Paul Martin, Michael Baggot and Will Axon pick their way through well-kept treasures and collectibles from the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
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Boy, hundreds of people here, and have we got a show for you today.
Do you know, every year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, the whole town of Ashbourne in
Derbyshire comes out in force for the Royal Shrovetide Football Game.
It looks like Flog It has had the same effect today.
Once a year, the Royal Shrovetide Football Match
plays half the town's folk against the other half,
with the town of Ashbourne itself becoming the pitch with the goals three miles apart.
Now, we're not letting you do anything as energetic as that today, as all they've got to do
is dust off unwanted antiques and collectables here at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.
Coming up, there's a new addition to the Flog It family.
-Beautiful, isn't she?
We find out more about the game of Shrovetide football.
-Have you played it?
-Well, I'm a big guy but I never have and it is quite tough and rough and tumble.
-And at the auction, one item breaks all records.
-I'm shaking, do you know that?
I'm actually shaking.
Our team of experts is led by Michael Baggott.
When he was 11, he saved up his dinner money for over a month to buy his first antique -
a silver vesta case which cost him £22 -
and he hasn't looked back since.
While he was growing up around Newmarket, Will Axon's early career aspirations were as a jockey,
although eventually he became an auctioneer and a valuer,
which is lucky for us.
Oh, they were the cutting edge of technology, these were, at the time.
Well, everybody's now safely seated inside the venue
and this is where the fun begins because Will Axon, one of our experts, is first at the tables.
Let's take a closer look at what he's spotted.
Will is hoping that Joan's jewellery
will attract the ladies to the saleroom.
You've brought two quite distinct pieces of jewellery.
What can you tell me? Let's start here with this bracelet and locket.
What can you tell me about that?
I know it belonged to my grandmother and it's just come down to me.
I don't remember anybody actually wearing it
but I've kept it in a box, in my loft, sort of thing. Same old story.
We hear it a lot, certainly on this programme.
People are sometimes quite surprised at the amount of value
they have languishing in the drawer.
-It's nine carat gold.
It's less pure gold in the mix, shall we say?
We weighed it earlier and it's just under 27 grams,
so if we put it in at about 150, that sort of figure,
it will entice the bidders in, I think, at that sort of money.
Is that the sort of figure you would be happy with?
I think so. It sounds fair really.
-Like I say, I suspect it is going to end up as scrap value.
I'm afraid, yes.
Then we move on to the cameo brooch,
which again is not a terribly wearable piece of jewellery.
They are a little bit dated, shall we say,
from the '70s dinner party or something like that.
You may have seen the hostess wearing one or two.
It's reasonable quality though, isn't it?
The carving can vary quite substantially on these.
You can get some very deep relief carvings.
Almost the deeper the carving,
the larger the starting piece that they've had to work from, so it's
almost a more expensive piece to make than one that is very shallow carved.
I mean, if that's 150, where would you see that?
-Do you think that is similar money?
-No, less, I would think.
Makes my job a bit easier to break it to you gently.
I've seen them make £20, £30. I've seen them make £30-£50.
What I'm going to say is let's incorporate the cameo brooch
in with the estimate for the gold bracelet.
-I think keep the estimate of £150-£200.
If we get a sale on the day at the auction,
are you going to buy yourself something, a piece of jewellery
that you will wear, or is the money going elsewhere?
I think it will go elsewhere,
-to a new grandchild which is expected any day really.
When we see you again at the auction, you may...
-I could be a grandma again.
-It may have arrived.
That's great news.
Pamela, thank you for bringing me my almost favourite thing
on Flog It, a piece of silver.
How did you come by this wonderful little cup?
It's from my mother. My mother won it at her club when she worked
and it had just been in the home and when they moved home and they died,
I inherited it, really.
Oh, so this inscription on the front,
Bovril Swimming Club,
presented by Sir James Crichton-Brown to Miss G V Wilder...
-That was my mother.
-G V Wilder was your mother.
-So she won the swimming cup.
-Was she a fantastic swimmer?
I don't think so. She never talked about it very much.
But she was good enough to win a silver cup.
That's something to be proud about. Now, like all silver,
there should be a set of hallmarks
which tell us a little bit more about it.
And there we've got the almost ubiquitous M & W for Mappin and Webb.
Huge manufacturers and retailers in the 20th century and provided
a lot of cups like this, when they were fashionable, for presentations.
We've got the crown for Sheffield.
We've got the lion passant, which tells us it's sterling silver
and we've got the date letter from 1926,
-which is the year or the year before she would have won the cup.
-Do you use it much at home?
-No, I don't use it at all.
It lives in a cupboard.
A presentation cup is almost neither use nor ornament,
although it is quite ornamental.
It did come with a little wire thing, you use it like for flowers.
-For flowers. That's wonderful.
-I presume so, yes.
Yes, they would provide a little wire,
and you can put some Oasis in the bottom
and put fresh flowers in it
-and they're actually when they're at their best.
In terms of value, as I say, it's not tremendously valuable.
I think, at auction, we would be sensible
putting an estimate of £60 to £100 on it...
-..and putting a fixed reserve of £60, which reflects the bullion value
-of the cup.
-So if you're happy to do that...?
Yes, I am, rather than it sitting in a cupboard.
It's better out than in the cupboard, isn't it?
Michael's always happy when he's got a bit of silver in his hands.
Next up, Will has found something that we've already heard about
earlier on in the show - something unique to Ashbourne.
Once a year, the whole town turns out to take part
in a free-for-all game - Shrovetide football.
There's no offside rule.
In fact, not many rules at all.
Only three. No mechanical means can be used, such as a car.
If the ball is out of play for over an hour, it's void.
And, finally, if a goal is scored before 5pm,
the whole game starts over again.
So let's meet someone who's had the bruises to prove he's taken part.
I spotted you in the queue outside with this print, and it intrigued me really.
I came along and I said, "Hang on a minute, what's going on?
"Prince Charles being carried aloft with a football?"
I didn't think that was his sort of scene. And then I see here,
Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football, and then talking to you,
it triggered what I've seen about Shrovetide football.
I remember in my distant memory that there are a lot of people that, over
a few days end up getting very muddy, very tired, and some of them quite
badly hurt with this game, Royal Shrovetide Football.
Tell me about it, it's something Ashbourne is well known for.
Well, it goes back to well before the First World War,
actually, where the gentlemen used to have shirt, ties and trousers on.
-And it just carried on to the present day.
Right. And it's an intriguing game.
I mean, you know it well, because you've taken part, haven't you?
-Yes, I have, yes.
-Yeah. On several occasions.
-And you will do in the future?
-Oh, yes, yeah.
-I started playing Shrovetide when I was 14.
Quite brave, then, cos there's some big lads who play it, aren't there?
-Yes. Yeah. Yep.
-And the basic premise of the game, if I've got it right, tell me,
you're meant to get the ball from one end to the other, is it?
Yeah. From Ashbourne car park, there's a plinth.
-And once it's thrown up or turned up,
it's one and a half miles down to Clifton
and one and a half miles down to Sturston.
-And that's where the sort of, the goals are?
Plinth and you've got like a circle in it
-and you have to tap it three times.
-Tap the ball three times.
Once you've tapped it three times, it's your ball.
-You keep it?
-How long does it go on for?
-And you can sort of dip in and out whenever you want?
-Yes. You can do.
You can sort of have a go in the morning and then pop home, have your tea, and join in again.
-Later on, yes, yeah. And all the shops and that are all boarded up.
Well, this print here, looking at it, obviously sort of commemorates one of these.
I mean, looking here, 5th March 2003.
-That's correct, yeah.
-And Prince Charles came along.
-He did, yes.
And did he take part? Did you get a chance to sort of wrestle him to the ground for the ball?
No. He came and threw the ball up, turned the ball up.
-Turned the ball up?
-Right. So that's quite an honour.
-It is, yeah.
-You've actually got a key to who the people are.
-Yes, correct. Yeah.
Obviously we've got to talk about value. This is Flog It.
It is signed in pencil, I notice, by the artist, which is good because
that limits the edition, as well as this number here. Three out of 850.
I mean, this was on sale in Ashbourne, was it? You bought it?
No. I won it on the raffle.
-On the same day?
-Well, it was one of the special evenings.
OK. How much did you have to pay for your strip of tickets?
-£5. OK. So, I mean, it's got to be worth that, hasn't it, for the framing and the glazing?
I think, let it make what it makes.
-It's the right part of the world to sell it!
Difficult to value,
but I think we've got to put an estimate on it, haven't we?
Let's say, what, £30 to £50, something like that?
You wouldn't get it framed for that sort of money
-so it's got to be worth that, but I think we should go without reserve.
It's a hard thing to actually pin a value on, so you've decided to let it go. No reserve.
We're guaranteed a sale and I look forward to seeing you at the sale.
Bring a ball along on the day. We'll have a game in the car park.
-Andrew, it's been a pleasure.
The sword that Michael has found hasn't been out
and about for a long time.
Thank you so much for bringing in something
we don't normally see on a Flog It, a little bit of militaria.
So where has this been in your home?
It's been stored in a cupboard for the last 45 years,
since we got married. I had it the year I got married.
It was under a shed.
The gentleman that gave it to me, Henry Greenwood,
he said, "I've got a present for you."
We went down the garden, came back up,
pulled this thing from under the shed.
How long it had been under there is anybody's guess.
So this was your wedding gift, 45 years ago, from under a shed.
We've heard some and usual stories on Flog It. That probably caps it.
With anything like this, the best thing to do,
and we'll take our life in our hands...
-Whip it out.
There we go. What we have got is an infantry officer's sword.
If we flick it over here, one good indicator of date
is we have a crown cipher there, which is for Queen Victoria.
-We know that it dates between 1837 and 1901.
-We've got the emblem of the Grenadiers.
-It is the Grenadiers.
-And that is also emulated...
-On the hilt.
In the basket work here, we've got their emblem.
-Then we've got a list of their battle honours.
We go from Waterloo, Peninsular and down here we've got Lincelles
and pop over to the Crimean War and we've got Alma, Inkerman, Sebastopol.
What's really nice to see here is we've got the maker's mark,
which is Henry Wilkinson - of the Wilkinson Sword fame -
Pall Mall, London.
That's lovely but then just to reinforce that,
on a little gilt-lined... And that is lined in gold.
We've got his maker's punch, HW.
So that's a lovely thing.
Michael, the only real problem with edged weapons
is they have to be in wonderful condition
-to be worth big money.
And I think it's the time under the shed that has done the most damage.
-Won't have done it a lot of good.
-Moisture, even finger marks
can have an effect but I think we are beyond that.
The one saving grace is the blade is in reasonably nice condition.
In good order, I mean really pristine order,
-this sword might be worth between £400 and £600.
-It does fall off dramatically.
I think if we were to put this into auction at £60-£100,
and put a reserve of £50 on it, and it wouldn't go for any less,
-that's nearly just over a pound a year since the wedding.
Michael, why have you decided to part with this really lovely sword?
Well, it's been standing in a cupboard for the last 45 years,
since we got married. I'm going to, probably, put it toward a new gun -
I do a bit of game shooting and that sort of thing.
Well, I would think a rifle is going to be more use catching game
-than a sword.
Hopefully, we will get you up to your rifle, or some way towards it.
Some way towards it, anyway.
And hope we've got two cavalier gentleman at the saleroom
-who will go for this.
While I'm in Derbyshire,
I'm going to make the most of it by getting out into the countryside.
I've come back to Haddon Hall in the Peak District
but it's not the house I'm here to look at this time.
Because something really exciting has been happening
to the management of the River Wye,
which meanders all the way through the estate here,
which is what I want to show you today.
So I've got my day pass on me
and I'm here to meet head river keeper, Warren Slaney,
to do a spot of fly fishing and also hear about what's been going on.
The Victorians were great fishing enthusiasts
and gave this river a bit of a make-over.
In recent years, Warren has been undoing their work
by bringing it back to nature for the fly fishermen of today.
So, I guess fly selection is very, very important.
-You've got to select what the fish are biting for.
-Yeah, that's true.
-We've got two different flies.
-Mayfly's are hatching.
They're done. They are hatching in the air. And also there
are some hawthorn flies but the fish are going to be much happier about
feeding on the mayfly than the hawthorn
because there's a bigger bite.
What we need is a big fly that matches the colouring
and size of the mayfly.
And here we are.
Either of those two flies.
These are dry flies that will float on the surface of the water,
as opposed to the wet flies, which go underneath the water.
Yeah. They sit on top.
It's really an unwritten rule with fishermen over the country,
-isn't it, freshwater fish - catch and release.
I hope we catch one today. There's loads, isn't there?
The hot time's now. You can see late afternoon and it's humid.
There's a few down there.
'I can't wait, but I'd like Warren to show me how it's done first!'
Do they target this river for poaching, then? At night-time?
It could happen any time. At breakfast time. At midnight.
You've got one. Hey-hey!
And through the...
Do you want me to use the landing net?
-You've cracked it.
Beautifully netted. I'll take the opportunity to wet my hands
-when it comes in.
-Sure. Otherwise, your hands are too dry, aren't they?
It can sit in my lap, this beautiful fish.
It was painted by Mr Faberge.
Aren't they pretty?
-There the sedge.
-Oh, nice. That's really good.
It's not too deep, is it?
I think it's only slightly hooked. Make sure its teeth are OK.
-There he is.
-Wonderful, isn't it? All the spots on the dorsal fin.
That's Alaska brown trout.
It's fat and happy on mayfly.
-There he goes!
-There he goes.
-In a state of shock, for the moment.
-Doesn't know what's happened!
"Christ, what's happened?! All I doing was eating mayfly!"
"And all of a sudden, I was on some chap's lap."
'This river is full of fish.
'It's my turn now,
'but I have a feeling it may not be as easy as it looks.'
Will we have to fish on our knees? Cos this is a very narrow stretch.
If they see us, even at the mayfly time...
-So we'll crawl along on our knees!
There, that's a nice fish in the food lane. Let's creep up.
It doesn't matter. We won't scare him. Even if all the rest...
Oh, good... Nearly.
-He's still there.
-He is still there, isn't he?
These brown trout, they are the red ones that Izaak Walton's friend
-wrote about in 1670.
-"They are the reddest and best trouts "in England."
According to Charles Carlton.
The darker the water, the darker the trout sometimes. Is that so?
You get black ones in peaty water in Wales and things.
-That's nice, isn't it? Look at that fly move.
It looks natural when it lands, then, doesn't it?
And that is what will deceive the fish.
Oh, that's good.
Talk me through some of the changes.
What's been happening to the river bank?
We took out all the weirs here, so the river level drops.
So it's a lot shallower.
It means that the river has got more current, which grows more weed,
a lot more insects and... A much better life for fish.
It must be wonderful for you to see stock levels rising, naturally.
-You are not feeding them with anything.
They're just feeding off what's here.
We used to be in complete control of the rivers.
We could stock as many fish as we wanted,
but we didn't have as many fish as there is now.
By leaving nature to get on with it,
-properly, the wildlife just becomes abundant.
-Wonderful how nature works.
Where is he now? I've lost him.
Come on, bite!
The longer this line gets, the more I am going to catch the bank.
Oh, sorry, Warren!
'Warren says it's time to try another spot.
'The fish aren't biting here.'
There is a mayfly going downstream.
And you've got a fish just dropped into the front of that.
-Can you see it coming up the bank?
-Can you see the fish?
-Just coming over the weed now.
I scared him.
-Do you know who built this river?
-It was made by the Marquis of Granby,
-back in 1870.
-Built in 1870?
-Purely just to fish in?
-A fishing river.
Behind, there was a fish farm.
'The great thing about Warren
'is that he knows EVERYTHING about this river.'
You were going to tell me a story about Mr Ogden.
-He influenced the way you're fishing at the moment.
-No, the style you are fishing in.
The little boys would come out on days like this
and catch live mayfly, put them into boxes and creels
and wait outside the pubs and they'd sell the mayflies
-for a penny to the gentlemen.
-That's quite enterprising.
So the rivers were being emptied by anglers
and Mr Ogden found a way of actually taking straw from the fields
and trapping air in the middle
-and making the artificial floating fly.
-So he invented the fly?
-Our steward heard about Mr Ogden
and asked him to demonstrate his methods.
James Ogden caught nine fish in front of a gallery of spectators,
including the head keeper and the steward.
The next day, the steward, Robert Nesfield,
made it a dry-fly-only estate.
And long may it continue.
Sure. It's a good conservation measure.
I guess this is a big part of your job, really
to make sure that everyone does use a dry fly.
The fishermen are very good.
One out of 1,000 will misbehave or...
-Use a maggot or something?
You can clean up on maggots.
Yeah. But what would be the point?
-Not satisfying fishing, is it?
'I tell you what, there is no satisfaction here,
'so we're on the move once again.'
'This is not my lucky day!'
You've got 20 years' experience,
which you have condensed into a few hours for me,
which is really nice.
I've creamed all your knowledge off!
Oh, dear. Just got to put it to use.
-I'm not disappointed at all that I haven't caught one.
I've thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt so much for the next time.
-And that's the main thing.
That's a good cast. I'm going to make that my final cast.
Got to have one more, surely?!
What if it's a bad cast?
We're allowed one more after that, OK?
I've got to end on a good cast, OK?
-Yep. We'll leave it in there for half an hour.
Oh, please bite.
We're now about halfway through our day and we've been working flat out.
Everybody's having a marvellous time, aren't we?
-Good, good, but right now, it's time to up the tempo.
This is where we put our valuations to the test.
Let's get straight over to the auction room.
We've got a mixed bag of items going under the hammer today.
Joan's gold bracelet and cameo brooch.
We've also got Pamela's silver swimming trophy,
along with Michael's sword, which might have seen better days,
but could still get the bidders excited.
And, last but not least,
the interesting Shrovetide football print.
And this is where all our action is happening today,
the Mackworth Hotel in Derbyshire.
On the rostrum, we have auctioneer Charles Hanson,
who I'm going to have a chat to in just a moment.
I tell you what, the room is filling up.
There's an excitement, there's a buzz about the place.
Hopefully, this lot are going to bid on some of our items.
This modern print belongs to Andrew.
He paid £5 for this, at a ball he went to
and thinks this is the best area to sell it.
Lots of local interest,
because, boy, is this big business up here in Derbyshire.
-So tell me all about it. Have you played it?
Well, I'm a big guy, Paul, but I never have.
And it is quite tough and rough and tumble. Not my sort of thing.
-You can handle it.
But this, obviously, from 2003, it captures international interest.
The press come, the media come, to watch the event.
The uppards against the downards. It's a great sport.
What sort of price would you put on this
if it came into the rooms today?
I think, Paul, it's the right place to sell it. It's local.
I would say between £50 and £80.
Oh, that's good news, cos we're looking for £30 to £50.
-Looks like we scored a goal there!
I hope so.
Remember, both buyers and sellers have to pay commission at auction,
which can vary from sale room to sale room.
Here, at Hanson's Auctioneers And Valuers,,
the commission is 15%, plus VAT.
And on the rostrum today is auctioneer David Greatwood.
First up is the sword,
which Michael and his wife, Sylvia, were given as a wedding present.
Good luck, Sylvia. Good luck, Michael.
This is where we're putting the Wilkinson sword to the test,
in the cutting edge of the saleroom, if you pardon the pun.
-I gather the money is going to a sporting gun - a shotgun.
Good luck. Let's set our targets on, well, hopefully, £100, shall we?
-Let's see, let's see!
-Time will tell.
Really?! That low? Here we go. It's going under the hammer now.
This very fine 19th-century officer's sword. Wilkinson blade,
as detailed, with all the military honours.
-The quality is superb. For £100.
Nice thing, this one here.
We have one on the telephone. We've had interest and commissions,
-I can go straight in at £80, I'm bid.
-That's a nice "in".
I'll take 5. Surely, now? At 80. Where's 5? At £80.
5, anywhere, now? At 80. At 5, anywhere?
At £80. I'll take 85. I have 90.
-Someone's in the room now.
120. 130. I have 140.
140, still with me. On commission at £140.
At 140. I'll take 50. 150 and I'm out.
On the telephone, with Ruth, at £150.
Any advance now? At 150. Last chance, at 150.
And selling on the phone, at 150.
-That's more like it.
£50 more than what we were all expecting.
Yes. Pleased with that.
How much will the shotgun set you back, the 12-bore?
450-460, the one I want.
-A modern sporting gun?
-Not going for a vintage?
-Oh, no, no.
-A Purdey or something?
-I've already got one of these.
-Oh, have you?! We'd like to see that.
Bring that one along to our valuation day!
After being hidden away for over half a decade,
the bidders loved the sword.
Let's hope they feel the same
for Joan's cameo brooch and gold bracelet.
She's come along to the auction with her daughter, Kath,
and a much smaller member of the family.
A couple of months have passed since we last saw them
and there's been a new addition. Congratulations, Kath!
-Thank you very much.
-And Grandma. What's her name?
-Oh, she's so beautiful.
-Beautiful, isn't she?
-Takes us back a bit, Paul.
-They don't stay like that for long, do they?
-No, they don't.
-How old is she now?
-Four weeks. Ah!
-Everything going well?
-Yeah, everything's going really well.
-She's been very good. Very good little baby.
-Nice feeling, Grandma?
-Good luck, all three of you.
This one's sleeping through it.
Very fine, nine-carat gold link bracelet, with a heart-shaped lock,
together with a nine-carat gold cameo brooch. Delightful lot.
Lots of interest. I will start at £100.
110. 120. 1-3. 140.
185, why not?
-It's a good time to sell gold.
-The prices are up, they're high.
200, 210, 220. Come on!
210. Do I see 220 now?
210. Do I see 220? Come on! I'll take 220.
-We'll take 210!
-210. Fair warning. You're out.
I'm in at 210. We say "sale".
Well done. And, look at that,
you slept through the whole thing.
-Well done, Will.
-I'm glad we could help.
Are you having any more, Will?
Well, it's not really my decision, is it?!
No, it's not! That was a diplomatic answer.
I think poor Philippa's had enough.
I've got three of my own and that's perfect.
Any more than that, we'll have to buy a flatbed lorry!
What a fabulous result and I bet lucky granddaughter Evie
is now going to be spoilt rotten by Joan.
We're swimming along nicely now
and let's hope we just don't tread water on this next lot,
because it's a presentation swimming cup, belonging to Pamela.
-It was your mum's.
-She won it when she worked at the Bovril factory.
-They had swimming competitions there?
-They must have done.
I didn't hear a lot about it, but she must have done, mustn't she?
-Why are you selling this, Pamela?
-Well, I don't swim.
None of the family swim, otherwise, you know, I could have presented it to them. So, decluttering again.
-It's priced to sell, isn't it?
It is. And the price of bullion, I hate to say, hasn't been higher.
-Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
So, hopefully, we'll start you off decluttering in the right manner
-and the right fashion.
-If not, I'll have to have another go.
There you go, showing on my left there.
The George V silver twin-handled trophy cup,
with a presentation inscription,
made by Mappin & Webb, Sheffield 1926.
Good name. Good maker's name.
Straight in at 75. 80, I'm bid. At 80, I have. At 80.
Where's five now? At 80. Five.
I'm out. At 85. 90 I'll take. At £85. On the right-hand side.
At 85. Any advance now? At £85. All done? Selling at 85.
Well, that was quick, wasn't it? £85. We had a guide of 60-100.
-That was straight in at the deep end.
-It was, wasn't it?
They are worth what they're worth and you'll find bidders will often leave
commission bids very close to one another for bullion.
-Yes, thank you.
Another good result.
Can the Shrovetide picture complete the successful run?
Going under the hammer right now
is something very special to this area and only to this area.
It's the Shrovetide footie match, isn't it?
It's a shame, Andrew, you didn't bring the ball in, eh?
But anyway, it's a great print,
it's a modern print and it's a limited edition.
-It is, yes.
-And we've got a value of around £30 to £40, Will.
And I had a chat to the auctioneer and it is big business up here.
Everybody joins in.
It doesn't get better than this for local interest, let's face it.
Brilliant. I mean, we said there's not a huge amount of value in the print itself,
but the story was great, you know, this Shrovetide football,
and I think I rather foolishly said on camera
that I would probably try and turn up for the next game,
and he's going to hold me to it.
So, next time, when I'm covered in bruises and perhaps an arm in a sling
and on crutches, you'll know that I made it.
-But I'm seriously tempted, you know!
We might just film that.
-Well, good luck, both of you.
Very fine print after S J Avery,
of course, the local sporting event in the Shrovetide.
So who's going to start me off at £20 only for it, surely?
20 anywhere now? Surely, £20. 20 bid, thank you.
Where are all the footballers?
You couldn't get it framed for that, could you?
25. 28. 30. 32.
£32 seated with the lady, at 32.
Any advances? With you, madam, at 32.
Any advance now? 35 surely now.
At £32, seated dead centre at £32.
Last chance at £32.
Hammer's gone down - £32.
It's not about the value, it's about the history,
the social history of the game really, isn't it?
Exactly the point, Paul.
And you've given someone the opportunity to own it
-and hang it on their wall.
And hopefully told thousands of viewers that are watching,
who hadn't heard of this, and hopefully they might turn up
and watch Will get in a scrum.
Yeah. I'm the one at the bottom!
Well, we'll definitely watch out for that.
Next, one of the most magnificent stately homes that I've ever visited
currently houses a fascinating exhibition.
When you catch your first glimpse of Chatsworth House,
as you travel through the grounds, it really is quite overpowering.
It's a magnificent building
and it's hard to sum it up in words to do it justice.
I feel really emotional right now.
You have to be here to experience this architectural delight.
It was built by Bess of Hardwick in the 1500s and it's been
handed down through many different generations of the Cavendish family
who have all left their mark on this building, the grounds
and their extensive collections.
One member of the family who caught the collective imagination
like no other was Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
Her life was recently portrayed in a movie called The Duchess,
some of which was filmed right here at Chatsworth.
The South Sketch Gallery of the house is full of artefacts
that Georgiana bought or collected herself.
In fact, it's dedicated to her.
She was a celebrated beauty, a socialite,
and famous for her wonderful sense of style
and political campaigning, but perhaps more infamously
for her love of gambling and her rather unusual marital arrangements.
In 1774, on her 17th birthday,
Georgiana married William Cavendish, who was the fifth Duke of Devonshire
and one of the richest men in the country.
The marriage was an unhappy one.
For many years, Georgiana was unable to produce a male heir
and after introducing William to her best friend,
Lady Elizabeth Foster,
she spent the rest of her life as part of an infamous menage a trois.
And here are the paintings of the two women and the duke,
and this is Georgiana, and she's absolutely stunning.
It's painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the 18th Century.
This is her best friend Elizabeth, also known as Bess,
again painted by Reynolds. And here's the duke in the middle,
looking rather proud and smug and pleased with himself.
And so he should, really, shouldn't he?
They all lived here in the house and both gave birth to his children.
In fact, the duke also had a child by a maid that worked at the house.
But finally Georgiana gave birth to the long-awaited Cavendish heir.
And this three-sided relationship continued
right up until Georgiana's death
and then the duke married her best friend, Bess.
Georgiana's personal situation
became even more complicated during her unhappy marriage
when she fell in love with the second Earl Grey and fell pregnant.
We've been given special access to a fascinating letter from this time.
The duke found out and he exiled her to France,
hoping maybe not many people would find out.
Now, childbirth was risky at this particular time
for mother and for child. Survival rate was quite low.
So Georgiana wrote this letter
so her son could read this when he was old enough.
This letter was written in her own blood,
and this explains why she did this.
I know it sounds dramatic, but this was Georgiana. Just listen to this.
"My dear little boy,
"as soon as you are old enough to understand this letter,
"it will be given to you.
"It contains the only present I can make you,
"my blessing, written with my blood."
"God bless you, my child.
"Your poor mother,
That's so sad, isn't it?
As you can see, look, the blood is fading.
The more she's writing, the more it's fading.
It is very melodramatic, but that's Georgiana.
Because she loved gambling, in fact she was really addicted to it,
she was in debt all her life,
and here's a summary of some of the gambling debts.
The gambling debts amount to around £61,859.
Now, that's a lot of money back then.
Today, that's equivalent, let's say, of earnings of around £40 million.
Now, they do say you can win some, you can lose some,
but I think she was losing all the time.
Wasn't very good at cards.
She was living on a knife-edge, wasn't she?
Here, look, there's a list of all the people working on the estate,
tradesmen, people like that, that haven't been paid,
and they're owed £183, which was a great deal of money.
It took her family decades to pay these debts off after her death.
Georgiana was definitely melodramatic and terrible with money
but let's not forget she was a political campaigner,
arbiter of fashion and taste
and one of the most influential women of the day.
When Georgiana walked into a room, everybody stopped and stared.
She had a wonderful, alluring presence
and, as we've seen from her letters, she was a loving mother
but the time she lived in saw her bound by convention.
But what a fascinating story. I'd love to have met her.
Our valuation day at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Ashbourne
is in full swing and a bit of colour has been added to the proceedings.
We first must mention, Bill,
-because you're not in standard clothing today, are you?
So you are...?
I am Ashbourne's Town Crier.
Oh, marvellous, marvellous. Well, thank you for coming down today.
Now, who do these belong to?
They're actually from my side of the family.
They originally belonged to my grandfather,
who was an inveterate hoarder.
-And when he died in the early '70s,
for some reason or other, I hung on to these two items
and, you know, couldn't be bothered to throw them away.
-First thing, people might be looking at that, wondering what that is.
So let us reveal the first mystery of today.
And that comes out and it's marked and dated for 1874.
And we turn it and we've basically got...
a Swedish army knife.
And they're very useful knives, because they lock into place.
If you're in a wilderness environment and you need a knife you can trust,
that isn't going to fold back on you.
-This is more intriguing. Closed boxes.
Very intriguing, indeed.
Ooh, curiouser and curiouser.
Have you got any idea what it is?
I haven't got a clue.
It's something I've been looking at for years and years,
"Shall I throw it away?"
It looks too precision-made.
"One day I might find out. It looks too good to throw away."
I think your point, Jenny, that it's precision-made, is spot on.
There is one problem with this.
It has a sliding aperture here, with a thumbnail groove,
and if we could remove that panel, we would know everything.
-There is only one small problem. We cannot remove that panel.
I have tried, all our off-screen valuers have tried,
to open this, at the peril to our thumbnails.
I have two ideas what it might be
and I'm fairly confident that one of them is right.
The first is that it is a quill cutter.
-So if you think you've got a little quill feather
and you pop it in there, into an aperture that
-would be revealed, and you do that and it clicks the shape.
The other thing, the more lethal and gruesome thing it could be,
and this is what I think it is, is a scarifier.
before the NHS and before we had all these wonderful drugs,
one thing you did if you felt poorly might be to bleed yourself copiously.
And I think this is actually a guard
for a section of very fine lancet blades.
-And you would remove that,
place it on the area you wish to be bled or cut
and then, by pressing this, that would send all the blades
through the skin and allow you to bleed freely.
-And that is probably why you've got
this very firm, fixed cover, so you don't cut yourself accidentally.
-It dates to about 1830.
-As early as that?
But I think they work quite well together as two intriguing items
that aren't everything they appear at first sight.
-Would you put them in the same lot?
-Pop them in the same lot,
because they're going to appeal to the same collector,
with the same mind for the curious mechanical bladed items.
-Any ideas of what the value might be?
-No real idea at all.
I think this, being a smaller version, is worth £40 to £60.
Oh, that's not bad.
This, with the slight bit of damage and the reservation that
you still might not be able to get that cap open, is maybe £40 to £60.
-So, about the same value each.
-About the same value.
So we're heading for that inevitable auctioneer's valuation,
-which I try to avoid.
-The good old 80-120.
-You've seen Flog It! before.
-Very much so.
So let's put them in at 80 to 120.
-Let's give the auctioneer a little bit of discretion
and put, say, a fixed reserve of £70 on them.
Fine. And I'm glad you've solved the mystery for me, as well,
-after all these years.
-Halfway, Bill. Halfway.
Next, this rather exotic-looking vase
brought in by Patricia and daughter Erica.
Thanks for coming along today.
And you've brought a flavour of the East with you.
What can you tell me about this?
My mother gave it to me to put into an alcove in my new home.
I wish it hadn't lost its top there, but these things happen.
You've pointed out one of the issues I was going to draw attention to,
the fact that it has got a bit of damage on the top.
Was it like that when your mother passed it to you?
She had done the damage the very morning she brought it up
-to bring to me, she thought she'd wash it, you see?
And I don't know what happened exactly
but she brought it and said, "Do you still want it?"
So I said, "Of course." Because it looked beautiful in the alcove,
-Is there any connection with your family
-to Eastern Europe perhaps?
-No, no, no, none whatsoever.
Because this isn't an English piece. Looking at it, a lot of people
would say it's almost got a sort of Persian or Islamic feel to it,
with the double-gored shape and this sort of piercing and these very
sort of Arabesque bands here. We call it Persian ware.
If I take the finial off, we'll just turn it up and have a look
at the marks underneath. If we have a close look here,
we've got Zsolnay, of Pecs in Hungary.
-So it's originally East European, the factory.
Established 1862, and then you've got a little mark, a little gilt 13.
-That would have been who would've applied the gilding.
-So if it wasn't quite up to scratch...
-They know who to blame.
Exactly. I think originally something like this
would have been an incense burner.
But this piece has been produced purely for decorative purposes.
It was never intended for use, it is a purely decorative piece.
-So what do you think it's worth?
-I haven't a clue.
-No idea at all.
-I would say a sensible estimate would be
around the £60-80 mark, how do you feel about that?
Well, considering I didn't pay anything for it, it's...
And, er, I can't see it being of any use to anyone.
Well, I mean, I like the way... That's the right way to approach it.
Let the market decide what they think it's worth.
What's it going to go on to?
-Oh, I think...
-On your way out for lunch perhaps, you two?
Erica and I could have a very nice lunch with that, yes.
There's no disguising what our next item is, that's for sure.
OK, game on. Well, it would be if we had the other half of the set.
Where is it, Sandra? Are you sure it's not at home?
-It's definitely not at home.
-Have you had a jolly good look?
Everybody's looked and searched high and low. We can't find the other.
This is possibly one of the best chess sets, or part sets,
I've come across in a long time. So how long have you had these?
They've been in my possession for the last three years
but my mother before that had them for about 40 years.
-And where did she get them from, do you know?
-My late uncle's,
when he died, so they were just found in his possession.
-And that's as far as you can trace the story back?
We don't even know if he played chess. As far as I know, he didn't.
Did he tour at all for a living? Was he in the Navy?
Nothing like that, no. He never got married.
Because, you know, these come from Sorrento, these are Italian.
Right. That's what I can't understand.
He wasn't a traveller at all or anything like that.
I'm pretty sure these are made in around about the 1940s, 1950s,
and made in Sorrento,
renowned for its carving work and its inlay work.
Good tourist pieces of the day, so this isn't a rare set, or half set.
I'm sure there's some more knocking around, but they are hand-carved.
-So, there's got to be some out there.
The condition is absolutely perfect,
apart from the little cross missing on the castle there, but otherwise,
look at the quality of the carving when you turn these figures around.
-Look at the king and queen. You see the folds in her dress.
-Isn't that stunning?
-The bun at the back of her hair. Beautiful.
-The bases are made of black walnut, can you see that?
-OK. That's grown in Italy.
I'm pretty sure this is a boxwood, or it might be a poplar,
but it's a good soft wood, a nice easy soft wood to turn and carve.
But the detail on the pawns, because every one's different,
and on normal chess sets they're all the same, aren't they?
-The pawns are, yeah.
-It's a shame it doesn't have a lot of age.
That's the only thing it's got going against it.
-And the fact that it's a part set!
-I think we can put these into auction
with a value of around £100 to £150.
-Keep the reserve at £80.
-Right. OK. Yeah. That's fine.
-What do you think?
Yeah, that's absolutely fine, because I don't really want them.
Why do you want to sell them anyway?
Because it's half a chess set, basically!
-It's a silly question really, isn't it?
-And I don't play chess. Yes.
I used to love playing chess with my father.
Thanks for making my day with these, because you know I like my woodwork,
I love my treen, and this is right up my street. It really is.
Thank you very much as well.
I'll definitely keep my fingers crossed
for the success of the chess set.
Now, Kathleen and Ralph have brought in an interesting piece of jewellery
for Will to have a look at.
Thank you for coming along today and bringing a lovely piece of jewellery.
It really caught my eye.
Is this something you've bought? You collect jewellery of this type?
Yes, I do, but I bought it off me brother, about...26 years ago.
We might as well get to the point. What did you have to pay him for it?
-Sounds all right, doesn't it?
Do you know what it is and what it's made of?
I know it's 15-carat gold.
You're right. It is gold.
I'll get me coat.
Let you take over!
You're dead right. Diamond-centred sort of star
to the top of this wonderful blue enamelling.
I love that sort of deep blue.
And then you've got this very sort of intricate sort of gold wirework
around the central panel
and then you've got this sort of polka-dot border, again,
which is rather attractive, isn't it?
And it's good, the condition it's in,
because as soon as you get the enamel either cracked or chipped,
then it's really quite a difficult job to get it repaired.
A lot of the time the firms that repair enamelling, a good tip here,
are sort of car badge manufacturers or restorers
because a lot of the old car badges were enamelled, you see.
If I turn it over, we can see that it's stamped 15-carat
and then in this glazed panel at the back
we've got a sort of plaited matt of... You know what it is?
-You're right, hair.
That's typical of mourning brooches, which is a little bit, you know,
some people don't really like the idea
-of wearing jewellery with sort of dead person's hair in it.
I like it. I mean, do you wear it?
-Where does it live?
-In the drawer.
-In the drawer. What made you buy it from your brother?
-Cos I liked it!
-You liked it for the back of the drawer?
-I think I wore it about three times.
-OK. Well, let's start in the centre.
-We've got a diamond, reasonable size, about a quarter of a carat.
The diamond in the middle's got to be worth £100 on its own.
And the rest of it, the gold value, is probably another 100 on top,
-so I would say put it in at sort of 200, 250, that sort of figure.
-Would you be happy with that?
Are you going to buy yourself more jewellery?
I see you have a wonderful cameo brooch on your turtleneck.
No, it'll go to me grandchildren.
One's studying to be a doctor.
-And the other one is in the last year of teaching.
So the one studying to be a doctor
-will be straight down the student bar.
We know what these doctors are like, and nurses, they know how to party.
-Well, look, we'll recap. We've agreed on a £200 to £300 estimate.
-We'll reserve it at that. Can I put a bit of discretion on that reserve?
-Good. 200 with discretion.
And let's hope we get it away for you on the day. I'll see you there.
-Thank you very much.
-Not at all.
The Victorian mourning brooch is going off to auction
in this part of the programme,
along with Bill and Jenny's knife and mystery object.
We've got Patricia's Eastern European vase.
And the wooden chess set, which I thought was absolutely fabulous.
The commission here for buyers and sellers is 15% plus VAT.
But if an item reaches more than £500, it's 10% plus VAT.
First, we've got Bill
and his grandfather's rather unusual collection of items.
-Bill and Jenny, it's great to see you again, in your civvies.
-Without the regalia.
-Instead of having my mufti on, as they say.
Michael's picked out this Swedish pocket knife
and the mystery object... which is a scarifier, really.
I think it is, yes, yes. Having done a bit more homework on it,
after the valuation day, but I still don't think you can get into it.
I think that's a minus point, isn't it?
-You can't have everything.
-No. No. No.
Since the valuation, you've had a chat to the auctioneer, haven't you?
And we've had the reserve removed.
We thought, "What are we going to do with it if it doesn't sell?"
It'll just go back into a drawer
and there it will stay for goodness knows how long.
It should make its money, whatever.
The knife alone should bring it into a reasonable price,
I would have thought.
Well, I tell you what, Bill,
we're going to find out right now what it's worth
because it's going under the hammer. Good luck.
We have a 19th-century Swedish barrel army knife,
together with a case scarifier.
I have commission interest here at £20 anyway. £20 I'm bid, 20.
Any advance at £20? I'll take two surely. 20.
And two now surely. 20. Two. Five I'm bid.
Jeopardy of no reserve, isn't it?
At £25. And selling. Make no mistake.
It's against you all at £25.
Last chance. 25, and selling at £25.
-It's £25 I didn't have before.
Exactly, I suppose so.
When you look at it on the bright side, the cup's always half full.
Yes. I think a collector's got a lovely start, maybe,
to a collection there.
But I would have liked to see it make a little bit more
but it's gone, it's gone.
It didn't do very well,
but I don't think Bill and Jenny minded that much.
Will the Victorian brooch fare any better?
I absolutely love this next lot and I bet you do as well.
It's real quality and hopefully that's going to shine through
and reflect in the value.
-Kathleen and Ralph, it's great to see you.
It's so stunning, it shouldn't be called a mourning brooch.
I love that Prussian blue. No-one else in the family wants it?
No. Me daughter or me granddaughters don't really want it.
And she's over there now. Fussy taste, that's what it is!
You're right about the mourning brooch sort of angle because, yes,
most people think mourning brooches, certainly the Victorian ones -
-black and, you know...
Exactly. But this is that sort of neoclassical mourning brooch
where they started to use those enamels, those nice bright enamels,
seed pearls, diamonds, so, fingers crossed, someone here will buy it.
And at £200 to £300, it's worth every penny, isn't it?
Let's see what this blue gem does.
There we go, it's a gold, diamond and enamel oval mourning brooch
and I must go straight in at £120 bid.
-That's good to start with.
Where's 130? 120. 130.
-160. 170. 180. 180 still with me. At 180.
All done now? Last chance at £180.
All done at 180.
-He didn't sell it.
It's the mourning brooch thing, when you read it in the catalogue.
I mean, I thought it was worth 200.
I still think it's worth 200.
-So do I.
-Yeah. So I would say to you...
I'll have to wear it again, then, Paul.
-Yeah! Why don't you do that?
Oh, go on, cos you're very stylish.
-It would suit you, and all your friends would be envious.
Next up, it's Patricia's vase, which she hopes with make enough money
for her and daughter Erica to enjoy a slap-up meal.
Got to say, you both look absolutely fabulous, really glamorous.
-Done us proud. Well, I look a bit scruffy today!
-I haven't even got a jacket or tie, Paul!
-That's unusual for you!
Mind you, it is really hot outside.
-It's too warm.
-Good luck, anyway. Good luck. Here we go. This is it.
The Zsolnay, Pecs double-gored, shaped vase
with the reticulated body.
There you go, an Arabesque and green-yellow glaze decoration.
It's got the look.
I've interest here and will go straight in at 38, 42,
45, £48 I'm bid. 48, I'll take 50.
I hope that'll creep up.
£50, my commission is clear at 50. Any advance on 50? Five behind, 55.
At 65, I'll take 70. At 65, 70 surely?
-This is what we want, a little battle in the room.
£80 in front, at £80 and selling at 80 by the doorway, at 80.
Any advance now? At 80. £80, and selling to you at £80.
-£80, it's gone.
-That's going to come in useful, isn't it?
A nice lunch and another bottle of wine!
Room for two more?
Well, we haven't got time to join Erica and Patricia
but it sounds like they'll enjoy spending the money.
It's my turn to be the expert and I've got a big smile on my face
cos I've been thinking of you, Sandra.
A few weeks now since we did the valuation day,
I can't stop thinking about that wonderful chess set that I valued
and I did say to you, you know,
on a good day this could fly away, couldn't it?
-That's what you said.
-And I'm still thinking that, do you know that?
I know I've got to be positive.
It might not fly away but I tell you what, it's going to be sold,
and even if it sells for £150 you'll be pleased, won't you?
I will, if it sells for 150, yes!
-You thought it would be worth about £20.
-Cos there's only half of it there.
-Shall we watch this go through?
-Here we go, this is it.
Italian half chess set.
And we've got four telephone bids,
in Portugal, Holland, and Germany and Denmark amongst other places.
Did you hear that?
-Interest from Portugal, Holland, Germany and Denmark.
I'll go straight in at £220.
-£220 I'm bid here. At 220.
-That's a great start.
-In the room at 220.
With you, Charles, at 220. 240 if you wish.
280. I have 300.
-320. I have 350.
-Is that 420?
-Is that 520? Yes.
-I can't believe it.
650. And I'm out. My commission bid at 650 is out.
At 650 on the first phone.
A lovely moment. This is what auctions are all about.
I can't believe this.
780. 800, David?
-800. And 20.
I can go to Italy now for a holiday!
Hasn't finished yet.
No. 1,100. 1,100.
I'll go to the third phone, Ruth.
Is that a bid? 1,200. 1,300, Charles?
1,300. 1,400, Ruth?
-No. £1,400 on the third phone.
Last chance in the room. At £1,400.
I'm going to kiss somebody in a minute.
Watch out, it might be you, Paul!
-I can't believe it!
1,800. 1,900, Tom?
I'm shaking, do you know that? I'm actually shaking.
I'll take 2,200. Yes? 2,200. 2,400?
On the fourth phone at 2,200.
Never too late in the room. Come along, don't be shy. At 2,200.
That's what it's all about, moments like that.
-I can't believe it!
-That's what love to see.
Oh, Sandra, I'm ever so excited for you.
I'm ever so pleased because we dream of these moments,
and what a surprise, what a shock for you.
-It's absolutely brilliant.
-That sums up our day, doesn't it?
What a fantastic day. Sandra's going home very happy. I hope you're happy.
I hope you've enjoyed watching the show but sadly we've run out of time
and I think Sandra's going off to do some celebrating now.
Yeah, and some shopping, I think! Get the credit card out.
Presenter Paul Martin and his team are in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, where he and experts Michael Baggot and Will Axon pick their way through well-kept treasures and collectibles from the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. Will spots a slightly ghoulish item, but will that put off the bidders at auction? Paul visits Chatsworth House and looks back at the life of Georgiana, the infamous Duchess of Devonshire.