, very excited.
-So am I!
-I'm quite scared to put a valuation on this!
Because you know, obviously, size is very important.
The smaller ones are worth £300-£500 and this has got to be worth XYZ.
-Double? Treble? Quadruple?
My gut feeling says £1,000-£2,000.
-If we put it into auction with a valuation of, say, £1,000-£1,500.
-And put a reserve on at £1,000?
-I look forward to seeing you in the auction room
and hopefully it will fly away!
I do have high hopes for that colourful pheasant. Back inside,
-Catherine's talking to Isobel about her brooch.
-Thank you for bringing
your beautiful diamond and platinum brooch.
It's not conventional with a pin on the back.
I'm guessing you take this off
and then probably pin this into your lapel
and then put the arrowhead...
..back on like that. A really lovely item.
It probably dates to about 1920s.
This lovely feathered effect at the back,
you can see each one is inset
with a rose-cut diamond. And then again at the top.
A rose-cut diamond on the arrowhead. Where did you get this from?
From my sister. It was a gift from her husband many years ago from an antique shop.
-And did she wear it?
-She did, yes.
-And did she give it to you?
-It's passed on to you.
-Do you ever wear it?
-No. I've never worn it.
-It's been in a box for 30 years.
When your sister wore it, did she wear it to glamorous occasions?
Yeah, well, social functions and church.
-Do you have any idea of how much it's worth?
-I think it's worth about £80-£120 at auction.
-At least. I would like to see it making about £150, maybe towards £200.
But I think if you put an estimate on of £80-£120, and then attract the buyers,
what is great about it is it's not your conventional brooch.
It is unusual, it's 1920s as well. And I just love this platinum and diamond combination.
-And the fact that it is a nice arrow shape.
-Yeah, very original.
-It is original. Would you be sorry to see this go?
I have no sentimental value of it. It's been in a box in a drawer for years and years.
You never even look at it.
I think then it is time to move on.
-Let somebody else have the pleasure.
-Absolutely. And it's the sort of object that should do very well.
It's not conventional
and it is classic and very elegant.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
The arrow brooch might just hit the mark with bidders, but for now Will is with Mary
-and her dramatic candelabras.
-How does glass from mid-Europe come to be in Northern Ireland?
I couldn't tell you! They happen to be in the house and were left to me.
-It was part of the furniture.
-So you've been left a house and its contents?
-And that was part of it.
-And they don't tickle your fancy?
-They don't go with my decor.
-Well, they're very much of their time.
19th century, European, Bohemian to be precise, glass.
Very much of that period where a lot of it was candlelight, natural light and gaslight.
Hence these lustres hanging down from these coloured-glass vases.
This sort of lead crystal was very good at reflecting light
I said Bohemia. They were well known for this coloured glass.
Flashed or paste. You have two layers.
You've got the red glass and the white glass, milk glass.
They carve away the outer layers to expose the red underneath.
It was a cheap method to produce multicoloured glass,
which fitted in with Bohemia creating this commercial glassware.
And then decorated, quite beautifully, with little roses and white flowers and this gilding.
Now there are some issues. One of them is kind of complete.
The other one, the lustres are loose, missing, broken.
That's a shame. Collectors are fussy. We've got condition, wear,
we've got a little bit of loss to the gilding, so I have to be pretty mean on how I estimate.
I'm going to say you might get up to £100 for the two.
-How does that sound?
Let's put them in at £50-£100. A nice, wide estimate, keep it open.
-And let's reserve them at £30. Shall we fix them at 30?
Otherwise you pay the commission and have nothing left.
So we're agreed, Mary? £50-£100. Keep it quite loose.
-It's a shame they weren't perfect or that would have been a nice little inheritance there!
-I look forward to seeing you.
Hopefully that low estimate will encourage bidders
so Mary has some success with selling them.
What a superb turnout to our valuation day!
It's time to take our final items to Ballycastle
to the auction room to see whether there are any surprises in store.
We've got Janet's silver compact,
the Belleek bonbon dish,
Isobel's diamond and platinum arrow brooch,
Mary's colourful candelabras,
and Caroline's exquisite bronze pheasant.
Standard seller's commission here is 15% plus VAT,
something you need to consider when selling items at auction.
First up is Mary.
-All the money's going towards your daughter's holidays. How much have you so far?
-Not very much!
-Well, this will be a good start.
-I hope so.
-Fingers crossed. Good luck, Mary.
-Going under the hammer now.
-A couple of drop lustres here.
Gilt and ruby lustres. £100?
£100 for the lustres?
90? 80? £50.
55. 60 bid.
65. £70. 75.
80. 5. 90.
5. 100. And 5.
It's here at £130.
Beside me at 130. I'm selling the pair at £130.
£130. They loved them. That's a good result
-and a good start to that holiday fund.
-It certainly is.
A good result and great news for Mary to pass on to her daughter.
Meanwhile, Isobel's jewelled arrow brooch is up next.
Isobel can't be with us today. We have another gorgeous lady, Catherine Southon. £80-£120.
-Yes. I mean, brooches generally are quite hard to sell at auction.
-They're not fashionable.
-But this is quite elegant. I think it could do all right.
-OK, good luck.
Good luck to Isobel. We've got to get past the £80. Going under the hammer right now.
Lot number 658.
A platinum and diamond brooch.
I can start this off at £50 and £60.
A lovely wee platinum and diamond brooch at £60.
-We want more than that.
-A bit more interest, please.
65 in the room. With me at £70.
75 in the room.
The bid is with me at £80.
£80 with me.
I'm going to sell it now at £80. If we're all out.
Selling it at £80. All done.
-He sold it.
-We must tell Isobel.
-We'd have liked more, but she'll be happy.
That just shows how important it is to have a reserve.
Janet's taken that warning to heart.
-Who's had a change of plan?
-We now have a new reserve which is at your highest end.
-Why did you change your mind?
-It's got a lot of sentimental value
and I suddenly thought, "If my sisters find out, I'm dead!"
-It's a nice thing.
-I know it is.
-I'm regretting it now.
-Oh, it's a bit late now! You should have withdrawn it!
What do the bidders think?
Who'll give me £100 for this one?
100? 90? 80?
£50 for this silver engraved compact?
£35 bid. £40. For the silver compact.
-That's it, Gerry. Get it up.
-£35 bid there.
Give it another call at £35. Sorry, have to leave that one.
-I'm pleased for Janet!
-She's more delighted than if it had sold!
-Yes, I am!
-Keep the customer satisfied.
We don't mind at all, especially now it's staying in the family.
We're selling the Belleek shell dish next and the whole family has turned up to see it go.
It's great to see you. Is this your first auction room?
Isn't it exciting? Lots of energy, lots of antiques and lots of people!
We couldn't come to Northern Ireland without having a bit of Belleek.
It's just about to go under the hammer, so let's see what happens.
Lot number 602 is the first period Belleek shell dish,
a lovely piece of Belleek.
£100 for the first period piece of Belleek?
£50 bid. The first period Belleek at £50.
£50 bid now. At £50. 55.
75. £80 at the back.
85 in front. £90. At the back at £90.
95. You've got it at 95.
-120. The first period now at 125.
Here now at 155.
A nice piece of Belleek now at 155.
I'm going to sell it here at 155.
We're both out here at 155 and I'm selling...
-Great. Quality, quality, quality.
That first period gets it away at the top end.
Are you happy? That was a big result for your first auction.
Hopefully, you'll do a bit of buying and selling when you're older!
Well over estimate and that's a good result for Lewis's first auction experience.
This is what I've been waiting for. That Bergman bronze. It belongs to Caroline and David.
-Thank you so much for bringing it. We didn't see you on the day.
-But you were there.
-Looking at the other antiques.
I had a chat to the auctioneer. He said there has been interest and a couple of phone bids.
He's hoping he's got a couple of locals that collect bronzes.
They've been musing over this, saying, "I might go for this."
-So hopefully it'll stay locally.
-That would be nice.
-But you don't really care! It's about the price!
The more competition, the better.
A cold-painted bronze figurine of a pheasant.
By Franz Bergman.
Start it with me at 700. 750.
£800. With me at £800.
850 on the phone. 900.
950 on the phone. At 950.
The bronze is at 950.
-Round it up.
1,250. On the phone at 1,250.
1,250 on the phone. 1,300. 1,350 on the phone.
On the phone at 1,350. 1,400.
-This is more like it! Isn't it?
On the phone at £1,450.
A superb bronze at £1,450.
-I am going to sell it. At 1,500.
£1,500. 1,550. At 1,550.
On the phone at £1,550.
-Yes! Hammer's gone down. £1,550. Happy?
-Thank you so much for bringing it in.
What'll you do with all that money? Remember, there's commission to pay.
We've had a tough couple of years with illness in the family, so we'll treat ourselves to a holiday.
-Wonderful. Enjoy it.
Just fabulous. I was on the money and that's it for our Flog It items today.
We've had a fabulous time here. A few hits and a few misses, but that's auctions for you.
The highlight for me had to be the big smile on Janet's face when we failed to sell her compact!
It takes all sorts to make a great show. Hope you enjoyed it.
The team visits Lissanoure Castle in rural County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Paul Martin and experts Will Axon and Catherine Southon meet the locals who have brought along their treasures to be valued. Paul finds a rather valuable creature, Catherine goes global and Will comes across an unusual compact. And finally, Paul explores the myths and legends behind the famous Giant's Causeway.