Antiques experts Charlie Ross and Natasha Raskin are in Berkhamsted, before heading for an auction in the Dorset town of Christchurch.
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-It's the nation's favourite antiques experts...
-What about that?!
..with £200 each, a classic car
and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.
Can I buy everything here?
The aim, to make the biggest profit at auction, but it's no mean feat.
Feeling a little "saw".
This is going to be an epic battle.
There be worthy winners and valiant losers.
So, will it be the high road to glory or the slow road to disaster?
-The honeymoon is over.
This is the Antiques Road Trip.
We are approaching the halfway stage of our antiquarian amble
in the company of Natasha Raskin and Charlie Ross.
Being driven along a leafy lane in the sunshine by a young girl
in a sports car is frankly all any man could ever wish for in life!
Ahh, charmer Charlie, an auctioneer from Oxfordshire,
is the experienced half of our two on the road,
well versed in the ways of the bargain.
Hello, Steve. Yeah, Charlie's on his knees.
While art and style guru Natasha, from Glasgow, has been
entirely candid on her maiden outing.
I know, I know! I'm a plonker!
Honesty can pay, though.
Geography, sometimes, as well.
I was amazed at how good a deal I got from the chap whose mother
was from Glasgow, simply amazed!
It's a funny old game, this. Ha!
They set off in their Triumph TR6 with £200 each,
and so far, the auction score is 1-1.
Although Natasha has made just a modest profit, with £217.50.
Whilst Charlie has turned his stake into £307.92, a lead of over £90.
But can the wise master stay ahead?
What you need is for me to buy three things for £100 each...
-Could you do that?
-..and you to buy three things for 20 quid each
and make a steady little miserly profit.
I could do that!
The kid learns fast. Huh!
Our journey begins in Cornwall at Falmouth and heads east,
taking in most of southern England before ending up,
over 900 miles later, at Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.
Today, we're making for an auction in the Dorset town
of Christchurch, but starting out in the Chiltern Hills at Berkhamsted.
It was in Berkhamsted in December, 1066,
just a few months after the Battle of Hastings, that the
English finally surrendered to William the Conqueror.
And it was here, too, equally lost in the midst of time,
that a certain auctioneer and road-tripper
spent his formative years.
Berkhamsted School, founded 1541.
-I was at school here and I've got a surprise for you.
-My old First XI cap.
-You look about 12!
Would you like to hear the old school song? It's in Latin.
HE SINGS IN LATIN
HE CONTINUES TO SING
When Charlie runs out of Latin,
they'll be shopping in two shops, just a few doors apart.
-"Vintage and eclectic."
-Just like you!
-You or me?
-No, it's you!
Vintage, eclectic! Good luck!
It's just like heading for the office, isn't it?
-Hello, good morning. Hi, there.
-Lovely to meet you, Julie. Hi, there.
-Gosh, what a fabulous shop you have.
-Thank you, we love it.
Reunion, once a pop-up shop but now permanent,
should have plenty to keep Natasha interested...
Very, very interior design, isn't it? Very, very.
..while Charlie heads off to Heritage.
No more of those, though, eh?
-John, is it?
-It's lovely to be back in Berkhamsted.
You came here before?
-I was at school here.
-Ten years of my life spent here.
-You were at the school as well?
-I was, yes.
-What house were you in?
-Which is just up the road here!
-That one there, yes.
-I was halfway up the hill - Incense.
-We hated you!
Hm, that went well(!) Let's change the subject, shall we?
Well, I'm going to try and buy antiques.
I know you've got all sorts of things here,
haven't you? From the shabby chic to the antique.
-From the sublime to the ridiculous.
No prizes for guessing what Charlie will come up with, then.
Meanwhile, Natasha is in designer heaven.
This shop is so mid-century. Everything is so mid-century,
it's got that real Ercol feel, G-Plan, Danish kind of feel.
Love that. Love that fruit plate.
That's just so gorgeous.
Oh, so, sort of Scandinavian design.
I love the palette.
It's a really awful kind of sickly green and I LOVE it.
I think, mainly, if we're talking Scandinavian at the moment, do we not want glass?
I think we probably would want glass more than ceramics.
I wonder if she'd give me that for a tenner? No, that'd be too rude.
That would be too rude. We'll see how we get on with other stuff. Oh, OK!
Huh, Charlie is going a bit more trad.
What a fantastic place setting.
There's a lot of it. How many...? Ten place settings.
EPNS cutlery, £85. Is that yours?
No, that's Janet.
Seems jolly good value to me. I'll even have to have a look at a piece.
Made in Sheffield.
As you would hope.
Quite impressive, isn't it? There's a whole lot.
-To have the knives as well...
-It is, if you've got a ten-seater table.
Or if there's just two of you and you don't like washing up much.
That would just about suit, too.
Are you trying to beat me down, Charlie?
Well, of course I would, if I wanted to buy it,
but that's absolutely ridiculous!
-Doulton Lambeth, they started by making drains, didn't they?
They made drains in London and then they progressed on to earthenware objects.
It's known as a harvest teapot.
Cos you can see the guys with their harvest here.
This is very churlish, but at £4, what's your best?
While heady figures are bandied about elsewhere,
Natasha may be about to actually hang her hat on something.
I love this big hook.
That would probably ruin the lady's display, somewhat.
It's 20th century, isn't it? It's not going to be late 19th century.
It's 20th century, but that has good farmhouse appeal. That is quite fun.
-I love this massive row of hooks. Is that for sale?
-Yeah, it is, yeah.
The price is 75. 75, OK. I tell you what I'm going to do...
I'm going to think about it, because I don't know,
and I've had a bad history, thus far, of making snap decisions.
-Ah! I can do it for 60, if that helps?
OK, I do think I need it and I have to do that awful thing
where I have to just kind of go down and down and down
and I have to say, Julie, would you take £50 for it?
What did I say, 60?
Erm, 55, I think, is the absolute bottom line.
I knew you were going to say that. I think I'm quite comfortable with 55.
-I don't know if I've lost the plot, but, Julie, I think we should go for it.
-I think I have!
Thank you so much. Thank you, I love it. I love it, love it, love it!
First blood to Natasha.
Down the road, Charlie has spoken to the dealer who owns the cutlery...
Every bit helps, as they say.
..and got it down to £65.
-He's still looking, though.
-You've got an antique there as well!
-Yes, an old Comtoise.
-Blimey, an old Comtoise clock!
-Yes, with a pendulum.
This is a rather jazzy pendulum.
-Yes, it's the actual original folding pendulum...
-Look at that!
..they came with, so they can be boxed and moved around easily.
Ah! Seems to have missed its bell.
-It has got a missing bell.
Nativity scene here.
-They're good movements, though.
..going for a while, has it?!
No. It hasn't been going for about 20 years.
Comtoise long case clocks are named after the French region
they were made in for over 200 years.
They are unusual because they have this lovely habit.
You know how you wake up in the night and hear the clock strike?
-And you think, "Was that three or four?"
This one does it a minute later.
-So it strike the hour twice?
-I never knew that.
-Is that standard for a Comtoise clock?
I'm not liking the price.
Yeah, that very old ticket price doesn't reflect that the clock is now in bits.
Charlie can be bold about this one.
-Are you going to sell it to me for 20 quid?
-What, 20? No, I can't.
-I can't make 20. That came across the Channel!
That's one of the most expensive trips, isn't it, nowadays.
Well, it is nowadays. It was jolly cheap in those days!
Come off it!
-So what's the verdict?
It's a more realistic price agreed.
-I thought you were going to say 120.
-As an old Berkhamstedian.
Flushed with success,
he's also decided to plump for the cutlery for £65
and the little £4 teapot.
THEY BELT OUT SCHOOL SONG
Oh, dear, yet another go at the school song.
THEY CONTINUE SINGING
Make it stop, someone!
You did that so well, I'm going to knock £2 off that teapot for you.
-That's all right!
-Anything to help.
There really is no accounting for taste.
Pot, clock and cutlery, then, all for £92.
I knew this would be you.
-Hi, how are you?
-Have you spent all your money?
A touch. A little bit,
probably too much. Are you going in the next shop?
-Might have a look.
-Might have a look.
I'm going to an intriguing destination.
-Where are you going?
-Wouldn't you like to know!
Very intriguing and top secret.
Natasha's mysterious destination
lies beneath the Buckinghamshire village of West Wycombe.
Welcome to the caves that were once home to the notorious Hellfire Club.
Hello, squire. I've travelled back in time. I'm Natasha.
Yes, you've travelled back to the 18th century, my lady.
-Pleasure to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Welcome to the Hellfire Caves.
-If you're ready?
-I am so ready.
-So, so ready.
-OK, then, let's descend.
-Let's do it!
Extending for about a quarter of a mile,
this unsettling network of chalk and flint caverns
was first created in the mid-18th century
with a devilish purpose in mind.
OK, what are these caves? Where did they come from?
Originally they were a quarry site.
-Oh, right, OK.
But then they were transformed into these caves,
this underground labyrinth.
The man who dreamt it all up was the local landowner,
Sir Francis Dashwood.
He needed a venue for the naughty goings-on
of his order of the Friars of St Francis.
Now is the time to tell you I'm slightly claustrophobic.
No, just kidding, just kidding!
There was nothing holy about Dashwood's friars.
Quite the opposite.
Bacchus and Venus were the deities invoked by this toff and his chums,
as they acted out their wildest fantasies in ritualistic parties.
Is it wrong to say that with these cusped arches
and the sort of Gothic feel
there's something religious about these caves?
That is the correct word, religious.
May I introduce you to the Pope?
What is that? That's horrible yet amazing!
That is a William Hogarth original.
As in a William Hogarth, 18th-century portrait painter?
Mm-hm. He has put these faces throughout the caves -
in the shadows, in the light, everywhere.
-And each of them have a religious symbol to them.
Did he not spend his whole career skewering and jibing
and exposing the upper classes for their debauchery?
And this is the most debauched place I've ever been!
-So Hogarth was here?,
-Yes, his names are on the original papers.
He was one of the founding members, in fact.
Another famous visitor to the caves, but not a member,
was Dashwood's friend Benjamin Franklin.
Although some have claimed
he was only spying on the secret society,
whose motto translates as "Do whatever you wish."
This is absolutely amazing.
They were doing this and I'm so intrigued
because I have a feeling they were doing so much more.
They were, Natasha. Dirty beasts.
And although there has to be a limit
to the detail this programme can divulge...
It's a little bit scary. A little bit scary!
..it's fairly safe to assume that the presence of several MPs
together with alcohol and prostitutes dressed as nuns
would have resulted in some dissipation.
And welcome to the banqueting hall.
This is the party central.
I mean, it's quite sparsely adorned.
-Was it like this when they were having their parties?
-In those days, in these alcoves they had beds.
And that pointed into the centre,
where they had a large, round oak table
and above that, a rose quartz chandelier, up there.
I can almost hear the laughter, of just ladies giggling and just...
from these alcoves.
Oh, my goodness. It really is ritualistic, isn't it?
The mind boggles, darling.
And we'd be more knowledgeable about the club's activities
if their steward and secretary, Paul Whitehead,
hadn't destroyed all the records - shame - just before he died in 1774.
Whitehead's will was suitably strange, too.
It says, "To my dear Sir Francis Dashwood
"I bequeath two things,
"the sum of £50..." Which meant he was rolling in it.
-Huge amount of money, right?
-"And also my heart."
-His actual heart?
"As a momentum to the noble founder."
Sadly, Whitehead's bequest,
which was stored in an urn and occasionally exhibited,
was stolen in 1829.
Since then, there have been numerous sightings of his ghost
in the West Wycombe Caves.
Not that unusual in one of the most haunted places in Britain.
You spend a lot of time down here.
Have you ever experienced anything out of the corner of your eye?
-You must have.
-I've heard laughter.
-Oh, you haven't!
-I've heard whistling.
-And when I've said, "Hello," it's stopped.
Oh, it would be such a fright!
If you think you can lead us back out.
Please don't leave me to find my way out, honestly. Oh!
I'm walking into it and everything. Oh, my goodness!
Meanwhile, back above ground,
a strange apparition haunts the antique shops of Croxley Green.
A-ha! Are you the boss?
-I certainly am, sir.
-And your name is?
-Dave, I'm Charlie.
-Charles, nice to meet you.
-Nice to see you.
He's already bought three things today and spent almost £100...
It's easy to miss things in here, isn't it?
..but shows no sign of slowing up yet, despite his age.
Oh, I love that.
A loo-roll holder!
-Is it old?
99.9 % sure it's a right one.
It looks old to me.
And something that screams to me it's old
is that these screws don't quite fit.
They're wrong, which I think is a good thing
because if they fitted exactly, I'd think to myself, "Hang on."
Got the Kitemark on there, which looks right.
And that knob looks right.
I think you could catalogue that as Victorian, couldn't you?
I wonder if Dave's got a loo to go with it, Charlie.
I think that's fab.
I don't think it's fantastically valuable, but I just think it's great.
The price is £35, hardly spending a penny.
Ah, Japanese lacquered papier mache tray.
Yeah, there's a little bit of damage on it.
Someone's been biting it!
That'll be cheap, then.
You can see all the gilding has rubbed off, here.
That would have been so wonderful when that was made,
in probably 1910, 1920.
-Well, it could be 15.
Well, you've really tempted me, there.
Well, Charlie, with over £200, can certainly afford it.
Now what has he spotted?
What I like about that,
not that it's a particularly wildly exciting thing...
-I suppose it 1920s, isn't it?
-The condition is fantastic.
They're always broken, those things.
Every time I see those, they have the writing on them
and half the blooming letters are missing.
-You can even see the hallmark on that one.
I love that. I think it's really charming.
"Pins." Totally usable.
And that's not ebony. It's a bit of Bakelite, I think.
I think it's Bakelite, yeah.
It's a bit too cheap, really.
-I can't believe it's too cheap.
-Is it as much as that?
-Well, I could most probably go to 24.99.
Charlie's met his match, here.
Have you got a little hallmark book there, by any chance?
-I bet you have.
-It's London, isn't it?
-We're London on a 'd'.
It can't be as late as 1959.
Do you know, I'm beginning to think this is Victorian.
I think it is an 'a', yeah. Yeah, could be. 1896.
I think it's possibly a 'd' but if it's 1899
it's still Victorian, which ever way we look at it,
which surprises me.
-I thought that was 1920s. So did you, I think.
-Yeah, I did.
-Yeah, price has just gone up.
Time for a sit-down talk, I think.
-That's got 25 quid on it.
-The loo roll holder was...?
-And the tray you said 15?
-It's coming to 75 quid.
You know what I'm thinking of? And you're not, I should think.
I was thinking of a nifty.
Dave definitely doesn't have 50 in mind.
That one I'll knock another fiver off.
£70 for the three pieces.
Right. The tray's neither here nor there,
-so we're talking about 55 for these two.
-I can't say no, can I?
-It's been wonderful. Thank you.
-I'll get off my seat.
-My pleasure, sir.
-Thank you very much, sir.
A standing ovation for a deal well done! Hurrah.
What a fantastic day. Two shops, five items.
I'm going for a lie down.
Next morning, Natasha's mystery buy has Charlie hooked.
-You only bought one thing yesterday?
-I only bought one thing.
And I'm not going to tell you what it was
but it was unusually large.
-It was exotic.
-I can't wait to see it.
It wasn't even really for sale.
It was more for display purposes but I nabbed it off the wall anyway.
Well, I hope he's not disappointed
when he finally gets a butchers at what she's bought.
I don't know if I've lost the plot
-but, Julie, I think we should...
-I think I have!
Those set her back £55,
leaving just over £160 left for her purchases today.
While Charlie opted for strength in numbers,
acquiring a Comtoise clock, some cutlery,
a pin box, a teapot
and a Victorian loo-roll holder...
I would have that in my house.
..for a grand total of £147.
Which means he, too,
has £160 left for any further purchases.
Later, they will be heading for a Dorset auction in Christchurch.
But our next stop is in Buckinghamshire, at Marlow.
This fine town on the Thames
boasts a very distinguished suspension bridge,
the prototype for a much larger one across the Danube in Budapest.
"Every time I looked around,
"there he was, that hairy hound from Budapest.
"Never leaving her alone,
"never have I ever known a ruder pest."
I'm not sure what else the two destinations have in common, though.
Maybe antique shops.
What a gorgeous building.
-Nice to meet you. I'm Tasha.
-Hi, I'm Zoe.
Hmm, I wonder how she's coping with the news
that her experienced rival made great strides yesterday.
He's bought everything on the first day.
I can't believe he's done that to me.
I think the answer is not well, actually.
But is this fine establishment the place to fight back?
-I'm struggling, here. I have a tiny budget, a tiny budget!
And I'm thinking, "Look at all these gorgeous little trinkets and things.
"I bet they're still worth more than I can get them for."
That's an interesting piece, actually.
-I'll just take that out.
-Well, we know it's Birmingham, 1913.
-It has a mirror.
-We think maybe it was either for a beauty spot, maybe...
..or possibly rouge, or something else inside there.
-What a lovely thing.
But I'll bet you're asking for a handsome price
for this little patch box, or whatever it may be.
-55! I mean, what would it make?
It would make £20 in an auction, which is sad.
Unless two people really wanted it.
-Then you might go a bit more.
-But oh, gosh, it is lovely.
-I mean, the enamel hat pins and all these things.
You are teasing me, I think.
You are teasing me, Zoe, with your very beautiful items.
I've got £162.50.
-I've got to buy four items.
-Is it possible?
I think you might do it.
You might not do it in here!
Your honesty is appreciated, Zo-Zo!
Time to scarper, Natasha.
How is Charlie?
Looking a bit smug, methinks.
On his way, now, down the Thames to Maidenhead
to visit yet another shop.
Also very true.
Especially in my case!
Yes, we've noticed.
Ready and waiting for me and with a very firm handshake.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, thank you. How are you?
-And who are you?
-You own everything here?
-No. We've got lots of dealers.
-Are they all nice?
Well said, Stacey. Backed up by statistics, too, I'm sure.
-Are there nice areas and horrid areas?
-It's all lovely in my shop.
-Ow! Don't hit me!
-These two are definitely hitting it off.
Charlie's after just one more lot.
God, it's amazing.
Furniture? Thought so.
A lovely Edwardian crossbanded mahogany cabinet,
mirrored centre section, 85 quid.
-And it's been there for months.
-I bet it has.
-I could have it.
-Yes. Have it. Take it!
-Can I have it for nothing?
-No, not for nothing!
-Oh, go on!
You know what it would make at auction today?
You'd do jolly well to get 50 quid for that today.
I mean, it's bizarre, isn't it?
-Well, then, you buy it for 30 and you've made your £20.
-Oh, oh, oh!
Oh, oh, oh!
I've hardly got in the shop.
You know how to excite an old man, don't you?
Calm down, Charlie.
Consider your slightly desperate rival.
Taking our route further down river towards East Molesey
where Sir Edwin Lutyens had a hand in designing their bridge.
Ding-a-ling. Hello. Hi. How are you?
-Hello. I'm Natasha.
-Sue, lovely to meet you.
So, with just £162.50 to her name,
could this finally be the place to spend it?
That's quite good, isn't it?
She's quite funny. Very Art Deco, Egyptian revival.
Sort of an onyx base. Brass item.
It's a shame it's not a finer material.
Quite often with the Art Deco stuff,
it just helps if there's a bit of flesh on show
and she's got them out, so that's working in her favour.
She's got massive feet, but I do quite like her. She's good fun.
£18 is the price. I don't know.
We'll come back to her, but I quite like her, actually. She's funny.
She's got funny proportions and I can relate to that.
I've got huge hands and feet and so does she.
Cheap enough, Natasha. A few more priced like her would help.
And, as luck would have it, there's a sale on.
Look! A place-card holder.
Take off 40. 60p!
A pair of sterling silver cowgirl boot earrings.
Now, what are these? These are £7.
So, for £7, take off 40% so, again, we're at sort of £3.80 or so.
Well, £4.20, actually.
Oh, come on. Giddy up!
They are the best things I have ever seen. I like that.
Let's say, if I take those for £3-whatsit, that's a thing.
Yeah. £4-whatsit, eh? Certainly cheap enough.
Meanwhile, how's the other half living?
Oh, look at that! That's a beautiful Edwardian etagere.
What they call the Sheraton Revival period.
So, it's about 1900,
but it's trying to be 1790 from the Sheraton period
with all this wonderful swag decoration.
It's mahogany, it's crossbanded in satinwood,
it's got olivewood inlay, it's got boxwood inlay,
it's a beautiful, beautiful object,
-but it's furniture.
I think we can all appreciate his note of caution, Stacy,
even at that price.
-Is it yours?
-No. That's a very nice...
-Nice! Nice person!
I would guess it would sell at auction for £110-120.
I've got to take the commission off.
95, something like that.
I don't think I'd be able to go to 100,
but if it crept below it, I would get sweating up in the paddock, really.
-May I do one thing?
If I just look at the back legs and see if they're there.
Yeah, we propped it up.
So, while Charlie's busy counting legs, Stacey makes the call.
A one-er and that is it.
All right, thank you.
Best, best, best price is £100.
It's right on the cusp, isn't it?
That's right where it's at. £100.
Oh, do you know? I'm such a man of instant decisions, normally.
How about we throw in the corner unit as well?
That might speed him up. Very generous.
It's a BOGOF, isn't it?
-It's a buy one, get one free.
-I do like that.
I'm going to do it!
Give me a hug!
I'm not sure he's growing old at all.
Back at Bridge Antiques, Natasha's seen the light.
This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.
There is a coffee grinder that has been converted to a very retro lamp.
What are the chances of there being
a coffee grinder / not a coffee grinder retro lamp
in the auction house? Not really very high.
And sitting opposite the coffee grinder
is a really lovely mirror, actually, as well.
It's fretwork, right, OK, so mahogany fretwork mirror.
George III? Georgian? George III?
Oh, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
I really like her Georgian mirror
and a beautiful 1970s coffee grinder lamp.
It's a bit too odd, isn't it?
-But it could work.
As could Sue's slightly scary climb. Do be careful!
-The asking price is £90 and it's 70 for the lamp.
-It's quite heavy.
-It has got a bit of age to it.
-It has got age,
but I don't think, sort of, 18th-century age, really.
Not quite, we are thinking more 19th century.
-But it's still a sort of decorative, you know, good mirror.
-This mirror... Does this belong to you?
-And does the coffee grinder belong to you?
So I'm going to throw a figure at you for the two.
-And you're sure?
-I think so.
-Shall we shake on it before you change your mind?
-Sue, I'm really grateful!
Phew! Now for the bargain basement. Go, girls.
I love these, but my maths is not so good, so £7, 40% off.
I think they become... Well, £4.
-What did I say?
-I love these.
I think I can say, "Yes, 100%, let's go for those,"
because they are just too good, but the other thing is this girl.
We can't say she's the most finely modelled.
No, she's not, but she's sort of an Art Deco figure, isn't she?
I mean, she's got a nice peachy bottom.
She looks very nice from the back, actually, doesn't she?
Has this dealer got much sway? I mean, £18,
-it's not asking the Earth, but...
-She would probably do 15.
-She'd do 15?
-I mean, I'm just trying to think.
I mean, £15, is anyone actually going to pay £15 for her in auction?
-I could probably go another pound, but...
-14, you reckon?
-Shall we do it?
-Yeah. Yeah, it's 14 quid.
-Someone's going to pay more than 14 quid.
Oh, Sue, thank you so much.
Hey, that's quite a little haul she's got now.
All four for £128.
Now, what about Charlie? Headed for the very centre of London.
Mayfair, to be exact.
To size up one of the capital's most trailblazing tailors.
-Good afternoon, Charlie.
-Keith, is it?
It is indeed, and I'm a director of Henry Poole & Co,
-The first firm of tailors on Savile Row.
-When did it start?
-Way back in 1846.
-Fantastic. Lead on.
-Come on in.
The gentleman's bespoke tailors known as the founder of Savile Row
has received countless royal warrants
since first opening for business on the golden mile of tailoring,
but their story starts in the early 19th century with James Poole,
a military tailor during the Napoleonic Wars.
That went well,
but when his son inherited the already booming business in 1846,
he didn't sit on his laurels.
Henry Poole did a couple of very shrewd things.
One - he began to court the sporting and aristocratic set.
The second thing he did was to turn his premises around 180 degrees
and make the back entrance, which was an alleyway on Savile Row,
into the front of house.
Now, Savile Row, at that time, of course, was populated with surgeons.
-They were all so disgusted that the trade had moved in...
..that they began to up sticks.
They began to look for somewhere more suitable.
-They went off to Harley Street.
-They went off
to newly laid out Harvey Street, where they thrive today,
but we still have little, sort of, touches, little echoes,
of the former occupation of the Row.
Most notably, in the fact that a good suit made on Savile Row
-will always have four buttons on the cuff.
-Well, of course!
But, unlike yours, two of these are functioning.
They can actually be undone,
and that was so that you could do this, you see?
No professional man ever took his jacket off.
He simply, in the case of the surgeon,
he rolled up his sleeves and got on with it.
It was only the working man that stripped his coat off.
Savile Row soon became the top destination for bespoke tailoring
and Henry Poole was the Giorgio Armani of his day,
dressing many of the movers and shakers in Victorian society, from
JP Morgan to Charles Dickens,
and from Buffalo Bill to Bram Stoker.
And he's significant because, of course, he writes Dracula.
-He bases Dracula on his friends and patrons.
One of which, of course, was Sir Henry Irving,
the first actor to be knighted,
-who was also a customer of Poole's.
But it was undoubtedly the patronage of royalty -
and one Prince in particular - that ensured
Poole's place in fashion history.
So here we have the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII,
who comes to us in 1861.
In 1865, he orders a blue silk smoking jacket
and he has a pair of trousers to match.
It's the forerunner, literally, of what we produce today.
And not too long afterwards, he invites a certain
James Brown Potter, of upstate New York,
to come and dine at Sandringham.
Potter is advised to go to the Prince's tailor
and to have one of these "dining jackets" made up.
So he wears this and takes it back to his club in New York
and this creates something of a sensation.
He's said to have turned round and said, "If it's good enough for
"the table of the Prince of Wales,
"then it's good enough for The Tuxedo Club."
Oh, is that where he was?
And that's where he was,
and that became the distinctive dress of The Tuxedo Club.
Not only did the future King invent the dinner suit,
but he is also credited with turn-ups
and leaving the bottom button on a waistcoat undone.
Which, when you consider his expanding girth, is no bad idea.
After all, his nickname was Tum-Tum...
I always undo the bottom button of my waistcoat
and I don't know why I do that.
The Prince of Wales sat back in his chair after a particularly
heavy meal and, feeling the restriction of his waistcoat,
simply undid the bottom button and left it so.
And, as the day progressed,
the courtiers all began to do the same, and...
-Once he's done it, anybody can do it.
I'm not sure what the playboy prince would have
spent on his bespoke suits back in the 1860s,
but today's equivalent could set you back about £3,700.
Phew! It remains the dream of any dapper dresser to be fitted here.
I do apologise, to be standing here in an inferior suit.
It's all right, we've seen worse.
9½ across back, 30¼, 34½.
-Jacket off, please.
-Oh, my braces have come undone.
-I'm not dressed properly, am I?
# Ever gone crazy about a sharp-dressed man? #
Dermot, it's been absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much.
-Thank you, Keith.
-You're very welcome.
-I'm just going to nip
down to the bank to check my balance.
I probably won't be back.
Come on, Charlie.
Remember, as Oscar Wilde, another customer, once remarked,
"One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art."
You look like Chaplin.
But, before the stitching starts, the shopping's complete,
Charlie having spent £247 on a pin box,
the loo-roll holder,
some cutlery, a comtoise clock, a teapot,
an etagere and a corner cabinet.
While Natasha parted with just £183 on a mirror, some coat hooks,
earrings, a figurine
and a table lamp.
So, what did they make of all that lot?
The lamp, in the form of a coffee grinder. What is all that about?
The toilet roll dispenser is so good, it's so Charlie.
It's very naughty, isn't it?
How could someone not want that for their lav?
I'm going to do better, because I bought nicer things.
He knows his market. He'll do fine.
But I think a yummy mummy wants those brass hooks
and I reckon they're going to be my saviour.
After setting off from Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire,
our experts are now heading for a Dorset auction, at Christchurch.
-Oh, look at this!
-Have you had a shower this morning?
Oh, my God!
We're firing on all cylinders!
Yeah! Oh! Hang on.
Civil engineer Sir Donald Bailey
developed his famously strong, prefabricated bridge whilst
working in Christchurch during World War II.
-Are you ready?
-Tinged with nerves.
-May I take your arm?
-Oh, you'll take mine.
THEY HUM THE WEDDING MARCH
So, who will come out on top at Bulstrodes?
Let's hear from auctioneer Kate Howe.
Victorian toilet-roll holder.
I suppose everyone needs one, a bit of fun for the downstairs loo.
£10-20, I would think.
The Egyptian Art Deco figure, I don't particularly like,
and I think we might well struggle with this one. To be honest,
you'd be lucky to get a fiver.
-Will she go in twos?
-No. She's a £5 lady.
-She's a class act. There's no messing.
-A class act.
This is why I brought class items for her.
-Get you. Let's see how your pin box fairs.
-Start me at 10 for it.
-£10 is bid.
In the room I have at 25.
-Do you want a bit more?
35 on the net, yes or no?
-35 on the net.
-40, lady right at the back now. £40.
-£40, 40 is bid.
45 on the net.
50 in the room. £50.
-Selling to the lady in the room at £50. Thank you.
I knew my aunt was coming to the sale.
A great start, and I don't think he
was even pinning his hopes on it, especially.
What's next? A musical turn? No. Charlie's cutlery collection.
£30, please. Start me for the cutlery lot. £30. £30.
For all the cutlery. 35 in the room. 35.
Looking for internet bids, then.
At 35, then. We'll sell it quickly.
40, why not? Seems cheap.
£40. Lady to the side at £40. £40, any more, then? Sells at 40.
Quite a bargain, that, for some lucky bidder.
One minute you're in the clouds, the next minute you're in the doo-doo.
Don't worry, Charlie, your £2 teapot can't fail, surely.
Oh, I'm excited. Here we go, here we go. Look at this.
-A little dinky one.
-A "dinky one"!
Give me £10 for it, somebody, please.
£10, the little teapot. £10.
£10. Yes, 15. 15 is bid.
£15, a little teapot.
-Sells for £15.
-That's a serious profit.
-Yeah. It's a rollercoaster day today.
Natasha's little Egyptian's next.
I can relate to her, because she has massive hands
-and I have massive hands too.
-You do have big hands.
-For scooping up profits.
-For "scooping up profits"!
What shall we say? It's here to go. Start me at £5.
£5 for it.
Fiver is bid. £5.
Thank you, five. 10, 10.
-15. One more? Yes, 20.
-You're going to get a profit.
£20. 25. Any more, yes?
-And 35 now.
At 35 in the room, at £35.
-Give me your hand.
-My massive hand.
Hey, she's done much better than the auctioneer predicted.
Now for Natasha's other bargain buy. Yee-ha!
£10 for them. £10, thank you. £10.
-Look at this.
20. £20. And 5, now.
-A fresh bidder.
-I give in.
-It's a stampede.
5. 60. 5.
Lady at the back at £65.
And they sell for 65.
-Just the spur she needed.
She'll be taking the lead, at this rate.
-You've spent £18 and got back 100.
And all I've got to do is lose it all now.
That's enough of that talk, Natasha.
Although, your coffee grinder lamp could be risky.
-Robert Higgins is at the crease now.
-Unusual thing, look.
What are you going to start me off with this? £20?
-I would think very little, probably.
Give me a tenner, then.
-10 at the back. £10. £10.
-£10. Anyone give me 15?
-15 on the internet.
-15. Any more? Internet bidder, this is now at £15.
-Any more now?
-This is brewing up to be quite a contest.
Now for Charlie's furniture collection.
Needless to say, Douglas can't carry them both.
Now, I've got a couple of bids here, so I'm going to start at £85.
For the two of them, this is. 85.
90. 5. £100. 10.
-20, is it?
-Yes, yes, yes.
-Oh, 110 I have.
They're cheap at 110, for two of them.
It's finished at 110, then.
Oh! But it's something.
It's almost furnished someone's front room
for a good price, Natasha.
Now, what about the row of hooks?
-20 to start me. £20.
£20. £25. 25. 30.
£30 now. Give me 5, anyone? At 35 bid.
Is anyone going to say 40? It's the internet bidder I'm taking.
Well, that's about £30 more than I thought.
-Did you hear that?
-The cheek of it.
He's got a point, though.
Can she make it up with a cracking profit on her mirror?
£30, anyone? £30 bid.
And 5. 40.
£40 I've got now, £40.
50. 50 it is. No?
Yes, 5. 60. £60 for the mirror.
At £60. Can I take 5, anyone? Quickly. All done?
-£60 for this one.
Do you know? I think she's about back where she started from.
This Victorian loo-roll dispenser may be Charlie's favourite lot.
It would be a talking point. People would come out of your loo
and they'd say, "Gosh, that's a cracking holder."
What are you going to start me for that? A little novelty piece.
£30, someone. Tenner to start me.
-Tenner up at the back.
-Well done, madam.
20. 25. 30.
-£30. 5, internet.
-Come on, madam. Hang your lavatory roll.
40 in the front. £40 now.
-You won't find another one. 45.
At £45. Selling it, then.
-Charlie's back on a roll.
Now, for his last lot, the slightly tatty French clock.
-Needs a bit of work, I think.
-Not a lot, sir.
-Tenner for it, then.
Tenner at the back.
-Oh, we've jumped to 25 on the internet.
25 now. 25. Anyone say 30?
-Possibly a Frenchman.
-All done, then.
He's just about got away with that one,
but the winner again today was Natasha.
Are my parents going to be proud? That's what I want to know.
-Probably not. Come on, then.
-She's catching up though.
Slowly. Charlie, who started out with £307.92, made,
after paying auction costs, a loss
of £13.30, leaving him
with £294.62 to spend tomorrow.
Don't look so glum.
While Natasha began with £217.50, and after paying auction costs,
she made a slightly smaller loss of £10.80,
so she now has £206.70.
Still in the runner-up spot, though.
-I'm getting used to winning by losing.
-You're catching me up.
Off we go. Bye, Bulstrodes!
Next time, the terrific twosome search for items going for a song.
# I won't betray his trust! #
-Natasha changes her shopping style.
-It matches my outfit just perfectly.
-And Charlie takes a leaf out of his rival's book.
Is it a bit of a statement?
We're half way through the trip with Natasha Raskin and Charlie Ross. They begin in Berkhamsted, before heading for an auction in the Dorset town of Christchurch.