Antiques experts Anita Manning and James Braxton travel through Essex on the third leg of their road trip. James is feeling flush, but will Anita beat him at auction?
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It's the nation's favourite antiques experts with £200 each,
a classic car, and a goal to scour Britain for antiques.
Going, going, gone.
-It's a bit like fishing.
The aim? To make the biggest profit at auction, but it's no mean feat.
There'll be worthy winners and valiant losers.
What have I done?
So, will it be the high road to glory, or the slow road to disaster?
I'd better look out!
This is the Antiques Road Trip!
On this road trip, two esteemed auctioneers
vie for the gaudy hearts of Essex.
Anita Manning is a canny Scotswoman with a keen eye for tiny treasures.
I'm awful tempted with Napoleon.
I think a lot of women were.
Hey! While James Braxton might seem the apogee of southern affability,
don't let that fool you.
For all my smiles, David,
I'm still a hard man underneath it all.
Ha, ha! After a fabulous success on the last leg with a very profitable
silver stamp box...
Yes! Oh, James, that was great!
..James is riding high, but anything can happen in this game.
Both our pair started this road trip with £200
and fortune has flourished!
Anita has seen her coppers swell to a respectable...
But James puts all else in the shade having accumulated
an absolutely ripping...
Anybody want to know that?
£465 and 40p!
That's just what I said.
You, you've got loads of money.
You're in Essex with loads of money...
-Wads of money.
-Wads of cash.
Oh, do pipe down. It's so vulgar.
Today, our duo of duelling wheeler-dealers are driving
a devastating little French number,
the 1986 Citroen 2CV6 Special.
Ooh, la la!
This whole epic road trip sees them journey from
Stamford in Lincolnshire through the byways of
eastern England into the borough of Greenwich
in our nation's fine capital.
Today, they begin in Saffron Walden in Essex, their beady eyes
set on their auction in Stansted Mountfitchet
in that same celebrated county.
-What a glorious day, isn't it?
-Oh, it's lovely!
We're in Essex and we must top up our tans, mustn't we?
Look, this isn't that sort of show, James.
The poetically named town of Saffron Walden boasts
attractive historic buildings and a busy market.
A delightful place for James and Anita to begin their day.
-Here we are, James.
This looks so exciting!
Do calm down. They're splitting up now
to begin the day's shop.
-Lovely and sunny.
A beautiful market town and where are you going, Anita?
-I'm going that way and you're going that way.
-Off we go. Good luck.
Anita is strolling off through the town's sunny Market Square.
And she's off shopping at Arts Decoratifs where she's meeting
dealers Ann and Brenda.
-Hello, ladies! How are you?
-How are you?
Nice to meet you.
-Lovely to meet you.
There are all manner of baubles inside,
but Anita's already spied something in the window display.
The mah jong set looks interesting.
-It is and that's quite new in, actually.
-Would it be possible to see the mah jong set out?
-It is quite fun. It's a game, we're playing a game.
-Indeed we are.
Mah jong is a game which originates from China
and is fabled to have been created by the philosopher Confucius,
he say, more than two millennia ago. On the other hand,
it may have emerged in its modern form as late as the 19th century.
Gameplay is similar in some ways to the card game rummy.
I like the look of it with all these different chequers
and the symbols on it.
"Directions of playing Chinese Game of Four Winds."
-Do you know anything about the game?
-There's up to four players.
-Three or four players.
-And is it complete?
-It's all here.
-It's a bit like a card game...
-I'm not a card player. I can play snap.
Yeah, me too!
My imagination has been captured by this.
The leather case isn't nice and I like...
-Is it a leather case?
-But that's not in the best of condition.
-It's probably from about the 1940s, would you say?
Taking all these things into consideration,
I'd be estimating it round about £20.
-Is it possible to buy it anywhere near that figure, ladies?
We've got 48 on that at the moment.
We don't usually do that sort of discount,
but, I think, as it's you...
-Aw! Thank you very much.
-Go on, we'll do 20.
-20, that's great.
Lovely. Thank you both, ladies, thank you.
With a bold bit of bargaining, Anita wins that round
and the mah jong set is hers.
Now, James isn't far away in his first shop of the morning,
-Antique Attic, where he'll be helped by dealer Sam.
-Nice to see you.
-Sam, nice to meet you.
-Hello, Sam, very nice to meet you.
Sam will show James around the substantial antiques centre
which houses items belonging to many dealers.
Very eclectic mix here.
-All sorts, really. Unusual.
First impressions is there's some nice pictures.
Um, and I think there's a lot of lovely silver here that
probably can be bought reasonably.
Don't pull that face at me!
He hasn't spotted any silver,
but he has seen something he hopes might post a profit.
# Wait! Oh, yes Wait a minute, Mr Postman... #
There might be interest in those.
They're books of old British stamps, unused.
There's no ticket price on them.
-Oh, I see.
-You can still use them.
3p...that'd get you down the road, wouldn't it?!
The stamps date from the late '60s and early '70s from both just
before and after the decimalisation of UK currency in 1971.
-These have sort of slight integrity, they have a sort of...
-Do you think she might do them for a fiver?
-Yeah, I'm sure she would.
Great, thank you.
-First purchase here!
That deal has stuck, but, shortly, he's alighted on something else.
You see, this is quite nice, 1960s, '70s.
It's got a very good look to it, um...
It's got bright colours, it's a nice boating scene.
It's rather a nice package and it's not a lot of money, this.
It's an oil painting by artist Peter Wallborn depicting
Stalham Boatyard in Norfolk. Ticket price is £55.
It's owned by Julie, a dealer who isn't here today.
-Sam will call her to see what deal can be struck.
It was a picture of the boatyard. Would you accept 35 for it?
How much is on it?
Oh, you've got 55.
No, I can't do 35. I'll go 40.
OK, you'll go to 40.
-OK, yeah, I'll take it.
-OK, all right.
-Thanks a lot. Bye.
-That's really kind.
So, James has the oil painting and the vintage stamps for £45 in total
and he's sailing off.
Anita's back in her first shop where some of
Ann and Brenda's pretty trinkets have caught her eye.
I quite like these agate brooches. It's very Scottish.
It's two brooches fashioned from the gemstone agate
and they're in a style particular to bonnie Scotland
and I think they're making Anita homesick!
Can I take these outside to have
-a look at them in the light?
-Of course, yeah, yeah, do, do.
Now, I love agates.
Agates came from the burns and the seashores of Scotland.
They were collected by amateurs, really, sent down to
Edinburgh and then polished and made into these lovely brooches.
Queen Victoria loved agates and it became very
fashionable in Victorian times to wear this type of item.
Now, these are a wee bit later than that,
but they're still lovely agates.
Anita's thinking of assembling a job lot of the brooches.
They're priced up at £7.50 each.
Would it be possible...? It's 15 for the two. Could I buy them for 10?
-I should think so, yes.
-Is 10 all right?
-Yeah, that will be fine.
-Thank you very much! That's great!
-I'm trying to buy cannily. I'm trying not to get carried away.
But soon our canny Scottish lass has spotted another
couple of brooches hailing from her homeland.
-I thought I could have a wee theme going there.
Um, these remind me of the wonderful, brooches of Alexander Ritchie...
-..who worked on the island of Iona.
Renowned silversmith and designer Alexander Ritchie
worked from the turn of the 20th century until around World War II.
His Arts and Crafts designs were deeply influenced by
ancient Celtic and Nordic carvings.
These are not by him. They're not signed by him.
Um...but, they're...they have the same sort of feel about them.
Do you know, she's thinking of adding these to her job lot.
On these, what's the very best, eh...?
If I could get the two for 15,
it's in that region that I would be looking for.
-If you want to have a wee think about that.
-I think that would be fine.
-Uh-huh, that's absolutely great.
And with that, Anita's got a very patriotic lot.
Hoots, ma lassie!
Which I'm sure they will adore...
Ha, ha! Well, let's hope so.
So, Anita's now got the mah jong set
and the four brooches for a total of £45.
OK, thank you very much.
-Maybe see you again. Bye-bye.
Now, James has driven 13 miles onwards to
the village of Little Easton.
Lovely day to be out and about, isn't it?
Absolutely delightful, James.
Satisfied with his morning's haul,
he's on his way to assignation in an empty field.
James is meeting Warwick Newbury,
the vice chairman of Little Easton Parochial Church Council.
He's going to fill James in on the fascinating role this
little village played during the dark days of World War II.
I say, nice car, Warwick. It quite puts the 2CV to shame.
Is this Top Gear?
-Hello, I'm Warwick.
-Isn't that beautiful?! Can we swap?
-Why are we meeting here, Warwick?
-Well, it's quite extraordinary,
but this rural area that you see today was once a thriving airfield
during the last war, with the Americans coming in,
in September '43, transforming this area.
Indeed. This field once contained the airbase of the United States
Air Force's 386th bombardment group, the unit which flew
dangerous bombing missions over Europe during World War II.
When the Americans first arrived in 1943,
this land was a heavily wooded deer park, hardly a suitable airstrip,
so the first thing they had to do was to clear the land of trees.
And would you believe, there were 10,000 oaks on this site?
-I wouldn't, no.
How did they get rid of them?
Well, actually, they literally blew them up.
I mean, I suppose in wartime you do anything and you do it quickly and
they were all blown up and tons of concrete were laid,
so it was a very busy runway,
but a big success and played a very important part of the war effort.
That's fabulous, but I'm sure there's more to the story, Warwick, isn't there?
-There's a lot more to the story.
-Lead on, lead on.
Shall we? OK. Follow me.
Warwick's taking James on to Little Easton Parish Church where
tribute is paid to the American soldiers who
served at the airbase during the war.
Warwick, how many airmen were here?
Well, there was just under 3,000 - 2,888 I'm told, at one point.
And did they all live on the airfield?
-Yes, there was a big base up there.
But they came to the church occasionally.
They also had services up on the airfield,
but they came to the church for special services.
And what are the uniforms we have here?
Well, thanks to the Dunmow Museum who've kindly lent us
these for the day, we have the pilot's uniform
and then his flying kit in the middle and that was
the ground crew engineer's support and, of course,
-there were a lot of those.
-But handsome fellows.
Well, you can imagine a little country village
of probably 300 or 400 people,
no more, suddenly being invaded by, well, 2,800-odd Americans.
The airmen based here were bringing much needed American troops
and resources to the Allied war effort in Europe
and the village certainly made them at home.
We needed the Americans to help us in our great war effort
and, you know, they were welcomed and integrated.
-There were clearly dances and social occasions.
You can imagine they were partying as much as they could.
They were well paid and they had much better provisions, obviously,
than were available in the UK at the time
and they were indeed very welcome.
But the social life the young airmen enjoyed here was only
a welcome distraction from the seriousness
and danger of their missions over occupied Europe.
So, these were all young men away from home and, you know,
going off on these trips. What was their success rate?
-Were there enormous casualties?
-I'm afraid there were.
I think they flew something like 263 missions, um,
and just under 200 were killed, so that's a lot of casualties.
The tragic sacrifice of the servicemen who died
is commemorated in a memorial here at the church.
So, James, this is the board
with the names of the nearly 200 airmen who died.
In the 1990s, the then-vicar, the Reverend Jack Philby
led an initiative to create an appropriate modern tribute to
the fallen US servicemen to ensure their legacy is not forgotten.
These beautiful stained glass windows are the result.
They were designed by an American artist called Phillips.
There's an American and a UK shaking hands at the bottom,
-the two different flags.
It's a very nice space and very nice that it was carved
out as a memorial some, you know, 40 years later, isn't it?
Yes, in fact, we still get a lot of visitors who, if you
look in our visitors' book, a lot of visitors from the States who clearly
come over to see where their father possibly flew their last mission.
Warwick, I wouldn't have known it was here in this
very beautiful part of Essex.
We've carved out this little bit of America here.
It's absolutely fascinating and...
It's lovely to be able to share it to you, James.
..you know, really lovely.
Having paid his respects, James is moving onwards.
has travelled on to Sawbridgeworth where she's aiming for
Cromwell's Antique Centre and meeting
charming young dealer Elspeth.
-Hello, I'm Anita.
-Hello, I'm Elspeth, nice to meet you.
-Lovely to be here.
This looks absolutely wonderful.
Time for a rummage.
There's lots of lovely things here, but what I want to do is to
dig into the corners and see if there are any surprises.
Go dig away, then.
An old petrol can.
Is she a good-looking bird?
She's a bit bony if you ask me!
My, Anita, you're taking your time this afternoon.
You must have looked at every atom in this shop.
I'm sorry about this.
You're forgiven, love.
-A dentist kit?
Well, this is a bit like pulling teeth. Ah!
Finally, she seems to have settled on something.
What I'm looking at, at the moment, is a Portmeirion part coffee set.
Portmeirion's marvellous, it's from the 1960s.
This sort of stuff is so fashionable just now, I just love it to pieces.
Portmeirion Pottery Manufacturer was founded in 1960
by the iconic designer Susan Williams-Ellis.
There's £30 on the ticket. What sort of a deal can Anita strike?
If that could be bought for 20 that would be great,
-if you could maybe do that.
-Yeah, that's fine.
Elspeth will call the dealer who owns it.
In the main, if these are going to get any money at all,
they have to be complete.
We're missing two cups and saucers and we're missing a cream,
but we've still got a lot of stuff there for £30
and if I can get that, say, round about 20, I think it might not be a bad buy.
Ah! Elspeth's back.
How are we getting on?
Success, he's very happy to take 20 for that.
£20, OK, that's absolutely fine.
So, Anita's last buy of the day in the bag
and she's off for a cuppa to celebrate.
And, with that, Anita and James are back in the car
and headed for a well-deserved kip.
But, a balmy morning finds them back in the old 2CV
and enjoying the southern sunshine.
-Again, a lovely, glorious day, isn't it?
Is it always like this down here, James?
That's a bit of an exaggeration, James.
But the sun shines on the blessed country of Scotland, doesn't it?
Of course, it's always a Mediterranean climate in Glasgow!
And that's a downright fib, Anita!
Thus far, Anita's spent £65 exactly on three lots...the mah jong set,
the job lot of Scottish brooches,
and the incomplete Portmeirion coffee service.
While "Loads-of-Money" James has only spent £45 on two lots...
the vintage stamps,
and the oil painting.
Well, at least Anita seems to be enjoying herself this morning.
-This is it. We're on an adventure.
-in our trusty 2CV...
-Our little chevaux.
Next, they're coming into Clare in Suffolk.
The Augustinian priory at Clare was founded in the year 1248,
but was later suppressed during the dissolution of the monasteries
After a 400-year absence, the same Augustinian order repurchased
the land in 1953 and still operates it today.
-Very good. Well driven.
We're here in Clare.
The disembarkation of the guard. Oof!
What a struggle.
With their usual fleet-footed grace, they're splitting up to go shopping.
-Good luck, James.
Anita's aiming for Market Hill Antiques
where dealer Robin's ready to greet her.
-Hi! I'm Anita, how are you?
-Pleased to meet you.
-Lovely to meet you, lovely to meet you.
You know, Robin, when I walked in here, I thought,
"Here's a man after my own heart!"
Robin stocks a lot of the quality 20th century glass
and porcelain that really floats Anita's boat.
Let me have a look around because my eyes are
greedy for all these beautiful things.
This is a...it's a sort of futuristic cat painted by Louis Wain,
but you can always tell Louis Wain's stuff in the expressions on
his cats' faces.
They always look totally mad. What sort of price is that?
-The ticket price is 3,000.
-We wouldn't let it go for less than 2,500, though.
-I think it's a bit dear for me.
-Yeah, by just a whisker.
Don't drop it now!
These are pretty here,
bohemian glass...from about the 1920s, would you say?
I'd personally put those circa 1900.
That's where I'd put them. Round about, yeah.
They have an Art Nouveau look about them and that style that I like.
The botanically inspired Art Nouveau style
flourished around the turn of the 20th century.
This pair of hand-decorated vases are priced up at £75.
Can they be bought for around about 20 quid?
I'd like to see more than that, but I think they probably can be, yeah.
She likes them,
so she's putting them to one side and fishing for another item.
I want to buy two items in this shop.
Better find something else then. Ha!
And what about this?
I think that might be slightly out of your price range.
Yeah, I know, I know. That sort of thing.
BALL BEARING CLICKS
Hard luck! Never mind!
Hey! Enough of this messing about. We need some strong leadership!
I, in Scotland, have
so many collectors of anything that has anything to do with Napoleon.
-We have him here. That's why he's in here.
-Is that why he's here, yes?
We might get one walking through the door.
It's a cast brass figure of French emperor Napoleon.
The ticket price is a regal £155, but, as Anita and Robin
are getting on so well, what could he do for trade?
-I could do that for about 75.
It's kind of tempting at that, isn't it? It's well-made...
It's not a modern piece.
I'm awful tempted with Napoleon.
I think a lot of women were. It's quite a nice thing.
And it's a quality thing.
SHE SPEAKS FRENCH
Could you do me a deal on...
..those two? Could you do those two for 70?
-Yeah, I'll do that for you.
OK, thank you very, very, very much. That's great.
Anita gets the glass and brass for an incredible £160 off
and she's striding away with a very imperial air.
James is nearby and strolling off into his first shop of the day,
-F D Salter Antiques, where he's meeting owner David.
-Hello, very nice to meet you. Come on.
Give me a guided tour.
James is chomping at the bit for bargains this morning.
-So, cheap, fresh stuff, that's what I want, David.
-Fresh to market. That's a nice bit of enamel there.
-It is, yes.
There's something here, I know it.
But something by the window's got him seeing red.
I quite like these cranberry glasses. Very pretty.
They always look nice. It's got a couple of nibbles out of here.
Lovely polished bases.
Distinctively hued cranberry glass pieces like these reached the
height of their popularity during the Victorian and Edwardian periods.
These date from around 1900.
Ticket price is £35.
They just look so attractive, don't they?
Could I squeeze you a bit, David? Could you do them for 20?
-Yes, go on, yes.
-20? I'll take those.
So, deal done very decisively, but he's still on the hunt.
I'm quite tempted by this.
It's a chamber stick, but a very utilitarian fellow, isn't it?
-It is, isn't it? Yes.
-So, you could have gone up to bed with that.
It's a brass chamber stick for bearing your candle to
the bed chamber made in the rustic turn of the century
Arts and Crafts style.
There are lovely cottages in this county,
-There are, yes.
This would really work well with a lovely timbered,
-jettied cottage, wouldn't it?
-It would do, yes. It would look lovely.
He may have a heart of pastoral loveliness,
but James still has the bargaining instinct of a city slicker.
For all my smiles, David, I'm still a hard man underneath it all.
-Could you help me out? Could you do it for 18?
-I can't, I'm afraid.
-20 is really the rock bottom on that one.
-OK, 20's the rock bottom.
Not even 19?
-Oh, he's as hard as me, that David, isn't he?
20. I'm still going to take the gamble though.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Right, I think I owe you some money, don't I?
-You do, yes.
Do pay the man then, James.
He takes the cranberry glasses and the candlestick for a total of £40.
Anita, meanwhile has travelled on to Finchingfield in Essex.
She's got all her lots for auction.
She's going to spend the afternoon at local pile Spains Hall
where she's keen to hear a story about a bit of a rum do
in the house's ancient past.
She's meeting the owner Sir Timothy Ruggles-Brise. That's quite a name!
-Hello, I'm Anita.
-Hi, lovely to see you.
-Welcome to Spains Hall.
What a wonderful, wonderful room.
Timothy is the current descendant of a line of Ruggles-Brises who
have owned and lived in Spains Hall since the 1760s.
Even more remarkably,
his is only the third family to have owned the estate in a history
that stretches back to the Norman conquests of the 11th century.
Today, it's a strange story about the second family to own it,
the Kemps, which Anita's here to learn about.
It all takes place in Shakespeare's time
and it's a tale almost worthy of the bard himself.
Now, William Kemp, who lived here in the early 17th century
accused his wife of being unfaithful.
He discovered that she had not been unfaithful and consequently
was so ashamed that he took a vow of silence.
The local mystic known as the Raven warned William Kemp
that his vow of silence would bring nothing but disaster and misery,
but still he persisted with it.
I think I know where this story is going.
First of all, William Kemp decided to mark
the passing of each of the seven years by digging a pond which
can still be seen and, during that period, unfortunately,
his wife died and then, on another occasion, he and his groom
were visiting a neighbouring village and it was a very stormy night.
They took shelter in a local hostelry and William Kemp
overheard a band of ruffians plotting to rob Spains Hall.
Away from home and still unwilling to break his vow by talking,
Kemp instead wrote a note for his servant to take back to
warn his staff of the impending robbery.
Um, the trouble was, that by the time the groom has swum the river
and reached Spains Hall, the note was illegible
and the staff thought, "The squire must be in dire trouble.
"We'll all go off and try and rescue him from
"whatever the predicament was."
They left a young ten-year-old boy, which was
a relation of the Kemp family, here in the house.
Whilst they were away, the robbers came,
they broke in, they robbed the house, they took everything of
value in the house with them, they murdered the ten-year-old boy...
This is a catalogue of disasters indeed!
He shouldn't have taken that vow of silence.
I'll say! The murderous brigands who stole all the loot from Spains Hall
on that rainy night, soon encountered trouble of their own.
They murdered the young lad
and took their spoil down towards the village,
but it was so heavy, the ground was absolutely sodden,
so they off-loaded all the heavy stuff including the porcelain,
the plates, into the lake,
never to be seen again...well, not quite never to be seen again.
When my great-great grandfather dredged the lake in 1904...
the plates were all found in perfect condition,
they'd been in the lake, in the silt for hundreds of years
and these plates have now returned to their rightful home.
Timothy's taking Anita upstairs to get a better view
of the plate-laden lake as it is today.
And is that the actual lake that these wonderful plates were found in?
-That must have been a very exciting moment.
-Well, it was 1904, a bit before my time.
I may not look it, but it was!
My late uncle, Sir John, he was born in 1908.
So, he just missed it.
-He just missed it as well, but it must have been very exciting.
And, so, this remarkable ancient story has
a conclusion in the 20th century.
But it's time for Anita to be heading onward.
It's been fascinating. I have absolutely loved this house.
With the auction fast approaching, she's got enough on her...
James, on the other hand, has motored on to Sudbury in Suffolk.
Sudbury was once famous for its artistic residents, the legendary
18th century painter Thomas Gainsborough hailed from the town.
Let's hope some of that aesthetic dash
rubs off on James as he heads for
his last shop of the day at Mary's Antiques,
presided over by the proprietor who is, oddly enough, called Mary.
-Hello. Nice to meet you, Mary.
-Cor, how long have you been here?
-Oh, it looks wonderful. A lovely old building.
-Yes, it's quite a nice old place.
-Well, I'll have a squizz round.
-Yeah, you have a look round, by all means.
This is a sort of coal bin.
Quite a nice piece of brass, isn't it?
-Yeah. This is... I don't know...
-Oh, mind your head!
By a lampshade. Terrifying!
Just a lidded fellow.
I don't think it's terribly old, but it's not a bad weight.
It sort of feels as though it should be Edwardian.
-That's quite nice, that one.
-So, 1900, 1910.
How much on this, Mary?
-20, you can have it.
-20. It is nice.
Yeah, it is nice.
-And you want £20 for that?
-And I'll give you £20 for that.
-Thank you very much.
That's very kind of you. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
And a very civilised deal to end on, James.
And now they've both got all their lots for auction.
So, they're now going to meet up in Sudbury and it's time for
our excellent experts to reveal their purchases to each other.
I'm dying to show you what I've bought. Can I go first?
-Yes, go on. Go first.
-OK. I'll have to do this quite gingerly.
-Hey! Something from the homeland.
-Oh, yes, some Scottish brooches.
Two little agate ones, polished agate, and two little Iona ones.
And I had to buy this monsieur
because we are in a little... "Deux CV".
-And do you know something, James?
-The little man himself.
He reminds me of you.
Heh, heh! I'm not sure I see the resemblance.
-Who's this made by? Is this Portmeirion?
-20 quid on that.
-20 quid on these.
And 20 quid on this.
I'm sensing a theme here. Now, what about James' haul?
Very nice, James.
-Nice Arts and Crafts candleholder.
-Guess the price.
What about this guy here?
-Uh, yeah, £20.
Bits of cranberry glass?
-£20. And then my mad little buy...I just bought some old...
Not a hit, I fancy.
-I bought them for £5.
They're the best of friends when they're face to face,
but what do they have to say behind closed doors, one wonders?
It's a bit spooky. We both seem to buy units in £20 sums.
The mah jong set, rather nice in its leather case,
and her lovely statue of Napoleon. I think that's a nice item.
I could do well, or I could just lick my chops.
I was hoping that, because James had a lot of money,
that he'd be tempted to spend loads of dosh,
but he hasn't done that, he's been very, very canny.
Now, the coal box, these things aren't as popular as they were,
but that one's rather nice, and those daft stamps,
a moment of madness, James!
We shall see, as they head to
the village of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex.
Ancient Stansted Mountfitchet is a pretty little parish
and an ideal place for them to auction their wares.
-Here we are, James. Do you think we're fine here?
-Isn't this lovely?
Oh! Here we are.
The morning struggle out of the vehicle.
-Feeling confident, darling?
-I'm feeling semi-confident.
And so to battle!
Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers was established back in 1782.
Today, it's a general sale
and auctioneer Frank Barnett will be presiding over proceedings.
But, before the off, what does he make of James' and Anita's buys?
There's old favourites such as Portmeirion ware,
although quite stylish and retro, which is very popular at present,
it's the sort of thing that doesn't particularly set the world alight.
We have six cranberry glass beakers which, 20 years ago,
would have flown out the room and found many bidders. It won't make
what they made 20 years ago, but there'll still be somebody out there
who would like those.
Hmm. A cautious estimation.
Anita started this leg with £324.14.
She spent £135 on five lots.
While James began with £465.40.
He played it very safe,
spending on £105 and also has five lots in today's sale.
And now the sale's about to begin.
This is us, James!
First up, Anita's job lot of Caledonian brooches.
Can they pin her a decent price?
30. £30 is bid. I'll take 5...
-35 bid. 40.
5, 60, 5...
-£65, bid at £65. 70, anyone else? Selling at £65.
It's a patriotic winner for our lively lassie.
-It's a good start, isn't it?
It's a great start.
Now James' stamp books from the '60s and '70s.
Please, Mr Postman, a profit for him!
10. £10 for them.
Anybody want the stamps for £10?
-Come on, now, at 10...
-Oh, dear, this doesn't bode well!
Anybody want them at £5?
More like return to sender! Ha!
No-one bids in this saleroom,
so he'll have to carry them on to the next leg.
Well, now I know why I've never seen books of stamps for an auction...
cos nobody buys them!
but Anita has another try now with her pretty Art Nouveau glass vases.
Who'll start? £20 for them.
-30, 5, 40...
5, 50, 5...
Selling at £55. All finished at 55?
A smashing profit again.
My friend is on fire!
-You are on fire!
-I didn't expect them to go that far.
-That is great!
Next, it's James' Arts and Crafts chamber candlestick.
Will it attract the punters' brass?
£10? £10 is bid. I'll take 15.
-Oh, well done.
-20. We've got 25.
The lady's bid at £25.
This is exciting!
Selling at £25. All done at 25.
A modest profit there, but he won't see much return on that after
auction costs have been deducted.
I'm thankful for anything!
All the way from China, it's Anita's mah jong set.
-£20 is bid. I see 5 now.
30, 5, 40, 5...
-50, sir? 50.
£50 is bid. Selling at £50. All done.
And the game certainly seems to be in Anita's favour today.
-Well done, you!
On a roll!
Another one for the ascendant Anita now,
as her incomplete Portmeirion coffee set is up.
£10 then. £10 is bid. I'll take 15 now.
I've £10 bid. I'll take 15.
Selling it at £10 before she changes her mind at 10...
Well, it doesn't look as if it was the crowd's cup of, huh, coffee, eh?
I tell you, James, I deserved that one.
-Did you...? Slightly, you felt that, didn't you?
James was rather taken with this set of cranberry glasses,
but was it a rose-tinted buy?
£10 is bid. Do I see 15? I've 15.
15. We're away.
Do I see 20 anywhere? 20?
The lady's bid at £25. £30 anywhere? This is for a set of six.
Selling then at £25.
Again, a modest profit.
-..it's down to the coal bin
and the picture, because I have limped around, really,
I've done nothing.
James' fate indeed hangs on his last two lots
and it's his Edwardian coal bin next.
£20. £20 is bid. Do I see 5 anywhere? 25.
30, sir? 30.
£30 is bid then. It goes. All finished here at £30. At 30...
Well, it doesn't set the room alight,
but it's a welcome profit nevertheless.
-Dear, oh, dear...
-Well, a wee bit of profit, James...
-A wee bit, wee...
-But nothing running away.
-It's all down to my picture.
But, before that, it's Anita's last lot,
her brass figure of Napoleon.
Will it conquer all?
£20 I'm bid. Do I see 5 in the room now? It's a figure of Napoleon. 25.
30. 5. Will you go 38? 40 is bid.
-Do I see 5 anywhere else now?
And 40 all done?
It's her very own personal Waterloo.
I'll tell you, James, it could have been a lot worse.
-Yeah. Were you relieved with that?
-Yeah. 40 quid.
You're a brave soldier, Anita.
The very last lot of the sale now,
James' attractive oil of a Norfolk boatyard.
20 then? £20 is bid. At £20 I'm bid, do I see 5 anywhere now?
At £20 is bid. 5 anywhere else now?
Are we all finished then at the maiden bid of 20? All done?
5 anybody? No.
And, with that, he's sunk.
-It's a bit of a disaster, that.
-I think that was bad luck.
Bad luck on that one.
-It's a combination of errors, I think, that one.
So, a disappointing sale for James means Anita wins this leg
and is nipping at his heels.
James started this leg with £465.40.
After paying auction costs, he made a loss of
£23 and now has £442.40 to carry forward.
While Anita began with £324.14,
after auction costs are deducted,
she made a profit of £45.40
and now has £369.54.
No words, please.
-Well, James, you won't mind if I have a wee gloat?
-Course I won't.
-Well, we both played it safe.
-And safe wasn't good for you, James.
-I think I'm looking forward to seeing you as a wild man!
-I'll have to be!
Safe did not work for me today.
Unleash the beast!
Well, we'll look forward to that. To the next leg and away.
On the next Antiques Road Trip,
Anita's playing lead.
And even James is getting on down.
Anyway, I'd better get down and get dirty.