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Hello and welcome to "Flog It! Ten of the Best" from Syon House,
the exquisite London residence of the Duke of Northumberland.
It was in 1604 that King James I gifted the estate to the incumbent Percy family.
And over the years, Syon has gathered quite a reputation for hosting some lavish parties.
But what's a party without music? Pretty boring, I say.
Now, many of you will know I love to play the drums. I still play a bit with some local bands
and over the years I've developed quite a passion for antique musical instruments
and we've certainly seen some musical items hit the high note in the saleroom.
So today, as we look back through the Flog It archives,
I selected some of the show's sweetest music to share with you.
So stand by for some chart-topping humdingers.
'And it's Philip Serrell who's up first with his nose in the trough
'when he met Norman and his unusual pigs in Paisley back in 2007.'
-Now, are these your toys?
-Those were my toys.
-Do you remember playing with them as a child?
-Were they in the family?
-They came down through the family, I think.
-And you want to sell them now?
-Your childhood memories, out through the window?
-That's it. Yes.
-Dear me! You can't do that!
-I'm the last in the Anderson line.
-Now, I won't be rude, Norman, how old are you?
-I'm 69 next month.
-69. So you were playing with these in about the 40s?
-Well, no, before that I think.
-Well, I think these were made in Germany.
-And I think they were made in the 20s.
They work on clockwork and our little pig here plays the drums, and our little violinist here,
-he's on the fiddle.
-So they're German. Do you know how I know that?
-I know that because it says here, "Made in Germany."
-All right, so I'm an all-seeing expert here, Norman.
-And they were made by a company called Schuco.
And their name is embossed into the other foot. Have you got the key to wind them up?
-Well, I think it'd be fairly easy to get a replacement key.
-And I guess the little feet might move, as well.
-They vibrate? They shuffle along?
Well, what they worth? I think they're going to make £40 to £60 estimate.
-For the two?
-For the two, yes.
-And we'll put a reserve on of £30?
-Are you happy with that?
-Can you go home and find the key for me?
-I'll hunt for it, yes.
-You have a good hunt, Norman.
-Let's hope they can drum up a bit of interest in the auction.
'We'll let you know how these little pigs did a little later on.
'Next we're off to Monmouth where in 2008,
'Mark Stacey added a major string to his bow
'when he clapped eyes on Barbara and Gordon's fiddle.'
When our daughter was at primary school, she wanted to learn to play.
And a neighbour said she had a violin which we could have.
So that's how we came by it.
-It was in a bit of disrepair so we had to have it re-glued.
But then my daughter had it and played it for a number of years
-and then later on, her younger brother took it on.
-So it's had a good bit of family use?
-Oh, yes, yes, yes.
-Can you remember what you paid for it with your neighbour?
-I think it was £10.
-And then a little bit to have it re-glued, et cetera?
-And you got the bow at the same time?
-Yes, it came with it.
-And the nice thing with this, of course, it's signed in the case.
Erm, Stent, 1915.
And then a little number four on the left-hand bottom of the label. So it could be his fourth violin.
-You never know.
-That's right, yes.
So, we've got the signature, and I think it's always nice to look all over the instrument
-because you get this lovely grain there at the back.
-Yes. It's beautiful.
And I particularly like the fact that he's done this, sort of, etched lines all round the outline there.
-I don't know if you've noticed that black inlay, or markings there.
It's of typical construction, of course, except for this rather nice little figure at the end there,
-which looks a bit like a melon or something, doesn't it?
-Or a tomato.
-Someone suggested it might be a pomegranate.
-It could be a pomegranate, actually,
-but with that seed bit there...
-..it could well be. Now, in terms of value,
-it's nice you've got the bow, too. I couldn't see any signatures on the bow.
-Bows are worth a bit of money in their own right.
-I would suggest it may be around 200 to 300 in today's market.
-Put the reserve at 200.
-With a bit of discretion with the auctioneer.
Who knows, it might go way above that.
-It'll be quite exciting.
-Yes, it will.
-It'll be interesting.
-Have you been to auctions before?
-No, we haven't.
-So it'll be your first time?
-There we are, we must try it, mustn't we?
-Yes, we must.
'We'll have to see if these auction first-timers
'were blessed with some beginner's luck.
'But now, I'm taking you back to 2008 to St Albans,
'where I met Thelma and her rather soulful little squeeze-box.'
-Is this yours?
-No, it's my son's.
-It's your son's. And where is he today?
-Is he? Is he on holiday?
-No, he lives there.
-Oh, does he? Nice!
-Why hasn't mum gone out to join him, then?
-Someone's got to sell it, haven't they?
-Oh, I see.
-Do you know much about it?
-No. Not really.
-Where did he get it from?
I phoned him last night and said to him, "Where did you get it and how much?"
-"I'm on my way to see Flog It."
-He can't remember.
-He can't remember?
-No. He didn't think it was worth anything.
-Well, the box is rosewood.
-Yup. So this is quite a nice instrument and it needed protecting.
-So that's quite fortunate you've still got this little case.
The first thing to check on these accordions is the bellows.
-You can see they're in pretty good condition.
-Yes, they are.
There's one little split there but that shouldn't deter too much from the value.
-Cos it can be repaired probably, yes.
-Yes. Again, we've got rosewood here with pierced fretwork.
-That's quite nice. There's a bit of damage.
-Can that be repaired?
-That can be sorted out.
-That's not too much trouble.
And that's what I was looking for. The maker's label.
Rock Chidley, 135 High Holborn, London.
-Oh, is that good, is it?
-So it's a good London maker, yes. And I'd put this at the turn of the 1900s.
-About 1910, 1920.
-I wish I could play them.
-So do I.
-Yeah. Any requests?
Sadly, I can't play, but I've valued a few of these on Flog It before.
-And to my surprise, they do quite well.
-And a little trick I learned about valuing them was,
-count up the little pegs.
-We've got 24 there. That's a pretty good one.
Shall we put it into auction with a value of £150 to £200
-and see what happens?
-Yeah. That would be super.
'What a beautiful accordion.
'I'll let you know how it performed at the auction a little bit later.
'For now, I'm taking you back to 2003 to Cambridge,
'where Catherine Southon went into orchestral overdrive
'when Cynthia and Ian brought in a stunning mahogany music box.'
MUSIC BOX PLAYS
Well, that was beautiful. Nice little piece of music there.
Well, we've got a lovely German polyphon here.
A lovely piece of furniture by its own right.
We can see here a wonderful walnut case,
and it looks like you have kept it in very good condition.
Lovely marquetry, as well, which was quite typical of polyphon.
And as we open up, underneath we can see this lovely, classical print,
and then, of course, the movement, which is here. How did you come about this?
We'd been on holiday down to Cornwall and visited an aunt who lives down there,
and on the way back, stopped at Wells to look at the cathedral.
And in the square that fronts onto the cathedral, found an antiques shop that sold musical boxes,
and from the gorgeous tone that we've just heard and the quality of the box
we decided that this is what we had to have and bought it, fell in love with it and bought it.
OK. Well, let's take a look at the mechanism. So we take off the ratchet lever here.
And then the metal disc. Put that down there. Here we've got the comb.
And then it's against the comb that the little projections on the disc sort of pluck
and then that's where we get the sound from. Why are you letting this polyphon go?
We've had lots of pleasure from it. As, indeed, have a lot of our friends and visitors.
But now we've been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit.
And we've got lots of things that really could also be displayed. And this takes up quite a lot of room.
-Even though it's a very attractive piece of furniture.
-So it's got to go. It's had its time.
-It's served its purpose.
-And somebody else can enjoy it.
-Right. So you say you bought this about 10, 12 years ago?
-Can I ask how much you paid for it?
-Just over £2,000.
I would say, in terms of auction value now,
I would like to say 1,000 to 1,500,
but perhaps as you did pay £2,000, perhaps we should try and push it up a little bit more.
-And say 12,000 to 15,000.
-That's what we would like.
-Is that what you would prefer?
-We'd feel more comfortable.
-Yes, no, I can see that.
-So what would you do with the money?
-Well, travel. More things to buy to put on the table.
'It's time to see if my first batch of musical bygones went for a song or whistled up a nice profit.
'Norman's little Schuco pigs certainly made Phil Serrell squeal,
'but did they make a big impression in the saleroom?
'Mark Stacey loved Barbara and Gordon's early 20th century violin.
'He seemed confident it would net a grand result at auction.
'Catherine was mesmerised by Cynthia and Ian's beautifully-maintained polyphon.
'But did it catch a buyer's eye?
'And I gave Thelma's accordion a pretty good estimate,
'but did it manage to squeeze out a few more pounds in the saleroom?
'We'll find out in a moment. But back in 2003, I was curious
'to hear what our old friend, auctioneer Will Axon, thought of Cynthia and Ian's polyphon.'
-Where are you, Will?
-This is Cynthia and Ian's musical box.
-In perfect condition.
Catherine, our expert, has put £1,200 to £1,500 on it.
Yeah, well, it may seem a lot of money, but I think she's around the right sort of area.
Erm, it's got to be worth that. I think it's a good German example,
circa 1900, in the walnut case, it's what we call a peripheral movement, playing on two combs,
-and it's decorative again with this putty print, which is typical of them.
But I think, at £1,200, it stands a chance. I've worked it into...
-With some spare discs.
-Exactly. Which is nice cos people who buy these also like to play them.
But I think we should get it away for you during the sale.
-That's fantastic, isn't it? In a way it's nice to have a smaller box.
-This is a standard size. What is it? 15.5?
-Exactly. It's that.
-It's the classic, cliche size, really?
Exactly, it's a tabletop piece. Sometimes they were made with stands as integral parts of them,
-but I think this is certainly a tabletop piece.
-And there are plenty of collectors of these?
Polyphons, musical boxes.
The more intricate the music box and the movement and so on,
-a bit similar to the clock market.
-It's the movement where the money is.
Let's hope it gets the top end of Catherine's valuation,
-and hits the right note in the saleroom.
-We'll cross our fingers for her.
'The auction room in Cambridge was buzzing when Ian and Cynthia joined me.
'So let's see how their polyphon got on.'
Your musical box is super. I love it! We've been playing with it all day long.
The auctioneer likes it, as well. And we're pretty confident it's going to reach its level here,
and what Catherine said, £1,200 to £1,500.
-But I do know you paid a lot more for it, didn't you?
-Yes. But we've enjoyed that.
So you've probably had £800 of pleasure, so you can write that off,
and hopefully we'll get you £1,200 to £1,400. Here we go!
The music box there, the German one, circa 1900.
Super quality and discs to play. Who wants to start me at £1,000?
£1,000, see me in at £1,000?
Start me? £900 if you will. At £900.
£900 bid, thank you at £900 I have. At £900 I have a bid.
At 900 now, at 900 now, left-handed at 900.
At 950! At 1,000 now bid.
At 1,100 bid. At 1,100 bid I have.
Shakes the head at 1,100. Are you sure? I'll take 50?
At 1,150? 1,100 it is now. At 1,100 now left-handed at 1,100.
And 50, fresh bidder.
1,200. And 50. 1,300.
And 50. Shakes the head, it's 1,350. Seated bid at 1,350.
Thank you anyway. At 1,350 we have.
All done then at 1,350 seated bid?
-Brilliant! That's good, isn't it?
-I'm really pleased for you.
-We haven't got to lug it back.
-You had a lot of pleasure
and haven't written off too much money.
'What a lovely old instrument that was.
'Now let's see how Norman's pigs did when they went to market in Glasgow,
'where Flog It regular Anita Manning was running the saleroom.'
I did have a play with them at the valuation. No key, though.
-They're quite charming.
-Yeah, they've got personality.
-Great name, as well,
-We've got £40 to £60 on them. I think just one of those is worth that much.
-So hopefully we can double that up.
Two Schuco tin-plate toy clockwork pigs.
-One playing the drum and another playing the violin.
Start me at £20. Start me at 20 bid.
25. 30. On the floor at... 35, fresh bidder. 40. 45.
-Oh, come on!
-50. 55. 55.
-60, fresh bidder. 65. 70.
-It's creeping up.
Any advance at £90? All done at 90.
95 back in! £95.
Any advance on 95? 95.
-Well, it trotted off, didn't it? 95.
-Where did that come from?
'What a great result.
'Now to Cardiff where we'll find out what the bidders thought of Barbara and Gordon's violin.'
It's a cracking example, actually. I love the headstock. So unusual. And the condition is very good.
-Mark, you've put £200 to £300 on this.
I didn't mention anything to the auctioneer and he hasn't said anything to me.
-Hopefully he agrees with our valuation.
-I hope so. It's not my normal sort of subject.
-I'm a bit blind on this. I hope I haven't hit a bum note.
-Well, I think we'll get the top end. Surely we've got to.
-I hope so.
Numerous commission bids here. Start me straight in at...
-It's gone quiet.
-230 I have.
-Well, we've sold it.
At £230. 240. 250.
-260. 270. 280. 290.
300. 310. At £310. £320, Mike?
£320, sir? Yes, please.
320. 330 with me.
-At £330. Back with me at £330.
Are we all out then at £330?
-That wasn't bad, was it?
-You could say we've ended on a crescendo.
-Barbara, Gordon, Wow!
-Yes, we're very surprised.
You've got to pay the commission. What are you going to do with £300?
-We'll split it between our three children, we think.
-That'll divide up easily, then.
-Well, I think we hit the right note, didn't we?
-It wasn't a bad note, no.
'So that little fiddle certainly plucked out a good price.
'Now let's see how my friend Thelma did when her accordion went up for sale.'
-It's exciting, isn't it?
-Isn't it just exciting!
-What does your son think? Have you got on the phone to him?
-When you gave me the estimate, yeah.
-He had to sit down.
-Did he? Did he really?
Have a couple of beers, put his feet up in the sun out in Spain?
-I don't blame him, really. Let's hope we do him proud, shall we? And you.
-And he treats you for sorting it all out.
-Oh, yes. That'd be lovely.
-He'll get you out to Spain, won't he?
-Well, of course.
Going under the hammer now. This is it, Thelma. Good luck!
Not too many Rock Chidley concertinas there. There you are.
Where shall we say on this one? Are we going to be 200 to start with?
100 then? 100 is bid. Thank you. 100 I am bid for that one.
120 is bid for it. 150. At 150.
180. Are you 200? 200 I'm bid for it.
220. At 250.
280. Are you 300?
I am bid 300. 320 I am bid.
350 I am bid. 380. At 400.
20, is it? No, at £400 and 20 now?
No more? At £400. You lose it, sir.
At £400 then I'm selling. Yes? At £400, then.
-Oh, that's super!
-Isn't that good?
-Yeah, I got a tingle out of that.
-Instead of 100.
-Because that's what it was...
-Well, that was the...
-Yes, well, we hedged our bets, didn't we?
-We did indeed.
-We were hoping for 250 and wow!
-They loved it!
-I can't wait to get home and tell him now!
-I bet you can't.
Oh, lovely! THEY LAUGH
Well, Thelma's accordion certainly squeezed some serious cash out of the bidders in St Albans, didn't it?
All cultures, past and present, have loved playing and listening to music.
In fact, the oldest song dates back some 4,000 years.
And the oldest stringed instrument in the world is the harp.
Which takes me back to 2008, on a little trip to South Wales,
where I discovered the ancient craft of harp-making has been given a new lease of life
thanks to modern technology. Take a look at this.
When I think of a romanticised Wales, I'm imagining rolling green hills,
and wonderful stone-built workshops isolated in the countryside,
with possibly beams of sunlight glittering in on a lone artisan working inside there.
Using hand tools, working with his hands, creating something
and hopefully listening to the sound of a gentle, strumming harp.
'However, here in the village of Llandysul, near Carmarthen,
'a mini industrial revolution has taken place.
'The old handicrafts have been replaced by computers and technology,
'transforming the art of harp-making. And it's all down to a small community of workers.'
'The project is called Telynau Teifi and it's spearheading the mechanisation of harp-making,
'creating employment and harnessing the skills and enthusiasm of young local people.
'The scheme is the brainchild of Alan Shiers, who began making harps as an artisan 30 years ago.'
Tell me a little about harps. It's such an unusual instrument to be involved with. How did that happen?
I worked for a chap called John Weston Thomas who resurrected the craft of harp-making in Wales
cos prior to that it had died out. And I worked for five years and stayed in contact with him after
when I went to teach at the Welsh Instrument School.
-So his harps were the ones to have, really, for anybody that was into Celtic music?
What was it like to make your very first complete harp? Can you remember that day?
Yeah, I can. John Thomas and I worked together.
We'd make two harps in parallel so he could keep an eye on me and then at the end,
the people came to play them and they were just equal to each other, and that was quite the moment.
He always said that eventually the pupil should exceed the master or the master has failed,
which was quite daunting cos he was a great chap. And then he's died now,
but we've gone on to make concert harps, which he never did.
So we're taking that on to the next generation, and expanding what we do.
What's the difference between a concert harp and one of the standard harps?
Erm, if you thought of, say, a mode of transport as being a bicycle and a motorcar, they're both very...
-As different as that.
-..appropriate for different needs,
but the complexity of parts is about 2,000 moving parts in a concert harp
and far less in a folk harp or a Celtic harp.
How long would it take you to normally build a Celtic harp?
By hand, it would be about six or eight weeks.
And then a concert harp, about a year.
I remember thinking, "Crumbs, I've spent however many weeks making that harp and somebody's paid for it."
-And that must be a nice feeling.
Well, when they play it, when the harp sings for the first time,
it's quite a special moment, really.
SHE PLAYS HARP
At my age, you start thinking, "How can we pass this on to the next generation before I lose my skills?"
The best way to do it, I felt, was to make it into a community business, involving the local authority.
We bought an old school so we built it into a team of people rather than an individual.
The question was how you did it, how you actually changed from a craft into a community business,
a one-man band to seven or eight people,
and then the way that you communicated those skills using appropriate technology
-to take away the drudgery and free you up to do creative stuff.
-That's the bottom line.
Does it free you up to be creative? I think that's the best way.
The youngsters have been brought up with computers and they'll use skills I don't have and that's great
cos it's a cross-fertilisation. I need them, they need me. Makes the team more balanced.
Do you think there might be a danger that all the old ways might be replaced?
I don't think so. I think the quality of the wood and sound board and the acoustics are so very human
and even though we've done something on a machine, it still has to be hand-finished, toleranced and fitted,
so all the machines do is break the donkey work down.
We have people who are a bit like I was when I was 16, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,
anxious to learn and get the thrill of actually turning stuff into things.
-And then when it's played, what a reward.
And I think that's human nature. That doesn't change with age. I still get the same buzz.
But, for me, it's nice to see one of the lads who's done something sit back and hear it,
and I know what's going through his mind and that's very creative.
If a 16 or 20-year-old can do that, there's a chance it will survive.
SHE PLAYS HARP
Do you think the definitive harp has been made yet?
No. I wouldn't keep struggling, I think. The harp, to some extent, is still in its infancy.
Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati violins, that's the absolute in a way,
but I don't think we've got there with the harp and that's exciting.
'The work of Allan Shiers and the Telynau Teifi community is certainly ongoing.
'Not only are they embracing new technology to improve the instrument,
'they're also closely working with Cardiff University to improve the instrument's sound.
'So you can definitely say the future of this stunning instrument is in safe hands.'
'Back to my next symphony of Flog It classics.
'We're over in Ely where in 2009, Charlie Ross got into the groove
'with David and Anne's old Edison Gem.'
-Shall we dance?
-Put the music on.
Right. THEY LAUGH
I love your phonograph. How long have you had it?
-About 55 years.
-Well, in the family. It was my father's.
-You inherited it, did you?
-Do you remember it being played as a child?
-Oh, yes, I played with it.
-Really? And how did he get it?
-Well, he built lightweight touring bicycles.
-And he built this particular man one.
It was 7 pounds 15 shillings and sixpence. He went home to get the money.
-His wife wouldn't let him have the money.
-She said it was a waste of money.
He brought this phonograph and asked Father if he'd have this in lieu until he could save the money
and then he would come up, pay Dad and take his phonograph home.
-He never came back.
-He never came back?
So you've still got the phonograph. And you know who made it.
-It's the Edison Gem,
-which was his standard model, if you like.
-First patented in about 1900.
-And this, I would think, dates from about 1910.
What I really like about it, not only, obviously, the carrying case here,
but that is the original sound box or trumpet. And nobody's fiddled with it.
The absolutely marvellous, quirky thing I like about this is
the original cord that held it up from the stanchion
I see someone has replaced with a chain
which looks distinctly like a gold watch chain to me. Are you guilty of that?
-I'm fully guilty.
-Well, may I say congratulations?
-You've considerably added to the value of it.
-I tied an old bit of wire on there
and the wife said, "You cannot take that to Flog It, get a chain."
The do-it-yourself shop was closed
-so I thought, "Ah, a watch chain."
-How many cylinders have you got?
-About nine or ten four-minute cylinders.
-Can we have a quick go?
-The three I've got left are all kicked and scratched.
CRACKLY SCOTTISH VOICE
-He's being rude! Can you put him off?
We can't have him on Flog It! I thought it was going to be a nice little Scottish ballad.
-No, I'm sorry.
-You naughty man, David!
-How much do you think it's worth?
-Oh, £200 or £300.
-£200 to £300?
I think it would've been £200 to £300 a few years ago, possibly a bit more.
-I think it's now £150 to £200.
-That'll do fine.
-Would that do for you?
-Yep, no problem at all.
-£150 to £200 with a reserve at £150.
I'm sure it'll do well. Thank you very much for bringing it along.
-And jolly nice to see you.
'Naughty but nice. But will it make some noise when it comes up for sale?
'Hang on and I'll play this back to you later.
'For now, here are three musical masters I just can't get out of my head.
-'Nigel thought Samantha's mirror guitar was finger-plucking good.'
-I'll have a little practice.
-Make sure it's in tune.
-I really want this. My wife will kill me if I buy it.
'But I bet his wife was relieved when someone else snapped it up for a tidy £75.'
'Now, as you know, I play the drums and I was absolutely captivated
'by the quality snare drum that Lee brought along for me to see at our Dover valuation day back in 2009.'
John Bonham in Led Zeppelin used one of these, Ian Paice in Deep Purple.
Every rock band you can think of used a Ludwig Supersensitive or a Ludwig 400.
'You remember that delightful polyphone we saw earlier in Cambridge?
'Well, in Rochdale back in 2007, Nigel Smith met its big brother.'
I suppose originally this thing would've been in an arcade or in a shop or a public house.
-It was my grandmother's. She had it in a shop in Bolton.
-It's a rare item, this.
'But while this beast failed to sell in our auction room,
'it made a real racket when it hit a specialist music sale a few weeks later,
'making a whopping £9,600.
'Back to Cambridge to 2006 where I got to jam with Douglas
'when he brought in this elegant ladies' guitar.'
How did you come across this? This is a beautiful guitar.
Well, I'm always calling in charity shops
and I was always a bit of a magpie collecting stuff.
And now I'm two years off 70, believe it or not...
-Wow! You don't look it!
-I know. I feel about, well, ten sometimes.
-Good for you!
Anyway, now we've joined the Salvation Army,
-the majors keep on at me and say, "You've got all that stuff...'
-"Raise some money, flog something."
-For the good causes.
-So your guitar's going to go.
-How long have you had this?
-15 years, I think.
-Do you mind me asking how much you paid for it?
-A fiver? It was actually made for a lady to play.
If we turn it over and look at the back...
Look at that rosewood back. Isn't it beautiful?
The whole construction is made of steam-bent rosewood, quality materials throughout.
That's a hardwood imported from the West Indies and it's got that lovely sort of vivid
black and yellow and orange grain, which makes it very decorative.
This is a beautiful, beautiful detail. The bridge.
They're normally just sort of flat and square, but look at that,
-that's so ornate, inlaid with mother of pearl.
Mother of pearl on the sides of the neck
to let you know where the fingering marks are.
And if we look here on the head stock, those tuning pegs,
they're made of ivory. And they're beautifully fashioned.
-Yeah. It's incredible, really.
-The whole instrument is very, very feminine.
Inside there is a maker's label and it was made by R&W Davis, based in London.
And they were around from about the late 1700s, about 1790,
right up to 1845.
OK, value. You paid a fiver for that.
-I think that's in mint condition.
-Well, I paid £100 to have it restrung
-and a couple of splits repaired.
-Oh, did you?
I think we should put this into auction
with an estimate of £200 to £300.
-And put a fixed reserve on it. It does need a specialist musical sale, really,
but where we're going, Cheffins, is a very, very good auction room
and they have a website which will be global, so people all over the world can see what they're selling.
-Are you trying to beat me up on the reserve?
-What would you be happy with?
OK. No, that's OK. We'll put a valuation of £300 to £400 on this
-with a reserve of £300.
I'd like to see it do what I said, in between 300 and 400.
Let's hope it reaches the top end and we're not kind of doing this...
HE PLAYS BLUES RIF
Singing the blues there.
'But was that guitar music to the bidders' ears?
'Time to move to Barnsley now where in 2007
'Philip brought in this unusual gong for Michael Baggott to value.'
Did you have to molest any cows to bring us this item here today?
THEY LAUGH No, no, no, it was like that. Bought as seen.
-Where did you get it?
-Erm, Moonfleet Manor on the Dorset coast.
-What drew you to it?
-Cos it's not everybody's taste, is it?
-No. It's just a thing of beauty.
It goes to show that the Victorians would shoot, stuff and use anything with four legs.
And here we've got cow horn.
But it's most attractively used
and you can't really fault it for that.
-They didn't specifically go out and shoot a cow to make it.
It's a by-product that's being used.
It's not everybody's taste, but it's been beautifully mounted.
Originally, all of this brass would've been silvered.
So you'd have got a sheen to it.
-There's a little bit of silvering still on the cartouche and...
Well, it's nice. It's either for a name or a crest or initials and it's nice that it hasn't been done.
-But the lovely thing is that you've got the original...
-You call it a whacker.
-That's the technical term for it.
-Shall we give it a go?
-Go on, then.
-You wouldn't want to hear that more than once a day, would you?
-No, I wouldn't.
It's a nice thing. It's an acquired taste
but somebody out there at the auction will love it.
Now the thorny question.
-What did you give for it at that antiques fair all those years ago?
Well, as I think you know, that's a fair retail price for it at the time.
-That was '86.
-Things were buoyant in '86.
But I think now, at auction, realistically,
there's a very good chance that you'll get your £80 back,
but I think if we pitch it at between £60 and £100,
and put a fixed reserve of £60 on it,
I think we've got a very good chance of getting it away.
-So if you're happy to sell it, we'll pop it in the auction for you.
-Why are you parting with it now?
-There is no more room. I'm cured of collecting things now
because my wife staples my hands together when we go out.
You can't do anything with your hands stapled together.
Over the years, you collect stuff that you forget that you've collected and it's no longer required.
-If goes from a collection to a load of clutter, doesn't it?
We'll try and help you out with this. I hope it does really well at the auction.
'Looks like Philip's gong whacked Michael right between the eyes!
'Here's a quick recap of my last collection of musical masterpieces.
'Douglas bought a bargain with this £5 ladies' guitar
'and I had high hopes it would strum its way to success in the saleroom.
'But was it a case of going, going, gong
'when Philip's unusual two-horned treasure went up for sale?
'David and Anne's phonograph really got Charlie in a spin, but did it make some noise in the saleroom?
'No need to hang around because it's the first one up.'
-It's packed in here. You can't actually get through the door anymore.
So hopefully we're in for a good result.
Going under the hammer right now is the Edison gramophone with original rolls and the horn,
and that's great, as well, because it makes it complete.
-Why do you want to sell it?
-I don't particularly want to now, but it's too late.
Charlie's twisted your arm. He's our expert. That's a sign of a good auctioneer.
-I have quite a few reptiles.
-And with the electric costs, it's a large building...
Right, so we need to get some money for the electricity, basically.
And the great thing is, the horn needs holding up
and he's found an 18-carat gold watch chain to hold it up with.
And that's still there, isn't it?
That's probably going to add £20 or £30.
Sounds like it's a come and buy me. It's going under the hammer now.
Edison Gem phonograph.
Interesting little lot, this.
Start at, what, £100. Straight in, 100.
100 I'm bid. 100. 110.
120. 130. 140. 150.
-160. 170. 180. 190.
200. 210. 220. 230. 240.
250. 260. 270. 280. 290.
-300. 310. 320. 330.
-We're making sweet music now.
At 370. Are you in on the phones?
At 370. 380. Back at 380.
At £380, I'll sell at the very back. We had a rhythm going there!
-At 380. You're all out down here.
-Thank you very much.
Anne, there is commission to pay, don't forget. That's how they earn their wages.
-It's still three months electric there.
-That's incredible, isn't it?
-The reptiles will be happy.
-They certainly will! They'll be too hot!
'That was a resounding success!
'Now over to Sheffield to find out how that gong got on.'
-Why do you want to flog this?
-We have to part with the things that we love.
-Ask my ex-wife.
-Oh, I see.
-I've been to Moonfleet Manor.
-It's nice, isn't it?
-Yeah, good hotel, right on Chesil Beach.
-That's right, yeah.
It's full of history. I felt right at home there with the coffins.
HE LAUGHS Blend in with the stiffs.
Oh, don't think like that.
Well, it's got good provenance, anyway, and I like it so...
-And if you want one of these, that's the right price.
If someone said, "Here's £100, go out and find me one tomorrow" it'd be very hard to do.
-Especially with its original whacker.
-As catalogued. Whacker.
An early 20th century horn, brass and walnut dinner gong and whacker.
Nice little item. £100 for it?
The bidding has started at 55.
60. Top of the room by the door. Let's have 65.
Let's have 65.
Seems cheap. Anybody else with 65? There is.
Come on, come on, come on.
75 I'm looking for. Is he back in? 80. 85.
-80. Hammer's dropping at £80. Have we finished?
-Are you happy with that?
-Oh, yes. More than happy.
-How much did you pay for it?
-You got your money back.
-That was 30 years ago.
-And you've had the enjoyment.
And I know it's going to go to a good home, somebody that appreciates it.
'Philip's gong held its own and tuned up rather nicely.
'Now onto Cambridge where I caught up with auctioneer Will Axon
'to see what he made of Douglas's lovely ladies' guitar.'
Now this really opened up my eyes at the valuation day.
I think it's my favourite thing on the day.
-Still is, in the sale.
I put it in at £300 to £400. I know I beat him down a bit.
I'm pretty sure it'll do £400 to £500, but I'm doing the auctioneer trick, bringing them in.
Yeah, and Douglas himself actually came to give us a visit.
He'd restrung the guitar, it had a broken string.
We tuned it up and I'm afraid he also upped his reserve.
-So all your hard work on our behalf...
I'm afraid he's upped it to £400, so it's another £100 on the reserve.
I thought he might. But on the day, I said it should be £300 to £500
but I'd just like to get it down, so I think we're on the money.
-And I'm pretty sure this will sell.
-I'm touching wood it will.
-I've shown it to the right people.
-Lots of interest?
-Yeah, it's been well viewed during the sale.
It just smacks of quality, so it's obviously going to catch people's eyes
just for construction, the rosewood, the ivory.
-It's all there, isn't it?
-The detail, the age.
So it's been well viewed. I've had violin buyers.
There's a slight crossover because of the label inside, as well, it's a violin-maker's label.
Probably the retailer rather than the maker.
But that all adds to the quality.
-It might do.
-It might do. He's not going to say!
'So, let's see if it struck a chord with the bidders.'
Fingers crossed, we should get in between the £400 to £600 mark for this.
-I'm hopeful for the top end.
-It's so playable and it's a beautiful instrument.
-Did you see I put a string on it?
And you've tuned it, as well. That's lovely. Thank you very much!
It's the first string I've put on one, anyway.
There we are, much admired, the 19th century parlour guitar there
with rosewood back and so on.
I've got bids here starting me at 200. 220. 240. 260.
280 I'm bid on commission. At 280.
300 now. At £300 I'm bid in the room now, 300 bid.
Right-handed at 300. 350. 350.
-You want 400? 400 I'm in the room now. 400.
-I was getting worried then.
-And 50? 420. 450.
-We got a phone bid.
At 450 now. 480?
-500, we'll take it.
550 in the room now. 550.
At 550. 600. 600. At 600 on the telephone now.
-I don't believe it!
-This is good.
Try me again. At 650. At 650.
-Oh, yes, it's building to a lovely crescendo!
700 on the telephone. Are you all done elsewhere?
At £700 the hammer's up. Last chance at 700.
-The hammer's gone down at £700.
The money is definitely going to come in so useful.
-Thank you very much.
-Fantastic! Well, very pleased.
-What a great result.
-I don't believe it.
Now that's what I call music, but sadly, that guitar was my swansong for today.
I hope you've enjoyed this little trip down memory lane.
Do tune in again for another jaunt through the Flog It archives. Until then, it's goodbye from Syon House.
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