A collection of unusual tribal items catches Thomas Plant's eye at Warwick Castle, while Anita gets nostalgic with an extensive postcard collection.
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A 14th century dungeon, several portcullises,
not to mention a magnificent building
with a dramatic grand hall, a pretty splendid location, you'd have to agree.
Well, today the gorgeous, the splendid Warwick Castle is playing host to Flog It!
It's not just this historic venue
this massive crowd have turned up to see on this lovely summer's day,
it's our experts - the gorgeous Anita Manning, Thomas Plant
and myself, who will be doing all the valuing.
We'll be dipping into these boxes, looking for the best items to take off to auction.
Somebody here today is going home with a lot of money. Stay tuned and you'll find out,
but right now, let's get on with the show, let's Flog It!
And leading today's team of valuers in finding the treasures packed away in all the bags and boxes
are today's experts, Anita Manning and Thomas Plant,
who are already meeting the Flog It! fans.
These are collectible now, AND you've kept them in good condition.
-Did you pay a lot for it, 40 years ago?
-I can't remember, dear.
All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players.
And the main players on the Flog It! stage are going absolutely animal-crackers.
A menagerie of beasts.
'And they're getting hot under the collar.'
Love's thermometer - and it's hot!
And I take a sneaky peek behind the scenes of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
I bet one or two antiques have slipped through the net.
It's time to get on with the show, get everybody inside the courtyard
so they can ask that all-important question...
ALL: What's it worth?
Well, I think we are going to be in for a marvellous day here at Warwick Castle.
The sun is shining, there are smiles on everybody's faces, everybody's now safely seated in the courtyard
and it looks like Anita Manning is our first expert to the tables.
Let's take a wee peek at what Anita is looking at.
Penny's brought in a funky jug to show Anita.
Penny, this is a delightful stoneware jug. Where did you get it?
Well, I believe it belonged to my great-grandmother, my gran's mum.
And that's about as much as I know about it.
And does it belong to you?
Well, my mum very kindly has given it to me so that I can raise money for the Cats Protection League,
because I've just started fostering cats.
So all funds will go to a good cause.
-OK, do you know anything about it?
I know nothing about it.
Well, it's a lovely piece of Royal Doulton.
And we often associate Doulton with a porcelain body.
This is a stoneware body,
and they made this type of wares between about 1880 and 1910, 1915.
And I like this slightly modern style of decoration.
If we look at the back stamp,
we can see the initials and the monogram for Frank A Butler.
Now, he was one of Doulton's most prestigious decorators.
He worked for them for over 40 years, over a long period of time,
and this is certainly one of the decorators that the Doulton collectors will like.
The shape is very pleasing, it's very sympathetic.
The decoration is simple, it appeals to modern tastes.
I would put an estimate
on this jug of between £50 and £80.
Penny, would you be happy to sell it at that price?
Yes, I think that's fine. That buys a lot of cat litter.
Well, I'm delighted at that, hopefully it'll do very well.
-Feed a lot of kittens.
Toy man Thomas has been overwhelmed by Terry's menagerie of animals.
are these your toys?
They are. I used to play with them quite a lot when I was small,
way back in the '40s, as you can probably see by looking at them.
I used to love setting them up and moving them around.
I can remember wishing that they could move, actually.
-Yes. I did quite enjoy them.
-We've got a sort of mixture of animals. A menagerie of beasts.
So, you've got two sets, you've got the domestic, farmyard,
and then we've got the zoo, or the exotic, but by different makers,
which is interesting. Most of these figures are marked on the base.
Here we've got "Made in England" and we've got "Britains" -
paint's a bit smudged, but "Britains Ltd" is on there.
You can start the B there.
But these ones here are marked John Hill and Co.
He used to work for Britains, and obviously thought,
"I can do this myself."
His work is quite good, because this is premier-division,
this is sort of what we'd call Manchester United
of making figures. And then this is sort of probably a bit less,
but going for the cup as well.
Very nice collection, quite clean and good condition.
Well done, you, for looking after them. I like the geese.
When you go into a field of geese and they attack you like that,
they put their little necks out and they hiss at you.
I like these, actually, the little cygnets
that go with the swan. Something different again.
I mean, they're so tiny,
-I'm amazed they're still there, actually.
You know, if they are of any value to anyone, I would like them to go.
Absolutely, we are not talking mega money.
-As a collection, I think that
we're looking at between £60 and £80.
I would put the reserve at £50.
That's fine - I'm very happy with that.
-I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-I look forward to it.
Next up, Debra has brought along a stunning set of silver.
Deborah, welcome to Flog It!
And thank you so much
for bringing this lovely little boxed set of salts along
for us to look at.
-Tell me, where did you get them?
-They were my aunt's.
She very sadly died last year
and it wasn't quite the right time to sell them straightaway.
I don't have any use for them, because my table isn't that long!
But they are beautiful and I shall be sad to see them go.
These would have been used in grander times with grander tables
and lots and lots of guests.
You'd have had the long Victorian table
and these little salt pots would have been distributed
along the length of the table.
What I like about this is the condition.
The condition is absolutely wonderful.
And the set is complete.
If we pick up one and we look at it, we have embossed work,
which is fresh,
we have our hallmark
and they are dated for 1883.
It's a London hallmark, so it's quality.
We have a quality piece of kit.
If we look at the inside,
we see that the interior has been gilded
and, again, that's very fresh.
-I doubt, Deborah, if these have ever been used.
I doubt if they've ever been used.
They're over 100 years old.
And the other exciting thing
is that we have all the little salt spoons matching,
and they are all there.
None missing at all.
They are in this delightful box, the original box,
this has kept them in good condition and fresh.
-This is your wee girl here, isn't it?
-Yes, I'm Beth.
Tell me what you think about these.
I think they're gorgeous, it's a shame we can't have them
in our house. We'd love to keep them, they're beautiful.
They'll definitely be good
for someone that wants to have a better use for them
and can use them in their house.
Uh-huh. OK - we can put them into auction.
The estimate I would put on them would be £200-£300.
I think they deserve surely 200,
and they may go beyond that.
Are you happy, Deborah, with that estimate
-and would you be happy to sell them at that price?
And, as usual, I'm scouring the queue
to find something to catch my eye.
Because art is so subjective,
it's so arbitrary...
what I like, you may not like.
I thought it was Lalique.
They self-lubricate all the time.
Oh, well, moving on.
-Can you play?
-Hi, what's your name?
Hi, Jo, you're very young to be into antiques.
-Do you like antiques?
-No, I'm here for my mum.
Do you know, I kind of guessed that!
-So, what's your mum sent you out for?
-They're teapots, two teapots.
Are they? And she wants to sell them?
-Can I have a peep?
Can I have a look?
Oh, I know what they are, they're barge ware, aren't they?
Have they got a teapot on the lid?
I don't think so. That one hasn't.
Let's have a look.
Yes, they do, look at that.
See? You didn't even know what you'd brought in, did you?
You'd not even bothered looking, had you? Have you not seen this before?
-I have in my grandad's house, that's where they're from.
-Oh, are they?
-And now they're your mother's?
-Poppa passed away so we are trying to sell all the stuff in the house.
-Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
-So, this really is your inheritance, really, isn't it?
-But Mum doesn't like them?
-No, they're not the prettiest of things, we don't think.
But they are highly sought-after,
especially the ones with a teapot on them, like that, look at that.
Unfortunately there's a little bit of damage to the lid on this one,
it has been extensively repaired just here and here.
That will hold the collectors back.
It's also had some restoration around the rim of the larger teapot.
It is such a shame. Let's have a closer look anyway.
It's known, really, as barge ware,
because people that lived on narrowboats
love to collect this kind of thing,
it just goes with the whole image, it goes with the look.
Let's have a look at the other one before I go on any further.
-Are you a student?
-Yes, I'm at Exeter University.
Are you, do you like it down in Exeter, the West Country?
-I do, love it.
-Oh, this is nice.
It doesn't have another teapot on the lid,
but I'll tell you what it does have.
That's what I was looking for - a date.
It mentions here, "Florence Skirrow, God bless our home, 1910."
Well, I think these are terrific
and this one's even got its little saucer to sit on. Look at that.
Isn't that great, its own coaster.
I think they're lovely.
I'd be inclined to put them in as two separate lots.
-This one, we can definitely put £250 to £350 on as a valuation.
This one, the larger one, which is the more sought-after one,
because it's got the teapot on a teapot,
if I show you it and display it like this.
I think it's absolutely divine,
but unfortunately it's had some extensive renovation.
I'd be inclined to put this into auction with a valuation of £180
-OK, with a reserve of £180.
Will you make it to the auction room?
-Have you been to an auction before?
Oh, boy, have you got some excitement to experience.
Oh, I can't wait for it. See you there.
Next up, Thomas is at the tables with Joanne and her coins.
Tell me about them - how have you got hold of them?
-I just got them off a well-known Internet auction site.
-Yes, I did.
-Why did you buy them?
I do like collecting coins, I collect lots of things
and I've got lots of things all around the house,
so they were just something that I collected.
I mean, they're definitely commemorative medallions
for the three Kings,
which happened quite quickly in the 1930s.
You've got George V and Queen Mary and the Silver Jubilee for 1935
and then, obviously, in 1937,
-Edward VIII became King.
The reason we've got the description on the reverse is
because he abdicated soon after.
He wasn't quite interested in becoming King,
-he'd rather marry his fiancee - girlfriend at the time.
We all know that story.
Of course, we have George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother,
who then came to the throne in 1937 -
what a time to come to the throne - in two years, we were at war.
What an interesting, amazing, if not extremely stressful time.
So these are a nice group, a well-presented group.
Because they are silver
we can see that with the hallmarks.
Did you pay a lot for them on this well-known Internet auction site?
-I paid about £30.
-Did you? I think you've done rather well.
-You might see a small profit of £10.
-I think we can put them in at 40 to 60.
-How does that grab you?
-I really think you could get a result there.
I'm intrigued about you on the internet -
are you always on the Internet buying things?
-I am - my husband goes mad at me.
-Yes, he does.
-So have you ever been to a real, live auction?
-So you're an auction virgin.
-Yes! It's much more exciting. Is it?
Oh, yes! Much more exciting.
-I'm really look forward to you having a great experience.
-Lovely, thank you.
What can be more beautiful than a garden on a summer's day?
And this one is right in the heart of England.
Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire is a charming, delightful house,
it's so quintessentially English,
but its real merits lie beyond these gates. Because, without doubt,
it has one of the most outstanding gardens in England.
It was created in the early part of the 20th century
and it's the first-ever garden to be taken on
for its horticultural merits by the National Trust back in 1948.
The garden, which is Arts and Crafts in style,
was the lifelong work of Lawrence Johnston.
His mother, the formidable Gertrude Winthrop,
a wealthy, twice-widowed American, bought Hidcote in 1907.
It came with a hamlet of cottages, but no garden to speak of -
just a collection of rose beds and a huge cedar of Lebanon.
So, what is an Arts and Crafts style garden? Good question!
It's the Edwardians turning their backs
on what they considered to be Victorian conformity.
Let's say rows and rows
of regimented, gaudy bedding plants, which was all the rage at the time.
Lawrence Johnston described Hidcote
as "a wild garden within a formal setting".
It was a romantic vision, an artistic vision,
and he certainly got that right,
with the use of old-fashioned flowers
and traditional garden crafts such as topiary.
That, with a combination of natural materials,
like the stone I'm walking on,
and wood, left in the round for all the arbours,
created a cottage-like atmosphere,
one that harked back to the preindustrial world.
Lawrence was a man of 36 when they arrived here.
He'd already been off to fight in the Boer War
and had become a naturalised British citizen,
in love with his adopted English Heritage.
In the seven years he and his mother lived here
before the start of the First World War,
most of the garden was close to the house.
It took many years for it to grow to its current size,
spreading slowly out into the surrounding countryside.
This is his starting point.
The garden is divided up into rooms which extend out from the house.
This is key to the Arts and Crafts idea.
Many gardens are divided up with walls,
but here, they're divided with beautiful box and yew wood hedges.
This area is now known as The White Garden,
and when you look around and take it all in, it's absolutely stunning.
It's subtle, it's clever,
and I wasn't surprised to find out that Lawrence was a keen painter.
It shows the eye of a true artist - just look at it!
And another great thing
about having different themed rooms within the garden
is there's many inviting doorways for you to walk through.
There are 28 garden rooms here at Hidcote.
The closer they are to the house, the more formal they are,
and then gradually, the further away they get,
they start giving way to nature and wilderness.
It's a highly creative, personal statement.
The great thing is, it's all on a wonderfully human scale.
Walking around the garden, Lawrence constantly surprises.
Some rooms are bursting full of plants,
others are left quite sparse,
and it's these contrasts that make it so incredibly exciting.
Gardens like this just don't happen overnight.
Lawrence worked on the design for well over 23 years
and he created this room, the one I'm in now,
upon his return from fighting in the First World War.
Nobody knows for sure why there are 22 English yew pillars here.
Maybe it's no coincidence that there were 22 fellow officers
in his regiment.
And in total contrast, you've got the Rose Walk.
This is absolutely stunning.
In fact, it's breathtaking,
especially on a gorgeous day like this.
Looking at these wonderful, deep beds,
you can see splashes of colour everywhere.
That's the eye of an artist.
It's like his palette board,
but it's also the eye of a very keen plantsman.
Many of the examples you see here
Lawrence gathered on his plant-hunting trips
to far-flung places such as South Africa, China and Turkey.
It was for this, and his contribution to horticulture,
that in 1947 he was given the highest accolade
of the Royal Horticultural Society -
a gold Veitch Memorial Medal.
Not only had he introduced many new plants,
but he'd created one of the most influential gardens of his time.
Well, here we have it - this rock bank is a reconstruction
of what Lawrence would have come across
on one of his plant-hunting expeditions
and I absolutely love this part of the garden.
Because, here, it blends in effortlessly
with the Gloucestershire countryside.
A classic end to an Arts and Crafts garden.
Well, we are now halfway through our day,
so it's time to up the tempo.
This is my favourite part of the programme.
Anything can happen in a sale room.
You've heard what our experts have had to say,
you've probably got your own opinions,
and so have this big crowd here.
We are halfway through the day, you know what that means. Where are we going?
ALL: Off to auction!
Let's do it.
So, we're selling Penny's Royal Doulton jug with the added bonus of a renowned decorator's back stamp.
It's animal magic with Terry's lot of toys from the farm and from the jungle.
Joanne's silver medallions, which she bought off the internet.
And Deborah's barely used silver salt-pot set.
And it's teapot time with Jo and the two lovely barge ware examples,
but will the restoration just put the bidders off?
Well, you've just seen the items
our experts have picked out at the valuation day.
I think there could be one or two surprises there.
And this is where we're putting those valuations to the test.
This very building - Bigwood Auctioneers and Valuers
Let's go inside and catch up with our owners,
because I know they're feeling really nervous right now.
The auction room is looking busy, which is always a good sign,
and we have two auctioneers selling our lots today - Stephen Kay,
and Christopher Ironmonger is first on the rostrum,
and he'll be selling Joanne's medallions.
Daughter Jodie has joined her for their first-ever auction experience.
It's good to catch up with you both, Joanna and Jodie.
You look fabulous, by the way. I love all of this!
-You're testing the market for the first time, aren't you?
Because you've got these commemoratives coins
in auction not so long ago,
and now you're going to sell them and see if you can make a profit.
-Yes, it's a tall order.
-It is, isn't it?
-We'll have to wait and see what happens.
-Were you happy with the valuation Thomas gave you?
-Yes, I was.
-What did you pay for them, with commission?
-It was about £30.
So you need to make above that to make this work.
The George VI silver medallions
-and I can start the bidding at 40 on my book, at 45.
At £40, I'm going to sell them here, 40, if you want, five.
At £40, I thought we'd do better than this. £40, are we done?
Do you want five? 45. I've got 50. Five, madam?
-55. I've got 60, now. Five? 60 with me at 60, all done at 60.
The hammer's gone down. That's good.
-Yes, that's lovely.
-You just need to do that about 20 times!
-Then you're in the money, definitely!
Auctioneer Stephen Kay is on the podium to sell the teapots,
and mum Anna has joined Jo to see how they do.
Joanna is standing right next to me with mum Anna.
You didn't know, did you, that Joanna got picked to be on TV?
-So, you went home and obviously said to Mum, "The teapots have gone." What was your reaction?
It was just nice to think they were of some interest to somebody,
they've sat on the windowsill for a long time.
The auctioneer has had a chat with you and reduced the estimate, not the estimate,
he hasn't reduced it, it's still printed in the catalogue,
but he's reduced the reserve, he's taken the reserve right down.
-So, you're happy with that.
-Well, fingers crossed, anyway.
Hopefully Mum will treat you, buy you a pair of shoes or something.
I don't think we'll get the money!
Oh, please, maybe I have over-quoted.
I don't know, but I particularly love them, I love barge ware and I love that treacle glaze.
I think they're great. A good bit of social history.
That first lot I really like, Florence Skirrow, that should do well. I'll be shocked if it doesn't.
And it's going under the hammer right now.
The barge-ware teapot with the matching stand.
I've not got any bids, would somebody like to start me at £30...
30 I've got... I'll take two from anybody else. 32. 35.
37. At 35, I've got here.
37, 40...and five.
50...and five. And 60.
And five. And 70...and five.
and 80 and five...
No? Nobody interested? 80 I've got here, I'll take five...
Come on - a bit more.
All done at £80.
Well, it's gone - it's better than £35, isn't it?
OK, here's the next one.
Another barge-ware teapot.
How about £30 for this?
30, I've got. 32. 35. 37.
At 35, I've got here. 37. 40.
and five, and 50, and five...
and 60, and five.
And 70. 65 seated, anyone else?
All done at 65.
It's gone £65, are you happy?
-That is a pair of shoes, isn't it?
-Not for Joanna.
-Oh, isn't it?
-Has she got expensive tastes?
-She's got very expensive taste!
We'll have to find some more beautiful gems to bring in.
It's a shame the teapots didn't do better,
but that damage - well, it just must have put some people off.
Now, let's see how Deborah and Beth's silver fares.
-Now, the money is going towards a holiday.
-Yes, it is.
Do we know where the holiday is? Have you talked about it yet?
Yes, we booked it very last-minute this week,
-we're going to Menorca on Sunday.
-Just the two of you?
No, my mother and sister Lucinda, as well.
And this is all in memory of Auntie...?
-Auntie Jean, yes. My father's twin sister who sadly died last year.
Well, fingers crossed.
You look like you don't need a lot of sunshine,
your complexions are beautiful!
-Here we go, it's going under the hammer now.
That lovely boxed cruet, 1883.
I haven't got any bids to start me, but somebody start me at £100.
100 I've got. 110. 120? 130.
140. 150. 160.
190 I've got, anybody else?
Are we all done at £190?
210. 200 I have in the aisle.
Anybody give me 210?
At £200, are we all done?
It's gone. Gosh, the hammer went down really quickly -
"all done", boom!
-Yes, thank you.
-Enjoy the holiday, won't you?
-Thank you very much.
Onwards and upwards, let's turn our attention to Terry's herd of animals.
And going under the hammer right now we've got a wonderful collection of animals belonging to Terry,
with a valuation of £60 to £80.
-Happy with that, weren't you?
-I am very happy with it.
Well played-with, lots of memories.
-Indeed they are.
-I've got to say, I admire you, because you've hung on to them for such a long time.
Well, I have to say it was my mother who hung on to them,
they were up in her attic, actually.
My mum's done that to some of my toys. Whenever I go down and visit her, I see my toys dotted about.
-I try and go back with them because I want to have those, but she won't let me have them.
-I have none left.
-Is it like a stab?
No, I do I have one, I have a robot.
And do you know what, Thomas has his own auction room specialising in toy sales.
Yeah, but I'm an auctioneer and a toy expert.
So, you like to sell everything and get rid of everything.
I take the mantra from my grandmother -
if you haven't looked at it in a year, move it on.
You came to the right man for the valuation, because Thomas thinks they will do quite well.
I hope he's right, because I tell you,
my wife does not want them back.
Thomas, we are putting Tommy under pressure. Let's find out what the bidders think.
It's going under the hammer now.
The assortment of Britains and other farm animals, figures,
die-cast, all unboxed but, nevertheless,
very collectable indeed, these figures there, very interesting.
Who's got 50 for these, the Britains, lead animals, etc?
Come on, they ought to be 50... 30 I'm bid, all right. 35...
40. 45. 50. 55. 60. 65.
60 standing here, and I'm going to sell it.
£60, the bid's here at 60. Do I hear 5...?
All sure, at £60.
Really pleased with that.
-The wife will be pleased.
-Yes, she will, actually.
You can treat her with a meal, can't you?
-Yes, I suppose so.
-Just, with the money after commission.
I hope those toys end up getting played with in their new home.
The Royal Doulton jug is under the hammer now and Penny's waiting in the wings to find out the result.
If you like salt glaze, you will love this next lot.
It's an early bit of Royal Doulton, late Victorian. It belongs to Penny,
who's just joined me. I love what you're wearing.
-Thank you, I made it.
-Did you make it, really?
-What do you do for a living, then? You obviously make clothes.
-No, I don't, no, I'm a librarian.
Really? Could be the new Stella McCartney. Here we go.
The Frank Butler stoneware carafe.
Interesting piece, very pretty.
I have a number of bids here on the book and I can start at £100...
-Yes, straight in.
-I have 100. 110
and I'm out. Anybody give me 120?
I have 110 with the gentleman standing, anyone else?
All done at £110.
It's gone down, in and out, straightaway.
-Blink and you'll miss that one.
That was, because it was as you said, it was "a wee bit cheap".
It was a very good result.
-Are you happy?
Well, our first items have sold,
but come with me to discover some more magic
happening elsewhere in Stratford.
All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players.
Well, when it comes to the Royal Shakespeare Company,
they take their stage preparations very seriously indeed.
They create whole new worlds for their audiences to enjoy,
in all of their sensational theatres,
just like this one here at Stratford-upon-Avon.
But if it's anything like television,
it's not all glamour -
there's a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Just outside the bustling town of Stratford-upon-Avon
lies one of the entertainment industry's best-kept secrets,
the RSC's warehouse.
Preparation for a new play at one of the company's theatres
can start up to one year in advance,
often while other performances are still going on.
And it all starts here, in this room,
with a meeting between the designer and the director.
Discussions lead to a scaled-down architectural model,
just like this one here,
which was made for a production of Anthony and Cleopatra.
This is the first link in the design chain.
From here it goes on to the scenic workshop.
There's a new challenge happening right now,
because the plays at Stratford have a thrust stage.
This means part of the stage
actually projects right out into the audience,
so they can get a three-dimensional experience from the whole thing.
It is very exciting, so there's lots of technical challenges.
Not only do they have to construct the set so it looks absolutely fabulous and realistic,
but also it has to be made in a way where it can be broken down really quickly
to take to other theatres around the country.
With over 5,000 square metres of space,
the warehouse is where the director's imagination
and vision of a performance starts to come alive.
The painters often have an artistic background and work with all manner of techniques and materials.
I'd love to work here.
But despite the excitement of this exclusive behind-the-scenes peek,
the best is yet to come - it's right up those stairs, the props department.
There are over two floors here,
absolutely jam-packed full of things from floor to ceiling.
Stuffed bears, false fruit, chairs, beds and even things like this -
leather-bound volumes which you think look really heavy,
but look at that, there's absolutely nothing in them, not even any pages.
There's well over 4,000 different items here
all waiting to be recycled for another production.
They've got absolutely everything. I'm like a kid in a sweet shop.
False flowers, tea caddies, hundreds of walking canes,
a little natural-history unit here,
jewellery, swords, and look at this -
rows and rows of really cheap bits of pewter,
silver plate, goblets and tankards which the actors would use on stage.
Maybe they'd be in a tavern and get a bit merry
and they'd throw these around.
So, obviously you can't use a real genuine antique.
Some of these were even made on site.
Makes sense to use something like that.
But I bet one or two antiques have slipped through the net in here.
Well, you could quite easily get lost in here.
I seem to be going round in circles.
Take these chairs, for instance, made by the props department
back in 2008 for a performance of Hamlet.
David Tennant and Patrick Stewart sat on these chairs.
Well, some famous bums did, anyway!
Now, look at this aisle.
That reminds me of an auction room,
different chairs of different periods throughout the ages,
all shapes and sizes, neatly stacked.
Just look at this one.
This, to me, at first sight, looks like a Cromwellian wainscot chair,
something from the late 17th century, made of heavy oak,
very understated, typical of the period.
You go to lift it up and it's feather-light.
This is in fact made of a soft wood, a pine that's been heavily stained
to look like that heavy bog oak.
That's the skill of the craftsmen in the props department.
They've studied reference books and the real item
to get an almost exact likeness.
Well, everything's just vying for my attention at once.
I don't know where to go. I think I'm going to go that way.
There are obviously a fair few stories
behind some of these remarkable items.
So, to find out more, I had to meet up with
head of the property shop, John Evans.
-So, how long have you been here now?
-Man and boy, then.
-Man and boy.
Crikey, wow. You've got some examples there.
We have indeed. There's various things here.
That's a marotte from King Lear from a few years back.
And he sort of did his jokey bit
by the operation in the handle down there.
That was David Bradley's King Lear. I forget who the fool was.
Obviously, our friend Yorick, obviously.
You are obviously working on something, this is work in progress.
This is a box, so what's going to happen here?
Eventually, when the inside is revealed,
which we haven't got there at the moment, there is a tray of oysters
which are actually set down there.
-That's nice, sprung-loaded.
-And then that comes up.
-And I guess all this will be plush velvet?
-This is nice red velvet.
-So, when the lights hit that,
and you see those oysters coming up
and a bit of smoke everywhere, it's like magic.
We hope so, we hope so.
What's the big volume, that leather-bound...
If you just want to walk round there and help me carry it...
It's very light, by the way.
-This was made for...
-Did you make this?
Love's Labour's Lost. This one I did.
One actor brought it on stage like so, and then out came
his ukulele to play his song.
Nice prop. Nice prop.
It looks massively heavy.
That's the best ukulele case I think I've ever come across!
Have you ever been on stage?
No, I think I prefer to be here.
-As an old friend and colleague said, "We don't do fame."
So, although it looks like an ordinary warehouse from the front,
there is in fact a whole theatre industry going on
behind this huge great big roller door
with artists, designers and crafts people working tirelessly and enthusiastically
with a shared vision of getting a production through to performance.
It's a real team effort going on in there
and it's about time the artists behind the scenes took a bow.
Back at the historic Warwick Castle on a glorious sunny summer's day,
there are still hundreds of people to meet and items to value.
Somebody here today will get an awful lot of money.
I don't know who it is, it might be you, it might be you.
Look, there's a spare seat here, it could be me!
Sue and Colin are with Thomas with a rather obscure item.
Can you guess what it is?
-So, Sue, Colin.
What have you brought me today?
Something a little unusual, I think.
It's something that way back in the early '60s
was brought into my father's small company
back in the Birmingham jewellery quarter.
-Your father was a jeweller?
He was a scrap-metal merchant.
They'd call it recycling these days, I imagine.
It was such a lovely item and it actually worked.
He knew it was from an old vehicle and he thought, I'll keep that.
I won't break that up.
This obviously is a tyre pump, made out of brass.
It still works, wooden handle.
-I suggest it's probably... Could be '40s, '50s.
Maybe earlier, it may be pre-war, probably.
The numbering, it's got to be British-made.
-Yes, I would think so.
-I think if you've got a classic car, this is just the kind of item
I would have thought that one would want in a restored garage.
I mean, it's not going to be worth megabucks.
I think you're looking at £40, £50.
-That sounds very reasonable.
-I think that's sensible.
-Buy something nice for my old dad.
-Is he still with us?
He is actually, but he's in the latter stages of Alzheimer's, so he's in a nursing home now.
-We'll buy him something nice.
-He won't remember this then.
So, you guys, how long have you been married?
-Wow. This was your closest valuation day.
-Yes, it was.
-Any other reason why you came here?
We love Warwick Castle.
-And I was queen once.
I was queen of Warwick Castle for one day.
What happens there when you're queen?
Well, what happened was that I was playing Guinevere
in a National Youth Theatre production of Camelot,
and the Earl of Warwick invited us along to come to the carnival day.
I got to be paraded through the streets,
had a banquet in my honour and I got to give favours out to the jousts.
-I was the queen who gave out the favours.
-Were you together then?
-This was before she knew me.
About a year before I met him.
-Pre C, pre Colin.
-I guess I would have been her knight in shining armour.
-He came along the next year.
-On a white stallion!
He came along the next year.
But it was a thrilling day for me, as you can imagine.
And I can always think I was queen of Warwick for one day.
It's a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with us.
Isn't that tiny? That's a hand-hammered silver penny.
That dates back to the reign of Edward III.
We're looking at about 1329, 1330.
It's wonderful. It was dug up in somebody's back garden.
They don't want to sell it, I don't blame them.
It's worth about £30 to £40.
I tell you what, this little coin is older
than that tower.
That's so rare.
Sisters Jenny and Jane have got some postcard albums to show Anita.
Welcome to Flog It!, and thank you so much
for bringing this wonderful collection of postcards
for us to look at today. Can you tell me, where did you get them?
They belonged to my husband.
I'd been married for two years,
and he inherited them from his mum and dad.
They are wonderful to look through.
You've got half a dozen albums.
We have different subjects.
Of course, the heyday of postcards
was between 1880 and the First World War.
It was the time when people were travelling,
the train was there, and we have one which describes that feeling here.
We have trains and boats and telephone.
These were areas of modernity,
and people would go away for their holiday
and send a photograph and so on.
Have you enjoyed them, Jenny?
I've absolutely thoroughly enjoyed looking through them.
You know, I've only had them for a short time.
You look, then put them away and get them out
and you see something different every time.
What I love is the variety here.
Now, I love this one here. I've looked on the back here
and it has been sent by a young girl to her boyfriend.
And...it's a wee bit suggestive. Love's thermometer - and it's hot!
It's a very gentle illustration here.
But, um... She's hoping that his temperature will be raised
by receiving this postcard.
This one here is another interesting one. This is a First World War one,
which is lovely with the different flags here and embroidery.
And we have humorous ones, of course.
These are great fun, and we have these pretty girls.
So, what you have is a wide selection of postcards,
and it would be a joy for any collector to buy these.
-About £300, £200 to £300.
I think you're quite good at this.
-Perhaps I could join the show.
-You can join the show!
Let's make the estimate wide.
We'll put them in at £200 to £400.
A reserve price of £200 on them,
-and I'll be there to hold both of your hands.
-Oh, well, I'm glad!
But roll up, roll up, because the circus has come to town.
Fran's brought along a silent clown.
Isn't that just fun? I think
that deserves a round of applause.
I don't know what he was playing, but it was very good!
Fran, wonderful little toy, and it's still working.
That's the best thing about it.
-Where did you get it from?
-It belonged to an aunt of my husband's.
I think originally it was her husband's,
-because he played the violin.
-So it was more of a comical take on him.
Schuco dates back to 1921, it was made in Germany.
The factory was bombed during the war,
but then it was rebuilt and they had a massive market to the States,
and this was built for the export market.
This isn't particularly early.
This isn't the early 1920s one,
-this is a 1950s one.
Yeah. That's why it's in very, very good condition.
The colours are very good, the felt's very good.
-I want to sell it while it's working.
-I don't blame you, in a way.
We've had the Schuco monkeys on the show before,
and they've done really well.
In good condition and boxed,
this Schuco clown should do around about £120-£180.
Gosh, even with the state of the box?
But the box? It's not very good.
So...I suggest we put it into auction
with a valuation of £60-£120.
-More than I thought it was worth.
-If that's all right with you.
It's quite interesting that you say that was bought as a joke
for your husband's uncle, because he played the violin.
Somebody went out and thought, I'll buy that because that will put a smile on his face.
I played the drums, and everywhere my relations went,
they always went and bought a battery-operated monkey
playing the drums or something,
because they thought it would be funny. But it wasn't, really!
At Thomas's table, there are some really surprising items
brought in by Vivian and Lorna.
Vivian, Lorna, thank you very much for coming
and bringing along these fantastic bits of tribal.
Now, both of you don't sound like you're from this part of the world.
-We're from Wales originally.
I guessed you were from...
-And South Wales at that, not North Wales.
-I also guessed that as well!
I want to know, you've brought along these bits of tribal works of art.
How did you get them into your possession?
I was a missionary in Africa, in the Congo.
-What was it like?
-A bit scary.
There were attempted coups during the time that I was there.
And, um... Yes, you know, it could be a bit difficult.
So, tell me about these items here.
This is one which is a tribal sword.
I was given this after I had taken a conference there. That's that one.
-Fascinating. That's that one.
-And this one here is a ceremonial piece.
Yes, this a ceremonial machete.
When a young man is getting married,
his family have to give a dowry to the bride's family.
But always, traditionally,
this ceremonial machete would be part of the bride price.
Brilliant. This, this next item, I love this, I love the noise.
The rain stick, used by
the witch doctor to pray for rain.
Absolutely. In this country,
especially in the principality where you're from...
-We don't need it!
-You don't worry about it!
And certainly we don't have to wish for rain,
today we don't want rain, it's fantastic.
And the next item, which is obviously the most decorative,
is a staff, is that correct?
Yes, it's a staff, it's a chief's staff from a tribe just near Zaire.
This piece here, the staff, and the sword,
I think these two are the most valuable.
And then the next in line is the ceremonial wedding gift,
and then the rainmaker.
The rainmaker's terribly commercial because of the design,
the pattern, somebody would like to have it as an objet.
I have no idea of what they would be worth. None at all.
I think a wide estimate of £200 to £400. They could do a lot better.
I'm no tribal specialist, but I've seen this do extremely well.
Yeah, so have we, watching the programme.
If we could edge that sort of top estimate,
what's going to happen with the money?
This will go towards a holiday, somewhere.
-A good holiday.
-A good holiday.
-Mind, there's always more jewellery, isn't there?
We've found some real gems, so let's find out what the bidders think.
We're making our way to the auction room.
Here's a quick rundown, just to jog your memory,
of all the items that are going under the hammer.
And this is what we've got. Colin and ex-queen of Warwick Castle, Sue,
who are taking a chance on an inflatable valuation
with their old pump.
Fran's silent clown, complete with slightly tatty box.
Jenny's set of postcards is extensive and is bound to appeal
to specialist collectors at the auction room.
And the tribal items brought in by Vivian and Lorna are going to be an unusual lot at the sale.
I really hope they do well.
This is where we're putting our valuations to the test,
Bigwood Auctioneers and Valuers in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Don't go away, somebody's going home with a lot of money.
Stay tuned to find out.
I think we're ready to see the pump rise to the challenge
as it's about to go under the hammer.
Good to see you, Sue and Colin.
I've got to say, I'm quite excited about this stirrup pump.
I know it's an old bygone, it really is, and belongs in a rural museum.
I think the whole country had these at one stage.
I can remember being a little lad
playing with one my dad had in the garage.
He said, "Here you are, polish it up,"
and I spent hours polishing all the brass up on it.
We used to play with it as well. Lots of childhood memories for me.
Did you get any pocket money for polishing it?
I can't remember, to tell the truth.
I know my dad was really generous.
It can't be that long ago, because you're so young!
-Believe me, it was a good...
-Sounds like the plot to a pantomime!
..a good 40-odd years ago.
Anyway, we're going to find out what the bidders think.
Let's hope we get an inflated price.
The probably '40s, '50s, British hand-operated car tyre pump,
T-shaped one there.
Very handy to carry one of these in your car, and it's a curio as well.
Got a nice old vintage car, just what you need.
£30 to get me going.
20 I'm bid, and five, is it?
All right, 22...
£22, only at 22.
You think you're invincible and won't have a puncture! At £22.
-24 now. At 24.
26. 28. Perhaps I'm convincing you.
£26. 28, is it? Two, surely. At £26. Try 28, 28...?
All sure, £26 only, at £26, are we done?
-Ah, never mind.
-Close, but I think it's worth keeping.
Do you have a classic car?
-Well, I tell you what, that is a good starting point.
You've got to start somewhere.
The first piece!
Well, they might have to borrow the classic car for the time being.
Now, let's move onto the postcard albums, and Jenny and Jane are here
to see their wonderful pieces of history go under the hammer.
Jenny and Jane, good luck. You've obviously watched Flog It before.
You've brought your album collection along,
full of wonderful postcards.
It is the social history that sells well.
Beautifully presented, as well.
-We've got over 500.
-Did you have any favourites?
-I like the valentines.
But we have a great variety.
-You're a romantic.
You were waiting for that.
I was a bit slow.
That's not like you!
No, they're great, they really are, lots of memories there for somebody.
-Yes, I hope so.
-Yeah, good luck.
I think they'll go to a collector. Here we go.
This is a collection of seven modern vinyl albums containing
a vast number of early and mid 20th century postcards.
There's about 510 cards in all, so it's a collection and a half.
-Multiple bids, I can start here at £340 on the book.
340. Is it 360? At 340.
With me on the book, 360, do I hear?
£400. 420... 440?
440. I'm cleared, it's with that phone.
Do I hear 460 now? Now at 440 on the telephone.
Are we sure we're finished?
All done at £440.
-Got to be happy with that.
Are you going halves on the money?
-Well, I'm treating her to a holiday.
-Lovely, where are you going?
Hopefully Malta for Christmas.
Oh, lovely. I've been there, it's nice.
Fantastic, over the top end of the estimate for the postcards.
And now, I can't even get serious! We're sending in the clowns next.
Right, it is now my turn to be the expert,
and I hope it's not going to end up like this.
Tears of sorrow. You know what it is, I've just been joined by Fran,
and we've got that little tiny clockwork toy, playing the violin.
Love it to bits.
OK, the box isn't in brilliant condition, but it is a box of sorts!
We've got a fixed reserve of £60
-because you don't want to sell it for any less than that.
-Happy with all of that?
-Yes, thank you.
-Excited by all this?
-Let's hope it flies away, shall we?
We're going to find out now.
That brings us on to the collectable toy,
1950s Schuco soloist clown violin player.
Little blue felt hat, red pants, etc.
-Had a lot of fun with this, didn't we?
-Yes, we did.
So who's going to give me,
I don't know, a Schuco item, £50 to get me going?
50? 40 to start me, then. 40 I've got, at 40 and five.
At £40, five, 50, five, 60...
Yes, we sold it - it's gone.
Down here at 60, and make no mistake, it will go.
At £60, five if you want to carry on. At £60,
are we all finished at 60?
-It's gone. That's good, isn't it?
-£60, I'm happy with that.
-Just on the reserve.
-Well, you can treat yourself now, can't you?
A day out at Warwick Castle! With lunch!
We're taking our grandchildren away, so that'll buy the ice creams!
-Where are you taking them?
-We're going to Torquay.
-Oh, are you?
-Yes, your neck of the woods.
-On the old Riviera.
Well, the sale of the clown
certainly put a smile on Fran's face.
And now for our final lot in the programme.
It's the tribal items, and I've got my fingers crossed.
Good luck, Vivian and Lorna, and I love what you are wearing.
-Oh, thank you!
-We have the tribal items
which Vivian got in the Congo when you were working as a missionary. This is a minefield to value.
Thomas, our expert, has put £200 to £400 on this, but as you know,
-it could do anything.
-Paul, this is a guestimate.
-It's a guestimate.
-We are going to be shocked.
Thomas is a brave man.
I hope we are, Lorna, I hope we're all shocked.
We're not optimistic at all.
Got to be positive, haven't we?
The cup's always half full, not half empty.
Let's find out what the bidders think. Here it is.
There's a rain stick, chief's staff,
sword with a monkey-skin handle
and ceremonial tribal machete, all sort of things.
I've got multiple bids on the book.
I can start the bidding on the book, £200 on the book, at £200.
-Good, straight in.
with me, 20? 210 he says, cautiously. 220. 230.
He's got a commission bid, he keeps looking down.
On the book at 240...
All sure? If there's no further advance,
are you all finished and done?
-I can't believe it.
Nothing to do with me, that was a guestimate.
Paul, thank you, because we wouldn't have sold it without Flog It!, you and Thomas.
That's what we're here to do.
-Thank you, Thomas.
-And if you've got anything you'd like to sell,
we would love to see you.
Now, you can find the details of upcoming dates and venues
on our BBC website, just log onto bbc.co.uk/flogit
and all the information will be there.
Or check the details in your local press, because we are coming somewhere near you soon.
Bring your antiques along, we want them.
A collection of unusual tribal items catches Thomas Plant's eye, an 'ex-queen' of Warwick Castle returns for a visit, and Anita gets nostalgic with an extensive postcard collection. Presenter Paul Martin gets a sneak peek behind the scenes at the prop and set design workshops of the Royal Shakespeare Company in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon.