Antiques experts travel across the country. The West Country beckons for James Braxton and Raj Bisram as they head from Bath to the Isle of Wight.
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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts with £200 each...
I want something shiny.
..a classic car, and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.
-I like a rummage.
-I can't resist.
The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction, but it's no mean feat.
Why do I always do this to myself?
-There'll be worthy winners...
-Give us a kiss.
-..and valiant losers.
-Come on. Stick 'em up.
-So, will it be the high road to glory...
-Onwards and upwards.
-..or the slow road to disaster?
-Take me home!
This is Antiques Road Trip.
Welcome to the West Country
in the company of James Braxton and Raj Bisram.
-You can't beat it.
I was astounded to find out how many different types of apples
-there are in Somerset alone.
-Is it 100?
Over 400 different types.
-That's amazing, isn't it?
Astonishing apple facts notwithstanding,
our two experts really do know their stuff.
Here's another weird thing about Somerset.
Of course, it's famous for Cheddar Gorge.
All very interesting. Anyway, Raj is an auctioneer from Kent.
Also a keen sportsman,
when he's not admiring antiques, that is.
-It's a fascinating business.
-It is, isn't it?
-The more that you learn,
the more that you know that you don't know,
-if you know what I mean.
-I think James does.
He's an auctioneer, too, from Sussex,
plus a vintage car fan.
So, what do they make of their motor?
-Have you ever heard of a Caravelle before?
-Never. I had never.
-I thought it was going to be a camper thing.
-So did I. Exactly!
I thought they were saving the budget.
It's rather interesting.
It looks slightly amphibious from the outside.
Could come in handy later on, then,
because their first auction is on the Isle of Wight.
I try and buy things that I think will fit in
-with where the auction is.
-I guess our market's quite limited on the Isle of Wight.
-Yeah, it is.
It's an island, isn't it?
I'm fairly sure it's completely surrounded by water, James.
After kicking off in Somerset, at Bath,
our experts, with £200 apiece, will rove across a fair chunk
of Southern England before zipping up to the Midlands
and then coming back home to Somerset at Binegar.
Later, their windscreen faces south as they cross the Solent
for an auction at Brading on the Isle of Wight.
But today's first knockings begin way out west in Bath.
Spa towns were rather like going to the Cote d'Azur, weren't they?
Take the waters, as they said.
Take the waters, marry your daughters.
-You're a poet!
Bath - the city of honey-coloured stone,
with more than a few antique shops and one splendid Gothic abbey.
In the shadow of which, Raj is on the lookout for his first shop.
-Hi, I'm Raj.
-Welcome to Bath Antiques.
-Thank you so much.
-We've got three floors.
It's a bit dangerous, so watch the stairs.
-I'll be careful. And your name is...?
-And you're in charge, are you?
-I am in charge.
Now, as you might expect,
Annette's shop has Bath's tourists firmly in mind,
with plenty of collectables in stock.
Interesting geography, too.
Almost everything is sort of in the shop window.
I've seen something that I know a little bit about, OK?
This is really delicate, delicate porcelain.
It's called Belleek and it's from County Fermanagh in Ireland.
The early pieces are what you're looking for,
and those have got the black mark.
This calls for our woman in charge.
It's a bit tricky because the building's falling down,
as you can see, so we've got this scaffold in here.
It's a 300-year-old building, and it's got deathwatch beetle.
A real fixer-upper, then.
-That's not going to come out there.
-It's not going to come out.
Do be careful, Annette.
-So, this is...
-I tell you what you could do -
-could you turn that vase so I could see the base of it?
It's got the black mark, which is the early mark for Belleek.
It's great, but I can't buy it
because we can't get it out of the cabinet!
Well, that's a first.
Now what's he up to?
I'm not actually leaving the shop yet.
What I'm trying to do is there's some things out here
which I can't see properly from in the shop,
so I'm going to come outside and have a look.
There are some lovely things in here.
There's a nice pair of silver candlesticks,
which I think I need to look at,
and there's a nice piece of Tiffany silver, as well, I think.
Some nice silver pocket watches in here, as well.
-So, I'm going to go back in
and ask her if she can get some things out of the cabinet.
No easy task, that, but it seems Annette's persistence has paid off.
There we go. Always a problem with Belleek,
especially because it's such a fine porcelain,
and this lovely glaze, is that it gets chipped and damaged a lot,
and the collectors obviously like it perfect.
It's gone down in price a bit, OK? But it's still quite collectable.
Hefty £300 price tag, though.
The tops that I would pay for this - the very, very tops -
and I even wouldn't want to pay that, is £50 for it.
But we'll talk about that because
I've seen some other things, actually.
-There's another cabinet down here.
He just saw those just now.
-They're Mappin & Webb.
-These are quite nice, OK?
-They're not exactly in the most perfect condition, though.
They've got dents.
-And at auction, these would be estimated £50-£80.
Those are even steeper. Anything more reasonable, Annette?
Is it a Celtic scarf thing or...?
It looks like a Caltech brooch of some sort.
-The good news is there's no price on this.
It's not hugely old. It's probably...
It just says silver on it, so it has no...
-It's got no...?
-That's all it says. No, no.
Well, what would you offer me for it?
I would probably pay, for that, somewhere between £12 and £15.
14, and it's yours.
14? We have a deal.
-There you go.
One collection not in the window is the wall of caricatures.
-What about the Spy prints, Raj?
-They're not normally my thing.
They're quite common, these. You do see quite a lot of them.
There are some that are quite collectable, that are quite rare.
I've got quite a few. I'd do a deal on the job lot.
Quite! These celebrity likenesses used to appear in the pages
of the Victorian Vanity Fair magazine.
They're often called Spy cartoons after the pseudonym of Leslie Ward,
their most famous artist.
Seven of them. How many could you do them for?
-You make me an offer.
-No, I'm not that interested.
You're going to have to sell them to me on this one.
Well, tell me what they get in auction.
On a bad day, you could probably buy this whole lot for 50 quid.
-What about £45?
-For the seven?
-Yeah. You could do quite well on them.
You've got me interested.
We can tell that.
I am tempted, but I'm going to make you an offer of £30.
-35, and they're yours, Raj.
-I can't say no.
-I'm going to have to shake your hand at £35.
-You've got a deal.
So, £35, plus 14 for the brooch, comes to a grand total of 49.
Thank you very much indeed.
-It's been a real pleasure.
-It's been charming. Thank you.
-I'm just going to pick up my stuff and I'll be on my way.
-Exit Raj with a grin on his face.
Such a happy chappie.
James, meanwhile, is also in Bath,
taking a much more cultured view of the Georgian city
because Jane Austen, the author of Emma,
Pride And Prejudice and Sense And Sensibility,
lived here for a few influential years,
observing the customs and manners of the English upper-classes
who flocked to the spa.
Lovely to welcome you to Bath and to Sydney Gardens,
which a certain Jane Austen was very fond of.
This little park was opened in the late 18th century
just before Ms Austen came to live at nearby Sydney Place.
A local historian, Kirsten Elliott,
can plot her course through the city.
-Is this the street that she lived on?
They came to live here in 1801, on this street.
These are built not all that long before they came,
so they would have looked sparkling new.
-This lovely Bath stone, was it?
-And it would have been very white.
-In fact, Jane Austen sometimes complains about the glare.
Was Bath society joyous or was it very stifling?
-You have to know people.
-You have to have the right connections.
There were very sort of strict rules as to where you could sit.
-According to your status.
So, this was all meat and drink for her.
-She absorbed all this and then wrote about it and used it.
I mean, sometimes, people say, "Oh, her books are so snobbish,"
but she's actually poking fun at snobbery.
She's not a romantic novelist.
She is a satirist and she really sinks her teeth into snobbery.
You know, you think of the really unpleasant characters
in her books, and they're snobs.
That's what she really, I think, hated.
Her witty novels certainly succeeded in skewering
several of the fashionable folk she encountered.
Two books - Northanger Abbey and Persuasion -
even featured the city as a backdrop.
-We're walking down now to 13 Queen Square.
Although there's a suggestion that she came in 1797,
we know that she came here in 1799 for a month
with her brother Edward and his wife,
and stayed at 13 Queen Square.
Would she have done any writing here?
No, I don't think she did.
Whether she made notes, whether it was just in her memory,
she was certainly observing.
In the satirical Northanger Abbey, young Catherine is dazzled by Bath,
such as Jane would have been at first,
although she soon came to understand
that there was a darker aspect of the Georgian city.
Behind all this glamour, there was quite a lot of poverty.
But when Jane and her mother are house-hunting,
they talk about going to Westgate Buildings,
and Avon Street nearby was dragging that area down.
And Avon Street was notorious for poverty,
overcrowding and prostitution.
I mean, one of the biggest industries in Bath
amongst the poor was prostitution, and Jane knows that.
Although in Persuasion, a reference to the city's seedier side
is so subtle that it could barely be detected,
Austen did give her heroine, Anne Elliot,
some decidedly unambiguous views.
"There had been three alternatives -
"London, Bath, or another house in the country.
"All Anne's wishes had been for the latter.
"She disliked Bath, and did not think it agreed with her,
"and Bath was to be her home."
The Austen family left the city in 1805
and it was in Hampshire where she completed and published
most of her novels.
But she will continue to be celebrated in the place
that so influenced her work.
To me, she is the first modern novelist
because she writes in a modern way.
Before that, it's very stylised. It's of its time.
Things like Tom Jones, Henry Fielding, the author,
speaks to you directly, but Jane Austen never does that.
I think it's the way she writes conversation.
She writes in such a natural way, and I don't think anybody
had written in such a natural way before.
It's quite a sort of modern feel altogether.
But while James has been reading books in Bath...
..Raj has headed south towards the town of Frome,
which can also boast a fair few listed buildings.
Listed people, too, like Jenson Button,
the Formula One world champion,
who has a Frome bridge named after him, as you would.
-Hello! How are you?
-I'm good. And who are you?
My name is Sophie Alexandra Grace Levine,
but I suppose you can call me Sophie.
What a lovely name.
-Well, you can call me Raj.
-Thank you very much.
And you can call me Tim.
-Can I have a look around?
-Oh, go on, then.
-If you have to.
I say! Ice broken and ready to rummage, eh?
This caught my eye. As soon as I came in, I got very excited.
It's a really early blue and white Worcester pattern,
and from a distance, it looked like it was magical.
But it's a reproduction one. What a shame.
It's got £10 on the ticket.
If this was an 18th-century one, this would be worth £1,500.
His friendly rival, meanwhile, is getting to grips with the Caravelle.
It's all show. It's all fur coat and no knickers, chief.
I beg your pardon!
Thanks for that, James. Very Top Gear.
He's off to the outskirts of Bristol,
and his first shop of the trip.
-I've seen this young man before.
-All right, James? How are you?
-Very well. Very well.
Now, what's fresh in?
-What's fresh in?
-Fresh meat, please, Jay.
Well, just got to have a look around, haven't you?
-There's plenty of it here.
-No, wrong answer.
You know your shop better than I do. What have you just got in?
Good thinking, James.
Where are the goodies?
There's an awful lot in here, after all. Ooh, look.
-Did you like the hippo?
You know, wicker. Alan Whicker was so right.
You know, wicker is the way forward, isn't it? What an amazing thing.
Bearing a tray. Slight list, isn't it?
And where did you get this from?
That was actually clearance. It's a nice thing. Unusual, really.
Could be a rhino, chief, couldn't it?
Yeah, I suppose it might well be.
If it had been an elephant, I would have been all over it.
Yeah. Now, that's just being picky.
Wicker pachyderms are rather rare things, after all.
-What do you think that is?
That's slicing something. I think it's for oranges, marmalade.
Maybe it's a marmalade slicer, do you think?
You know, Britain did a lot of marmalade, didn't it?
-Quite fun, isn't it?
-Hours. Many hours of fun.
Simple pleasures, eh, James?
Now, how's our Raj faring in Frome?
Look at these two.
Great big slabs of concrete on them.
They are Victorian pub tables, but they have been adapted.
They would have originally had wooden tops,
and at £90, that's not a bad retail price,
but as a trade, I'd want to be paying £30-£40 for those.
Furniture? Are you sure, Raj?
There's certainly a fair bit about.
This is a nice set of Edwardian chairs.
I mean, a few years ago, these would have fetched,
at auction, somewhere between £400-£600 plus.
Now, on the ticket, there's £150.
Let's see what she can do. Sophie!
Gird your loins, girl.
This set of chairs - what could be the best on them?
-Or shall I make you an offer?
Let's see what you come up with first, shall we?
What if I said £75?
Yeah, no, I can do that. I can do that.
-Are you happy with that?
-We'll shake hands on it?
-I wish I'd come in at less now.
That was brisk.
I'm very happy with those.
Meanwhile, back in Brizzle,
James has tired of making imaginary marmalade.
Is that one of those James Bond cars?
It's a DB5. Look at that.
-That's classic, that.
-Classic, isn't it?
-Have you got the box?
It's no good to me, then.
Right, what else have you got, Jay, behind there?
Have you got any sort of racing pencils?
These are just the cheap pens, are they?
They're just the cheap pens, yeah.
-Ace lightning. Look at that! Are you a pen man?
So, there is an opportunity here, do you think?
-You can have a job lot there.
-I'm just looking for the Montblanc.
-Bit of weight.
-That one there, I think that's a screwdriver.
Lordy! What about taking another look at the rhino, then?
My theory is we're going to auction at the Isle of Wight.
It's an island people, isn't it?
Lots of old colonials, lots of old expats there
retire back to the Isle of Wight,
and they'll have been to Africa, wouldn't they?
Anatomically, you know, it's beyond reproach, isn't it?
He's not wrong.
Weaving - imagine doing that.
Probably was a machine-made one, wasn't it?
-Machine-made? Do you?
-I wouldn't say it's handmade.
I think handmade.
If that's handmade, the price is going up, isn't it?
Better get on with it, James.
-Come on, Jay. Come on.
-No! No, no, no.
-Don't box yourself in, mate.
-"Don't box itself in!"
-Don't box yourself in.
£12. £12, Jay. Come on.
I'll split the difference between 10 and 20.
15 quid, that's it. Who wants to deal with change?
-I want to see you happy.
How many pints of glider can we get for 15 quid, eh?
Glider is a Bristolian name for cider, by the way. Innit?
-Lovely doing business with you.
-You, too, James.
Go in peace and serve the Lord.
And on that note...
..can Raj squeeze in yet one more buy?
I've just spotted this. It's a big year for me.
I've had a lot of champagne this year.
An ice bucket with a bottle of Buck's Fizz.
Let's see what Sophie can do.
Champagne Charlie Heidsieck was the Frenchman
who made bubbly popular in 19th-century America.
He's been portrayed by Monsieur Hugh Grant in a biopic.
-Are you aiming to get this Buck's Fizz, as well?
-You're hurting me now.
-It goes together, doesn't it?
Ticket price - £10.
-I'll make you an offer.
-Yeah, go on.
-Brilliant. We have a deal.
Let's go and cash up, shall we?
£5 for those and 75 for the chairs. Quite a day, Raj.
Did we mention he's a former downhill racer?
-I bobsleighed, as well.
That was absolutely fantastic, but it's nowhere near as frightening
as being in a car with Charles Hanson.
On that note, nighty-night.
Wake up, Wiltshire -
the next-door county as famous for its chalk
as the neighbours are for their cheese.
-Wow. Look at that. Beautiful.
-Oh, it's like a dream.
I love it when they show a keen appreciation
of the locality, don't you?
Apparently, the shape of Stonehenge and the area that it covers
-is replicated in Bath in the Circus.
Yeah, I've heard that.
Yesterday, Raj bagged a brooch, a bucket,
some chairs and a collection of caricatures...
I'm going to shake your hand at £35. I'm going to buy them, yeah.
..leaving him over £70 in his wallet for today's shopping,
while James's only trophy was a wicky, wacky rhino...
Anatomically, it's beyond reproach, isn't it?
..meaning he still has £185 for today's shopping.
What are your favourite items, if money was no object?
I really like late Victorian, Edwardian luxury goods.
I love brass trays. I like Islamic tables.
Later, they'll be off to the auction at Brading on the Isle of Wight,
but our next stop is very much still on the mainland, in Devizes...
..a famous point on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Lots of locks round here to help a rise of 237ft.
Plus, there's the market square,
looked over by the Goddess of Grain.
-Here we are.
Keen, aren't we? They're only just opening up here.
A shared shop this morning.
-Two lovely antique dealers. Hello. James.
-Hello again, John. Nice to see you.
Delightful old place, this.
Plenty of room to spread out, which is just as well.
-I'm going to have a wander round.
-You'll have a wander round.
-I'm going to have a wander round cos I love this shop.
-Well, I've already...
-You've seen something already?
-I've already seen something.
-Oh, have you?
-You'd better go.
-Leave it to the professional.
-Go on. On your bike.
I think the mind games may have already started.
Mind your head.
There's a lovely set here of fruit knives and forks.
These are a really, really nice set.
They've got mother-of-pearl handles
and the actual blades are etched, as well.
I mean, these would have cost a huge amount of money
when they were first made. They are real quality items.
The reason I'm not going to buy these
is because the market just isn't there.
Fair enough. What about James?
Not more critters!
So, this is a sort of Chinese Qilin animal figure, isn't it?
Quite like that. It's made out of wood.
You know, the thing is, with all this stuff,
there's a lot of reproduction has come over over the years,
but it looks as though it's been on a floor for some time.
It's got some dust. Spiders have settled in.
Sometimes, dirt and damage can be your friend.
It can be an indicator to an item's age.
You never know, this could be my lucky second purchase.
First rhinos, now mythical creatures.
Ah, what's Raj found?
These are really quite decorative items,
and what they're for is they're cigar moulds.
So, they would have rolled the cigars, put them in here,
and then they would have clamped these two together,
like that, and held them like that.
And they're quite, you know...
They're quite decorative items.
I don't know what you'd quite use them for now, but nice piece.
Meanwhile, James has dumped his Chinese dragon and stepped outside.
So, what have we got here? Look, this, to me, looks nice and shiny.
-I like shiny.
-So, we've got gilded brass work.
Despite looking like a cage the magician would keep his doves in,
I think it might charitably be described as a magazine rack.
-Three legs. You can't beat three legs, can you?
Even on rocky ground, it's nice and firm there.
Now, John, why have you put 15 quid on there? You hate it, do you?
-I'm not keen on it.
-You're not keen on it?
-It's a sale or return piece for an old lady across the road.
So, we're going to have to stick at the £15.
-John, I'd like to give you 15. Thank you.
-All right. Brilliant.
As soon as you mentioned the old lady, bartering went away.
-It works every time.
£15 again, eh?
Oh, he's a big spender, but that's cheap.
-Do I have to pay the mademoiselle?
-She looks after the money.
-She looks after the money.
But as well as this establishment,
John and Vicky also have a pub around the corner,
so, while Raj continues to browse,
James is off to experience the unique mix of antiques and ale.
They call it The Black Swan outside,
but it could be easily labelled Heaven.
He sounds happy enough.
Back at shop one, John has something nautical to recommend.
Well, it's called a dead man.
-It's some sort of drag anchor, I suppose.
I haven't actually seen one before, but I can see exactly how it works.
You throw it in and it would slow you down
as you drag through the water.
That would surely sell on the Isle of Wight.
-It should do.
It's very nautical. I mean, it's different.
-What have you got on it?
-What could you do it for?
-I'll take £30 on it.
-Still too much.
-Still too much.
20? 20 and we've got a deal.
-25, we've got a deal.
-20. Come on.
We're going to be here for hours if we carry on like this.
-Why don't we split it - £22.50?
-We've already split it.
No, we haven't. £22.50. Come on.
Don't usually deal in 50p's. OK. All right.
-We have a deal.
-Great. Thank you.
-There we go.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much indeed.
That's Raj done, but while he stows his anchor and departs,
James has a not altogether dissimilar idea.
Have you got anything marine? Anything with a ship on it?
-Yeah, I've got some knots.
Oh, that's slightly better than most, isn't it?
-It'd be great on a pub wall in the Isle of Wight.
-It would be.
Isn't that fun? How much have you got on that, John?
Well, I did have £90 on it.
Do you think that could be coals to Newcastle, those knots?
It's always the risk.
-Hey, look at your wheel!
-That would have to be 75.
Aye, aye, shipmates. Has that got age, do you think?
No, it's not huge age. It's got quality, though. You can't go wrong.
you may have watched the programme. We frequently go wrong.
MIMICS A PIRATE: 'Arrgh!
'I don't have my spyglass, but it looks a bit repro, captain.'
50 quid, and I'll take it off your hands. Come on. Put it there.
-60 or we don't deal.
-50 quid. John...
-60. I tell you why.
-No, I've got to get a little profit on it.
-Give me a chance.
-I am giving you a chance.
-Throw the dog a bone, as they say.
-58, and that's a deal.
-Are you sure?
-Come on. OK.
Well, who'd have thought it?
-I'm happy with 58.
-There you are. I'm sure you'll do well with that.
Two very salty buys in landlocked Devizes.
Now, whither Raj and the shiny Caravelle?
He's heading west towards the town of Trowbridge
to find out about the Victorian inventor
of a revolutionary writing system.
-My name's Claire. Welcome to Trowbridge Museum.
Thank you so much. I'm really looking forward to this.
-Let me show you round.
Once dubbed the Manchester of the West,
the town has a long history of woollen cloth production,
and it was here, during the early 19th century,
that a certain Trowbridge lad called Isaac Pitman
began his working life aged 12.
He was a clerk, so he'd be writing up records.
His father, actually, was the manager
at James Edgell's Courts Mill, and that's how he got the job.
But his dad was very canny.
He thought learning was an important tool
and it was a way for Isaac to progress and develop.
So, he started work at six o'clock in the morning,
but he was up at four
doing two hours of study before he went to work.
Then, when he came back from work, finishing at six,
he was doing another two hours of study, so learning...
His thirst for learning and his thirst for knowledge
was unquenchable, really.
Pitman left the mill to train as a teacher,
and within a few short years, he was in charge of his old school.
His motto was "time saved is life gained",
and he was soon teaching his pupils shorthand.
-Well, it's a fantastic bust, Claire.
-It is amazing.
He's got an incredible profile. Almost Roman.
And, of course, you know, shorthand started off...
The Romans had their own version of shorthand,
and the Greeks had a version of shorthand, as well.
But what Isaac Pitman did was perfect and improve
on what was already out there.
He actually wanted to promote it in schools,
so he put together a guide, went to a publisher,
and the publisher said, "Well, actually,
"I think you could get more mileage out of this
"if you actually developed your own version of shorthand."
So, that's what Isaac Pitman did.
It was called Stenographic Sound Hand.
Published in 1837, Pitman's phonetic system,
which was the first to use the thickness of stroke,
quickly became a huge success.
It sounds so complicated to me.
Well, I've never perfected it, I have to be honest.
I've never learned how to do it, but a lot of people have,
and it was an amazing tool.
It gave people lots of freedom, lots of opportunities,
particularly women, to earn really good money.
Pitman's shorthand spread worldwide
and came to dominate the Victorian age,
partly thanks to its inventor's canny ability to promote it.
Pitman was very skilled at how to publicise his system.
He developed a reporter's guide. He advertised.
He saw the potential of marketing way before anyone else.
It was taught at Pitman colleges and schools.
Every school was teaching Pitman's shorthand.
It was on the curriculum.
And 100,000 people a year were learning shorthand
in the 19th century.
So, what are the chances of an expert teaching Raj
the rudiments of the language
that turned a former Trowbridge clerk
into a wealthy knight of the realm?
-Anne, lovely to meet you.
-And you, Raj.
I'd love to learn some shorthand. Where do I start?
Well, let's begin with a well-known phrase.
Good luck, Anne.
-You start on the line there with a dot for "the".
Above the line, you do a curve like an N.
And then a straight stroke from there...
-That is the word "antique".
-That is "antique"?
"Road" is an upward stroke off the line,
and then a heavy stroke downwards - a straight down stroke.
-And "trip" -
a straight stroke through the line with a little hook on it.
-This way here?
And then the dot goes...
-There's a dot, as well?
-A little dot.
-Not a big dot like that.
-Is that a big one?
-That's too big, yeah.
-That makes an E.
-Oh, my goodness.
-So, that would be "trep".
Maybe stick to the day job, eh?
and he takes our trip down east
towards the Berkshire town of Hungerford,
and with over £100 still in his pocket.
Time's tight, however, and this is a big centre.
I've come to the furthest reaches of this antiques arcade.
This is less likely to get the most traffic.
They'll have to lure people with cheaper prices.
Might work. Or you could always take some friendly advice from Rita.
-Everything's up for grabs, is it?
How am I going to find a treasure here?
-Don't forget the floor.
-Everything's covered, isn't it?
I don't think I'm going to find any rare jewels here,
but there's some fun things.
Look at that.
That's great, isn't it?
What a lovely old box.
This is the Arsenal Gate, Woolwich.
But not what he's looking for, apparently.
What else can Rita recommend?
It's rather nice, isn't it?
It would be lovely if it had Lalique's name on it, wouldn't it?
So, it's just a moulded glass dish. Not too much chipping.
This is quite a nice image, isn't it?
If you were a golfing person, that would be a rather fun thing.
-He's got a good swing.
-Or has he?
Look, he's bending the elbow.
I think, nowadays, you have to keep it straight. I don't know.
-What's he got? He's got something on it.
-What do you think it could be?
-He is the £5.50 man.
He is the £5.50 man.
Why do you call him £5.50?
-Because that's how he started off - at £5.50.
-Everything in this cupboard was £5.50.
-So, the ravages of inflation.
Could we turn the clock back, just before...?
-You know, five years ago? Do you think £5.50?
-Do you think so?
-I know so.
-I'll take that, Rita.
-Like that. Like that.
He sounds like a nice chap. What else has he got?
This was the thing I sort of wanted to have a quick look at, as well.
-What is it?
-It's a paperweight,
but it's nicely pegged and it's silver,
but it looks quite well made.
And it's TDLR.
TDLR is Thomas de la Rue and company,
and De La Rue were very famous for printing banknotes.
The ticket price is an ever-so-slightly pricier £15.50.
-Do you think he might do £5.50?
-I'm sure he will.
Rita, put it there. Thank you very much indeed.
James has held firmly onto the purse strings, with help.
So much for so little. Thank you very much indeed.
-You're very welcome.
-And good luck.
But with our shopping now complete, we'll take a peek.
James parted with £99 for a wicker rhino,
a magazine rack, a ship's wheel,
a glass dish and a paperweight,
while Raj spent £151.50 on a Celtic brooch,
several prints, some dining chairs,
a champagne bucket and a canvas anchor, as you do.
So, let's canvass some opinions.
He told me he was going to buy on price,
and, boy, has he bought on price.
Six chairs for £75.
He's got the Spy prints - no money.
The magazine rack-cum-occasional table -
They gave it to him. Well done, James.
Would I swap with Raj?
Well, definitely, I'd swap that the ship's wheel.
What was I thinking of?
Whether that wheel has ever seen a ship is very unlikely.
Well, it has now, at least...
..because, after setting off from Bath in Somerset,
our shipmates will shortly be arriving
at their first auction in Brading on the Isle of Wight.
It's actually the second smallest county in Britain after Rutland.
-Golly, you're a mine of information.
Yeah, good work, Raj.
Now it's lunchtime and James especially never misses.
Raj seems a bit distracted, though.
-What it needs is a bit of mustard there.
-I think there's some mustard behind you.
What's he up to?
Well, it is an old one. I wasn't sure.
I could see it when I was sitting down,
but this is an old petrol can,
and motor memorabilia is really, really collectable.
I'm not sure the decorations are actually for sale here.
I mean, it's not worth a fortune, but if I can get it for...
..five to ten quid, it's going to make a profit.
Where's he gone? Oh, well.
-What's your offer?
-You'll take it?
-Let's shake hands.
Thank you very much, Liam.
Too late for this auction, I'm afraid. Best pop it in the boot.
-Where did you disappear to?
-Sorry about that, James.
I think you'll find out in due course, James.
OK, fed and watered and shopped,
I wonder what auctioneer Rex Gully thinks will do all WIGHT!
The canvas anchor, or sea drogue, I think you call it,
was designed to slow ships down
rather than just anchor them to the spot.
Will get a bit of interest.
The wicker rhino - a very quirky item.
We valued it at 40 to 60.
It will appeal to the interior design people on the island here.
And those green eyes really get you.
The set of Edwardian dining chairs,
we have valued these chairs at £200-£300.
That really would be quite something, fellas.
-Ah! This bodes well.
We're starting off with Raj's bargain cartoons.
Somebody start me at £40, please.
£40. I've got 40. And 45 now.
I've got 40 here. 45 anywhere?
-I think that's enough, sir.
-Is that all done?
-No, surely not.
-I've got 40 in the room. Looking at the internet for 45.
Are you all done?
Oh, dear, oh, dear. £40!
Perhaps current celebrities would have done a bit better. Never mind!
There's another one of his snips up next.
-I've been told that people on the Isle of Wight...
-You're pushing me.
..have champagne tastes.
-Who told you that?
Buck's Fizz. Or should that be bucket and fizz?
-This is what we all need.
-Yes! Don't forget the bottle.
-He's got a full bottle in there.
-Show them the bottle.
Yeah, it's got a full bottle in there.
Hold it up, but don't show the label.
-10 quid somewhere, please?
Yes, I've got 10. I've got 15. And 20. It's good stuff. 20?
-That's a yes. 20. 25. 20, I've got.
-I've got £20. 25 anywhere? £20.
-I think that's enough, sir.
-About to sell to you, sir.
That's OK. I'm pleased with that, yeah.
So, we now know they're fond of bubbly here.
But how will those nautical buys go down?
-I've got the ship's wheel.
Let's hope it steers in the right direction.
And you got the slowing down canvas anchor.
-Yeah, let's hope it doesn't slow down too much.
James goes first - his pricey ship's wheel.
Reproduction, hardwood, eight-spoke ship's wheel.
He said reproduction. Oh!
-Yeah, you're away.
£20 on the phone. 25.
-Bid against the phone.
-Do I hear 25? It's going at 20 to the telephone.
-To a telephone bidder at 20.
-And the internet?
Sunk with all hands!
Something else from the chandlery.
Do you know, funny enough, Raj, I've walked into a room
and I've often thought, "What this room needs is a canvas anchor."
-I knew you'd get there in the end.
-To go with the wheel, we have a vintage...
-I don't want to go near the wheel!
-Start me at £20. Yes! There we are.
Don't sound surprised, Mr Auctioneer.
20, I've got. 25 anywhere?
£20, I've got. Do I hear 25?
-I'd put it down.
-Are you all done at 20?
-At 20, it's sold. Thank you, madam.
It looks very deflated all of a sudden.
It's like taking coals to Newcastle. It doesn't work, does it?
I'm not going to listen to you in future.
No, I would not listen to me at all.
This should cheer you up, James - that nice, cheap paperweight.
Do you know what? I think I paid too much for this item.
Don't you start, OK? £5.50?
Yeah, I should have stopped at the five, shouldn't I?
Richard Dickson's now in charge.
Someone start at 20?
-£20, I have there. Five somewhere?
£20, maiden bid. 25.
And 30. And five.
At 30. Are you going to let it go at 30?
Against you there. At £30 on my right.
Make no mistake, I'm selling it.
-At £30, all done?
Not bad at all. Not bad at all.
No. Almost six times what he paid for it.
I used to have this reputation, James,
of buying everything at a fiver, but now you've taken over that role.
Cue Raj's canny Celtic brooch. Not expensive.
Someone start me at 20, please.
-20, will you bid me for it?
15, I'll take, if it helps.
15, I have. 20, do I hear now?
20, can I say for you? 20, I have there. And five.
-It's a small profit.
-Five anywhere? 25, I have. And 30, do you say?
-30, do you bid?
-Go on. Go on.
-At 25, it's on the slope.
25 on the slope and selling.
-Are you all done?
-A little profit.
-That's all right.
-That's all right.
-That's a little profit.
A few more of those and you'll be in clover.
-It's the right way.
-Could have been a little loss.
Could have been a big loss, to be honest, James.
Well, you can't get a big loss on £14, can you?
And how about £5.50, James? Your golfer.
-This is a golfing island.
-Lots of golfers here, as if you didn't know.
So, this is going to go quite well, isn't it?
Under the hammer of Rebecca Ball.
And let's see about £20 to start it, please.
20, I have. Thank you.
I'm looking for 25 now. At £20.
It's beside me at 20, and do I hear 25?
-At £20, then.
-That's a good profit.
Any advance? We all done?
-In the rough. In the rough, Raj.
-Well, I wouldn't say that.
I wouldn't say "in the rough", OK? The light rough, maybe.
HE SCOFFS On the green, I'd say.
You quadrupled your money. What more do you want?
For this to be on trend on the Isle of Wight?
Well, useful, anyway.
I can see it now in somebody's bungalow
by the side of the TV with all the magazines on it.
-Isle Of Wight Living.
-Yeah, you've got it.
Let's say about £30 for it, shall we, please?
£30. 30, I've got. £30. It's on the left at 30.
I'm looking for 35 now.
At £30, then, are you all done? We're in the room.
-At 30, I'm selling.
More great profits.
Those maritime flops are a distant memory.
So, I turned £15, doubled my money, hence 30.
And even though it was a fairly modern piece,
-it still did well.
-It was not modern!
Now, if Raj's chairs even get close to the estimate,
the words "sitting" and "pretty" might well team up.
-I've got spare hankies. I've got tissues.
I've even got an ambulance
-waiting outside ready.
Let's start about 150, please.
100 is mean, but I will take it.
I've got 100. Looking for 110 now. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160.
At 150, it's the gentleman's bid.
Do I hear 160 now?
-At £150 now. We are in the room at 150.
-Put it down.
-Do I hear 160?
-Put it down, madam.
-£150, are you all done?
-That's plenty. Plenty.
-Well, that's OK.
-Still could have done a bit better.
Hey, don't be too greedy, Raj.
Ooh, last lot.
-Well, everybody loves a rhino.
-You think so?
It's lovely. I like the marble eyes. I thought that was a nice touch.
-Why rest your tray anywhere else?
-It's definitely missing a horn.
Let's say £25 for him, please, shall we?
25, I have. 30, you in? 35.
-And 40. At 35, it's on the slope. Do I hear 40 now?
At £35, gentleman's bid. 40, I have.
-45. And 50. 55. And 60.
At £55, then. We're in the room at 55.
-Are you all done now at £55?
-You were absolutely right, James.
If it's ugly enough, somebody will buy it.
That might well be their motto.
-Cup of tea?
James began with £200, and after paying auction costs,
he made a profit of £28.10,
leaving him with £228.10...
..while Raj, who also started out with 200,
made a slightly bigger profit, after costs, of £57.60.
So, he's the early leader with £257.60.
-Raj, for goodness' sake, stop smiling.
-I can't help it.
-I'm always smiling.
-We've got some money, the sun is shining.
-We haven't seen the island yet.
-No, I think we've got to see it.
-So, let's see what it's got to offer.
Well, happy trails, eh?
We haven't been here for a long time,
and it is a lovely spot.
Maybe just steer clear of nauticalia.
You see, I come from a sort of maritime family,
-so saltwater brine is in my veins.
Well, maybe not.
Next on Antiques Road Trip...
-I've got to get ahead, mate.
-That's not cricket.
..Raj has a Ted talk...
You're not going to say no to me, are you, though, Val?
..and James sees the rocket man.
Has anybody told you you look quite similar to Elton John?
The West Country beckons for James Braxton and Raj Bisram. Kicking off in Jane Austen's Bath, they motor through Bristol and Hungerford before boarding the Isle of Wight ferry.
Both experts believe an island auction will attract bidders looking for nautical fare - but will a ship's wheel and a canvas anchor leave Raj and James all at sea?