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!"
I've put together a collection of my favourite items from the archives.
Today we're at Syon House,
nestling on the Thames in West London.
It's a home full of beauty and magnificence, with great
oil paintings, furniture by Thomas Chippendale
and arguably the finest Robert Adam interior in the country.
Beauty is my theme for today's show.
Looking good is something that men and women constantly strive...
Over the years, we've found our share of beauty-enhancing items.
So, stand by for my top ten head-turners as we look back through the archives.
We begin in Skegness in 2008,
where Elizabeth Talbot couldn't help but admire the reflection
cast in Mary's gorgeous vanity mirror.
I've been sitting drooling over this lovely, what is called,
an object of virtue. This lovely gem of craftsmanship.
And I'd like to hear your story about it
because I think it's lovely.
Well, I bought it in the mid-1960s,
from an antiques fair in Chichester.
And it just caught my eye.
I loved its tactile shape, you know.
And it sits in the palm of my hand.
And I used to use it to put my make-up on before I went out.
I used to go round the folk clubs singing.
I was very much part of that scene in those days
and, yes, I've always loved it.
I think you must've been the best equipped folk singer in the time, then.
What we have here, which isn't obvious from
looking at the outside, is a little vanity mirror.
And I think that that is just charming.
Do you know what it's made from?
I know it's tortoiseshell and, um,
I understand it's not tortoiseshell but turtle shell.
That's one thing I have learned from Flog It!
And I presume it's inlaid with silver.
The silver is so fine that it is impossible for it to have been assayed.
-So, you cannot look for a mark to date it.
The silver is inlaid and then it's chased to give the detail
of the feathers, to give it that three-dimensional appeal.
-Absolute charming thing.
So, you used to use it, does that mean you don't use it any more?
I like having it, but at a certain age
you don't like to look in mirrors so often.
Oh, get away! I can't believe that at all.
It is very much a collector's piece
and I think that it would go to a specialist collector
who would, at the moment, be prepared to pay somewhere between
-£70 and £100 for it.
And, reserve, would you like a reserve on it?
I'm not really bothered, I'd leave that to the auctioneer.
I think that's a good idea. He'll monitor it.
We can have a chat nearer the time and he'll look after it for you.
-But, £70-100 and we'll see what response we get.
That mirror was a stunner,
but beauty is in the eye of the beholder
as Thomas Plant discovered in Watford back in 2006,
when he met Debbie
and her extraordinary-looking Wemyss wash set.
Why did you come along and bring along this, what it supposedly is,
a toilet set?
I believe it's Wemyss Ware
and we're just really interested in how much it's worth.
You're quite right, it is Wemyss Ware,
Wemyss being a Scottish manufacturers.
Now, where's it come from?
Originally it was from my grandmother's house.
It was on display there for many years.
Unfortunately, when she died it was too big for anyone else's house
so it's been in storage since then.
I'm intrigued, because your mum obviously took it from your grandma's
when she died, and she put it in the loft
because she couldn't fit it anywhere else.
Something must have clicked with your mum and maybe you,
to say, "Hang on a minute, we might keep this Wemyss toilet set".
She knew it was a name that she'd heard before,
so it might be worth something.
So, she kept it. She just couldn't have it on display.
It is great, it's a lovely, lovely set.
-You normally see Wemyss with lots of big flowers on.
You don't normally see a full set like this.
You are missing the cover to the bucket,
the water bucket, here.
Do you remember that or was that always broken?
I remember this more than anything.
I can't remember the bucket.
The bucket, really, is vastly unattractive.
-Really, the most attractive items are the jug and basin, here.
The sponge dish. Sponge is in there to keep it all dry.
And then this is a soap dish and cover.
What's nice, is on here,
-we've got the Wemyss stamp and this T Goode & Co., London.
Now, that's the retailer.
Probably bought in London in the early 20th century.
Late 19th, early 20th century, I would have thought.
I would like to put this in
at about £400-600 for the set.
How does that grab you?
Um, yes, that's...that's lovely.
More than I expected, I think.
-What were you expecting?
-I don't know.
To me, it's just not very attractive.
Say we get you £350, what will you do with it?
Well, obviously, I'll give it to my mother.
Of course, it's hers.
Yes, it's hers. What she decides to do with it will be...
So, how long have you waited today?
Oh, a good few hours.
A good few hours? Surely it's £100 an hour, isn't it? For this waiting.
But did Debbie's patience pay off?
Well, you'll just have to wait and see.
Now, over to Cambridge, where, in 2003, my head was on the block
when I had to put a price on Andy's barber's chair.
A lady asked me to clear her loft out
and this was in it.
And before I put it in the skip
I turned this recliner up
and thought, "That looks nice", and kept it.
You were going to throw this in a skip?
It was going to be skipped, yes.
Good for you, I'm so pleased you didn't.
You've earned yourself an extra few bob, now.
Any idea of its date?
This is early 1900s.
This is about circa 1900, 1910.
And it's made of oak, it's very good quality, but it is machine-made.
It's been manufactured and there's a little sticker to tell us who's made it.
But it is wonderfully made and, if you see, this will recline right back
so he could have a proper shave.
And this is the bit I like, I love this.
Because it can adjust for your neck height.
It reminds me of that film, Sweeney Todd, where everybody went...
That kind of thing.
But I think this is so quirky.
Here we've got two little spandrels on the front
which just help the construction.
And if we follow the arms down, you can see these legs are straight
and they taper and they almost terminate here
on this little tulip shape.
So, value-wise, any idea?
I'm not sure.
I think if we put a reserve of £60 on it
-and hope to get somewhere around £75-80.
-Would you be happy with that?
So why do you want to sell it?
-He doesn't want to sell it?
-Do you, or don't you?
-Yes, it's going!
-He loves his barber's chair.
All it does, really, is sits in the dining room.
But is it going? Definitely?
It's definitely going, yeah. I mean, it is nice but it's got to go.
Well, we'll see you in the auction,
and let's hope it makes a clean cut in the sale room.
On to Milton Keynes now, where, in 2008,
Kate Bateman sensed the sweet smell of success
with an item that Jan had with her.
Jan, you've brought this mysterious box, here.
What's inside? Let's have a look.
-Ah, a scent bottle.
What can you tell me about it?
I bought it from an antiques fair,
probably about five or six years ago.
And I was actually looking to buy some powder compacts,
which is what I used to collect at the time.
And I walked past a stand and I just saw it and thought,
"I've got to have it", just loved it.
-An impulse buy.
-Absolutely, an impulse buy, yes.
It's lovely. Do you know anything about age?
I think it's Victorian.
Erm, I mean, basically, I spoke to the person who sold it to me,
and she thought it was about 1886.
She'd have got that from the hallmark,
because it's quite clearly marked up and that's great
because it tells me the maker who made it, and the year, 1886.
What's nice about it, is this maker, SM,
is a well-known maker.
he's one of the better late- Victorian makers of scent bottles.
And this is a really nice example.
Ovoid body, it's an overlay,
so it's a glass body and then over painted with glass and refired.
-And you've got a silver gilt - so silver covered in gold plate - mount.
It's a really lovely thing. Why are you selling it?
Well, I've sort of done my compact collecting now,
and I'm now sort of collecting '50s things.
And I'm decorating a room at home
and I want to buy a '50s lamp, one of these tall lamps.
So I need to get some money, basically.
So you're on a one in, one out policy.
You can't buy something until you get rid of this.
-So it's here to sell.
-For auction, I'd probably put an estimate of £300 to £400 on it.
-Is that the sort of price you'd be happy to sell it for?
-Yes, yes, I think so. That sounds fine.
What you would do is put a reserve of some kind on it to make sure
it doesn't sell for so little that you'd be gutted on a quiet sale day.
What's the least you'd take for it?
Um, I wouldn't want to sell it for less than £250.
OK. Well, that's below the low estimate, so what you could do
-is put a reserve at £250 and make that a firm reserve.
And the estimate in the catalogue will be £300 to £400.
I think it's got a really good chance of selling at that.
if we can put it in and get you enough money for a lamp, that would be a good result.
So let's see which of these little beauties wowed the crowds the most
when they went off to auction.
What kind of interest was reflected in Mary's vanity mirror?
Debbie thought her mum's Wemyss wash set was ugly,
but did it manage to clean up at the auction?
Kate Bateman may have thought Jan's perfume bottle was heaven SCENT,
but did it come up smelling of roses at the auction in Ely?
It was like a scene from Sweeney Todd for me
when Andy asked me to value this rather unusual item of furniture -
an early 20th-century barber's chair.
So let's see if Mary's mirror pulled in the bidders in Grantham.
Why are you selling this, Mary?
It's been on the road with you, you've loved and cherished it.
Well, I think it deserves a new face. Mine's completely worn out!
Nothing wrong with your face.
The 19th-century tortoiseshell and silver pique work vanity mirror.
A very pretty little lot, this one.
Who's going to start me at £50 for it? Straight in, 50. Thank you. 50.
We've sold it. Straight in.
55, 60. And five now. 65, 70. five, surely. 75.
75 bid. 80 bid. Five. 90. Five. 100.
10 now, 110 bid. 20 or not?
120 now, surely. 110 at the back of the room, 120, 130.
-At 135, we may have an Internet bidder. We do.
140. Thank you, sir. 140, 145. 145. 50 now. 150, 155, 160.
Thank you. 170. 180 now in the room. 180, 190. 190. 200.
20 anywhere else now? 220, it's the last call.
At 200, my bid's in the room, then, at £200.
All done and finished selling, then, in the room.
And definitely selling at £200.
-£200 - now that's a real, true reflection of its value.
I think somebody's buying all the love that little piece contains.
-You know, the feel-good factor's there.
-Wow! Mary, that was a nice encore, wasn't it?
-It certainly was.
Mary's mirror went for more than double Elizabeth's estimate.
Now, back in 2008,
I joined Jan and her sister at Charlie Ross's auction room in Woburn.
I know Kate fell in love with this.
It belongs to Jan, possibly for not much longer.
It's a gorgeous little scent bottle. We're looking for 300 to 400.
It's a good day in the saleroom. It might.
If two people want this, you don't know what'll happen.
This will be exciting.
The Victorian smoked-glass scent bottle.
Enamel decorated, bearing hallmarks for 1886.
And I'm bid £340.
-OK, well, it's sold.
-360 I will take. At 340, 360 now.
At 340, the bid's with me.
350, 360. 380?
-This is more like it, isn't it?
440. Still with me, 440. Commission bid at 440.
-I'm liking this.
-This is nice.
At 480, then.
The bid's here with me at £480.
Hammer's gone down sharp then. £480.
Yes, that's really nice. I'm very pleased with that.
Are you going to reinvest the money in the antiques trade?
Yes. I need to buy a 1950s lamp for one of my rooms at home,
or, if I can't find one, a coffee table.
-Something like that.
-That's half the fun, isn't it?
Going to the antiques shops, antiques centres and auction rooms,
having fun days out shopping.
-You can learn so much.
-Thank you very much.
That little bottle shattered Kate's estimate.
It's back to Cambridge now in 2003, where for Flog It friend
Will Axon was putting the barber's chair under the hammer.
Andy. Hello, Katie. Another addition to the family. Who's this one?
-This is Thomas.
-Hello, Thomas. Shake my hand.
-Is this your first auction?
-Doesn't seem that excited, does he?
-No, not quite.
-So it's a family day out, is it?
-It is. It's school holidays.
-Right, where's the wife, then?
-She's working, is she?
-So you've taken the day off?
Let's hope we can send you home with some money.
We're going to find out right now. Good luck, kids. This is it.
Lot 160 now, here we are - the barber's chair.
I can see it in a big bathroom, in the corner somewhere.
Interior lot, there we are. What's it worth?
Give me £50 for it, start me. At £50 only. Surely at 50.
Where are you at 50? Hello. At £50. Anywhere at 50?
£30, a voice. At £30 now, the voice, at 30.
£30 I have now here at 30. At £30 now. Who else is in at £30?
The voice at 30. It's you and me. It's in at 32.
At 42, 45, 48. 50 now.
Five with me. One more if you like. Shakes the head. At £55 with me.
At £50 now, are you sure? At 55.
-It's done it.
We're away at £60. You all done elsewhere, then? At £60. Sold.
-That'll do, lovely.
-Are you pleased or are you upset?
-No, that's fine.
-Are you sure?
-Cos you did want to take it home.
That's not bad. We can go out and have a meal or something.
Daddy said we're going to the zoo.
You're going to the zoo? Oh, brilliant.
A good result.
And Katie and Thomas got a fun day out with the proceeds.
But was Thomas Plant's estimate just a little too conservative
when it came to Debbie's wash set?
Before it came up for sale at the Tring auction rooms,
I went and had a chat with auctioneer Stephen Hearn.
This has been in her mum's loft for the last 16 years.
And there's not a lot of money on it for the amount you get of Wemyss.
400 to 600.
Well, I think we're going to do well for Debbie on this one.
I think there's been an enormous amount of interest in the set,
despite the fact it might have had a beaker with it.
-And it could even have had a couple of chamber pots.
I've seen a lot of Wemyss on the show before.
It's always been the flowers, the pigs, the honey pots, the preserve pots,
but I've not ever seen any with a black grounding like that.
Yes, well, this black grounding was introduced by Shapland.
He introduced oil into the colour mixture
to give it a rather more robust...
And it didn't chip as much.
But did it sell as well?
It does look slightly dour compared to the brighter vessels.
A lot of it was to order. Possibly why Thomas Goode retailed it.
That normally cost about 15% more.
-Yes, to have the oil introduced into the glaze.
-So this could be rarer and it could put the value up.
-Has there been a lot of interest in this?
-There has been.
-I think it's probably going to go back home to Scotland.
-At what cost?
-Three times estimate.
-£1,800, top end?
Hm, that may be real top end.
-I can see it doing 1,200 anyway.
-Can't wait for this sale to start.
-If they were all like that, I'd sit all day doing it.
-I bet you would. Yeah, with a big grin on your face.
-I certainly would.
Well, that sounds promising, but did it do the business?
It's the Wemyss, a big collection of it.
It belongs to Debbie, and not for much longer.
-Especially at 400 to 600. That's what you were happy with, weren't you?
If you had 600 quid, what are you going to spend it on?
It's my mum's money, but we've booked a holiday,
so it's going to go on a big family holiday.
-It's going to go towards that.
-We're going to do the 1,000 plus, aren't we?
-You're being cautious on the day.
-I'm being cautious on this one.
Still a bit cautious. I think it could well do it.
You have seen, and you've been on Flog It many, many a time.
-You love your 20th-century stuff.
-I've seen Wemyss do really well.
You've seen little preserve pots do £300.
Yeah, I have, but it's such a big thing and you think,
-"Hang on, will a Wemyss collector want it?"
-They like the big pigs.
-They like the big pigs but do they want a big, you know, toilet set?
-Yes, they do.
And the pattern - never seen that pattern, that grape and vine.
Right, this is interesting, this Wemyss toilet set.
There you are. You have a jug, a bowl, a sponge, a soap dish,
a cover, a slop pail.
-£500 for it, then.
-300, we're off.
320 I'm bid for it, 350 bid.
380 bid. £400 bid, 420, 450, 480, 500.
A rapid climb - they love it.
700, and 50. 800, and 50.
I love these moments.
1,000, and 50. No?
1,050 I'm bid for it.
-Quite comical, isn't it?
-Squeeze some more.
For £1,100, then.
-Debbie, it's gone. 1,100.
-The hammer's gone down.
-That's great, isn't it?
-Twice what you were expecting.
-Have a great holiday.
-That's all I can say. Have a great holiday.
-I'm sure we will.
Well, that's the first four of my ten beauty items.
Now, while we place great importance on face value,
being in good health is where you find real wealth,
as I found out on a visit to Tring back in 2008,
when I visited Britain's oldest health farm.
# You make me feel so young... #
For decades, people have been pummelled and half-starved
in these establishments in the pursuit of health and beauty.
Nowadays, it's all about relaxation and pampering.
But in the early days, the focus was on natural healing
and providing cures for a number of conditions.
And it all started here at Champneys, just outside Tring.
And it's still a health spa today.
In 1929, the naturopath Stanley Lief,
along with a grateful patient, purchased the mansion
along with 170 acres of landscaped gardens from Baron Rothschild
and set about turning it into a mecca for those that wanted
something alternative to normal medicine, really.
And Stanley's idea was to promote treating the body as one - holistic health -
mind, body and spirit.
Stanley had been an obese child with a weak heart
and it was the desire to strengthen his body that led him
to seek natural cures.
An early incident in his life convinced him that they worked.
Stanley's arm was badly injured during the First World War
with shrapnel, and he believed he avoided its amputation
and regained its use with a strict exercise and diet regime.
# Keep fit, take exercise
# Keep fit and you'll be wise
# That's it, grow twice your size
# Whatever you do keep fit... #
I'm here in the games room,
which is pretty much how it was back in the 1920s.
Nothing much has changed. And behind me, there,
is a bronze bust of Stanley Lief, the man himself.
And to find it a bit more about him, I've come here to talk to Dennis Kylie...
..who was trained by Stanley and worked here back in the 1950s.
-Does it bring back many memories?
-Yes, it does, actually.
Obviously, it's more modernised than when I was here 50 years ago
But, nevertheless, it's good to bring back a bit of nostalgia.
What was he like? Tell me a little bit about Stanley.
Obviously, he was a pioneer, I would have thought a very nice gentleman.
He was a natural healer but he liked discipline
and he ran this place like a little rod of iron.
But he was a most approachable character.
Explain a little bit more about his treatments.
Well, basically, naturopathy, or nature cure, is wholeness.
In other words, you treat the person as a whole.
So all the treatments involved were things like manipulative treatment.
There was psychotherapy,
we used to have all the hydrotherapy, of course.
There was gymnastics here, there were walks that he arranged.
There were quite a lot of disciplines. Did you have to adhere to them as a strict regime?
It was a strict regime in those days, yes.
-Not so nowadays, really, is it?
-No, it's more loose, I'd say, these days.
But he was very strict indeed.
If he said to a patient, "Look here, I want you in bed by 9pm."
-Then 9pm it was.
-By golly, you were in bed.
-You were in trouble, yes.
# Keep young and beautiful
# It's your duty to be beautiful... #
Being afraid of Stanley was not the only thing that had his patients turning hot and cold.
These are the famous sit baths that we have,
and we have the hot and the cold water.
The patient has a minute in the cold, four minutes in the hot,
and alternates them, three times in each.
It's for the repletion and depletion of the abdomen and to increase the circulation.
And I think, on the whole, they enjoy it.
If you had contrast bathing, like hot and cold, you were going to stimulate an area.
In other words, if I put my hand, say, in some cold water,
then the blood's going to go away from it.
If I put it in hot, the blood comes. So it's like an internal massage.
It does sound like a bit of a shock treatment, though.
Sort of hot one minute, perspiring, and then freezing cold.
It wasn't such a shock, no. You could do it nice and gently.
How much can anybody stand in that machine?
No more, I would say, than about 15 minutes to 20 is enough.
I'm on low at the moment, you see.
And we have three different temperature gauges on it - the high, the medium and the low.
-Do you feel faint when you come out?
As long as you have a shower, a cold shower, and lie down.
What about diet here? What did most people sort of eat?
First of all, today, they use this word "detox".
In those days they put people on a fast, a similar thing. You're detoxing, resting the body.
So some people just had water, water fast only.
Others, it may be just fruit juices and so on.
Jolly good health!
And then he would introduce the diet very slowly.
And that would be things like, say, fruit first of all,
then he may go onto salads and so on for two or three days.
Whatever you thought the patient required, so that the individual is the most important thing,
-which is lost today, unfortunately.
It seems very sort of soporific to walk around during the day,
not working, wearing a dressing gown and sort of slippers and just relaxing.
-It's a wonderful thing to do, isn't it?
I know people check in here for two to three days,
but back then did they check in for a lot longer?
A lot longer. Yes, you might have people come for a fortnight,
three weeks, four weeks, sometimes longer.
As I say, they came from all over the world for his treatment, yes.
I don't think I'd have lasted four weeks of Stanley's treatments.
Thankfully, Champneys today is more beauty camp than boot camp,
with the emphasis on relaxation and providing an escape from the stresses of busy modern life.
Right now, I'm going to enjoy the grounds in a way that Stanley
would have approved -
on my bike, getting lots of fresh air and exercise.
I suppose there's no gain without a little pain,
but the next part of my collection of pretty pieces
makes the business of beauty look effortless.
We're off to Aldershot where, in 2004,
Kate Bliss had her head turned by Sharon's 1940s
costume jewellery, and her fabulous bust of a Hollywood legend.
# I wanna be loved by you alone
# Boo-boo-be-doo. #
We really have got quite a selection here, haven't we?
It dates from the '40s, '50s, '60s,
but the thing that strikes me is the selection of designs.
And if we look at it a little bit closer,
we can see that a lot of the designs
are a throwback to much earlier styles.
So, for instance, this brooch caught my eye.
And this is what we would call, in Georgian jewellery,
a jardiniere brooch with a jardinere there,
and the two doves drinking from it.
And this would be a typical design in, say, 1820,
in the George III period.
But, of course, it's being used here
in a piece of '50s costume jewellery.
And then, moving on from the Georgian period,
we've got pieces, again, '50s in date,
but dating back, in design, to the Victorian period.
And here we've got acorn leaves and acorns,
a typical motif of the Victorian period.
And working on through into the 20th century,
you've got motifs from the Art Nouveau period.
And then, of course, into the 1930s and Art Deco
and these fantastic earrings.
Really striking. I love them.
-I bet they're heavy to wear, though!
-They're quite heavy.
The great thing about costume jewellery is it's affordable.
And it really came about because the huge names in jewellery -
we think of Van Cleef and Arpels, Boucheron, Bulgari -
producing really glamorous pieces in the 1910s, 1920s.
People couldn't afford to buy them, of course,
the everyday man on the street.
And so copies came about, using paste to produce glamorous pieces.
And it's great that we have Marilyn here.
Tell me about her, where did she come from?
I was looking for something to display the lovely necklaces
and things, and I went past a charity shop and she was in the window.
So I went in. She was £10,
but I thought, "Oh, I'll buy her anyway. She's lovely."
It's very fitting that she should be here.
She's made of resin, fairly heavy,
but a fantastic bust to model this costume jewellery.
And, of course, a lot of it was made for stars
to wear in films and on the stage.
-Rather than their expensive jewels and diamonds?
It's very fitting that she should be here, modelling this necklace.
What about value? Have you any ideas?
I'd like to get a minimum of 100.
-That's with the bust and the jewellery in one lot?
I thought in the region of £70-£100,
but I understand you would like a reserve of 100.
I don't think that's out of the question at all.
So you've obviously been collecting for some time.
-Why do you want to sell it all now, Sharon?
-The car engine's died
and we need a new engine for the car, so...
-So it would come in quite handy.
-It would come in very handy.
I'm glad you brought it in. I hope we can flog it for you.
I hope so, too. Thank you very much.
But, before I introduce my next beauty,
I've just got to dazzle you with these three unforgettable items.
In Dover in 2009, Joanne brought along this beautiful
early 20th-century porcelain toiletry box.
I got it from auction in a box of other items for £5.
-I won't tell you where.
-No, no, don't tell us where.
Tell me afterwards.
Mark Stacey loved it.
And the £200 it reached in the saleroom confirmed
that the best things really do come in small packages.
In 2007, Elizabeth Talbot had the tortuous challenge
of assessing an extreme beauty item when Lynn brought in
her great grandmother's bloodletting kit
to our valuation day in King's Lynn.
You hold it onto the skin and, by releasing the button,
the little knives shoot through.
But the £420 it made in auction didn't seem to hurt one bit.
And Kate Bliss hit upon a crowd-pleaser
back in Newmarket in 2002 with Angela's dressing table set.
I love the square border on here, which is very Art Deco,
really, isn't it, in design?
It had been a gift bought from Harrods for her aunt
and, at auction, it reached the handsome price of £550.
We're heading back to 2003 now, when Mark Stacey was astonished
to discover Sue's stunning Cantonese porcelain had become
a dumping ground for her mother's dressing table accessories.
This piece was on my mum's dressing table
and she used to put bits and pieces in it.
It's survived remarkably well,
-considering it had rings and things in it.
They're actually quite decorative.
They're what we call Cantonese famille rose ware.
And we get the famille rose from these sort of pinky colours,
pinky green and blues in the pattern.
And they're very typically decorated with these oriental scenes -
people in different courtyards, buildings in the background.
These ones will date to the end of the 19th century,
so maybe between 1890 and 1910, that sort of period.
That 20-year period.
And it's quite a nice collection.
There's a little bit of damage on one or two pieces,
and a lid's missing from one of the rouge pots, or whatever.
But there is a pair of vases and quite a nice pair of tureens
and stands, and this rather nice kidney-shaped dish.
At the time these were made, you could buy as much as you wanted
and use it as a dinner service
or just decoration in the kitchen or the dining room.
So they've been up in the loft for 25 years.
-Have you ever thought about the value?
-So it's why you brought them today?
And I think it's such a shame. It's just a waste, isn't it?
They will sell. I think they're quite popular,
and they're quite good quality, nicely decorated. If we put it in,
I suggest we put it in as a little group.
And if we did put them in for sale, I think we'd be looking at
-an estimate of maybe £200-£300 for the group.
-Is that all right?
-Quite good, yeah.
And I think we should fix a reserve at maybe 200, with 10% discretion.
Now, if we got a good price for it,
is there anything you'd put the money towards?
-I'd put it towards a conservatory.
-Let's hope we get a good price
-and I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
We'll be back to find out if that porcelain smashed any records
in the saleroom a little bit later.
But first, let me take you back to Ely where, in 2009,
Charlie Ross became very excited when he came across
Janet and Donald's sewing case.
Quality, quality and more quality. Donald and Janet.
-Janet, does this belong to you?
-Yes, it does.
And how did you get it?
-I bought it a good many years ago, about 30 years ago.
Why did you buy it? Was it to use or because you liked looking at it?
-I liked looking at it.
-Did you buy it in a shop?
-Yes, I did. Yes.
-Can you remember which shop?
-I think it was down Magdelen Street.
-A church shop I bought it from.
-He's been gone years.
-Do you remember what you paid for it?
No, I can't remember. I paid about £30 odd.
That was a lot of money in those days.
It's called a necessaire, ie, every woman should have one.
It's necessary to have one,
to repair anything that might be damaged in terms of clothing.
This would be for instant repairs.
If you went to a ball and you were a smart lady,
you thought, "Blimey, my hem's gone," out with your necessaire.
Sometimes they were on little chains and you kept them about your person.
This would have been kept in a handbag.
-The case is made of...
-Correct. And I've had a quick look.
They're not silver or silver-gilt. But they're gilt medal.
And because you've kept it so beautifully,
the gilding is still on there, which is wonderful.
If it had been used much,
the gilding would have rubbed off and it would have lost some of its...
I kept in shut.
The other thing I particularly like and makes it so rare,
is the fact that it's all there.
Needle, scissors, thimble and needle case, I think.
I'd put that at 1860 or 1870. Donald, why is it being sold?
-We want to buy our granddaughter's wedding dress.
-It'll go towards it.
-What would you like it to be worth?
-Well over £100.
I don't think you're unrealistic there because you've said
it cost £30 and that was a lot of money when you bought it.
Yes, it was.
I'd like to estimate it at £100 to £150.
I'd like to put a fixed reserve of £100 on it.
Ideally, I'd like to see it make £150 or £160.
-Thank you very much. Lovely to see both.
Before we find out how the rest of my collection of cosmetic items
performed when they went to sale,
let me just take you through the line-up once again.
Kate went weak at the knees
when Sharon introduced her to a silver screen starlet.
Janet and Donald's unusual ivory necessaire
certainly pricked Charlie Ross's intrigue.
But did it entice any bidders when it came up for sale?
And finally, Mark went mental for Sue's oriental porcelain.
The question is, did it catch anyone's eye at the auction?
First under the hammer is Janet and Donald's necessaire but did it
raise enough cash to pay for their granddaughter's wedding dress?
What a fabulous item you've brought into the valuation.
We're talking about the necessaire, that gorgeous little sewing kit
in the ivory case and they're rare to be so complete.
There's always something missing. You got this a long time ago.
-I did, over 30 years ago.
-We're going to get your money back.
-You can bet your life there. 30 quid you paid, did you?
It had to go because my girls aren't interested in needlework at all.
Are they having some money from this? Will you treat them?
My granddaughter's getting married so it might buy a button or two for her wedding dress.
A few. Well, all the talking is over with. It's now down to the bidders.
OK, here we go. It's going under the hammer now.
Good luck both of you.
The continental case, sewing thing. Pretty little lot.
Very nice, straight in, £50. £50 I'm bid. 50, 55...
A couple of ladies down the front.
80, 85, 95, 100 now.
At 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170,
180, 190, 200, 210, 220, 230, 240...
This chap hasn't put his hand down.
He's just standing there with his hands in the air.
270, 280, 290, 290 I've sold on here. Done then...
..with the lady at 290. 300. 300, I've got in the room. 310?
Back here at 310. Back with the lady at £310.
You're out. 320. 330, here in the room at £330.
-This is good, isn't it?
Bid now or I sell... 340. With the internet at 340.
A rich home!
350. With the lady at 350. £350, it goes then at 350.
Janet, fantastic! £350.
That's going towards the wedding, the wedding dress
and hopefully, come on, a new hat for you.
I've already got that.
OK, shoes. Treat yourself.
Yes, the hat I've got but nothing else so...
You can't go to a wedding in just a hat!
I'm sure that £350 gave their granddaughter
a spring in her step as she walked down the aisle.
Now on to Horsham to find out if Kate Bliss's estimate sparkled
when Sharon's costume jewellery came under the gavel.
-Costume jewellery, all that glitter.
-Marilyn is right up there.
-She is, in prime position up there.
Fingers crossed, here we go, Sharon.
The collection of costume jewellery.
70 and five. 80 and five. 90 and five. 100 and ten now.
120, 130, 140, 150, 160,
170, 180, 190, 200, 210.
Go on, make it the two.
220, 240, 260, 280, 300,
and 20, 300 at the back?
At the back, selling now at £300. All done at 300.
-That's so good. I knew it was worth it.
At double the estimate, it just goes to show,
diamonds really are a girl's best friend.
But did Sue's corking Cantonese porcelain
dazzle the bidders in Hampshire in 2004?
There's a lot of lot in this next lot
and it's Sue's Cantonese porcelain.
There's a little bit of damage but it's 19th century, nice colours,
and as you said, a lot of pieces in that lot.
Thank you, Cilla.
Yes, but I'm not on Blind Date yet. But it should do that.
I should do the top end, I hope.
I notice you've got all the family with you.
Is that just in case it doesn't sell and they can carry it home?
I hope they don't because here we go.
Cantonese, 19th century Cantonese.
Start me at 300 for this. £200?
I'm bid 220, 240, 260,
280, 300, 320, 340...
360, £340. All done at 360.
360 here, 380, at 360 on the phone.
Any advance on 360? 380, 400. 420.
They're getting competitive now.
It's not going to stop.
560. 580. 600.
And 20. 640.
What was the valuation?
And 20. 740.
We could be here all night.
850. 880. 900.
And 20. 950. 980. 1000.
-Do you need a seat?
-1,100. And 50.
1,200. And 50.
£1,200 on the phone here. Against you all in the room.
1,250 in the back. 1,300.
And 50. 1,400.
And 50. 1,500.
-Against you at £1,500. Selling...
On the phone, £1,500.
-I don't believe it.
-That's just great.
-I don't believe it.
-The eyes have glazed over.
I honestly thought I'd take it home. I honestly thought that.
All the family were here, there are about six of you.
You were all going to carry a piece home, weren't you?
Get your breath back.
-I know. I was being cautious, obviously.
-Come and buy me!
-What else can you say?
I mean, you know how I like people to come and get it
but I think that's taking the biscuit but it's great.
Well, that was the last of my bevy of beauties
and what a stunning result for Sue.
I'm ever so pleased for her and it also brings us
to the end of today's show.
Do join me again soon for another trip down memory lane
when they'll be plenty more to feast your eyes on but until then,
it's goodbye from Syon House.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
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.