The crowds flock to a valuation day in Cirencester, where Paul Martin and our team of experts are on the lookout for antiques and collectables to send to auction.
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Today we're in Cirencester, the capital of the Cotswolds,
an area that brought us
one of the most important movements in international design,
and as you can hear, the bells are ringing out and Flog It's in town!
'The Cotswolds became an important centre
'for the Arts and Crafts movement around the turn of the 20th century.
'Leading practitioners were drawn here by its rich craft tradition
'and its accessibility to London and Oxford.
'Many also followed William Morris, who lived nearby at Kelmscott.
'I'll be visiting his Gloucestershire home
'a little later on in the show.'
But right now we've got a crowd of people outside
the Corn Hall in Cirencester, eager to find out
if they've got any treasures in all of these bags and boxes.
-And if you have, what are you going to do?
'Helping them discover
'whether they're carrying around a small fortune
'are our team of experts
'which today are headed up by Thomas Plant and Michael Baggott.
'Thomas owns his own auction business,
'but one of his real passions is fencing.
'Will he be able to score a hit in today's crowd?
'Michael's interest in antiques began at a very early age.
'In fact, he's ashamed to admit that at primary school
'he managed to persuade a school friend to give him his grandfather's
'First World War medal in return for three felt tip pens.
'I do hope our crowd get rather more
'if they end up taking their items off to auction.'
Well, it is now 9.30, it's time to get the doors open
and get this massive queue inside.
'We've got lots of treats coming up on today's programme.
'Here's just a couple of them.
'Auctioneer Philip Allwood is really impressed with one of our finds.'
That's what a medal collector's really going for,
they're not going for the bit of metal,
they're going for owning a bit of that soldier,
and this has got oodles of that.
'And the auction brings some surprising results.'
What's going through your mind right now?
-Oh, I can't believe it.
'Well, time to get started, and Michael's excavation of a box
'brought in by Audrey has revealed an interesting mix of artefacts.'
Audrey, thank you.
I feel like I'm on an edition of Time Team with all these
wonderful archaeological specimens.
There must be a wonderful story attached with how you got these.
Can you tell me what it is?
Yes, well, my husband and I used to own the Talbot Hotel in Tedbury.
-And in the cellar,
where he kept the spirits, there was a sort of flagstone,
and he was intrigued and wondered what was underneath.
And they found, eventually, that it was a well that had been capped.
-And so they started to take all the gunge and mud out,
and, apparently, in the olden days,
the landlord would just sweep everything off the floor down...
-Down the well!
-..into the well.
That was one of the first things that came out, this bottle.
That must have been a joy to come out complete.
It was wonderful, and I rinsed it under the tap.
And then all this appeared.
And then gradually bits and pieces came out and I said to Peter,
who was doing a lot of it, he used to take buckets home...
Go through the gunge.
Yes, and I said, "Oh, I wish you could find a coin." And he rang
one night and said, "Well, I've found something valuable,"
and it was this, like a cuff link.
And then about 10 days later, he phoned and he'd found the other one.
-No! Found the matching one 10 days later?
-Oh, that's fantastic.
And I had them checked and apparently they are silver.
My automatic silver detector in my finger is going off,
so there's no doubt about that. But what about the, er, the little mug?
Peter Wayne, who used to have a business in Tedbury in ceramics,
he got all the bits and pieces and he was able to reassemble that.
-Oh, that's wonderful.
-And the tap, was that...?
That was down there as well.
The tap is interesting because whenever you get this faceted spout,
that tends to be quite an early date.
And this would be bronze.
-Erm, and I would date it between about 1550 and about 1620.
-So that's a good early...
-..late Tudor, early Stuart tap.
This little fellow, I mean, this would be wonderful
-if that would have come out whole.
-But that's too much to ask, isn't it?
I mean, it's lead-glazed pottery of a type that was domestic ware
in England throughout the end of the late 17th century.
These little fellows, well, you would call them cuff links today,
but at the time they were called "sleeve links".
And funnily enough, they're fairly common.
They were made of fairly light gauge silver, and a lot of them were
made in Holland along with buttons and imported into this country.
So whilst they are silver, and they certainly date to about 1680,
-in excavated condition they're not dramatically valuable.
In fact, at auction I would consider the jug, the tap, the sleeve links,
the broken pieces, along with some other clay pipes and items...
Yes, which I have got.
..that you haven't shown us on the table today, would probably
go into auction and be possibly two or three hundred pounds.
The prize, however, was on the top, as it often is, which is
this fantastic early wine bottle, around 1680-1690.
This would have been bright green glass when it was new.
But it's just a wonderful thing, and the fact that it's been buried
for nigh-on 300, 350 years
has completely changed the nature of it.
So we have this marvellous iridescence,
thick calcification all over it, which makes it almost a work of art.
There are many, many collectors of early wine bottles.
They're incredibly popular and very much sought after.
You've got the provenance with it, we've even got a picture...
-..of the hotel.
I think we should be conservative and put between
£300-£500 on it,
-and put a fixed reserve of £300.
-That would be wonderful.
I wouldn't be surprised if it went possibly very much more than that.
-If you're happy with that...
Oh, I'm more than delighted with that.
-We'll put a discretionary reserve of 180 on these.
But a fixed reserve of £300 on this,
-which may be woefully inadequate on the day. I hope so.
-And wait for them to take off on the auction day.
'What a fantastic collection.
'It's amazing what you can find if you just dig around.'
Not only have we got a room full of antiques
but it's awash with bright colours.
It's like the rainbow here in this section.
-Love the colour of that dress. Hello, what's your name?
What have you brought along?
This picture from home, we'd like to find out more about it.
Well, hopefully you will later on, when you see our experts.
-Love the glasses.
'Thomas has discovered a rather spectacular book
'brought in by Gemma and her partner Nick.'
-So you've brought along this very fine book.
-Tell me, where did you get it from?
-Well, my nan passed away just before Christmas.
-I am sorry.
And my dad found it in the house.
The first thing we open is onto this marble paper page.
-Do you know what that's called there?
-Is it a crest?
-These are called "book plates".
And so this is from the library of Henry Drummond,
-and that's his family crest, so you got the crest thing right.
If you have a book plate,
you normally have quite an extensive library.
-The book has had a bit of butchery done to it.
So it is the History of Italian Design,
-cos we can see that on the spine...
..of original drawings by the most eminent painters
and sculptors of Italy.
1823. Now tell me about this here. What's happened here?
Oh, well, my nan was very arty and, like, made cards,
-and I think she decided to cut it out.
-Do you know how she got this?
-I really, really don't know.
-You'd never seen it when you'd gone round there.
It was tucked away somewhere.
It was very cluttered, there was a lot of stuff,
she did have a lot of stuff. She had a very big house.
-We've all heard of Michelangelo, haven't we?
And this is a fantastic picture by Michelangelo, it's a sketch,
a drawing of a youth.
Here, this is obviously a design
for the fresco of the vault of the Sistine Chapel.
I mean, this might be a man checking out your sins,
making sure you behaved yourself.
Here we've got something really interesting.
This is St Bartholomew in the celebrated
fresco of the Last Judgment.
And then you've got this, it's a print as well,
but I don't know why this is in here.
It's not an etching, is it just a print
of the actual item itself? Why is this loose?
I'm slightly confused about this.
We've got sort of similar examples as we go through the book.
This book, dating from 1823,
-it's going to be between £500-£700 at auction.
-Would you be interested in selling it at that sort of level?
Yeah? What do you think about that figure?
Cos I didn't really know much about it, I wasn't,
I didn't really have a figure, so...
I don't think it's about the money, really.
Cos obviously it needs to go to a better home
-to people that would, you know...
-Cos it is such an amazing book.
Maybe you should sell the book,
and with the money you should go to Italy and have a look...
That's a very good idea, yeah.
If we wanted to put a reserve on it,
-I think we'll probably put that round about sort of £300.
-So it doesn't sell below that.
We'll put it in then we'll see what happens.
'Now, can you guess what this is?
'It's been brought in by Patricia, and I love it!'
-Do you know what it is?
-Well, I've always thought it was a soap dish.
OK. It could be a soap dish.
You could actually put a nice little
travelling bar of soap in there, couldn't you, if you wanted to?
Soap dish? Is that what you think it is?
-No, I can tell you, it's neither of those.
I've always assumed it was owned by a gentleman because of the silver.
Yes, a very fine gentleman, and it is in fact...
-a snuff box.
-It is a snuff...
I thought it was a bit big for a snuff box.
-It's for taking a pinch of snuff.
-Can I tell you how old this is?
-I'd say 1680. Charles II we're talking about.
Yes, and that's made of tortoiseshell,
and it's absolutely beautiful.
Definitely English, probably London, with this scalloped edge.
It's all scalloped in silver with a wonderful cartouche.
-There's a coat of arms, that's an armorial.
The lettering, that's slightly later, that's 18th century,
middle of the 18th century, so it's passed a few hands.
-How long have you had this?
-About 30 years.
-And where did you get it from?
-At a jumble sale.
-And how much did you pay for it?
-This is the...what?!
-It would have been pennies in those days, 30 years ago.
-A few pennies.
Cos you can't pick things up like this at jumble sales anymore,
-we've all got too wise thanks to Flog It.
-So there we are.
What have you done with it since?
Oh, well, the children used to put it in their shop
when they played shops,
and then we've taken it on holiday with the soap in...
-Oh, my word!
-Gosh, this has survived!
It's a miracle it's survived.
Yes, it's got tucked back in the drawer
and come out again at different times.
Do you know, that will clean up beautifully.
That will sparkle, that tortoiseshell, and in fact...
I'd like to see it cleaned up.
Well, what I did was, right next door there's a deli,
it's called Bob's Place, and I went in there and I nicked some almonds,
and a bit of almond oil, look, if I just bite off an almond...
..and just go like this on the top of the box.
You can see the natural oils coming out.
-Oh, gosh, yes.
-Actually that's a jolly good almond.
But you can see the natural oils coming out from that little nut
-onto there. That's all it needs, it's not abrasive at all.
And that'll retain the oil. The silver you can polish up as well.
-From a few pence...
-Yes, to whatever.
What do you think that's worth?
Well, I thought it might be worth £50-£100.
It's worth considerably more than that.
I'd love to put it into auction, with your permission,
-with a guideline of 300-500.
Fixed reserve at 300.
And you took it on holiday,
you had the best laugh, you put your soap in it!
Played shops with it, yes, yes.
-Well, thank goodness you looked after it anyway.
Well done, Patricia, thank you so much.
'Now, we see quite a few medals at our valuation days, but Michael
'has discovered some that pay tribute
'to a truly dedicated soldier.'
Patrick, thank you for bringing this
absolutely wonderful collection of medals in.
I think the fact that you've got First and Second World War medals,
you must know something about them.
Tell me how you got these.
Basically, they were handed down to me from my grandfather
when I was a young boy.
He basically said to me, "If you can find them, you can keep them."
And I went into the outdoor shed, rummaged around for a couple
of hours, and there they were, lying in an old tin pot.
As a young boy, I can't think of anything much more exciting
to discover than your grandfather's medals in a tin pot.
Exactly, I think I was about maybe 10 or 12 at the time.
Oh, it's fantastic.
-Well, we've got the standard First World War medals here.
The ones that are euphemistically called "Pipsqueak" and "Wilfred."
-Oh, right, yes.
-And they're all named,
and if we turn this one over...
-..we've got there G Cockell.
-That's right, yes.
And then we've got these Second World War medals,
-so he served in both wars.
We've got his military buttons and his cap insignia.
What's very interesting is we've got his soldier's service and pay book.
-And at the back here we've got his discharge papers.
-And there we have, "31st of March, 1931.
"Discharge certificate for Number 11239,
"Corporal George Cockell,
"King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry." That's magic, isn't it?
Yeah, that's brilliant, yeah.
"Enlisted 12th August 1914." My word, he was eager, wasn't he?
Oh, very, he was very... He did his bit for queen and country.
Well, he did indeed. "Discharged 5th November 1919."
Medals here, 1914-15 star.
British war and victory medals, so they're named in this,
and what's wonderful here is we've got under "Character",
-which must make you very proud...
-It does indeed.
"Good, honest, sober, intelligent and industrious,"
which is just magic.
And to have all of this extra documentation with
a set of medals makes a huge difference,
because the people that collect medals, they're not buying
the medal, they're buying the story and the history attached with it.
Can I ask you, though,
cos these must be immensely sentimental to you,
why have you decided that you want to part with them now?
Well, they are sentimental, but if I were to sell them,
the memory always sticks in my brain.
Your grandfather's in here and in here, isn't he?
Always in my heart, always in my brain, I'll never forget him.
I'd rather somebody bought them
and they could go in a collection so people could see them,
ie British War Museum or something like that.
10 or 15 years ago, that group of three medals was making £20 or £30.
But since then people have realised
that they're getting rarer and scarcer and prices have rocketed.
So I think we could put these into auction at £200-£300,
put a fixed reserve of £180 on them, keep our fingers crossed
-and your grandad's medals might fly.
-That's right, hope so, yeah.
Well, Patrick, thank you so much for bringing these in today.
That's all right.
Imagine living in the same house for 40 years
and never redecorating! Sounds brilliant, doesn't it?
You just put your feet up and do nothing.
So, imagine a family living in the same house for 400 years
and doing the same thing, never redecorating.
Well, that's exactly what's happened here
at Chastleton House in Oxfordshire.
'Over the centuries, you'd expect a country house,
'like all our homes, to move with the changing fashions.
'Owners strip out old decoration
'and replace it with new styles and designs.
'But because this wonderful Jacobean house has never had
'a makeover, it's a perfect place to see some of that early decor.
'When this place was built in 1612,
'there were no wallpapers or cans of paint.
'Instead, rich people would decorate their walls with woven fabrics.
'And I'm going to show you three very different original examples
'that have survived here for more than 400 years.'
Now this is so typical of the early 1600s.
Huge Flemish tapestries lining the walls.
They have lost their colour, they'd have been quite vibrant,
and the idea was they were to decorate the room,
but also they keep the room warm.
And I like this because also it keeps out the draughts.
'These three panels were woven in Flanders around 1600.
'They depict the story of Jacob and Esau from the Old Testament,
'and were probably part of a larger set of six.'
The condition is very, very good.
The weave is still very tight and there's not many repairs.
There's a couple here I can see at first glance,
sort of very loosely stitched back together.
But your worst nightmare is infestation of moths and rodents,
nibbling away at it, sort of stealing bits to build nests.
'When Chastleton was built in 1612, these very expensive heavy weave
'tapestries would have been among the owner's prized possessions.
'They've made it down through the centuries
'because of their value, high quality workmanship
'and classic design.'
Those kind of tapestries you're going to find in most stately homes.
There's a richness and an opulence about them.
But in here, I've got to show you something rather special.
Just look at these wall hangings.
'It's not a wallpaper but another woven fabric.
'This would have been highly fashionable
'when it was made in the early 1600s,
'and was probably originally used to decorate a bedroom.'
This is known as the flame stitch pattern, and just look at it!
Wonderful repetitive forms, typical of the early 1600s.
And it hasn't lost much of its colour, really.
That's still quite vibrant, the reds grinning through, deep blues.
'The striking design and bright colours would, at one time,
'have been commonplace in country houses.
'But like all fashions, it moved quickly out of favour.
'But luckily enough for us, here at Chastleton,
'they didn't simply rip it down and throw it away.
'Sometime in the mid-17th century
'they re-hung it in a little-used dressing room,
'and then left it here for another 350 years.'
Looking at the way it's been nailed to the walls,
that is a 17th century nail, that's late 17th century.
Look at that, hand forged by a blacksmith on an anvil.
'Hidden away forgotten for generations and safe
'from the effects of sunlight, this flame stitch is a rare survivor.
'But just yards away, there's a fabric that's totally unique.'
While the main rooms in the house, the larger ones, had walls ordained
with the lavish tapestries here,
areas like this were decorated more simply, much cheaper fabric.
There was no need for the expense.
Now, I know it looks boring and plain, but this is incredibly rare.
It's the best known surviving example of its type
in any English country house.
The fabric is called Dornix,
and it's named after the Flemish town where it was weaved.
'Although it's a similar age to the other textiles we've seen,
'it's ironic that this is the cheapest and yet the rarest.
'In most country homes, there would have been no reason to save it.
'It would have been ripped down and replaced
'when wallpapers became popular in the 18th century.
'This was saved simply because
'fashion doesn't seem to have been a high priority here.'
When the National Trust acquired Chastleton,
they spent months cleaning the Dornix in their studio.
Apparently, when it was first discovered,
you couldn't see the patterns or the colours
because it was covered completely in mould and dirt.
The wall hangings here at Chastleton House
are incredibly rare and now well documented.
And thank goodness that different generations of the same family
hadn't been fashion orientated,
otherwise they wouldn't have survived.
And now these textiles have got the credit they really do deserve,
and they're going to be here for many more years to come
for future generations to appreciate.
Well, here we are. My driver didn't turn up this morning so I've had to make do,
but this is where all our items are going under the hammer.
Moore, Allen and Innocent, just outside of Cirencester.
I'm running a bit late and the auction is just about to start,
and hopefully I'll catch my breath back in a minute.
I'm going to catch up with our owners,
make sure they're OK, cos I know they're feeling really
nervous right now, and we're going to leave you with a quick rundown
of all the items that are going under the hammer.
'Here's what's going under the hammer.
'The objects extracted from the old well in Audrey's cellar.
'The prize is a 17th century bottle,
'but there are plenty of other things,
'including what could be a Tudor tap.
'That spectacular book of Italian art, thankfully still mostly intact,
'despite Gemma's nan's fondness for scissors.
'Patrick's grandfather's medals.
'And finally, the beautiful tortoiseshell snuff box
'brought in by Patricia.
'Thankfully, I wasn't running so short of time at the preview
'and managed to speak to auctioneer Philip Allwood about the medals.'
Wonderful collection of medals, erm, great story involved as well.
They belonged to George Cockell,
First World War and Second World War.
We've got £200-£300 on these medals, and, erm,
they're being sold by the grandson.
Are they? Yeah.
Well, he must be a very proud grandson.
Erm, obviously, grandfather went through the First, into the Second.
Looking at the discharge papers,
was retired from the Army early or discharged.
Exemplary report on here.
Exemplary conduct. Do you know, I've never seen one of those before
and that's quite interesting.
Individually, these medals, not worth a lot.
Lots of 'em about, you know, there's a lot of people came back
from the First with these fairly standard medals.
Same with the Second.
But put all that together with the history, we know who it relates to,
who actually won them, what they were doing, where and when.
And that suddenly gets the collectors'
-collecting juices flowing.
-You've got provenance, that's what the value is.
Exactly, and that's what a medal collector is really going for.
They're not going for the bit of metal,
-they're going for owning a bit of that soldier and what he did.
And this has got oodles of that.
-Will it get the top end, do you think?
-I wouldn't be surprised.
200-300, I'd have easily gone with that myself
and expected to see us getting on for the top estimate.
Wonderful thing. Well, good luck with these.
They should do fine.
'Well, we both think these medals are going to march right out of the
'auction room, but we'll have to wait and see,
'because first to discover their fate is Audrey.
'Buyers and sellers at today's auction room are subject to
'a commission of 15% plus VAT.'
Well, this next lot is totally fascinating,
and, of course, it's been picked by our expert Michael Baggott.
It's been dug up out of the ground, literally,
from the Talbot Hotel in Tedbury.
'Michael's split the lot into two parts.
'The first is a real mixed bag.'
There's this wonderful manganese sort of treacle-glazed jug,
some church warden pipes and...
Little silver shirt links...
But do you know what's going to make me laugh and...?
-..with Tudor roses, and a tap.
-And a tap! What's that all about, Michael?
That is a bronze Tudor tap. It's a rare thing, you know, for 180 quid.
It's a funny old lot, it really is a funny old lot.
I've heard that before!
Valuing it is like playing pin the tail on the donkey.
You never know where it's actually going to go,
but I think that's sensible, that's sensible.
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
The 18th century manganese treacle-glazed pottery jug.
Should be 200-300, really. Start me.
Start me, 100. £100 for the lot.
He's going in the wrong direction.
At £50, a bid there at 50.
At £50, at 5 if you like now. £50.
At £50, at 5,
-70, 5, 80, 5...
-Church warden pipes are worth that, really.
And 10 if you like, and 10.
At 110, 120 now.
At 110. At £110, you all sure now then?
At £110, you all done?
-They didn't understand.
-Well, they didn't want it today.
Maybe they'll want it in a week's time.
-Put it out for the dustman or something.
-No, you won't.
Don't do that, that's our history, Audrey! Don't do that.
'What a shame. Let's hope we do better
'with the second lot from the collection, that superb bottle.'
It's a wonderful period piece,
but what makes it extra special is not just the object, we know
when it was found, we know where it was discarded, in the 17th century.
And that lovely iridescent sort of colour that you only
get from burial over the years, you know, and it's been dug up
and it's just got those colours that every collector wants.
-Do you think so?
-Oh, it's got the look, it's got the look.
And the condition.
Collectors want history with their objects, ideally,
and that's got it all.
200 to get on.
At 200, thank you, at 200.
At 200, 210 now if you like.
At £200, at 210.
At 230, 240, 250.
At £250, 260 anywhere?
At £250, 260 anywhere now for it?
At £250, you're sure now, then?
-Oh, come on!
I'm absolutely shocked, absolutely shocked, because that bottle
was worth every penny of £300-£500 if not more, as Michael said.
-If I were you, I'd be relieved I hadn't sold them.
-I would as well.
-I'm so sorry, Audrey.
'Well, it looks like the artefacts are going home with Audrey.
'Perhaps the Italian art will appeal more to the bidders?'
Wonderful, wonderful book. We're looking at £300-£500.
Fingers crossed. On a good day.
-On a good day...
-It's all there, isn't it?
Condition is good, I just hope it doesn't get sort of
Stanley knifed up and sold separately.
Well, you say condition is good, but Gemma's grandma had a bit of a
Stanley knife fetish, and cut a few letters out,
but the actual pictures are all fine.
-Yeah, and that's where the value is.
-It's been a long wait, hasn't it?
-It has, yeah.
Have you been tempted to buy anything while you've been waiting?
Yeah, I saw a little kid's trike outside.
It looks like it needs restoring.
I know the one. I rode here on it.
The Italian School of Design, 1823, some lovely images in this.
Where are you going to be for this? Start me. It should be 500, really.
Start me, 3?
200 to get on, then.
At 200, thank you, at £200.
At 220, 240, 260,
270, then, 280, 300.
320, if you like. At 300 here.
At 300, 320 now.
At £300, thought it might have made a little more. At 300.
At £300, it's on my right.
At 300, you all sure now, then, at 300?
-Just on estimate, wasn't it?
There was a pause there, wasn't there,
cos I wasn't sure she was calling for 300. Yes!
No, no, he had 300, but I just think with that little bit of damage
-that really just took off the edge.
-Of course, yeah.
-But I think she was very pleased.
What are you going to put the money towards?
-Erm, probably going on holiday.
-And where do you fancy going?
Probably Italy, just to look to see where it all came from.
-School of Design, yeah, exactly.
-Makes sense, doesn't it?
Payback for it, yes, going to Rome.
'Good for them, I really do hope they get to see some of those
'works of art for real.
'Now, next up, it's Patricia's gorgeous snuff box,
'which I valued and I adore.'
That wonderful little tortoiseshell snuff box!
Ooh, dating from the late 17th century.
It's just about to go under the hammer, we're looking for £300-£500.
I had a chat with Philip just before the sale started.
-He said, "Lovely little lot."
-Special little lot, yeah,
worth every single penny of the valuation.
-We got the valuation spot on. So we both agree with that.
Question is, will this lot out here?
I was concerned cos it's in amongst all the 30-50 stuff.
I know, I know, yes, I know.
I thought it might be somewhere else, to be honest.
At least we've protected it with a fixed reserve of £300.
That's the most important thing to do.
If you're going to put something into a sale,
and this is a general sale, make sure it's got a fixed reserve.
Don't give things away.
-If we can't find a buyer here, it'll go into another sale.
This is it, here we go.
The tortoiseshell snuff box there.
Good looking piece, this. Nice traditional piece of tortoiseshell.
Who will start me? Should be 300-400 really.
Start me, 2 to get on. That'd be cheap at 200, wouldn't it?
Yes, at 200, thank you. At 200. At 200.
I'll take 210 if you'd like now, at £200, at 210.
At 210, 220, 230, at 230,
At 250, 260 now. 260. 270.
At 270, 280 now then.
At 270. At £270...
-Struggling, isn't it?
At £270. You're all out in the room.
At £270, you all done?
-It's OK, he didn't sell it.
-No, I'll take it home.
Do you know what? I'm pleased he didn't sell it bang on 300,
because that would still be cheap.
I know it's within estimate, 3-5...
-Yes, I'm not bothered.
-But it does deserve the £500 touch.
-It does, yes.
-In order to get that sort of money
you need to get it in at a good starting point.
-I'm not truly bothered, it doesn't take up a lot of room, does it?
'Well, Patricia gets to keep her snuff box.
'I just hope she doesn't keep on using it as a soap dish.
'Last up, we've got Patrick's grandfather's medals.'
Classic set of medals from the First World War, Second World War,
and discharge papers.
-I know, Michael, you fell in love with these.
-It's the whole story.
-This is what medal collectors want.
-Is it hard to sell these?
Same old story, they've been stuck in a drawer for 20 years,
not appreciated, so I think it's time for them to go, like.
OK, let's hope they go to a good collector or end up in a museum.
-Hope so, yeah.
-This is it.
I can start you here at 130 on the book, at 130.
At 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180.
The book's out at 180, 190 now.
190, 200, 210, 220,
230, 240, 250, 260.
At 260 on my left now.
At 260, 270 now, then.
At £260 it's on my left. At 260.
Super result, 260, the hammer's gone down.
Brilliant, I'm very happy with that.
I'm very happy with that, that was well contested.
That was his last battle, wasn't it?
It was a bit slow at first but suddenly shot up. I'm very pleased.
'I knew the collectors wouldn't be able to resist that lot.
'A brilliant result, and there's plenty more to come.
'Berenice has decided it's time to rescue this beautiful
'Art Nouveau tray out of the grasp of little hands.'
Where does it live in your house?
Well, it sits on the coffee table in the sitting room
and it gets knocked around by the grandchildren.
'Phyllis is trying to wean herself off of her Wemyss addiction,
'but I suspect there are some things she would find hard to resist.'
If that one special Wemyss pick came along, would you buy it still?
'And we discover a bracelet bearing the name of one of the world's
'greatest fashion designers.'
On the 16th of May in 1871,
the successful writer, designer and socialist, William Morris,
set foot in the Cotswold village of Kelmscott for the first time.
He came looking for a house purely to use for the summer months
and, when he came down this little country lane
and looked down that garden path
and saw that beautiful, handsome farmhouse,
he knew his search was over.
No wonder he stopped looking!
MUSIC: "In The Steppes Of Central Asia" by Alexander Borodin
For Morris, it was the start of a love affair
that would stay with him for the rest of his life,
bringing him moments of inspiration and pleasure,
but, as with all great romances,
there was moments of disappointment and betrayal.
In fact, despite his immediate and deep affection for the place,
it would be three years before Morris could bring himself
to spend any time here.
Instead, he stayed away while his wife, Jane,
and their two young daughters spent their summers here
with painter and poet Gabriel Rossetti,
who was also Morris's friend and business partner.
Rossetti and Jane had been having an affair for five years.
Morris was aware that it was starting to attract
the attention of London society and could damage his business.
The lease on Kelmscott was taken out jointly with Rossetti
so that they'd be able to conduct their affair away from prying eyes.
Over the following years, Rossetti would suffer a mental breakdown -
he spent prolonged periods of time here at Kelmscott,
forcing William Morris to stay away.
It wasn't until Rossetti moved out in 1874
that William Morris could enjoy his beloved Kelmscott,
and this place, well, it became a kind of utopia for him -
somewhere where he could escape from the modern world,
which he really despised.
MUSIC: "The Water Goblin" by Antonin Dvorak
The Arts and Crafts movement was driven by a dislike
for Victorian industrialisation and the fear that mechanisation
and mass production would result in blandness and conformity.
Kelmscott was the antithesis of that.
He saw this magnificent house as a true work of craftsmanship -
built with local materials, he just loved its vernacular style,
and it sits in perfect harmony with the rest of the village
and the surrounding countryside.
You could say this handsome house represents
all of the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement.
It was built in the year 1600 and it was added to in the year 1665.
Look at the lovely hand-cut roof tiles -
they're all made of stone and they actually graduate down.
They start smaller at the ridge board and, as they come down
onto the load-bearing walls, they get slightly larger.
Morris described that as,
"Looking at the scales interlocking on a fish,
"or maybe the feathers on a bird."
It really is so organic.
On the inside, as on the outside,
William Morris just loved the simplicity of this house.
He chose to change it very little from the way in which he first
acquired it from the farming family who had it built.
His dream was to live here as simply as possible
and he described the house as, "The loveliest haunt of ancient peace."
As you look around the house, you get a real sense of Morris the man.
From his passion for collecting traditional handmade objects
to wonderful examples of his own company's furniture and furnishings.
The garden and surrounding countryside would also
provide Morris with endless inspiration for his designs.
It's said that the idea for Strawberry Thief,
one of his most popular designs, came about as Morris noticed
thrushes stealing wild berries from his kitchen garden.
And according to his daughter, May,
this idea for his foliage pattern, called Willow Bough, 1887, came
from the willow trees growing on the banks of the River Thames nearby.
Ooh, this is a nice room. Spacious, light, airy.
In fact, there's a nice, tranquil feel about this.
And it's known as the White Room, which is quite strange,
really, because William Morris is known for his colours -
he loves reds and golds and greens and repetitive patterns everywhere.
Yet, the family chose to paint the walls off-white.
In fact, William Morris, towards the end of his life, actually admitted
he preferred simpler colour schemes and plainer rooms.
The whole house, in fact, is just sort of understated.
The decor is quite simple and it sits beautifully with the outside.
It's just so calm.
William Morris remains, to this day,
a major, major force to be reckoned with in the world of design.
His legacy of work is endless, really, when you think about it.
He was a writer, a publisher, social campaigner, designer,
craftsman, illustrator, painter - it just goes on and on and on.
And it's no wonder that, coming towards the end of his life,
a doctor proclaimed he was suffering from the disease
of being William Morris, working 18 hours a day.
That's why, for me,
it's so special to come to a place like Kelmscott,
that meant so much to him, so you can understand
the peace he must have had while being here.
William Morris, for me,
will always remain a great source of inspiration.
Back at our valuation day at the Corn Hall in Cirencester,
we've got a packed house,
and Michael, who's a serious silver fanatic,
couldn't resist this striking tray.
-And you've brought this beautiful tray along.
-You like it, do you?
I do, I love it. Where does it live in your house?
Well, it sits on the coffee table in the sitting room
and it gets knocked around by the grandchildren, so I just thought,
what a pity, I'll bring it to you and see if you liked it.
And do you use it for anything?
No, no, because I couldn't understand why it was a tray,
because you couldn't stand anything on it,
so I didn't know much about it at all.
-It's all knobbly, isn't it?
-It is, it is, so a cup would fall off it...
Well, unless you're living in a bungalow,
-you've got it on the wrong floor of the house, you see.
Because this belongs in the bedroom.
Oh! Oh, really?
-And this is a dressing table tray.
-And, of course, you can't put a glass or a cup on this...
..but if you think of upturned brushes,
which would rest quite happily along with combs on that -
that's exactly what this was designed for.
-Oh, I didn't know that.
-Any idea about how old it is, or...?
Judging by the design, I would have thought it was Art Nouveau, so...
It shrieks Art Nouveau at you, doesn't it?
This wonderful whiplash foliate border
and then we've got this typically naturalistic scene.
Now, I'm not sure what these birds are,
cos my ornithological knowledge does not stretch to the lengths
of my silver knowledge, but they're cranes or herons.
I thought they were herons, but they might be...
We will go with herons. I will bow to your knowledge, Berenice.
-And they're surrounded by these lovely bulrushes.
And, of course, it's a mirror image
and it's very organic and very naturalistic,
which is exactly what Art Nouveau ornament was about.
Now, first of all, we've got the maker's mark there,
which is WA, which is for William Aitken.
And he wasn't a very distinguished maker,
but he produced on a large scale in Birmingham,
which is where this was made.
And we've got the date letter there for 1909.
The height of Art Nouveau in England.
And you've got these domestic wares being produced in that style.
The sad thing is, it is one part of a very large set.
As I said, there'd be brushes and combs and there'd be hair tidies
and scent bottles and mirrors,
so any idea where the rest of it might be? No?
-No, I inherited it with a house...
..from dear Uncle Joe. And he was ill and I decided to nurse him.
He changed his will in the last three weeks of his life
-and left it all to me, so it's really lucky.
I got divorced after 40 years, so I had this house to go to
and it's just been a godsend. He must have known.
-I think he's up there, looking after me.
-Smiling down at you.
-Must have been.
-Well, it's-it's a nice thing to come with the tray -
it's better than a mirror, isn't it?
Yes. Yes, so, I've got no idea where he had it from.
I think it's the sort of thing
that's very commercial at the moment -
it never really falls out of fashion.
-Let's put it into auction with £100-£150 on it.
-Really?! Oh, gosh!
-Let's put a reserve of £90 on it, fixed.
And let's see how it goes.
But if there are two people that love Art Nouveau,
and I think there's a good chance there will be,
we could be doing that -
it could be the high estimate or a little bit more.
Gosh, that's amazing.
But I think it could fly.
Oh, thank you. That's marvellous.
-Just like the herons, if they are indeed...
-Or the whatever they are.
Or the cranes or the ibises.
Well, we hope to come up with some answers for Jennifer,
who has an interesting old collection of photos.
Tell me about these items you've brought today.
These are pictures of my grandfather.
He was in India and Africa in the First World War.
When my mum passed on, I was given these.
So, your grandfather, did you ever know him?
I think I was around about two when he passed away.
-He's in this photograph, isn't he?
-Where is he?
-There he is. Look at that there. A hockey player.
-In the Raj.
-And the fashionable moustache.
-His name was Private John...
1916 was when he was discharged from the Army.
-These are his discharge papers.
But he's got processions
and photographs here from the 1902 coronation.
-In India, in Delhi.
-These are the Boer War, which is 1901, 1902.
-Oh, I see.
Tell me, do you know where John's medals are?
I think that went to the first grandson.
So, that's gone to another side of the family.
-They would be quite valuable, actually.
They would be quite interesting.
What you've got here is very interesting. This is a stereograph.
And what you do is, you place one of these cards in the slots here.
And you adjust it to focus it. So you actually see the picture in 3D.
-As you well know.
Some stereographs are quite interesting,
and they're more valuable than you'd think.
The ones of India and the Boer War,
I think would have a value to them, certainly.
The scenes are absolutely lovely. You've got the Taj Mahal.
This is a fascinating scene here.
This is the British Army in South Africa,
holding back the advancing Boers within trench warfare.
-So would they be on the front line?
-That would be on the front line.
And war is obviously always of interest and highly collectible.
So, what we've got is a lovely military lot -
dating from the Boer War to the First World War.
Lovely historical interest here. Really very nice.
I would imagine this would make between £80 and £100.
How does that grab you?
That's a surprise, cos I wouldn't have had any idea of how
much it would be worth.
Or...with the items that we have.
As regards to reserve, what I suggest - when things are under
£100, at £80, the auctioneer will operate a discretion of about 10%.
-So he could sell it for 70.
But I think that's a fair way of looking at it.
-You happy to go ahead?
-Yes, thank you very much.
Let's hope we can see our way to
doubling Thomas' estimate at auction. Fingers crossed.
But can our crowd identify this next lot?
This belongs to Phyllis, who's standing right next to me.
We've seen a lot of this on the show before.
Do you know what this is?
-No, but my friend does.
-You don't know what it is?
-You know what it is. How about you guys? Pottery enthusiasts?
-Wemyss. Wemyss. That's not bad. Three out of six.
It is Wemyss, yes, you're right.
-I take it you're a bit of a Wemyss collector?
-I am a Wemyss collector.
-How many pieces have you got, Phyllis?
-Between 50 and 100.
How long have you been collecting?
Since the '70s.
So, if you're collecting, why are you selling this particular one?
I'm downsizing. Need space. And that one has to go, I'm afraid.
If that one special Wemyss pig came along, would you buy it still?
-Maybe. Maybe sell five other pieces to buy it with.
That's what everybody wants. The Wemyss pigs. The big ones like that.
You know what this is, don't you? It's a sponge bowl with strainer.
And that's quite nice, because the strainers did get broken.
And also, the sponge bowls...
The most delicate part of these is the little handles.
They always used to get chipped and knocked,
but they're very good, aren't they?
-Mm-hmm. They are.
-I like the decoration of this.
-Beautiful soft roses.
-It's very soft, isn't it?
Lovely soft roses. Almost translucent.
It's sought-after Scottish pottery as far as I'm concerned.
Well sought-after. And I still classify this as country pottery.
-Cos it is.
I'm kind of struggling with a value here
because I think it's worth an awful lot more than £150.
But...I don't know what you paid for that.
-80. How long ago?
Let's just call it £100 - a reserve at £100 - and see what happens.
-And hopefully we'll get that 120-150.
-On a good day we will.
I think it's a pretty unique piece. I think if we find a collector...
-The artwork on this particular one is very, very good.
-I love it.
-This, I'd date to around 1900-1910. And it's in great condition.
-So, will I see you at the auction?
-I'm afraid not, no.
-My younger son's coming.
-Oh, is he?
-And what does he think about Wemyss then?
-Not a lot.
-We're going to find out.
'Fingers crossed there will be at least two people in the
'auction room who'll appreciate it rather more than that.
'Next, Thomas is looking at a particularly glamorous bracelet,
'brought in by Angie.'
Just tell me about it and how it came into your possession.
My grandmother gave it to me
-when I was about ten...
-..and I've had it ever since.
I don't know a lot more about it than that, other than it's Christian Dior.
Absolutely, it is Christian Dior. So your grandmother gave it to you
because she'd stopped wearing it, or you liked it?
I don't think she ever wore it.
It's not the sort of thing that she would have bought.
I think it was probably a gift.
She used to be housekeeper for quite a lot of wealthy families
and she was often given things by guests that used to stay regularly.
And I think she was probably given it as a gift and she passed it on to me.
-So, did you like it as a girl because it was pink?
-And I used to dress up and wear it with high heels
and handbags at the age of ten.
-Yes, and I used to wear it then
and I really liked it. But now, I have to say, I haven't worn it since.
I find it a bit garish, actually.
-Well, it is Christian Dior.
We can see it from here, the mark there is Christian Dior.
Now, of course, that conjures up
all these wonderful sort of fashion items, etc,
and high-end jewellery.
But this is, you know,
Christian Dior the costume jeweller we're looking at here.
It was developed in the post-war period
when the jewellery at the time, worn by Hollywood stars,
was all gem-set, and these would have all been rubies
and these would have been opals, etc.
And with fashion wanting to copy that, they decided to make jewellery
like this so it would reflect the Hollywood style.
Now, it is costume jewellery, we should explain that.
-You've got the mauve stones and the pink,
and these are glass, or diamante,
or paste - as we call it - on a base metal.
What would this go for in a provincial saleroom like
where we're going to go in Cirencester?
It would probably make over £50.
-But I should have the estimate at sort of £70 to £100.
I also think we should fix the reserve
at that sort of £60, I think.
-How about that?
-Yes, that sounds fine.
And then with the commission taken off,
you'll probably end up with 50 if it sells at that sort of level.
-So, we'll see you at the auction?
-OK, yes, you will.
Well, that completes our final lots for the auction room.
Michael is hoping for a great result with Berenice's Art Nouveau tray.
There's the Wemyss sponge bowl and strainer
but will it clean up at the auction for Phyllis?
Thomas is hoping to see a good price for this collection of
stereographic pictures which belonged to Jennifer's grandfather.
And finally, we've got Angie's
grandmother's Christian Dior bracelet.
We're selling them at Moore, Allen and Innocent.
It's a busy day and silver has been selling well so far.
So let's see what they make of Berenice's tray.
-Berenice, good luck. Good luck.
-The tension's building.
We're just about to sell that Edwardian silver
-dressing table tray.
-Sort of in the Art Nouveau flavour.
-It is, isn't it?
Hasn't been on the dressing table, though, has it?
No, it's been on the coffee table
and the kids have knocked it and banged it.
But now it's going, I bet the kids are upset?
Oh, I don't think they'd notice. They'll find something else to bang.
Don't let your children knock your silver about!
That's the very last thing you want to happen.
-Yeah, it's good because it's a good display piece.
Sometimes you get chased bowls and they're difficult to display.
-Put that on an easel and you get the full impact of it.
It's a gorgeous decoration.
That's a nice way of displaying it. That's a good tip there.
-Put it on an easel. Good luck.
-Thank you very much.
Here we go, it's going under the hammer.
Who'll start me? Should be 100 to get on, shouldn't it? 100?
80? At £80. A bid there only at £80. 5 anywhere now?
-At £80. 5. 90. 5. 100...
Silver's selling well here today.
-And I hope that Uncle is watching from up there.
-I bet he is.
..Do I hear 140? 150 now? At 140. At £140. All out in front of me, then?
-He knows his own onions, doesn't he?
-That'll pay for my art now.
-For your art? What sort of art? Art classes?
Yes. I'm just going on some courses and the next one was £140 exactly.
-Oh, meant to be.
-In the stars, wasn't it?
How perfect. Who knows? We could be selling one of Berenice's
paintings at auction in the future.
OK, it's my turn to be the expert,
and I'm feeling a little bit nervous.
Unfortunately we don't have Phyllis,
she's halfway down the Panama Canal,
but we do have her son Paul, who's right next me. Hi.
-Hi, nice to see you.
-It's good to see.
So you've grown up with your mum's collection.
Yes, it's filling the house.
Ever since she got the little pig,
I think she had inherited that bit,
she's been collecting ever since.
So every time I go back to the house now,
it seems like there's another cupboard full of Wemyss.
-This could be your inheritance though.
-It may be.
So, I'm a bit unsure about selling it.
It's like, we wonder why that's happening.
Here you are, this is it.
Start me 100 to get on. 100 for the Wemyss ware.
-At £50, thank you. At £50...
-I'm so nervous.
-..At £50. At 5.
60. 5. 70. 5.
At 75. 80 now? At 75. 80.
-5... Come on.
-..90. 5. 100...
-They've sold it.
..On my left at 100. 110 now? At £100. Are you sure?
On my left then at 100.
-Yes, made estimate.
Well done. Got on the estimate.
-I'm actually pleased.
-Didn't have to take it.
I had the note saying, "You take that home if it's not sold."
Hopefully she's had a wonderful holiday. She's still having it.
Give her the good news when she comes home as well.
-It's sold. She'll be happy with that.
-Give her my regards, won't you?
Well, the Wemyss went down well, but what will the auction room
make of Jennifer's stereograph and those Boer War photos?
-They've been in the family a long time, haven't they?
Does nobody else want to have them,
-or is it you that just wants to get rid of them?
-The family doesn't, no.
-I love those sepia photographs.
-Their handlebar moustaches.
Those big moustaches.
Paul, I think you'd look rather handsome with one of those.
-Are you changing your mind?
-You see, we like this kind of thing.
It's hard to put a value on this sort of thing.
-The Boer War stereograph and the viewer should sell the lot.
-Here we go.
-This is your lot.
The Victorian stereoscope with the 36 stereographic cards there.
Who'll start me? Nice little lot of cards there.
Start me at 100. £100? Good military interest piece.
£30? 30 I'm bid. 5. 40. 5.
50. 5. 60. 5. 70. 5?
-At 75. Do I hear 80 now? 80. 5. 90. 5. 100?
-At 100 on my left.
110 if you like? 110. 120. 130, if you like, sir?
-At 120. In the middle here at 120. 130.
-I am, very surprised.
..At 150. To my far left at 150. 160 now? At £150.
Are you all done at 150?
£150. That is fabulous. A superb piece of military history as well.
Well-documented as well. Well, at least you've looked after it
-all these years, haven't you?
-It's a long time.
..you've had the joy. They've been kept in good condition.
That's the key factor.
-Well, they've gone.
I think it's the object which has sold it.
They are very interesting and thank you for bringing them along.
A wonderful result. Nearly double the reserve.
But what will the auction room make of Angie's costume jewellery?
-It's going under the hammer at £70 to £100.
This was given to you by your grandmother.
It was. 22 years ago she gave it to me
and it's been in a drawer ever since.
-I'm afraid it's not my taste.
-So I'm hoping that I'll get enough to buy something different.
-Fair enough. Fair enough. Will it sell well?
-I don't know.
It'll be a tough call today, I think,
if it does sell at all, I have to say.
It's quite a difficult subject
to sell in a traditional saleroom like this, but...
-we're going to give it a go.
Here we go, fingers crossed, that's what it's all about.
You never know what'll happen at an auction. Let's check this one out.
We have a phone. It's the Christian Dior bracelet...
..dated 1958. It should be over 100 really, shouldn't it?
80? At £80, thank you. At £80 the bid.
At £80. At 5. 90. 5. 100.
110. 120. 130. 140. 150. 160.
-Lady's bid of 160. 170 now. 160? At 160.
170 on the phone. 180. 190, if you like? 190. 200.
-At 200. 210, if you like now? At 200
-They do know it's paste?
220. 230. 240.
270. 280. 290. 300. 320? 320.
-I am flabbergasted.
-Did you miss something, Thomas?
-Do they know something we don't?
-I don't know.
Angie, what's going through your mind right now?
Oh, I can't believe it.
-Good old Nana.
All sure now? It's on the phone. At 440.
-£440. Angie, that's wonderful.
-Thank you so much.
-Good old Nana, eh?
-Good old Nana.
I shall be able to get something really nice with that.
-I am flabbergasted.
-That's the beauty of auctions for you.
-I am flabbergasted.
-Sadly, that brings us to the end of
another wonderful show here on Flog It!
I hope you've enjoyed it.
Join us again soon for many, many more surprises to come.
But for now, from Cirencester, it's cheerio from all of us.
The crowds flock to a valuation day in Cirencester, where Paul Martin and our team of experts are on the lookout for antiques and collectables to send to auction. Finds include a 17th-century wine bottle recovered from the bottom of a well and some costume jewellery by one of the world's most famous fashion designers.
Paul visits Kelmscott Manor, the country home of William Morris, the father of the arts and crafts movement.