Antiques challenge. Paul Laidlaw and Christina Trevanion head for an auction in Nantwich and rummage through Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the West Midlands.
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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 auction. But it's no mean feat.
Back in the game!
There'll 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!
We're back behind the wheel on an epic road trip
with treasure hunters, Paul Laidlaw and Christina Trevanion.
-This is it! This is it! We're living the dream!
-Living the dream.
What's not to love? The weather's amazing, the car's fabulous...
-The company, the company...
-The sun is shining...
-The company's amazing!
Oh, it is, isn't it? I feel exactly the same way!
Paul is the leader of this pack and he's using every trick in the book.
If you keep my powder dry.
Whatever it takes.
And if you need me crying, I can turn that on, just like that.
Challenger Christina is keeping her eyes peeled in her bid to catch up.
Really, I can't see a price tag.
But both our auctioneers are basking in profit.
Christina started the trip with £200
and has nudged her total up to £218.14.
Paul started with the same amount
but made a smashing profit, and has £427.04 in his pocket.
Impressive? Much like their 1999 HMC Mark IV.
What's not to love, eh?
Paul and Christina started their journey in Clare in Suffolk.
They are careering through Worcestershire
and the West Midlands and twisting up through Staffordshire before
their journey of over 700 miles culminates in Northwich in Cheshire.
Our pair kicked off today's leg in the Herefordshire town of Leominster
and head north for their next auction in Nantwich, Cheshire.
Leominster is a beautiful, chocolate-box village in
the heart of the rolling borderlands between England and Wales.
It's also Paul's first pit stop.
Meanwhile, Christina has toddled less than 25 miles
along the road to Ledbury, where she is being
shown around Rod's Curiosities, by none other than Rod himself.
Now, this is nice. Tell me about this. That's quite fun, isn't it?
-This is a British Thomas Houston Bakelite cone speaker.
See, I don't really know huge amounts about these
but that looks...I mean, it's so typical of its time, isn't it?
-Oh, it's absolutely of its era.
-Round about the '30s, yeah.
I like that. OK, what have we got on that, then, Rod?
Well, at the moment, we've got £95 on it.
Do we think £25-30 might be beyond the realms of possibility?
-We might be able to do something.
-Do you think?
-That would be exciting.
-We might be able to.
-Because I've virtually got it free, really.
You're a man, you're a man of honour, Rod, I like that.
I like that. Right, let's keep wandering
and see what else we can find.
Not a bad price for a speaker that doesn't work!
Something to think about.
Because so often now you see Staffordshire, don't you,
and it's late Staffordshire that was mass-produced.
And you can just tell, can't you?
Look, the way the decoration's done is so much more hand-applied.
That early Staffordshire figure has a ticket price of £35.
What could you do on that?
Bearing in mind I'm buying this with my heart, not with my head.
It's not going to do particularly well at auction,
but it's very sweet.
-I really couldn't go below £20 on that, I'm afraid.
So if we said 25 on the speaker and 20 on this,
could you do 40 for the two?
-Since it's you...
-No, not since it's me!
-Could you do it?
-Yeah. We could.
-You're a legend, Rod.
Thank you very much. You're a gentleman. I love it!
Great start, girl.
Thank you. Bye!
Meanwhile, back in Leominster...
I recently bought a piece of WMF metalwork,
which didn't inspire me at all, it wasn't real good WMF, as far as I was concerned.
I think there's a good WMF group down there.
Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik, or WMF, was one of the largest
European manufacturers of metalwork in the late 19th century.
They're not uncommon, so what's caught your eye here then, Paul?
Look at the aesthetic here.
Some would be tempted to say Art Deco
because the nature of the decoration is very geometric, a box grid,
and that sounds pretty industrial and pretty harsh,
but it is an aesthetic that I, for one,
would associate with the designer Hoffman, Koloman Moser.
These are giants, and I see their Wiener Werkstatte
influence in this little christening set here.
I'm pretty excited. That coming across?
Certainly is, old bean!
And with a ticket price of £25, time to call on Angela.
Now that is a bunch of keys if ever I saw one.
They're for the cabinet round here.
Right, Angela, so I spotted this early on.
It's a pretty little WMF christening set.
I think your only problem with a christening set is when it's been
engraved, as this has, but otherwise I think that's fine and dandy.
She already reduced it? I'll just check for you.
I can knock you 10% off, actually.
I'm happy to take 10% discount on that. I think that's fantastic.
-That's lovely, yeah.
-Yeah, I really like that.
For a total of £22.50,
Paul has secured his first purchase of the day.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-All the best to you. Thanks, Angela. See you.
Meanwhile, Christina's heading for Great Malvern
to discover how the water that springs from the nearby hills
helped spark a Victorian health craze and put the town on the map.
She's meeting curator Cora at the Malvern Museum.
So why is Malvern so famous for its water?
It's because most places that are famous for water are famous
because their water has got minerals in it, but Malvern water
is famous because it's hardly got any minerals in it at all.
The dense, granite rocks that make up the eight-mile ridge of the
Malvern Hills strip the minerals from the water flowing through it.
In early medical treatments, it was understood that
different minerals could be used for different ailments.
By having so few minerals, Malvern's water was considered to be purer and
was used by two pioneering doctors in their own brand of water cure.
In the 19th century, we had two water cure doctors, Dr James Wilson
and Dr James Gully, who came to Malvern
and they set up hydropathic practices.
And they encouraged wealthy people to come here
because wealthy people had the sort of problems
that could be treated with Malvern water.
During Wilson's European travels,
he encountered the work of a ground-breaking individual,
Vincent Priessnitz, who had started to develop water cures
based on his observations of animals
submerging their injured limbs into water.
Wilson, suffering from his own ailment,
stayed at the pioneering clinic and was astounded by his work.
He stayed about six months. He drank about 2,500 tumblers of water.
He walked about 200 miles, and he got better.
And he thought it was so surprising and dynamic,
he decided he would like to set up a hydropathic institution in England.
So he came back here, collected his friend, Dr Gully,
inspired him with hydropathy and then the two of them came to Malvern.
Wilson and Gully opened their establishment in 1842
and were among the first to create such a centre in Britain.
Malvern's pure water already had a reputation for healing properties,
but Wilson and Gully's patients did not simply drink it.
They were prescribed various bathing treatments
to treat ailments as diverse as eye, skin and digestive disorders.
Forgive me for being a cynic
but was there any science behind this theory
-that Wilson and Gully had got together?
It...you have to know
just one or two rudimentary things about the body.
If you get into a hot bath, your skin turns pink.
That's because, without you doing anything, the body is
naturally trying to cool itself down
by bringing the blood to the surface.
I thought I'm just turning into a lobster!
If you get into a cold bath,
without you doing anything, your body has the opposite effect
and that is for the blood to go inwards
-to keep your internal organs warm.
So once you know that, then you know that you can move the blood
around in the body just by the application of warm and cold water.
Water therapy was used to stimulate the flow of blood
and was combined with strict regimes of exercise and diet.
-This is a hip bath?
-This is a hip bath.
So, if you'd got some sort blockage in the lower
bit of you around here...
So digestive problems, right?
Yes, in the lower digestive tract, this would be ideal for you.
In the tub. It's cold, remember.
To treat abdominal complaints, patients would
sit in the bath with cold water and be wrapped in cold, wet towels
to encourage blood vessels to contract.
Water cures caught the imagination of Victorian society
and Malvern flourished.
Trade in bottled water from the town increased
and grand hotels were built
to accommodate the tourists brought by the new railway.
Thanks to the craze of water cures,
the town became known across the country
and the water that flows from its granite hills
became the stuff of legend.
How long am I prescribed to sit here? How long until I get better?
Well, you've got 15 minutes in the tub twice a day, but actually, your
complete treatment, seeing what state you're in, three to six months.
-Three, six months?
-I'm going to leave you to it.
All right, then. Right, three to six months? Am I in that bad shape?!
Might be a year.
Looking better already! Ha!
While she indulges her ailments,
Paul is just a few steps along the road.
-How you doing, all right?
-Yes, I'm fine, thank you.
That's the lovely Bridget, who's on hand to help.
-How much have you got to spend?
-You see, that would be telling.
-That would be a rookie negotiating mistake from the off.
-No, it's 400! 400, I've got.
-You going to extract that from me?
-I'll take him into that back room!
Get medieval on me! Like it!
Watch yourself, Paul!
Right, let's get spending some of that money.
What we have here is one of a family of clocks that were made to
government contracts in the 1930s, '40s.
And they have certain features in common.
The first and most important one, from a horological point of view,
is that they have fusee-driven movements.
A fusee was a technical advancement that regulates
the power from the mainspring.
This technology helped keep the clock accurate,
but this one has a ticket price of £275.
Pricey, but one to consider.
And he's already onto another timepiece.
This time, it's a mid-20th century pocket watch with a ticket price of £68.
To be honest with you, I think that's an unusual
and not unattractive watch.
Could you possibly... Now, that, for my purposes,
is a country mile off £68.
But I don't know what slack's in that.
Could you do me a massive favour and just see
if there's any giveaway price on that?
-And I'll just keep rummaging.
There's no stopping Paul.
He's already on to something else.
Some size of a perfume bottle, isn't it?
It's not a perfume bottle. It's...
This is saddlery, or this will be carried in saddlery.
The discerning person's choice for taking refreshments on horseback,
the flask would have been held on a gentleman's saddle
by a leather pouch, which is sadly missing.
The ticket price is £48.
What price on that? What could that be?
-Make it cheap. Can something be cheap? Come on!
-Tell me this came in, it was inexpensive.
-40, that would be the best.
I do like clocks and watches
and I am still thinking about that pocket watch.
The unusual but high quality,
the fusee-driven mantel clock in the oak case.
That's a hell of a lot of my budget,
but is there slack in the price of that? It's 275 squids.
The one facing the door, aye.
Can that be cheap?
Is there SOMETHING can be cheap?
We're selling that for someone so...
-Oh, a private...
-No, it is another dealer. We'll give him a call.
-No harm in it. I've no self-respect.
OK, whatever it takes.
And if you need me crying, I can turn that on just like that.
It may come to that.
I love the flask. I LOVE the flask.
I wish I had the leather pouch, that's its Achilles heel.
-175 for the clock.
A good discount for the mantel clock and Bridget also offers
£50 for the pocket watch and £40 on the saddle flask,
but can Paul get a deal for all three from owner Nigel?
On what he was quoted before.
It's 175, 40 and 50 - 265 at the minute.
That's a good offer.
At £230 it certainly is, even if it was haggled across the room.
It's a great discount and Paul snaps it up to secure all three items.
Bold move, Paul.
-Thank you very much. Next time, I hope.
And after a hard day of antique acquisition,
it's time for some rest.
Sweet dreams, you two.
The next morning, our curio crackerjacks are heading through
the West Midlands on their way to the village of Balsall Common
where they part ways once more.
-Have a lovely time.
-See you later.
-See this afternoon.
-All the best.
-Hello. Nice to see you.
-Nice to see you. How are you? Are you well?
Antiques In A Barn is housed in a 200-year-old barn, funnily enough.
With a lot of ground to cover, perhaps owner Diane can help out.
I would quite like to have a look in this cabinet, if that's all right.
I was looking at this fan.
-Now, is that the box for it there?
-Can I give you that then, my love?
-Isn't that pretty?
So, we need to have a look at the leaf and see if the leaf
is in good condition, which it is.
So often you find that they perish along these creases, don't they?
And that actually looks as if it's got a little bit of damage on there.
It's got this ivory...
..obviously what they call the sticks here,
and it's actually carved in there as well.
Now, ivory is quite controversial, isn't it?
But as long as it's pre-1947 it is legal to sell ivory in this country,
and I would say this is certainly 19th century French.
Yes. Not to everyone's taste, but Christina seems smitten by it.
So, what have we got on this, Diane? 19th century fan, £78 on there.
What could be your death on that? For a trade buyer?
I'll do you £50.
-£50 on it. And that...
-That includes the box. Yes.
That's a £28 discount, one to hang on to and to carry on rummaging.
This is interesting and it's got "Macintyre & Co, Burslem" on here.
James Macintyre founded a successful Staffordshire pottery in 1860.
You've got "at fault" on there. Is that...?
-Yes, there's a crack, unfortunately.
Oh, what a shame.
Damaged or not, it's priced at £55.
Because of the... I mean, perfect - 200, something like that?
-But because of the damage...
-It's not perfect, is it?
No, it's not perfect.
For the two, could we come up with like a combined price for the two?
-£70 for the pair.
-For the pair, for the two?
I mean, £50 on that is fine.
Could you meet me in the middle at 65? For the two?
For the fan and the little...perfume bottle at 65?
Yes, I'll do you 65.
-OK. It's a deal. Brilliant.
You're an angel, thank you, very much.
Oh, nice till!
Great work, Christina, two items bagged for £65.
Reunited, back in the car,
our twosome are travelling through some of Northamptonshire's
finest countryside towards the village of Weedon Bec.
Shall we just abandon the wheels here?
I'm not entirely sure this is a parking space.
Neither am I.
It's their last shop of this leg
and Christina still has over £113,
while Paul is holding over 170.
-Oh, this looks good.
-Is it big enough for both of us, do you think?
You take that side, I'll take that side.
What I find quite fascinating is that both Paul and I will
walk in here and we'll both go for entirely different things.
He will go for stuff that I probably wouldn't even look at
and I will go for stuff that he probably wouldn't even look at.
It is like we're yin and yang, isn't it?
Yeah. And Paul's already yanging on to something.
How far am I from the door?
And that's what I'm buying.
Wait a minute, you may be wanting to know why and what.
-That would be nice.
And it's going to cost me that.
And it dates to 1740,
and it's an incredibly scarce little Georgian English glass...
For all the world...
..it's like a tiny little sweetmeat dish, OK,
or a miniature tazza. We would call a tazza, a cake stand.
It's also a colossal bargain.
The truth of the matter is I think that's worth,
to a specialist collector...
..£100 of anyone's money.
Incredible find, Paul.
Hurry up, Christina, would you? Come on! Christina!
How long is this going to take? I'm done! Come on!
Hang on a second, you're not supposed to heckle me from across an antique shop!
-Are you done?
I hadn't even started looking. What?!
He was quick.
Would you be Lawrence, by any chance?
-I would be, and I presume you're Paul.
-Good to see you, my friend.
-Are you all right?
-Very well indeed.
-This it is going to be the quickest visit I've ever had to an antique shop.
I found it within two paces of the door. I ain't going to haggle,
-funnily enough, so I will give you all of...
-Would you believe it, Lawrence?
-That's very kind of you indeed.
I am going to shake your hand and run.
Can I have my glass?
Paul's eagle eye strikes again and no haggling indeed.
What a spot, eh?
What a little diamond?
A pound note.
A pound note. Three steps in from the door.
Right, Christina, the pressure's on now.
-Alison, could I have a look in this cupboard here?
-Of course you may.
-We're selling in Cheshire.
So, I'm thinking footballers' wives, bit of bling.
Yes. And that's so unusual on the setting of the diamond.
It looks it almost looks sort of Boodles or Chopard
or something like that. It's quite sweet.
-So what could your best trade price on that be?
Is there any chance we could go £100 on it?
-Cos I haven't got £120 left!
How much have you got left?
Not that much.
I was really hoping to sort of secure that for about £100
if that's at all possible. What's your thoughts on that?
Let me go and have a word with John that works for me
because it's one of his pieces.
Oh, OK, all right, brilliant.
110 he said, he can't do 100.
-He can't do 100.
-No, unfortunately not.
-Would he go 105?
-No, I can't.
-Are you sure?
-£110's the absolute death on that.
-110, thank you very much, that's great.
I owe you some money. That's beautiful.
And with that, all our shopping for this leg is done.
Christina's spent £215 on the Bakelite speaker,
the 19th century pearlware figure,
the scent bottle, the silk fan
and the diamond pendant.
Paul bought the WMF christening set,
the pocket watch,
the glass flask,
and his bargain buy of the Georgian tazza,
all for a total of £243.50.
So, what do they make of each other's items?
The little perfume, well, you see when I first saw that I panicked,
I thought, "Oh, she's bought a Macintyre silver-mounted egg perfume."
I thought I'd lost it all.
Praise the Lord, it's damaged and I have been let off the hook.
The guy is a genius, I mean buying a beautiful piece of very,
very early glassware like that for £1 is just amazing
and I was in the same shop as him.
That's quite depressing.
Do you know? You're right.
Our pair have trundled their way north
from Leominster in Herefordshire
and are headed for their last stop of this leg in Nantwich in Cheshire.
You walk into a shop, the same shop as me, might I add,
you walk into a shop, within two paces you have picked up
the most beautiful 18th-century glass
-for a pound!
Jealousy will get you nowhere, Christina.
It's off to the auction, which today is being held in Nantwich.
For the last 60 years the town has been home to Peter Wilson Auctions,
and very nice it is too.
Come on, then.
In charge today is auctioneer, Chris Large.
To me the main event, it's all about your glass.
I think it doesn't matter what happens today.
We'll have to wait for that.
Christina's Bakelite speaker is up first.
I'm bid £30 straight away on commission for this lot
and I'm selling.
Internet's in here. 50.
50's bid on the internet.
Five on the internet?
Any further bids?
-I'll take that, I need it.
-More than doubled your money.
That broken old speaker's given Christina a fantastic start.
Next up is Paul's mantel clock he fell in love with.
-250 to 350 quid.
I have £65 now straightaway.
-In the room.
90, against the commission.
95, 100, and ten now.
160. 160's bid on the internet.
Another internet bidder.
170. 180. 190. 190, 200.
I'm safe now, come on.
200. 220, now?
It's still cheap.
-Not expensive but I'll take it.
At £220, I'm going to sell. If you're all happy now, at £220.
-I'll take it. I'll take that.
I'll just mop that brow.
Not quite your prediction, Paul, but still a strong profit.
It's Christina's 19th-century silk fan.
£35, the bid's going to be. 40, thank you.
40 in the room. At £40.
45 I'm looking for. At £40,
I'll sell if you're all happy. At £40 only.
Sadly, the room doesn't love it quite as much as you did, Christina.
That's great! No, I mean, no, no, what a disappointment.
Now the hour has come for Paul's second timepiece of the day.
His pocket watch.
Now we've got your really sweet little Art Deco pocket watch.
And £20 I'm bid on commission here. With me I'm selling.
25's on the internet, takes my bid out.
At £25 the internet bidder has it.
-30 I am looking for.
-I'm making a loss.
-It is an outrage!
If you're all happy at £25 only.
-This is an outrage.
-I demand a recount.
-Lost it, you've lost it.
Is there a chink in Paul's armour, after all?
Still, only a small loss.
Can Christina's Staffordshire figure land another blow?
This lot I have £20 bid straightaway on commission
for this lot and I'm selling.
-Don't sell it straightaway!
-25 versus the commission.
At £25 my commission's out and it's on the internet.
It's got a little cheeky smile.
£25, I'm going to sell to the internet bidder
if you're all happy, £25 only.
A small profit, but Christina has another chance to catch Paul.
Her scent bottle is next.
-That does it for me.
20 is the bid in the room. At £20 with the lady. 25 I'm looking for.
£20 is bid. Any further bids?
I'm going to sell if you're all happy. In the room at £20.
That damage on the scent bottle seems to have been a problem
and Christina makes a small loss.
Next up is Paul's silver and glass saddle flask.
I'll start the bidding off at £60 here with me.
65 I'm looking for to continue.
At 65, 70's there on commission, 75.
75's on the internet. 80's on commission, 85.
-Someone's got the leather case for this, haven't they?
At £80, and I'm going to sell if you're all happy at £80.
Even without its leather pouch, Paul more than doubles his money.
Now, Christina has one last chance to catch Paul.
It rests on her diamond and white gold pendant.
-I can start the bidding at £135 here with me.
£135, the bid's here with me on commission and I'm selling.
-140, do I hear?
I'll sell to the commission bid if you're all happy at £135 only.
Any further bids?
It's a good profit,
but not enough to catch Paul, who still has two items to go.
Paul was passionate about the WMF christening set,
but will it set the auction alight?
A lovely lot this. I'm only bid £40 on commission.
It's a one-horse race, this.
If you're all happy, at £40 only.
45 just at the last minute.
£45 the bid. At £45, 50 still on commission.
55, can I tempt you, sir?
-He's getting greedy now!
At £55, the bid's in the room. Any further bids?
That's, again, a great profit.
A great profit.
It is yet another profit.
And now it is Paul's incredible find, his Georgian glass.
Estimate, would you like to tell everyone what they've estimated?
-What is the estimate?
How much did you buy it for?
-I think, a pound.
And estimated at £80-£120.
Sorry, what was that? I missed that. Say it again.
For this lot I have two conflicting bids straightaway.
-I can start the bidding at £110 and I'm selling.
120 I'm looking for to continue.
All right, the internet is running away with us. At 160 we're up to.
160's bid on the internet, 170.
-It is still going.
Tell me when it stops.
200. £200. 220. At 240.
At £240. 260. At £260.
-£280. Two conflicting internet bidders.
Please join in in the room.
320. At £320.
At 320. 340, do I hear?
At £320 is bid.
At 320, 340 now.
-At 340 now.
OK, I'm just a passenger at this point.
At 360, 380, do I hear?
Slightly over estimate.
Any further bids?
Bravo. Well done. Well done.
An unbelievable profit.
-I am not worthy, Paul Laidlaw.
-That was my moment.
Would you like a piece of cake?
Christina started this leg with £218.14.
After costs she's made a profit of £6.40,
raising her total to £224.54.
But, today's win makes it a hat-trick
of auction success for Paul. He had £427.04
and after costs he's run up an amazing profit of £353.30,
taking his total to a whopping £780.34.
With Paul out in front, it's time for the next leg
and today our experts are in Shropshire.
Their HMC Mark IV starts out in Shrewsbury,
before making its way to an auction in Stoke-on-Trent.
Kicking off in the Salopian county town, Christina has first dibs
at Junk 'n' Disorderly!
-Hello. Hi, Christina.
-Nice to meet you.
-Hi. What's your name?
-Lovely to meet you, Jim.
Handsome Jim. That's the name, is it?
Especially if you want a bargain, Christina.
-Has she found something already?
Now, that's a bit of magic.
Ah, a pair of Alexander Blaikley paintings, by the look of it.
-Very nice, aren't they?
-Aren't they just, yeah.
So, they're a pair? Is that £195 for the pair?
-So you've got them individually priced, but you won't split them?
I won't split them, yeah.
-All right, I can do a deal on the pair, then. £250.
-That's a good price.
-They are very beautiful, but I don't have £250!
-Then you can't have them, can you!
Have they got any provenance? Where have come from?
I don't do the history, it costs extra(!)
Fair enough, Jim. Scottish-born Blaikley was a 19th-century portrait
painter, these two are very typical of his work.
They look a bit faded to me.
I would be looking to pay probably 150...
Good Lord! I'll do you the pair for 200.
-Now, that's a good deal.
-Split the difference with me at 180.
-Split the difference and go 190.
-No, not going to go more than 180.
-Oh, good Lord. There's a dog to be fed.
Blimey, Jim. What on earth are you giving him?
My issue is, obviously, there's a lot of damage to the frames and they
have been re-lined. They've had new backs on,
so somebody has taken them out.
Somebody took them out to put money inside, covered it over and left it.
-Well, could be.
-I'm still thinking 150, 160.
-No, you didn't, you went up to 170.
-Yeah, well, I changed my mind.
-You went up to 170.
-I've changed my mind.
-You can't go back down!
It's a woman's prerogative.
-She's right, Jim.
-I think 160 would be a fair price on the two.
Good Lord, no! Can I go and make myself a cup of tea?
-A man'll die of thirst here!
I leave you to it. That's it.
-He's off again?
-That's robbery. Daylight robbery!
It's like some sort of courtship ritual, isn't it?
Come on, a fiver.
175. I'll start going up if you keep coming down.
Do you feel insulted?
I do. Highly.
165, you've got a deal.
And I'll get out of your hair for the rest of the day. Go on.
-OK, go on.
-You bring tears to a glass eye, you know that?
So, that's one deal happily arrived at.
Bye, Murphy, bye.
With her first items of the day in the bag,
the coast is clear for Mr Laidlaw to drop by and lock horns with our Jim.
This should be good. There'll be plenty to choose from,
including some militaria.
-Here we go.
-Well, quite a lot, actually.
A rack of uniforms.
And that's my bag.
However, that's post-war German, Bundeswehr.
That's post-war dress, who cares!
It's all well buying fancy dress, history is what we are looking for.
This, however, is Second World War Royal Navy.
Right, OK. Watch this. Switch, geek mode! Anorak mode!
This is called a jumper.
Yes, you think a jumper is a woolly pully,
but in admiralty language this is a jumper.
And it would indeed be worn with bell-bottomed trousers,
with seven folds that represent the seven seas.
These five stripes, here, are war service chevrons.
These were given in the Second World War for each year of service,
that guy served for the duration of the war, and he was still
wearing this in 1944, because in 1944 he had earned four stripes,
see this one is a bolt on.
Isn't that a great wee bit of detective work?
We can pin this thing down to a period without a label or a date.
Jim, though, wishes to put a more eccentric item forward.
-It's a good 'un.
-It's all about the story, isn't it?
Well, I can give you any story you like!
It's a mounted horse's hoof, complete with shoe,
fitted with a brass collar and a hinged mahogany lid.
It would serve as a baccy pot or a match pot, or whatever you want.
I'm giving you 95. I'm open to a bit of hardball. Look, I've removed the
price, what does that tell you? I'm ready for a sale.
I need some money, I've a dog to feed, look at him.
Didn't he say the same thing to Christina?
Just how much dog food does that dog want? He's so small.
I reckon that's going to make 30-40 quid under the hammer.
You're joking me! Give me 40 and I'll take it
-and that's the end of it now.
-Have you not listened to me?
We've got an old uniform and a green helmet there.
What would be the price if on the three pieces?
And I don't rate them, by the way,
I'm just trying to take the pain out of that.
-Give me 75 for the lot.
-That's dirt cheap!
-Because the blue uniform...
-50 quid, there you go.
-..is neither here nor there.
-That's what you wanted. 50 quid.
-Do you want to shake on it, yes or no?
Well, Jim, yet again it's been emotional.
Well, I tell you what, you'll do well to get a tenner for it.
This is no joking matter.
-Look after yourself, my friend.
-You too, man.
-All the best to you.
-And I hope I don't see you again.
I'll wash out my mouth, big man.
Now, still in Shrewsbury, where's our local lass got to?
-Bill, how are you?
-Christina, how are you?
-Nice to see you. Very well, thank you.
Oh, what a surprise. Nice of you to drop in.
-Yeah, I'm sorry about this gate-crashing.
-You're always welcome.
Now, I don't know about you but I reckon those two have met before.
Could local knowledge help? It's certainly a very nice shop.
-Oh, I tell you what I do like.
-Oh, the tin-plate?
-That's pretty cool, isn't it?
-I like that.
-OK, missing its front.
-Yeah. There's bits wrong with it.
-Oh, but look at him driving his train!
-It is '50s. It is Japanese.
It needs a little bit of care and attention.
It does, doesn't it? But that's great. Does it work?
Well, no, it doesn't. Well, I don't know if it's bad off working.
-The bits are there.
-Oh, yeah. What have we got on it? £20.
-It looks great but...
-It's a decorative object.
-Like me, it has issues.
-Don't we all?
-Speak for yourselves.
-12 quid, it's yours.
-You'll make a profit.
-What do you think?
-Can we make it a tenner?
What have you got there? Is that a handshake or what?
-It's a handshake.
-Thank you very much.
You're an angel.
Deal sealed and, issues or not, she should be chuffed
about that little buy.
But whilst Christina's been bargaining, Paul's back
behind the wheel heading east towards the Birmingham suburb
of Erdington, where inside this mysterious warehouse
there's a wealth of incredible history.
-'Good afternoon. Reception, can I help you?'
I've arranged to pop in and see you.
Oh, look at that! Holy Moses, here it goes.
Paul's about to get a close look
at where the government keeps our wills.
-Hello there, Phil.
-Paul, good to see you.
-Good to see you.
-Welcome to Iron Mountain.
-Thanks very much. What a place this is!
It certainly is because since 1858, when our wills were made public,
they have been archived and there's an awful lot of them here.
We store the wills, 80 million of them,
on behalf of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
and we've got some really, really strict controls in place
around the temperature, humidity and, as you've seen, security,
-when you came through.
Nowadays, they're hard at work digitising all this
and putting it online for everyone,
from those studying their family history
to biographers of great Britons.
-Oh, it is, it's amazing. This is Indiana Jones.
But there's nothing quite like taking a close-up look
at the originals.
These are hundreds of thousands of people we're looking at.
Each one of these pages, each one of these documents
can tell you a story, and then you've got
the more interesting people such as Edward William Elgar.
-Right, the composer. Right.
"I regret that owing to the sudden collapse of everything artistic
"and commercial, I have found it necessary to revoke the will,
"which I previously made and to make this present will."
So even in the wills of famous people, of people that we know,
there are still stories to be told about how fortunes were made
and sometimes were lost or fortunes changed.
So why has he rewritten the will?
At this time in his life, you can see here that he's struggling with everything around him
and that was caused by the death of his wife, Alice.
-So tragic circumstances led to this.
-It reads like a book.
-Not how I expected.
Who else have you got?
Straight away here is a name you may recognise.
-Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp?
-It is, absolutely.
-You could just keep doing this, blow my mind.
Whoa! Winston Churchill. Just beyond belief.
I know who that is - Beatrix Heelis
-That's the married name of Beatrix Potter.
-It absolutely is.
Well, there you go.
The lady that left all of her estate to the National Trust.
Yup, they're all in here,
everyone from your great-granny, to the Kray twins.
Take a look online at the YouGov website.
There's also a touch of the James Bond about this, is there not?
Especially poignant on the centenary of the Great War,
is a collection of almost 300,000 soldiers' wills.
"In the event of my death I give the whole of my property
"and effects to Mrs Catherine McCarthy."
Signed 6184 Private McCarthy. Deary me.
Such different circumstances than some of the other wills that we saw.
Who died in their bed, the great and the good.
This guy in the mud of France and Flanders,
an officer saying, "You'd better fill that in."
And it could be tomorrow that it's applicable.
And nothing brings it home more than the pocketbook
that we've got in front of us. It's actually got a bullet hole in it.
The soldiers carried their pocketbooks around with them
when they were on the front line and probably one of the last things
that was ever written in here was the will.
-So that's the reason...
-That's why it's here?
-That's why it's here. Absolutely, yeah.
And quite interesting with the will that we've got here,
a request from the soldier, Horace Henry Cook, saying,
"Had not the hand of the Almighty intervened,"
the lady in question would have been his wife,
so he's asking in this for his girlfriend
to be treated as though she would have been his wife
had he not gone to war and had he not died.
I would never have guessed walking in here that I'd be so moved.
Acres and acres of paper but it's much more than that, isn't it?
It absolutely is, yeah.
Now, they have a saying hereabouts, "All around the Wrekin."
-Driving off into the sunset.
-This is it.
It means, "Taking the scenic route."
-Thelma and Louise.
-Night-night, you two.
It's another lovely day and our first shop this morning
is in the Shropshire town of Shifnal.
Nothing quite like a shared shop to up the ante.
-Hello! Hi. Hello. Hi. Christina. Nice to meet you.
-What was your name?
-Jackie. Lovely to meet you, Jackie.
-How are you doing, Jackie? I'm Paul.
You don't need to know him.
What did I say? Deep breaths all round.
-I'm going this way.
-Plenty to choose from, you two.
This is quite fun, what's this?
This is a display cabinet for cigars and it's something that we've had
that we use to display cigarettes, lighters and cigarette cases in.
-Is it for sale?
-Well, if you'd like it, yeah.
-I quite like that.
So what would you price that at?
-I would probably put something like £45 on it.
-Oh, would you?
-I wouldn't be looking to pay that for it.
-But I am open to offers.
Would you be very, very insulted if I said a fiver?
-Could I have it for a fiver?
-Yeah, you can have it for £5.
-Are you sure?
-Yes, I'm positive.
-Are you happy at that?
Deal. Brilliant. Jackie, you're a star.
Paul seems to be taking a brief detour
getting to know the trading estate.
Bureau - £10. It's for sale, this stuff.
-Who's behind all of this treasure?
-It looks like you're selling, yeah?
Yes, I'm selling a few things to try and get rid of them.
-Is your clock running, or no?
-No, it's not.
I don't know whether it's worth me bothering or not.
I've been told what it's worth.
He says he wants about 20 quid for it.
Now, there's nothing Paul likes more than a wonky clock.
These are commonly referred to as anniversary clocks.
This is a torsion clock.
So, instead of a swinging pendulum you have got
an oscillating, rotating weight here.
Now, your average domestic clock will run for eight days,
which means you've got to wind it once a week
and if you forget, you've got a day to remember.
Your torsion clock is a fantastic piece of engineering.
It's so sophisticated.
We wind our torsion clock typically once every 400 days.
What do you think of that for horological sophistication?
You've got to wind it once a year and what day might you wind it on?
Why don't you wind it on your anniversary? Anniversary clock.
And if it slips your mind, you've still got 35 days to remember.
I suspect there's not much missing there.
Would you take a wee cheeky offer on your clock as a project?
-Well, yes, I would.
-I'm no interested in 20 quid.
It's... There's too much uncertainty in it.
If a fiver would buy it, I'll shake your hand.
-I wouldn't do it at a fiver.
-There was no harm in asking.
-It would have to be a tenner.
-A tenner? Take a punt...
Nah. A fiver if it will buy it but that's it.
-Yes. Oh, go on. I'll take a fiver.
-I'll take a punt, then.
How badly wrong can it go for a fiver?
-Well, I thank you very much.
-Thank you very much. Cheers.
He just couldn't resist, could he?
Christina, meanwhile, is likewise exploring
her inner rag-and-bone woman.
It's a mangle. That's fab, isn't it?
-What have you got on your mangle?
-I've got... I think it's £60.
-Would you be open to a deal on that?
-Yeah, I think so.
Squeeze out a profit maybe?
For our younger viewers, a mangle was once how we dried
our newly-washed clothes, as Christina demonstrates.
What can the price be squeezed down to?
-Would you take very little for it?
-How little is very little?
I don't need a wee, I'm just very nervous.
-Would £20 be too much?
What would be the very, very least you could do it for?
-It's a deal.
Thank you very much. The sun shines on the righteous, Jackie.
-Oh, my God, I just bought a mangle!
Yes, and spent a mere £15 in total for that and the display cabinet.
-You're an angel.
-There you go.
-Thank you very much. What a star.
-So, with Christina out of the picture,
Paul now has the shop to himself.
-Oh, I feel liberated.
They're sweet, aren't they? Those wee coffee spoons, there.
-Cute little terminals with the little bird feeding the chicks.
I think they've got novelty and jam by the bucket-load.
-Can I just make you an offer?
-25 quid for those.
I think I can accept that.
Have you played this game before?
-You're supposed to go, "No, I couldn't possibly!"
And given that you're clearly a joy to do business with,
-I'll just shake your hand and give you some money.
-That was easy.
To the victor! The spoons.
But back on the banks of the River Severn,
Christina's made her way to beautiful Bewdley
-for just one more shop.
-You must be Christina.
-I am, yes, for my sins.
Matt. Lovely to meet you, Matt.
Only £34 left now, Christina, so choose wisely.
Ooh, this is very Laidlaw.
-Ooh, shall I buy some militaria?
-Why not? Everybody else does.
-I don't know anything about militaria.
-Nor does anybody else.
World War II astrocompass.
It looks very complicated, very scientific.
-Shall I phone Paul and ask him?
Wouldn't Matt be a better choice?
-Could I have a look in one of your cabinets?
-Of course you can.
And I know nothing about it. I'm guessing.
All bearings white... Declination...
I'm guessing it's some form of aircraft, isn't it?
-Possibly a Lancaster but it's actually Ian's, this is.
-He's the chap that's stood outside.
-Oh, why's he stood outside?
Cos it's sunny, isn't it?
Well, let's hope someone can throw some light on it.
-They were used by the RAF during the war.
-What sort of plane? Lancaster?
Lancasters and Wellingtons... Halifax, yeah.
Really? Would I make a profit on it at auction? That's the key.
Paul is beating me hands down and I'd love to buy a bit of militaria
-cos you know he loves his militaria.
-I tell you what,
he's putty in your hands if you look at him with a sort of...
-I think we may be close.
-What could that be, Ian?
-Yeah. Well...in sweets?
-What's it down for? 30?
-10 or £15?
-Where did she get 10 from?
-No, I quite like that. £10?
-With the instructions?
-Yeah, with the instructions.
-You can't go wrong with that.
No, exactly. Thank you, Ian. Thank you, Matt.
Well, despite her sketchy grasp, it's not a lot of money.
Paul, meanwhile is en route to Kidderminster.
-Hello, are you the man?
-Ian, I'm Paul.
Hi, nice to meet you.
Ian has quite an assortment on display here.
Plus, there's the stuff out the back.
Feast your eyes on this lot.
A box to make one particular customer very interested.
What a lovely portrait.
A major in the Royal Tank Regiment.
"An expression of our gratitude to our liberators."
So these are all items from the life of one soldier.
So he was East Riding Yeomanry into the Royal Tank Regiment.
You've got somebody's life there, haven't you?
Birth certificate, yeah.
That's his war identity.
I've never seen one of those
in that format.
There he is.
Temporary Major Scott. EJ Scott.
Royal Armoured Corp. Born 1908.
We've even got. These are all his buttons
off his tunics and his pips and everything else in there.
We've got his miniatures. I haven't, sadly, got his full set of medals.
And there's a named medal in there as well, isn't there?
A territorial medal.
So he's got 30 quid's worth of medals there.
But if you had that one named medal, you're onto a lot.
Is it dear?
£65 for the lot.
There's no point in clowning about. Take my paw.
Thank you very much.
Accepted with enthusiasm and no wonder.
That's a very moving collection.
-All the best.
-Take care. Thank you.
Now, let's take a look at what they've bought.
Paul parted with just over £145 for a helmet, a naval uniform,
some silver spoons, a torsion clock, a horse's hoof's box
and a box containing some mementos of a soldier.
Whilst Christina spent £200 on a toy train, a cigar display case,
a mangle, an astrocompass and two Victorian portraits.
He spent no money whatsoever, which frankly,
when you've got SO much money to spend, is rude.
Pictures... That's the one to watch. Who knows?
It could be bad news for me but it could be what saves my bacon.
After setting off from Shrewsbury in Shropshire,
our experts are now heading north
for an auction in Staffordshire at Stoke-on-Trent.
-Fantastic. Well done, pilot.
-The auction awaits, milady.
ASH Auctions takes its name from the initials of the founders.
The auctioneer today is Lee Sherratt.
Let's begin with the tin plate train.
I think I bought it for £10.
You bought everything for £10.
Apart from my pictures which I accidentally spent a fortune on!
-I've got £18 bid straight on.
-Oh, it's my train! Here we go!
I'm going to sell. £20. Where's 2? At £20 it's in the room. Where's 2?
-At £20, have we gone?
-Double my money!
Great start but it will take a bit more than that to catch Paul up.
Next, it's Paul's little chick spoons.
A nice little set there in the original box.
25. 25, somebody. Come on. Where are you £20? Go on, 15?
15, I'm bid at 15. 16 anywhere quickly? At 15. All over the place.
-You've got bidders all over it now.
22, 24, 26.
-Your turn, 28...
-Oh, look at the leg, look at the leg!
-It's gone, hasn't it?
-Hey, well caught, knee camera.
Selling at £30 only...
-You come across so confident
and then the leg starts going. I can feel it!
Good. But no cigar.
And look what's next! Christina's case.
£5. 5 there.
At 6, 8, 10, 12, 14?
12 on my right. £12. 14, surely?
-A man with style.
-A man with style.
At £16, right-hand side.
18, 20? 20, 22?
22, 24? 24, 26?
At £24 it's being sold...
-We've spent the last three days,
just messing about.
Catching up VERY slowly.
Not bad. Are you scared yet?
Time for Paul's navy jumper and green hat.
Did you ever go out as a teenager?
-We have our resident modeller modelling this.
-She's tried it on, it won't fit.
-But the hat does. The hat fits.
-Well, I think it suits her.
25 for it, somebody. 25. 20 bid me.
A tenner? 10 I'm bid. 12 anywhere?
He's going to sell it for a tenner? Never mind that...
Come on, it's only money. £10. It's got to be 10. All done?
GAVEL BANGS I've lost money on military.
-Oh! You've made a loss!
-I'm going. I've had enough of this.
Paul makes a loss on militaria. Hold the front page.
I would laugh so much if my militaria made more than your militaria.
No, let's not.
-What is it?
An astrocompass. A navigator's tool.
-An air navigator's tool.
-Is that good?
25 for it. Come on, where are we? £20...
-I thought you'd get 20 or 30 quid for it.
-15 then, somebody 15.
15, I'm bid there at 15.
Where's 16 now? At £15...
16, 18, 20,
-What did I pay for this?
-£10! A tenner.
..I'm going to sell it at £22. The hammer's up. All finished?
-Yours then at £22. Number 107.
Well done. A bit of a militaria coup.
Never talk to me again.
My militaria made more than your militaria.
Time for Paul's prize lot, a soldier's life.
-I've got a commission of £31.
-A long way off.
-We should have a riot here.
-We should have a riot here.
..34, 36, 38, 40.
At £38. I'm going to sell then at £38.
Last call at £38. Are we done?
-Crying on the inside.
Call that a riot? Seems a modest sum for all those memories.
Now, from the sublime...
£20, can I see 20? 15 for him, somebody? 15 for the mangle there.
10 to go, somebody.
£10. 10 I'm bid on my right. At £10, where's 12 now?
-Tell them it's the folding version.
-A rare folding version!
-..I'm selling it.
GAVEL BANGS Don't these fools know?
It's all profits for Christina today.
Small ones anyway.
Time for Paul's equally attractive hoof.
-What shall we say? 50? 40? 30?
-34 is bid on commission...
-£80. If it doesn't make £80...
I'm going to sell. No, I'm not. 36 standing.
38? 38, 40? We've got a riot now. 38...
-He's got a riot.
-He's got another riot.
-Call the police!
-..at £38, the hammer's up.
-£38, there it is.
Well, it's a profit at least. A bit lame though.
Now for his bargain clock.
I've got £25 commission. It's on sale, I'm looking for 30 now.
-Nobody's yelling about 25 quid
but it's my first piece of profit of the day.
GAVEL BANGS That's why I bought it.
His little stroll off-piste paid off.
-I can see you bought that with soul.
-I'm not proud of that.
But Christina is very proud of these Alexander Blaikley portraits.
-Are they in the right auction though?
-The moment of truth.
-Don't look, don't look.
-No, I can't watch. I can't hear anything.
We won't sell from the word go, ladies and gents,
-£40, I don't believe it.
-Now we can see 50...
-That's all mine out.
-It's in the room at £70.
-They've got to be worth more then this, surely?
I'm going to sell them at £70. 80, surely?
At £70. This is for nothing.
-I thought they'd have gone for
a lot more than that. £70.
She needs a hug after that.
Someone has picked up a bargain.
My heart is actually broken.
Do you think there's a cake big enough in the world
-to fix your heart?
-Let's try and find it anyway.
-Yeah. We could try.
-A big cake.
Christina started out with £224.54 and made,
after paying auction costs, a loss of £78.64,
leaving her with £145.90 to spend next time.
While Paul began with £780.34
and, after paying auction costs, made a loss of £29.38.
So, he's the winner today and still leaves with £750.96.
Give me the keys and don't talk to me!
This is just all going very wrong!
-Oh, wait a minute!
-Wait a minute!
Auctioneers Paul Laidlaw and Christina Trevanion are back on the trail. As they head for an auction in Nantwich they rummage through Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the West Midlands, and Paul uncovers a hidden gem that could win him the contest on day three. They continue through Shropshire and Worcestershire. Paul gets security clearance to visit the fascinating Iron Mountain and a penultimate auction in Stoke-on-Trent awaits.