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Welcome to Malvern,
famous for its ancient hills and beautiful clear spring water.
Today, Flog It! is drinking up the atmosphere as we head into town.
The magnificent ancient Malvern Hills and Malvern pure spring water
go hand in hand, really, because, let's face it,
without the hills there wouldn't be any water
and the hills are a mind boggling 600 million years old
and they consist of a very hard rock formation
which have formed into a network of fractures.
And the rainwater runs down through these fractures and, eventually,
out into a series of springs which are dotted all around the town.
Now, because of the unique hardness of the rock in the Malvern Hills,
the spring water is quite pure actually, which is good news -
not a lot of minerals filter into the water.
And the great news is, if you're a local,
you don't have to buy this stuff at the supermarket,
it's absolutely free.
Just queue up and help yourself...
and get fully refreshed.
But I'm going to now join up with our experts
over at the valuation day and see what antiques and collectables
are springing up over there. Join me later.
And this is where we're valuing all the antiques and collectables
today, the Malvern Theatres, which host many different events
throughout the year, from pantos to musicals
and even highbrow theatre.
But topping the bill today for one day only
the fantabulous Adam Partridge and the glamorous Kate Bateman.
Well, it is now 9:30, it's time to get the curtain up,
get everybody in the seats and let's start the show.
Our team of experts are raring to go.
Leading the way are Adam and Kate.
Adam's first-ever job was as an auction porter.
Since then he's risen to the dizzy heights
of owning his own saleroom in Cheshire.
-Do you do any needlework yourself?
-She can't even sew a button on!
-We've got something in common there then.
And Kate nearly became a ballet dancer,
but instead fine art and antiques won her heart
and now she runs a successful saleroom
with her father in Lincolnshire.
Show and tell, what have we got at the back here? Oh, pictures!
While everybody's getting seated, let's have a sneak preview
of what's coming up on today's show.
A father and daughter team bring Kate a curio.
You just basically focus it so your eye focuses
and then look through here and it actually looks like
the girls are, like, standing out at you.
'And I'm lucky enough to stumble across a real treasure.'
And I'm very envious, June, very envious.
But, first, Adam is curious to see what Richard has
in his Moroccan red leather box.
-Can you open it up for me, please?
-Certainly, my pleasure.
-There we are.
-You've got a lovely silver jug.
A lovely silver tankard there. A christening tankard.
-Can I take the tankard out?
-Let's have a look at it.
This belonged to my step-grandfather,
so my father's stepfather.
It's an interesting link, because it's been in your family
for a long time then, hasn't it?
Well, one would assume so, a couple of generations at least.
We see these initials and monograms
on lots of pieces of silver, and you always think,
"I wonder who owned that?"
But you can actually tell us, so what are the initials on here?
Well, we have four initials.
My step-grandfather's name was Edward Graham Frazier Thompson.
He sounds like a dashing character just from the name!
What can you tell us about him?
I suppose his major contribution was that he was a pilot
during World War I, and a reconnaissance pilot, a specialty.
We actually have some old photographs of his
-where he's actually photographed the trenches...
..and some of the artillery placements and things of that nature.
He actually even went on to write a book about his experiences
as a pilot under the pseudonym Spin.
-So if anybody comes across...
-There we go.
-..an author named Spin, that was my step-grandfather.
These photographs of the trenches sound fascinating.
I mean something like that, that's more personal to me,
whereas this is not necessarily of sentimental...
-..or important history, family history.
You've helped answer my question -
isn't it a shame that you're selling it? But now you've explained that...
I have so many other memories I'm able to keep of him.
Well, it must have been quite an affluent family,
because this is quite a posh...
Unfortunately, I don't know too much about the Thompson family.
-Do you know when he was born?
-I couldn't tell you that, even.
Well, the hallmarks on the cup may help.
Right, yes, I was wondering about that.
Typically late Victorian in its packaging, late 19th century,
and then we've had a look at the marks.
We've got the M and W, of course, for Mappin and Webb,
the Sheffield crown, the lion, of course,
-and that date letter is for 1895.
So, christening mug -
-we may presume he was born in 1895.
-That certainly would fit.
So, it's a lovely object, but I think the story really makes it
because, commercially, it's not hugely valuable.
-Any ideas yourself?
I was thinking anywhere sort of between £40 and £80.
Bang on, Richard, well done. Absolutely great.
I think that on its own, 40-60.
With the box, it might improve it to maybe 60-80.
-Put a reserve there at 50,
stop it from underselling, because it must be worth £50.
-So, thank you very much for bringing it.
-You're very welcome.
-Glad to have shared the story.
As silver christening mugs go, that one's a real beauty.
Good find, Adam, but there's no resting on your laurels -
there's still plenty of people to see.
What have we got in here?
Oh, you've got...some pets in there!
-You've got your cat, a little pig.
Kate is examining a stereoscopic viewer
belonging to father and daughter James and Molly.
-I've brought a stereoscope.
-Did you inherit it, or you bought it?
I bought it from a house sale in Aberdeenshire about 30 years ago.
Can you remember what you paid for it all those years ago?
I just can't remember. It...
I didn't have a lot of money at the time, so it'd have been very little.
-£15, £20 I suppose.
-Oh, that's quite a lot back then I suppose.
-I just can't remember.
What we've got is "Trip Around The World Through The Stereoscope."
And it's nice to have the box, cos we often see the cards loose,
but you have the box, as well.
Made to look like a book.
And, if we open it up, we've got all of these cards.
Do you know how it works?
Yeah. Well, this is my favourite one. The two little girls.
-So, if you put it in here...
and then you look through this bit,
so then you just basically focus it so your eye focuses,
and then look through here and it actually looks like
the girls are, like, standing out at you.
-So it's 3D.
-Yeah, and you have to adjust it to get it to work.
Yeah, so your eyes focus to it.
Yeah, it's a lovely thing.
You've got a whole load of very interesting different views.
So I presume you've looked through all of them?
Yeah, there's some fantastic images of the Boer War,
the San Francisco earthquake,
and just various pictures from around the world.
That is quite sweet, that one, with the girls at tea, that's quite cute.
I suppose girls today do still have dollies' tea parties,
but it's a bygone era, isn't it?
Look how they're dressed, with perfect dresses
-and little bows in their hair. It's really sweet.
Any ideas on price?
Well, I wasn't sure.
-It's hard to know. You've got a whole mixed lot.
Maybe put it slightly lower, 60-100, a slightly wider estimate
for the auction, maybe a £50 reserve.
Yes, that's fine. 60-100 estimate for the catalogue. Yeah.
I think it should go. I mean, it's one of those things, there are collectors out there.
It'll depend if they're interested in the particular cards you've got.
Apparently you're getting the money when it sells, is that right?
Yeah, I'm going on a ski trip next year with the school, so it'll go...
The money will go to, like, the hat and the salopettes to go...
OK. An expensive business, then!
We might be able to get you one ski pole or something, but we will try!
I think that's a really good thing to aim for,
-so hopefully it will sell in the sale.
Send you off whizzing down a mountain!
-Thanks very much.
This is the bit I love about Flog It!,
dipping in and out of the crowd, joining up with them
before they get to the tablecloths
and having a chat to people like June, who brought in
something that I recognise instantly
because it's a Robert Lenkiewicz, it's a watercolour.
I had the good fortune of filming at the Plymouth Museum recently,
the Lenkiewicz retrospective,
and I was thoroughly impressed and I learnt a lot.
I'm very envious, June, very envious!
How did you get to own such a wonderful thing like this?
It was in 1978, I was travelling with my late husband,
-who was also an artist, to sell paintings in Cornwall.
-And we stopped at the Barbican...
..at Plymouth, and we met Robert Lenkiewicz, spent the day with him...
..and he was telling us all about his work and his books and his writing.
Oh, I wish I'd met him, I really do.
And we also met Diogenes.
-Yes, the tramp, the down and out that he used to paint.
I particularly like the works that he did,
the sort of social history aspect of Plymouth,
because he embraced all those down and outs,
-and I know at one stage he had about 20 living in his studio!
£25 you paid for this.
Well, do you know what it's worth today?
Is that what you're here for, to ask?
-Just as an enquiry, just to see.
Because it holds great sentimental value for me.
If you put this into auction, it would have a price tag of around...
3,000, possibly £4,000.
I think if you had to buy it in a gallery, maybe just over that.
It's got very happy memories for me.
Well, it's put a smile on my face.
It's a watercolour and it's signed. Well, look, enjoy it.
Put it on the wall, and thank you for bringing it in.
You look really colourful, as well. In fact, you match, look at that!
-I can see why you gravitated...
-I look like him, do I?
No, no, no! You've got the same lime green.
Let's catch up with Kate.
She's with Jan, who's put in a little gem in mint condition
belonging to her husband, John.
I'm sure this will bring back memories for most of us.
He's had it since he was very, very small,
but he was very careful.
-He never, ever played with it.
I can see it is in perfect condition in terms of the actual car.
The box has seen better days, but it is boxed, which is brilliant.
And it's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - was he a fan of the film?
-I think he was, yes.
-We're going to date him horribly
by saying the date here is 1967.
We shan't mention how old he is to have been a child when it came out.
But it's a great thing. It's so unusual to get them in their boxes.
Children get it for Christmas, rip open the box,
throw it away, play with it.
So it's nice to see it in working condition with all its bits.
Do you know it's secret and what it does?
Yeah, the wings pop out.
-Do you want to give it a go?
-No, you do it.
So if I break it that's fine!
This is your item, you've said it live now, we can't go back.
I'm petrified. Do we pull it forward?
And there we go! So it works,
and presumably flies off into the distance.
I think it's a really fun thing. Why are you selling?
Well, we've got four boys
and you can't really divide it between the four of them.
The general census is to sell it and it'll go towards our holiday fund.
OK, flying off in a motorised car somewhere!
Well, no, not quite, I don't think, but...
In this condition I would have thought
estimate for auction is £80-£120.
I think we'd reserve it at perhaps slightly lower than that,
maybe a £60 reserve, but 80-120 estimate.
-Is that the kind of thing you'd be happy with?
-Yeah, fine, lovely.
-I take it you don't have an attic full of other boxed toys?
My husband had two brothers,
so whenever one was bought something all three of them were.
He used to hide his and put them away and play with his brothers'.
So his were never touched.
-So the brothers' are completely ruined...
Well, he can have the last laugh if this sells for £100,
cos that would be brilliant, wouldn't it?
-So we'll take it to the sale and see if it goes.
-Thanks for bring it in.
Adam's chatting to Maxine, who's brought in
her ten Wedgwood plates with a nautical theme.
There's shipping in the family?
There is. My father was a sailor.
He was a captain on oil tankers out of New York.
So were these your father's plates?
-No, he bought for me as a birthday present.
-OK. What every girl wants!
Yeah, well, he didn't have any sons, he had four daughters.
So birthdays we'd have plates or ships in bottles
or something that had a nautical feel.
And I suppose sometimes that was nice
-and sometimes perhaps you'd have liked...
-Oh, no, I liked it, yes.
-Is this your father's address in New York?
-Yes. He was living in New York
so he wrote to Wedgwood in England to see -
he'd heard about them, I suppose - to find out how much it would be
to ship them and how much they were.
And, in 1969, they were £11/11s.
"Sailing ships and clipper ships in fine earthenware by Wedgwood."
So they did two sets, they did a set of 12 of sailing ships
-and a slightly smaller set for clipper ships.
-So, it was a set of 12?
-Yes, and unfortunately two got broken.
The cat knocked them off the dresser.
They're a printed design on an earthenware plate.
-So they were of a mass-produced type.
-They were probably run off in quite large quantities.
They were all designed by a chap called George Whales.
Really nice things for the collector
-because all the information about every plate is on the back.
So we could pretend to be great experts here
and say, well, the Mayflower...
"The Mayflower brought the pilgrims to Plymouth.
"Based on the model built in 1922 by Anderson
"for the Pilgrim Society in Plymouth."
-So, you can learn from your antiques, as well.
-Did you ever have them on display?
-Yes, I had them on a Welsh dresser.
I've recently moved now to a smaller house, no dresser, so...
-The dresser's gone.
-So they're just sitting in the cupboard, which seems a shame, really.
Now, to value. I'd like to think they'd make £100 plus.
Oh, that would be good.
I think, perhaps, we should go with our old 80 to 120 estimate.
The auctioneer's favourite, which is around £100 mark,
-and then pop the reserve in at about £80.
-Yeah, that'd be great.
-Does that sound all right?
Maybe put a little bit of discretion on there in case it gets to 75.
-You don't want them going for nothing, do you?
-OK, thanks for coming.
Let's hope they sail off!
I'm at the Ruskin Mill Glasshouse College
right in the heart of the historic glass quarter of Stourbridge.
This whole area was the Royal Doulton factory,
but now this site provides studio space and workshops
for many Artisans both in traditional and contemporary glassmaking,
but also many other crafts.
For the last 400 years, they've been making glass in Stourbridge.
It's one of the great names world-renowned for its cut crystal.
Not only have the factories in the Stourbridge area
created some of the finest glass ever made,
but the craftsmen from here have influenced
the most famous international makers.
The golden era was in the Victorian period,
where everybody wanted cut glass crystal.
It was hugely fashionable, but, sadly, tastes do change
and many of the big manufacturers went out of business.
Stourbridge today is well and truly alive and kicking in glass.
Many of the traditional methods are still going on around me now,
but there's also a new wave of creative artisans providing
the most wonderful, exciting and contemporary studio class.
This is also the site of the International Festival of Glass,
which attracts as many as 15,000 visitors every two years.
It hosts a huge programme of events, demonstrations,
talks, activities and exhibitions.
Including the prestigious British Glass Biennale,
which part of the dynamic celebration of British modern glassmakers,
and I'm here to meet Martin Andrews, who's part of this revival.
Martin, you've got some fabulous pieces here.
How did you get started in glassmaking?
I did degree at Westferry College of Art and Design in Farnham in 1991,
and then after that I went to Sweden and I was very fortunate
to work with Asa Brandt, who was one of the first studio glass artists.
She set up in 1968.
Do you still use traditional methods, but put your own slant...?
Yes, the methods, traditional glassblowing has not really changed
for 400 years, same sort of tools, same benches.
What I want to know is how do you go about making something like that
and how do you get all the colours?
In the furnace, I have clear glass.
All the colour is added while it's still a solid blob.
Once the design is on then you start to actually blow the shape.
Let's talk about techniques.
If you were going to make, say, a bowl like that,
how would you start and what would you do?
Any piece of glass that you blow starts off round,
and if you're going to make a flattened shape,
such as a vase like this,
you literally are using wet newspaper to shape the glass,
so it starts off round and by flattening it on each side
you can actually start to flatten the shape.
Gosh, it sounds hit and miss to me, do you know that?
-It's quite specific.
With glassblowing, you know, you have no second chances.
It's not like clay, you can't go back and patch it up.
Glass - you get one chance and you have to get it right.
The skill of the glassmaker is working as fast as possible.
You are literally chasing it.
The working temperature of the glass is between 600 and 1,000 degrees,
and it will go through that temperature barrier
in about 40 seconds, so every time you reheat it
you've got about 40 seconds to work with it, then you reheat it.
-So you're up and down the bench a lot.
I do love that, I love the colours in that, the golden hues.
Could I ask you to show me how you make something like that,
for a novice like me to attempt something that?
I'd like to have a go at that, I really would,
-cos that looks like a big challenge.
-OK, let's have a go.
-How long will that take?
-It will take, about an hour. With my help.
-Come on then!
This is actually for real, we're going to take an hour to do this.
And I don't know what to do. So just talk me through it.
-OK, if you start by heating that up, get it hot, just keep it there.
We just want to keep the tip up
so it's hot enough for the glass to stick to it when we gather.
I'm actually feeling quite nervous, to tell you the truth,
cos I want this to really work well.
OK, I think we can take that out, that's fine.
Now you're going to gather from the furnace. So we do the first gather.
Gosh, that's hot!
And you need to be in and out in about seven seconds.
OK, keep turning, keep turning, and go to the bench.
Roll it forward, use all of your arm.
OK, we're going to reheat that, so put the paper down.
We'll reheat it in the glory hole.
-Keep turning it.
-It's not easy, is it?
I'm actually quite frightened!
I can't believe this hot blob's going to be a glass charger.
Put your forearm forward, first arm forward.
If you wet... Put that back into the water.
This is all by feel, you just know, don't you, by instinct?
It's all by touch.
I'll put some of the other colour out, as well.
And this is cooling all the time.
It's cooling, but the coloured glass is still sticking to the clear glass.
-Pulling back all the time?
-Yeah, that's good. Take it off. OK.
Now, the hard bit is actually the technique called thumbing.
So what you need to do is blow down,
with this in your mouth,
put your thumb over it and trap the air so the air expands in the pipe.
-Like that, ready? One big blow?
It's got a little bit larger, but you now need to reheat it...
-Keep my thumb on the end?
I see, you could do this several times, you could keep going
-until you are happy with the size of the air bubble?
And roll, turn...
-And then back the other way.
It's looking more like a light bulb at the moment.
It's getting bigger and bigger,
it's getting harder to come out that glory hole.
-Out you come, yeah.
Ah! Nearly, nearly...
-Oh, that's it...
-Hang on, hang on!
That's it, I've just ruined it.
Nearly had it, that was about 55 minutes work, wasn't it? Sorry.
-That's all right, never mind.
-What happens to that now?
Well, we'll just put that into the bin.
Unfortunately, you caught the side and it collapsed.
-It's so difficult, isn't it?
-it's very, very difficult, it is.
Thank you so much, you've been brilliant.
We were so close, ten minutes away from seeing that dish open up.
But I said we'd only do it once, I said we'd have an hour on this.
I knew it, I just knew it would go wrong, do you know that?
So close, yet so far.
I was five minutes away from creating a wonderful glass charger,
and it all went wrong.
That is the most stressful thing I've ever done on Flog It! in nine years.
Not only is Martin Andrews a wonderful glass designer and blower,
he's also a great teacher, teaching traditional skills and methods,
and that was really difficult, please believe me.
And if you don't, have a go yourself - you'll see.
Our items haven't got far to travel.
They're being sold down the road in Malvern at Serrell's Auctioneers and Valuers.
Here's what is going under the hammer.
Let's hope Richard's christening mug will fly away.
We'll find out shortly.
As well as the mug, we've got Maxine's ten plates,
two short of a dozen, thanks to her cat!
Let's hope that doesn't put the bidders off.
Kate's truly scrumptious find - the little toy car in excellent
condition, which should grab the bidders' interest.
James and Molly also have high hopes for their stereoscopic viewer.
Let's find out now how it does as it's the first of our items to go under the hammer.
Is there any more at all for it?
I have £100.
Did you not want to persuade Dad to hang on to them and not sell them?
-Well, we've had them a long time.
-Yeah, we need the money.
-What's the money going towards, then?
I'm going skiing with the school,
so to get a new hat or something like that.
Oh, are you? Sounds really exciting. Are you on study leave right now?
-So that's why you're here.
-Yeah. And what do you think of the auction room?
It's good, isn't it? Jam-packed.
-Full of electricity and excitement.
-Kate, feeling any pressure?
-No, none whatsoever.
-None at all.
Wildly confident about this one!
Good luck. Let's hope we turn that into a couple of hundred.
Here we go.
Great things these.
The stereoscopic viewer, lot number 310.
There we are. Bid me.
50 or £60 to start.
20 I'm bid. At 20. And five. 35.
-There we go.
-40. Bid five.
50. 50, bid five. Anywhere five? 60.
Five. 65. Any more?
At 65. Your bid, sir, at 65. 70.
Five. 90. Five.
This is more like it.
95. 100, is it?
100. 110 now, sir?
At £100 only. At 100. Any more?
Fill it up, sir, at 20 now. At £110.
And I sell then at £110 and done.
Oh, I'm ever so pleased we got 110.
-Well done, Kate.
A lot of these images find their way back to the States
because the Americans love buying these.
-So I hope you enjoy the trip.
Well, that might get two ski poles or something!
I don't know the cost of things, but that sounds like a good sum.
Well! That got us off to a very good start.
Let's hope the result is a taste of things to come.
Next it's Maxine's Wedgwood plates.
They've got our valuation of around £100, which is good!
-We've got the old 80 to 120, haven't we?
-You have, yes.
However, I'm not very confident.
-Adam should know.
-I've got a gut instinct.
They are a bargain if someone picks them up for £10 each.
We might just get them sold, but I don't think we're going
-to be having any jumping and screaming.
Wise words. Here we go, Maxine.
Good luck, Adam.
A set of ten Wedgwood plates.
Start me off for them. The ten Wedgwood plates.
£100 for them.
£50 for them.
-£20 for them.
There's no hands going up.
At 20. 20 bid. And five. 25. 25.
30. 30 bid. And five. 40. 40 bid.
At £40 only. At 40. 40 bid.
At 40. Five.
50. 50 bid. At £50 only. And five.
60. 60 bid. Five. 70. 70 bid.
We're looking at £80 with discretion, aren't we?
Any more at all?
At £70. At 70. Is there any more?
At £70. Any more at £70.
No? I'm sorry, I can't do those.
Are they going home or will you leave them for another sale?
I like might leave them.
You're selling them because you sold your Welsh dresser...
-That's right, so I've nowhere to put them...
-Leave them with Philip and see what happens there.
That was disappointing. So close!
Hopefully Maxine will have better luck on another day.
Next, it is Jan, who's selling her husband John's toy car.
-He's a good boy, because he kept the box.
-He always did, yeah.
-I never did. Bad boy.
-It's unnatural not to keep it.
-You rip the box up,
-and you play with the toys, don't you?
-Normal children do.
-What are you saying about him, then?!
-And it's got all the bits!
There's all those bits to lose and break and everything on it.
-That's why it should sell.
-And we've got 80-120, haven't we?
-It's a really iconic car, I think every schoolboy knows it.
-They love the film.
-We won't sing.
-No, I won't embarrass myself.
I can't sing anyway. Have you got a good voice?
-I won't put you to the test then. Good luck.
-Thanks very much.
-This is it.
A very collectible Corgi Chitty Chitty Bang Bang model,
complete with its plastic insert, and nobody should be without theirs.
I'm bid on the book, £40 only and 5.
45, 50, and 5.
And 60, and 5. And 70, and 5.
The bid's with me at 75. One more.
80, and 5. 85, 85, 85.
The bid's with me, on the book.
The net's out, the room's out.
£85 on the book,
and I sell then at 85 and done. Thank you.
It's gone, it's gone.
-He'll be pleased.
-He'll take you out for supper now.
-Oh, it's mine.
-You'll have to dig out the other ones now!
-He has got lots?
-Oh, he's got loads.
-Yeah, every single one of them.
That's enough to make an auctioneer's heart start to race.
It just goes to show, it's worth looking after things.
Next it's Richard's silver christening mug.
This should do well.
-I hope it does really well.
-I hope so too.
-Because in a way, you shouldn't be selling it.
-No, I have a lot of other items that belonged to my step-grandfather which are more personal.
And this will actually help to maybe refurbish the photo album that I have of his.
-It'll contribute to his legacy even further.
OK, we're going to find out what the bidders think right now.
Silver's up in value, let's hope it's working for us now. Here we go.
Lovely christening mug in its little leather case.
Mappin & Webb. Bid me for that. £100 to start me.
Come on, Philip.
Bid me 50 to go, someone. 50 I'm bid. At 50. 60. 70. 80.
Good, it's gone! Quickly as well, how about that?
-They like it.
-110 with me. At 110.
-More than double.
If you're all out in the room at £110. The bid's with me.
At £110. And I...
20. Hello! At 120. 120. 120.
The bid's just there at £120 only.
Any more? At £120 and I sell then at £120 and done.
Superb. That's real quality, and well worth £120.
What can you buy in a modern jeweller's now for £120?
-You wouldn't catch me in a modern jeweller's!
But what could you buy? Nothing.
-Nothing as good as that.
-A battery powered clock, probably.
-At best, yeah.
-Certainly nothing of this quality.
-I hope that can, you know, give you the chance to compete that album.
-It certainly will.
-Go a bit further than that I think.
-That's a good price.
Good result. I love it when things sell well over the estimate.
It shows there's a real market for them.
Later, Adam finds an item which is bound to get a good return.
So it cost you how much? £2. £2!
We can improve on that.
Stick a couple of noughts on that.
It's this eight-mile ridge of some of the oldest rocks in Britain
which give us spring water that's world-famous for its purity.
I've come here to find out more about the unique relationship
between the town of Malvern and its refreshing spring water.
It's the cold water that sprouts from the fissures in these hills
that's made the fortunes of that town.
You could say, in fact, that Malvern was built on water
and the development of two very different water-related industries.
Now, in both cases Malvern was the first place in the UK to start both of these industries.
The first sounds a little bit like a form of medieval torture -
the cold-water cure. More about that later.
The second business to put Malvern on the map was the commercial bottling of its spring water.
The lucky locals have always been able to pop along and collect their water for free,
because there's around 100 wells and springs all around this area, but what about people further afield?
How could they get to drink some of this refreshing water?
Well, the answer is crystal clear -
look at that - bottle it and sell it to them.
And this is where water was first commercially bottled.
The Holywell Spring.
So, Malvern was the first place in the UK to bottle water.
This started around the early 1600s and experts reckon that some of these 17th-century bottles of water
were sold as far away as Berwick, London and Kent. I mean, the mind boggles, doesn't it?
Strangely, this water has been so highly valued not for what's in it, but for what's not in it.
And it's this same pure water that, back in the Victorian era,
enticed many visitors to Malvern when the cold-water cure arrived.
The cold-water cure, or hydrotherapy, was an alternative treatment which two doctors -
Dr James Wilson and Dr James Gully - brought to the town in 1842.
Dr Wilson had tried the treatment at the Silesian spa in Grafenberg in Central Europe
before persuading his friend, Dr Gully, to set up an establishment in the UK and Malvern fitted the bill.
To find out exactly what the terrifying sound of the cold-water cure is,
I've come to meet up with retired GP and Malvern resident Dr John Harcup, who's a bit of an expert.
And I'm meeting him in the building which began life
as Britain's first purpose-built water-cure establishment.
John, we're sitting in the bow window of the original building where all this treatment went on.
Yeah, it is, and you can see the bay window where we are.
Incredible, absolutely incredible! And that's a lovely view, as well.
What was this cold-water cure all about?
It was a Victorian health package. It was very popular.
Everybody was woken between five and six in the morning, stripped naked,
wrapped in a cold, wet sheet for an hour.
So people from all over the country would come here to this building...
be woken up at six in the morning?
It wasn't a good start.
No, a wet start and a cold start, but you relaxed. It was amazing the effect of the cold, wet sheet on you.
Then you were unwrapped by your bath attendant,
who popped you in a shallow bath and poured cold water over you and rubbed you down with a rough towel.
It was called a friction rub, and you went up the hills before breakfast...
drinking at every spring.
-You must have been exhausted by ten o'clock in the morning!
And then after you'd been here for about three weeks, you were fit enough to have the douche, which...
-This is the big one!
-This is the big one, yes.
Water falling 20 feet from a pipe 2½ or 3½ inches in diameter for about three minutes.
And about 150 gallons of water fell on you at that time.
Gosh! If that's freezing cold, that would have hurt.
Yes. In winter, you got icicles coming down
and people were scored by icicles
and there was blood on the floor, as you can imagine.
-But no complaints, everybody loved it.
It was a social occasion, to put it mildly.
So what inspired the two doctors to bring the cure back to Malvern?
It was the very poor treatment in Victorian medicine.
Remember that we were still in the age where we bled people, we purged people
and we added heavy metal poisons. There was lead, arsenic and mercury.
And then the recently discovered opioids,
and opium was freely available, so we got addiction problems.
So, this was completely different.
It was non-invasive, it didn't kill anybody
and it certainly worked because the Victorians over-ate, they over-drank, they didn't have enough exercise.
And Malvern catered for all that because alcohol was banned, for instance.
And there was a special diet.
You couldn't have pastries, they didn't like spicy food, you couldn't have tea and coffee.
-There wasn't much you could have, actually.
-The list goes on!
Well, water, of course!
What sort of ailments was this cure going to solve?
Well, rheumatism and gout were premier things.
Virtually everything, you know?
"You name it, we can cure it," was the motto here.
-It's fascinating, isn't it?
It was amazing who came here -
Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Alfred Lord Tennyson came here.
-Some big names.
Tennyson said he was half-cured, half-destroyed by the cure.
-Wow. In your expert opinion, obviously, it does work.
In the context of Victorian medicine, this is the important thing,
because treatment was so bad in those days.
How long did you have to be here for, then?
Well, about three weeks, three to four weeks.
I mean, Darwin came for three weeks and stayed for 16
and he got on so much better.
He was depressed and he was...
He went back to Down House a new man, basically.
He was writing a book on barnacles and he went back to the barnacles.
Yeah. I don't know about 16 weeks here, though!
-One day with that cold water!
-Malvern grows on you, so you'll stay!
So, there you have it. Some British towns are built on coal,
some on steel and some on the farming industry, but the majestic town of Malvern is built on water.
Back at our valuation day, there's still a huge queue
and the great thing about my job is I never know where the next antiques will be lurking.
-Oh, my gosh, look at this!
And some items are just too big to fit in a box.
It's so nice to see furniture brought in to Flog It
because you do have to make a bit of an effort to get this in the car.
That's why we always get lots of ceramics, but whoever brought this,
I'm going to go and shake their hand because this is what we need to see - more furniture.
Please bring us in more furniture.
Adam's talking to Simon, who's brought along an item that we see often on Flog It.
Yes, it's a piece of Troika!
This is quite an interesting one for a number of reasons.
Firstly, because of where you got it from.
Well, a car boot sale, yeah.
Not a bad little earner, there.
-And did you recognise it as a piece of Troika?
-Basically, we just liked the look of it, the bits and bobs on it and...
-Do you still like?
I don't know, I've gone off it a bit now. It's...
We'd seen the markings on the bottom of it. I'd never heard of it.
I thought, "Yeah, somebody's written that on in marker pen."
-Well, it does look like that, doesn't it?
-It does, yeah.
-Look at that.
-Kind of crude, isn't it?
Pretty... Pretty good condition, isn't it?
I've noticed one little bit of damage. Where is it? There.
A little bit of a chip, there.
But that's nothing too major. So you didn't know about Troika at all?
No, not until I spoke to my brother and he watches your show.
I don't get a chance to because you have to watch CBeebies with the kids.
He's obviously seen that show where you've done the Troika.
I showed it him, showed him the marks on the bottom and he said, "Well, there, that's what they do."
-So you're going to sell it, take the money.
-Yeah, take the money and run!
-It cost you how much? £2. £2.
We can improve on that. Stick a couple of noughts on that.
-That's not bad.
-This is what is called the large rectangle vase.
On the bottom, you've got that decorator's mark there, which is RGB for Roland Bence.
Roland Bence was one of the main men at Troika.
He was the manager there for all of the '70s.
He is one of your premier names. So not only have you chanced upon a two-quid vase worth 200 or 300...
-I've got the main man on it, yeah.
-You've got one of the main men.
-I think we should put it in at 200 to 300.
-Yeah, sounds good, yeah.
Put a reserve in of £180. If it doesn't make that,
-it's worth hanging on to.
-Well done. Good eye!
-Not only have you got a good-shaped Troika vase, you've got one of the main men on it too.
Kate's been bedazzled by something rather glamorous
that Erica inherited.
Erica, you've brought in something sparkly which has caught my eye.
What can you tell me about it?
Well, it originally came from Germany.
It belonged to my mum's great-aunt,
and it was passed to my mother when she died,
and then when my mother died, it was passed on to me.
-So family history.
-It is, yes, but my mother didn't like it.
As soon as she picked it up, it went in her jewellery box.
She didn't wear it.
I like it, but I'm not...
-I don't wear it very often.
-Not that attached to it.
Probably a couple of times a year.
It's what you'd call a dress ring, it's very sort of...
-Exactly that, dressy.
-I'm going to give it a go.
I might just have a bit of a Cinderella fantasy
and give it a go. I can see that on my finger...
if my husband's watching! It's very attractive.
I think date-wise you're talking between...
Probably between the wars, so 1930s.
Does that fit in with the family background?
Or maybe a bit earlier? '20s?
Probably a bit earlier, '20s, probably, yeah.
It's a classic dress evening ring.
You've got diamonds and then an oval-cut sapphire in the middle.
And it's on continental, so 14-carat gold,
which again is not something we usually get in England.
But it's quite a pretty thing.
Very sparkly, you can see.
This is an old-cut brilliant, on the diamond,
so it makes it this lovely sparkly colour.
The diamonds aren't very big but they are nice and clean.
And they're a good colour to them.
I suppose at auction you'd be talking between
maybe £300 and £500 for it?
Is that the kind of figure you'd be happy to get?
I... I think so, yeah.
I would like to think I would get more than £400 for it.
-It depends on the day.
-If you don't wear it,
you've got to think of who the buyer's going to be,
and who would wear it. And I suppose if a dealer's buying it,
they would make a mark-up if they're selling it in a shop.
So I think probably... You could maybe reserve it at 350,
if you want to, and put £400 to £500 guide price.
And then if it doesn't reach 350, it hasn't sold, so at least
-you're not disappointed if it only gets £300.
-That's fine, yeah.
-Would you be OK with that?
Right, next it's Jim, who's brought along a collection of First World War postcards.
So, what's the history here?
They belonged to my wife's uncle who was a private in the Medical Corps
and he served on the hospital ship the Letitia, and they went all around the Mediterranean.
-During the First World War?
-During the First World War.
And this is basically postcards to and from him and his wife.
We've seen lots of First World War postcards, especially in the embroidered silks,
for the guys to send home to their wives, but these are slightly different.
You've got more topographic scenes.
He obviously was travelling, going all over the place.
He's in the Middle East here.
He's at the Sphinx in the Pyramids.
It's like a diary of his journey. Has he written messages on the back?
-He has, yeah.
-Oh, how lovely. Is it something you really want to sell?
Basically, it's lying in the bedroom, we don't look at it that often.
We'll maybe go and see our grandchildren, perhaps buy them a present out of it.
Oh, well, that's a nice idea.
-This is nice. That's George IV, isn't it?
It's personally addressed to him.
"With our very best wishes for Christmas, 1914.
"May God protect you and bring you home safely. Mary and George."
Oh, that's lovely, isn't it? That really does complete this book.
I'm pleased that's on the last page.
Well, look, if you're happy to let this go and you want it to go...
-Yes, we do.
-Let's price it to sell.
-Let's put 100 to 200 on it.
Fixed reserve at £100 because you're not going to give this away.
-You'll have to keep it otherwise, but on a good day I think this boat will float.
I just loved Jim's postcard collection.
Fingers crossed it's going to do well.
But before that, Kate's valuing the biggest lump of gold
I've seen in a while, and it belongs to husband and wife Bill and Jan.
-How have you come by it?
-It was my second cousin's.
-She was very, very elegant.
-We remember Frances very well.
We can remember her smoking Woodbines out of that.
-But we have other things that she's left to us, so we would like other people to enjoy it.
Well, it's a classic case of very elegant Roaring Twenties gold,
set with what looks to be rubies.
If we open it up, what have we got inside? There we go.
So it is hallmarked gold and the hallmark's Chester and it's 1923.
So, exactly that sort of Roaring Twenties.
You would have had very small, thin ladies cigarettes in it,
possibly with a holder.
But it's a lovely thing. You're not keen on keeping it?
Well, gold prices are quite high at the moment and you've got the inset rubies to add a little bit of value.
You've also got machine decoration on the top and then this Greek key pattern along the edge.
So it's a very attractive thing. Any ideas on value?
Your estimate for the auction would be maybe between £550 and £650,
something like that, which for quite a small thing is quite a high price.
-It is indeed.
-Is that the kind of figure you'd be happy with?
What sort of reserve would you suggest?
I would say just below that, so maybe a 450 reserve.
-Sounds very good.
-A lovely thing to have been passed down, isn't it?
-Let's hope it sells.
-Oh, yes. Thank you.
Well, that's our final items ready to take off to auction
and going under the hammer is Simon's Troika vase which he paid just £2 for at a car boot sale.
If the bidders like Erica's dress ring as much as Kate does,
it should do very well.
Next, it's time for Jim's collection of inherited World War I postcards to find a new home.
Finally, Bill and Jan's elegant gold cigarette case with inlaid rubies
will be testing the current gold prices.
We're now back at Philip Serrell's auction rooms in Malvern.
Before we see how our items do, I want to show you something rather special.
Yeah, I like the look of that, I really do. It says it all.
That chair has come fresh from some old boy's cottage somewhere, locally I would imagine.
There's all these greasy sweat marks, you know, evidence of wear.
This hasn't been through the trade, this is fresh on the market,
and that's the sort of kit that does sell so well.
Upholsterers like to get their hands on stuff like this.
Looking at the style of it, it's a Regency period, 1805 to 1815,
right on the turn of the 19th century
and that shape, that scrolling top coming down in the shape of a lyre like that, that's all in rosewood.
I know it looks disgusting, but I've got to sit on it.
Oh, do you know what? That's very generous and it's very comfortable.
Very, very nice.
The squab cushion needs refilling,
it needs packing out and probably the springs need tightening up,
but let me show you something to look for.
Gosh, the weight of this chair!
That's solid mahogany and rosewood,
that's a combination of two very exotic hardwoods. This is nice,
this is in the manner of Gillows, these fluted legs,
and look at this cast foot, that's really nice. Brass-cast rollers.
This is a very, very nice chair
and Philip's got this in the catalogue at £100 to £200!
That is a come-and-buy-me and Philip knows that,
but, for me, that's really got the decorators' look.
It's a timeless quality. You're buying a period piece.
This is circa 1805.
All you've got to do is hopefully get it for around about £700 to £900 in auction,
take it to an upholsterer and that will adorn any room.
It will go in a stately home, it will go in a studio apartment,
it'll go in a contemporary flat, it'll go in a cottage.
It's just a wonderful stand-alone chair.
All in all, really, it might set you back £1,200,
but that's what a modern reproduction copy will cost you in a department store,
and that would be a great investment.
In a moment, we'll find out just how much the Regency chair sells for.
Before that, though, let's find out how much profit Simon will make.
I think this is a great lot, Roland Bence.
-What's great is it was bought for £2 in a car boot.
It is unbelievable, isn't it? I would love to have a bit of time to go to a car boot once every...
-You and me would never get anything.
-You'll never pick a bargain out.
-They'd put the price up, wouldn't they? Good luck.
-And well spotted. Here we go.
The Troika vase, hugely popular.
£50 I'm bid. At 50. 60. 60 bid.
70. 80. 90.
100. 110. 120. 130. 140. 150.
Yes? 180. At 180 bid seated.
At 180. At 180. At 180. At £180 only. Any more at all?
-We're struggling at 180 right now.
-I can't believe that.
-£180 and done. Thank you.
-I thought it'd do better.
-Yes, so did I.
-But, it's gone. That's the main thing.
-Yeah, it's gone.
-And it's an improvement on the two quid.
-A vast improvement.
Yeah, big improvement. Are you back at the car boots at all?
Oh, I might have a pop round to see if there's any more out there!
-And what will you put this money towards?
-Something for the kids.
-How many have you got?
-Go on, name check them, what are they?
-Brandon, Harrison and Roly.
-OK. Enjoy the money.
-Thank you very much.
-Well done, Simon.
We just got Simon's Troika away. Still, it was a very good return on the £2 he paid for it.
Remember that Regency chair that I thought would sell for around £700 to £900?
Well, here are the final moments of the auction and you won't believe what's happening.
-Yes, that's it, £4,500!
-Four six. Four seven.
-Several people really want this, and I said earlier it's in the manner of Gillows.
Maybe there's a Gillows' stamp,
then it is worth around 5,000-7,000.
Five one. Five two.
There's the bid on that telephone.
At £5,300 once.
Third and last time at 5,300.
Don't you just love auctions?
What an incredible result!
Everybody just wanted to own that.
I wonder what it'll look like when it's restored.
Anyway, now for Jim, the owner of that brilliant postcard collection.
Hopefully, for not much longer
because this lot should put their hands up and bid.
I see you've brought the wife along. Hello.
I know you're getting really excited because you want to see your daughter out in New Zealand.
Well, I hope we get you there.
I hope this is part of the airfare. I don't want to let them down.
I hope it's not return to sender, it's going under the hammer now.
Lot number 300 is the Victorian postcard album. Bid me for it.
Where do you want to start me?
Give me £100 to start straight off.
100 I am bid. At 100. And ten now?
100. 100. £100 for the postcard album.
At 100. 100. 100.
It's your bid, sir.
At £100. The maiden bid's got it at 100.
I'll take ten anywhere.
At £100 only. At 100. At £100.
And I sell then at 100 and done.
Yes, we just got it away within estimate, £100,
but I guess it's better than nothing.
-That'll cover the airport tax.
Well, I think some lucky buyer got a real bargain with those postcards.
Erica's brought her son Kurt to the auction room.
Let's hope the bidders give them
a good price for their diamond and sapphire ring.
Why have you decided now is the best time to sell this?
Well, I just... I don't wear it,
and my mum didn't like it either.
She had it in her jewellery box and never wore it.
And I just thought I might as well sell it
and then use the money to get something that I'd like.
OK. Hopefully the money might go to something
that you might like as well, Kurt. But you really like this, Kate.
Oh, yeah. It's a bit of sparkle, it's a girly lot.
-Something you could wear?
-I like to think so.
Well, let's hope this lot want a bit of sparkle as well, shall we?
Here we go. Let's find out.
The diamond sapphire cocktail ring,
set with a central sapphire.
I'm bid £250 bid, at 250. 260.
At 260 bid. 260.
260, selling at 260.
270, 280. 290.
At 300 bid. At £300 only.
At 300. At £300. At 300 on my left.
At £300 only. Any more?
Is there any more at all?
At £300 only, on my left, any more?
At 300. There it is.
At 300. Your bid at £300. And done, then,
or not, at 300.
Well, I'm sorry, I can't do that.
-That was close, wasn't it?
-Another day, eh?
We had a fixed reserve of 350.
Yeah. So it didn't quite make it.
-At that, I'd rather take it home and try another time.
-Hang on to it.
-You're stuck with it, Kurt! Better start liking it!
He'll have to wear it!
Now it's time to see if Bill and Jan's gold cigarette case will tickle the bidders' fancy.
We've got some real quality going under the hammer right now.
It's that gold cigarette case. Absolutely love it.
We're looking for top money here, somewhere around £500 to £600, Kate.
I hope so. Gold's high though at the moment, so fingers crossed.
And these are real collectables. They look great in display cabinets.
All the waiting is over because they're going under the hammer, literally, right now!
Lot number 466 is the nine-carat gold cigarette case
and I'm bid £400 for that. 410.
420. 430. 440. 450.
Come on, Philip, work 'em!
470. 480. 490. 500.
520. 550 on the net, is it? 550.
£100 over the reserve already.
580, is it?
Is there any more?
At £550 and I sell, then.
-At 550 and done.
-He's selling. Yes.
-That was short and sweet, really.
-There was a lot of competition straight away, wasn't there?
Smoking is not so fashionable.
-Why have you decided to sell now, though?
-Oh, I don't really...
-We wanted to come to Flog It, didn't we?
-Did you, really?
-You could have come just to say hello!
-Well, we could have done, yes.
-I'm glad they didn't though!
-We've enjoyed it.
-I hope you've had a great day here.
-We have indeed, thank you, Paul.
-We have, we've enjoyed it.
-And you got a bit of spending money now.
-Cheers. Thank you very much.
Oh, thank you!
Well, that's brought us to the end of another show.
As you can see, people are still eager to bid.
There's plenty more lots going under the hammer, but all credit to Philip Serrell, he did us proud today.
It's wonderful being back here in this lovely old saleroom in Malvern.
Now, if you've got any antiques or collectables you want to turn into cash, we would love to see you,
and hopefully we're coming to an area to do a valuation day very near you soon, so keep an eye out for us.
So, until then, from Malvern, it's cheerio.
And you can find out details of up-and-coming valuation days
by logging on to the internet and going to bbc.co.uk/programmes
Click F for Flog It and then follow the links and you can find a list of the towns we're coming to.