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Fun and Games

Paul Martin introduces his top ten collection of play things to have graced his valuation tables over the past decade.


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Hello and welcome to the magnificent Syon House,

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the London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.

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I'm actually in the Duchess's sitting room,

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which seems to be the perfect place to deal out my next collection from the archives to share with you.

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Today, I want to amuse you.

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We've picked out ten of the best playthings we've come across over the years,

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like this George II games compendium table.

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So sit back, relax and let me entertain you.

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First up, we're heading back to the future to Warrington in 2006,

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where there were some hi-tech high-jinx for Charlie Ross

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when he came across Dennis's Japanese robot toy.

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# So come on, let me

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# Entertain you #

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-Does it work?

-Yes.

-And you've played with it lots of times, presumably.

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Well, the sons played with it, but I had a go!

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-It was originally for your son?

-No, it was the nephew's.

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He had it about 1960.

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-Do you think that he bought it new?

-He bought it new. Definitely. My sister bought that, I know that.

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It's made in Japan. Having said that,

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it's well made. It's tin-plate, it isn't plastic.

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It's a quality toy. It's a huge shame that the box isn't there.

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I know. When he gave it to us, the box was nearly falling in,

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and in them days, nobody bothered about that.

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-It's only that you learn lately...

-It's so important, because it's the rarity value.

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There might be a few thousand. I dare say there are very few about with their boxes.

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It's been well-kept, obviously. The batteries -

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I always take batteries out of anything, in case...

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-Number one thing for people to remember.

-I know all that.

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-Take the batteries out. They corrode.

-That's right. They spoil everything.

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Would you set it going for me? I'm going to be intrigued.

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-Does he talk?

-No, he doesn't talk.

-Doesn't he? He just walks.

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-TOY WHIRRS

-What a novel way of starting it!

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Play with the antennae and off we go!

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I think he's splendid. What's going on in the front?

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-It's the universe going round and round.

-I must have a look.

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Turn him round so he walks towards me. I'll put my glasses on.

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-He's turned!

-Steady!

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Oh, I say, that's rather exciting.

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-Star Wars.

-Yes!

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I've seen more than enough of that. I think it's great.

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-What made you bring him along?

-I thought with it being one of those

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in the '60s and that, I've seen them on the telly before.

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-What do you think it's worth?

-Around 100.

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I think that that toy, with its box, is two to three hundred.

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I think without its box, it's between one and two.

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-So I think you should be pretty safe at your £100 mark.

-I thought that.

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Frankly, if we put it in at one to 200,

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-and reserve it at £100.

-That's fine.

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My view is, it's not worth selling without reserve,

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because if it isn't worth 100 now, it will be in five years,

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because things like this are becoming more and more collectable, especially in this condition.

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Was it robot wars amongst the bidders when that toy went under the hammer?

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I'll reveal all later.

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But now it's over to Dover, and back in 2009,

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Mark Stacey is a little bit confused

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by Eileen's impressive Dinky Toy collection.

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What are you doing with such a lot of boy's toys?

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They were my brother's. I've brought them on his behalf.

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-He's had these since childhood, has he?

-He has.

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-Have you helped him play with them?

-We used to play together, yes.

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They're in remarkably good condition. You must've been very careful children.

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He was, especially.

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We've got a few more, but we haven't got every one out.

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We've brought a random selection of the better ones,

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like this rather wonderful horse box,

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which you could hire from British Railways, which is rather nice.

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And this Dinky Delivery Service transport vehicle.

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My favourite is this rather weird helicopter.

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-Which one's your favourite?

-This one.

-Was it?

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-Did you used to fill it with the little cars?

-I did.

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But I don't know where the little cars are now.

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I suppose they've been in a loft for the last 20 years or so?

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My parents had them in their house till they died six years ago

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and we cleared out their possessions.

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My brother asked me to look after them,

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so I've had them in the loft ever since.

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I guess that's the reason why you decided to let them go to someone

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who'll appreciate them more now, rather than them gathering dust in the loft.

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It seemed pointless just sitting up there. We saw "Flog It!" was coming, so...

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There's a big market for these and a lot of collectors for them.

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-We're going to a good sale room who will catalogue them well.

-Yes.

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And I would put them in as a little mixed lot.

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-Because some of the boxes are a little bit broken.

-Yes.

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Generally, it's always good to have the boxes.

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-Obviously, the better condition, the better the value.

-Yes.

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But looking at it as a whole,

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-we're probably looking at somewhere in the region of two to £300.

-Good.

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-Would you and your brother be happy with that?

-We would.

-Fantastic.

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I think they might just fly.

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-Or takeoff, in the case of the helicopter.

-Let's hope so.

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We'll just have to wait and see whether those toys raced out of the sale room.

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We're off to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where, in 2009,

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I was graced by the presence of royalty

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when Mark brought in this beautifully preserved Victorian doll.

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Mark, tell me all about the doll.

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It's a doll presented to my great aunt

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from Queen Victoria in 1899.

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That was a couple of years before she died.

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And it says, "Presented by 'Her Gracious Majesty' The Queen

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-to Baby Joy", who is your great aunt.

-Yes.

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How did your great aunt meet Queen Victoria?

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At the age of six months, she was in the Isle of Wight hospital with TB.

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-Oh, really?

-Yes.

-Did she survive?

-Yes.

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I imagine Queen Victoria was doing a hospital visit.

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Probably, yes.

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And young Joy was in hospital at that particular time. How lovely.

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-And it's been in the family ever since?

-That's right.

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-Mother passed away four years ago.

-So, your mum looked after it?

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-Where have you had it over the last few years?

-In my bedroom, hidden away on top of the wardrobe.

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Tucked out of harm's way.

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It's museum-quality. The condition is very, very good.

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I would say they're the original clothes, as well.

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-Have you done any research on her at all?

-I've looked on the internet, but I can't find anything.

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I looked underneath the glass dome before we started filming.

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I tried to look at the back of the neck,

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because you get some marks in the head,

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and it'll tell you if it was made in Germany.

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I'm looking for the impressed initials of AM Marseille.

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which is possibly the best manufacturer.

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There was no "AM", but there was a serial number.

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I still believe this is German, circa 1850, 1860.

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I think it's wonderful. I'm quite excited about this.

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Normally, a doll of this period and size, unfortunately no makers label,

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is going to realise around £150 at auction.

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The glass dome is contemporary with the period. That's worth £50.

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So already we're up against £200, which I think we'll get easily.

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-And with the connection of Queen Victoria, who knows?

-Yes.

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Let's put it into the sale with a value of three to £400,

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discretion on the £300.

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-Would you be happy with that?

-That'd be fine.

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-Why do you want to part with her?

-It's just sat on top of the wardrobe, collecting dust.

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At least she's been out of harm's way. And you've looked after her.

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-Yes.

-Fingers crossed we get a lot more than £300.

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-Happy?

-Very happy.

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What great provenance!

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Stay tuned to find out whether that doll clocked up a princely sum at auction.

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Now, we're off to Melksham, where, in 2008,

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Philip Serrell had a rambling good time

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with Pam's rather unusual walking stick.

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-Where's this come from?

-It came from a jumble sale in about 1960-something.

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Why did you buy it?

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We were running it to raise money for our cricket club.

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-Which club?

-Ladies cricket.

-Ladies cricket?

-Mm.

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-"Vagabonds" they were called.

-Were you batter or bowler?

-A little bit of both.

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-It's come on a bit, hasn't it?

-It has.

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-So you had a jumble sale for the team.

-We did.

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This came in and it was left at the end, nobody wanted it.

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We put it... I don't know. I said ten shillings.

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-Ten bob.

-But it might not have been as much as that. That was quite a lot of money.

-Yes.

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-Probably five bob.

-And no-one wanted it?

-No.

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-Shall we have a look at it?

-Sure.

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We have got here, "1852.

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"Engraved by J Harrison Abbeyleix."

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-Does that mean anything to you?

-It doesn't.

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And then, as we move down, we've got a giraffe, a stag hound, a seal, a jay.

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So we've got a really lovely 19th-century walking cane here

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that's decorated with all these wonderful emblems.

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-Not much else to say, is there?

-Not really.

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Except, if you look just here,

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and I think this is what makes it so much more interesting,

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you can see we've got the, er, square and compasses.

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You can see we've got allsorts of other geometric symbols.

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We've got a trowel, a set of pillars.

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Now, all of those things are Masonic ciphers.

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-Oh.

-So if you were a Freemason...

-Which I wouldn't be.

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You could be, actually. There are lady Freemasons.

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But all of these signs here are ciphers and emblems

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that would be known to Freemasons.

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-I think that we can put an auction estimate of £80 to £120.

-Right.

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And I think we can put a fixed reserve on it of £60.

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Now, I have to say, it wouldn't surprise me if it made £200,

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because Masonic memorabilia is, I believe the expression is "hot to trot".

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People want to buy it. There are big collectors of it.

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So if it makes £100, what will you spend the money on?

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I might put towards my golf subscription.

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-So we've gone from cricket to golf.

-As we get older, yes!

-Get out of it.

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-Are we captain of the golf club?

-I have been.

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-What's your handicap?

-21.

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-I'm not playing you, then!

-I'll give you a game!

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-Let's hope it sells well for you.

-I hope so.

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Stay tuned to find out just how much of a handicap Pam's stick was

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when it went under the hammer.

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Before we find out how these fun things performed when they went up for sale,

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

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Charlie Ross was no technophobe when it came to Dennis's robot toy.

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But did his 100 to £200 valuation pull in any geeks at the auction?

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Mark thought Eileen's Dinky Toys were in perfect condition

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and would race out of the sale room.

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I was amused by the doll that Queen Victoria had gifted Mark's Aunt Joy.

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But did she turn any heads in the Isle of Wight sale room?

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Pam wanted to trade in her walking stick for a golf club membership

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and Philip was convinced she'd get a hole-in-one for it when it went under the hammer.

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We're joining auctioneer and "Flog It!" favourite Adam Partridge at the sale room in Knutsford

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to see if the bright lights of Dennis's robot toy caught anybody's eye.

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-These are so collectable.

-We've seen it on the telly before.

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If it was a 1950s one, you're looking at eight to 1,200.

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I think we'll do a little bit more than Charlie's estimate.

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It's in good condition, it's a bit of fun. I think the sci-fi and Trekkies will love this.

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-It's a boy's toy, isn't it?

-And it works well.

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-I'm not an expert on Japanese toys.

-It's been in the back room for 30-odd years.

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But it isn't a shame, is it? That's a virtue.

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-If you'd been playing with it, it wouldn't work any more.

-No.

-And it wouldn't be worth anything.

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Let's see what it does right now. This is it.

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207. The Japanese robot. £100 for this?

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30's bid. Five. 45. 50. £50 I have.

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Five. 60. Five. 70. Five. 80. Five.

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80 bid. £80. Any more? £80. At £80? Any more? £80 surely?

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-Five. 90. Five.

-Yes!

-100.

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£100. Five.

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We sell at £100.

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-We just did it.

-Just about made it.

-Just did it!

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-Crept in.

-There's no modern-day collectors here, are there?

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-They need their boxes.

-BOTH: Yes.

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-That's true. A third of the value's in the box, isn't it?

-Yes.

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Dennis certainly struck gold there.

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I was fascinated by the provenance of Mark's Victorian doll,

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so I headed over to the sale room on the Isle of Wight

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to see what the auctioneer had to say.

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Because of the connection with Queen Victoria,

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we've upped this to three to £400.

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Well, in some ways, I think you're right.

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If it had no provenance, I would estimate it at 100 to 150.

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With the provenance, I think that's probably about right.

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-Are there any doll collectors on the island?

-Yes, there is.

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-There's a lot of doll collectors, but there's also a doll museum. They've all viewed.

-Fantastic.

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With that provenance, we're hoping it stays on the island.

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-And everybody is a Queen Victoria collector.

-Absolutely.

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And, you know, the link into the TB hospital

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is a nice story.

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I think it should sell.

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Fingers crossed, or will this one really go?

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Fingers crossed. Dolls are a sticky market, as I'm sure you'll know.

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I have noticed there's a few more in the sale.

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-Yes. That'll help it.

-It's got company.

-Yes, it has.

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Fingers crossed.

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Warren was cautiously optimistic,

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so let's see if she turned any heads.

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We've got a packed auction room here,

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and this next lot, the little doll, is all down to Great Aunt Joy,

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who was in hospital.

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And we've got some great provenance, as well.

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-The auctioneer's done you proud, hasn't he? He's hit the press with this.

-Yes.

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-All the local news... Are you excited?

-I am.

-So am I.

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I'm very nervous, as well. I'm hoping everybody's going to put their hand up for this doll

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and it's going to fly away.

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It's going under the hammer now.

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Lot 370. 19th century bisque head doll.

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Presented by Queen Victoria to its owner when she was a baby

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at the Royal National Hospital for tuberculosis.

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-Lot 370. Lot of internet interest. We're coming in at...

-360.

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360. 370 anywhere?

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370. 380. 390. 400.

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410. 420.

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430. 440. 450. 460.

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470. 480. 490.

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500. 510.

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500 here on commission.

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510 anywhere? 500, then. Selling to the commission bidder.

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All done at £500.

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Yes! We're going to settle for that!

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-£500. That was over the top end.

-Not bad.

-I'm so pleased for you.

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-You've got to be happy.

-Very happy.

-Yes?

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£500 was a great result, and it just goes to show

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how well items with strong provenance always do at auction.

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Now, onto Dover to find out how Eileen's Dinky Toys went down when they went under the hammer.

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Something for the boys now. We've got a big collection.

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We've got Tri-ang, Hornby, Dinky Cars, we've got the lot.

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I'm joined by Eileen. But this is not yours, is it? It's your brother's.

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-That's right.

-You're selling them on his behalf.

-I am.

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-Happy with the valuation?

-Very.

-I thought it was spot on, as well.

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-There's a lot there.

-It appeals across the board.

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I think you've done the right thing not splitting them up.

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Good luck. Lots of family memories. It's going under the hammer now.

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Who'll start me at £100? 100 I'm bid.

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Who's in at 110?

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110?

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-110. 120. 130. 140. 150.

-We're on the right track now.

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150? 160. 170.

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180. 190. 200.

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210.

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220? 230.

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-240.

-We're there.

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260. 270.

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-280. 290.

-This is great!

-290.

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300. 320.

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340? 360. 380.

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400.

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420. 440.

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-460.

-460!

-480.

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500. 520.

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540. 560.

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No? It's on my left at £540. Any further offer?

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If not, I'm selling... No. Selling at 540.

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Yes! That's what we like to see. We were on the right track at the end.

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-£540! Is he going to treat you for this errand?

-I hope so.

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-They should go halves. They're double the estimate.

-You never know.

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They flew out of that sale room. £540 was a first-class result.

0:18:500:18:55

Over to Devizes now, in Wiltshire,

0:18:570:18:59

to find out whether Pam's stick walked off with a good price.

0:18:590:19:04

Pam, this stick is going to march right out of the room, isn't it?

0:19:040:19:08

-Yes.

-Let's hope so.

0:19:080:19:10

We had an 80 to 120 on this. This guy's done a bit more research.

0:19:100:19:13

-Have you?

-I had second thoughts. It's Irish.

0:19:130:19:16

-Oh, really?

-That'll put the value up.

0:19:160:19:19

-I think it might have a maritime connection.

-There's a lot of history.

0:19:190:19:23

There's a big journey that you're investing in when you buy that stick.

0:19:230:19:26

-I think it'll find its way back to Ireland.

-I hope so.

-Just outside of Dublin.

0:19:260:19:31

A lovely hardwood, pokerwork walking cane

0:19:330:19:36

by J Harrison of Abbeyleix.

0:19:360:19:39

150 straight in. 150. 160. 170.

0:19:390:19:41

180. 190. 200.

0:19:410:19:44

220. 240. 260. 280. 300.

0:19:440:19:47

320. 340. 360. 380.

0:19:470:19:50

400. 420. 440. 460. 480. 500.

0:19:500:19:54

520. 540. 560.

0:19:540:19:56

580. 600.

0:19:560:19:58

620. 640.

0:19:580:19:59

-660. 680. 700.

-£700!

-700 to my left.

0:19:590:20:05

720. 740.

0:20:050:20:07

£720 to my left. 740 anywhere else?

0:20:070:20:11

740. 760.

0:20:110:20:13

780. 800. 820.

0:20:130:20:16

820. 825. 830.

0:20:160:20:19

835. 840. 850. Let's get on with it. 860.

0:20:190:20:23

870.

0:20:230:20:24

860 to my left.

0:20:240:20:27

-Wonderful.

-Not a bad ten bob's worth!

-No.

0:20:270:20:30

£860.

0:20:300:20:32

-The hammer's gone down! That's a sold sound. £860.

-Thank you.

0:20:320:20:37

-Will you pay my golf sub, as well?

-How much is the membership?

0:20:370:20:41

-650.

-Well, you're in!

0:20:410:20:43

-And a new driver!

-And a new driver!

-Well done!

0:20:430:20:47

-Fantastic. Thank you very much.

-That's made my day. And yours.

0:20:470:20:51

You've got tears in your eyes!

0:20:510:20:54

That £860 must've gone a long way to improving Pam's handicap.

0:21:030:21:07

What a fantastic result. That's what we like to see.

0:21:070:21:10

This delightful bedroom

0:21:100:21:12

is where the present duke and his siblings would stay as young children and play here,

0:21:120:21:17

running around this massive house in the late spring, early summer.

0:21:170:21:20

Can you imagine the fun and games? Especially playing hide and seek!

0:21:200:21:24

Talking about a rocking good time, let me take you back to 2002 to the deepest parts of Kent,

0:21:240:21:30

where I met a talented Mr Stevenson

0:21:300:21:32

with a passion for restoring toys

0:21:320:21:34

that kids would just love to horse around on.

0:21:340:21:38

As you know, I'm passionate about all things oak.

0:21:450:21:48

But I'm not talking about furniture today.

0:21:480:21:51

I'm here to witness some spectacular woodwork from Tony Stevenson,

0:21:510:21:54

as he takes me through the intricate craft

0:21:540:21:57

of rocking horse restoration.

0:21:570:21:59

-Tony, we're here in the horse hospital section. Dave's scraping away.

-Yes.

0:22:010:22:06

How long will this take him to scrape off all this? This is modern paintwork.

0:22:060:22:11

-This process will take about a day.

-Right.

0:22:110:22:14

That's what we're peeling off, the new paint with the old varnish

0:22:140:22:17

to reveal the underneath,

0:22:170:22:20

which was probably put there in about 1880, 1890, something like that.

0:22:200:22:25

By virtue of the fact that this was high-content lead,

0:22:250:22:29

-it actually scrapes off easier because it's thicker, doesn't it?

-It breaks down the original varnish.

0:22:290:22:35

And that's why Dave's using a scraping process, rather than any Nitromors liquid.

0:22:350:22:40

And this will reveal major stress fractures and cracks,

0:22:400:22:43

which you can then look at the joints and repair them.

0:22:430:22:47

On this particular horse, these legs are slightly loose.

0:22:470:22:52

-They're very vulnerable?

-That's the place that they're going to go.

0:22:520:22:55

The weight of the children and the parents over the years...

0:22:550:22:59

-They do give them abuse, don't they?

-Yes, they do. Which is great, that's what they're for.

0:22:590:23:03

-And the ears.

-The ears normally go. But on this one, they're perfect.

0:23:030:23:07

-They are.

-But I'm sure we'll see plenty of examples.

0:23:070:23:10

-Shall we leave Dave? He's doing a brilliant job.

-Why not?

0:23:100:23:13

-And he's got another couple of days on this!

-No doubt!

0:23:130:23:16

-It should only last a day, Dave.

-Right!

-OK? Not a week!

0:23:160:23:22

-Tony, what's this called? Is it a bow?

-This is the bow, yes.

0:23:320:23:35

As opposed to the glider,

0:23:350:23:38

which was invented in America in Cincinnati in 1880

0:23:380:23:42

by a guy called Philip Marqua.

0:23:420:23:45

The Americans think that is the traditional rocking horse, which it is, of course...

0:23:450:23:49

-This would be the English.

-This is the English.

0:23:490:23:52

How many owners do you think they would've had?

0:23:520:23:55

Most of our customers, it's quite extraordinary,

0:23:550:23:58

the horse has been in the family right from the first.

0:23:580:24:01

These were obviously handed down.

0:24:010:24:03

They can be hundreds of years old and been with that family, grandpa, parents.

0:24:030:24:08

We've had grandparents come in,

0:24:080:24:10

"Can I have this restored for my grandchild? It was mine!"

0:24:100:24:16

And it had been restored since for them. So, how old was it?

0:24:160:24:20

-In general, these horses cost quite a lot.

-They do.

0:24:200:24:24

If you were going to an auction, you could pay anything up to seven or £800.

0:24:240:24:29

And if the who people know what the horse is are bidding, you'll pay thousands.

0:24:290:24:35

If you can find one in an antique shop for two to £300,

0:24:350:24:39

pay £500 to get it restored, you've got a cheap horse.

0:24:390:24:42

-And a great investment.

-A great investment. And an original one, as well.

0:24:420:24:46

-Who would like one of these at home?

-ALL: Me!

0:24:540:24:58

Tony's insights have stood me in good stead over the years,

0:25:060:25:10

as you'll see now with a treasured old steed

0:25:100:25:13

that Jonathan brought in for me to value at Whipsnade Zoo in 2009.

0:25:130:25:18

Look at this! A rocking horse!

0:25:180:25:22

-Hello, what's your name?

-Jonathan.

0:25:220:25:24

-Thank you so much for coming in.

-I thought it was an unusual thing to bring,

0:25:240:25:29

but it's so beautiful, I thought you'd be interested.

0:25:290:25:32

I'm pleased you left it on the trailer! It looks great.

0:25:320:25:35

I bet everybody when you were driving here was going, "Look at that!"

0:25:350:25:40

I was getting worried in case I caused an accident!

0:25:400:25:42

Stop the traffic. It's magnificent!

0:25:420:25:46

Tell me a bit about its history. Has this been in the family long?

0:25:460:25:49

I had it 45 years. We show horses and carriages

0:25:490:25:55

and I was told about some carriages in a barn,

0:25:550:25:59

and I went down there to buy the carriages.

0:25:590:26:02

I pulled one of the carriages out and the horse was underneath one.

0:26:020:26:07

-Hey presto!

-Just laying there on the side.

0:26:070:26:10

I said, "I've got two children and they are going to love this."

0:26:100:26:14

And they have used it?

0:26:140:26:16

They've rode it and loved it.

0:26:160:26:19

-But I had the old boy from Sotheby's that told me what type it was, a Hunter.

-It is.

0:26:190:26:25

The ears are pricked forward and the nostrils are flared.

0:26:250:26:29

-I like the way the head's kinking to one side, as well. It's not full on.

-That's it.

0:26:290:26:34

I didn't know there were so many different types of rocking horses.

0:26:340:26:37

This is lovely because it's the traditional height.

0:26:370:26:40

This is circa 1860 to 1880.

0:26:400:26:44

In original condition. I'm so pleased you haven't fiddled with this or repainted it.

0:26:440:26:50

And it's on sleigh-bow rockers.

0:26:500:26:52

That's what the collectors and dealers are looking for. This is a rocking horse for the purists.

0:26:520:26:58

It's 50 inches high. It's a standard configuration.

0:26:580:27:02

Obviously, it's had some wear and tear,

0:27:020:27:04

but for its age, the condition is fantastic

0:27:040:27:07

because it's completely original, you've not repainted this or restored it.

0:27:070:27:13

That's what I'm looking for. There it is.

0:27:130:27:16

FH Ayres. That stamp mark underneath gives us the maker's name.

0:27:160:27:21

-This is the Rolls-Royce of rocking horse makers.

-Is it?

0:27:210:27:26

You can't beat Ayres. The American market will go potty for this if we can get this on the internet.

0:27:260:27:31

I've sold these ten years ago for £2,000.

0:27:310:27:34

-It's got its original glass eyes.

-Beautiful, aren't they?

0:27:340:27:38

I don't know what to say. It's one of the nicest ones I've seen.

0:27:380:27:42

-I'd like to put this into auction with a value of two to £3,000.

-Thank you.

0:27:420:27:47

-I know it's looking tatty, but I wouldn't be surprised if we got that top end.

-Good.

0:27:470:27:51

A fixed reserve at £2,000, which means it's not going to sell for anything under that.

0:27:510:27:58

-But you're not going to have to worry. I can see this doing two-six or seven.

-Marvellous.

0:27:580:28:03

-It'll gallop away. I look forward to seeing you in the auction room.

-Pleasure.

0:28:030:28:07

We'll have to wait and see whether that horse flew out of the stall at auction.

0:28:070:28:12

But first, here are three unforgettable fun items

0:28:120:28:15

I just had to pull out of my toy box.

0:28:150:28:19

It was Hi-de-Hi for Anita back in 2006,

0:28:190:28:23

when Susan brought in her incredible collection of Butlins badges.

0:28:230:28:27

These make me feel happy! They remind me of my daddy.

0:28:270:28:32

Those are someone's happy memories.

0:28:320:28:35

And Susan was happy, too, when they scored £100 at auction.

0:28:350:28:40

Everything was shipshape in Yeovil back in 2007

0:28:400:28:44

when David brought in his Tri-ang toy collection for James Lewis to inspect.

0:28:440:28:49

I have never seen a collection of Tri-ang ships as good at this.

0:28:490:28:53

Good lot. Were these yours as a boy?

0:28:530:28:56

-Yes.

-You looked after them.

-They are treasured.

-You can tell.

0:28:560:29:00

They made a big splash at auction, sailing off with £600.

0:29:000:29:05

Di's Disney-themed Beswick tea set brought a smile to Thomas Plant's face

0:29:070:29:11

in Dunstable back in 2009.

0:29:110:29:14

My mother used to keep it on top of my father's wardrobe

0:29:160:29:19

and on a Sunday afternoon, we were allowed to get it out and have tea.

0:29:190:29:23

-You're a bit old for little cups!

-Exactly.

-And little cakes!

0:29:230:29:28

They left the sale room animated, making a lively sum of £160.

0:29:280:29:33

Now, back to Rochdale, where, in 2007,

0:29:380:29:41

Nigel Smith met the lovely Lily and sniffed out a real winner

0:29:410:29:45

with her Schuco teddy bear.

0:29:450:29:47

-That's a lovely name, by the way.

-Is it?

-I've not seen a Lily for a long time.

0:29:480:29:52

-I think it's very old-fashioned!

-It is, but it's very pretty.

0:29:520:29:56

-Thank you very much.

-These names come round again.

-Yes.

0:29:560:30:00

What can you tell me about him? He's cute, isn't he?

0:30:000:30:03

All I know is that my husband inherited it from an aunt when she died.

0:30:030:30:08

When my husband died, I inherited it.

0:30:080:30:11

-He put it in a drawer and it's remained there since.

-He's been in a drawer?

-Yes.

0:30:110:30:15

-That's not fair, is it?

-No.

-It's too nice to be in a drawer.

0:30:150:30:19

I love bears. They've all got their own little characters.

0:30:190:30:22

-But this one's a little bit special, isn't it?

-Yes, he is.

0:30:220:30:25

-Shall we show everybody what he does.

-Yes.

0:30:250:30:28

His head comes off!

0:30:280:30:30

What it is inside is a little scent phial.

0:30:320:30:34

So lift this out, and you'd put perfume in it.

0:30:340:30:37

Date-wise, this would date probably from around about the 1920s.

0:30:370:30:43

-It's a little German bear.

-Yes.

0:30:430:30:47

Probably made by Schuco, who made a lot of these little scent-bottle bears.

0:30:470:30:52

Smaller than the conventional teddy. It's a shame to put him in a drawer.

0:30:520:30:55

He's in remarkable condition. That's probably why he's in such good nick.

0:30:550:31:00

Well, he was wrapped up when my husband inherited him,

0:31:000:31:03

so he probably hasn't been out very much.

0:31:030:31:05

No. What spurred you to come along today?

0:31:050:31:08

I know you're a big "Flog It!" fan.

0:31:080:31:11

Just to see if it was valuable.

0:31:110:31:13

I think collectors buy these on two levels.

0:31:130:31:16

There are scent-bottle collectors and bear collectors.

0:31:160:31:19

-So it's got a double bonus, hasn't it?

-Yes.

0:31:190:31:22

-And they are popular little things. I would think we could estimate him round about 60 to £80.

-Yes.

0:31:220:31:28

-You might make a little bit more.

-I hope so.

0:31:280:31:31

-Hoping for a bit more, were you?

-Yes!

0:31:310:31:34

People always hope for a bit more.

0:31:340:31:36

But he's nice, he's got character, and he's in lovely condition.

0:31:360:31:41

I think we could do well with him.

0:31:410:31:43

-Are you happy to sell him?

-Yes, I am.

0:31:430:31:45

-Do you want me to put a reserve on him for you?

-I think so, yes.

-£60?

0:31:450:31:50

He'll make more than that. Let's be confident.

0:31:500:31:52

Everybody will fall in love with him and he'll make a lot of money. £60 reserve.

0:31:520:31:56

He'll go into an auction and we'll turn him into cash for you.

0:31:560:32:00

Nigel fell in love with Lily, but we'll have to wait and see

0:32:000:32:04

if anyone fell in love with her sweet-smelling bear.

0:32:040:32:08

Now, over to Torquay, where, in 2009,

0:32:080:32:11

David Fletcher was brought down to size with Alan's miniature car.

0:32:110:32:15

When you said you'd brought a vintage car,

0:32:160:32:19

I thought we'd have to go to the car park!

0:32:190:32:21

-Now, how long have you owned this?

-It's difficult to remember.

0:32:210:32:25

I seem to remember it being around at least 20 or 30 years.

0:32:250:32:29

I think when one of the grandparents passed away, it came our way then.

0:32:290:32:34

-So you didn't play with it as a boy?

-I didn't.

-OK.

0:32:340:32:38

-So you weren't responsible for the damage?

-No. I've only ever known it to look like it is,

0:32:380:32:43

-and here we are.

-OK. The damage is a problem.

0:32:430:32:47

It's a little bit rusty.

0:32:470:32:49

-There's metal fatigue, I think, in his trouser bottom there and in the hem of his coat.

-Yes.

0:32:490:32:55

This was made in Germany by the Lehmann Factory.

0:32:550:33:00

In their day, they were prolific manufacturers of this sort of item.

0:33:000:33:06

If you like, they were the Dinky and Corgi toymakers of the early 20th century.

0:33:060:33:11

This model is known as a Tut Tut.

0:33:110:33:14

I think that must refer to the fact that, if we look inside,

0:33:140:33:19

we can see these bellows, which are operated by the clockwork motor,

0:33:190:33:23

which would've caused his horn to sound.

0:33:230:33:26

This particular design was patented in 1903,

0:33:260:33:31

by which time, the factory had been going for some time.

0:33:310:33:35

This model continued in production until 1935.

0:33:350:33:39

One of the things I love about it is his driving position.

0:33:390:33:43

Talk about cool! He's got his foot up on the dashboard,

0:33:430:33:46

one hand on the steering wheel, no seat belt

0:33:460:33:49

and he's blowing his horn as he does it.

0:33:490:33:51

A bit worrying, but standards were different in those days.

0:33:510:33:55

Now, why are you selling it?

0:33:550:33:58

To be honest with you, er,

0:33:580:34:00

we would like it to go to a home where it's appreciated.

0:34:000:34:02

-I know a lot of people say this, but we really would.

-That's good.

0:34:020:34:06

It would be nice if someone had it

0:34:060:34:08

and looked after it more than what it's been in the past and maybe did a bit of restoration.

0:34:080:34:14

Well, it's always said, we don't really own these things,

0:34:140:34:17

we just take care of them for the next generation.

0:34:170:34:20

I'm glad that you're handing it on.

0:34:200:34:22

Now, we need to think about what it might be worth.

0:34:220:34:25

I am concerned, as I say, about the damage.

0:34:250:34:29

I will give this the benefit of the doubt

0:34:290:34:31

and say that it was made at the start of that period, so before the First World War,

0:34:310:34:35

which gives it a bit of extra cache.

0:34:350:34:39

I reckon this will make between 60 and £100.

0:34:390:34:43

-Good grief. You surprise me.

-That's good.

0:34:430:34:46

What I would really like to suggest is that we sell it without reserve.

0:34:460:34:52

You'll have to be a bit philosophical, but I'm confident there'll be enough people there

0:34:520:34:56

who like this sort of thing for it to do pretty well.

0:34:560:35:00

Alan didn't think he'd get much for his unwanted toy,

0:35:010:35:04

but he was delighted at David's valuation.

0:35:040:35:07

We'll see how it does in just a minute.

0:35:070:35:09

But first, here's a quick recap of my second collection of favourite playthings.

0:35:090:35:15

I absolutely adored Jonathan's gorgeous rocking horse.

0:35:150:35:19

But did it gallop out of the sale room?

0:35:190:35:22

Nigel was entranced by both Lily and her aromatic Schuco bear.

0:35:240:35:28

Surely it gave the bidders some PAWS for thought.

0:35:280:35:32

David Fletcher gave Alan's neglected toy car a good estimate.

0:35:330:35:38

But did it motor out of the sale room?

0:35:380:35:41

Let's find out, as we zoom back to see that car go under the hammer in Plymouth.

0:35:440:35:50

It's quirky, it puts a smile on your face.

0:35:500:35:53

-I'm rather hoping for a couple of hundred pounds.

-Really?

-Yes. On a good day.

0:35:530:35:59

-You can never tell in an auction room, can you?

-No.

0:35:590:36:02

First time I've ever been to an auction.

0:36:020:36:04

-Really?

-The closest I've been,

0:36:040:36:07

I do charity rock-and-roll discos and we auction teddy bears for children's hospices.

0:36:070:36:12

-Right, so you do a bit of auctioneering?

-Only at the discos.

0:36:120:36:16

-So this is completely new.

-It's an exciting arena, that's for sure.

-That's right.

0:36:160:36:20

Everything's vying for your attention. People get carried away. They can bid too much money.

0:36:200:36:25

They can pay over the top for something.

0:36:250:36:28

-Let's hope they do today!

-Absolutely.

0:36:280:36:31

There it is. "Tut Tut" it's called.

0:36:330:36:35

Tin-plate model.

0:36:350:36:38

I'm bid £200 for it. Against you all at 200.

0:36:380:36:42

-You're joking?!

-Straight in - 200!

0:36:420:36:45

230. 240. 260.

0:36:450:36:47

270. 280. 290. 300.

0:36:470:36:50

-And ten. 320. 330.

-Racing away!

-£330.

0:36:500:36:55

-330 at the back.

-No!

0:36:550:36:58

All finished at £330. Sell at 330.

0:36:580:37:03

Do you know, I'm just flabbergasted.

0:37:040:37:07

-Good, wasn't it?

-Some of that money's going to the hospice.

0:37:070:37:10

-Which one?

-South West. Definitely.

0:37:100:37:14

Wonderful. Thanks to the "Flog It!" team.

0:37:140:37:17

-And David got it right.

-I did undervalue it by a long way!

0:37:170:37:21

But you knew it would sell, that's all that matters.

0:37:210:37:25

A triple-estimate result. That car really drove the bidders into a frenzy.

0:37:260:37:31

Now to West Yorkshire, where I caught up with auctioneer Ian Peace

0:37:330:37:36

and sniffed out his thoughts on Lily's sweet-smelling bear.

0:37:360:37:41

A very tiny bear. A tiny bear on this massive table!

0:37:410:37:46

He's a little Schuco bear and his head comes off because he's a scent bottle.

0:37:460:37:50

I think he's lovely. He belongs to Lily.

0:37:500:37:53

She inherited him from an aunt, who sadly passed away.

0:37:530:37:56

-We've got a valuation of 60 to 80 pounds.

-Yep.

0:37:560:38:00

-He's almost like a novelty keyring, he's so small.

-It is.

0:38:000:38:03

It's charming, it's small and the fact that it's a scent bottle.

0:38:030:38:07

I think 60 to 80 is very on the low side.

0:38:070:38:10

I think it's got a chance of 120 to 130, 140.

0:38:100:38:14

The reserve has been put up by the vendor at the last minute.

0:38:140:38:18

I do know one that went down in Sussex for £170, so there's a possibility we may just make it.

0:38:180:38:24

Lily's done her homework. I'm not surprised she's upped the reserve.

0:38:240:38:30

When I read that out and saw 60 to 80,

0:38:300:38:32

I thought exactly what you said. It would do it any day of the week.

0:38:320:38:36

-We've now upped the ante, a little bit of pressure on.

-I shall work hard.

0:38:360:38:41

It's got the sweet smell of success!

0:38:410:38:43

Let's see how that little bear got on.

0:38:440:38:47

Lily has upped the value without you knowing.

0:38:480:38:53

She's had a chat to the auctioneer. You weren't that happy with 60 to 80?

0:38:530:38:58

-No, I didn't think it was enough.

-So we've upped it, well, you've upped it, to £150 reserve.

0:38:580:39:04

I did have a chat to Ian and we both fell in love with this little bear.

0:39:040:39:09

-Do you think it will sell?

-We think it's got a chance at 150.

0:39:090:39:12

I understand why you did it, because he is so cute! You just want to love that bear!

0:39:120:39:17

If he doesn't sell for any more than 150, I think you've done the right thing.

0:39:170:39:21

Protect your investment. Get that reserve on it.

0:39:210:39:23

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

0:39:230:39:27

Lot 261, a German Schuco miniature.

0:39:280:39:31

Start this at £100. £100.

0:39:310:39:35

110. 120. 120. 130. 140.

0:39:350:39:41

-150. 160.

-Yes!

-170.

0:39:410:39:45

180.

0:39:450:39:46

190. 200.

0:39:470:39:48

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

-Yes!

0:39:480:39:52

And ten. And 20. 230.

0:39:520:39:54

240. At £240.

0:39:540:39:58

At £240. Any further bids?

0:39:580:40:01

Brilliant. I absolutely love it! You did the right thing.

0:40:010:40:05

-I thought it was rare!

-£240.

-THEY LAUGH

0:40:050:40:08

-That hammer has gone down at £240!

-Well done.

0:40:090:40:13

-They're all clapping!

-Well done, Lily!

0:40:130:40:16

-How about that?

-Lovely!

-Oh, bless. You're shaking!

-Yes!

0:40:160:40:21

What are you going to do with £240?

0:40:210:40:24

I was going to give my son half because he takes me about a lot, but he said he doesn't want it.

0:40:240:40:31

-But I bought him a little ornament.

-In today's sale?

-Yes.

0:40:310:40:35

Good for you! She's not only selling, but she's buying!

0:40:350:40:38

You've got your finger on the pulse!

0:40:380:40:41

It was big business for that little bear,

0:40:410:40:43

tripling Nigel's estimate and making Lily a tidy £240.

0:40:430:40:49

Finally, let's see if Jonathan's horse rocked the room in Tring.

0:40:490:40:54

Great to see you again.

0:40:540:40:56

This is causing a stir in the sale room.

0:40:560:40:58

I've had it a long time, 50, 60 years,

0:40:580:41:02

and I love the old thing, but I think it's in good hands.

0:41:020:41:07

It is in good hands. It's been fed and watered!

0:41:070:41:11

One of the foremost makers, Frederick Ayres.

0:41:130:41:16

Shall we start at £1,000 or £1,500?

0:41:160:41:20

£1,100 we're bid now. 1,200 is bid. 1,300.

0:41:200:41:24

1,400 is bid. At 1,500.

0:41:240:41:28

1,600. 1,700 we're bid now.

0:41:280:41:31

At 1,700. 1,800. 1,900 is bid.

0:41:310:41:35

2,000 I'm bid now.

0:41:350:41:37

Let's see if we can get the top end.

0:41:370:41:40

At £2,100 in the room.

0:41:410:41:43

Two-two. 2,200. Two-three. Two-four now.

0:41:430:41:48

We're not in the home straight yet. Two-five.

0:41:480:41:53

Two-six I'm bid. 2,700 bid.

0:41:530:41:58

2,800. Two-nine now.

0:41:580:42:01

Two-nine bid.

0:42:010:42:04

-Do three!

-3,000 bid.

-Yes!

-Get in!

0:42:040:42:06

-We're into the home straight, I think.

-It is.

0:42:060:42:09

3,000? Three-one.

0:42:110:42:13

-The auctioneer's got the bit in his mouth now.

-Go on!

-At £3,100.

0:42:130:42:17

Three-two I'm bid. One last push? Three-three.

0:42:170:42:21

Three-four, is it?

0:42:210:42:22

At £3,300 then,

0:42:220:42:25

I'm selling on my left, then, at £3,300.

0:42:250:42:30

Love it! Yes! £3,300!

0:42:300:42:34

-Thank goodness you brought that to Whipsnade Zoo.

-Yes.

0:42:340:42:37

Ahh! It's been a real pleasure selling that.

0:42:370:42:40

-How do you feel?

-I'm thrilled. My wife will be delighted.

0:42:400:42:45

-All I hope is, it gets a good home.

-It's going to go to a good home.

0:42:450:42:50

If they're prepared to spend that much money, that's going to a good home.

0:42:500:42:55

Jonathan had no problem selling his horse at auction.

0:43:030:43:06

It went galloping on. I didn't think it was going to stop. What a superb result.

0:43:060:43:10

Sadly, that brings us to the end of today's show.

0:43:100:43:13

I hope you enjoyed our little trip looking back through the archives.

0:43:130:43:17

I hope you can join me again soon.

0:43:170:43:19

Until then, from a sunkissed Syon House, it's goodbye.

0:43:190:43:24

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:240:43:28

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:280:43:32

Paul Martin introduces his top ten collection of play things to have graced his valuation tables over the past decade.

A dinky toy collection races out of the saleroom in Dover, and a little teddy bear drums up some big business in Rochdale. Paul also gets the chance to embrace his inner child with a visit to a rocking horse restorer in Kent.