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Births and Marriages

Paul Martin introduces his favourite collection of milestone-marking mementos in this archive edition from Syon Park near London.


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Hello and welcome to another series of Flog It - Ten of the Best,

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from the stunning surroundings of Syon House,

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nestling on the River Thames, just a few miles from central London.

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This amazing estate has been home to the Percy family,

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the title-holders of Northumberland, for over 12 generations.

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Over the years, I'm sure this place has seen and witnessed

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and celebrated many births, marriages and mourned quite a few deaths.

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As I look around this magnificent interior, it's easy to see artefacts and mementoes

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that mark these milestones in history.

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It's a tribute to the people.

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Over the years on Flog It, we've had our fair share of mementoes and gifts

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to mark these sort of occasions.

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So today, I have hunted some of my favourite ones out

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from the archives to share with you,

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so be prepared to be hatched, matched and dispatched.

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For my first milestone masterpiece, I'm taking you to Plymouth.

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Back in 2003, Mark Stacey discovered that Sara

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had grown out of the Georgian silver beaker she'd had since a baby.

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She wanted Mark to name her a good price.

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Sara, you've brought this nice beaker in to show us today.

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But before we look at it, can you tell us

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a little bit about the history - how has it come into your possession?

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I've always owned this beaker - it was given to me as a christening gift by my godfather.

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A gentleman who was no relation to the family.

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My parents met him in the late 1930s, I believe,

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on a holiday in Switzerland.

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They happened to be walking, and he was a bachelor boy,

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and they got talking and then they remained friends.

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What a lovely gift to receive on your christening.

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If we look at the piece in closer detail, what we will see,

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we've got a very nice Georgian period beaker.

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I particularly like the simplicity of the design, it's a very simplistic pattern,

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but with these two effective bands of Greek key motifs.

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Nice clear hallmarks for London 1805.

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It also has the maker's initials, J E, for John Eames.

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He's quite a good maker from that period.

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But it's not a typical shape, it's a nice shape.

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Got a very good feel to it.

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It's also got this really nice gilding inside.

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Your godfather had this engraved for you.

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We've got a reasonably good maker,

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a nice piece with some nice decoration on it.

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The later engraving obviously will have a slight detrimental effect to the value.

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Have you ever thought about what that might be?

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No, I can honestly say, I haven't.

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I've assumed it has a value because there is a hallmark on it

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and silver-gilt, so I thought there has to be a value but, I don't know.

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If we were putting this into auction today,

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I think it would make around £120 to £180.

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Would that be something that would interest you in doing?

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-Yes, it would.

-You'd like to flog it?

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Yes, it seems a shame, but it's just sitting in a cupboard.

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I was going to come to that.

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Are you not sentimentally attached to it at all?

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Yes and no.

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But I think, what a shame, this piece is sitting, hidden.

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Absolutely gorgeous.

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We'll return to find out how it fared at auction in a little while.

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From birth bequests to inherited items now,

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as I take you to Milton Keynes

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where in 2008, Irene had Kate Bateman completely arrested

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by her unusual Victorian heirloom.

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My mother owned it. It used to be her uncle's many years ago

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and she just kept it and kept it and one day said,

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"this is something you can have",

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and I thought, oh, nice!

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You were thrilled to have it as a gift?

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It was nice but when you're younger, you never ask questions

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about what it was about, you weren't interested.

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Now she's long gone, it would be nice to know a bit more.

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-Was someone in the family a policeman?

-Yeah, my mother's uncle.

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OK, and was that fairly locally?

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Oh yeah, around Wolverton, Bucks, which is in Milton Keynes.

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It's a late 19th-century policeman's truncheon. Have a look.

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It's quite nicely decorated.

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You've got all these hand-painted things on the front.

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You've got a crown and a VR, for Victoria's cipher,

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and you've got constable for a police constable,

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you've got a turned fruitwood handle

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and you've got a bit of string here,

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but it would've had a leather strap or something for the wrist strap.

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Quite a highly decorative thing,

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as well as a highly effective thing to hit someone over the head with.

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-Do you like it?

-I think it's nice, but it's in a cupboard in a box.

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-So it is hard to display.

-Oh, yeah.

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Sometimes they have wording on them, like where it comes from,

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so sometimes you would have the county.

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This doesn't, but you've got the VR sign so it tells you it's Victorian, pre-1910.

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Price-wise for the auction, do you have any idea what it would go for?

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-Not really.

-No idea.

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I would think probably for an auction estimate

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you would put maybe £80-120 on it, so they are quite collectible.

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-That's good.

-You want it to sell.

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What would you say to a reserve of £50?

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Why not?

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-And an estimate of 80-120.

-Brilliant.

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Great. We'll see you at the sale.

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We'll be back to find out whether that truncheon beat out a good price in the sale room.

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To Monmouth, and back to 2008, when Michael was after a top estimate

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from Charlie Ross for his inherited embroidery box.

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It used to belong to my grandmother.

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Right.

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It was handed to my mother when she died in 1970-ish.

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My mother handed it on to my daughter

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-so it's the fourth generation in the family.

-Right.

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-And your daughter's instructed you to bring it?

-Yes.

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She's getting married next year.

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It would be useful towards the honeymoon.

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Does it come with any story?

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Not that I'm aware of.

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I don't know where it's from, what age it is, anything.

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All I know is it must be something like 110 years old.

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That's pretty accurate. It's late 19th century.

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-But where does it come from?

-I don't know.

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-I'll put you out of your misery. It's Indian.

-Right.

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-And do you know what it's made of?

-No.

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It's very black. I thought initially it was ebony but I think I can see a bit of flecking.

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I think it's a wood called coromandel, hence its weight.

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Unbelievably heavy.

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-Almost the weight of stone rather than wood!

-Right, yes.

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We'll open it up.

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Wow.

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Look at that fantastic workmanship.

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It is coromandel.

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If we look at the back, you can see the brown flecks running through it,

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rather like rosewood.

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-You know, the wood. Rosewood.

-Right.

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It's got the most wonderful ivory inlay.

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When I say wonderful, it's not Japanese quality.

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The quality isn't brilliant. It's rising up in a few places.

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Nevertheless, it's interesting.

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Then it has different woods, specimen woods, laid into it.

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There's some - probably - tigerwood, there's some rosewood, I think,

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and mostly ivory, and then coloured with these floral...

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Good Lord.

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-There's not something like this in every one, is there?

-No!

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That was actually given to me 40-odd years ago.

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-You know what that is?

-That's a vesta.

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A vesta for matches and striking along the bottom.

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We haven't come to look at this. we're looking at the box.

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If we lift this up, there should be a compartment in the bottom.

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Oh my gosh, it's full, isn't it?

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-I don't know anything about them.

-You don't?

-No.

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There's a little note which we could probably have a look at.

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"Dear Rosa." Does that ring a bell?

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-There was an Aunt Rosa.

-An Aunt Rosa!

-My mother's aunt.

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"First pair of boots. Too small for her little feet."

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That's dated 1873.

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Wonderful.

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Coming back to the box,

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did your daughter say take it away, if it's worth more than ten quid, sell it? Or 500?

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No, she just said take it and sell it. I've got no use for it.

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I suggested it might be worth in excess of 100.

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That's a pretty good valuation. I think it's worth about £100.

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-Really?

-How does that sound?

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Reasonable.

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Reasonable! Were you hoping for more?

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Well, always.

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LAUGHTER

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-It's not my money!

-No.

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-But that would be all right?

-Yes. Jolly good.

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I would suggest putting a reserve in just below the psychological £100 barrier.

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-Perhaps £75.

-OK.

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Would you be happy with that?

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My daughter would be very happy.

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We'll see if that box exceeded Charlie's somewhat conservative valuation a little bit later.

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I'm taking you to Newcastle now

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where in 2006, Lesley made Anita's day with the Whitefriars vase

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that she'd bought for her parents' wedding anniversary 30 years ago.

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This is a lovely blackcurrant sweetie.

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I love it to bits!

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Do you know what it is?

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I believe it's a Whitefriars vase, but that's as much as I know.

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Where did you get it?

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I bought it as an anniversary present for my parents in the early '70s.

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You're a woman of taste.

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Did you pay a lot of money for it at the time?

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I thought it was a lot of money. It couldn't have been more than a fiver.

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All I can say is it was a good buy.

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-Was it?

-It was a good buy!

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It is Whitefriars, and one of the prestigious glass makers,

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they always made items of quality.

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Not only did they make quality products,

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they employed the best of designers,

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and this vase was designed by a chap called Geoffrey Baxter,

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who was one of the most prestigious designers of the 20th century.

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This is what is hot!

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And that's why I'm so pleased to see it.

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Price-wise, you paid a fiver for it, Lesley.

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About that.

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-If I offered you a fiver for it now, would you take it?

-No!

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You'd be quite right! You would be quite right.

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Now, you bought it for your folks.

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It's in your possession now. Do you have it on display?

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No. It's just in the spare room.

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-So it's doing nothing?

-No.

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In that case, it's time to pass it on.

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I would love this to go into auction and be one of my items.

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I would estimate it in the region of £500-£700.

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How much?!

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500-700.

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I'm very, very surprised it's as much as that.

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I didn't have any idea at all it would be worth that much.

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-But a very nice surprise!

-Are you pleased?

-Yes.

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Would you be happy to sell it at that price?

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Sure! Yes! Very happy!

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Well, it may go higher.

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There is one of this design which is an orange colour.

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This is quite unusual. You don't see a lot of them,

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and I'm not absolutely sure if this colour is more desirable

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than the orange colour, but your auctioneer will do some research.

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Lesley, we'll see you at the auction

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-and I'm sure it's going to do very well.

-Thank you.

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It may have been love at first sight for Anita,

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but did it win any admirers in the auction room?

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We'll find out in just a moment, but first,

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let me give you a quick recap on my initial line-up of today's ten of the best.

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Charlie Ross was convinced that Michael's gorgeous embroidery box

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would have the sale room all sewn up.

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Lesley's blackcurrant Whitefriars vase made Anita's mouth water,

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but did it get the bidders drooling when it went under the hammer?

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Sara's silver christening beaker brought a twinkle to Mark Stacey's eyes

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so get ready to see whether it polished up a profit when it went to auction.

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And Kate Bateman thought it was a crime

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that Irene kept her Victorian police truncheon hidden away.

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Here's hoping it managed to collar a winning bidder.

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Let's find out as we head over to the auction room in Woburn,

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where familiar Flog It face Charlie Ross was presiding over the auction.

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We've got £80-£120 on it. It belongs to Irene here.

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Possibly for not much longer.

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-Who have you brought along?

-My husband.

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Hello. Cracking item. How did you come across this thing?

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It was my mother's uncle.

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I wonder if someone was in the police force somewhere in the family.

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I don't know. I wish I did know.

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It took your eye, Kate.

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I think it's great. Condition is great,

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so that should mean it should sell pretty well.

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But you're right, if it was dated, if it had a warrant number on it...

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The name of a place.

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Yeah. You could attribute it to the local police station.

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-Wow. You are looking at 400-500.

-And upwards.

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Lot number 577 is a Victorian constable's truncheon.

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In fantastic condition. £50, I'm bid.

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Five. 60. Five. 70. Five.

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80. Five.

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Your bid. 85 on my left. 90.

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Five. 100. And ten. 120.

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120. 130.

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120, your bid in the back standing.

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£120.

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And selling at 120... 30.

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140. 150? No.

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140 at the back. At £140.

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-That was like a game of table tennis!

-That is really good!

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Really nice.

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-So what are you going to put the money towards?

-A holiday.

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-Where do you fancy going?

-We go to Norfolk.

-Norfolk.

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We take the pets with us.

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That truncheon gave Kate's £80-£120 estimate a jolly good beating.

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Now to Plymouth, to see how Sara's christening beaker performed.

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Sara, your little silver beaker is just about to go under the hammer.

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How do you feel about that?

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Mixed feelings, because it's something I've known all my life

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and yet it just sits in a cupboard and it seems a shame.

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-The silver dealers are out in force today.

-Are they?

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All the silver has sold, so we're feeling pretty confident.

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-Let's hope so!

-Let's see if Mark's still feeling confident.

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Yes, I am. I'm very confident. I like it.

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120-180.

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I like the classical borders.

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It's a nice clean piece, nice gilt interior.

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The only sad thing in some ways is the name on it,

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because it doesn't tie in with it at all but it's a nice solid piece

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and I think we'll be all right with this.

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-It's silver.

-Good luck.

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And several bids. I am bid £210 for it.

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-At 210.

-Wow!

-220.

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230, 240, 250, 260.

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270, 280, 290.

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310, 320.

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-It's nice to know somebody will really enjoy it.

-330.

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-At £340.

-Good gracious!

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All done at £340.

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-340 quid!

-That's amazing!

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-That's super.

-That's wonderful.

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-That'll get you there.

-It will!

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That'll pay for the flight as well!

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No tantrums there.

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Let's hope it brings years of joy to some other youngster.

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We're off to the sale room now in Cardiff,

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where Michael was joined by his daughter Heidi

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to see whether his sewing box managed to weave a good result.

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Hello! I love the hair!

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What does Dad think?

0:16:470:16:49

I had a shock when I saw it!

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Cracking embroidery box. Lovely shoes. Did you see them?

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I love those. They're the first thing I go to when I look at it.

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I'd have kept those and sold the rest, I think,

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but I think a lot of the value is in those.

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-This took your fancy.

-It did.

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The shoes are 1873 with a little note written about who owned them.

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-I think they're beautiful. But the box is good quality, too.

-Yes.

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Hopefully we'll get the top end. We're going to find out right now.

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Thanks for brightening up the show with all that colour! It's going under the hammer now.

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Lot 516. Numerous commission bids here.

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Start me straight in at...

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-Come on.

-£160.

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170.

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180, 190, 200.

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210, 220, 230.

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It's because you're here!

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270, 280.

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290, 300, 310 takes me out.

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At £310 back in the room at 310.

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320? 320.

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330.

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-340, 350.

-Oh, they like this.

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360, 370.

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380.

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390, 400.

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Charlie, what did we miss?

0:18:080:18:10

I know nothing!

0:18:100:18:13

£410. Back of the room at £410.

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At £410, are we all done?

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At £410.

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-How exciting was that?!

-Oh, my word!

0:18:200:18:23

That'll go a long way towards your honeymoon.

0:18:230:18:26

Yeah, I can eat now!

0:18:260:18:27

What is the money going to go towards?

0:18:270:18:30

Don't forget there's commission to pay.

0:18:300:18:32

I'm getting married in three months. I'm going on honeymoon to America

0:18:320:18:36

so that'll go a long way to paying for the bits and bobs we want to do.

0:18:360:18:40

Incredible result. What's your fiance's name?

0:18:400:18:43

Carl.

0:18:430:18:44

He'll be so surprised! I bet you can't wait to call him.

0:18:440:18:47

That box got almost four times the top end of Charlie's estimate,

0:18:490:18:53

and Heidi was tickled pink.

0:18:530:18:55

And it's on to Newcastle now to see whether Lesley's vase

0:18:560:18:59

managed to catch anyone's eye.

0:18:590:19:02

Hopefully we're going to turn £5 into £700 right here, right now,

0:19:020:19:06

with the help of Lesley here, and the Whitefriars glass

0:19:060:19:10

designed by Geoffrey Baxter, picked out by our lovely expert, Anita.

0:19:100:19:14

-That was a good investment in the 1970s.

-It was indeed.

0:19:150:19:18

I had a chat with Giles the auctioneer earlier.

0:19:180:19:21

This is a hot spot for selling 20th-century modern.

0:19:210:19:24

He gets a lot of buyers, they love it here,

0:19:240:19:26

and he says it should do the top end of the estimate.

0:19:260:19:28

Hopefully a little bit more.

0:19:280:19:30

It hasn't peaked yet, and that's a good colour as well.

0:19:300:19:33

Fingers crossed. I can't wait for this one!

0:19:330:19:35

I've got four bids,

0:19:370:19:40

and I'm bid 900 to start with.

0:19:400:19:43

-Ooh! I like that!

-950 anybody?

0:19:430:19:48

1,000. 1,050.

0:19:480:19:50

1,100.

0:19:500:19:51

It's a rare colour.

0:19:540:19:55

1,150. The commission's out.

0:19:550:19:58

That's 1,150 for the last time.

0:19:580:20:01

That's 1,150.

0:20:030:20:05

-1,150.

-That's wonderful.

0:20:050:20:07

Less the commission. What are you going to spend it on?

0:20:070:20:10

-It's going to go towards a holiday.

-Where?

0:20:100:20:13

Buy quality? Anita's saying buy quality!

0:20:130:20:16

She's going on holiday, she's not going to spend it on antiques!

0:20:160:20:20

-We want to go back to Russia.

-Do you?

0:20:200:20:22

That vase of Lesley's certainly made a wonderful wedding anniversary gift

0:20:300:20:33

for her parents back in the 1970s.

0:20:330:20:36

There was certainly a lot of love for it in the room at the auction.

0:20:360:20:39

Love is in the air right now as I take you back to 2008

0:20:390:20:42

on a visit to Tenby in Wales, where I made my own little token of love

0:20:420:20:47

for my beautiful wife, Charlotte.

0:20:470:20:49

Take a look at this.

0:20:490:20:50

One of my great passions in life is wood.

0:21:040:21:08

I love it in the living organic form but also in its cut and felled form.

0:21:080:21:12

It's incredible versatile.

0:21:120:21:14

It's beautiful to look at, and it's also wonderfully tactile.

0:21:140:21:18

Not only is it useful for making practical items like tables and chairs,

0:21:180:21:22

but you can also make wonderful sentimental items,

0:21:220:21:25

like this love spoon, which was made right here, just outside of Tenby.

0:21:250:21:30

The tradition of making love spoons is believed to have originated in Wales

0:21:370:21:41

and dates as far back as the 17th century.

0:21:410:21:44

Spoons were given as a token of engagement or betrothal,

0:21:440:21:47

and the tradition has lived on.

0:21:470:21:50

And the man who's keeping the tradition very much alive is Kerry Thomas.

0:21:550:22:00

Thank you very much for meeting up with us today

0:22:000:22:03

and letting me have a go.

0:22:030:22:05

How did you get into this?

0:22:050:22:07

I first heard about the tradition back in 1969 when I was courting.

0:22:070:22:12

I'd heard about the tradition of the love spoon, that it was a token of engagement

0:22:120:22:16

and I thought it would be a good idea to make a love spoon

0:22:160:22:20

-to save myself having to buy an engagement ring.

-Simple as that!

0:22:200:22:24

The first spoon that I ever made was this simple one here

0:22:240:22:30

and once I carved the spoon, I offered it to my girlfriend, she accepted

0:22:300:22:34

and that became our first engagement spoon made in 1969.

0:22:340:22:39

But your workshop here, it's just wonderful.

0:22:390:22:42

It's good being surrounded by items of folk art, it's good for your soul.

0:22:420:22:46

It's a lovely material... Wood is such a lovely material to work with

0:22:460:22:51

and I'm privileged to be able to make my living from such a lovely material.

0:22:510:22:57

You've made hundreds of thousands, which I'll talk to you about a little later,

0:22:570:23:01

but can I have a go? Can you talk me through?

0:23:010:23:05

Because I want to make one for my wife

0:23:050:23:07

-so this would be a good opportunity to try my skills.

-Yes, yes.

0:23:070:23:11

-Yes, yes!

-With your expert advice!

0:23:110:23:14

I really like that kind of love spoon

0:23:140:23:17

which almost reads like a love letter for the intended.

0:23:170:23:21

Oh, yeah. There's a message in the spoon.

0:23:210:23:23

What we'll try to do today is get a bit of the message in your spoon.

0:23:230:23:27

Every spoon is unique.

0:23:270:23:30

The symbols carved on them have specific meanings

0:23:300:23:33

but often the interpretation and the message are relevant only to the recipient.

0:23:330:23:38

Well, it looks a bit rough.

0:23:450:23:48

I've drawn it straight out on a blank of oak.

0:23:480:23:50

I hope you approve of this.

0:23:500:23:52

What I've got is a nice raised back panel,

0:23:520:23:57

which for me looks like a piece of furniture. There's my hole -

0:23:570:24:00

I want to hang it on the wall because hopefully I'm going to be proud of it.

0:24:000:24:04

That's my initial, P for Paul, C for Charlotte.

0:24:040:24:07

I've used this motif which I'll obviously put a hole in

0:24:070:24:10

and cut this out with...

0:24:100:24:13

a fret saw. That's a soul motif that the ancient Egyptians used.

0:24:130:24:18

I've got keys. That's the key to my heart and the key to my house.

0:24:180:24:22

Hopefully we can put this together

0:24:240:24:27

and hopefully she'll fall in love with that and cherish it!

0:24:270:24:30

I'm sure she will.

0:24:300:24:32

-It did the trick for you!

-Definitely.

0:24:320:24:34

There, now...

0:24:500:24:52

This hopefully should look something like... Oh!

0:24:520:24:57

Do you know what? I'm happy with that.

0:24:570:24:59

-Are you happy with that?

-Yeah. So far, so good.

0:24:590:25:01

It's getting there. It just needs a bit more love.

0:25:010:25:05

A couple more stages, a smoothing plane on that and some sanding.

0:25:050:25:10

You make a spoon every year which is very personal to you.

0:25:100:25:14

It not only records events going on in your life

0:25:140:25:17

but also world events.

0:25:170:25:19

That's correct.

0:25:190:25:20

-Can you show me some examples?

-Yes.

0:25:200:25:22

I started with our engagement spoon

0:25:220:25:25

and from there we went on to our wedding spoon.

0:25:250:25:28

Let me go on to 1977...

0:25:280:25:30

children - various ways to recall the birth of a child on a love spoon.

0:25:300:25:33

-The little balls.

-A link, put the name, the seed.

0:25:330:25:37

This is very clever because this is made out of one piece of wood.

0:25:370:25:40

How long did that take you to do?

0:25:400:25:42

Perhaps 60 hours at the time.

0:25:420:25:44

That's a lot of work, isn't it?

0:25:440:25:47

I've thoroughly enjoyed my visit here with Kerry.

0:25:560:25:59

It's been so inspirational.

0:25:590:26:01

He is a craftsman keeping a tradition and a spirit well alive here in Wales,

0:26:010:26:06

and if you get a chance to pay him a visit, please do.

0:26:060:26:09

You'll get a one-off spoon made for you.

0:26:090:26:12

And I was lucky to make my own with his expert guidance.

0:26:120:26:15

It's my design. It only took three hours.

0:26:150:26:17

It's slightly naive but there's a lot of heart and soul and integrity

0:26:170:26:21

and that's what it's all about with folk art.

0:26:210:26:24

I absolutely love this, and I hope my wife does, too.

0:26:240:26:28

From tokens of affection to portraits of a rather more sombre nature,

0:26:340:26:38

as I take you back to 2005 and to Chippenham,

0:26:380:26:41

where Carolyn bought two death scene paintings for me to value.

0:26:410:26:45

Carolyn, thank you very much for bringing this pair of prints in.

0:26:450:26:50

I love them and think they're quite romantic

0:26:500:26:52

until you take a closer look and realise what's going on.

0:26:520:26:54

-They are both death scenes of women, which is not very romantic.

-No.

0:26:540:26:59

-But they've got the look.

-Definitely.

0:26:590:27:01

Where have they come from?

0:27:010:27:03

They've come from the attic of the house I moved to.

0:27:030:27:07

-So you found them in your attic?

-Yes.

0:27:070:27:09

They look like they've come from an attic.

0:27:090:27:12

They've been quite damp in places.

0:27:120:27:13

Good job you got them out because they would have started to perish.

0:27:130:27:17

The good news is, at least the print themselves isn't too badly damaged.

0:27:170:27:22

A bit of water marking there.

0:27:220:27:23

This is the sort of thing I'd like to repair and restore myself

0:27:230:27:28

and anybody that's done a little bit of decorating

0:27:280:27:31

and can work with Pollyfilla and plaster could touch that up.

0:27:310:27:35

This one's in much better condition.

0:27:350:27:37

It depicts the death of Lady Jane Grey.

0:27:370:27:40

She was beheaded by Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII,

0:27:400:27:44

who rightfully inherited the throne,

0:27:440:27:46

and if you look closely you can see millions and millions...

0:27:460:27:50

-I've never noticed that.

-..of little dots.

0:27:500:27:52

It's come from a print run.

0:27:520:27:54

These are late-Georgian.

0:27:540:27:57

I think they're 1810, 1820.

0:27:570:28:00

What's good about them is they've not been hand-coloured in.

0:28:000:28:03

This is beautifully coloured in

0:28:030:28:05

but the ink has been on the press before they were pressed.

0:28:050:28:08

-It's actually on the engraving.

-OK.

-And I like them.

0:28:080:28:12

I think they're quality and they've definitely got that look for me.

0:28:120:28:15

The backs. Well, if I pick one up...

0:28:150:28:18

..original backing. The collectors will like that.

0:28:210:28:24

The dealers will like that. It shows they haven't been tampered with.

0:28:240:28:28

Value-wise,

0:28:280:28:30

Mmm... I would like to see these sell for around £140 for the pair.

0:28:300:28:35

I think they've got the look.

0:28:350:28:37

But to be safe I'd like to put them into auction

0:28:370:28:40

with a valuation of £90-£130.

0:28:400:28:43

-Would you be happy with that?

-That's fine.

0:28:430:28:45

I was thrilled to death by those paintings

0:28:450:28:49

but did anyone want to dice with them when they went under the hammer?

0:28:490:28:52

We'll find out shortly.

0:28:520:28:55

First though, here are three major milestone markers

0:28:560:28:59

from the archives that I just have to show you.

0:28:590:29:02

This Victorian mourning locket

0:29:050:29:07

was given to Gill as an engagement gift

0:29:070:29:09

but it wasn't really to her taste.

0:29:090:29:12

When Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria went into mourning

0:29:130:29:18

and mourning became a fashion.

0:29:180:29:21

Oh, right.

0:29:210:29:23

I would date it from about the 1860s, 1870s.

0:29:230:29:27

And there was no need to mourn its loss at auction

0:29:270:29:31

as it fetched a cheerful £380.

0:29:310:29:33

In Dunstable, back in 2009, Valerie's stunning silver christening set

0:29:350:29:41

made Michael Baggott somewhat broody.

0:29:410:29:43

Look at the wonderful condition of that.

0:29:430:29:45

-That's never been out of that case.

-It's lovely, isn't it?

0:29:450:29:49

And there was plenty to celebrate

0:29:490:29:50

when it delivered a decent £210 result.

0:29:500:29:55

Nothing says "I love you" like a diamond ring

0:29:550:29:57

and this 1.1 carat stunner

0:29:570:30:02

had Charlie Ross at "hello!" in Tavistock back in 2008.

0:30:020:30:06

The great beauty of this ring is its simplicity

0:30:060:30:09

and therefore it will appeal to more people.

0:30:090:30:13

It absolutely lit up the sale room, selling for a sensational £950.

0:30:130:30:18

Now for my next memorable milestone momento,

0:30:230:30:25

and it was Michael Baggott's turn to be wooed

0:30:250:30:28

when Carol brought in her rather unusual wedding disc back in Dunstable in 2009.

0:30:280:30:34

Thank you for bringing in this small little metal disc today.

0:30:350:30:40

Before I tell you anything about it, what can you tell me?

0:30:410:30:44

Not very much, I'm afraid.

0:30:440:30:46

When my mother-in-law died, it was found in a box with other items

0:30:460:30:49

so it just stayed in the box.

0:30:490:30:52

What were the other bits and pieces? Coins and metal?

0:30:520:30:56

No, they were more religious items.

0:30:560:30:59

It's probably the nicest thing

0:30:590:31:03

I've ever seen on a Flog It valuation day.

0:31:030:31:06

It's a very fine, very early Dutch wedding medal.

0:31:060:31:12

-What we've got is a silver disc.

-It's silver?

0:31:120:31:15

Yes, it's not marked but that's not unusual.

0:31:150:31:18

This is superbly engraved with the wedding couple,

0:31:180:31:21

so you've got them here in this hallway,

0:31:210:31:26

this classical hallway.

0:31:260:31:28

You've got a checkerboard floor

0:31:280:31:30

and you've got these little cherubs

0:31:300:31:32

parting the clouds with a wreath

0:31:320:31:35

and the rays of sunlight coming down on their union,

0:31:350:31:37

like a blessing from heaven.

0:31:370:31:40

The lovely thing is if we turn it round, and probably the explanation

0:31:400:31:45

why it was in a box of religious-related items

0:31:450:31:49

is we've got a scene of the wedding of Cana,

0:31:490:31:52

which of course relates to it being a wedding medal.

0:31:520:31:56

It's very difficult to pin an exact date on it

0:31:560:31:59

but I would say anywhere from about 1650 up to 1700.

0:31:590:32:04

Really?

0:32:040:32:06

So Carol, any idea of how much it's worth?

0:32:060:32:09

About £75?

0:32:090:32:10

It's only a little bit of silver, isn't it?

0:32:100:32:13

I think I'd be remiss in putting it into the auction

0:32:130:32:17

with a reserve less than £500.

0:32:170:32:20

And I think we'll set that as a reserve.

0:32:210:32:24

Really?

0:32:240:32:25

And we'll put £500-£800 as an estimate.

0:32:250:32:28

I wasn't going to bring it in.

0:32:280:32:30

Oh! Don't say that, Carol!

0:32:300:32:32

It is a gem and a delight

0:32:340:32:36

and it will, I think, by far be the finest piece of silver in the sale.

0:32:360:32:41

-Right.

-Thank you so much for bringing it in.

0:32:410:32:43

Let's hope it does really well in the auction.

0:32:430:32:45

-Thank you!

-Thank you!

0:32:450:32:47

Did anyone say "I do" to Carol's disc when it went under the hammer?

0:32:480:32:52

We'll find out in just a moment.

0:32:520:32:55

First, though, I'm taking you over to Dover, where back in 2009, Mark Stacey was astonished

0:32:560:33:01

to discover that a pair of stunning Moorcroft vases that Liz had inherited from her grandma

0:33:010:33:07

had been relegated to the cellar.

0:33:070:33:09

You've bought a Flog It favourite in, Moorcroft pottery.

0:33:090:33:13

Now, tell me all about them.

0:33:130:33:16

These were a gift to my grandmother.

0:33:160:33:18

-My mum thinks that they could have been a wedding present.

-Where were they married?

0:33:180:33:22

I think they were probably married up in London.

0:33:220:33:25

It would have been around early 1900s when they got married.

0:33:250:33:30

-Oh, that would fit in with the date.

-Then she happened to see this piece

0:33:300:33:33

and because it matched, she bought that as well.

0:33:330:33:37

Can you remember what she paid for this piece? Some time ago.

0:33:370:33:39

-Yeah, I was very young when my grandmother died.

-OK. So how have you ended up with them?

0:33:390:33:44

-Because my mum gave them to me.

-Right. And they're in pride of place in your sitting room, are they?

0:33:440:33:50

They were until my husband and I got married a couple of years ago,

0:33:500:33:53

and we got a gift of some large modern vases from our best friend,

0:33:530:33:57

and so unfortunately, these have been relegated to the cellar.

0:33:570:34:01

To the cellar? Oh, that's not very fair, is it?

0:34:010:34:04

Some wonderful-quality objects like that. Well, I'll tell you a little bit about them.

0:34:040:34:08

They are wonderful examples of William Moorcroft's work.

0:34:080:34:12

William Moorcroft was an art nouveau designer who joined a factory called Macintyres, in about 1897.

0:34:120:34:17

Basically, he was given free range in his department.

0:34:170:34:21

He was an artistic director, if you like.

0:34:210:34:24

And to produce these art nouveau designs under a brand name called Florian ware.

0:34:240:34:28

-It is Florian.

-Florian ware,

0:34:280:34:30

and he produced that, and then in the early part of the 20th century

0:34:300:34:34

he went his own separate way,

0:34:340:34:35

but these are from that early period, so they're not quite the 1890s period,

0:34:350:34:40

they're more likely to be 1910, 1915, somewhere around about that period.

0:34:400:34:45

And they are blue and red anemones, the design, which is

0:34:450:34:49

one of Moorcroft's favourite ways of decorating the vases.

0:34:490:34:53

but on these particular examples, everything marries together very nicely.

0:34:530:34:57

We've got a very curvaceous art nouveau shape on the vases here.

0:34:570:35:01

I love these little minaret tube-line decorations,

0:35:010:35:04

that go around the main cartouche of the flowers.

0:35:040:35:08

And the use of these lovely colours, these subtle olive greens and the dark and light blues,

0:35:080:35:13

just to really create that 3D effect, if you like.

0:35:130:35:18

-And this one obviously, it's more inspired from the oriental designs.

-Right.

0:35:180:35:22

It's almost like a gourd shape vase, with this little sort of knot neck there.

0:35:220:35:27

I mean, they're absolutely charming.

0:35:270:35:30

I know you've brought the three items in as one lot,

0:35:300:35:32

but I think in fairness, to get the best possible price,

0:35:320:35:36

we need to sell them in two lots.

0:35:360:35:38

The pair of vases and the single vase.

0:35:380:35:40

I would put on these very pretty pair of vases £500-£800.

0:35:400:35:44

And on this one, I would put around £400-£600.

0:35:440:35:47

And I would put the reserve of 450 and 350 respectively.

0:35:470:35:51

-Are you pleased with that?

-I am very pleased with that.

-Jolly good.

0:35:510:35:55

-The fateful question, what will you do with the cash?

-Spend it on our sick car.

0:35:550:35:59

-On your sick car, poor thing.

-Yes.

0:35:590:36:02

-Has it got a name, this sick car?

-I'm afraid he's called Pierre.

0:36:020:36:05

Pierre? Is he a French car?

0:36:050:36:08

He's a Peugeot.

0:36:080:36:09

Pierre the Peugeot, how lovely.

0:36:090:36:12

We'll see if those vases smash Mark's estimate in just a minute,

0:36:130:36:17

but first, here's a quick reminder of my final ten of the best

0:36:170:36:21

birth, marriage and death-related bygones.

0:36:210:36:25

I was tickled to death by Carolyn's paintings, but did anyone

0:36:250:36:28

at the Wiltshire auction room want to give them a new lease of life?

0:36:280:36:33

Michael thought Carol's wedding disc was one of the finest

0:36:330:36:36

pieces of silver he'd ever seen,

0:36:360:36:38

so stand by to see if it delivered a sterling result in the sale room.

0:36:380:36:42

Mark thought Lizzie's Moorcroft vases were positively delightful,

0:36:420:36:48

but did the bidders in the sale room agree?

0:36:480:36:50

We'll be back to find out in just a minute.

0:36:520:36:54

But first, let's see if I was on the money with my £80-£130 valuation on Carolyn's two paintings.

0:36:540:37:01

Pressure is on me now, it's my turn to be the expert.

0:37:020:37:05

It's a bit of fine art. In fact, it's two lovely engravings, brought in by Carolyn.

0:37:050:37:10

Early 19th century.

0:37:100:37:11

They are death scenes,

0:37:110:37:13

but I hope it's not going to be a nail in the coffin for our valuation.

0:37:130:37:16

-What will you do with the money?

-It's going to go towards my daughter's first car.

0:37:160:37:20

How much is that going to cost?

0:37:200:37:22

Lots of money, lots of saving up.

0:37:220:37:24

-For the car she wants, anyway.

-Hopefully, this is six months' road tax.

0:37:240:37:27

-We're going to find out right now.

-Thanks.

0:37:270:37:29

Someone start me at £100?

0:37:320:37:35

50 then? 50 I have. 50 I have. 55. 55.

0:37:350:37:40

60 here. 65. 70 here. 75 at the back. 80. 85 at the back.

0:37:400:37:47

90, and the bid's with you. 90, the bid's on my right.

0:37:480:37:52

Do I see 95 anywhere? 90, the bid's on my right. Do I see 95 anywhere?

0:37:520:37:58

Selling then, at £90.

0:37:580:38:01

They're gone.

0:38:010:38:02

Thank goodness for that.

0:38:020:38:04

That is six months' road tax, isn't it?!

0:38:040:38:06

Yes. Bang on the nose as well.

0:38:060:38:09

Yeah, bottom end. Bottom end.

0:38:090:38:12

-I'm pleased.

-Thank you. I'm pleased. In fact, I'm well relieved.

0:38:120:38:16

At least they didn't die a death in that sale room.

0:38:180:38:20

Now to Tring, to see if Carol can find a bidder

0:38:200:38:23

to fall in love with her stunning silver wedding disc.

0:38:230:38:27

Next up we've got that wonderful old Dutch metal. Will it be a winner?

0:38:270:38:31

We're just about to find out. It's got a value of £500-£800.

0:38:310:38:36

-This you found in a box, didn't you, of your mother's belongings?

-Yeah.

0:38:360:38:40

-Were you surprised when you showed Michael here?

-Absolutely.

0:38:400:38:44

I wasn't going to bring it on the day

0:38:440:38:46

and then when he said how much he thought it would be...

0:38:460:38:49

I had to stop my eyes popping out of my head when I saw it.

0:38:490:38:53

It's a splendid thing.

0:38:530:38:54

Hopefully, we've got one or two bidders in the sale room.

0:38:540:38:58

A telephone bidder from Amsterdam would be what we'd like.

0:38:580:39:01

That's what we were looking for!

0:39:010:39:03

OK, we'll find out. This is it.

0:39:030:39:04

It's 17th century.

0:39:060:39:08

Do we start at five? Do we start at four?

0:39:080:39:11

Do we start at three? I think so, surely. £300?

0:39:110:39:13

Yes. 300 I'm bid for it. At £300.

0:39:130:39:18

£320. At £350.

0:39:180:39:20

£380.

0:39:200:39:22

Are you 400? I've got it now.

0:39:220:39:25

£400. At £400. 420 bid.

0:39:250:39:28

420?

0:39:280:39:30

450? 450. 480?

0:39:300:39:33

-The room's out at 480.

-Yes.

0:39:330:39:35

At 480 bid. At 480. £500 bid.

0:39:350:39:38

At £500. Are you 20, sir?

0:39:380:39:41

520. Perhaps even 50.

0:39:410:39:45

550 bid for it now.

0:39:450:39:46

550 I am bid for it. 580.

0:39:460:39:49

£550. At 550.

0:39:490:39:52

-Can you see the bidding?

-No.

0:39:520:39:55

Nor can I!

0:39:550:39:56

All the secret nods and winks, I think.

0:39:560:39:59

Are you 20, sir? At 620?

0:39:590:40:01

And 50. 650.

0:40:010:40:03

This is good. This is good.

0:40:030:40:06

You're travelling well. 680.

0:40:060:40:08

At 680. 700 now.

0:40:080:40:10

700 is bid.

0:40:100:40:12

Is that it? £700.

0:40:120:40:15

At £700 I am going to sell it.

0:40:150:40:16

It's going away, I'm afraid.

0:40:160:40:18

Away from the room at 700. I'm selling away from the room.

0:40:180:40:21

He's going to be sold. Do I sell at £700?

0:40:210:40:25

Well done, Carol's mum.

0:40:250:40:27

That's all I can say! Good on her.

0:40:270:40:30

Yeah!

0:40:300:40:31

And on you for hanging on to it cos you know what we get like nowadays.

0:40:310:40:35

You rummage through everything and chuck it all without thinking twice.

0:40:350:40:39

If you hadn't put it into an auction

0:40:390:40:41

and someone had seen it that had recognised it for what it was,

0:40:410:40:44

it would've been a 20 pound note, I'm sure.

0:40:440:40:46

£700 - a cracking result for Carol!

0:40:460:40:51

Finally, let's join Liz and Mark at the saleroom in Canterbury

0:40:520:40:56

to see if those Moorcroft vases made her some decent cash.

0:40:560:41:01

We've got two lots of Moorcroft going on under the hammer.

0:41:010:41:04

-A pair of vases to start with. 500-800.

-That's right.

0:41:040:41:06

It's all the money there and the single vase, 400-600.

0:41:060:41:10

-Why are you selling these?

-Good strong designs.

-Very good.

0:41:100:41:13

I've had to get a new car.

0:41:130:41:15

-Oh, have you?

-Yes.

0:41:150:41:17

-So they had to go?

-It's to finance that, I'm afraid.

0:41:170:41:20

-I guess it's better being in too much debt, isn't it.

-Yeah.

0:41:200:41:23

Let's see what we can do. Here we go.

0:41:230:41:25

Lot number 47 are the pair of early 20th century

0:41:250:41:29

Macintyre Moorcroft pottery vases.

0:41:290:41:31

-For bids, we're starting at £880 and I am looking for 900.

-Straight in!

0:41:330:41:37

Straight to the phone at £900. 920.

0:41:400:41:42

-940.

-Hey!

-960. 980.

0:41:420:41:46

1,000. And 50.

0:41:460:41:48

Oh, my life!

0:41:480:41:50

1,100. 1,150.

0:41:520:41:54

1,200.

0:41:560:41:58

1,250.

0:41:580:42:00

1,300. 1,350.

0:42:000:42:02

1,400.

0:42:020:42:04

1,450.

0:42:040:42:05

1,500. 1,550.

0:42:060:42:08

1,600. Anybody at £1,600?

0:42:090:42:12

Any interest at 1,600 online?

0:42:130:42:15

-Well, I never.

-In the room?

0:42:150:42:18

Bid is at 1,550 on the telephone and selling at 1,550.

0:42:180:42:22

That's the first lot. £1,550. OK, here's the single vase.

0:42:220:42:26

Are you ready for this? We're going to add to it.

0:42:260:42:29

I think we might have a few bids.

0:42:290:42:33

Four bids, we're starting at £820.

0:42:330:42:36

-Oh my God!

-Who's in at 840?

0:42:360:42:40

Any interest at 840? 860? Anybody at 860?

0:42:400:42:43

On the phone at 840 now. Anybody at 860?

0:42:430:42:45

Any interest at 860?

0:42:450:42:48

If not, I'm selling at £840.

0:42:480:42:50

The bid is on the phone at 840.

0:42:500:42:52

Gosh! Straight in!

0:42:520:42:54

You were taken by surprise. So was I. £840!

0:42:540:42:58

-That's 2,390 quid!

-Excellent.

0:42:580:43:01

-The debts are going!

-They are!

0:43:010:43:04

What a great thing to do.

0:43:040:43:06

-Thank you.

-Thank you so much!

0:43:060:43:08

What a lovely feeling.

0:43:080:43:10

Yes.

0:43:100:43:11

With a grand total of £2,390,

0:43:160:43:20

that was a cracking result for Liz!

0:43:200:43:23

Sadly, that's all we have time for today's show

0:43:270:43:30

but I do hope you join me again soon for another look back

0:43:300:43:33

at some of my favourite collections from the Flog It archives

0:43:330:43:36

but until then, it's cheerio from a rather splendid Syon House.

0:43:360:43:40

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:490:43:51

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:510:43:54

Paul Martin introduces his favourite collection of milestone-marking mementos in this archive edition from Syon Park near London.

A dazzling Georgian silver beaker tops expert Mark Stacey's valuation in the saleroom in Plymouth, and the bidders battle it out at an auction in Chippenham for two mourning scene paintings.