The Flog It team visit Balbirnie House in Fife. Items include a Moorcroft pin dish and a Troika vase, both bought by their owners for only a few pounds.
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Balbirnie House in Fife has a colourful history
stretching right back to 1777.
It was originally built for the successful and industrious Balfour family.
It's an architectural delight, I'm sure you'll agree,
and a fabulous setting for today's Flog It!
The 18th-century house near Fife
is set in more than 400 acres of picturesque park land.
And then we arrive!
Hundreds of people have turned up. They've even brought their pets.
They're here to see our experts,
to ask that all-important question, which is...
"What's it worth?!" That's right. That's what they want to know.
When they find out, what will they do?
This is exactly what they're going to do - Flog It!
And fitting right in to the classy Scottish setting
is our classy Scottish expert, Anita Manning.
And the man who knows a thing or two about style and flair, James Lewis.
Anita is an auctioneer in her own right, and knows what sells well under the hammer.
You've got good taste.
You've got very good taste.
James is also an auctioneer with an eye for a winning lot.
I like that. I think that's great.
Coming up, James lets some of our sellers down gently.
I've got a bit of bad news for you. It's been restored.
And encourages another to become a gambling man.
Do you want to put a reserve on it, or do you want to gamble? It's a bit of a risk!
And I visit a splendid castle where royal visitors have relaxed
and relished a host of stunning features.
This whole room just permeates history.
Let's get straight on with the show.
Anita's on the hunt for treasure with Gladys.
Gladys, I'm always delighted to see Beswick on Flog It.
Tell me, where did you get this little group?
I was on a shopping trip with my mum in Aberdeen,
and bought it in a china shop.
-So I would think maybe the early '80s, perhaps.
Did she go hunting, Gladys?
No, no, we were brought up on a farm
and she just liked farm life.
-But she never went hunting, no.
-Did she choose these herself?
-She did. Yes, she did.
She really liked the horse and the huntsman on the back.
-It's always been in the cabinet
but my mum unfortunately died six years ago this month
so I thought we'd declutter.
I bought it for her, so it's not quite so sentimental.
Now, this one is a later one. This little type of group,
the huntsman, hounds and fox,
were originally designed in the 1930s and '40s.
But when I looked at the backstamp on this horseman here,
I could see that that was a later Beswick stamp.
So this would have been made in the '80s, am I right?
I would say that's right, Anita.
In a group you might often have two or three huntsmen,
a couple of packs of dogs, and maybe a couple of foxes.
-So what we've got is quite a small hunt here.
That's true. Just three dogs, yes.
Tell me, why do you want to sell it?
I was thinking of buying a wee Westie puppy. A real one!
-A real one.
-I look after my sister's one Monday to Friday
and I haven't had one of my own. If I get something for this...
Put it towards the puppy.
-That would be a great exchange. A great exchange.
-For a real one.
But I don't know what the value of it is. It might not be very much.
I would put an estimate of 100 to 150.
-Would you be happy to sell it at that estimate?
-Yes, I would, yes.
I would be happy to maybe put £100.
-We'll put £100 reserve on it.
-A reserve on it.
-£100 reserve on it.
-I'm happy with that.
-I think it will go further.
-Oh, all right, then!
That would be exciting!
Tally-ho, we're off! That's our first lot to go to auction.
Next up, Ivor and Joyce, who've brought in a quality item
to show James.
-Ivor and Joyce, welcome to Flog It!
You've brought along a lovely little object.
If you were a lady of some social standing in the Edwardian period,
this sort of bottle would have adorned your dressing table,
containing the finest French fragrances.
So it's not anybody would have one?
No, this isn't an everyday scent bottle you have here.
-I knew I'd be a lady some day!
-It's a lovely object.
Is it something you've had in the family, or found at a boot sale or antiques fair?
It belonged to my stepfather's auntie who was in service towards the end of the late 1800s.
When she was leaving service,
-the lady of the house said she could pick a going away present.
So she chose the scent bottle.
-She'd earmarked it for my mother.
So when my mother died, I inherited it.
Well, she had very, very good taste.
She picked very nicely. You often find that people who were in service
ended up being given something that was pretty mediocre.
It looked quite flashy,
but really had no quality at all.
I often say to people, "Well, that's why the people with the money kept the money!"
-They didn't give it away.
But in this case, she has acquired something rather nice.
-It's not hugely valuable.
But in quality terms, it's very pretty.
If we start with the cut crystal in the base.
This is cut crystal, not glass.
It's the finest lead crystal. It's a form of glass, but we call it crystal.
Just look at the quality there
of these individually hand-cut flower heads.
And the stylised leaves.
And the lovely quality of decoration all the way round.
Then, you go to the cover.
This is known as repousse work, which is embossed from one side to another.
There's a little button on the front. If we open that...
-It's quite tight.
-There we are.
If you look at the underside, it's the exact opposite
of the decoration we see above.
So, it's been hammered through, rather than cast in a mould.
-The glass is almost certainly made in Stourbridge in England.
It's of wonderful quality.
It's likely to be by a factory that became known as Royal Brierley in 1919.
Royal Brierley crystal was the finest crystal,
made in Stourbridge.
On the cover, we've got the lion, which is the sterling standard,
and the "i", which is the date letter,
which means this silver was hallmarked and dated in 1904.
Have you noticed the initials there?
-I'd noticed that, yes.
-Well, it's W...
-C? I thought it was a G.
-WC for William Cummings.
Very nice silversmith from the early 20th century.
An everyday silver-topped scent bottle
is worth 40 to £60.
Something like that.
This one, I think, is worth three or four times that.
-I think we ought to put 100 to 150 on it.
I think it's very pretty. And, you know,
if it didn't make that 100 to 150, just keep it. It doesn't matter.
I'd rather see it not sell.
-Than see it sell for less.
-Just pennies, yes.
-Let's put a reserve on it.
-If it doesn't make that. Firm. No discretion. 90's not good enough.
-If we don't get 100, take it home.
-Take it home, yes.
-That would be ideal, James.
-Lovely. Let's take it along and see how we do!
What a stylish bottle.
While Anita and James are searching out their next items,
I've got time to chat to some of those who've come along today.
So many antiques, but it's not just about antiques.
It's about the people that own them,
the people behind them. It's their story.
-What have you brought in? Can I be nosey?
-What's in there?
How long have you had that? Is that your mother's?
No, I think I once bought it in a sale.
-Probably 50 years ago.
-It's dated 1886. It's a ceremonial jug.
-I'm wondering whether it's local.
-It could be.
-There was a pottery in Kirkcaldy. Lots of them.
Is it something you hope to sell or just getting it valued?
-I'd sell if the price is right!
-If the price is right!
That's what they all want to know! "What's it worth?"
That all-important question!
Someone who also wants to know is Linda,
who's brought in one of Flog It's favourites to show Anita.
-Linda, welcome to Flog It.
Tell me what we've got here.
We've got a piece of Troika that I found in a charity shop.
Oh, I love those stories.
Did you recognise it immediately?
No. Since I've retired, my new interest is looking for antiques and collectibles
and there was a programme on TV about Troika
and, believe it or not, the very next day I went into the shop
and saw this thing and thought, "It can't be!"
Then I looked underneath and saw it was.
-So that was a thrill!
-It was, certainly.
-Did you pay a lot of money for it?
Well done, well done, well done.
Now, Troika. I love the Troika pottery.
It started round about 1963 with Benny Sirota.
They were artisans, craftsmen.
They wanted to get away from mass-produced items.
This one was post-'70s,
when things changed a wee bit.
The post-'70s Troika is not as valuable as the earlier stuff.
They sold in Heal's, which was a very prestigious outlet.
It was a good shop in London.
But, in the main, the items that they sold,
these were for the tourist trade.
And the people that went down to St Ives in Cornwall would buy them.
And it's absolutely wonderful
when you speak to someone who'd been down there in the '70s
and just bought that lamp because they loved it
and suddenly it was worth a lot of money.
And if we look at the bottom,
we see the very, very distinctive mark of Troika.
This monogram here is for Louise Jinks.
So, we can identify each of the decorators
and that's a great pleasure and great fun for the collectors.
Now, when I look at that,
I think it's a wee bit squeejee! What do you think?
-I think so!
-We don't mind that because each of these pots
were individually made. Tell me,
do you like Troika?
This is the first piece that I've ever seen
and I do like the earthy colours, yes.
The thing is, although these were made in the '60s and '70s,
they are in keeping with the modernist look
And this is one of the reasons why they are popular.
Price on this. You paid three pounds for it. You did very well!
This particular cylinder vase
I would put a valuation of 30 to 50.
I think it may go further than that, Linda.
I hope that it does. But I find sometimes that conservative estimates really do work.
They draw the bidder in and get the bidder excited.
We'll put a reserve price - and I think we should keep it as a fixed reserve -
And Fiona has brought in something that can only thrill snuffbox
collector, James Lewis.
Fiona, thank you so much for bringing what anybody who watches
Flog It will know is my favourite subject, I love my snuffboxes.
I've collected them for about ten years and I'm an absolute addict so,
this little find here,
is this something that you're passionate about?
I'm afraid not.
I know nothing about it, apart from the fact that
-I must've picked it up in a charity shop years ago.
For next to nothing.
I can't have paid much for it.
I hadn't even realised it was a snuffbox.
I've never found one in a charity shop and I've been looking for years!
Well done, you!
-What did you think it was?
-I don't know!
I just thought it was a little box.
So when you picked it up,
what did you think it was made from, what sort of period did you think it was?
I'm afraid I thought it was plastic.
I wondered because of the picture in it,
-whether it might have some age to it.
Well, it certainly does.
It really is just the most beautiful quality.
This is a snuffbox made around 1800,
1820. The lady or gentleman who was taking snuff,
would've been around during the Napoleonic Wars,
Nelson had just been killed at Trafalgar,
Wellington might be around, the Battle of Waterloo...
This little box could be English or French.
-What's this over it? Is that glass?
This is a very fine piece of glass.
The socle around the outside holding the glass in place
is probably made from gold.
Then we've got the ivory border.
If we look inside, hold that up to the light,
you can see that's lined in tortoiseshell.
But - the miniature in the centre is beautiful.
Hand-painted of a beautiful young girl.
The miniature alone would be saleable, forget the box!
Just the miniature is a piece of art in its own right.
I can't believe all this!
It's lovely, it really is.
But snuff, at the end of the day, is purely a form of tobacco taking.
And it's always been controversial. Back in 1600, 1603,
King James himself would say if anybody was caught taking snuff
-in his presence, they would go to the Tower.
100 years later, Queen Anne,
she was patron of the British Snuff-Taking Association. So,
where's it been for the last few years?
It just sits on my dressing table.
Use it for earrings or anything?
No, in fact until today I'd never opened it.
-Because it was very stiff.
What do you think it's worth?
Well, I wondered, would it be about 40?
Would you sell it to me for 40?
-I would, yeah.
-How about 80?
-That would be even better.
-How about 100?
-Oh! My goodness, it can't be worth all that?!
I think 100 is a minimum.
-I really do.
-I think that 120, 180, something like that.
I think it's a really lovely, pretty little box.
-I'm just gobsmacked.
Thank you for bringing it in. It's a lovely thing to see.
And Fiona thought it wasn't worth anything.
It just goes to show it's always worth getting a valuation.
I'm here on stage ready for today's performance.
And the venue for all the bright lights is the Carnegie Hall,
world famous all over for its musical events.
I know what you're thinking,
he's gone to New York! No, I haven't.
This is the Carnegie Hall here in Dunfermline.
It shares the same name because it's the same benefactor
and founder behind both halls,
Mr Andrew Carnegie, Scotland's most generous multimillionaire.
And I'm here to tell you all about him.
Before I explore Carnegie's Scottish background let me
introduce you to his story.
Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline to kind
and hardworking parents.
It was through his family he learned morals,
respect and what could be achieved through sheer hard work.
When he was 12, work dried up for his weaver father.
The family sold up and borrowed enough money to emigrate to America.
From the moment they arrived, Andrew worked hard to support his family.
He started as a bobbin turner
in a factory, but quickly got promoted,
seizing opportunities when he could.
His quick thinking and ambition meant he was a natural entrepreneur.
Through later investment and businesses,
he became a multimillionaire.
Andrew's generosity with his hard-earned cash spread worldwide.
But it was the donations to his beloved homeland of Scotland that
has brought me here to his boyhood town of Dunfermline.
Carnegie's story of wealth and success
starts right here from humble beginnings.
This is Moodie Street in Dunfermline.
This is the house he was born in.
His father worked downstairs all day long while Andrew and his family
lived upstairs, they ate and slept up there and entertained
and educated themselves up there.
This is so integral to the story,
this is how Andrew's parents led by example
so he could succeed in a dignified manner.
Andrew's father was a damask weaver.
It was a very skilled trade which meant he worked all hours
while his wife wound bobbins on upstairs, singing to a young Andrew
and perhaps that's where he got his love of music.
When work started to dry up, his mother Margaret set up
a little shop repairing shoes and doing odd jobs for people,
but whatever sacrifices they had to make, Andrew never went without.
He was always smartly turned out in a white starched colour.
It was his parents' work ethic that inspired Andrew to improve himself.
After moving to the States, his mother again showed her
resourcefulness and did whatever
she could to keep her family going.
It was Margaret Carnegie who lent her son the huge
sum of 600 by mortgaging her house in Pittsburgh
so he could buy shares in Adams Express.
It was a bold move, which lead him on the path to success,
becoming a steel tycoon.
So that savvy mind and family support meant that by the time
Andrew was 33, he had assets worth 400,000.
By the time he retired at the age of 65, he was worth a
staggering 400 million. That is a great deal of money.
He wanted to distribute his wealth to deserving causes.
He devoted a lot of time to philanthropy as well as business.
So, what do you buy somebody for their birthday,
somebody that has everything!
His wife Louise, for his 60th birthday,
bought him this very house, his birthplace.
Today, it's run as a tribute to him and the worthy causes he funded.
I met Lorna Owers, the curator at the Carnegie Birthplace Museum
so I could find out more about Carnegie, the man.
I gather he didn't have much education.
He started school at the age of 8. So what happened before?
Well, school was optional so you could choose when you went
and you paid one penny a week to go,
so it was quite an outlay for a family at that time.
Before that, anything he learned was from his family.
I gather, in America, he came across a makeshift library.
That's right. Colonel Anderson had his own private library.
Andrew gained access to that. As a working boy, he allowed them
to borrow books on a Saturday.
-And return them the following Saturday.
-Hundreds of books?
-Yeah, he had 400.
-Do you think that inspired him
later on in life to donate many libraries around the world?
Yes. He really wanted everyone else to benefit from the same
sort of education that he had and wanted them
to have access to books the way he had.
He was inspired by all things new and inventive.
He regarded knowledge and inspiration as a treasure.
Imagine what it must've been like for a teenage boy from
Dunfermline to end up in a rapidly developing city like Pittsburgh.
With the arrival of things like the railroad and the theatre -
things he'd never seen before.
-It's the great man himself.
What age was he when that portrait was taken?
He lived to be what?
83, that's right.
He's got a twinkle in his eyes.
He definitely has. Yes, he was quite a character.
-Did he miss Scotland much?
-I think he did. He came back several times.
He owned Skibo Castle as a holiday home.
Otherwise, he gave buildings
so he gave the town the Carnegie Hall, the library,
the swimming baths, and, of course, Pittencrieff Park.
Carnegie vowed that if he got the opportunity
he would buy the park and give it to the town, which he did.
-It gave him great satisfaction.
-I bet it did.
Lorna, thank you so much for taking time out to talk to me.
-It's been fascinating.
What a wonderful story, such an inspiration to everybody.
Well, I think the city is very lucky to have so many fabulous
buildings donated to it by such a famous past resident.
For me, it sounds like Dunfermline gave something to
Carnegie in those formative years, it forged the tenacity and the pride
in him to succeed later in life as a truly phenomenal businessman.
It's a true tale of triumph against all odds.
And now for my favourite part of the show - let's head to the auction.
But first, a quick reminder of what we're taking with us.
James was a big fan of Fiona's snuffbox,
but she didn't know much about it.
Now she knows it's worth something,
will Fiona be tempted to keep it?
We're going to sell the charming Beswick hunting figures
brought along by Gladys.
Ivor and Joyce's elegant scent bottle.
And Linda's cylindrical Troika vase.
We're taking our items to auction in Rosewell, south of Edinburgh.
There will be commission to pay, and it varies between auction houses.
Here, the sellers and buyers pay 15% plus VAT.
Right. Now I'm feeling nervous.
Here we are, where our valuations will be put to the test.
We have three auctioneers on the rostrum, so it'll be a really busy day.
One of them is Sybelle Thomson.
I had a quick chat to her before
the sale to see what she had to say about one or two of our items.
Let's take a look.
We've got some Beswick for you. It's a hunting group.
They were bought on a shopping spree in Aberdeen in the '80s.
They're very nice. Very collectable.
The huntsman particularly. This model relates back to the 1930s.
One problem with it is it's missing two of its hounds.
-They normally have five hounds.
-I didn't know that.
But I still think it'll do very well.
You have to be so careful when you're looking at Beswick horses
because sometimes the feet can be in
the wrong position, or the tail stuck to the wrong leg
or a different colourway, or the same colour on the horse,
but the neck's turned a different way. And that puts the value up.
-The slightest variation. The collectors look at
which way the huntsman's looking.
If he was looking the other way, he'd be worth less than he is.
-You've really got to know your stuff with Beswick.
This could be valued at 150 to 200,
but if one of those details was slightly different,
and it's rare, it could be 600 or £700.
Get him in a different shade of red coat and you're at 500 to £600.
-Gosh! We won't get that, will we, later?
We'll see how the Beswick does later. First, Linda and Anita and the Troika vase.
It's wonderful to have a piece of Cornwall up here in Scotland!
No, it's not me, it's a bit of Troika and it belongs to Linda.
-Thanks for coming in.
-Where did you get this?
-I found it in a charity shop.
-No, in Fife.
It's a good little thing and I know
we've got to find a buyer at 30 to 50, that's what you put on it.
Quite conservative again. It's not one that will fly.
-It's a later one, but it's still Troika. Still has that magic name.
-Let's see what the bidders think.
This is a nice Troika brown, straight-sided vase.
Who'd like to start me at £50 for it?
30 bid everywhere. 35. 40.
Lady beside me, 55.
-Anybody else going on? At £55.
That's a good return on three quid!
Are you going to go back up there to the shop?
I'll be giving some of the money to
the charity shop, and some's going to my daughter's wedding fund.
-First wedding in the family?
-Ooh, big day.
-What's her name?
-Gillian, congratulations and good luck for the future.
Next up we've got Fiona's snuffbox.
Putting it under the hammer is auctioneer Gavin.
A pretty watercolour on the front.
Tortoiseshell interior, it's got everything going for it.
And the price - around £100-£180.
And you picked it up for next to nothing.
-I can't remember.
It was so insignificant really.
We just need a few gents now that can splash out on a lovely snuffbox.
Wish I could buy it.
-We're not allowed to, are we?
A 19th century circular patch box, an ebony mount. 200.
50 bid, 50.
In the room at 50, 5,
-This is good, Fiona.
-It's really good.
-Not yet, it's not.
No, it's not, we need a lot more, hang on!
All done at 100?
-Standing at 150.
All done at 150.
-Spot on, well done.
-Thank you very much.
-What are you going to do with that?
-Well, I'm going to give it to the Pakistan flood relief.
-That's really sweet of you. Well done. Well done.
I think James would've snapped up the snuffbox for himself, given the chance.
Next up, it's Ivor and Joyce
and their glass scent bottle.
It's got everything going for it.
-Even the price, James. I think it's a goer.
-It's a great quality example.
-It's about to go under the hammer.
We're after around £150. Let's see what the bidders think.
The Stourbridge-style silver-mounted scent bottle.
Lots of interest in this. I may start it at 50. 50 bid. 50 bid.
50 bid. 55. 60. Five.
70. Five. 80.
£100. On my right at 100.
Anyone going on? At £100.
-Quality always sells.
-Yes, it does.
Good start to our holidays. We're driving away now.
-Where are you off to?
-We're driving down to Dover and going on a Med cruise.
-That's a long drive!
-We'll stop overnight.
-It's not too bad.
-That'll cover the petrol money.
-Or some sherbets!
That will add a boost to Ivor and Joyce's holiday fund. Great.
Now, it's Gladys and the hunting figures.
I wonder if the missing hounds will affect the price?
It's Gladys's first auction, isn't it?
-Are you nervous?
-What happened when you saw all these people?
-I couldn't imagine so many people.
This is a country auction.
We have lots of hunting round about.
Hopefully, there'll be some riders in here.
-I think there'll be some interest.
We'll find out right now. Here we go.
A very nice Beswick hunting group
comprising the huntsman with three hounds and a fox.
I have four bids on it. I'll start it at £100
and selling. 100. 110.
120. 130. 140. 150.
-Oh, my goodness!
Anybody else? 170. 180.
-They love it. They love it!
260. 260, right at the back.
260! That galloped away, didn't it?
-That surprised us!
-That surprised me after the estimate.
I thought I'd get £100.
-Did you enjoy that?
-Was your heart pounding?
That's our first visit to the auction today. We'll come back later.
So don't go away because I can guarantee one really big surprise.
While we were here filming, I had the chance to explore a wonderful Scottish castle.
It really is an architectural delight. Take a look at this.
It was in 1458 that James, the second king of Scots,
decreed the village of Falkland to be a royal borough.
This fairytale-like building with all its towers and turrets
in the old kingdom of Fife, is Falkland Palace.
But it's not just any old royal court.
It's known as the pleasure palace
and it's that reputation that I've come to explore.
The palace itself was mainly developed in the 1500s by King James IV
and his successor, James V, with changes made by later keepers of the castle.
The palace was a place of peace, a retreat,
somewhere where the kings, the queens and their guests could relax
away from the politics and duties of their position.
Of course, the best sanctuary for reflection, if you were a monarch, was the church.
This wonderful chapel was created in the early 1500s by King James IV.
It was later consecrated by James V
and Richard Stewart, the master craftsman who created all that wonderful work at Holyroodhouse
was commissioned to do this oak-panelled ceiling.
Just look at this wonderful work.
He really was a master craftsman, working at the top of his genre.
No wonder he was in demand throughout his lifetime.
This whole room just permeates history.
If I can point out some of the detail in the panels up here,
this was originally done in the early 1600s, 1630 to 1640,
the reign of Charles I. You can see
it's starting to fade. But here, the panel on the left-hand side
has been restored.
Wonderful bright chromatic hues of reds and deep blues
so the whole ceiling would have been like this, picked out with gold leaf.
The whole place would just come alive.
This chapel was a peaceful haven for prayer and meditation,
often through periods of political and religious unrest.
Despite the palace's location on the edge of a town, you feel royal visitors were left alone here.
There's a suggestion that the name Falkland means "hidden place".
You can imagine Mary, Queen of Scots, a regular visitor here,
taking time to wander around the palace,
admiring the decoration and the views.
It wasn't just the historical guests who found Falkland so relaxing.
More recent keepers of the castle have used this room as a library and a study.
This was renovated in the late 19th century. It's a bit of a contrast
to the rest of the palace with its pine-clad painted stencilled walls,
its high vaulted ceiling and its wonderful trompe l'oeil window.
Look at that. That's all hand-painted on there.
Trompe l'oeil means trick of the eye, an illusion.
But it marries up with the window on the other side.
It creates a film set atmosphere. Nevertheless,
it's still a wonderful place to relax and read in.
The whole room really does embrace you.
But it's not just the comfort of indoors that appealed to visitors.
It was the activities available outside
that made Falkland a destination.
The gorgeous grounds stretch out to a magnificent seven acres including an old orchard.
This must have been the perfect place for a constitutional walk
to ponder those important issues of the day.
Especially somebody like Mary, Queen of Scots.
She had a lot to think about with all the plots against her.
She was distracted with falconry and hunting, and her father, James V,
he even had dog handlers, falconers and horse grooms on hand
to enjoy the great outdoors.
You get the sense that a lot of money from the courtly coffers was spent on these leisure pursuits
for both the royals and the visiting courtiers to enjoy.
Well, it has literally just started to pour down
so I'll put an umbrella up.
Apart from the more genteel activities,
if you really wanted to work up a sweat you could take part in a mini Wimbledon
and the weather's just right for it!
Come inside and I'll show you what I mean.
This is what the court looks like today.
But yesterday, when our cameras visited it, it was a very different scene.
This is a real royal tennis court and one of the oldest of its kind in Britain.
It was built in 1539 at the request of James V.
Real tennis can be described as a mix of squash and lawn tennis.
Today, the Falkland Palace real tennis club play here regularly
on the very courts where once a young Mary, Queen of Scots enjoyed the game.
She was so keen on the sport, she even shocked courtiers by abandoning her restricting gowns
in favour of breeches when she played!
Hearing all of that must have surprised you somewhat.
But even kings and queens need time off,
especially after adding and improving the building.
I don't think there can be a better place to unwind
than the beautiful and charming Falkland Palace.
The sun is still shining at Balbirnie House.
Let's join everybody and see what other surprises we can find.
Enjoying the sunshine is our expert James, who is with Bob,
who's brought in something small and shiny.
Bob, imagine yourself back in the 1930s.
Flapper dresses and the Charleston and all those wonderful romantic times.
At the same time, the future king of England, Edward, was serenading Wallis Simpson.
And where did he take her to buy all those fine jewels?
To Asprey's. That is the place that this little match holder started life.
How did it come into your family?
I got it from a great aunt who was employed as a nurse companion to Sir Holford Redditch
who owned Portland Cement Company
and lived down in the Rugby area.
I believe he used to fly out to Geneva to get his cigars!
Because he liked the Cuban cigars, he wouldn't use a lighter.
He always used matches.
-He had this made so that he could carry books of matches with him.
If you are a very, very big cigar smoker,
a lighter, a petrol or fuel lighter, is something you don't go anywhere near.
Even friends of mine today
that smoke cigars still use matches and not a lighter.
The thing about this is all about quality of design.
There are no buttons to press that ruin the outside edges of the form.
There are no hinges protruding out of the edge.
This is such a simple design. It's engine-turned in bands, classic 1930s.
The initials, H.W.L.R, which relate to the owner,
are very nicely done in a very stylish Art Deco manner.
All we do is leave that on the hand,
push, and there it goes.
It's still got such life in it. It's as crisp as the day it was made.
Inside, there we have the wonderful name, Asprey's of London.
375, for nine carat gold.
Nine carat gold. It's unusual, really, because nine carat is the lowest grade of gold.
But the reason they only used nine carat for this
is because if that was in a waistcoat pocket, it would have constant wear
and they don't want this engine turning wearing flat.
Because that's what gives you the grip to be able to open it.
So nine carat for a very good reason.
But that is lovely. Value?
-What do you think?
-I really don't have any idea.
I don't know the price of gold.
I know it's high, but I don't know the price.
I think you'll do very well with it.
I think it's worth somewhere between 350 and £450.
-It's a good thing.
With gold, you really don't need a reserve.
Because you will have ten or 15 bids
all within two or three pounds of each other,
who'll be leaving their bids based on the gold value.
But you should also get those people
who feel it's a wonderful object in its own right.
You might actually get above the scrap value of the gold.
It's a difficult thing now.
Do you want to put a reserve on it, or will you gamble?
-I'll just have a gamble.
-Let's give it a go. It's a bit of a risk, but we'll see.
Let's hope that gamble will pay off. It's definitely got age and style about it.
-What have you got here?
-A stone hammer.
-From the Bronze Age!
These were my ancestors'.
-How old are you?
-Are you, really?
-I'm one of the antiques here!
-You are, definitely.
One of the oldest items here apart from your Bronze Age hammer!
Next, it's Anita and Barbara, who's brought along something to write home about!
Barbara, how charming these postcards are!
Little postcards by Mabel Lucie Attwell.
-Tell me where you got them.
-Mum collected them during the war. She was a nurse in London.
My father was away in the forces so she collected them.
It amused them and brightened their days.
Do you remember these as a child?
No, I didn't know anything about them until my mother moved into care recently.
We've emptied her house and I found these amongst her things.
I asked her if she wanted them and she said no.
Did you have a wee look through them yourself?
-I did. I like them very much.
-They brought a smile to your face and to my face.
Mabel Lucie Attwell was one of the most prolific designers of postcards.
She was an illustrator for children's books.
It's the little cute chubby child.
-I think these images were based on her daughter, Peggy.
They're instantly recognisable and they're very, very sweet.
She died, I think, in about 1963
and she was very, very prolific.
So, these postcards are not rare.
You have in the region of 40. Have you counted them?
What's your favourite one?
My favourite one is less bright than most of them.
I like the softer colours.
Nice subtle colours there. She's saying,
"Hello" this wee fairy.
Lovely. Shall we put them to auction?
One thing worries me about postcards.
When they are stuck into a book,
-it makes them a wee bitty less desirable for the collectors.
-The collectors like them pure.
They like them in good condition, but these are mainly in good condition.
I would like to put them into auction -
and they will be well fancied -
I would put an estimate of say, 100 to £200.
-We'll let the collectors make up their own minds
whether they want to try to get them off the backing or not.
100 to £200, with a reserve of £80.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, thank you.
What a great collection. There are lots of postcard collectors out there.
Now, it's Jim and Betty, who've brought along some china for James to look at.
Jim, Betty, welcome.
Thank you so much
for bringing this trinket dish along.
When the British weather is like this
there is absolutely no wonder
why artists such as William Moorcroft were so inspired by what they saw.
It's days like this, countryside like this,
that inspired designs like this in Moorcroft.
You must know a bit about it if you watch Flog It.
I think it might be 1930s.
Absolutely spot on. Do you know the name of the pattern?
No, Mushroom is Claremont.
-This is Hazeldene.
-It's very similar.
William Moorcroft started his artistic career in ceramics in the 1890s.
He worked for Macintyre
and he eventually set up Moorcroft in 1913.
The things that characterised Moorcroft are what we call tube lining,
which is this decoration that outlines the whole design.
It's a little bit like piping icing on a cake.
He also was inspired by different glazes.
And this is almost a flambe,
a flamey, reddy colour glaze,
high-fired at a very high temperature.
It's a design that came around in around 1932, '33,
and it was very, very popular.
You see great big vases made in Hazeldene. You also see trinket trays like this.
If we turn it over,
we've got "Made in England", which tells you it's made after 1925.
"Potter to HM The Queen".
That's Queen Mary.
And the W Moorcroft facsimile signature there.
So, a little dish that is very sought after at auction.
I love this Hazeldene pattern, especially with the sunset red ground to it.
I've got a bit of bad news for you.
It's been restored at some stage.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it has been done.
It looks like 15 to 20-year-old restoration. It's starting to show through.
When restoration is done when it's brand new, it's difficult to tell.
-Is it a family piece?
-Where did you find it?
-Where did we pick that up, Jim?
-car-boot sale. A car-boot sale?!
You'd think everybody would know Moorcroft by now. How long ago?
-Maybe eight years.
-It's a bit longer than that, but...
-How much did you pay for it?
Well, for two pounds, it's still a great buy for two pounds.
If it had been perfect,
your two pounds would have transformed into £200.
With the restoration, you've still made a really good investment.
I still think it'll make 60 to 100.
-That's all right.
-Still all right, isn't it?
-More than I thought initially.
It's just a wee dish!
Well, it is a wee dish, but it's a great wee dish!
-£60 reserve. Happy with that?
£60 reserve. 60 to 100. Let's see what happens.
Next up, let's see what piece of mystic magic Wilma and Kendall have brought along to show Anita.
What a great wee object.
It's a chap on a flying carpet and he's made of bronze.
Can you tell me where did you get him?
Well, he actually belongs to my mother
and she got him from her mother
who was actually a housekeeper to a big house in Cupar, outside Cupar.
It belonged to a Mrs Wilson from the Pilkington family.
And she used to just change all the stuff in her house
and would offer my gran anything
because if not, it was either going to charity or going in the bin.
That was very generous and I'm glad this didn't go in the bin.
-Kendall, tell me, do you like it?
-So, do you have it on display?
No. He's sat for a while on a hall table at my mum's
and we used him just to keep... a bit of a piece of paper down.
And he's been used as a paperweight now and again,
but he disappeared months ago when she was changing her rooms round.
Maybe it flew out of the window.
I think so because when I went to look for him today,
he just seemed to have appeared by magic on the dining room table.
-He flew back in again.
-He was just sitting there with his back to us.
Let's look at him. He is a charming little bronze. He's made of bronze.
And probably made in Austria.
I've had a look and I haven't been able to find any maker's name
or cast mark on this little creature.
But it looks very much in the style of Lorenzo, who came from Austria.
Now, the colour in this would have been painted
while the bronze was cold.
And there's a particular look,
we call it an Austrian cold-painted bronze.
And Lorenzo often did little animal figures,
but he was also interested in Eastern subjects.
And we are seeing this reflected in this character here.
He's an eastern gentleman.
He's sitting on a magic carpet and he's counting his money.
But one of the charming things, one of the things
I most like about this, is the rumple in the edge of that carpet.
-Isn't that an intriguing and charming detail?
I like this very much, I think it's very sweet.
I would like to put him into auction with an estimate of,
Uh-huh, I think he's a smashing wee figure.
I would love to have found a maker's name.
That would have made the difference.
But we can put him in at £100-£200 with a reserve of, say, £80.
-Would you be happy with that, Kendall?
Well, it really is a matter of going to the auction now.
I know you'll be back at school then,
-so Kendall won't be there, but your mum will be there.
And if it's OK, I'd like to bring my mum along as well.
You know, the owner of the little man.
Well, that would be absolutely marvellous
and I hope this little guy takes a flyer.
Hopefully, thank you.
Well, we've now found our last lot so it's time to say a fond farewell
to the magnificent Balbirnie House in the heart of Fife.
It's time for a bit more auction action. Let's get straight over to the sale room.
And here's what we're selling.
Bob's elegant match holder, being offered without a reserve.
Wilma's magic carpet cold-painted bronze figure.
It hasn't got a maker's mark, but Anita still has high hopes for it.
The endearing postcard collection which belonged to Barbara's mother.
And finally, Jim and Betty's two-pound restored Moorcroft dish.
Bob's match holder is up first. Gavin Taverndale is on the rostrum.
A lovely thing. Proper quality. It's a good time to sell precious metal.
-This is engine-turned. It says everything.
-It's a lovely quality piece.
If it makes lower end estimate, I'll have my head in my hands, cos it'll be melted down at that.
I had a chat to Sybelle on the auction preview day.
-She agreed with the valuation.
-Fingers crossed we'll get the top end. Plus a bit more.
We'll find out. Let's see what the bidders think.
Asprey's of London. Nine-carat gold engine-turned match holder.
500? 300? 200 to make a start.
200 bid. 220.
340. 360. 380.
Selling at 400. All done at 400?
At £400. 400.
Good price. You were right. Spot on. Well done, James. £400.
There is commission to pay, 15% plus VAT.
But it's spending money. Will you reinvest in antiques?
A new set of golf clubs!
At least it keeps you fit!
Phew! No reserve. That was a good result!
Bob's happy with that.
Next, it's the nostalgic postcard collection
which was brought to valuation day by Barbara
on behalf of her mother.
Our auctioneer is William Smith.
It's been about four weeks since we saw you and you've had some really bad news. Terribly bad.
They're my mum's postcards and sadly she's just passed away.
-I'm so sorry.
-It is sad, but we're going to buy some trees in her memory with what we make today.
That's so nice. Plant something up and think of her.
-Thank you so much for being here today.
Gosh. Can't really say anything, can we?
I think we'll let the bidders decide, really.
-Let's hope we get lots of money. Plant something and watch it grow.
The collection of Mabel Lucie Attwell postcards.
A nice album of postcards.
A collectable lot here. £100 for them?
£50 for them?
50 I'm bid. 60. 70.
80 in the corner.
-Any advance on 80?
-That's the reserve.
-All done at 80 for the lot?
-Selling. That's OK, isn't it?
You'll be able to buy a few fruit trees with that maybe.
Something that produces something each year. Oh, bless you. Bless you.
-Was your mum a big Flog It fan?
-Yes, she was.
I'm so glad Barbara was able to be with us for the auction.
Next up, Wilma and her mother Mary's cold-painted bronze.
Oh, my word, I think we're going to be in for a surprise here.
We are looking for £100-£200 for the Austrian cold-painted bronze.
It's a little rug seller, a man sitting on a rug selling Persian rug.
It's absolutely delightful.
I love the little nicks in the rug where it tucks around.
-And he's counting his money.
-Lots of it, lots of it.
And I think you are going to go home with lots of money as well.
We could easily double the top end of the estimate.
-I'd love to see that.
-We could even triple it,
you never know what's going to happen at an auction, do you?
This is so exciting. It's going under the hammer right now
and I think this is a classic a lot. Let's see go.
The Vienna cold-painted bronze of the rug seller.
£50 for this? 50, 30.
30 bid. 35. 40. 45.
-55, 60. 65. 70. 75. 80.
-85. 90. 95.
-There's a phone bid.
110. 120. 130.
140. 140 right at the back. 150. 160.
160, do you want in now, sir? 170. 180.
-190. 190. Any advance on 190?
-Yes, there's a phone line.
200 on the phone. Against you at 200.
On the telephone at £220.
-Yes, brilliant! I'm ever so pleased. Happy?
Much more than I expected.
-The wee man has gone.
-She can't believe it.
-The wee man has gone.
-The wee man has gone.
-He has gone, hasn't he?
Well, what a result for a bronze masquerading as a paperweight.
Now, last up it's Jim and Betty
and their bargain boot find.
These two have been collecting since 1963
and now it's time to declutter.
Everything's got to go and we're starting with the Moorcroft,
a wonderful trinket tray.
-There was a bit of damage, James?
-A bit of restoration.
Good pattern. Without the restoration, a lot more.
It's going under the hammer right now.
The very nice Moorcroft flambe design circular pin tray.
I have two very close bids.
And I may start it at £210.
20 against you.
-440. Anyone else want in? At £440.
-Well done, James.
-Who'd have believed that?
We keep saying it's a rollercoaster ride of emotions
here in the auction room, don't we?
You don't know what's going to happen. It's not an exact science.
-Damaged, yes, it was.
-But restored very well.
I think there are two or three people there that haven't spotted the restoration.
-I told you there'd be a surprise. I hope you've enjoyed it.
-Glad it was us!
We've enjoyed being here. Thanks for bringing it in.
Join us again for more surprises on Flog It!
It's time to say goodbye until the next time.
The team visit Balbirnie House in Fife. Experts Anita Manning and James Lewis are on hand to value a whole range of antiques and collectibles brought along. Among the items they pick out are a Moorcroft pin dish and a Troika vase, both bought by their owners for only a few pounds. But will the items do better when they are sold at auction in Edinburgh? Paul Martin visits stunning Falkland Palace, known as a place where kings and queens have gone to rest and relax.