Antiques experts compete to make the most money at auction. Charlie Ross and James Braxton continue their Scottish antiques trail in Buckie.
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-The nation's favourite antiques experts, £200 each, one big challenge.
-Well, duck, do I buy you?
Who can make the most money buying and selling antiques as they scour the UK?
-What's my wife up to?
-The aim is trade up and hope each antique turns a profit.
It's not as easy as it looks. Dreams of glory can end in tatters.
Do I hear £1,500?
Will it be the fast lane to success or the slow road to bankruptcy?
-I can't keep this posture up for much longer!
-This is the Antiques Road Trip.
We're in Scotland and on the road with two very respectable gentlemen,
Charlie Ross and James Braxton.
# Oh, flower of Scotland... '
Oh, no! Please! With over 20 years' experience in antique auctioneering,
James Braxton has a soft spot for nice items and shop assistants.
It's nice to see something I like. It's very nice.
It's just a nice item.
Well-known auctioneer Charlie Ross loves a bargain.
And at times, struggles to part with his cash.
I was going to be very rude, but I'd better not. I was going to ask you to knock the ten off!
Charlie may be polite, but his penny-pinching means that his pounds look after themselves.
He bought a Staffordshire elephant for £8 and packed her off for an amazing...
27 for the last time.
Crikey! After auction costs, that means Charlie's £200
has rocketed to a wonderful wad of £2,447.96. Well done, indeed!
Normally, James would have been on cloud nine
when his £200 increased to £256.06,
but his auction profits pale by comparison with Charlie's success.
It's time to talk tactics, as they head off in their classy 1954 Sunbeam Alpine.
I've got a lot of money now. This is something I'm not used to.
As a rival and competitor, I would urge you to go large.
As a friend, I would say keep that £2,000 aside
and go mental with your £450.
Well, he would say that. This week's road trip takes James
and Charlie along the beautiful east coast of Scotland, before heading west,
where they finish up in the coastal town of Ayr.
On today's leg, they're leaving Buckie and heading for auction two in Aberdeen.
First stop is the fishing village of Cullen.
Cullen was established in 1189 and has a long history,
but its main claim to fame is the local speciality that's named after the town, Cullen skink.
Smoked haddock, potato and onion soup.
Sounds delightful, if a little fattening.
Charlie's wasting no time.
He's not even in the shop
and he's spotted a pretty little powder compact priced at £65.
It is really interesting. Glasgow Exhibition 1938.
What would be your best price on that?
-I'll make it 50 to you cos I like you.
-That's very kind of you.
I really like that. I really like that hugely.
I'm going to continue on round. I can't imagine I'm going to get out of this shop without spending money.
You've got enough to buy the contents and the building,
unlike James, who's hoping to fight back with a £30 pair of cannons. I don't think so.
They're die-cast. They're die-cast metal. Sort of aluminium alloy.
They're more look than substance because these are pretty light fellows.
It's not something I'm going to buy for 8 and make 2,700 on.
There's no time to lick your wounds, James. It's time for hard negotiation with owner Harry.
What if I offered you a compelling £15 for those.
-For that one? And 15 for that one?
-OK, I was a bit cheeky there. £20.
-Would you do that for 20?
-What about 25?
-I'd like to do it for 20.
-Yeah. It would really help me here.
-Could you do it?
-As it's a nice day, they're yours.
-They're a lovely lot.
Well done, James. That's a great buy.
But be warned, your cheeky competitor has turned to the eerie world of witchcraft!
This is a very, very odd thing.
-What is it?
-Well, it's African and I think that it's witch doctor's...
That's my feeling. But it's very odd. I've never seen anything like it before.
What would be your best price on this? These are not bed fellows.
But this and your Glasgow 1938 compact.
Well, the best I can do for you would be 125.
I'll have them both! I like to take a gamble.
Well, you've certainly done that. I just hope it pays off.
And after Charlie's dabbling in black magic,
James is searching for the light.
Travelling 40 miles to the north east corner
of the Aberdeenshire coast and the fishing town of Fraserburgh.
The largest shellfish port in Europe,
Fraserburgh has a busy commercial harbour.
It's also home to Scotland's first mainland lighthouse
and the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses,
which is where the lucky James is spending his afternoon. Showing him round is bright spark Jim.
This is really where it all started.
When the lighthouse service was first formed in 1786,
it was a man called Thomas Smith, a lamp maker in Leith,
and he was given the task of providing lumination for lighthouses.
And this is what he came up with. A mirror reflector.
And the first lighthouse at Kinnaird, these were the type of things that was put on top.
There were 17 of them, set in an array, each with an oil lamp.
And that actually produced a light that was visible 12 miles.
Smith's 17 lamps were positioned on top of this 16th century castle
until 1824 when his stepson, Robert Stevenson,
designed his lighthouse to fit inside the castle.
Maybe on the way up, you'll notice some chains hanging down thing the centre of the tower.
And one of those chains was this big weight.
And it's that weight descending the tower that supplies
the power for the machine upstairs.
All lighthouses were clockwork driven,
but unlike the old long case clocks
which required to be wound every 30 hours or eight days,
these needed to be wound every 30 minutes.
Every half hour as the machine was running, this would ring.
-93 turns of this handle.
-Bring the weight back up again.
Give you another half hour's run.
Failure to wind the handle would bring all the machinery
to a standstill and at that point, you had a career change!
Now for the science.
All this is refraction. They take the light coming from the bulb
and they bend it round in parallel to that.
so you've got very little wasted light.
It's a very odd sensation! Slightly out-of-worldly!
But very beautiful. Beautifully constructed. All bronze and glass.
This is superb.
And all from one tiny bulb. Extraordinary!
So while James makes his way back to Cullen, it's time to swap shops.
Charlie's heading to Cullen Collectibles
and still has over £2,300 to spend. So chop-chop!
A very fine Wedgwood casket.
No, it's not. It's tin!
It's a Crawford's biscuit tin
in the form of a Wedgwood casket.
I rather like that.
How much would you like to take for that?
-What about £3?
-I think £3... I'm not even going to negotiate.
I think that's a cracker. It's got enough age to excite me.
And it's a statement and it's fab.
At £3, it's mine!
After that purchase, he's still got, yep, over £2,300.
Down the road, James has arrived in Abra Antiques, as in "Cadabra".
It's got a couple of chips.
But after his usual carefully considered browsing,
he's going oriental.
I quite like this, Tom.
So we've got a paperweight here and I'm just having a quick look at it.
And it's nice, isn't it? I haven't really come across these before.
It's a paperweight, rather like we have a paperweight,
but this is a sort of tablet form. It's nice and thin.
And just carries a very nice Chinese mythological scene on it.
It's a dragon and a phoenix.
In China, the dragon and phoenix are symbols of auspiciousness.
Any sightings of a dragon and a phoenix were considered
a lucky sign, said to herald a period of peace and prosperity
for the country, and maybe James Braxton.
-The Cullen Chancer, I'll call you!
James, I'm not sure insulting Tom is the best way to start negotiations.
Could you do that for me for £20?
Oh, dear. This man's a rogue!
He's a rogue! I don't want to pay £48 for it.
That's for sure. I'd rather like to pay you £20 for it.
-Well, I'd rather you paid me 25.
-I'll meet you at 25.
Yeah. I'll have a go at 25. Thank you very much indeed.
Nice purchase, James. But no time to dawdle.
Charlie's waiting with all that cash.
-Fancy a swim?
-Yeah, come on!
-Get in, man!
-I need a swim. It's been a hard old day!
So how many items? Did you buy quite a few?
-I couldn't spend any money though.
-Couldn't get in to my two-and-a-half grand!
-You want to get that wad out!
-Get spending! Here we go.
-I'd rather have a swim.
Go for a swim?! A swim in the North Sea?!
Oh, surely not!
Oh, no! They're serious!
Is this after the watershed?
I can't keep this posture up for much longer!
-I'm breathing in!
-My body is normally like this!
And they're going in! I don't believe it!
Beach babes they are not.
Look at them go! Look at that James Braxton. Such a man.
Now Charlie and James have dried off and dressed - well, sort of -
they're heading 25 miles south to Dufftown
-This is Dufftown, is it?
-I think it must be.
Located on the banks of the River Fiddich, Dufftown is home to several Scotch whisky distilleries
and as such, promotes itself as the malt whisky capital of the world.
Unfortunately, our boys must resist temptation
and focus on the antiques, as the auction is just around the corner.
-May all your profits be small ones!
Ha-ha! As Charlie heads off on his own little adventure,
James goes to Collectors Cabin,
an antique shop that also sells Scottish dress.
You've got all your various trench art here. And the Spitfire ashtray.
That's quite nice. I'm surprised that's still there.
There's masses of shells everywhere. Shell casings here.
Everybody smoked in those days,
so there were lots of opportunities
to make ashtrays and various other things.
During the First and Second World Wars, these decorative items,
known as trench art, were made by soldiers, prisoners of war
and civilians out of brass from shell casings.
-May I look at you rather nice white onyx fellow?
-What's that? Just painted on?
-It's hand painted, yes.
-This presumably would have been a cigarette box.
-I think so.
I think it's a charming item.
Onyx is the mineral that often displays different colours in multiple layers.
This beauty is from the 1920s and has a price tag of £125.
Well, time's ticking on, David.
There's a couple of things I quite like the look of,
but it's that nutty problem of price.
Uh-oh! Here we go.
-This was the item that sort of caught my imagination.
Your rather nice Spitfire, the ashtray. David, I see that at £25.
Ah, I think I see it at £55!
-I do like these white onyx things. I see that at £50.
-I see it at quite a bit more than that.
-I know you do!
-Can you help me out here? A package deal.
-A package deal?
What would be your package suggestion?
Package suggestion would be £75.
The Spitfire and the onyx come to £180!
You sound like my plumber! I'll go to 30 on that.
-Can we make it 80 for the two?
-80 for the two? She's smiling!
-Go on, put there, David!
-Well done. Thank you.
Nice bit of negotiating, James,
The boys wave Dufftown goodbye
and continue travelling on 55 miles east to Clola.
Clola is a hamlet in Aberdeenshire.
The neighbourhood extends to a radius of a little over a mile.
It may be small, but it's home to its very own antique emporium.
-Spend, spend, spend.
-How many items are you searching for?
I need lots of items, Brackers!
I've still got far too much money left.
Spread over three floors, with a mixture of antiques and collectibles,
this is their final chance before auction to spend big.
James is straight to work with owner Tom
and has found himself a pestle and mortar.
-Where did you find this, Tom?
-Inherited during a house clearance.
Oh, right. OK.
Years ago, these sort of things were very popular,
along with pewter, and people love pestles and mortars.
The word mortar derives from Latin mortarium,
meaning receptacle for pounding.
And pestle comes from the Latin pistilum, meaning pounder.
This one's a 45 pounder.
And then you've got... I quite like this.
I spied this earlier, as I was walking round.
-This is a lovely fellow.
-Yes, the bushel.
-This was a measure for...
-For grain. Wheat or barley.
-Was it level, the bushel?
-Yes, it would have been.
Very nice. And...there we are. It's all there.
Now, I'm quite interested in the two.
Could you do me a tremendous deal, Tom?
I could probably offer you a nice deal on it.
-What could you offer me on that?
-40. And what about this one?
Could you go as low as say 45 on this?
-No, I'm afraid I couldn't go as low as 45.
-What could you do on that?
-How does 60 sound?
Could you either do 50 on this or 35 on that?
Yes, I could do 35, on the pestle and mortar for you. Yes.
What about 50 on that?
I'm going to go for that one at 35, Tom.
Well done, James. Nice buy.
Downstairs, Charlie still has over £2,300.
But he's on the case.
Hello! A completely knackered garden urn.
I could cement that on to there, couldn't I,
with my immense do it yourself skills.
£10?! Look at that!
If that isn't worth 30 or 40 quid, re-stuck together, I'll eat my hat!
I'd give 40 quid for that if somebody stuck on.
But when I was downstairs, I saw a broken urn.
It says £10 on the label, and I was going to think,
if it came in that condition, it probably came for nothing, didn't it?
Would you like to take a five pound note for it?
-Let's go and have a look at it.
-Have a look at it. Shall I lead on?
I'll show you exactly where I found it. This was the object.
-This is the object.
But I stuck the top on the bottom and it looked really nice.
-Nice when it's put together.
-I tried you at a fiver. What's the verdict?
-I can meet you half way, sir.
-Could you? £7.50!
Fancy getting something to the nearest 50p!
I think that sounds very reasonable, sir. May we shake on that deal?
It's not going to be your biggest sale of the day.
Last of the big spenders, eh, Charlie?
So, with that final purchase Charlie Ross has picked up four auction lots,
and spent a measley £135.50 of his £2,447.96.
He spent a modest £7.50 on the broken garden urn.
He bought a biscuit tin in the style of Wedgwood for a whopping £3.
An enamel and chrome compact from Glasgow's 1938 exhibition
at a more pricey £40.
And his most expensive buy was a witch doctor's mace for £85,
which he hopes will cast a spell at auction.
James Braxton, on the other hand, spend £160,
more than half his wallet, on five auciton lots.
He spent £25 on two die-cast cannons.
£30 on a wonderful World War II spitfire ashtray.
A pretty but chipped white onyx cigarette box.
For £50. An unusual pestle and mortar for £35.
And £25 on an auspicious Chinese paperweight that he hopes
will bring him luck at auction.
He needs it. So, what do they really think of each other's treasures?
That compact - I didn't have Father Roscoe down as a compact man,
and at £40, I think that's a guaranteed loss.
A real chancy item is that Chinese plaque.
That just could make him a few bob.
It's been a spectacular trip from Cullen, via Dufftown and Clola,
and the auction in Aberdeen is in sight.
Aberdeen - what a lovely city.
Scotland's third most populous city, Aberdeen was historically the centre
for the fishing and shipbuilding industries.
However, with the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s,
the fishing fleet moved up the coast and the oil industry moved in.
Aberdeen is now famous as being the oil capital of Europe.
But it's auction day as our two experts cruise into town.
It looks like a saloon. Are you sure it's not a pub?
John Milne Auction Room in Aberdeen was founded in 1867
and is one of the major auction rooms in the northeast of Scotland.
It's the moment of truth. Who will win and who will lose?
Let the auction begin.
First to go under the hammer is Charlie's garden urn.
Will it be an earner?
Stoneware garden urn at 30?
-Garden urn at 10?
-Surely... Ten I'm bid.
-Be still, my fluttering heart.
£18. All done at £18?
-All finished at 18?
-Splendid. Very good.
I'm afraid it's not the £40 you thought,
so are you eating your hat now or later?
Brackers! I'm into a profit.
And after the not-so-expensive garden urn,
it's Charlie's not-so-expensive biscuit tin.
Ten I'm bid, I'm bid ten.
To be sold, one bid at £10.
£12, beside me at 12.
All done at £12?
£20. Beside me at £20, all done at £20?
-Oh, 22, new bid. 24.
£24 on my left at 24.
All finished at £24? All done this time? 24?
-Your bid, sir. 865. Thank you.
Do you know what's most, most pleasurable about that?
-What? Tell me.
-I bought that in a shop
-that you had been into immediately before.
That's fighting talk, Charlie.
But will James' model cannons blow the bidders away?
-They would grace any home, wouldn't they?
-Oh, they're nice.
We have the pair of die-cast model cannons on black metal carriages.
£80? I'm bid 80.
We've got £80.
One bid of 80.
-Going to be sold at that one bid of £80.
All done at 80 for the decorative cannons? All done at £80?
-That's a fantastic £60 profit, James. Well done.
Braxton is back.
-That two and a half grand is being whittled down.
Let's hope your luck continues.
The pestle and mortar are about to go under the hammer.
£10? Ten I'm bid, I'm bid £10 for the mortar and pestle.
-That's too cheap. No.
22. £22, lady's bid at 22.
-Oh, getting there, getting there.
£25, lady's bid at £25. All done at £25?
Oh, dear. Slipped back a bit, there.
Oh, dear, James. that's a £10 loss. not what you needed.
Sorely tempted to bid for it.
Fingers crossed for James' model Spitfire.
CHARLIE MUTTERS INDISTINCTLY
£10? Ten I'm bid.
12. 15. 18.
20. 25. 30.
£30, far back, at 30.
-Getting your money back.
-All done at £30?
-Yeah, money back.
-..but not with commission, of course.
Yup, sorry, James, but the auction house must take its earnings,
so a break-even is, in fact, a loss.
They've decided it IS a witch doctor's mace,
so let's see if it's something the people of Aberdeen are looking for.
£30 for the wooden mace?
-I've got 15 here, Colin.
15, I'm bid 15.
Thanks, Steven. One bid at £15.
One bid at 15, going to be sold at £15.
Oh, madam, you must need a witch doctor's mace.
-Bidder over there, sir!
£20, with Steven at 20.
All done at £20 for the mace, all done at 20?
-825. Thank you.
-Robbed. Desperately undersold
Ouch. Sorry, Charlie.
Witch-doctoring just isn't big in Aberdeen.
That's really made quite a hole in my two and a half grand.
Hopefully, James with have more luck with his Chinese paperweight.
Start me at £60?
Oh, dear. This isn't looking good.
Five? Five I'm bid.
Six. Eight. £8, in the second row at £8.
All done at eight?
10, 12, 15, 18.
-Now we're going.
-£18, seated at £18.
All done? 20. £20.
-You'll get 100 yet, Brackers.
-It's a good item.
All done at £20? All done at 20?
-There. My gut feelings were wrong, there, weren't they?
-Brackers, that was terribly bad luck.
-It was bad luck.
I wouldn't be too smug, Charlie. Your final lot's up next.
It's your chrome compact.
20? I'm bid 20.
Here, bid 20, straight in.
-£30 beside me.
To be sold at £30. All done at 30?
-Well done, madam.
-40. £40 on my left.
At £40. All finished at £40? All done at 40?
-Lost opportunity there, I'd say.
-So what's that bring you up to, then?
-I've made a small loss.
I'm surprised at that.
Here we go.
Now it's James' last stab at a big profit.
All we need are two onyx-loving fishermen
to battle over his box and he'll be in with a fighting chance.
Oh. It's quality.
£60. Bid 60, I'm bid 60.
Giving me 65. 70. Five. 80.
-Five. 90. £90, on my right, at £90.
-Oh, go on.
A gentleman's bid at £95. All done at 95?
-BANGS GAVEL Well done, James.
-I know. Thank you.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
Great profit, James,
and I think it's fair to say, a well-deserved victory.
Summing it up, you are as good as I am bad.
So modest. James started with £256.06,
and after paying auction costs, made a profit of £45.
He's making slow and steady progress and has £301.06 to carry forward.
Charlie, meanwhile, started with a ridiculous £2,447.96
and made a disappointing loss of £51.86.
Despite his defeat,
he still has a huge £2,396.10. The question is, will he mend his miserly ways
and actually spend it?
-Thank you, thank you. Steady work.
You've got a little catching up to do, but...
By your calculations, when might I slip into the lead?
I think you'll be in the lead in January 2085.
The boys are now heading to Tarland,
before our second auction showdown in Hamilton.
In the 18th century, Tarland was an important trading centre.
It had a weekly market and six fairs throughout the year.
Tarland may be small, but it's home to our experts' first shop of the day.
What a lovely view! Well driven.
Another chapter, another day.
I've got so much money, I don't know what to do with it, but I want to spend it.
-Remind me, what's the figure, Charlie?
-Shall we go and see what they've got?
-Yeah, come on. Let's go.
Tarland Tower Antiques has been open for 18 years
and is run by owner George.
It has a large warehouse and four smaller rooms
stocked full of beautiful furniture and interiors.
Time for our boys to divide and conquer.
Oh, look at that bed!
-You've got the money for that bed.
-Isn't this fabulous?
Determined to spend his dosh, Charlie gets tactical.
I'm phoning the auction room, just to find out what they're good at.
What they sell really well. Oh, hello, is that the auction rooms?
It's Charlie Ross. I'm just putting a little call in,
do you have any specific areas which you're strong in, in the saleroom?
Thanks a lot, OK. Bye-bye.
-Brackers, were you listening in on that?
-You are such a sneaker.
Nothing gets past you, does it?
-Anyway, steer clear of big brown furniture.
There's a shock. Small pieces of furniture, particularly good.
-And has he got a picture section, in his auction?
-I didn't ask him.
Look, we're wasting time. Brackers, I've given you all the information you're going to get.
With that, it's pretty clear that furniture is off the shopping list.
-What exactly are they?
-Are they not for sort of sake or something?
He's got a jolly... He looks a little bit like James.
Sake is a Japanese alcoholic drink made from rice.
The Japanese believe that in order to enjoy it to its fullest,
the sake cup you drink from should be as beautiful
or as interesting as possible.
This unique pair are priced at £45 each.
-Could you do 20 quid for the two?
-No, not for the two, but I think you should have a think about it.
They are a bit different and the kind of thing you might do well on.
Charlie, while you contemplate spending,
George has taken James to see an interesting 1950s print of Balmoral.
-I think it's an advertising poster that has been over varnished.
-I bought it with a bunch of other stuff.
-It's lovely, really lovely.
Here is the artist, Kenneth Steel.
It's very much in the railway tradition of posters, isn't it?
Born in Sheffield in 1906, Kenneth Steel was a watercolour painter
and this is one of his prints from Royal Deeside.
-£25, you've got a deal.
-I think you'll do OK with that.
-Thank you, thank you.
Well done, James, the first purchase of the day.
Unfortunately, Charlie doesn't have the same sense of urgency.
You wouldn't, would you?
Stop sitting on your wallet and get some money out.
After some tough love from James,
Charlie's gone back out in search of a bargain.
Oh, my God! Isn't that wonderful?
The shop IS wonderful.
This is a garage full of brown furniture.
Are the alarm bells not ringing, Charlie?
Hamilton is quite near Glasgow.
I've got an Arts and Crafts overmantle there. Cheap little lot.
-Is that very cheap?
-By Rennie Mackintosh?
I think it could be.
I think it's more likely to be Jimmy Mackintosh!
-£25, you can't go wrong.
-Is that all it is?
George, you're just beginning to come to my way of thinking.
What on earth is going on?
Now James has jumped on the garage bandwagon.
This is an antique assault course.
-Are you sure you boys are fit for this?
-That's a big picture frame.
There's two of them.
-What, for the two of them?
-Is that good or bad?
-I think it's phenomenal.
Go on, George, they're mine.
Very risky buying something you can't properly see, James.
But if you're sure...
In the corner, is that a book case?
-Would it have had a marble top?
-Yeah, but I've got the marble top.
Over the top of that bed, you'll see the marble top.
Got it, got it.
-It's an open fronter, is it?
-These aren't gilt metal, are they?
-No, they're wooden.
-Will you take 100 quid for it?
-I'll have it.
I'd love to congratulate you on finally making a purchase,
but I think it's a bit of a risk.
Finally, back outside, and Charlie's on a roll.
He's spotted an Edwardian mahogany writing desk.
How much is that?
-I couldn't do it for less than 220.
-220, that would be me.
Let's pull that out.
They did say, the saleroom, small pieces of furniture.
This is a little lady's writing table,
leather top and it's got a little compartment here.
It has two drawers. One and a half?
I wouldn't move, that's a bargain at 220.
Could you do 200?
I could restore this piece, as you know, and I'd sell it no problem.
So I'm going to stick...
Go on, shake on it, I think that's very fair.
I was being a bit of an old cheapskate there.
-I think it's worth every penny.
-It is, it's worth it.
And now he's started spending, he just can't stop.
There was an overmantle in the top shed there, got a hint of Mackintosh.
-A very small hint of Mackintosh.
-And it's the right money.
-What was it, I can't remember what you quoted me?
You did. At 25 quid, even I won't argue with that.
With £2,076.10 still to spend, I should hope not.
What about those unique sake cups?
That is the thing you should be going out of here with.
-I'll do the two for 50 quid.
-For the two.
It's the right time for that oriental stuff at the moment.
They're a bit different, huge characters, just like you.
You're an absolutely wonderful salesman.
I think the two of them, the two of you...
-I'll tell you what, George, let's shake on that.
-It's been an absolute dream here, it's been fantastic.
But the excitement's not over yet.
Charlie is heading 32 miles east, to Blairs,
where he has a prior engagement.
St Mary's College was founded in 1829,
when John Menzies of Pitfodels,
the last member of an old Aberdeen Catholic family,
donated his mansion and estate of 1,000 acres to the Catholic church.
Today, it's known as Blairs Museum
and it gives a unique insight into
Scotland's Catholic history and heritage.
Showing him round is former pupil, teacher and now museum manager Ian.
Well, Blairs is basically what used to be our junior seminary.
So basically, a boarding school for boys of secondary school age
who were thinking about becoming a Catholic priest.
-I was one of them a long time ago, back in the 1960s.
And that's where your thoughts were at that time?
At that time, yes, but I've now been married for 33 years...
So you obviously took a different course.
It changed. After that, I was actually here
and my wife taught here as well,
for the last nine years before the college closed 25 years ago now.
From its establishment, Blairs College was recognised
as a safe place to receive and preserve artefacts
relating to Scotland's Catholic heritage.
Their collection of paintings spans more than four centuries,
featuring some of Scotland's most renowned historical figures.
Today, Charlie has come to see the highlight of the collection,
a full-length memorial portrait of Mary Queen Of Scots.
Mary had been imprisoned in England for something like 19 years.
-It was basically house arrest in various castles.
With no direct heir, Mary was the closest successor to the English throne.
Perceived as a threat, Elizabeth had her arrested,
and after 19 years, she was tried and executed for treason,
a decision that has caused much speculation.
-Some pressure on Elizabeth to have her executed.
-Is it true that she didn't want to have her executed?
We actually have a copy of the death warrant over here,
You can see Elizabeth's signature there on the top right hand corner.
Some people believe that she was given it in a pile of papers
and signed it, not realising what she had signed.
Other people believe that she meant to sign it,
but she didn't mean it to be carried out immediately.
But then her ministers do exactly that.
Within days, Mary is executed and they come back and tell her
that it's been carried out. Supposedly, Elizabeth was furious
-and, at the same time, in floods of tears.
Almost her last act, it's very, very symbolic, because
she is wearing this scarlet underclothing,
and that colour is the same colour of vestments a priest would wear
on the feast day of a martyr.
So Mary, almost in her last act, is saying, I'm being executed
because of my faith and not because I'm a traitor against Elizabeth.
-Strong statement, isn't it?
After that religious reflection, Charlie and James are back on the road and on the hunt for antiques.
Have we creeped over to the west coast now?
We can't have got quite to the west coast.
No, sorry, we've crept down the coast, there we are.
They're leaving Tarland behind and travelling 40 miles south
to Montrose, where James hopes to bag himself a bargain.
-Montrose, have you ever been to Montrose before?
Montrose is the northernmost coastal town in Angus and, in 1777,
was the birthplace of doctor
and Radical MP Joseph Hume.
For 30 years, he was a leader of the Radical Party
and became the self-appointed
guardian of the public purse.
-Smoothly done, Brackers.
-I don't even need to get out here, I can just shuffle across.
-Good luck, old chum.
-Spend, spend, spend.
George Eaton Antiques is James Braxton's first port of call.
-George. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, George.
This is my sort of shop. It's a foraging shop.
This is lovely, a domino set,
and it's made with bone.
Bone faces, with ebony backing.
Here's a more interesting set.
They're up to nine,
-which is rarer. Usually, they're only up to six.
-Oh, I see.
-It's a set and a half.
-That's very good.
So you've got another three numbers to conjure with, haven't you?
Generally, the most commonly used dominoes sets are double six
and double nine, although double 12, 15 and 18
are popular for games involving several players.
-How much are these then, George?
Really? That's a lovely lot.
OK, what other curios have you got for me, George?
-Is that a sort of Continental piece, that?
-Oh, it is WMF?
-And how much have you got on that, George?
That had 150 on it, but as with everything...
Everything is negotiable in life, isn't it?
It looks as though it has the most beautiful polished glass liner.
Isn't that a lovely piece of glass?
Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik, or WMF,
is a German Art Nouveau producer specialising in metalwork
from the late 19th and into the 20th century.
A lovely stylised border, sort of beech, almost like a beech leaf.
I suppose it's a stylised vine leaf or something.
-Vine, it's got grapes on it.
-Grapes, hasn't it?
Give grapes to somebody in hospital, that would restore their spirit,
Lovely, beautifully modelled. That's a lovely item.
Yes, you are modelling it rather beautifully.
And while James continues his search for lovely items,
Charlie is heading
15 miles inland to Letham.
The largest village in Angus, Letham is famous for its Victorian market,
which takes place in early July.
I'm absolutely chipper!
I phoned up the man in the antiques saleroom where we're going to.
He said, don't buy furniture, it doesn't sell very well.
So I ripped straight into buying three pieces of furniture.
Never listen to the experts, that's what Winston Churchill said.
Never listen to the experts.
Time will tell, Charlie.
Let's see what gems you can uncover in Lovejoy Antiques.
-It sounds promising.
-Is it Barbara?
-Yes, it is.
Housed in a converted stable,
Barbara and her husband have been in the business for over six years.
Barbara, there's an extremely jolly person down here,
-looking at me...
..who looks like a Chinese bronze...
-It IS bronze!
Look at that, pretty miserable,
I think that's James Braxton.
-Yeah. How much is this object?
-Hundreds and hundreds of pounds?
-No, no, just 100.
Would £50 buy him?
No, 70 might.
-You've got me tempted here.
-I think he's absolutely splendid.
I wish I knew more about these things.
These faces must be the four faces of man, or whatever,
but I don't know quite what they signify.
Actually, the four faces of a Chinese Buddha represent
pleasure, anger, sorrow and joy.
It's believed that a Chinese Buddha will both protect and bring good luck.
-50 won't buy him?
Sold. I knew I'd find something in the end.
I think that's a cracker. Look at that.
-The four faces of James Braxton.
Meanwhile, James has been drawn to
art deco...and red trousers.
Where do they come from? Do you remember the building?
They were from Montrose picture house.
A great '30s feel to those flowers, isn't it?
Very art deco. I really like those.
-How much have you got on those?
-£30, and you get the two for 30?
-Yes, it's a sash window.
-Operated, one above the other.
-One in front of the other. I see.
In a frame and they slide down.
They look good together, don't they?
I like those.
-George, I'm going to have those.
Very nice, James! And feeling confident,
he strides on to haggle on the dominoes, priced at £25,
and the WMF grape dish at £150.
Is there any chance, George, I could do those two for £95?
It's a struggle.
-If that's all you've got.
-It's all I've got, bar the pence.
George, thank you very much indeed.
Well done, James, that's an amazing £80 saving.
And after spending £95, you've got £1.06 to your name.
I'd like you to have the £1.06 as a bit of luck money.
-Thank you very much. It's been a pleasure.
-It's been really great fun.
While James donates his last pennies,
Charlie's making his way to Barry.
A small village in Angus, Barry lies at the mouth of the River Tay.
It's Charlie's last chance to flash his cash
and Anderson High Antiques is his final shop of the day.
Open for two years, it's located in part of a 19th-century school.
Owner Kate and husband Ed have been in the business for 15 years.
Ed shows Charlie a set of six Royal Doulton coffee cups,
handpainted by May Wilson and priced at £48.
MW? Who is...?
MW is May Wilson, who is one of the ladies that
we collectively refer to as the "Scottish lady artists",
who bought the pottery blanks.
They were all artists, mostly associated with
either the Glasgow School of Art or the Edinburgh School of Art.
-They painted these beautiful...
I think they bought the glazed object, by the looks of things.
-Painted over the glazing?
-Why are they so cheap? He said, shooting himself in the foot!
There is one cup which has had a repair on it.
Here it is, here. The little handle has been glued.
It could be better repaired.
-I actually find them really charming.
-They are nice, aren't they?
The thing is, in the central belt of Scotland,
people who collect these things will know who that is.
-Might be quite an interesting one.
I said sold without even talking about the price.
I'm happy to do for you what we would do for the trade, basically,
which might be to make it, say, £43.
-Is that all right?
-I think I've probably got £43 for it.
Lovely final buy, Charlie. So, shopping finished,
James has spent his entire £301.06 on five lots.
£25 on the heavily varnished Balmoral print.
£15 on the rare, ebony-backed domino set.
Two arts and crafts style stained glass windows for £30.
An Art Nouveau WMF bowl for £80, and £150 on two large gilt frames.
Charlie's combined the four-faced Buddha, bought for £70,
with the £50 sake cups.
He spent £43 on the May Wilson porcelain set,
£25 on the over mantle mirror,
£100 on the bookcase, and splashed out £220 on the lady's writing desk.
But what do they think of each other's purchases?
I think he's let himself down a bit with the sake cups.
One of them's chipped, £50.
I think Father Roscoe may struggle to get out of that one,
but knowing his luck, he might get away with it.
His best buy - undoubtedly the large frames.
They are great, I think they'll double his money.
Our experts have been on a voyage of discovery
from Tarland to Montrose,
Letham to Barry,
finally crossing to the west
and arriving in Hamilton.
Hamilton is a town in South Lanarkshire,
in the west central lowlands of Scotland,
and it's home to Hamilton auction market,
one of the biggest auctioneers in Lanarkshire.
Do you think, when you see your frames, they'll only be three-sided,
that they will have rotted away?
I don't know how long my bookcase is, because I could only see one end.
You both certainly took a gamble with your rather large purchases,
but it's auction day and we'll soon find out if it's paid off.
LS Smellie & Sons Ltd were established in 1874
and are a sixth-generation family-run business.
Oh, look! In all their splendour.
Fabulous. And yours.
-Oh, good Lord, so it is!
-What a fine piece, what a fine piece.
-A decorator's piece, isn't it?
-Very much so.
-Will they appreciate it up here?
-Of course they will.
-Shall we find our other things?
-Yes, come on.
The boys have left the back room for the auction room, and a nail-biting finale.
-First under the hammer is Charlie's bookcase.
-What's it worth, £100?
100, for it now. 100. To get it off, 50... 30 then, for it now.
Oh, dear, this isn't looking good.
30 bid, surely one more? 30 bid.
30, five, 35, and 40.
45. Come on, sir.
45 and 50, 50 bid, 55, and 60 now.
At 60. At 60 bid.
60 bid, it's too cheap.
-At 60 bid, five, 65...
70 bid, 70 bid,
-70 bid, 70 bid.
All done at £70.
Roscoe. You only fell a little.
Never listen to the experts, eh?
James, next in the spotlight are your rather large frames.
£100, 100 for them,
for the pair, 100, £50.
50 I'm bid, a 50 bid...
There must be some opposition.
At 55, 60, and five, 65, and 70...
70 bid, 70 bid.
-A bit more.
All done at £70.
-A steal, Brackers, a steal.
-I thought I had the deal of the century.
Ouch, not what you were expecting, eh?
-Do you know what I am now thinking?
Thank God I let you buy them!
Next in the line of fire is Charlie's lady's writing desk.
150, 100 I'm bid, at 100 I'm bid...
110, at 110...
120, at 120, 130, at 140...
150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200...
200 I'm bid, at 210.
210, at 210, I'm bid.
220 now, 230.
I'm sort of getting my money back.
-230... All done?
-Try one more.
-Well done, Roscoe.
-Could have been a lot worse, couldn't it?
-Brave move, wasn't it?
-It could have been a picture frame.
Very lucky, Charlie.
Before commission, that's a small £10 profit.
Your turn, James. What will Hamilton make of your 1950s print?
30 for it now. 20, ten, £10, surely now?
-Ten I'm bid. Thank you, sir.
-There's a lady bidding now.
12, 14, at 14, 16...
At 16, 18. At 18, 20, at 22, five...
At 25 and eight, 30 now, 32, 32 I'm bid.
At 32, 32...
-Five now. 35 and eight.
Brackers, you're on fire now!
38, eight, 38...
-All done at £38?
I feel as though
I've almost painted it myself!
Well done, James, it might be small, but at least it's a profit.
-13 in the pot.
-Charlie, it's time for your overmantle mirror.
£50. 30 then, 30 I'm bid.
30 bid and five, 40, five, 50...
At 50 bid, five, and 60, 60 bid.
60 bid, 60...
Five now, at 65, at 70, at 70 bid.
At 70 bid...
All done at £70?
£45 is a great profit.
James, the pressure's on, can your sash window slash your losses?
£20 for them, ten then, £10.
Your man's at it again.
Ten I'm bid, ten...
12 now, 14, 16, 18, 20...
And two, and five, and eight. At 28.
-28 I'm bid. 28 I'm bid...
At £28, at 28, 28...
All done? At £28. 30 now, just in time.
-30 bid, two now.
At 32, 35, 38, at 38.
At 38, 38 I'm bid...
Well done, my man.
Brackers, you're working them from behind.
All done at £38...
-Well done, the auctioneer.
-You've slipped out of that one.
I did slip out of that one.
I'm afraid, after commission, that's not a whole lot.
Next on show is Charlie's set of
Royal Doulton coffee cups.
£30, 30 for them now.
20, ten. A bid at ten. Ten I'm bid...
16, 18, 20,
two, five, at 25,
eight, at 28, and 30. 30 bid...
-Fresh bidder, two, 32 and five, at 35, and eight, at 38, and 40.
At 40 now. 40 bid...
Nearly getting my money back now.
-Two, at 42, at five.
-At 48 and 50, now.
-Yes, that's the way.
All done at £50...
Thank you, sir.
-Well, got me out of trouble.
-£50, well done.
Another close call, Charlie, but still a profit.
Next to face the music
are James's dominoes.
-20, £20 for them.
-You're in at 20, you're in at a profit.
At £20 I'm bid. At 20, bid, two now.
At 22, and five, 25 and eight,
at 28, at 30 bid, at two,
32, at five, 35 I'm bid.
Eight now, at 38, at 40, 40 bid...
Brackers, this is stellar galactic.
40 bid, all done at £40...
Well done, mate. You're a canny man, Braxton!
-What a relief, James, you're back in the game.
Time for Charlie's combined lot -
his bronze Buddha and a pair of sake cups.
£80 surely? £50, no less. 50 bid.
Hang on, look.
At 60, and five, and 70, and five.
You see, I told you that lady would be up for it.
100, at 110, at 110, 120, 120,
130, at 140, at 140 bid.
At 140, 140. At 150 now, fresh bidder.
-I'm into a profit.
I'm into a profit!
At 170, 180, at 190.
-You're a money machine.
-220, at 220,
240, at 240...
Try one more.
240 I'm bid. At 240...
-Five, at 245.
All done at £245...
Well done, Roscoe, what's that?
That is an amazing price.
Fantastic result, Charlie,
your Buddha certainly brought you
luck and prosperity.
That is very good. Well done, well done.
It will take a lot,
but can James's WMF grape dish turn it in his favour?
30 for it now. £30, 30 I'm bid.
30 bid, five, at 35, at 40,
and five, 50, bid of 50.
-Come on, come on.
-55, get in there.
At 55, at 60.
-At 60 bid, five, and 70.
-He's working on it.
-Working on it.
-80, and five, 90.
100, 100, 100...
All done at £100...
I tell you what, I thought it was dying at 50.
-You came with a late burst.
-I thought it was dying at 30.
That was a good profit to end on, James,
but I'm afraid it just wasn't enough for auction victory.
To drop 80...
The one thing... And if you'd said,
"No, after you, Father Roscoe, you have the frames,"
I would have lost the money and you'd have been all right.
-You're a canny fella! Aye, canny fella.
-Come on, let's go for a curry.
James started the trip in Tarland with £301.06
and, after paying auction costs, made a disappointing loss of £66.54.
He's now got £234.52 in his wallet.
Charlie, on the other hand, started today's leg with £2,396.10.
He spent wisely and made a small profit of £37.30 at auction,
meaning he has a sizable £2,433.40 left to spend.
-Well done, Father Roscoe.
-I suppose I'm driving?
You are. Winner takes all. It's rather like golf, you're teeing off.
I'm teeing off, yes.
-Well, another one down.
-Another one down. It was fun, wasn't it?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Charlie Ross and James Braxton continue their Scottish antiques trail in Buckie, ending up at auctions in Aberdeen and Hamilton.