Antique-based game show. Three contestants, whose individual specialisms are pewter, teddy bears and Staffordshire figures, put their knowledge to the test.
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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.
Welcome to Antiques Master.
I'm Sandi Toksvig and this is the search for Britain's top amateur antiques enthusiast.
We have three more dedicated antique buffs eager to claim the 2011 title
and as ever, Mr Eric Knowles is here to cast his eye over the proceedings.
Let's meet tonight's contestants.
Jonathan MacFarlane from Devon has a passion for pewter.
It's going to be a stretch answering on things I know very little about.
Dolls frighten me.
Barbara Harding from Lancashire is a keen collector and maker of teddy bears.
Having what little knowledge I've got put to the test
is a bit terrifying but it's exciting too.
And David Millard from Manchester, who delights in Staffordshire figures.
I'm reasonably confident about doing OK on Antiques Master.
I'm ready to be put to the test.
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.
We know that you each have a different antiques passion
and we'll put that specialist knowledge to the test
so we have scoured the country to find five glorious examples for each of you.
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 one is the odd one out.
Now, there's a total of 40 points available.
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 to within 15% of the auction estimate.
So shall we have a look and see who's got the real eye for detail?
First to be tested is Jonathan, whose specialism is pewter
from the Arts and Crafts and Art Deco periods.
And your odd one out is a modern copy.
So what would be a typical style?
These are very typical Archibald Knox candlesticks.
They're clearly marked with the Liberty's mark.
They were produced for the Tudric range. He also did some silver, the Cymric range.
OK. Let us go on to the next. Have you always liked antiques?
-Since I was a child.
Because I paint and I love things which are artistic and colourful
and I was away at school and it was a way of getting some joy into my life.
Let's have a look at this. What is it for?
Looks like a bonbon dish or a fruit basket.
-What are you looking for?
-I'm looking for the touchmark.
The touchmark is the markings you get on pewter to say who made it,
where and when, and this one is clearly marked.
Does that suggest it's not a modern copy?
This is definitely an old one. It says "Liberty & Co" on it.
Are the colours typical?
It's enamel, yes. That's a rather large one in perfect condition.
So what's the range of the Arts and Crafts period?
The Germans started producing Arts and Crafts pewter in 1880, 1885
and the Liberty pewter was generally from about 1900 -
most of it was 1903 onwards to about 1920.
It's not a huge age.
No, no, no.
This doesn't look to be English.
I'd say this is more likely German.
-I can't see a mark on it
but I know that Kayserzinn generally did not silver-plate their items
and it's a much harder Britannia metal-type pewter, which they used on the continent.
-English pewter was much softer.
-OK. Let's come on to the next one.
So what have we got here?
This is another Tudric pewter, Archibald Knox design.
Still has the original rattan on the handle.
Could that be one of the most valuable?
It could be. I'm not sure.
Not sure yet?
I'm still making my mind up, yes.
This one looks rather intriguing.
It says "AE Williams cast," and there's a rose and it says
"pewter, guaranteed lead-free, Birmingham, England."
If you lick it, you'll be fine.
I'd be fine to drink from that,
not that I would choose to because I don't like it.
Oh! Why don't you like it?
Because it's a modern fake copy.
So shall I put my odd one out there straightaway?
-That's my odd one out.
-I love your confidence.
Right, now let's find the oldest.
Erm, the oldest I would think...
This one here. How old do you think it is?
I would say it's about 1885,
And most valuable?
I'm stuck between these two.
I'm going to choose the candlesticks.
Stand with me and we'll find out what Mr Knowles thinks of your decisions.
Well, let's get down to business and let's look for our oldest piece.
I don't have to look very far because it is right in front of me.
From an Art Nouveau point of view,
it's got the typical whiplash sort of handle,
it's got organic ornament,
it's a little bit florid.
What is unusual about this is this vertically-ribbed base
which, looking at the way it's been made,
has been with this top ever since the word go.
The word go, by the way, was 1895.
So ten points, well done.
So where do we go to our odd one out?
Scathing things being said down here.
Well, you WERE scathing...
..and you WERE right.
I have to say, though,
this little piece,
which is probably
no more than around about ten or 15 years old
has got movie cred,
because this piece appeared in the film Titanic.
It is stylistically more your 1900,
and I think initially it would've had a glass liner.
It begs for a glass liner.
So, because it is relatively modern, it is our odd one out.
So another ten points.
So, when it comes to the most valuable, we've got
a lovely pair of candlesticks
and we've got a lovely cake stand.
Big question is,
are this pair of candlesticks
going to be of more value?
Well, I can tell you now that this particular cake stand wins the day.
Even though you didn't guess that it was the most valuable,
I will give you five points if you can tell us
within 15% of the auction estimate
how much you would pay for it.
I would estimate 2,200, something like that.
2,200, Mr Knowles.
I would have accepted anything 15% either way...
of £2,000, so five points.
Congratulations, well done.
Jonathan has scored 25 out of the possible 40 points.
Will Barbara spot the oldest, most valuable and odd one out
in her specialism, antique teddy bears?
Odd one out is the only British bear.
-Isn't he sweet?
-Oh, isn't it...?
-He's been loved.
They're better like this - they've got character.
When did teddy bears start?
Well, everybody says Steiff but it was a lady in New York.
Her husband had a shop and when Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear,
this lady made a bear and stuck it in the window and it sold.
-It was TEDDY'S bear.
-Oh, I see.
-Because it was Teddy Roosevelt.
-And they forgot the Teddy's part.
He's got a nice little hump which implies that he might be German
but some of the French ones did that as well. He's got boot button eyes.
And he's got the felt feet
with the card inserts.
What does that mean?
A few of them used card inserts.
OK. Next one.
Have you got a house full of bears?
We've got quite a few.
"We"? So is your husband involved?
Yes, he's got the biggest one of the lot.
He was a policeman. When he retired
I bought this seven-foot Merrythought bear dressed as a policeman.
-Yes. He stands in the living room behind his chair.
He's got a stud so he's a Bing.
Originally they put them in the ear like Steiff did
but Steiff got a bit upset
so they then started putting the buttons under the arms.
Sometimes you'd find them on the back.
Right, we'll leave that for the moment and move on to the next one.
-He's very fluffy.
I think he's a Chad Valley, English make.
Oh, right, OK.
1950s, certainly after the war.
It could be the odd one out? We've only got one British bear.
Yeah, could be but we'll reserve judgement.
We'll press on because we've got two more to visit.
He's got his little Steiff tag and button.
He's probably '50s.
-Are they rare?
-So not our most valuable.
OK, let's go on to the last one,
who's certainly been through the wars, I would say.
Now, this is the sort of bear I collect.
He's got the boot button eyes
but there's no indication of any hole anywhere.
I'm going to have to hurry you along now. Shall we start
with the odd one out?
Let us find the British bear.
The others are all...presumably, from the continent?
-Mr Chad Valley?
I think he's a Chad Valley.
Right, let us find the oldest of our bears.
And... Going to have to hurry you. You think it's this one?
-The oldest. And the most valuable?
Change that one around.
-Here, shall I put it here?
-The Bing's the most valuable.
And the oldest.
Out of time, I'm afraid.
Sorry about that.
Eric, your verdict.
Oldest bear, our oldest bear.
You were there with that fella.
Actually, you couldn't make your mind up between the two, could you,
but you made the right decision
-by saying that this is the oldest.
-You big tease!
-What've you done to Barbara!
So what are we looking at? Boot button eyes, a hump and long arms.
Ooh! It's got to be a German bear, but that is a yankee doodle dandy.
He dates in actual fact to 1905.
-And you get ten points.
Let's track down that odd one out.
-The odd one out would speak to you with an English accent.
But it wouldn't necessarily speak to you with,
dare I say, a Brummie accent,
because it would speak to you with a Shropshire accent.
-And it's Merrythought.
You are absolutely right, it is English, but it is Merrythought,
and this little fella dates from the 1940s.
So we're looking for the most valuable.
The thing about bears, everybody goes for the left ear, they all look for Steiff,
and what you should really be looking for is this -
a button underneath his left arm.
Because when you find that, you know you're talking Bing.
This is a Bing.
The question is, who's worth the most?
Well, I can tell you now, it's this little chap.
Full house, Barbara. All 30 points.
Now, you could gain another ten if you can tell me
how much your Bing bear would fetch.
I want within 15% of the auction estimate, please.
Five and a half.
-Five and a half thousand?
I think you might find they've come down.
We've got this selling at £1,650.
Barbara has taken the lead with 30 points.
David now needs to score the full 40 points to take the advantage
on his specialism of Staffordshire figures.
Your odd one out is not a piece of Staffordshire.
Well, let's start here. Tell me about this pair.
These two imitating Chelsea or Derby or much, much finer porcelain,
but they're just earthenware.
This is possibly 1800 or earlier still,
whereas these kind of chaps are 1850s and thereabouts.
So could they... I mean, are we looking at the oldest?
Could well be.
Yeah? Was it mass-produced?
Oh, absolutely. Yes.
-I mean, it was pottery for poor people.
You couldn't afford your Chelsea and your Derby and everything,
but you could have a nice shiny thing on your mantelpiece.
Why do you think Staffordshire? Why so much pottery?
I think it was because of the availability of the earthenware clay.
The actual stuff to make it from.
He's the real thing.
-How can you tell?
-I just can.
And here's a lovely one-eyed man.
He could be a Sampson Smith figure, a company called Sampson Smith.
-Is that still Staffordshire?
Christmas Evans, you see.
Christmas Evans was probably...well, definitely some kind of preacher.
Is he sort of winking? An unsavoury Anne Robinson look to his eye there.
Yeah, it is quite fun, isn't it?
Does that suggest something about the age?
1850-ish. Apart from the look, you can often tell from the costume.
-Have you got scary things at home?
-I've got a few.
-Have you, like what?
A few creepy-faced Staffordshire figures and things, you know.
Now, then. Little, harmless dog.
A lovely little dog. He's not right, I don't think.
-Oh! Odd one out is NOT a piece of Staffordshire.
I smell a rat there.
Oh, do you, why?
He's charming, but it ain't charming enough,
and I don't believe this paint treatment.
Lovely at a distance, that.
-But not up close.
-I don't think so.
OK. Let's see if the other one stands examination.
Now, this, it's a pen stand.
Oh, right. Ah, I see.
Really very, very rare. That's great.
Let's start with the oldest.
I just want to check their credibility,
just to be sure they're not fake.
What are you looking for?
I'm just comparing the bases. That's a fake.
Right, so is that your odd one out?
The most valuable?
I'll go with this.
Right, OK. We have run out of time.
If you could run down this way with me,
we will get Eric to tell us the truth.
So let's look for our oldest example on here,
-or should I say
because weighing in somewhere around about 1785,
we've got this lovely pair of figures,
and so not a bad start there, David.
Well, done David. Ten points.
Odd one out.
Well, one of these in actual fact is not made of pottery.
It's made of porcelain.
-So I can tell you now it ain't your hound.
But it is your inkstand,
because this is continental, probably French,
So we are now looking for the most valuable.
You didn't like this, did you?
Let me reassure you, hand on heart, that this hound is right as rain.
But is it the most valuable, or could it be our one-eyed winker?
Christmas Evans. All the people in the valleys are going crazy
because he's a name that is synonymous with that part of the world,
and Christmas Evans, I can tell you, may be a bit of a winker,
but he is our most valuable figure.
So only ten points.
However, you could gain another five if you can give me
the value of Mr Evans within 15% of the auction estimate.
Well, it's nice to see you've given him such high regard
although you'd never been introduced until today,
but we were looking for a figure nearer £800, so there you go.
Let's have a look at the end of that rather tricky first challenge.
The scores are as follows.
David has got ten points.
Jonathan, you are on 25,
and Barbara is in the lead with 30.
However, there's not a lot in it,
and I can tell you that one of you very sadly will be leaving the contest after the next challenge,
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 silver ladle,
then a decanter.
Next, a cigarette case,
followed by a vase.
And finally a gold seal.
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.
Jonathan is first to examine the seal.
Looks like a seal for doing a wax seal on a letter. Looks to be gold.
It's in a lovely box, looks to be the original box.
You can see Mr Darcy wearing that, can't you?
Carrying it on your belt.
-Well, on a kind of fob.
-It's a crest of some sort.
-So, when was all this?
The vase has an auction value of £1,500.
-It can't be Pilkington.
Because Pilkington tends to have a sheen
and tends to be nicer than that.
-It's a bit matte, is it?
-It's a bit matte.
It looks Japanese, or is it Chinese?
It's been thrown on a wheel.
It's a hand-thrown pot, hand-decorated.
Looks to be, I would've thought 17th, maybe 18th century.
The third piece to date is the cigarette case, worth £470.
Nice hinge. Oh, it's got a mark.
Erm, I can't see. All I can tell is it's a leopard.
So what does it mean if it is a leopard?
Is it proper silver?
I doubt it.
It's about 1930.
-Ooh, I like this noise. Sounds posh.
Does that say Cartier?
Yes, that's a Cartier silver box.
And it's silver gilt, it's been gilded inside,
so I would've thought that that's 20th century.
The decanter is next for inspection.
That is quite delightful.
And what is it suggesting to you?
1800? Maybe a bit before.
Unfortunately it's empty.
Ah. What would it have had in it, do you think?
Port, sherry. It's got a pontil mark.
-Shows that it's hand-blown.
Is it Edwardian?
Is that a rhetorical question?
I don't know, sort of early 1900s?
The final item to be assessed is the ladle.
Oh, that's nice.
Lot of silver. Hang on. Hang on.
It's not one of the Batemans, is it?
Lady, a lady silversmith.
George III, I would think. Ah!
1775 or something like that.
Right, so quite an early item.
Yes, it's hallmarked.
Anything you can tell me?
A letter L and the leopard's head so it's English silver,
-mid-Georgian, mid to late Georgian.
It's decision time.
They have one minute to place the antiques in chronological order.
Shall we start with the earliest item, the oldest item?
Jonathan thinks the vase is the earliest item.
Barbara thinks it's the ladle.
I think it's probably the 1788.
And David agrees.
Going to put that there.
Jonathan chooses the ladle as the second oldest.
But David goes with the decanter.
The seal is on the move.
And Barbara thinks it's the seal.
I'm tempted to do...that.
Jonathan places the seal in the middle of the timeline,
and David agrees.
But Barbara goes for the vase.
She places the decanter in penultimate position.
And so does Jonathan.
And roughly an age.
But David opts for the vase.
-This is the youngest.
-That's the youngest, right.
Finally, they all agree the cigarette case is the youngest antique.
Time's running out.
Last chance for a change.
Barbara is about to make a last-minute switch...
Leave 'em as they were.
..but sticks to her guns.
-Anything you'd like to change?
-Probably should be, but no.
-Jonathan, thank you so much.
Time's up, but is anyone's timeline in the correct order?
Well, let's find out who was perfect with their places in time.
I love this bit, I love time travel.
Let's have a look at what we've got lurking at the end for our earliest.
It's a ladle.
And it's a ladle that has a few marks on the back,
and the only person to spot them was Barbara,
because you mentioned Bateman. That's the hallmark.
But it's not my earliest piece.
I'm going to do a swap...
with a pot!
I'm going to put this pot down here.
This is Chinese.
It's from an area called Swatow,
and they were making these pieces in around about 1600.
The only person that got that right was Jonathan.
And that is ten points.
What follows on there should date from the end of the 18th century.
Now, what I wanted to place here is already there.
It is the decanter.
This is a Georgian decanter, probably English, date - 1780.
I can also tell you that this is the least valuable item at £250.
And that is ten points to David.
Well, I think having said what I have about the ladle,
I think it might be fair to assume that that should go there.
I'm happy, this is 1806.
No points to anybody for the ladle.
So far, having got as far as the early 19th century,
we will make a quantum leap to 1865.
A beautiful seal, I mean, you know that you've got a quality item
before you open the box, and as such,
I can tell you that it is our most expensive item,
because this is worth £2,000.
Again, a very tricky one for everybody.
Not one of you put that in the correct place.
I have to say you were all very clever.
But when it came to the final item, you mentioned the name Cartier,
and that's going to push you into the early 20th century.
Had you opened it and found the hallmarks in there,
you could have actually dated it more precisely to 1927.
All three of you get ten points.
Right, well, let's have a look and see what that has done to our scores.
Jonathan, you have got 45 points.
Barbara, you have 40.
David, I'm very sorry, you've ended up with 30 points,
and this is where your journey
towards the title of Antiques Master comes to an end.
-I do hope you've had a good time.
-I've had a good time.
Wonderful, but there is still more work to do
for Jonathan and Barbara, as we go through for the final challenge in the red room.
So, Jonathan and Barbara, there is just one guaranteed place
in the semi-finals, and it is time for your final challenge.
Now, before you, five beautiful antiques.
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 do answer correctly,
you will then be able to use one of the five antique categories
for a further question worth ten points.
But get that wrong, the question will pass to the other contestant,
who could steal five points from you.
So please choose wisely,
and the round will end after two minutes or when all five antiques are out of play.
Jonathan, you're currently in the lead with 45 points,
but there's only five points in it so there is everything to play for.
We'll start with an open question, and the time starts now.
Meaning shine, what name is given to ware decorated with a metallic coating
that changes colour when fired?
-Correct. Please choose a category.
In which decade was the Ruskin pottery factory founded
by Edward Taylor and his son, William?
I'm going to pass it over.
Is incorrect. The answer is 1890s.
Open question, either of you can answer.
Which German city's name is given both to porcelain
made in the style of Meissen and to fine 18th century white-work embroidery?
The answer is Dresden.
In the 1820s, what symbol was removed from the leopard's head hallmark of the London Assay Office?
-Is it the crown?
-It is. Please choose a category.
In the 17th century, what Dutch name
was given to imported blue and white Chinese porcelain whose designs were soon imitated in Delftware?
Imported? I don't know.
I'll pass it to Jonathan.
I don't know either, sorry.
The answer is Kraak.
Open question. Who studied in Japan before founding a studio pottery in St Ives with Shoji Hamada in 1920?
-Bernard Leach. Choose a category.
Which word derived from the Italian for milk
is used to describe opaque white Murano glass?
Not correct. Barbara?
Tip of my tongue but I can't remember.
Lattimo. Open question.
19th century Mary Gregory glass is predominantly decorated with what images?
-White enamel child figures.
Children. I'll accept that. Please pick a category.
In the 1840s, in which UK city were silver items
designed by Nathaniel Mills & Sons assayed?
Well, time's up and after that rather tricky round of questions
I can reveal the scores. Barbara, you have 45 points,
but Jonathan, you are this week's winner with 70,
and you now take a place in our semi-finals,
where you'll be joined by our highest runner-up from the heats,
Sandy Rich, who, I have to warn you, scored a very impressive 85.
How are you feeling?
Let's see how Eric's doing.
Well, having a specialism is so important,
but having good general knowledge, well, it's absolutely essential. Congratulations, Jonathan.
Do join us next time for what is shaping up to be a thrilling contest
to find our Antiques Master of 2011.
We'll see you for the semis.
Everyone who goes in for this Antiques Master competition
wants to take home a trophy, and I'd be thrilled if I could,
but I'm up against some stiff competition. I'll give it my best.
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 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.
Jonathan MacFarlane from Devon has a passion for pewter, Barbara Harding from Lancashire is a keen collector and maker of teddy bears, and David Millard from Manchester delights in Staffordshire figures. But who will take that all-important place in the semi-finals and be one step closer to becoming Antiques Master 2011?