Paul Martin looks through the Flog It! archives for a collection of unbelievably ugly items and proves that even eyesores can reach high scores at auction.
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Hello and welcome to another series of Flog It! Ten of the Best.
From the stunning surroundings of Syon House, here in West London.
Now, this place is home to some truly magnificent,
Everywhere you look, it's pure quality.
But I think it's pretty safe to say over the years on the show
when we've travelled around the country,
we've had our fair share of garish objects
flooding through those valuation day doors.
So, for today's trip through the archives,
I've picked out ten of the ugliest items I could find to show you.
I know it sounds awful,
but whatever you do, keep watching, because, as I found out,
even the ugliest of items can command the prettiest of price.
Just take a look at this.
First, we're off to King's Lynn where, in 2007,
Elizabeth Talbot had a certain amount of sympathy
for Ken's porcelain devil.
I don't know why I'm drawn to this chap,
but I'd like to know all you can tell me about him.
Well, this is the reason I've come to see you
is because I didn't know what it was or what it was used for, really.
So, how did you come by it?
Well, in the early 80s, I was at a little sale,
and it was in the box with odds and bits.
It was the other stuff I was more interested in,
but it happened to be there.
I think it's curious, but I never had it on display.
-It would frighten the neighbours too much.
I've never seen anything like him before.
But I certainly think he scores 10 out of 10 for novelty value.
-So, he's been locked away...
-25 years in the loft.
-And you suddenly had a Spring clean and decided...
-Well, I'm downsizing.
I'm moving into a flat.
And it was in one of the boxes and I thought, oh!
-There you are again!
-He's reappeared again.
Well, what we have here is a piece of porcelain
-which I believe is German.
The mark underneath is a blue capital N
printed beneath the Crown, and several factories used that.
It could be one of the Nymphenburg factories.
It's a very white, glassy body of porcelain,
souvenir-wear that Germany was so very good at producing circa 1900,
give or take a few years.
So, he's not academically from a good source,
from that point of view,
but the features and the modelling are fantastic.
-Very strong. Very bold.
He's got inset glass eyes,
so a bit like the Staffordshire pottery dogs of a similar period.
-Oh, I know!
-And also a bit like some of the teddy bears,
and gives a really eerie stare, a sort of hypnotic look to him.
Now, what adds to the curiosity, as I'm sure you've seen, is,
at the back here, we have these two holes.
And I would suggest they were intended to take an electric flex.
-And a small bulb would be placed inside.
Then, also curiously, at the top of his head, he has a large hole surrounded by little holes.
If you look up his neck,
there's a chamber inside his head
which would take some sort of scented oils or something.
-So, from the heat of the lamp, aromatherapy was issuing.
-Oh, I see.
I think the larger hole would be where you'd pour in the liquid,
-and then you'd have lots of holes, like an atomiser.
The light source inside would shine through
this semi-translucent porcelain
-and then, of course, through the eyes a little bit.
-You'd never sleep, would you?
It would be nice if something smoked, wouldn't it?
Yes, it's sort of quite eerie.
It's quite a niche market, I think.
Would it appeal to Goths or devil worshippers?
It might, absolutely. A lot of those in the Stamford area.
-You've probably seen...
-A little chip. That's always been there.
-It's got a hairline crack just to his top lip.
Have you any guesstimate as to what you think he might get?
Got to be worth 20 quid or 25 quid, surely.
I would think £25-£35, that sort of region.
A few pints down the golf club.
So, did that devil make work for idle hands?
We'll find out later.
Next it's over to Derby where in 2004 I met John
and was shocked to discover just how desperate he was
to flog his stunning Blue John glass bowl.
How did you come across this?
It's been in my garage for some years.
I used it for...not knowing that it was Blue John,
I used it for petrol, for washing car parts.
Do you know how valuable this is?
I hope they'll tell me it is.
And you've been putting oil in there,
and putting your brush in there,
and cleaning the nuts on the motorbike?
I don't believe it!
It's perfect. There's no chips in there.
Actually, that's quite nice. It's beautiful.
-Well, you know, this mined locally, don't you?
It's almost got that beautiful deep purple to it.
Isn't that stunning?
So, how long have you had this?
A car boot?
How much did you pay for it at a car boot?
A few quid, probably £3, I should think.
At maximum, that was.
OK, well, look.
Last year, I saw little bits of Blue John being mined,
polished and cleaned up like the pendants,
the little brooches, rings, small pieces.
And they were making £30-£50 each.
Sometimes £70 if the colour was right.
Now, the colour is bang on here.
Chatsworth House is full of this stuff.
-And a piece recently sold at auction last year,
it was a tabletop.
A little bit smaller than this.
And I think it made somewhat in the region of about £170,000.
I would like to put an auction value of this,
-bearing in mind you only paid £3 for it...
..I think this is worth £300-£400.
-Would you be happy with that?
-Yes, I would.
Have you got any more in the shed full of oil?
I shall have a look now you've said that.
And now you know it's worth £300-£400,
don't you want to keep it?
It doesn't light me up.
It doesn't light you up?
-It doesn't float your boat?
-No, it isn't a pretty thing, is it?
-Oh, I think so.
Yes, especially if you can get the light on it.
Put it on a glass shelf and underlight it,
maybe in a sort of contemporary setting...
It doesn't go with anything else I've got.
I think this is quite special and we should protect it with a reserve.
Let's put £300 reserve on at the bottom end of the estimate.
-And hopefully watch it fly away.
I still can't believe that John was so underwhelmed by that bowl.
I thought it was beautiful.
Over to Tenby now, where in 2008,
Kevin and Karen's extraordinary desk tidy caught Philip Serrell's eye.
Kevin and Karen. Whose is this?
-And you want to sell it?
So it's his, but you want to sell it. How does that work?
I'm just getting my own way again.
-Is this the story of your lives?
No, not really. Well...sometimes.
-So, this is yours, yes?
-Where did it come from?
It was my grandfather's, and when I was a kid,
it was always in their house in the entrance hall.
Some hooligan over the years... I wouldn't say ruined it,
but, boy, have they done some damage to it. Do you know how?
-I think that my be my fault.
-What, you're the hooligan?
Well, as a child, it was my job to clean it with brasser.
Why didn't you go the whole hog and use the scratch brush?
I was 10 years old at the time. I knew no better.
Can you remember cleanings this initially
-and all of this was silver?
-It never looked silver?
-It never looked silver to me.
Well, let's start from the beginning.
-These are rams' horns.
And a lot of these are Scottish,
and you see them with big snuff mulls
or a centrepiece to a adorn a big sort of baronial Scottish dining table
from about 1850s through to about 1900.
This is quite late, actually.
It's probably around 1900-1905.
The fittings, and we start off
with this sort of quite sweet little circular clock up the top,
and then we've got our...
And I wonder whether that's to ring someone
to come and collect my post,
-because this is actually a desk tidy.
So it would have sat on your writing desk.
And your inks would have been in here.
And can I just show you something?
You know you said you never remembered this being silver?
Can you just see there?
Or it's the plate.
You're not entirely guilty, but you haven't improved it.
-Can you imagine all this in bright silver?
-Would've been fantastic.
Magnificent. Absolutely magnificent.
And so these are your inkwells.
Pen tray here.
A magnificent dolphin mask.
It's a really good looking thing.
I think it's quite a nice thing,
and I think it's quite a funky thing.
But the reason why I couldn't live with it
is because of what you've done in the past.
I think if all of this was beautifully silver-plate,
it would look a whole different proposition.
And then could be worth £1,000 or more.
I think, as it is, this is worth £300-£500.
That's my view.
I think you need to put a reserve on it of £300,
an estimate of £300-500.
You might have a result in the saleroom with two people...
You've got to want to own it.
'So, did this truly vile item make a fearsome fortune in the saleroom?'
'Now it's over to Hartlepool where, in 2007,
'I was given the heebie-jeebies when I had to put a price
'on Dorothy's rather gruesome surgeon's kit.'
Dorothy, thank you so much for coming in
and bringing me some wood, some mahogany, it's a bit of tree,
or is it Pandora's box?
Is there something frightening in here?
You'll have to open it and see.
-There is, isn't there?
It's a bit of a horror movie. Here we go.
Look at that.
Now that really does put the creeps up you, really.
Just a bit, yes.
It's a field surgeon's kit.
Oh, is it?
This is definitely early 20th century,
I would say around 1910, 1920s.
It would have been used in the First World War.
Although I'm beginning to think,
after looking at it a few minutes,
that, well, I'm hoping,
I'm really hoping that it was never used.
It's all still very sharp.
The tools are very sharp and they're very clean.
I don't think it's seen a lot of wear.
Many things haven't been taken out.
It's not had that wear you'd expect from something in the 1910s, 1920s.
I think it was taken on campaign in the First World War
and hopefully not used.
put in a cupboard somewhere and forgotten about.
I really do. Until it surfaced with your husband.
How did he come across it?
He got it from a colleague, who gave it to him
because he knew that he would be responsible for this small mortuary.
What did he do for a living, your husband?
He was the chief environmental health inspector for the city of Ripon.
Would he have used any part of this equipment?
No, I wouldn't really like to think about what they've been used for.
Not very nice.
No. It's going to give you nightmares,
don't think about what they used for.
I wouldn't even say what I'd brought in case they got
fazed out by it.
Let's pick up the most obvious one, shall we?
-The most gruesome one?
This is definitely for amputation, isn't it?
That is sharp. There's about seven teeth to the inch there,
that would rip through anything. There is a maker's name.
It's an English maker, and it's Allen & Hanbury.
It's not the best quality surgical instruments I've seen and handled.
Yeah. I presume it's all stainless steel so it could be sterilised.
Yes, and it won't rust.
It does make me feel slightly queasy handling these. Oh.
Not the sort of thing every house should have?
It's not, but I tell you, a lot of collectors
will be interested in this.
So what have you done with it for the last few years then?
It was in my husband's office until he passed away.
Then it was put in the dining room under a table.
But I have grandchildren now.
You didn't want to let them find it?
No, I don't want them to go and find it.
Value. What do you think they're worth?
I've no idea.
I'd like to put them into the auction with a value of £100-200.
-I don't know if you're happy with that?
Er, yes, I think so.
-Can we do that?
-Yes, I would, yes.
-Hopefully we'll get the top end. Shall we flog it?
'We'll find out if Dorothy's kit cut it at auction soon.'
'But first, let me give you a quick summary
'of my first line-up of ghastly items.'
It turned Elizabeth's head, so we'll see if there was hell to pay
when Ken's devil head came up for auction in King's Lynn.
John couldn't stand his Blue John bowl,
but did it catch someone's eye
when it went under the hammer in the saleroom in Matlock?
Kevin and Karen's ram horn desk tidy was the stuff of nightmares.
But, for one plucky bidder at auction,
it was their dream come true.
Dorothy's field medical kit would have given Dr Crippen
a run for his money.
So, was there anyone at auction brave enough to chase after it?
'First, let's see how Ken's demonic head fared
'when it entered the saleroom in Stafford.'
Coming up right now, a little devil.
And it belongs to Ken.
A bit of fun, this, £20-30 hopefully, hopefully a bit more.
-That's what we looking for.
You'll either love this or hate it.
I had a chat to Kate, the valuer, and we both thought, it's funny,
we laughed at it, but wouldn't have it in our house.
It's a quirky thing.
We talked about this on valuation day, saying,
there is a section of the market who would have it in their house.
Fingers crossed they'll be here.
I think goths or devil worshippers.
Hang on, let's just check the saleroom for goths
or any devil worshippers or goths in here!
569 it is the grotesque porcelain model of a devil's head.
That is so spooky, I don't like it.
Five quid. Five, I'm bid. At five only.
I sell at five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. 10.
12. 15. 18. 20. 22. 25.
It's gone. It's not going home, Ken.
38. 40. 45. 50.
55. 60. 65.
You don't look traumatised, owning it for the last few years,
that's a good thing.
At 85. 90. At 90.
Hold it up higher, the lady can't see.
I sell the little devil's head then at £90.
Are you bidding?
All done at £90.
It surprised me.
You are very surprised.
90 quid. What are you going to put that towards?
I did say that I was going to buy the lads a drink at the golf club.
It's a big drink.
Mind you, the way the lads drink, that won't last long anyway!
'An awesome result.
'Almost trebling is this estimate.
'Next, it's over to Matlock to see
'whether John managed to find a loving home for his unwanted bowl.'
We came up to Derbyshire and found some Blue John, brought in by John.
A gorgeous little bowl. And I had a chat to James earlier.
I put three to four on this.
And, thankfully, James, the auctioneer, agreed.
-We're hoping we're going to get mid estimate.
-Excited about that?
This very pretty little Blue John bowl,
got a lovely vein going through it.
Good colour. And, £300 for it, please?
250 if you want to start it.
250 bid, sir. With you at 250. 270.
300. 300. 320.
320. 340. 340.
360. 360, 380.
Let's watch it fly.
420. 420, 440.
440, 460? At 440, sir.
460 is it?
440. Are you happy with that?
Yes, that's very good.
'He may have thought that bowl was ugly,
'but the £440 it made topped my estimate.
'So I'd say that was a pretty good result.
'The my head's on the block once again,
'as we go over to the saleroom in Newcastle
'to find out if Dorothy's medical kit managed to lure in the bidders.'
Right now, we've got a field surgeon's kit coming up for grabs.
£100-£200. I'd like to see it do that £200 like I said,
plus a little more.
We're keeping our fingers crossed.
It's going under the hammer right now, this is it.
I'm bid, straight in at 240.
240. 250. 260.
Carving up the saleroom.
At £260, anybody else?
260. 270. 280.
At 280. I'll take a fiver.
At £280, for the last time. 280.
Guess what the money's going towards?
It's a dormer window, that's what you want.
I like a window.
You've got a lookout on a good view, haven't you?
-It puts the value of the house up.
-Does it? Don't tell the council!
'At £280, that surgeon's kit delivered a razor-sharp result.
'It's truly vile, so let's see if that desk tidy
'managed to cut a dash in the saleroom in Carmarthen.'
It really did catch his eye.
I totally agree with his valuation as well, £300-500.
We're going to find out exactly what Carmarthen
thinks of the desk stand. Here we go, ready?
Start with 500? Four? 300?
Three? Two? Two I'm bid. At £200.
At 200, 200 bid.
At 200. 220. 250 to the lady. 250.
280. 280. At 300, £300 I'm bid.
Well, we've sold it.
At 320. 350. 380. At 380.
Four, is it? 400, £400 I'm bid.
And 20, 420.
This is good.
480. 480. 500.
At 520. 550.
I can't see who's bidding but this is great fun.
They love it, absolutely love it.
At 580. 600 on the telephone.
At 600. 620.
620 bid. 620. 650.
680. 680 bid. At 680. 700.
720 bid. At 720. 50.
750. 80. 780.
50. 850. At 850. 900.
900 I'm bid. And 50. 950. At 950.
Against you there, at 950, in the room.
Are you all done? It's going to be sold at £950.
Big massive great big wallop down with the gavel.
I have to say, I'd rather have 950 quid.
So would I!
These guys would as well!
Those ugly antiques ended up
making their owners a frightful fortune at auction.
But all that's nothing compared to what I'm about to show you.
On a visit to Woburn in 2003
I saw some really eye-watering antiques.
In fact, every time I think about it, it still gives me nightmares!
Here in Woburn, behind these pretty exteriors,
lurks something a little sinister!
And it's not for the faint of heart.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
Christopher Sykes and his colleague Sally have built a business
selling small, functional and often eye-watering antiques.
But what they specialise in is enough to make a grown man wince!
Oh, you'd better come in.
It's a case of "don't try this at home" with most of these items.
This is not for the faint-hearted collector, really.
It looks like something that Dr Crippen
or even Jack the Ripper might have used.
And they look gruesome.
But they are part of our social history
and they are precision instruments.
Now, how did all this start?
We've always dealt in scientific instruments.
And the medical instruments just came along with them because they are,
as you say, precision instruments which collectors adore.
Have you become an expert on these? Do you like this sort of thing?
I do like them. Yes, I do. Because they were beautifully made.
They were made for a job, and a job they did very well.
Who collects this sort of thing?
Doctors, museums, all sorts of people.
Well before I ask you for any sort of demonstrations on how they work.
Are they highly collectible?
What sort of prices would somebody be paying for these things?
Oh, the price range is right across the board.
Ranging from something that's probably £10,
going up to this wonderful surgeon's box which is £6,500.
It was made around the Crimean War, about 1850 in date.
And was owned by a surgeon.
His name is actually on the top of the case here,
and that is Hugh Eccles Walker.
Beautifully made, isn't it?
It is, even down to the serrations in the saw
which stop the saw clogging when they were amputating an arm.
But, it is really complete.
Which are the top names to look out for? Who should we collect?
There is Weiss.
They really were marvellous instrument makers, makers to royalty.
And there's Moore as well who, again, made for royalty as well.
Those are just two of many of them the medical instrument makers.
Talk me through this tool and tell me what it was used for?
That one, literally, you have the spike to start the hole.
The spike goes into the skull. And you literally turn it.
I can see it, like a corkscrew.
Yes. Like a score corkscrew.
This is what's known as a Japanning instrument.
And, if you had a problem with your head,
they would actually use this
to withdraw a small portion of your skull.
But, a lot of pain.
Ooh. I'd say.
I've got to show the viewers this.
Look at this tool roll.
Now this looks very familiar to all of us.
Sheer pain. Tell me about these?
They are American dental tools, obviously.
And, they are, as you say, gruesome.
They'd make your eyes water. But they are complete.
And obviously the dentist rolls them up,
-puts them away at the end of the day.
-How much would a set like that cost?
They would be about £80, those ones.
Talk me through this then?
Well, these are forceps for helping give birth.
And, as most women who are watching the programme will know...
-..cringing and their eyes will be watering!
And made around about 18... no, sorry, about 1920, 1930.
And a price tag of £48 on them.
That's right, yes. Not something you'd hang in your sitting room.
-It certainly isn't.
-No, it is not!
But interesting for a collector.
Sally, there's a corkscrew on the table, what's this all about?
Well, now, if you were feeling a little under the weather,
the doctor would come along, and he'd say,
"There, there, dear."
"I think a glass of champagne each day would do you good."
So you didn't want to open a whole bottle each day.
So you had your champagne tap,
which you put the spike in the bottom.
You literally put it through the cork.
The spike falls to the bottom of the bottle,
and you could then draw off, tap off one glass, two glasses at a time,
without losing the fizz for the next day.
How very clever. And that is £95, and it's circa 1890.
I'll stick to keeping a silver spoon in the neck of the bottle.
I'll stick to drinking a bottle!
I should have said that, shouldn't I?
From chilling to charmless, as we go now to Warrington
where, in 2006, Nigel Smith went potty
for this peculiar-looking Padfoot pot.
Coming to this part of the world, I thought, we might see this pottery.
This is the only piece that's cropped up today.
-That means it must be a bit rare, mustn't it?
-Tell me how you came across it?
-It was always at my grandma's.
And, just after she died,
I just thought, it's really old and really ugly. I can't stand it.
You can't stand it, good!
So I just thought it must be valuable.
It's reasonably valuable I suppose.
It's had quite a short life, this factory.
-It was actually made in Birkenhead.
This is made by the Della Robbia Pottery,
art pottery, in Birkenhead,
which was founded by a chap called Harold Rathbone in 1894.
It finished in 1906. So there wasn't an awful lot of it made.
They really concentrated on classical majolica finishes, glazes.
So it's a mix of art nouveau and 15th, 16th century majolica.
The name, Della Robbia comes from that 15th century,
early 16th century family of potters.
Turn it over, and we can see the mark.
There's a little ship there. "DR" for Della Robbia.
And then the date, 1896.
One little point to note, it's got a little chip,
-someone's been careless with it.
-Yeah. Not me.
There's a little knock on it. It is made of earthenware
with quite a thin tin glaze on it.
So it's quite a soft and vulnerable pottery.
But very, very collectible now.
So, amazing, isn't it?
In terms of value,
I think we'd be a little bit cautious because of the damage,
-and say maybe someone around about £150, maybe £200.
-Would you want a reserve on it?
-Well, I'd certainly buy it for £100,
so we must be safe with that because I'm mean.
So, I think it's going to make a little bit more than that.
-OK, fingers crossed.
-It's sought after and very collectable,
so I'm glad you brought it in
-and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
But before I bring out the next part of my grotesque collection,
I've one or two truly unsightly items for you to feast your eyes on.
This majolica was in a shocking state
but it tickled Michael Baggott's fancy.
I think this has to take the biscuit.
What have you been doing to this wonderful bit of ceramic?
Not a lot, really.
Sadly, its condition did let it down at auction
and it failed to tempt anyone into taking it home.
Rosemary hated her Victorian wall mount
and begged Mark to help her get it off her hands.
I don't like it.
It's been wrapped in bubble wrap under my bed.
That's a shame, isn't it?
Because it's meant, of course, to go on the wall.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and it managed to double Mark's estimate,
flying out of the sale room with a fearsome £200.
And Cheryl's Punch and Judy figures were hideous enough
to give everyone at Bangor valuation day the blues.
Nobody likes them.
-And you don't like them either?
-No, not really.
But at auction, they certainly cheered Cheryl up,
with a double estimate result of £190.
Back to my next rogues gallery of revolting objects
and we're over to Weston-super-Mare
where Michael Baggott was clocking up the value on Fred's unwanted
Victorian redwood timepiece.
You might have done yourself an injury today
bringing this into Flog It.
It's a hefty beast.
Can you tell me, where did you get it from?
I brought it at auction about five years ago.
Are you a clock collector, or is it something...?
No, just took my fancy on the day, really.
Well, I've got to be honest,
it took my fancy when I saw it on one of our valuation tables.
We've got, to all intents and purposes,
if we do that, a standard marble mantle clock.
And if we look at the name there,
we've got "Charles, Nephew & Co, Calcutta."
That's interesting to me
because they're actually a firm of silversmiths.
And they were set up around about 1820
and carried on through 1850, 1860.
But, as I say, it's quite ordinary,
and it's quite sad with that little bit of metal holding the hinge in,
until we move down to this dial here
which is something you really don't expect to see on a mantle clock.
And we've got a full calendar dial with a moon phase.
And it can be reset at the back, so you can basically tell the day of the week,
the day of the month,
which month it is, and the phases of the moon.
I haven't seen another clock like this,
so I'm assuming...there were probably others made,
but they weren't either popular or they weren't viable to produce.
They were just slightly too expensive.
What made you, struggling with it today, to bring it in?
Well, basically, this morning my wife said,
"Are you going to take the clock?"
Is it not something that your wife particularly likes or...?
Not too keen, I don't think.
I think you're probably under instructions to sell it, are you?
if I can be rude, what did you pay for it at auction?
I paid 300 for it.
Now, it does need a little bit of work,
just a little bit of cleaning up.
But it's a very interesting piece.
Mantel clocks traditionally are very hard sellers.
-60, 80, £100 for a Black Slate.
I think this has got enough things going for it
for us to get you your money back and maybe a small profit on top.
-So if we put it into auction at 300-500...
put a fixed reserve of £300,
and hope that the clock and watch specialists are there
and are as enthralled by this calendar dial as I am,
-and it could go on from there.
-So, are you happy to do that?
-Very much so. Thank you.
We'll be back in a tick to see how that monstrosity went down.
First, we're off to Bury St Edmunds,
where Brian's plates gave David Barby quite a scare.
I'm so intrigued by these, Brian.
Where did you actually get them from?
Well, they were given to my mother about 60 years ago.
Her neighbour didn't like them.
So my mother took a liking to them, and my mother died,
and, of course, I kept them, but I've never liked them.
Did you hang them on the wall?
No, my mother did.
So, where did you keep them?
-In the loft.
-In the loft?
So, you must have covered them up
because they're not encrusted with dust.
Oh, no, I covered them up well in a box.
That's the problem with these.
If you have them out on display, they do get rather grimy with dust.
And they're hard to clean.
Well, I think they're absolutely super.
They look devastating from a distance.
Some people say, "Oh, they're ugly."
Why I like them is because it's the potter's art.
He was able to replicate nature in such a detailed manner.
-Were they handmade?
All handmade. The actual pots were made on a wheel.
Then all these were modelled individually
and I love all the detail, particularly the sliminess.
You can almost have a sensation of them being wet and moist.
Particularly this one here, with the fish and eel.
Extremely well done.
Then you've got the lizards there. Beautifully coloured.
Well, it must have took a lot of time.
For a skilled potter, probably not too long,
but the end product is incredible.
Also, when you look at this sort of grass or seaweed effect,
that was all hand produced and it's shredded clay.
They had to apply that by hand, the creatures on top.
Then the coloured glazes were painted in by hand.
Those glazes are very similar to majolica glazes
which were popular during the 19th century.
These are 19th century.
They're copying a French potter by the name of Palisse
who produced ware similar to this in the 17th century.
That's going back.
17th century. There was a revival by Portuguese potters
in the 19th, and they were selling to well-off tourists.
They would bring them back as novelties, to hang on the wall.
I think they're super, they're very fashionable now.
In the last month, the people I've shown them to
have said they'd never seen anything like them.
They should watch Flog It!
We've had several come up for sale.
Before I tell you about the price,
I would point out there is certain damage.
Yes, I understand that.
But I think they could be done.
That's termed as a nibble. It's quite a big nibble,
it's a huge bite. This one's nibbled on the edge here.
I note when I felt this one,
there's been restoration on the corner and also on the head.
The overall effect is there, they're not split in half.
You've got to expect that, the age they are.
I'm sure if you hadn't put them in the loft, they'd have got worse.
If these go up for sale, I would like to see a price range
in the region of about £300-400, that sort of price range.
and I think the auction house might say, because of the damage,
that they want a reserve at 280.
-Would you be happy with that reserve?
You just want to get rid of them.
Well. They're no use to me.
Before we see how this line-up of atrocious items performed
when they went to auction, let me give you a quick recap.
This little Padfoot pot was old and ugly,
but did it make big bucks at auction?
Fred's wife hated this Victorian redwood clock,
but at auction you will see that more than a few bidders
were struck by its allure.
Brian thought his ornamental plates were unsightly
and a total nightmare to clean,
so let's see if they mopped up a good price,
as we head over to the saleroom in Diss.
'He might not have loved them
'but Brian still wanted to protect them with a higher reserve.'
Go on, tell us what you've done, because David doesn't know.
I went into the library and looked at the book,
and it says £600,
As a price guide, each plate, £500.
So what have you left on each plate now then?
Or on the whole lot, we've got four plates?
-£600 as a fixed reserve.
I think they're startling. I love them, as Paul does, because
-they're a potter's delight.
-They're quirky. They're Victoriana.
A wonderful example of a potter's art.
We'll just have to see if somebody else here gets the same sensation.
-It's basically down to the people in the room.
I'm afraid there has been a change of estimate.
They are now estimated at 600 to 800. I'm going to start at £380,
Where's 400? 400, 420.
480, where's 500? 480 now, where's 500?
600 and I'm out!
On the left at 600, do I see 20?
For your money at £600, do I see 20?
I'm selling for £600!
-The hammer's gone, we didn't have to worry in the end.
And you haven't got to cart them home, clean them and wrap them up.
-All's well that ends well, really.
Not a shocking result,
but at least Brian managed to shift those ugly plates.
Next we're off to the saleroom in Knutsford to find out
if Raynor's unsightly Padfoot pot stamped out a good price.
This next lot has got to go because it is so ugly.
And, I didn't say that, it's owner, Raynor did.
There's a bit of local interest
because it's Birkenhead, just down the road.
A Padfoot pod, if you had the choice right now, 200 quid or the pot?
It's got to be the 200 quid, hasn't it? Me, as well.
What would you do, Nigel?
-I'd have the pot.
-You'd have the pot.
-See, he'd have the pot.
-I like it, it's scarce stuff.
It is, actually.
-It was grandma's, wasn't it?
-It was, yes.
What are you going to do when you replace this pot?
I'm either going to put it towards my wedding dress
or I'm going to buy a picture I like.
-It's definitely going to be something.
So you're getting married?
-Next year, yeah. Well, soon-ish.
356, Della Robbia vase.
150 to start me...
Is bid, 160, 170, 180. No, 180 with me.
Any more? 190 on the phone.
At 190, is it 200? 200 here, 210.
-This is fantastic.
420? £400 on this phone.
At £400, at 400 and we're all done, are we?
At £400, any more at 400?
-Yes, the hammer's gone down, £400! How about that?
You've got to put that towards the wedding dress.
You've got to look so gorgeous on that special day.
Thank you so much for coming in.
-I've just got to ask Nigel one question now.
Would you take the Della Robbia pot or the 400 quid in cash?
400 in cash, I think.
That was one outrageous fortune, doubling Nigel's estimate.
We're heading over to Somerset now for our last lot,
Fred's unwieldy, Victorian clock.
I've never seen the perpetual calendar segment in a clock before,
so it's pretty much a guess in the dark for me.
What attracted me to it was the retailers,
who are Indian-Colonial silversmiths, that's why I had to do it!
What it makes is anybody's guess.
We'll just have to see when it comes under.
We'll find out right now, Good luck.
Lot 360 is the perpetual calendar mantel clock.
Quite a mouthful there, what can we say? A lot of clock.
-A lot of clock, Fred.
300 I'm bid. 350 I'll take.
-It's gone straightaway.
450, 500, 600, 700, 800.
1,050, I'll take 1,100.
1,000 in the room. And 50?
-Fresh bidder in at £1,150. 1,200?
All done, selling at £1,150.
-1,150! That's just amazing.
Gosh, you're right, Michael, quality always sells.
If you'd have known it was that rare, would you want to keep it?
-No, I think we were keen to get rid of it.
-So, very happy with the result.
-And spend the money on the house.
-Spend the money on my wife, actually.
-Oh, right, OK.
A little present for her.
Now I know Fred's wife thought that clock was very ugly,
but I bet she found the price it sold for at auction very attractive.
It just goes to show, eyesores can sometimes mean high scores,
especially when it comes to the saleroom.
If you've got any ugly antiques that you don't want,
hiding in your attic, or in your cellar, we'd love to see them.
Bring them along to one of our valuation days and we'll help you
find a new home for them.
Sadly that brings us to the end of the show.
Thank you for joining me on our little trip
through the Flog It archives.
Do join me again soon but, for now from Syon House, it's goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Paul Martin looks through the Flog It! archives for a collection of unbelievably ugly items and proves that even eyesores can reach high scores at auction.
A hideous ram's horn desk-tidy stops expert Philip Serrell in his tracks - but makes its owners an outrageous fortune, and an unwieldy Victorian timepiece clocks up a great result at auction in Somerset.
Paul also heads off to Woburn to check out some truly eye-watering antiques.