Presenter Paul Martin and experts Michael Baggot and Will Axon pick their way through treasures and collectables at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in 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, Will tries his best to break Michael's pewter plate.
If I pick this up and just give... It's fairly soft.
-You can feel it, can't you?
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.
Michael, we're not going to leave you eating off the table,
if we flog this for you?
-It's not your dinner plate at home?
-No, no, it isn't. I've got one or two more.
-No, not pewter ones. Unfortunately not.
-A bit tricky eating off pewter because there's a bit of a lead content in there.
So you wouldn't really want to eat your dinner off it.
-How have you come by this? You collect pewter?
Have you got an oak furnished cottage that you display it all on?
Unfortunately not, no. It's one I had given me years ago.
-Given to you?
-Given to me.
-We hear that a lot on Flog It, I tell you.
-By an old lady.
-It's not hugely valuable. Some pewter is.
Early pewter, Carolean pewter is valuable.
Can make good money, big charges, things like that.
Once we get into the sort of 19th century, which I think this dates
from, then quality does drop a bit and more of it is produced
and it's produced on more of a sort of commercial scale, for decoration
-and so on.
-I'm going to turn it upside down because
with pewter, similar to silver but nowhere near as documented, shall we
-say, as the silver pieces, are what we call touch marks here.
-We've got a London mark there you can see.
We've got a crowned X at the top of the London touch mark.
Now that originally would denote the quality of the pewter.
-But like I say, once you got into the sort of 18th, 19th century,
the regulation all went a bit higgledy piggledy and they were all
-stamping it with the crowned X, so everyone thought the pewter was of the top quality.
And down here again, we've got some sort of pseudo hallmarks to try and follow on with that sort
-of silver tradition - the feeling of being fully hallmarked.
I don't know if you've seen pewter when it's been polished up, have you?
I've seen it in some of these halls, in the big houses.
-It literally shines like silver.
-Because that's originally what it was intended to impersonate.
-Oh, I see, right.
Silver. I mean, what's it worth in monetary terms?
-I would have thought maybe £10, £20, £25.
That sort of level, I'm afraid, so
it's not going to sort of, no cruise this year I'm afraid, with the wife.
-But if you're happy to put it into sale and
just, shall we say, let it make what it makes, how do you feel about that?
-That's fine, yes.
-Yeah, is that OK?
They can be a little difficult to place because I mentioned the lead content as well.
-That changed in the 20th century. They put less lead in it.
-Hence you get the sort of more sturdy, harder pewter.
But if I pick this up and just give it... It's fairly soft.
You can feel it, can't you? It flexes. Well, that's the lead content in there.
High lead content makes it more pliable. But at no reserve, just to confirm,
-I hope it makes ten or 20 rather than five or ten.
-Money for a drink.
Exactly. That's the way to look at it, Michael. Well done.
At our valuation days we get people from all walks of life and all age groups
but they don't get much younger than Beatrice here.
What a good start into the antiques world at eight months old. Hi, Mum.
-She's a good little girl, isn't she?
-She's been really good.
This is what Beatrice brought in to have valued.
The Wonders Of The Peake.
Where did Mummy pick this up from then?
-That is Daddy's purchase off the internet.
-Oh, was it?
It's in very, very good condition. It dates back to 1664.
Gosh. You've had it rebound in leather, haven't you?
-So how much did you pay for it?
It was about £30, I think.
Well, I think you've done very, very well.
-And it's good because you can actually use this now.
You're not going to damage the spine any more. That's beautifully done.
Beautifully done. That is a little family heirloom for you, Beatrice, isn't it?
What a lovely name as well.
-Ooh, bless her.
Well, perhaps that's something Beatrice could bring on to Flog It when she's grown up,
just like Pamela, who has something that used to belong to her mother.
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.
-Therein lies the problem,
because there are two real reasons
why a piece of silver would be valuable.
It is either collectable or it's useful.
So candlesticks are still used for dinner.
-To a lesser extent, tea sets and wine coasters.
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 five pm, 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 here 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.
Well, I'm not sure the BBC health and safety department will be happy with that,
but with any luck, we'll get as many bidders as people take part in the Shrovetide football match.
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.
Michael's pewter plate might not look that impressive, but collectors
can sometimes surprise us on Flog It.
We've also got Pamela's swimming trophy. 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.
The room is filling up. There's an excitement, there's a buzz about the place,
and hopefully, all of 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 he thinks this is the best area to sell it - lots of
local interest because this is big business up 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 Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers,
the commission is 15% plus VAT.
And on the rostrum today is auctioneer David Greatwood.
Serving up right now, we've got a wonderful 19th-century pewter plate.
It's not a lot of money, but I tell you what, it's a cracking piece of kit, and I love pewter.
And you can collect all sorts of sizes of pewter plates - broad rimmed and some wriggle work.
This is a good start to a collection.
-You like this though, don't you, Sylvia?
-Yes. It's all right.
But Michael wants to sell it.
It doesn't fit in with anything else we've got in the house.
-So we're going to lighten the load in the house,
if you like. We've been collecting for a lot of years.
Well, hopefully, Michael, it will be worth a little more
than the £20 or £30 we're expecting.
Yeah, I hope so, but bear in mind it is sort of 19th century, it's late,
it's mass-produced - hence, you know, the low estimate.
OK. We're going to find out what the bidders think. It's going under the hammer now.
This 19th-century pewter plate with a London touch mark
and commission's here close. I'm straight in here at 12. 14.
£16. I'm bid at 16. I have at 16.
At 18, I'll take. At 16. At 18. 20.
22. 25. 28.
£28. At the end of the road. 28.
30, new place. 32, madam.
30. In the middle of the room at £30 and selling at 30.
At £30. The pewter plate, £30, and selling at 30.
Well done. £30.
I'm pleased with that.
-Well, every penny helps, doesn't it?
-It certainly does. It's all right.
Well, that was more than we all thought.
What a great start to the auction.
Let's hope our luck continues with our next item, the silver trophy.
Well, 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.
-In fact, it was your mum's.
She won it when she worked at the Bovril factory.
-She did, yes.
-They had swimming competitions there?
-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.
Everyone's decluttering, I know. 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.
Nice one with a presentation inscription, made by Mappin & Webb,
-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.
Well, that was quick, wasn't it?
£85. We had a guide of 60 to 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 pieces.
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 tell 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.
-These barrel knives, as they're called, are made
-in many different sizes and this is about the smallest you'll get.
This is more intriguing.
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.
-What would your grandfather be doing with that?
Did he know what it was for? Could he get it open?
As far as I know, he never managed to open it,
and it had nothing to do with his trade because he was a painter and decorator.
Well, this is going to be a challenge for the auctioneer.
-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.
-Yes. Very much so.
-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.
'Well, we can't be sure what it is, but hopefully the bidders will know.
'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 morning 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 from 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 morning brooch is going off to auction in this part of the programme,
along with Bill and Jenny's knife and mystery object.
And the wooden chess set, which I thought was absolutely fabulous,
but does auctioneer Charles Hanson agree with me?
The commission here for buyers and sellers is 15% plus VAT.
But if an item reaches more than £500, it's 10% plus VAT.
Charles, the bad news is, half the set's missing actually.
But the good news is what we have got is absolutely fabulous,
quality like I haven't seen before.
I think the quality is superb.
The detail, the expressions even, it's all there. They're exquisite.
-They belong to Sandra.
-And obviously for not much longer.
I've given this £100 to £150 as a price guide and I expect them to, well, achieve that and a lot more.
Yeah. I think that is an enticing guide. I think it's well pitched
and hopefully with the right audience they'll race away.
You don't really need the other half. They would look great
just on a low table like this, a walnut table,
maybe with a table lamp here, just as figures by themselves.
Yeah. I think they are, as you say, stand-alone objects to really admire.
Have you many chess enthusiasts here which have admired them?
-Yes, we have.
-From all parts of the world, so we're excited.
-That's what auctions are all about.
-That's why they're so fascinating.
-Anything can happen on the day.
-You never know.
-Wait and see cos this one will be, hopefully, checkmate at the end of the programme.
Auctioneer David Greatwood will be back on the rostrum to sell the chess set shortly
but 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 morning 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!
Well, you're right about the morning brooch sort of angle because, yes,
-most people think morning brooch is - well, certainly the Victorian ones - black and you know...
Exactly. But this is that sort of neoclassical morning 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 morning 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 morning 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.
Real class, and so is our final item.
Sandra's chess set.
It's beautifully made
but will the fact that it's only half a set put the buyers off?
Let's hope not. I've been looking forward to this moment.
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.
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!
-Cos 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! HE LAUGHS
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 we want 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.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The team are in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, where presenter Paul Martin and his trusted experts Michael Baggot and Will Axon pick their way through treasures and collectables 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.