Antiques challenge. Experts Christina Trevanion and Paul Laidlaw kick off their road trip through Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.
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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts...
-I don't know what to do!
..with £200 each, a classic car
and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.
What a little diamond!
The aim - to make the biggest profit at option,
but it's no mean feat.
Back in the game! Charlie!
There will be worthy winners and valiant losers.
So, will it be the high road to glory
-or the slow road to disaster?
This is the Antiques Road Trip.
Today we embark on a brand-new road trip
with a fresh pair of intrepid antiquers.
I haven't actually worked with you before
and it makes me quite nervous.
No, I mean, seriously,
you have forgotten more than I will ever, ever, ever...
Whereas you are like the neuroscientist of antiques.
Hmm, quite! Ha!
Auctioneer Paul Laidlaw is also a specialist in militaria
and knows more than a couple of things about antiques.
He is also quite nimble...
You don't want to get me started about Georgian wine glasses!
We've opened Pandora's box!
His rival is auctioneer and valuer Christina Trevanion
whose charm is matched only by her optimism and determination.
I could give it a new home.
Would you like to pay me to give it a new home?
It's not the sort of thing I normally do!
Today, our lovable duo start their awfully big journey with £200 each
and a rather fetching 1951 Standard Phase 1 pick-up.
The pick-up was manufactured before seatbelts were mandatory,
which is why our experts aren't wearing any.
On their trip this week, our duo will be traversing the country,
setting off from Clare in Suffolk
before careering through Worcestershire and the West Midlands
and twisting up through Staffordshire,
before their journey culminates in Northwich in Cheshire
over 600 miles later.
I think there is a gear problem.
Oh, no, you haven't broken it already, Paul?
I don't know about you, but I don't like the smell in here.
It's really not smelling very healthy, is it?
No, not a great start, this.
-Wait a minute, how do we pop the...?
Oh, I think you've broken it!
-Here we go.
Just as well we're not in the middle of nowhere.
Oh, no, wait a minute... Oh, no!
-There's a footpath.
-Can we head towards civilisation?
It's been nice knowing you.
Don't worry, chaps. Someone else will look after the car.
Having to rely on their own steam for a while,
their first shop is the wool town of Clare.
Christina is first to get the shopping under way.
-Hello, hi, Christina.
-Hi, Christina. I'm David.
Pleasantries over, it's time to get down to business.
See, the temptation is to go... to stick to the usual,
to stick to what you know, which is silver, jewellery, small things,
but I feel like I want to go a bit wacky.
Yeah, this should be interesting.
These look really sweet -
a pair of silver-plated pickle forks, Scottish.
Little thistles on the top.
Not that wacky, then.
Specialised utensils like the pickle fork
were commonplace at Victorian dining tables,
popular at a time when table manners increased
and handling your food became taboo.
The owner is looking for £22 for those pickle forks.
Is there any chance you think he might go for sort of £15 on those?
Erm, I can find out.
I don't think he will, but let me phone him for you.
While Christina waits for David to get hold of the dealer,
Paul is rummaging round the shelves of Market Hill Antiques.
I'm just going to buy what tickles my fancy
in terms of interest and price.
Nice scent bottle there for you, look.
-Which one are we looking at?
-The big one.
-That one there?
-That, you can have for 30 quid.
That's a fantastic discount from the original ticket price of 125!
You know there's profit in that.
You know how to tempt a man, there's no two ways about it!
Lovely, late Victorian.
Do you call them grenade perfumes? I do.
Yeah, that's what it is.
Yeah, we've got a pleasingly worked hinged lid,
opening to reveal a ground-in stopper.
No nasty surprises where the neck has been chipped or cracked.
I'm going to leave that there because...
I just can't argue with the numbers, to be honest.
You know I can't argue with the numbers!
Speaking of which, what price do we have for those pickle forks?
Christina, I've got the dealer on the phone.
He's not able to do £15, but he is willing to do £17.
-Oh, can I...? Can I?
-Of course you can.
-(What's his name?)
Hello, Alan. Alan, I was just having a little look
at these pickle forks here and they are very, very sweet.
Is there any chance you would do 15 on them?
It just gives me a fighting chance at auction, really, if possible.
Ooh, 15 would be better for me.
Are you sure, Alan?
That's really kind.
That sounded like a deal to me,
so Christina is up and running, picking up the pickle forks for £15.
-OK, I'll keep wandering, see if there's anything else.
Meanwhile, Paul has clapped an eye on something rather unusual.
You...crank up this,
drop a pellet in,
open it up
and you have landed
in trap 1, 2, 9 or B.
-Do you know what that means?
-Not in the slightest.
What is the price on that?
I've got a 65 ticket.
You can always make me an offer.
My problem is, I've got five things to buy over the next two days
-and I...I hope to buy ONE here.
One is looking like it's out the window!
It seems both our experts are having a very productive morning.
Isn't that lovely? I really like that!
I mean, that is... It's very... It's very Arts and Crafts.
Really love it!
Do I love it £60 worth?
God, I really... I've got to
carry this down four flights of stairs now, haven't I?
It's really heavy.
No such trouble for Paul,
who is still stalking the floor over at Market Hill Antiques.
You could save yourself a lot of time and buy all five items here.
Don't encourage him, Robin!
What price is on the wounded soldiers?
They can be about £25.
£25... We've got here, lead soldiers and nurses
and, in the late 19th century,
the best ones were made of die-cast lead.
£25, I am tempted.
And he's noticed something else right up his street.
This is very me!
This is, of course... You know who that is.
Admiral Lord Nelson, a truly great Briton
and this is a commemorative made by Doulton & Watts
in salt-glazed stoneware.
You'd call it a toby jug, I'd call it a character jug.
You don't need to be an expert to identify the manufacturer of that.
Lambeth London Stoneware.
I mean, I really like this.
I like the medium, I like the origin and the subject matter...
Well, don't even get me started!
You got started all by yourself!
While Paul considers half the shop,
Christina is hoping David can convince the dealer
to take her offer of £40.
£50, Karen? I understand.
£50? Do I like it £50?
Is it going to make that at auction?
Probably not, but I like it.
I think I'm happy with that, David.
That's the copper planter and the pickle forks for Christina,
for the grand old sum of £65.
But has her rival managed to sort out his own shopping list conundrum?
How many items have you clocked up now, Paul?
One, two, three, four lots.
I would be off my head to buy four lots here.
If I'm going to be mad, give me the deal of deals on four lots
and I take my chances, but it's got to be right.
Three unknown quantities, one is not...
And one tricky piece!
You got him!
That's a bold start for Paul, all for £125.
Meanwhile, Christina has arrived in the picturesque village
of Steeple Bumpstead - ha! - in Essex,
with a little bit of catching up to do.
Just over the border from Suffolk,
this delightful village is home to Bumpstead Antiques And Interiors.
Don't you love it?!
Maybe you could borrow their car, Christina?
Owner Graham Hessel is showing Christina around.
Beautiful! Look at those guys!
That's rather lovely, isn't it?
Nice Shelley mark on the bottom, Wild Flowers pattern, 13668.
So, what have we got here, Graham? We've got four cups...
So, originally, there probably would have been
-a set of six, wouldn't there?
So collectors would want it as a set of six,
but nonetheless, it's very pretty, isn't it?
And people do collect Shelley, it is very collectable.
What have you got on that, on our label?
-We've got 75 for the set.
Oof! What... Can you do any...?
Of course I can.
I'll knock £25 off.
-Right, so it's £50.
-£50 for the set...
-..which is about as far as I can go on that.
That is pretty, I do like that.
And from coffee service to something completely different.
OK, so, how much have you got on your record player, Graham?
You can make me an offer on that.
I would be looking for something in the region of £35 or £40 for it.
But the problem is, it doesn't work.
You can just imagine putting it into the back of your car,
taking it down to the river on a nice sunny day,
taking out the records, having a picnic...
-And then finding it doesn't work!
As one that isn't working, I would probably be looking at
maybe £10 or £15, to sell it on at auction.
What are your thoughts about that?
-Well, I'm shocked!
-But I'm still standing.
-Good, that's the main thing.
It would need to come up a little bit, I think.
What about if we did £60 for the two?
-Let's do 70.
Will you meet me in the middle at 65?
Fine, OK, we'll do that.
-£65 for the two?
For a record player that doesn't work
and an incomplete coffee service.
-That sounds a bargain to me!
Thank you...I think!
So, with the Shelley coffee service and the gramophone
added to Christina's haul,
both our experts have acquired quite a lot already.
With the pressure off, Paul can forget about shopping,
for a while at least.
Without the ailing pick-up, he has made his way north
and is hotfooting through the hallowed streets of Cambridge.
Amongst the famous university buildings,
Paul is meeting Dr Jane Hughes at the Samuel Pepys Library
to discover how one celebrated graduate
helped shape our understanding
of one of the most extraordinary periods in British history.
Hi, is it Jane?
-It is, hello, Paul. Very nice to meet you!
So, this is Pepys's library?
It certainly is, we are going to go upstairs
-and have a look at the library itself.
-I can't wait.
Born in London in 1633, Samuel Pepys was the son of a tailor.
Despite his relatively humble beginnings,
Pepys found himself at Cambridge University,
where his library now sits
with pride of place in his former college.
What marked Pepys out from the 17th-century crowd
was his desire to record the events around him.
At the age of 27, Pepys started a diary
that would record a tumultuous decade in British history.
This is one of the six volumes of the diary.
He kept it across ten years, but because paper was expensive,
you didn't stop the volume at the end of the year, you carried on
until you had completed the volume, so it covers six volumes.
And, in fact, although the diary is written in shorthand,
because there were quite a number of different shorthands,
it's difficult for people, maybe 100 or 200 years after this,
to have read it. When this was being deciphered
by a man called the Reverend John Smith in the 1800s, 1818 he started,
he didn't know that it was a shorthand.
However, had he looked in the shelf above where the diary was kept
here in the library, he would have found the crib,
so Pepys, in fact,
had the little booklet from which the shorthand came.
Pepys' diary is possibly
one of the most famous in the English language,
mainly because the rich descriptions detail everyday life
and some of the more tragic events in a turbulent period in history.
His writing gave a personal insight throughout the great plague
as it wiped out a fifth of London's population in just seven months
and soon he was describing another disaster
as the Great Fire of London swept across the capital.
Here, in this particular part of it, he's recording how he was anxious
-that the fire was in fact getting very close to his own house.
So he went to do whatever he could to try and protect his belongings
and, first of all, he sent his books and his goods and his furniture off
to be taken up the river.
For the remainder of his prized possessions,
he came up with a rather interesting solution.
He and a friend dug a large hole, a pit in the garden,
and put many of their most precious possessions in,
which involved things you might expect, like important documents
and he also put his wine into the pit
and he, very famously, put his cheese in,
but this wasn't just a small piece of cheddar,
this was a large piece of Parmesan, an Italian cheese.
A man after my own heart, books and wine! Wonderful!
Samuel Pepys' diary didn't just capture large events
and personal details, it charted his rise through the Royal Navy
and in his social standing.
Pepys had become an influential member of society,
even rubbing shoulders with royalty.
This is known as the Anthony Roll,
after the person who painted it, who was called Anthony Anthony.
He produced this wonderful roll,
with the ships of the line of Henry VIII,
so it was already 150 years old
when it was given to Samuel Pepys by Charles II as a gift.
The ship at the top is a very famous ship.
-It's called the Mary Rose.
Before it sank, leading the attack on the French fleet in 1545,
the Mary Rose saw 34 years of service,
as the flagship to Henry VIII.
-This is the only contemporary image of the Mary Rose.
From when it was actually sailing.
Pepys worked tirelessly
to add to his collection of books and manuscripts,
but the titles in his possession
show that he was more than just a 17th-century aficionado.
This is the Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton.
-It's one of the great books of the Royal Society.
-And it has Samuel Pepys's name on the front.
-So it does.
So, "Imprimatur S Pepys".
So, Pepys gave permission for it to be published.
The reason was, he was the president of the Royal Society
and the president had to give the licence to any book to be produced.
Newton's law of motion formed the foundation
of classical mechanics
and with Pepys as the president of the Royal Society,
he was an integral part
of this time of social and intellectual change.
So, somebody like Pepys who didn't come from a good background
could nevertheless rise up in this new kind of world and, I think,
he probably enjoyed the prospect of meeting people who, perhaps,
he, in a previous generation,
-would never have had the opportunity to get to know.
Pepys embodied a period of social change in the same way
that his diary captured it for generations to come
and the 3,000 articles that line the handcrafted shelves
of the Pepys Library remain his enduring legacy.
It's been a long and eventful first day for our intrepid antiquers,
but not for their car, and it's time for all to say goodnight.
Another day, and, miracle of miracles,
a new lease of life for the classic car.
With a set of refurbished wheels to carry them,
our pair are motoring their way
towards their first auction of the week in Market Harborough.
But there's plenty of shopping to do before that
and we're back in Cambridge.
Paul is now trying to relieve himself of his remaining cash
and Gabor Cossa Antiques seems like the perfect place to start.
David Theobald is overseeing the petite surroundings.
-Hello there. Is it David?
-Yes. Good morning. Nice to meet you.
-And you. I'm Paul.
Oh, my word. If you hear a clatter, call the cavalry.
Have you attributed your little Cotswolds-esque?
It's anonymous, I'm afraid.
-Is it expensive?
-I love the way you said that, David.
-Of course not. What say?
Er... It's £20.
-It actually says...
-Oh, my word.
-.."To Dad, July 24 '49."
So, presumably, that's 1949. But was it new? I don't know.
It's not without charm. I'm not dismissing that.
I think it's priced right. Thank you.
Paul seems keen on the Arts and Crafts-style copper plaque...
..but there's plenty more to consider.
-Your caddy spoon, there, who's that?
I've not seen the long-stemmed one before.
-No, but it's not silver, it's nickel.
Staybrite is a form of stainless steel
successfully used by the Keswick School of Art from around the 1930s.
The school, established in 1884,
has long been a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement.
You've got me with that, David. I love it to bits.
Erm, and your price is... absolutely fantastic.
The £10 ticket price has really worked its charm on Paul.
That's a real sweetie.
The speculative piece is the copper plaque.
What's the very best you could do for me?
The two Arts and Crafty pieces.
Well, I'd like 30 for the two.
But 25, that would have to be, sort of...
you're a joy to do business with.
-I'm not going to be silly.
-That's a great price and I'm going to shake your hand.
-I hope so.
A great price indeed. £25 and another two items bought.
Christina, meanwhile, has journeyed to Risby in Suffolk,
where she still has some shopping to do.
That's lovely. Nice, in oak, as well.
Really nice thing. £250.
I really haven't got anywhere near that left, have I?
No! You only have £70 left to spend, Christina.
Let's see what Paul's up to.
-Oh, thanks a lot.
-Thank you very much.
-Wonderful. Thank you.
Hmm. Things seem to have slowed from amble to complete stop.
But Christina is still full steam ahead
and has found something unusual outside.
Where would you find another of those? It's beautiful.
Cast iron. It would have been, obviously,
on the side of a building, here, bolted through,
and you would have had your sign suspended, from there,
maybe a pub sign or...
Personally, I can see an antiques sign swinging from there.
I just think it's rather lovely. How much has he got on it?
Ooh, it's in the sale.
Time to involve owner Joe Aldridge.
OK. It's in the sale
and I'm assuming, before it went in the sale, it was £45.
-What is it now?
-Before, it was £80.
-It's been reduced to 45.
As a special treat, I'll do it for 40.
-I was thinking £20, £30.
-Come on, Joe.
-Oh-oh! Give me £30.
-I'd rather give you 20.
£20. And you have a deal.
-Yay! Thank you, Joe.
You're a star!
Thanks to Joe's generosity, that's a reduction of £25 off the sale price.
Let's remind ourselves of what they bought.
Along with the bracket, Christina has a pair of pickle forks,
a copper planter and stand, a Shelley coffee service,
and a gramophone.
She spent £150 on all five items.
Paul picked up the grenade perfume bottle,
the wooden roulette wheel,
the lead soldiers,
the stoneware character jug of Lord Nelson,
and the caddy spoon and copper plaque.
He too spent £150.
So, our pair have come out even on the spending stakes,
but what do they think of each other's offerings?
Holy Moley! It's a hell of a lump of wrought iron metalwork.
I don't know that I understand that purchase, to be honest with you.
Wait a minute, I do.
It was £20.
Now I get it.
I don't see anything, to be perfectly honest,
in his selection of items that is going to make a huge profit.
So, it'll be interesting.
So, it's off to the auction. But, sadly,
after yet another incident, the pick-up has bitten the dust.
And they've traded it in for something with a bit more...
It's got gears, it's got brakes.
I am slightly nervous that we've just got into somebody else's car
and driven it off from the car park.
No, this rather racy 1999 HMC MkIV
is definitely yours.
Just don't break it, eh?
And with their new transport,
it's off to the first auction of the week in Market Harborough.
Are you looking forward to the auctions?
-I am not cool with these things.
I don't get excited, I get nervous.
Well, we'll soon see if Paul's fears are warranted,
as our duo pull up at the family run firm of Gildings Auctioneers.
And the man with the gavel today is auctioneer Will Gilding.
So, let's get started.
First up, are Paul's led soldiers.
£20 here, please. At £20.
Thank you. £20.
At 22 online. 22?
22. 25? 25. 28?
Online bid is at £28, at 28.
Come on. You're into a profit, aren't you?
-You're into a profit.
-More bidders at £30 online. At 30. 32?
Is there any further bids? You're out online. You're both out.
That's £7 profit on Paul's first lot.
Let's see if Christina can fare any better with her pickle forks.
There they are. A nice little pair of pickle forks,
for the man who has everything.
Let's open the bidding, please. £20, please? 20. £10 bid, thank you.
-£10. 12 online, at £12. Internet bidder at 12. 15? At £15.
At 15, thank you. £15 bid.
-18 online. At 18.
Internet bid at 18.
You're out in the room at £18.
So, ignoring the auction costs,
they scrape home with a £3 profit.
Paul has combined his caddy spoon and plaque into a single lot
and they're up next.
This is going to be my nemesis. You're going to do well with this.
Thank you, sir. £30 bid. Straight in at 30.
At two, five, eight, 40.
Two, five, eight, 50.
-Standing here at 50. Five, 60.
Standing at 60.
That's a fantastic £35 profit, stretching Paul's lead.
Time for Christina's gramophone.
-20, two, five, eight, 30.
Two, five. £35 my bid. Absentee at £35.
At £35. 38 bid. Thank you. At 38.
The absentees are lost, at 38. It is in the room at £38. All done?
So, all that hard bargaining paid off in the end,
giving Christina a £23 profit.
The next lot is Paul's perfume bottle.
Anyone's bid at £30. At 30. Thank you. £30 bid.
It's going to go cheap if he's starting at that. Too cheap.
Maiden bid. Modest, but selling, at £30.
Got it cheap, though. Man alive! Oof!
A profit is a profit, Paul.
Next up is Christina's wrought-iron bracket.
-£10, then. Let's start low at £10.
-Do I see 10? I do. Thank you. £10 bid. At £10.
£12 is the bid. £12, second row.
-12, 15. 15. £18.
-Somebody will make a lot of money on this.
-At £18. Any further bids?
I'd round that up. 18. That's virtually 20.
We might as well round it up to 30. You actually made profit on that!
Ah, there's that optimism again, Paul. Or is it cheek?!
It's time for Paul's stoneware character jug of Nelson.
£50, to start, then. At £50. At 50, thank you.
£50 bid. With me online, I'm afraid, at 55. At 55.
60 in the corner. At 60. 65.
Online at 70.
80, they bid.
85. Still going.
-Fired by imagination.
Are we all done? I'll sell.
Paul has almost doubled his money there, with a £40 profit.
Less brackets, more jugs. Less brackets, more jugs.
A fine lesson for life!
Now, it's over to Christina's Shelley coffee service.
-£30, I'm bid. £30 here. At £30.
-Worth a lot more than that.
£30. At 32. 35.
£38 bid now, in the room. I'm out at 38. Any further bids?
I'll sell, at £38.
Don't worry, Christina. You still have another lot to go.
Here comes the roulette wheel.
£20, then. At £20. Who will open the bidding at £20?
Thank you. £20 bid. At 20.
At £20. Is there any further bids?
-At £20. Maiden bid. At £20. I will sell.
-£5 down, but still out in front.
Christina has one last chance to pull it all back.
And it comes down to the copper planter and stand.
There are bids coming in here.
-At £40. 40, I'm bid.
-I thought he was going to say 400.
-He said, "For..." hundred and...
£50. You're out in the room, at 50. Here is the bid. With me, at 50.
-At £50. Are we all done? 50.
-That is just to break even.
Christina breaks even on her planter, although it is a loss,
after auction costs,
I'm afraid. Christina set off with £200
and after paying auction costs, she has lost £17.16,
leaving her with £182.84 for next time.
Paul also started today with £200. After auction costs,
he is up by £40.24,
nudging his budget up to £240.24
and giving him the lead after the first leg.
With one auction down,
our pair are back behind the wheel. Today, they kick off
in Tetbury, in Gloucestershire, and head north, towards the auction
in Evesham, in Worcestershire.
Our pair are headed for Top Banana Antiques,
which has items from over 50 dealers.
Plenty to keep our experts occupied.
Miniature brass coal scuttles, circa 1920. These are really sweet.
Useless for coal, obviously, but, nonetheless, they are probably,
sort of, little salts or something like that,
-in the shape of coal scuttles.
-Rather large for salts, Christina.
What is Paul up to?
Welcome to my world! Step into my office.
MILITARY MARCH PLAYS
This, as you know, is what lights my fire. This floats my boat.
Honestly, that boy and militaria!
A bit like Christina and silver.
A game bird letter opener. WMF.
Oh, that is interesting. WMF. So, WMF was a German factory,
who, I think, opened in 1852-53.
They originally opened as a, sort of, metalware repairing workshop.
But by 1900, I think they were the largest producer
of household metalwares. And that is really lovely.
She is taken by that letter opener.
The ticket price is £25.
It is a nice thing. I'm going to need a basket soon, aren't I?
I picked up those little scuttles, there,
-and that little letter knife, there.
-So, what would be your
very best price on a pair of miniature brass coal scuttles,
Dan The Man? Come on, Dan The Man, I need to win. I'm losing.
-We can do 28 for you on those.
-28 on those and how much
-on my letter knife?
-Eh, we can do 20 for you there.
-28 and 20. £48.
I'm not sure these are going to make me a profit. I really need to think
about profit at the moment. But you could, potentially, do...
-If I said 15 on that, would you hate me?
-I wouldn't hate you,
but I would not agree with you, either. How about 18?
-Go on, then.
-You're squeezing me for every penny, aren't you?
-17, and we'll...
-£17. I'm happy. Thank you very much, Dan, you're a star.
Meanwhile, Paul has dragged himself away from the militaria
and cornered Julian, for some advice on a corkscrew he has spotted.
So, this is one of the more ingenious, but most common,
of the Georgian designs - Thomason's screw.
It is a double action, so that, with one action,
you will wind the worm into the cork and, then,
when it is fully...screwed in,
keep turning and it will withdraw the cork.
So, none of this - Eugh! Eugh! Eugh!
It is nice, but the ticket says £168.
-Um...I'm going to leave a cheeky little bid on it.
-And it is cheeky.
I'll stick 80 quid into that, but I am going to keep walking
and not really holding out much hope.
-Give me a minute and I will see what we can do, yeah?
Glad to see you are taking things easy, Paul.
In the bowels of the place.
-But Christina is hot on your heels.
Yeah, that is actually fab.
That is a French silver, probably about 1890,
-it has got little French marks on the side.
It is, literally, a snuff box.
What can you do that for?
-I actually have 280. So, trade, 240.
However, I would not normally do this, but I will do 100 quid.
That is pretty much most of all the money I have got left.
Is there any way you could just nudge under the 100?
Just cos three figures really scare me. I never, ever spend
that sort of money. I mean, 90?
£95...and you are mad if you do not buy it.
-Yeah. Job done.
-I think I love you!
I'm just completely in love with this thing.
-It is smashing.
-£95. I have just spent £95.
I have just spent... Oh, I have just spent £95.
Indeed, she has, leaving her with just £70
and a lot of shopping to do.
Oh! I'm a bit hot. I'm really hot!
That is what taking risks feels like.
Meanwhile, Paul has spotted a rusty dress sword,
with a price of £120.
-Julian, how are you doing?
-Sword, hanging in your stairwell
to the basement. Um...is there traction in that?
Tell me that has been sitting here for a while.
This happens to belong to my manager. If you can just give me
-a couple of seconds...
-..and I'll come back to you.
Give him a couple of minutes! You can do the business!
Seriously, I'll leave that with you. Fingers crossed.
I'd say, the longer he is away, the better,
because an immediate response is generally, "You're having a laugh!"
There is a chance Paul knows something about this sword.
He is just not letting on.
Dan The Man is saying 80 quid. And you're saying 80 on the other. 160.
-So, 80 on that?
-Hmm, but, obviously, I have got a bit of an uphill battle
with the corkscrew.
No messing around. One and a half on the two.
-I think that is a good deal, honestly.
Paul is not messing about. That is £150 for his two items
in the first shop.
So, come on, tell us what you know about this sword, then.
Well, if this... This has got a levy blade.
Very slender dress piece.
If this was plain, we would be no further forward,
but, oh, no, it is etched.
We have a whole host of scrolls and battle honours
running all the way up that fuller,
terminating in the royal cipher of King George V.
It is centred by a cartouche,
and those are the initials of the officer who wore this sword.
How many are unique to an identifiable individual?
I don't know. One in 100? That is a good thing.
Worth the money? That remains to be seen.
But I think so.
After a successful first shop for all,
Christina is weaving her way through
a quiet Cotswold valley. She is on her way to the site
of a magnificent mansion. It was the brainchild
of affluent Victorian gentleman, William Leigh, who was inspired
by his new-found Catholic faith to build a mansion.
But a series of misfortunes meant his masterpiece remains incomplete,
after 140 years.
-Hello, you must be Terry.
-Yes, welcome to Woodchester.
-Come on in.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Wow, I can't wait.
After inheriting his father's fortune at the age of 13,
Leigh was educated at Eton and Oxford,
but it wasn't until after his conversion
into the Roman Catholic faith in his early 40s that he moved to
Gloucestershire to build Woodchester Mansion.
This wasn't just to be a family home and, as a staunch Catholic,
Leigh began building work with a monastery and a church.
This is where the family would have been expected to be
-several times a day.
-And, as a very devout family,
-this would have been, really, the heart of the house.
Yes, and the religious orders would have been conducted by people coming
up from the monastery that he'd built at the bottom of the valley.
To capture the scale of his faith,
he turned to pre-eminent architect and fellow convert Augustus Pugin,
who was considered the leader of Gothic Revival,
a movement which expressed faith through the arts.
Although Pugin resigned the commission,
work continued in this manner and it is understood the final architect
based his work largely on Pugin's designs.
This is a glorious bit of the building.
Victorian Gothic was about lifting your eyes to heaven
-and this is what you do in here...
..and when you look up to heaven, you see these magnificent,
-beautiful, carved bosses up on the top.
-On the carved top of the pillars.
Driven by his quest to expand Catholicism in Victorian England,
Leigh focused on the monastery and church,
waiting for their completion before starting on the mansion.
By this time, nearly ten years after he began on the estate,
signs of financial strain started to show.
So, this would have been the family's dining room,
and this is a room in the house where we can really see
everything to do with how you build and make great, big buildings
that the Victorians were building,
but it goes way back to the medieval period.
-It's exactly the same engineering techniques.
Stonemasons were given space to create arches, doorways
and fireplaces on each of the levels,
before any of the floors were installed,
but, in Woodchester Mansion,
the day when those floors were laid never came,
leaving a unique view of the work behind the building.
-It's very instructive...
..because you do, you know, you understand how this works,
you can go in to Canterbury, Gloucester, Westminster Abbey,
any of the cathedrals, and they're all working in exactly the same way,
because one of the geniuses that drove Victorian Gothic Revival
architecture was to ape the glories of the medieval, lofty buildings.
The time and love lavished on the religious buildings
took their toll and, ultimately, old age,
ill-health and a lack of funds hampered the final years of work,
and the building remained incomplete at William's death in 1873.
The entire estate passed to his son, Willie.
Shortly after his dad died,
Willie Leigh did write to the architects
and say, "Can you tell me what this is going to cost to complete?"
-And I'm afraid the answer he got was,
"£8,000 to complete it -
"£6,000 to pull it down and put you up a new one."
The next two generations of the family struggled with
financial strain, and the mansion was sold in the early 1920s.
Although he never realised his dream,
a trust was created in 1989 to preserve the house and ensure
that it remains a dramatic memorial to William Leigh's faith and vision.
Meanwhile, with two pieces under his belt already,
Paul is on his way to Stroud, with £90.24 burning a hole in his pocket.
The antiques store is housed in a former industrial building,
packed with two floors of antiques,
which certainly gives Paul a chance to stretch his legs,
but has he come up with anything that takes his fancy?
Victorian gentleman's walking cane.
No. No, none of that.
Stop telling me lies, Paul!
It originated in South Africa.
This is probably what the Zulu would call "iron wood".
These staffs were carried,
almost as a badge of rank, by Zulu chiefs,
and that's the common form of such a shaft -
a pommel and then this spiral decoration.
Sometimes the pommel is modelled as a fist.
A few variations on the theme.
If you hold it up to the light, you will see,
primitively but charmingly,
scratched into the pommel,
the date "1884" and the initials "IY".
Don't you just love this stuff?
Price on that - £40.
History for four £10 notes.
Well, that was a find.
Paul seems to be in the swing of it now and, believe it or not,
he seems to be making a quick dash towards another
item of a military persuasion.
Check out my friend.
I like that but I'm deeply frustrated by it.
It's described as a 19th-century original watercolour.
I can't argue with that
but it's way more than a 19th-century watercolour,
because that, I think, is a not-half-bad portrait
of an officer of the British Army
of the middle years of the 19th century.
At the moment, all I can tell you is,
he's almost certainly an infantry officer
of about 1840, 1850, and that's it.
My biggest issue is, it's lost its integrity,
insofar as that's in a new frame.
Antiqued gilt, yes, but nevertheless new.
So, my issues - the later frame,
no further detail about the subject,
and then a price of £85.
A few things to talk about, then.
Perhaps time to involve assistant manager Andy.
-On the one hand, we've got this rustic cane.
On the other, we've got the 19th-century portrait.
-How flexible can you guys be on price with these?
-40 at the moment.
-I could go to 25 with that.
OK, I like the way you think. This is the biggie.
Could that be cheap, or does that have to be a lot of money?
I could do 60 on that.
That's not going to cut it.
-I thought you'd maybe go there.
Can I make you an offer on that?
-Well, I think it's worth £30-£60 under the hammer.
Is that dead in the water or is there any chance?
I'll do 40 on the painting.
Stick in hand, I'm going to try and beat you down some more.
and 35 and I'll buy the two things.
OK. Yeah, we'll go with that.
-No problem at all.
-Two things, out of nowhere.
-That's great and I'm delighted with them.
-Yes, good, good.
Thanks to Andy's generous £70 discount,
Paul gets the Zulu staff for £20 and the portrait for £35.
Well, it's been a productive day.
Time for our chaps to get some rest.
As a new day dawns, our pair are headed north
to the gorgeous town of Winchcombe.
Christina is nipping into Winchcombe Antiques Centre,
where owner Richard is on hand.
That's quite nice.
That's very nice. A little brass-and-copper bucket and can.
I'm a bit worried about this price tag already.
Ticket price of £69.
Well, at least you would have a pound or two left over.
Expensive for a bucket, isn't it?
Has it got a hole in it? It's got a hole in it.
-Oh, come on. Really?
-Did you just put that in there?
Well, you put coal in there,
so, you know, no coal is going to get through that hole.
What could you do on that? That's quite smart.
-The very best death on it...
..is, I should think, £40.
I like that. I mean, you can see it's obviously hand-beaten,
-which is quite nice.
These rivets are lovely.
-OK, I'll carry my bucket round. Let's keep wandering.
Show me the rest of your wares, Richard.
Right, let's have a look in these cabinets.
I know I said I was going to steer clear...
Do you mind if I put my bucket down?
-Yeah, no, feel free.
-I'll pop it down just there.
Oh, that's pretty.
A little vesta case.
Oh, there's sort of a little Ruskin plaque on it,
so that would have been...
Looks like it was silver plate at one point.
Looks like it's just been...
-Polished it off, yeah.
Christina has found a matchbox-holder
with a ticket price of £58.
These were popular, not to carry around,
but to conceal ugly matchboxes in a decorative sleeve,
so it's time to strike a deal.
So, I would be looking at securing, potentially,
-both of those...
-Yeah, I can't do it, basically.
-What can you do?
-What can I do?
-What can you do with those two?
-Well, this one, as I say, I need to speak to the owner about that.
-And your bucket with a hole in it?
-And the most beautiful bucket...
With a hole in it.
30 is the absolute bottom.
-Well, see what you can get that for.
After some discussion with the dealer on the phone,
Richard's willing to let the matchbox-holder go for £49.
Let negotiations commence!
£50 for the two.
-Did we say that?
-No. We didn't say that.
-What did we say?
-No, no, no.
Me being nice, it's 60 for the two.
You know that's a good deal.
That's a £67 discount,
but would leave Christina with just over £10,
with one shop still to go, so she's playing hard to get.
No, no, no. Come on, 60,
cos that is 49 and that's... only working at £11.
and I'll shake your hand now.
-Are you that desperate for the £2?
-Go on, then.
-Every penny counts.
-Thank you very much, Richard.
-No problem at all.
Well done. There you go, £2 for the hole.
So, a copper bucket and matchbox-holder for £58
leaves Christina with just over £10.
Paul has meandered north
to the town of Chipping Campden.
Stuart House Antiques has been around for 27 years, and the shop,
including its vast selection of ceramics, is overseen by owner Jim.
-Good to see you, sir.
I like your taste in jackets.
Ah, yes, I like yours.
Sartorial elegance aside, Paul is off to the task of trying
to uncover something glamorous that he can sell at auction.
Jim, I know it's a daft question -
it's sitting in there -
is it a cheapie, Jim?
Is it a cheapie?
Not cheap enough, Jim. Can it be a fiver?
-Just a wee throwaway piece.
Good man. Thank you very much, Jim.
My word, that was a quick deal. Paul clearly couldn't wait.
So, what is it that made you so keen, Paul?
That is no ordinary bracelet strap,
because it's marked with patent numbers and so on,
but also the word "army".
So, it ain't a granny watchstrap after all -
it's actually a trench watchstrap.
The First World War was largely responsible for wristwatches
becoming the timepiece of choice, as it was easier for soldiers to
check in a hurry than a pocket watch,
and now he's on to another military-themed item to go with it.
Jim, how are you doing?
If I may, I'd like to buy the little watchstrap
and that badge there with the "LG" in the wreath.
A tenner, the pair?
-I'll do you a deal on that, aye.
-You're a good man, Jim.
I'll shake your hand. You're a gentleman.
The military badge makes purchase number two here,
and Paul's planning to combine the two together into a single lot,
all for a total of £10.
Meanwhile, Christina is making her way
to the historic town of Brackley
The Brackley Antique Centre has over 30,000 square feet
of goodies on display.
Remind me what you have left to spend, Christina?
Why did I only leave myself £12?
Too late to worry about that, now.
Time to look for a little help.
Thankfully, Penny is on hand, and you know what to say,
look after your "pennies" and... Ha-ha(!) Never mind.
-I am looking at some lovely things...
..and if you're thinking that it's nowhere near my price bracket,
-and my price bracket is about £10...
..then just, just steer me away.
-OK. Yeah, we'll do that.
-OK? All right? Ready?
-Ready to steer?
-OK. Ready to steer.
-£34 on it.
-Is that... Is that steer or is that OK?
I think that's a steer, I'm afraid.
The other thing I saw was this little bamboo cabinet, here.
-Are we thinking that might be a goer?
-Sadly another steer, I think, I'm afraid.
-Yeah, afraid so.
Oh, dear. I'm sensing a theme, here, Christina.
What about something like...
I mean, would something like this be all right? Would it?
-What do you think on that?
-What has it got on it?
-Yeah, let's take these off and...
-Have a little look.
..have a little look.
I mean, that would be really quite useful for a, sort of,
a trader or a dealer. That is like a tabletop cabinet, isn't it?
A tabletop, and that's the way it needs to go, isn't it?
-Yeah, like that, and then you could stand here.
-There we are.
If you were, for example, like, a jewellery dealer
-or with some small bits of silver...
..then you could open it up like that, couldn't you?
-And hand things to people.
-That's right, and hand them the item, yeah.
Yeah, it's a good, strong thing, isn't it?
Ticket price says £35.
Will it be another "steer"?
I literally have £12 left.
Do you think she'd be open to, like, that sort of offer?
-Yes, I know the dealer and I know she'd...
-Do you think?
-Yeah, yeah, I'm sure she would.
-Is she going to kill you?
-Penny, I'm very grateful.
-£12. It's a deal.
And, with that, our experts' shopping is complete.
Christina spent £182 on a letter opener,
matchbox-holder and display cabinet.
Paul picked up a military lot of a regimental badge and watchstrap,
dress sword, corkscrew,
19th-century portrait and a Zulu staff,
spending a total of £215.
So, let's see what our antiques aces think of each other's objects.
In the round, an interesting little group of purchases, there.
Anything that's scaring the pants off me?
Yeah, I mean, militaria and wine-related ephemera -
that is Paul Laidlaw, isn't it?
I think I've got the stronger hand, here.
Well, we shall see.
After starting off in
the Gloucestershire town of Tetbury,
this leg concludes at auction
in Evesham in Worcestershire.
Right, here we go. Second auction.
-Oh, I've got the nerves again.
-The knee's not going yet, but it will be.
Today's battleground is Littleton Auctions
and in charge is auctioneer Martin Homer.
If you're all quite settled in, let's get this show on the road.
£20 anywhere? Give me 10, then.
First up is Christina's letter opener.
There we are. Nice piece, there. You can see that pictured.
-Bid me on that one. Where should we go?
20, I'm bid. Thank you, the room has it at 20. I'll take two.
At £20, are we done? 22, I've got.
At 22 and five, sir. 25.
-Yeah, he's back.
-At £25. All done, then, at the back of the room at 25?
Are we done, then, at £25? Fair warning at 25...
Ooh. Net! Net!
-27, thank you.
-Oh, thank God.
-Blimey, Christina, well spotted.
30 at the back.
£30, the room has it at 30. All done?
£30. Fair warning at £30...
-You took five years off that poor auctioneer's life.
-I think I...
Verbally assaulted him, there. "Internet! Oi!"
Well, always nice to get involved, isn't it?
Paul's double-action corkscrew is up next.
Where shall we go with that? £100 for it? I'm looking for £100.
-Go 50 for it, then. Come on.
-Internet, straight in at £50.
-Straight away. Go on.
-Net has it at 50.
At 50, I'll take five. 55.
60 on the net. Five.
At 65 in the room.
Looking for 70, now.
-75, come on.
-The net has it now at 75.
-I've not even broken even yet.
-80, do you want, sir?
£80 I've got. In the room at 80, and five.
90 on the net. At £90.
-Are we all done, then, £90?
-Come on... Come on.
Fair warning, and we're selling at £90...
No. Cheap corkscrew.
Not what you were hoping for, but still a profit, Paul.
Christina fought hard to secure a good price for her
copper-and-brass bucket. Was it worth it?
I've got some interest on commission.
I can start that off at £50.
-The bid's with me at 50.
At £50, I'm looking for 55 now.
At £50, the bid's here. 55, 60.
-Oh, my God.
Are you out? At £80, the bid is still with me on the book at 80.
At £80, are we all done, ladies and gentlemen?
-This never happens to me.
-I'm selling at £80...
-They stuck in it...
-Did you just get £80 for that?
You might not believe that, Christina,
but that holey bucket has done the business with a £71 profit.
Paul will be hoping to close the gap with his military lot.
-On commission with me at 10.
-Commission at £10.
-Looking for 12.
10. 12, I've got.
Back to me at 15. 17.
Back to me at 20. Are you out?
At 20. Are we done, then?
-And I'm selling at £20.
-Double your money.
-Sold at 20.
-Well done. Well done.
-It's all right - a small step.
Despite a 100% profit for Paul,
Christina is still out in the lead on today's auction,
and it's her display cabinet up next.
20. I'm on the net at 20.
-Are you joking?
-Net's at 20. 22.
-25. At 27.
-What's happening to me?
At 32, with you, sir.
Net comes in at 35. 37.
At 37. 40 on the net.
45, sir. 45.
-In the room at 45.
-I was just trying to spend the money.
At 45. 50 on the net.
At £50, and I'm selling at £50...
I'm really sorry.
It seems to be Christina's lucky day.
Paul's pinning his hopes of a comeback
on his 19th-century portrait.
And I can start this at £100 on commission.
-With me at £100. At £100.
-I'm back in the game.
-I'm looking for 110, now.
Yeah, I'm looking for 110 as well.
-With me on the book at 140.
-£100 clear profit.
-Are we done, then? £140.
That fantastic profit brings our experts almost neck-and-neck.
Next up is Christina's matchbox-holder.
I've got commissioned interest.
-I can go in at £35 on this.
-Straight in. You're clear.
40. 5. 50.
Same as the book but you take preference.
It's in the room at 50.
Fair warning at £50...
I'm afraid that's a loss after auction costs,
which leaves the door open for Paul and his Zulu staff.
Does £30 start me, then? Come on, surely. 30, I'm bid.
-Thank you, sir, at £30, it's in the room at 30.
-Look, there, 5, 37...
-Two net bidders. Two net bidders.
37, 40, and the net's running with this.
55 on the internet, ladies and gentlemen. Looking for 60 now.
Are we done, then?
-Fair warning at £55...
-No, you're not.
It's a new bidder in the room now.
-It comes into the room at £60.
-Good God. Bless you.
-Oh, really? No.
Come on, net.
65 on the net. At 65, 60...
£70, back in the room.
-Someone kick him.
-The room has it at 70,
and I'm selling at 70.
Sold at £70.
Paul has turned it around and moves ahead,
but Christina has one item left - her silver snuffbox.
What shall we say?
-£30, start me there, please?
Looking for £30.
No. Net's in, net's in, net's off.
On the net at 30.
-The net's just taken off.
-I can't watch.
Net, 50. On the internet at 50.
At 50, comes back into the room at 55.
Quite rightly so.
-It's a lovely thing. Yes.
-The room has it at 55.
At 55 in the room.
-Are we all done, ladies and gentlemen, at £55?
-Oh, my God, no.
Like a dagger through my heart.
That's a tough one to take,
and Paul still has his dress sword to go.
And I can start this at £50.
No, you're joking. There's a countryman laughing.
-That's what I'm telling you.
-55 and the net's running now with this at 75.
-Five, 80, 5...
-5... 90, 5, 100...
10... Oh. I'm redundant!
The internet bidders have come alive.
170, ladies and gentlemen, on the internet at £170.
Are we done, then?
Fair warning and I will sell at £170.
Sold at 170.
What a fantastic way to end the auction,
as Paul completes his comeback with his second three-figure profit
of the day. Wow.
I'm done. I resign. Has anyone resigned after two days? Have they?
There we go. That's me.
Christina started this leg with £182.84.
After auction costs are deducted,
she's made £35.30 in profit,
taking her total to £218.14.
After auction costs,
Paul made £186.80 profit,
taking the day with a total of £427.04.
-Look at that filthy car. Where's ours?
I will drive because then I will take
responsibility for the filthy car.
Yeah, you will drive cos you're taking it to have it valeted.
ENGINE PURRS Cheerio till next time.
Antique experts Christina Trevanion and Paul Laidlaw kick off their road trip. Armed with £200 each and an ailing pick-up truck, they shop up a storm as they road trip through Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire and go head to head at auctions in Market Harborough and Evesham.