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This is Antiques Master -
the contest to find Britain's top amateur antiques expert.
Tonight the battle continues, as the country's finest
antiques enthusiasts fight it out at Towneley Hall in Burnley.
They face a series of tough challenges,
testing their skills at identifying, dating and valuing antiques.
Ultimately, only one will be crowned Antiques Master.
Hello and welcome to Antiques Master, I'm Sandi Toksvig, and this is
the search for Britain's top amateur antiques enthusiast.
We have three more antiques buffs all keen to grasp the title.
And alongside me as ever our resident expert, Mr Eric Knowles.
Now let's meet tonight's contestants.
Sandy Rich, from Oxfordshire, is a specialist in commemorative items.
The thing that I love about antiques is that they open the door to history.
If you learn about them, you can learn about our past.
Monica Evans hails from Warwickshire and has a passion for kitchenalia.
I'm feeling very excited now, I just can't wait to get my hands on the antiques.
And Sheffield-based dentist Bernie Nuttall, who has a love for French Art Deco glass.
I am a competitive person, now I've made it through here I do want to do well, do myself justice.
But who will have what it takes to win a place in the semifinals
and move one step closer to becoming Antiques Master?
Their journey starts now.
Right now your first challenge is all about your antiques specialisms.
Now we know each of you has very different antiques passions
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 is to study them and tell us the following - which is the oldest,
which is the most valuable and which is the odd one out.
Now there's a total of 40 points available here.
You get ten points for each antique that you correctly identify and there's an extra ten points
if you can 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 Sandy, whose antiques passion is commemorative items from the period 1750 to 1900.
I can tell you that your odd one out is that it is not within that period of time.
-Want to start this end?
-It's quite a noble looking thing, isn't it?
-I think that
it's, unfortunately, a First World War memorial death plaque to a gentleman called Richard Edge.
"He died for freedom and honour."
So First World War puts us at?
-And the period? Just...
-I think I might pause...
-Oh, it might be a different one.
-Might be a different war?
-Yes, might be a different war.
Now a bit of glassware.
And it's got into that written on the back there, Grace Darling.
Ah! Do you know who Grace Darling was?
I'm going to reveal my ignorance and say no. No.
My guesses are that it's some sort of condiment dish, so that I could put some sort of sauce there.
-But what would it commemorate?
-Well, it's a lifeboat possibly,
because Grace Darling I think may be a lifeboat lady, a wonderful saving of somebody's life.
-What have you got there?
"Am I not a man and a brother," it says.
And it's a white metal commemorative coin encouraging people to oppose slavery.
Right, so what kind of period are we talking about? The abolitionist period?
So this is the abolitionist period, it's about sort of 1814 these sort of things were privately made.
We're going to have to hurry you along. What about this one here?
"God Save The King." This is a very, very fine piece of pearl ware.
-Which King are we saving?
-It could be George I.
-So it's early 18th century.
Something there is already telling me that I may be holding something that's the most valuable.
The most valuable OK. What about this one here?
This is a Queen Caroline commemorative.
Queen Caroline was the wronged queen of George IV.
She's the one who didn't get invited to the coronation?
Yes. She was barred from Westminster Abbey by George IV's prize boxers.
They slammed the door in her face and people thought it was very undignified.
-So this is about 1821.
-So let's start with our odd one out?
The odd one out I am going to go with this. I think it is a First World War.
It's World War One?
Now we need the oldest?
The oldest then will be this.
And the most valuable, I think because of the interest in the slave trade I'm going to go with that.
Our abolitionist item. Wonderful.
Stand with me and we shall hear what Mr Knowles thinks.
I'm going to tell you right away that the oldest item that we have got on here - which dates to 1787 -
is this. Now I understand why you said 1814, because you're thinking of the eventual abolition.
But this is our oldest.
I'm just going to carry this with me, because I'm going
to tell you were absolutely right when it came to your odd one out.
Apparently they used to be referred to as death pennies.
And it was the one medal you never wanted, obviously.
We're now moving onto the most valuable.
Pearl ware tends to be a type of pottery that dates from
the latter part of the 18th century, so we're talking about a plate that commemorates King George III.
-So THIS is the most valuable.
Now you didn't guess which one was the most valuable, but there is still potentially another five points.
If you can tell us within 15% of the auction estimate
how much you think the most valuable one would go for?
I will go for £2,000.
We're a little optimistic.
This we know has a price tag of around £980.
But nevertheless you go away with ten points and well done Sandy.
Sandy sits down with ten points.
Will Monica spot the oldest, most valuable and odd one out in her specialism, kitchenalia?
I can tell you that your odd one out is the only 19th century piece of kitchenalia.
What on earth do you think that was for?
I suspect it is a trivet for big pans to sit above a heating sauce.
But the whole thing of collecting kitchenalia has become really huge lately. What do you think it is?
Why do you think people are so interested?
It's an ageless sort of thing, kitchenalia, because women are still cooking.
Well, some men too of course.
-Now what do you think that is?
-I would say that is for impressing things like shortbread.
-You roll it across.
-Now let's go, even I know this is a parchment even I've got the hang of this.
Oh, my goodness they weigh a tonne these things do.
What do you think that was made of?
That's cast iron. It would have stood over an open fire that it
just raised up that little bit so that things didn't burn.
And got a more gentle heat.
Now this is a very strange object, it looks a bit like an instrument of torture doesn't it?
-It does look very peculiar.
-I think they possibly hung things over here and it rotated to give an even heat.
But I must say I've never seen anything quite like it before.
You and me both Monica. And the final item?
-That's a mazer.
-What is that?
A very early drinking cup.
And they used them particularly in monastic establishments.
Gosh they liked to drink. Well, we're going to have to push along a little bit.
So let me remind you, the odd one out is from the 19th century, only one of these is 19th century.
And then we need the most valuable and the oldest as well.
-Right this is the oldest.
-That's the oldest?
What sort of time do you think that's from?
Oh, I should think that's could be 1660.
-I think this is the most valuable.
-The most valuable.
-Right, our monks' drinking cup.
Now the odd one out?
I think this.
-The odd one out, 19th century?
-Although I'm not at all sure.
Not at all sure?
Come and stand with me and we'll find out from the man who is sure, Eric.
We're looking initially for the oldest.
-It's right in front of me.
-Ah, ten points!
So, yes, you said around about 1660.
1650. So this is the time, when you're touching, this think Roundheads and Cavaliers.
So we're happy with that. We now move to our odd one out.
-You weren't too sure about this, were you?
-It's actually for putting your pewter plates on, by the hearth.
And then just giving them a turn and warming your pewter plates.
This dates to 1765.
So it can't be the odd one out.
We were looking for something that was 19th century and if I dare say
that the thing that is from the 19th century that literally takes the biscuit,
And it is for actually impressing designs onto biscuits.
That I can tell you dates from 1880.
Looking good so far. 20 points.
So far so good. We're left with what we consider to be the most valuable.
You describe this as a mazer and mazers tend to have silver mounts to them, do they not?
In this case this is a treen master salt.
from 1710, so we're talking Queen Anne.
What does that mean Eric? We just kept salt in it?
Yes, I mean salt was
always a precious commodity, certainly in medieval days.
Well, that's wonderful, but is it valuable?
Of course it's valuable. It's the most valuable, so congratulations.
So you've got 30 points, now you could potentially get another 10,
get the full 40, if you can tell me
its auction estimate within 15%.
£600. Mr Knowles?
Believe it or £2,500.
30 points, well done Monica, thank you so much.
Monica takes a commanding lead with 30 points out of the maximum 40.
Can Bernie now shine with his love for French Art Deco glass?
Your odd one out is that one of these is not Art Deco.
-That's a pretty little thing isn't it?
-It looks like a Lalique ashtray, which it is.
-How can you tell?
Does it say Lalique?
-It says Lalique, France.
-It's helpful when they tell you, isn't it?
It's got a nice label on.
It's a very straight forward thing. But does it count as Art Deco?
-Right so it's not the odd one out.
-20s, 30s. No.
-Now what have you got in your hand here?
I'm not sure, it looks Moderne - as in possibly Deco style and not Art Deco.
But it is signed.
Sevres in France.
And I've probably not seen enough Sevres to know whether that is
the original factory.
There were very few scratches on the base, which makes me think that this is possibly modern.
-All right. So it's a possible contender for the odd one out?
Possible, all right. Next one.
This is Dome from Nancy.
The glass is acid etched and then this, this enamelling on the top.
-Stunning isn't it?
-It is very nice.
That's certainly in period.
-Certainly that's not the odd one out that we're going to?
So a blue coloured vase with some...
-I could have said that, now come on, Bernie, we need a bit more.
-The signature's Delatte Nancy.
Right. OK. Sound a little hesitant there.
Let's get on to the last one and we're going to have to make
some decisions, because we're going to run out of time.
Solid block of glass with a ball and that looks like a fairly sharp piece of crystal.
All the edges are bevelled, which would possibly put it in period.
But I can't see any mark or signature on that at all.
I'm afraid we're going to have to go for the decisions.
So let's start with the one that we think is not Art Deco.
Not Art Deco...
is the boar at the end.
OK, now we need the oldest?
The oldest piece...
this piece here.
All righty. And the most valuable?
-The dome. The dome vase.
-The dome enamelled vase.
-There we go, happy with your decisions?
We'll find out in a minute!
Bernie, you come and stand next to me and Mr Knowles will tell all.
The oldest, if I can tell you now, is at this end of the table.
And let me explain that what you're looking at is a piece of Baccarat glass.
You use the word crystal and of course Baccarat crystal
is incredibly famous and it's very distinctive.
It dates from 1925, so this is our oldest.
It begs the question now doesn't it, which is the odd one out?
So where would we go? Would it be the dome?
Not so sure. You said it, you said I'm not so sure.
You immediately said there's something about this.
You immediately said there's no wear and so we were hoping that those pointers would have
given you an idea that this in actual fact is the odd one out.
It actually dates to 1955, although it has got a very Deco look to it.
We're left with our most valuable.
Dome is a big name.
But Delatte has its followers.
But the good news is that Dome wins the day. Dome is our most valuable.
So you get ten points for that, but there is a potential further ten points if you can tell us the cost
within 15% of the auction estimate for that beautiful vase.
You were a bit more pessimistic. It's £700.
Gosh that's quite good for that, isn't it? Lovely.
Well, I'm afraid just the ten points there Bernie. Thank you so much.
The scores are very clear. Monica you are well in the lead,
you have got 30 points, but my lovely boys,
Bernie and Sandy, you're in joint second place with ten points.
I can tell you that at the end of the next round
one of you will be leaving the challenge.
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 wine glass.
Next is a pocket watch.
Followed by two Italian bronzes.
And finally a Worcester jug.
The antiques have been placed in random order, each contestant will have
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 Worcester jug, valued at £300.
This porcelain marked...
I always think it's helpful when it's marked, don't you?
-..Royal Worcester, with a series of dots.
-What does that mean?
There are 12 dots, which would date it if I knew when the dots started.
So roughly when would it be from?
-Early 19th century.
-Early 19th century.
It's late 19th, early 20th century. It's about 1890, 1900.
Very pretty floral decoration gilded at the top, so that's definitely Worcester ware, about 1900.
The next items that need a place on the timeline are the bronze figures.
I'm assuming they might be bronze.
-As opposed to spelter, the poor man's bronze.
So bronze figures with a possible?
-Yes, continental feel.
-Continental, some continental we'll have.
-This one is actually signed on the back and they're Roman, from Nella, Roma.
So you think they're Italian?
I think they are.
Yes, they're French. It's definitely French and it's bronze.
I would say that they are late 19th century.
The third piece they must date is a pocket watch.
Looks very old.
What suggests this to you?
-Well, just because it's beaten and it's worn and it's a bit battered.
And an enamel face which shows wear and damage and some cracking in it.
So what's very old to you?
Possibly even 1700s.
This is 18th century I'd say and there we are, look, there's a mark in there.
The leopard's head for London and there's a silver mark there and there's the head of George III.
-Ah right so.
-That's rather helpful, isn't it?
So I would say that it's probably about 1790.
Now there's some lettering on there.
It says, Alec Hume, London.
And the writing looks to me to be in an 18th century style.
The wine glass has an auction value of £2,200.
-There's a pontil mark there.
It's where they snap the glass off when they're making it.
So it's hand-blown.
Yes, it's a hand-blown glass that.
And it's quite thick-ish glass.
I would suspect that's 1700.
Now you like glass, do you like this kind of glass?
Not particularly, it's not me, but they fetch big money these.
-Old wine glasses with the air-twist stems.
The twisting is added by a skilled blower, he has colours of glass
and he blows it and twists the object as he blows the heat into it.
And so does that bespeak a particular period of history?
Well, it starts a bit of Venetian glass in Murano in the 16th century.
That's when they sort of perfected this technique.
The last item is the tea caddy.
The pale wood tea caddy.
-Is that a sort of standard shape then?
-It's a popular shape for the tea caddy collectors.
I think most of them were coffins or boxes, but they've all got the key on.
-To save the tea, because it was very expensive.
-And it stopped the servants nicking it.
Fruit wood tea caddy.
The wood itself, will probably be pear wood.
That's why the carver has chosen to fashion the pear.
And tea was obviously a precious commodity, so they stored it in ornate objects.
So this is probably Regency.
-It would have been lined, there's only remnants of its liner there but it's...
-Lined in what?
A sort of foil they used to use.
Yes, to preserve the tea and keep it dry.
And I would say that that dates from 1790.
-Or possibly 1800.
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.
-The glass at 1750.
-Give that to me then.
-Is about there.
-The earliest item?
Sandy confidently places the glass as the earliest antique.
-As does Monica.
-I think the watch.
-While Bernie thinks the pocket watch is the oldest item.
Monica places the pocket watch as second oldest and Sandy agrees.
But Bernie leaves the glass in second position.
-What period did you place the glass in?
So are you happy with where it is?
-I think so.
-Once again Monica and Sandy are in agreement
with the tea caddy in the middle of the timeline.
That's Regency, so slightly later than that.
-But Bernie places the jug in the middle.
-Going to go there.
And the tea caddy as second latest.
Monica is uncertain about the positions about the two latest pieces.
I think I'm going to leave those two possibly where they are.
Sandy agrees with Monica and leaves the bronzes...
These I think will stay here.
..and Worcester jug where they are.
The bronze figures are going to go there.
-But Bernie is confident the bronzes are the youngest.
-Time is running out.
-As happy as I can be.
-Any final changes?
-No, I'll leave it at that.
-Are you happy with all your choices?
Well, I'll never be happy until Eric imparts his knowledge.
Time's up, but is anyone's timeline in the correct order?
Right well you have all given the five antiques a place in time, let's
see who has excelled at the dating game.
Over to the man in the know, Mr Knowles.
Let's start with the oldest item we've got.
I'm going to go for this.
1745. You've got to be careful for the fakes.
What I always do, I always feel the edge,
because the Victorian copies are often very, very rounded.
-This is nice and sharp.
-Sandy and Monica got that one right.
So we've established the oldest, let's go for the second oldest.
I'm going to take this lovely little pocket watch and place it there.
And I can tell you this little watch dates to 1788.
And I think you said about 1790 or thereabouts.
Am I going to leave that there, or am I going to do a little bit of a...?
Well, I am going to leave it there.
Well, done Monica.
These things are faked.
Be very careful if you see one priced at a few hundred pounds,
because this one is the most valuable item we've got in front of you.
It is priced at a staggering £4,000.
Wow, well now so far Sandy and Monica have got three correct.
Bernie, it's down to the last two if you're going to get some points.
-How did we do?
-Well, we're left with these two first.
Let's have a quick look.
They're very clever, they used the dot system.
And you've got to remember that the first dot came about in 1891.
Now I've counted all the dots and trust me there are 14.
So date-wise, 1905.
It leaves me with these and what sort of date are we talking about?
1895 and they are in actual fact
-Italian, Monica. I know you said French. I
But a bit of a giveaway is Roma on the back and Siciliana at the front.
So date-wise 1895, and 1905.
Well, let's have a look at the end of the challenge.
I can reveal the scores and Monica you were in the lead at the end of the first round.
You remain in the lead.
You've got the full 50 points available, so you now have 80 points.
And in second place, Sandy, you only got ten in the first challenge, but
you also got the full 50 points - so you now have 60 points.
Bernie, that's a slightly wry look on your face.
You got ten points in the first challenge and I'm afraid...
None whatsoever and therefore your tilt
at trying to get the title of Antiques Master is over.
-Now have you had a good time?
-Had a great time.
Well, thank you very much and we go on to the final challenge, Sandy and Monica.
One of you will leave tonight with a place in our semifinal.
Let's go through to the Red Room.
So Sandy and Monica, there is just one guaranteed place in
the semifinals and it is time for your final challenge.
Now before you we've got five stunning antiques.
I'm going to start with an open question and you need to buzz if you know the answer.
You get five points if you get it right, five points off for a wrong answer.
However, if you do answer correctly, you will then be able choose one of
the five antique categories for a further question worth ten points.
But if you get that answer wrong, the question will be passed over
to the other contestant, with a chance to steal five points.
So you're going to have to choose wisely.
The round will end after two minutes or when all five antiques are out of play.
Now I can tell you that so far Monica you've got 80 points and Sandy you have got 60.
So everything still to play for. It's not that big a gap.
The time starts now. What old English word for wood is used for
small wooden domestic objects, such as boxes and love spoons?
The answer is treen, please would you choose one of our five antiques?
A design featuring which fruit was highly popular
during the early Ming period on pottery made for export to Europe?
-It is not correct, Monica?
-The answer is grape.
Open question, what process involves covering an item entirely or partially with a thin layer of gold
-laid on in the form of gold leaf, Monica?
I'm afraid that is not correct. The answer is gilding.
Open question. Which chinaworks at Stratford, east London,
was one of the first porcelain factories in England?
-Bow is correct, please would you choose one of the antiques?
William De Morgan.
Designs produced in which Turkish town influenced
De Morgan's work and his distinctive use of the colour turquoise?
-Ishwaran is not correct. Sandy?
Iznik is the correct answer, you steal five points. Open question.
What term is used for a full canopied four-poster bed?
-A tester is correct. Please choose?
Chippendale's marketry pieces of furniture were inspired by
the neo classic designs of which Scottish architect with whom he collaborated?
-Robert Adam is correct. We move to another open question.
A touchmark is a maker's mark on items made of which alloy of tin and lead?
-Pewter is correct. Please choose a category.
In 1880, what animal did Margarita Steiff
use as a design template for her first ever stuffed soft toy,
which would then be the inspiration for the creation of the famous teddy bear? You may answer.
-An elephant is absolutely correct.
Well, that was a really impressive display of knowledge
and I can reveal that the scores were incredibly close.
In fact it all hinged on that final question.
Sandy, you've ended up with 85 points, but just pipping him
at the post by saying the word elephant,
Monica, you are this week's winner with 95. Many congratulations.
And Sandy that may not be the last that we see of you because this year our highest-scoring runner-up
from across the series will also complete line up in the semifinals.
So we may well welcome you back.
Monica, you are the winner this week. How do you feel?
-Elated, we love elated. Let's see if Eric is also elated? What do you reckon Eric?
Well, I think that was pretty exciting stuff.
Congratulations to both of you, but we only have one winner.
Do join us next time when we have three more determined antiques amateurs
competing for their chance to claim the Antiques Master title.
I'm absolutely delighted to win, but of course it was a very
close run thing and I just did enough to win it.
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