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This is Antiques Master,
the contest to find Britain's top amateur antiques expert.
Tonight, the battle reaches its dramatic conclusion.
24 set out to prove their worth.
Now just three remain.
They return one final time to the Regency Rooms
at Towneley Hall in Burnley.
Their goal? To be crowned Antiques Master.
Hello and welcome to Antiques Master - The Final.
Tonight the search for Britain's top amateur antiques enthusiast comes to a thrilling conclusion.
It has been a tough contest,
but now the cream of our contestants fight it out
to see who has the superior antiques knowledge,
and all of this, of course, under the watchful eye of our resident expert, Mr Eric Knowles.
They may be one step closer to the title,
but only one will walk away tonight with this stunning trophy
and be crowned Antiques Master 2011.
Let's meet the finalists.
Jonathan McFarlane from Devon adores pewter
from Arts and Crafts to Art Deco.
It'll be a case of the best man wins today,
so there's three men and one of us has to win.
Sandy Rich from Oxfordshire,
with a passion for historical commemorative items.
This is an antiques heavyweight final.
In regency terms, this is Cribb, Mendoza and Belcher.
Let's see who's the last man standing.
Charles Ormrod from London.
His specialism is Sheffield Plate.
To be here and to be this close to the trophy, it's extraordinary.
But who will walk away with the coveted title of Antiques Master 2011?
Let battle commence.
The first challenge is one the finalists haven't faced before.
We've selected five exquisite antiques that vary in value.
The first is a glass vase,
next a pendant,
followed by a pair of silver spoons,
then a ceramic cat,
and finally a decorative ornament.
The antiques have been positioned in random order,
and the finalists have five minutes to assess and position them from lowest to highest in value.
There are five points for each one they get right.
The first item to be valued is the ornament.
It's...I would have thought there'd be a pair of them.
Part of a garniture set.
What does garniture mean?
When you have a mantelpiece and you have a pair
around a central object.
-You could call it that.
It's a kind of 19th century in the style of Sevres.
It looks a little bit too sort of hefty...
-..to be Sevres.
-A fairly common item, I think, so we're on the...
-On the highest.
-We're going to be moving that down.
-It's on the move.
The next antique to be appraised is the cat.
It seems to be a spill holder, spill vase or something like that.
It could be from about 100 years ago.
-This... Oh, blimey.
-Oh, right. What do you think it is?
Something to put spoons in, perhaps...
-Like a caddy in the kitchen?
-I have seen them in books.
But I'm trying to remember whether it's because they're rare
and exciting or whether it's because they're cute and cuddly.
The silver spoons are next up for evaluation.
It's not English hallmarks.
-It says SA and there's a crown on it.
-Which tells you what?
It's a mark I don't recognise. It's King's pattern silver.
They're definitely silver
and there's a very nice carved set of crests on them, probably French.
-They're reasonably valuable,
yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
-And I can't find one at all.
-Hang on, there's something in the bowl here.
Unfortunately the piercing is crossing the marks.
The fourth item requiring a price tag is the pendant.
Yes, turquoise in a gold setting.
Style to reminisce on?
-Art Nouveau. Late Victorian.
-Does that make it more valuable?
No, cos it's precious metals.
It's sort of a Belle Epoque.
It's a little pendant and those are diamonds and that is gold.
Well, my feeling is this...
late 19th century costume jewellery.
The last antique in need of an estimate is the glass vase.
Very much of the Art Nouveau period.
The flowing form, naturalistic decoration. It's not Daum or Galle.
It's a signature I haven't seen before.
-Is that a name you know?
-It has the look of a Galle vase
but I'm not as familiar with art glass as I should be.
This must be Art Nouveau sort of cameo glass.
French, I suppose.
-My feeling is that it is expensive.
It's time to place the antiques in value order from lowest to highest.
The least expensive item, I think, is our 19th century...
Sandy thinks the ornament is the least valuable. Jonathan agrees.
But Charles thinks it's the pendant.
I'm going to go here.
Sandy opts for the silver spoons as second least valuable.
Charles thinks it should be the cat.
Jonathan disagrees and goes for the glass vase.
Sort of mid-hundreds.
Jonathan places the pendant at the mid-price point and so does Sandy.
Charles disagrees and places the ornament at the halfway mark.
I think instinct tells me...
Jonathan judges the cat to be the second most expensive item.
-Sandy thinks it's the glass vase.
Whilst Charles opts for the spoons.
However, Jonathan thinks the spoons are the most expensive items.
I think close to a couple of thousand.
Sandy thinks it's the cat. Whilst Charles opts for the vase.
-Guessing, but could be thousands.
-And with time running out,
are the contestants happy with their decisions?
-I would have to say, yes.
-I think I'm done.
-Go on, then. Thank you very much, Charles.
Time's up. But has anyone placed the items in the correct value order?
Right, my lovely boys, you have all put the five objects in what you believe is the correct value order.
-So it's over to the man in the know, Eric Knowles.
-Well, I can tell you that the least valuable item on here
at £400, is this little vase.
It had you all thinking continental,
but it's Coalport and consequently it is British.
So Jonathan and Sandy both get five points.
So the next in line when it comes to value,
it's not this for a start off,
because I'm going to place this vase by Devez,
and it's worth £700.
Obviously, had it been Galle, it would have been an awful lot more.
And the only person to put it in the right place
is Jonathan, who gets five points.
So we get to the midway point, and let us put
this lovely sort of Belle Epoque on there.
It's platinum and it's diamonds
and it's worth in the region of £1,500.
Jonathan and Sandy, you both get five points.
So what comes next?
I was hoping you were going to come up with the name of Louis Wain.
But at £4,000, does it stay there?
The simple truth is, yes.
Because if you had looked very closely, you would have seen PL.
Yes, we are talking Paul de Lamerie.
It's a magical name in silver making.
So these have an auction value nearer £7,000.
Well, and very tricky towards the end there, because only Jonathan got the last two correct.
Let's have a look at what that has done to the scores.
Jonathan, you have gained the full 25 points.
Sandy, you gained ten points.
Charles, not a scoring round for you.
I'm afraid one of you will be leaving the contest
at the end of the next round.
So let's go through to the Red Room for the next challenge.
For the second new challenge, the finalists must decide which antiques are the genuine article.
The six antiques to assess are...
A Daum vase.
A Derby tureen.
A British silver jug.
A Moorcroft coffee pot.
An Art Deco bracelet.
And a Chiparus bronze.
But are they really what they're claiming to be?
Each contestant must choose an antique
and determine whether it's the genuine article or an impostor.
There are ten points available for each one they get right.
Now, Jonathan, you are the highest scorer from the last round.
You choose the first category.
I'd like to go for the Moorcroft.
Is it something that you are fond of, Moorcroft?
Yes, because Moorcroft actually worked with Liberty,
and so we sometimes get Tudric pewter with Moorcroft.
It has the shamrock mark, the inside signature,
and it also has the painted signature.
Could some naughty person have put all those on the bottom of a pot?
-I'd be amazed.
It's too costly to try and fake something like this.
This is the genuine article, yes.
Right, if you would pop it down there.
And then the lovely Eric will tell us if you are right or wrong.
Well, first things first.
I think from a general point of view, this is hardly Moorcroft.
First of all from a shape,
you would swear that was probably round about 1960.
And as for the marks, you've got a bit of a squiggle, really, isn't it?
It's hardly a signature. And it is impressed.
That is a machine stamp.
So is it misleading you?
-No, it isn't. This is the genuine article.
-Ten points, Jonathan.
Jonathan increases his lead, and Sandy's next to choose.
I will choose British silver.
What are we looking for straightaway?
-Some marks, presumably.
-Yeah. The marks should say it all, really.
-It's got Sterling. It's got an anchor for Birmingham. It's got a lion and a year letter.
They're slightly unusual marks.
What's unusual? What's unusual about them?
Well, the way they're stamped, it's pretty hard and fast.
The critical thing that we want to find out is if it's British.
It is, because of the lion and the Birmingham.
So are you going to say it's a genuine article?
I am going to stick my neck out and say genuine article.
Right, you pop that down. And we will get the word from Mr Knowles.
Erm, the question is, are we looking at British silver?
It's opulent. But when you look at those marks, what can you see?
Well, the lion is facing to the right.
That should tell you that this is not a British lion.
It is American and not the genuine article.
Oh, Sandy, you were fooled!
Sandy fails to score, and it's Charles next.
I'll take a shot at the Chiparus.
Is it something you know about, Chiparus?
Perhaps just that the least worst option of those...available!
You see there's a foundry marking, "Bronze garantie Paris."
Does that fit with what you know of Chiparus?
I'm starting to get an idea of the quality of it underneath the face and details.
Well, I think I'll have to say my instinct tells me
that there's probably not enough quality in it with that name.
-So you think that this is not the genuine article?
Come and stand here with me.
And let's see what Eric has to say.
Looking at her, I think she's quite a reasonable casting.
I mean, the patination's nice, the definition's nice, the pose is,
you know, it shouts Chiparus.
I mean, all this adds up to this girl being the genuine article...
..but she's not. She doesn't have that absolute finesse that you would expect.
Well, done, Charles, going with your instinct paid off.
You get ten points.
With three antiques left, it's Jonathan to choose again,
-and a chance to further increase his lead.
Do you think you can recognise it?
I'd hope so, unless it's a very good fake.
-It actually doesn't say Daum.
-Ah, what does it say?
DAU and then there's a Chinese mark, which could be a Daum M, but it's...
-It's Chinese for "just kidding."
And then the Nancy, it actually doesn't have a C.
If they passed this, it was a bad day.
-So, what do you think? Is it the genuine article?
Right. Please come and stand with me and Eric will tell us what he thinks.
I can understand what you were staying there, Jonathan. It's not 100% perfect, is it?
Let's have a look at the mark. Now, I have to say that's not the best of marks,
but it is...
..the real mark.
-So it fooled you there, Jonathan. No points.
-Yes, it did.
-Jonathan slips up for the first time in the final,
and it's Sandy's chance to catch up.
I will choose Art Deco.
Does the style look Art Deco to you?
-It definitely, definitely looks Art Deco, yes.
And the setting is very beautiful.
It's all open at the back.
There's a mark. I think it's a platinum mark, possibly.
Right. Are we going to say it's the genuine article?
Yeah, it's Art Deco.
Wonderful. Let's find out what Eric has to say.
So is it or isn't it?
Well, it's all to do with style,
and you look at the style of the composition here
and the fact that these are genuine diamonds.
This is the genuine article.
It dates to about 1930. £12,000.
Sigh of relief there, Sandy. You get ten points. Well done.
Those points mean that Charles must get the last piece right to keep his place in the final.
Would you please come up and tell us whether you think this piece of Derby is the genuine article or not.
It's a most curious-looking piece, isn't it?
-It's not very dirty.
-And would you expect it to be?
You'd imagine something of this age with these twiddly bits on...
Yeah. Unless it's been kept in a very nice cupboard.
-Let's have a look at the...
-What about the quality of it?
Just trying to sort of check out the painting,
how much hand-painting there is there, and...
-And is there much?
-It looks hand-painted to me.
Do you think it's the genuine article?
-Well, I'm going to say it is.
-OK. Let's get the word from Eric.
Does this bird have credibility? Well, bearing in mind
that Derby were making objects in porcelain,
you would expect to see a certain semi-translucency,
and sadly I can't see anything,
which is primarily because this is made of pottery.
This is not the genuine article.
Oh, Charles, I'm so sorry, but no points.
Go and have a sit down.
Let's go through where we've got to.
Well, I can reveal to you that Jonathan, you remain in the lead.
You have 35 points. But catching you up is Sandy with 20 points.
Charles, you gained a very creditable ten points,
but unfortunately your journey ends here,
-and how are you feeling?
-It's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride,
I have to say, but I've certainly been pleased to be on it.
Well, Jonathan and Sandy, the title is in your sights, but you have more work to do.
Back to the Green Room for your next challenge.
Now, your next challenge. It's All In The Detail.
Normally it's all about your antiques specialisms, but as it's the final,
none of your antiques relate to the things you know most about.
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?
And as usual there are ten points for each antique that you correctly identify
and ten points if you can tell us the price of the most valuable piece within 15% of its auction estimate.
So let's see who's got a real eye for detail.
Sandy's first up, and trails by 15 points.
Can he get the full 40 points
and close the gap between him and Jonathan?
And in your case, the odd one out is the only continental piece.
Right, so, an interesting chest.
It's a campaign bureau.
This would be brought with you and you would be able
to conduct your life from these various pigeonholes.
What period of history were these popular?
I think this is probably about sort of 1800, 1810, that sort of thing.
-So possibly towards the oldest?
-Er, yeah. We'll walk along.
It's a little line in the sand for us, isn't it?
-This is a puzzle jug.
You suck it through one of the holes, and if you don't get your fingers on the right holes
then you don't get anything out of it.
Would that be a British thing?
This is English. I suspect it's probably Staffordshire.
Is there a period when they're particularly prevalent?
Made for a very long period of time, so...
We're not making it easy for you. No, but you see,
it's the final, just two of you left. Something much finer.
I know, and a little ring.
What does the style suggest to you?
It's a sort of posy ring.
It's got two rubies and diamonds and it's probably English.
-OK. So it's possibly not the odd one out?
I mean, you get cow creamers, but this doesn't look to me
like it's a creamer.
It's got me flummoxed.
-Any markings on it at all?
-Nothing at all, no.
And I think this may be our un-English piece.
Our Continental element.
And the final one.
So we have a desk set here.
The style is suggesting Art Nouveau.
-Early 20th century.
-Oh, OK, so not going to be the oldest.
-Possibly the most valuable though, is it?
-Possibly not, no.
No, pretty much, pretty much not. I mean, it's only in brass.
There is this maker's mark here, but I'm not very good on Art Nouveau makers' marks.
Right, well, why don't we start with the odd one out?
-Are you going to stick with your...
-I'm pretty confident that it's...
You're going to stick with this one. All right, let's move on to the one
that is of the greatest value.
I think the greatest value could be our little,
-The smallest thing.
I like the smallest having the most value. Well, now we are looking...
-And the oldest...
-..for the old lady of the lot.
This is made over a huge timescale, probably 1790.
I'm going to stick my neck out for this.
All right. You come and stand here with me, Sandy, and we shall hear what Eric has to say.
Well, no hiding place here. No real comfort zones, I'm afraid.
But Sandy, we're looking for the oldest.
This in actual fact dates to around about 1840,
and consequently it's not the oldest.
I wanted to see you place it just there,
because this, I can tell you, does date to 1800.
So no points there, I'm afraid.
So let's move onto the odd one out.
Well, there's good news and bad news.
The bad news is, you will find some English hallmarks.
The good news is, there's a little F in a shield.
F for foreign.
It's a little Dutch silver cow creamer,
and consequently that is our odd one out.
So well done, you get ten points.
So we're now looking for our most valuable piece,
and, quite right, it is in actual fact Victorian,
and it actually dates to 1890.
Now, we will give you a further ten points
if you can tell us its price within 15% of the auction estimate.
I think it would make £2,500.
it will not buy it, I'm afraid. It is nearer £4,000.
-Nevertheless, you get 20 points. Well done, Sandy.
Sandy's on 40 points and Jonathan's on 35.
A good score here will give him a clear lead in the final round.
Your odd one out is the only 19th century piece.
What can you tell from it?
It's seed pearls.
It looks to be an amethyst, so it's semi-precious stones,
and it seems to be mounted in silver.
So, what do we think? We're looking for the only 19th century piece.
-That's not 19th century.
She's a wooden doll
and the clothing looks to be Georgian. Sorry about this, Madam.
She has a little carved wooden...
-Oh, no, they're leather shoes.
Wooden legs. She's jointed, and a lovely Georgian-style bonnet.
Is she the odd one out?
I don't know. She looks Georgian to me, so...
She looks... So not 19th century?
No. And this is a rather lovely drinking vessel.
It's hand blown.
It's got a nice folded-back rim.
It's not the finest, because it's not an air-twisted stem.
-But it still has age, so I don't think that's Victorian either.
-This is a Georgian tea caddy.
-Georgian? Why Georgian?
Because in Victorian times tea was less expensive and you had larger tea caddies.
Any of our contenders valuable, oldest?
It's valuable and old.
-What do we make of this?
-Quite an imagined country scene, I think, isn't it?
It looks like Myson, but there's no mark on it at all.
We're looking for the only 19th century piece as our odd one out.
Shall we start with that as we narrow things down?
Which do you think belongs to the 19th century?
This is in an older style. I'm going to say that's...
That's our odd one out. Now, the one that is worth the most money?
I think I'm going to go for...
You're going to go for the tea caddy.
And we are now looking for the oldest item.
I'm going to have to press you. I'm so sorry, Jonathan. Right.
We go for the oldest item. Is there anything you would like to change your mind about?
-Right, we're done.
Come and stand with me, my lovely.
Well, a real motley selection.
We're really testing you.
And the oldest piece is right in front of me.
It is in actual fact this lovely, lovely Baluster glass.
Very heavy set, but date-wise, 1711.
-Well, Jonathan, you changed your mind at the very last moment.
Now, we are looking for our odd one out.
Well, just at the back here, I've got a little red anchor.
So this is Chelsea, red anchor period,
about 1755 or thereabouts, so it's not 19th Century.
Our odd one out goes to a 19th century renaissance revival piece.
This particular one is more likely to date from around about 1880.
Oh, no points again. I'm sorry.
Hmm, does it get any better?
Well, the most valuable item, I can tell you right now,
is actually your melon tureen.
Now, because you correctly assessed that it was the most valuable,
you can also get a further ten points if you can tell me the cost of such an item
within 15% of its auction estimate.
I'm going to go for £3,700.
We were looking either side of £5,000.
You get ten points. Well done, Jonathan.
Well, let's have a look, shall we, at what that has done to the scores.
Jonathan, you're still in the lead.
You have 45 points.
But Sandy is definitely snapping at your heels,
because you now have 40 points. How are you both feeling?
-Sandy, how are you?
-Is it getting more tense, Jonathan?
-Yes, but it's still fun.
Well, we now have one more challenge left for the two of you.
Let's go through to the Red Room.
Jonathan and Sandy, one of you is just two minutes away
from becoming Antiques Master 2011.
I'm going to start with an open question.
Buzz in if you know the answer.
It's five points if you get it right,
but five points off for a wrong answer.
If you answer correctly, you will then be able
to choose one of the five antique categories
for a further question worth ten points.
But get the answer wrong and the question will be
passed over to the other contestant with a chance to steal five points.
The round will end after two minutes
or when all five antiques are out of play.
At the moment, Jonathan, you are on 45 points.
But Sandy, you are on 40.
And the time starts now.
What name is given to offices in the UK
that have been officially authorised to test gold or silver
to determine purity and award hallmarks?
-Yes, Sandy, correct. Please choose a category.
In 1797, Paul Storr registered his own hallmark with the Assay Office,
which was his initials encased within which shapes?
-Pass it over.
It was conjoined circles. Open question.
Which North Yorkshire seaside town was the source of much of the jet used in Victorian mourning jewellery?
-Correct. Please choose a category.
Which famous nature-inspired lamp
designed for Tiffany by Clara Driscoll
received an award at the Paris International Exposition in 1900?
The wisteria lamp.
Incorrect. Pass it to Sandy.
It was the dragonfly lamp. Open question.
What type of porcelain with blue under-glaze,
iron-red enamel and gilding
-was made at Arita in Japan from the 17th Century?
-Correct. Please choose a category.
What was the name of the distinct style
that Mackintosh and the four developed in the 1890s?
Open question. What type of decorative veneer,
popular in Britain since the 17th century,
involves inlaying designs of wood mainly into furniture. Jonathan?
-Please choose a category.
What range of pressed glassware,
which included patent Queen's ivory ware,
resembles glazed porcelain and was introduced by Sowerby in 1877?
-It was the vitro porcelain.
And that sound tells us that we have run out of time.
And I can reveal to you that one of you has ended up with 55 points
and the other with 60 points.
So the contestant who has become Antiques Master 2011 is...
We have a worthy winner.
Let's get Eric's verdict.
Well, quite an incredible journey from the number one runner-up with the highest score
to actually Antiques Master, but Jonathan, you showed such good all-round knowledge.
Sandy, if you would come up and receive the accolade and indeed the trophy. How are you feeling?
-Well, very well done.
So, Sandy Rich is Antiques Master 2011. Thanks for watching.
The trophy will have pride of place on the mantelpiece.
It'll be a real talking point and I will be thrilled to say I'm the Antiques Master 2011.
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