BBC Flog It! comes to Toovey’s – we Blog It!

BBC Flog It! coming to Toovey's

The popular BBC1 antiques programme Flog It!, presented by Paul Martin, is coming to Toovey’s Spring Gardens Auction Rooms on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd February 2013. The major television show is now in its twelfth series and regularly gets an audience of two million viewers each weekday. Paul and the BBC team will be filming background footage at various times on the Thursday and auction footage throughout the Friday, for inclusion in a forthcoming series. Auctioneer on the Friday will be Rupert Toovey, who is a familiar face to many through his appearances on BBC’s Bargain Hunt. Forty featured items, selected from a Flog It! valuations day held at Guildford Cathedral on 31st January 2013, will be going under the gavel, along with the usual host of antique furnishings and collectables offered every month at Toovey’s. The auction commences at 10.00 am. Click here for viewing times and details of all Toovey’s forthcoming auctions.

Please note: we completely respect the wishes of any of our customers who would like to attend the sale but not be filmed. Designated areas will be made available by the BBC for bidders who wish to remain out of camera shot.

Chris Gale visits the Brighton Toy & Model Museum

Daddy Long Legs Electric Railway Model at Brighton Toy and Model Museum (on loan from Volks' Electric Railway Association)

On Saturday 2nd February, Toovey’s resident Toy, Doll and Game specialist, Chris Gale visited the Brighton Toy and Model Museum. Attending a talk given by Ian Gledhill about the Brighton inventor Magnus Volk (1851-1937).

It was Volk who established the first phone link in Brighton. He also installed the first electric light bulb and was responsible for the beginning of the city’s electrification.  One of his many inventions was the first electric railway in the world – Volk’s Railway which has been running along Brighton Seafront for 129 years. The other not less remarkable creation and probably the most recognisable was the Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Railway (Daddy Long Legs).

Chris said “Ian gave an enthusiastic and educational talk with photographs and a very rare short film of the Daddy Long Legs in action.”

Also on display at the museum, which Toovey’s sponsor, is a wonderful collection of toys and games including Hornby, Marklin, Bassett Lowke, Corgi Toys, Dinky Toys, dolls, and soft toys.  Chris now turns his attention to deadlining his forthcoming Specialist Sale of Toys on 27th February, in preparation for the auction on Tuesday 19th March.

Toovey’s Expand to China with AAA

Toovey’s will be represented by the British Ambassador to China at the official launch of an exciting new professional group, comprising twenty-one of the leading regional auction houses in the United Kingdom, at the British Embassy in Beijing this April.

These auction houses, which have a combined annual turnover in excess of £200 million, have united to become a dominant UK force in the lucrative Chinese market. In an unprecedented move, they have launched AAA (The Association of Accredited Auctioneers) and forged commercial links with Asia’s only online live bidding portal,, which now promotes their sales directly to more than 100,000 registered collectors of fine art and antiques in China and posts their catalogues translated into Chinese online.

“The number of Chinese nationals attending our sales in person has grown and grown over recent years but there is a huge audience of potential buyers in the East, who lack the experience and knowledge necessary for direct trade with the West and are unable to make the journey here,” comments auction house director Rupert Toovey. “The objective of the Association of Accredited Auctioneers is to increase confidence and understanding of the UK auction business through a programme of targeted marketing, quality assurance and educational presentations to key growth markets in China. As a firm we are delighted to be among the founder members of AAA.”

Toovey’s Oriental Department holds six specialist auctions of Chinese, Japanese and other Far Eastern ceramics and works of art a year and holds regular valuation days. Department head Tom Rowsell and his consultant, BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Lars Tharp, have over the last fifteen years built one of the pre-eminent specialist auction departments in the UK. “The influence of the Chinese on the UK auction market cannot be underestimated,” says Tom Rowsell. “Our web presence through has complimented the depth of our expertise by providing our clients with accelerated marketing and an international shop window for the sale of their objects. Rare Chinese pieces still command the highest prices but there is now a tremendous demand for British antiques in China, particularly furniture, silver, jewellery, clocks and watches, and we hope that the AAA project will encourage more and more mainland Chinese to buy items in all the specialist sections in our auctions.