Paul Martin and his team of experts are at Truro Cathedral to value the public's antiques and collectibles and take the best items to sell at auction to the highest bidder.
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That is a fantastic backdrop for our venue today - Truro City Cathedral.
It's wonderful for me to be back in my home county of Cornwall.
Hundreds of people are queueing up in the rain with bags and boxes.
They want to ask that very important question - what's it worth?
-When you've found out, what will you do?
It is just starting to rain, so we'll get everybody inside now.
It's 9.30. It's time to open the doors of this magnificent cathedral.
Don't go away. Keep watching the show.
There's one or two surprises. We found some real gems out there and we'll show you in there.
Building work started on the cathedral in 1880 and it was completed in 1910.
That's a marvellous achievement - 30 years to build all of this, a real architectural delight.
It was a massive undertaking because they copied the great cathedrals of the medieval era.
Looking around, they've certainly achieved wonders. Your eyes just gravitate up towards the heavens.
It's only one of three cathedrals in the country to have three spires
and it's the first cathedral to be built in this country
on a new site since Salisbury Cathedral was, back in 1220.
Our two fabulous experts leading our team of valuers today are David Barby and David Fletcher.
David Barby's first job was as a choirboy aged eight,
so he should feel at home hitting the high notes in Truro Cathedral.
That's lovely, isn't it?
David Fletcher's no choirboy, but as a child,
he was hooked on the antiques series in the '60s, Going For A Song.
That's what I like to hear.
Coming up today, John and Pat's statue catches the appreciative eye of David Barby.
If I look at this figure, there are two highlights.
We might have a new double act.
-Another fine mess you've got me into here!
And all David Barby's dreams come true at once.
We'll find out what's got David so excited later on, but first, he's feeling bookish with Edith's items.
-Edith, why are you getting rid of these bookmarks?
-I didn't intend getting rid of them.
-I found them in a box today when I was bringing some other things to show you.
-You'd never used them for their original purpose?
-They're quite beautiful. Who owned them?
This one was from my father-in-law, a Scottish doctor.
And this one was from my nan, who brought me up.
She was no relation. She was a nanny.
This one that belonged to your father who was Scottish is in the form of a Scottish sword.
If you look at the little pommel here, it's inlaid with what we term as Scottish pebbles.
Those are semi-precious stones.
That's rather nice,
although the hallmark there is for Birmingham 1936.
So it's got some age to it.
-And if this was polished, it would look wonderful.
This other one is just brass, but at the end here, it has an agate, like a Scottish agate.
So the two are linked. It's rather appropriate that we're in Truro Cathedral
and we have this wonderful cross at the upper section there.
That's rather nice. You could imagine that on a family Bible or Common Prayer, something like that.
My nan who brought me up, she used to read her Bible every day.
-You're selling a family...
-I didn't know I was until I came here.
There are collectors of bookmarks and you get a huge variety.
The more interesting ones like this one here, the Scottish sword, you'll find a collector at auction.
I think they'll realise somewhere between £20 and £40.
-That sort of price range.
The sentiment might be too great to let them go at that figure, but they're interesting for collectors.
If you don't use them, if they've been stuck in a box, they'll go back home to be stuck in a box again,
-so at least you could sell these and get some good books. Thank you for bringing them along.
Edith was lucky that her bookmarks were spotted by our valuers,
but Rosie's collection is more prominent.
-Another fine mess you've got me into here!
I don't know that much about Laurel and Hardy, but I'll do my best.
-That one is Charlie Chaplin.
-Charlie Chaplin has sneaked in as well. I hadn't even noticed him.
Laurel and Hardy were both born in the 19th century
and lived well into the 20th century.
I think they both lived certainly after 1950.
They, I think I'm right in saying, made their first film in the 1920s.
They had worked individually up until that time, then their careers took off.
And you have a good collection of Laurel and Hardy related material.
And have you collected it yourself?
No, it was given to me by my... He's now my ex-boyfriend's brother.
I had my eye on them and now that we're not together,
there's no point in keeping them cos they're just cluttering up in a box.
-They don't have a sentimental value.
The almost lifelike busts at the front, copyright of 1984,
so they're no more than 30 years old, really.
-Have you any idea what the collection is worth?
-No, I don't.
OK, I think we've got to really be ultra-conservative
because although I'm sure there are ardent collectors of Laurel and Hardy material out there,
I think they're going to be looking for items that relate to Laurel and Hardy's own lifetime.
-Theatre programmes, cinema bills, that sort of thing.
So we've got to be mindful of that.
I would be inclined to put an estimate of £50 to £80 on them
-and I think with the best will in the world, sell without reserve.
-Have you any idea what you'd spend the money on?
-Yes, both my children.
I want to start a savings account for when they either go to uni...
-Don't ask me for financial advice!
But if you do that, by the time they come to university age,
you'll have done pretty well for them, so that's lovely.
I'm certain they'll do OK.
These days, sales go online and there might be a collector and we might have a pleasant surprise.
-We'll do our best for you and I look forward to seeing you at the sale.
-Thank you very much.
'With no sentimental attachment, Rosie is happy to let her Laurel and Hardy collection go with no reserve.
'I've stopped to look at a painting brought in by Diana and Nick.'
I love that. That is so typical of the Scottish Highlands.
Look at the perspective. You're just drawn into that lake, aren't you?
Look, what I've found is MacWhirter,
John MacWhirter, that's the artist, and it's also signed.
It could be worth £400 to £500 in good condition. It's got its original frame.
But what's putting me off is that water damage.
'Sometimes giving a valuation can be a tricky business.
'You have to be confident about the authenticity of an item.
'But it's not always easy. Even I can get caught out. Well, nearly.'
-Can I just take a look at this with a glass? Do you mind?
-Of course. Yes.
If I show you something here, you can see it's not a watercolour.
-No, it's a print.
-My goodness! A print?
Oh, my goodness!
What a surprise!
If you look through this with a light, you can identify hundreds of tiny little dots that go together
-to make up a print.
-Oh, my goodness!
We're looking at something that's possibly worth around about...£5 to £10.
Have a look at this.
-Well, I think...
-It was worth bringing it in.
It can go back in the attic in the damp. You don't need to worry.
'That was a close shave, but David Barby has no doubts about the provenance
'of the little object brought in by Barbara and Norman.'
This is an exquisite little object.
Now, it's exquisite because it's a piece of
a needlewoman's equipment.
-Who's keen on needlework? Is it you, Barbara, or is it you, Norman?
-Neither of us.
How did you get hold of this?
-My mum gave it to me when I was a little girl.
I like it because, first of all, it's a miniature piece of furniture.
This looks like a knife box,
covered in tortoiseshell veneer,
with a little brass plaque on the top
that we call a cartouche.
So I open this little press section here
and then see that it's divided into various compartments,
filled with needles in little paper folds.
There's one, two, three, four that haven't got any.
At the side here, you've got the name of the retailer
which is "W Lund, 24 Fleet Street".
That was London.
And if I can just take one of these little needle sections out...
The needles were made by "Shrimpton & Hooper, Albion Works, Studley".
Now, in that area, close to Redditch,
they made needles.
So this is a beautiful example
for a collector of needlework requisites.
How much is it worth? We're not talking about hundreds of pounds.
But I think somebody is going to pay between £50 and £80,
that sort of price range.
-How many more have you got at home, Barbara?
-Only the one.
Why are you getting rid of this? It doesn't take up room in your house.
Well, we haven't got any children.
-Spend the money on a meal out?
I don't blame you. If you don't use it, what's the point in having it?
I like it, I must admit.
It's just on the side.
-It's stuck on the side in a cabinet?
-In the Welsh dresser.
-Yes, sell it.
-Or should I say, flog it?
-Flog it, that's it.
We'll do our best for you.
Next up Clyde has brought in a little plate with an unusual provenance to show David Fletcher.
I had it nearly 40 years ago.
Someone gave me a pot plant and it was standing on this plate.
So, it came free with your pot plant.
It came with a pot plant. I think it was a cacti in those days.
That's long since gone I expect?
The cacti has gone, but the plate, once one realised the age of it,
one put it away and took a bit of care of it.
I'm glad you did.
It would have been made not in Cornwall, as you might expect,
but in Staffordshire.
It is a type of pottery known as pearlware,
and that refers to the nature of the glaze.
It has a moulded border,
decorated with leaves and these might be oak apples.
The centre is transfer printed in blue and white.
It commemorates the death
of the late and, as it says, much lamented Charlotte of Saxe Cobourg,
who was George IV's only daughter,
and who died, as it tells us here, in 1817,
the day after she gave birth to a son, who tragically died.
And her death was indeed much lamented.
I think very largely because, had she survived,
she would eventually have become Queen Charlotte of England.
And, commemorative china relating to the royal family
from this date is rare, it's early.
-You had an idea that it was of some value obviously.
It's true to say that it has got a bit of damage.
-Bit of damage, two cracks.
-Two longish hairline cracks,
which are a problem.
I must say, condition is always important but, in a case like this,
I think it's less important than it might otherwise be
because the plate is rare and highly collectible.
-Collectors will put up with a bit of damage.
-Just as well.
I think the time has come to be able possibly to sell it
and let somebody else have the pleasure of it.
Just want to get the benefit of a few quid from it.
I've got a special birthday this year, so...
Have you? What's that, 60?
No, no. A nought but not 60, go up a bit. But, that's beside the point.
So, I think just be able to treat myself to something.
-A birthday present to yourself.
-Just to myself, it can be, yes.
Good for you. I don't think all the times I've asked people what they are selling things for,
I don't think anyone's ever said, "To buy myself a birthday present." but that's a good idea.
I'm the first selfish Cornishman that you've interviewed or what have you!
I don't think you're being selfish You're being very realistic. You treat yourself.
If you haven't got children... If not, why not?
They are not buying you presents, no children to buy you presents.
-Good for you.
It's now time for us to work out exactly what you'll be able to buy.
I think the damage on this plate is important but not crucial.
We have got to be mindful of it.
I would like to say £200 but I don't think I can really.
I would like to go £100 to £150.
I'm certain it will find a buyer within that price range, who knows someone might pay a bit more.
A bit more on the day, yes.
So, let's hope for the best, put an estimate of £100 to £150 on it
and a fixed reserve of £100.
Yes, I wouldn't like for it to go for less than that.
If we're not bid £100, you can have it back.
I'll take it back, that's right.
Bring it back in ten years when you have your next special birthday.
Right, will do.
The rugged coastal landscape of Cornwall
is one of its main attractions.
It's peaceful, beautiful and home to a wide variety of wildlife.
But not so long ago, these cliff tops would have reverberated
with the noise of crushing machinery and the bustle of miners.
This whole area was once
no less than the engine room of the Industrial Revolution
which shaped our modern world.
Most of the Land's End peninsula is built on granite which was formed 300 million years ago.
This granite contains an awful lot of tin and copper.
In fact, there's probably more tin and copper here than anywhere else in the world.
Many mines were started in Cornwall, but few stayed open for long
and the landscape now is littered with their remains like Levant Mine here in St Just.
But Levant was different. It remained open and profitable for 110 years.
It was the lifeblood of the community and hundreds of families depended on it.
But working conditions were extremely tough
and also one of the greatest tragedies in Cornish mining history
ultimately led to Levant's decline.
The Levant Mining Company was formed in 1820
and at its peak, employed over 600 men, women and children.
The miners, often father and son, toiled to break the ore at a rate of four feet a month,
using a volatile combination of gunpowder and hand-digging.
The narrow shafts followed the mineral-rich lodes in an almost vertical direction.
The Levant workings extended one and a half kilometres out into the Atlantic Ocean
at a depth of 600m below the sea bed.
In the early days of the mine, the only way up and down the shafts was by ladder.
At the start and end of each shift, the miners had to climb 1,500 feet through narrow chambers.
They needed over 90 ladders.
The climb back up took one and a half hours.
Now, our present-day preoccupation with health and safety wasn't really shared with 19th century employers.
Aside from heart and lung disease, accidents through blasting were all too common.
Many, many miners were maimed for life or blinded.
The average age of a working miner who worked these mines was just 27 years old.
Working conditions were particularly gruelling
and miners worked by candlelight
in temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
It wasn't unusual for a chap to finish his shift 12 pounds lighter than when he started.
In 1857, Levant installed a new engine to help transport the men up and down.
It was called the man engine and it acted like a giant pump rod
with men stepping on and off platforms as it transported them down to the bottom in 30 minutes.
It could carry 130 men at a time and the shaft is still here today. Take a look.
Incredibly, it is still possible to hear first-hand
what it was like to work in the mine and to use the man engine from the miners themselves,
speaking in a BBC documentary made in 1970.
Every 12 feet, there was a step...
..about two foot square.
And about three foot six to four foot six up, there was a handle for you to catch hold of.
Really, it was safe as anything. A child could ride on it.
The first day I started, I started with a man, he rode down with me, two on the step.
You see? And after three days, well, you can get on all right.
You had to take a candle in your hat and a lantern in your hand for a while.
And, of course, after that, you put the lantern to one side and you just used the candle.
When they travelled the man engine, they all started to sing
and the sound that you heard as it came up through the shaft was out of this world.
If you could stand on top of that shaft and listen,
rich, it was, rich.
But the owners of the mine were slow to modernise.
And despite its success, there was little investment to update or replace machinery.
After 70 years of use, it was the last working man engine in the world
and considered a museum piece.
And then at 2.50pm
on Monday, the 20th of October in 1919, disaster struck.
I was about to step in. He said, "Don't step in, boy. There's something wrong."
And he made a...quiver. And I dodged back and under.
The manager shook like that and then he dropped away.
That was that. Down he goes.
What happened was the main pin on the top broke.
And then the rod on the way down broke in half.
That's what done the damage.
That went right through, see, took everything with it.
A full shift of men were ascending when suddenly there was an accident.
The top layer collapsed, crashing down 100 feet below.
It went through different layers on its way. 31 men in total lost their lives.
It took six days to get them out.
This tragedy hastened the decline of the mine and it finally closed in 1930.
A worldwide drop in the price of tin meant many of Cornwall's mines became unprofitable
in the decades that followed. The industry is practically extinct.
After the mine closed, the engines were blown up for scrap and many of the buildings were demolished,
their stone used to build houses elsewhere.
One engine was saved and so began a remarkable preservation project.
Today the site is looked after by the National Trust.
I've come here to talk to Chris Quick about the Levant's beam engine.
What's the significance of this?
As far as I know, it's the only working steam engine in Cornwall still in its original house.
-It was installed in this mine in 1840.
-And worked for 90 years.
-Gosh. She's seen some life.
-What would you get today to do that?
-What is the function of the engine?
-Its sole purpose is to wind the rocks they've cut
-and bring it to surface.
-Can I have a go?
-First, take the brake off.
-Wind it as far as you can...
-And that'll turn that wheel there?
-It turns the brake block.
-I can see the brake block rising.
-What a wonderful piece of kit.
-OK. Brake's off.
-Now you put some steam on.
-Bring that lever towards me.
-Wow! Look at that.
Look at that beam work now!
-Oh, take it off! I've never done this before. More steam?
-Keep the engine going now.
-So the driver stayed here all day.
-Making sure it didn't slow down...
-Give it some steam.
-He would just stay here?
-He would stay here, look at the gauge to see where it is.
-But you only run it for four minutes at a time.
-Just long enough for a skip to come to the surface.
You can hear those pistons working. Everything is so beautifully articulated.
It's just wonderful to see it working.
The steam is moving a beam which weighs two tonnes,
the rod weighs a tonne, crankshaft weighs a tonne
-and the flywheel weighs four tonnes.
-I feel part of its history now. Wonderful.
'The engine was the last to work on Levant mine. It's final days were used to salvage equipment.
'After the tragedy, it was used to bring some of the deceased up,
'so it remains a fitting memorial to those miners who lost their lives, helping to build our world.'
Here's what's going under the hammer.
Edith's little bookmarks valued by David Barby at £20 to £40,
Rosie's Laurel and Hardy collection valued by David Fletcher at £50 to £80,
Clyde's plate, valued by David Fletcher at £100 to £150
and Barbara and Norman's needle box valued by David Barby at £50 to £80.
For today's sale, we've come to picturesque Lostwithiel in the heart of Cornwall.
Back in 1205, Lostwithiel had the second busiest port on the south coast of England,
mainly due to the tin mines.
Sadly, there's no port here today,
but, hopefully, it will be just as busy
because we're the guests of Jefferys Auction Rooms.
Auctioneer Ian Morris is on the rostrum and first up, it's Edith and her bookmarks.
Why have you decided to sell these now then?
I came along to Flog It! with a few items in a box and...
-Met Mr Barby.
-Mr Barby picked these out and they're something I hadn't thought much about.
-They were with other things I thought were more valuable.
-I like the association with books.
There's a great revival for reading books with so many book clubs starting up. I belong to one.
I don't have an expensive bookmark. I use a piece of paper.
But I'm not buying!
Hopefully, someone is. Good luck. Here we go.
It's a silver hallmarked bookmark, made by J Cook & Sons, dated 1911.
And one other. Lot 132.
-I've got two bids and I've got to start at £30.
At £30, both bids are with me. I'll take 2.
32. 35. 38. At £40.
42. My bids are out. 42 right there.
I'll take 5 to get on. At £42.
-That's very good.
-45, two of you.
48? 45, the two of you both can't have it. 48 from one of you?
-Lots of bookworms.
-It's at 48. At 48. At 48.
At 48. 50 now? At 48. At 48 right at the back.
At 48. 50? We're done at 48...
-Top end, very good. They love their books here.
-£48, that's great.
It is a wonderful feeling when things exceed the top end of the estimate.
-It's not so good when it struggles at reserve.
-When it doesn't sell, it's dreadful.
'What a fabulous result for Edith! It just goes to show it's always worth having a good rummage around.
'Even little, hidden away objects can have value.
'Next, Rosie's Laurel and Hardy collection which she inherited from her ex-boyfriend's brother.'
-Now it's time to wave goodbye to Laurel and Hardy, isn't it?
-Every time you see Laurel and Hardy, do you always think of the ex then?
-So you can't wait to get rid.
There is no reserve. Hopefully, they're going to go to a good home.
There's something for everyone in there.
Lot 11 there, Laurel and Hardy, a collection of novelty items.
What shall we say for that? Very quickly. £30 away? £30?
£30 away? £30 I'm bid. The bid's here with me. 35. £40. 45.
At 45. I've got the bid on the book. £50. 55. At 55 with me.
-55. 60 now.
65. At 65, still here. At £65 with me.
At £65. 70 now? Are we all done? With me at 65...
-That was very good, wasn't it?
-You're going out to celebrate now?
-No, it's going into my children's savings account.
-We've got them off to a flying start. That's really good. I'm thrilled.
-So am I. Thank you for letting me flog it.
'Well, it's big smiles all round.
'ext up, it's Clyde's plate, but will the damage put people off?'
I never knew this would be worth so much
even with two hairline cracks in it.
We had a chat to the auctioneer and he says it's really rare.
Well, I hope I'm right.
The great thing about this particular plate is it's early.
You see lots of commemorative ware
which relates to the late 19th century,
but very little from as early as this. That's what I'm pinning my hopes on.
Thank goodness you've looked after it.
Yes, it's lasted fairly well.
-Nearly 200 years old.
Well, I'm starting to tingle now.
This is what auctions do. It won't be long.
In fact, we can't talk any more, because it's going under the hammer.
Let's find out what this lot think.
Rare pearlware commemorative tea plate there.
Got a crack in, otherwise it'd make a lot more money.
Can I say £100 to start, £100.
£50, I've got, 50. 60.
60, here. 70, there, 80.
90. £100. The bid's with me.
£100. 110 to get on, at 110.
The bid's in the middle.
Someone at the back of the room wants this.
£110, I'm bid. 120 now.
Are we done? At £110.
£110, the hammer's gone down, well done.
-You've got your 100.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Pity about those cracks, but we can't put the clock back.
-No, age will tell.
In the end, David Fletcher was spot-on with his valuation.
Clyde goes home without the plate, but with a pocket full of cash.
David and I have just been joined by Barbara and Norman. We've got that needle box going under the hammer.
-Tiny needles. They must have had tiny fingers.
-And very good eyesight.
Good luck. It's going under the hammer now.
172 there is a miniature, hinged, little tortoiseshell stamp box
with seven individual, graduated compartments,
made by Lund of Fleet Street, London.
I've got one, two, three, four bids and I've got to start at £135.
At 135. At 135.
140 now? At 135, all the bids are with me.
140. At 140. All my bids are out.
At 140, the bid's still at the back.
At 140. 145? At £140. I'm selling then at £140...
Straight in and straight in at £140.
I knew it was good, but my word!
Thank you so much.
What a surprise! Well, happy spending.
If you've got anything like that at home, we'd love to sell it for you.
Hopefully, there's a valuation day near you soon.
Check details in your local press or log on to bbc.co.uk/programmes, click F for Flog It!,
follow the links and hopefully, we are very near a town near you soon, so come along.
Just a few miles from Land's End,
and perched precariously on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic,
is what seems like the remains of a Roman amphitheatre.
It's not Roman. In fact, it's not that old at all.
It's the brainchild of one woman, Rowena Cade.
Rowena Cade was born on 2nd August, 1893, in Derbyshire,
into a large and loving family.
After Rowena's father passed away during the First World War,
the family were living scattered all over the country,
but eventually, Rowena and her mother moved to Lamorna,
just a few miles along the coast in that direction.
When Rowena discovered the Minack Headland, which I'm standing on now,
she fell in love with it and you can see why, can't you?
It's absolutely breathtaking.
She had to own it and she bought it for £100,
and in 1923, she built a house for herself and her mother
using granite from the local quarry.
Between the wars, Rowena used the house and its grounds
to stage a variety of plays to provide entertainment for her family and friends.
She discovered she had a knack for designing
and making the costumes needed for the productions.
Then in 1931, an opportunity arose for a much more ambitious project.
Rowena wanted to put a production on of The Tempest
and looking for an appropriate setting,
she had this vision of creating a stage out of the gully above Minack Rock.
At the age of 38,
a determined Rowena set about building the theatre by hand.
with the help of just two men - her gardener Billy Rawlings
and a local craftsman called Charles Thomas Angove.
All this work took place
on the slope above a sheer drop into the Atlantic.
It took the three of them six months, working through a harsh winter,
to make the stage and some basic seating cut out of the rock.
The production was a huge success.
The unique setting at the Minack Theatre here
brought something magical to the performance
and, of course, the public and the press absolutely loved it
and they wanted more.
Rowena and her gardener Billy worked tirelessly over the next few decades
to improve and expand the theatre,
which played host to many performances.
When Billy died in 1966,
Rowena inscribed one of the seats as his memorial.
By now, Rowena had developed her own innovative building techniques.
For example, these carvings were done
when the cement was wet with the tip of an old screwdriver.
Rowena passed away in 1983,
but her legacy is thriving today
and the theatre is still extremely popular.
Phil Jackson is the current theatre manager.
Well, you knew her, what was she like?
She was a seriously determined woman,
which you have to be to create a place like this.
A lot of people remember her as a Victorian headmistress type, tall and thin.
She was to me, because I first knew her as a child,
and she gave me my first summer job, when I was in my teens.
Everyone looked up to her and the companies were in awe of her that came here to play.
She had great vision, didn't she?
Indeed and she never designed it, she never wrote it down on paper.
-It just evolved.
-She used what she had
and what we've got is a concrete set for certain plays.
I mean, most of what's left on stage was built for a '51 production
of Tristan of Cornwall, sort of Celtic motifs around the place.
If she didn't like what she was making,
she would smash it up, chuck it in the sea and build something else.
-She wasn't precious about it.
-Did she make any money from it?
No, not during her lifetime.
She was funding it out of her own pocket
and actually in the 1950s, she tried to get someone else to take it over
because it was draining her pocket
and by then, she was in her 60s, late 50s, 60s.
Later on, it became a Charitable Trust,
then it had to stand on its own two feet,
and now it's financially self-sufficient.
Let's talk about the theatre today.
I've been here a few times and I've seen many,
so what are you trying to do now that's slightly different?
Early on, she put on one show a year, a Shakespeare,
and built bits for what we do...
As the theatre progressed and had to become more financially sound,
we extended the season.
You needed variety. We've got a lot of people who come every week.
I mean we do 17, 18 shows for the summer
and some people will be here every Friday night for 17, 18 weeks.
We still do Shakespeare, two or three a year,
but we also do musicals, drama, comedy,
the full gamut of the repertoire really.
This is just so stunning, isn't it, on a day like this?
-This is your office.
-It is, this is my office.
In my office at the top of the car park, I get a sea view.
A lot of people say to me, "You actually get paid to work here?"
-Is it a job for life?
-I'd like to think so.
Nowhere else I'd rather be.
-I could sit here all day long.
-We could sit here and chat all day long, as well.
Gosh, this brings back so many happy memories for me.
I first came here when I was about 14 years old with my mum and dad.
And they bumped into Rowena on several occasions and talked to her,
and she was always busy doing something, wearing scruffy clothes
and always covered in muck.
I just wished I'd spoken to her at the time, really.
I guess if I did speak to her, I wouldn't really have much to say at the age of 14.
But we saw many performances here,
wrapped up warm, I would have sat around here with my mum and dad,
a good view of the stage, blanket on,
cos it'd get really cold in the summer on those evenings.
And the odd glass of wine for Dad and a flask of tea.
Oh, I wish I could put back the clock.
Well, they say the world's a stage
and back at the valuation day in Truro Cathedral,
it's June's turn to take the lead role
with an item that has caught David Barby's eye.
I'm going to disappoint you.
-These are not diamonds and they're not sapphires.
-Dear, dear, dear.
-But it's a lovely piece of bling.
This is German and I'm just going to check on the mark,
which I think is...
Yeah, it's German silver, 935 -
which is a purer silver than English, which is only 925.
-So, this is German and it's beautifully set
and then these blue stones, which are imitation sapphires.
So, the amount of workmanship that went into this
is almost as much as a real jewel itself.
But, this is quite small, it's highly sophisticated.
Where did you get it from?
Well, it was an old aunt.
She left me quite a lot of glitzy jewellery, if you like,
a lot of marcasite and what have you,
and this was among it and I have never worn it,
-never bothered with it.
-Today, it is costume jewellery, which is sought after, isn't it?
-Not these little pieces of glitzy.
There is still a market for this
and if this was polished up, it would look absolutely stunning.
-It's not going to sell for a fortune.
-Oh, that's a shame.
Not going to sell for a fortune because it is paste, it' sham,
but the effect is what we're selling.
To lot of people seeing a small piece on a lapel,
they'd think it was genuine and this was the idea of the manufacturers.
The impression that you had got diamond and sapphire jewellery.
As regards value - at auction,
it might do £40 to £50.
That sort of price range, but it could do less.
-I think we've got to protect it,
-because we don't give it away for £5, do we?
-We want to make the auctioneer work for his commission.
-I am going to suggest we put a reserve of about 35 on it.
It's very little. Very little amount of money for such a beautiful object.
The sort of piece I might buy my wife. It's very nice.
-Right, thank you.
-But I can't. No, no. We're not allowed to.
Oh, well, that's a shame.
-Isn't it just?
-Do you want me to take it back, then, and sell it to you?
Oh, you shouldn't even have suggested that, no!
-I shall look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-Keep your fingers crossed.
It may not be diamonds, but even David Barby is tempted by June's sparkly brooch.
Let's hope others feel the same in the auction room.
David Fletcher has spotted an iconic item with Sandra.
This, to anyone who works in a saleroom,
is instantly recognisable as Royal Doulton.
As I'm sure you know. How long have you owned it?
-I'm not sure. 10, 15 years.
-Is it something you particularly like?
-No. I'm sorry!
-Which is why you brought it today.
The great thing about Royal Doulton is that it's a factory with a fabulous reputation,
in spite of your slightly disparaging view of it, producing good quality marketable products.
And the Royal Doulton factory knew about selling what they made.
And for that reason they produced series of collector's items.
It's obvious, really. If you have one figure in your collection,
you want two. Then three.
Anyway, many of these figures sell for relatively small sums
and when I saw it when you first brought it in,
I thought we were looking at a figure for £30-£40.
But it turns out that it's quite a bit rarer than I originally thought.
It was modelled by a potter called Mary Nicholl.
And it came into production in 1955
and it ceased production in 1958 or 1959.
So it was in production for no more than three or four years
and that makes it rare.
And it is rarity that gives these items their value,
as you can imagine, really.
All Royal Doulton figures are marked in the same way.
They have the title. In this instance, The Tailor.
They have an HN number,
HN being the initials of Harry Noke, who was an early potter in the Doulton factory.
After the HN there is the number itself
and, in this instance, the number is 2174.
If I was to tell you that I think it might make £200,
would you suddenly start to like it?
It would make you want to sell it all the more, I suppose.
I don't blame you. Right.
I'm optimistic that it might make £200.
Have you got anything planned, plans for the money?
My husband and I are going on a French holiday so, you know, any bit of money will help.
That'll buy a couple of good dinners in an expensive Parisian restaurant!
I'd like to suggest a reserve of £150-£200.
-Seeing as I don't think it's price-sensitive to you...
-You'll be glad to see the back of it!
-Shall we put a reserve of 120?
-Just a covering reserve to make sure it doesn't sell too cheaply.
-So a reserve of 120.
-Great. I'll look forward to seeing you at the sale and let's hope it does much better!
'Sandra will be happy to see it go and even happier if she gets £200.
'Across the room, a young lady brought in by John and Pat has got David hot under the collar.'
Who's responsible? Who bought this?
Well, actually, it was given to us many years ago by my father.
-Know where he acquired it?
-Was he in the Forces?
-Yes, in the Merchant Navy.
In the Merchant Navy.
Did he ever go to central Europe, sort of Hungary, Czechoslovakia?
-I really don't know.
-We cannot answer that.
He went all over the place.
This is Hungarian. And it is signed here.
That's the surname of the artist, which is Kerenyi.
His Christian name is spelt J-E-N-O.
-He had quite an interesting history.
Born in...1907. And he died in 1975.
So he had a long period of artistic achievements.
This dates from his early period.
This might have been his mistress!
If you think of what happened to Hungary, towards wartime and post-wartime,
it became dominated by socialism.
And a lot of his sculptures after WWII
were very much in the socialist manner - workers marching out to the fields with implements.
Solidarity, and the idea of the mass of workers supporting the state.
So he did a lot of sculpture in that form.
I think this is a wonderful work of art.
If you wanted to portray the sensual female figure, in all its glory,
-this is it, isn't it?
This languid female figure. If you think in terms of 1920s vamps.
And you think of dancers like Josephine Baker.
She's got all the movements of a very, very attractive woman.
This is not a one-off.
Bronzes are cast.
So several of these actually have appeared in sales.
There was one sold in 2001 for £3,000.
And then two years ago one was sold for £2,000.
I would think that this
would sell for round about £1,500-£2,000,
but we ought to put a reserve on that particular piece.
So when it comes up for sale, I would suggest a reserve of £1,600.
And I hope it goes above the £2,000 mark.
-Is that agreeable?
-Yes, it would be nice.
-Are you going to miss it?
I won't use the duster so very often!
That brings me to another point. If I look at this figure,
there are two highlights! I don't know who's responsible.
That's me, unfortunately. I had been, I thought, rather careful
not to over polish.
'Let's hope their over polishing won't trouble the bidders too much.
'Next up, Pauline has brought in a charming silver ring.'
I love this ring.
-In the form of a stylised heart.
Does that mean it was bought for you on a special occasion?
-I think it was bought in 1960.
-The year after we were married.
It might have been in my husband's romantic period!
Oh, dear! How long did it last?
-Maybe Valentine's Day.
-I like that.
"In his romantic period". Very good. Like Picasso's Blue Period.
Surely it has sentimental value?
It has, but I've very rarely worn it because it's very large
and my hands are very small.
I've not very long fingers.
I could imagine it on somebody
with lovely long fingers and beautifully-manicured nails
-and it'd look stunning.
-As you know, it was made by Georg Jensen,
the greatest, really, of 20th century jewellery designers,
-many people would say. Certainly the greatest Danish designer of jewellery.
Georg Jensen himself died just before the war,
but the factory continues to this day.
And this particular ring was designed
-by one of his assistants, a man called Henning Koppel.
Who was equally famous.
I think he was famous in his own right, really, as a designer.
-He won lots of awards in the '50s and '60s.
I love this stuff. I love it for its modern styling.
One sees a lot of Victorian jewellery,
one sees lots of Edwardian jewellery.
And, by comparison, come the time this was designed and manufactured,
-the modern movement is in full swing, really.
It's great and I'm sure it'll sell jolly well.
So if we estimate it at £100-£150,
and put a reserve of £100 on it,
because minimalist jewellery of this sort is so fashionable today,
I'm confident you'll get towards the top estimate or a bit more.
-You've got his permission?
-My husband is quite happy.
Considering it was bought for you in his romantic period!
-I hope he's not watching!
-He might start again!
His second romantic period. Starting soon. OK.
Look forward to lots more rings!
'Now for my favourite part of the show - let's head to the auction.
'Auctioneer Ian Morris is very impressed with one of our lots.'
It is a nice bronze. Good period. Lovely Art Deco period.
Bronzes, the lovely detailing, the lovely shape, lovely lines.
-It's the kind of thing that will appeal to the market.
Signed as well. We've got everything there the buying public want.
Good period pieces of Art Nouveau, Art Deco,
seem to be selling certainly better than Victorian pieces.
Has this been heavily viewed and picked up?
It certainly has been viewed. There is some interest.
£1,600 is... probably towards the top end.
Quite a lumpy reserve. I'd like to think I'd get there.
Maybe a bit nip and tuck. Might just get there.
'Well, fingers crossed. We'll find out how it gets on later.
'Also about to go under the hammer is Sandra's Royal Doulton figurine
'and Pauline's charming ring.
'June's brooch, valued by David Barby at £40 to £50.
'First up, it's the ring.'
-It's time for it to go.
-It's very stylish.
-And sought after.
-I always think an item should speak of its period.
-It should look as if it was made in the 1960s
and not the 1860s. Jensen jewellery complies with that little rule.
Hopefully, it'll find a new home. It's a great name.
Quality always sells. That's the key. Here we go.
Lot 192 there. A Georg Jensen sterling silver ring with pierced heart decoration.
Can I say £100 away, please?
£50 to start me?
£50 I'm bid. At 50. 60 now.
-80. 90. 100.
At £100, the bid's to my left. I'll take 110.
-At £100 I'm bid.
-A bit more!
At £100. Are we done? At £100.
-Bottom, though. Never mind.
This will go to my two grandchildren, their little pots of money.
-It will top up their fund.
-What a great grandma!
'I'm sure that Pauline's grandchildren will be very happy with £50 each added to their funds.
'Next up is Sandra's figure.'
-Who have you brought along?
-Barry, my husband.
-Pleased to meet you.
What do you think of this?
-I love it. I was at work when she brought it in!
-Now we're selling it!
-I hate it!
-Oh, dear. So you had to tell him?
-Was it a sad goodbye?
-It was a good meal!
We've got a valuation of £150-£200 and it's quite rare
-because it was only in production for three years.
And sitting so quietly ever since.
It's a Royal Doulton figure. The Tailor. Quite a rare figure.
Can we say 150 away?
£100 I've got. At £100. 110 to get on.
110. 120. 130. 140. 150?
He's had a bid on the book. Someone's left a bid.
At 140. The bid's on the books.
-At 140. 150 now? At 140.
-Come on. A bit more.
150. At 150. I can go to 155.
-It's doing all right.
155. 160 now?
At 155 I'm bid. 155.
-Just in with a chance there. £155.
-Towards our holiday.
-Good for you.
-Normandy and Brittany.
'Sandra has finally got rid of her figure and even husband Barry appreciates a bob or two.
'Next up, June's hoping her sparkly brooch will catch someone's eye
'when it goes under the hammer.'
June is not a silver girl, that's why you're selling
-the silver brooch. You are more gold?
-And you like your brooches.
-Some people suit gold, you suit gold, I can see that.
I'm more silver, I've got some silver things on. What's David?
He's already passed a remark today that I look rather grey.
I think you look good.
-Well, a bit of blue coming through there, though.
You normally wear brighter colours.
Well, yes, but I thought this was quite OK today.
So, are we selling this to buy some more gold jewellery?
No, no, I don't think it'll be quite enough,
but it'll go nice towards an evening out I think.
OK, well, good luck both of you.
This is something for the ladies
and I know there's hundreds here, so it should sell. Good luck.
Can I say £40 away? £40 away.
£20 I'm bid. At £20.
At £20 a bid, I'll take five now.
£20. 25. £30. 35.
At 35 seated, is it 40? 40.
At £40, 45. £50.
At £45 seated. At 45. If you're not, we're done, at £45.
-Yes. £45, we did it, June.
That sold really well, well done, David.
'Now it's the turn of that magnificent bronze figure,
'but are the bidders here?'
We've all been looking forward this one. We hope to get top end.
That wonderful bronze figurine. She has caused a lot of interest.
I had a chat to the auctioneer. We both agreed - absolute quality.
-And it's so nice, so sensuous.
-Typical of the period.
-Now in the saleroom
-and possibly going to somebody else's front room.
The Hungarian bronze figure there. A naked exotic dancer.
Signed on the base. Lot 112.
Got a little bit of interest. Start at £1,000.
At £1,000. £1,000. And 50 to get on. And 50.
1,100. 1,150. 1,200. 1,250. At 1,250.
At 1,250. 1,300 right at the back.
1,400. 1,450. 1,500? 1,500.
1,500. 1,550. 1,600?
In the doorway. Is it 50?
1,650. 1,700? At 1,650 on the phone. At 1,650.
This is great.
1,700? At 1,650 on the phone.
-That was exciting! That was brilliant.
-Not quite the top end, but happy.
-That was fine.
-What are you going to replace the figurine with?
Going to do some spending?
We'll move one of the other bronzes to the same place!
At least you've got a few!
That's it. It's all over. Another day in the auction room.
It's wonderful to be back home in Cornwall. The sun's shining
and we sold everything! So congratulations to everyone.
I hope you enjoyed the show. Keep watching for more surprises.
But for now it's cheerio. Proper job!
Truro Cathedral plays host to this episode of Flog It!, the show where members of the public turn up and have their antiques and collectibles valued by our team of experts, this time led by David Barby and David Fletcher. Paul Martin is the host with the most, taking the best items to sell at auction to the highest bidder. Paul also takes some time off to learn about one of the worst mining disasters in Cornish history, at the Levant Mine near St Just.