Antiques series. Paul Martin is joined by experts David Barby and David Fletcher at Truro Cathedral. There is a surprise at auction when one item exceeds all expectations.
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Today we're in Truro, in the heart of Cornwall, where hundreds of people are waiting patiently,
laden with bags and boxes, outside Truro's magnificent cathedral.
How about that for a venue today?
And they're all here to have their antiques and collectables valued. This is Flog It!
Rising 250 feet over Truro at its highest spire, the city's cathedral
was built on the old site of St Mary's Parish Church,
and the Victorian architect John Loughborough Pearson incorporated it into the new structure,
so it's a wonderful piece of conservation.
Now, little did Mr Pearson know that the modern wonder of television
would one day enable hundreds of people not just to come in here and worship,
but to have their antiques valued by our team of experts, led by Mr David Barby and David Fletcher.
-I've got a lovely Georg Jensen ring here.
-Let's have a look at that, then.
The first lot David Fletcher ever sold as an auctioneer was a live rabbit,
but nobody would bid on it so he ended up buying it himself.
No, I don't know what happened to the rabbit, but
fingers crossed his items interest the bidders in today's programme.
I'm just going to get under your umbrella!
Flog It! stalwart David Barby featured as one of the first experts on the first ever episode.
He's still a valued member of our merry band.
Well, you've got to admit it's an improvement on his early jobs of a choirboy and a butcher's boy.
Look at the state of those handles!
And today our Flog It! boy David Barby turns on his trademark charm
when Marianne and Rebecca bring in an Art Deco brooch.
How long ago did you buy this?
-30, 40 years ago.
-So you were very astute when you were ten.
Yeah, abso... Oh, you flatterer, you!
Barbara comes on behalf of her son with a diamond ring, but we never quite hear the whole story.
-I wonder if it might have belonged to an ex-girlfriend.
-I'm not saying a word.
And there's huge excitement in the auction room when one of our items exceeds all expectations.
But which one will it be?
This is madness!
Before all that, we're getting the queue into the cathedral
so our team of experts can get on with the enormous task of valuing every single item.
What you are looking at here?
We've got a couple of things. We've got a nice little Cartier lighter,
-but as I was explaining to this gentleman, basically...
-Smoking's not very PC at the moment.
No. And how much is that worth?
If that was to go into auction I'd probably put a presale estimate on it of about 60 to 100 and keep it low,
-but it could make around the £100 mark.
Well, it looks like David Barby has spotted a real curio.
Let's see what it's all about, shall we?
It's actually a table full of corkscrews, which Frank has bought in.
-Were you in the sort of publican trade?
So where did you get all these corkscrews from?
My brother collected them.
I didn't know he collected them until...
his daughter gave me a box full of corkscrews after he'd died and I've had them in a wardrobe for years.
I think they're fascinating.
They cover a wide period from the late 19th century, which is
this one here, very sort of Art Nouveau inspired.
And then you've got natural olive branch examples here.
Novelty brass ones from the 1930s and 50s, and then you've got some
interesting ones which were probably produced anything from the '20s right through to the present time.
Even a novelty one here of the leaping frog in chrome.
-I just want to ask you one question.
-What's that for?
Ah, that's an interesting one because this is for opening bottles of port...
-..where the ends have been sealed with wax.
-So, they would tap away the wax before they used the corkscrew section.
-Oh, I see.
Now, there are collectors of corkscrews.
You haven't got any of the real valuable ones,
-the bronze and ivory ones dating from the 19th century.
These are all comparatively recent, apart from the one in the middle.
So I think we're looking at a price range maybe round about £40 to £60.
-If they go any more, I shall be delighted for you.
-But somehow... Somehow I don't think they will.
I'm going to ask you whether in fact you want to put a reserve on them...
-Or whether in fact you just want to sell them?
-Just to sell them.
-Just sell them.
-So if they went for £10 you wouldn't be upset.
-Not really, no.
-You just want them out of the house!
-Well, I hope we can do well for you. Put it there.
Thank you very much indeed.
Hopefully we'll do better than a tenner for Frank's inherited corkscrews.
Many people bring in items to the valuation day that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Some have brought them as an investment, but often they're just gifts,
like Heather's Minton plates, which have caught David Fletcher's experienced eye.
I love these plates. How did you come by them?
I went to help an elderly friend to move furniture.
When I went to see her some days later, they were wrapped up
-in newspaper and she said, "Heather, would you like these plates..."
-"Because I haven't got room for them."
-So you acquired them...
-A tip, a gift in return for a favour rendered.
-Now, they would date from the 1870s or the 1880s
and they are in the so-called Aesthetic style manner.
I think when we think of the Aesthetic movement we think of
one man in particular, a chap called EW Godwin,
who designed Japanese-style furniture, and he liked
to decorate rooms in which he would locate his furniture with plates, blue and white china like this.
Oscar Wilde talked about his love of blue and whites.
It was extremely fashionable at the time and of course it has an oriental origin.
This dish in particular I think is great fun.
-Not only is it decorative, but it's also amusing, isn't it?
These little frogs are sitting here looking as if they've had a jolly good meal,
relaxing in the sun on a lily pad.
Unbeknown to them they look as if they're about to be gobbled up...
-By the fishes.
Let's just turn this one over.
And we can see the Minton factory mark.
Now, Minton was one of the great Staffordshire factories
founded in the late 18th century in Stoke on Trent
and by the middle of the 19th century was known for
products across a whole wide range of materials, designs and types.
-Very helpfully, the Minton factory used a system of date coding.
So we can tell this dish, and presumably this one as well, was made in 1881.
-Have you had them hanging on your wall?
They've been in the utility area of the kitchen.
-Have you any idea what they might be worth?
I can see these doing really quite well.
I would have thought that we could expect them
to make between £100 and £150.
So, if we hope for 150, quite reasonably I think expect 100...
-And I would therefore suggest a reserve of 100...
-On the lower estimate.
-Yes, that's fine.
And who knows, they're so striking, they are so boldly decorated,
they're such great shape, they might just make more than that.
-Thank you very much. I'll look forward to seeing you at the sale.
-I will, too.
-Indeed, we'll be seeing Heather and her plates at the auction.
Now, occasionally people don't want to sell, but they do want to find out more about their treasures.
Now, here's a little teaser. Look at that.
It looks like something off a Christmas tree, doesn't it?
It's made of glass. What do you think that is, do you know?
-I've got no idea.
-I think it might be a hand grenade.
Close. It is something you actually throw.
These were made from around about...
Yes, 1870 to 1900. The Victorians had them.
They hung them on the wall in brackets and they had several of them
and they were for extinguishing fires, believe it or not.
You actually, she was nearly right, threw them into the fire and it put it out
because there was little stopper in there made of cork which was sealed with cement and that
was full of carbon tetrachloride, and if you threw that into the fire,
hopefully it would extinguish it.
They stopped making them after 1910.
Maybe they didn't work, I don't know, I wouldn't like to try it!
But value-wise if you put that into auction, that would fetch around £20 to £40.
Wouldn't set the world on fire.
But this amethyst and pearl brooch that belongs to mother and daughter
Mariana and Rebecca could do just that.
This is lovely.
It's something that I acquired many, many years ago.
Where I can't quite remember.
-Did you pay a fantastic amount for it?
-No, you didn't.
-I don't know what I paid, but it wouldn't have been very much.
How long ago did you buy this?
Years ago. I mean, maybe 30, 40 years ago.
So you were very astute when you were ten.
-Oh! Oh, you flatterer, you!
This is a lovely piece of French jewellery.
-The exquisite point of this is the design and the materials used,
so they've got a silver framework and then if we think of these as wings...
-They're filled with a see-through enamel...
-And it's called plique-a-jour.
It sounds like a holiday resort!
-Open to the light, you see through it.
-And then we have this combination of amethyst and these delicate pearls, real pearls.
And we have this chain here with the loop
and that is a typical arrangement for jewellery of the Art Nouveau period.
There were so many makers.
Lalique produced jewellery like this, but there's no marks on this particular piece.
-No, I was going to say.
-So it's not in that sort of league.
-Why on earth are you selling it?
-Is it because you don't use it?
-Well, I think really that's what it is.
I look at it and I think, well, this is crazy and Flog It! was on today, I said, let's bring it along.
But I ought to say, Rebecca, did you know your mother had this and would you want to keep it to wear yourself?
I probably wouldn't want to keep to wear myself,
but I may want to keep it when you tell me what the price is.
We're not... We're not talking in terms of thousands...
-Because there is no name that we can actually say, oh, it was made by George Fouquet, we can't.
-So, I think we're probably looking at something in the region of about £300 to £400.
-That sounds most exciting!
-Yeah, very exciting.
And I think the reserve again ought to be tucked under the lower figure.
-We should talk in terms of probably about £250.
-And you'll be there to witness it.
-Will you be there, Rebecca?
-I do hope so.
I hope I've invited at least to see my heirloom go... Go out the window!
-I'm just wondering who's going to bring the champagne.
-I don't know!
-We'll wait until after it's sold!
-Thank you very much for coming along, both of you.
That's absolutely fascinating, isn't it?
When you get down low you can see the iridescence of the glass, look, the light shining through it.
There's quite a lot of fractures there, isn't there?
Yeah, a lot of barnacles.
There's a lot of age. What's its story? How did you come by it?
My partner brought it home.
He was working on a boat taking divers out on the Scillies
and it was too rough to go and dive wrecks,
so they went down in the harbour at St Mary's and they pulled up about 10 of these bottles.
-And he brought one home for me.
-That was a good catch of the day!
-So everyone went home happy.
-Everybody had one, yeah.
-All these are hand-blown.
-And these are 18th-century wine bottles.
Yeah, most inns and taverns back then were actually
by the side of harbours, in dock sides or on canals because that was the only means of transport.
-And, of course, that's where the population gathered
and you know what people do after they've had a few?
-Straight in the mud.
Which is good in one aspect because the mud, the silt, the clay
has preserved many 18th-century wine bottles.
I mean, obviously it's bad in other aspects because it's very dangerous.
-I'm not sure whether this is English or Dutch, to tell you the truth.
-This is what I would call a mallet-shaped wine bottle.
You see lots that are onion glass, they look like an onion,
you know, with the spout coming out.
This is a straight-sided one with a long neck, but there's an applied rim here, you see that?
-That's called a string rim.
-And, now, that detail was put on to wine bottles in 1740 to around 1760 and then it changed.
So you can date this to around about, you know, 40 odd years.
-Which is quite nice.
But it's got the look
and that's what the decorators and the collectors like.
Good quality ones that are sort of onion shaped or mallet like this
leaning to one side with clear iridescence
can fetch around £600 to £700 if they're dated
because lots of gentry had their own wine bottles with an armorial on and a date,
which you could then take back to the inn to get it refilled.
They're worth in excess of sort of £1,200 if they're dated and in good condition.
Now, what's the value of this one?
I think it's worth in the region of 100 to 200.
-Possibly the high end.
-I'm happy with that.
-You're happy with that? You don't mind selling?
-I don't mind selling.
OK, let's put it into auction then with a value of £100 to £200
and hopefully we'll get a little more than that top end.
-That would be great.
-What a lovely find.
You might think Truro Cathedral looks like one of the great cathedrals of the mediaeval period
and you'd be right...sort of.
Because during the Victorian era when it was built,
the Gothic revival was in full force.
At its height, Gothic revival encompasses everything from furniture to architecture
and here you can see the evidence of the movement, can't you?
Wonderful high pointed arches which replaced sort of the softer Norman round arches
and, of course, these wonderful great big stone cluster columns.
But why did the Victorians embark on such a major building project in the first place?
For 800 years Cornwall had been administered from Devon,
but in 1877 when the Cornish diocese was re-established in Truro
a mother church for the new diocese was needed.
It was decided a brand new one should be built.
Well, most of it was brand new.
There'd been a parish church of St Mary's on this site ever since 1257,
although it was rebuilt in the 16th century,
but what the Victorians did in their wisdom was
instead of knocking down St Mary's to build the new cathedral,
they actually incorporated it, as you can see here,
into the new structure so it's a wonderful piece of conservation.
And look how clever the designers were.
They married the older architecture of St Mary's aisle
to the specially designed addition
with a beautifully crafted join in the roof and ceiling.
This mix of Victorian innovation, traditional design and skills is evident throughout the cathedral.
And here is the high altar, it's the focal point of any church or cathedral.
It's where Holy Communion is celebrated
with the sharing of bread and wine representing Christ's great sacrifice,
but the backdrop behind the high altar here at Truro Cathedral is truly, truly magical.
Just look at that. It's known as a reredos.
It's carved in Bath stone by Nathaniel Hitch, a man at the top of his genre.
He made Bath stone do what it shouldn't do, because it really does come alive.
The whole thing depicts biblical scenes,
but the two that I'm drawn to and that anybody is drawn to here,
are the central panels.
There's two, one at the top, Christ sitting on the high altar
above Christ here below, suffering on the Cross.
Your eyes drift, you go to one or you go to the other,
you keep swapping backwards and forwards, you see the two at the same time.
Now, that is very clever.
I tell you what, you can't walk around Truro Cathedral without admiring the stained-glass windows.
I defy anybody that because they are truly quite amazing. Look at that.
They make your eyes gravitate upwards towards the heavens,
and I guess that's what it's all about.
This was the largest stained-glass project ever commissioned in the world
and it was done by the master studios of Clayton & Bell.
And when you look at the rose windows you can see
they really are breathtaking.
Another important part of any cathedral is the organ
and, as with most of the impressive features in this building,
the organ is one of the finest ever made.
Good sound, good sound.
This organ was built by possibly one of the greatest, Father Willis,
and it was transported to Cornwall by boat as the safest means of transport back then.
It was installed in the cathedral in 1887 when only a third of the cathedral had been completed,
but it was installed, as you can see, in its own purpose-built vault
cleverly designed by the architect, Pearson,
because it really does allow the music just to be thrown out.
And considering Willis only had the plans to work from, the cathedral was only a third finished,
when it was fully completed nothing had to be altered, and it's never changed since.
And it still sounds as good today as it did back then, so take it away.
What an amazing place and what a wonderful treat to look at
while you're waiting for a Flog It valuation.
Well, we've now found our first batch of items to take off to
auction, and this is where it gets exciting,
because you just don't know what is going to happen.
Somebody is going to go home with an awful lot of money, it might be you,
but we're going to put our experts' valuations to the test right now.
They're normally pretty good, aren't they?
-They are, aren't they? They do a proper job.
The auction is at Jefferys in Lostwithiel, 22 miles up the road from Truro.
Well, that's a good sign, they're starting young down here
in Cornwall. I hope she's bidding!
There are over 1,000 lots in this antique and modern furniture and
effects sale, including everything from garden furniture to jewellery.
If you're thinking of buying something at auction,
take my advice and come to an auction preview day
where you can look around, take your time,
view the objects, buy a catalogue.
All the information is printed on each lot,
and also, it'll tell you exactly what the buyer's premium is.
Here today in Lostwithiel, it's 15% plus VAT.
There's commission to pay if you buy something
or even if you sell something, so factor those costs in, won't you?
Make sure you've got enough money to pay for the item.
We're in the business of selling,
and the first lot to go under the hammer is this corker of
a collection, although Frank doesn't want to hang on to it any longer.
They pair of Minton plates were a gift to Heather,
and David Fletcher thinks their cheeky design could help them sell.
The not-so-scrubbed-up 18th-century wine bottle.
And the amethyst and pearl brooch caught my eye
and has also caught the eye of our auctioneer, Ian Morris.
This is one of the nicest things I've seen. It belongs to Mariana.
We've got £300 to £500 on this and it's the most wonderful little Art Nouveau pendant, in a way, isn't it?
It's got all the characteristics of the Art Nouveau style
and Art Nouveau is quite in vogue.
It is beautiful, isn't it?
Nicely cut as well, good colour,
so hopefully, everything is right to try and get it sold.
Would you have put three to five on that?
I probably wouldn't have been so brave as to put £300 to £500
on that. I might have said...
£150 to £250 would have been more my kind of guesstimate.
There are a few types of items which you either do well
or don't get any interest in at all.
-This is one, isn't it?
-This is going to be one of those lots.
Why is that, do you think?
Jewellery is a very personal thing,
so unless two people really want it and fight over it...
We've 200 or 300 lots of jewellery every sale.
A lot of items can easily get left on the shelf.
To have something like that commissioned by a silversmith,
the quality and the design there, that's easily £1,200.
Well, I hope with the Art Nouveau styling
that somebody likes the period enough to pay the money.
The auction room is fit to burst. First up are
Frank's corkscrews which are driving him around the twist.
-Happy with the valuation?
-Yes, very happy.
Let's hope we get the top end and they go with a good pop, eh, David?
Absolutely. Frank just wants to get rid of them because
-you don't use them.
-I do, yeah.
-if you don't use anything get rid of it.
Exactly. We're looking for £40 to £60, Frank.
18 assorted corkscrews there. Some nice examples.
I have three bids and I've got to start at £70.
-Well, straight in at 70!
At £70, the bid's on the books. At £70 I'm bid,
but there is 18 of them.
75. £80. 85. £90.
-I wouldn't give a tenner for them!
-At £90 I'm bid. Five or not?
At £90. Five? Are we all done? I'm selling at the £90.
-That's brilliant, brilliant! Isn't that good?
-How are you going to celebrate?
-I'll buy some wine!
Who'd have thought they'd fly out of the auction room?
Frank certainly didn't, but he's thrilled with his £90.
Luckily, he's got another corkscrew at home to open that wine!
But will there are also be someone out there interested in Clara's antique bottle?
It's my turn to be the expert
and I'm trying to make money out of something salvaged from the Scilly Isles.
-Good to see you again, Clara.
I just hope people see the virtue in something from the 18th century.
-It's a lovely bottle.
-I'm worried, though.
I am really worried.
It's got to make £100, surely!
It's got to make £100, that's the reserve we've got on it,
so fingers crossed, that's all I can say.
It's not an exact science, but we'll find out what the bidders think.
It's 18th-century free-blown glass bottle there
in distressed condition,
but you would be if you were that old.
What do you say for that very quickly? Can I say £100 away?
£50 I've got. At 50. At £50 I'm bid. I'll take 60 now. 60. 70.
He's got a bid on the book, look.
At £80. £80. 90, now?
At £80. £80. At £80. 90 now?
At £80 I'm bid. 90 or not?
We're done at £80.
Thank you, can't quite sell it at that price. Thank you.
-I'm ever so sorry.
-That's all right.
-It's worth £100, so I'm pleased we protected it with the reserve.
That's important, it didn't go for nothing.
-It's going home.
-That's all right.
-Look after it.
Well, that is disappointing, but I still stand by my valuation
and I think that's a real piece of history there.
The Minton plates are next, but I've got some bad news.
We've just been joined by Heather, and next up we've got
the two blue Minton plates, the Secession movement,
but unfortunately we had a little accident, as you know.
Earlier on in the sale, a picture displaying over there on the wall
fell onto one of the plates.
Now, this does affect the value,
because we had a fixed reserve at £100 with a value of £100 to £150.
So, now we've only got one plate to sell.
Well, my theory would be as follows.
I suspect that the one remaining plate
will be worth about a third of what the pair would have been worth,
but having said that,
I think the one that has survived is the better of the two.
It's the amusing one decorated with the frog on the lily pad.
So, I'd be inclined to be thinking in terms of £50 or £60.
I may be proved very wrong, but that's how I would...
The auctioneer is prepared to make up the difference to
the bottom end of the reserve. We're happy with that, aren't we?
-These things do happen. It was an accident.
It was a terrible accident. The good thing is nobody got hurt, though.
Anyway, let's find out how this one Minton plate does, shall we?
Here we go. Good luck, Heather.
What shall we say for it now?
Just the one. What shall we say for it now?
£80 away? £50 for one.
£50? £30 to start me.
£30 I'm bid. At £30 I'm bid. I'll take 5 if you want.
-55. £60. 65.
-This is good.
At 65. At 65. At 65. 70 now.
At £65 I'm bid. At £65 I'm bid. £70.
-75? 75. £80.
-Oh, this is good.
-It is good.
£90? £90. 95? 95.
At 95. 100 now.
At £95. 100 or not? 95. At 95.
Brilliant, hammer's gone down at £95
and he will make up the difference to 100.
It would have been interesting to see what the pair would have made,
-but it's academic. You've been very understanding.
-That's all right.
-And flying the flag for Kernow as well.
-Oh, most definitely.
What a good result! But a shame about the accident.
The auctioneer has compensated Heather for the broken plate
and didn't charge her any commission,
so in the end, Heather was satisfied with the outcome.
And now we've got Mariana and Rebecca
with their beautiful amethyst brooch.
It's good to see you, and all I can say is fingers crossed.
There's a lot of money riding on this one.
-A wonderful piece of jewellery.
Why aren't you inheriting this?
We've already spent the money, so we may as well try and get it back now!
They had a superb meal last night.
-Yes, we did.
-Oh, did you?
-And several bottles of, you know, hooch!
It's wonderful and it's going under the hammer
and hopefully, you're going home with lots of money. Here we go.
Our lot 212 there.
Some nice French amethyst and pearl brooch there
in the Art Nouveau style and some interest there.
What shall we say? £200 quickly to start?
£200? 150 I'm bid. At 150. 160.
180. 200. 220.
-I can't hear.
280. 300. £300 there.
At 300. At 300. 320 now.
Come on, come on, come on!
At £300. 320 or not? At £300.
-He's put the hammer down. It's gone, £300.
-We did it.
-Yeah, thank you.
There is commission to pay. It's 15%.
-Everyone has to pay that, whether you're buying or selling.
Not that as well!
That's how they earn their wages though, isn't it, let's face it.
-Pays for all of this.
-Of course, I know. Yes.
-Had a good time?
That's the end of our first visit to the auction room today.
We are coming back later on, so don't go away,
because I can guarantee one big surprise,
but while we've been filming down here in Cornwall,
I took a trip out to sea to learn a traditional old skill.
Take a look at this.
With 326 miles of coastline and 49 ports, a huge variety of boats
bring back as many as 40 species of seafood to Cornish shores every day.
And one of those species which conjures up an image
of romance and glamour is this, the oyster.
Now, that's a Pacific oyster,
which you find in all good seafood restaurants, and this,
well, that's a native Cornish oyster fished from the River Fal,
which is just out there.
The River Fal's shallow banks are perfect for oysters
and they've been fished ever since Roman times
when the beds were first laid with native oysters.
To prevent overfishing and to preserve the ecology of the area,
ancient rules allow only sail and hand dredgers
to be used in the waters here.
Cornish families have been fishing for oysters for hundreds of years,
and the skill of dredging for them has been handed down
from generation to generation,
but it can hardly be described as romantic and glamorous. Far from it.
In fact, it's downright hard work.
Tim Vinnicombe has been working the Fal since he was an 11-year-old lad,
when his father got him out on to the water
in a special mini-sized boat. The business is a family affair.
Tim's 84-year-old uncle still fishes in the bay
alongside his cousin and brother.
We got the perfect day for it.
This whole stretch of water is known as the Carrick Roads.
It's just off the Falmouth Harbour which is just over there,
which is the third naturally deepest harbour in the world,
so we've got some prime fishing to do, haven't we, Tim?
-A lot of fishing to do here.
-Oh, yes, yes.
So this is in your blood, isn't it?
-Absolutely, yeah. I mean, we're five generations.
-Yeah, five generations.
-All working this boat?
Yeah, all working on this fishery.
-This boat goes back to 1923 when we bought her.
So the boat would have been my grandfather, my father
and myself worked this boat.
That's quite incredible. It must make you feel really good.
-It's quite primitive, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
I mean, it's been unchanged for hundreds of years.
Apparently, the design of the dredge is Roman.
-It's as simple as that, isn't it?
-Yeah. It's very kind to the seabed.
It just goes along, it chips and some of the shells and oysters
go in and some don't, and you catch
little crustaceans and crabs, but it doesn't damage anything.
How do you know where the oyster beds are?
You don't have any markers out.
Just the experience of all the years of coming out,
and passed down through the generations.
-So it's a knowledge you gain?
So where do the oysters end up, then?
I think, you know, with the market in this country is fairly limited.
As far as I know, quite a lot go to London and, you know, the cities,
but a lot of it is exported, to Spain and France,
where they eat an awful lot of fish.
In comparison with us, it's a tremendous difference, I think.
-It keeps you fit, Tim.
That's a real nice oyster.
-That's a small oyster, you see?
-Not big enough.
Gosh, out of all of that, we've got two so far.
Yeah, two good ones.
'At the height of the season, as many as 100 oysters can come up
'in a single dredge, although most of them will be too small.
'And it's not all oysters.
'The dredge brings up scallops, whelks,
'starfish and a variety of sea creatures.
'It's all tipped back once Tim has sifted through.'
Tim's now put about six dredging nets over the side
and we've probably got, what, six oysters?
-No. Yeah, about that.
-It's a lot of work, yeah.
See it's the end of the season, and it's showing.
You were saying it's incredibly kind to sea life, isn't it?
-And to the bottom of the ocean, because, you know,
we've seen one little crab so far, that's all,
really, and he's gone back!
-There's another little one there.
-That's a good one.
-It's nice and thick.
He's OK for size and he's OK for weight as well
-because he's very thick.
'It's definitely hard work and made even tougher by the strict rules.
'Oyster fishing is only allowed in the bay between 9am and 3pm
'and from October to March.
'Plus, each oyster has to be more than two inches in diameter
otherwise, it must be put back in the water.
If he sits in the ring, he's legal.
Just! You can't eat these straightaway, can you?
No, they need to go into the purification tanks for 48 hours.
And what's that? Just freshwater?
It's ultraviolet rays that kill any bacteria or whatever's in them.
-You know, make them perfectly...
But they're perfectly fine to eat out here, actually,
it's just a precautionary measure.
I can't let Tim do all the hard work, can I?
Put a pair of gloves on, I'm going to pull a couple out myself.
Have a go.
There's one there, actually.
-Not very big, but he's legal.
Yeah, try him in the ring yourself, but he'll be legal.
Yes, only just. How can you tell that's an oyster from there?
That's a trained eye, a trained eye after all these years.
Well, here you go, look. That is
the end of the drift. That is our morning's work!
But I've thoroughly enjoyed being in the Carrick Roads with Tim,
and I just hope this boat continues to earn its living
-for many, many generations to come. Thank you, Tim.
What a way to spend a day in one of my favourite parts of the world.
Well, it really is super to be back home here in Cornwall.
I'm ever so excited about this, and so is David Barby.
Look what he's spotted.
Victoria's brought in an intriguing ivory ornament.
Did you have... family in the Colonial service?
-I didn't, but my husband probably did.
-And this belonged to your husband's family, did it?
Yes, it was from his family.
So what's the history behind it? How did he acquire it?
Well, all I know is that his family were living out in India
and he told me that that was where it came from.
I can't tell you anything else, I'm really sorry!
-So what part of India?
-A place called Chittagong.
-If I'd done my homework, I could tell you what part of India that was,
but I'm afraid I haven't even done that.
Well, this is not Indian, this is Chinese.
-If you think of those...
-very intricate carved cases where you put visitors' cards in.
This is exactly the same sort of quality.
-This is superb carving that the Chinese excelled at.
-And if you look very carefully some of these leaves and flowers are actually undercut,
-they're drilled through and then carved so you get these in high relief all the way round.
-It's exquisitely done. Of course, this is a section of a tusk.
But you've also got to bear in mind this was probably purchased in Chittagong
-because this type of carving was available throughout the Colonial areas.
So, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, you would find this type of work available.
-It was a huge, huge industry.
This may well have formed part of a garniture,
so these would have been on a mantelpiece with a central ornamental item
and then two either side which could be used as spill holders.
-Something as simple as that.
Or maybe peacock feathers as decoration,
dried flowers or something like that.
-The date of this,
-I think the date is towards the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century.
-Of course with ivory now, people don't like buying ivory because of the conservation of elephants.
But we're looking at a piece that dates...
-..much earlier than this sort of consideration.
The style of decoration is exquisitely done and therein its value.
One or two interesting things I observed,
first of all there's a very small hole down the side there
and one wonders whether in fact it's finished up now as it started off life,
because the little hole there is a pin which would probably have meant that it had a separate foot
and we haven't got that.
-I think this ebonised section is later than the original piece.
Also, if you look carefully, this area all the way round the bottom,
it's rubbed slightly smooth...
..as opposed to the rest of the section here,
-so one wonders whether in fact there was another component down below.
So we're looking at a very well carved ivory piece
-that might have started life off in a different format.
As regards value,
this is beautifully carved and I think at auction
it will realise something in the region of about £100 to £150.
-That sort of price range.
I'd like to see it do more because of the amount of workmanship
that is entailed in producing something like this,
but I'm just a little bit concerned that it's now arrived in a different state.
-You want to put a reserve on it, I would imagine.
I think we should put a reserve at 90.
-Is that agreeable?
-You sounded slightly hesitant there.
-I know there's not a lot in that, but...
-We'll say £100 with discretion.
Well, let's hope we can do a little bit more than that for Victoria.
Now, David Fletcher has turned up
a wonderful piece of jewellery that belongs to Barbara's son, Nigel.
-What can you tell me about it?
-Well, I had a telephone call from my
son last night urgently saying, "Mum, I've heard Flog It! is coming,
"could you possibly take this ring for me?"
They've decided that they'd like to sell it
simply because their eldest daughter, Rhianna,
needs to go on a trip with school which is £250,
-and for Cornwall, that's an awful lot of money!
So it belongs to your son.
-Does it have any sentimental attachment to him?
I've no idea. That's something you would have to ask him.
Might it have belonged to an ex-girlfriend?
-I'm not saying a word!
-It's a platinum ring.
And it was made in London.
The hallmarks tell us that.
-And it's set with nine graduated diamonds.
So called channel set,
which means the diamonds are recessed in the band itself.
Very collectable, very fashionable sort of ring.
-The sort of thing that endures, really.
It doesn't relate to any particular period.
It could be worn just as easily today as it could have been worn
when it was new, probably about 30 or 40 years ago.
So it's going to cost £250 to send Rhianna off on her course.
I don't think we're going to get £250 for it.
But a contribution would help.
Of course it would. Would you put a reserve on it?
-I'm thinking in terms of the figure in the region of £180 to £220.
Somewhere around the £200 mark and I would suggest a reserve of 180.
-I hope we'll get £180 for it.
Who knows, we might get 250.
-You'll make one little girl very happy.
-Yes, you will.
Well, we aim to make our sellers happy,
although it always comes down to the bidders in the auction room.
Expert David Barby is often on the money,
but will that be the case with Elaine's pot?
Elaine, I'm fascinated by this lovely little box
with its crystal base and its silver mounted top.
It has a special purpose.
Now, you've always had this, have you?
It's not something that I remember from childhood, really,
but I ended up with it rather than my two sisters.
So what did you do with it? Did it go on your dressing table?
It used to do and I used to keep cotton wool balls in it,
and then I got fed up of cleaning it and now I use it...
You put dog treats in there?
-What sort of dog treats?
Well, there's one in there.
When the dog's being good, and the top makes a noise,
he gets one of those to eat.
-I've never tried them.
-I'm going to give you that one back.
I'm hungry, I nearly bit it!
-This is lovely and it's not for dog treats.
This would have been intended possibly for,
I would think, a lady, and you were close, too, when you said
you put cotton wool balls in there, because this has a special purpose.
It may be that it contained powder
or it may be that it contains these newfangled cotton-wool balls
-or little bits of lint.
Because it has a two-way mirror on the top,
so when I look here, I can see myself reflected normally,
and then I just open it up like this,
work it on this gimbal here, turn the mirror round
and there, unfortunately, is an enlarged image of myself,
so that would be for applying lipstick
or powder or eyebrow liner.
And just at the side there, can you see that?
There's a little grip, so you can get your finger in
to lift it up and down. But what is important is this -
it was made in London by quite a well-known, important silversmith
of the early part of the 20th century.
It's the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company Ltd,
who made quality, quality items, so I think we're looking at a price range,
-maybe, round about 80 to 120.
That sort of price range. I think it's lovely.
-It's the sort of novelty item that appeals to collectors.
But we've got to put a reserve on it, and I would hate it to go below...
Shall I say £60?
-Oh, that's very nice.
-So what shall we do, put a reserve of £60 on it?
That would be lovely. I thought, you know, maybe £10.
Well, just think of how many dog treats you can buy with £60!
Elaine will have to get another container for all those dog treats
as this little beauty is going under the hammer very soon.
Look at this! It's surprising what people bring in.
Actually, this is quite useful. Do you mind? I don't know.
Look at the state of that tablecloth! That's bad, isn't it?
Can I borrow this for the rest of the day?
'Well, I have to do everything around here! No, only joking!'
Flog It! is a well-oiled machine.
Not everyone wants to be featured on the show,
so they put their unsuspecting relatives forward.
Stacey's here on behalf of her mother,
who wants to sell this old doll.
Is this yours?
-No, it's my mum's.
It was given to her after my grandmother died, and it was my
great grandmother's before that, but it's just been kept up in
the attic in a box, so it wasn't until my grandmother died
that we actually found it in a box and retrieved it.
-Now, it dates, I suppose, from the late 19th century.
I would have said 1890, possibly just into the early 1900s.
She's a bisque doll, as I'm sure you know, which means she's a china doll.
The bisque is French for biscuit, and it means unglazed.
Now, I think she must have been made in Germany,
although, if we quickly turn her over,
there's nothing to substantiate that.
So often, if you look on the back of the neck of a doll like this
you can see a factory mark saying, "Made In Germany,"
-but in this case, there's nothing.
I must say, to be a little bit rude,
the quality is not the best I've seen.
No. Well, obviously, it's been in the attic a long time.
Not so much that. I'm referring to the built quality.
-Oh, right, OK.
-You know, when she was made,
she wasn't made by the very best doll manufacturer.
-You can tell that, really, I think just by looking at the arms.
The way you see that mould running down there.
-I think a really good manufacturer, whilst the china
-was still wet, would have just taken that ridge out.
Do you like it?
I don't mind the body, but I don't like the eyes.
Why don't you like the eyes?
-They're a bit scary.
-They are a bit starey, aren't they?
And that's another thing. You see, on some dolls of this period, you'd have
found the eyes would have closed, so when you'd have sat her up...
-But these are fixed.
And to be, again, hypercritical,
she's got a closed mouth,
and collectors of dolls do like an open mouth.
Having said that, and having sounded as if I'm being a bit dismissive,
there are collectors in this field, as you might imagine.
I think that she's going to make somewhere in the region
-of £60 to £100.
And I'd like to suggest a fixed reserve of £50.
Thank you very much.
We'll find out exactly how much she makes shortly, when all our
remaining items go up for sale
at Jefferys Auctioneers in Lostwithiel.
Here's what's going under the hammer.
Victoria's carved ivory ormanment started off life as something else.
We're not really sure what, but I hope it doesn't put the bidders off.
David Fletcher's has got his fingers crossed that the diamond ring
will fly out of the auction room.
Elaine was in the doghouse when David Barby found out
she kept treat for her pooches in her crystal and silver pot.
And Stacey's mother's doll has been living unloved in the attic,
so it's time to sell, but what does our auctioneer Ian Morris think it'll fetch?
This lot caused a bit of a stir. Stacey brought this in.
It belongs to her mother.
You either love them or you hate them.
There's lots of doll collectors, and I'm sure they will love
to get their hands on this little figure,
because we've only got £60 to £100 put on this.
It's a nice doll. It's certainly got a bit of age to it.
What I do like is the neck which swivels,
which you don't first of all see underneath the pearl necklace.
But it's quality, it's a bisque doll.
No markings behind the head, though.
-You'd expect that though, wouldn't you?
-Yeah, I would expect that.
But you can see the quality down to the little leather shoes.
Pearls nice as well,
little things that you don't normally see on a doll.
Has there been much interest?
There's been a great deal of interest.
-That's what we like to hear.
-There's three telephone lines bid so far.
-So they're booked.
So it's going to easily clear £100.
-Hopefully do two to three?
-Certainly, £250, £350 is...
Or even more.
-Could even be more, but I would stick in the 250 to 350 bracket.
-I think I'll be confident at that.
That's such good news.
That's so exciting! We'll find out if the doll collectors
are out in force very soon.
Now, remember that fabulous platinum ring with the diamonds?
Well, it's just about to go under the hammer with a value of
£180 to £220. It belongs to Barbara,
but unfortunately, she can't be here.
We've got the ring and we do have Barbara's daughter-in-law, Jane.
It's good to see you.
The money is going towards your daughter's school trip.
-Where does she want to go?
-It's to Okehampton for an adventure holiday.
I'm sure we can manage that, can't we, David?
I think this is the sort of ring that can appeal to everyone.
I love platinum. Looks good.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
Here we go, it's under the hammer now.
It's a ladies half-eternity platinum ring
set with nine graduated diamonds. London hallmark.
Can I say £200 away?
£100 to start me?
Not so good.
£100 I'm bid. At 100. 110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160.
170. 180. 190.
I can't see where the bids are coming from.
210? 210. 220? 220.
230 to my left, then. At 230.
At 230. 240 or not? Are we all done?
£230 it's on now.
-Very good, thank you.
-You have to get on the phone.
What is she doing in Okehampton?
It's a residential adventure holiday.
That's absolutely fabulous, £230. That gets her off to Okehampton!
Just above the top estimate, what a good start!
Now, I can't believe this silver and crystal pot
was used as a container for dog treats!
I think the bidders might have
different ideas about what to use it for.
Coming up now, we've got a wonderful silver powder pot dated 1908,
and it belongs to Elaine, who's just joined me.
In fact, just before the valuation day this contained dog treats.
This was a little container for dog treats, wasn't it?
-On the dressing table.
-With the dog treats in it.
-And what dog have you got?
-A rescue dog.
Oh, wonderful. They slobber a lot, though, don't they?
-Yeah, they do slobber.
-A design fault.
-David's sort of looking at us.
-He's a cat man.
-Yeah, I'm a cat man, really.
-But you've just taken on a cat, haven't you?
-Yes, I have.
It's just turned up on our doorstep.
But this is a lovely piece of dressing table equipment.
It had be insert mirror at the top
and it's angled so you can adjust it to close up or some distance.
It's quality, absolute quality,
and I think it's going to go to a new home. 80 to 120, it's bound to!
Let's see what the bidders think. Here we go. Wave goodbye.
It's a crystal silver powder pot with a London hallmark there, 1908.
What shall we say for that one very quickly? £80 away? £50 away?
£50 I'm bid.
£50 I'm bid. At £50 I'm bid.
I'll take five to get on. 55. 60.
5. 70. At £70. The bid's in the middle. 75.
85 to my right. At £85 I'm bid.
90 or not? We're done at £85.
Oh, it's done! £85.
-That's very good. Are you happy?
-Lots of dog treats?
Yeah, maybe a dog passport.
A dog passport! Really, taking the dog abroad?
-Might do, yeah.
-Over to France or something?
Yeah. We've got a boat, so it would be nice to take him...
Oh, how lovely! Hey, what a spoilt boxer dog!
So that's another one of our sellers
off on their travels thanks to Flog It!
Next, a touch of the Orient comes to Cornwall and it belongs to Victoria, who's joined me.
-And who have you brought along?
-My husband, David.
-I'm pleased to meet you. I'm surrounded by Davids here. Our expert, as well!
I love this. We've got £100 to £150 on this wonderful carving, absolutely wonderful carving.
-Why are you selling this?
Well, we've a credenza full of other items which we store away
and we just can't look at everything all the time and, really, things have got to go and...
What I like about this is it's very tactile, you have to hold it.
-You have to turn it around in your hand
like a Renaissance prince, you bring out these pieces and handle them.
But if you've got too much, I quite agree with you.
-It becomes an obsession to hold on to it.
There's no-one else to appreciate it as well.
Who do you pass it on to? They're not going to appreciate it.
-I'd rather it go to someone who would appreciate it.
And it's an acquired taste. A lot of young people are put off by ivory.
-That's very true.
-But, anyway, I think this is lovely and it should find a new home.
We're going to find out now. We can't do any more talking, it is down to this lot in the room,
the packed bidders of Lostwithiel. Here we go.
A fine 19th-century floral carved ivory on the ebonised plinth, there.
Nicely carved. I've got two bids and I've got to start at £200.
At £200. 220. 240. 260.
280. At 280. The bid's with me.
At 280. 300 now.
At 280. At 280. 300 now.
At 300 on the phone. At 300. 320.
At 320. 350?
350. 380. 400?
Gosh, they love this.
-That's very good.
-At 400 to the right and I'm out. At £400.
At £400. 420 now?
At £400 I'm bid. 20 or not? On the phone to my right at the £400.
You've got to be so happy with that!
Difficult thing to value. Well, done, you, for bringing it along.
Will Stacey be in for a treat
when her mother's doll goes under the hammer?
Next up, that 19th-century bisque doll.
It belongs to Stacey who's right next to me now.
Remember what the auctioneer said?
Well, we heard what David said at the valuation day, £60 to £100, OK?
-Happy with that? £60 to £100?
Yes, yeah, we want it to go.
Stacey doesn't like it. You think it's spooky.
It's got scary eyes, so, yeah.
I think it's spooky, as well. Do you?
I think it's OK. Your mum doesn't like it either, does she?
-No, we don't.
-Is it something you'd buy?
But I don't get spooked by it.
That's the way there were. They made them to look realistic.
Now, the auctioneer said to me there's been a lot of interest,
a great deal of interest.
-So it's quite a rare one.
-Hopefully, the doll collectors are here today in Lostwithiel,
because we've got a packed auction room and we could have a surprise.
When I pushed him, I said, "Come on, Ian, put your neck on the block,
"what do you think it could do on a good day?"
-he said, "I'm pretty confident at £300 plus."
-My mum will be pleased.
Lot 617 there, the late-19th-century
continental bisque porcelain doll.
17 inches high and a silk dress there.
A lot of interest in this lot and I've got two bids on the books
and I'm going to start at £200. At £200 I'm bid.
380. 400. 420.
We're on a lot of money.
Look, everybody wants it! Everybody wants this!
440 on the first phone, there.
At 440. 460.
At 460. 480? 480.
-Ten times my estimate.
-620? 620. 640?
-This is bonkers!
660. 680? 680. 700?
You're in the money!
-My mum is!
780? 800? 800.
And 20? 840. 860?
Two people are stuck in like Jack Russells
wrestling with an old sock and it won't let go.
They really want this. That's the beauty of auctions.
My dad's not going to believe this.
1,100. And 50?
-It's not stopping!
Gosh! What were you saying, David, 50 to 100?
1,450! Do you need a chair? I think I do.
They're just not letting go.
-At £1,600 I'm bid. Is it 50 anywhere?
At £1,600 on one of the phones. It's £1,600.
On the phone. Cor! Don't you just love auctions?
I told you someone was going home with a lot of money, didn't I? Wow!
-I cannot believe that!
I'm shaking. What's going through your mind?
I'm holding on to the sideboard.
I have to hand it to Ian, he knew far more about that doll than I did.
-Congratulations to him.
-Oh, thank you.
Mum's going to have all the money, is she?
-I think it might be split between me and the grandchildren.
Thank you for bringing it in. It's made our day.
If you've got any antiques you want to sell, we would love to see you,
but you have to come to one of our valuation days,
so check the details in your local press or log on to our website at -
Press F fOr Flog It! Follow the links,
and hopefully, we're near a town very close to you.
What a fitting end in Lostwithiel in the heart of Cornwall.
It's wonderful to be back here.
The sun's shining, everybody's been fabulous. Good old Kernow!
I think we did a proper job.
Paul Martin is joined by experts David Barby and David Fletcher as they sift through the antiques and collectables that have been brought to the valuation day at the magnificent Truro Cathedral. There is a massive surprise at auction when one item exceeds all expectations and Paul takes to the sea when he joins a fifth generation oyster fisherman on the River Fal.