Antiques experts travel the breadth and width of the country in search of rare curiosities and antiquities. Anita Manning and James Braxton head out to Stamford and Boston.
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It is the nation's favourite antiques experts with ?200 each and
a goal, to scour Britain for antiques. It is a bit like fishing.
The aim is to make the biggest profit at auction. There will be
worthy winners. Will it be the high road to glory or the slow road to
disaster? Look out. This is the Antiques Road Trip. Today we begin a
brand-new week with a brand-new coupling of antiques officially in
our donors. Anita Manning is a Glaswegian auction expert who knows
what she likes. James Braxon is an auctioneer hailing from Sussex whose
charm is matched only by his sunny optimism. Might be the opportunity
of a bargain. Today they are driving a sophisticated French starlet and
she is already proving a bit of a handful. Look out. I cannot be in
first gear, I am in third, but I am in the wrong speed. It is taking me
a while to get used to this. You are doing very well. I am not sure that
car is used to the inclement weather. This week they travelled
through the East Midlands, East Anglia and East Essex to find out --
end up in Greenwich. On this first road trip, they are in Lincolnshire
heading for the auction in Boston in the same county. Both are experts
begin with a budget of ?200 each. Sadly, this has also brought some
unseasonable weather. Lovely weather, isn't it? Snowing on our
first day, James. I am not used to snow. It is always good weather in
Glasgow. Anita, that is a lie. They are approaching Stamford, a pretty
town with more than its fair share of antique beauty. Well, James. Well
done. Good luck. Good luck, darling. James is kicking off this shopping
extravaganza in Saint Martins antiques centre where he is meeting
dealer, Lucinda. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. Get comfortable,
there is a lot to see here. He seems to be heading back for the door.
Lucinda? I prefer the personal shopping touch. Don't we all, James.
Where will I find the bargains? We are selling in Boston and I want
small things, 15 to ?20. We have the pesto and mortar, they seem to be a
favourite. This is a fun bell. First impressions is an amazing choice.
Lovely variety. It is funny how some standout, they are flowing with
goodies. I would look at the price tags and then take a look to see if
the price tags match the items. If they do, I will concentrate on the
stand, because that is where I will find the bargains. He sounds like a
man with a plan. Chinese ceramics, a porcelain plate. Very pretty. Late
18th century, early 19th century. It is ?8, and it is old. That is over
200 years old. Right, you have sussed out the shop, how do you feel
about your first bite of the day? No problems or fears, it is just
challenges. Before long, James is going nuts for an unusual pair of
items. That is rather attractive. Brazil nuts, they are the colonels,
the raw state. They are, the pods of the Amazonian Brazil nut tree.
Inside these pods, up to 30 Brazil nuts would grow. They are the seeds
of the tree. You learn something everyday. It drives you, this! They
have been mounted on turned, wooden bases. Somebody has scratched 1910
on them, they are very unusual. They are natural history specimens. Not
sure they have many uses, ticket price is ?38 50. If I can get them
at 25, something like that they will be a candidate. He is rousing on.
And something on the other side of the shop has caught his eye. Nice
quality, but no prices on them. It might be the opportunity of a
bargain. Let's hope so. He is interested in a 1970s letter opener.
I want to feel the weight of it. It is substantial. Sheffield maker,
modern. But it is a nice letter opener, modelled as an old meat
skewer. Offering 30. OK. If she said 30, 35, I would consider it. What
did he say? He said yes, he will take 30. ?30. I will have it. One
item scored, but James cannot keep his hands off those nuts. These are
fun, I wouldn't mind by them for 25. Why don't we go for 30? Two items at
30? What about 28? Go on then, 28. The nuts are in the bag and he has
entered the game. The shopping machine is away. You have forgotten
your coat, James. I has also had a busy morning in another local shop.
But due to ongoing legal issues we cannot identify the shop or any
items and did not buy. But we can show you what she did pick up,
starting with this Victorian combination pen and pencil made with
metal and an insert gemstone. The propelling pencil would be hidden
within the hollow part of the pen, which also has a Fountain neighbour.
With no ticket price, and need to agree ?20 with the dealer to secure
her first by. Nice nails. I like that. Next, to catch her I was a
matching set of four silver salted dishes dating from the late Vic
Taurean or Edwardian period. -- Victorian. End of the 19th,
beginning of the 20th century. What is nice about them is they have the
liners, that is important. They also have a silver hallmark, showing they
hail from Birmingham. Birmingham was a famous centre for the manufacture
of small, silver pieces. These ones are hers for the bargain price of
?40. Anita's I is often caught by striking pieces of 20th-century
design, so her next purchase is possibly no surprise. It is a set of
1960s plates and platter produced by a Norwegian company. The charming
pattern known as Corsica was created by a designer, Mr Oliver. Today's
market loves this type of Scandinavian stuff. And I love it.
She bought the lot for a very reasonable ?60. That is an
impressive three lots at a total cost of ?120. Woodwork, Anita.
Normal service will now resume. -- good work. Having scored two items
he is very happy with, James is driving the 13 miles onwards to
Peter borough in Cambridgeshire. He seems to be enjoying the car. Bit of
a beast this. As much as I do hate it, I do love it. This gear shift
exercises your brain every time you come to change gear.
Here we are, approaching a dual carriageway and we are doing very
well. Now in third gear. That engine is sinking. Nice little canvas top.
He is having such fun! The imposing cathedral dates from the 12th
century and is far from the only beautiful piece of history the city
boasts. James is going towards the museum where he will spend the
afternoon visiting a unique local collection. He is meeting
interpretation manager, Stuart. Loving the doors. Hello, James
Braxton. I am Stuart, pleased to meet you. We have some real
treasures to show you. If you would like to come this way. Stewart is
taking James to a room in the museum which tells the story of Norman
Cross prisoner of war camp which operated during the Napoleonic wars.
These awards, which pitted France and its allies against a coalition
of powers, including Britain raged through the 18th and 19th centuries.
The prisoners of war were enemy combatants, mainly French soldiers
and sailors who had been captured by British forces. The camp operated
between 1796 and 1814, and held 7000 prisoners at any one time in its
location near Peter borough. The museum houses a vast collection of
Kraftwerk, made at the prisoners at the camp. We have a remarkable
collection of items, collected over the last century that were made by
the prisoners at Norman Cross. Why did they started making these
things? They were encouraged to make these things, it was a tradition.
The prisoners were allowed to sell the items they made to local people
or trade them for items like tobacco. There was a market held up
the east gate of the camp once a month and local people and traders
would come along and buy these items. The sculptures are made from
discarded beef and pork bones, polished until they look almost like
ivory. The prisoners were not allowed to keep knives so carved
them using crude tools they often fashioned themselves. The rigging on
this model of a Napoleonic era warship is made of plaited human
hair. Amazing! What an item. It is beautiful, many of them were sailors
so they would have intimately known ships like this. About a third of
the prisoners at the Battle of Trafalgar ended up at Norman Cross.
The flags on the top British and that would seem strange for a French
sailor making these. They are not daft, they are selling to the
British market. So they try to make everything look as British as
possible. It is an enlightened way of keeping prisoners fully occupied
so they have a good mental well-being and allowing them to
produce fabulous works of art. And whilst you're doing this, if you are
keeping the prisoners happy they have less reason to try and escape.
If you have ever seen the film, The Great Escape, everything they try to
escape in there, was tried by French prisoners at Norman Cross first.
Apart from the motorbikes. The Industrial Revolution was
transforming society and brought a new passion for ingenious machines.
That was reflected in the objects made by the prisoners. Here we we
have an iconic item. This is the Palace, as we referred to it. It
might look like a glorified dolls house, it was a working machine. It
is now too fragile to operate but would have been fully automated when
it was made. You turn the handle and it would have given water inside
over the water wheel. All the other characters in here would almost come
to life, if you like. They would start moving, dancers turning
around, soldiers going over the top. All of the mechanisms were powered
by one mechanism. They were working in a wooden hut by candlelight with
tools they could either be, borrow or steal. It is a triumph for the
human spirit. Thank you very much, it has been very enlightening. With
that, James needs to be off. He still has a bone to pick with Anita.
And speaking of Anita, she has now gone to St Ives, a market town which
was once home to Oliver Cromwell. She is aiming for this antiques
centre, and she is meeting the dealer there. Hello! Nice to meet
you. How are you? This is a lovely place, it is a bit chilly out there
but it is lovely and warm in here. What I a city you have got, there is
a bit of everything. I am sure there is something for you. You can spend
some of your money! I will do my best. I have got to pick up the
bagpipes! How do you hold these? Well, don't ask me, Lassie. Now,
that goes around there. Oh, yes. Now, that, I blow through there. Be
honest, you really have no idea what you are doing. Blow through there.
Oh, dear. But on the other side of the shop, Rod has got something
which might be more than just hot air. I have left this one out for
you. This is genuine World War II, in its box. It has got 28 quid on
it, that has got to be a good price. Every house should have one. Every
house? This is a conversation piece at dinner? That is it. Look at that
one there! Oh, my god. It looks like a big fly. Steady on. That is also
World War II, and again, it is ?38. Well, the market loves strange and
quirky items. That's right. This dealer, who specialises in this, she
will sail three or four gas marks a month. -- she will sell three or
four gas masks a month. Well, I knew there was a lot of pollution in the
air! I will tell you, that is such a mad thing, it has got a chance. I
can find out the best price for you. See if they will do it for 20
quid? Which one, this one? That one there. Let me give the dealer a
call. I am thinking that it is so mad that it might be a bit of fun to
buy that. Will you do 20 thanks. What have I done?! You have bought a
gas mask, Anita. Pay attention! Thank you so much. It has been
terrific. That is yours. That is three kisses in this shop, Anita. I
think you have got a fan. Anyway, that brings the first day to a
satisfying close. An absolutely freezing morning
greets them back in the 2CV and raring to go. James, it is freezing,
it is snowing. That is not nearly enough to stop them, though. So far,
Anita has spent ?140 on four lots. The Victorian pen or pencil. The set
of silver salts, the Norwegian plate and platter, and a World War II gas
mask. James, meanwhile, has been quite miserly by comparison,
spending only ?58 on two lots are the ornamental Brazil not pods, and
the silver paper knife. Unusually for the Road Trip, James actually
seems to know where he is. This area, Lincolnshire, is very famous
for things like potatoes. All of this, it is a great agricultural
food basin, isn't it? Pay attention, Anita. I would not want to be a
sheep today. Implying there are some days you would want to be a sheep,
James? Anyway, they are driving towards Spalding in Lincolnshire.
Amongst other things, Spalding has the proud boast of being the place
where the first bar code used in Britain was used. This is their
first stop, in the snow. Here we go, graceful as ever, James! Since
Anita had a good day of buying yesterday, she is going to be
spending this morning putting the spring back in her step at the
Flower Bulb Museum, where she is meeting the curator. Hello. As James
was trying to tell Anita earlier, Spalding sits in an area known for
its agriculture, and in particular for the cultivation of flowers and
bulbs. It is this industry which the museum celebrates. Of course today,
it is hardly the weather for growing flowers, but Anita is keen to find
out what makes this area so blooming ideal for the job just like anything
in farming, it all comes back to the fertile soil. That is how it started
off, you had good soil. We did, about 18 inches of the finest land
in the world. I think I can hear the pride of a Lincolnshire man! Flower
bulbs have been cultivated in this area since the late 1800s. The
industry boomed in the 20th century, when up to 10,000 acres of local
land was given over to flowering beauty. For much of the century,
Spalding was particularly famous for its wide fields of colourful tulips.
In order to cultivated tulip bulbs, the farmer must turn one bulb into
several. First you have to plant your bulbs and grow a flower. Once
the flower head is mature, the real work begins. They take the heads off
and leave the bulbs in and let them die down. Then they develop. When
you lift this bold, you have got the old bulb, the mother bulb, which has
died. That is the part that is left. And it has created three more bulbs.
So, with each bulb, you are getting three, it is propagating itself as
Chew Magna that's right. If only we could do that with you, Anita. Once
the bulbs are separated, they must be cleaned and graded for size. This
was an invention by a Mr Tennant, who came from a village up the road.
He created this thing. There are three different sizes. The
medium-sized ones would be next, and the big ones would be left at the
top? That's right. I suppose you could be stirring the pots, lighting
the fire, doing the washing up the same time. Simple but effective.
Tulip bulbs grown in this area must be cleaned by hand, which is a
labour-intensive business, and this contributed to the eventual decline
of the British tulip industry. Daffodils, however, are still grown
in quantity in Lincolnshire, and George is taking Anita to an area of
the museum which shows how different daffodil bulbs were produced from
the nineteen twenties. We have got a box of bulbs there. What do we do
with these ones? These are daffodil bulbs, and they have been lifted.
Now, they are going to be put through a machine which cleans them.
The original use was for cleaning potatoes. And then, they realised
that by changing the workings on the top, they could actually put
daffodils through it as well. Then, when the bag is full, they take it
over to these scales here. This is used for weighing it. There is a 100
weight at the back, they way it and then they go off to market. Now, it
is time for Anita to get onto her it has been a most interesting visit.
Absolutely fascinating. So, thank you so much. Meanwhile, James has
driven about 13 miles to Long Sutton in Lincolnshire. Through just about
the worst weather the Road Trip has ever seen.
The market town of Long Sutton can trace its history back to the Norman
period and further, making it the ideal location for James to seek out
his next item. He is striding off into Long Sutton
Antiques Centre, where hopefully it is a little bit warmer. He
immediately heads upstairs to the area run by his namesake James.
James! I am James. That makes it very easy. Dealer James 's an Xbox.
Best not to make any cheeky offers here. -- an ex-boxer. This one is
slightly lopsided, isn't it? James the Younger has a collection of
items to show old Brackers downstairs. This is a little
collection. Founded in 1894, John Beswick is a London company which
has produced collectables are ramming figures for more than 100
years. I think your best bet if you were to buy them, not to teach your
granny to suck eggs, but I could do them cheaper as a little bundle. The
whole lot? The whole lot. You have got little birds, various states,
and then you have got this fellow, God bless her, with Sandringham not
far away. You're right Thomert just down the road. The Queen might be at
the sale, you never know. Unlikely, James. I have heard she visits
Boston auctions quite a lot, to be honest injection I doubt it. Anyway,
you have got some good doggies there. And I suppose you have got
people doing racing pigeons around here. If you check the book prices
on Beswick, I know that is cheap, but you are going to buy the lot for
less than a pigeon. How much could I have the lot for? ?80, the whole
lot. Ten items. James, I am not going to fiddle around with you. I
am glad you're not. That's lovely. He who dares wins. So, James
acquires the ten pieces for a bargain ?80. He can now flicked off
to his next shot. Still snowing! Anita is about 27 miles away, and
she is taking refuge from the weather in this antiques shop. It is
cold out there! Nice to see you. Can I have a look around? You certainly
can. Very kind, Alan. I really like this stuff. It is 20th century,
latter half of the 20th century, but look at the colours. Look at these
wonderful greens and blues. Made in Malta. The colours that they used
reflected the blue of the sky, the green of the sea. And also, the gold
of the sand. I think it is just lovely. Very nice. Clearly, not nice
enough. Upstairs, Anita has found a plate
that she might just checked out. Alan, I quite like this plate. This
is Czechoslovakian, and I would say that it is fairly new, am I right?
You are probably right, I do not think it has got any age to it.
Quite. It is a cabinet plate, transfer printed with a cobalt and
guilt ridden. The ticket price is ?12. Am I able to buy that for in
the region of five or ?6? I would rather ?6 and ?5. ?6, I will go for
it. Thank you very much. Smashing. In terribly efficient fashion,
Anita's last buy is in hand. So, James had better get a move on.
James is visiting Jack. Hello, James. Hello, Jack. One of the more
unusual antique shops I have been into. This is a huge treasure trove.
It is a vast collection of mad stuff. Lovely. Whether I can find a
bargain here is another matter. Most items in here don't have prices, Sir
James will have to check them as he goes around and Jack is no pushover.
He could be tough. He could eat off. I don't think I will be walking
away with anything too cheap. I hope not. That seems quite priceless.
James remains optimistic. This is where the cheap stuff is, is it? I
don't have any cheap stuff. You do now! Be careful, that bottle
survived, but you might be able to milk a profit. It still has the
stopper in. There is one mineral bottle hailing from Boston along
with other vintage glass bottles. Slight crack in that. How much for
that one? ?5 for the lot. All of those? Yes. I will take them. I
quite like this. It is a brass name plaque which would have hung out a
solicitor's offers. What sort of data do you think they are? 1950s, I
would have thought. I think you are right, I think they are more likely
to be 1930s. What could Jack let it go for? ?10. I was hoping for ?5.
You hoped wrong. ?10? Go on, I will give you ?10. I want you to eat
tonight. So, James spends a total of ?15 on his collection of bottles and
a brass plaque. There you go. And now he has all of his lot for
auction. So, it is time for experts to reveal that purchases to each
other. Here we go. I like it. It is quite a variety isn't it. Some of
them from Austen. What are they? Nuts. Just like me and you. And you
have a zoo of creatures. Did you pay a lot of money for them? ?80. Ten,
that was a good buy. She is impressed, now for Anita's lots.
Shall I reveal mine? That is a mixed bag. Covering all fronts here,
especially the home front. Very good, James. How much did you pay
for that? I paid ?20. That seems cheap to me. Just a bit of daftness.
I like your plates? They are Norwegian plates. And the propelling
pencil and pen. Is it silver? I would say 22? ?20. I nearly had it.
Maybe best auctioneer win. It is all smiles face-to-face but what is
their appraisal behind closed doors? I think I have the edge. The salt
holders might do well, the pen might do well. The letter opener in silver
for ?30. And all of that Beswick and ?80, he has done very well. Anita
and James had travelled through eastern England to Boston in
Lincolnshire. The historic town of Boston gave its name to its larger
relative, the city of Boston, Massachusetts in the USA. They have
seen rain, hail stones and snow on this leg, and now, glorious
sunshine. God bless the English weather! Look at it now, it is
beautiful. It is isn't it. It is still a bit cold. They are aiming
for Boston auctions. Here we are, James. Glorious sunshine. Our very
first auction. How exciting. Good luck. They are sweet. Graham
Somerfield is the auctioneer, so what does he make of their lots? I
think the collection of Beswick will do well. The 60s Scandinavian
plates, 40 to ?50 I think we'll fetch on those. Both Anita and James
started with ?200. James spend ?153 and has five lots to show for it.
While Anita spends ?146 and also has five lots in this sale. The auction
is about to commence. Here we go. First up is James's solicitor's
sign. I will start at 20 on a commission, have I got 22? 22 on the
Internet. 25, off 28 on the Internet. ?30 anywhere? A profit the
James? Very pleased with that. 28. ?18, I wasn't expecting that. Now,
I's Victorian combined pen and pencil? I can start the bidding at
?35. ?38 on the phone. 40 on the Internet. 402I have got on the
phone. 45 on the Internet. 48 anywhere? I have got 50. 55, 55
anywhere? Write on! There is a lot of smooching going on today. Now,
James's silver paper knife. Will it cut the mustard? I will start at 32,
have I got 35? 35 on the Internet. I will let it go. It manages to carve
out a small profit. We are heading in the right direction. It is the
Brazil nut pods up next, will the audience go crazy for them? I will
start at ?30? 32 on the phone, have I got 35? 35 on the Internet, have I
got 38? 40 in the room, I have got. NUT fanciers everywhere. Last and
final, 42. A cracking profit per James. My nuts came home. Now it is
Anita's turn with hope ass Maskell. ?30? Surely? 15 on a commission. 18
on the Internet. ?20, anybody anywhere. Yes, we have ?20. 25? 25,
yet we have 25, is it 28? 208I have got, is their 30? It has got to go.
Some determined work from the auctioneer get Anita a neat little
profit. You got out of that one, Anita. Next it is Anita's check is a
vacuum plate. ?5. ?6 anywhere? Seven I have got, is it eight? Eight I
have got, is it ten? ?10 I have got with the lady at the front. ?12
anywhere? Let it go. Check it out. A profit all the way. It is all
happening or you. Another four Anita as her set of four silver salts go
up. Start at ?28. Have I got 30? 35 on a commission. 38 pounds, 38 on
the Internet. 45 is it 48? 48 anywhere? Anita earns a small trough
it. Now James's collection of vintage glass bottles and one marked
with the name of this town. 20 I have got in the room, is their 22?
Abhay got 28? 28 at the back, standing. 30, is their 32? ?30.
Local pride wins and sees him clear to a very smart profit. ?30, it is a
good turn. I wasn't expecting that. From the frozen land of Norway,
Anita's 1960s plates and platter will stop will they serve up a
profit? 30? I have 30 on the phone. 35, is their 38? 40 on the phone, is
their 42? 42 in the room, is their 45? Last and final. Bad lot, and
that obliterates her profit. Was that 45 or 42? I think it was 42. To
conclude, James's collection of Beswick figures. A lovely one this
one. We have had a lot of interest. ?150. Crikey! 170 on the phone. 180
anywhere? It absolutely flew. Wonderful, wonderful. Happy with
that. I should think so. James's zoo of Beswick figures cements his wing
and he is now the expert to beat. Anita started with ?200 and after
paying costs she made an unfortunate loss of ?2 50, giving her ?197 to
carry forward. James also started with 200 pounds, but managed to make
an impressive profit of ?97 giving him ?297 to be going along with.
James, you are absolutely wonderful. Lucky. Modest. A new strategy, wide
Beswick animals? It worked for me. We are off again. Goodbye, see you
on the next leg, you two. Next time on the Antiques Road Trip, Anita has
got a one track mind. Is he married? James is trying to multitask.
Concentrating and not trying to stick my tongue out, which is what I
do when I am concentrating.
It is the start of a new week for antiques experts Anita Manning and James Braxton. Braving the inclement weather, they head out on the road through Stamford, Lincolnshire and Boston.