Antiques series. The team visit Balbirnie House near Glenrothes in the Kingdom of Fife. Gems include a Japanese ivory panel and a pristine 1950s train set.
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We've taken the high road and the low road.
We've crossed the Firth of Forth and landed in Fife,
famous for its golf courses and ancient universities.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
Today we're near Glenrothes in the Fife countryside,
about 30 minutes from Dundee and an hour from Edinburgh.
It's a superb day
so we've decided to hold the event outside to make the most of it.
The crowds are gathering in the grounds of Balbirnie House
here in the heart of Fife.
It's an ancient kingdom, steeped in history,
exactly what our experts will be looking for today.
Someone in this queue could be going home with a lot of money.
Stay tuned and you'll find out.
It's not just our crowd who are enjoying today's sunshine.
Our experts headed up by Anita Manning and James Lewis
have a spring in their step, too.
And things just started to hot up.
A lovely barometer, in beautiful condition.
Tell me the truth. When I want to see what the weather's like,
I look out the window.
That no-nonsense approach that helped make Anita
Scotland's first female auctioneer.
James also is a successful auctioneer and valuer
and has a more scientific approach.
That's really very speculative and very interesting.
-I have high hopes for one of our items.
-This lot are going to go mad for it.
-I hope so.
And expectations are high at our valuation day.
-What do you think they're worth?
-It'd be nice if it'd be £1,000...
It would be nice. It would be really nice.
Anita is first to tee off, she's looking at model trains
that Carol has brought along.
The collectables market for train stuff is really good at the moment.
But when I look at this, what I think of is fabulous fun.
When I was a wee girl, my dad bought me train sets instead of dolls.
-Where did you get this stuff?
-This is my husband's.
He was given it by his father.
Every Saturday, they would go up and buy something for the railway.
And either it was an engine or a set or rolling stock, whatever,
it was bought for him.
He was an only child so he got everything.
-It was bought over a period of years.
-Bought with love.
I mean, it's Tri-ang, which is one of the good makes.
It was from the Lines brothers in the 1950s,
but it's still absolutely wonderful.
I've had a great time playing with it.
And what we have here is a list of accessories
and I think that's great.
Another thing that strikes me, and it's an important issue here,
-the condition is wonderful. So, it was well looked after?
-Do you have sons?
-I have two sons.
Are they interested in...?
They were never allowed to play with them.
-Never allowed. Got to look at them, but never allowed to play.
If these come into sale, I would put them into two different lots.
I think that's the way that we can maximise.
Now, I'd put our first lot with this Transcontinental
and this was an American model.
I would put that with this Princess Elizabeth.
-Now, to the collectors, this will be more interesting.
Second lot, we would have this marvellous Davy Crockett engine
and what I love about it is,
you have the catalogues, you have order books,
you have instructions.
You even have an instruction manual for laying out the track.
And I think that it's absolutely charming.
-I think we should put the lot... each lot in at 80 - 120.
Would you feel happy about, erm, at that price?
-Would you feel happy they went in at that price?
That's fair. Shall we do that?
-We'll put a firm reserve of, say, £80?
-On each lot.
-Will you be sad to see them go?
I will be sad to see them go. They were part of my husband so...
But I do honestly think I'd rather that somebody got them
that can use them and enjoy them, rather than being in a box.
These will go onto a collector who will cherish them and love them.
That's a good way to go.
Let's pass them onto a collector,
put them to auction, 80 - 120.
-We'll put a reserve of £80 on them with a bit of discretion.
Tiny bit of discretion, 80-120,
-and we'll go along and enjoy the auction.
The weather is so fantastic, it almost feels like a holiday.
But there's plenty of work to do
and so many bags and boxes remain unpacked.
Can I be nosy? Can I dive in and have a look?
I like the glaze on that!
-Isn't that lovely? A little money box.
The sad thing about a money box like this, made of china,
-is once it's full...
-No, you can get the money out.
-How? Shaking it like that?
-No, with a knife.
With a...with a knife!
-Have you tried it?
Do you know something? Wait there, I'll be back in a flash.
-I'll give you a bit of information on this.
-OK. Thank you.
So, whilst I do more research,
a collection of watches brought in by Norma and her brother Alan
is being inspected by James.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
We're not looking at a rare, fine piece of work.
I picked these out because, up and down the country,
from John O'Groats to Land's End,
in almost every old chest of drawers, along with the jewellery
and the things inherited, is grandfather's pocket watch.
It's something that I see probably more often than anything else
which is why I've picked them.
Because you've got a real cross-section here,
spanning probably 50 or 60 years and they must have a real history.
So, are they family pieces?
Yes, my dad had got them
and they were passed onto me when he died.
-And my late husband's grandparents.
-So they're all men's watches, not ladies'.
And whenever we're looking at a pocket watch, to start with,
there are three different types. That's the first thing to say.
There's an open face pocket watch, this one here.
And this one here.
Those are pocket watches with only a cover one side, like that.
One silver cover.
Then we have hunter pocket watches, which are these.
A silver cover that comes over and covers the dial.
Known as hunters because, if you're on your horseback, out on the hunt,
and you fall off, you've got to protect the watch glass.
You also get half-hunters.
You don't have an example of that,
but a half-hunter has a circular disc in the centre,
-so you can still tell the time.
So we've got one, two, three, four watches.
We've also got the Albert chain
made fashionable by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband.
After all these years of them being in the family, why flog them now?
It's a shame they're just sitting in a drawer.
-You don't wear them.
-Not getting used.
-Never worn them?
-You don't remember your family wearing them?
OK, so this one here, about 1860 in date.
This one here, about 1880, 1890.
This one, around 1900, 1905.
And this one, around 1920.
The silver Alberts. Each individual link is hallmarked with the lion.
Every single link.
And here, just because it's silver,
an old cigarette case from the same sort of period.
You don't have to have something that's individually worth a lot
to sell it at auction.
If you've got lots of things that can group together,
it makes a sensible lot. What do you think they're worth?
It'd be nice if it'd be £1,000...
It would be nice. It would be really nice.
-I've jumped the gun.
They're not worth anywhere near that. I'm sorry.
I mean, a little silver continental watch like that is worth about £30.
-Erm, one like that, worth about £40, £50.
A hunter watch like that, again £30 - £50.
Another one, worth about £30.
Cigarette case, £20. And two Alberts, £20-£30 each.
If we put an estimate of 150 - 250, and a reserve of 150,
-how do you feel?
If they don't make that, have them back.
-Got them back.
-Never know, the fashion of...
You could wear it, very dapper.
Only time will tell if these watches do well at auction.
And Anita's talking to Brenda,
and there's definitely a buzz in the air.
-Brenda, welcome to "Flog It!"
And thank you very much for bringing this wonderful wee bug brooch along.
-Can you tell me, where did you get him?
-I can't remember.
-You don't know?
-Maybe he just came flying through the window on a summer's day?
He's very charming and very sweet.
I think what we've got here is a bee,
and we've got these wonderful moonstone insets here.
And turquoise and moonstone stripes,
and a little bit of coral for the eyes.
In fact, we've got the "Flog It!" colours here.
Let's hope that brings us luck.
Brooches are perhaps not as popular as they used to be,
but I'm finding in auction that anything that's
a wee bit unusual is appealing,
and I think this wee cheeky chappie might be one of those.
If we look at the back we can see he is very well constructed.
There is some quality here.
When I looked at him at the beginning, I wanted him to be gold.
On closer examination, what we saw here was the mark of 925,
which is a silver mark, a continental silver mark.
But it has this gold effect so it has some gilding on.
I also like the fact his wings are articulated
and it means that we have some movement there,
and that's not just that it was loose, that was meant to be.
Date on this? Early 20th century, could be
as early as 1900s going up to about 1920.
It has some quality, it's very sweet and it's very charming.
If I was putting it into auction,
I would like to put the estimate in the region of 30 to 50.
The people who are interested in brooches,
the people who are interested in bug brooches will love this wee guy.
-Would you be happy with that estimate?
It's not a lot of dosh, what would you spend the money on?
I'd look for a butterfly, because I collect butterfly brooches.
Ah, I love butterfly brooches,
especially those marvellous enamel ones.
-Do you wear them or have them on display in a little cabinet or...?
Some I do wear and others I actually framed.
So I can get in and out of the frame, and I put them on the wall.
That's a lovely idea, that's terrific.
Let's hope we find a butterfly at the auction.
Now, after discussing the money bank with some other experts,
I'm ready to report back to Janet about it.
It looks very much like Denby ware, but with that Majolica glaze.
I think it's Scottish because it was my mother's brother.
He died when he was four or five.
At the beginning of the 20th century.
Beginning of the 20th century.
James's initial reaction was that's early 20th century.
He'd say early 1900s, which correlates to what you think.
But the inscription of "Robert" looks like it's 1860s, 1870s.
-Might have been handed down, there was a Robert before.
It's a lovely architectural detail. A finial, normally found in pairs.
You see them on furniture.
On top of buildings, gateposts. A finial.
It's an architectural detail
that just sets off the dynamic and the vitality of the piece.
And that's just lovely. Look at the colours.
Look at that lovely sort of treacle glaze, the way it's dripping.
Is this something you'd like to sell?
Well, it depends how much it's worth.
If you put this into auction and if it is Scottish,
it might be worth £200.
If it's Derbyshire, it might be worth £200 to £300.
-We'll sell it then.
-I think I'll sell it.
-Let's agree to a value of around £150 to £250.
-With a bit of discretion.
-We'll put a reserve on of £100.
-If that's OK?
OK, we'll bubble wrap this for you.
It then gets safely packaged up by the couriers
and taken to the auction room
where the auctioneer will catalogue and photograph it
with the auctioneer's description, after he's done his homework.
And, hopefully, we'll see you in the auction room.
And this could be worth a lot of money.
'I'm sure if it is by a local pottery,
'they'll recognise it straightaway.'
Wouldn't you just love to live in a castle?
That's got to be the stuff dreams are made of,
that one day you'd have money to afford your own fairy tale home.
Well, up here in Fife, I've come across a story of a family
who lived in this very castle,
transforming it from neglect into an artistic inspiration.
Welcome to Kellie Castle.
The history of this remarkable building goes back a long way.
There are records referring to this site in the 12th century.
It passed through families and generations,
ending up belonging to the Earls of Kellie.
But it's the more recent past I'm interested in.
In 1876 Professor James Lorimer rented the castle
from the Earl of Mar and Kellie for a summer residence.
The professor was an asthmatic,
and he was advised by his doctors that spending a bit of time
up here in the fresh air in Fife would do him the world of good.
But the castle was in a bad state of disrepair and needed a lot more
than just a bit of tender loving care to bring it back to life.
Thankfully, Professor Lorimer and his family had very good taste,
and carefully restored the castle using the skills
and tradition of the local craftsmen.
Some of the castle's older features still remain,
like the plasterwork ceiling in the library, which dates back to 1617.
But they sit alongside the more recent touches
added by the Lorimers.
Inspired by what they'd seen during the restoration stages,
the professor's sons were bursting with creativity,
eager to get hands on.
In fact, Robert Lorimer became a respected architect
and later received a knighthood.
His mother commissioned him to do many design features
here in the castle, which are evident all over the place.
Things like this little cartouche above the fireplace.
Robert's brother, John Henry Lorimer, was an artist,
and many of his paintings are still here today, illustrating
just how the rooms looked when his generation lived here,
albeit with a little bit of artistic licence.
It's no wonder Robert Lorimer was destined to become an architect,
having lived in this wonderful historic building.
In fact, he went on to design the Scottish National War Memorial
in Edinburgh Castle,
and he also designed furniture using trusted local craftsmen.
This way, he was in total control of the design project after
being commissioned as the architect. And here in the Vine Room - you can
see why it's called the Vine Room, you only have to
look at the ceiling here - there's a lovely example of his work.
It's a walnut chest of drawers, it's a nod
to the Arts and Crafts Movement, which he was associated with.
But, stylistically, it draws from the Queen Anne period,
that wonderful golden age of walnut using cross-veneered sections,
like here, look at that.
Which you'd see on a Queen Anne chest of drawers,
the typical ones with the bun feet, but look at the front here.
Rather than use all the burr inlays that you would
see in the Queen Anne period, because it's got that more
stylistic Arts and Crafts approach, it's slightly more severe.
But what he's done is used his own stylistic inlay
in the shape of a stag hunt going on.
But using, cleverly, burr walnut. Isn't that lovely?
And like all good architects that designed furniture,
he's left his stamp on the building.
The artistic theme continues with this magnificent panel,
painted in 1897 by Phoebe Anna Traquair.
She was an Irish artist that moved to Scotland following her marriage,
and she definitely was a key name in the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Both Lorimer brothers moved in artistic circles,
so we can presume they knew her.
In fact, John Henry asked Phoebe to paint this wonderful panel,
and it described a procession of girls following a wee Cupid.
But I've got to tell you this.
In the 1930s, Robert Lorimer's son Hugh and his family moved into the
place, and they wanted it covered up, they wanted all the walls white.
But I'm pleased to tell you it was uncovered again in 1996.
Isn't that marvellous? I just love that.
The creative genes were passed on to the next generation.
Robert's son Hugh was a renowned sculptor.
Hugh worked here in this studio, and it's been recreated to look
exactly how it would have been when he was chipping away at the stone.
He chose only to work in stone, which is quite unusual, really,
and very risky. You only get one chance.
But just being here gives you a sense of inspiration,
it was a nice place to work and you can see how prolific he was.
You can see his work was heavily influenced by Eric Gill, there's
a combination of religious artefacts and real life glued together.
That's lovely, really is.
After many decades as tenants,
the Lorimer family finally bought the castle in 1948 and owned it
until it was sold to the National Trust for Scotland in 1970.
They also loaned or sold back many antiques
and items of furniture to remain at the castle.
I absolutely love Kellie Castle, I really do, just look at it.
Not only is it a great historical building of content,
but it's also got character and charm,
and that's down to the family that lived here,
because they took this place as a blank canvas, and with
the help of local craftsmen, they've certainly made their mark on it.
For me, that gives it the whole package.
It's an architectural gem that embraces you.
That's exactly what you expect to find up here in Scotland
just outside Saint Andrews, a wonderful set of vintage clubs.
Right now, it's time to go off and...no, not play golf,
put our first items under the hammer.
It's time to leave the tranquillity of this wonderful stately home
and go to where the action's happening - to the auction room.
Here's a quick recap of what we're taking with us.
All the Bs - that's Brenda's bee brooch.
It's not gold, but it is pretty.
The pristine model train set that belonged to Carol's husband.
That superb finial-shaped money bank.
And, finally, the selection of silver pocket watches
that has been passed down through Norma's family.
For today's sale, we've travelled south to Rosewell in Midlothian
and to the Thomson Roddick saleroom.
The commission rate here is 15% plus VAT.
The auction is well under way.
Sybelle Thomson is hosting the proceedings on the rostrum.
First up is the money box. Further research by the auctioneers
pinpointed it to the Dunmore Pottery in Stirlingshire.
Now it's my turn to be the expert.
We've got some Scottish pottery going under the hammer.
-This lot are going to go mad for it, Janet.
-Especially if they're called Robert.
Condition's good. It's unique, it's got everything going for it.
And we're in the right place, at the right time.
It's going under the hammer now.
405A, the Dunmore money bank
with the name Robert on it.
Lots of interest.
I'm started at 50 bid, 50 bid, 50 bid.
55, 60, 5, 70, 5.
80, 5, 90, 5,
100. 100, 100. On commission.
At 100, 110, 120. Against you at 120.
Come on, come on, come on.
190 on the telephone, at 190.
Anyone else want in?
-Yes, that's lovely.
-I'm ever so happy as well.
I'm splitting the money between my granddaughter
and my niece's wee boy.
-OK. What are their names?
-Alice and Robert.
-Alice and Rob...
Yes, of course, you said, didn't you?
'They loved it. Now, time for Norma's watches.
'And selling this lot is auctioneer Gavin Tavendale.'
£50. On my left at 50, all done at 50...
Coming up right now, we've got a real mixed lot.
Four pocket watches, an Albert chain, a silver cigarette case.
They belong to Norma, who can't be with us today,
but we have James Lewis, our expert.
And we've got £150 to £250 on this.
I mean, this is one of the things
-you can pretty much guarantee that these sell every time.
It's something almost everybody has in their chest of drawers.
I like the hunters, the white enamel dial with the Roman numerals.
-It's a proper antique lot.
-It is. It's a classic.
Every family has either got
a family Bible, a sewing machine, a typewriter, or a pocket watch.
-Every family has got one of those things.
Hopefully the bidders are here.
-Precious metal prices are up.
-It's a good time to sell.
Let's find out what they think, shall we?
And we'll telephone Norma straight after the sale. OK? Here we go.
Large lot of silver and other pocket watches.
200? 100? 100 bid.
-Right, we're in.
110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160, in the room at 160.
Standing at 160. All done at 160. 170.
180. Any further away at 180?
All done at 180? At 180.
-Bang in the middle.
-Quick, wasn't it?
-Spot on, James.
-It is the sort of thing... It's not rocket science, pocket watches.
You see them time and time again.
-Do you have Norma's number?
-I can get it.
-Give her a call.
-I'll find it.
Next up, we have Brenda's brooch.
She's brought along her friend Irene for moral support.
From a busy valuation day to a buzzing saleroom, this little
bee brooch has travelled, and it belongs to Brenda and Irene.
Did you like that link?
-That was a good link, wasn't it?
-Very good, Paul.
I've worked on that for the last minute.
Anyway, it's a lovely little brooch,
and I can see you love your insects, lots of butterflies everywhere.
-Why are you selling this?
-So I can buy another butterfly.
-Oh, are you?
Get rid of the bee, get some more butterflies. It's a great brooch.
It was my favourite item of the day.
May not have been the most expensive, but it was so sweet.
I found these little bug brooches very interesting.
Good luck, all of you, that's all I can say,
the room is packed full of bidders, it's a bit of quality,
semi-precious stones, and it's Edwardian,
so it's got everything going for it - and it's unusual.
You won't see another. Let's find out what the bidders think.
Bee brooch, silver gilt body. 50?
£30? 30's bid, 35, 40, five, 50, five, 60, five.
£70 in the back? At 70. Standing at 70? Lady's bid 80 on the telephone.
85...85's against you.
-This is great, it's flying away!
100, 110, 120, 130...
..140. 140 on the telephone, all done at 140? At £140...
-That's a brilliant result.
It had everything going for it, it was quality,
semi-precious stones, Edwardian and it's unique.
And that's hard to put a price on.
Once something's finite like that
and you don't see another for price comparison...
-you've found a good level.
-The market loves that
-wee bit of quirky item.
-No sting in the tail
with that one, a great result.
Now, will the train set be a runaway success?
Carol, I can't believe the condition of these train sets,
-your sons were never allowed to play with them.
-What a classic boys' toy...
Ah-ah. When I was a wee girl, my dad used to buy me train sets.
We split them into two lots now. Two groups, both at £80 to £120.
-There's a lot of them, isn't there?
Right, they're going under the hammer. This is it.
465A, now onto this extensive collection of Tri-ang toys
including coaches and I can start this on commission at £80. £80.
Right, it's sold straightaway.
90, 5, 100, 110,
120, 130, 140, 150.
150. Would you like in on the telephone?
150, 150. Jocelyn, do you want in?
We're selling in the room at £150. Any ad...
150, 150, I can't...150.
Any advance on 160, 170?
Any advance on 190? Selling in the room at 190.
Does he want to bid at 190?
Oh, my goodness.
260. In the room at £260. Any advance on £260?
-Carol, that's a great result.
One down, one to go. Let's hope we get the same.
480A. The Tri-ang Double O gauge. Who'd like to start me at £100?
100. 50. 50 bid.
55. 60. 5. 70. 5. 80.
5. 85. Would you like in on the phone?
85, 85. 90. 5.
100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150
160. Right at the back at 160. Any advance on £160?
-A very good result.
-Still good. Still good.
-That's brilliant, isn't it?
It just goes to show, you've got to look after your toys.
So that's a grand total of £420 for Carol. Brilliant result.
And there's more to come.
Anita meets someone who's keeping shtoom about her antique.
-But what did you use that for?
-Well, I wouldn't like to tell you.
And James can't believe his luck.
Thank you for bringing that in.
-James's eyes popped out on stalks.
First, though, I got a chance to delve a bit deeper into the history of Fife.
MUSIC: SCOTTISH LAMENT
Looking at this stunning countryside here in Fife,
it's hard to imagine this landscape has concealed a dark secret.
The entrance to it is in this rather ordinary-looking building.
Hidden deep below is an amazing network of corridors and rooms
amounting to about 24,000 square feet of accommodation.
Large enough to house up to 300 of Scotland's most important people
in the event of a nuclear attack.
The main corridor, around 150 yards long and quite intimidating.
The further into this bunker you get,
you feel like the walls are closing in on you.
It's like being in a prison, there's no escape.
Quite frightening for the people working down here,
not knowing what was going on at ground level.
This top secret bunker was constructed at the height of the Cold War
and was the place where, should the worst happen,
Scotland's top brass would come to run the country.
In the event of a nuclear attack, these big doors,
called blast doors, they would seal shut -
they weigh three tonnes - closing you in.
Now that is scary.
It remained on the Official Secrets list until 1993,
when it was decommissioned
as the atmosphere improved between the East and the West.
That year it was put up for sale
and bought by Peter Gordon and his brother, Paul.
Peter, thank goodness I bumped into you,
I thought I was going to get lost.
-There's a lot of corridor here.
-Like a rabbit warren, this place.
How did you find this place?
-It was advertised in the local paper as a country farmhouse.
-Full stop. That was it?
And what did the estate agent say then?
-He showed us round the farmhouse upstairs.
Eventually he said, "I've one more thing to show you.
-"This place has rather a large cellar."
-And now you're a museum owner.
-Right, well, all I can say is let's have a tour. That way?
-Incredible. It really is.
-Tell me about it.
Well, after miles and miles of corridor
we're finally into a room, and thank goodness, it's got a tall ceiling.
Not too claustrophobic.
How did they build this without locals knowing?
You can't build that overnight.
It took approximately two years to build. It was highly secret, OK?
It was built by the MOD and a few locals, sworn to secrecy.
Whilst the bunker was being built, a hole 135 feet deep
and then filled with gravel to 35 feet, then the bunker put on top.
The reason for the gravel was
to give it a shock absorber effect if a bomb landed.
The walls are eight to ten feet thick
and constructed from around 40,000 tonnes of concrete,
which is reinforced with 26,000 tonnes of steel.
So what period is this?
This is 1950, so this is one of the first rooms created in the bunker
The Royal Observer Corps, they would be out there
with their binoculars looking for planes.
You see the board here, they would scramble the jets at Leuchars,
which is our most northerly fighter base.
All that became obsolete within six years of the bunker being built,
due to radar.
But it wasn't the end for the bunker.
Over the years, it was updated.
And, in 1968, took on the role of being the base
for the regional HQ of Scotland in the event of nuclear war.
Facilities included dormitories, a medical room, canteen,
even a studio where the BBC could broadcast information
to the public.
So, this is the nerve centre, the control room.
How many people would have been down here?
46 people at any one time would be manning it.
If an alert was announced, there were barracks up the road,
and also down at Crail Airport.
If the Secretary of State was in Edinburgh,
he'd be flown to Turnhouse, flown across the Forth,
land at Crail, be shipped up here.
-His entourage would be the council workers.
So you have that Social Security, the Treasury.
They all worked as a team.
As soon as he was here with his entourage,
that was it, the bunker was sealed.
From here we had direct contact with London.
-So...that's main operations there with the red phones etc.
Is that THE phone, the three-minute warning phone?
That's right. The codes would come through that phone.
I would then relay their number, plus my number through the second phone.
That would be the Secretary of State's room.
Behind him is the nuclear keys, in a small safe,
and he would use them, and all hell would break loose after that.
-This is great modern-day history.
-Good for you for preserving it.
This is a phenomenal place and people are so pleased.
You can see it in their faces. They're totally aghast,
-not realising just what went on.
Their secret heritage.
That was a sobering experience.
The first nuclear bunker I've ever been in.
It's thanks to the dedication of Peter and his brother
because a very important piece of 20th-century history
has now been preserved.
The sun is still shining at Balbirnie House.
Let's join everybody and see what other surprises we can find.
Off to a good start when Anita spots Hilda,
who has brought in a silver jug.
Where did you get this wee jug?
Well, it was actually my dad's.
There was a sugar bowl and a biscuit barrel.
It was a matching set.
But the biscuit barrel had went a wee bit wrong
because my dad was a painter
and couldn't find a place to put his brushes to steep in turpentine.
-So he got this idea of putting it in the biscuit barrel.
-What did you use that for?
-Well, I wouldn't like to tell you.
-OK, let's have a wee look at it. Quite a handsome little jug.
High Victorian. Lots of elaborate decoration.
And we see this scrolling around the top,
what's interesting here, and this I have seen before, many times,
in these little columns, we have the signs of the zodiac.
And, at that time, there was interest in mysticism and the future,
-and astrology, and so on.
And it's reflected in these little designs here.
Made in Glasgow, and if we look at the bottom of it,
we see the Glasgow assay mark,
which is the tree, the bell and the bird.
-And we have a date letter for 1875.
Yeah, that's all the good news, Hilda. Do you want the bad news?
-You better give me the bad news.
-It's only a bit of something.
So it would have been part of a big set.
Have you thought about price, Hilda?
-I thought maybe, say 75.
-That's a wee bit dear for an auction estimate.
I would feel comfortable in it going to auction
between £30 and £50.
-That'll do fine.
-It may go more than that.
But I think that is a reasonable estimate to put it in at.
-And we will put a firm reserve...
-..of £30 on it.
-But I'm confident it will do more than that.
Oh, well, that's good. It's just that it's lying in a drawer
and it's not getting appreciated.
It would be nice for somebody to have it who appreciates it
and into silver.
Because it's just getting wasted.
Thank you for bringing it along.
I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-Sure it'll do well.
-Looking forward to it. Thank you.
With any luck, it actually might meet up with the other three pieces
and become a set again.
Oh, well, I hope so.
-But not the biscuit barrel.
-Not the biscuit barrel.
It's such a lovely piece,
someone at the auction is bound to fall in love with it.
Well, we can't let Bella down, can we?
Look at that, Bella, there you go. Good girl.
Connie has brought along an exotic panel that has intrigued James.
Connie, I have to say, I was not expecting to find
a piece of Japanese art here in Fife.
Well, I've had it a long time.
I inherited it and I don't know where my father got it.
-Well, as I say, Japanese Meiji period.
-1880 to 1910.
-Something made around there.
It is a panel that probably started life in a very fine cabinet.
The other option is it might have been a decorative plaque
in its own right
that would have had a black ebonised frame around it when sold.
Let's look at the design as a whole.
We have at the top here this rockwork,
which is carved out of softwood.
Here, little sections of leafage and foliage carved in bone.
-Do you think that's a chrysanthemum?
-I would think so.
-Something like that, carved in mother-of-pearl.
But this is where the real work comes in.
These three figures here are just wonderful.
This is hand lacquer
and the gold lines are gold paint.
-Painted probably with a brush with only one bristle.
-A piece of ivory, stained green.
-And the flautist has lost his flute.
But still absolutely wonderful quality.
Tell me, was your father a collector or...?
Not really, he liked nice things,
but there wasn't money about.
But in the early '20s, he worked in Burma for eight or nine years.
As an agent, to bring supplies in for the British workers.
This might actually have been brought back from Burma.
He certainly never went to Japan, I know that for sure.
This has been in your family for so long. Sure you want to sell?
I would have to think what value you put on it and decide.
It's the sort of thing that's very fashionable at the moment.
When we decide on value, these are things we look for.
Provenance, we haven't got a great provenance, it was your father's,
but we don't know where it came from.
We look at quality. The quality is fabulous.
Lovely quality, so that's in its favour. Condition.
Condition isn't bad, but not great.
We've got sections of wood missing here. That's easy.
All we need is a bit of ebonised wood to go in there.
And that can be sorted. The flute is more difficult.
-And we've also got it starting to warp at the top.
Let's put a decent estimate on it. If it doesn't sell, have it back.
£300-£500. How about that?
-What reserve would you recommend?
-I was going to say 400.
If you'd be happy at 400, let's put 400 and an estimate of four to six.
-450, with discretion, so that...
-Give the auctioneer discretion, so he can let it go at 400.
So 400-600, 450 reserve, with discretion.
-Is that all right?
-That's OK. Yes.
-Brilliant. Let's give it a go.
If you decide, you come to the auction and say,
"I've lived with this all my life, I don't want to let it go."
The deal isn't done till the gavel's down. You've time.
-Thanks very much.
Pleasure. Thank you for bringing it.
-I love it. The quality is great.
-Right. Thank you.
Connie quite rightly drove a hard bargain there.
You need to make sure you safeguard yourself when selling at auction.
There are still people waiting
and all manner of objects to be inspected.
The Scots Magazine.
The proceedings of the political club.
Printed in January 1743. What a lovely leather-bound volume.
Very nice. Not a great deal of value.
I hate to be the purveyor of bad news.
Let's hope Anita has got some better news for Alison.
Thank you for bringing in this lovely wee carriage clock.
Where did you get it?
Right, I unearthed it this morning from the loft
and I believe it belonged to my grandmother
and she passed it down to my aunt.
And it hasn't been used, but I found the key and wound it up
and was amazed when it started ticking.
It's ticking away as we speak.
That's testament to the craftsmanship involved
in the making of that clock.
It is a delightful clock.
I always like the craftsmanship involved
in carriage clocks where you have these nice bevelled panels.
The face is made of brass
and we have this delightful sea-scroll on the dial.
We have the key and a hanging handle
so we really have everything going for that clock.
-This clock would date from 1880.
That would be the date of it. And it's over 100 years old.
130 years old so it's a good age, still going well.
It probably needs a wee clean. But that's about all.
Gosh, that's surprising.
An auction estimate on this
would be between £100 and £150.
Would you be happy to sell it at that price?
Erm, yes, I've thought about this and I would be prepared to.
Ah-ha. We will put a reserve price of £100 on it.
But if it sells, and I'm sure it will, it will go to a collector,
it will go to someone who will tidy it up, clean it up,
put it on the mantelpiece and get pleasure from it.
-Shall we go for it?
-I think we should.
Tell me what you would spend the money on.
Well, I think I'm going to donate the money to my daughter.
She drew my attention to the fact that the valuation was here today,
and she's driven me here. She helped unearth it this morning.
So I think she'd be deserving of the money.
-That's very nice of you. You're a nice mum.
I have to say I don't think it's just the name we have in common,
looking at what you have brought along today.
You obviously love tribal art. It is a passion of mine.
Tell me how you came to have it.
-Well, this one I picked up at auction for £15.
-Well, that is not expensive.
-And how about the little lady?
I got that from a friend.
She knew I collected tribal art and now I'm trying to get rid of it,
-because I have got more into masks.
-Ah, OK. Purely masks, now?
-And why the interest in tribal art?
It started 25 years ago, when I picked up a mask in a skip.
-In a skip?
-Where was that?
-Just outside a house?
-25 years I have been collecting.
Well, let's start by having a look at this one.
Looking at the colour, and the carving, and the overall
feel of it, it doesn't have the feel of a panel with a great deal of age.
The first thing to look at is this little brass loop handle.
It is a little screw-in loop that you would
find from about 1823 to about 1900.
Now, it doesn't necessarily mean that the panel is of that age.
But then if we have a look on the back, there is an oval label,
And that is a certainly pre-1950s, pre-Second World War label.
So that tells us that this
panel has been installed before the Second World War.
We can date it to there.
And of course, if it has been installed,
then it hasn't been handled, it hasn't been rubbed.
So I think we need to be fairly open-minded
when it comes to age with this.
The actual origins,
there are various indications here as to what part of Africa it is from.
If we look at the head, with these necklaces, this is typical
Benin style carving, so Nigeria, that sort of area of Africa.
They were the countries that would go
and find Africans from other tribes and sell them to the West as slaves.
-But these are children.
-I think these are kids.
Yes, these are young boys who are being captured by the Benin
and here we have the ropes. This chap here has got a machete.
Two machetes here and, look, holding this child up who is still...
he is sucking his thumb. So all symbolism of childhood.
Arms tied behind the back here, arms tied behind the back here,
so I think we have got an interesting panel here.
It is in my opinion 1900, 1920. Probably an early tourist panel.
Wilberforce, back in the early 19th century, abolish slavery in the UK.
So it wasn't something we were very, rightly so, it wasn't
something we were very proud of.
So throughout the 19th century,
you didn't see any sort of symbolism in this country relating to slavery.
And I don't see why you would have done by the many
people in Africa, either. So this could even be 100 years later.
So, interesting. Now, that is wonderful. I absolutely love it.
But if you ask me where it's from,
the honest answer is I really don't know.
It is definitely tribal, definitely a very basic ladle.
Formed as an open-mouthed head.
But the interesting thing is the symbols around it.
Which are symbols of water. We have got a turtle here.
These are symbols that are found throughout Africa
but also central and southern America.
Facially, it looks more African and South American to me.
I thought African myself.
When it comes to value, I feel that is the earliest one...
..but that is possibly the more commercial one.
I think £15 was an absolute steal.
I think that is worth £60 or £70 and I think that is worth
-If we said £80-£120?
-How do you feel?
Are you happy with that or were you hoping for more?
-I was hoping for more.
-What were you hoping for?
I was hoping for...
-..the top end.
Well, these things belong to you, when they have gone, they have gone.
Why don't you stick 120 on them as a reserve?
-And we will put 120-150 as an estimate.
-Fine with that, yes.
-Let's do that. And let's take it to auction and see how we do.
-Thank you very much.
Now it's time to head off to the auction room.
It's filled to capacity and things have been fetching good prices
so I have high hopes for our lots.
Here's a quick reminder of what we're selling.
Hilda's silver jug, engraved with the signs of the zodiac.
James' African wood panel and ladle.
Alison's lovely little Victorian carriage clock.
And Connie's decorative Japanese panel.
First, let's see if the carriage clock goes down well
with the bidders.
Going under the hammer, a brass carriage clock.
It belongs to Alison.
She can't be with us today. She's on holiday in America.
But we do have her sister-in-law with us as a substitute, aren't you?
-Good to see you, Helen.
Very nice, yes.
Good luck. It's going under the hammer now.
45-50A. The brass carriage clock.
With fluted columns. £100 for the nice carriage clock. 100.
-I've got 80 bid.
80 bid. Who is going on? At 80 bid.
5, 100, 110, 110.
Beside me at 110. Any advance on 110?
-Thanks very much.
Will you be able to call her on the phone?
-She'll be phoning.
-Thanks a lot.
So we're off to a good start.
Next up, we have James's African artefacts.
Going under the hammer right now, we have some tribal art in the form of an African carved panel
and it belongs to James Brown - Mr James Brown.
-You must've been teased with a name like that?
-Have you got into that, as well?
-No. I let him off.
Thank you so much for bringing this tribal art in,
it is a stand-alone piece in the sale room today.
-Will it do the top end?
-It would be nice.
-There isn't a lot of tribal art in here today.
-It's the only piece.
So, I'm slightly nervous about that. Hmm, we'll see.
We're going to find out. It's going under the hammer right now.
Let's give it up for Mr James Brown. Here it is.
The Nigerian Ghanaian figure, decorated with tribal panels.
Very nice one. And the painted wood ladle which is symbolising water.
£100 for the two?
£50 to start them surely.
50 I bid. 60 with me. 70.
80. 90 there.
Any advance on £90? 100.
I think it's a telephone bid, James.
110. 120, beside me. Any advance on £120?
We've sold it, haven't we? That was the reserve.
170. 170, you finished now at 170?
-All done at 170 on the telephone? At 170?
-Yes, the hammer's gone down!
It was a quiet hammer going down, wasn't it?
-I should go buy another mask.
-Yeah, this tribal art is really on the up.
-Yes, so, tribal masks it is?
That's what you're going to invest in? More of them?
-How many have you got right now?
-Wow, are they all on a wall in a big room?
-Are any of them quite frightening?
-They're quite frightening!
Now, will the stars be smiling brightly on the zodiac jug?
Hopefully, lots of local interest on this next item, a silver jug,
-Glasgow 1875. It belongs to Hilda.
-Why are you selling this?
-Well, I'm not interested in it.
-And it's been in the family for so...
And I would sell it for somebody to appreciate it.
If you've got something tucked away in a cupboard
and you don't love it,
pass it on to someone else who does like it and who will enjoy it.
Hoping it might go towards the top.
-Maybe a bit more.
-It's not going to soar.
-But it will be fancied.
-Oh, yes. Yes.
It's down to that lot, really, isn't it?
Let's find out what they think.
255E. Victorian silver zodiac cream jug there.
50, 30, £20 to make a start.
£20 is bid. 2, 5, 8.
30, 2, 5
2, 5, 48.
48 is the latest bid.
-There's fresh bids over there.
5, 60, 5, 65. Latest bid at 65.
Are we all done at £65?
-Great price. Top end, plus.
If you've more silver,
bring it along to another "Flog It!" valuation.
-I will do that.
-OK. See you in a year's time.
Well, maybe see you before.
So the zodiac jug exceeded its predicted value.
Now it's time to sell our final lot, the ivory panel.
Auctioneer William Smith is wielding the gavel.
It's that wonderful Japanese carved wooden panel,
inset with some ivory figures.
-Connie wants a laptop. You want to be mobile.
£400-600, you put the valuation on this.
The auctioneer agrees with the valuation.
Hopefully it's going to go back to the Orient.
Lots of oriental works in this sale. Perfect.
That could turn into a laptop, couldn't it?
In literally two minutes because it's going under the hammer now.
Let's watch the result and see what happens. Here it is.
Now we're onto 125A, this very nice 19th-century lacquered wood panel.
A lot of commissions on this one. We're starting the bidding at £550.
Straight in, Connie. No problem there.
Any advance on £550 for the panel? With me on commission at 550.
Top of the range laptop.
£1,000 with me.
Wow, he's got a bid on the book. and somebody on the telephone.
They're going bonkers over it.
£1,100. Any advance on 1,100 for it?
Behind me on the telephone at £1,100.
All done at £1,100.
-Wasn't that brilliant!
-Thank you for picking me.
Thank you for bringing that in. James' eyes popped out on stalks.
-That is brilliant, isn't it?
-So that'll give you a laptop.
-And more, and more.
Thank you so much.
What a wonderful end to a wonderful day here, just outside of Edinburgh.
I hope you've enjoyed the show. Join us again on "Flog It!"
But, for now, from all of us here, especially Connie, a big goodbye.
The team visits Balbirnie House near Glenrothes in the Kingdom of Fife. Experts Anita Manning and James Lewis help the crowd discover if they have any hidden treasures. Gems include a Japanese ivory panel and a pristine 1950s train set. Paul Martin uncovers a top-secret chapter in Fife's history.