Balbirnie Flog It!


Balbirnie

This edition of the antiques series comes from handsome Balbirnie House in Fife where experts Anita Manning and James Lewis are on hand to value a whole range of antiques.


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Transcript


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Balbirnie House in Fife has a colourful history

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stretching right back to 1777.

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It was originally built for the successful and industrious Balfour family.

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It's an architectural delight, I'm sure you'll agree,

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and a fabulous setting for today's Flog It!

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The 18th-century house near Fife

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is set in more than 400 acres of picturesque park land.

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It's quiet.

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It's calm.

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And then we arrive!

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Hundreds of people have turned up. They've even brought their pets.

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They're here to see our experts,

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to ask that all-important question, which is...

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What's it worth? That's right. That's what they want to know.

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When they find out, what will they do?

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This is exactly what they're going to do - Flog It!

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And fitting right in to the classy Scottish setting

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is our classy Scottish expert, Anita Manning.

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And the man who knows a thing or two about style and flair, James Lewis.

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Anita is an auctioneer in her own right, and knows what sells well under the hammer.

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You've got good taste.

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You've got very good taste.

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James is also an auctioneer with an eye for a winning lot.

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I like that. I think that's great.

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Coming up, James lets some of our sellers down gently.

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I've got a bit of bad news for you. It's been restored.

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And encourages another to become a gambling man.

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Do you want to put a reserve on it, or do you want to gamble? It's a bit of a risk!

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And I visit a splendid castle where royal visitors have relaxed

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and relished a host of stunning features.

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This whole room just permeates history.

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It's marvellous!

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Let's get straight on with the show. Anita's on the hunt for treasure with Gladys.

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Gladys, I'm always delighted to see Beswick on Flog It.

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Tell me, where did you get this little group?

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I was on a shopping trip with my mum in Aberdeen, and bought it in a china shop.

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-So I would think maybe the early '80s, perhaps.

-Yeah.

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Did she go hunting, Gladys?

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No, no, we were brought up on a farm

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and she just liked farm life.

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-But she never went hunting, no.

-No.

-No.

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-Did she choose these herself?

-She did. Yes, she did.

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She really liked the horse and the huntsman on the back.

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-Yes.

-It's always been in the cabinet

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but my mum unfortunately died six years ago this month

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so I thought we'd declutter. I bought it for her, so it's not quite so sentimental.

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Yes. I love Beswick because it is superbly designed

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and superbly crafted.

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In fact, Beswick would send their designers to the shows -

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-dogs, cattle and horses.

-I like the cattle.

-They would design the very best of breeds.

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And they had to be so accurate

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and pay so much attention to detail.

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And it's reflected in the figures that they made.

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They're lovely.

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Now, this one is a later one. This little type of group,

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the huntsman, hounds and fox,

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were originally designed in the 1930s and '40s.

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But when I looked at the backstamp on this horseman here,

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I could see that that was a later Beswick stamp.

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So this would have been made in the '80s, am I right?

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I would say that's right, Anita.

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In a group you might often have two or three huntsmen,

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a couple of packs of dogs, and maybe a couple of foxes.

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-Aye.

-So what we've got is quite a small hunt here.

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That's true. Just three dogs, yes.

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Tell me, why do you want to sell it?

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I was thinking of buying a wee Westie puppy. A real one!

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-A real one.

-I look after my sister's one Monday to Friday

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and I haven't had one of my own. If I get something for this...

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Put it towards the puppy.

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-That would be a great exchange. A great exchange.

-For a real one.

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But I don't know what the value of it is. It might not be very much.

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Well,

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I would put an estimate of 100 to 150.

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-Would you be happy to sell it at that estimate?

-Yes, I would, yes.

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I would be happy to maybe put £100.

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-We'll put £100 reserve on it.

-A reserve on it.

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-£100 reserve on it.

-I'm happy with that.

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-I think it will go further.

-Oh, all right, then!

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That would be exciting!

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Tally-ho, we're off! That's our first lot to go to auction.

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Next up, Ivor and Joyce, who've brought in a quality item

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to show James.

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-Ivor and Joyce, welcome to Flog It!

-Thank you.

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You've brought along a lovely little object.

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If you were a lady of some social standing in the Edwardian period,

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this sort of bottle would have adorned your dressing table,

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containing the finest French fragrances.

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So it's not anybody would have one?

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No, this isn't an everyday scent bottle you have here.

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-I knew I'd be a lady some day!

-It's a lovely object.

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Is it something you've had in the family, or found at a boot sale or antiques fair?

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It belonged to my stepfather's auntie who was in service towards the end of the late 1800s.

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When she was leaving service,

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-the lady of the house said she could pick a going away present.

-Yes.

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So she chose the scent bottle.

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-She'd earmarked it for my mother.

-Lovely.

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So when my mother died, I inherited it.

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Well, she had very, very good taste.

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She picked very nicely. You often find that people who were in service

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ended up being given something that was pretty mediocre.

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It looked quite flashy,

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but really had no quality at all.

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I often say to people, "Well, that's why the people with the money kept the money!"

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-They didn't give it away.

-That's true.

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But in this case, she has acquired something rather nice.

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-It's not hugely valuable.

-No.

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But in quality terms, it's very pretty.

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If we start with the cut crystal in the base.

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This is cut crystal, not glass.

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It's the finest lead crystal. It's a form of glass, but we call it crystal.

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Just look at the quality there

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of these individually hand-cut flower heads.

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And the stylised leaves.

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And the lovely quality of decoration all the way round.

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Then, you go to the cover.

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This is known as repousse work, which is embossed from one side to another.

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There's a little button on the front. If we open that...

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-It's quite tight.

-There we are.

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If you look at the underside, it's the exact opposite

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of the decoration we see above.

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So it's been hammered through, rather than cast in a mould.

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-The glass is almost certainly made in Stourbridge in England.

-Right.

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It's of wonderful quality.

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It's likely to be by a factory that became known as Royal Brierley in 1919.

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Royal Brierley crystal was the finest crystal,

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made in Stourbridge.

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On the cover, we've got the lion, which is the sterling standard,

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and the i, which is the date letter,

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which means this silver was hallmarked and dated in 1904.

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Have you noticed the initials there?

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-I'd noticed that, yes.

-Yeah?

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-Well, it's W...

-W.G.

-W.C.

-C? I thought it was a G.

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-W.C for William Cummings.

-Oh, right?

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Very nice silversmith from the early 20th century.

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An everyday silver-topped scent bottle

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is worth 40 to £60.

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Something like that.

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This one, I think, is worth three or four times that.

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-I think we ought to put 100 to 150 on it.

-Really?

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I think it's very pretty. And, you know,

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if it didn't make that 100 to 150, just keep it. It doesn't matter.

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I'd rather see it not sell.

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-Oh, yeah.

-Than see it sell for less.

-Just pennies, yes.

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-Let's put a reserve on it.

-Yes.

-Yes.

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-£100.

-Yes.

-If it doesn't make that. Firm. No discretion. 90's not good enough.

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-No.

-If we don't get 100, take it home.

-Take it home, yes.

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-That would be ideal, James.

-Excellent.

-Lovely. Let's take it along and see how we do!

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What a stylish bottle.

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While Anita and James are searching out their next items, I've got time to chat

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to some of those who've come along today.

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So many antiques, but it's not just about antiques.

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It's about the people that own them, the people behind them. It's their story.

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-What have you brought in? Can I be nosey?

-Yes.

-What's in there?

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How long have you had that? Is that your mother's?

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No, I think I once bought it in a sale.

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-Probably 50 years ago.

-It's dated 1886. It's a ceremonial jug.

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-I'm wondering whether it's local.

-All hand-painted.

-Kirkcaldy.

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-It could be.

-There was a pottery in Kirkcaldy. Lots of them.

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Is it something you hope to sell or just getting it valued?

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-I'd sell if the price is right!

-If the price is right!

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That's what they all want to know! "What's it worth?"

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That all-important question!

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Someone who also wants to know is Linda,

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who's brought in one of Flog It's favourites to show Anita.

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-Linda, welcome to Flog It.

-Thank you.

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Tell me what we've got here.

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We've got a piece of Troika that I found in a charity shop.

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Oh, I love those stories.

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Did you recognise it immediately?

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No. Since I've retired, my new interest is looking for antiques and collectibles

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and there was a programme on TV about Troika

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and, believe it or not, the very next day I went into the shop

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and saw this thing and thought, "It can't be!"

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Then I looked underneath and saw it was.

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-So that was a thrill!

-It was, certainly.

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-Did you pay a lot of money for it?

-Three pounds.

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Well done, well done, well done.

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Now, Troika. I love the Troika pottery.

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It started round about 1963 with Benny Sirota.

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They were artisans, craftsmen.

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They wanted to get away from mass-produced items.

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This one was post-'70s,

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when things changed a wee bit.

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The post-'70s Troika is not as valuable as the earlier stuff.

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They sold in Heal's, which was a very prestigious outlet.

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It was a good shop in London.

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But, in the main, the items that they sold,

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these were for the tourist trade.

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And the people that went down to St Ives in Cornwall would buy them.

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And it's absolutely wonderful when you speak to someone who'd been down there in the '70s

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and just bought that lamp because they loved it

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and suddenly it was worth a lot of money.

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And if we look at the bottom,

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we see the very, very distinctive mark of Troika.

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This monogram here is for Louise Jinks.

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So we can identify each of the decorators

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and that's a great pleasure and great fun for the collectors.

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Now, when I look at that, I think it's a wee bit squeejee! What do you think?

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-I think so!

-We don't mind that because each of these pots

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were individually made. Tell me,

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do you like Troika?

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This is the first piece that I've ever seen

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and I do like the earthy colours, yes.

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The thing is, although these were made in the '60s and '70s,

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they are in keeping with the modernist look

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of today.

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And this is one of the reasons why they are popular.

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Price on this. You paid three pounds for it. You did very well!

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This particular cylinder vase

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I would put a valuation of 30 to 50.

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I think it may go further than that, Linda.

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I hope that it does. But I find sometimes that conservative estimates really do work.

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They draw the bidder in and get the bidder excited.

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We'll put a reserve price - and I think we should keep it as a fixed reserve -

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-of £30.

-That's fine.

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-Shall we go for it?

-Yes, we should.

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There you have it. You've seen our first items ready to go to auction.

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I think there's a few corkers there. We might be in for one or two surprises.

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So while we make our way to the auction room, here's a reminder of the items we're taking with us.

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We're going to sell the charming Beswick hunting figures

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brought along by Gladys.

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Ivor and Joyce's elegant scent bottle.

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And Linda's cylindrical Troika vase.

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We're taking our items to auction in Rosewell, south of Edinburgh.

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There will be commission to pay, and it varies between auction houses.

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Here, the sellers and buyers pay 15% plus VAT.

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Right. Now I'm feeling nervous. Here we are, where our valuations will be put to the test.

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We have three auctioneers on the rostrum, so it'll be a really busy day.

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One of them is Sybelle Thomson.

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I had a quick chat to her before the sale to see what she had to say about one or two of our items.

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Let's take a look.

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We've got some Beswick for you. It's a hunting group.

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They were bought on a shopping spree in Aberdeen in the '80s.

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They're very nice. Very collectable.

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The huntsman particularly. This model relates back to the 1930s.

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One problem with it is it's missing two of its hounds.

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-Right.

-They normally have five hounds.

-I didn't know that.

-Yes.

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But I still think it'll do very well.

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You have to be so careful when you're looking at Beswick horses

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because sometimes the feet can be in the wrong position, or the tail stuck to the wrong leg

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or a different colourway, or the same colour on the horse,

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but the neck's turned a different way. And that puts the value up.

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-Absolutely.

-Why?

-The slightest variation. The collectors look at which way the huntsman's looking.

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If he was looking the other way, he'd be worth less than he is.

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-You've really got to know your stuff with Beswick.

-Absolutely.

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This could be valued at 150 to 200, but if one of those details was slightly different,

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and it's rare, it could be 600 or £700.

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Get him in a different shade of red coat and you're at 500 to £600.

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-Gosh! We won't get that, will we, later?

-Unfortunately not.

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We'll see how the Beswick does later. First, Linda and Anita and the Troika vase.

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It's wonderful to have a piece of Cornwall up here in Scotland!

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No, it's not me, it's a bit of Troika and it belongs to Linda.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

-Thanks for coming in.

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-Where did you get this?

-I found it in a charity shop.

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-In Cornwall?

-No, in Fife.

-Right. OK.

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It's a good little thing and I know we've got to find a buyer at 30 to 50, that's what you put on it.

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Quite conservative again. It's not one that will fly.

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-It's a later one, but it's still Troika. Still has that magic name.

-Let's see what the bidders think.

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This is a nice Troika brown, straight-sided vase.

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Who'd like to start me at £50 for it?

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50? 30?

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30 bid everywhere. 35. 40.

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Five. 50.

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Five? 55.

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Lady beside me, 55.

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-£55.

-Anybody else going on? At £55.

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Great result.

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-Top end.

-Good, good.

-Good.

-Happy?

-Yes, very.

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That's a good return on three quid!

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Are you going to go back up there to the shop?

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I'll be giving some of the money to the charity shop, and some's going to my daughter's wedding fund.

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-So...

-First wedding in the family?

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-Yes.

-Ooh, big day.

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-Expensive day!

-What's her name?

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-Gillian.

-Gillian, congratulations and good luck for the future.

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That's a good result, especially for a charity shop buy.

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Next up, it's Ivor and Joyce

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and their glass scent bottle.

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It's got everything going for it.

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-Even the price, James. I think it's a goer.

-Yes.

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-It's a great quality example.

-It's about to go under the hammer.

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We're after around £150. Let's see what the bidders think.

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The Stourbridge-style silver-mounted scent bottle.

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Lots of interest in this. I may start it at 50. 50 bid. 50 bid.

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50 bid. 55. 60. Five.

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70. Five. 80.

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Five. 90.

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Five. 100.

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£100. On my right at 100.

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Anyone going on? At £100.

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-Quality always sells.

-Yes, it does.

-It does.

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Good start to our holidays. We're driving away now.

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-Are you?

-Where are you off to?

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-We're driving down to Dover and going on a Med cruise.

-That's a long drive!

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-We'll stop overnight.

-It's not too bad.

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-That'll cover the petrol money.

-It will.

-Or some sherbets!

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Sherbets!

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That will add a boost to Ivor and Joyce's holiday fund. Great.

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Now it's Gladys and the hunting figures.

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I wonder if the missing hounds will affect the price?

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It's Gladys's first auction, isn't it?

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-It is.

-Are you nervous?

-Very nervous.

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-What happened when you saw all these people?

-I couldn't imagine so many people.

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This is a country auction.

0:19:000:19:02

We have lots of hunting round about.

0:19:020:19:05

Hopefully there'll be some riders in here.

0:19:050:19:08

-I think there'll be some interest.

-Here's hoping.

0:19:080:19:11

We'll find out right now. Here we go.

0:19:110:19:14

A very nice Beswick hunting group comprising the huntsman with three hounds and a fox.

0:19:160:19:21

I have four bids on it. I'll start it at £100

0:19:210:19:24

and selling. 100. 110.

0:19:240:19:26

120. 130. 140. 150.

0:19:260:19:29

-My goodness!

-160. 170.

-Oh, my goodness!

-170.

0:19:290:19:33

Anybody else? 170. 180.

0:19:330:19:35

190.

0:19:350:19:37

-200.

-They love it. They love it!

0:19:370:19:39

220. 240.

0:19:390:19:42

260. 260, right at the back.

0:19:430:19:47

At £260.

0:19:470:19:49

260! That galloped away, didn't it?

0:19:500:19:54

-That surprised us!

-That surprised me after the estimate. I thought I'd get £100.

0:19:540:19:59

-Did you enjoy that?

-I did!

-Was your heart pounding?

-It was!

0:19:590:20:03

That's our first visit to the auction today. We'll come back later.

0:20:090:20:13

So don't go away because I can guarantee one really big surprise.

0:20:130:20:18

While we were here filming, I had the chance to explore a wonderful Scottish castle.

0:20:180:20:23

It really is an architectural delight. Take a look at this.

0:20:230:20:27

It was in 1458 that James, the second king of Scots,

0:20:400:20:44

decreed the village of Falkland to be a royal borough.

0:20:440:20:48

This fairytale-like building with all its towers and turrets

0:20:520:20:55

in the old kingdom of Fife, is Falkland Palace.

0:20:550:20:58

But it's not just any old royal court.

0:20:580:21:00

It's known as the pleasure palace

0:21:000:21:03

and it's that reputation that I've come to explore.

0:21:030:21:06

The palace itself was mainly developed in the 1500s by King James IV

0:21:130:21:17

and his successor, James V, with changes made by later keepers of the castle.

0:21:170:21:22

The palace was a place of peace, a retreat,

0:21:290:21:32

somewhere where the kings, the queens and their guests could relax

0:21:320:21:36

away from the politics and duties of their position.

0:21:360:21:39

Of course, the best sanctuary for reflection, if you were a monarch, was the church.

0:21:390:21:44

This wonderful chapel was created in the early 1500s by King James IV.

0:21:440:21:50

It was later consecrated by James V

0:21:500:21:53

and Richard Stewart, the master craftsman who created all that wonderful work at Holyroodhouse

0:21:530:21:58

was commissioned to do this oak-panelled ceiling.

0:21:580:22:02

Just look at this wonderful work.

0:22:020:22:04

He really was a master craftsman, working at the top of his genre.

0:22:040:22:08

No wonder he was in demand throughout his lifetime.

0:22:080:22:11

It's marvellous.

0:22:120:22:14

This whole room just permeates history.

0:22:230:22:26

If I can point out some of the detail in the panels up here,

0:22:260:22:29

this was originally done in the early 1600s, 1630 to 1640,

0:22:290:22:34

the reign of Charles I. You can see

0:22:340:22:36

it's starting to fade. But here, the panel on the left-hand side

0:22:360:22:41

has been restored.

0:22:410:22:42

Wonderful bright chromatic hues of reds and deep blues

0:22:420:22:45

so the whole ceiling would have been like this, picked out with gold leaf.

0:22:450:22:50

The whole place would just come alive.

0:22:500:22:52

This chapel was a peaceful haven for prayer and meditation,

0:22:560:23:00

often through periods of political and religious unrest.

0:23:000:23:04

Despite the palace's location on the edge of a town, you feel royal visitors were left alone here.

0:23:070:23:13

There's a suggestion that the name Falkland means "hidden place".

0:23:130:23:18

You can imagine Mary, Queen of Scots, a regular visitor here,

0:23:200:23:23

taking time to wander around the palace,

0:23:230:23:25

admiring the decoration and the views.

0:23:250:23:28

It wasn't just the historical guests who found Falkland so relaxing.

0:23:370:23:41

More recent keepers of the castle have used this room as a library and a study.

0:23:410:23:46

This was renovated in the late 19th century. It's a bit of a contrast

0:23:460:23:50

to the rest of the palace with its pine-clad painted stencilled walls,

0:23:500:23:54

its high vaulted ceiling and its wonderful trompe l'oeil window.

0:23:540:23:58

Look at that. That's all hand-painted on there.

0:23:580:24:01

Trompe l'oeil means trick of the eye, an illusion.

0:24:010:24:04

But it marries up with the window on the other side.

0:24:040:24:07

It creates a film set atmosphere. Nevertheless,

0:24:070:24:11

it's still a wonderful place to relax and read in.

0:24:110:24:14

The whole room really does embrace you.

0:24:140:24:17

But it's not just the comfort of indoors that appealed to visitors.

0:24:200:24:24

It was the activities available outside

0:24:240:24:26

that made Falkland a destination.

0:24:260:24:28

The gorgeous grounds stretch out to a magnificent seven acres including an old orchard.

0:24:300:24:35

This must have been the perfect place for a constitutional walk

0:24:350:24:39

to ponder those important issues of the day.

0:24:390:24:42

Especially somebody like Mary, Queen of Scots.

0:24:420:24:44

She had a lot to think about with all the plots against her.

0:24:440:24:47

She was distracted with falconry and hunting, and her father James V,

0:24:470:24:51

he even had dog handlers, falconers and horse grooms on hand

0:24:510:24:55

to enjoy the great outdoors.

0:24:550:24:57

You get the sense that a lot of money from the courtly coffers was spent on these leisure pursuits

0:24:580:25:04

for both the royals and the visiting courtiers to enjoy.

0:25:040:25:07

Well, it has literally just started to pour down

0:25:140:25:17

so I'll put an umbrella up.

0:25:170:25:19

Apart from the more genteel activities,

0:25:190:25:21

if you really wanted to work up a sweat you could take part in a mini Wimbledon

0:25:210:25:26

and the weather's just right for it!

0:25:260:25:28

Come inside and I'll show you what I mean.

0:25:280:25:30

This is what the court looks like today.

0:25:310:25:34

But yesterday, when our cameras visited it, it was a very different scene.

0:25:340:25:40

This is a real royal tennis court and one of the oldest of its kind in Britain.

0:25:400:25:45

It was built in 1539 at the request of James V.

0:25:450:25:49

Real tennis can be described as a mix of squash and lawn tennis.

0:25:500:25:55

Today the Falkland Palace real tennis club play here regularly

0:25:560:26:00

on the very courts where once a young Mary, Queen of Scots enjoyed the game.

0:26:000:26:04

She was so keen on the sport, she even shocked courtiers by abandoning her restricting gowns

0:26:060:26:11

in favour of britches when she played!

0:26:110:26:14

Hearing all of that must have surprised you somewhat.

0:26:170:26:20

But even kings and queens need time off,

0:26:200:26:23

especially after adding and improving the building.

0:26:230:26:26

I don't think there can be a better place to unwind

0:26:260:26:29

than the beautiful and charming Falkland Palace.

0:26:290:26:32

The sun is still shining at Balbirnie House.

0:26:400:26:43

Let's join everybody and see what other surprises we can find.

0:26:430:26:46

Enjoying the sunshine is our expert James, who is with Bob,

0:26:500:26:54

who's brought in something small and shiny.

0:26:540:26:56

Bob, imagine yourself back in the 1930s.

0:26:570:27:00

Flapper dresses and the Charleston and all those wonderful romantic times.

0:27:000:27:05

At the same time, the future king of England, Edward, was serenading Wallis Simpson.

0:27:050:27:11

And where did he take her to buy all those fine jewels?

0:27:110:27:14

To Asprey's. That is the place that this little match holder started life.

0:27:140:27:19

How did it come into your family?

0:27:190:27:22

I got it from a great aunt who was employed as a nurse companion to Sir Holford Redditch

0:27:220:27:30

who owned Portland Cement Company

0:27:300:27:33

and lived down in the Rugby area.

0:27:330:27:35

I believe he used to fly out to Geneva to get his cigars!

0:27:350:27:41

Because he liked the Cuban cigars, he wouldn't use a lighter.

0:27:410:27:47

He always used matches.

0:27:470:27:48

-He had this made so that he could carry books of matches with him.

-Lovely.

0:27:480:27:55

If you are a very, very big cigar smoker,

0:27:550:27:58

a lighter, a petrol or fuel lighter, is something you don't go anywhere near.

0:27:580:28:03

Even friends of mine today that smoke cigars still use matches and not a lighter.

0:28:030:28:07

The thing about this is all about quality of design.

0:28:070:28:11

There are no buttons to press that ruin the outside edges of the form.

0:28:110:28:16

There are no hinges protruding out of the edge.

0:28:160:28:19

This is such a simple design. It's engine-turned in bands, classic 1930s.

0:28:190:28:23

The initials, H.W.L.R, which relate to the owner,

0:28:230:28:28

are very nicely done in a very stylish Art Deco manner.

0:28:280:28:32

All we do is leave that on the hand,

0:28:320:28:34

push, and there it goes.

0:28:340:28:36

It's still got such life in it. It's as crisp as the day it was made.

0:28:360:28:40

Inside, there we have the wonderful name, Asprey's of London.

0:28:400:28:44

375, for nine carat gold.

0:28:440:28:47

Nine carat gold. It's unusual, really, because nine carat is the lowest grade of gold.

0:28:470:28:52

But the reason they only used nine carat for this

0:28:520:28:55

is because if that was in a waistcoat pocket, it would have constant wear

0:28:550:29:00

and they don't want this engine turning wearing flat.

0:29:000:29:04

Because that's what gives you the grip to be able to open it.

0:29:040:29:07

So nine carat for a very good reason.

0:29:070:29:09

But that is lovely. Value?

0:29:090:29:13

-What do you think?

-I really don't have any idea.

0:29:130:29:17

I don't know the price of gold. I know it's high, but I don't know the price.

0:29:170:29:22

I think you'll do very well with it.

0:29:220:29:24

I think it's worth somewhere between 350 and £450.

0:29:240:29:28

-Lovely.

-It's a good thing.

-Yeah.

0:29:280:29:31

With gold, you really don't need a reserve.

0:29:310:29:34

Because you will have ten or 15 bids

0:29:340:29:37

all within two or three pounds of each other,

0:29:370:29:39

who'll be leaving their bids based on the gold value.

0:29:390:29:43

But you should also get those people who feel it's a wonderful object in its own right.

0:29:430:29:49

You might actually get above the scrap value of the gold.

0:29:490:29:52

It's a difficult thing now.

0:29:520:29:54

Do you want to put a reserve on it, or will you gamble?

0:29:540:29:56

-I'll just have a gamble.

-Sure?

0:29:560:29:59

-Yes.

-Let's give it a go. It's a bit of a risk, but we'll see.

0:29:590:30:02

Let's hope that gamble will pay off. It's definitely got age and style about it.

0:30:040:30:09

-What have you got here?

-A stone hammer.

-From the Bronze Age!

-These were my ancestors'.

0:30:110:30:16

-How old are you?

-93.

-Are you, really?

0:30:160:30:20

-I'm one of the antiques here!

-You are, definitely.

0:30:200:30:23

One of the oldest items here apart from your Bronze Age hammer!

0:30:230:30:27

Next, it's Anita and Barbara, who's brought along something to write home about!

0:30:280:30:34

Barbara, how charming these postcards are.

0:30:340:30:37

Little postcards by Mabel Lucie Attwell.

0:30:370:30:41

-Tell me where you got them.

-Mum collected them during the war. She was a nurse in London.

0:30:410:30:46

My father was away in the forces so she collected them.

0:30:460:30:49

It amused them and brightened their days.

0:30:490:30:52

Do you remember these as a child?

0:30:520:30:54

No, I didn't know anything about them until my mother moved into care recently.

0:30:540:30:59

We've emptied her house and I found these amongst her things.

0:30:590:31:02

I asked her if she wanted them and she said no.

0:31:020:31:05

Did you have a wee look through them yourself?

0:31:050:31:08

-I did. I like them very much.

-They brought a smile to your face and to my face.

0:31:080:31:14

Mabel Lucie Attwell was one of the most prolific designers of postcards.

0:31:140:31:20

She was an illustrator for children's books.

0:31:200:31:24

It's the little cute chubby child.

0:31:240:31:27

-I think these images were based on her daughter, Peggy.

-Oh.

0:31:270:31:31

They're instantly recognisable and they're very, very sweet.

0:31:310:31:36

She died, I think, in about 1963

0:31:360:31:40

and she was very, very prolific.

0:31:400:31:42

So these postcards are not rare.

0:31:420:31:45

You have in the region of 40. Have you counted them?

0:31:450:31:49

-48 altogether.

-48 altogether.

0:31:490:31:51

What's your favourite one?

0:31:510:31:53

My favourite one is less bright than most of them.

0:31:530:31:57

I like the softer colours.

0:31:570:31:59

Nice subtle colours there. She's saying,

0:31:590:32:01

"Hello" this wee fairy.

0:32:010:32:04

Lovely. Shall we put them to auction?

0:32:050:32:07

-Yes, please.

-OK.

0:32:070:32:09

One thing worries me about postcards.

0:32:090:32:12

When they are stuck into a book,

0:32:120:32:15

-it makes them a wee bitty less desirable for the collectors.

-Yes.

0:32:150:32:20

-The collectors like them pure.

-Pristine.

0:32:200:32:24

They like them in good condition, but these are mainly in good condition.

0:32:240:32:29

I would like to put them into auction -

0:32:290:32:31

and they will be well fancied -

0:32:310:32:33

I would put an estimate of say, 100 to £200.

0:32:330:32:37

-Good.

-We'll let the collectors make up their own minds

0:32:370:32:41

whether they want to try to get them off the backing or not.

0:32:410:32:47

100 to £200, with a reserve of £80.

0:32:470:32:51

-Sounds good.

-Are you happy with that?

-Yes, thank you.

-Excellent.

0:32:510:32:55

What a great collection. There are lots of postcard collectors out there.

0:32:550:32:59

Now it's Jim and Betty, who've brought along some china for James to look at.

0:32:590:33:04

Jim, Betty, welcome.

0:33:050:33:08

Thank you so much

0:33:080:33:09

for bringing this trinket dish along.

0:33:090:33:12

When the British weather is like this

0:33:120:33:14

there is absolutely no wonder

0:33:140:33:16

why artists such as William Moorcroft were so inspired by what they saw.

0:33:160:33:20

It's days like this, countryside like this,

0:33:200:33:23

that inspired designs like this in Moorcroft.

0:33:230:33:28

You must know a bit about it if you watch Flog It.

0:33:280:33:31

I think it might be 1930s.

0:33:310:33:34

Absolutely spot on. Do you know the name of the pattern?

0:33:340:33:38

-Not really.

-Testing!

-Mushroom or...?

0:33:380:33:42

No, Mushroom is Claremont.

0:33:420:33:44

-This is Hazeldene.

-Oh, yes.

-It's very similar.

0:33:440:33:47

William Moorcroft started his artistic career in ceramics in the 1890s.

0:33:470:33:51

He worked for Macintyre

0:33:510:33:53

and he eventually set up Moorcroft in 1913.

0:33:530:33:57

The things that characterised Moorcroft are what we call tube lining,

0:33:570:34:01

which is this decoration that outlines the whole design.

0:34:010:34:05

It's a little bit like piping icing on a cake.

0:34:050:34:08

He also was inspired by different glazes.

0:34:080:34:12

And this is almost a flambe,

0:34:120:34:14

a flamey, reddy colour glaze,

0:34:140:34:17

high-fired at a very high temperature.

0:34:170:34:20

It's a design that came around in around 1932, '33,

0:34:200:34:26

and it was very, very popular.

0:34:260:34:28

You see great big vases made in Hazeldene. You also see trinket trays like this.

0:34:280:34:33

If we turn it over,

0:34:330:34:36

we've got "Made in England", which tells you it's made after 1925.

0:34:360:34:39

"Potter to H.M. The Queen".

0:34:390:34:43

That's Queen Mary.

0:34:430:34:44

And the W. Moorcroft facsimile signature there.

0:34:440:34:47

So a little dish that is very sought after at auction.

0:34:470:34:51

I love this Hazeldene pattern, especially with the sunset red ground to it.

0:34:510:34:56

I've got a bit of bad news for you.

0:35:020:35:05

It's been restored at some stage.

0:35:050:35:07

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it has been done.

0:35:100:35:14

It looks like 15 to 20-year-old restoration. It's starting to show through.

0:35:140:35:18

When restoration is done when it's brand new, it's difficult to tell.

0:35:180:35:22

-Is it a family piece?

-No.

-Where did you find it?

0:35:220:35:25

-Where did we pick that up, Jim?

-In a car boot sale.

-A car boot sale?!

0:35:250:35:30

-No!

-Yes.

-Quite local.

0:35:300:35:32

You'd think everybody would know Moorcroft by now. How long ago?

0:35:320:35:37

-Maybe eight years.

-OK.

-It's a bit longer than that, but...

0:35:370:35:41

-How much did you pay for it?

-Two pounds.

-Two pounds.

0:35:410:35:44

Well, for two pounds, it's still a great buy for two pounds.

0:35:440:35:48

If it had been perfect, your two pounds would have transformed into £200.

0:35:500:35:56

With the restoration, you've still made a really good investment.

0:35:560:36:01

I still think it'll make 60 to 100.

0:36:010:36:04

-Splendid.

-That's all right.

0:36:040:36:06

-Still all right, isn't it?

-More than I thought initially.

0:36:060:36:09

It's just a wee dish!

0:36:090:36:11

Well, it is a wee dish, but it's a great wee dish!

0:36:110:36:14

-£60 reserve. Happy with that?

-Yes, fine.

-Yes.

0:36:140:36:18

-£60 reserve. 60 to 100. Let's see what happens.

-Very good.

0:36:180:36:22

We've now found our last lot

0:36:270:36:29

so it's time to say a fond farewell to the magnificent Balbirnie House in the heart of Fife.

0:36:290:36:34

It's time for a bit more auction action. Let's get straight over to the sale room.

0:36:340:36:39

And here's what we're selling.

0:36:390:36:41

Bob's elegant match holder, being offered without a reserve.

0:36:410:36:45

The endearing postcard collection which belonged to Barbara's mother.

0:36:450:36:49

And finally, Jim and Betty's two-pound restored Moorcroft dish.

0:36:490:36:54

On preview day, I had a chat with Sybelle about Bob's match holder.

0:36:590:37:03

I can't wait to see what happens later on in the sale.

0:37:070:37:10

Because this thing has no reserve

0:37:100:37:12

and I keep saying to our experts it's a dangerous game.

0:37:120:37:15

This belongs to Bob. As you know, it's nine-carat gold.

0:37:150:37:19

Its makers are Asprey of London.

0:37:190:37:20

A great, great name.

0:37:200:37:23

And we've got 350 to 450 on it.

0:37:230:37:26

But no reserve!

0:37:260:37:28

Oh, I think it'll do very well.

0:37:280:37:30

Asprey's is a very good selling point.

0:37:300:37:33

They have a royal warrant by Queen Victoria.

0:37:330:37:35

It does have a magic name. They still make jewellery for the Royal Family today.

0:37:350:37:40

We've had lots of interest in it and it'll do well. It's super quality.

0:37:400:37:44

The quality will sell it.

0:37:440:37:46

-The mechanism when you open it is wonderful.

-Beautiful.

0:37:460:37:49

And the condition is just right as well.

0:37:490:37:51

Perfect for its age. 1930s.

0:37:510:37:54

-Probably never been used.

-It looks as if it's never been used.

0:37:540:37:57

Great. So there's no need to panic!

0:37:570:38:00

-I don't think so!

-What if no-one bids and someone puts their hand up at 50 quid?

0:38:000:38:05

-I wouldn't sell it. It wouldn't be in anybody's interests.

-So you'll have a secret reserve!

-Yes.

0:38:050:38:10

We'll see if Sybelle's confidence is justified, as Bob's match holder is up first.

0:38:120:38:17

Gavin Taverndale is on the rostrum.

0:38:170:38:20

A lovely thing. Proper quality. It's a good time to sell precious metal.

0:38:210:38:25

-This is engine-turned. It says everything.

-It's a lovely quality piece.

0:38:250:38:29

If it makes lower end estimate, I'll have my head in my hands, cos it'll be melted down at that.

0:38:290:38:34

I had a chat to Sybelle on the auction preview day.

0:38:340:38:38

-She agreed with the valuation.

-Great.

0:38:380:38:40

-Fingers crossed we'll get the top end. Possibly more.

-Hope so!

0:38:400:38:45

We'll find out. Let's see what the bidders think.

0:38:450:38:48

Asprey's of London. Nine-carat gold engine-turned match holder.

0:38:490:38:53

500? 300? 200 to make a start.

0:38:530:38:56

200 bid. 220.

0:38:580:38:59

240. 260.

0:38:590:39:01

280.

0:39:010:39:02

300. 320.

0:39:020:39:04

340. 360. 380.

0:39:040:39:07

400.

0:39:100:39:11

400. 400.

0:39:110:39:13

Selling at 400. All done at 400?

0:39:130:39:16

At £400. 400.

0:39:170:39:20

Good price. You were right. Spot on. Well done, James. £400.

0:39:200:39:23

-Happy?

-Yes.

-Big smile!

0:39:230:39:25

Big smiles.

0:39:250:39:27

There is commission to pay, 15% plus VAT.

0:39:270:39:30

But it's spending money. Will you reinvest in antiques?

0:39:300:39:34

A new set of golf clubs!

0:39:340:39:36

At least it keeps you fit!

0:39:370:39:39

Phew! No reserve. That was a good result!

0:39:390:39:43

Bob's happy with that.

0:39:430:39:45

Next, it's the nostalgic postcard collection

0:39:450:39:48

which was brought to valuation day by Barbara

0:39:480:39:51

on behalf of her mother.

0:39:510:39:53

Our auctioneer is William Smith.

0:39:530:39:55

It's been about four weeks since we saw you and you've had some really bad news. Terribly bad.

0:39:580:40:03

They're my mum's postcards and sadly she's just passed away.

0:40:030:40:07

-I'm so sorry.

-It is sad, but we're going to buy some trees in her memory with what we make today.

0:40:070:40:14

That's so nice. Plant something up and think of her.

0:40:140:40:17

-Thank you so much for being here today.

-Thank you.

0:40:170:40:19

Gosh. Can't really say anything, can we?

0:40:190:40:23

I think we'll let the bidders decide, really.

0:40:230:40:25

-Let's hope we get lots of money. Plant something and watch it grow.

-Yes.

0:40:250:40:29

The collection of Mabel Lucie Attwell postcards.

0:40:310:40:34

A nice album of postcards.

0:40:340:40:36

A collectable lot here. £100 for them?

0:40:360:40:39

£50 for them?

0:40:400:40:42

50 I'm bid. 60. 70.

0:40:440:40:46

80 in the corner.

0:40:460:40:48

-Any advance on 80?

-That's the reserve.

-All done at 80 for the lot?

0:40:480:40:51

At 80.

0:40:510:40:53

-At £80.

-Selling. That's OK, isn't it?

0:40:530:40:56

You'll be able to buy a few fruit trees with that maybe.

0:40:560:40:59

Something that produces something each year. Oh, bless you. Bless you.

0:40:590:41:04

-Thank you.

-Was your mum a big Flog It fan?

-Yes, she was.

0:41:040:41:07

Of course!

0:41:070:41:09

I'm so glad Barbara was able to be with us for the auction.

0:41:110:41:15

Now, last up it's Jim and Betty

0:41:190:41:21

and their bargain boot find.

0:41:210:41:23

These two have been collecting since 1963

0:41:250:41:27

and now it's time to declutter. Everything's got to go and we're starting with the Moorcroft,

0:41:270:41:33

a wonderful trinket tray.

0:41:330:41:34

-There was a bit of damage, James?

-A bit of restoration.

0:41:340:41:37

Good pattern. Without the restoration, a lot more.

0:41:370:41:41

It's going under the hammer right now.

0:41:410:41:43

The very nice Moorcroft flambe design circular pin tray.

0:41:450:41:49

I have two very close bids.

0:41:490:41:51

And I may start it at £210.

0:41:510:41:55

-210.

-Straight in!

-210. 210.

0:41:550:41:57

210. 220.

0:41:570:41:59

240.

0:42:000:42:02

260. 280.

0:42:020:42:05

300.

0:42:050:42:07

320.

0:42:070:42:08

20 against you.

0:42:100:42:11

340.

0:42:150:42:16

360.

0:42:170:42:19

360?

0:42:190:42:21

380.

0:42:210:42:22

400.

0:42:220:42:24

420.

0:42:250:42:27

440.

0:42:280:42:30

-440. Anyone else want in? At £440.

-£440, Betty!

0:42:330:42:39

At £440.

0:42:390:42:41

-Well done, James.

-Who'd have believed that?

0:42:410:42:44

£440!

0:42:440:42:46

We keep saying it's a rollercoaster ride of emotions here in the auction room, don't we?

0:42:460:42:51

You don't know what's going to happen. It's not an exact science.

0:42:510:42:55

-Damaged, yes, it was.

-But restored very well.

0:42:550:42:59

I think there are two or three people there that haven't spotted the restoration.

0:42:590:43:04

-I told you there'd be a surprise. I hope you've enjoyed it.

-Glad it was us!

0:43:040:43:08

We've enjoyed being here. Thanks for bringing it in.

0:43:080:43:11

Join us again for more surprises on Flog It. It's time to say goodbye until the next time.

0:43:110:43:17

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:380:43:41

This edition of the antiques series comes from handsome Balbirnie House in Fife. Experts Anita Manning and James Lewis are on hand to value a whole range of antiques and collectables brought along. Among the items they pick out are a Moorcroft pin dish and a Troika vase, both bought by their owners for only a few pounds. But will the items do better when they are sold at auction in Edinburgh? Presenter Paul Martin visits stunning Falkland Palace, known as a place where royal kings and queens have gone to rest and relax.


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