Antiques experts James Braxton and Thomas Plant begin their tour of north east England. James gets to blow some Northumbrian pipes, albeit badly.
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The nation's favourite antiques experts, £200 each and one big challenge.
Who can make the most money buying and selling antiques as they scour the UK?
I don't mean to drive a hard bargain.
The aim is to trade up and hope each antique turns a profit.
But it's not as easy as it sounds and there can only be one winner.
-Punching the air!
-So will it be the highway to success or the B-road to bankruptcy?
I'm going to be like Rocky. I'm going to come from behind.
This is the Antiques Road Trip.
On the road trip this week we're meeting a pair of fine young gentlemen, both antiques experts,
both eager to buy low and sell high, both keen to win!
James "The Hammer" Braxton is an auctioneer who loves pretty objects from around the world.
-Pretty. Good design. Very Russian.
-And he certainly knows a good deal when he sees one.
(It's free. It's got no price on it.)
The man from Bristol, Thomas Plant, is an expert in all things 20th Century.
He's new to the Antiques Road Trip and ready to put himself out there.
You really are sort of putting your reputation on the line.
-Thomas, here we are.
-Here we are.
-Now what do we have here?
-Are you nervous?
-Umm, no, I'm not.
I'm going to spend absolutely nothing.
Just a couple of horse brasses and some sort of brass poker, I thought.
Do you think I should go the other way and spend the lot?
Yeah, go large.
Either go hard, or go home.
The boys will be racing through the north-east of England,
from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Driffield in East Yorkshire.
And today, they're heading for an auction in East Boldon in Tyne and Wear.
James and Thomas are starting this week's road trip with £200 each
and hoping to turn a profit at auction.
Berwick-upon-Tweed is officially the most northern town in England,
or still part of Scotland, depending on who you ask.
The town is famous for its bridges spanning the River Tweed,
a grand estuary leading out to the North Sea.
The stunning Royal Border Bridge
was designed by Robert Stevenson, son of George Stevenson.
You know, the one who invented trains.
This Victorian structure was opened in 1850.
Now looking at that view, I'm feeling a wave of optimism.
Do you mean there's some lucky antique dealer about to welcome your £200 in cash?
Avid road trip fans will know that James Braxton drives his own classic car.
And it's working better than ever... Well, sort of.
Let's just have a small inspection.
No, I think we're all right now.
It still feels quite hot.
Now our boys can get cracking.
Their respective £200 starter-packs must be burning holes in their pockets!
Let's just leave it for a while.
Do you think we should go and buy some antiques?
-No, I don't want to do that.
No, but I think we should.
-Do you know where you're going?
-I think I might go down there.
-Really? I think I might go down there as well.
And it doesn't take long for James to fan the flames.
Rather nice desk stand. Ebony.
Carved ebony, sort of profusely carved.
And you know it's Indian because every surface is worked.
And rather a nice drawer here with the very nice dovetail joints in it.
Yeah, very nice action, that.
Mmm, very nice.
A lovely collection of hats - look at that.
Probably get that for Thomas. Motoring hat.
-I don't think Thomas would thank you for that - he's already got a hat!
Across town we find this innocent man, new to the sink or swim ways of the Antiques Road Trip,
but about to throw himself, gallantly, into the fray.
I think this guy must be a house clearer.
It all looks like it's come straight out of a property.
So hopefully, you never know, he might have some gems.
-Hello, what's your name?
-Very nice to meet you.
-Finding all the bargains?
Finding all the bargains. Can I have a look at that glass cane?
This has travelled a long way.
A long way.
-Don't you think?
-I would have thought so.
This has come from a little town, a little village just outside Bristol called Nailsea.
There was a huge demand for glass windows and bottles during the Industrial Revolution.
So, many successful glass manufacturers began
making items for the home, such as these pretty glass canes.
They would probably go on for another...
another same length as this and they were hung over fireplaces.
But as it's been cut down I'm probably going to leave this one.
It's lovely, but it's not right.
Now, something sparkly has caught James' eye.
It's a silver sweets bowl.
And it's only £10!
Quite a nice little Indian silver bowl. I rather like it.
Heavily adorned - there should be no flat surface that is left without some fellow punching it out.
And they did punch them out with an old nail and a hammer,
so of course legs are very vulnerable, getting bashed.
Thrown at errant husbands.
Silver is one of the oldest metals known to humans
and has been considered precious since ancient times.
Britain once used silver as payment for imported goods, such as tea it bought from India.
So Indian manufactured silver goods became popular during the days of the Raj.
Now, as I'm a very poor Southern boy coming up to you...
-We usually put the price up for southerners.
Now, can I be very cheeky?
Could you do that for £3?
No! You can have it for £8.
-My god, £10.
Nobody asks for a discount on £10.
-Well, being polite, no-one would haggle below £10.
But this man is from the Antiques Road Trip and the rules are...
Well, there are no rules!
What about five then?
-Meet me halfway?
Whoa, there's a slight
slippage here. Six, can you do six?
-Still sounds like you're being cheeky, James.
But where there's a pound, there's a haggle.
-Seven, go on.
-I'd very much like to do it at seven anyway.
That's very kind.
-I hope it makes you a fortune.
I don't think it will but it will help me on my way.
Although it's not a startling piece, the reason I bought it - India, you know, the emerging economy.
Lots of people will start repatriating things.
Whether they do in time for the auction, I don't know.
Well done, James.
A fine bit of silver from far away.
Now, how about something closer to home?
Can I have a look at the cake swing basket?
Is it Elkington?
It's stamped E & Co, Elkington and Co with the crown.
Now, Elkington were the boys in the late 19th century.
They were the guys who really, you know, took the plate industry on.
George Richards Elkington was a silver manufacturer born in 1801,
and he patented the process of electro-plating.
Elkington and Co.
grew after George's death in 1865, and the Elkington name still manufactures plated silverware today.
Look at this lovely handle here.
This rose and leaf design.
With the scroll, I mean it's so Victorian, but, you know, I think that with cupcakes on...
Fit for a king really.
Ooh, cupcakes. Lovely!
What's the best on this one?
I could do it at...45.
45? I was more like thinking 30.
I'll meet you half way and we'll say 40.
-35. Go on.
First purchase. Quite pleased.
I believe I've done quite well, actually.
Good basket, and I can see it in a good cake shop in Newcastle, polished up.
These cupcakes are so fashionable.
Laden with cupcakes in a great cake shop.
I reckon that's where it's going to end up.
Don't get too distracted by cup cakes, Thomas.
A second on the lips - a lifetime on the hips!
And stop looking in that baker's shop window!
So our boys have done very well with their first silver-plated purchases.
Let's hope a fine reward awaits them!
I don't believe that!
Hey! You naughty, naughty people.
Our experts have wandered into a local practical joke.
A sly note, stuck inside an old parking ticket sleeve.
Got to watch those chaps in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Very good, very good.
A very close shave!
I don't think even our experts could haggle with a parking attendant!
MUSIC: "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac (TV FORMULA ONE THEME)
Now let's get back on the road.
The road trip is taking our emboldened experts 30 miles due south
to Alnwick, where great adventure waits.
According to legend in 1816, Alnwick's famous Percy Tenantry Column was a gift
from the area's tenants in gratitude to the second Duke of Northumberland.
The Duke had kindly lowered land taxes.
But the Duke wondered how the locals could afford such a column, so he raised the taxes again!
Today in Alnwick, you still find the occasional tight-fisted visitor... or two!
This is your stop, Thomas.
Lovely sunny day for a book shop.
Well, I'm meant to be going in there, the antique shop.
But there's this book shop and it's an old station.
And I'm really quite interested in going to have a look so...
It's a bit of a jaunt, bit off the beaten track.
Thomas, you are too easily distracted when you should be shopping.
Why do big boys love little trains so much?
The old Alnwick Station closed in 1968 and has been turned into an enormous second-hand bookshop.
But there's still a small... very small... Local service.
Look at that, Santa Fe.
2.5 inch gauge, I think that is.
Thomas finds David, the first-class restorer of this fine building.
It's one of the most popular things in the shop.
We really love the building and I think that's shown in the way we've
restored parts of it back to what it used to be.
We've got all the old waiting rooms, the gentlemen's first class waiting room,
the ladies' first class waiting room, the third class waiting room.
This is a "brief encounter" with a more class-rigid Britain,
where toffs and commoners waited separately for a ride home.
In fact, Alnwick used to be a branch stop, with once important visitors
and appropriate head gear for a stationmaster.
Here we have a portrait of the first top-hat stationmaster.
Now, a top-hat station would be York, Newcastle, Kings Cross, Edinburgh,
but the only one that we know of that was on a branch line was Alnwick,
because there were so many royal trains and foreign heads and dignitaries came here,
to the castle, so the stationmaster was a top-hat stationmaster.
This is amazing. Wow, look at that!
Here we have the arrival of the royal train in 1908.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, future King George V and Queen Mary.
It must have been a really colourful station.
Oh, it was. I used to bring my first girlfriend here, thinking I was so sophisticated.
-Can you remember her name?
-Oh, yes, I can.
Oh, but you won't say?
Looks like this was once a station of love.
But, as all waiting-room romances must come to an end, Thomas must now get on with some shopping.
Meanwhile, seasoned barterer James Braxton
is heading out of town to unearth a rare, glittering antiques centre.
Ah, here it is!
This is an Arts and Crafts-y sort of number.
It's just very nicely made and it's typical sort of Edwardian aspidistra jardiniere
on the top here, so it was tiled so you didn't damage the surface.
Victorian edging tiles.
Look at those. £85 for the lot.
Ooh, they'd look nice round my garden.
But how about something to buy, James?
Haven't found my winner yet, I'm afraid.
Well, better leave you to it, then.
Let's see if Thomas is hard at it.
Ah, a light and airy antiques shop, for a refreshing change.
But straight away, something dark and powerful catches Thomas's eye.
-Hello... Can we have a look at these hooves?
-You certainly can.
-There you go.
-Thank you very much. Now, what do you know about these?
I bought them about 10 years ago with lots of silver photograph frames.
It said it's first prize for a pig sticking competition.
Pig sticking? Do you know what pig sticking is?
-Well, I think we need a search engine, really.
Well, I may be of some use here.
If you can imagine a frightening combination of fox hunting and bull-fighting -
pig sticking is a kind-of wild boar chase.
Although, actually, I think these are cow's hooves.
And strangely, someone's turned them into a pair of Valentine pincushions.
We're looking at sewing items.
Sewing is so dainty, isn't it?
-I don't think you'd want those on your dressing table, would you?
Now there's no price on them.
I was hoping you'd make me an offer.
Are you expecting more than £30?
I was thinking 40 for the pair.
I still have 30 in my head.
Because they're so unusual and I could lose everything.
40, it's even more to lose.
30, you know, we could make a 30 profit on something else.
-Really? We've got a deal.
-Brilliant. Thank you very much.
So, Thomas has bought himself some very unusual cloven hooves. Has he sold his soul for auction glory?
I'm actually very nervous about them because not everybody likes animal parts, body parts
floating round their house, but there are plenty people who do.
But right now I'd better go and find that Braxton chap and make sure he hasn't got anything really good.
Ah, yes, Braxton, James.
What ever became of him?
Looks like he's still looking round that Antiques Centre.
James has only one item in his auction arsenal. Thomas now has two!
Sands are shifting.
Found anything yet, James?
Well, we'd better stick with Thomas then.
-At least he's on a roll,
In fact he's on a path, heading for a date with one of Britain's most intriguing historical ladies.
For centuries, Alnwick Castle has been the baronial home
of the Percy family, latterly the Dukedom of Northumberland.
Last year, the estate celebrated its 700th birthday -
and it doesn't look a day older than 690!
-What a wonderful day.
-It is a good day, isn't it?
Thomas meets Michael, collections and archive assistant for the past 20 years, and our guide for the day.
I am gobsmacked at how beautiful it is.
-It is beautiful, isn't it?
-But it hasn't always been as beautiful. It's been a bit bloody, hasn't it?
It was mafia country. This wasn't either England or Scotland.
It's border country and they made their own laws, they did their own things.
-It's just been strategically important, but traded back between two countries.
I can't wait to go inside.
In the 17th century, the reigning Duke restored the estate,
using architect Robert Adam and the famous landscape designer, Capability Brown.
Forever known as "England's Greatest Gardener",
our Lancelot was responsible for over 170 stately gardens from Kew to Warwick to Alnwick.
And if you thought the gardens were lovely...
This is fantastic. Wow!
This is the dining room.
-Is this where you have your lunch?
-I consider it sometimes.
Oo-ar - a bit grand in here for nibbling a cheese ploughman's.
And there's something else rather special waiting on the table.
-It's in here, is it?
-It's in here.
I'll just put these gloves on.
-I feel quite honoured.
-And it's this.
Wow! Look at that.
A stunning velvet-covered Tudor prayer book. But whose was it?
This is the prayer book of Queen Anne Boleyn.
-Queen Anne Boleyn.
Well, if anyone needed a prayer, it was old Anne Boleyn!
This book is never normally on display as it's far too precious.
She had a relationship with the sixth Earl when he was at Henry VIII's Court.
The sixth Earl of Percy, was it?
Yes. He was known as Henry the Unthrifty.
-Henry the Unthrifty?
-Yes, cos he lost almost, well, he did, he lost the entire Percy fortune.
So the Alnwick Henry had a fling with the infamous Anne Boleyn,
before she was stolen away by big, fat Henry VIII.
Yet her prayer book remained at the castle.
This could have been a parting gift, then?
It could've been. It could have been something she had on the scaffold.
However the prayer book got here, it's not something you can take to auction, Thomas.
Meanwhile James is hurtling back from his unsuccessful afternoon's shopping to collect his travelling companion.
-Berwick. How did you get on?
-That's for me to me to know and you to find out.
-For me, I think there's a bit of money in the bank.
I didn't spend a lot. Small increments.
The next morning, James and Thomas hit the road.
So far, James has spent a mere £7 on just one item - the Indian silver bowl, leaving £193 to spend today.
Come on, James!
Thomas, meanwhile, spent £65 on two items - the cake basket
and the hoof pincushions, leaving £135 for today's shopping.
19 further south from Alnwick is the handsome market town of Morpeth,
first stone-built in medieval times and spanning the River Wansbeck,
and enjoyed by all creatures, two-legged and four.
Both our experts really need to get on with their shopping today, especially James.
And yet, here he is, on his way Morpeth's Bagpipe Museum.
Bagpipes date back to...well, who knows when, frankly?
Possibly as far back as 400 BC and were brought to Britain by the Romans in the eighth century.
And they became popular in Scotland and the Borders around the 16th century.
-Take me to your fabulous museum.
-OK, just up the stairs.
Kim is the curator here and welcomes James into the world of wind.
The earliest evidence we have of pipes being played in Northumberland is a carving from Hexham Abbey
and you can see a rather squat-looking chap playing a double chanter -
the chanter is the bit you play the tune on.
So the drones are the big long pipes that people associate...
Yes. That you see in the modern Highland bagpipes.
More popular here are these Northumberland pipes.
They differ from the Scottish bagpipes with a canny set of belt-bellows to fill your wind-bag.
You've got the black and white plaid there, the tartan, which is the basic tartan,
which the shepherds of the Borders, both on the Scottish side and the Northumbrian side would wear.
And the Duke of Northumberland's piper wears that plaid.
This is another example of the mixture of Scottish and English culture in Border country.
This case shows some pipes and engravings to do with Jamie Allan, the first known Northumbrian piper.
He was a bit of a rogue. He was supposed to have married three times without bothering to divorce.
He joined the army and deserted several times and ended up in Durham Jail in the house of correction
for horse stealing and died in 1810,
but of course modern pipers aren't like that - they're terribly refined.
Sounds like Jamie Allan was a medieval bad boy,
the Keith Richards of bagpiping.
I'll just play you a quick tune. I'll play Jamie Allan, which is
the tune that celebrates our roguish piper in the other room.
Far more dignified than somebody getting red hot and bothered, going...
Well, you can get hot and bothered. This arm has to do quite a bit of work.
That's going to be your challenge, to see what this arm does.
-I'm up for it!
-Pump away with the bellows on one side but then you've got to remember to breathe.
Oh dear, that's rather embarrassing.
This could be interesting!
Ooops! Looks like someone's been tucking into Thomas' cup cakes.
Obviously they're very small in Northumberland.
Just about. You have to breathe in, I think.
No, I don't.
-Push through... Ah!
Excellent. Now put that finger back.
THE NOTE DIES
I'm trying to, yeah, found it.
James plays us one of his favourite tunes here - the Ballad of the Dying Cat.
Oh dear, that's quite enough, thank you.
Time to move on and continue the all-important shopping spree.
19 miles south-east from Morpeth is the quaint seaside town of Tynemouth.
It's lovely to see the sea, James, it's absolutely fantastic.
I find the sea is best enjoyed in the sunshine, though.
Really, being a Plant, I enjoy the rain, especially when driving, in the eyes, on the cheeks.
Holiday-makers come here for the sea, the sun and the fun...
as well as a stroll along Tynemouth's sometimes scenic pier,
but our boys are here to shop.
-Well, James, this looks like my stop.
See you soon.
I'm counting my money because I'm just not entirely sure how much I've got left.
You've got £135 left, Thomas.
And the clock is ticking.
But the thing is, if I get something which I think will make a lot of money at auction,
I don't mind blowing it all,
so let's hope there's some good stuff in here.
Did I hear the words "blowing it all"? Very courageous, Thomas.
But just to be safe, why not get some advice from Ian?
-You've got a fantastic collection of Sunderland lustre.
I've been collecting and specialising for the last 25 years.
That pink lustre, that's what gave it its name, isn't it?
Sunderland lustre became very popular in mid-19th century, made by many ceramics firms such as Dixon and Co.
These items are still loved today for their pretty pastel tints and local scenes.
It very much reflects the social statement of the time.
Whether it be sailing, farming...
-There's a masonic one there, isn't there?
-Masonic as well, yes.
This was made in the North-East about 1820, 1825.
What is the price of that? You've got £285.
That is well beyond our price range.
It's a rare piece, you know.
-There with the masonic sign, it looked good, didn't it?
Blow it all if you want Thomas, but you've not got enough money for that.
This is just absolutely wonderful, isn't it?
It's basically this design, this slipware design.
What you've got to think about with antiques is fashion.
That is extremely stylish. It can be in any...
interior, whether it be ultra modern or ultra antique.
That's what's so...
brilliant about it.
That's why it's good, that's why it's £350.
OK, well let's leave that alone too.
Perhaps find something a little smaller. And remember where the auction is, Thomas.
I wouldn't mind a bit of advice because you're local to the area.
We're selling in Boldon Auction Galleries.
I'd like to buy something to put in there.
I may have something. Sunderland plaque, made about 1860 by Anthony Scott of Southwick.
Transfer printed with a sailing ship.
Orange lustre. What's the difference between the orange and the pink?
Is it as widely collected or...
The orange lustre was made later on in the century.
So we're talking sort of 1880s here?
Well, 1850s, 1860s and that is in perfect condition and that can be £95.
95. I wouldn't mind going as much as paying £60 for something but 90 would be eating too much
-into what I've got because I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen at the auction.
-Well, I can budge a little bit.
Well, I said 90...
-You can have it for 75.
It's a good thing. Can you do any more?
Wow. Thomas is really working hard and torturing poor Ian.
-James would be proud.
-You're a hard man.
I'm not a hard man!
I'm quite a nice man.
I'll take another £5 but that is it.
So we're talking £70.
You couldn't go down to 65?
65? Yes, OK, that's a deal.
-That's a deal?
-That's a deal.
-I don't mean to drive a hard bargain.
Oh, I think you do, Thomas. And I'm pretty sure that antique shops are really supposed to make a profit.
Now it's time for James to reclaim his lustre and get some serious antiques in his auction arsenal.
James has made his way just eight miles west of Thomas, to the Newcastle suburb of Benton.
No pressure at all here, James. Well, actually, quite a lot of pressure.
It's getting pretty late in the day, the shops are going to shut soon and you've only spent £7!
That's a mighty fellow, isn't it?
Huge copper pan.
A slightly odd item to take to auction.
James might have more chance of getting rid of this pot at a scrap yard.
Then again, one man's scrap is another man's antique.
So this is bronze. Mercury, the winged messenger, seated.
1920s Art Deco figure.
On this fine fellow,
could you do something like 50 quid on that?
I couldn't be doing 50 quid.
No, almost 50 per cent you're asking for.
I know, I'm a hard man.
-I'm not a hard man, I'm a desperate man.
You're a desperate man!
Give me 75 quid, that's 25 per cent.
Yeah, I know. 75.
Right. Let me have a look.
Mercury was also the winged god of trade.
In fact, I think he has a message for James.
These are quite fun.
These lovely '30s, Deco glasses with the peach glass here.
And it's in quite good order, there's no problems, I don't think.
That's quite stylish, isn't it, for something?
Yes, James. They're all lovely.
But you're going to have to buy at least one of them very soon.
At least Thomas has the shopping bug.
Back in Tynemouth, something small and delicate
has charmed the talented Mr Plant.
Just a really nice 1920s, similar kind of arts and crafts brooch
but it's silver, with enamel on.
At least this is enamel.
It's really cool.
'It's lovely and there's nothing wrong with a red-blooded man looking at a broach.'
What's your very best on that?
That can be £8.
-Can it be five?
-It can be... Oh, £5, go on.
-Yes, go on!
-Yes, yes, yes!
'Oh, Thomas, you've broken him.
'This is just too easy now.'
I'm really pleased.
£5 for a silver and enamel brooch. Go and find me one of those again.
I don't think I'll find one of those all season.
Thomas is now leading the shopping tally.
Four items bought to James' one.
So how about slow-coach James?
I'll bet he still can't decide between the Mercury statue,
the Art Deco mirror, and the great big copper pot.
Looks like he bought the lot!
Well, thank goodness for that.
Really pleased with the items.
£50 for Mercury,
£20 for the peach glass mirror and £50 for the copper saucepan.
Could this 11th hour bulk-buy seal James' fate at auction?
We'll soon find out.
Now it's time for the all-important show and tell.
These weary experts have worked very hard.
Well, Thomas has at least.
Thomas, what do you think of that?
Bit of Indian silver.
-Not too bad, is it?
I like the fish on it, sort of Berwick-on-Tweed.
-Guess the price?
I feel terrible now.
-Oh, that's a lovely basket.
-Elkington & Co basket.
I think 50 to 70.
-I think you've done well.
That's great. It's nicely cast, isn't it?
As you can see, this came out of a bin.
-It's a rather nice Deco peach cast fellow.
-I like that very much.
-Guess the price.
-Guess again, Thomas.
-Beat that! Go on!
-Promise not to laugh?
Well, James won't, but I might.
Oh! Right, OK.
Pin cushions, what do you think?
Do you think this a cowman's valentine then, pin cushions?
I paid £30 for them.
They are weird things.
Thomas, my third is over here.
It's a heavy beast.
-Looks like a beast!
-A beasty beasty.
Oh, great! Look at that!
It's a mighty beast, isn't it?
James, whatever you paid for this, it's worth its weight.
-I paid £50 for it.
-Well done, you.
-Sell it or scrap it, Thomas.
-Sell it or scrap it.
I bought this under duress. I shouldn't have bought this.
-I shouldn't have bought this.
-That's rather nice, isn't it?
Sunderland lustre, 1860s, 1870s.
What do you think I paid for that?
Cor... 30, 40?
-More, more, more?
Oh, yes. Definitely more!
-More, more, more.
-It was marked at 135.
The chap was ever the opportunist, wasn't he?
Well, you'll probably take that to your grave, Thomas.
Well, maybe try taking it to auction first, eh?
James, how very camp.
-It's very camp, isn't it?
-You know who he is, do you?
I think he's Mercury. What do you think?
OK. He could be Mercury.
Is he a resting, winged messenger?
-There's quite a lot of detail.
He's quite good, actually.
But he's not '20s.
Guess the price, come on, in one!
-£50, I paid.
That is a 19th century Italian bronze
and I reckon that's worth a lot more. Well done.
Dun, dun, dun...!
That's very pretty, isn't it? Basket.
-A little basket.
-Silver enamel brooch.
A little brooch. Oh, that's very pretty.
-You paid £30 for it?
Great. It's "Guess The Price" again.
Lower this time.
How much? What, ten, 15?
-I think that could be your winner.
-THEY BOTH LAUGH
-Thomas, good luck.
-And you, James.
-Off to the auction.
-Off to the auction.
Smooth talking, boys.
Now, tell us what you really think.
The Sunderland lustre plaque, with the boat on it,
Well pitched for the area, but has he paid too much at 65?
I'm a bit disappointed in myself, to be honest.
I think it could be 1-0 to James.
He's bought that really good bronze figure.
I think he's got a real winner in the brooch.
-That lovely enamel and silver.
that could be the sticking point, but if there's a copper dealer,
it's worth its weight.
The toenails. Dear, oh dear!
Nervous? I'm just trembling with anticipation.
Well, that makes two of us.
The road trip for this leg finally arrives in East Boldon,
at the end of its exciting journey from Berwick-upon-Tweed
through wonderful Alnwick, Morpeth, Benton and Tynemouth.
It's auction day and our two experts proudly roll into town.
Boldon Auctions first opened its doors in 1981
and is loved in these parts for selling all things weird and wonderful.
Today is the general sale, perfect for the mixed bunch of items
our boys have garnered from Northumberland.
Tom Robson is the auctioneer
and has his own thoughts on James and Thomas' items.
I think the hooves are arguably the most interesting,
but not the nicest of things.
What do you do with them? I think the thing that stands
to do the best is probably the Sunderland lustre plaque
or the plated cake basket.
James started this leg of the road trip with £200.
He spent a proud £127 on four items.
That's very kind, thank you.
Thomas took his £200 starter pack and boldly spent £135 on four items.
My first buy of the series.
An expectant calm begins to settle at Boldon Auctions,
as our experts take their seat and the gavel gets ready to strike.
The auction is about to begin.
First up is James' Indian silver bowl bought in Berwick-on-Tweed for £7.
Somebody bid me a fiver for it, please? Anybody? £5 bid upstairs.
£8, anybody else?
£10, gentleman's bid, £12?
That's a £3 profit so far.
15? £18, lady's bid upstairs.
£20, anybody else now. Yes or no?
It's a profit. A profit's a profit.
An agreeable, double your money turn for James.
Next up are Thomas' toenails,
the peculiar pin cushion hooves from Alnwick at £30.
Thomas, how do you fancy your chances, toenails?
Don't be rude about my toenails.
-Can you remind me how much you paid for them?
-Feeling good about that?
Lot number 120. A pair of 19th-century hooved-pin cushions
with velvet tops and I'm bid £4 for 'em.
-£4, this is awful.
-6, 8, 12?
-He's exceeded my expectations.
20, behind you, 22, 25.
Go on, a bit more.
There's no need to push it.
Well, the cloven hooves failed.
That's an unwelcome loss to kick off Thomas' auction.
Now a bit of old scrap or a fine 19th-century copper pan,
depending on your point of view.
£10 to start. £12. Anybody else?
20, 22, 25, £30 now?
32, 35, 38, 40
42, 45, 48, 50?
55, 60, 65, 70? 75?
£75 back right?
Oh, well done.
Not too scrappy and I think James could rightly be pleased
with that small investment.
Now for something a whole lot prettier.
Thomas' lovely Art Deco broach. A snip at £5.
My whole profit margin rests on this £5 brooch.
£5, lady's bid upstairs. £8? Anybody else?
10, £15, lady's bid upstairs. £18, 20? £22?
-All right, steady on.
Come on! Bit more!
28, 30? 32?
35? £42? Anybody else?
-35 in the bin!
-In the bin.
A great result for Thomas there, and that's him back in the game.
But James needs to reflect on the situation and fortunately,
his £20-mirror is up next.
Just drop it, drop it and break it.
I've got two bids. £35.
£15 profit, already.
38, 40, 42, 45?
£48? Anywhere else for it. Yes or no?
Well done, James. Well done!
-The gods are shining on me.
-That's profits on everything!
Edging slightly further into the lead, James can be pleased with that.
Now, what could please Thomas?
How about his tasty cup cake holder?
Oops, I mean plated cake basket?
I've got two commission bids. £40 starting.
-Oh, I've made a profit already.
£50? Anybody else now? £50?
-Yes or no?
It's still close between these two.
They have just one item each left to sell.
Can one of them get that all-important profit?
Next up, a message from the antique gods.
Can Mercury bring James something celestial?
One, two, three, four bids.
I'm straight in at £50. £55 if anybody wants it?
£60 anybody else?
70? 75, 90? 95, 100?
Oh dear, Thomas. This is looking rather good for James.
And not so great for you.
150, £160 now.
-Not bad for an Art Deco figure.
Mercury has fulfilled his errand for James
and that's a fantastic profit.
A big challenge for Thomas.
I've got butterflies in my tummy now.
This is my big purchase of the day.
He spent big and bought this lustre plaque.
Fingers crossed for Mr Plant.
A bid, £5 to start.
At least it's got a bid.
..£18 with the lady upstairs. 20 now.
25, 28, 30, 32, 35? 42.
Surely some more.
..Yes or no?
-Go on, make it 50.
-£50, anybody else? Yes or no?
No more bidders.
Oh dear, Thomas, you spent too much.
-I'm not laughing, I'm really not.
Well, the experienced James Braxton has taken an early lead.
James and Thomas both started today's show with £200
and each bought four items.
After paying commission to the auction house,
James made a satisfying profit of £118.48
and has a fabulous £318.48 to carry forward.
Thomas has nothing to be ashamed about,
but made a minor loss of £4.85.
He's just down with £195.15 to start the next show.
Of course, it's early days yet
and there will be much to learn this week.
Four profits for you.
Yes, I can't stop smiling.
I must stop smiling.
-I am. I'm basking in it. Thomas, you?
-Two profits for me.
-That's all right.
-It's not too bad.
I haven't done as well as I wanted to do, but first time...
Looks like the winner gets the passenger seat today.
But no looking back for Thomas, just the road ahead.
-I forget there's no wing mirrors James!
Next time on the Antiques Road Trip,
James and Thomas head for Darlington, County Durham.
James tries a new look.
Are you sure it's not a bit big?
Room to grow into, I like to say.
Thomas tries a new career.
I wouldn't mind a service hat
so I can feel like I'm in a staff car with Braxton.
And they both try their luck on the antiques trail.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Antiques experts James Braxton and Thomas Plant begin their tour of North East England by travelling from Berwick-upon-Tweed to East Boldon in Tyne and Wear. With a starting budget of £200 each, they seek out the most interesting antiques shops in the area, hunting for treasures they hope will make a profit at auction. Thomas gets to see something special at Alnwick Castle and James gets to blow some Northumbrian pipes, badly.