Warwick Castle Flog It!


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Warwick Castle

Paul Martin is joined by experts Anita Manning and Thomas Plant. Items include a Georgian silver wine funnel and a 1920s McVitie's biscuit barrel.


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The origins of this castle date back to Saxon times,

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but it was William the Conqueror who commanded the first wooden castle to be built here on this site.

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I wonder what he'd make of it today, because "Flog It!" comes to you from the magnificent Warwick Castle.

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Will we find any Saxon or Norman antiquities here today?

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I certainly hope so. But hundreds of people have turned out,

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all laden with bags and boxes, so I know we'll find some treasures.

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Somebody's going to go home with a great deal of money.

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I don't know who it is yet, but keep watching and you'll find out.

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It's time to get on with the show and get everybody inside the courtyard so they can ask...

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ALL: What's it worth?

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'And we have a whole team of experts here to provide the answer.

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'They're led by our Glaswegian auctioneer, Anita Manning,

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-'a woman of great experience...'

-Tell me where you got it.

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'..who instantly knows what she's looking at.'

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-It's a bit early in the day for that!

-THEY LAUGH

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'But being canny as usual, she's not giving anything away.'

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It looks lethal, but we'll have a closer look at it.

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'And Thomas Plant, another auctioneer with extensive knowledge

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'who has an eye for the unusual.'

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Is it a railing, is it a battle mace? I think it might be railing.

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'And then, of course, there's me. Well, I've never been one to blow my own trumpet.'

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HE BLOWS HORN

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'And coming up, I have a question of a rather personal nature for Anita.'

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Have you ever had to share a bathroom with three or four guys?

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-Only the men I was married to.

-THEY LAUGH

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'I'm given all the right answers by one of our owners.'

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They came via my nan's sister, who was a domestic for the sculptor.

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-You're joking!

-No.

-Oh, my gosh! Such provenance!

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'And I explore Hidcote Manor, probably one of the most beautiful gardens in Britain.'

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When you look around and take it all in, it's absolutely stunning.

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It shows the eye of a true artist. Just look at it.

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Well, I think we're going to be in for a marvellous day here at Warwick Castle.

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The sun is shining, there are smiles on everybody's faces, everybody's now safely seated in the courtyard

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and it looks like Anita Manning is our first expert to the tables. Let's take a wee peep.

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Cath, I am absolutely soppy about miniature things,

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and I'm delighted to see this lovely wee doll's highchair.

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-Can you tell me where you go it?

-It belonged to my mother

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and she was going to sell it about ten years ago,

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-so I said I would like to have it.

-Do you have a collection of dolls? Did you use it?

-No.

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I don't have a collection and I don't collect dolls,

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but it belonged to my mother, who had dolls, and I think she would've had it as part of the collection.

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So how did you use it? What did you do with it?

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I didn't really. It's just been sitting around. It was in the loft for a while

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and then I brought it down and I've just moved house,

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so I just feel I haven't really got room for it any more.

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It's a delightful wee thing.

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It's a fairly simple wee item

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which I think may have been made up perhaps by a father for his daughter.

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It's a wee artisany type of thing.

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Now, what we have is a highchair for the dolly

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and if you can help me with this, we bring this over,

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and then bring it up like that

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and we have a little low chair which wheels back and forward.

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-And you can lift this up.

-We can lift this up and we've got a nice little piece of stencil

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-or pokerwork here.

-Oh, right!

-And we can see this delightful little scene

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of children playing in a woodland

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and feeding chickens.

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And, of course, these wee things here for the dolly to play with.

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So, I mean, it's such a sweet wee thing.

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-It's made of beech.

-Right.

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It's probably 1930s, 1940s.

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I wouldn't date it much earlier than that,

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-and it certainly isn't Victorian.

-OK.

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I think it's sweet, it's adorable.

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It will appeal to the doll collectors,

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because this will be a piece of furniture

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on which to display their dolls,

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-and the doll market is good just now.

-Is it?

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I mean, have you an idea of what you would be looking for or what you think its value is?

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I've not really any idea, but possibly £80 or something? 80 to 100?

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-I think...

-Maybe more. I'd like that to be the lowest amount.

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-Yeah. I think we're in that region, anyway.

-Good.

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I think, probably, an estimate of 80 to 120 is the right estimate.

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Let's hope that we have two doll collectors in there who will compete fiercely for it.

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It is a sweet wee thing. Are you happy with that 80 to 120?

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-Yeah, that's fine.

-Let's put it to auction. Let's flog it!

-OK. Thank you very much.

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'Anita's started us off with the auctioneer's favourite estimate of £80 to £120.

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'She's right, that little chair should appeal to the doll collectors.

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'It's always good to find young people at our events.'

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-You're very young. You're both into antiques, obviously.

-I'm doing it for my mum.

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-HE LAUGHS

-You're on a errand, are you, for Mum?

-Yeah.

-Aww, bless her.

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'Next, young Thomas with Pap, who has brought in something a bit out of the ordinary.'

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That's your nickname. Why is that?

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So, tell me, you brought along this Nepalese, is that right...

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Nepalese Kora, I think. From the research I've done, I think that's what it is.

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Tell me where you acquired it from.

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I helped an old gentleman put a pond in his back garden

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and I didn't want to take any money off him

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and he knew I'd got a few replica swords hanging up at home, so he gave me this.

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So this gentleman, a neighbour, friend?

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Turned out to be a friend in the end. He was a neighbour of a friend.

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-And you just helped him.

-Just helped him with his pond in his back garden.

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-He presented you with this Nepalese Kora.

-Yeah.

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-It's quite a vicious instrument, isn't it?

-It's still got quite an edge on it.

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Still got quite an edge. It's rather handsome. It's rather a nice weapon, really.

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The thing about these that one always has to look at

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is are these copies? Cos, obviously, they were copied in India quite a lot

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and sold as tourist items.

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But something about this tells me the quality is too good to be a copy,

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-especially this inlay here.

-Yeah.

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The chap who gave it to you, the man who you did the pond for,

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did he acquire it himself?

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It was a relative who was in the Queen's Hussars,

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I think the Nottinghamshire Regiment.

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He was told he brought it back with him from India when he'd done a tour of duty out there.

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-So this gentleman you did the pond for was elderly, so his relative...

-Yes.

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-So we're talking 1900s, are we?

-I think so.

-Late Victorian, early Edwardian, early 20th century.

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I think that all adds up to this.

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And the fact that there's a slight crack in the steel here,

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-I think this has been used.

-Yeah.

-Now, let's talk about value.

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We've established that we think it's right.

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I personally think it's worth £150 to £250.

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It could make £200 to £300.

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But what do you want to say? What do you want to do?

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Well, at that price, yeah, the money would come in handy, cos I'm rebuilding a bike.

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-You're rebuilding a bike?

-Yeah. So the money would go towards that.

-Brilliant.

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-Shall we talk about a reserve?

-Yeah, I wouldn't like it to go for nothing.

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-What do you want?

-Would a reserve of 100, 125?

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It's perfectly acceptable to put a reserve on lower than the estimate. 120 I think would be great.

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-All I can hope for you is that at the auction we get £200 plus for that.

-That would be nice.

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-And that would be really useful for the bike rebuild.

-It would.

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'Well, I'd love to have a look at that bike when it's finished.

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'Seems some people are planning to celebrate long before the auction.'

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-Ooh, look! Look! Hey!

-THEY LAUGH

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Someone's a winner!

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Oh, look at that! A bottle of bubbly!

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Hey, you do it in style, don't you? You do it in style.

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-I'm not joking, this is chilled, as well.

-THEY LAUGH

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'Next, Anita with a mystery object.

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'Does anybody know what it is?'

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-Deborah, welcome to "Flog It!" Is this your wee girl?

-Yes, this is Bethany.

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Now, do you know what this is, Deborah?

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-No, no, we're not sure.

-You're not sure. Bethany, what do you think?

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No idea. Looks like something to do with tea with the strainer.

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Yeah. Well, it has something to do with liquid

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and if you think along the lines of tea strainer, you're thinking along the right lines.

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This is what we call a wine funnel

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and it was used in much the same way as you would use a tea strainer.

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What you would do is you would decant your wine into a decanter

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and you would pour it through the top here

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so that all the gunge and sediment at the bottom

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would be kept in this reservoir at the top

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and your wine would slide beautifully into your cut-glass decanter.

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Now, tell me where you got it.

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It was one of my late auntie's pieces

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and we found it very safely locked away.

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-So you've never used it.

-No.

-Never used it. OK.

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This is a very collectable item.

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Number one, because of its purpose.

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People who are interested in good wines and so on will use this

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and would like to own such an item.

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It is also of considerable age.

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The hallmark has told me that it is 1803,

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so it's George III.

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If you look here, you can see the little lion mark telling us that it's silver.

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Another point which is important

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is that it was made in Newcastle.

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And people love to collect provincial silver.

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So we've got a lovely, lovely thing here.

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Another thing that I should mention in talking about this item

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is the condition of it, which is good.

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Very often, in funnels of this age,

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we have this bottom part broken off.

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So this is absolutely complete

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and it's absolutely lovely.

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Now, value on it. What would you think? Can you make a guess?

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Er, about £50 to £75.

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-I was thinking the same, yeah.

-Right, OK.

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Well, if we put it to auction, I would hope for perhaps four times that.

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-Really?

-Yeah. So I would like to put an estimate of £200 to £300 on it.

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-Gosh!

-It's a terrific item.

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-Would you be happy to put it to auction at that price?

-Yes.

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Yeah. You're still thinking it's a pretty useless object, aren't you?

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THEY LAUGH

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Well, it's a highly collectable wee thing and I think it's lovely.

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So, estimate, £200 to £300.

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We'll perhaps put a reserve price of 180 on it

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and take it to auction and I'm sure it will do very, very well.

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-Thank you so much for bringing it along.

-Thank you.

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'Now, that's what I call a very fluid valuation.'

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Well, we are now halfway through our day and people still keep pouring in

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all laden with antiques and collectables.

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But right now, it's time to put our first valuations to the test.

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We've found some real gems, so let's find out what the bidders think.

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We're making our way to the auction room and we'll leave you with a quick rundown

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to jog your memory of all the items that are going under the hammer.

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'I rather think Anita fell for the doll's highchair.

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'It'll do well if the doll collectors are there at the auction.

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'The Nepalese Kora sword is quality, looks authentic and the provenance sounds right,

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'so I imagine it will shortly be in the hands of a new owner.

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'And with its George III hallmark, I think Deborah and Beth's beautiful silver wine funnel

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'will definitely be the one to watch.'

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You've seen the items our experts have picked out at the valuation day.

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I think there could be one or two surprises. This is where we're putting the valuations to the test,

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Bigwood Auctioneers and Valuers in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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So let's go inside and catch up with our owners, because I know they're feeling really nervous.

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'The auction room's looking busy, which is always a good sign,

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'and we have two auctioneers selling our lots today, Steven Kay and Christopher Ironmonger.

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'And we're kicking off with Christopher, who'll be selling the doll's highchair belonging to Cath.'

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The country's full of people that collect dolls

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and they should want this next item, cos it's a doll's highchair.

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And hopefully they're here to buy it, because we've got £80 to £120 on this.

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-This was your mum's.

-Yes.

-So did she have a doll sitting on it?

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-No, she had a collection of dolls.

-Did she?

-Yes.

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-So I think it was part of that.

-It's a stunning little example.

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It's a nice wee thing. It folds over and it's a little sort of chair, a low chair.

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-So we've got two functions there, and it's very, very sweet.

-It's metamorphic furniture!

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-So we should get twice as much money!

-THEY LAUGH

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341 is the Victorian doll's metamorphic highchair.

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There it is. Lovely little chair it is indeed.

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Who's going to start me? £80 for it?

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Come on, where's all the hands?

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60 I'm bid. 60. 70. 80.

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80. 90 is it? £80 over here by the stairs.

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I'll sell it. 90 if you want to carry on.

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90. 100. 110.

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100 by the stairs here. You're out over there.

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At £100. 110 possibly might do it.

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At £100. Are we all finished at 100?

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-Hammer's gone down.

-Yes.

-Well done.

-That's good.

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-Good valuation, Anita. You happy with that?

-Yes.

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There is commission to pay, it's 15 percent plus VAT here.

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It does vary from saleroom to saleroom, so do check the details in the catalogue, it's printed there.

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-Well done.

-Thank you very much.

-That's a meal out. Treat yourself.

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'Anita was spot on mid-estimate, Good show.

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'Thomas is up next, and this next lot was a sharp choice.'

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Well, we definitely are at the cutting edge of saleroom

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because just going under the hammer we've got that lovely Nepalese sword.

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-150 to 250?

-Yeah. I think it's got a very good chance of making a little bit more.

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These aged weapons have really taken off.

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We'll find out if we are at the cutting edge because it's going under the hammer now.

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The late 19th, early 20th century Nepalese sword.

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I've got 160 here. 170? 160 on the book.

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At 160. 160. I'm going to sell it.

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At 160. With me on the book at 160. Is it 170 in the room now?

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At 160. Your last chance to bid.

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160, the bid's here.

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-160.

-Sold for 160.

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It wasn't the hammer going down, it was the sword going across. Happy?

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-Yes.

-That'll do nicely.

-It'll pay for a rewiring job on the bike.

-Is it?

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-Yeah.

-Repairing it in the front room?

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I have to have them in the garage now. Used to be in the bedroom.

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'I think Thomas would've liked a little more for that, but it did sell within estimate.

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'Now we have something a bit special for the silver collectors.

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'That Georgian silver wine funnel. And a change of auctioneer.'

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Deborah, why are you flogging this?

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Well, Bethany's hoping to go to university in October.

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-Congratulations. Where are you going?

-Loughborough.

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And students haemorrhage money! I know what you're going to say.

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-They do, don't they?

-Yes.

-So it's going towards the fees.

-Yes.

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-Have you got your accommodation sorted out yet?

-I have.

-You're feeling positive.

-En suite.

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That's a really good move, cos you do not want to be sharing a bathroom

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-with four guys, do you?

-No.

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-No?

-No.

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-Have you ever had to share a bathroom with three or four guys?

-Only the men I was married to.

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THEY LAUGH

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The wine funnel. George III.

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Unusual assay office, Newcastle.

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Doesn't turn up that often.

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£100 to start me? 100 I've got. 110. 120. 130. 140.

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150. 160. 170. 180. 190. 200. And 10.

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220. 230. 240.

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-This is good.

-230 with you, sir. 240. 250.

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260. 270. 260 I have here. Anyone else?

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270. 280? 290. 300? And 10?

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320? 330?

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340. 350.

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340 I've got. Anyone else? 350 over there.

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360. 370. 380.

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390. 400.

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And 10. 420.

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430.

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440. 450.

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460. 470.

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460 I have. Anyone else?

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-£460!

-Yes!

-Hammer's gone down!

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-What a good result, eh, Beth?

-Yeah.

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-I'll be having my en suite.

-That will set you off on your journey to uni.

-It will.

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'That was a good result, which is what you'd expect with such a fabulous item.

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'What a brilliant end to our first trip to the saleroom today.

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'Time now for a change of pace.'

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'What can be more beautiful than a garden on a summer's day?

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'And this one's right in the heart of England.'

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Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire is a charming, delightful house.

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It's so quintessentially English. But its real merits lie beyond these gates.

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Because, without doubt, it has one of the most outstanding gardens in England.

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It was created in the early part of the 20th century

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and it's the first ever gardens to be taken on for its horticultural merits

0:20:150:20:19

by the National Trust, back in 1948.

0:20:190:20:22

'The garden, which is Arts and Crafts in style, was the lifelong work of Lawrence Johnston.

0:20:330:20:38

'His mother, the formidable Gertrude Winthrop,

0:20:380:20:41

'a wealthy twice-widowed American, bought Hidcote in 1907.

0:20:410:20:45

'It came with a hamlet of cottages, but no garden to speak of,

0:20:510:20:54

'just a collection of rose beds and a huge cedar of Lebanon.'

0:20:540:20:58

So, what is an Arts and Crafts style garden? Good question!

0:21:000:21:04

It's the Edwardians turning their backs on what they considered to be Victoria conformity,

0:21:040:21:09

let's say rows and rows of regimented, gaudy bedding plants,

0:21:090:21:13

which was all the rage at the time.

0:21:130:21:15

Lawrence Johnston described Hidcote as "a wild garden within a formal setting."

0:21:150:21:20

It was a romantic vision, an artistic vision, and he certainly got that right,

0:21:200:21:24

with the use of old-fashioned flowers and traditional garden crafts, such as topiary.

0:21:240:21:29

That, with a combination of natural materials, like the stone I'm walking on,

0:21:290:21:33

and wood left in the round for all the arbours,

0:21:330:21:35

created a cottage-like atmosphere,

0:21:350:21:38

one the harked back to the pre-industrial world.

0:21:380:21:42

'Lawrence was a man of 36 when they arrived here.

0:21:460:21:49

'He'd already been off to fight in the Boer War

0:21:490:21:51

'and had become a naturalised British citizen, in love with his adopted English heritage.

0:21:510:21:56

'In the seven years he and his mother lived here, before the start of the First World War,

0:21:560:22:01

'most of the garden was close to the house.

0:22:010:22:03

'It took many years for it to grow to its current size,

0:22:030:22:06

'spreading slowly out into the surrounding countryside.'

0:22:060:22:09

This is his starting point. The garden is divided up into rooms which extend out from the house.

0:22:090:22:14

This is key to the Arts and Crafts idea.

0:22:140:22:17

Many gardens are divided up with walls, but here,

0:22:170:22:20

they're divided with beautiful box and yew wood hedges.

0:22:200:22:23

This area is now known as the White Garden,

0:22:390:22:42

and when you look around and take it all in, it's absolutely stunning.

0:22:420:22:46

It's subtle, it's clever, and I wasn't surprised to find out that Lawrence was a keen painter.

0:22:460:22:52

It shows the eye of a true artist. Just look at it.

0:22:520:22:54

And another great thing about having different themed rooms within the garden is

0:23:010:23:05

there's many inviting doorways for you to walk through.

0:23:050:23:08

There are 28 garden rooms here at Hidcote. The closer they are to the house, the more formal they are

0:23:170:23:22

and then gradually, the further away they get, they start giving way to nature and wilderness.

0:23:220:23:27

It's a highly creative, personal statement

0:23:330:23:36

and the great thing is, it's all on a wonderfully human scale.

0:23:360:23:40

Walking around the garden, Lawrence constantly surprises. Some rooms are bursting full of plants.

0:23:420:23:48

Others are left quite sparse.

0:23:480:23:50

And it's these contrasts that make it so incredibly exciting.

0:23:500:23:53

Gardens like this just don't happen overnight.

0:24:060:24:09

Lawrence worked on the design for well over 23 years

0:24:090:24:12

and he created this room, the one I'm in now,

0:24:120:24:14

upon his return from fighting in the First World War.

0:24:140:24:18

Now, nobody knows for sure why there are 22 English yew pillars here.

0:24:180:24:23

Maybe it's no coincidence that there were 22 fellow officers in his regiment.

0:24:230:24:27

And in total contrast, you've got the Rose Walk.

0:24:420:24:45

Now, this is absolutely stunning.

0:24:450:24:47

In fact, it's breathtaking, especially on a gorgeous day like this.

0:24:470:24:51

Looking at these wonderful deep beds, you can see splashes of colour everywhere.

0:24:510:24:55

That's the eye of an artist. It's like his palette board.

0:24:550:24:59

But it's also the eye of a very keen plantsman.

0:24:590:25:02

Many of the examples you see here Lawrence gathered on his planting-hunting trips

0:25:020:25:06

to far-flung places such as South Africa, China and Turkey.

0:25:060:25:11

'It was for this, and his contribution to horticulture,

0:25:180:25:21

'that in 1947, he was given the highest accolade of the Royal Horticultural Society,

0:25:210:25:26

'a gold Veitch Memorial Medal.

0:25:260:25:28

'Not only had he introduced many new plants,

0:25:310:25:34

'but he'd created one of the most influential gardens of his time.'

0:25:340:25:38

Well, here we have it. This rock bank is a reconstruction

0:25:400:25:43

of what Lawrence would've come across on one of his plant-hunting expeditions,

0:25:430:25:47

and I absolutely love this part of the garden, because here it blends in effortlessly

0:25:470:25:51

with the Gloucestershire countryside.

0:25:510:25:54

A classic end to an Arts and Crafts garden.

0:25:540:25:56

'Back at Warwick Castle, our team of experts are still at full tilt.

0:26:080:26:12

'Keep watching, because later in the show, we have a priceless moment,

0:26:150:26:19

'one that I thought I would never see.'

0:26:190:26:22

-Unbelievable! Unbelievable!

-Thomas is lost for words.

0:26:220:26:25

'But right now, Anita is delighted with a platter belonging to Sue and daughter Jane.'

0:26:290:26:34

Welcome to "Flog It!" and I'm delighted that you've brought in

0:26:360:26:39

this wonderful strawberry dish. Tell me, where did you get it?

0:26:390:26:44

It's my husband's auntie's, so it's Jane's great auntie,

0:26:440:26:47

and I think she was given it. She's had it 30, 40 years

0:26:470:26:52

and it's been on a coffee table just inside, just stuck there,

0:26:520:26:56

and she's had soap in it.

0:26:560:26:58

SHE LAUGHS She always thought there was something missing.

0:26:580:27:02

Did you like it when you inherited it? Have you enjoyed having it?

0:27:020:27:06

Yeah, it has been nice, but we're so scared of it getting broken with grandkids.

0:27:060:27:11

And what does your lovely daughter think about it?

0:27:110:27:13

-It's not of my taste.

-THEY LAUGH

0:27:130:27:17

Interestingly enough, this type of ware has gone out of fashion a wee bit.

0:27:170:27:23

It is a Victorian piece. But younger people are not as interested in it

0:27:230:27:29

as older folk are.

0:27:290:27:33

It's Majolica, which is a tin-glazed earthenware.

0:27:330:27:38

And we love it because of the sort of luscious singing glaze.

0:27:380:27:44

It's almost translucent. It's lovely.

0:27:440:27:47

And we can see the strawberries here.

0:27:470:27:50

It would've been used to pile your strawberries on

0:27:500:27:56

on a beautiful day like today and you have your little cream jug beside it.

0:27:560:28:02

We've had this all this time and I never realised it was strawberries.

0:28:020:28:06

-We learn something every day.

-Which is really brilliant.

0:28:060:28:09

Now, if we look at the back of it, Sue, we can date it.

0:28:090:28:14

And we have on here, this is what we call a registration lozenge.

0:28:140:28:19

I've checked it out and the date of it is 1873.

0:28:190:28:23

So it's a substantial age.

0:28:230:28:26

It's in remarkable condition for that age.

0:28:260:28:30

We have a wee hairline crack here, which makes a wee bit of difference value-wise,

0:28:300:28:36

but I'm not considering that terribly important.

0:28:360:28:42

Now, the make of it. We see no maker's name on the back.

0:28:420:28:47

It's quite possible that it could be Mintons or Wedgewood

0:28:470:28:51

or George Jones, one of these.

0:28:510:28:54

I'm thinking that it's probably Jones,

0:28:540:28:57

because I would be expecting a Wedgewood or a Mintons to be slightly heavier.

0:28:570:29:04

I see, yeah. OK.

0:29:040:29:06

-Why are you selling it?

-She's getting married in August

0:29:060:29:09

and my other daughter's had a big extension,

0:29:090:29:12

so we could do with the cash.

0:29:120:29:14

-Children always cost you money!

-As they get older.

0:29:140:29:18

It never stops, but it's always a pleasure.

0:29:180:29:22

-It'd buy us a bottle of champagne, wouldn't it?

-Yeah.

0:29:220:29:25

Well, I hope that it buys maybe a magnum of champagne.

0:29:250:29:29

-And her auntie would appreciate that.

-I think that's a lovely idea.

0:29:290:29:33

We'll put it in with an estimate of £100 to £200.

0:29:330:29:37

We'll put a firm reserve of £100 on it

0:29:370:29:41

and hopefully it will fly away and will buy you a good few bottles of champagne for the wedding.

0:29:410:29:48

You never know. We'll toast you. THEY LAUGH

0:29:480:29:51

'What a lovely thing to spend the money on, a family celebration.

0:29:530:29:56

'Thomas's attention has just been grabbed by a quirky little fellow

0:29:560:30:00

'belonging to sisters Miranda and Ruby.'

0:30:000:30:03

-Girls, tell me, who actually owns this item?

-My mother owned it.

0:30:050:30:09

-Your late mother. So you girls are sisters?

-Yes.

-Never would've guessed.

0:30:090:30:13

-Of course. And what brings you here?

-We've come along to see if we can see how much this is valued at, please.

0:30:130:30:21

-You're talking about your biscuit barrel.

-Yes.

0:30:210:30:25

Well, if I take the lid off, it helps us here. Look.

0:30:250:30:30

McVitie and Price Biscuit Manufacturers

0:30:300:30:33

to HM the King and the Prince of Wales. There we are.

0:30:330:30:37

Edinburgh and London. Nicely printed there.

0:30:370:30:41

-Obviously, it is a biscuit tin.

-Yes.

0:30:410:30:44

But what I liked about it was the object itself.

0:30:440:30:48

A biscuit tin could just be a plain, simple rectangular or square tin.

0:30:480:30:52

But people then decided, "No, we don't want to do that, we want to make interesting objects,"

0:30:520:30:58

and that's what's important about this, the design and the lithography,

0:30:580:31:02

which is the feathers, the painting,

0:31:020:31:05

the printing on it and the moulding.

0:31:050:31:08

-It's quite a difficult thing to have done.

-Yes.

0:31:080:31:11

And it would've been quite expensive as a biscuit barrel.

0:31:110:31:15

-Yes.

-Cos it's more difficult to make and there's certainly more integral parts.

0:31:150:31:20

-There's a base and then you've got the sections and the lid.

-Yes.

0:31:200:31:24

Do you think your mother had it in the twenties?

0:31:240:31:28

-She may have done.

-When was she married?

0:31:280:31:31

1952.

0:31:310:31:33

1952. So I think it could've been her mother's.

0:31:330:31:36

-It might have been.

-I think it's Deco.

0:31:360:31:39

Or if it wasn't that, it was the people she worked for.

0:31:390:31:42

She worked for different people, you know, when she was younger, so...

0:31:420:31:47

-What was she doing? Was she in service?

-Service, yeah.

0:31:470:31:50

I think it might have been that, because this would've been quite an expensive item

0:31:500:31:54

-and it's a bit of a frivolity to spend money on a biscuit barrel.

-Yes.

0:31:540:31:58

So it would've been probably something which maybe the household were getting rid of

0:31:580:32:02

-and she acquired it that way.

-Yes.

-But it's from that period,

0:32:020:32:07

pre-war, 1920s I would've thought, maybe a little earlier.

0:32:070:32:10

And it's also got so many facets to why it's interesting.

0:32:100:32:16

You've got the interest because of the design, the printing, the lithography,

0:32:160:32:21

the way it's made, and advertising, as well.

0:32:210:32:24

So, the important question. What do you girls think it's worth?

0:32:240:32:28

Well, we haven't got a clue, actually.

0:32:280:32:31

-Not even a Scooby?

-No.

0:32:310:32:33

-Nothing?

-No.

-We've never had it valued.

0:32:330:32:35

Well, I would've thought you're going to get between £50 and £80 for it at auction.

0:32:350:32:41

How does that grab you?

0:32:410:32:43

-Yeah. That's fine.

-Is that all right?

-Yes.

0:32:430:32:46

-Can we put a reserve on it?

-Yes.

0:32:460:32:48

-Around about £40. I think that gives the auctioneer a bit of leeway.

-Yes.

0:32:480:32:52

And then he might be able to start it and move on from there.

0:32:520:32:56

-But it's quite nice.

-Yes. Yeah, that's good. Thank you.

0:32:560:33:00

'Biscuit barrels are not my area, so who knows, maybe it could fly away.

0:33:000:33:06

'We're having a brilliant day here at Warwick Castle and it's just about to get better.'

0:33:070:33:13

Helen, you've absolutely made my day. I'm in love with these.

0:33:140:33:18

Big cats. Aren't they wonderful?

0:33:180:33:20

OK, tell me the story. How did you come by them?

0:33:200:33:23

I inherited them about ten years ago from my grandparents

0:33:230:33:27

and they came to them via my nan's sister,

0:33:270:33:31

who was a domestic for the sculptor.

0:33:310:33:34

-You're joking!

-No.

-Oh, my gosh! Such provenance!

0:33:340:33:37

-Direct from the artist.

-And they've been in your family a long time.

-Every since then, yes.

0:33:370:33:42

Frank Lutiger.

0:33:420:33:45

Unbelievable. A Swiss artist, but he did live in the Midlands.

0:33:450:33:48

I think so, yeah. So I believe.

0:33:480:33:50

-Incredible, isn't it? He was born in around 1870, somewhere around there.

-Yeah, something like that.

0:33:500:33:56

-Yeah.

-Oh, wow!

0:33:560:33:59

-What do you do for a living?

-I'm a full-time artist.

-It doesn't get much better than this.

0:33:590:34:04

-So you can really appreciate these.

-Yes, I can definitely appreciate the skill.

0:34:040:34:08

-You know what's coming next, don't you? What my next question is?

-Go on, then.

0:34:080:34:12

-Do you really want to sell them?

-I do and I don't.

0:34:120:34:15

I don't really have room for them.

0:34:150:34:18

I've got quite a small house and a family, so I don't really have room for them

0:34:180:34:23

and I guess it's time for them to go to somebody who would really appreciate them.

0:34:230:34:28

OK. Well, look, I've done a bit of research on Frank Lutiger.

0:34:280:34:32

He was very prolific in the 1920s.

0:34:320:34:34

He did specialise in big cats. He loved lions and cheetahs and tigers. Absolutely adored them.

0:34:340:34:40

Interestingly enough, this one was modelled in 1925.

0:34:400:34:45

You've got this large cat picking at a bone.

0:34:450:34:47

But look at its muscle tone. And look at those variegated hues in the bronze.

0:34:470:34:52

-That's what you want. You want the rub.

-Yeah.

0:34:520:34:55

And this one, modelled in 1926. So they're a year apart,

0:34:550:34:59

which is quite nice, because it means it's easier to put a value on them

0:34:590:35:02

-and to split them up into two separate lots, if that's what you want.

-Yeah.

0:35:020:35:06

Now, what sort of figure have you in mind for these two?

0:35:060:35:10

Erm, I don't know. I would hope that they would fetch about £500 each.

0:35:100:35:16

Do you know, you're spot on. You are absolutely spot on.

0:35:160:35:19

I was going to hedge my bets and say £400 to £600,

0:35:190:35:22

but I'd be quite happy to put these into auction with a value of £500 to £700 each,

0:35:220:35:29

with a reserve at £500,

0:35:290:35:32

because they have such a wonderful impressionistic look.

0:35:320:35:35

Considering he flourished in the 1920s, that's the Art Deco period,

0:35:350:35:39

-you'd think it to be more Deco-looking.

-Yes.

0:35:390:35:42

But this is so impressionistic. It's very loose and I really like that because it's timeless.

0:35:420:35:48

And I think we'll find a bigger market for these.

0:35:480:35:50

I hope so. Hopefully, they'll be worth more, but I'd be happy with that.

0:35:500:35:54

I thought you were going to give me a tough time and say, "They are worth £800 each, let's start there."

0:35:540:35:59

No, you know the business better than I do.

0:35:590:36:02

-I've never sold anything at auction.

-It's a funny old game.

0:36:020:36:06

You've got to get people interested, not put them off at the first hurdle. I'd be happy with that.

0:36:060:36:12

-I can't wait for this moment, and I bet you can't, either.

-No, I can't.

0:36:120:36:15

-HE LAUGHS

-See you at the auction room!

-Thank you.

0:36:150:36:18

'They are just stunning. I hope you agree.

0:36:200:36:23

'Who wouldn't like to own those beautifully sculpted cats?

0:36:230:36:27

'Before our lots go under the hammer, let's take another look at them.

0:36:280:36:32

'The Victorian tin-glazed earthenware plate, dated 1873,

0:36:320:36:36

'perfect for strawberries and cream in the garden on a summer's day.'

0:36:360:36:40

'And you could add some homemade shortbread if you'd like,

0:36:400:36:43

'if you'd also brought the bird-shaped biscuit barrel, which is brimming with personality.

0:36:430:36:48

'And finally, my choice, the two bronze big cats, dating from the 1920s.

0:36:500:36:54

'They're sleek and wonderfully modelled.

0:36:540:36:57

'Steven Kay is putting our first item under the hammer.

0:37:010:37:05

'It's the strawberry dish owned by Sue, who's brought Malcolm, her husband, along for moral support.'

0:37:050:37:10

Sue and Malcolm, good luck. It's that lovely Majolica strawberry plate.

0:37:120:37:16

It's a good, solid, traditional antique.

0:37:160:37:20

The hairline crack won't put too many collectors off, because it's tin-glazed

0:37:200:37:24

and I've seen these things sell with great big gouges and chips out of them. So good luck. Here we go.

0:37:240:37:30

The Majolica strawberry serving platter.

0:37:310:37:35

I have some bids here on the book and I can start at £130. 140?

0:37:350:37:40

I'm on the book at 130 and I'll take 140.

0:37:430:37:46

I'm going to sell at 130. Anyone else?

0:37:480:37:50

-Good price, good price.

-Yeah.

-Happy?

-Oh, yes, more than happy.

0:37:510:37:57

-What are you putting the money towards?

-A wedding.

-A wedding?

-In three weeks.

0:37:570:38:01

-Whose wedding?

-Jane, my daughter.

-Your daughter.

0:38:010:38:05

-So we'll drink to you, Anita.

-Thank you!

0:38:050:38:08

'Celebrations all round, then. Before the sale,

0:38:100:38:13

'I asked auctioneer Christopher Ironmonger his thoughts on Helen's sculpted bronze cats.'

0:38:130:38:19

My eyes lit up at the valuation day when Helen arrived carrying these two big bronze cats.

0:38:210:38:27

"Oh, my gosh. Yes, please. Hopefully you want to sell them and I'd love to value them."

0:38:270:38:31

Her family knew the artist when he lived in England for a few years

0:38:310:38:35

and we've put £500 to £700 on each one and separated the lots.

0:38:350:38:40

I like them. I think they're very typical of his work

0:38:400:38:44

-and you could say shining examples, really.

-Exactly.

0:38:440:38:49

I think, to the right collector, for someone who wants to make an investment, they're an ideal lot.

0:38:490:38:54

Hopefully, they'll stay together. I'm hoping the same person buys them. But you never know.

0:38:540:39:00

-It would be a nice thought. Things often do go like that, but we'll see.

-I can see these in a gallery.

0:39:000:39:06

Yes. I think that the attraction of the subject is half of it

0:39:060:39:10

-and the quality of his workmanship.

-Has there been much interest?

0:39:100:39:14

-A fair bit of interest. We've got other bronzes in the sale, so we'll see.

-It's in good company.

0:39:140:39:20

-It'll be interesting to see which does the most.

-I suspect that one.

0:39:200:39:23

It is down to the appearance that people go for, as well as the art in it.

0:39:230:39:30

-Right now, it's down to you. It's time to go on the rostrum and put them under the hammer.

-Indeed.

0:39:300:39:35

-Have you seen your big cats in the room?

-I have. I had a little twang.

0:39:430:39:47

-Did you have a flutter?

-Yeah, I did.

-This is it. I'm scared now.

0:39:470:39:50

They're split into two lots and we're looking at around £500 to £700. Let's go.

0:39:500:39:54

The cast and patinated bronze and model cat.

0:39:570:40:01

And he's a very handsome chap there, resting on his haunches.

0:40:010:40:05

And I'm bid 400 on the book here. At 400.

0:40:050:40:08

Is it 50 now?

0:40:080:40:10

At £400. 420 is it? 420. 440?

0:40:110:40:15

440. 460. 480. 500.

0:40:150:40:19

500. 500? 500.

0:40:190:40:22

520? At £500 and it will be sold, make no mistake.

0:40:220:40:25

At £500, are we done?

0:40:250:40:27

-Yes.

-Ooh!

-First one's gone. That was my favourite.

0:40:270:40:31

-Yeah, you liked that one, didn't you?

-Yeah.

-That's on the wooden base.

0:40:310:40:34

This is the other cast and patinated bronze, another seated cat.

0:40:370:40:42

This one's dated 1925. Signed again.

0:40:420:40:44

And I've got a 500 bid. At 500. 50, is it?

0:40:460:40:50

At £500. It's going to sell at £500. 20 anywhere?

0:40:500:40:55

Just give you the last chance. At £500.

0:40:550:40:58

Gone again. £1,000.

0:40:580:41:01

Wow. Thank you!

0:41:010:41:03

-We did it, didn't we?

-Yeah. Big, deep breath.

0:41:030:41:05

-Thank you for bringing them in. They're beautiful.

-Pleasure. Thanks.

0:41:050:41:09

'Well, Helen will miss her cats, but I'm sure the money will come in handy.

0:41:090:41:13

'Now, from the sublime to what some people might call the ridiculous.

0:41:130:41:17

'The biscuit barrel belonging to sisters Miranda and Ruby.'

0:41:170:41:20

-I know why you've got to sell. You can't divide it up, can you?

-No.

0:41:220:41:25

Unless you share it part of the year. What a thing, Thomas!

0:41:250:41:28

-It's great.

-It's full of nostalgia and quirkiness!

0:41:280:41:31

-It's so British and so much fun.

-Let's find out what the bidders think.

0:41:310:41:35

It's under the hammer now. Let's hope we fall off our perch.

0:41:350:41:38

The McVitie and Price biscuit tin,

0:41:400:41:42

fashioned as a bird with a detachable head lid.

0:41:420:41:45

Very unusual little item. I can start at £80. £80. Pardon?

0:41:450:41:50

180 we've got. 180.

0:41:500:41:52

180? 200. 220.

0:41:520:41:55

230. 240. 240 and I'm clear. 250 there.

0:41:550:41:59

260. 270. 280. 290.

0:41:590:42:02

290. 300. 320.

0:42:020:42:05

340. 360?

0:42:050:42:07

I didn't expect that much.

0:42:070:42:10

400. 420? 420?

0:42:100:42:13

420. 440. 460.

0:42:130:42:15

480? 480. 500.

0:42:150:42:17

520? 520. 540.

0:42:170:42:20

-560.

-Is this our lot?

-Yeah.

0:42:200:42:23

620. 640. 660.

0:42:230:42:26

680. 680. 700?

0:42:260:42:29

700. 720. 740.

0:42:290:42:32

-You didn't have a load of sovereigns inside there, did you?

-No!

0:42:320:42:35

800. 850. 900.

0:42:350:42:38

900. 950.

0:42:380:42:40

950. 1,000. 1,000.

0:42:400:42:43

£1,000!

0:42:430:42:46

1,050 it is. By the stairs at 1,050. Are we all done and finished?

0:42:460:42:50

Hammer's gone down. £1,050!

0:42:510:42:54

-Well done, you two!

-APPLAUSE

0:42:540:42:56

Hey! There's money is biscuit barrels, isn't there? Thomas.

0:42:560:43:02

-I'm shivering. You guys must be shivering.

-Yes.

0:43:020:43:06

Wow! What's going through your minds right now?

0:43:060:43:10

I don't know. It's just shock, really.

0:43:100:43:13

-Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

-Thomas is lost for words.

0:43:130:43:17

In fact, we all are. I hope you've enjoyed the show as much as we have.

0:43:170:43:20

It's been wonderful. Look forward to many more surprises to come, so keep watching "Flog It!"

0:43:200:43:25

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:260:43:30

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:300:43:34

.

0:43:340:43:35

Warwick Castle is today's Flog It! destination, where Paul Martin is joined by experts Anita Manning and Thomas Plant. Some interesting pieces come up including a Georgian silver wine funnel and a 1920s McVitie's biscuit barrel. Paul visits one of Britain's most beautiful arts and crafts gardens at Hidcote Manor.