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This is Antiques Master,
the contest to find Britain's top amateur antiques expert.
For eight weeks, the country's finest antiques minds
were put to the test in a series of demanding challenges.
Now, in the semi-finals, the contest gets even tougher
as the elite return to battle it out
in the stately Regency Rooms at Townley Hall in Burnley.
A place in the final.
Hello, and welcome to Antiques Master.
I'm Sandi Toksvig, and this is the search for Britain's top amateur antiques enthusiast.
Tonight, in our second semi-final, another three keen contestants
compete for just one place in the Antiques Master final.
But now the pressure really steps up
as the cream of our contestants fight it out
all under the watchful eye of our resident expert, Mr Eric Knowles.
They may be one step closer to the title,
but ultimately only one will become the Antiques Master.
Let's meet tonight's semi-finalists.
20-year old student John Rogers has a passion for British silver.
I really would like to win Antiques Master,
just to prove people of my age group can have as much knowledge in antiques as others.
A native of Edinburgh, Margaret Campbell collects ceramic tiles.
I didn't expect to make it to the semi-finals, but now I'm here, who knows?
And Jonathan Macfarlane hails from Devon
and has a love affair with arts and crafts to Art Deco pewter.
Getting through to the semi-final has raised the stakes.
I do feel pressured. I must admit it.
But who will have what it takes to win a coveted place in the final
and move one step closer to becoming Antiques Master?
The journey continues.
Now, your first challenge is all about your antiques specialisms.
We know each of you has a different antiques passion
and we're going to put that specialist knowledge to the test.
We have scoured the country for five glorious examples
for each of you and what you need to do,
you need to study them and tell us the following.
Which is the oldest, which is the most valuable, and which one is the odd one out?
There is a total of 40 points available.
There is ten points for each antique that you correctly identify
and an extra ten points if you tell us the price of the most valuable piece
within 15% of the auction estimate.
So let's see who's got a real eye for detail.
First up is John, who scored 20 points in his heat
on pre-1800 British silver.
Your odd one out is not a piece of silver.
Well, it's a salver.
This has hallmarks here, which I can see are London.
I believe I have a piece of silver of this date.
I think that's 1786, that hallmark.
So it's within the time.
But I'm wondering whether this decoration may have been added later,
because the Victorians, they hated the plain,
simple surface of Georgian silver,
and they'd re-hammer, re-engrave them.
-That seems slightly criminal.
-Right, we move on to...
-..a nice pair of candlesticks.
-These could not be made of silver.
-First of all, looking at the marks.
-They certainly don't look like hallmarks.
-What do they look like?
A system of letters and devices that make no sense.
But they're very neo-classical in style,
with the sort of Corinthian column and a four-load body here,
with this acanthus moulding,
but I'm pretty sure these aren't made of silver.
Right, so possible candidate for our odd one out.
Yes. And now we have a pepper pot.
The top, so that it should match,
all detachable pieces of silver have to be hallmarked as well.
And if you look at the marks...
there seems to be two maker's marks
and that often indicates provincial silver,
silver made outside of London,
particularly before the Britannia Act in 1697.
It was often marked many times with just the maker's mark
as they didn't have a very complicated system of marks.
Oh, wait. Ah.
But, no, it is Britannia standard silver,
so that dates it between 1697 and 1720.
So this is certainly one of the oldest.
We're going to have to move you along, although I love hearing you talk about it.
-This shouldn't be like that.
-It should be like this.
-It's a sugar bowl,
and, looking by the marks,
we can see that it has the leopard's head for London,
the lion patent for Sterling Silver,
the date letter of T, which may be around 1730.
I'm going to have to rush you along, I'm sorry. There's never the time that we would like.
-And it's Scottish.
Made in Edinburgh, which makes it quite a bit more valuable.
-Do you get a lot of silverware out of Edinburgh?
Less of it in the 18th century. It was considerably rare in the 17th century.
First, let's start with the odd one out.
-It's definitely these.
-You think that they are...
-They're not...They don't feel silver.
OK. So, how about the oldest?
Because it's Britannia, it's probably the oldest.
OK. And the most valuable.
You see less of these than you do the ladles, they're in good shape.
-I'm going to say this is the most valuable.
-This is the most valuable?
Let's get the word from Eric.
Let us look for our oldest.
You mentioned the Britannia standard,
and when you come across that you know you're somewhere between 1697 and 1720
and the actual date on the piece is 1711, so Queen Anne.
It's nice and early,
and it is the oldest.
Well done, John. You get ten points.
We are now looking for our odd one out.
You're absolutely right. These are the odd ones out.
They're not solid silver.
They are, in actual fact plate, Sheffield Plate,
and the maker we have down as a John Hoyland & Company.
So, absolutely right, odd one out.
So, 20 points so far.
So where's my most valuable?
The most valuable piece on here...
just happens to be the sugar box.
So, 30 points so far. You're on a roll now, John.
You can get another ten if you can give me,
within 15% of the auction estimate,
how much you think that sweet little sugar bowl might be worth.
I'll try 3,100.
Well, I was looking for anything either side
of £3,000, so pretty good going.
You are well in there, the full 40 points.
-Well done, John.
-Thank you so much.
John sits down with a full house.
Margaret failed to score on this round in her heat.
Will she spot the oldest, most valuable and odd one out this time
in her specialism, British and Continental tiles?
-Your odd one out is a copy of an earlier tile.
This, I would suggest, is possibly a Dutch scene.
It is possible that this could be a Dutch tile with the carnation border,
but can I just hold back on that one for a little while?
The back's not going to tell me anything
but I think it's probably around about 1750s.
Now, what about this one here?
It's an interesting one. This could be a floor tile.
It could be well worn because it's a floor tile.
This type of tin glaze, majolica, was...
Well, it was used in Italy quite a lot for flooring,
but I'm not sure about that one, whether it's Italian or Spanish.
-It's not Portuguese.
-Right, we're going to have to move you along.
Now this one, this could be a Spanish one of the Alhambra style.
-This could be a...
-Because of the colours?
The colours very much so, because there's a reddy brown
and a yellowy red.
Now, red is an iron oxide that was used
and it was used fairly sparingly
because it wasn't so easy to get a good red.
But, by the way, this one requires four tiles to make up the whole pattern.
-It's only a quarter of the pattern.
-Because of the clouds? I see.
It would probably be a wall tile with a border running along the upper part...
-I hate to do this because I love listening to you...
-I must get on.
-..but we have to press you on.
Now, this is a very interesting one. Again, it's made up of a quatrefoil.
You would have four tiles to make up.
I'm wondering if this is a Dutch tile. English tiles tend to be smoother.
Er, so it's got a floral centre and it's probably about...
Let's come onto the last item.
Ah, this looks like perhaps our friend Sadler and Green.
I hope so. I hope it's Liverpool,
because it's got the Rococo or the 88.
This type of thin Rococo border is often referred to as an 88.
If it is Sadler and Green, it is a transfer print.
So could this be the copy of an earlier tile? Is that possible?
-No, I don't think so.
-You don't think so? Right. Let's try and find the oldest, shall we?
-Let's put that as the oldest.
-All right. Let's find the most valuable.
I think I'll put it as this one.
All righty. And the one that is a copy.
The odd one out is a copy of an earlier tile.
I've seen so many that look just like that.
Let's go for that as the copy. The die is cast.
Come and stand with me. It was fascinating listening to you talk.
Now let's see what Eric has got to say.
Let us look for our oldest tile.
-It's this one.
-Well done. You've got ten points.
A Cuenca tile,
so when you said Spain, Italy... Spain is what we're looking for.
-As for the date, well, we have it down as circa-1600.
We are now in search of our odd one out.
This is the one I want to take home with me.
But this is not out of period.
So where is our odd one out?
Well, it's all in a colour,
and the colour on this occasion is a very muddy red
and there is our muddy red.
A Cuenca tile which is, in actual fact, out of period,
around about 1880 in date.
We now have to look for the most valuable.
We have got a wonderful Dutch tile there which is very pretty,
but it is not our most valuable.
So which is our most valuable?
-Sadler and Green.
-It's the Sadler and Green.
It's the Liverpool tile.
The date on that, I can tell you, is 1760.
We don't want you to go away with just ten points, we'd like you to have 15 points.
So we're going to offer you another five if you can tell me,
to within 15% of the auction estimate,
how much you think that valuable tile might be worth.
It is actually nearer £220.
If you wanted to buy one, they're that little bit more affordable.
-No, thank you!
-Margaret, thank you so much. You get ten points.
Margaret takes ten points out of the maximum 40.
Can Jonathan do better than the 25 he scored in his heat
as he steps up for his specialism, arts and crafts to Art Deco pewter?
The odd one out is the only British piece.
Let's start with this astonishing lady.
Looks to be German,
in the style of Kaiser Zinn or WMF.
I love this.
The base of her skirt or her dress
becoming the thing that's holding the whole candelabra up.
-Very naturalistic, influenced by Japanese art
which had a huge influence on the late 19th century Art Nouveau movement.
-Let's come on to the next one.
-I think it's a piece of Tudric.
Where would you buy such a thing?
Tudric was the trade name for Liberty's pewter.
I love the colours. Are these typical?
Yes. The enamel,
there were small pieces of enamel put on the honesty flowers
and sometimes they floated a large section of enamel
and you actually had some beautiful oblong enamels
done by Fleetwood Charles Varley.
I don't think this is a Fleetwood Charles Varley, but it could well be.
I don't even know what the next piece is.
Let's take it off the stand and have a closer look.
Well, it's obviously an ink stand.
-Might that be one of the oldest?
-It could be from the early 1890s.
It could be late 1880s.
It's interesting for me now that these things are fantastically valuable and gorgeous.
Were they commonplace when they were first produced?
These were an imitation of silver and were mass produced.
They were machine made,
and that made them cheaper and more affordable.
Every house could have something fashionable and modern.
-Having something beautiful.
This is rather similar, isn't it? They've got the dress as the base.
Very similar to the first item
and these are again the natural free-flowing form,
very feminine, very naturalistic flowers
and I'm looking for a mark underneath, and I just see a number.
-Oh, hang on, there is something there.
-What can you see?
-Ah! So we are looking for the only British piece.
-Even I know if it says WMF it's not that one. Is that right?
And on to our final lady.
Oh, she's rather beautiful.
And it has a sculptor's mark on the back.
It looks like it's a one-off. Doesn't have any factory marks that I can see.
In theory, would that make it more valuable?
-Yes, in my mind it could be.
-Have you seen one like that before?
This is a one-off, as far as I'm concerned. I haven't seen this before.
I've seen similar, but not this actual one.
Now, let us find first of all the oldest item that we have before us.
I'm going to go for that one.
-Roughly, what are we going to say in terms of age?
-Now, the odd one out.
And the most valuable?
I'll go for this one.
-Are you happy with your choices?
-No, because I'm not sure.
Oh, in that case, come here, because I know the man who will tell us
with some certainty what we need to know. Eric?
Where are we when it comes to our oldest item here today?
Kaiser Zinn, a magical name in Art Nouveau pewter.
But this particular piece actually dates to 1902,
and consequently it's not the oldest in front of you today.
I've got to go up to this far end and I've got to do a swap
because this particular piece we know dates to 1900.
So there's only two years in it,
and if we look like we're nitpicking,
we are because we're looking for the Antique Master.
You then chose an odd one out. You had no hesitation here.
It was just an instantaneous, "That's the one."
As that is Tudric pewter and it's made for Liberty & Co, that is the one.
Oh, well done. You get ten points.
So where's my most valuable?
We have a choice of one, two, three.
It's right here. Our WMF girls steal the day.
Now, even though you didn't guess the most valuable,
you can have a guess at the auction estimate.
If you get it right within 15%,
we will give you a further five points.
Shall we say 1800?
We have them in at £3,000.
-Nevertheless, you have ten points. Well done, Jonathan.
Well, I think a tricky round
and the scores are, well, John at the moment is the man to beat.
He got the full house. He got 40 points.
But in joint second place we have Margaret and Jonathan, both of whom gained ten points.
One of you will be leaving the contest at the end of the next challenge,
but, frankly, it is still anyone's game at this point.
So let's go through to the Green Room for A Place In Time.
In the second of tonight's three challenges,
we've selected five antiques all from different periods.
The first is a tea caddy,
then a pottery pendant.
Next, a stoneware tankard,
followed by a doll,
and finally a plate.
The antiques have been placed in random order.
Each contestant has five minutes to assess and position them
from earliest to latest on the Antiques Master timeline.
Ten points will be awarded for each one they get right.
The first item to inspect is the plate, valued at £250.
Bloor Derby. View of Wales. Very fine.
I think it's probably late 1700s.
Very pretty, romantic landscape,
-and it's from Wales.
-Ah, souvenir of Wales.
Well, I don't know much about Welsh pottery,
with all due apologies.
-This is Bloor Derby.
-What does that tell you?
Robert Bleur or Bloor owned the Derby factory, I think,
from the early 1800s to about when it closed, 1830.
-They say that in the Bloor period the Derby porcelain quality went down quite a lot.
So, for me, this is going to be 1820.
The next item that needs a place on the timeline is the doll,
with an auction value of £300.
She is rather pretty. She's wearing a rather nice purple skirt,
and this type of purple, and it hasn't faded,
came in after 1856.
It because fashionable because it was a new aniline dye
which didn't fade, and people wanted good strong colours,
so it must be post-1860.
There's some writing, M&C.
-Would that be the manufacturer?
-I was hoping it would be something like Jumeau or Armand Marseille.
But, unfortunately, I do not know that mark.
Do her eyes move?
Yes, her eyes go down when you move her.
I believe that feature would make her more of an early 20th Century doll.
The tankard is next up for inspection.
This is rather lovely. Sometimes there's a stirrup cup.
-Before people started a hunt,
and this might be that. You had these made in Victorian times.
However, I think this is a lot earlier.
Could this be German?
-It's definitely for chaps.
Because they're leaping around with stags and guns and things like that.
So could I say maybe early 17th century?
I've seen these before and they often are 18th century.
-It could be 1730, as early as that.
Or even up to 1780.
The fourth piece they must date is the pendant.
It seems to be St George, our patron saint of England,
-and I'm not sure it's as old as it's made to look.
Whether it's a pilgrim badge, it possibly is, I really don't know.
I'm really quite flummoxed on this one.
I'm imagining that it's pretending to be Medieval,
but I don't think you'd have found anything like this in that period.
-In the arts and crafts revival,
where they were bringing old styles back and reinventing them,
it might belong to that.
The last item is the tea caddy.
It's in a sort of Hepplewhite style, with this rather nice pattern.
-Which tells you what about its time?
-Well, it must be late 18th century.
This is mahogany, this wood here. This lunette here is satinwood.
I believe the small panels here are hair wood.
I would say circa 1790-1800.
It's separated into two sections
for black tea and green tea.
They would've mixed the two types
and that was like mixing a cocktail in the early 20th century. That was style.
It's decision time.
They have just one minute left to place the antiques in chronological order.
Ten points are on offer for each one correctly placed
on the Antiques Master timeline.
Jonathan places the tankard in the earliest position.
-I think this might be the oldest piece.
-You think it's the tankard.
And the others agree.
I put this as my earliest item.
John places the tea caddy as second oldest on the timeline.
Put the tea caddy there.
As does Jonathan.
This is a pure guess. I'll put that plate there.
Once again, they're in accord,
and put the plate in the middle of the timeline.
The pendant probably would go next.
John and Margaret both put the pendant in the penultimate position.
Jonathan disagrees and goes with the doll.
She might be happy where she is.
So Jonathan ends up with the pendant as the latest antique.
This might be the youngest piece.
And again in complete agreement are Margaret and John with the doll.
I'm going to put her on the end.
-Time is running out.
-Are you happy with all your choices?
-Yes, I'm pretty happy.
But is anyone's timeline in the correct order?
Well, you've all had a go at cracking the chronology. Let's see who was closest. Eric.
Let's look for our oldest object
that should be at the end of these podiums,
and what am I going to put there?
I'm going to put this, a tankard from Mortlake.
It dates from 1780.
And what's more, it is the most valuable item that you see before you at £1,500.
All three of you placed it in the correct position.
So what comes next?
It's this little treasure.
Hints of Hepplewhite.
A little bit of Sheraton maybe.
All three of you got that one right.
So what is the middle object?
Well, it's not that, so I'm going to move that right to the end
and I'm going to take this plate.
And I think that is a very beautiful object.
And despite the fact it's got a crown on it,
technically this is not Crown Derby.
When thinking about Crown Derby,
you're thinking about a Victorian pottery
that is best referred to as Royal Crown Derby.
And we're looking at around about 1820.
So far all three of you have got all three correct.
So it gets interesting.
Talk of aniline dyes.
I like this sort of talk. This is expert talk.
To know a costume is so important
in the entire world of antique dolls.
Date-wise, around about 1890,
and she's standing pretty just in the right place.
And the only person who got that right is Jonathan.
Moving on. This is Compton Pottery.
Compton near Guildford.
John, you used the word arts and crafts, and it is,
but this piece dates to around about 1915.
Well, let's see what that has done to the scores.
John, you started with a full 40 from the first challenge.
You got three out of the five correct here,
so you have 70 points. You are in the lead.
You will be going through to the final challenge.
Jonathan, you only got one right in the initial challenge
but you got all five right here, so that makes 60 points in total
and you, too, will be going through.
Margaret, ten points in the first challenge, 30 points here.
You get a commendable 40 points, but unfortunately it does mean
this is the end of your journey towards the Antiques Master title. Have you had a good time?
-Really enjoyed it.
Well, it's been a complete pleasure.
Now, John and Jonathan, there's only ten points in it
and only one of you tonight will win a place in the final.
Let's go through to the Red Room.
John and Jonathan, one of you is just two minutes from a place
in the Antiques Master final, but who will it be? It's time for your final challenge.
Before you, five glorious antiques,
and I'm going to start with an open question. Buzz if you know the answer.
It's five points if you get it right,
but five points off for a wrong answer.
If you do answer correctly, then you'll be able to choose
one of the five antique categories for a further question worth ten points.
Get the answer wrong and the question will be passed to the other contestant
with the chance for them to steal five points, so choose wisely.
The round will end after two minutes or when all five antiques are out of play.
There's not much in it at the moment.
John, you are on 70 points. Jonathan, you are on 60.
So I would say that everything is still to play for.
I'm going to start with an open question, either of you can answer,
time starts now.
Which furniture designer is known for his influential
cabinet maker and upholsterer's guide published in 1788? John.
The answer is George Hepplewhite.
Open question. What term is used for a decorative frame
around an inscription or coat of arms engraved on silver?
-Correct. Please choose a category.
Belleek was founded by John Caldwell Bloomfield to provide employment
for his tenants, who were impoverished by which natural disaster?
-The Irish potato famine.
-Correct. Open question.
Earthenware that is not porous after firing,
usually because of sand or flint content, is known by what name?
-Not correct. It's stoneware.
Open question. Anchor, deadbeat,
verge and grasshopper are all forms of what part of the mechanism of a watch or clock? John.
The type, the movement.
It's not what I have. I have escapement. Open question.
What name is given to a high chest of drawers
-usually in two parts with one standing on the other?
-Choose a category.
What was the name of the factory at which Clarice Cliff worked from about 1916?
The answer was A J Wilkinson. Open question, either of you can answer.
Which Art Nouveau ware, produced by Minton from 1902,
was based on Viennese art and design of the period? John.
-Correct. Please choose a category.
In about 1860, which American clock maker
initiated the mass production of mantel clocks
with interchangeable parts?
-I don't know.
-Pass it to Jonathan.
-The answer is Eli Terry.
Well, we are out of time there.
I don't know about you, but I felt that was incredibly tense.
John, you concluded with 60 points, very well done.
But Jonathan, 80 points, so you are the winner
and you will be taking the second place in our final.
My commiserations to you, John. You were a fantastic contestant.
-Jonathan, how do you feel?
-You sound a little shell-shocked.
-I am, rather.
Well done, Jonathan.
But John, I've sneaky feeling I'm going to be seeing more of you in years to come.
I don't doubt it.
But I can tell you that Jonathan is our second finalist
and will be joining Charles from our first semi.
But who will complete the line-up?
Join us next time for our third semi-final
in what's proving to be an extremely gripping contest
to find the 2011 Antiques Master. Don't miss it.
I'm actually amazed that I'm through to the final.
It's... I can't get my head round it.
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