Antiques experts compete to make the most money at auction. Mark Hales and Thomas Plant start their journey on the hunt for antiques in Portrush.
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The nation's favourite experts, £200 each, one big challenge.
Well, duck, do I buy you, or don't I?
Who can make the most money buying and selling antiques
-as they scour the UK?
-Look at the colour!
The aim is trade up and hope that each antique turns a profit,
but it's not as easy as it looks and dreams of glory can end in tatters.
Will it be the fast lane to success or the slow road to bankruptcy?
-Bad luck for Thomas - £50 down.
-This is the Antiques Road Trip!
This week, we start a brand-new chapter
with veteran road-tripper Thomas Plant and new boy Mark Hales.
Thomas is a young-blood auctioneer who doesn't take no for an answer.
Halfway at 65.
-Oh... You do drive a hard bargain.
-I'm only trying.
Thomas's opponent is new boy Mark Hales.
He's also an auctioneer.
He doesn't mess about, though, when it comes to buying antiques.
Wrap it up for me, that's brilliant.
Our boys will begin this week's adventure with £200 each.
The automobile of choice is the sporty 1967 Sunbeam Alpine.
The question is, will they uncover some hidden gems
that will reap the profits at auction?
Starting off in Portrush, Northern Ireland.
The chaps will journey just over 460 miles,
all the way to the beautiful village of Pontrilas in South Herefordshire.
We begin our shopping mission in the spectacular location of Portrush
and we'll auction just 60 miles away
in Northern Ireland's capital city of Belfast.
The boys roll into this delightful seaside resort
on an unusually grey day.
Situated on a mile-long peninsula extending into the Atlantic Ocean,
it boasts three sandy beaches.
But alas, today the sun is nowhere to be seen,
and the chaps are met with a bracing chilly wind.
Plenty of parking, though.
Right, here we are!
Portrush by the sea.
-I like starting by the sea!
-The rugged Atlantic.
Do you feel it in your bones, Thomas? I do.
-There's something in Portrush.
-I just feel the sea air.
-There's something in Portrush.
-I like the smell of it,
and if I don't find anything, I'm going for a swim.
-Each to their own, Thomas.
-Good luck with that.
-Right, see you later.
-See you later.
Well, they seem to be very sporting and jovial.
How long will it last, though?
Let's start off with Mark Hales.
Antiques shop Kennedy Wolfenden is his first port of call.
I seem to have brought a little bit of the bad weather with me.
I know! It was beautiful a few days ago. Not so nice.
-How do you do? I'm Mark.
-What a lovely shop.
-You have some really, really nice things.
-So would it be all right if I had a real...?
-You have a nosy.
Mark is a Londoner through and through.
He's an expert on ceramics and glass
and has worn many hats in the world of antiques
from senior valuer at Christie's and antiques dealer
to presently running a successful auction house
with his wife in sunny Devon.
-I do rather like these.
-Those are Dublin, 1828.
Dublin, 1828, and Irish silver's good, isn't it?
It's very collectable throughout the world,
and they're in lovely condition with clear marks.
Silver is so high at the moment, it's what I should be buying,
but it's outside my comfort zone,
not something I have a great deal of knowledge in.
It's all down to weight and scrap and things, isn't it?
-And how much are these?
-Those are £50 for the pair.
I'm very tempted, so I'll have a look around first, and we'll see.
There's no stopping this fellow.
He's already spotted something as a potential first buy.
He obviously loves getting stuck in.
It's OK, Mark, don't worry.
Set it down on the floor and we'll sort it out.
Look at him go! He's leaving no antique uncovered.
He's certainly thorough and, as a natural charmer,
he's managed to find shop owner Eleanor's secret treasure trove.
-This is the glory hole.
-We do have some nice things.
-Ah... Isn't that pretty?
-An old money box.
-Not important qualitywise, but look at the subject!
-And people collect money boxes.
-I wonder, could that be a fiver?
-Yes, it could.
Yeah? Well, for a fiver, we've bought that, all right?
Right, so I've got my money box, OK, that's a fiver.
The spoons, erm... I think you said 40.
-No, I said 50.
-Yes, I did.
Bless your heart, you're a hard woman, aren't you?
-You're not going to bully me?
-I would never bully you.
I couldn't cope on my first time in Northern Ireland.
-We can't harass you.
-Could they be 35?
They couldn't, but they could be 40.
-That's it, that's your bottom line?
-That is it, amen.
Have you ever been in a Sunbeam Alpine?
-No, I haven't.
-It's a late '60s classic English sports car.
-Are you taking me for a drive?
-If I took you for a spin,
-could they be 35, then?
-I can't tempt you?
A little trip around the town, and then they're £35.
Well, I'll do without the trip, but I'll make them 35.
Bless your heart!
Thank you very much. That's really sweet of you.
-A money box, two spoons, you've started me off.
-That's my first time ever.
-Good, I hope you make loads of money.
What a great start to the day, Mark. £40 on two items.
It looks like there's no new boy nerves with you.
Meanwhile, old hand Thomas
is just up the road at Atlantic Antiques.
Very nice to meet you, thank you for letting me come here.
-And how long have you been here?
-13 years tomorrow.
-So are you having a teenage birthday party?
Well, no, I don't think so.
-Is it all right if I have a good look around?
-You feel free.
Pleasure, Ernie, absolute pleasure. Thank you very much.
He may look young, but Thomas is a knowledgeable auctioneer
with his own specialist auction house.
He's an expert in jewellery,
but he's always on the lookout for the interesting and the unusual.
I love the old phone, look at that!
Look at that old thing!
He's hilarious, ropey old job.
Ernie? You haven't got a price on it.
-Did you pay much for it?
-I did, a lot.
-No, you didn't, did you?
I was going to offer you £15 for it.
-It's a harsh world.
That's an awful lot of money you want off.
-Yeah, because it is damaged.
-Yes, and that's why it's so cheap.
-So would we say 20?
Would you meet me halfway?
You're... You're awful bad at your...
-I'm not awful bad!
-..at your sums.
-All right, deal.
I must be mad!
I love it!
Yes, it's...it's unusual.
They don't... They don't turn up too often.
It's a swift first purchase for a very reasonable £16.50.
It's definitely game on with these boys.
Back to Mark. He's nipped across the road to The Vintage.
What's he got his eye on now?
Brilliant, look at that!
That is loved, that's been loved, that's been played with.
Excuse me, kind sir.
May I just take your dog for a quick walk?
-Have a look in the light? Would that be all right?
-Thank you very much indeed. Has it got a name?
No, not yet. Right, come along, lad. Off we go.
# Walking the dog
# Just walking the dog
# If you don't know how to do it
# I'll show you how to walk the dog... #
-Look at that face.
-One only a mother could love.
Ha-ha, this is what we want. We've got a label.
I thought it was Tri-ang,
but it's Lines Brothers.
Lines Brothers was a British company
operated by, surprisingly, three brothers called Lines.
Following huge success in the mid-'20s,
they registered Tri-ang Toys,
so called because three lines make a triangle.
Three Lines brothers, triangle, get it?
This would be 19...40s, I think.
'40s, '50s and...
..very collectable, a lot of fun.
A little bit of damage here, a little bit of wear.
If we look here...
..he's been fighting.
He's not real, Mark.
So an animal in distress, what do we do?
We give him a home, don't we?
So...let's go back inside and see if we can buy him for...
..£30, let's just have a go.
We might be lucky.
The asking price for this little chap is £88.
Right, sir, I'll keep it brief.
If you've bought it well, I'll give you £30 for it, now, cash.
If you haven't, fair enough, fair enough.
But I know sometimes you can buy things very, very well
and just let them go. What do you think?
I want to give the dog a home. He's had a bad life.
-He needs...to be loved.
-OK, OK, for you, Mark, 40 quid.
-30, please, it has to be 30.
-I couldn't do it.
-I can't sell it for £40...
-It cost me more!
Yeah, but I'm trying to make a profit, honestly.
Honestly, I am.
-Oh, my goodness me.
Are you sure you can't do it for 30? 30 would work for me.
I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll toss you for it.
-Go on, then.
-Do you want to toss?
-Yeah, go on, because I feel lucky.
-No, you toss, I'll call.
-I feel lucky. Go on, then.
Is it going to be that sort of a day?
Well, I've got to honour that, 35 it is, then, sir. 35 it is.
-OK, we'll give it a go.
That will teach you to gamble, Mark.
The boys have had a wonderful time in Portrush,
but it's time to move on,
34 miles south to the village of Broughshane in County Antrim.
-Right, Thomas. There you go.
-Is this me?
-Are you kicking me out?
Yep! Out you get, Thomas. Now, don't be long.
As you said to me, don't mess me about, don't be long.
-Come on, you...
-I'll give you six minutes.
Six minutes?! Good luck! And come and pick me up!
Thank you. Yeah, I'll pop back later, possibly.
They're getting on well, then.
Thomas's next shop is Braid Antiques.
-You're very welcome to Braid Antiques, I'm Audrey.
Thomas wastes no time and sets to work straightaway
carefully looking out for that hopeful second purchase.
And the very helpful Audrey has looked out a few things
that she thinks may be of interest to Thomas.
-Just a couple of wee bits of kitchenalia.
-Yeah, quite sweet!
-Nice little butter stamp, isn't it?
-It's a lovely butter stamp,
-and the egg timer... and the breadboard.
So what have we got on here?
"White Rock, Hastings."
So obviously for playing games, you put your die in there and...
So this is a needle case.
-A needle case, yes.
-Put sewing needles in there.
"Sea front, Dover." Good local scenes, aren't they?
-Very local to here, yes!
-Very local to here, you know?
The others are all Jersey, I think.
Could I try
and buy all of it
-No, that would be too little.
-I would be losing money on that.
-Oh, I would, I would.
Well, all of it for 70.
-Halfway at 65.
-Oh... You do drive a hard bargain.
I'm only trying.
-All right, yes.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
Well, there you go, our man drives a hard bargain.
That's another two lots to add to his bag of treasures.
Mark, meanwhile, has travelled eight miles away
to Ahoghill, Ballymena.
Once Upon A Time
is owned by father and son Sean and Ronan McLaughlin.
-How do you do, sir.
Would you mind awfully if I had a quick poke around in here
because it looks very, very interesting.
You would be most welcome.
So far it's been an exciting day for Mark.
Does he have a game plan?
I want to buy something for £8 and sell it for a couple of thousand. That's my plan.
But, it doesn't always work out that way.
So I might have to settle for buying something for £30 and selling it for a profit.
Better get a move on then, Mark.
That's what I like to see lots of bits and bobs.
I was just wondering, in case it was pennies, because...
Obviously all the flowers are tipped and broken
-and the tail is restored badly there.
Is it pennies? I'm just trying to buy little bits as well.
-It could be £8.
£8, you say?
Maybe this will be the one that sells for a couple of grand, Mark.
That's ever so good. Terribly reasonable.
It's made by John and Rebecca Lloyd
of Shelton in Staffordshire in about 1835.
Hmm, looks like Mark's going to mull this one over.
Rough shell case, a bit of trench art.
I don't think it's decorative enough, though, is it?
What a lovely jug. 19th century, 1830, 1840...
One of the better English porcelain factories.
It's got that Coalport look to it. It's beautifully hand painted.
There's a pattern number on the bottom that could be researched.
Erm, in very good condition, there's no chips, cracks or restoration.
It's the real thing, it's just nice. If that's come in with a box lot,
can you do that for pennies? If you can, I'll have a go at it.
It's not terribly saleable now.
I could take 18 for that.
-It's tempting, it's a very good quality jug.
-It is, yeah.
You know, I left a very good quality English porcelain basket this morning,
just because they're not selling.
Well, this is awkward.
Erm, I tell you what...
I'm not insulting you, you tell me, OK?
Having that for a fiver and if I give you 15 for that. It's 20 for the two.
-Is that all right?
-Thank you, Ronan.
Wow, what a shopping spree.
Four items already in the bag. Or should that be box?
Mark's on a roll. It's off to Lisburn,
Northern Ireland's third-largest city.
First stop is Ballinderry Antiques, owned by Donald.
-Good afternoon, sir.
Good afternoon, Donald. Is it OK if I just seek and search?
-Plenty to look at.
-Thank you very much indeed, thank you.
And he's off!
I do have to beat Thomas.
-It has suffered a bit.
-Yeah, what a beauty, though.
This is a Troika wheel vase.
Troika was an art pottery set up in Cornwall in the early '60s.
-Whereabouts? Oh, there.
-Worth restoring, possibly.
I think so. That is wonderful. Look at the shape and everything, I love it to bits.
Erm, no hard haggle, no messing about.
Bottom line, very, very best, and it's got to be good or I won't bother.
At Ballinderry Antiques we always offer a good deal.
-Sometimes you can just knock things out and sometimes you can't.
-That's the very best, the bottom line, is it?
I love that, I love it.
-There should be something left in that.
-Wrap it up for me, that's brilliant. We started. We started.
Say, "please". He's quick and not quite finished yet.
Some Guinness tonight.
And, as quick as a flash, he's uncovered a 19th-century Chinese hardwood stand.
What's the very best on it, just in case I can do a last-minute...
-A sweet little piece.
-A quickie here.
Almost certainly, you'll get some sort of profit on that.
-That's a lovely, carved wood stand, isn't it?
-It's very intricate.
-Very much the flavour of the month, isn't it?
-Very much so.
That would have had a piece of jade or whatever in it.
They're very collectable, lovely patina, lovely colour.
-All right, Donald, I'll have that.
-Thank you very much.
Blimey, he doesn't hang around.
-What's the grand total?
-And I can't knock any more off that?
-That's it, I'm afraid.
-£57, there's £60.
That's brilliant. I'll get you £3 change.
That's another two in the bag. Man now has a mighty six lots.
Meanwhile, Thomas, has travelled just over 26 miles
to the small village of Grey Abbey in County Down.
He's going for a good rummage in Hayes Antiques.
-Nice to meet you, Derek Hayes.
Thomas is a bit of an antiques magpie
and has a real passion for interesting curios.
I think it's Italian. I think it is with that cockerel on the base.
It could be the Cantagalli factory from the Urbino in Tuscany,
from about the late 19th century, early 20th-century.
-It's rather good, isn't it? Rather good fun.
-Yeah. It's a nice piece.
I love that design to it.
The ticket price for the vase is £65.
Could we say...
-I've got that figure in my head.
-Brilliant. Thank you very much. I like that.
It's a handsome thing.
That's four lots in the bag for Thomas.
He certainly is a tough cookie when it comes to naming his price.
Meanwhile, Mark has finished all his high octane shopping for the day
and is making his way to a secret location.
-You sir, must be Ray?
-Yes, it's me.
Mark has an invitation to visit passionate collector
and automobile enthusiast, Ray.
He's a house builder who has collected literally thousands of items
for the last 30 years from vintage petrol pumps
to the very first motoring signs.
-Would you show me around?
-Certainly. Come this way here up to the goody parts.
This priceless collection began when Ray was passing a garage
he used to visit with his dad when he was a nipper.
He's amassed a spectacular collection of automobilia.
from around the world, including an extraordinary collection of petrol globes.
-Well, Mark, this is the Aladdin's cave.
-Oh, my goodness me.
-Oh, my goodness me.
-Altogether there are over 350 globes here.
You have to go to America to get bigger collections of up to 1,500.
Which is the earliest globe in this room?
The earliest globes would be this line here, the BP, Pratt's,
ROP, Red Line, they are all around 1920.
In 1919, that's when the first petrol pumps came into Great Britain and Ireland.
-What are they made of. Glass?
-Plastic globes weren't used until after the war.
-Can you still find them?
-Do they still appear?
-They still appear.
-Or have you got the lot?
Absolutely fascinating. I couldn't be more impressed, frankly.
-I will never forget this.
-You won't forget this.
With both boys shopping all done and dusted for today,
let's remind ourselves what they've purchased.
Thomas started today with £200 and spent £123.50 on four lots.
The candlestick telephone, the collection of Mauchline ware,
the Victorian kitchenware and the Cantagalli vase.
Mark, on the other hand, splashed out £152
on his first ever spending spree.
He ended up with a whopping six lots.
The pair of Staffordshire figures, the silver spoons
the baby moneybox, the Troika vase, the Chinese hardwood stand
and the dog on wheels. Woof!
So what does old timer Thomas think of new boy Mark's purchases?
He should not have bought the Troika, it's whacked.
I feel sorry for him for buying that.
But it could make money at the auction.
I don't know whether I'm going to beat Thomas or not.
I know I WILL beat Thomas, sooner or later -
I know I WILL find something,
and it will make a lot of money, I know that is going to happen...
but I can't... You know, it's in the lap of the gods
WHEN that is going to happen.
Fighting talk from the boys. But what results lie ahead?
Right - all eyes to the front. The auction is about to begin.
First up, it's Mark's porcelain duo.
Let's find out what he knows about ceramics.
£30. £20. £10.
£5, £6, £7. At £7 I'm bid.
£8, £9. £10.
£12. Bid's at the back at £12.
Lovely Victorian jug, are we all finished at £12...?
Disaster strikes, so early in the day.
Oh, dear, it's a loss, Mark -
but don't worry, it's only your first item.
Next up is Thomas's collection of Mauchline Ware.
Nice lot there. £80. £60. £50.
-For £30, then.
-Come on, come on, come on.
£37.50. It's with Paul at £40.
£42.50. Bid's beside me now at £42.50...
All finished, the lot, at £42.50...?
My heart goes out to you on that one,
because genuinely I would have bought them too.
Another loss, and not what Thomas expected at all.
Still, it could be worse.
It's Mark's turn next.
With the damaged, but unusual Troika vase.
£40. For £20...
For sale, £10. £12. £14. £16. £18.
£20. £22.50. £25.
£30. £32.50. New bidder.
£35. New bidder again. £40...
All finished now at £40?
40 quid! You got out of jail.
-I'm annoyed about my earlier loss, Thomas.
-Don't stress about that.
Not bad, Mark, but listen to Thomas. Enjoy a profit when you get one.
Back to Thomas. It's the Victorian kitchenalia next.
Will a tenner start me?
I'm bid £10, £12. £14. £16. £18. £20.
Bid's here beside me in the middle at 22.50, 25, 27.50.
Bid's still in the middle. Bid's here.
In the middle at 27.50. All out. All done now for 27.50.
That sorts out your Mauchline lot with your breadboard, doesn't it?
Well, hang on.
A small profit. Come on, Thomas, keep your hopes up.
Right, Mark, it's the baby money bank next.
Fiver. Thank you. Five, six, seven.
At seven. Eight - new bidder. Nine.
Ten. Beside me now at £10. All out for £10.
-Oh, come on.
-Come on, you made money out of it.
Come on indeed, Mark, at least somebody bought it.
Next, it's the decorative Cantagalli ewer.
£80. £50. £30.
Thank you. At 30. 32.50. 35
-At 35. 37.50.
£40. New bidder. In front of me at £40. Are we all done for this?
2.50 again. 45.
7.50. At 47.50. Bid's here.
£50. Bid's in the middle. All out for it now. £50.
When you bought that, if it had been 50 and not 42,
-if you wanted it, you would have bought it, wouldn't you?
So would I.
Oh, dear. Not what Thomas was expecting. Keep your chin up, boys.
It's Mark's 19th century Chinese stand next. Fingers crossed.
A tenner, sir. Thank you.
10, 12, new bidder at 14, 16, 18.
20. Bid's here for £20. All finished at £20.
-You were right. 20 quid.
And I still think another place, another time, a lot more.
I think you thought that too, didn't you?
Excuses, excuses. It's another loss, Mark. But it's not over yet.
Maybe the silver spoons will bring a much needed smile to your face.
30 bid. 2.50. 35.
7.50. £40. 2.50.
45. 7.50. £50. 55. 60.
I have 85 in the middle.
90 - new bidder.
Bid's at 95. 100.
-Come on. Yes.
-Keep going. I feel the sea.
-Good lot. Well done.
-Thank you. I'm pleased.
-Well, you should be.
I'm only pleased because it's out of my comfort zone.
Well done, Mark. Silver may be out of your comfort zone
but that is what you can call a result.
It's Thomas's final item, the candlestick telephone, next.
£20. A bid. 2.50. 5. 7.50.
£30. 2.50. 35. 7.50. £40.
2.50. Bid's here beside me now for 42.50 for the phone.
All done. The bid's here beside me.
Beside me now at 42.50. We all like the phone. 42.50.
-Made money though. Made money.
-Made a profit.
It certainly did make you money, Thomas.
It's better than a slap in the face. With a wet fish.
And, lastly, it's Mark's rather crude pooch on wheels.
Will the bidders of Belfast want to take him home though?
Give this dog a home! Give this dog a home!
That's right, give it a home. £10. 10 a bid. 12, 14, 16.
Give floppy ears a home.
-At 18 and bid. 20.
-Go, floppy, go.
-At 20 and bid.
He's going out the door here. 2.50 - new bidder.
At 22.50, the lady's bid in the middle.
Lady's bid then at 22.50. All finished now at 22.50.
-I thought they were going to...
I feel we sort of knew, didn't we?
Do you think your outbursts stopped the bidding?
Do you think it stopped the bidding?
Maybe you do need to keep quiet next time, Mark. Oh, dear. Another loss.
All in all, it hasn't been a great first auction for the boys.
We can't be down in the dumps because we're all walking away
with a bit of extra money jingling in our pocket.
To me, I've got change. He's got folding.
I'm a little bit frustrated
that the decent profit on the spoons
was soaked up by all the other items.
After paying auction costs,
Thomas Plant made a tiny profit of £9.75.
And just inching ahead is Mark Hales with a £23.89 profit.
He's the winner! Not bad for an Antiques Road Trip rookie.
So with poor profits from the Belfast auction,
the duo set off for south of the border and hopefully more success.
-Gentle as you can.
-I know! What are you talking about?
-You pulled away beautifully, smoothly.
-Yeah, all right!
Do you think I'm a backseat driver? I most definitely am!
we start the next leg of this trip in Dublin,
with an auction showdown at Ballybrittas.
Because we're about to buy in the Republic of Ireland,
Thomas's cash pot converts
to 226.53 euros.
While Mark Hales' becomes
a respectable 241.80 euros.
The River Liffey flows through the centre of Dublin.
What better place for the chaps to discuss a bit of shopping strategy
before their first foray into Irish antiques?
-A lovely big river.
-Very nice indeed.
-Teeming with salmon and possible bargains in Dublin.
-I hope so.
Are you going to strike hard bargains this time?
Are you going to deal strongly?
I think if you keep pushing, you make your own luck.
You can't play too safe, Thomas, can you really?
You have to step out of your comfort zone if you're going to win a round.
Well, hopefully Mark will have the luck of the Irish with him today.
The boys are making their way
to Dublin's Antiques Mecca, Francis Street.
It's Mark's turn first.
He's having a good old gander at Michael Connell Antiques.
-Good morning, sir.
-Good morning, how are you?
-Michael Connell, pleased to meet you.
-How do you do, Michael?
How refreshing to walk into a shop that is very much the real thing.
-Thank you very much.
Would it be OK if I had a jolly good look?
-Have a good wander, there's loads of stuff here.
-Thank you very much indeed.
Mark is a master spy of hunting down unusual antiques.
He takes his time, slowly but surely narrowing down
the items he wants to consider.
And then Bingo! He makes his move.
Nice little camera here.
These are very, very collectible.
Maybe if we can get this for a good price, this might be worth a go.
This little beauty is said to be an original spy camera from the 1940s.
I'll have a little think about that.
And as he thinks about it, the search continues.
This just caught my eye because there's always RAF collectors.
That's just come in, yes.
Whenever we have anything that's RAF,
there's always somebody that wants to buy it.
I just thought that's a bit of fun so that's definitely a maybe.
Right, the camera, Michael. 60-odd euros.
I'll do 50 on it, Mark.
I'm out of my comfort zone as usual.
I'll do 40 to bring you into your comfort zone.
Little spy camera in its original leather case, 40 euros.
-Oh, let's have a go. Let's have a go.
All right, I'll have that, Michael. We'll shake on that one.
-I'll have that one. I'll get the money out in a minute.
What about this little match box holder? This has to be pennies.
I'm not that enamoured with it, it's just RAF. It's a collectible.
-If it's really cheap, I'll have a go.
-I'll do a tenner on it.
All right, we'll have a go with that. Thank you, Michael. Shake on that as well.
The job's a good 'un, Mark.
It's an impressive start.
Meanwhile, Thomas Plant is making his way to St James's Gate in Dublin,
the home of the world-famous Guinness beverage.
Obviously, there are other stouts available
but it would be rude not to visit whilst one's in Dublin.
10 million glasses of this world-famous stout are enjoyed
in 150 countries across the globe, but Thomas is not going for a drink.
Oh no. He's here to find out about the history.
It all started in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed
a rather unique lease for a disused brewery in Dublin.
Archivist Evelyn Roche is Thomas's guide for today.
-I keep on hearing about this famous lease.
One of the most famous leases in Irish history, probably,
and I've a copy of it here to show you.
-This is it.
It's an indenture, the term that would have been used back in the 18th century.
It was signed 252 years ago for an incredible 9,000 years.
That is an extraordinary amount of time.
Did he think, I may as well buy it?
Very hard for us to conceive of 9,000 years as a period of time.
I guess all you can say, about Arthur, he certainly had
a belief in his beer and a belief that he was going to be around for 9,000 years.
-I hear you've got something else to show me.
-I do indeed.
I'll take you over here.
This is one of the absolute gems that we hold here in the archive.
It's a recipe book that dates right back to Arthur's time.
It's a recipe that he himself would have brewed.
What this shows is that he was actually brewing West India Porter.
Why this particular recipe is of such interest to us
here at Guinness is that it's the direct precursor
of a beer that we still brew today over 200 years later
here in St James's Gate which we call Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.
That is fascinating, it really is.
What are these here, these children's books?
Sort of Alice in Wonderland?
These are what are known as doctor's books.
They're really, really highly illustrated booklets
that were first produced in the early 1930s
and they're called doctor's books because they were actually issued
by Guinness to GPs, general practitioners,
around Christmas time of every year as a thank-you gift to GPs
who, at that point in time,
would have been endorsing Guinness as a health tonic.
Very much, you have to look at it as a point in time.
This is the very first one here and it's based on Alice in Wonderland
so would have been the Lewis Carroll centenary
around the 1930s, so would have been very topical, I guess, at the time.
What they would have done is just adapted a lot of the copy
and a lot of the ditties to Guinness.
This one here at the end is just one of my personal favourites.
You have the hare here looking at his pocket watch and saying,
"Oh my ears and whiskers! It's Guinness time!"
Well, my ears and whiskers indeed.
While Thomas enjoys a touch of the black stuff,
Mark's still shopping in Dublin's Francis Street.
-Good morning, I'm Mark.
-Hello, Esther. How do you do?
-Fine, thank you.
-What a lovely day out there.
-What a lovely shop.
-Would you mind awfully if I just have a little browse?
Do you know, it sort of makes the day worthwhile
when you see something like that. I absolutely love this.
19th century French Rousseau.
Superb. Acid-etched, look at the colour. That in front of the light.
Unfortunately, a lot of damage. Actually, it's not for sale.
Esther's keeping this and I really don't blame her
because if I found this somewhere, I would keep it.
Oh, wonderful piece of glass. That's made my day.
Whatever happens to me now today, I'll still be smiling
because I've seen that and I've held that.
MUSIC: "Magic Moments" by Perry Como
I think he likes it.
But you're here to buy, Mark. Back to it!
Have you got any little bits and bobs?
Anything there's a profit left in. Anything I can turn a copper with.
-I doubt it.
-Anything you've bought well.
-This is a very English thing.
-I like that. Isn't it lovely?
-Mother of pearl, little penknife, fruit knife.
-A fruit knife.
Little ladies' penknife or fruit knife. Is that pennies?
-There's 20 euro on it. We could do something.
Could it be 10?
-That will give me a chance, wouldn't it?
-It would, wouldn't it?
-It could be 10.
-Esther, I think I love you.
I love that.
-It must make more than that, mustn't it?
-It has to.
Bless your heart, you're a lovely lady.
-Right, 10 euros. Thank you very much.
Gosh, Mark really likes to dish out the kisses and the compliments.
The charm seems to be working though.
That's another cheeky lot to add to his bag of tricks.
Thomas, on the other hand, has a lot of catching up to do.
His first bout of shopping begins in Michael Connell Antiques.
-Hello, how are you?
-Good, thank you. How are you?
-Not too bad.
-Michael Connell, pleased to meet you.
-Michael, I'm Thomas Plant. Nice to meet you.
Thomas loves sniffing out a bargain and like Mark,
he loves to get stuck right in.
I'll ask Michael about this.
A big decorative drum, isn't it? It's made of, this is pigskin.
This is brass and this is wood round here.
I quite like the painting around it.
I think that's quite good fun. But it's got a lot of money.
The thing is, nobody's offended by an offer.
-What can that be?
-How much is on it?
What would you like it to be?
I want it to be for nothing, really.
It can be 50.
Eh? What's that you say? 50 euros!
-You couldn't make it for 50 quid.
-If we said 40, would you do it?
-If we said 50, I'll do it.
I am just now... Do you see the door there?
It's a good price at 50.
45. Thank you.
Before Michael shows him the door,
Thomas adds a fine carving set to his horde.
-Oh, you're giving me a tip as well?
Blimey, that was a super quick deal.
65 euros for the drum and silverware.
Perhaps Thomas has a lucky shamrock in his pocket.
Meanwhile, we can't seem to get Mark away from Francis Street.
He's still shopping there. This time it's Lantern Antiques.
-How do you do, John?
-Some very, very nice things here. Can I have a browse?
-Of course, yeah.
Thank you very much, John. Thank you.
Mark wastes no time having a good old rummage.
And before too long, he spots a glass scent bottle.
-Lovely scent bottle. It's quite late, isn't it, John?
-Oh, yeah, I think so.
-Bright gilding on it.
-Well, that's tempting, isn't it?
-I like that. It's very pretty. Could it be 10 euros?
Yes, yes, yes. I think we'll buy that.
That's decorative and that's fun, isn't it?
I think the ladies will like it. My wife would like that very much.
She'd be quite happy to have that.
But then she'd be quite happy to have anything I bought, frankly.
There we have it.
Mark has yet another goody to add to his collection.
Hot on Mark's heels is Thomas.
With only two items in his swag bag, he's got some catching up to do.
Wow, it's like a revolving door at Lantern Antiques!
-Do you mind if I have a good look around?
Thank you very much.
Will Thomas's keen eye spot a prize that Mark missed? Let's see.
Crumbs. That's a whopper.
This is a Victorian brass grain measure,
as it says on there. You can see it's Victorian
because just here, you've got a Victorian mark.
V.R. and the Crown.
Then you've got these proof marks here.
I rate that. I like that. I think it's a lovely thing.
You must sort of scoop into the grain and then you sort of,
off it comes, and then that's your measure of grain.
Beautifully made. I might ask about it.
Interesting item, Thomas. Let's hope it's in your price range.
This is a Stilton waiter or Stilton stand.
A cheese dish.
It's mahogany and Georgian, I would have thought.
Cheese coasters would have been used around the Georgian dinner-table
to contain a round of Stilton.
Normally they would have had casters for ease of use.
It's the kind of thing which is still quite collectible
because it's small and it would fit into a modern interior.
There's no price on it so I'm going to have to ask John about it.
Hold on to your hats! He's going in for the deal.
It's the grain measure first.
Really? You wouldn't sort of think again on that one?
-No. No way, no.
It's worth a lot of money, that.
What's your price then?
-I'd like to give you 75.
-I can only ask.
-I'll split the difference.
100 and something-five or something.
-I want to get it under the three-figure.
-No. No less, no way.
-OK. We can just think about that for a second.
Can I ask you about this Stilton piece?
Well, you know, it's incomplete. The wheels...
-The wheels are missing.
-I bought it and didn't realise that.
-Was that cheap?
-It is, yeah.
-Would you do a little bit less?
-60 is my lowest now, OK.
-50, go on.
-No, no way.
-With the grain thing, What about 140?
-OK, go on.
-If it will get rid of you, go on.
-You want to get rid of me!
You're certainly being tough today, Thomas.
Remember, people do have to make a living.
-Been a real pleasure.
To throw Thomas off his trail,
Mark's travelled to Sandycove, eight miles south of Dublin,
to have a bit of a nosey in Sandycove Antiques.
-Good afternoon, madam.
-How are you?
-I'm Mark, how do you do?
-Lovely things. Lovely shop.
Our Mark loves a bit of a browse
and he's not afraid to have a good old feel of the goods.
But what's he in the mood for buying?
I would love to buy a little bit of silver.
Have you any Dublin silver?
I have a few Irish silver spoons here. Two rat-tail spoons.
-That's called rat-tail.
-Ah, isn't that lovely?
This is the bright-cut one I was going to show you.
That's bright-cut, it's called. Star pattern.
-Isn't that lovely?
1832. Lovely hallmarks.
That could be a shrewd move, Mark,
buying Irish silver to sell to a home crowd at the auction.
These are Irish, here. They are a pair of brass button shiners.
Apparently the people in the army,
to shine the brass buttons on their uniform,
they would put this on to stop the...
-Aren't they lovely?
-Is it military?
-It's military, yes.
Irish military? That's good, isn't it?
If we put those on the desk, have a little think about those.
Perhaps those would be good and these lovely brass button shiners.
-Is that a good buy at 55 euros?
-I think 55's OK for those because they're Irish silver.
Can I get a profit on those?
That just seems a lot to me, 55. 35?
What about 45?
I definitely wouldn't want to have a go at 45.
-Maybe I'd have a go at 40.
-At 40 it's 20 each.
All right. OK, Fiona.
Thank you very much indeed.
And just when you think he's finished for the day...
You know the two pretty ones, they're Dublin as well?
-They are Dublin, 1832.
-How about all four?
£25 a spoon, isn't it?
-You're quite happy with these? Same deal with those?
-OK, I'll do that.
-We have a deal.
-Thank you very much. That's really sweet.
-I'm in a spoon-buying mood, you might have noticed.
-Good, I'm delighted you like the spoons.
He loves a nice Irish spoon.
And he's also one for kissing the ladies.
Maybe that's why he's always smiling.
Thomas has travelled from Dublin to Newcastle.
That's Newcastle in the Republic of Ireland.
Thomas is going for a good old nosey in Foley's Storehouse.
-How you doing?
-All right if I...?
-Yeah, go ahead.
Here he goes.
Antique hand-painted double-handled urn with floral design.
An opposing English country scene. That's a nice thing.
It needs completely restored,
but it's a nice thing.
It's lovely, really lovely.
I love it. Lovely shape.
It's classical. A proper antique.
Looks like Thomas is ready to negotiate.
Time to get manager Ewan in on the action.
-An interesting piece.
It's completely been off it's rim, hasn't it?
Can anything be done there?
-With regards to the price?
-Oh, the price?
Certainly. Well, let's just see now.
It's stunning at 90 euros, so I could, er...
I could do it for 70, how do you feel about that?
I was thinking, cos it's so badly damaged,
-I'll give you 20 for it.
-I love it for what it is. It's just a decorative item now.
-I follow you.
OK, I'll give it to you for 20.
-All right, deal. That's a deal.
What's wrong with you, Thomas? You really are pushing it today.
So with shopping done, let's recap.
Mark started with 241.80 euros, and spent 212 euros on five lots.
The brass button polishers, the scent bottle, the camera
and matchbox holder, the fruit knife and the spoons.
Thomas began with 226.53 euros.
He nearly blew the lot by spending 225 euros on five lots.
These included the cheese coaster, the pigskin drum,
the porcelain vase, the carving set and the bronze grain measure.
Both boys are pretty pleased with their buys.
But what do they think of each other's items?
I've bought real antiques,
real antiques and quality. Mark seems to have spent
all his money on not great items apart from the spoons.
Out came the drum, I didn't like it.
He's right, it was a Victorian drum,
but I can't see it fetching more than he paid for it.
It's been an exciting journey from Dublin via Sandycove
and the village of Newcastle, County Dublin
to the auction in Ballybrittas, Portlaoise.
Ballybrittas is a small village
located in the North East of County Laois, Ireland.
Our competitive duo arrive for a salesroom showdown
at Ashgrove Auction Rooms.
It's the moment we've all been waiting for. Quiet please!
The auction is about to begin.
First up, it's Thomas' unusual cheese coaster.
We have bids taking us in here at 120.
You were right, Thomas, you're smiling now.
-130, 140. Any advance on 140?
-That's very good.
Are we all out and done?
Fair warning to you all at 140.
-We're happy now, aren't we?
That's a good... That's a good result.
It's a tidy profit for Thomas.
Next up we have Mark's military brass button polishers.
Can we see 30 for them, please? 20 is bid. 22 and I am out.
It's in the room at 22. Any advance on 22?
25, 28. Any advance on 28?
All out and done at 28.
You won't be buying them again, will you?
No, I think I'll give button shiners a miss for the rest of my life.
Button shiners clearly aren't so popular with this audience it seems.
And now for Thomas's pigskin drum, the one Mark hates.
-And we have commissions on the book.
-22 is bid. Any advance?
25, 28, 30, 32, 35 in the room on the left.
38, 40, 42, 42 there. Any advance on 42?
45, 48, 50, 60,
70 on the right. Selling at 70. A round of applause at 70.
Hey! Smelly, old drum.
It seems Thomas is rather chuffed with that result.
It's Mark's scent bottle next.
Maybe it'll lift him from loss into profit.
20 for this, please. A tenner?
Ten are bid. Any advance on 10? 12, 15,
28, 30, 30 in front.
All out and done at 30.
Not so bad. That's OK.
You've got to be so pleased!
It's a small profit, but it's better than nothing.
It's Thomas's lovely English porcelain vase next.
We have a commission starting this one at 65 bid.
Any advance on 65? Selling on commission at 65.
70, 75, 80, 82.
I'll take 85. Are we all done and finished at 85?
Fair warning to you all at 85.
-Well done, Thomas. That's great, isn't it?
-That's a good result.
I'm very pleased with that.
It IS a good result. Yet another profit for Thomas.
Next up, it's Mark's quirky little camera and RAF matchbox holder.
And we have bids taking us in at 35, 38 bid here with me.
Need a lot more than that.
40, 42, 45, 48, 50 and I am out. In the room at 50.
55, 60, 65,
Any advance on 65? 70, 75, 80, 85,
100 on the right. Any advance on 100?
Fair warning to you all at 100.
You put your money on that.
I'm quite proud of myself because I'm not a cameraman.
Well, it's a nice little earner and your best result so far, Mark.
It's Thomas's rather lovely carving set next.
Here's to having another big slice of profit, Tom.
20 is bid. Any advance on 20?
28, 30, 32 and I'm out.
Any advance on 32? To you, madam, selling at 32.
-I think that's...
-I think that's very good.
-No, it should have made 45.
-No, no, it made a profit, it's fine.
Quite right, Thomas, at least it wasn't a loss.
It's Mark's delicate, lady's fruit knife next.
We have two bids, they're small, but 22 is bid.
Any advance on 22?
25, I'm out. On the right-hand side at 25.
30 in the room.
32, 32 online.
Any advance on the online bidder at 32? Online at 32.
Selling at 32.
-That's a world record...
-It's very good, isn't it?
..for a bent, silver, mother-of-pearl fruit knife.
Thomas, how dare you? It was beautiful.
That was unexpected. Well done, Mark.
Thomas's turn now.
How will the unusual, bronze grain measure fare?
And we have...
one, two, three, four, five, six bids...
-..starting at 190.
What did I say?
Any advance on 190?
200, 220, 240, 250, I'll take 260. 260 online.
-that was a nice one, sir.
It's a quite unusual piece because of the handles.
Normally you'd see them without handles. 260. Any advance on 260?
-Fair warning. 280, 300.
-It's getting better, Thomas.
220, 320, 340,
I'll take 350. 340 online.
Any advance on 340 online?
Any advance on 340? All out and done and fair warning to you all at 340.
-A wonderful result.
-You're going to have rather a lot to spend in Wales.
By jingo, that's a tremendous result.
It's our final lot of the auction.
Maybe Mark's spoons will get him back on the road to recovery.
And we have commission starting in at 85.
Go, go, go.
85, 90, 95, 100, 110, 120, I'm out.
120 on the left hand side. I'm selling at 120.
130 online. 140.
Need to be quicker online. I'm selling at 140.
Fair warning at 140.
-It could be worse for teaspoons.
-It's a profit.
Well, maybe not quite the result you were looking for
and sadly not enough to achieve a lead today, Mark.
After paying auction costs, Mark has made a profit of 58.60.
He has a total of 300.40 to carry forward.
Thomas Plant is the triumphant winner
with a spectacular array of profits.
He's made a wonderful profit of 321.94
and therefore has a staggering 548.47.
-Mark, are you driving?
-Thank you very much, Thomas, that's wonderful.
I think we know who won, don't we? I think we know who won. I'm driving.
It's just down to luck, isn't it? It's just down to sheer luck.
-What a lovely, lovely evening.
-You might be driving, Mark,
but hopefully Thomas will buy you dinner as a consolation.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Mark Hales and Thomas Plant start their journey on the hunt for antiques in Portrush and end up for final auction showdowns in Belfast and in Portlaoise in the Republic of Ireland.