Episode 20 Antiques Road Trip


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Episode 20

Antiques experts travel across the country, competing to make a profit at auction. James Braxton and Raj Bisram head from Cheshire to their final auction in Somerset.


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The nation's favourite antiques experts with £200 each...

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I want something shiny.

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..A classic car... CAR HORN TOOTS

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..and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.

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-I like a rummage.

-I can't resist.

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The aim, to make the biggest profit at auction. But it's no mean feat.

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-Why do I always do this to myself?

-They'll be worthy winners...

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-Give us a kiss.

-..and valiant losers.

-Come on, stick him up.

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-So, will it be the high road to glory...

-Onwards and upwards.

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..or the slow road to disaster?

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-Take me home!

-This is Antiques Road Trip.

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Yeah!

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On this final leg of the trip,

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we're in the lovely northwest of England...

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..with two gros fromages of antiques trading,

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Raj Bisram and James Braxton.

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-We are in this lovely county of Cheshire.

-Cheshire cheese.

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Cheshire cheese.

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Football bling!

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So far, the trip has been a titanic battle for the upper hand.

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# If you like to gamble I'll tell you I'm your man

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# You win some, lose some

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# It's all the same to me. #

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James won the second and third legs...

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-£20.

-Oh, my goodness.

-Another.

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But Raj played an ace at their last auction to emerge just

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a hair in front.

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-# The ace of spades... #

-Wiped your smile off your face.

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It's a bit like a relay, isn't it?

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You know, you always keep your best man for the end. The final leg.

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The final leg.

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We are now nearing the finish line, but right back at the start

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of this relay race, our experts begin with £200.

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James has now increased his cash pot to hold...

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While Raj has...

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So, there is less than £8 in it as they face this final tussle.

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-It's fantastic.

-It is.

-It's great that it's that close.

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This neck-and-neck battle has really covered some territory.

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Behind the wheel of a 1968 Renault Caravelle,

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this pair started off in Bath,

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they've since roved widely

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around the pastoral English

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countryside on an epic traverse

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of several hundred miles.

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Today, they will begin in the Cheshire village of Sandiway

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and fight their very last auction

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in Binegar, Somerset.

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Don't forget - spend, spend, spend.

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THEY LAUGH

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Sandiway is a pretty little place for Raj to start

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his buying. He is striding with confidence into his first shop.

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Gosh!

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-Hello there.

-Hello.

-I'm Raj.

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Welcome to Peggotty's Attic.

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Duly welcomed, Raj is on the hunt.

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This is an antiques centre with multiple dealings trading.

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And in this particular corner...

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-Hi, Raj. I'm David.

-Hi, David. Hi. This is your stand?

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-It is, indeed.

-You've got some really nice things, I have to say.

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-Thank you very much.

-I quite like these.

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These are quite nice, you know?

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They are a little bit unusual.

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It's a pair of cast-iron posts, originally used for tethering horses

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and probably dating from the mid-19th century.

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-The provenance on them is that I live in Llandudno, North Wales.

-OK.

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And I bought them from some Irish Travellers who do the fairs.

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They are certainly unusual.

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But David's price tag is £495.

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That's...er...more money than Raj has in his pocket.

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-Is there any way that we might be able to start negotiating?

-There is.

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I do like them, they are a bit different.

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But again, I've only got an X amount of budget. What about £150?

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-I couldn't do them 150.

-160?

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175, you got a deal.

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175.

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How about we shake hands on 170?

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-OK.

-You sure?

-Yeah.

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We have a deal.

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Crikey Moses.

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That's a very generous deal from David and

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a bold first buy from Raj.

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He's certainly off on the gallop.

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-I'm going to shake your hand again.

-OK.

-Thank you.

-And good luck.

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But he is not finished yet.

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Fantastic, aren't they? Fantastic old crutches.

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I love them.

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And they are free. There's no price on them.

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I doubt they are free, Raj.

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But they are probably late Victorian or Edwardian.

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The dealer Mike might be able to help.

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Mike, I know these aren't the normal thing that I would buy,

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but they are very, very different.

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Well, this means that we'll have to contact the dealer.

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-We'll have to ring him up, see what the best price is.

-OK.

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Mike will make inquiries while Raj browses on.

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Meanwhile James has travelled to the town of Northwich.

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And he's strolling into

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Northwich Auction Antiques & Collectables.

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-Hello, James.

-Morning, I'm Lynn.

-Hello, Lynn. Good to see you.

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-Lots of antique dealers here?

-Lots of dealers.

-Yeah.

-Lots of cabinets.

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He'll need a map to get around this maze of a place.

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Right, upstairs. I think my...

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..my future...

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Whatever...he says.

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James does seem to be a little discombobulated this morning.

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Ah, blessed is the copper. And, of course, I can kiss it.

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You can almost lick it, really, because, of course,

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copper is antibacterial.

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There's no need to lick the stock, thanks.

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Teddy, but elevate him onto a box...

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..and look, you've got quite a...

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You've elevated him.

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Not only physically, but also commercially.

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Yes.

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He's preoccupied with higher thoughts today.

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I think.

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You know, what is art?

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Perhaps while you ponder that, you might find something to buy.

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Naughty.

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But while James is all of a dither,

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back in Sandiway, Raj is still on a buying streak.

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I've seen something that...

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every antique dealer, every home should have one.

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It's a little magnifying glass, but it looks like it's got a silver handle.

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I'm just going to get it out....of the cabinet.

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You do that.

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It's Sheffield, it's dated 1912, so it's got a bit of age to it.

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It's over 100 years old. And...

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..it's not in bad condition at all.

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But, to be honest, I'm going to make a one-time offer on this.

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It says £22 on the ticket and I'm going to be a bit cheeky

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and offer a fiver for it.

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That would be cheeky, but it's worth a punt.

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Mike will go and ask the vendor who owns it.

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I'll see whether they'll accept a fiver. OK?

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Fingers crossed, eh, Raj?

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-Oh, stand lively.

-Well, Raj, I've got some good news for you.

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-Good.

-A fiver.

-Fantastic. I'll shake your hand.

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-Thank the dealer very much, indeed.

-I will.

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Another buy under his belt and now Mike also

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has the vendor of the crutches on the blower.

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Can the bold, bartering Bisram repeat the trick?

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We'll see what happens. Watch and learn, as they say.

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You are confident.

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Hello, Andy.

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Yeah, I'm good, thank you.

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I know this is going to be a bit cheeky, but, you know,

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these crutches, how about if I said to you -

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would you take £20 in cash?

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You sure?

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OK, fantastic. We have a deal then, at £20.

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OK. You're a nice man, I'm going to hand you back to Mike.

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Thanks again.

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Success yet again, eh?

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-Yes!

-OK, Andy.

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Lucky Raj is three lots to the good already,

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thanks to his optimistic offers.

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Well, you don't ask, you don't get. It's always worth trying.

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You know, they can only say no.

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-It seems to be a winning philosophy.

-Thank you very much indeed, Mike.

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-All the best.

-All the best. Thank you.

-Cheerio.

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Back in Northwich, James is still in his first shop and

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he has some catching up to do.

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Huh, what's this?

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Now, this is a... This is a book I always, always wanted.

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A lady who brought colour into pottery, Clarice Cliff,

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a very famous name in the antiques world, in the pottery world.

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Cliff's ceramics really shook up design of the inter-war

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period and this book details them all.

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And look at these jugs. Look at the colour.

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You know, up until then, everything was a bit beigey,

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and then this great sort of jazz age.

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James is quite a fan, you know.

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It's got £6 on it.

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But this is worth so much to an auctioneer,

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or anybody interested in ceramics.

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I'm going to buy this.

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But it's all about price. The cheaper I can get it, the better.

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Then it's time for a word with the lovely Lynn.

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-Lynn, I have found something.

-What have you found?

-A book. A book.

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-Not my normal purchase.

-Clarice?

-Clarice.

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But with £6 on the ticket, what sort of a deal with Lynn strike?

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# So let me get right to the point... #

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-Lynn, if I said to you, £2.50, what would you say?

-I'd say £3.

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-You'd say £3. OK. I will buy it at £3, Lynn.

-Fine.

-Very kind.

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-Thank you very much indeed. £3.

-£3!

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-I never thought it would be a sort of...

-Absolute bargain!

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-I've only got two! Come on.

-Oh!

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Don't worry, Lynn. I will rustle up another pound for you.

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# Hey, big spender... #

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That last of the big spenders, James,

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has his book on a jazz age marvel and he's trotting off.

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-Thank you.

-You're welcome.

-Goodbye.

-Bye.

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Now, Raj has travelled on to the Cheshire town of Crewe.

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He's taking a break from shopping to pay

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a quick look at the local Bentley Motors factory,

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where he's going to learn about some pioneering petrol heads of

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the 1920s. He's meeting Bentley's Nigel Lofkin.

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-Hello, Raj.

-Hello. Nigel, is it?

-Yes, it is. Welcome to Bentley.

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Thank you. What a pleasure it is to be here.

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Founded in 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley, the company reigned

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supreme in the new and exciting motorsports of the jazz age.

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This photograph here, this is very significant,

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taken on the 15th of May, 1921.

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Why it's significant is because it's the first Bentley to win a race.

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The first Bentley to win a race.

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At the Brooklands race track, in Weybridge in Surrey.

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The man behind the wheel is Frank Clement,

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one of the famous Bentley Boys.

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The Boys were a glamorous motor racing team,

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largely composed of wealthy thrill seekers.

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They raced cars made by the fledgling motor company and

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brought Bentley worldwide fame.

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Their stunning race victories and rakish playboy antics were

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widely covered in the press and enjoyed by a British public

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happy for distraction after the hard years of the First World War.

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Yes, they were a select group of individuals and they were the

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playboys of the day.

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It was in 1923 at the very first Le Mans 24-hour endurance race

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in France that the Boys came into their own,

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led by racers Frank Clement and John Duff.

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Frank Clement and John Duff went to Le Mans in

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a Werks-Bentley and through a rutted course and hailstone and

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-breakdowns, they finished fourth.

-Fourth.

-They finished fourth.

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-In 1924, the Bentley Boys returned and won.

-Wow!

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This historic victory began a winning streak for the team

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-with their iconic cars.

-Wow! Look at this lot!

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Yeah, fantastic. Here we have some of the most famous Bentleys in the world in this

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-room here today. And here you have the oldest surviving Bentley, Experimental Number Two.

-Fantastic!

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Wow!

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Very famous motorcar.

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Priceless.

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A very precious vehicle indeed.

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But driving conditions in the early days of motorsport were tough.

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-And I guess, well, it's an open top, so...

-Open top, that's right.

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-So it was raining...

-Yes, you got wet.

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-You got wet.

-With your leather helmet and your goggles on.

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Yeah, that's what you did.

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-Look at the windscreens.

-Yes, the little windscreens on there, yes.

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Such is the importance of the Bentley Boys to the story of

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British motorsport, the company maintains a room,

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decorated in glittering '20s style,

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that's stuffed full of keepsakes that celebrate their achievements.

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We call this room the Living Room, so it's full of all

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memorabilia about the famous glory days of the Bentley Boys.

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And much of it pertains to perhaps the most famous

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Bentley Boy, Woolf Barnato, the fabulously wealthy heir to

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a diamond fortune and the quintessential 1920s playboy.

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He was the most successful Bentley Le Mans driver, so his first attempt

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was 1927 and after his victory, he drove the winning car into the Savoy

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Hotel and the car was the guest of honour, it was old Number Seven.

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He dined round the car.

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That's an amazing thing, to take a Bentley into the Savoy, you know.

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-Yeah.

-Well, these guys were wealthy, had influence, and they

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-could almost do anything they wanted.

-They could and they did.

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But Barnato was more than just a party animal.

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He was a cricketer, he was a footballer, he was a boxer,

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so he was an all-round sportsman, so a man of many talents.

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It was again at Le Mans that Barnato made his mark.

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He won in '27, '28, and '29.

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That three year consecutive run has never been broken.

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-Never been broken?

-Never been broken.

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An incredible achievement. Nigel's got one more treat for Raj.

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My goodness! Wow!

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Wow!

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-Hi, I'm Raj.

-Keith.

-Lovely to meet you, Keith.

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This is the original 1929 Bentley Blower team car.

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What a privilege to be taken for

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a ride in this truly priceless machine.

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Wow! This is something else! This really is exhilarating.

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What a lovely experience!

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Oh, boy! Would I love to use this for a road trip.

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I doubt they'd let you borrow it, Raj, but you can always ask!

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James, meanwhile, has travelled on to the town of Middlewich,

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where his next shop beckons.

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Oh, my goodness! You know, how many shopping days until Christmas?

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Always too few, James. Always too few.

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Let's hope you have a very merry time though in here.

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-Hello. James.

-Hi. Richard.

-Richard, very good to see you.

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Hello, Richard! But with pleasantries barely concluded...

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-That's interesting. What's that?

-It's a travel chess set.

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Travel chess set, and what are the chess pieces? What are they made of?

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-They're die-cast.

-Oh, they're die-cast, like say Dinky toys.

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The little metal chess pieces lend this vintage set a touch of quality.

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Isn't that fun? I bet that's travelled around a bit.

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-It's showing the rigours of use.

-It's had some use, yes.

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-That could be a possibility. I rather like that.

-Yeah.

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He'll set that aside and search on.

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Oh, you've got a bit of Chinese... Chinese... What's happening here?

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Oh, dear.

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That's suffered more than the rigours of use, that one, hasn't it?

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-Been in the wars.

-That has been in the wars!

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This Cantonese punch bowl was broken long ago,

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but repaired in the Victorian period.

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They just drilled little holes and then they put these sort of lead...

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Lead or brass studs and just stapled... Well, staples, really.

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They just stapled it together.

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-That is really...

-HE CHUCKLES

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Despite the damage, James is keen.

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What have you got on that?

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-£30.

-Is that cheap? £30?

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£30. Any leverage on that?

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I'll always listen to an offer.

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You'll always listen to an offer, will you?

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Well, I don't want to be mean. What about 20?

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Yeah, that's fine. Yeah.

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Put it there, Richard. Let's buy that.

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After a slow start this morning,

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James is really upping his game with a foray into Chinese ceramics.

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I'm betting that somebody might buy that,

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repatriate it to China and get it restored properly.

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I tell you what, if Raj is keen to win, I am keener to beat him, OK?

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As I walked in, I noticed this.

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This watering can.

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What I loved about it is that is an

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elephant's trunk spout, isn't it?

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Isn't that fun?

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What on earth is that?

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What is it?

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It's what we used to fill the baths with back in the Georgian times.

0:18:180:18:21

Really? So, why is it that early, do you think?

0:18:210:18:25

-It's marked underneath.

-It's marked underneath? So it's got GR on it.

0:18:250:18:30

The GR mark shows that this was made during the reign of one of

0:18:320:18:35

our six kings named George and might even date back to the

0:18:350:18:39

early 19th century Regency period.

0:18:390:18:42

That is a beautiful object, isn't it? It's rather fun.

0:18:420:18:46

But James still has his sights on that little chess set too,

0:18:460:18:50

which Richard has ticketed at £5.

0:18:500:18:53

I'm very happy to pay a fiver for that. But what could this be?

0:18:540:18:59

-Call it 40 for the both of them then.

-Put your hand there, Richard.

0:18:590:19:03

Very kind. Thank you.

0:19:030:19:04

Checkmate!

0:19:040:19:05

With a spirited rally to end the day, James has the chess set

0:19:050:19:10

for £5, the bath can for £35, as well as the Chinese bowl for £20.

0:19:100:19:15

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:19:150:19:16

-Thanks a lot, Richard.

-Thank you.

-Bye.

-Bye now.

0:19:160:19:19

And so the curtain falls on our first day. Nighty-night!

0:19:190:19:23

But the morning sun finds them back on the road and heading to

0:19:270:19:31

Birmingham, that storied centre of trade at industry.

0:19:310:19:34

This was the workshop of the empire, you know.

0:19:340:19:37

They said, even a fool can be a rich man when he left Birmingham.

0:19:370:19:41

Really? We should have moved here ages ago, James!

0:19:410:19:44

THEY LAUGH

0:19:440:19:46

Ha-ha, perhaps you should!

0:19:460:19:48

So far, Raj has three lots. The cast iron horse posts,

0:19:480:19:52

the pair of crutches, and the magnifying glass.

0:19:530:19:56

He still has £255.26 in his pocket.

0:19:560:19:59

While James has amassed four lots. The book on Clarice Cliff,

0:20:020:20:06

the little travel chess set, the repaired Chinese bowl,

0:20:060:20:10

and the Regency bath can. He still has £379.40 left to play with.

0:20:100:20:16

Four items, four cracking items, £63.

0:20:190:20:23

-That's all you've spent?

-Yes.

-James, that's terrible!

-Why is it terrible?

0:20:230:20:28

With all that money to spend!

0:20:280:20:31

Four items, £63?!

0:20:310:20:32

How can canniness and self restraint be regarded as...?

0:20:320:20:37

Playing it safe, I'd call it.

0:20:370:20:40

I would. I'd call it playing safe!

0:20:400:20:42

Raj has thrown down the gauntlet for some serious spending on

0:20:440:20:47

their last day of shopping.

0:20:470:20:49

This morning, they're aiming for the Birmingham suburb of Moseley,

0:20:490:20:53

where Raj's first shop awaits.

0:20:530:20:56

-Now, don't forget what I said, James. Spend your money.

-Good luck.

0:20:560:21:00

He's striding into Moseley Emporium and meeting dealer Maurice.

0:21:000:21:04

Hello there.

0:21:040:21:06

-Oh, hello, Raj. How are you?

-I'm good.

0:21:060:21:08

With his slim lead over James ever in mind,

0:21:080:21:11

Raj will scout for a real bargain.

0:21:110:21:14

I've spotted a chair over here. Now, this is a really early chair.

0:21:160:21:22

The oak side chair might date from as far back as the

0:21:240:21:27

late 17th century.

0:21:270:21:29

But it's had lots of replacements. If we turn it upside down,

0:21:290:21:35

you can see that some of the stretchers have been replaced.

0:21:380:21:42

But it's a very, very attractive chair.

0:21:420:21:45

CLUNK

0:21:450:21:47

Careful! Oh, Lord! It'll need even more repairs. Let's call Maurice.

0:21:470:21:50

Maurice?

0:21:500:21:53

-What are we after?

-Well, I'd like to ask you about this chair first of all.

0:21:530:21:57

-OK.

-OK?

-OK.

-I mean, it's had lots...

0:21:570:21:59

Yes, it's been messed with over the years.

0:21:590:22:02

Ticket price is £85, but what's the best, Maurice?

0:22:020:22:05

Tell you the lowest I'll go on that would be 35.

0:22:070:22:11

That's what...

0:22:110:22:13

I'm being truthful with you, it has been a while, 35's not dear.

0:22:130:22:18

-30 quid.

-I tell you what, how about split the difference then?

0:22:180:22:21

-You said 30, what about 25?

-It's got to be 30.

0:22:210:22:24

Every penny counts. I tell you what, let's split it again. £27.50.

0:22:250:22:30

-Are we going to shake hands on that?

-Yes, we are. You're a good man.

0:22:300:22:34

-You're a better barterer than me.

-He is good, isn't he?

0:22:340:22:39

A great deal from Maurice gives Raj

0:22:390:22:41

another chance to unseat his opponent.

0:22:410:22:43

Lovely!

0:22:430:22:45

Speaking of whom...

0:22:450:22:47

James has travelled on to central Birmingham's jewellery quarter,

0:22:490:22:53

where he's keen to visit the spiritual home of many of his

0:22:530:22:57

favourite antiques, the Assay Office, Birmingham.

0:22:570:23:00

He's meeting archivist Craig O'Donnell.

0:23:000:23:03

-Hello, Craig.

-Hello, James.

-Hello.

-Good to meet you.

-Good to meet you.

0:23:040:23:08

An assay office is responsible for assessing and hallmarking

0:23:110:23:15

objects made of precious metal, like gold and silver.

0:23:150:23:19

James is here to learn the fascinating story of how this office

0:23:190:23:22

contributed to a metalworking boom that made Birmingham the

0:23:220:23:26

workshop of the world.

0:23:260:23:28

Craig, what is this little sample here?

0:23:290:23:32

-This is a sample of Birmingham-made, what we call, toys.

-Toys.

0:23:320:23:37

-Not playthings.

-Yeah.

-But small metal objects for personal use.

0:23:370:23:41

Originally, the Birmingham manufacturers were making

0:23:410:23:45

-their toys in base metal.

-OK.

0:23:450:23:47

In the mid 18th century, it was a massive industry,

0:23:470:23:50

to the point in that just in terms of exports,

0:23:500:23:54

it was worth over half a million pound to the Exchequer.

0:23:540:23:57

Which is more than £42 million in today's money.

0:23:570:24:01

It's an interesting point with the base metal toy manufacturers,

0:24:010:24:07

that's where we actually get the term Brummie from because the

0:24:070:24:12

all-encompassing terms for base metal toys of the time was

0:24:120:24:16

called Brummagem ware.

0:24:160:24:18

Brummagem ware.

0:24:180:24:20

-And it was a bit of a disparaging term.

-OK.

0:24:200:24:23

-And it meant sort of shoddily made metal items.

-Like bodging, yeah.

0:24:230:24:28

-Yeah.

-And Brummagem was then sort of shortened to Brummies.

0:24:280:24:33

And one Brummie in particular was responsible for giving

0:24:340:24:38

Birmingham its own assay office.

0:24:380:24:40

Largely, it was due to Matthew Boulton.

0:24:410:24:44

He was a massive industrialist of the time.

0:24:440:24:48

A giant figure in the Industrial Revolution, Boulton owned

0:24:480:24:52

a factory near Birmingham which produced metal toys.

0:24:520:24:56

At its height, it employed 220 people. At that time, that was huge.

0:24:570:25:03

He was making silver and had to send it up to Chester to be hallmarked.

0:25:030:25:08

Now, that's 80 miles with the road conditions of the time and

0:25:080:25:13

-things like that...

-In winter, impassable.

0:25:130:25:15

Also, it was just a case of he was worried that his designs were

0:25:150:25:20

going to be stolen, due to the fact that the main thing you could

0:25:200:25:23

sell your silver on back then was the actual quality of the design.

0:25:230:25:27

I see.

0:25:270:25:28

As well as industrial espionage, Boulton also faced the risk

0:25:280:25:32

that his shipments of silver would be stolen en route by highwaymen.

0:25:320:25:37

Naturally, he was keen to have an assay service closer to home.

0:25:370:25:41

How do you go about setting up an assay office?

0:25:410:25:44

-Did he go down to London?

-He had to petition parliament.

0:25:440:25:48

At the same time as Birmingham wanted an assay office,

0:25:480:25:50

Sheffield also wanted an assay office.

0:25:500:25:53

So, representatives of both Sheffield and Birmingham met

0:25:530:25:56

in the Crown and Anchor pub in the Strand, in London.

0:25:560:25:59

Every assay office has a unique symbol,

0:25:590:26:02

which is stamped on to every item it authenticates.

0:26:020:26:05

This historic meeting in the Crown and Anchor pub gave

0:26:050:26:08

Sheffield and Birmingham theirs.

0:26:080:26:11

And so we ended up with the anchor and they ended up with the crown.

0:26:110:26:15

-How interesting!

-All down to the pub.

0:26:150:26:18

The anchor is still the assay symbol for Birmingham today, but

0:26:180:26:22

back in the 1700s, the new office was a boon to local businesses.

0:26:220:26:26

What did it do for all the manufacturers then?

0:26:260:26:29

Did it change their fortunes in Birmingham?

0:26:290:26:31

A lot of them went from making Brummagem,

0:26:310:26:34

suddenly because of the convenience, they could move over to

0:26:340:26:37

making things in precious metals, at that time, silver.

0:26:370:26:41

Birmingham soon became a world leader in producing jewellery

0:26:410:26:45

and metal work and today,

0:26:450:26:46

the office is still serving the city's busy precious metals trade.

0:26:460:26:51

One of the Assay Office's head honchos, Marion,

0:26:510:26:54

can bring James bang up-to-date with a tour.

0:26:540:26:57

Nowadays, sophisticated tools are used to test items,

0:26:570:27:00

but some objects are still hallmarked by hand,

0:27:000:27:04

as here, by specialist Fay.

0:27:040:27:07

-Silver ashtray here.

-OK.

0:27:070:27:09

And I'm going to put the customer's sponsor's mark on them.

0:27:090:27:13

And then put the 925, which is the sterling silver,

0:27:130:27:15

and then the anchor for Birmingham.

0:27:150:27:19

This is the sponsor's mark.

0:27:190:27:22

-OK, are you going to let me have a go?

-Not on this.

0:27:220:27:26

LAUGHTER

0:27:260:27:28

Not if it's a customer's product, sorry!

0:27:280:27:30

I should think not!

0:27:300:27:32

You can practise on a piece of spare aluminium, James.

0:27:320:27:35

-Hm.

-Oh, dear.

0:27:380:27:40

Oh, dear. Failed.

0:27:400:27:42

You've got to get it square, haven't you?

0:27:420:27:45

-Oh.

-Not bad.

0:27:480:27:49

Not... Not bad!

0:27:490:27:51

Really fascinating, really interesting.

0:27:510:27:54

And I can see hallmarking is probably not the avenue for me.

0:27:540:27:57

I'll leave it to you, Fay.

0:27:570:27:59

Probably wise, James.

0:27:590:28:01

And time to hit the road.

0:28:010:28:02

Meanwhile, Raj has scooted on to the town of Warwick, where this

0:28:060:28:10

sunny afternoon finds him strolling off into Warwick Antique Centre.

0:28:100:28:14

-Hello there.

-Oh, hello.

-Hi, I'm Raj.

-Oh, I'm Colin Waite.

0:28:170:28:21

Nice to meet you.

0:28:210:28:22

Raj is running out of chances to bag a killer item,

0:28:240:28:26

so he'll need to look sharp.

0:28:260:28:28

I think this shop is fantastic.

0:28:340:28:36

I mean, there's some really, really great things in here.

0:28:360:28:39

I think I've got to be a little bit careful cos I know what James

0:28:390:28:42

-is up to. I know what he's up to.

-Pish-posh.

0:28:420:28:45

James is a teddy bear,

0:28:450:28:46

but he'll certainly be trying to out-buy you too.

0:28:460:28:50

But what's this?

0:28:500:28:52

Chinese, as we know, is very, very in at the moment.

0:28:520:28:55

On the bottom shelf there,

0:28:550:28:57

it says it's an 18th to 19th century incense burner.

0:28:570:29:00

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

0:29:000:29:03

Well, what's drawn me to it is the price.

0:29:030:29:06

I mean, there's only £10 on the ticket.

0:29:060:29:09

The thing is that they reproduce these things all the time at

0:29:090:29:13

the moment and I have seen these reproduction ones.

0:29:130:29:16

I actually, to be honest, I think this is an old one.

0:29:160:29:19

I think this is a 19th century.

0:29:190:29:20

I don't think it's 18th, I think it's a 19th century one, but the

0:29:200:29:24

problem is, will other people stay away from it because they

0:29:240:29:27

think it's a 20th century one, or won't they?

0:29:270:29:29

It's a risky one, but it's a risk I'm prepared to take.

0:29:310:29:35

Well, with that spirit in mind,

0:29:350:29:37

it's time to call the vendor who owns it for a little chat.

0:29:370:29:40

Thank you. Hello, Don. You've got some lovely things in

0:29:430:29:46

your cabinet, first of all, Don, I have to say.

0:29:460:29:48

But I noticed the incense burner.

0:29:480:29:52

With only £10 on the ticket, what deal can they strike?

0:29:520:29:56

I'll give you seven for it. I think it's a risk.

0:29:560:29:59

Because it may not be an old one.

0:29:590:30:01

£7?

0:30:010:30:03

Fantastic. OK, we have a deal then.

0:30:030:30:05

Another great deal.

0:30:060:30:08

Raj just needs his change and he'll be trotting off.

0:30:080:30:12

But just as he's leaving the shop, look who's here!

0:30:120:30:16

Jack Nicholson's lookalike!

0:30:160:30:18

James! James, what are you doing here?

0:30:180:30:21

-What have you got there?

-I wasn't expecting you so soon.

0:30:210:30:24

You're going to have to wait and see!

0:30:240:30:26

You're going to have to wait and see.

0:30:260:30:27

-It looked blue and white, it looked Oriental.

-You're not allowed to look at it.

0:30:270:30:31

-Really?

-But I tell you what, there's some great things in here.

0:30:310:30:34

You'll do really well. But you need to spend some money.

0:30:340:30:37

-OK.

-OK? See you.

-I've got a tenner on me.

0:30:370:30:40

-Cheers.

-Bye.

-Bye.

0:30:400:30:41

You've got around £380 actually, James!

0:30:420:30:46

As soon as he's through the door, he's straight to dealer Maggie's cabinet of trinkets.

0:30:460:30:51

-Hello. James.

-How do you do, James? Maggie.

0:30:510:30:54

-And this is all your stock, Maggie.

-It is.

0:30:540:30:56

-Yes.

-This is your stock. I'm interested in your cufflinks there.

-Oh.

-Can I have a...?

0:30:560:30:59

Certainly, you can.

0:30:590:31:01

Very good. Thank you.

0:31:010:31:02

-Lovely. Nice little case, pair of cufflinks here.

-Yes, original case.

0:31:040:31:08

Original case.

0:31:080:31:10

I'm fresh from Birmingham, from the Assay Office.

0:31:100:31:13

They probably ARE silver, but they don't have a hallmark,

0:31:140:31:17

which could make them a risky purchase.

0:31:170:31:20

They're quite nice, with the case.

0:31:200:31:22

-And they're always popular, aren't they?

-Absolutely.

0:31:220:31:25

Good presents, cufflinks.

0:31:250:31:27

Ticket price is £39.

0:31:280:31:30

-And so, the eternal question...

-What could they be?

0:31:300:31:34

To a poor... To a poor chap, taking them to auction?

0:31:340:31:39

-Oh...

-I know, woe is me.

0:31:390:31:41

Woe is me in my linen suit.

0:31:410:31:44

Manage to go down to 30 for those for you.

0:31:440:31:47

-Thank you, Maggie. That would be very kind. £30.

-Thank you.

0:31:470:31:50

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you very much, yes.

-Thank you. 30.

-Yes.

0:31:500:31:54

Very agreeably done.

0:31:540:31:56

Fifth and final item bought. I've spent under £100.

0:31:580:32:02

Raj will be absolutely furious, but the golden rule is -

0:32:020:32:07

never do what your opposition wants you to do.

0:32:070:32:10

-And with that fighting talk, both boys are all bought up.

-Bye!

0:32:100:32:14

So, as well as the cufflinks, James has the book on Clarice Cliff,

0:32:160:32:20

the travel chess set,

0:32:200:32:22

the repaired Chinese bowl, and the bath can.

0:32:220:32:26

He's spent a thrifty £93.

0:32:260:32:29

While Raj has a pair of cast iron horse posts, a magnifying glass,

0:32:310:32:35

the pair of crutches,

0:32:350:32:36

the 17th century chair and the Chinese incense burner.

0:32:360:32:40

He spent a more generous £229.50.

0:32:410:32:45

But what do they make of each other's haul?

0:32:460:32:49

Once again, James has done it. He's definitely got me worried.

0:32:500:32:54

A 19th century Chinese Famille-Rose bowl.

0:32:540:32:57

It's a lovely bowl this, but it's very, very damaged.

0:32:570:32:59

But it's got the old staples in it. And it can be restored. £20?

0:32:590:33:05

What a price!

0:33:050:33:06

I'm going to say, I wouldn't swap my items.

0:33:060:33:08

I'm going to say, my items will win,

0:33:080:33:10

but as we all know from the last auction - who knows?

0:33:100:33:13

On this final trip, they began their buying in Sandiway, Cheshire,

0:33:150:33:19

and are now aiming for auction in Binegar, Somerset.

0:33:190:33:22

They're almost at today's battleground, Mendip Auction Rooms.

0:33:230:33:27

It's the final one, James. This is it.

0:33:280:33:31

May the best man win.

0:33:310:33:32

May the best man win.

0:33:320:33:35

Auctioneer Tom Killen will be presiding today and before

0:33:350:33:39

the off, what does he make of our lots?

0:33:390:33:42

The silver cufflinks from the 1930s,

0:33:420:33:44

what we're more interested in here actually is the case.

0:33:440:33:47

It's a very nice case to go with the cufflinks,

0:33:470:33:49

so that may have that added attraction.

0:33:490:33:51

The item with legs, which I'm really tempted to say will run away,

0:33:510:33:54

is the crutches, but it's not going to be.

0:33:540:33:56

It's going to be the tethering post, I think.

0:33:560:33:58

That's going to be the item which is going to attract most

0:33:580:34:00

interest and we're really hopeful for that one.

0:34:000:34:03

It's time for James and Raj's final showdown,

0:34:030:34:07

with online bidding and a lively crowd.

0:34:070:34:09

Very good. Full room, isn't it?

0:34:090:34:12

-It is a full room, yeah.

-Very good.

-Indeed.

0:34:120:34:14

First up, it's a lot for James.

0:34:160:34:17

His book on ceramic artist Clarice Cliff.

0:34:170:34:21

-At £5.

-In profit.

-Eight. At £8.

0:34:210:34:25

You're in profit. You've doubled up. You've quadrupled.

0:34:250:34:29

Oh, what a great start. He's going crazy.

0:34:290:34:31

At £18 and sold away then at £18. That goes to heaven. 501.

0:34:310:34:36

That's a good start, James.

0:34:360:34:38

Indeed, it is. A cracking profit on the Clarice Cliff tome.

0:34:380:34:43

You only invested £3, James.

0:34:430:34:45

Raj's first lot now, his biggest gamble,

0:34:450:34:48

the cast iron horse tethering posts.

0:34:480:34:51

50 is bid. 60. 70. 80.

0:34:510:34:54

90. 100. 110. 120.

0:34:540:34:58

-130. 140. 150.

-He's away.

0:34:580:35:02

160. 170. At 170. 180.

0:35:020:35:04

At 190. Fill her up. 200.

0:35:040:35:07

-At 220. At 220.

-Well done. Well done.

-240 now. 260.

0:35:070:35:10

At £260. Last call then.

0:35:100:35:13

-At £260.

-Well done, well done. Well done.

0:35:130:35:17

He certainly backed the right horse there!

0:35:170:35:20

I was hoping a little bit more. I was hoping it might make 300.

0:35:200:35:23

Don't be greedy.

0:35:230:35:24

Another for James now, as his little travel chess set comes in to play.

0:35:240:35:29

-Oh, £10 at the back of the room.

-He looked surprised.

0:35:290:35:32

Mate, you're in profit already. You've doubled your money.

0:35:320:35:36

12. 12 bid. 15? 15 bidder. At 18. 18 bid. At £18. Go 20 now?

0:35:360:35:40

Shaking the head, the wrong way.

0:35:400:35:42

You've only got £20 notes in your pocket.

0:35:420:35:45

19? 20?

0:35:450:35:46

Go on, 20 is bid. At £20. At £20.

0:35:460:35:49

At £20 and sold and away then at £20.

0:35:490:35:53

Another winner for James proves he's certainly more than

0:35:530:35:57

a pawn in this game.

0:35:570:35:58

You've quadrupled your money.

0:35:580:36:01

Raj will be hoping to spy more profit now with his little

0:36:010:36:04

magnifying glass.

0:36:040:36:06

-10's bid.

-He's keen.

0:36:060:36:08

At 12 now. 10. 12. At 12. 15.

0:36:080:36:12

18. 20. At £20.

0:36:120:36:14

At £20 and sold and away then at 20...

0:36:140:36:17

-Looking to the gods, looking for help.

-Oh, put it down.

0:36:170:36:20

At £20, in the front row, and sold and away then at £20.

0:36:200:36:24

THEY LAUGH

0:36:240:36:25

-He does linger with your lots, doesn't he?

-Linger with my lots!

0:36:250:36:31

-How can you say that?

-Terrible.

0:36:310:36:34

Perish the thought. Our auctioneer is as even as they come.

0:36:340:36:38

And that's actually added to Raj's profit.

0:36:380:36:41

I think there might have to be a steward's inquiry, formal.

0:36:410:36:44

Lingering. No lingering, please.

0:36:440:36:46

Oh, do pipe down!

0:36:460:36:48

A chance for James to make up some ground now with his repaired

0:36:480:36:52

-Chinese bowl.

-20 online. At £20.

-Internet at 20.

0:36:520:36:57

-25. It's running on on the internet.

-Of course it's going to run.

-At 30.

0:36:570:37:01

32. At 32. 35 is bid.

0:37:010:37:03

38. At 38. It's a good size. You can't see that at home.

0:37:030:37:06

-You're in profit.

-45. 48. At 48. At 50.

0:37:060:37:10

It's going to do it. It's going to make the £80.

0:37:100:37:13

-At 55.

-At least.

-60 is bid.

-Yep.

0:37:130:37:15

It's going to be sold at £60, online buyer and sold and away then.

0:37:150:37:19

At £60.

0:37:190:37:21

-Not half bad for a broken bowl, James.

-Going to be close then.

0:37:210:37:26

-I know.

-I think that was a... You know... Yeah?

0:37:260:37:31

-Yeah.

-All right?

-Yeah, very good.

0:37:310:37:34

The mood grows tense, as Raj's crutches hop up before the crowd.

0:37:340:37:40

£10, surely? 10 bid.

0:37:400:37:42

10 bid!

0:37:420:37:44

I've only got half the money so far.

0:37:440:37:47

At £10. 12. At £12. 15. 18.

0:37:470:37:49

-At 18. Go 20. 20 is bid.

-Put it down, sir.

-Come on.

0:37:490:37:52

Don't labour it.

0:37:520:37:54

-At 22.

-It's all over.

0:37:540:37:56

-At 25? Have one each.

-Come on.

0:37:560:37:58

£22 and sold and away then at £22.

0:37:580:38:03

-Well...

-Blimey!

0:38:030:38:05

-I thought you were going to make some money on those.

-So did I!

0:38:050:38:09

Those limp to a tiny profit.

0:38:090:38:11

I'm sort of worried for the sanity of this room, I must say!

0:38:110:38:16

Now, James hopes his bath can will really clean up.

0:38:160:38:20

18. At £18 at the back of the room. 20 bid. At 22.

0:38:200:38:24

-The internet's loving it. They're loving it.

-Yeah.

-The world is there.

0:38:240:38:28

-There's people in their bedrooms, going...

-Here we go.

0:38:280:38:31

35. At 35. 38. 38. At 38. 40 bid.

0:38:310:38:34

-At £40. 42. At 42. 45. 45's bid. 48 now. 50.

-He's got to hurry up.

0:38:340:38:39

-He's got to keep pace.

-At £50 and sold and away then at £50.

0:38:390:38:44

-£50.

-Not bad.

0:38:440:38:46

-It's a profit.

-It's a profit.

0:38:460:38:48

It certainly didn't take an early bath.

0:38:480:38:50

Though it wasn't the flier he'd hoped for.

0:38:500:38:53

But this game is still anyone's.

0:38:530:38:55

Another for Raj, as his 17th century chair is up next.

0:38:550:38:59

10. 12. 15. 18. 20.

0:38:590:39:02

I think you're all right. Don't worry.

0:39:020:39:04

25. 28. At 28. 30. 30? At £30. 32, fresh blood in.

0:39:040:39:10

32. 35. 35. 38. 38. 40.

0:39:100:39:13

At £40. Go two now. 42.

0:39:130:39:16

45. 48. 48. 50 now. 50's bid.

0:39:160:39:20

At £50. Five. At 55. 60.

0:39:200:39:23

At £60. At £60, in front. At £60.

0:39:230:39:27

Go on, put it down.

0:39:270:39:28

I just can't bear this lingering, can you?

0:39:280:39:31

At £60.

0:39:310:39:33

-It's yours.

-Well done.

0:39:330:39:35

-Ha-ha! Raj is sitting pretty again.

-Blimey! It's going to be close.

0:39:350:39:40

It's going to be close.

0:39:400:39:42

It certainly is, but James is in with another shot now,

0:39:420:39:45

with his set of unhallmarked silver cufflinks.

0:39:450:39:48

20 up in the gods. At £20. You're in.

0:39:480:39:51

I'm getting nervous now.

0:39:510:39:53

£20. 22. 25. 25. 28.

0:39:530:39:56

At 28. At 28. 30. At £30.

0:39:560:39:59

At £30. Have another go.

0:39:590:40:01

At £30. 32. At 32.

0:40:010:40:04

-35?

-Go on, madam.

0:40:040:40:06

35. One more, is it?

0:40:060:40:08

-At £35 upstairs. At £35 upstairs.

-Cheap!

0:40:080:40:12

At £35.

0:40:120:40:15

James adds another nice little win to his coffers.

0:40:150:40:18

-And you've got one more opportunity.

-One more opportunity.

0:40:180:40:21

-If this bombs..

-The very last lot of this whole road trip now.

0:40:210:40:26

It's Raj's incense burner, possibly dating from the 19th century.

0:40:260:40:30

Will his gamble pay off?

0:40:300:40:32

-30's bid, straight in.

-Well done.

0:40:320:40:36

-35. At 35. 38. At 38. 40 is bid. At 45. At 45.

-Well done.

0:40:360:40:41

At 48. At 48. 50. At £50. At £50. Five. At 55. 60.

0:40:410:40:47

65. At 65. 70. At £70.

0:40:470:40:50

-Certainly climbing!

-Look at him smiling!

0:40:500:40:52

-Well, you would, wouldn't you?

-At 80. At £80. 85. At 85. 90.

0:40:520:40:58

95. 100. 110. At 110.

0:40:580:41:01

Go 120. Just put one more in.

0:41:010:41:04

Just to see if he's at his limit.

0:41:040:41:05

120. 130. He wasn't. At 130. Go 140 now.

0:41:050:41:09

At 130. At 130. At 130 and sold and away then, at £130.

0:41:090:41:15

Blimey! He made over 18 times what he spent on that!

0:41:160:41:20

-What a way to end this trip!

-Put it there.

0:41:200:41:24

-I think that's done it, hasn't it?

-I think that's done it.

0:41:240:41:27

It is your road trip.

0:41:270:41:29

So, let's do the maths.

0:41:290:41:31

James began this leg with £442.40.

0:41:310:41:35

After auction costs, he made a profit of £57.06,

0:41:350:41:40

giving him a grand total of £499.46.

0:41:400:41:45

Just shy of 500.

0:41:450:41:47

Raj started with £450.26.

0:41:470:41:51

After costs, he made £173.94.

0:41:510:41:57

He ends this whole road trip victorious with £624.20.

0:41:570:42:01

Well done, Raj.

0:42:010:42:02

And all profits go to Children In Need.

0:42:020:42:05

Well, I never did!

0:42:050:42:08

-So, you're our clear winner. Well done.. Congratulations.

-Wow! Yes!

0:42:080:42:12

-JAMES LAUGHS

-Hey-hey! Fantastic!

-Go on, get in the car. Get in the car.

0:42:120:42:16

-You're not going to open the door then?

-Don't push it. Don't push it.

0:42:160:42:19

-Just thought I'd ask.

-Don't push it.

-Just thought I'd ask!

0:42:190:42:23

-Oh!

-I'm going to miss you, James.

-I will miss you too.

0:42:230:42:26

And we'll miss you, James and Raj, you superstars of the saleroom!

0:42:260:42:31

In the style of Mick Jagger...

0:42:320:42:35

-It's been a hard fought trip...

-We're moving in for the kill now.

0:42:350:42:40

-..with steely nerves...

-Remember, it's war out there.

0:42:400:42:43

Yeah!

0:42:430:42:45

-..and fancy footwork on both sides.

-Hello!

0:42:450:42:48

I'm freestyling!

0:42:480:42:50

Ho-ho, course you are, James(!)

0:42:500:42:52

Hoy!

0:42:520:42:54

That's brilliant!

0:42:540:42:55

-Do you like wooden boxes?

-As long as they're not coffins.

0:42:550:42:59

They battled down to the final lot...

0:42:590:43:02

You've come out, smelling of roses really, haven't you?

0:43:020:43:06

..but still ended up the best of pals.

0:43:060:43:09

THEY LAUGH

0:43:090:43:11

Toodle-oo, you two!

0:43:110:43:13

James Braxton and Raj Bisram face a tight-run race as they head from Cheshire to their final auction in Somerset. There is still time for two more detours, however: Raj hears why a group of daredevil playboys decided to drive their car into the Savoy to join them for dinner, and James learns why a pint in the Crown and Anchor pub played a vital role in verifying the quality of silver in 1773.

While James decides to keep the purse-strings tight, Raj secures deals left, right and centre. Whose strategy will pay off when it comes to their big showdown?