Flog It! comes from the south coast, and hundreds of people turn out in Herne Bay to have their antiques and collectibles valued.
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You could be forgiven for thinking we're on the high seas,
because behind me is the North Sea, but we're sticking to dry land,
because today we're in the seaside resort of Herne Bay on the Kent coastline.
Welcome to Flog It!
Our venue today is right on the seafront. It doesn't get much better than that.
Here it is, the magnificent Kings Hall in Herne Bay.
And already a massive, great, big crowd are gathering
all laden with bags and boxes full of antiquarian delight.
They've come to ask that all-important question to our experts, which is...
-ALL: What's it worth?!
-Stay tuned and you'll find out.
'And those experts are the small and stylish Kate Bateman
'and the chic and lovable Mark Stacey.
'Kate combines auctioneering with motherhood, but still seems relaxed and unflustered.'
-How dare you? How very dare you?
-Does nobody else see that? It's the nose, I think.
'Mark's a busy man who works as a consultant and media star.
'He's not averse to a little name dropping.'
-This is a rupee signed by Vera Lynn.
-Oh, yes, it is.
-I've met her, you know.
She thought my valuation was very mean, so I told her she was good at singing and I was good at valuing.
'Coming up in today's programme, we have something which shines out with style.'
That's really the pinnacle of Japanese decorative art, so these are fantastic.
'It's not only the items which benefit from a bit of spit and polish.'
-I had a wash this morning. She made me.
-I should jolly well hope so.
'And I get to visit a splendid castle where you definitely need a head for heights.'
Especially, when you look straight down into the moat. It's scary.
'Let's get on with the show.
Being next to the sea has inspired Kate's choice.
'She's talking to Nicola and her daughter Rosie.'
-What have you brought me?
-These are two paintings from my late father.
-We lost him about ten years ago. They were left as part of a collection for the family.
One of the paintings was left to my daughter Rosie and the other one to my daughter Catherine.
-You're a mother-daughter team?
-Two daughters each got a painting?
-OK. Do you know much about the artist?
-No, nothing at all.
They're not particularly old. You've got the artist's name here - James Brereton
Now, he's a fairly prolific, well-known, late 20th century marine artist.
He was born in Derby in the 1950s.
These are about 1980s, and I think it's dated on the back 1981 anyway.
What they're showing is much earlier, 19th century battle scenes.
We've got our traditional enemies, the French.
Basically, English and French galleons firing against each other.
-Do you like them?
-Yes, I love them.
-They're bloodthirsty scenes.
-You've got cannons dropping in the water.
-This one's my favourite.
There's a lot going on and they're nicely painted. The sea is lovely.
-It reminds me of Grandpa a lot, because he enjoyed the sea.
-Right. Was he a sailor?
-Yes, he had his own ship and he sailed a lot.
-That's probably why he was drawn to them.
I have to talk about condition before we value, because there are some cracks here in the paint.
Also, you've got a little loss here, a bit of paint's flaked off. You can see the canvas underneath.
But overall, they're pretty good. They're what? 30, 35 years old?
-Any ideas price-wise, what you think they're worth?
-I don't know.
-You don't know?
He's interesting. He has done quite a lot at auction, and it's quite a wide range.
He does anywhere from £300 to £400, rightly up to £3,000 and £4,000. It's nice you've got a pair.
Would you want to sell them as a pair or as two separate lots if they went into the sale?
-As a pair.
-As a pair, so they both go or neither go?
Price-wise, I think midway between those estimates I've given you really.
-I would have said for the pair somewhere around £1,000 to £1,500 for the sale.
-What do you think about that?
-I'm happy with that. We wanted to get about a grand for each.
As much as possible. The funds are going for a wedding.
-My eldest daughter is getting married in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas next year.
So, an expensive wedding.
-Not dressed as Elvis or anything crazy?
-No, no, no.
-Not a total Las Vegas wedding.
Obviously, the auctioneer will try to do as much as they can.
-Would you want to put a reserve on them if they went into the sale?
-Yes, probably £1,500 for the two.
That's at the high end of my estimate.
Now that means the auction couldn't put a low estimate of £1,000 if your reserve is £1,500.
So, you could try them. I would've said more towards the £1,500 with a reserve of £1,000.
If you are adamant and you want to reserve on £1,500,
we'll have to estimate it at £1,500 to £2,000 for the pair,
and tell the auction house to put that in the catalogue with a firm reserve of £1,500.
-It's one of those ones. They may fly away or they may not get a bid.
-You sound like you might be a bit gutted if they go for just that.
-I will be gutted.
We've put a high estimate on them, so if they don't sell
-they'll be happily looked after and appreciated anyway.
-They're hung in my mum's house.
And your sister's OK if you sell hers?
We've had a word. We're both OK, cos it's going towards her wedding.
-I think Grandpa would be happy with that.
-Well, it's a nice cause.
-He would approve.
OK, let's give them a go. Let's put the reserve of £1,500 and just see what happens.
-Fingers crossed, OK?
-See you at the sale.
'Well, that's all shipshape, then.
Also wanting to know what's it worth is Joan and her son-in-law Chris.
When you had long, lonely nights,
you wanted to play with things. You'd get one of these little books
and you'd teach yourself how to play golf the Bobby Jones way,
by flicking, and seeing how he does his strokes and things.
And they're wonderful. Where did you get them from?
They belonged to an aunt of mine.
I found them when I cleared her house out after she died.
I've looked at them occasionally but they've stayed in the top drawer
-in my bedroom.
-That's a shame.
-Well, they wouldn't be in that condition
if I'd let the children have them.
That's true. We've got here the little staple has rusted,
that's the unfortunate side of it.
What connection to these are you, Chris?
-Purely, I've come today to assist my mother-in-law.
-Just moral support.
-Absolutely. And chauffeur.
Well, we all need a chauffeur, don't we?
I particularly like this one as well, actually.
The dance lesson.
From the good old days.
-If you flick it this way, you get almost a Charleston type dance.
I'm not quite sure how old they are.
Well, I would have thought they're going back to the sort of '20s.
That sort of period. When kids wanted something to do in the evenings.
We had the wireless but we didn't have much else to entertain us,
not like today, when they've all got their computers.
I don't think they'd be very popular in this day and age.
Quite mundane, quite slow-paced for today's living.
Hopefully, there will be a collector out there who wants them.
-I hope so.
-I've had a word with a colleague
because this is a real collector's field,
it's not the usual antiques we see here,
which makes them quite a joy, actually,
because we see lots of china and furniture
but it's quite nice to see these ephemera type items.
And not a lot would have survived.
-They would have been thrown away...
..broken, and then just discarded.
I would have thought we're probably looking at £50-£80.
Something like that.
Would you be happy to sell them for that?
Oh, yes, there's not much point in keeping them for any longer,
and knowing my son, everything would probably go in a skip.
Oh, dear. Well, we want to save them from the skip.
And they might dance off and make a bit more, you never know.
-You never can tell.
-Oh, dear, bless you!
-Excuse me, I didn't mean to do that.
'Must be all the excitement, Mark. Or perhaps a little dust.
'Next up, Alan and Nina have brought along a collection which brings out the child in me.'
-Thank you for bringing the rest of the family, it looks like.
There's a lot of mechanical, clockwork toys here. Whose are they?
They belong to the family as such.
My father was an antiques dealer and when he passed away sadly eight years ago,
he left individual items to us, but this was just a box
that was up in his attic, which was then transferred to my attic.
We decided it's about time we sold them
and just split whatever between the family, or the five siblings.
-Well, early German clockwork toys made by Schuco, which dates back to 1912, are the best.
That's where it all started. These, unfortunately, are predominately 1950s and 1960s
and they're all Japanese...but one.
Looking at this little mouse that's got a Tri-ang key in it, that's an English key.
If I turn this little mouse upside-down... There you are. "Schuco. Made in Germany."
So, this is a 1930s toy.
And hopefully, it still works. Let's give it a wind up.
There's a mouse in the house.
Well, that's fabulous. That's the best lot.
I do like this bear, though. I think he's a lot of fun, and if you wind him up...
He's working and, hopefully - look at that - he'll turn the book.
Isn't that lovely?
One hand is turning the pages.
When he gets to the end of the book, the other hand flips it back and they start again.
-That's so clever.
-So much thought.
Most of these little toys you can see are just tin plate bent from a mould,
joined together - they come in two sections - with a lithograph transfer to give them the colour.
A lot of them do have the original felt clothing, which is quite nice.
And you've got some boxes, some packaging,
some Tom and Jerry, a lot later, 1970s.
It's a good mixed lot.
Have you any idea what sort of value you want to put on these?
Not really, no.
They've been in the loft for eight years, and having just got them down, we'd really...
Obviously, everybody likes to think they've got something of great value...
I don't know. What would you suggest?
I would say there's a value of around...
£100 to £200.
-Possibly the top end, £200, a little bit more on a good day.
-So we could put a reserve on it?
-Yes, we'll put a reserve on at £100 if that's all right with you.
-I look forward to seeing you in the auction room. I think this is a bit of fun. I really do.
'There's so much to do I just don't have any more time to play.
'Mark's knuckling down too. He's chatting to Margaret and her grandson about the family silver.'
-Who's this chap here?
-This is my grandson Herbie.
-Hello, Herbie. Nice to see you.
-You've brought in some silver to show us.
-Yes, I have.
-Can you give us a little bit of a family history?
-Yes. It was originally my aunt's.
She passed it on to me when she was going into sheltered accommodation.
I'm afraid it's been in my loft for most of that time.
-I know. We just don't use these sort of things any more.
-We've got two nice pieces. What do you think of the pair? Do you like them?
-Do you? Would you keep them?
-They would be very nice, but I don't think they would fit in the home.
-They're not very practical, are they?
-You're right. What a sensible lad.
We've got two quite different things. We've got a little coffee pot or hot water jug.
Very much, actually, in an 18th-century style, but it's actually much later than that.
-It's London 1924, but it's got quite a good weight to it.
It's got a fruitwood handle.
Ideally, if it had an ivory handle, it would make a lot of difference for the value.
Then we move on to this tray, which, again, is quite a good weight.
This is London 1904, and it's made by the London Goldsmiths' Company.
-It has a bit of a problem. It has an inscription on it.
-Yes, it has.
It is quite thick, so somebody buying that could possibly have it removed,
and then they can put either their own description or have it as a plain tray.
Have you thought about values before?
No, not really, because I wasn't even sure whether it was silver or whether it was plated.
No, absolutely silver, and of course if we look at them we can see here
-there's a full set of hallmarks here for London 1924.
Then on this one, we turn it over and the marks are for London 1904,
and you've got the Goldsmiths' silversmith's mark there as well.
The nice thing is you haven't cleaned them in a while.
I've watched a few television programmes that say don't clean them.
-Don't clean them. Sell them as they are.
-Why is that?
People like to see them fresh on the market.
-They like to think of them as being fresh in the sale, not all polished up and clean.
-How much do you think they're worth, Herbie?
-Well, they are silver.
I think silver's actually quite a bit of money.
You're quite right, you know.
If we were putting them into auction,
I would put on the coffee pot or water jug something around £120 to £160,
and on the tray, something around £150 to £200.
-Because it's got quite a good weight to it.
-How do you feel about that?
-Well, that would be fine, yes.
-Would you put them in separately?
-Yes. Put them in as two lots.
-I would also put the reserve at the low end of the estimate.
-You would, yes.
What would you do if we got a good price for them, Margaret?
-I've got three grandsons, so I think it'll be divided amongst them.
-So it'll come to you.
-I'll split it with my new cousin and my brother.
-A new cousin and brother.
Gosh, so we need to get as much as we can, don't we, to keep you all happy.
-Fantastic. Are you happy to put them in today?
-Yes, very happy.
Then we'll put the reserve at the fixed end of the estimate,
-and we'll see if we can get a good price.
-Thank you for coming in.
Next, I'm going to explore the life and times of one of the area's
most famous residents.
Charles Dickens's links with Kent go back to his early childhood
where his father worked as a clerk in the naval dockyard at Chatham.
In his early 40s, at the height of his fame,
and just after the breakup of his marriage, Charles Dickens
returned here to Kent where he lived for the rest of his life.
He settled just outside the town of Rochester,
where you can still see Dickens's influence today.
Dickens loved walking. He would walk just about anywhere.
You couldn't stop him.
He even walked back from a night out at the theatre in London
and that is a good 30 miles.
Rochester hasn't changed much since Dickens's day,
and these are the buildings and the streets that inspired him.
And many of them have ended up in his novels.
And it is not just the buildings
and the streets that gave Dickens his inspiration.
I bet when he was walking past this churchyard,
looking out that tombstone with the name Dorrett inscribed on it,
that's where the inspiration for the character Little Dorrit came from.
This magnificent red brick Elizabethan mansion house
I'm standing in front of is known as Eastgate House and it
appears in Dickens's first novel Pickwick Papers as Westgate House.
It also reappears in his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood,
as Miss Twinkleton's Seminary for Young Ladies.
This beautiful building behind me is called Restoration House.
So called because Charles II stayed here the night before he was
restored to the throne in 1660 as the king of England.
It is also Miss Havisham's house in Great Expectations
where young Pip goes to visit, falls in love with Estella.
Isn't that magnificent?
You can imagine Charles Dickens peering through these very
gates that I'm looking through right now, just staring at this
conjuring up all those wonderful scenes in Great Expectations,
Miss Havisham in her wedding dress, the wedding banquet
covered in cobwebs and the whole thing just going up in smoke.
And my journey today has taken me here to Gad's Hill Place,
the home Dickens bought in 1856.
He first set eyes on Gad's Hill as a young lad whilst out walking
one day with his father.
In a letter to a friend, he wrote, "I thought it
"the most beautiful house ever seen.
"And my poor father used to bring a head to look at it
"and used to say that if I ever grew up to be a clever man,
"perhaps I might own that house."
Gad's Hill has been a school for the past 80 years
and Dickens study is now the headmaster's office.
And I must say, it has been quite a few years
since I was last summoned to see the headmaster.
Sarah, pleased to meet you. I know you are not the headmaster,
-you are head of PR here.
-I'm not the headmaster, no.
Thank you for letting us film here today.
I must say it is a real honour, just being in Dickens's study.
I tell you what, I have been here for four years
-and that honour never goes away. Never.
-Has it changed much?
It is pretty much as it would have been when Dickens was here,
with the exception of a few pieces of furniture.
His desk, for example, would have looked out towards his front lawn.
The desk obviously isn't there now. We don't own that desk.
The most interesting thing is that we have in here are the bookends
that you will see on the back of the door.
-That is a nice touch, isn't it?
-It is. I think it is a fantastic touch.
-That's just the spines and a very narrow cabinet.
And it gives us a bit of an insight into Dickens, I think.
The bookends that you have got there, Cat's Lives in nine volumes.
-It goes up to nine.
-He had a sense of humour.
a real sense of humour, and quite an interesting feature in the room.
Although this was Dickens's study, it is not where he wrote.
Each day, he would walk through a tunnel at the bottom
of his garden to a Swiss chalet.
It was given to him in kit form by a friend
and build on a patch of land known as the wilderness.
The historic chalet was moved to the centre of Rochester in 1961.
There are plans to open it to the public.
The exterior can already be viewed by anyone who visits the town.
What is interesting about the tunnel is there are two masks, stone masks,
on the tunnel at either end.
The one at this side, and this is what I always like to think, the one at this side
is the mask of comedy and on the other side is the mask of tragedy,
so, I always think that when he was going over to do his writing,
he saw that mask of comedy and when he wanted to come
back into the real world, through the portal,
it was the mask of tragedy, so he was coming back into the real world,
back to perhaps where he didn't 100% want to be.
The more and more I learn about him,
the more and more interesting he becomes.
Very, very complex character, and he had a very difficult upbringing.
His father went to prison, he went to the workhouse, and I think
because of that, he was constantly trying to get away from his past.
I think he struggled with life a bit.
He had 10 children.
Big family man, although, erm, slightly scandalous,
his wife didn't live here, so he had left her behind. So, very complex.
But, still, immensely famous today, and I think that in order to
kind of understand his characters, you have to be interested in the man,
and I think I've probably grown to love him just a little bit.
Gad's Hill Place was clearly more than a house to Dickens.
It was his family home and the place from where he was inspired to
write some of the most famous books in British literature.
It was also the place where, at the age of 58, he passed away.
It is really nice that he died here
because he had a great affection for Kent.
As I say, he had grown up here, he loved walking around Kent,
lots of elements of Kent within his writing, so it was really,
-really nice that he spent his last few years here in Kent.
-He came home.
He did come home, yes.
Even though the house has been a school for over 80 years,
there is still a great sense of Dickens here.
It is a very special place, where somebody extraordinary has lived, breathed, and imagined
some of the most memorable characters and stories ever written.
Things seem to be moving along at a cracking pace right now.
Our experts have made their first choices of items to go to the auction room.
Let's put those evaluations to the test. Let's see how they fare.
'We've got the beautiful paintings of the sea,
which evoke the age of sea battles and adventure.
The unusual flicker books from the 1920s.
'We're also selling Alan and Lena's clockwork toy collection, which I couldn't resist.
'And Margaret's inherited silver water pot and tray.'
It's time to up the tempo. This is where anything could happen.
We're testing the valuations
at the Canterbury Auction Galleries in the heart of Canterbury.
Today's auctioneer is Cliona Kilroy.
Before she takes to the rostrum over there, I had a quick chat with her on auction preview day.
This is what she said about one of our items.
Well, something for all the fine art lovers right now. Two seascapes, oil on canvas.
They belong to Nicola and Rosie, and we've got a valuation on the pair for £1,500 to £2,000.
In my opinion, and it's only an opinion at the end of the day,
I thought the valuation might be a little bit punchy.
I was suggesting to the vendor that we might try and reduce the estimate.
They obviously have sentimental attachment to the pictures,
so I understand if they don't achieve the £1,500,
they'd rather keep them, which I understand.
-The artist does have a reasonable track record.
-Yes, he's in the book, isn't he?
Again it's subject matter, isn't it? If this doesn't appeal to you, it's concept art.
It's hard to put values on things, because what I may like and price quite highly,
-somebody else might not like and vice versa.
-Paintings in particular can be quite a fickle market.
-Would you have split the lot if you had the chance?
-I think they're not really a pair. They are two.
-I think that may have benefited the sale of them.
-They wanted them to stay together.
-They wanted to keep them together.
I think you've slightly narrowed your market by selling them as a pair,
-because it's hard to find a wall in a domestic house to put those on the wall together, isn't it?
-It's a hard thing.
-I understand their point of view.
-It's either a matter of selling both or keeping both.
-Yes. Yes, a hard thing to put a price on.
Keep watching, won't you, because we might just have one or two surprises, or we might not.
'There is commission to pay. It does vary between auction houses.
'Here, buyers and sellers pay 20% commission plus VAT.
'Later we'll see how the paintings do,
'but first we've got Alan and Lena's charming clockwork toys.'
Things are ticking along nicely. You could say we're wound up.
Which brings us to our next lot, my valuation, all those little clockwork toys.
Some Japanese and the odd German one there, which is pure quality.
-It's good to see you.
-Lovely to be here.
What have you been up to since I last saw you?
-We've been to York.
-It's absolutely fabulous. Yes.
-Just enjoying ourselves.
-It's nice up there on the coast.
-Some good fish and chips up there.
-We tried it, we tried it.
-Excellent fish and chips, yes.
-Just basically enjoying our retirement.
-Trying to fill the days.
Let's hope we can carry on that enjoyment today with sending you home with lots of money.
-There are lots of bidders. Hopefully, they'll want these.
-We'll find out right now.
Lot 197 is the Schuco patent clockwork mouse
and a selection of other mechanical toys.
-Who will start me at £50?
Thank you. £50 on bid. Who's in on £60?
£60 I have. £70. £80. £90. £100.
On my right £110 now. Any further offer?
I'm selling at £110. The bid is on my right.
Now online at £120. Any further bids?
On the internet for £120 now, and selling at £120.
Yes! Just couldn't resist.
I was a bit worried for a second.
-Don't forget there's commission to pay plus the VAT.
-Enjoy the rest of the day.
-What are you putting the money towards?
Because there are five siblings, we were going to split it between us.
My father was Polish, he died a few years ago.
His sister, unfortunately, just had to be operated on in Poland.
The medical treatment over there isn't free, so we're going to send the money to her.
-I'm sure he'd appreciate that.
-What's her name?
-Well, I hope she gets well soon.
'That was a good result and the money is clearly going to be put to a worthy cause.
'Next up, it's Rosie who has come along on her own to see the paintings go under the hammer.'
It's great to see you again. I love what you're wearing, the head gear. Look at the camera. Ta-da!
-Isn't that great, Kate?
-Where's Mum today? Where's Nicola?
-She's away in Spain with her mum.
-What part of Spain?
-South, near Almeria.
It doesn't get much better than that.
Listen, we've got £1,500 to £2,000 put on the oil paintings.
Had a quick chat to Cliona earlier on at the auction preview day.
She said she feels £800 to £1,200,
but, hopefully, her top end is your lower end and they can sail away.
-That's what we want?
-You're adamant about this fixed reserve of £1,500?
It's hard to know if they'll go. I would've preferred a slightly lower estimate.
-It's your paintings. You don't have to sell them. See if they go.
-OK, watch this. Don't go away.
213, the James Brereton, the two oil paintings of the marine scenes.
Who will start me at £1,000? Lot 213.
Any interested at £1,000?
-Come on, Rosie! Fingers crossed.
Any bid at £1,000? I'm looking at the room, on the telephone?
Any interest at £1,000?
Oh, no. No bids? Sorry, we'll have to pass. No bids.
-They're going back on the wall. You love them.
-Yes, I love them.
-So it doesn't matter.
-They mean a lot to me, so I don't mind.
I think that estimate probably frightened a few of the bidders off.
-Enjoy them. They're lovely.
'They didn't sell, but I don't think Rosie was disappointed. Do you?
'Let's hope we have more luck with Joan's flicker books.'
-These are good.
-They're great fun, aren't they?
There's the golfing one. And the dancing one.
-The Charleston, I like.
-We like the dancing.
-Can you do the Charleston?
-No, not unless I've had a drink.
THEY ALL LAUGH
-We'll try later.
-I look forward to it.
We'll watch that a bit later on but right now, this is going under the hammer. Here we go.
Lot number 309 are the four early 20th century flicker books.
60, I'm bid. 70, 80.
90. 100. 110. 120.
Who is in at 140?
-140 online. 150. 160.
-This is great.
-We can do it now, can't we?
-It is on the internet at £200 now.
If we are all done in the room, I'll sell at £200.
I think that deserves a little dance from Mark.
THEY ALL LAUGH
Shake those hips!
Hey, £200, Joan.
-Your first auction as well.
-Yes. I'll try again!
You're going to go home really happy.
'What a good result. Enough to make us all feel like dancing.
'Next up, Margaret and Herbie and their pieces of silver.
'The tray and the water pot are being sold as separate lots.
'The tray's up first with the hot water pot immediately after.'
-Do you like antiques?
-What are the best sort of antiques? Furniture, silver or pictures?
Oh, silver. Gran, why are you selling the family silver?
I don't think anyone will want it, really.
-Herbie does. He collects silver, don't you?
-Yes, but I don't collect it.
-Would you rather have the money?
-Well, I don't mind too much.
-You don't mind too much.
Good luck, Herbie. I hope you can see the auctioneer from here.
-Why are you selling this?
-Because you get these things and they sit in the loft.
-Nobody polishes silver any more.
-No. It's a nice weight this tray, so it should do the £200 to £300.
200 to 300, Herbie. Let's hope we get that top end. Here we go.
Lot 405 is the Edward VII two-handled tray.
Who will start me at £100? Any interest at 100?
Oh, come on.
100 bid. Who's in at 110 now?
110 I have online. 120. 130 online.
130? We're up to £150. 160. 170 online.
170? The bid is in the room at £160 now. 170.
190. 200 on the internet. 210, sir? In the room? 210.
210, thank you. 220?
-220? Bid is in... 220.
-This is good. It's slowly creeping up.
Are we all done? At 220. Anybody else coming in? If not, I'm selling at 220.
-£220. Happy with that Margaret?
-This is our lot.
-This is it, next one. Look, there it is.
421 is the George V silver hot water jug. Who will start me at £100?
£100 to someone? Lot 421. £100 bid.
110 online? 110. 120. 130 online.
140. 150 online.
160. 170 online. 180.
180. 190 online.
Bidding online at 190. If not, the bid is in the room at £180.
We'll sell now at 180 if we're all done.
That has gone down £180. You've got to be pleased with that. Yes? Yes.
-Pleased? Yes. Margaret's pleased?
-Yes, I'm pleased.
-You can divide that up now, can't you?
-But treat yourself.
Good time to sell silver.
'That's a total of £400, which after commission is still a nice amount for the grandchildren.'
That concludes our first visit to the auction room. We're coming back later in the show.
So, whatever you do, don't go away, because I can guarantee one very big surprise.
But while we're here filming in the area, I took the opportunity
to explore some of the local history. Take a look at this.
I absolutely love castles, so I couldn't come to Rochester
and not visit this magnificent Norman example.
Just look at it. What a sight! Structure, with its magnificent square keep.
It's the tallest in the country. It's 113 feet high.
It's been towering over the city for more than 800 years.
It's this aspect of the castle that I've come to find out more about today.
'The early castle walls were built by Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, in the 11th century.
'The keep was added by William de Corbeil, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1127.
'It's an outstanding example of Norman military architecture.'
Strategically placed on the banks of the River Medway, the castle was guarding the bridge,
which guarded the road onwards to London.
It was a major garrison with a vital role to play -
stop invading armies from marching towards the capital city.
Its aim was to defend and repel, and its secret weapon was the keep.
The keep is the stronghold of the castle. If all else fails, this is where you would head for.
Look at the towers in the keep up there. Can you spot the difference?
Yes, one of them's round. That's an unusual feature. The other three have square sides.
To find out why that particular one is round, we've got to travel back in time
to the reign of King John, and to the famous siege of 1215.
'At that time, the castle was occupied by rebel barons
'who were against the king for not abiding by the Magna Carta.'
Inside the castle, there were around 90 to 140 knights
stationed there with their horses and some of their entourage.
Outside the castle, King John had five huge stone-throwing engines
positioned all along here around Boley Hill.
Relentlessly bombarding the keep day and night for a period of seven weeks.
But this impenetrable keep withstood the bombardment, so King John came up with another plan.
An urgent writ dated at Rochester on 25th November contains an unusual request.
"Send unto us with all speed by day and night
"40 of the fattest pigs of the sort least good for eating
"to bring fire beneath the tower."
King John was extremely determined, so he dug a tunnel where I am now,
right underneath the moat to the southeast tower
where he excavated a big hole and put the fat of the 40 pigs into it.
-He then set it alight.
It burnt the wooden foundations, causing the tower to collapse to the ground.
King John's men rushed through the gap and into the keep.
But the knights weren't giving up that easily.
They barricaded themselves here inside the keep
for another five days until their supplies ran out.
In fact, after seven weeks of surviving and then another five days,
they had to make the ultimate sacrifice and eat their horses.
That must've been a very difficult decision.
Not only were they their only means of transport,
they were brothers in arms in combat and best friends.
It is a testament to the builders and craftsmen that built this place.
Just look at the thickness of the walls.
This really is one of the best fortifications I have ever seen.
It's going to be around for another five centuries.
'King John finally quelled the barons' rebellion,
'but he didn't enjoy success for very long. He died the following year in 1216.
'The tower was rebuilt round instead of square to better deflect future missile attacks.'
Life inside the keep was tough. It wouldn't be open plan like today
with lots of daylight flooding in the roof, because there is no roof.
Once you board that over, it's midnight black in here.
You went about your business by candlelight.
Down there would have been the cesspit, so you can imagine the stink and the damp.
There would've been store rooms, a small chapel, constable rooms, meeting rooms.
As you got higher, the great hall where all the entertaining would've been done.
You can see how the floors have been divided up by these big holes called sockets.
Big oak beams would have been slid into those so you can suspend the floors on them.
On the top floor would have been the bedrooms, the state apartments, where the noblemen slept.
Obviously, the windows got bigger up there, because it was safer up there.
I've climbed up to the very top of the keep. I'm here on the battlements.
You need a head for heights when you're up here.
Especially when you look down there into the moat. That's a bit scary.
Look at the view! You can see for miles.
You can see how the city has built up over the centuries around the castle.
But that's what I want to show you, because looking at the keep from this angle,
you get a real sense of the size of it and the strength of it.
Castles like this fire up the imagination,
and, for me, they wind back the years and bring history alive.
'Our valuation day is being held at Kings Hall in Herne Bay on the southeast coast.
'Kate is chatting to Patricia and Dennis about an unusual lady they've brought along.
-What, or who, have you brought along today?
-Well, we normally call her Eileen.
-What do you know about Eileen?
-Well, all I know is my auntie's had her for years
and she gave it to me 12 years ago.
I've had it in my living room for quite a number of years,
but then I thought I'd put it in the spare bedroom
-and there's she's been.
-Sat in there forever.
-She's quite old.
-She's late Victorian. She's in this dome.
Normally, we don't see figurines in things like this. We usually see clocks in domes,
or we see taxidermy or flower arrangements or things like that, so it's weird to see a figurine.
I can see why you've done it. She's got lots of delicate little bits on her -
leaves and grapes and stuff.
She is made of an unglazed porcelain,
so she's called Parian ware, which is a type of ware.
She's probably continental, so German probably, late 19th century.
I've had a quick look. She's stuck down.
-I never noticed that.
-She's been superglued to the base, which is quite weird.
Again, I can see why, because for moving her it's better to have her stuck down onto the base.
That's quite a weird thing to do. Do you think your aunt did that?
-Maybe her husband, more likely.
-Right, so it was a good idea to stick it down.
Not to be recommended for most porcelain. Please don't stick your porcelain down.
It doesn't really detract from the value.
There may be something written on the bottom, but we can't lift it up and see.
I'm fairly sure she'll just have a number, so that's usually what the German pieces are marked as.
What do you think we can flog it for? The dome is nice.
There are collectors who just buy the dome irrespective of what it is and put something else in it.
I think they're not the most popular things.
You yourselves have said she's got further and further out of the limelight.
I think for auction, she's somewhere between £40 and £60, somewhere like that.
-Is that the kind of thing you were hoping for?
-I was looking for about £50.
Well, OK, let's compromise. Let's put a reserve of 50, and an estimate of £50 to £80.
-Give the auctioneer some discretion on the reserve, so if it gets close, he can sell it.
-He can sell it. Yes.
-That will be nice.
-You're ready to say goodbye to Eileen?
-We said goodbye to her this morning.
-We should say, "Come on, Eileen," and hope she sells.
'Come on, Eileen. Exactly.
'I hope she doesn't come unstuck at the auction.'
-Are you having a good time?
-That's what it's about.
Hopefully, some of you will go home with a lot of money later in the show.
I'm surrounded by antiques of all sorts here from all different periods.
But also lots of collectibles that take me back to my schoolboy days.
One of my favourite programmes was Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons,
and just look at that. I've got the right jacket on for it now.
I thought I should wear a red jacket as we're working by the seaside,
because if anyone wants to know any answers and questions, they just ask a redcoat.
-Mother and daughter I gather?
What a charming little cruet you've brought in.
Where did you get such a lovely object?
-The loft? I wish I could go up in my loft and find things. Tell me more.
-It's been very exciting. It started very sadly. My husband died in November.
-I am sorry.
He had all sorts of antique-y bits and pieces that he gathered over the years.
He didn't buy them. It was all family stuff. It was just wrapped up in the loft.
We'd been going through boxes of it. We found this one and an identical one
-with a pale white background with a blue flower on it.
I decided to give one to each of my daughters,
so Rebecca got the other one and Hannah, who's not here, got this one.
-You don't want to sell yours, Rebecca?
-No, I quite like it.
-And Hannah, your other daughter?
-She wants money for driving lessons.
She liked it, but she'd rather have the money.
I think it's wonderful, because there's one thing about this that makes it wonderful.
That's the name of the designer, William Moorcroft.
It's not signed, but it doesn't have to be,
because all the key things are abandoned in this piece.
First of all, if we look underneath, we see Macintyre's, James Macintyre.
William Moorcroft was first employed by Macintyre's to produce a series of ware,
called Florian Ware, back in the late 1890s.
These are slightly later than that, probably just after 1900, 1910-ish.
They're just charming. You've got this lovely tube-line decoration.
This is very Macintyre's and very William Moorcroft, this screw action to the base.
Apart from a very small chip to the inside of the cover, it's in mint condition.
You've got the mustard pot, the pepper pot and the little salt pot.
It's absolutely charming. I love these little blue cornflowers.
-It's a lovely little set, which will be very collectible, very desirable.
Did your daughter come out with any instructions what not to sell it for?
-Did she have a fixed price?
-No, she had no idea.
-So if I said £50?
-She'd be very happy.
I think that would be a bit mean.
-I think if we estimate it conservatively at, say, £80 to £120...
..and we put a reserve of £80 on it, I would hope it would certainly make 100 or more.
It could surprise us on the day, because these little pieces
aren't as abundant sometimes as the normal domestic wares.
Yours would probably be the same sort of price if not a bit more,
-so when you need driving lessons, come back and see us, all right?
-OK, I will.
-She'd be happy for us to do that?
-She would indeed, yes.
-What more can I say?
-Thank you very much for coming in.
-BOTH: Thank you.
'However much Moorcroft we see, we still get excited about it,
and that cruet set was charming.'
Now, where shall I go next?
This is a very nice map. By John Speed,
early 17th-Century map. He was a surveyor
-and he was championed by royalty...
-..in this country, yes.
They financed a lot of his work. The secret of Speed maps is
the fact that they were all printed
in Holland - the quality of the printing was superb -
and then brought back here and then hand-coloured.
This shows the Shires - Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire.
-And look at this. Look at Reading.
-Very detailed, isn't it?
Oh, it's incredible!
Look how small it was, then. And this is a good sign,
seeing lots of armorials, because he would have got sponsors, as well.
These crests, these family coat of arms actually sponsored and paid him
-so they could be part of the map.
-What is the other side all about?
I inherited... I was given this by my parents.
Whoever framed this did a jolly good job,
because it is so nice to have the map on one side, but also,
the history of Buckinghamshire on the other. So, it tells you
a little bit about the place.
So, if you put this into auction, it should realise around £500-£700.
-What were hoping for?
-Probably, double what my father paid for it,
which was 500.
-So, you were hoping for £1,000?
-About that, yeah.
If you want to sell it, put it into an auction room
in the Home Counties, in the Shires. But what a wonderful thing.
-Thank you for bringing that in.
Kieron is holding on to his map, so we won't be selling that one.
Next up, Jane, and she has brought in two beautiful bronze vases
-for Kate to have a look at.
-What can you tell me about
these fantastic vases?
They were bought by my father during the war, in an auction,
and they raised money for the war effort.
Right. So, would they have been donated by somebody
-to go into the auction?
-Probably somebody quite important
-or quite wealthy?
-Quite wealthy, yes.
Because if we have a closer look, do you know anything more about them?
Do you know where they are from or the date of them?
-I know they are Japanese, but no idea of the date.
They are Japanese. They are probably Meiji period,
which is before 1912, pre-1912. And that is really the pinnacle of
Japanese decorative arts. These are absolutely fantastic.
If we take a closer look, what you have got is this bronze body,
ovoid body, and then you have got different metals inlaid.
So, you have got gold, you have got copper and brass and silver.
And then you have got a little design of leaves and birds
and, usually, they have wisteria or other very sinuous plants.
These are, kind of, leaves and tendules.
And they are absolutely beautiful.
Sometimes, you get a signature on the front. On the bottom of these,
I can see there is a signature. There is a cartouche and someone
has actually scratched a name... There is an Anglicised name here.
It says "Iono U-Y-E", which I am not sure how you pronounce.
"In-oy-you-eh" is my approximation of that.
And a scratch code, which means it has been through dealers
to say what they paid for it, things like that.
But they are lovely quality and in fantastic condition.
-Are you particularly attached to them?
-I like them,
-but they don't get put on display very much, these days.
Well, any idea, value-wise, what you think they are worth?
No idea. I would hope,
-at least 200, but...
-£100 each. That seems a reasonable assumption.
I mean, I think you are probably a little bit on the low side.
For auction, I would estimate them at, perhaps, £300-£500.
They might even do better on a good day, but conservatively, £300-£500.
-That would be marvellous.
-Reserve-wise, you should put
-a reserve on them.
-I would say, if you would be happy
to take 200, put that as your reserve.
The buyers won't know your reserve, but the estimate catalogue
-will say 300-500.
-Are you happy to give it a go at that?
Fingers crossed, these could do quite well.
-Will you be able to come to see them sell?
My husband and I will be on holiday.
Oh, right, OK. If they did go, what would you spend the money on?
It will go on another holiday. We are going on a cruise next March.
-Are you on a cruise this time?
-No, no! The Baltic.
-Maybe the next one, if they sell, then you can
finance it, you'll have to go to the Far East, in a homage to your vases.
Thank you for bringing them.
Now, Mark has obviously been enjoying being by the sea.
He is talking boats, with Terry and Marilyn.
The story starts a few months back. My auntie came to visit us
and, I don't know what it was, she was getting something out
of the back of the car and there was this box with these in it.
I said, "What are you doing with those?" She said, "Throw them away."
I said, "No, no, don't do that. Leave them with me and I will dispose
"of them. If it is all right with you, whatever we get for them,
"we will donate to our local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society."
What a lovely idea. What a lovely idea.
So, somebody said, "Oh, they are doing a Flog It! at Herne Bay."
So, we thought, "Right, go for the adventure."
I am glad you did. They have obviously been played with a bit.
They are not in their boxes or in pristine condition,
but generally speaking, Tri-ang are very well known for the quality
of their manufacturing. They are tiny, but the detail is exquisite.
When we unpacked them from this box of my auntie's,
I was really impressed with the amount of detail.
Just such small items. The guns on the battleships
and some of the rigging on some of the other boats.
How on Earth they did that in the model-making process,
-I don't quite know.
-They specialised in all sorts of toy-making,
Tri-ang. If we look at this boat, which, of course,
it looks quite stupendous and it should do because it is actually
the Queen Mary. The detail of the funnels and all the decking,
the lifeboats and even the little windows punched out and the detail
-of the studwork.
-And it is so small, as well.
It is really good fun, actually. We have got it marked underneath
"Queen Mary" and we have got the mark of Tri-ang, as well.
I think they were based in Margate.
-Which is just up the road.
-Hornby Hobbies. I think they were part
-of that company, at one time.
-I'm sure, in the saleroom,
people will find them interesting,
but at what level, it is difficult to predict, to be honest.
Collectors of this type of thing are specific about having the box
and in mint condition and that kind of thing.
I think we have got to be quite sensible. Obviously, we want to try
and raise as much money as we can for the charity. We are probably
-looking at about £60-£100 for the lot.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, we're very happy.
-Fantastic. Let's do it.
They might even sail past our estimate.
I'll let you get away with that pun, Mark!
Well, that's it. Our experts have now made their final choices
and we have had a marvellous day here.
The people of Herne Bay have done us proud. They have turned out
in their hundreds with some real treasures, which we now must put
to the test. So, now, we are off. We are heading inland,
to the Canterbury Auction Rooms.
And we're taking with us, Patricia and Dennis's figure in a dome,
that sweet Moorcroft cruet set brought in by Elizabeth
and daughter Rebecca, on behalf of other daughter, Hannah.
Terry and Marilyn's miniature boats
and Jane's wonderful Japanese vases.
First up, Patricia and Dennis, but I can hardly recognise Dennis.
Dennis, you look really frightened. You look nervous. Give us a smile.
I had a wash this morning.
Last time, I didn't look
all that clean and tidy, so I had a quick wash.
-She made me.
-I should jolly well hope so!
Anyway, we've got the Parian Ware, this lovely figure,
going under the hammer. £60 to £80, hopefully, a little more, Kate?
I think we should do it. If people aren't keen on the figure,
they can use the dome
for something like taxidermy or dried flower arrangements.
-Hopefully, that will sell it.
-Are you going to miss it?
In a way. We won't see Eileen standing there.
Yes, we lovingly called her Eileen. Eileen. So, probably we'll miss her.
Let's say goodbye to Eileen. Hopefully, she'll get top money.
-Yes, bye, Eileen.
-Good luck, everybody.
Lot 85 is the 19th-Century Parian Ware figure
of the young woman with the fruit and vines.
Who will start me at £50? 50?
50, I'm bid. Who's in at 60?
The bid is in the room at £50. Any further offers?
£60 I'm looking for online or anywhere else.
If not, I'll sell to the maiden bid for £50...
-Sold on the opening bid. It's gone. You're happy, anyway?
No, because it could've got smashed.
-Hopefully, it'll go somewhere it'll be shown.
Somebody will appreciate it one day.
Hopefully, they've got some salt to clean it.
-Thank you so much for bringing it in.
-I like your dress, as well. You look lovely.
-Thank you, Paul.
£50 is a cracking result. So long, Eileen. Next up is Terry,
who has come to see the miniature boats go under the hammer,
although his wife Marilyn couldn't make it.
We have got £100 riding on this at the top end. £60-£100.
Well, we hope, for the cause that they are going to,
-that they get as much as they can.
-Remind us again.
I am the local chairman of the Thanet branch
of Multiple Sclerosis Society and whatever this raises
will go help with the work that that branch does.
Yeah, great cause. Going under the hammer right now.
Lot number 245 is the Tri-ang Mimic model ship of RMS Queen Mary.
Lot number 245. Who will start me at £40?
Thank you. 40, I'm bid. Who is in at 50 now?
Bid is on my right, at £40. £50, I am looking for.
-Any interest at 50?
-Oh, come on.
-Any interest at £50?
On my right, £50, I am bid. 60? 70. 70, anywhere? On my right, at £60.
Selling at 60.
-Well, every little penny helps.
-Every little penny helps.
I thought it was quite cheap, though.
-So did I! So did I.
-I wish they'd gone for a little bit more.
But thank you, guys, for doing what you have done.
It's raised, like I say, a few pounds towards running our local branch.
And raised the profile,
-so, hopefully, more people will be aware.
-Yes, thank you.
And I know you have got family support here. That is your daughter.
-What is her name?
-Emily, hi, there!
-Come to support me.
A good result for a good cause. We are happy with that.
Next up is Elizabeth,
who has come along on her own to sell the Moorcroft cruet set.
-Where's Rebecca today?
-She's at work. She's started a new job.
She thought it wasn't a good idea to take a day off work so quickly.
She started last Monday.
No, you can't really, can you? Setting a good example, Mark.
-You can't take a day off in your first week.
-You cannot. It's not good for the job, is it?
We've got some Macintyre Moorcroft. A three-piece cruet set -
-salt and pepper and mustard, early period.
-Should it do a lot more than 80 to 120?
-I'm hoping it will do the top end.
There's a small chip on one of the pieces, but it's very small. Hopefully, it does the top end.
Let's see what the bidders think of the Macintyre Moorcroft. It's going under the hammer.
-Lot 53. Who will start me at £50?
-£60 on bid.
90. 100. 110.
140? Anybody at 140?
140 in the room. 150?
-This is good.
No? It's £170 on the telephone now. Any further offer?
I'm selling at £170. The bid is on the phone 170.
-Are you happy with that?
-Very happy with that.
-Hannah will be very pleased.
-It was hers, wasn't it?
-Rebecca was with you on valuation day.
-It wasn't hers.
-It's her younger sister's.
-She has one at home of her own.
-She's keeping hers?
She might not now she knows it's gone for 170.
-They can only go up in value.
If you sell them in five years' time, you'll get even more money.
'That's a good result and should pay for a few driving lessons for Hannah.
'And finally, while Jane is cruising the world,
'we're going to sell her wonderful Oriental vases.'
-We have her next-door neighbour. Hello!
-It's Erina, isn't it?
-Erina, that's it.
-Did you ever see these vases in the house?
-I don't know where she hid them.
-She must have got them out of the attic.
She brought them along. They drew your attention, Kate. You went, "Wow! Look at these."
The quality was amazing. You can tell they're really nicely made.
-Hopefully, that will translate into bids.
-It will do, won't it?
-Yes, lots of money.
-We're going to find out right now.
590, the pair of Japanese patinated bronze vases, lot 590.
-Who will start me at £200?
220. 230. 240. 250.
260. 270. 280. 290.
300. 320. 340. 360.
380. 400. 420. 440. 460. 480.
500. 520. 540.
-Don't stop. Keep going.
With you at 560, looking for 580.
That's better. Yes.
740. 760. 780.
Anybody at 820?
800. Any further offer?
Any further bid? If not, I'm selling and we're all done.
-She is going to be so pleased.
-Where is she at the moment?
-We'll have to telephone her.
-You're looking after her house.
-Yes, I am.
Well, have a rummage round and see what else she's got.
If she's got a lot in her attic that you never see, get it out.
That's brilliant. I'm pleased. That's about what I thought as well.
-Yes, she'll be so excited.
-Wish she was here.
'That was a magical moment and I'm sure Jane will be sad to have missed it.
'At least she's well on her way to her next holiday fund.'
It's over for our owners and sadly we're coming to the end of another show.
We've had a few lows and a few highs, but that's auctions for you.
That's why we love doing them. They're just full of surprises.
So do join us again soon for many more, but for now,
from Canterbury, it's cheerio.
Flog It! comes from the south coast, and hundreds of people turn out in Herne Bay to have their antiques and collectibles valued. Among the treasures discovered by experts Kate Bateman and Mark Stacey are a pair of bronze vases and a Moorcroft cruet set. Presenter Paul Martin indulges his passion for castles with a visit to the one in nearby Rochester, which boasts the highest keep in the country.