Antiques series. Paul Martin is joined by a team of experts led by Mark Stacey and Adam Partridge in Bangor, north Wales. Finds include a collection of thimbles.
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Welcome to Flog It!, the show that values antiques and collectables
then puts them under the hammer at auction.
We're in the far northwest corner of Wales, in the city of Bangor.
'The BBC has a long association with Bangor.
'As bombs dropped on London during the Second World War,
'BBC Light Entertainment moved here.
'Popular radio programmes from the '40s such as It's That Man Again
'were broadcast live from the County Theatre, now Penrhyn Hall.'
Ladies and gentlemen, ITMA!
'ITMA, as it was known, was listened to by up to half the population -
'about 20 million people - the most popular comedy show on radio.
'It provided essential relief from the horrors of the Second World War.'
We're keeping up the tradition of providing entertainment from Bangor.
Flog It! has come to town.
'We have a show full of surprises.
'Pamela and Glyn bring in an item which is not what it seems.'
I thought it was a candlestick until we looked at it.
There's a hole in the top and a hole on the side.
'Mark sounds confident about Derek's sextant.'
It's a specialist collecting area.
Anything to do with marine items are quite keenly sought after...
'I'm excited about Alwyn's painting.'
He's very well sought after. You're looking at about £4,000 to £6,000.
'But is it a fake?'
David Cox's works are highly forged.
'Find out later what happens at auction.
'Leading our team of valuers are Mark Stacey and Adam Partridge.
'Mark grew up in Wales and should feel at home in Bangor.'
-You really are a charmer.
-I try to be!
'After a lifetime in the business,
'Adam is regarded as a safe pair of hands - well, usually.
'Right, on to our first item, and a colourful number
'brought in by Pamela and Glyn has Mark's attention.'
-What a wonderful decorative object.
-Why have you brought it in?
-We thought we might sell it.
Is it something you bought or inherited?
-We bought it at an auction.
-Where did you buy it?
-That was about five years ago.
-Gosh. And what did you pay for it?
I'm afraid we can't remember.
£20 or something?
We have a book where we've written things down but can't find it.
It's in your secret place. I hide something in a secret place and can't remember where.
It's quite an interesting object.
It was made by Minton's Art Pottery towards the end of the 19th century,
when Minton's opened up studios to budding artists
to produce avant-garde designs.
This is very much modelled on the German movement called secessionism.
You get these angular shapes and stylised designs.
Here we've got poppies with the seeds in there.
You've got these wonderful colours, drip glazes.
What's unusual is we see a lot of vases and jardinieres,
but I don't come across candlesticks often.
What is puzzling me with this
is I thought it was a candlestick until we've looked at it.
We realise there's a hole in the top and a hole on the side.
It's made in the manufacture cos the glaze is dripped into it.
The only reason I can think that's there
is for conversion into electricity,
to make it a little bedside lamp.
It makes it more unusual and I love that decorative shape of it.
When we turn it over, we can see the lovely Minton No 1.
You bought it at auction. Were you going to collect things like this or was it an impulse buy?
We were looking at things to collect and maybe sell on.
It's difficult. You buy things that you like and then you don't stop.
-And sometimes you've overpaid for things that you like.
-What do you think it's worth today?
-I've absolutely no idea. Have you?
About 70 to 80, maybe?
I would be tempted to put a bit higher on it.
I would put an estimate of 100 to 150 on it.
It's such a nice, unusual shape.
I think a collector would really like this
as an example for their collection.
So I think we put 100 to 150 on it, with 100 discretionary reserve.
Then let's see what it makes on the day.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes. Very good.
-Fine, thank you.
'Pamela and Glyn did well to buy a quality item by a known maker.
'It can be hard for the untrained eye to tell a genuine antique from a reproduction.
'There's no doubting the provenance of a box brought in by Ann and Steve.'
-Hiya, Steve. I'm Adam.
-We see you on telly.
-Do you? You watch it?
-And whose is the box?
It belonged to me mum.
We've not done anything with it. It's just been in the loft.
-Where did your mum get it?
-It's connected with Formby Hall.
-The big house on Merseyside?
-Your mum lived at Formby Hall?
-She worked there with my gran and my grandfather.
Butler, cook and maid.
It's a sign of an age gone by.
It is. Upstairs And Downstairs.
-Obviously, you want to get rid of it. Do you like it, Ann?
-I would never use it.
-That's the thing.
It's something a collector would buy because people like boxes.
It's Victorian, made from walnut. It's a travelling vanity case.
It's fitted with these little bottles with silver plated tops.
With an initial on. Intertwined FJ.
-FJ. That's, er...
-He must have given this away.
-As far as I know, to me granny.
Sometimes you see them in silver mounts. They're quite valuable.
A nice feature is that spring-loaded side drawer.
Pop! Nice quality.
And the secret drawer comes out there.
-Doesn't look like it's been used.
-Doesn't look heavily used.
I'll shut the lid, have a look at the top.
FJ with the mother-of-pearl on top,
a mother-of-pearl escutcheon and the key, which is quite unusual.
-I don't think it works.
It's a bit stiff but it works.
You're a bit down on this, Ann. You don't like it, do you?
-What do you think someone would give for it?
-You're the auctioneer.
She didn't need me. 50 is a good prediction.
50 to 80, I'd put estimate. And at what price would you like it back?
-Do you want to let it go whatever it makes or...?
-Not below 50.
If it made £100 would you tell him to spend it on something specific?
Um, I think the house needs doing up badly.
-Our bedroom needs papering.
-Does it? Are you listening?
-Anything else need doing?
Let's hope it does a few quid!
Boxes are always popular.
I think we're pretty safe with 50 to 80.
-Thanks for coming.
-Thanks very much.
'No love lost there! Ann can't wait to see the back of her box.
'Carol and Rodney have more respect for their painting.'
What a fantastic horsey picture. Any history to it?
Not especially. I bought it about 45 years ago.
-In Bond Street.
-What did you like about it?
-Are you particularly into horses?
Some horses don't look right in pictures.
This one seems to look natural.
This is very much a correct study of a horse.
Wonderful muscular tones. The light and shade are very good.
-Almost like a photograph of its day.
-A nice background, too.
I love that summer's day with the blue sky.
He looks very stately there, very regal.
It's by quite a well known artist,
BC Norton - Benjamin Cam Norton - and dated 1866.
He specialised in animal subjects, particularly equestrian subjects.
This is a prime example of his work.
You've had it for 45 years. Why have you decided to sell it?
-Old age, probably.
Were you going to say something?
It's sat on the bedroom wall for so many years.
-First thing we see when we get up.
-You'll have to redecorate.
Find something to go in its place. No, we take it down, sometimes.
-It's time for it to go.
-Have you thought about value?
-It's a nice painting, a Victorian painting.
We thought that maybe it would fetch towards 1,000.
-We would put a valuation of 700.
-I think you've hit it on the mark.
I would be happy to put 700 to 1,000 on it with a 700 reserve.
The market does fluctuate and artists go in and out of fashion.
I think because of the quality, somebody's going to have a nibble.
If we put that estimate on, who knows? We might even get to £1,000.
This is a very pleasant subject.
Now, Adam has spotted a nice collection brought in by Gillian.
-Now, were these yours?
-Yes, they were.
So, they aren't that old, really.
-No, very nice of you.
-I presume you didn't play with them.
I did. I put them back in their boxes after I played with them.
Well, that's very diligent.
I still put everything back in its box. I still do.
A good thing, nice and neat and tidy.
I don't have a very tidy home, but I like things inside things.
-I like things stored, you know?
-Yes, you like a bit of order and correctness.
-I like boxes.
I often think when I see toys in their original boxes that they didn't get played with.
This one's the tattiest because I played with that one the most because that's a car that we had.
-Is that a Morris Marina?
-No, it's a Cortina, I think. Isn't it?
We had that at the time so I would have that one.
So, you've got your Dinky Cortina there, you've got a McLaren there,
the racing type, you've got your Spectrum Patrol Car which I think is quite a nice one there.
-And, of course, you've got your boxed helicopter, the Sea King helicopter.
-With the lunar module.
-The Apollo module.
-That dates itself, doesn't it?
The Apollo module. And it's still got the winch.
-They're in very nice condition, aren't they?
So, can you give us an indication of what sort of year you got these?
It would be in the '60s some time, I would think.
I presume you've got no need for them now?
No, I don't think so. I think I'm a bit old to play with them now.
-No family, so...
-Where were they before you brought them down today?
They were in storage at Mum's. They were in an old record case at Mum's.
-She'll be glad of more space.
-They're not going to make a great deal.
No, but they'll make more than Mum would by throwing them in the bin.
-Which is what she wants to do.
She's a thrower.
-And you're the opposite?
-A thrower meets a hoarder.
-I'm going to estimate £30-£50 on the lot.
I think we let them make their own price.
-Is that all right?
-Yes, that's fine.
-People always like Dinkys.
-And they always make what they should.
-We'll leave it to that, then.
-Thank you very much.
'Just over a mile from the valuation day is the Menai suspension bridge,
'built by Thomas Telford in the 19th century.
'It was, at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world.
'Telford is considered to be "the man who built Britain".
He revolutionised Britain's transport network, building roads,
'canals and, most famously, bridges.
'The bridge across the Menai Strait was his greatest achievement.'
The Menai Strait is a stretch which Lord Nelson described as one of the most treacherous in the world.
He said, "If you can sail these waters you can sail anywhere."
If you wanted to sail to Dublin, you had to cross the Menai Strait.
The Menai Strait is the treacherous stretch of water
that separates Anglesey from Wales.
For thousands of years, crossing it was a matter of life and death.
This narrow stretch of tidal water is 15 miles long.
The problem is powerful currents race in from both ends at different times,
creating strong whirlpools and exceptionally powerful tides.
The location of the bridge is also one of the most dangerous areas.
Even as late as 1953, it was claiming some pretty big prizes.
HMS Conway ran aground as it tried to pass.
It remained on the rocks for over six years.
About 30 foot in that direction...
We dare not get closer cos there's a big rock down there.
That's known as the Platters, where HMS Conway ran aground.
And the tugs, well, they just couldn't pull her off.
Building a bridge across such dangerous waters seemed impossible.
In 1815, one man thought he could do it - Thomas Telford.
It was the biggest engineering project of the age.
Although Telford oversaw every detail of construction,
not even he knew if it would stay up once it was built.
Construction on the bridge began in 1819
and it took seven years to complete.
When it opened in 1826, Thomas Telford was nearly 70 years old.
But this bridge, together with the improvements to the road to London,
meant that the journey time from Holyhead was cut down from 41 hours
to just 27 hours.
It also eliminated, well, the risk of drowning.
'Almost 200 years later, the bridge is still standing.
'As a testament to its incredible strength,
'it's perfectly capable of handling even today's heavy traffic.
'Civil engineer Bob Damond is a trustee of the Menai Bridge Community Heritage Trust.
'I've come to find out more about Thomas Telford's achievement.'
You can see how strong the currents are.
It varies across the width because of the shape and the depth.
Had there been attempts to build a bridge?
Tacitus referred to problems the Romans had crossing the strait.
Edward I built a pontoon bridge by lashing boats together.
-Back in the 13th century?
-Yes. And the Welsh set fire to the boats at this end so that didn't work.
Various engineers had done designs
but there hadn't been an attempt to build one
-until Telford started the suspension bridge.
-It is absolutely superb.
A lot of people said you couldn't span that width
without supporting it in the middle.
The big problem was that not only
was it by far the biggest span of a suspension bridge at that time,
the Admiralty insisted on a 100-foot clearance above high water.
Sailing ships had tall masts.
So they had to find a way of getting the chains across a gap of 579 feet
and 100 feet above the water.
They did that with ropes and pulleys and 150 men winding two capstans to lift something like 24 tons.
The first chain they did in an hour and 37 minutes.
Which is about a 24-tons lift.
They had to do that 16 times for the 16 chains in the original bridge.
When the first chain was in, two men walked across to the other side.
When Telford heard, he was annoyed because of the safety aspect.
There must have been a wonderful celebration when this opened.
It was in the middle of the night when the first coach went through.
It was a bad night, a bit like this, and not many people hung around.
But the next day thousands of people crossed.
They had to pay a penny to walk across. More to take a horse.
-Some of them crossed and re-crossed.
-It was so enjoyable! An experience!
It really is, when you look at this, the work of a genius, isn't it?
A ground-breaking bridge, and it set the mark
of suspension bridges being the best way to cross large spans.
'Telford made much of the Industrial Revolution possible.
'The world around us couldn't have been built
'were it not for the singular vision of just one man.
'The Menai bridge still stands as Telford's crowning achievement.
'We've got our first four items, now we're taking them to the sale,
'which is at Rogers Jones and Co in Colwyn Bay.
'Auctioneer David Rogers Jones isn't so sure about the horse painting.'
Lovely little oil. Belongs to Carol and Rodney.
Mark put a valuation of £700 to £1,000 on this horse.
-What do you think?
-It is good quality.
It's super quality. I do have a theory about this type of painting.
When you've got a horse painting that isn't painted
by a famous horse portraitist,
it's a bit like a personal painting of your Aunt Edna.
-It's your horse.
Who else wants to buy a picture of your horse?
That's what's holding me back.
It's not a thing I'd put on my wall. It's not loose enough.
Yes. It's going back to the personal portrait thing.
If you liken it to a portrait of Aunt Edna,
-it's a bit "sat" and...
Lifeless, yeah. A bit posed.
My gut feeling is it might struggle.
-I see where the valuation's coming from, Paul.
I'm just a bit worried about the narrow market.
'We'll be keeping our fingers crossed anyway.
'Anything can happen in the auction.
'Also under the hammer, Pamela and Glyn's Minton candlestick holder
'and Ann and Steve's unloved travelling box.
'Finally, Gillian's childhood collection of Dinky toys.
'First up, it's the box.
'I hope the bidders don't feel the same way about it as Ann and Steve.'
-Why are you selling the travelling box?
-Well, it's been...
-Been in the loft for years.
-Flog It was in town. Bring it along?
-We've got loads!
-You've got loads up there, have you?
-The tip of the iceberg.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
AUCTIONEER: The lady's walnut travelling box.
Seven containers, white metal tops, et cetera.
Bid me. What do you say? 120?
80? 60, I'm bid. At 60. 60 bid.
80 bid. 90. 100.
Against you, sir. 10.
And 20. 120. 130.
130 in the room. At £130. Is there 40?
Everybody done at £130?
Anybody coming in? 130 in the saleroom. Final call.
-£130 for the vanity case. A good result.
'Somebody in the saleroom liked it more than Ann and Steve.
'Next, Carol and Rodney's painting. Are the bidders in the room?'
Great to see you again.
We're putting Mark's valuation of £700 to £1,000 to the test.
It's a nice image. You got this in Bond Street 45 years ago.
Expensive place to buy. Hopefully, we'll get your money back.
Whether or not it suits the Welsh market, we'll find out.
I hope so. It is rather charming.
They have got some nice paintings from a private estate, so who knows?
Art is selling really well today. It's flying out the door.
Fingers crossed, the dealers are here. Here we go now.
AUCTIONEER: Lot 102.
The very nice oil on board BC Norton thoroughbred horse by a gate.
Lovely painting. Superb quality.
Bid me £1,000.
Start me at 800.
As you say. 400 I'm bid. At £400.
450 on the book. 500. 550? 550?
550 bid. At 550.
600 anywhere? At 550. 550.
Everybody done? 600.
Against us both at 600.
650. 650. Is there level money?
Coming in? At 650.
I'll take 700 quickly. At 650.
Everybody done? Final call at £650.
What are you going to do? We leave that there, I'm sorry, at 650.
-That didn't sell.
-That's all right.
-One bid away.
-One of those things.
-Sorry about that.
-Go back on the bedroom wall.
-Another auction on another day.
Maybe a sporting sale where there's a more horsey type...
-An equestrian sale.
-In the shires.
They might not be "shire" of bidding!
'Carol and Rodney's horse didn't bolt.
'At least that firm reserve protected it from going for less.
'Next, Pamela and Glyn's Minton candlestick holder.'
I've been joined by Pamela and Glyn in the nick of time.
Your lot is just about to go under the hammer.
I like this a lot. It's got style.
We like things from all periods and this is a distinctive pattern.
-I've never seen a candlestick like this.
-Nor have I.
-It should make £80 all day long.
-But on a good day 120? 130?
Absolutely. The decorative arts are still quite strong.
Fingers crossed, that's what we're going to get.
It's going under the hammer right now.
AUCTIONEER: Very nice Minton secessionist candle holder bowl.
Bid me. £100?
Very nice piece. Classic Minton. Just what you want. 70 to start.
£70 I'm bid. 70 on the book. 80 anywhere?
At 70. £70. 70. Is there 80?
At 70. 80. 80 online. 90 bid...
-90 bid. Come on. A bit more.
-..Everybody done? 100.
£100. Lot 132 at £100.
Anybody in the room? You're all out. The bid is live. £100. Ten anybody?
Final call. Ten. 110. Another live one...
-There's a battle on the internet.
..120? 120 bid.
120. 30 now? At 120.
All done? Anyone else coming in? 120.
Final, final call. All done now?
We'll take that! 120 is better than 80! I hope you paid less than 120.
-Yes. Something like 60.
-Oh, well done.
Even after commission, a jolly healthy profit.
Don't forget there's commission.
Now it's Gillian's box-set toy collection.
Boys and their toys. But in this case, it's girls. It's Gillian's!
-And they're boxed.
You obviously said, "Dad, buy me some cars."
I loved cars, yes.
I couldn't decide whether I was a boy or a girl, I think!
I liked boys' toys as well as girls'.
They are very collectable, especially with the boxes, that's sometimes 30% of the value.
-I'd always put them back in the boxes.
-What a diligent girl she was.
I used to take mine out of the box and chuck the box.
Yeah, well, I don't even know if I've got any.
I still put things back in boxes, I'm terrible for it.
-Look, we've pitched for around about £40-50.
-It might make a bit more than that.
-They should do.
-What's your prediction? 60?
Hopefully a little bit more, but 60 is a good starting point.
It depends how many toy collectors there are here, because there's not many toys here.
-There's one other lot, so it won't encourage...
-That's the danger.
-Yes. It won't encourage too many collectors to come here.
-But it is online.
-And everything gets found, it seems.
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
Here we go, this is it.
Three boxed Dinky cars. McLaren patrol car, Dinky 164.
Nice, and there's a Sea King helicopter as well.
467, a nice selection. £100?
100? Give me 80.
50 I am bid at 50. 50 bid.
-Straight in, 50, good.
50 bid, 60 anywhere?
At 50, 50 bid. Is there 60?
Online, the bid. At £50.
Is there 60? At £50 only.
I think that's about their money.
I haven't got a reserve, but it's a poor price. 60 bid.
60, have another go.
At 60, £60. Is there 70? 70 bid. 80.
80 bid. 80. And again now.
-90 I'm bid.
It's a little bit better.
He's teasing the bids out of these people online.
Level money would be nice. At £90 only.
Online. 90 is online. Can you give me 100?
The collectors are sitting at home, pushing a few buttons.
I can imagine the toy collectors.
Surrounded by toys around the computer.
110, 110 bid.
£110, final call.
-I'm very happy cos I forgot I'd got them
and I nearly didn't get them out at the valuation day.
And we got the top end of the estimate.
-We did, we got over, £110 was good.
-Thank you very much.
What a fantastic result for Gillian.
Wales is known as the land of the song.
Male voice choirs boom out across the valleys, and music is considered
to be the cement of the Welsh identity.
All through history music has been of huge importance to the Welsh.
In fact, back in medieval times, music was so important
that musicians, or bards, occupied a privileged position in Welsh society.
They used poetry and music to celebrate victory in battle, or to
add expression to national or religious sentiments.
They had a high status in life.
You could say they had a good gig because they didn't pay any
taxes, and they were also exempt from military service.
The Welsh bards generally played one of three instruments -
The harp, the pipe and a third which not many people have heard of.
It's called the crwth.
The earliest known reference to a crwth goes back around to the 11th century.
And that was played throughout Europe, but it survived the longest
in Wales, going right through to the 19th century.
However, once the versatile and more powerful fiddle came along,
the crwth was increasingly seen as old-fashioned.
By the end of the 18th century, nobody was playing it.
So complete was the abandonment of the instrument, that only three are known to have survived.
And those, thank goodness, are in various Welsh museums.
But a resurgence of interest in traditional Welsh folk music has
inspired a few musicians to try and unravel the mysteries of the crwth, using modern reproductions.
And I've come to meet one of them, Cass Meurig, who released the
world's first CD of crwth music in 2004.
Lovely. There was so much going on there, so many subtleties.
If you weren't looking, it sounded like three or four people playing.
It's got a lot of volume to it.
Well, you have to be quite loud, because in the Middle Ages, you didn't have amplification.
And they would have played for dancing as well as for listening.
And probably accompanied singers.
How many people are playing this today, do you think, in Wales?
Well, there are crwth players and crwth owners.
There are probably at least 20 people in Wales that own a crwth.
There are lots of people in America that own crwths, because they e-mail me quite a lot.
-It's very popular in the States?
-Well, it's not popular, but there
are a handful of nutters that are having a go at it!
And there are probably about three of us that really take it seriously.
Of whom, two of us do it professionally, I suppose, so not very many.
It's a wonderful tradition. Show me how you achieve some of those sounds.
They've actually got names, the strings, in Welsh.
These are the crasdannau, or the sharp string.
These are the cyweirdannau, or the key string. And these are the llorfdannau,
or the crowd string. The one that makes the racket.
Wow. There's a straight bridge there, unlike a violin or a cello. Why is that straight?
So that you can play six strings at once.
-All at once?
-That's the really unusual feature of the crwth.
-Just play two strings for me and then play six. Let's hear the difference.
-Well, here's one.
And here's all six.
Before taking up the crwth, Cass was an accomplished fiddle player,
but it still took five hard years to master this medieval instrument.
That's because the techniques of crwth playing, and the music,
were not written down, but passed orally from one musician to the next.
But one thing we can be sure about is that the repertoire for the crwth was very distinctive.
The crwth only plays crwth music, you can't persuade it really to play anything it doesn't want to play.
It has a certain range, it has a certain range of noises it makes.
It has a certain range of things it's happy to do.
So I think, as a fiddle player, that's the first thing you have to learn, forget
all the things you would like to do on it, and learn what the crwth would like you to do.
That's lovely. It really is.
You can see they've used a lot of wood in the construction.
This was all one piece of sycamore originally. And it's actually hollowed out of that one piece.
There's quite a wastage of wood.
-Yes, there is.
-Beautifully shaped at the back.
And then a spruce belly laid on top, and a holly fingerboard.
There's a poem in Welsh describes the crwth, and one line of it is...
SHE SPEAKS WELSH
..which means that its neck is like an old man that's bent forward.
Which is a great description.
Are many people in Wales curious about this?
Do they come up to you and talk to you about this?
Yes. A lot of people are actually aware of the crwth.
It's got a certain iconic status, in the same way that the harp has, in the history of Welsh music making.
And people are still aware of the word crwth, and that it was part of Welsh history, really.
So, a lot of people have been quite intrigued by it.
And they're usually quite surprised by what it sounds like.
Because they look at it, I suppose, and expect it to sound a bit like a violin.
It doesn't. It belongs to a medieval sound-world that's quite unfamiliar to people now.
Cass, thank you for talking to me today and
enlightening me on something which I never knew anything about.
It's a wonderful instrument and I guess the best way to hear it
is with your fellow musicians, who are getting ready down there.
-Do you want to join them and play us out?
Hearing instruments like the crwth brings the past alive.
And without the passion and commitment of people like Cass,
their haunting medieval sound would be lost for ever.
At our valuation day at Bangor University, people are still queuing, hoping to hear the
music of the sale room and the bang of the gavel when their items go to auction.
Cerys has brought in a delicate little necklace for Mark to look at.
Where did you get such a charming necklace?
I inherited it from my grandmother.
I think before that it came from my great-aunt.
-So, yes, that goes back a little while.
-Quite a long time.
A hundred years or so. Have you worn it yourself? Do you like wearing it?
I wore it once for my wedding day. And that's about it.
It's quite delicate, isn't it? It's not a robust piece of jewellery.
-Because I've got long hair, it just gets tangled up.
There's one thing that tells us
immediately where it comes from and what style it comes from.
And that's the Art Nouveau period.
Because you've got these very naturalistic swirls here.
And the use of the stones, the semi-precious stone of peridot, which actually is a
charming colour, that tells us it's going to be made round about 1905.
You've got to think, at that period, Edwardian ladies wore very fitted clothes.
They were very slim, they were still quite corseted so the necklaces hang
very well on these high-waisted shirts they wore.
The other interesting thing about this colour combination, Cerys, is that green and white,
when worn in the Edwardian period by ladies, is subliminal for the Suffragette Movement.
They wore green-and-white and purple-and-white.
So, it could be a hidden message in there. Votes for women.
And it's 15-carat gold which again is a very Victorian standard of gold.
We don't get it these days.
We have nine then we jump immediately up to 18 carat.
So most of these that I see are nine-carat gold which is actually quite a low grade of gold, really.
But the 15 just makes it slightly mellower.
So you've had it all these years.
Why have you decided to sell it today?
I knew Flog It! was coming to Bangor.
-I've got no-one to leave it to because there are no female relatives in the family at all.
-So I thought, well...
-Bring it along, see what it's worth.
Did you have any high expectations?
No, because I was always told it was rolled gold, it wasn't real gold at all.
Oh, so it's nice to find out it's actually 15 carat?
Yes. I think my mother would be quite shocked because she's always told me,
oh, it's just a piece of costume jewellery.
It obviously does have a value.
And I think it'll appeal to people who like the Art Nouveau
period as much as it will to somebody who specialises in dealing in antique jewellery.
I would probably say a sensible estimate is round about £150-200.
-Would you be happy with that?
-Very happy with that.
-And we'll put the reserve on it.
I do think we ought to reserve it rather than let it go for £50.
At 150, with 10% discretion on the day.
-But, hopefully, we might get 200 plus.
-Does that please you?
-Very much so.
-You're happy to flog it?
-For a piece of costume jewellery.
-A piece of rolled gold jewellery.
Well, we'll see you at the auction and let's hope it sparkles as much as it does here.
-Thank you very much.
-That just goes to show,
if you've got a piece of old costume jewellery you're not sure of,
it might pay to get it checked out.
Now Adam has spotted a nice collection brought in by Patricia.
I remember a lady came in many years ago and brought in a gold thimble.
I said, "Why are you selling it?" And she said, "I'm downsizing."
-Don't tell me you're downsizing.
-You'd have to be moving to Lilliput!
So, firstly, where did you get them from?
-From my aunt, who was a seamstress.
-That explains the quantity.
Do you know much about your aunt?
Yes. We all lived together, my family, for years and years.
-Did you pick up any skills in that department?
-You've never had occasion to use these?
I've divided them a little bit.
People are probably wondering what this is.
This one here is an advertising thimble for Dr Lovelace's soap.
-"Use Dr Lovelace's soap." Have you heard of Dr Lovelace's soap?
Here we have a Victorian bar of soap, the real soap.
-And it still smells.
-Still smells like coal tar.
We won't be including that in the auction. You can take that home.
An advertising one.
Four of these ones we'd call white metal. They're not stamped silver.
The silver ones here. Not the best material. It's too soft.
A man called Charles Horner invented a method
where he made a steel thimble and coated it in silver.
You could still have the posh silver thimble!
One of these is by Charles Horner.
He was a famous hat pin maker.
His thimbles are slightly more collected. I think it's that one.
A Chester hallmark as well. That's probably your most collectable.
Apart from this little one which is delightful in its own little case,
velvet covered embroidered case, and what a pretty thimble!
It's Continental silver. All that enamelling round the side.
Sadly, enamelling's very vulnerable and you've got a little chip.
I would think, value wise, these are about £10 each.
-So that's 40 there.
Then maybe another 20 for all of those.
-£60 to £100.
-Put a reserve at 60?
-Fix it at 60, I think.
-Hopefully, we'll have a good result.
-Definitely flog it!
'Patricia's thimbles should sell well.
'A painting I spotted brought in by Alwyn may not sell at all.'
It's a pleasure to meet you. Alwyn Jones, you've got to be Welsh.
-What part of Wales are you from?
From the village with a very long name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgoge ychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
I have been there. I think you live in the most wonderful part of the world.
-So, how did you come by this?
-It was given to me ten years ago.
By a friend who had lost her mother.
Unfortunately, my wife is not very keen on it.
So we decided to maybe sell it and buy another painting we both like.
-Have you researched David Cox?
-My wife looked it up on the internet.
She found that he's done many paintings of Highland scenes
and some in north Wales.
David Cox is a renowned English landscape artist.
He was born in Birmingham in 1783, I think, off the top of my head, and died in 1859.
This is a Scottish Highland scene.
I've done some comparables, looked him up on our art index guides,
what works have sold for in this medium on paper this size.
He's very well sought after.
You're looking in the region of £4,000 to £6,000.
Looking at this image, I don't think,
speaking from my heart, I don't think...it's that good
if it's by David Cox.
-I see. Yeah.
-I have seen some of his works.
For me, the photographic representation is a lot better
-than what's going on here.
This is a tad too loose for him.
My gut feeling tells me it's a copy.
-What you probably don't know is David Cox works are highly forged.
It's really difficult to tell if this is a copy.
We can put this into auction with a guide of £3,000 to £4,000,
if it is David Cox, because there is some foxing.
-There is some damage. If it's a copy...
-£200 to £300.
-If it's £200 to £300, I'd keep it.
-Course you would.
The best thing to do here is get a second opinion from the auctioneer.
They can do a lot of research, have some picture specialists come in.
We'll let the auctioneer decide this.
My gut feeling is it's not right but I want it to be right for you, you want £3,000 to £4,000.
-We'll put it into auction with what you think it is.
We'll let the auctioneer say it might be a copy.
In which case, you can withdraw it.
-We'll let him do the hard work.
-I'm sorry if I've let you down.
'The auction will be the place we'll find out the true value.
'More of that later.
'Next, Derek's brought in an early example of satellite navigation.'
We've got a wonderful precision engineered piece of equipment here.
-Give us a bit of the background.
-The instrument, which is a sextant,
was given to me 50 years ago by an old sea captain from Anglesey.
-He used it all his working life, but now GPS superseded sextants!
Press a button, it tells you where you are so it's of no practical use.
It's just in the back of the cupboard.
Those GPS systems are nothing as beautiful as this.
-Talk us through how it works.
-To find out where you are, latitude,
you look through any of these telescopes, depending on conditions,
which fits in there.
You sight on the sun and you sight on the horizon.
You adjust this lever here,
so the sun is in the mirror,
and it brings the sun down so it's just touching the horizon.
If you do it at midday, by a series of calculations, you can work out
-how far you are between the North and South Pole.
-How old do you think it is?
-I would say 1850, 1860.
I think it might even be a bit earlier,
with that turned mahogany handle, which has that lovely texture.
Hundreds of people with greasy hands being on it
has given it a lovely mellow colour.
We've got a maker's name, James Morton, Sunderland & South Shields.
Nice to have a maker's name. I can't find any record of James Morton.
Anything from London tends to be more valuable.
Or the bigger cities. So you've had it at home.
-You haven't used it?
-I haven't used it at all.
Why have you decided to sell it?
It would be nice if it could go to somebody who appreciated it.
It's a very specialist collecting area.
Anything to do with marine items are quite keenly sought after.
This is actually a very nice piece.
-This is in very good condition.
It's perfect auction room condition. You haven't over-cleaned it.
It's got a lot of nice feelings about it.
We've got to think about an estimate.
-Now, my feeling is around 200 to 300.
-What's your feeling?
-I wouldn't like to see it go for less than 300.
It's not impossible.
I think if it's catalogued properly, two or three people
need to raise their hands a couple of times and we'll get up there.
-So I'm willing to give it a try. An estimate of 300 to 400, a reserve at 300.
-That would be fair.
-A fixed reserve at 300.
-On your head be it.
If I don't get 300 I get the sextant back.
That's our last set of items ready to take off to auction.
Here's what is going under the hammer.
Patricia's collection of thimbles and Derek's quality sextant.
The lovely painting I spotted.
And finally, the beautiful gold necklace Cerys thought was
a piece of costume jewellery.
And it is Cerys' necklace which is first under the hammer.
This has been in the family for about three generations?
-A long time.
-A long, long, long time?!
-Why are you selling this?
-Well, I've got no-one to leave it to.
I'm the last of the female line of our family.
There's only boys, and they don't want it.
It's very dressy, very.
And so nice, being 15 carats.
I wore it when I got married, something old. It's had its day.
That's nice. Something special.
We've got £150 to 200 on this.
Let's hope we get the top end. It's going under the hammer now.
Very, very nice, 15-carat gold,
Art Nouveau peridot and sea-pearl scroll pendant
with a fine, fine necklace.
376, bid me 150.
150. 120 I am bid. 120. Lot 376.
-120. 30, 40, 50, 60.
-We've sold it.
-They love it, they love it.
-My bid, 190. 190 in the room.
Final call at 190. 200 I'll take.
190. Everybody done at £190? Anybody else coming in?
All done at 190.
-That's a result, isn't it?!
Very good. You've got to be happy with that?
I am very pleased with it.
-Top end of the estimate.
-What a fabulous result.
A spot-on valuation by our expert.
They say small is beautiful.
Let's see if small is worth a lot of money!
We're joined by Patricia and we've got 11 thimbles going under the hammer with a value of £60 to £100.
I'd love to get that top end.
I know you like your small things. Why are you selling the thimbles?
They belonged to my aunt and they've been in a tiny drawer in a tiny cupboard. Nobody sees them.
-I put you down as having a vitrine with all your little silver things.
-I do have lots of things on show.
-But you've decided you want to sell the thimbles.
Adam, you put £60 to £100 on them. A great valuation.
-I'd like to see the top end.
-£5 or £10 each isn't much.
I just hope... There's a lot of ladies here.
I find there's a lot of interest in sewing collectables.
Needle cases, thimbles, small silvers.
Investing in your social history, a nice talking point to have on display rather than in the drawer!
-It's going under the hammer.
AUCTIONEER: Lovely little lot here, lot 364.
No fewer than 11 silver and other sewing thimbles.
There's one in a leather case and one in a fabric case.
Lovely little parcel. £80?
Silver thimbles. Come on. I usually sell these at 15 each...
It's all down to the bidders in the room.
I'm bid at 50. 50 bid, lot 364.
At 50. 50 bid. 60 anybody?
-At 50. 60...
..70. £70. Out right at the back, sir?
Five if it helps you. At 70. 70 bid.
Five at the back, if you like.
Five I'll take. Everybody done? At £70.
Five if you wish. 75.
75. 80. 80 I'm bid...
Fresh legs! Someone's just come in.
..At £80 only. Everybody done? Final call at 80.
-That's a sold sound. Well done, Adam.
-Happy with that?
-Yes. Very happy.
'A great result for Patricia, and now it's Derek's turn.
'His sextant is in mint condition. I hope the right people are here.'
I've been joined by Derek and the next item is this wonderful sextant.
You'd expect to see it here in Colwyn Bay, right by the sea.
Maritime memorabilia does fetch good money. We're in the right place.
We're looking for £300 to £400, by our expert Mark.
-Why are you selling it?
-It's been superseded by GPS!
I suppose it has, in a way!
It might as well go to somebody who'll appreciate it.
-I love the engineering quality.
-So do I.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
AUCTIONEER: 447, the ship's sextant
by James Morton, Sunderland & South Shields.
Cased. Bid me. Start me at 350.
The cased sextant by a Sunderland & South Shields maker. Bid me.
I'm bid at 150. 150 bid.
At 150. 180? 180 bid.
-200? 200 bid...
-We're climbing. A little bit more.
..240. Is there 60? At 240.
240 bid. Everybody done?
280 bid. 280. 280. And again now.
At 280. 300. 300 bid.
..How many on there? At £300.
Online at £300. Everybody done?
All finished? At £300 and going.
-That was close.
-I thought we'd sink without trace.
-We came back.
'What a relief. It looks like quality shone through.
'Auctioneer David Rogers Jones has looked at Alwyn's painting,
'which may or may not be genuine, and he's got some interesting news.'
If it was an early piece of oak, I'd be really confident!
I just don't know.
I think, Paul, that it's got many of David Cox senior's attributes.
-The figures and the animals smack Cox for me.
What about the sky?
Well, yeah. One always looks for "Cox clouds".
-But it isn't in the best condition.
-No. It's got foxing.
A lot of foxing and, I think, if you eliminated the foxing,
I think, probably, the clouds would come out.
-What was your gut feeling?
-That it was OK.
I like the figures. I like the animals.
It has the Cox windswept feel that his paintings have.
My gut feeling was it may be a fake.
It's disappointing to tell the owner and now it's the real McCoy,
will this do £3,000 to £4,000?
The people we've sent images to are good in the field of Cox.
-And they seem to be fairly happy.
-I think they're interested so I'm fairly hopeful.
Now it's time for the moment of truth.
Will Alwyn's painting sink or swim? It's up to the bidders to decide.
I had a chat with the auctioneer before the sale. He said it's right.
-Good. I'm pleased.
-I'm pleased it's that way, not the other way.
I'm so pleased I didn't say, "Yes! His works sell for thousands!"
And get here on the day and find out it's a copy.
So that's good news. We've still got £3,000 to £4,000.
He agreed with the valuation, because of the foxing.
It's now down to this lot. Let's find out what happens.
AUCTIONEER: David Cox. Expansive landscape.
Five Scottish figures, two on horseback, tending a herd of cattle.
Well signed and I think it's got the features of David Cox.
The men, the animals, it's got the lot.
OK, there's a bit of restoration to be done.
That can be done easily.
You've got a really good painting and it's a good big'un! Bid me.
Two and a half thou to start?
1,800 I'm bid. At £1,800.
..at 1,800. £2,000.
We've got a phone bid. This is great.
£2,800, David Cox. Are you coming in, Mike?
Bid's here on the telephone. At £2,800.
3,000, I'd like. I'll open the gate at 2,900, if you want to.
£2,800 final call.
On the telephone. Everybody done?
£2,800 all done?
He's sold it. £2,800. That's fabulous!
-Really pleased. Thank you.
'The auctioneer used discretion and sold for just under the reserve.
'Alwyn is over the moon.'
I told you there would be one or two surprises! Sadly, we've run out of time in Colwyn Bay.
There'll be many more surprises to come on Flog It but, for now, cheerio.
Paul Martin is joined by a team of experts led by Mark Stacey and Adam Partridge in Bangor, north Wales. Together they value items including a collection of thimbles and an antique sextant.
Paul also pays a visit to the Menai suspension bridge, which spans the treacherous Menai Strait that separates Anglesey from mainland Wales. The incredible feat of engineering was the work of Thomas Telford, widely considered to be 'the man who built Britain'.