Antiques experts travel the UK searching for treasures. James Braxton and Helen Hall begin in Hampstead in London before heading to Brighton and then on to auction in Lewes.
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-It's the nation's favourite antiques experts...
-All right, viewers?
With £200 each, a classic car and a goal -
to scour Britain for antiques.
I'm on fire! Yes!
Sold! Going, going, gone.
The aim, to make the biggest profit at auction. But it's no mean feat.
-There'll be worthy winners and valiant losers.
Be a good profit.
So, will it be the high road to glory or the slow road to disaster?
This is the Antiques Road Trip!
All his week we've been hitching a ride with antique experts
James Braxton and Helen Hall.
-Yeah. I feel a bit sad.
-I'm going to miss you, James.
-Me too, Helen.
Ahhhh, isn't that sweet?
James has over 20 years of experience as an auctioneer
and he knows a quality item when he sees it.
You know, essential, a bit of a hinge.
That's a bracket.
Helen's expertise is music memorabilia and she's been searching
everywhere for something that will help her soar into the lead.
Right, they've been jollying through the country in a trusty
1974 EType Jag.
You did so well at that last auction. That was amazing.
-You were doubling or tripling your money on each piece.
I can't stop smiling! How rude!
And he's got a lot to smile about.
James made over £100 profit at the last auction.
No further interest?
-What is going on?
-How very vulgar of me!
But with two auction wins each, it's all to play for in the final leg.
-You've doubled your money! Bought for nothing.
James started the trip with £200 and, after the four auctions,
has inflated his cash to £300.26.
Helen started her road trip with the same amount and saw her money
shrivel to just £153.18,
leaving James almost £150 in front.
Our chums have travelled 500 miles, from Oswestry, in Shropshire,
through Wales, back into England
and en route to ending their road trip in Lewes, East Sussex.
On this final leg of the trip, they begin in Hampstead,
in North London, before heading to the last auction in Lewes.
In the late 17th century,
Hampstead became home to the wealthy looking to live near London's
amenities, but far enough away from the noise and dirt.
Today it's said to be home to more millionaires
than any other part of Britain.
But will the shops have prices to match?
-Here we are.
-Here we are, glorious Hampstead.
-Isn't it pretty?
-It so gorgeous.
-These doors don't get any easier, do they?
-No, they don't.
First stop for James is to Hampstead Antique And Craft Emporium.
This place opened its doors over 40 years ago
and is home to more than 30 traders.
So, tonnes to choose from.
I'm ahead in the competition sort of £100. I'm just over £300.
I've always bought things that I would have in my own home.
It's got to be good quality materials, good design, and
hopefully if I like it, there may be somebody else mad enough to buy it.
Good materials, good design, that's all you need.
He makes it sound so easy, doesn't he?
Sometimes there are bargains to be found on your knees.
There's nothing wrong with a bit of hard work, James.
-Good to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Thank you so much.
Nice to have you here in our centre.
That's a warm welcome from dealer Jean.
Might James find something interesting
amongst her array of goodies? I hope so.
I quite like this. It's quite a showy item, isn't it?
Yes, I think it is.
It's suffered a bash, unfortunately,
-but it's the sheer weight of it, isn't it?
It's difficult for the hinge.
It's slightly skew-whiff, but not too bad.
-I don't think it would bother one much if they liked it, would it?
-I can see that in a rather glam bathroom, can't you?
-Yes, so can I.
-With lots of pinched hotel soaps!
Hey! Not that we condone such actions, James.
It's made from onyx, which is a mineral
from the Atlas Mountains of north-west Africa.
-It's very, very '30s, '40s bathroom, isn't it?
It says '50s here.
-I'd rather say '50s than '40s if I'm not sure, because...
-It's got a sort of Hollywood glam about it.
-Yes, it has.
Very Hollywood. What...What could...?
-This is fresh in, yes?
-Yes, I got it on Sunday, as a matter of fact.
It's priced at £48 and James seems quite keen on it.
-What could that be, Jean?
-Well, I can certainly take eight off.
-That brings it to 40.
-Yes. Maybe I could make it 38.
There's a lot of work gone into that,
to fashion that in the shell shape and then mounting it.
-If you think what that would cost now to...
-..to do that.
-Would you go to 35, Jean?
-Perhaps I will, for you.
Jean, thank you, that's very kind. I do like it.
And with that, James has chalked up his first buy of the day.
-That's very sweet.
-It's a pleasure.
-Thank you so much.
Whilst he heads off in search of more treasures,
Helen has found her way over to the wonderful Freud Museum.
It was home to Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
Freud created an entirely new understanding of the human
personality by drawing direct links between deep childhood memories
and the problems faced in later adult life, and is regarded
as one of the most influential minds of the 20th century.
-Hi, I'm Helen.
-I'm Lisa Appignanesi.
-Welcome to the Freud Museum.
-It's amazing. The house is beautiful.
-It is a gorgeous house.
Freud loved it, too.
-He said it was his last and most wonderful home on the planet.
Freud lived most of his life in Vienna,
where he developed his ground-breaking theories on the human psyche.
His high profile caught the attention of the Nazis
who, in 1933, publicly burnt his books,
claiming they were the product of Jewish science.
This is the extraordinary study,
which was left this way at his death by his daughter.
When the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, Freud was urged by friends
to flee, as the occupiers were rounding up Jewish citizens.
He departed for England with his wife and daughter.
Most of his belongings eventually made it over after him
along with his now famous couch.
That is amazing.
He started using it in the 1890s, when he began to invent,
if you like, psychoanalysis, the talking therapy.
It combines, if you like, the doctor's clinical couch,
which we lie on or have surgery on, and this wonderful sofa,
covered with dreamlike Persian carpets.
Possibly the most famous couch in the world, isn't it?
It is the most famous couch in the world
and people come from all over the world to see it.
Freud found lying down encouraged instinctive conversations.
It was considered quite a daring idea at the time,
yet the couch is now an iconic part of psychoanalysis.
To get his patients talking,
Freud filled his study with a plethora of antiquities.
Yes, the objects were of great importance to him.
He began to collect in the late 19th century,
like a good Victorian gentleman,
at the time when archaeology was really coming into its own.
What was his favourite out of these? Did he have a favourite?
Well, he did. Athena, this tiny, beautiful bronze statuette.
Athena, of course, is the great goddess of wisdom,
-who sprang fully formed from Zeus's mind.
-And of courage as well.
-And of courage.
-Protector of Athens and...
And also, spears, for Freud, like for all of us, represented war.
She was also the goddess of war,
and he was very distressed
and shaped by the events of the First World War.
And he told a patient, the famous poet, HD,
who'd come to see him in Vienna, "Look at her.
"She's perfect except she has lost her spear."
And it's not clear
whether this meant that she had lost her masculine side
or whether it was really a good thing because she had lost war.
And we didn't want any more of those!
Freud had always dreamed of living in England,
which he saw as a beacon of liberty and freedom.
But it wasn't until he was 82, and with the support of a few
famous friends, that he finally made the journey.
HG Wells was a visitor.
HG Wells wanted him to become a British citizen
and did all he could to do that. And Freud wrote to him...
actually thanking him for this.
He says, "I first came to England as a boy of 18 years.
"It became an intense wish fantasy of mine to settle in this country
-"and become an Englishman."
Freud finally realised his dream to live in England
but, at the age of 82, his health was now failing.
Just one year later he died, in September 1939.
And it's wonderful that he was able to escape the Nazis
and come and have one full long year of his life here and then die,
sadly, in this very room, overlooking the garden
he had never had in Austria and that he loved.
Freud's work came to dominate psychotherapy in the 20th century
and his ideas have become interwoven into our culture.
Helen seems inspired by Freud's work.
So much so that she is pondering the workings of James's mind.
And whilst she does, he's off shopping at Hampstead's Flask Walk,
looking for more goodies.
-Hello, hello. James Braxton.
-With the... How do we stress the Honey?
He's awfully polite, isn't he?
-This looks a nice fellow.
-What you feel about this?
Well, I've had that about ten years in a drawer.
I come up here to help Keith Fawkes, who runs the book shop...
An unusual name, Fawkes. It is, and he is a descendant of Guy Fawkes.
I hope you don't get your fingers burned, though, James.
It's interesting. It's Indian. Obviously a touristy piece.
It's got some funny marks behind here.
Maybe this was possibly a table top or something like that.
But no relation to what is going on in the front.
No, it isn't, and that's just as well
-because you should never look behind a work of art.
It's what's at the front that matters.
Well said, Gordon!
It's just nice work.
It's an attractive scene - lady feeding sort of...sheep/goats.
-It's just a rather nice scene. It's rosewood.
-How much do you want for this?
-I was going to ask 12
-but you can have it for ten.
That's a pound for every year Gordon's had it.
-It's on a lovely rosewood base here.
And then you've got lighter woods, like box or sycamore or something.
-You just put the price up another £40!
-Sorry about that.
-There's a lot of work there.
-It's rather fun, isn't it?
-It's a nice panel.
-I'll give you a tenner for it, Gordon.
-Put your thing on. That was a little too...
-Is that better?
All breakages must be paid for, including fingers!
Second item on the Road Trip in the bag.
But I don't think James is quite finished yet.
Here's something of age. A pair of figures here.
I think it's the cobbler and his wife. There's the cobbler.
Here's his wife.
And it's deteriorated all along here and flaked off.
So probably circa 1820, 1830.
I like the doggies. That's very much a doggie. That might be a cat.
Depends how much, because it's not the most attractive,
but very attractive for the incidental dogs.
Novelty always prized in antiques. I'll have to see how much they are.
Yes, can I help you?
Oh, look who's back!
Very fine sunglasses you're sporting.
-They are nice.
-They are very smart.
These two Staffordshire figures, they've got a nice bit of age,
bit damaged, though. What price could these be?
-They were 30 and that was a bargain.
-A lady and gent, well matched.
-The cobbler and his wife.
Well, it's a load of cobblers.
But the price is not a load of cobblers.
Yes, but does James agree?
-Gordon, I'll give you £30 for those. I like those.
-Very well, yes.
I'm not on commission, I'm just doing it for love.
-Really pleased with those. Thank you, Gordon.
-Thank you very much.
Thank you. God bless you, and I'm going very gingerly now.
Yeah, watch that finger.
-Call again, sir.
-Flask Walk for bargains!
There's no denying that, as James seems quite happy with those,
spending £40 with Gordon on the rosewood panel
and the charming pottery figures.
Helen, meanwhile, has headed to the Antique Emporium in the hope
that James hasn't bought all the bargains.
Feeling the pressure of it.
James is on fire as of last week, and I am seriously dragging behind.
Well, your luck might just be about to change, as this shop,
run by dealer Christopher, is having a big sale.
-Wow! What a collection.
-Look at it!
-The very finest Art Deco glass from the 1930s.
-My kind of shop.
What's this, are you retiring?
What gives you that idea, Helen?
We are, indeed. So, as a consequence,
there are some very good deals to be had.
50% off! 50% off.
I'm rather spoilt for choice.
You certainly are! Maybe dealer Christopher can help you out.
Very, very unique and, one has to say,
rare vase, the Odeon with the top block.
The top block just sits on the top to help
with an arrangement of flowers.
Something like asparagus fern will give you a nice height.
The indented sides are ideal for flower arranging.
And the satin finish frosted glass.
Between the first and second world wars,
Bagley became a world leader of inexpensive pressed glassware.
These Grafton vases by Bagley are often called Odeon vases
as they resemble the decor of the early cinema.
This one is priced at £125 but, with a retirement discount,
maybe Helen can get an even better price.
Because we are offering a 50% discount,
this is 62. I'd go right down to 50 on it.
That's quite a considerable discount!
-Yes, it's an excellent choice.
Thank you so much, thank you.
With a massive £75 off, maybe this could get Helen back into the game.
-Good luck with your retirement.
-Yes, we're looking forward to it.
And with that, it's time for our duo to call it a day.
Nighty-night, you two.
It's the final day of James and Helen's road trip
and thoughts turn to yesterday's buying.
I basically bought something I know I can't make a profit on.
-So your work is done now.
Actually, Helen, your work has barely started, because
yesterday you spend £50 on just one item, the Bagley Odeon vase.
Leaving her a respectable £103.18.
Thank you so much. Bye-bye.
James spent £25 on the onyx box, rosewood panel
and the two pottery figures,
which means his pockets are bulging still, with £225.26 for today.
-It's a pleasure.
They are starting their final day of shopping in Brighton,
on the south coast.
With the arrival of the railways in the mid-1800s, Brighton transformed
itself from a sleepy fishing village to a famous seaside destination.
It's the first of the day for our duelling duo,
and let's hope they are not as competitive as these two.
-Ah, the sun's come out just for us, James.
-Isn't it glorious?
-And the car is beautifully warmed up now.
So, Helen, as long as you buy four more items that are going to
make you absolutely no money.
I think that's a given, James, to be honest.
Helen had better do something,
as she's got a lot of catching up to do.
They are both heading to The Lanes, in Brighton's historic quarter,
an intricate maze of small independent shops.
Eager beaver James is first to begin shopping.
This is the antique hub of Brighton, and not so far away is Lewes,
only 15 minutes away, where we are ultimately
going to be selling these items.
So I've got to make doubly sure they haven't been bought from where
I'm sure the dealer will keep you right, James.
Brighton Lane Antiques is awash with glittering goodies
befitting your bulging budget.
The perfect place to splash the cash.
I'm going through a little box that's cluttering up a backroom.
It's all the bits and bobs they haven't labelled up yet.
£225 to spend and he's rummaging through this lot!
This is the good thing about this business -
there's always something to surprise you.
You know, essential, a bit of a hinge.
It's actually a bracket.
But this is where the fun is. The fun is in the hunt, isn't it?
-Peter, have you got any more boxes?
-More than likely.
It's your lucky day, James.
Oh, it's hot work, this.
Yes, standing looking through a box like that looks very tiring, James!
Meanwhile, Helen is over at Oasis Antiques.
-Hiya. I'm Helen.
-Oh, hi, I'm Ann.
-Hi, Ann, nice to meet you.
With only one item in the old bag, she really needs to get buying
if you wants to give herself a chance at the auction.
Oh, look, an old flying helmet. This is going to look great.
Are you sure about that?
What do you think?
Can you see me in my open top aeroplane?
I can see you losing the auction, love, if you don't get a move on.
Right, focus, Helen, focus.
Yes, good idea.
This shop has lots of treasures waiting to be unearthed,
so it's time to get to work.
Oh, this is fun.
A nice bit of Wedgwood.
I mean, it's not an antique in the strict sense of the word.
It's from 1980,
but Olympic memorabilia is always sought-after by collectors.
And this was quite an interesting Games in Moscow.
It was in the then Soviet Union,
and I think the US and various other countries boycotted the Games.
And I know it's recent,
but I think things like this can only grow in value as time goes by.
It's priced at £30.
Could this give Helen an Olympic-sized lead over James?
Speaking of whom, it looks like he's found something shining
amongst all his bits and bobs! Coats off!
We've got a military award here.
so early action. And then we've got some engraving on the back.
It says "Major McDonald, Eighth Regiment Light Cavalry,"
So that's pre-tank, the people are still rushing around on horses.
So he was a fine gentleman - three initials before his surname.
And he was the Eighth Regiment Light Cavalry,
and had obviously seen action in India somewhere.
The medal was awarded by the East India Company to the soldiers of
the British Army, who fought at the Battle of Punniar in December 1843.
12,000 men took part to gain control of Gwalior,
in the north of modern-day India.
Peter wants £25 for this.
That's a lot of history for not a lot of money.
I'll have to look that up. My military history isn't very good.
When you've looked it up and found out it's worth a lot more,
you can come back and pay me a bit more.
Exactly, Peter! What comes around comes around, doesn't it, eh?
Even GOES around. And very philosophical.
But I don't think you'll get James with that one, Peter.
Nice try, though.
Helen, meanwhile, has picked up something she looks quite keen on.
Bakelite was the first plastic, really,
which was introduced in the '20s.
And they used it right up until late '50s I think, possibly into '60s.
It's an inkwell, actually, so you would've rested the pen here.
It's made with formaldehyde. It's in the process of manufacturing it.
So if you give it a little rub so it gives off a little bit of heat,
give it a sniff and you can smell the formaldehyde.
And that's how to tell proper Bakelite.
12 quid on that.
Let's put it back. See what else I can find in here.
That's two items put aside here so far,
and there's more she quite likes.
Little cigarette holder.
It's quite sweet. In its original box as well.
It's got a nice little unusual design on there, really.
I thought it was '30s, but it's probably slightly later, maybe '50s.
Let's put that to one side with my little Bakelite box.
You don't need to get everything from this cabinet you know, Helen.
Nice little mustard pot. It's quite sweet.
The nice thing about this is it's still got its blue glass liner,
often they get broken.
It looks like a tight fit, so presumably it's original.
This box is ticketed at £65.
It was made in Birmingham in 1902,
but it isn't in the best of condition.
But the fact it's silver does help its value.
Right, I'll add it to the list of possibles.
Put that there. OK, I'm building things up here, aren't I?
You certainly are, but can you afford all four?
One man who doesn't have that problem is James,
and he's found something else in his box of odds.
I love this ice pick. I think we've decided it's an ice pick.
-What a lot of fun. You know, an ice bucket and a pick.
This is man's work. Man's work. And a drink to put it in.
And a happy ending at the end of it.
So you bash up your ice here, chip it off, pop it in...
I would have thought something like that would've been quite
expensive when it was bought, purely cos it would've been
an accessory that not a lot of people would've had.
I think you're dead right, Peter, but I question that slightly.
You say accessory, I say necessity. A rich man would've felt he...
You use a lot of ice in your drink.
Yeah, you're right, you do, don't you?
A necessity in the hot weather perhaps.
Peter is looking for £50 for the ice pick,
and £25 for the military Punniar Star.
Time to do a deal, methinks.
I like that. I'll give you 25 for that, Peter.
Can you give me a little off that?
I thought I was being rather charitable by saying £50, but...
-Many would say you were, Peter, but I'm not in this instance.
£40, you're a lovely man. God bless you, Brighton.
And bless Peter's generosity. £65 on the silver medal and the ice pick.
-Thanks a lot!
-And with that, James's shopping is complete.
Helen, on the other hand, has still only bought one item,
but at least she has options.
Lots of them.
So what I'd like to do is offer you a price for all four pieces.
In total, the Wedgewood plate, the '50s cigarette holder,
Bakelite inkwell and silver mustard pot all come to £122.
So get cracking, Helen.
-I want to go in at an offer of 75.
-80 is definitely my
What's it going to be then, Helen? It's time to make your mind up.
£82.50. We'll split the difference.
-It's a deal. Thank you.
-That took a while.
But they got there in the end.
That's an impressive haul of goodies,
and completes Helen's shopping.
You know, I do like to be beside the seaside, and so does James.
Having completed his shopping,
he's off for some good old-fashioned entertainment.
In fact, Brighton beach has been home to Punch and Judy
for over 200 years. James is meeting Glyn Edwards,
a puppeteer who's been performing shows here for over half a century.
And he likes an ice cream.
-What a glorious day. Hello, Glyn.
-Hello. Do have an ice cream.
-There's no end to your generosity.
-Well, you're on Brighton beach, why not?
-This is superb, isn't it?
-What a lovely day to see it on.
In 1787 the Prince Regent, later George IV,
built a Royal Pavilion in Brighton.
By this time the town was becoming fashionable amongst high society.
Holidays were still unavailable to ordinary working people,
but all that changed in the mid-1800s with the arrival
of the railway, making it possible for ordinary families to enjoy
a holiday by the sea for the first time.
Brighton had been a nice little fishing town.
It's now on its way to becoming a world-class holiday resort.
All those elements are kind of invented here on the beach.
This bit down here was the sort of working class beach,
where people would come off the train straight down onto this beach.
Rammed with people, there'd be entertainers,
the boats would be there for the fishing.
There'd be donkey rides, all kinds of stuff.
But there was one show that captivated seaside audiences
like no other.
I'm here to see Mr Punch and Mrs Judy.
We should take you inside to meet the king of puppets himself
and his wife,
because they have a key part to play in the making of the seaside.
Lead on, Glyn.
The Brighton Fishing Museum has a section dedicated to the story
of seaside entertainment, and in particular Punch and Judy.
Although the puppets seem quintessentially British,
their roots date back to Italy in the 16th century.
He came from Italy originally.
He's Pulcinella from the Commedia dell'arte.
At some point the character of Pulcinella, the actor,
became a puppet, a marionette, a puppet on strings.
One of those string puppet marionettes came to England
in 1662 and put on a show in Covent Garden in London.
It happened to be seen by Samuel Pepys,
-who wrote about it in his diary.
So the diary entry of May 9th 1662 we count as Mr Punch's birthday.
Pulcinella was eventually shortened to Punch, and his white outfit
associated with Italian clans changed to that of a jester.
Who are the main characters in this thing? So we've got Mr Punch...
We've got Judy.
These days you have to have the crocodile and the sausages.
People expect it.
The string of sausages entered the show with Joey the clown,
who was originally Joseph Grimaldi, the great British clown.
One of his trademark gag routines was pilfering food.
A string of sausages goes with clowns.
Very English in a very Carry On rudery kind of way.
Once the sausages and the crocodile are in place,
they seem to naturally go together and form a scene in which,
you know, there are some sausages, the crocodile is after them
and Punch wants to stop them.
And to keep the crocodile at bay, Punch had his trusty weapon on hand.
-What's this business of the stick?
-Mr Punch's stick. It's a slap stick.
It's where we get the term slapstick comedy.
All the clowns once would have a slap stick.
I will demonstrate for you. Mr Punch has a puppet-sized one.
But effectively, it's two bits of wood, a handle,
and of course when you do the smacking...
It's effectively a noise-making prop.
Glyn, sorry, I'm probably not qualified to handle a slap stick,
-Well... Probably not unless you've got Mr Punch as well.
So maybe we should let you have a go and see if that works.
Oh, can I play the string of sausages, please?
A non-speaking role. Walk this way.
I've got the feeling it's not as easy as it seems, James,
but there's only one way to find out. Stand by.
-Oh, Glyn, how do you cope in here?
-Basically, there's not a great deal of room.
But what we do... You've dropped the sausages now, haven't you? Come on.
What we're going to do... Put 'em out there, that's it.
Yeah, get the sausages out there.
If the crocodile can do it, you can do it.
We're now going to go in here
and I'll show you how we can see out through this back cloth. Come on.
-Just this way, sir.
-This is where the magic happens.
-There we go.
PUNCH: Oh, it's the way to do it!
We can see through.
-It's very clear, isn't it?
-It is indeed.
Sausages! Hey-hey-hey-hey! Oi, where's the crocodile?
-What sort of voice does he make?
-He snaps mainly.
But he can talk if he wants. Go for those sausages. That's it.
I'm going to stop you.
-Oi! Get off! Get off!
-I tell you what, you can try and bite me now.
Go on, go for me.
Go on, James. That's the way to do it.
Ohh! Ohh! Ow! Ow!
-Do you think I'd make an assistant then?
-I think you would indeed.
Really? Oh, what an accolade.
Good to know there's a second career available for you, James.
Helen's just arrived, which means it's time for the last big reveal.
-You know how the premise of the trip is to make a profit?
I think it's gone out the window.
Don't worry about that, Helen.
-I find you make profits when you least expect them.
Go on, then. Show us what you've bought.
Show us the goods, Helen. Look at this! A smorgasbord of goodies.
They look a bit sort of sorry for themselves, don't they? There we go.
Your Wedgwood. What is that commemorating then?
-Olympics Moscow 1980.
It's not an antique, James, but it's Olympic memorabilia.
-This was about £17.50 or something when you break it down.
-I can't remember the Moscow with Olympiad.
-It was the one that the US boycotted and all the other countries...
..and then the Soviet Union got their own back the next year
and boycotted the next one.
So that's kind of why I bought it, cos I thought that was interesting.
-Yeah, it is interesting, yeah.
-Little mustard pot, Birmingham 1902.
-And that's silver?
Very nice. Got a little maker's mark on it. I paid 55 quid for that.
James isn't giving much away. But what will Helen think of his items?
-Right, here we go.
-Come on then, James.
-These are my goodies.
The unusual one is every home should have one - an ice pick.
I've never seen an ice pick before.
-Had to pay some money for that - £40.
-That's all right.
But that's what I like most of all.
That was given to the East India Company to somebody who
-fought in a battle in Northern India.
-Oh, right. OK. Nice.
-So how much did you pay for that?
-That's all right, isn't it?
It's not bad. Not bad.
-Come on, fish and chips?
-Yeah, let's go to the pier.
Hang on, chaps, first tell us what you really think.
I think I can essentially kiss goodbye to any profit.
You never know, do you?
You never know what's going to happen on the day.
Maybe there'll be two people at the auction who collect
Olympic memorabilia and I'll be quids in.
It ain't looking good for me, is it, really?
It's so difficult to predict auction.
How am I going to come out of it? How's Helen going to come out of it?
It's very difficult to predict,
but I think I probably have the upper hand on this one.
Confident talk, eh?
And it's time to find out,
as we head to the final auction of their road trip
in Lewes in East Sussex.
Palaeontologist Gideon Mantell was born here in 1790.
His research led to the discovery of the dinosaurs.
Our duo will be hoping their own ancient discoveries will deliver
a famous victory here today.
-Here we are.
-We can do it, here we are.
You were nipping at me heels earlier on.
-I was, but those days are gone, aren't they?
-Rubbish. Come on.
Come on, let's do it.
-Thank you very much.
Gorringes Auction House is today's battlefield,
and where we'll crown this week's winner.
It's also where our James first entered the antiques business
many moons ago. But will that help him today?
Philip Taylor is doing the honours on the podium
and has some thoughts on our esteemed experts' choices.
I think today a few things are going to struggle
and some things might do very well.
Trouble with the Wedgwood plate is, there was an awful lot of them made,
many tens of thousands, so hardly a rarity.
It's going to be a struggle to get any sensible price at all.
The Punniar Star is probably going to be your star of the sale today.
Although not rare, I think it's going to do well.
I'm hoping it'll make £150-200.
It's had a few alterations to the suspension,
but quite an interesting item.
James began this final leg of the road trip with £300.26,
and has gone on to spend £140 on five auction lots.
God bless you, Brighton.
Helen started with £153.18
and has parted with £132.50, also for five lots.
It's a deal. Thank you, Anne.
With two wins each under each of their belts,
it's all to play for as the final auction begins.
Are there any Olympic enthusiasts in?
I think there are athletes all around us.
We'll soon find out
as Helen's Wedgwood Olympic souvenir plate is first.
Any bids at £5? Any bids at 5, surely? 5, thank you.
£5 bid here at 5. Only bid at £5.
Go on. 8...
Only at £5 it goes...
-My first lot.
-That's your first.
The auctioneer said that would struggle, and he was right.
-£5. They're just not very athletic in Lewes.
Will James get off to a better start with his onyx box?
Two bids on this lot. Not very high bids, though.
£5 is the best-buying bid, at £5.
It's not sounding good for James, either.
£6, only 6. At £6...
It's careering away, isn't it?
I've got a bid at 6. Any further bid on this lot?
-8 at the back.
-8? Oh, you lovely person.
All gone on 8.
£8. Dear, oh, dear. Look at that.
That's set James way back.
The bidders weren't impressed by that at all.
There's nothing like an auction to bring you up to speed, is there?
I've got a feeling this auction might be carnage.
Let's hope Helen can impress with her '50s cigarette holder.
5 or £10 for it. 5 for someone, surely. Get it started at £5.
-Any bids for the cigarette holder?
-Got to be worth a fiver.
Got to be worth... Please, sell.
Any bids at £5?
-WOMAN: We've got £15.
-We've got £15.
-Take it! Take it!
A profit, but can we get more?
15, can you make it 18, madam? £18.
I have it here at £18. At £18.
At £18. This is bid at 18.
This is yours, madam. Finished on 18.
That's more like it. That's our first profit of the auction.
Finally something to smile about!
Now, can James get off the mark with his pottery figures?
£20 bid. £25.
25 now. 30 bid. 35. 40 with you, sir.
They're pretty things and the bidders seem to like them.
40. They'll be sold at 40 only. Last time then, on £40.
I don't know how much I paid for those. Was it 40?
No, you paid £30, James, pay attention.
And it's your first profit of the auction.
Next up is Helen's silver mustard pot.
It's her most expensive item today, so it's got to make a profit.
15, 18, 20. At 20, 22. At £22.
The silver mustard pot at 22.
-God bless the internet.
-Come on, keep going.
The auctioneer's doing his best, but it's not looking good.
15 bids over the internet. Selling that on £45.
Still a loss, but not a terrible loss.
The internet, it's playing its hand, isn't it? Well done, you.
But it's still another stinker for Helen.
She paid too much for it and it's made her a £10 loss.
45. I know it's a small loss, but it could've been a lot worse.
Next - will James's ice pick get a frosty or a warm reception
from today's bidders?
£10 to get it started, surely.
Thank you, ten at the back.
-12 with you now.
-Come on, internet. Come on, get in there.
-It's a lovely thing.
Doesn't look like the internet wants it either.
18 at the back, you also bid at 18. At 20. £20. 22.
-It's going up, you're all right.
-Come on, internet. Come on.
It's in the room, I think. Look.
At 32, 35.
-They don't want to let it go.
It could've been worse.
Both of our experts are struggling to break through.
Can Helen start to turn things around
with her Art Deco Bagley vase?
Look at it. It's splendid.
£15 to get it started. 10 for someone.
Thank you, 10 only bid. £10, 15 bid now. At £15...
Helen thought she got a bargain on this.
Doesn't look like it now though, does it?
-Any bids on the internet?
-25 it's gone to. 25.
All finished at £25.
Helen bought it at half price and sold it at half price. Oh, well.
A lot resting on your Bakelite inkwell now, isn't there?
James's Rosewood Panel's up next.
10 for someone? Thank you, 10 and bid. 12 bid now.
15 bid. At £15 only...
-At £18 now. At £18.
At £18. I'll let it go then. The latest bid I have then.
All done on £18.
18. That's a small profit.
At last some profit. It's just a few pounds
but it will help to reduce some of the losses he's made so far.
-I need to make about 40 quid on my inkwell.
Stranger things have happened on the road trip, Helen,
as the Bakelite inkwell is up next.
5 or £10 for this one again? Any bids at £5 for it?
The Bakelite inkwell? £5 on it, surely? Someone bid me £5 for it.
Any bids on it? Couple of pounds I'll take if I have to.
-Times are hard, I'll take a pound if you wish. I don't mind.
Any bids at all?
I won't go below £1. £1 is there. 2 for you, madam. 2 I'm bid now.
At £2. The lady gets it at £2.
Very brave of you, madam. At £2.
At £2. All done at 2.
Do you think that's the cheapest thing,
the cheapest price that's ever been achieved on the road trip?
Well, it's certainly a contender, Helen. £2 for that.
The auctioneer had high hopes for the Punniar Star medal.
Will it shine brightly on James's fortunes?
-Here's the last, my last offering.
-Interesting item, this is.
Will start this at £100 to get it started. £100 for someone?
£100 bid at 100. £100, 110. 120...
That's more like it.
120. 130. 140 bid.
At 140. At 140 then. 150 bid. 150.
-160. 170. 180. 190.
-Oh, my God...
200. 220. 240...
The bidders have suddenly come alive!
£300. On the right-hand side is 300.
For £300 it sells.
I saved the best till last.
What a way to finish the auction, with a tremendous
reversal of fortune for James, wiping out every loss he's made.
-Right, lunch is on you. That's it.
-Definitely, lunch on me.
-Lobster and champagne.
-Right, OK, you've said it. Right.
Yeah, but not before we total it all up.
New girl Helen started this final leg of the road trip
with £153.18, and it's been a baptism of fire,
because after auction costs, she made a loss of £54.60,
ending her trip with just £98.58.
Whilst old hand James kicked off with £300.26,
and after costs has seen his money go through the roof making an
impressive profit of £188.82, making him not only today's winner
but also the winner of the week's road trip
with a thumping great £489.08.
The profits of which, of course, go to Children In Need.
-Shall we do a victory photo?
-Yeah? Come on.
Whilst James celebrates victory, Helen is magnanimous in defeat.
-I'm going to miss you.
-I'm going to miss you.
We've been on the road with two superstars.
Oh, it's Jack Nicholson!
It is, I've whipped back from the Mediterranean especially to do
the shopping today.
And what a week it's been.
The road trip's never easy, but it's certainly a lot of fun.
-What do you say?!
That is a Wurzel hat, isn't it?
Safe journey home, you two.
Antiques experts travel the UK searching for treasures.
On the fifth and final day of their trip James Braxton and Helen Hall begin in Hampstead in north London before heading to Brighton and then on to auction in Lewes.