Antiques experts compete to make the most money at auction. It is the final leg for antiques experts Mark Hales and Thomas Plant with an auction showdown in Pontrilas.
Browse content similar to Episode 3. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The nation's favourite antique 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.
It's the last Road Trip for Thomas Plant and Mark Hales in their vintage 1967 Sunbeam Alpine.
But who loves her the most?
We're back in the car, so I am happy.
We've got a fresh, sunny...
-Oh, you are obsessed about this car!
-I love it.
She's reliable, she's never let us down.
It's a car!
-She's always been there for me. I love her.
-Is he all right?
Thomas is a veteran antiques valuer, auctioneer and Road Tripper,
but lately, he's been away with the fairies.
I love going to the mountains. I like skiing, but I just love the mountains.
They just do something to you, don't they?
And even when he seems to be with us, his mind is elsewhere.
If I was a porter, in a railway station,
I don't know if I would make a good one.
Auctioneer and ceramics expert Mark also finds it hard to stay focused
and prefers playtime instead.
-Can I have a go?
-Yes, go on, have a go.
-It would be fun, wouldn't it?
But when it comes to spotting a bargain, he's eagle-eyed.
It must be worth a go, it could be a sleeper.
Our experts started the week each with £200 worth of dosh,
and they're heading for the finishing line.
Mark has made small, steady profits,
and swollen his kitty to a respectable £330.07.
Thomas did very well, and then not so well,
now just slightly ahead on a blustering £387.98.
I wish I could get those heady days back of Ireland again.
-Thomas, you are still in front, how is that a failure?
You haven't failed. It's very exciting, it's down to the wire, isn't it?
It is down to the wire.
The boys' trip started in Portrush, Northern Ireland,
and is taking them through lovely Wales.
Pontrilas, Herefordshire hosts their decisive last auction,
but whoa, there.
Thomas and Mark first wet their shopping whistles in Hay-on-Wye, upon the Welsh border.
THEY BOTH SING: # We plough the fields and scatter
# The good seed on the land... #
So, in fine voice, our boys enter Hay-on-Wye,
famous for its number of bookshops, some 30 in all,
and its literary festival,
hence it's often dubbed the town of books.
But forget paperbacks,
it's antiques we're after.
Mark's heading up the hill to Bain and Murrin,
purveyors of the finest junk.
Goodness me. Great fun.
You do this sort of knee slapping bit, don't you, and leap up and down?
It's not the weather, is it?
Not the weather for lederhosen.
-Ah, goodness me. Becky?
-Can I ask you, this magnificent dolls' house...
-Late '50s, I would have thought.
I love the garage,
I love the tin windows.
It's big, it's decorative, it's showy.
£25, it's tempting, isn't it?
That's a rather nice suburban, erm, detached.
Two large double bedrooms, bathroom, two reception rooms,
and single detached garage.
Garden to the front and rear.
Does he think he's on Homes Under The Hammer?
-£15? Any good?
It clears it off your shelf, gives you a lot more space, doesn't it?
Is that your very best? 18?
Go on, I'll buy it if it's under £20, I will buy it.
-It's very cheap for 18.
-Yeah, but it gives me a chance, doesn't it?
-You're on my side, you want me to beat Thomas, don't you?
Yeah, you do. You do.
-Erm, go on, then.
-Because I'm the new boy.
-Thank you, Becky.
-Thank you very much indeed. £18. Yeah.
We'll have some fun with that, won't we?
At the other end of town, Thomas is at the chic-er Hay Antiques Market,
and with 17 rooms, there's bound to be a little treasure
"Let them swing."
What a wonderful thing. "Bottoms up."
(Isn't that ghastly? Oh, isn't that horrible?
(I mean, isn't this absolutely, wonderfully kitsch?
(I've got to have it.)
Well, I think we're seeing another side to Thomas here.
A saucy Japanese mug for £10. Bottoms up!
-I've found something in your room...
-..which has made me giggle. I think you probably know what it is.
And, erm, I've got to buy it.
-But obviously, I know it's not very much.
But you want it at rock bottom, don't you?
-Five would be ideal, that's what I had in mind.
-Is that all right?
-Thank you very much.
Yeah, but not to everyone's taste.
Up the road, Mark's in Fleur De Lys,
and under the stewardship of Sally,
there's not a bit of kitsch in sight.
Lovely Georgian chair. Look how wide it is, look at the colour of it.
Got to stay away from chairs at the moment though,
it's not the flavour of the month.
Nice to find a shop with antiques in it.
Yeah, Sally, he's right.
Ah-ha, isn't that lovely? Look at the front of that.
Isn't that beautiful? Big and showy and beautiful colours.
Which are typical of Nove Ware,
a tin-glazed earthenware much like Delft,
which comes from the Italian town of Nove, near Venice.
Pieces can fetch around £1,500 at auction,
but because of the damage, this one's a snip at £28.
Unfortunately, the base has had a lot of restoration.
When something has been badly restored,
they tend to paint over everything.
If you took all that off, I think you might find,
if you look through here, a lot of the original base.
It's there. Oh, we're going to have to have a go at this, aren't we?
-Right, Sally, my darling, my bestest friend in the world.
I've got to sell this at Hereford.
Has it come in with something else, have you bought it well?
Because there's a lot of damage on it, and I want to buy it for under £20.
-It's one of my guest dealers.
It's not knocking off too much, is it? Do you think he'd do it?
Could you ask him for me?
£18, under £20 and I'll have a go.
So at £28, Sally gets a-haggling
with the dealer on Mark's behalf.
And he's offering you 18... OK.
Well, for the sake of a couple of quid, to-ing and fro-ing
and telephoning and everything, I'll have that for 20.
-Right, thank you very much indeed.
-I just love it.
-I think you'll be all right with that.
-Do you like it?
-Yes, I do.
Well, she would say that, wouldn't she?
So that's two in the bag for Mark.
Now, back at the Hay Antiques Market, Thomas has gone all teachery
about a glass jug.
This is important, from a design point of view,
it's Koloman Moser or Josef Hoffmann and for Lutz.
Lutz is a glass manufacturers from Austria.
It's aged, it's about 1910.
And what a piece of design for a jug.
Glass manufacturers Lutz were known for championing
art nouveau and deco forms of design
from about 1890 into the 20th century.
You can imagine on a hot summer's day
-bouncing bits of ice.
Lemonade jugs - alcoholic, I hope - and having a tremendous time.
Ticket price is 55. I'm going to go and negotiate on this.
That means a phone call to the dealer. Over to you, Glynis.
Oh, hello, Maggie, I wonder what would be Robin's best price
on your Lutz crackle-glaze jug?
Yes, I suggested that, but I think he might want a little more.
35? Yes, go on, she says.
-She's obviously in a good humour today.
-She won't take any more off for good humour, then?
-I don't think so.
-You think I've reached the limit?
-I think, yes.
I think you'd be sort of chancing your arm after that.
Well, you know, nothing wrong with that. 35, OK. It's a deal.
-Thanks. Thanks, Maggie, goodbye.
-Thank you, Maggie.
Meanwhile, back at Fleur De Lys, Mark is also looking for another bold bargain,
but maybe one that's not so damaged.
This is rather nice. I like this.
Georgian mahogany cutlery box.
Been converted into a stationery box,
put your letters and things in there.
Pens, whatever. It's lovely.
But the price isn't so lovely, it's a whopping £235.
So owner Sylvia has arrived to manage the negotiations,
and she doesn't look as if she takes prisoners.
Supposing I said 160?
-Would you do it for 150?
-Because it's you.
-Oh, you are a darling.
-Oh, we're going to have a go, aren't we, Sylvia?
You loose woman!
You'll get a kiss in a minute, if you're good.
He's not joking, you know.
Now, not to be outdone,
Thomas is also making hay up the road with Rhona, lucky girl.
(I like that chalice.)
There's no price on it.
Chalices are drinking vessels considered sacred in Christian worship
and in literature, particularly,
this Holy Grail of objects is said to possess miraculous powers,
a thought not lost on Thomas.
Do you think, if I drank out of this, I'd live forever?
Is this the Holy Grail? Is this going to make me beat Mark?
You wish! At £160, it looks as if it's not the only thing Thomas is eyeing up.
This is a toasting goblet. Early 19th century.
Commemorative for the Duke of Wellington and his army,
at the Battle of Waterloo, for beating Bonaparte.
Of course, the man didn't know when to stop, really.
We'd had a good scrap with him at Trafalgar, on the sea,
and then he sort of, you know, his ugly head rose up again and we had another one.
Now, your rummer, please?
What can be the best on that one, thank you?
Mmm, come on, Rhona. Ticket price £38, girl.
-That doesn't seem much, does it?
Could we... OK, that's fine.
-Tell me about that.
-Well, it's a piece of blanc de Chine, Chinese.
It's so fine and so beautiful, and we just, even in the 18th century,
had such trouble making porcelain that looked like that.
I've had it at home for a long time because I love it.
What's the very, very, very best on that, please?
-That is a huge gamble. What for all three?
£300 for the three items.
Come on, a little bit more!
We can't negate the history and the beauty of these objects
-by haggling over a couple of pounds.
Oh, is Thomas about to take a big risk?
Go for it, man!
-Go on, then, I'll do it.
-I'll pay £300.
I can't believe I've done that.
I need to sit down.
It's a very dangerous game I've just played. I've just played an absolute nightmare.
So let's see how this £300 nightmare works out.
Now, it's £150 for the libation cup,
£120 for the chalice,
and £30 for the glass rummer.
Cor, can't wait for the auction!
Our experts are heading onwards.
Next stop is to Newport, in Gwent.
I mean, I always imagined it to be a bit of a sort of chick magnet.
There's something rather coarse, Thomas,
about calling a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine,
a classic English sports car,
a "chick magnet".
So here we are in Newport, a city on the River Usk, and across which
engineers built, in 1906,
the Newport transporter bridge.
It takes cars, pedestrians and bikes,
and is now one of only eight remaining in the world.
What a wonderful looking thing.
Meanwhile, Mark is hoping to find a similar rare antique
to get him to the finishing line in winning time.
-Hello, I'm Mark.
Tony, do you know who this is? This is Thomas, after a bad night.
-After a bad night.
Or after spending £300 in one go. Ha!
Right, let's have a look.
I do quite like this. It caught my eye
because it's a sort of art glass.
I think I have a little bit of information in there for you.
Yeah, 1950s seaweed glass, and it's pre-Baxter.
It's made by the famous Whitefriars Company
and plain pieces like this 1950s smoked glass vase
were their staple diet before Geoffrey Baxter joined in 1954
and created its celebrated textured glass range.
Ticket price on this, £55.
I won't haggle or be stupid, I just want a figure,
really as low as you possibly can.
Have a think about that. You mentioned a bit of Mauchline ware.
-I would like to see that.
-In this cabinet.
I like that, Tony, that's lovely.
Ooh, good subject, look,
St Paul's Cathedral, London.
And it says on the base, "Lucy, 1885." Goodness me.
Well, that's a little bit special, isn't it?
That personal inscription makes this turret-shaped piece rare.
What's more, it's a money box,
but at £125, it's pricey.
It's a lovely piece, but I've just got to buy it very cheaply,
or I'm not going to make a profit.
How much? Because I won't haggle. Real bottom line.
And the vase?
The vase, that would probably be your bargain of the day.
I could actually do that for 45.
So, £110 for the two.
I'll tell you what, I didn't mean to haggle, and that's the truth,
but I'll say it anyway, if I bought two items,
if I bought that for 50 and that for 35, that's 85.
-Does that still give you a profit?
-A little bit of profit.
All right, well, let's have those.
-Thank you, Tony.
-Amazing what you can get for a no-haggle haggle, eh?
Meanwhile, Thomas is heading out of town, or is he?
The car is making an extraordinary noise.
I don't know what that noise is, the red button is on.
Erm... It's smoking.
So with the car out of action...
..Thomas is having to hitch a lift, because
he's on his way to Berkeley,
35 miles east of Newport,
in the county of Gloucestershire,
to investigate a case of a right royal murder.
Berkeley is a town dominated by the castle,
home to the Berkeley family.
Indeed, they are only one of three families in England
who can trace their ancestry back to Saxon times.
The castle started life as a fortress nine centuries ago,
but is now a stately home,
brimming with stunning antiques and artefacts.
Charles Berkeley, who is heir to the castle
and spent his childhood here,
has some riveting stories for Thomas,
starting with the tale of a gruesome royal murder. Wah!
In 1327, Edward II met his death here,
on the orders of the Queen and her lover.
His dungeon still remains virtually untouched today.
Why do you think... Oh, my, that's horrific.
Fairly gloomy, isn't it?
I know the sun is shining in and it looks rustic and charming,
apart from the skull, which is quite scary.
Why was he murdered here?
The barons were furious with Edward because he had no strength or power
and had got rid of a lot of the noble families.
He was considered, at the time, a bit of a weak King,
and he was eventually put to death in this cell.
Killing the King, though, wasn't easy.
This is the dungeon, Thomas, that Edward...
They put rotting animal carcasses in here, piled them up in this dungeon.
It's the only surviving dungeon in the castle.
30 feet down to the courtyard level.
They hoped to asphyxiate him from the fumes
from these rotting carcasses in the cell next door.
But he survived that and they realised, after five months,
that they couldn't go keeping the King here,
and in the end, he was murdered with a red hot poker...
-..on his backside, so there was no mark on the outside of his body.
So everyone thought he'd died of natural causes.
-Was that the reason why?
-That's what we're led to believe.
His screams were heard, so they say, over the river.
Doesn't bear thinking about, really.
Despite that gruesome episode in its history,
the castle's links with royalty have had their benefits though.
This wall hanging here,
it's silk and cloth mixed together,
made locally. The thought was that the wall hangings
come from Henry VIII's bedchamber at Hampton Court.
When Henry VIII came with Anne Boleyn,
soon after he'd got married, and stayed at the castle a couple of times,
we believe it was a gift to the family.
It's unbelievable to think that this hanging is
actually 500 years old.
-And the colours are still so strong.
And it is in good condition.
It is in good condition, especially the higher up bits,
because I imagine as a child, you would like to pick.
My brother and I often did.
It's just lovely to have on this wall, it brightens it up.
And the royal association with Berkeley Castle didn't end there.
Henry VIII's daughter, Elizabeth I, made a fleeting visit
and went deer hunting. And in more recent times,
Princess Margaret and Prince Charles
have even passed over its illustrious threshold.
Well, back down to earth. Let's get a reminder
of what our experts have bought on the last leg of this road trip.
Mark has spent a healthy £273 on five lots -
a large dolls' house, a cutlery base,
an Italian pedestal vase, a Whitefriars vase and a money box.
Thomas, meanwhile, has parted with £340, also on five lots.
A Bottoms Up mug, a Lutz glass jug,
a Duke of Wellington toasting goblet, a porcelain libation cup
and a silver-plated chalice.
So, with their road trip nearly complete, what do Mark and Thomas really think
about each other's final auction items?
I think he's done really well
and he's got a really good eye,
so I'm really impressed, actually.
I am very, very impressed with the way he's done things.
Who knows? Let's see what happens at the auction.
I thought Thomas was rather clever.
As always, he's not shy when it comes to spending money.
I loved his silver-plated chalice,
gorgeous classical shape, lovely quality.
Will he make a profit?
I do hope so, it deserves to.
Right, to the auction.
And thankfully, the Sunbeam is back in service, so it's full steam ahead!
Thomas and Mark started their final leg
in Hay-on-Wye, and are heading inevitably
to auction in Pontrilas, Herefordshire.
Our experts' destination for this final auction showdown
is Ward & Co, who sell everything from objets d'art to tools and machinery.
-Right, Thomas. Down to the wire, Thomas.
-Down to the wire.
This is it.
Come on, I'm ready for a thrashing.
Here we go, folks, it's the final showdown!
We're kicking off with
that smoked glass vase.
The auctioneer has confirmed
it is Whitefriars.
£20 to get on, 20 I've got, 20,
25, 30, £30 here,
at 30, 35, do you want?
£30 only bid, 40, 45 there, £50 your turn,
55, £60, 60, 65.
At £60 in the front row,
going away at £60.
Goes at 60.
Ooh. Almost doubled your money.
I said to the chap in the shop,
it will either be a money back
or it will make 65 quid.
It's a good start for the boy in second place.
So can Thomas do as well
with his bit of glass?
25 is there, thank you, 25,
30, 35, 40, 45,
50, 55, 60, 65,
£80, 80? 85,
£90, 90, 95?
Isn't that the lady who bought Mark's Whitefriars?
Well, I'm really excited about this.
Yeah, 105. 110?
-I think you've woken up now, Thomas.
You know, a part of me is delighted
and there's another part of me,
Thomas, that is not very happy.
All I can do is this...
Indeed, and that puts Thomas firmly in the lead.
So can Mark's money box also spin a profit?
Start me away on this one, what do we want? Surely 50 for it... 30.
-£20, ten to get away, ten, I have ten, ten,
15, 20, 20, 30,
40, 50, £50.
£60, £70, 75.
At £70 nearest the door, there's a bid for £70.
Goes and away at £70.
I was quite lucky with that.
Oh, he's catching up, Thomas.
So will it be bottoms up,
or bottoms down,
for that quirky mug?
£10, £5, surely?
£5 I have by the door. Thank you, madam, at five.
I'm very glad you're here.
At £5, I'll take six now. Six, at six, at seven,
at £8, nine, at ten.
I've got ten. At ten. Take 11 now.
At £10, selling. 11 just in time,
at 11, 12 is there.
-This is getting ridiculous.
15... At 16, madam?
-At 15, bid over here.
-Oh, it's funny.
-Goes away at 15.
That's just ludicrous, isn't it?
Is this what I'm supposed to buy from now on? Novelty items.
Well, there's just no accounting for taste.
So anyone fancy a rare mock-Tudor doll's house
with parquet flooring and garage?
£50 then, at 50, take 60.
50, only bid. At 50.
At £50 it is then, goes in the front row at £50.
That's fair enough.
-You must be very pleased.
-That's fair enough.
It made what I said it'd make and I'm quite happy.
-£32 in profit.
Oh, come on, boys, let's have a bit more liveliness,
it's a profit, for goodness' sake!
Let's hope the Duke of Wellington
rummer will get a reaction.
£50 to get going, if you wish.
£50 I have, at 50, at 60, anyone?
Got to be sold. At £50.
First, second, third and last time at £50.
-There you are.
-Listen, I think you should be pleased with that.
I think that's very respectable. That's OK, that.
Yeah, and he should be pleased,
because he is still leading in this race.
and Mark has work to do.
So is his cutlery box,
with that hefty £150 price tag,
going to be the answer?
£50 to get going, £50, who wants it £50?
60, 60, 70, 80, 90.
Slow, isn't it?
-I am worried now.
-She's bidding on it.
140, 140. In at 160,
Well done. You've done really well.
And, Thomas, I said it was a money-back piece and I was right.
Yes, but you're not going to win that way,
unless Thomas has a disaster.
His chalice is next.
£20, 20, I have, at 20, 20 it is, at £20,
20 it is, 25, 30 on the stage,
30, 35, down here,
40, I have 40, 45 now.
Oh, dear, I sense trouble.
50, 55, 55, 60, at 60, 65.
At £65 first, second, third and last time, at £65.
That's a heinous error.
More of a heinous blow, I'd say,
and it puts Mark in the lead.
But can he hold onto it with this?
It's rare, but it's damaged.
£50, are you interested at £50?
50, at 50, 50 bid,
60, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100,
110, 120, is it?
At 110, bid at 110.
It's still cheap, but it's got to go, and I sell it at £110.
Brilliant, well done, you.
You must be really pleased?
I'm pleased that I was vindicated.
But, Mark, it was so pretty.
Finally, a smile. Good grief!
Well, it's a cliff-hanger now.
Thomas needs to make more than £132 before costs
on his libation cup to win this leg.
Someone start me somewhere. £50, if you like. £50.
Is there a glimmer? £10.
Ten, I got ten.
15, £20, at 20, 25 now,
25, £30, 35, 35,
I got 30. This is a bargain.
40, five, 50, five, 60, five,
60 here, at 60.
£60, going to the phone then.
For the first time at 60, for the second, third and last time at £60.
-Good for me, bad for you.
-I think somebody just got a bargain.
-They did, they did.
That was a telephone bidder and nobody to bid against.
Well, that's auctions for you.
Well, Mark, well done.
You've thrashed me on this one.
You've done really well. Come on.
Good fun though.
Thomas started this final leg of the Road Trip with £387.98,
but after auction costs,
leaving him with £289.88
at the end of this trip.
New boy Mark, however,
began with £330.07
and made a massive £96 profit after costs,
leaving him winning this final leg with £426.07.
And all that profit goes to Children in Need.
Come on, Mark. Well done.
Thank you, Thomas.
You must be very, very pleased with yourself.
-That was good fun, Thomas, that was good fun.
-Good fun for you.
-Where to now?
-I don't know, Mark, where to?
Onward and upward.
There's always another one, Thomas. Let's go and find one.
Sadly, there isn't another one for Thomas and Mark,
but didn't they do well?
So long, chaps!
It's a whole new Road Trip,
hitting the road with antiques experts Philip Serrell and Jonathan Pratt.
Between them, they have 55 years' experience in the antiques game,
so competition is in their blood.
This is the hare against the tortoise.
You're the tortoise, then?
No, I saw myself as the hare.
Well, we'll soon find out, won't we?
Philip Serrell is a hard-nosed negotiator.
I'll give you £65 for it.
Listen, I'm doing you a favour.
-Get out of here!
Jonathan Pratt sometimes seems a bit out of focus.
I don't know what I'm doing.
Good. That bodes well, then(!)
Our pair begin their adventure with £200 each,
the open road in front of them, and the wind up their tails.
On this road trip, Philip and Jonathan will travel 140 miles,
through the Lake District, all the way to Wilmslow.
This first leg kicks off in Cockermouth,
before landing at auction in Kirkby Lonsdale.
As Cockermouth draws near, does anyone have a buying strategy?
I think sticking to the decorative and traditional
-is a good basis.
-The dafter, the better, I think.
The ancient Cumbrian town of Cockermouth,
famously the birthplace of poet William Wordsworth in 1770.
But, for Jonathan and Philip,
actions must speak surely louder than words.
Time to shop.
I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to this.
Welcome to Cockermouth, JP.
D'you know where you're going?
The pair go their separate ways, on the hunt for the best bargain.
Let the battle begin.
And Philip's up with his first shop of the day.
-Morning, how are you?
Colin, Philip. How are you?
Is it all right if I just wander round?
Course it is.
After a bit of exploring, Philip's found something
that tickles his fancy. Not difficult.
Those fit the Serrell bill, don't they?
I think they're relatively old.
You can see where they've just retted in the rowlocks.
Can you say that before the watershed?
You can say that. It's a nautical term.
There's some mileage in these.
I'm going to give him £15 for those.
Before he tries to negotiate on the oars,
Philip wants to assess his options.
Can I have a look at that poster at the back, please?
There's a demand for old posters.
Early travel posters can make a fortune.
This 1940s vintage propaganda poster,
by artist, John Pimlott,
would have been printed by the National Savings Movement,
in an attempt to raise funds for the war effort.
Oh, that's a pity.
This has got a huge rip on the right hand side.
£45 will own it.
I'm interested in buying that, and that.
Don't know why I'm interested in that. Lunacy. But I like lunacy.
-£50 for the pair.
-I'm going to say a bit less than that.
But we've got a starting point, haven't we?
-We've got to start somewhere.
-Let me see if I can find something else.
Philip's sticking to his guns to get a good deal.
What on earth are those?
They're axle hooks, off a horse cart.
I can see £50 for that lot now.
-How about £60?
-Get out of here!
-Meet us half way.
-No, it's 50 quid, Colin.
-The cards are on the table.
Philip's leaving Colin to mull over his offer.
Has his clever tactic worked?
-I'll give you 50 quid, and that's my best shot.
-It was £40, wasn't it(?)
Naughty. Philip's come out fighting, and with three items,
the competition is on.
Time for Jonathan to spring into action.
HUMS TO HIMSELF
Dive in there.
Phil's probably bought two objects by now.
Two broken bits of wood, I expect.
CREEPY HORROR MUSIC
Those fit the Serrell bill, don't they?
By Jove, it looks like something's caught Jonathan's eye!
Ooh, look! A pretty, pink vase.
This is probably Monart, which is Scottish glass.
Monart glass was made from the 1920s
at the Moncrieff glass works in Scotland
by a family of Spaniards, called Ysart.
Modern glass is fashionable, cos people can put them in the home,
put flowers in them.
Also, they can collect. It's something they can research.
They can pick it up fairly cheaply.
Marked at £65, the Jonathan I know
won't part with that much dosh this early in the game.
I'd be interested in it, but only at £40. That'd be it for me.
-I'll see what I can do.
The thing about it is it's nice and honest. I know Phil would hate it.
Yes, far too jazzy for our old Phil.
Dusty old books are far more up his street.
See what I mean?
"The Cumberland Union Bank Book.
This is what I really love about this business.
You have this fantastic social history, and it's all here.
If there's a Cumbrian museum,
and they don't buy this, there's something seriously wrong somewhere.
There's one price coming here, cos I've got to be mean.
I'll give you 30 quid for it.
There you are.
Good man. This is just absolutely fascinating.
£80 down, but four items bagged.
Not a bad start for Philip.
How's Jonathan's haggling, over £40 for the pink vase, going?
I've talked to the owner.
He'd be willing to take £42.
-I'll do that.
-Only two quid more than I was asking.
-I like that.
I'd put it on the mantle, at home.
That wouldn't make you a profit though.
At last, it's one item down for Jonathan.
Now it's Philip's turn to have a squizz in the same shop.
Looks like they've got some really interesting things in here.
The auction's in Kirkby Lonsdale.
The least you can do is pronounce it correctly. It's "Kirby".
We've got Kendal. Now, there's Kirkby Lonsdale.
"Kirby". Oh, I give up.
It's £6. That's just no money at all.
But you're still going to drive a hard bargain, aren't you?
What's the best on your road map?
£4. All right. That's it, £4.
I haven't said anything yet. Haven't said a word.
-That's all I've got.
-Fibber! You've got over £100.
No, I'm really sticking out for £4 here.
I'll have it off you for £4.
Jonathan and I can find our way round here now.
With the fifth deal done already,
Philip's on a roll, and back on the road.
He lets Jonathan in on what's driving him to buy, buy, buy.
I'd be happy to win.
I don't mind what happens, as long as I come first.
Having seen what the Cockermouth shops had to offer,
our pair's next destination is another Cumbrian town.
Nestled between the Skiddaw mountains and Derwentwater,
in the Lake District, Keswick is a rather idyllic destination.
Also a bustling market town,
with the striking Moot Hall standing proudly
in the main square since 1813.
New town, new shop. New Jonathan, we hope.
Time to get spending.
I hope there's a bargain to be done in here.
It's a bit small for me.
Is there any chance I could look at a vase, here?
What struck me when I saw it down the front there,
was the colour of the glazes and the decoration
is typically old Chinese.
So, it's likely it's a copy
of a second or third century vase.
During the Tang Dynasty in China,
from 618 to 907,
a wide range of ceramics were produced.
According to Jonathan,
this vase resembles the style from that era.
What would you be willing to accept for it?
Well, I've got 85 on it. I would do it for a straight 60 quid.
For me, £40.
-And then, it's worth a risk.
-£50 would be an absolute...
Have a think at £50. See if you can find anything else, first.
And he's off browsing again.
Come along, Jonathan.
Philip's got five items, compared to your one.
This is a Japanese cloisonne vase.
This is a vase made of copper, and then over the top,
they lay a very thin wire.
Between the wires of the pattern,
they then put in coloured enamels, which are, basically, melted glass.
The Japanese, at the end of the 19th century,
were brilliant at it. The quality of these irises is beautiful.
Crikey, that's odd, isn't it?
It's like it's been in a fire.
Almost like a thick lacquer's on there.
Something has melted the glass.
So, unless you were willing to accept
£30 for it...
-Shall I put it in a bag for you?
I know it's damaged but, marked at £125, I'd shake on it if I were you.
That's not a bad deal you've got!
My decision is to be made, whether I want to take that pot.
How much are you saying for that?
-£50 you're saying for that. Are you SURE you're saying £50?
-I could not go any less than £50.
-Come on. Decision time.
-It's worth a punt, so I'll go for that as well.
A bit of a theme here. Japanese, Chinese.
I think the theme's vases, actually.
Jonathan's bought his third vase for auction,
but shopping isn't all the town of Keswick has to offer.
The discovery of a form of graphite called wad
resulted in the development of local pencil production.
Where better for Philip to learn about the history of Keswick pencils
than the Cumberland Pencil Museum?
Alex Farthing, the museum manager, is primed to give the full tour.
Welcome to the Pencil Museum!
I never thought I'd get excited about pencils.
Why pencils, here?
Way back in the 1500s, the story goes
there was a large storm,
and shepherds went out to tend their flock.
They found numerous trees fallen down on their land.
One of the trees had become uprooted.
Underneath, inside the roots, was a black substance.
They pulled out that black substance and thought it was coal.
They tried to burn it, it didn't burn.
But it marked their hands. Later, they marked their sheep with it.
That's a piece of wad.
The graphite is the wad, ground down with other substances,
to produce the graphite.
How does that gradually convert into a pencil?
I'll show you these slats.
-It's a slat of Canadian cedar wood.
-I understand that's made...
You used to get tree trunks, slat them down.
They'd come in a specific length.
It's actually grooved,
so all the channels are grooved in.
Then you get round pieces of graphite.
You put the graphite in the bottom of the slat. It gets glued in.
The top slat goes on top, and you make a wooden sandwich.
The top gets grooved into a round, and then the bottom,
-and they all get separated.
-I've just made a pencil.
Pencils are everyday writing tools,
but during the Second World War,
they became, possibly, mightier than the sword.
The gentleman who made this pencil
was called Charles Fraser-Smith.
He worked for MI6.
And worked for the Government.
He was instructed by the Government
to come up with devices, instruments,
that would help airmen
throughout the war, if they fell into enemy territory,
to get home again safely.
Charles Fraser-Smith designed
this brilliant secret pencil,
issued to RAF pilots.
Inside was a map of Germany, marking escape routes and safe houses,
and a miniscule compass, underneath the rubber.
If you set off into enemy territory,
you snapped your pencil in half,
and you could then pull out the little map.
This Gadget-designing genius
was actually the inspiration for Ian Fleming's character Q
in the James Bond novels.
Pay attention, Philip!
The wonderful part of it
is they were done completely secretly.
So, in the evenings,
everybody went home,
and a selection of management came back, with five or six other people,
and produced these pencils, but it looks like a normal pencil.
Because of the war's Secrecy Act,
how many of these kits were made remains a mystery,
but it's thought only ten remain in the world today.
It's really opened my eyes.
I'm now going to scour antique shops
to see if I can find a green pencil.
Excellent. Lovely to have you.
So, Philip's seen that the Lake District is the heart of discovery,
invention, and creation,
and for some, a pencil is not just a pencil.
Wind in their hair,
our boys are heading 20 miles east, to Penrith.
Once the capital of Cumbria,
this pretty town of Penrith is in the hub of the Eden Valley.
A wonderful medieval market town
that still supplies a wide surrounding area.
I think one of the shops is just there...
The gents are going head-to-head.
They're about to share the same shop - look out!
-Age before beauty.
-No, no, no, no...
And they've come with a strategy.
-You go upstairs first, and then we'll swap over, yeah?
Sounds polite, but Philip knows that usually, the rubbish is upstairs!
-Philip's instinct's bang-on - what a lot of crockery.
Yeah, that's lovely.
..look at that baby! Ha!
Walk away, Jonathan, walk away!
Look out, the head honcho's here to suss out the competition.
How are you getting on?
Just looking, Phil, just looking, you know.
Don't let him put you off, Jonathan!
At last! Something appealing has caught his eye...
She's quite a pretty young lady. I like it because it's...
it's just a profile of a bust of a lady, which is very simple.
Stamped 9C for nine carat - that's good enough.
It's about 1880 in date, and they're getting more fashionable now.
-How much is this one?
-That one's 45 - it IS gold.
You wouldn't take £35? You'd think about it...
You must be learning from Philip. Let her ponder your offer!
-That little shell cameo of yours, you wouldn't do it for 35?
-Well, I'll take that for £35, if I may?
Is Phil losing his mojo?
I'm struggling here. What about our little sewing machine?
That's lovely, isn't it, in its original box?
-It's 1960s, Sylvia.
-Do you think so?
-Without a shadow of a doubt.
-And how much do you want for it?
-£22, instead of 29.
-Sylvia, I'll give you 15 quid for it.
-No, I don't give huge discounts.
-I have to make a living.
-Sylvia, it's time to change your policy.
I would love to sell you something.
Well, can you try a bit harder? This is my best and final shot.
Can I give you 18 quid for it?
-Sylvia, you're an angel.
-I am, I know!
Are you going soft on us, Philip,
buying a child's sewing machine and giving away all these hugs?
Dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Steady, Phil - looks as if you could do with a lie-down, mate.
Both experts started this leg of the road trip with £200 each.
Philip spent £102 on a pair of oars,
a poster, two axle hubs, an accounts ledger,
a map, and a child's sewing machine.
Jonathan Pratt spent £157 on a vase that might be Chinese,
a piece of Scottish glassware, a Victorian gold shell cameo,
and a cloisonne vase.
What do our rivals think of each others' buys?
On the whole, he's got these five objects, and across the board,
they're pretty unimaginative. He needs to take those big, brass nuts he bought and start wearing them.
JP, bless him, he really had a punt, didn't he?
That cloisonne vase, for me, the thing about cloisonne,
if it's perfect, buy it, if it isn't, whatever the price - don't buy it.
And the vase? Well, either he's horribly wrong,
or I'm horribly wrong. I just wouldn't have bought that.
I don't think it's Chinese. I think it's probably European,
and I don't think it's anything like as old as he thinks it is.
On the first leg of their road trip,
the pair have travelled through Cumbria from Cockermouth to Keswick
and on to Penrith.
The final destination for today's auction is Kirkby Lonsdale.
Kirkby Lonsdale lies on the River Lune,
and the town's churchyard has breathtaking views.
It's an ancient settlement, recorded back in the Domesday Book
back in 1086. It was granted a charter to hold markets in the 13th Century,
which continue to thrive today.
The boys are heading for the auction, and it's a typical glorious British summer's day.
No need to shut the window, you're driving next!
Will Philip's safe buys or Jonathan's brave choices pay off
and make the most profit?
James Thompson Auctioneers has been a thriving business here since the 1940s,
and today's auctioneer is Glyn Thompson.
Time for the auction to begin!
You're looking rather learned, chaps - and smug.
First up, Philip's 19th-century accounts ledger.
Interesting local lot, the 1876 Cumberland Union Bank ledger.
20 to start. 20 bid, thank you. £20 bid, 25...
25, 30, 35, 40.
45, 50, 55...
No? 55 bid, 60 I'll take. At 55, seated to my right,
selling at 55.
Don't get used to it, it's one of many - building you up for a fall.
A decent start, with a £25 profit.
Next is Philip's 1940s National Savings poster
by artist John Pimlott.
£30 for the poster?
Well, ten to start me. £10 bid.
The poster I'm selling, at £10 bid. 12, 12 bid, 14,
20, is it? I'm 18 bid.
20, beg your pardon. 20 bid, 22, 24.
£24, you're all out standing up.
Bid sat down at 24, then, selling at 24.
That's fair enough, did the job.
Only £4 profit, but a profit nevertheless.
-Your bit of cloisonne next.
-I think that was a fine vase once.
-There is damage.
-Let's hope the damage doesn't lose Jonathan money.
Pretty cloisonne vase, with iris decoration.
Well, 10 to start.
£10 bid, nice little iris vase.
12 bid, 15, 15 bid, 18.
20. £20 bid, two anywhere else?
At £20, stood up now, selling at 20.
Isn't going so well, JP, is it?
Perhaps his Scottish vase will prove more popular.
671 is the 1930s either Monart or Vasart
Scottish glass vase.
I have commission interest, I'll start this at £20 bid.
Five I'll take now, 25.
25. 25, 30, 35,
40... £40 bid. Where's five? 45.
45 bid. 50 if you like?
Get him in, get him in.
No, all out on the phone, at £45 in the centre of the room,
selling at 45.
Well, that's a nice £3 profit there.
I hate to break it to you, but after commission, it's not done that well.
Anyone out there want a sewing machine for their child?
682, the child's Vulcan tin plate sewing machine in its original box.
Ten bid. Thank you, £10 bid. 12, I'll take then.
10 bid. 12. 12 bid.
14. 14 bid.
16. 18. 18 and 20 there.
28. 30 bid. 30 bid.
Two anywhere else? At £30, all done now.
Selling then at 30. 340.
Never mind, Jonathan, but yes, Philip has made a £12 profit.
Let's hope Philip's next item keeps him on the road to success.
Nice clean example of a Bartholomew's road map.
10 to start me. 10 bid. Thank you, £10 bid.
12, I'll take, the Bartholomew's map.
At 12. 12 bid. 14.
16. 18. 20. £20 bid.
Two anywhere now? At £20. Selling then at 20.
-That was sort of all right.
-Very bright. Very bright.
Looks like that was a wise buy.
Now, it's time for two of Philip's items in one lot.
We've amalgamated two lots here.
714 is the pair of wooden oars,
plus the Victorian carriage hubs.
At 30 bid. Thank you. £30 bid. 35 now I'll take. £30 bid.
35. 35. 40 bid.
45. 50 bid. 55.
60 bid. 65. 70.
75. 80. 85.
JP, you've gone ever so pale.
£85 standing up then. Selling now at 85.
There's a man out there with a broken-down train
and a boat without any oars. You've just made his day.
Don't lose heart, Jonathan.
Philip's doing rather well, though.
Next, it's Jonathan's Chinese, or possibly just Chinese-style vase.
Perhaps this will be the item that puts him back in the game.
£10 the globular vase. Thank you. £10 bid.
12 now I'll take. 12. 12 bid. 15. 18. 20.
22. 25. 28.
30 bid. £30 bid. Two anywhere else?
At £30 now. Selling then at 30.
My hopes and dreams dashed in one fall of the hammer.
Ouch! He didn't see that coming. Another loss.
Here we are, JP.
But it's not over yet, Jonathan.
It's the last lot, and you have one more chance with your pretty brooch.
Victorian nine carat gold mounted shell cameo,
20 to start me. The gold's worth that. 20 bid.
£20 bid. And 5.
25. 30. 35. 40.
45. 50. 50 bid. Five anywhere else?
Gold mounted cameo, at £50 then. Selling at 50.
Jonathan ended on a profit.
But it wasn't quite enough for him to win this leg of the game.
There we go. At least I've redeemed myself.
Soaked up a little bit of loss.
I will walk out with my head high now and a spring in my step.
Come on, let's go.
Which means today the winner is
our no-nonsense negotiator, Philip Serrell.
Having both started with £200 apiece,
after auction costs,
Jonathan Pratt made a loss of £38.10 on his items.
So for the next leg, he'll have £161.90 to spend.
From his original £200,
Philip Serrell made a profit of £73.48 after commission.
So he has £273.48 to carry on to the next leg.
So nice to see Philip's always a gracious victor.
Get out of here. You better drive,
cos I want to count my money in the passenger seat.
Did you leave the motor running?
Oh, sorry Phil. It's nice knowing you. See you later.
It's stuck. JP, let me in, you rat!
They're good friends, really!
This is the homoerotic poster.
No, not the homoerotic poster.
The Cumberland Union Bank ledger.
It is the final leg for antiques experts Mark Hales and Thomas Plant with an auction showdown in Pontrilas, Herefordshire. Philip Serrell and Jonathan Pratt take over the antique baton, starting their trip in Cockermouth in the Lake District.