Antique-based game show with Sandi Toksvig. Three more contestants put their skill and knowledge to the test over three challenges in Towneley Hall, Burnley, Lancashire.
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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 the magnificent 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.
Tonight, we have three more contestants,
all hoping to show that they have the hallmark of a winner
and can walk away with the title of Antiques Master 2011.
And, as ever, to cast his eye over the proceedings,
our expert, Mr Eric Knowles.
Let's meet tonight's contestants.
Ruth Collett from Lancashire
specialises in distinctive arts and crafts jewellery.
It's going to be lovely.
Some things that I've been looking at for years,
to get my hands on them, it's going to be great.
Matthew Wright from Devon,
whose passion is delicately crafted French Sevres porcelain.
The reason I love antiques is I'm a designer and anaesthetics junkie
and I'm constantly looking back to history for inspiration.
And Margaret Campbell from Edinburgh who loves decorative antique tiles.
I'd like to think I've as good a chance of anyone
of winning Antiques Master but we'll just have to wait and see.
But who will have what it takes to win a place in the semi-finals
and move one step closer to becoming Antiques Master?
Their journey starts now.
Now, your first challenge is all about your antiques specialisms.
Each of you has a different antiques passion and we're going to put
that specialist knowledge to the test.
So, we have scoured the country to find 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 most valuable, which is the oldest,
and which one is the odd one out.
Now, there are a total of 40 points available,
there's ten points for each antique that you correctly identify
and an extra ten points if you can tell us
the value of the most valuable one within 15% of the auction estimate.
So, let's see who's got a real eye for detail.
First to be tested is Ruth.
Her specialism is arts and crafts jewellery.
Your odd one out, it's the only continental piece.
How does the arts and crafts movement start in this country?
It began with William Morris.
He wanted to go back to the Medieval guild system of working.
People learned their craft, everything was handmade.
So, this is a silver and enamel brooch with blue and green enamel.
I can see that there's a silver mark,
I think I saw L and C, which is Liberty & Company.
They were a major retailer for arts and crafts. They got together
a whole team and this is probably designed by Archibald Knox.
Does that mean it's not continental?
-And it's valuable?
Yes, Liberty usually is.
OK, let's come on to the next one.
Is it the history of these pieces that you like or do you quite fancy wearing them?
I'd love to wear one of these.
This piece is hammered silver, on the front.
I'm looking for a maker's mark.
Ah, it's just got...
It's a 950 mark.
What does that mean?
That means it's silver but it's not British silver, it's not hallmarked.
Ah. Are we looking at the odd one out?
-I think we may be.
-Now this is amazing.
-What is it?
It's a belt buckle.
It's all silver, it's got the organic shapes that you'd expect to see.
There's the lion for British silver and there's a Z.
I'm afraid I don't know what that date mark is.
I think A was 1896.
It could be old or valuable, one or the other,
can't be both. OK.
Let's come on to the next one. What is that? Is it a sort of brooch?
Yes, it's a...fine wire brooch.
It's a blister pearl in the middle there.
It hasn't got any marks on it and it's actually quite fussy.
-Not very helpful is it?
Well, we'll have to rush you along very slightly.
The colour on this one is just exquisite.
-Yes. Ah, this is lovely, isn't it?
This is by Charles Horner
and he was one of the people who went into manufacturing in a big way.
-Possibly not so valuable.
-Not so valuable.
Now, I'm going to get you to make a few decisions.
Shall we begin by picking the one
that we think is the continental piece
and therefore the odd one out?
-Go for this one.
-All right, my lovely.
I'm not even sure if it's silver to tell you the truth,
I can't see any silver marks on it.
Now, the most valuable.
This is nice. I think that is Archibald Knox.
-I think I'll go for this one.
-Right and the oldest.
The oldest, I'm actually going to go for this belt buckle.
Now, have a quick look, are you happy with all your decisions?
Yes, I think I am.
Right, Mr Knowles will tell you if you're right.
So, you've made your deliberations.
You were looking for the oldest piece.
-Well, you went with this, didn't you?
You said that was the 1890s.
Early-ish for a lot of arts and crafts, isn't it?
This dates to 1899.
The Z is the mark, as you mentioned, and this is...
the earliest piece.
Yay! Ten points.
Now, the odd one out.
We were looking for something that wasn't British.
This created a few problems for you because you couldn't find a mark on there.
There is a little mark but you're forgiven for not spotting it.
You did mention on this - am I right in saying - that there was a 950?
Yes, that's right.
-Did you find a 950 mark in any of the others?
Bit of a giveaway. This, I can tell you, is Murrle Bennett.
And Murrle Bennett were making their jewellery
over in Germany and importing the pieces.
So, that is...the odd one out.
Which has us looking for the most valuable.
Now, you liked this, didn't you?
I think you're secretly in love with a man called Archibald Knox,
-am I right?
It's Liberty & Co.
I'm going to take that off there. Sorry to say.
And if I was to put it over here that would be a Yorkshireman,
-would it not? That would be Charles Horner?
I can't go with that, cos I'm a Lancastrian.
So, I'm going to go there.
If I was to say that underneath this little pendant drop there is a G...
Arthur Gaskin and Georgina.
And George Gaskin. Exactly. It's a little treasure, isn't it?
You've got ten points, so we're going to give you a chance
to gain another five points
if you can tell me the value of the most valuable piece
within 15% of the auction estimate.
Could we buy it for that, Eric?
Alas, you're a little short.
We're looking for, wait for this,
Ruth has scored ten out of the possible 40 points.
Will Matthew spot the oldest, most valuable
and the odd one out in his specialism, Sevres porcelain?
And the odd one out, one of these is a copy.
Now, help me here. Is there a timeframe? Is there a period?
The mid-18th century onwards, where the culture of porcelain took off.
The thing about Sevres, it was...
Louis XV actually owned a great part of it.
-He bought the shares.
-Ah, that would make a difference.
And under his mistress, Madame de Pompadour,
she was the one that, basically,
had the factory put in the bottom of her garden.
-It is French this, then?
-What do you see on the bottom?
-Well, I see, I think it's a...
It looks like a G.
And so that's, I would say, fairly early.
Goes into double figures later on.
Now, then, I love this colour.
Yes, that's beautiful and this colour became known as bleu du roi,
which is the sort of blue, the king's blue.
Technologically, it's absolutely incredible what they achieved.
This is bleu celeste which is the more, sort of, turquois-y colour
and to try and achieve this colour, they didn't altogether get the glaze even
and it's slightly cloudy in places.
-I mean, it's fairly even but I would say it's a little cloudy.
These little encrusted lids are kind of typical of a Meissen-inspired pot.
-That's absolutely exquisite.
-And what would you use it for?
I would probably think it was a little patch box
full of little mouches, certainly too small for powder.
-On to the next one.
This little thing's rather heavy, actually, and very dense.
And the mark at the bottom, rather splashy, a little bit rough.
Loads of British manufacturers copied Sevres
-and they would fake the marks left, right and centre.
So, I'm afraid I have to say, possibly a copy.
We have to make some decisions. Shall we begin with the odd one out?
-OK, the copy.
-It will come down to instinct if you're not sure.
I'm going to go with that one, it's pure instinct.
That's the odd one out. Let's look at the oldest.
I would say because of the simplicity of that piece...
..I would go for that one.
That's the oldest. And the most valuable.
I will say...this little beauty.
It was a fascinating walk through the history of Sevres.
You come and stand with me and Eric will let us know.
A difficult subject, Sevres porcelain because there's
an awful lot of porcelain out there, made in France, made in Paris
that's got the interlaced Ls or whatever and was never at Sevres.
Let me look for the oldest.
One of the great things about Sevres is that they do have year marks,
-as you say, from 1753.
I might have been tempted to go for this,
a case of is less is more, that is more the en camaieu, isn't it?
-And you've actually got it on that piece.
And I wanted you...
It's not though. Damn.
I wanted you to plonk it there.
-Yes, believe it or not, 1763.
-The mark in this case does not lie.
Now, odd one out.
You hovered here, didn't you?
-You really hovered.
-But your first instinct was to go for that.
First instincts are usually right.
-And in this case you are right.
It's got a very weak mark on the base.
You're absolutely right about this...
So we're looking for the most valuable.
I tell you what, instincts was very much evident when it came to that piece,
but your heart was well and truly set on this, wasn't it?
-I love it.
-You do love it, yes.
Alas, it is not.
It is not.
But this particular piece, I can tell you, dates from 1767,
the flower is in perfect condition, it is, I can tell you now,
the most valuable piece before your very eyes.
Well, you didn't guess which was the most valuable,
but we're going to give you another five points if you can tell me
the auction estimate for that piece within 15%.
I'd say 4,000.
Well, there's good news and bad news.
The bad news is you're wrong, and the good news is,
at £2,200, you may well be interested.
Yes, I think I would be.
With Ruth and Matthew now both on ten points,
Margaret only needs 20 points to take the lead
with her specialism - British and continental tiles, 1600 to 1840.
And the odd one out.
One of these is a later copy of an earlier design.
-This is rather an interesting one.
It may be British because of the corner pieces,
they're rather rich for the Dutch pieces and the details of the pomegranate.
But I think I'll move on to the next one and have a think.
Ah, this is a much thicker one...
Oh, which is part of a sequence, there were probably four tiles
and it would be set out as a series to make the whole pattern.
Its detail, its painting is rather beautiful,
-but I think this could be maybe 17th, early 18th century.
Perhaps as a floor tile.
Now, what kicked you off with antiques,
what was it that spurred you to have an interest in them?
Well, my grandmother had lots of nice old things which I used to play with.
It's another very beautiful tile, probably Dutch.
I'm not so familiar with this design,
but it's in the manganese and in the cobalt blue.
The Dutch had a tendency of putting edifying illustrations on their tiles.
She's tending her sheep or children were playing, they were doing useful things.
This one's slightly thicker again, is that...
This looks as if it could be southern Europe...
-Maybe Spain or Portugal, because of the colours.
It looks a thicker tile
and it could easily be a wall tile or an edging tile or a floor tile.
I'm a little...
I'll look at the last one.
Get the feeling.
Oh, wow, ghastly, the three graces.
It reflects the period of the late-18th century
-when you have the neo-classicism.
-What shall we start with?
-Shall we start with the oldest?
Well, this is where it gets really difficult, isn't it?
-I'll go for this one.
-That one as the oldest.
OK, the most valuable?
One or the other of these.
-I'll go for that one.
-And the odd one out?
Which, I will remind you, is a later copy of an earlier design.
I'll go for that one.
Now, you come and stand here with me and Eric will tell us the truth.
We are looking at a real cross range of tiles from different countries,
but my first mission is to find the oldest tile.
I'm afraid it's not this one.
This is the oldest tile.
It dates to 1605, painted by somebody called Fernando Valadores.
Now, let me look for the odd one out,
that looked as though it should be early, but it wasn't.
And I can tell you now that the tile that is odd one out dates from 1890.
No, not there, not there...
The design is known as the three tulips,
but it's tricky because, at first glance,
it looks as though it's the real thing.
You've gone with this.
I think you really liked it, did you not?
It spoke to you.
It's not the most valuable.
The most valuable - I know it's weary...
It's not the one with the chip in it!
It's the tile that... this dates to 1620.
I know it's in a state, but it is so rare.
Well, we don't want you to have no points.
We're going to give you an opportunity to earn five.
if you had the opportunity to bid at auction,
what would your estimate be within 15%
for what we would pay for that tile?
Gosh, £4,000 for one pickle herring tile.
It is desirable, but it's not as desirable, I'm afraid.
No, we had that, with its chip, at £1,000.
Well, I thought that was an extremely tricky first challenge.
Matthew and Ruth, you both have ten points,
and Margaret, I'm afraid, not a scoring round for you.
Now, one of you will be leaving at the end of the next round,
but it is, frankly, still anybody's game at this point
so let's go through to the green room for A Place In Time.
In the second challenge, we've selected five antiques
all from different periods.
The first is a toasting glass.
Then a jewellery box.
Next a glass bottle.
Followed by a tea caddy.
And finally, a pair of porcelain inkwells.
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.
Matthew is first to examine the porcelain.
Well, these immediately look Rococo, Louis the 15th period
if they were French, 18th century, mid-18th century...
What do you think that was for?
Well, it looks like inkstands.
Oh, I was going to say trinket boxes, but I wonder if they're rouge pots.
I think they are quite old, I'd date them to about 1750.
The tea caddy is next for inspection.
This is a beautiful piece of... I would say it's treen.
Oh, it's lovely, probably early-19th century.
Now this, I do believe, is a fruitwood tea caddy.
It has got a lining as well.
-Which was to stop the tea deteriorating.
I would say it's Regency.
From 1811 onwards, when poor old George III apparently went bonkers,
his son stepped in, and then the period ended in 1820,
when George IV finally became king.
The third piece to date is the glass bottle.
Oh, what is that for?
I'd have said it was a perfume bottle.
But it's not, it's something for powder.
-Oh, right, that's a little spoon, is it?
It could be Georgian.
There was a habit of taking snuff, in other words taking something...
-So, for naughty substances.
-For putting up one's nose.
Wow, it's rather fun.
It's got a Lucifer, a Diablo, on the mount.
It's giving you a very bad vibe, isn't it?
It's giving me very bad vibes.
The silver jewellery box has an auction value of £800.
Oh, gosh this is heavy.
Well, it means to me 19th century.
It's also plated because the copper is coming through,
somebody has polished it.
All sorts of scenes going on, I don't know if they're mythical
or are there people going off to war perhaps in this?
The costume suggests that it's 18th century.
It's a little coffret, isn't it?
What's the word?
-Coffret, is that right?
-I don't know, I like it.
I think it's a box to put in precious things.
The final item is the toasting glass worth £1,000.
Oh, that's absolutely lovely, isn't it?
It's Georgian, isn't it?
I would say fairly early 1740, 1750 sort of period.
It looks like a toasting glass, it's got these beautiful twists inside.
It might be quite early.
Well, it has a Tudor rose on it.
So we could be looking really quite early with this.
It's decision time.
They must now place the antiques in chronological order.
It might just stay there.
Margaret thinks the toasting glass is the earliest item.
Both Ruth and Matthew agree.
I would say 1740.
Margaret puts the tea caddy as second oldest.
And so does Ruth.
Erm, OK, I'm going to go that.
But Matthew opts for the inkwells.
-You're not sure about those.
-Not sure about these.
Margaret places the inkwells in the middle of the timeline,
-as does Ruth.
-Put that in here.
1760 or 1770.
I don't know, I just don't know.
But finally opts for the jewellery box.
Ruth places the jewellery box in penultimate position -
again Margaret agrees.
Regency, early-19th century.
But Matthew goes for the tea caddy.
I'm definitely going to have that as the latest...
Finally, they all agree on the glass bottle as the latest item.
Almost a Deco look about it,
somewhere into the early-20th century.
Time's running out.
Have a little look down your line and tell me
if there's anything you'd like to change.
You look in a quandary, are you happy with your choices?
I'm not terribly happy, but I'll stick to my guns.
Thank you very much indeed.
Margaret and Ruth's timelines are identical,
but Matthew disagrees.
Is either version in the correct order?
Let's put you all out of your misery.
One or two things there I think you weren't too sure of - Eric.
To the earliest piece.
You were all quite confident that this toasting glass is 18th century,
Matthew, I think you said sort of 1740 or thereabouts.
Maybe a little bit later, we think about 1760.
Absolutely right, that is the oldest piece.
All three of you get ten points.
Moving forwards in time, what did I want to see here?
I wanted to see something that dated to around about 1810 or maybe 1820,
and, Matthew, you came up with this as dating from that period.
Because this I did want to see here
It is Regency, the date on that is 1820.
Ten points there to Ruth and Margaret.
I can tell you now this is the most valuable item in front of you,
a cool £3,500.
It all gets very problematic when we get to this middle bit,
so what should be in front of me?
Well, not that.
I'm just going to swap this temporarily for...
One, two inkwells.
Who said inkwells?
Margaret you said inkwells.
These date to 1830.
So, Ruth and Margaret, again ten points.
So, it gets interesting at this end of the table.
What is it and when was it made?
Well, you're quite right,
it is a lovely little jewellery casket,
or if you prefer, Matthew, a coffret.
So the date on that, I can tell you now, is 1870.
So, by a process of elimination...
Not many nice things said about this poor chap.
It is a late-Victorian little snuff bottle
with its original silver stopper.
Date-wise on that, 1898.
And it is the least valuable of all the items in front of you
because this particular piece we've got valued at £225.
Thank you very much, Eric.
Well done to Ruth and Margaret, you got every single one of them right.
Let me tell you the scores.
Ruth. In the first challenge you got ten points, you got the full 50 points on this one
so you have 60 points and you are in the lead.
Margaret, you didn't get any points in the first challenge,
but you got the full 50 this time, so you have 50 points
and you will be going through with Ruth to our next challenge.
Matthew, not so good - ten points in the first challenge,
20 points in this, you have 30 points.
I'm afraid this is where your chance to grasp
the Antiques Master title will conclude.
-I hope you had a good time.
-Yes, it's been fun.
Ruth and Margaret, to your final challenge, one of you will leave
with a place in the semi-final.
Let's go through to the Red Room.
So, Ruth and Margaret, there's just one guaranteed place
in the semi-finals and it is time for your final challenge.
I'm going to start with an open question.
Please could you 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 answer correctly, then you'll 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
who could steal five points from you,
so please choose wisely.
The round will end after two minutes
or when all five antiques are out of play.
At the moment, Ruth, you're in the lead, you've got 60 points,
but, Margaret, not far behind, you've got 50 points,
so, frankly, everything to play for.
We start with an open question, and the time starts now.
What type of stoneware, patented by Mason in 1813,
was said to incorporate furnace slag in the clay?
-Ironstone is correct. Please pick a category.
From which thoroughfare in London did the Chippendale family
trade for nearly 60 years from the mid-18th century?
-Haven't a clue.
We pass it over to Ruth, do you know?
No, it was St Martin's Lane, so not far off.
Open question -
what French term is used for an upright linen press
or cupboard enclosed by large doors?
Armoire is correct. Please pick a category.
-Which company did William Moorcroft leave in 1913
to set up his own factory at Burslem?
It was, James McIntyre and Co.
What was the surname of the brothers
whose glasswork in Nancy in France produced Art Nouveau lamps and vases?
No? The answer is Dome.
Which factory in County Fermanagh is known for its iridescent glaze
and basket ware porcelain with motifs drawn from the local flora and fauna?
Belleek is correct. Please pick a category.
Which subject did Christopher Dresser specialise in
at the government school of design that is said
to have had a profound effect on his approach to design?
Can pass across to Margaret.
-Plant sciences, I will accept.
Botany is the answer we were looking for.
Open question - meaning 'green of Greece',
what term is used for the greenish powdery deposit
on the surface of copper or brass items?
-Verdigris is correct.
Well, we are out of time.
I have to say that was a very impressive display.
It's incredibly tight. Ruth,
you have finished with 70 points
and, Margaret, you have just pipped her at the post with 75.
So, congratulations, we will be seeing you in the semis, Margaret,
and commiserations to you, Ruth.
Margaret you look rather shell-shocked. How are you feeling?
I am shell-shocked, I thought Ruth was well ahead.
Well, let's get Eric's verdict.
Well, there were some tough questions there, Sandi,
but we are looking for the Antiques Master.
Indeed we are, and do join us next time
when we welcome three more determined antiques amateur enthusiasts
to try and claim the title of Antiques Master 2011.
Well, I'm gobsmacked.
I don't know if I've got what it takes to win,
but I'll be doing some homework before the next round.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The country's leading amateur antiques enthusiasts battle it out to become Antiques Master 2011 in the new series presented by Sandi Toksvig and featuring antiques expert Eric Knowles.
We're back in Towneley Hall, Burnley, Lancashire, where three more contestants put their skill and knowledge to the test over three tough challenges. Ruth Collett from Lancashire specialises in distinctive arts and crafts jewellery, Matthew Wright from Devon has a passion for delicately crafted French Sevres porcelain, and Margaret Campbell from Edinburgh loves decorative antique tiles.
Who will take that all important place in the semi-finals and be one step closer to becoming Antiques Master 2011?