Guilty Pleasures Flog It!


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Guilty Pleasures

A saucy cigarette case smokes out a stellar price at auction and there is a taste of the forbidden on a visit to the birthplace of the notorious Hellfire Club.


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Welcome to another series of Flog It! Ten Of The Best.

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I'm in the magnificent surroundings of Syon House

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just a few miles from central London.

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I'm in the private dining room of the Percy family.

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If only the walls could talk!

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I wonder if we'd be hearing tales of drunken revelry and naughty behaviour!

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Well, sometimes it's good to be bad.

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So today I've been really indulgent.

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For our little dip through the Flog It archives,

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I've picked out my top ten guilty pleasure treasures for you to look at.

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I hope you enjoy them!

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My trail of hedonistic delights begins in Southampton,

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where, in 2004, I was positively drooling over Carl's nubile bronze figurine.

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Talk about figures!

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Beautiful bodies. Look at that.

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She's beautiful. I got her about three or four weeks ago

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in a charity shop.

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-As recently as that?

-Yeah.

-How much did you pay for her?

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-I actually paid 75 pence!

-Really? 75 pence?!

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Pence, yeah.

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So why have you come to a valuation day today in Southampton after four weeks

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wanting to sell this?

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-I've got enough at home.

-What, other bronzes?

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Other bronzes, pictures, paintings I've got over the years.

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Plus I don't think my wife actually likes this one.

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-Doesn't approve?

-No, not this one.

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It reminds me of that whole pre-Raphaelite art movement.

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This is modelled on Ophelia, Lady of the Lake,

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floating around with lots of lilies and poppies.

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I think it's beautiful. It really is such a romantic thing.

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It's on a little Jasperware block which might be a slight marriage.

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It was possibly on something else before that.

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There's one artist and modeller in particular that works in bronzes, M.Bouval,

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a French artist, very prolific, right up until about 1912,

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just before the First World War.

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Bouval is probably one of the most highly sought-after bronze sculptors

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you could wish for.

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I don't know enough about bronzes. It feels right,

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there's good patina, the colour's right, the weight is right.

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The moulding is right, the undercuts are right.

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Everything's so right about this. And it's signed here M.Bouval.

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I can't believe you paid 75p for this.

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If you'd said 75 quid,

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I'd have said, "I think that's a good buy",

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because I think this is worth 200 to £300.

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But if it is Bouval, it could be worth anything up to a couple of thousand pounds!

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Oh!

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Yeah, now that's frightening.

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I feel quite scared doing this because I'm well out of my depth.

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I don't know much about bronzes. I've been put up to this by our experts, putting me on the spot!

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Because none of them are sure.

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She's beautiful. I wouldn't sell her if I was you.

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But I'm so pleased you brought her in. We've definitely got to give this a go.

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I think we'll let the bidders decide if she's fake or fortune.

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Well, yes. Flog it!

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Carl's sculpture certainly started me up.

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I'll reveal later if it backfired when it went under the hammer.

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Next, we're off to London's Alexandra Palace

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where in 2003, Henry's unusual cigar cutter really grabbed James Lewis's attention.

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Originally, it was a present to my late father.

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My late father had a very good friend, he worked for this gentleman

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for more than 20 years.

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When this gentleman passed away,

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my late father and myself and only one other individual went to the funeral,

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which was very upsetting.

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Shortly after the funeral, the widow phoned my father

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and asked if he'd like a memento of 20 years of friendship.

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She called him over and gave it to him. It's been in the family ever since.

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What a lovely thing to have.

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This is a really fine quality 19th-century continental cigar cutter,

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formed from the tusk of a wild boar

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with the cutter at one end and this wonderful eagle terminal at the other.

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I'm in the dental profession, but I've never pulled out a tooth with roots as long as that!

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What a wonderful thing for a dentist to have!

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This is the sort of thing that would have been in the grand houses of London

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and all over the UK and Europe.

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Smoking was a social thing in the 19th century.

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The well-off, the aristocracy of the time, the ladies would have sat around after dinner,

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socialising, and the gentlemen would have retired to the smoke room.

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This is what you would have found there. It's clearly a man's object.

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Dates to around 1870, 1880.

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To the right home, I would imagine that's going to make

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180 to £250, something like that.

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-That's really surprising.

-It's a good object.

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I think we ought to put a reserve of 160 on it

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and not let it go below that.

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And it should sail away.

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You've obviously had it for a long time. Why sell it now?

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I'd like to see it go to a good home. I'm not a smoker and nor are my family.

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If it went to somebody who made good use of it, that would be very nice.

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-What will you spend the money on when it sells?

-It isn't sufficient to take me to the Bahamas,

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but it would suffice to take my grandchildren out for an evening.

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Straight on to Crawley, where in 2007,

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Charlie Ross fancied a flutter with a game that John had brought in.

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I think this is fantastic. The condition is amazing.

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-Where's it from?

-A friend of mine bought it at auction.

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-Really?

-Yes.

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-And gave it to you?

-No, he asked me to bring it cos he can't come himself.

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-How long ago did he buy it at auction?

-Just a few months ago.

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-Got bored with it already?

-He probably doesn't know how to play it.

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Did he buy it because he liked it?

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-Probably at the right price.

-Blimey, we're on the spot here!

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Hope he didn't pay £1,500 for it!

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I think the great thing about this is the condition.

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It looks as if nobody's ever played it.

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This game must be 100 years old.

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It looks like this fully-fitted box has got all the correct number of horses,

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-12 horses.

-12 horses.

-They're lead.

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They're hand-painted, they've got original colours on them.

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An original mahogany box of super quality.

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Slightly disappointing that there's no maker's name.

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-I was surprised, on the horses, all the reins, there's none damaged.

-It's extraordinary.

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It's only like a bit of cotton. With the age it is, you'd think it would be damaged.

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-You would. You'd think they'd rot, to be honest.

-All complete.

-Yes.

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We haven't got the instructions,

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but I imagine you put the fences and the splendid water jump

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where you want to, and one assumes if you land on them you go back to the start.

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-Have a spin.

-Here we go.

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We'd better ask how much he paid. Did he tell you how much he paid?

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-He paid 20 or £30 for it.

-Right.

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-Did he think he was getting a bargain?

-I think he did.

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I think it was a bargain, too.

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I reckon it's worth three or four times that.

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I'd be very surprised if it didn't make £100.

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-Yes.

-He'd be pleased with that, would he?

-I'd have thought so, yes.

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Perhaps the old Flog It estimate of 80 to 120?

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-Mm-hmm.

-And there'll be no shortage of people that want to buy it.

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Shall we put a reserve of double what he paid? You think he paid £30?

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-Something like that.

-Let's put a reserve of £75.

-Fine.

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-Shouldn't we mention his name?

-His name's Tommy.

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-Tommy.

-Yes.

-Thanks very much, Tommy. We'll do our best for you. Thanks for bringing it.

-Thanks.

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Was the game a high-roller in the auction room? I'll let you know soon.

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Let me take you to Folkestone, now, where in 2002,

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Philip Serrell fancied a bit of a tipple!

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I think this is lovely, Judy and Brian.

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Are you red or white wine?

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-White.

-Really? Red?

-Red.

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I'm tee-total, so we've one of every mix!

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I would think it's probably a boar's tusk, something like that,

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and if you turn it over, it's silver-mounted with a hallmark here.

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That tells us that this tip is actually silver.

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It fits the hand really well, doesn't it?

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You can get a good purchase when pulling the cork out of the bottle.

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There are avid collectors of corkscrews.

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Corkscrews can make two, three, four, five thousand pounds. They can also make a fiver!

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So there's something across the whole range.

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How did you come by this?

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It belonged to my great-grandfather and it's been handed down.

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-So that takes us back somewhere in the 19th century?

-Yes.

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-Was he a collector?

-No, no, it was used within the family.

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-Whether he was a wine buff, I don't know.

-So it's bought by him to assist his imbibing?

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-I would think so, yes.

-I think it's lovely.

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-Have you used it?

-No, but I think it would be a very good corkscrew.

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You have to be careful with these because occasionally the screw can snap off. But it's lovely.

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I think at auction, that's going to make 50 to 80, 50 to £100.

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Something like that. We'll put a reserve on it of £50.

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So if it didn't make that money, you would have it back.

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I think it's lovely, but you told me earlier why you want to sell it.

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-Yes, I'm vegetarian, so it doesn't please me in that respect.

-And you're absolutely right.

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Things become fashionable and unfashionable, the way society looks at different things.

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Fur coats now, very unfashionable.

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And ivories as well, the reason you're selling this.

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People tend to look at them and think, "That's not a good thing."

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But selling it gives some collector the chance to buy it

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and hopefully use it as well.

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-Yes.

-That'll be good.

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-Shall we put it in the sale for you?

-Please.

-Excellent. Well done.

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We'll see if the corkscrew created a fizz at the auction in a bit.

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First, let me refresh your memory with another look back

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at the first of my collection of guilty pleasure items.

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Henry rang smoke rings around James Lewis

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with his eagle-headed cigar cutter.

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Charlie Ross thought the horse-racing game that John brought in on behalf of friend Tommy

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was a real odds-on favourite.

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Judy's 19th-century boar tusk and ivory corkscrew certainly popped something for Philip Serrell.

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And Carl's bronze nude really turned my head.

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But will it make the bidders blush when it comes up for sale?

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I wanted to find out more about this fine figure of a woman

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so I met the auctioneer, Leslie Weller, at the sale room in Chichester

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to see what he thought of it.

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Who can forget a figure like that? Let's hope it does do good figures,

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because she's beautiful.

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I don't know a lot about bronzes. It's got the right patina,

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it's got everything about it.

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If it is Maurice Bouval, this could be a lot of money.

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If it's a copy, I still think 200 to 300.

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Carl purchased this four weeks ago in a charity shop for 75p!

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This is what threw me off the scent! I'm thinking, "Oh, my word!"

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If it's the real thing, it could be a couple of grand.

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But I haven't seen enough and held enough to really know.

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-It's absolutely right.

-It is right? Yeah!

-Absolutely right.

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Nothing wrong with it at all.

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It's a marvellous bronze of that period.

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-It's really 1920s.

-It's the iconic look.

-Absolutely.

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-Art Nouveau in every book you open.

-It's exactly what you want today.

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It's sought-after. It's a real collectors' item.

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The patina is what you mentioned. That's terribly important.

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Because you cannot actually reproduce that patina

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with a contemporary piece.

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That is so right, it shouts at me, actually.

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-It's got the rub.

-Absolutely. It's...

-Crikey! I cannot wait

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for the next half hour. We have to see this fly through the roof.

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It will. It's going to make four figures at least.

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-Yes! Fantastic!

-So, roll up!

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So, did she cut a dash in the auction room?

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Is it or isn't it Maurice Bouval?

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I've put a valuation of 200 to £300 on this cos I'm not sure, right?

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But it has got the nutty patina that you'd expect from something from that Art Nouveau period.

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I had a chat with the auctioneer. Do you know what he says?

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It could do between 1,000 and £2,000.

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Wow!

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Lot 505 now.

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A little 20th-century bronze figure.

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And you'll start me at 150.

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£100, then. 100 I saw.

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110, 120, 140.

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160. 180.

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200?

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-£200.

-Slow.

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It is.

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220.

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240.

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£240.

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260.

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280. 280, I'm bid.

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At £280. I'll take three anywhere.

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-He's going to sell it!

-At £280. Are you bidding there? And selling at 280.

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I've built it up for you and now I've let you down!

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-That's all right.

-I didn't let you down on the valuation.

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-It'll do.

-Nevertheless, 75p turned into £280.

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Good enough for me!

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What a shame that bronze didn't reach her full potential.

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Still, she did make Carl a pretty good profit!

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Kate Bliss joined Henry and James to see if that unusual cigar cutter

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managed to smoke out a good price.

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Are you in two minds about it? Will you be sad to see it go?

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I don't think so, really. Although it's been in the family for a long time,

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it's been lying around and I've meant to dispose of it.

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This is as good a time as any.

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James, you've estimated it at 180 to 250. Are you confident?

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It's going to sell. I'm sure it is.

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It should do. It's a good quality object as well

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so there should be plenty of people here today. Hope for the best.

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Lot 48 is a 19th-century cigar cutter modelled on a wild boar tusk.

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A nice eagle's head on it as well.

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£100 already bid. 110 anywhere?

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110 in front of me. 120. 130.

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140. 150. 160. 170.

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180? 170, bid's at 170. 180?

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180, new bidder. 190. 200.

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And ten. 220. 230.

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240. 250.

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260?

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250. Nearer to me at £250.

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Anybody else want to come in? 260 or not.

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Your bid at £250. Selling.

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-Sold for £250!

-Very good.

-Not bad!

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-It's quite surprising, really.

-It's good news.

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I'm really pleased. It's a thing that every gentleman would like in his smoking collection.

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It's a posh boy's toy, really!

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That posh boy's toy made a classy price, hitting the top end of James's estimate.

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Now, let's go back to 2002

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to see if the corkscrew whet anyone's whistle

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at the auction room in Canterbury.

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-This is Brian.

-Hi, Brian. Is he vegetarian as well?

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He is when he's with me!

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Hopefully you're off to Spain with the proceeds of the corkscrew?

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We may make it to Victoria on the proceeds of the corkscrew!

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A novelty corkscrew. 75. It's with you at 75.

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75.

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Anybody else in the room at 75?

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At 75. 80 I have.

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-He's got a bid left in the book.

-95.

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100. 110.

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120. 130.

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-He can keep it going faster cos people get excited.

-170.

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170.

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-It's with you at 170. Any further bidding?

-Great. Brilliant result.

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-Bit further than Victoria!

-Seville.

-Excellent.

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A return to Seville for one of you, anyway!

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I hope you enjoy the holiday.

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Thank you very much! Thank you.

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That went well over the top end of the estimate.

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That's a result worth toasting!

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Off to the sale room now in Sussex, where I met auctioneer Nick Hall

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to find out what kind of odds he thought were in store

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for Tommy's racing game.

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-Now, this is great fun.

-A lot of interest in this in the viewing.

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It's Edwardian. I'm sure lots of people would like to play with this,

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although the original owners, 100-odd years ago,

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didn't play on the board because it's in crisp condition.

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Well looked-after.

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This was bought by one of John's friends, Tommy, recently,

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-at auction.

-At auction?

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-For around about £30.

-He's had a flutter of his own!

-He has had a flutter!

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We've got odds on this doing 80 to 120.

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I'll take those odds and have a fiver myself.

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It'll make more than that, I think. Should do.

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-He paid how much at auction?

-£30.

-£30.

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You'd be disappointed if this only got £30 in your room?

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-I think it's worth a couple of hundred.

-Great. That's what I wanted to hear.

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-I'd say about the same.

-I hope it will now I've said that!

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Promising. Let's see what price it reached when the hammer went down.

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I absolutely love this next lot. It's an Edwardian horse-racing game, it belongs to John.

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-Not for much longer.

-No, not at all.

0:18:320:18:35

We've got a value of 80 to £120 which is an auctioneer's book price cliche for most things!

0:18:350:18:40

We had a chat to Nick, our auctioneer,

0:18:400:18:43

you know what he said, he said it should do £200 quite easily.

0:18:430:18:47

-Really?

-Yes.

-I'd be very pleased.

0:18:470:18:50

A friend of yours got this in an auction for 30-odd quid not long ago

0:18:500:18:55

so he's got a good eye. I think he'll turn a good profit.

0:18:550:18:59

If he turns a profit, he'll spend the money on more bits and pieces.

0:18:590:19:02

-At auction?

-Yeah.

-You can buy and sell at auction and make a profit.

-Certainly.

0:19:020:19:07

It's going under the hammer now.

0:19:070:19:09

397, the Victorian horse-racing game.

0:19:090:19:12

Together with painted lead named mounts.

0:19:140:19:17

Hard to find now.

0:19:170:19:19

-150? Thank you, Chris. 150.

-Straight in.

-150. 160.

0:19:200:19:26

170. 180.

0:19:290:19:31

190. In front at 190. 200.

0:19:310:19:34

210.

0:19:340:19:35

-They love it!

-At 210 in front.

0:19:350:19:37

-Neck and neck!

-Lot of potential.

0:19:370:19:39

-They're coming to the last...

-210 over the water!

0:19:410:19:44

-Yes!

-That'll do!

-£210.

-Very nice.

0:19:450:19:50

-We'll settle for that.

-He'll be very happy at that.

0:19:500:19:54

-Give him our regards.

-Will do.

-Tommy, you have an excellent eye.

0:19:540:19:57

That racing game certainly trotted up a fine finish in Crawley!

0:20:020:20:06

But if you really want to savour the taste of the forbidden,

0:20:060:20:10

then follow me back to 2006

0:20:100:20:12

to West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire,

0:20:120:20:15

the birthplace of England's notorious Hellfire Club!

0:20:150:20:18

West Wycombe Park in the heart of Buckinghamshire

0:20:250:20:28

may look like a genteel Italianate country mansion house.

0:20:280:20:32

But it hides a story of unrivalled passion

0:20:320:20:34

for the Arts, food and drink and even the pleasures of the flesh!

0:20:340:20:39

The estate has been home to the Dashwood family since 1698.

0:20:400:20:45

But it's the story of Sir Francis Dashwood, the second baronet,

0:20:470:20:50

that has captured the imagination more than any other.

0:20:500:20:54

Sir Francis Dashwood was born into a wealthy family in 1708.

0:20:560:21:00

By the age of 21, he was already a well-travelled young man

0:21:000:21:04

with a taste for the high life

0:21:040:21:06

having been sent on several grand tours of Europe by his family.

0:21:060:21:11

And it was on one of these tours that he became obsessed with Italy

0:21:130:21:17

and a lifelong fascination and also repulsion

0:21:170:21:20

with what he saw as the excesses of the Roman Catholic church,

0:21:200:21:24

their sumptuous ceremonies and their extreme devotional practices.

0:21:240:21:28

When he returned from his travels from Europe,

0:21:300:21:33

he was so fired up with a passion for the arts

0:21:330:21:36

that he helped set up The Society of Dilettante.

0:21:360:21:39

This was an elite club. On one hand, its aim was to promote classical art and fine taste in England.

0:21:390:21:47

On the other hand, it was catering for the wealthy womanising habits

0:21:470:21:51

and hard-drinking of other wealthy rakes.

0:21:510:21:54

He even got into politics and quickly gained a reputation for being publicly spirited,

0:21:590:22:04

helping laws get passed through for the poor and unemployed.

0:22:040:22:08

As an escape from his political duties,

0:22:080:22:10

Dashwood's flamboyant nature found an outlet with the formation of the infamous Hellfire Club.

0:22:100:22:17

The precise activities of the Hellfire Club are to this day shrouded in mystery.

0:22:170:22:23

Members took part in mock religious ceremonies

0:22:230:22:26

and wore costumes and masks to indulge in varying degrees of debauchery.

0:22:260:22:31

It was all pretty racy stuff!

0:22:310:22:33

Dashwood's interest in pagan gods and goddesses

0:22:350:22:39

was reflected in the decorations for his house at West Wycombe

0:22:390:22:43

designed by the famous architect Robert Adam.

0:22:430:22:46

The west wing of the building was a replica of a classical temple to Bacchus

0:22:460:22:50

complete with a statue of the god of wine himself.

0:22:500:22:53

Sir Francis Dashwood continued to make improvements to the house,

0:22:530:22:58

heavily influenced by the classical architecture and fine art he'd seen on his travels.

0:22:580:23:04

Dashwood was fascinated with the ancient world.

0:23:050:23:08

This influence is most clearly seen in this stunning entrance hall

0:23:080:23:12

which is among the best preserved and earliest examples of this taste

0:23:120:23:16

in Neo-Classical decoration in the country.

0:23:160:23:19

The staircase is decorated with murals by Giuseppe Borges

0:23:190:23:23

that grow increasingly erotic as they reach the bedroom floor.

0:23:230:23:27

Dashwood devoted his energies to a series of extraordinary public works.

0:23:330:23:38

In order to create employment for the out-of-work farmers due to some very bad harvests,

0:23:380:23:44

he spent three years digging chalk out of the hills above the estate

0:23:440:23:48

to help build a road between West Wycombe and High Wycombe.

0:23:480:23:51

A series of caves were left behind after the excavations.

0:23:540:23:57

They became a centre-piece for his passion for design.

0:23:570:24:00

It's thought they were inspired by his many exotic trips abroad.

0:24:000:24:05

They also became a focal point for the meetings of the Hellfire Club.

0:24:050:24:09

In keeping with the Hellfire tradition,

0:24:100:24:13

it is even said that the caves' layout represents part of the female anatomy.

0:24:130:24:18

Exactly what went on in these caves is perhaps lost in time.

0:24:190:24:23

But what we do know is that members of the Hellfire Club included such noted dignitaries

0:24:230:24:28

as the Earl of Sandwich, William Hogarth, the artist,

0:24:280:24:32

and Thomas Potter, the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

0:24:320:24:36

They all took part in all sorts of hanky-panky with ladies of ill repute.

0:24:360:24:41

All dressed up as nuns!

0:24:410:24:43

Allegedly!

0:24:460:24:48

We're back with more of my favourite incorrigible items from the archives.

0:24:530:24:57

It's over to Kilmarnock, where in 2009,

0:24:570:25:01

James Lewis sniffed out something special with Kate's Georgian snuffbox.

0:25:010:25:05

Kate, tell me, are you a great snuff-taker?

0:25:070:25:10

-I certainly am not!

-No?

0:25:100:25:12

No brown stains on the upper lip that tend to give it away?

0:25:120:25:15

I hope not!

0:25:150:25:17

So tell me, what are you doing with a snuff box?

0:25:170:25:20

Well, this snuff box was passed down to me from my parents.

0:25:200:25:25

My memory of it is my mother, who was a very keen floral arranger,

0:25:250:25:29

-and making lovely miniature arrangements in it.

-Really?

0:25:290:25:32

She used to go to rural competitions and things like that and want to do well, obviously.

0:25:320:25:37

But that's my memory of it

0:25:370:25:39

and since I've had it it's been sitting in the cabinet doing very little.

0:25:390:25:44

-Oh!

-I heard you were here today, so I thought I'd bring it along.

0:25:440:25:48

-Tell me about it.

-I love it.

0:25:480:25:49

One of the main reasons I love it is because it's so plain.

0:25:490:25:53

So simple.

0:25:530:25:55

It's engine-turned in bands.

0:25:550:25:57

Very plain, simple designs.

0:25:570:25:59

We've got this engine-turning on the sides, all the way round,

0:25:590:26:04

and underneath.

0:26:040:26:05

What's slightly unusual is that you'd normally find a cartouche,

0:26:050:26:10

a plain area, where the owner can engrave their initials

0:26:100:26:13

or their crest or family coat of arms.

0:26:130:26:16

-This one, there's nowhere for that to happen.

-No.

0:26:160:26:20

So if we open it up...lovely.

0:26:200:26:23

Silver gilt inside to prevent the acid in the snuff

0:26:230:26:26

attacking the silver and reacting and making the silver turn green.

0:26:260:26:31

A nice clear set of hallmarks. WT for the maker,

0:26:310:26:35

a lion passant, the mark for English silver,

0:26:350:26:38

the leopard's head with the crown, the mark for London,

0:26:380:26:41

the head of George III, which means the duty or the tax has been paid on the silver,

0:26:410:26:46

-and a date letter, which is an R, for 1811, 1812.

-Right.

0:26:460:26:52

-A nice early one.

-I didn't realise it was as old as that. Nearly 200 years old!

0:26:520:26:56

What do you think it's worth?

0:26:560:26:59

I haven't a clue, to be quite honest.

0:26:590:27:02

Obviously it's silver, so would it be about £100?

0:27:020:27:07

Shall we swap seats?

0:27:070:27:09

-You're spot on.

-Really?

0:27:090:27:11

Am I?

0:27:110:27:13

-Yeah.

-I hadn't a clue. Is that right?

0:27:130:27:15

-Oh, well.

-It's a predictably boring auctioneer's estimate. 80 to £120.

0:27:150:27:20

-Is it?

-£100 is spot on.

-£100.

0:27:200:27:23

Well, that sounds very good.

0:27:230:27:25

-Yeah? Is that all right?

-Absolutely.

0:27:250:27:27

Protect it with a reserve. £80 as a reserve?

0:27:270:27:30

-Sounds fine!

-If it doesn't make that, take it home and do flower arrangements.

0:27:300:27:34

I can't really!

0:27:340:27:36

Back to 2006

0:27:380:27:40

and to Belfast where Anita Manning had something to celebrate

0:27:400:27:44

when Jo brought in an item close to Anita's heart!

0:27:440:27:47

Ah!

0:27:490:27:51

Being a Scot,

0:27:510:27:52

and coming from Glasgow,

0:27:520:27:54

I should know all about whisky!

0:27:540:27:57

What we have is Irish whisky here.

0:27:570:28:00

It was distilled by Bushmills, one of the oldest licensed distillers

0:28:000:28:07

in the world. So it's a famous old whisky.

0:28:070:28:10

-Are you a whisky drinker, Jo?

-I'm afraid not!

0:28:100:28:14

-Why did you buy this?

-I didn't buy it. I won it in a raffle in a charity auction.

0:28:140:28:19

-Were you never tempted?

-Never tempted.

0:28:190:28:21

-Not my tipple, I'm afraid!

-What's your tipple?

0:28:210:28:24

-I like white wine.

-Ah, yes.

0:28:240:28:26

Now, Jo, this is called Bushmills Millennium Malt.

0:28:280:28:32

It was made in 1975,

0:28:320:28:35

-specially for celebrations in the Millennium.

-Correct, yes.

0:28:350:28:39

The cask number of bottles was 300. So it's what we call a limited edition.

0:28:390:28:45

-If we look on the label we see it was selected for UTV, Ulster Television.

-Correct.

0:28:450:28:51

So this would have perhaps been donated by Ulster Television

0:28:510:28:57

-to your charity.

-Yes, for the auction to raise funds.

0:28:570:29:02

Price-wise, how much is a bottle of Bushmills? How much would you pay?

0:29:020:29:07

I think you'd probably pay £25 for a bottle of malt whisky.

0:29:070:29:12

I think we have to pitch our estimate not too high above that.

0:29:120:29:17

It will find its own level.

0:29:170:29:19

But if we put it maybe 40 to £50, would you feel happy enough at that?

0:29:190:29:24

I think someone else can get some pleasure out of it.

0:29:240:29:27

-Uh-huh. If you sell it, you can buy a good few bottles of wine with that!

-Very nice!

0:29:270:29:32

-Let's go for it. Let's put the estimate at 40 to £50 with a reserve of 55.

-OK.

0:29:320:29:39

-See you on the day, Jo.

-Absolutely.

-Sober.

-Absolutely!

0:29:390:29:43

See how that whisky did at auction in a little bit.

0:29:450:29:47

But first, I must delight you with these two extravagant items!

0:29:470:29:52

Thomas Plant loved Jill's Victorian drinks cabinet

0:29:540:29:57

in Watford, back in 2006.

0:29:570:30:00

-Have you ever used it?

-No.

-You've done the right thing.

0:30:010:30:05

Once you put your booze in there, it gets all sticky. They seize up.

0:30:050:30:09

-Right.

-They get bloomed. What I mean by that is cloudy.

0:30:090:30:13

At auction, the result was crystal clear.

0:30:130:30:16

Going for a satisfying £420.

0:30:160:30:20

Will Axon weighed up the value on John and Peggy's cigarette case in 2009.

0:30:210:30:26

I bought it off a bloke that was hard up.

0:30:270:30:29

-Oh, dear. So he needed a bit of cash.

-Yes.

0:30:290:30:33

Sometimes, I'm afraid, it's all about scrap value.

0:30:330:30:38

I think you knew what you were buying, didn't you?

0:30:390:30:42

And it lit up the sale room, making £640!

0:30:420:30:46

I've an even more spectacular cigarette case now

0:30:490:30:52

if I take you to Exeter where in 2006

0:30:520:30:55

Jane's risque item got me hot under the collar!

0:30:550:30:59

This puts a smile on my face. It's a little bit naughty.

0:31:020:31:05

-Yes.

-Tell me all about it.

0:31:050:31:07

Well, it came from my ex father-in-law who lived in Birmingham.

0:31:070:31:10

He died in 1983.

0:31:100:31:14

His elder brother had also had a jeweller's shop.

0:31:140:31:17

When he died, they were clearing out his shop. There were various items.

0:31:170:31:21

Somehow, we acquired this.

0:31:210:31:23

I don't know how!

0:31:230:31:25

You can't help but laugh when you see it.

0:31:250:31:28

It's a lovely silver cigarette case.

0:31:280:31:30

The key there, as you said, Birmingham.

0:31:300:31:32

I've looked through the glass and you can see the assay mark for Birmingham, the anchor.

0:31:320:31:37

We've got the silver lion passant moving to the left, so it's sterling silver.

0:31:370:31:42

The maker's name is EML. I've looked in the book and can't find him.

0:31:420:31:47

But I can tell you the lower case r, set against the entry for Birmingham

0:31:470:31:53

-this was made in 1891.

-1891?

0:31:530:31:55

You had to have a bit of money to afford something like this.

0:31:550:31:58

The enamel work is absolutely divine.

0:31:580:32:01

There's only a bit of damage just there on the corner.

0:32:010:32:04

But it's got the wear and it's got the touch.

0:32:040:32:06

It's got the silver marks. It's got everything. And a gorgeous lady.

0:32:060:32:10

Who, let's say, is riding topless on a pushbike!

0:32:100:32:14

Someone had a sense of humour!

0:32:140:32:16

I absolutely adore this.

0:32:160:32:18

-It's not too naughty, is it?

-No.

0:32:180:32:20

It's titillation, if you pardon the pun, not pornography.

0:32:200:32:23

-I don't know what's she's holding.

-It looks like a cap.

0:32:230:32:27

-Maybe people are putting coins in it. She says, "It's a bet!"

-Yes.

0:32:270:32:31

You never know, do you. You've got to use your imagination.

0:32:310:32:35

If it was pornography, which they did depict a lot,

0:32:350:32:40

-it would be on the inside.

-Right.

0:32:400:32:42

Slightly more discreet.

0:32:420:32:44

I've not seen anything so charming, so witty and funny

0:32:440:32:48

-and I know this is going to sell well.

-Excellent.

0:32:480:32:52

Are you sure you want to sell it?

0:32:520:32:54

-Yes.

-Why do you want to sell it?

0:32:540:32:56

It's just been in a bag in the bathroom. I spoke to my ex-husband

0:32:560:33:00

and we agreed that as it wasn't of any sentimental value particularly

0:33:000:33:04

that we'd sell it and split the money between the children.

0:33:040:33:07

-So they can get some use of it.

-That's a good call.

0:33:070:33:10

Yeah.

0:33:100:33:11

I'm going to put a value - I'm going to be quite bold - and say 300 to £400.

0:33:110:33:16

Not bad! Not bad at all.

0:33:160:33:19

Not bad at all.

0:33:190:33:20

We'll put a reserve, a fixed reserve, of £275.

0:33:200:33:26

We mustn't sell it any less than that.

0:33:260:33:28

That's the wrong day and the wrong auction room. There's no bidders there.

0:33:280:33:32

-OK.

-It's worth 300 to 400.

0:33:320:33:35

-Not bad.

-I think it's charming. Absolutely charming.

0:33:350:33:38

I can't wait to see this one go under the hammer.

0:33:380:33:41

To Southend-on-Sea where, in 2009,

0:33:430:33:46

Jenny and Susan hooked Thomas Plant in with their aquarium-themed lighter.

0:33:460:33:51

Jenny and Susan, thank you for coming here.

0:33:530:33:55

I want to know all about this Dunhill lighter.

0:33:550:33:58

Why and when and who owned it, et cetera. And why did you bring it?

0:33:580:34:02

We found it in a drawer. It's my uncle's lighter.

0:34:020:34:05

We just came across it.

0:34:050:34:07

I noticed the Dunhill name. I asked him about it.

0:34:070:34:11

He couldn't remember how it got there, why it was there.

0:34:110:34:15

He said, "If you like it, take it." So I said, "I will, and find out more about it."

0:34:150:34:20

-Which is why we're here.

-Why you're here.

0:34:200:34:22

You've brought it today. Susan, how old is your uncle?

0:34:220:34:26

Uncle is 86. He's always telling me

0:34:260:34:29

-repeatedly, that he gave up smoking 30 years ago.

-Right.

0:34:290:34:33

So probably the lighter found its way into the drawer 30 years ago and hasn't emerged since.

0:34:330:34:38

It's a rather nice thing. It's a Dunhill aquarium lighter,

0:34:380:34:41

made in about the 1950s.

0:34:410:34:43

This is a good large-sized one. We've got two tropical fish on one side

0:34:430:34:47

and then the one tropical fish swimming upwards. It's in very nice condition.

0:34:470:34:53

We can see the Dunhill mark here.

0:34:530:34:55

These are very popular in today's market. There are a lot of collectors for them.

0:34:550:34:59

It's good that it's got the three fish.

0:34:590:35:02

Are they real fish?

0:35:020:35:04

-No!

-It looks plastic.

-It is. It's acrylic.

0:35:040:35:09

It's a polished acrylic.

0:35:090:35:11

Like something that's been tucked in there.

0:35:110:35:14

It's like they've been reverse painted into the acrylic then foiled, decorated and painted.

0:35:140:35:19

That's what you've got. You've got a brief idea of what you want for it.

0:35:190:35:23

I think we can achieve that. If we put it in at 800 to 1,200

0:35:230:35:28

with a fixed reserve of 800. That's what you were thinking?

0:35:280:35:31

-Yes.

-But I've got a feeling that it could surpass that.

0:35:310:35:36

But let's keep it at 800 to 1,200

0:35:360:35:39

with the reserve at £800.

0:35:390:35:41

Let's see what happens. The auctioneer will work his socks off for us. I know that.

0:35:410:35:46

It will be well publicised, well marketed, on the internet.

0:35:460:35:50

-I think we'll have some interesting people out there.

-Good.

0:35:500:35:53

Before I reveal how these objects did at auction,

0:35:550:35:59

let me refresh your memory.

0:35:590:36:01

We saw how much Thomas enjoyed playing with fire with Jenny and Susan's lighter.

0:36:020:36:07

But did it deliver a red-hot result?

0:36:070:36:09

James Lewis thought Kate's silver snuff box

0:36:130:36:16

had the whiff of success.

0:36:160:36:18

I absolutely adored Jane's saucy cigarette case.

0:36:200:36:23

And Anita was totally intoxicated by Jo's special edition of malt whisky.

0:36:260:36:31

And that's first under the hammer at auction in Belfast.

0:36:340:36:37

-You won this in a charity auction?

-Yes.

0:36:390:36:41

It cost nothing. It's a good investment, worth at least 90 quid. It's going under the hammer now.

0:36:410:36:47

The Bushmills malt whisky.

0:36:480:36:51

Can we say £50 for the Bushmills?

0:36:510:36:55

With the porter at 50.

0:36:550:36:57

At £50. Five. 60.

0:36:570:37:00

Five. 70.

0:37:000:37:02

-Yes!

-Please don't let me down.

0:37:020:37:06

Bid at 80 for the whisky.

0:37:060:37:08

-That's a good result.

-Bottle of Bushmills at £80.

0:37:080:37:11

Selling now at £80.

0:37:110:37:13

-Yes.

-There we are, Jo.

-80 quid.

0:37:130:37:16

The auctioneer and I were musing over this bottle before the auction,

0:37:160:37:21

talking about the valuation.

0:37:210:37:23

We thought really, to do a proper valuation,

0:37:230:37:25

you've got to have a little taste!

0:37:250:37:28

-Did you?

-No, we couldn't let Jo down.

0:37:280:37:30

What will you do with the £80?

0:37:300:37:32

Anita suggested I buy something I like to drink, which is white wine.

0:37:320:37:36

-There you go. A couple of cases.

-I think so.

0:37:360:37:40

Hearty cheers for Jo.

0:37:400:37:42

And it's Anita again, this time on the other side of the gavel,

0:37:430:37:47

as we go to Glasgow to see how Kate's snuff box did

0:37:470:37:51

when it went up for sale.

0:37:510:37:53

This next lot should be a pinch at 80 to £120.

0:37:540:37:57

-Kate's solid silver snuff box.

-Yes.

0:37:570:38:00

Why are you selling this?

0:38:000:38:02

This snuff box was sitting in my cabinet in the lounge for many years.

0:38:020:38:07

It was gathering dust, basically.

0:38:070:38:09

So I think it's time to sell it.

0:38:090:38:11

We need top money because as we discussed the proceeds of the sale are going towards a painting.

0:38:110:38:17

-Yes.

-So, what's this painting? Is it something you're buying at auction?

0:38:170:38:22

No, it's a local artist, James Harrigan.

0:38:220:38:26

He does lovely paintings of the west coast of Scotland, Aran, so I'm hoping to put it towards that.

0:38:260:38:32

Now, it's George III, a silver snuff box,

0:38:330:38:37

with engine-turned decoration.

0:38:370:38:39

It's London, 1812. Georgian snuff box in mint condition.

0:38:390:38:45

Start me at £100.

0:38:450:38:46

100. 50, then?

0:38:460:38:50

50 bid. 50. 60.

0:38:500:38:52

70. 80.

0:38:520:38:54

-90. 100.

-We're getting there.

0:38:540:38:57

110. 120.

0:38:570:38:59

120 on the floor for the Georgian snuff box.

0:38:590:39:03

Any advance on £120? All done at 120? 120.

0:39:030:39:08

-That's great news. There's commission to pay.

-Right.

0:39:090:39:12

-But it's something towards the painting.

-It certainly is. I'm delighted.

0:39:120:39:16

-My first experience of an auction, so I'm thrilled.

-Is it?

0:39:160:39:19

£120. A decent result for Kate.

0:39:190:39:23

Now to Rayleigh to see if the bidders were ecstatic for the aquatic Dunhill lighter.

0:39:240:39:29

We've seen one on Flog It before, a few years ago

0:39:290:39:32

and it sold for £800. Fingers crossed this will do the same.

0:39:320:39:36

-Hopefully more.

-Yes.

0:39:360:39:38

-I love the story. It was your uncle's.

-Yes.

0:39:380:39:41

-He gave up smoking for 30 years.

-Yes.

0:39:410:39:44

Put it in a drawer and hadn't seen it for 30 years.

0:39:440:39:47

-Isn't that a great story?

-Wonderful.

0:39:470:39:49

It's like when you have jeans in a wardrobe you haven't worn for months

0:39:490:39:52

and there's a £20 note in the pocket!

0:39:520:39:54

You put your hands in your pocket and then, "Ooh, look at that!"

0:39:540:39:58

-Yes!

-But £800 in a drawer, we've got.

0:39:580:40:01

-Brilliant. And he's going to split it with you two?

-Oh, yes!

0:40:010:40:05

The nieces have to have something.

0:40:050:40:08

We'll take him to the pub!

0:40:080:40:10

-Surely he'll have most of it?

-He has it then shares it with us.

0:40:100:40:16

Tough cookies!

0:40:160:40:18

Lots of interest here, ladies and gentlemen. Straight in at £800.

0:40:210:40:25

At £800. And advance on 800? 820.

0:40:250:40:28

850. 880. 900.

0:40:280:40:31

At £900 now. The bid's on the book against you all in the room.

0:40:310:40:34

The hammer's up at £900.

0:40:340:40:36

920. 950.

0:40:380:40:40

Come on!

0:40:400:40:42

-980. 1,000.

-Ooh!

-Yes!

0:40:450:40:47

Four figures now!

0:40:470:40:49

At £1,000 now.

0:40:530:40:55

The bid's on the book. Make no mistake. I'm selling at £1,000.

0:40:550:40:59

Yes, fantastic. That's mid-estimate. Well done, Thomas.

0:41:010:41:04

-You've got to be pleased with that.

-Excellent.

-Good news.

0:41:040:41:08

Take him down the pub. Buy him a pint and a pie

0:41:080:41:11

I guess the clothes are coming your way, are they?

0:41:110:41:14

They might!

0:41:140:41:16

Someone certainly held a flame for that lovely lighter!

0:41:170:41:21

Finally, let's see if Jane's cheeky cigarette case

0:41:230:41:27

managed to light up the sale room in Exeter.

0:41:270:41:30

No need to ask for your full attention now for the enamelled silver cigarette case.

0:41:320:41:36

It belongs to Jane and is about to go under the hammer.

0:41:360:41:39

We've got a fixed reserve. I'm sure we'll get my valuation of 300 to 400.

0:41:390:41:43

-We've got a packed room. It's the first of the silver. Ready?

-Yep.

0:41:430:41:48

-Confident?

-I am.

-It's going under the hammer now.

0:41:480:41:51

We now move on to this George V silver cigarette case.

0:41:520:41:56

I think the jokes have been exhausted. Let's launch into it.

0:41:560:42:00

The bidding's with me. There is interest. We're away at 300. 320. 340.

0:42:000:42:06

360. 380 is bid.

0:42:060:42:08

400. And 20.

0:42:090:42:12

440.

0:42:120:42:13

460. 480.

0:42:130:42:15

500. And 20.

0:42:150:42:17

550. 580.

0:42:170:42:20

-600. And 20.

-They absolutely love it.

0:42:200:42:22

700. And 20. 750. 780.

0:42:260:42:29

-800. And 50.

-Wow!

-900.

0:42:290:42:32

And 50. 1,000. And 50.

0:42:320:42:36

That's the ball out of the room.

0:42:360:42:38

£1,050. Are we all done?

0:42:380:42:41

The book is out. I'm selling at £1,050.

0:42:410:42:45

-£1,050!

-Brilliant!

0:42:460:42:48

-What are you going to do with that?

-Give it to my children.

0:42:510:42:55

-All three of them.

-Three kids.

-Split it between them.

0:42:550:42:58

-One of your daughters is here? What's her name?

-Lucy.

0:42:580:43:01

Lucky kids, that's all I can say. Thank you so much for coming in.

0:43:010:43:05

That racy item flew out of the sale room doors in Exeter. What a cracking result!

0:43:120:43:17

Sadly, that's all the risque business we have time for today.

0:43:170:43:20

It's the end of the show. I hope you've enjoyed looking through the archives.

0:43:200:43:25

I hope you can join me again soon. For now, from Syon House, it's goodbye.

0:43:250:43:30

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:510:43:54

Paul Martin indulges us with ten of his favourite guilty pleasure treasures. A saucy cigarette case smokes out a stellar price at auction in Exeter and Paul savours a taste for the forbidden when he heads to West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire to visit the birthplace of the notorious Hellfire Club.