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Paul Martin presents a top-ten collection of real head-turners from the Flog It! archives. Among these beauty-enhancing items is an exquisite dressing table set.


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Hello and welcome to Ten Of The Best of "Flog It!"

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I've put together a collection of my favourite items from the archives.

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Today we're at Syon House,

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nestling on the Thames in West London.

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It's a home full of beauty and magnificence, with great

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oil paintings, furniture by Thomas Chippendale

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and arguably the finest Robert Adam interior in the country.

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Beauty is my theme for today's show.

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Looking good is something that men and women constantly strive...

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to achieve.

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Over the years, we've found our share of beauty-enhancing items.

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So, stand by for my top ten head-turners as we look back through the archives.

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We begin in Skegness in 2008,

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where Elizabeth Talbot couldn't help but admire the reflection

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cast in Mary's gorgeous vanity mirror.

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I've been sitting drooling over this lovely, what is called,

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an object of virtue. This lovely gem of craftsmanship.

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And I'd like to hear your story about it

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because I think it's lovely.

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Well, I bought it in the mid-1960s,

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from an antiques fair in Chichester.

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And it just caught my eye.

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I loved its tactile shape, you know.

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And it sits in the palm of my hand.

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And I used to use it to put my make-up on before I went out.

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I used to go round the folk clubs singing.

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I was very much part of that scene in those days

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and, yes, I've always loved it.

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I think you must've been the best equipped folk singer in the time, then.

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What we have here, which isn't obvious from

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looking at the outside, is a little vanity mirror.

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And I think that that is just charming.

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Do you know what it's made from?

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I know it's tortoiseshell and, um,

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I understand it's not tortoiseshell but turtle shell.

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That's one thing I have learned from Flog It!

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And I presume it's inlaid with silver.

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Absolutely.

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The silver is so fine that it is impossible for it to have been assayed.

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-So, you cannot look for a mark to date it.

-I see.

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The silver is inlaid and then it's chased to give the detail

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of the feathers, to give it that three-dimensional appeal.

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-Yes.

-Absolute charming thing.

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So, you used to use it, does that mean you don't use it any more?

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I like having it, but at a certain age

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you don't like to look in mirrors so often.

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Oh, get away! I can't believe that at all.

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It is very much a collector's piece

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and I think that it would go to a specialist collector

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who would, at the moment, be prepared to pay somewhere between

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-£70 and £100 for it.

-Right.

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And, reserve, would you like a reserve on it?

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I'm not really bothered, I'd leave that to the auctioneer.

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I think that's a good idea. He'll monitor it.

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We can have a chat nearer the time and he'll look after it for you.

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-But, £70-100 and we'll see what response we get.

-Splendid.

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That mirror was a stunner,

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but beauty is in the eye of the beholder

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as Thomas Plant discovered in Watford back in 2006,

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when he met Debbie

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and her extraordinary-looking Wemyss wash set.

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Why did you come along and bring along this, what it supposedly is,

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a toilet set?

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I believe it's Wemyss Ware

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and we're just really interested in how much it's worth.

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You're quite right, it is Wemyss Ware,

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Wemyss being a Scottish manufacturers.

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Now, where's it come from?

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Originally it was from my grandmother's house.

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It was on display there for many years.

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Unfortunately, when she died it was too big for anyone else's house

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so it's been in storage since then.

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I'm intrigued, because your mum obviously took it from your grandma's

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when she died, and she put it in the loft

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because she couldn't fit it anywhere else.

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Something must have clicked with your mum and maybe you,

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to say, "Hang on a minute, we might keep this Wemyss toilet set".

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She knew it was a name that she'd heard before,

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so it might be worth something.

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So, she kept it. She just couldn't have it on display.

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It is great, it's a lovely, lovely set.

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-You normally see Wemyss with lots of big flowers on.

-Right.

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You don't normally see a full set like this.

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You are missing the cover to the bucket,

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the water bucket, here.

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Do you remember that or was that always broken?

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I remember this more than anything.

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I can't remember the bucket.

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The bucket, really, is vastly unattractive.

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-Really, the most attractive items are the jug and basin, here.

-Yes.

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The sponge dish. Sponge is in there to keep it all dry.

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And then this is a soap dish and cover.

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What's nice, is on here,

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-we've got the Wemyss stamp and this T Goode & Co., London.

-Right.

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Now, that's the retailer.

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Probably bought in London in the early 20th century.

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Late 19th, early 20th century, I would have thought.

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I would like to put this in

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at about £400-600 for the set.

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Right.

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How does that grab you?

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Um, yes, that's...that's lovely.

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More than I expected, I think.

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-What were you expecting?

-I don't know.

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To me, it's just not very attractive.

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Say we get you £350, what will you do with it?

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Well, obviously, I'll give it to my mother.

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Of course, it's hers.

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Yes, it's hers. What she decides to do with it will be...

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So, how long have you waited today?

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Oh, a good few hours.

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A good few hours? Surely it's £100 an hour, isn't it? For this waiting.

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But did Debbie's patience pay off?

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Well, you'll just have to wait and see.

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Now, over to Cambridge, where, in 2003, my head was on the block

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when I had to put a price on Andy's barber's chair.

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A lady asked me to clear her loft out

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and this was in it.

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And before I put it in the skip

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I turned this recliner up

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and thought, "That looks nice", and kept it.

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You were going to throw this in a skip?

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It was going to be skipped, yes.

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Good for you, I'm so pleased you didn't.

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You've earned yourself an extra few bob, now.

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Any idea of its date?

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No.

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This is early 1900s.

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This is about circa 1900, 1910.

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And it's made of oak, it's very good quality, but it is machine-made.

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It's been manufactured and there's a little sticker to tell us who's made it.

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But it is wonderfully made and, if you see, this will recline right back

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so he could have a proper shave.

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And this is the bit I like, I love this.

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Because it can adjust for your neck height.

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It reminds me of that film, Sweeney Todd, where everybody went...

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ANDY LAUGHS

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That kind of thing.

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But I think this is so quirky.

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Here we've got two little spandrels on the front

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which just help the construction.

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And if we follow the arms down, you can see these legs are straight

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and they taper and they almost terminate here

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on this little tulip shape.

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So, value-wise, any idea?

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I'm not sure.

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I think if we put a reserve of £60 on it

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-and hope to get somewhere around £75-80.

-OK.

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-Would you be happy with that?

-Yeah.

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So why do you want to sell it?

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-He doesn't want to sell it?

-Doesn't he?

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-Do you, or don't you?

-Yes, it's going!

-He loves his barber's chair.

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All it does, really, is sits in the dining room.

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But is it going? Definitely?

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It's definitely going, yeah. I mean, it is nice but it's got to go.

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Well, we'll see you in the auction,

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and let's hope it makes a clean cut in the sale room.

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On to Milton Keynes now, where, in 2008,

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Kate Bateman sensed the sweet smell of success

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with an item that Jan had with her.

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Jan, you've brought this mysterious box, here.

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What's inside? Let's have a look.

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-Ah, a scent bottle.

-Yes.

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What can you tell me about it?

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I bought it from an antiques fair,

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probably about five or six years ago.

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And I was actually looking to buy some powder compacts,

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which is what I used to collect at the time.

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And I walked past a stand and I just saw it and thought,

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"I've got to have it", just loved it.

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-An impulse buy.

-Absolutely, an impulse buy, yes.

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It's lovely. Do you know anything about age?

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I think it's Victorian.

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Erm, I mean, basically, I spoke to the person who sold it to me,

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and she thought it was about 1886.

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She'd have got that from the hallmark,

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because it's quite clearly marked up and that's great

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because it tells me the maker who made it, and the year, 1886.

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What's nice about it, is this maker, SM,

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is a well-known maker.

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Sampson Mordan,

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he's one of the better late- Victorian makers of scent bottles.

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And this is a really nice example.

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Ovoid body, it's an overlay,

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so it's a glass body and then over painted with glass and refired.

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-Right.

-And you've got a silver gilt - so silver covered in gold plate - mount.

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It's a really lovely thing. Why are you selling it?

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Well, I've sort of done my compact collecting now,

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and I'm now sort of collecting '50s things.

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And I'm decorating a room at home

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and I want to buy a '50s lamp, one of these tall lamps.

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So I need to get some money, basically.

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So you're on a one in, one out policy.

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You can't buy something until you get rid of this.

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-So it's here to sell.

-Yes.

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-For auction, I'd probably put an estimate of £300 to £400 on it.

-OK.

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-Is that the sort of price you'd be happy to sell it for?

-Yes, yes, I think so. That sounds fine.

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What you would do is put a reserve of some kind on it to make sure

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it doesn't sell for so little that you'd be gutted on a quiet sale day.

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What's the least you'd take for it?

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Um, I wouldn't want to sell it for less than £250.

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OK. Well, that's below the low estimate, so what you could do

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-is put a reserve at £250 and make that a firm reserve.

-OK.

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And the estimate in the catalogue will be £300 to £400.

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I think it's got a really good chance of selling at that.

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if we can put it in and get you enough money for a lamp, that would be a good result.

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So let's see which of these little beauties wowed the crowds the most

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when they went off to auction.

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What kind of interest was reflected in Mary's vanity mirror?

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Debbie thought her mum's Wemyss wash set was ugly,

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but did it manage to clean up at the auction?

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Kate Bateman may have thought Jan's perfume bottle was heaven SCENT,

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but did it come up smelling of roses at the auction in Ely?

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It was like a scene from Sweeney Todd for me

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when Andy asked me to value this rather unusual item of furniture -

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an early 20th-century barber's chair.

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So let's see if Mary's mirror pulled in the bidders in Grantham.

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Why are you selling this, Mary?

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It's been on the road with you, you've loved and cherished it.

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Well, I think it deserves a new face. Mine's completely worn out!

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Nothing wrong with your face.

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The 19th-century tortoiseshell and silver pique work vanity mirror.

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A very pretty little lot, this one.

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Who's going to start me at £50 for it? Straight in, 50. Thank you. 50.

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We've sold it. Straight in.

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55, 60. And five now. 65, 70. five, surely. 75.

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75 bid. 80 bid. Five. 90. Five. 100.

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10 now, 110 bid. 20 or not?

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120 now, surely. 110 at the back of the room, 120, 130.

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-At 135, we may have an Internet bidder. We do.

-Oh, yes!

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140. Thank you, sir. 140, 145. 145. 50 now. 150, 155, 160.

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Thank you. 170. 180 now in the room. 180, 190. 190. 200.

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20 anywhere else now? 220, it's the last call.

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At 200, my bid's in the room, then, at £200.

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All done and finished selling, then, in the room.

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And definitely selling at £200.

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-Brilliant.

-£200 - now that's a real, true reflection of its value.

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I think somebody's buying all the love that little piece contains.

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-You know, the feel-good factor's there.

-Yes.

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-Wow! Mary, that was a nice encore, wasn't it?

-It certainly was.

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Fantastic!

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Mary's mirror went for more than double Elizabeth's estimate.

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Now, back in 2008,

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I joined Jan and her sister at Charlie Ross's auction room in Woburn.

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I know Kate fell in love with this.

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It belongs to Jan, possibly for not much longer.

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It's a gorgeous little scent bottle. We're looking for 300 to 400.

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It's a good day in the saleroom. It might.

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If two people want this, you don't know what'll happen.

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This will be exciting.

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The Victorian smoked-glass scent bottle.

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Enamel decorated, bearing hallmarks for 1886.

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And I'm bid £340.

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-OK, well, it's sold.

-360 I will take. At 340, 360 now.

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At 340, the bid's with me.

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350, 360. 380?

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380, 400.

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-420, 440.

-This is more like it, isn't it?

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440. Still with me, 440. Commission bid at 440.

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460, 480.

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-I'm liking this.

-This is nice.

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At 480, then.

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The bid's here with me at £480.

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All done.

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Hammer's gone down sharp then. £480.

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Yes, that's really nice. I'm very pleased with that.

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Are you going to reinvest the money in the antiques trade?

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Yes. I need to buy a 1950s lamp for one of my rooms at home,

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or, if I can't find one, a coffee table.

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-OK.

-Something like that.

-That's half the fun, isn't it?

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Going to the antiques shops, antiques centres and auction rooms,

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having fun days out shopping.

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-You can learn so much.

-Absolutely.

-Good luck.

-Thank you very much.

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That little bottle shattered Kate's estimate.

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It's back to Cambridge now in 2003, where for Flog It friend

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Will Axon was putting the barber's chair under the hammer.

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Andy. Hello, Katie. Another addition to the family. Who's this one?

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-This is Thomas.

-Hello, Thomas. Shake my hand.

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-Is this your first auction?

-Um, yes.

-Yes. Wow!

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-Doesn't seem that excited, does he?

-No, not quite.

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-So it's a family day out, is it?

-It is. It's school holidays.

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-Right, where's the wife, then?

-She's working.

-She's working, is she?

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-She is.

-So you've taken the day off?

-I have.

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Let's hope we can send you home with some money.

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We're going to find out right now. Good luck, kids. This is it.

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Lot 160 now, here we are - the barber's chair.

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Interesting lot.

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I can see it in a big bathroom, in the corner somewhere.

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Interior lot, there we are. What's it worth?

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Give me £50 for it, start me. At £50 only. Surely at 50.

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Where are you at 50? Hello. At £50. Anywhere at 50?

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£30, a voice. At £30 now, the voice, at 30.

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£30 I have now here at 30. At £30 now. Who else is in at £30?

0:15:510:15:55

The voice at 30. It's you and me. It's in at 32.

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Still going.

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At 42, 45, 48. 50 now.

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Five with me. One more if you like. Shakes the head. At £55 with me.

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At £50 now, are you sure? At 55.

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£60.

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-It's done it.

-80, 80.

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We're away at £60. You all done elsewhere, then? At £60. Sold.

0:16:180:16:25

-That'll do, lovely.

-Are you pleased or are you upset?

-No, that's fine.

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-Are you sure?

-Yeah.

-Cos you did want to take it home.

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That's not bad. We can go out and have a meal or something.

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Daddy said we're going to the zoo.

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You're going to the zoo? Oh, brilliant.

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A good result.

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And Katie and Thomas got a fun day out with the proceeds.

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But was Thomas Plant's estimate just a little too conservative

0:16:440:16:47

when it came to Debbie's wash set?

0:16:470:16:49

Before it came up for sale at the Tring auction rooms,

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I went and had a chat with auctioneer Stephen Hearn.

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This has been in her mum's loft for the last 16 years.

0:16:560:16:59

And there's not a lot of money on it for the amount you get of Wemyss.

0:16:590:17:03

400 to 600.

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Well, I think we're going to do well for Debbie on this one.

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I think there's been an enormous amount of interest in the set,

0:17:080:17:13

despite the fact it might have had a beaker with it.

0:17:130:17:16

-Yes.

-And it could even have had a couple of chamber pots.

0:17:160:17:19

I've seen a lot of Wemyss on the show before.

0:17:190:17:22

It's always been the flowers, the pigs, the honey pots, the preserve pots,

0:17:220:17:25

but I've not ever seen any with a black grounding like that.

0:17:250:17:29

Yes, well, this black grounding was introduced by Shapland.

0:17:290:17:32

He introduced oil into the colour mixture

0:17:320:17:37

to give it a rather more robust...

0:17:370:17:40

And it didn't chip as much.

0:17:400:17:42

But did it sell as well?

0:17:420:17:44

It does look slightly dour compared to the brighter vessels.

0:17:440:17:47

A lot of it was to order. Possibly why Thomas Goode retailed it.

0:17:470:17:51

That normally cost about 15% more.

0:17:510:17:55

-Did it?

-Yes, to have the oil introduced into the glaze.

0:17:550:17:58

-So this could be rarer and it could put the value up.

-That's right.

0:17:580:18:02

-Has there been a lot of interest in this?

-There has been.

0:18:020:18:05

-Has there?

-Yes.

0:18:050:18:06

-I think it's probably going to go back home to Scotland.

-At what cost?

0:18:060:18:09

-Three times estimate.

-£1,800, top end?

0:18:090:18:14

Hm, that may be real top end.

0:18:140:18:16

-OK.

-I can see it doing 1,200 anyway.

0:18:160:18:19

-Can't wait for this sale to start.

-If they were all like that, I'd sit all day doing it.

0:18:190:18:23

-I bet you would. Yeah, with a big grin on your face.

-I certainly would.

0:18:230:18:26

Well, that sounds promising, but did it do the business?

0:18:290:18:33

It's the Wemyss, a big collection of it.

0:18:350:18:37

It belongs to Debbie, and not for much longer.

0:18:370:18:40

-Especially at 400 to 600. That's what you were happy with, weren't you?

-Yes.

0:18:400:18:43

If you had 600 quid, what are you going to spend it on?

0:18:430:18:46

It's my mum's money, but we've booked a holiday,

0:18:460:18:49

so it's going to go on a big family holiday.

0:18:490:18:51

-It's going to go towards that.

-Thomas.

-Yes.

0:18:510:18:53

-We're going to do the 1,000 plus, aren't we?

-Let's...

0:18:530:18:56

-You're being cautious on the day.

-I'm being cautious on this one.

0:18:560:18:59

Still a bit cautious. I think it could well do it.

0:18:590:19:02

You have seen, and you've been on Flog It many, many a time.

0:19:020:19:05

-You love your 20th-century stuff.

-I've seen Wemyss do really well.

0:19:050:19:09

You've seen little preserve pots do £300.

0:19:090:19:12

Yeah, I have, but it's such a big thing and you think,

0:19:120:19:15

-"Hang on, will a Wemyss collector want it?"

-They like the big pigs.

0:19:150:19:18

-They like the big pigs but do they want a big, you know, toilet set?

-Yes.

-Well...

-Yes, they do.

0:19:180:19:23

And the pattern - never seen that pattern, that grape and vine.

0:19:230:19:26

Right, this is interesting, this Wemyss toilet set.

0:19:280:19:31

There you are. You have a jug, a bowl, a sponge, a soap dish,

0:19:310:19:34

a cover, a slop pail.

0:19:340:19:36

-£500 for it, then.

-Come on.

-300, we're off.

0:19:360:19:40

320 I'm bid for it, 350 bid.

0:19:400:19:43

380 bid. £400 bid, 420, 450, 480, 500.

0:19:430:19:48

A rapid climb - they love it.

0:19:480:19:51

700, and 50. 800, and 50.

0:19:510:19:55

I love these moments.

0:19:550:19:57

1,000, and 50. No?

0:19:570:20:00

1,050 I'm bid for it.

0:20:000:20:01

1,050.

0:20:030:20:04

-£1,100.

-Come on!

0:20:060:20:08

At £1,100.

0:20:080:20:09

-Quite comical, isn't it?

-Squeeze some more.

0:20:090:20:12

For £1,100, then.

0:20:120:20:15

-Thank you.

-Debbie, it's gone. 1,100.

0:20:150:20:17

-The hammer's gone down.

-Fantastic.

-That's great, isn't it?

0:20:170:20:21

-Twice what you were expecting.

-Yes.

-Have a great holiday.

0:20:210:20:25

-That's all I can say. Have a great holiday.

-I'm sure we will.

0:20:250:20:28

Well, that's the first four of my ten beauty items.

0:20:360:20:39

Now, while we place great importance on face value,

0:20:390:20:42

being in good health is where you find real wealth,

0:20:420:20:45

as I found out on a visit to Tring back in 2008,

0:20:450:20:48

when I visited Britain's oldest health farm.

0:20:480:20:52

# You make me feel so young... #

0:20:590:21:03

For decades, people have been pummelled and half-starved

0:21:030:21:06

in these establishments in the pursuit of health and beauty.

0:21:060:21:11

Nowadays, it's all about relaxation and pampering.

0:21:110:21:14

But in the early days, the focus was on natural healing

0:21:140:21:17

and providing cures for a number of conditions.

0:21:170:21:20

And it all started here at Champneys, just outside Tring.

0:21:200:21:23

And it's still a health spa today.

0:21:230:21:26

In 1929, the naturopath Stanley Lief,

0:21:270:21:30

along with a grateful patient, purchased the mansion

0:21:300:21:32

along with 170 acres of landscaped gardens from Baron Rothschild

0:21:320:21:37

and set about turning it into a mecca for those that wanted

0:21:370:21:40

something alternative to normal medicine, really.

0:21:400:21:44

And Stanley's idea was to promote treating the body as one - holistic health -

0:21:440:21:49

mind, body and spirit.

0:21:490:21:52

Stanley had been an obese child with a weak heart

0:21:520:21:56

and it was the desire to strengthen his body that led him

0:21:560:21:59

to seek natural cures.

0:21:590:22:01

An early incident in his life convinced him that they worked.

0:22:020:22:06

Stanley's arm was badly injured during the First World War

0:22:060:22:10

with shrapnel, and he believed he avoided its amputation

0:22:100:22:13

and regained its use with a strict exercise and diet regime.

0:22:130:22:18

# Keep fit, take exercise

0:22:180:22:20

# Keep fit and you'll be wise

0:22:200:22:21

# That's it, grow twice your size

0:22:210:22:24

# Whatever you do keep fit... #

0:22:240:22:27

I'm here in the games room,

0:22:270:22:29

which is pretty much how it was back in the 1920s.

0:22:290:22:32

Nothing much has changed. And behind me, there,

0:22:320:22:35

is a bronze bust of Stanley Lief, the man himself.

0:22:350:22:37

And to find it a bit more about him, I've come here to talk to Dennis Kylie...

0:22:370:22:41

Hi, Dennis.

0:22:410:22:42

..who was trained by Stanley and worked here back in the 1950s.

0:22:420:22:47

-Does it bring back many memories?

-Yes, it does, actually.

0:22:470:22:50

Obviously, it's more modernised than when I was here 50 years ago

0:22:500:22:55

But, nevertheless, it's good to bring back a bit of nostalgia.

0:22:550:22:58

What was he like? Tell me a little bit about Stanley.

0:22:580:23:02

Obviously, he was a pioneer, I would have thought a very nice gentleman.

0:23:020:23:06

He was a natural healer but he liked discipline

0:23:060:23:11

and he ran this place like a little rod of iron.

0:23:110:23:14

But he was a most approachable character.

0:23:140:23:17

Explain a little bit more about his treatments.

0:23:170:23:20

Well, basically, naturopathy, or nature cure, is wholeness.

0:23:200:23:25

In other words, you treat the person as a whole.

0:23:250:23:28

So all the treatments involved were things like manipulative treatment.

0:23:280:23:31

There was psychotherapy,

0:23:310:23:33

we used to have all the hydrotherapy, of course.

0:23:330:23:36

There was gymnastics here, there were walks that he arranged.

0:23:360:23:40

There were quite a lot of disciplines. Did you have to adhere to them as a strict regime?

0:23:400:23:44

It was a strict regime in those days, yes.

0:23:440:23:47

-Not so nowadays, really, is it?

-No, it's more loose, I'd say, these days.

0:23:470:23:50

But he was very strict indeed.

0:23:500:23:53

If he said to a patient, "Look here, I want you in bed by 9pm."

0:23:530:23:57

-Then 9pm it was.

-By golly, you were in bed.

-You were in trouble, yes.

0:23:570:24:00

# Keep young and beautiful

0:24:000:24:04

# It's your duty to be beautiful... #

0:24:040:24:06

Being afraid of Stanley was not the only thing that had his patients turning hot and cold.

0:24:060:24:10

These are the famous sit baths that we have,

0:24:100:24:14

and we have the hot and the cold water.

0:24:140:24:15

The patient has a minute in the cold, four minutes in the hot,

0:24:150:24:19

and alternates them, three times in each.

0:24:190:24:22

It's for the repletion and depletion of the abdomen and to increase the circulation.

0:24:220:24:26

And I think, on the whole, they enjoy it.

0:24:260:24:28

If you had contrast bathing, like hot and cold, you were going to stimulate an area.

0:24:280:24:33

In other words, if I put my hand, say, in some cold water,

0:24:330:24:36

then the blood's going to go away from it.

0:24:360:24:38

If I put it in hot, the blood comes. So it's like an internal massage.

0:24:380:24:42

It does sound like a bit of a shock treatment, though.

0:24:420:24:45

Sort of hot one minute, perspiring, and then freezing cold.

0:24:450:24:48

It wasn't such a shock, no. You could do it nice and gently.

0:24:480:24:51

THEY LAUGH

0:24:510:24:52

How much can anybody stand in that machine?

0:24:520:24:55

No more, I would say, than about 15 minutes to 20 is enough.

0:24:550:24:59

I'm on low at the moment, you see.

0:24:590:25:00

And we have three different temperature gauges on it - the high, the medium and the low.

0:25:000:25:05

-Do you feel faint when you come out?

-No. Invigorated.

0:25:050:25:08

As long as you have a shower, a cold shower, and lie down.

0:25:080:25:11

What about diet here? What did most people sort of eat?

0:25:110:25:15

First of all, today, they use this word "detox".

0:25:150:25:18

In those days they put people on a fast, a similar thing. You're detoxing, resting the body.

0:25:180:25:23

So some people just had water, water fast only.

0:25:230:25:27

Others, it may be just fruit juices and so on.

0:25:270:25:30

Jolly good health!

0:25:300:25:31

And then he would introduce the diet very slowly.

0:25:310:25:34

And that would be things like, say, fruit first of all,

0:25:340:25:37

then he may go onto salads and so on for two or three days.

0:25:370:25:41

Whatever you thought the patient required, so that the individual is the most important thing,

0:25:410:25:47

-which is lost today, unfortunately.

-Exactly, yeah.

0:25:470:25:50

It seems very sort of soporific to walk around during the day,

0:25:500:25:53

not working, wearing a dressing gown and sort of slippers and just relaxing.

0:25:530:25:58

-Yes.

-It's a wonderful thing to do, isn't it?

0:25:580:26:00

I know people check in here for two to three days,

0:26:000:26:03

but back then did they check in for a lot longer?

0:26:030:26:05

A lot longer. Yes, you might have people come for a fortnight,

0:26:050:26:09

three weeks, four weeks, sometimes longer.

0:26:090:26:11

As I say, they came from all over the world for his treatment, yes.

0:26:110:26:15

I don't think I'd have lasted four weeks of Stanley's treatments.

0:26:150:26:19

Thankfully, Champneys today is more beauty camp than boot camp,

0:26:190:26:23

with the emphasis on relaxation and providing an escape from the stresses of busy modern life.

0:26:230:26:29

Right now, I'm going to enjoy the grounds in a way that Stanley

0:26:290:26:33

would have approved -

0:26:330:26:34

on my bike, getting lots of fresh air and exercise.

0:26:340:26:38

I suppose there's no gain without a little pain,

0:26:430:26:45

but the next part of my collection of pretty pieces

0:26:450:26:49

makes the business of beauty look effortless.

0:26:490:26:53

We're off to Aldershot where, in 2004,

0:26:540:26:58

Kate Bliss had her head turned by Sharon's 1940s

0:26:580:27:02

costume jewellery, and her fabulous bust of a Hollywood legend.

0:27:020:27:06

# I wanna be loved by you alone

0:27:060:27:10

# Boo-boo-be-doo. #

0:27:100:27:11

We really have got quite a selection here, haven't we?

0:27:110:27:15

It dates from the '40s, '50s, '60s,

0:27:150:27:17

but the thing that strikes me is the selection of designs.

0:27:170:27:21

And if we look at it a little bit closer,

0:27:210:27:23

we can see that a lot of the designs

0:27:230:27:25

are a throwback to much earlier styles.

0:27:250:27:27

So, for instance, this brooch caught my eye.

0:27:270:27:31

And this is what we would call, in Georgian jewellery,

0:27:310:27:34

a jardiniere brooch with a jardinere there,

0:27:340:27:37

and the two doves drinking from it.

0:27:370:27:39

And this would be a typical design in, say, 1820,

0:27:390:27:42

in the George III period.

0:27:420:27:44

But, of course, it's being used here

0:27:440:27:46

in a piece of '50s costume jewellery.

0:27:460:27:49

And then, moving on from the Georgian period,

0:27:490:27:51

we've got pieces, again, '50s in date,

0:27:510:27:55

but dating back, in design, to the Victorian period.

0:27:550:27:59

And here we've got acorn leaves and acorns,

0:27:590:28:02

a typical motif of the Victorian period.

0:28:020:28:04

And working on through into the 20th century,

0:28:040:28:08

you've got motifs from the Art Nouveau period.

0:28:080:28:12

And then, of course, into the 1930s and Art Deco

0:28:120:28:14

and these fantastic earrings.

0:28:140:28:16

Really striking. I love them.

0:28:160:28:18

-I bet they're heavy to wear, though!

-They're quite heavy.

0:28:180:28:21

The great thing about costume jewellery is it's affordable.

0:28:210:28:24

And it really came about because the huge names in jewellery -

0:28:240:28:29

we think of Van Cleef and Arpels, Boucheron, Bulgari -

0:28:290:28:33

producing really glamorous pieces in the 1910s, 1920s.

0:28:330:28:37

People couldn't afford to buy them, of course,

0:28:370:28:39

the everyday man on the street.

0:28:390:28:41

And so copies came about, using paste to produce glamorous pieces.

0:28:410:28:47

And it's great that we have Marilyn here.

0:28:470:28:50

Tell me about her, where did she come from?

0:28:500:28:52

I was looking for something to display the lovely necklaces

0:28:520:28:55

and things, and I went past a charity shop and she was in the window.

0:28:550:28:59

So I went in. She was £10,

0:28:590:29:01

but I thought, "Oh, I'll buy her anyway. She's lovely."

0:29:010:29:04

It's very fitting that she should be here.

0:29:040:29:07

She's made of resin, fairly heavy,

0:29:070:29:09

but a fantastic bust to model this costume jewellery.

0:29:090:29:12

And, of course, a lot of it was made for stars

0:29:120:29:16

to wear in films and on the stage.

0:29:160:29:18

-Rather than their expensive jewels and diamonds?

-Exactly.

0:29:180:29:21

It's very fitting that she should be here, modelling this necklace.

0:29:210:29:26

What about value? Have you any ideas?

0:29:260:29:29

I'd like to get a minimum of 100.

0:29:290:29:31

-That's with the bust and the jewellery in one lot?

-Yes.

-Right.

0:29:310:29:35

I thought in the region of £70-£100,

0:29:350:29:36

but I understand you would like a reserve of 100.

0:29:360:29:39

I don't think that's out of the question at all.

0:29:390:29:41

So you've obviously been collecting for some time.

0:29:410:29:44

-Why do you want to sell it all now, Sharon?

-The car engine's died

0:29:440:29:47

and we need a new engine for the car, so...

0:29:470:29:50

-So it would come in quite handy.

-It would come in very handy.

0:29:500:29:53

I'm glad you brought it in. I hope we can flog it for you.

0:29:530:29:56

I hope so, too. Thank you very much.

0:29:560:29:58

But, before I introduce my next beauty,

0:30:010:30:03

I've just got to dazzle you with these three unforgettable items.

0:30:030:30:08

In Dover in 2009, Joanne brought along this beautiful

0:30:100:30:14

early 20th-century porcelain toiletry box.

0:30:140:30:17

I got it from auction in a box of other items for £5.

0:30:170:30:21

-No!

-I won't tell you where.

-No, no, don't tell us where.

0:30:210:30:24

Tell me afterwards.

0:30:240:30:26

Mark Stacey loved it.

0:30:270:30:29

And the £200 it reached in the saleroom confirmed

0:30:290:30:31

that the best things really do come in small packages.

0:30:310:30:35

In 2007, Elizabeth Talbot had the tortuous challenge

0:30:350:30:40

of assessing an extreme beauty item when Lynn brought in

0:30:400:30:43

her great grandmother's bloodletting kit

0:30:430:30:46

to our valuation day in King's Lynn.

0:30:460:30:49

You hold it onto the skin and, by releasing the button,

0:30:490:30:52

the little knives shoot through.

0:30:520:30:55

But the £420 it made in auction didn't seem to hurt one bit.

0:30:550:31:00

And Kate Bliss hit upon a crowd-pleaser

0:31:000:31:03

back in Newmarket in 2002 with Angela's dressing table set.

0:31:030:31:08

I love the square border on here, which is very Art Deco,

0:31:080:31:14

really, isn't it, in design?

0:31:140:31:16

It had been a gift bought from Harrods for her aunt

0:31:160:31:19

and, at auction, it reached the handsome price of £550.

0:31:190:31:23

We're heading back to 2003 now, when Mark Stacey was astonished

0:31:270:31:31

to discover Sue's stunning Cantonese porcelain had become

0:31:310:31:35

a dumping ground for her mother's dressing table accessories.

0:31:350:31:40

This piece was on my mum's dressing table

0:31:420:31:44

and she used to put bits and pieces in it.

0:31:440:31:46

It's survived remarkably well,

0:31:460:31:48

-considering it had rings and things in it.

-Yes.

0:31:480:31:50

They're actually quite decorative.

0:31:500:31:52

They're what we call Cantonese famille rose ware.

0:31:520:31:55

And we get the famille rose from these sort of pinky colours,

0:31:550:31:59

pinky green and blues in the pattern.

0:31:590:32:02

And they're very typically decorated with these oriental scenes -

0:32:020:32:05

people in different courtyards, buildings in the background.

0:32:050:32:09

These ones will date to the end of the 19th century,

0:32:090:32:12

so maybe between 1890 and 1910, that sort of period.

0:32:120:32:16

That 20-year period.

0:32:160:32:18

And it's quite a nice collection.

0:32:180:32:20

There's a little bit of damage on one or two pieces,

0:32:200:32:23

and a lid's missing from one of the rouge pots, or whatever.

0:32:230:32:26

But there is a pair of vases and quite a nice pair of tureens

0:32:260:32:29

and stands, and this rather nice kidney-shaped dish.

0:32:290:32:33

At the time these were made, you could buy as much as you wanted

0:32:330:32:37

and use it as a dinner service

0:32:370:32:38

or just decoration in the kitchen or the dining room.

0:32:380:32:43

So they've been up in the loft for 25 years.

0:32:430:32:45

-Have you ever thought about the value?

-No.

0:32:450:32:47

-So it's why you brought them today?

-Yeah.

0:32:470:32:50

And I think it's such a shame. It's just a waste, isn't it?

0:32:500:32:53

They will sell. I think they're quite popular,

0:32:530:32:55

and they're quite good quality, nicely decorated. If we put it in,

0:32:550:32:59

I suggest we put it in as a little group.

0:32:590:33:01

And if we did put them in for sale, I think we'd be looking at

0:33:010:33:05

-an estimate of maybe £200-£300 for the group.

-Oh, right.

0:33:050:33:09

-Is that all right?

-Yeah, that's...

-Quite surprised?

-Quite good, yeah.

0:33:090:33:14

And I think we should fix a reserve at maybe 200, with 10% discretion.

0:33:140:33:17

Now, if we got a good price for it,

0:33:170:33:19

is there anything you'd put the money towards?

0:33:190:33:22

-I'd put it towards a conservatory.

-Let's hope we get a good price

0:33:220:33:25

-and I look forward to seeing you at the auction.

-Thank you.

0:33:250:33:28

We'll be back to find out if that porcelain smashed any records

0:33:280:33:32

in the saleroom a little bit later.

0:33:320:33:34

But first, let me take you back to Ely where, in 2009,

0:33:340:33:37

Charlie Ross became very excited when he came across

0:33:370:33:41

Janet and Donald's sewing case.

0:33:410:33:43

Quality, quality and more quality. Donald and Janet.

0:33:430:33:48

-Janet, does this belong to you?

-Yes, it does.

0:33:480:33:50

And how did you get it?

0:33:500:33:52

-I bought it a good many years ago, about 30 years ago.

-Did you?

-Yes.

0:33:520:33:56

Why did you buy it? Was it to use or because you liked looking at it?

0:33:560:33:59

-I liked looking at it.

-Did you buy it in a shop?

-Yes, I did. Yes.

0:33:590:34:03

-Can you remember which shop?

-I think it was down Magdelen Street.

0:34:030:34:06

-A church shop I bought it from.

-How interesting.

0:34:060:34:09

-He's been gone years.

-Do you remember what you paid for it?

0:34:090:34:12

No, I can't remember. I paid about £30 odd.

0:34:120:34:15

That was a lot of money in those days.

0:34:150:34:17

It's called a necessaire, ie, every woman should have one.

0:34:170:34:21

It's necessary to have one,

0:34:210:34:23

to repair anything that might be damaged in terms of clothing.

0:34:230:34:26

This would be for instant repairs.

0:34:260:34:29

If you went to a ball and you were a smart lady,

0:34:290:34:31

you thought, "Blimey, my hem's gone," out with your necessaire.

0:34:310:34:36

Sometimes they were on little chains and you kept them about your person.

0:34:360:34:40

This would have been kept in a handbag.

0:34:400:34:43

-The case is made of...

-Ivory.

-Correct. And I've had a quick look.

0:34:430:34:46

They're not silver or silver-gilt. But they're gilt medal.

0:34:460:34:50

And because you've kept it so beautifully,

0:34:500:34:52

the gilding is still on there, which is wonderful.

0:34:520:34:55

If it had been used much,

0:34:550:34:57

the gilding would have rubbed off and it would have lost some of its...

0:34:570:35:01

I kept in shut.

0:35:010:35:03

The other thing I particularly like and makes it so rare,

0:35:030:35:05

is the fact that it's all there.

0:35:050:35:08

Needle, scissors, thimble and needle case, I think.

0:35:080:35:12

I'd put that at 1860 or 1870. Donald, why is it being sold?

0:35:120:35:17

-We want to buy our granddaughter's wedding dress.

-Right.

0:35:170:35:21

-It'll go towards it.

-Yes.

-So, valuation.

0:35:210:35:24

-What would you like it to be worth?

-Well over £100.

-Over 100?

0:35:240:35:28

I don't think you're unrealistic there because you've said

0:35:280:35:31

it cost £30 and that was a lot of money when you bought it.

0:35:310:35:34

Yes, it was.

0:35:340:35:36

I'd like to estimate it at £100 to £150.

0:35:360:35:38

I'd like to put a fixed reserve of £100 on it.

0:35:380:35:42

Ideally, I'd like to see it make £150 or £160.

0:35:420:35:45

-Lovely, yes.

-Thank you very much. Lovely to see both.

0:35:450:35:49

Before we find out how the rest of my collection of cosmetic items

0:35:490:35:52

performed when they went to sale,

0:35:520:35:55

let me just take you through the line-up once again.

0:35:550:35:58

Kate went weak at the knees

0:35:580:36:00

when Sharon introduced her to a silver screen starlet.

0:36:000:36:04

Janet and Donald's unusual ivory necessaire

0:36:040:36:07

certainly pricked Charlie Ross's intrigue.

0:36:070:36:09

But did it entice any bidders when it came up for sale?

0:36:090:36:13

And finally, Mark went mental for Sue's oriental porcelain.

0:36:140:36:18

The question is, did it catch anyone's eye at the auction?

0:36:180:36:22

First under the hammer is Janet and Donald's necessaire but did it

0:36:270:36:31

raise enough cash to pay for their granddaughter's wedding dress?

0:36:310:36:34

What a fabulous item you've brought into the valuation.

0:36:340:36:37

We're talking about the necessaire, that gorgeous little sewing kit

0:36:370:36:41

in the ivory case and they're rare to be so complete.

0:36:410:36:44

There's always something missing. You got this a long time ago.

0:36:440:36:47

-I did, over 30 years ago.

-We're going to get your money back.

0:36:470:36:51

-You can bet your life there. 30 quid you paid, did you?

-Yes.

0:36:510:36:55

It had to go because my girls aren't interested in needlework at all.

0:36:550:36:59

Are they having some money from this? Will you treat them?

0:36:590:37:02

My granddaughter's getting married so it might buy a button or two for her wedding dress.

0:37:020:37:07

A few. Well, all the talking is over with. It's now down to the bidders.

0:37:070:37:11

OK, here we go. It's going under the hammer now.

0:37:110:37:14

Good luck both of you.

0:37:140:37:16

The continental case, sewing thing. Pretty little lot.

0:37:160:37:20

Very nice, straight in, £50. £50 I'm bid. 50, 55...

0:37:200:37:23

A couple of ladies down the front.

0:37:230:37:25

80, 85, 95, 100 now.

0:37:250:37:28

At 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170,

0:37:280:37:33

180, 190, 200, 210, 220, 230, 240...

0:37:330:37:37

This chap hasn't put his hand down.

0:37:370:37:39

He's just standing there with his hands in the air.

0:37:390:37:43

270, 280, 290, 290 I've sold on here. Done then...

0:37:430:37:47

..with the lady at 290. 300. 300, I've got in the room. 310?

0:37:480:37:54

Back here at 310. Back with the lady at £310.

0:37:540:37:57

You're out. 320. 330, here in the room at £330.

0:37:570:38:02

-This is good, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:38:020:38:04

You're out.

0:38:040:38:06

Bid now or I sell... 340. With the internet at 340.

0:38:060:38:10

A rich home!

0:38:100:38:13

350. With the lady at 350. £350, it goes then at 350.

0:38:130:38:18

Janet, fantastic! £350.

0:38:190:38:22

That's going towards the wedding, the wedding dress

0:38:220:38:25

and hopefully, come on, a new hat for you.

0:38:250:38:27

I've already got that.

0:38:270:38:29

OK, shoes. Treat yourself.

0:38:290:38:32

Yes, the hat I've got but nothing else so...

0:38:320:38:34

You can't go to a wedding in just a hat!

0:38:340:38:37

I'm sure that £350 gave their granddaughter

0:38:370:38:41

a spring in her step as she walked down the aisle.

0:38:410:38:45

Now on to Horsham to find out if Kate Bliss's estimate sparkled

0:38:450:38:49

when Sharon's costume jewellery came under the gavel.

0:38:490:38:52

-Costume jewellery, all that glitter.

-Marilyn is right up there.

0:38:540:38:57

-She is, in prime position up there.

-She is.

0:38:570:39:00

Fingers crossed, here we go, Sharon.

0:39:000:39:02

The collection of costume jewellery.

0:39:040:39:07

70 and five. 80 and five. 90 and five. 100 and ten now.

0:39:070:39:11

It's flying.

0:39:110:39:14

120, 130, 140, 150, 160,

0:39:150:39:19

170, 180, 190, 200, 210.

0:39:190:39:24

Go on, make it the two.

0:39:240:39:27

220, 240, 260, 280, 300,

0:39:270:39:31

and 20, 300 at the back?

0:39:310:39:34

At the back, selling now at £300. All done at 300.

0:39:340:39:38

-£300!

-Brilliant!

0:39:380:39:41

-Sharon.

-That's so good. I knew it was worth it.

0:39:410:39:46

At double the estimate, it just goes to show,

0:39:460:39:49

diamonds really are a girl's best friend.

0:39:490:39:51

But did Sue's corking Cantonese porcelain

0:39:520:39:55

dazzle the bidders in Hampshire in 2004?

0:39:550:39:58

There's a lot of lot in this next lot

0:40:010:40:03

and it's Sue's Cantonese porcelain.

0:40:030:40:06

There's a little bit of damage but it's 19th century, nice colours,

0:40:060:40:10

and as you said, a lot of pieces in that lot.

0:40:100:40:13

Thank you, Cilla.

0:40:130:40:15

Yes, but I'm not on Blind Date yet. But it should do that.

0:40:150:40:18

I should do the top end, I hope.

0:40:180:40:20

I notice you've got all the family with you.

0:40:200:40:23

Is that just in case it doesn't sell and they can carry it home?

0:40:230:40:26

I hope they don't because here we go.

0:40:260:40:28

Cantonese, 19th century Cantonese.

0:40:310:40:34

Start me at 300 for this. £200?

0:40:340:40:38

He's dropped.

0:40:380:40:40

I'm bid 220, 240, 260,

0:40:400:40:43

280, 300, 320, 340...

0:40:430:40:48

360, £340. All done at 360.

0:40:490:40:54

360 here, 380, at 360 on the phone.

0:40:540:40:59

Any advance on 360? 380, 400. 420.

0:40:590:41:03

They're getting competitive now.

0:41:030:41:06

460. 480.

0:41:060:41:09

500.

0:41:100:41:12

520. 540...

0:41:130:41:16

It's not going to stop.

0:41:160:41:18

560. 580. 600.

0:41:180:41:22

And 20. 640.

0:41:230:41:27

660.

0:41:270:41:29

What was the valuation?

0:41:290:41:31

680. 700.

0:41:310:41:34

And 20. 740.

0:41:340:41:38

760. 780.

0:41:400:41:44

800. 820.

0:41:440:41:46

We could be here all night.

0:41:460:41:49

850. 880. 900.

0:41:490:41:53

And 20. 950. 980. 1000.

0:41:550:42:02

-And 50.

-Do you need a seat?

-1,100. And 50.

0:42:030:42:10

1,200. And 50.

0:42:100:42:12

£1,200 on the phone here. Against you all in the room.

0:42:120:42:17

1,250 in the back. 1,300.

0:42:170:42:21

And 50. 1,400.

0:42:210:42:25

And 50. 1,500.

0:42:250:42:29

-Against you at £1,500. Selling...

-Yes!

0:42:290:42:32

On the phone, £1,500.

0:42:320:42:35

-That's great.

-I don't believe it.

-That's just great.

0:42:380:42:42

-I don't believe it.

-The eyes have glazed over.

0:42:420:42:45

I honestly thought I'd take it home. I honestly thought that.

0:42:450:42:49

All the family were here, there are about six of you.

0:42:490:42:52

You were all going to carry a piece home, weren't you?

0:42:520:42:55

Get your breath back.

0:42:550:42:58

-Mark, £1,500.

-I know. I was being cautious, obviously.

0:42:580:43:02

-Come and buy me!

-What else can you say?

0:43:020:43:06

I mean, you know how I like people to come and get it

0:43:060:43:09

but I think that's taking the biscuit but it's great.

0:43:090:43:13

Well, that was the last of my bevy of beauties

0:43:180:43:21

and what a stunning result for Sue.

0:43:210:43:23

I'm ever so pleased for her and it also brings us

0:43:230:43:26

to the end of today's show.

0:43:260:43:28

Do join me again soon for another trip down memory lane

0:43:280:43:31

when they'll be plenty more to feast your eyes on but until then,

0:43:310:43:34

it's goodbye from Syon House.

0:43:340:43:36

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:500:43:52

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:520:43:55

From Syon Park in Twickenham, Paul Martin presents a top-ten collection of real head-turners from the Flog It! archives. Among these beauty-enhancing items is an exquisite nine-piece dressing table set and a fabulously ornate Victorian scent bottle.

Paul also investigates the beauty business with a look around Britain's oldest health farm.