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-Some of the nation's favourite celebrities...
..one antiques expert each...
-It's middle class.
-Darling, aren't we all?
..and one big challenge -
who can seek out and buy the best antiques at the very best prices...
-Do I start laughing now?
-You can if you like.
..and auction for a big profit...
-55, thank you.
-..further down the road?
Who will spot the good investments?
Who will listen to advice?
And who will be the first to say, "Don't you know who I am?!"
Time to put your pedal to the metal -
this is Celebrity Antiques Road Trip - yeah!
Now, if you ask me, there's very little to beat a summer's day
in the glorious British Isles -
dappled light resting gracefully on our grand old architecture,
the majestic countryside, and then...
there's days like this.
Good job tonight's Celebrity Road Trippers are made of stern stuff.
Welcome aboard, journalist and presenter Katie Derham
and star of stage and screen Mr Tom Conti!
-Do you know anything about this car at all?
-This car? No.
Best known for presenting ITV News,
the lovely Katie Derham began her career at the Beeb.
And can I just say, we love her work - especially the early stuff.
But what can any investor in a club like Millwall really expect?
Probably best not to take too much notice of those tax-cut promises...
Now, that's not exactly a snappy headline...
More recently, Katie is ensconced in the arts, presenting the Proms,
the Classical BRIT Awards, even competing to be a maestro.
MUSIC BUILDS TO A CLIMAX
What a frock!
As you know, Katie's competition is the dashing Tom Conti,
and right now, he'll be playing the driver
of this 1952 Jowett Jupiter.
-OK, here we go, are you ready?
I'm holding on! Don't... Agh! You just ran over the cameraman!
Is he... Is he dead?
Because if he's dead, we ought to stop.
While his driving may be a little hit and miss,
Tom's acting career spans more than 50 years. In theatre,
film and television, he's been wowing audiences in everything
from Shirley Valentine to Miranda - such fun!
And his latest project - well, at the time of filming,
it's all a bit hush-hush, but I'll give you a clue -
it's Batman - The Dark Knight Rises.
A great qualification for a Road Tripper!
Do we have, erm, indicators?
An indicator? It's better to surprise them, I think.
Our celebs may be taking each other on,
but they won't be doing it alone.
Guiding them are two absolute veterans,
James Braxton and James Lewis,
currently enjoying all that an open-top MG Midget has to offer.
How are you feeling in your jacket, then, James?
Yeah... I'm feeling a tad wet, and even more stupid.
Could this be an omen?
James Braxton's 25 years in antiques began
when he dropped out of a Business Studies course and became a porter
at an auction house. The rest, as they say, is history.
-Shall I carry it, sir?
-Oh, yes, I really wish you would.
James Lewis, meanwhile, has two great passions -
antiques and animals.
He claims he made his first auction bid at the age of six.
The collectible in question, a birdcage for his budgie.
So, drawing on the advice of our esteemed experts,
Tom and Katie have £400 each,
two days of shopping and one auction
to prove that they can buy low, sell high with the best of 'em.
-Do you know anything about them at all?
-Not much. That's the old ones, isn't it? The older stuff?
Before they risk their reputations, let's look at the journey ahead.
We're kicking off this Celebrity Road Trip in Lewes, Sussex,
and for the most part we're headed north,
ending with an auction showdown in Wandsworth, South London.
First stop, the charming town of Lewes,
which has quite a bloody and exciting history.
What started as a Roman settlement
was invaded by the Saxons, then the Danes, and finally the Normans,
which is what prompted William The Conq's brother-in-law
to build Lewes Castle in the first place, in 1069 -
and doesn't it look great in the sunshine?
Well, for a minute or two, because...
# Let it rain, let it rain... #
Although as our celebrities rendezvous,
it is of course a very different story.
-Katie, nice to meet you.
-Glorious, isn't it?
-This is Katie, and I'm Katie, too, just to...
You don't look like a Katie, Tom.
It's like an exchange on a bridge in Berlin in the old days, you know!
Do we go off with one of you, or what happens?
-That's the idea.
-Hopefully, we're going to guide you.
-Do you know much about antiques?
-Not a lot. I think it'll be,
"I like the look of that," and you just shake your head...
-Right, James, you can have Katie!
-You said you wanted Tom!
It's bric-a-brac, isn't it?
I'll just try and educate this man!
Au revoir. I hope to see you in the not-too-distant future.
-Have fun. Which way are you guys going?
-Towards the antique shops!
-It's a park up there.
Now, whilst there isn't a moment to lose,
apparently there is time for a cheeky latte
in order to talk tactics.
Are you a competitive person, Tom?
No, no, I'm not, but are you, against your namesake, James?
Not against anybody else bar James Lewis.
He is a man who needs to be beaten, I think.
Right, he is your bete noire?
I know we're all friends, but we are wanting to win.
-Yeah, it would be nice.
-How do we go about this? What do we do?
Well, James is lovely, and he's a true gentleman, is James.
I don't think he's a hard-nosed negotiator,
so that is somewhere we might have an advantage.
Brilliant! Because we're underhand...?!
Well, I, me, I will have a good old haggle.
Right, then, let's go, shall we?
Tom and James's first shop of the day is Cliffe Antiques,
where it's clear you can tell a lot about a person
from their choice of collectibles.
Oh, that's nice! HE LAUGHS
Oh, yes? And what do you love about it, Tom?
Don't be fooled, I think Conti has an eye for a...bargain.
I like that.
That's a fabulous mirror, isn't it?
Should we dismiss something so readily
because it's very plastic, and broken?
And broken, but we could tell them that it isn't broken and it's silver!
-You see, I'm learning the trade!
-There we are!
I think you'll make an excellent antique dealer. Excellent!
At the other end of the High Street,
the competition are having a poke around Emporium Antiques.
Do you want to have a wander and have a bit of freedom
and just pick up anything that you like?
If you want an idea of value, bring it over and we'll have a natter.
James, perhaps this is a little soon for Katie to fly solo?
This is made in Los Angeles - that can't... Is that good?
It's early days. I'm sure she'll get the hang of it.
James, what would this be?
Would this be some sort of regimental jam pot or something?
-It's a stein.
-It is, is it? With a lid?
Oh, I see, oh, right, OK. A jam pot! Sorry! I'm far too twee, aren't I?!
It's lovely that you don't know
what goes on in these drinking dens of inner Germany!
-I'm terribly innocent!
-The funny thing is,
traditionally, this is very practical.
Remember in all those ancient days
when you would be sitting in your pub,
you'd be having a very quiet jug of ale,
Somebody would slip a little bit of drugs in there
and take you off, press-gang you and take you on board a ship.
The idea of having a cover was so that nobody could put anything
in your beer that you didn't want in your beer.
So, that's one German stein/regimental jam pot
on the maybe list. Maybe.
As for Team Conti, they're leaving no stone unturned,
and so far have several candidates for purchase numero uno.
Look, here's a bit of... That's quite fun.
-That's a nice bit of satsuma.
-I thought that was a tangerine!
This is an area of Japan which was famous for its pottery.
-Beautifully done, this.
-Isn't it? What is the gold stuff?
-It is gold.
-It is gold?
-It is gold. But the damage to this piece...
It's been sanded down, hasn't it?
Someone's certainly sanded it down a bit.
But we might come back to that one.
Well, that's one possibility.
And strangely, so is this.
I think that's very unusual.
It's a double saddle, so warrior and missus behind.
Yeah, it would be a very curiously-shaped beast. Wouldn't it?
-Yeah, it's quite a long beast, isn't it?
-A very long horse.
-Do you think it's maybe not a horse?
-Well, I think it could have...
What else do you ride?
Or, these tails might have been slightly, do you think,
rather like a luggage rack?
It could be decoratively combined into a contemporary interior.
To be considered for later, is it?
I think it is consider for later.
I think we may be very lucky in here. It's a rich seam, I think.
James, I do believe your competitive side is coming out to play.
A £1,000 note. How interesting!
Ha ha. Although I'm worried about Katie -
she's still trying to go it alone in the dark.
I would have spent hours when I was a kid -
my grandma used to have something like this.
It's a dressing set.
I assume this would have been little pots for rouge and perfume.
Ah, well, at least she doesn't think it's a jam pot.
-We're making progress!
Look, a dressing box.
But is the fact that it's not in very good nick, is this...?
-It's been well-loved, hasn't it?
-Loved, you see, loved.
-Let's put it down somewhere and... Shall we put it on here?
-Cormack Brothers, isn't that lovely, Ludgate Hill.
But look, look. I can't open it, but look,
-it's got a secret compartment!
-Have you lifted this?
Go on, give it a go. There we are.
For pearls, probably. Pearls and watches, necklaces.
These are for face creams and face powders.
The very best ones are solid silver. These are plated.
So this could be one of your more common or garden,
nice but not so nice?
-Yeah. Its middle-class.
-Darling, aren't we all?!
-I aspire to be!
-So, what's that worth? I think that will make £60 at auction.
So, us spending 180 on it wouldn't be a very good deal?!
While Katie's yet to get into her groove, baby,
a certain movie star is in his element,
and currently he's getting into women's clothing, so to speak!
Wasn't it a token of affection, gloves?
Didn't you give your sweetheart gloves?
That's where I went wrong!
Sorry, Tom, I'm talking at a slightly earlier age than you!
Actually, Braxton is bang on.
A chivalrous gentleman of the 17th century might indeed send
a pair of gloves to his true love.
Then, if she wore them to church on a Sunday,
it would signal her acceptance of his proposal.
And we could buy one of those stretchers to go along with it,
-so you get the stretcher...
-And the gloves.
Yeah. Nice one, Tom.
Up here for thinking, down there for dancing.
Oh, my goodness, yes.
-These are ivory. And they're...
-With this fabulous relief carving.
Although ivory, it's not to everyone's taste.
Fortunately, this piece is pre-1947, and therefore legal.
-So, on a day like today.
-Come home... Saturated.
-Your umbrella hand's all right. But the other one is very...
-So you put the stretcher all the way in.
-In need of attention.
-And you just do that.
-And you get its shape back.
-Well, I think...
-Do you think that's a nice little tableau?
-Can I leave you to sort of negotiate a bit?
-Absolutely. Sure. And, er...
-I tell you what, it might be worth asking the man,
if you buy those successfully, it might be quite cheeky, you know.
He's obviously been burdened by that satsuma item.
He might like to throw that in for free? Anyway, I'll leave you to it.
MUSIC: Rocky Theme
This is the true test of an antiques geezer, or geezerette.
Tom. Two pairs of gloves, £4 each.
The glove stretcher, 29.
Now. Meet your opponent.
They call him Mark.
-The gloves which are four each.
-So I'll do the pair for seven.
-And this can be, erm... 22.
The whole lot at £29. Huh, I don't think so. Go in low, Tom, now!
-Erm, how about the whole thing for 28.
-Lower? No, we've done the deal now.
-28 for the whole thing?
-Do you think he might throw in the satsuma?
-To help you.
-We might have a bit of fun with that.
Thanks very much indeed.
Thanks to Braxton, that's £5 saved on the dish.
Conti, you must try harder! See me later.
So, imagine this is what you are blowing.
Now, working as a team, thank goodness
Katie and James Lewis have finally found a few pieces of interest.
-Both Chinese, both of them are bronze.
That's had a pagination applied to make it look duller.
-The idea, these are censers.
So they would fill them with sand and they would put incense to burn.
Erm, Chinese market, very buoyant.
The problem is, because they are doing so well,
-it attracts the fakers.
-And these are fake.
Well, that is a problem.
But James, old sausage, are you absolutely sure?
It's a remarkably good one.
You are telling yourself, it's a fake, it's a fake.
-I mean, could you be fooled, do you think? I mean, could you be double bluffing yourself?
Everything in my heart and soul is telling me,
"James, it's wrong, it's wrong, it can't be."
-I've seen these, exactly this model, imported.
I've seen on the markets in Shanghai,
but they don't look as if they have that sort of age to them.
-Oh, I don't know.
-Unable to make a decision, so, onto the maybe list it goes. Now, Katie,
-ten points if you can get this one.
-Is it for a lady? Oh look, yes.
Jewellery. Because it's silk lined.
-They would have been used for powder as well. The thing is, with these silver things...
-Excuse me. Sorry.
-The ultimate professional.
-It's the rain. Darling, it's all over.
I don't even want to look.
Come on, focus, team, focus.
-Is it? Right, OK.
-But, the thing that attracted me to it was that.
And Ricketts was one of the leading fruit painters at the Royal Worcester factory.
-So, although the panel, you can't see a mark, that's Royal Worcester porcelain.
In other words, forget the jewellery box.
This piece of porcelain could be worth a fortune just on its own.
Oh, Steve? Are you free?
How much could that be, please?
I think, bearing in mind the condition, £75.
-Yeah, thank you.
-Is there a little bit of movement there?
-A little bit.
-A little bit of movement.
-I think it's got potential.
-Shall we hold onto this?
What would be, what could you do with that?
Very best, £60.
-He's coming down.
-Almost half price.
How about 50 and you've got a deal, yes?
Would you go with it? I've got a partner.
Yes, clearly an expert in the field!
-Would you go with it?
-Yeah, I'd spend £50, definitely.
-Would you take 50?
You would. Yes?
-Thank you very much.
-Got a deal, thank you. 50 quid.
It's got a good chance. Good artist, good ceramic.
Bit of silver. Useful. Brilliant.
-Excellent, well done, you.
Great. Well done, you.
-Yes, I know!
-I need a bit of moral support.
I worked very hard finding this, bringing my expertise to bear!
And if you are quite finished with the lurve-in,
there's still a question of whether the Chinese bowl is a bargain or a fake.
-What's the story behind it, where did it come from?
-It came in from a private house.
-If it was reproduction, it wouldn't be in that state.
I'm convinced it's not. I thought it was.
I immediately said, "Oh yes, it's a fake." Then thought, "Actually, no."
-What could that be?
-£40, maybe 35.
You'd knock a bit more off, if we took the two, wouldn't you?
30 quid, that's your lot, yeah?
So, that's £80 for both. Not bad.
What do you think?
Well, I like it. I like the fact that you got excited about it.
But, for that, for something 100 years old of that type at the moment, that's a good price.
-Oh yeah. Great.
-Deal. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Well, after a slow start, Katie and her mentor now have two auction lots.
Has the rain stopped? Ish.
-Brilliant. Oh yes.
Conti and Braxton, meanwhile, only have one.
But they've crossed the threshold of the Lewes Antiques Centre,
and I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
You see now, this, I want to bring these back into fashion.
Because, we are driven mad where I live
by mechanical devices cutting hedges, and leaf blowers.
People who invented the leaf blower should be hanged.
In with anger, out with love.
Speaking of which, I love this.
-95% of these tables would have been made with four legs, wouldn't they?
-Yes, I suppose so.
And then somebody's taken, had a bit of fun, and they've produced,
they've overcomplicated the whole thing and they've produced six legs.
-And I think that's rather nice.
-So do I.
And it hasn't been butchered.
It's a lovely item. Six legs is so unusual. I like that.
Me too, definitely. I think it will sell.
I think it's good, yeah.
And, are you going to be a bit harder this time?
-None of this...
-I thought we did terribly well the last time.
What have we got? £44.
-I think if you could get that for 30, 30.
MUSIC: Rocky Theme
It's round two. Conti's back in the ring,
and this time, can he save more than £1? Go for it.
What we can afford for this table is about 28 quid.
-Do I start laughing now?
-You can, if you like.
I don't know much good it'll do either of us.
Be gentle with him, Alison.
-I want higher.
-You want higher?
They all say that.
It should be 40. But I'll meet you halfway.
35 cash, and it's yours.
How about 33?
-33 and a half.
-Great. It's yours.
Ah well, he's getting a bit better.
Though maybe James should do the negotiating from now on. Just a thought.
What a car, look at that.
The next destination is the town of Uckfield,
which has been a stopping-off point
for weary travellers for at least 700 years.
Uckfield's also home to the magnificent Oak Hall,
which today houses the biggest collection of Gilbert and Sullivan memorabilia in the world.
Celebrating a partnership that brought us HMS Pinafore,
the Pirates Of Penzance, and of course, The Mikado.
# Three little maids from school are we
# Pert as a schoolgirl well can be
# Filled to the brim with girlish glee
# Three little maids from school... #
The man who's spent 50 years putting together this collection,
which you can now view by appointment only, is Melvyn Tarran.
-Lovely to see you. Do come in.
Oh, my goodness!
And much of what you see comes from the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company,
founded by one Richard D'Oyly Carte, who, in the 1870s,
brought together composer Arthur Sullivan and writer William Gilbert
who used his background in drama to write those famously quirky lyrics.
As a fellow collector, Melvyn,
what possessed you to sort of suddenly catch the bug?
It started off when I worked in London, in a hotel.
And one of the chefs there had been
the first trombone in the D'Oyly Carte Orchestra.
Good heavens! How do you get from a trombone to a chef?!
And he was telling me about the various operas,
so when they came to Golders Green hippodrome, I took myself off to see them.
And that was it. I thought, wow.
Little did I know, years later, I would know these people and become friends,
or that I'd have some of the dresses that I was seeing on the stage.
Melvyn's passion for Gilbert and Sullivan
eventually inspired him to open a themed restaurant,
where the staff were dressed in Victorian costume.
But as his collection continued to grow, he kept running out of space.
Which eventually brought him here to Oak Hall,
as it's just down the road from his house.
One of the things that I really love is this little decanter.
And this was what Gilbert used to put his nightcap in,
and take to bed.
-It's a whiskey noggin.
-Ah, right, right.
-A wee noggin.
And at very smart dinners, you'd have a white wine glass,
and you'd have a red wine glass,
and there would be a whiskey noggin there.
So you could have whiskey with your dinner and pass away on the wine.
-Why is it called a noggin, do you know?
-I think it's just a rather nice colloquial measure.
And here's another fun fact.
Despite their 25 year partnership,
Gilbert and Sullivan didn't actually get on.
Their very different personalities
made them a great professional pairing but not great friends.
I don't know if you've seen the film Topsy Turvy, Mike Leigh's film.
Yes, of course, I did see it.
Of course, Jim Broadbent took the part of Gilbert.
A wonderful actor.
This is his underwear that he wore in the film.
This is the sort of thing you collect, you see!
-It's not the sort of thing I collect!
-I don't want Jim's underwear, really, at all!
-You're on your own here!
Thanks a million, Melv!
And on this happy note, it's time that our two maids should be off.
Determined to pick up one more auction lot before the day is done,
Katie and James are visiting the same shop their competitors were in earlier on.
And guess what they've fallen in love with?
You see, when I first saw that, I thought it was some sort of sledge.
-It looks like a sledge, doesn't it?
-It's actually a double saddle.
Everybody wants one! You know, you go down the high street...
You could hang it on your wall.
-You told me you only need two bidders.
-You do. Oh, help.
-Where do we find two bidders for that?
-All right, fair enough!
But rather than ponder the answer,
these two are instead off to negotiate the £45 ticket price.
I think it's got a chance at 30, but I think it's got a slim chance.
-If it helps you, it can be £20.
-20, OK, that certainly helps.
-Do you want to do it?
-Do the deal, then.
-I think I might have 20 quid in my pocket. Hold on.
-We'll shake on it.
-Ooh, look what I have in my pocket!
-Thank you very much.
That's your change from earlier!
While the price is definitely right,
Katie and James still have their doubts.
So what better way to reassure themselves than to try the saddle out?
-On a passing tourist!
So that's definitely what it's not for!
Oh, God, you poor thing, are you all right?
Perhaps now might be a good time to leave town fast,
and I'm thinking it might be fastest to take the MG.
As the sun rises in England's picturesque South,
the pressure is on for our celebs and experts alike to find
that special something and make a bucket-load of mullah.
It's very nice, all this dappled sunlight, isn't it?
-It's going to be a corking day.
So far, both teams have barely touched their original £400 stake,
though they have spent a small fortune on lattes.
We've got a bit of money to splash around today.
We could go crazy, James, we could go crazy.
Yeah, stir crazy.
Katie and James have parted with £100 for three auction lots.
Mark you, one of them could be a fake.
God, is it right?
Oh, I don't know.
As for Tom and James, well,
they've spent even less than their competitors, the skinflints.
Just 62 smackers. Also for three auction lots.
I'm hoping that we might find something kind of spiffing today.
-It would be nice.
Yeah, just hold that thought.
As our first stop this morning
is the lovely town of Westerham in Kent,
where the shopping really is quite something.
Westerham has always been famous for its antique shops,
-there's quite a few here.
-Of course, Winston Churchill used to live near here.
Indeed he did, James, in the fabulous Chartwell Manor.
And this neck of the woods was also home to Alice Liddell,
the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
Now, enough of this encyclopaedic stuff. Your next shop awaits.
Oh, look at that! Ah, now.
Here's something from my past. HE CHUCKLES
These things here are called Marcel waving irons.
And you heated them in a gas flame,
and then you spun them round to cool them.
I came from a family of ladies' hairdressers. So I know all this.
And then you curled the hair.
My father was a great hairdresser, he won prizes all over the place.
And apparently he wouldn't have been a great fan of Tom's current hairdo.
This catastrophe at the moment is because of a movie called Batman.
-And they cut all my hair off.
-Really? What, really close?
Yeah, really close, much closer than this.
-And so it's just slowly growing back.
People do double takes.
My wife screams every time she sees me.
So, while the girls talk about their hairdo and do their nails,
team Derham headed north-west.
-Any idea where we're going?
-No, it is the Wacky Races.
I am Penelope Pitstop. You could be either Dastardly or Muttley.
I'm more Muttley!
Despite having no sense of direction,
Katie and James are en route to Goudhurst,
which is old English for "Battle Hill".
And it's in this locale that they're about to discover
Finchcocks Musical Museum.
Housed in this fine Georgian manor, and boasting a fabulous collection
of more than 100 of history's most important keyboards,
this musical journey begins with the harpsichord.
Take it away, Alistair!
This is the harpsichord room.
The oldest, in fact, is this one here from the late 1600s.
-Made in Naples.
The interesting think about Italian instruments
is the instrument itself was removable, so in other words,
all this here you can take out of the box.
Normally you take it out with other string players or wind players,
and you play it in the room, and when you'd finished
you'd put it back in the box, close up the front and close the top.
-Oh my word!
-Which is equally decorated there.
-That is amazing.
-Is this original?
Now, as their appearance might suggest,
these exquisite-looking instruments were at the time
considered quite the status symbol,
often boasting elaborate painting and the highest standards of craftsmanship.
The harpsichord was an instrument for the extremely well-off.
Nobility and aristocracy.
For the average person,
you'd have to work for five years just to pay for one of these.
Curiously, the harpsichord was designed to be played standing up.
And as it happens, someone in this room is no stranger to the keyboard.
I'll give you a hint. It's not James.
Did you learn to play the piano originally?
Yes, I learned to play the piano from when I was about five.
I wanted to beat my big brother, usual story,
he was having lessons so I wanted them too.
I played a lot as a kid, but like all of us,
you're busy with jobs and families and don't play as much.
I think the last time was probably when my daughter
wanted me to accompany her singing songs from Glee.
-So not really harpsichord style!
# Just a small-town girl
# Living in a lonely world... #
Actually, we don't have any sheet music for Glee,
but how about a bit of Bach?
We could do a mash-up.
-That's the hard one.
-Is it? Well, Katie's good.
Famous last words. The complete cycle.
I'd love to be able to do that, just go and see some music and do that.
-Only play it properly!
-Is it very different?
Oh, it's a complete... it feels completely different.
-You did pick up quite a hard piece!
-That's one of the hardest pieces.
-Is it really the hardest bit?
Where's the Bach equivalent of Chopsticks?!
Sorry, it was just the one that was there!
By the 19th century, the harpsichord was very much out of fashion.
Suddenly the piano was all the go.
Thanks in part to one key breakthrough.
Rather than plucking strings as the harpsichord did, it strikes them with a hammer.
This one was made in Vienna.
And unlike modern piano which just has two pedals, this has six.
Oh, good Lord!
And even more unusual, it has its own built-in percussion.
DRUM POUNDS ALONG WITH MUSIC
-Geez! Where did that hit?
-Well, it did all sorts of things.
What it did, a drum head hit the soundboard underneath.
Under the strings here. These bells were activated.
Nobody wrote for that, though, did they?
Was that just an added extra, if you were feeling a bit virtuosic,
you bring in a bass drum?
All these kind of gimmicks were something the English didn't approve of.
But for some unknown reason, they were very popular in Vienna.
They were used essentially for dancing.
So when you had this piano and you had your friends round for a dance,
you had the built-in percussion section.
So this is the piano you'd have had in the dance hall?
Although, if you were looking to party in the 1760s,
then perhaps this chamber organ,
which stands 12.5 feet high, would be just the job.
It is a two-person job.
In other words, you have the player, who was the squire,
and then the poor lackey, the servant,
would have the job of pumping the wind at the side.
-Pumping the wind?
-You know what's coming, don't you?
As the lackey, I'll pump the wind.
And on the keyboard, it's Katie Derham.
So, what's it to be this time? Bach? Mozart? Chopin?
SHE PLAYS "I DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE"
Actually, Katie, poppet, maybe it's time to stop believing
and give someone else a go.
I can play it with one finger. You can do better than that, Alistair!
-I'll try the chords if you want.
-Try the chords, go on.
-Are you OK?
-Yes, I'm happy.
He's about to have a heart attack and I'm about to be upstaged!
So, once again, take it away, Alistair.
HE PLAYS TUNE MORE PROFESSIONALLY
It's normally water.
Oh, dear, that's awkward. Get the oxygen.
Unable to find that special something in Westerham,
Braxton and Conti are headed in a leisurely fashion yet further north.
-I wonder what the others have bought?
-Yes, I haven't a clue.
James plays things quite close to his chest.
I was about to say...
I'm not going to say anything about Katie's chest!
Oh, no. We don't want any of that. This is a family show!
Our next stop on this celebrity road trip
is the small village of Brasted.
It's here you'll find Courtyard Antiques,
which, as it suggests on the tin, is three separate buildings
surrounding one central courtyard,
and it's home to 23 different dealers.
So that could make negotiations a tad complicated.
Thank you, Hopkins. Very well done.
Mark you, the lads seem to be quite taken
by the first thing they've seen, this rather striking bust.
Though I have just one question. Who on earth is it?
Lenin, isn't it? Is it Lenin?
No. Vladimir Lenin?
Russian revolutionary and creator of the Soviet Communist Party?
It is certainly not him.
I love these big busts.
Who is it, Tom, do you know?
-Signed by artist, but it doesn't say. French plaster, it's plaster.
-Given a sort of bronze finish. I can't resist busts.
I like them myself! LAUGHTER
What? Oh, God! James, you're so naive.
You see, I'm such a nice innocent.
Much as I love a little double entendre,
the boys need to get a wiggle on because the competition is just next door, literally.
-Sweet little thing. 18th century mahogany pot cupboard.
-We know what kind of pot they're talking about.
-Yes, the potty pot.
I've got 300 smackers in here, but not 985.
You could get a proper toilet for that.
Just as well there's plenty more to see, then.
And before long, James is once again drawn to the Orient.
Though he's not a huge fan of the price tag, £195.
Would this be a sort of copy of a Chinese style?
Yeah, Chinese, but the styles were traditionally taken
from one generation to another.
So whereas, we often say today, a lot of the Chinese are faking things,
in earlier periods, the fact that it had an 18th century mark
but was made in the 19th century wasn't necessarily to fool,
it was just in homage.
But this really is late 19th, early 20th century.
Let's just find out how much it is.
-Has it got a price on it?
-What's the best that could be?
I'm looking for a fabulous deal here.
-Something to make us jump up and down with joy.
-That's not fabulous!
-160, I guess.
-The best I could do.
What was it marked as?
OK, all right.
So, in other words, let the search continue.
-Oh, you're not going to buy that, are you?
It's a catastrophe. No, I wouldn't advise that.
Don't worry, we're not!
-You are now an expert, like me.
I know everything there is to know.
-Did you buy anything this morning?
-No, we can't find a damn thing. Oops!
No, we have not.
It's a worry, it's a worry.
-We can't stand around chatting.
-Tom, shall we leave them to it?
Braxton has an agenda.
He still wants to get his hands on that bust,
despite the fact no-one, including me, knows exactly who it is.
Most busts tend to be of monarchs, politicians or...composers.
-It's very interesting how...
-That's just a bust of a bloke.
It's a bust of a bloke.
How would we go about identifying it, if it is someone of any note?
Erm, you would... National Portrait Gallery would be probably the first.
-It's French, though.
-Well, it's quite an exciting thought, isn't it?
-It'd be quite good fun.
-It's a race against time.
But if our chappie here turns out to be someone famous,
well, there could be good money to be made!
So what have we got on the back?
We've got a sculptor's name here, signed, and dated 1887.
Look, there's the opposition. They're looking at a vase.
Well, let's buy that quickly before they do!
-What did Flaubert look like?
-I don't know. I don't know.
He does look of that era, though, doesn't he?
Slightly more comfortable... What era? 2010?
-2010! I hope not.
-It's a real antique. Very old.
Uh-oh. Ignore those two. The important questions now are -
can you put a name to this face before the auction?
And - have you seen the price tag? It says £395.
Well, it would be an adventurous purchase.
-It would be a bit of fun.
Shall we ask Tom what... Fingers crossed, shall we ask what...
-What his best price is?
-Well, it'll be...
I did tell you there are 23 dealers based in this antiques centre,
and it seems most of them are here today.
But which one will it be to give our boys the best price? Let's see.
Hmm, not her. She definitely won't.
The man in the cap! Yes! It's him!
-Put it up for 395.
25%'s about...about me limit on that.
Er, love to be able to help you, but...it's what it cost me.
-Don't drive yourself into a corner, sir.
-I... I'm pretty...
I'll be honest, I'm pretty much in that corner at the moment.
-It's a gamble for us.
-It's a gamble, yeah.
We'd like to do a sort of quick scramble tomorrow
and try and identify it.
-It would be lovely...
if you could do 250.
That's a very short profit.
I'll push it down to 280. That's really...my limit.
-We can just do that...can we?
-If you can do 280.
Ooh, James. You don't look too sure, mate.
I hope I've done the addition.
-No, we can, Tom. That's fine.
-Are you OK with that?
-Yeah. Well done.
-Thanks very much.
Excuse me, I'm just going to pop out and have a cry. I won't...
So, now it's a race against time,
as Braxton and Conti try to discover the identity of our mystery man,
and at £280...I sure hope it's worth the gamble.
Now...in this shop at least, news travels fast.
-They've been buying!
-Oh, have they?
-They bought the bust.
-Do you think they did?
They did, yeah. Right, the pressure's on now.
Yes, James, it is. But you do have £300 in the coffers.
So don't be afraid to spend it, eh?
-Lot of money for a ladle, isn't it?
Maybe it's a special magic ladle, I don't know.
It's quite heavy.
A bit of weight to it. Isn't that what you say?
Yeah. Absolutely. That's what we're looking for. Ooh.
-It's possibly the ugliest clock I've ever seen in my life!
-That is vile!
I looked at these. Tinsel pictures. But, believe it or not,
these are really quite collectible. Erm...
Phew, it's a lot of money.
So, after much consideration,
what big-ticket item are Katie and James going to go for?
-What's this bronze lion here?
-Oh, yes. Yes.
-How much is that?
-I'll do that for 55.
-Can we have a look?
£55. Is that it, then?
-He is quite a handsome fellow, isn't he?
-I think so.
-He's smiling at us.
And I think it's one of those,
-"What are we going to get our godson for his 21st?" type items.
-Know what I mean?!
-I can imagine it in one of those very fine,
-big country houses as a desk weight.
-So, OK, go on, then.
-I'll sell it for 40.
-I'm happy with that.
-And I clearly am the expert here! So...
-I think that's fair enough.
-35 and you've got a deal!
-You're screwing me, it's got to be 40. It's GOT to be 40.
-What do you think?
-You heard me already, I...
-If the auctioneer's going up in fives,
give us a pound off for luck, and we might make a pound out of it.
-Got it for 39?
-Yeah. Deal? Sounds better, that's all.
Well, let's hear it for the last of the big spenders!
Right, then. With the shopping done,
let's motor on, as it's time to reunite our contestants.
-There's great ambient heat in this car, isn't there?
Is it on fire? LAUGHTER
Team Conti and Team Derham,
please reveal to each other what you bought.
What do you think to that?
Look at that, isn't that special?
-Fine bit of painting.
-This is what you got very excited about.
I thought it was all right, but I think it's probably Worcester.
I think it should be Worcester.
-Ah, I see!
-A little ring box. Isn't that pretty?
I would say...around 150.
We paid 50. Well done. >
-That's a terrific profit, if that's the case.
-If it... If it... Whoo.
As for Tom and James's mystery man, no news yet, I'm afraid.
-Do you recognise it?
We like this gentleman.
"How much is that?" "I'm afraid it's sold," was the response.
So who do you think is going to bid for him? Tomorrow.
-Obviously a lady or a gentleman of taste.
Someone who's looking for something imposing to put on the hall table.
-Yes, and pretend it's their great-grandfather.
And then there's this. What do you think, James?
Is it real or a very good fake?
I think it's 19th-century.
19th-century, yeah. That's what I thought it was.
As opposed to...2005, that most of them are!
The Chinese are quite... They're after certain things, aren't they?
They love their jade and things like that.
To what extent they're busily buying their 19th-century bronze, I don't know.
-Yeah, this was our second item!
-Oh, good Lord!
-Ooh, matron, what's that?
Oh, that's a hair ornament, isn't it?
Oh, Katie. And you were making such good progress.
-The clue is in the gloves.
Altogether I would say...£80.
-I think they're worth that at least.
-We paid 28.
I think that, so far, is the best out of all of them.
< Righty-ho. Are you ready?
What you need to remember with this is you don't realise how much every home needs one of these.
Are you ready to be ridden?
There we go.
Apparently it's an Afghan saddle. Afghan saddle.
When I saw this I suddenly had this vision of all sorts of people
with wonderful sort of expensive loft apartments
-wanting interesting things.
And somebody might spot that and think, "Great towel rack."
-Towel rack, absolutely!
-You know! Or perhaps a plant holder.
A certain curiosity, really. "What the heck is that?"
It would be a good talking point, wouldn't it, in your flat?
We've gone for a bit of Oriental. It is the most...
Ooh, that's pretty.
-< That's lovely. But broken.
-It is broken.
If you shoved that in a tank
and extracted the 22-carat gold,
there is more than £22 of gold on there.
And that's the attitude I love to hear from an antiques expert.
-Soak it down.
-There's a couple of grams of gold in there.
Look at this fella.
-He looks as though he's got a bit of age.
-> < He looks Regency.
It would make a nice paperweight.
-It's really nice.
-Imagine that in a big country house, on a smart desk.
Go on, what do you think?
-I think they're quite crafty.
Yeah, I was going to go 30 to 50 they paid for it.
-How much did you pay?
-They're a bit good today.
-40 quid. No, 39!
-Well done, Tom!
That's very good. >
-And the last one. >
-And the last one.
Oh, this is such a trick.
Look at this. That's a really good trick.
Oh, well done.
Do you know, we should have dropped that lion, shouldn't we?!
I just love everything that's slightly over-engineered.
Why? Why is that, James?
99% of occasional tables have four legs.
-This one, six.
-What's happened to this leg here?
Don't worry about that. Don't you worry about that. >
That leg's been off.
Has it? Yeah.
-They've had his leg off.
-Well, good job it's got another five!
Well, QUITE a positive reception there.
But what do our competitors really think?
You see, if I walked into a house and saw a bust,
-I'd say, "Who's that?"
-We don't know.
-Yet. Maybe we'll find out. But we don't know.
And, yes, he's a handsome and serious-looking fellow,
but unless you're going to lie and say, "That was my great-grandfather, he was a mill owner, you know,"
or, "He was a composer..." Yeah...
I like it actually, I like it, but it was an awful lot of money.
I like it, I think it's striking, but I think it's too much.
-It's great fun to have bought that saddle thing.
-It is funny, isn't it?
-They had more guts than we.
I must say, his enthusiasm, I think, for the Chinese incense is a bit misplaced.
In my experience they haven't...
You know, the Chinese are after certain things. The ordinary they tend to skirt over.
After kicking off in Lewes,
sadly our Celebrity Road Trip comes to an end
in Wandsworth, South London.
And it's here at Criterion Auctions that Katie Derham and James Lewis,
Mr Tom Conti and James Braxton now gather,
each team hoping to fetch London prices
and of course be declared the winner.
-This is your first auction?
-It's the first one in about 20 years.
First time I've ever tried to sell anything.
And hopefully it won't be the last.
Both teams began this journey with £400 in their pocket,
and two days later Team Conti has spent
an impressive £342 on four auction lots.
Team Derham, meanwhile, has been a little frugal,
parting with just £139, also for four auction lots.
Now, it may look like no-one's actually turned up for the auction,
but the bidders are here, they're just hiding.
So, let the auction begin.
First up it's James and Katie's Chinese incense burner,
which we're now all convinced is 19th-century.
At 50. 30.
-20 if you like.
Ten is bid.
-At £10, and we're away.
-Oh, not 10.
-15. 20. Five.
-Come on, come on.
The good news is, that's a £5 profit.
And the bad news? There's still commission to pay.
-That was our big hope.
Next it's Team Conti's inspired lot of ladies' gloves
and a pair of Cantonese glove stretchers.
Interest at 40 and 5.
50 now, well done.
-Come on, come on.
-Keep going. Come on.
-At £50, are we all done for 50?
That's all right, there's a profit.
Steady little work, though.
Come on, cheer up, Tom.
That's still a £22 profit, pre-commission.
Meanwhile, Team Derham's next great hope
is this Venetian brass paperweight.
At £20 somewhere? Tenner? Ten is bid. 15.
-20. Five. 30.
Five. 40. One more.
-Five. At £45 now.
At £45, are we done? At 45.
I won't lie... it's not looking good. Is it?
So, on we go to that six-legged table.
An Edwardian inlaid-mahogany occasional table... SHOUTING
Which James Braxton is now risking a small hernia to display.
-He's a desperate man.
-Yes, it's true.
-A tenner if you like. Ten is bid. 15.
At £15, are we all done? Six legs, have a look.
-At £15, are we all done for 15?
-Ooh, lovely and heavy it is.
Lovely and heavy. He's a strong lad. At 15.
Away we go, at 15, and gone.
Oh, don't worry, James. There's a medicinal brandy on the way.
See, that's why you should never hold up items.
I killed that one.
And, despite the excruciating pain, I'm afraid that's still a loss,
putting Team Derham into first place.
And now these two are hoping that the Royal Worcester inlay
of their jewellery box will finally get this lot excited.
Again with interest, 55 gone. At £55, are we all done for 55?
60, I'm out. Five.
70. Five. 80.
Five. Don't stop.
85, we're at the back now, 85, are we done? 90.
Five. 100. Ten.
110 way back, at 110.
Oh, my. Look at that. This party's off the hook!
40. 140, telephone's money.
Are we all done at 140?
-Well done. Well done.
-That's OK, isn't it?
It's more than OK, Katie.
You've just made £90 profit before commission. Wow.
Mind you, this satsuma dish can't fail to make a profit,
as James and Tom didn't pay a penny for it.
50 if you like. And here to go. 20, then. 20 is bid.
At £20... That's not bad.
At 20. Five. 25, new place, we're sure?
At £25, then. Are we all done at 25?
It is a profit. Because we bought it for zero.
A much-needed win for Team Conti. But they're still on the back foot.
And next it's the item
Katie and James believed loft-living Londoners will go crazy for.
It's the Afghan saddle.
And £100, frame. At 100. 50.
30... 30 is bid. At £30 now. At £30.
-Are we all done for 30?
Help the cause... At £30 somewhere.
At 30. Ooh, five, in competition now.
-At £40, come on, please.
-Are we all done at 40?
-It has to be more than that.
Perhaps London's not quite ready for Katie's interior design tips.
Finally it's Tom and James's bust.
And, in case you're wondering, the research has been done,
-so we can now reveal the mystery man is...
A not-so-well-known Belgian bloke
who was high up in the tram business. Ha! So, any takers?
Interesting deed. 150 I have.
-It's in at 150!
-160 here. 160. 70. 80. 90.
190 now. Five I'll take. 200.
-At 200. Don't stop, at 200.
Hello. Someone's on the blower.
Perhaps to Belgium.
Oh, no. Wrong number.
-That was much better than it could have been.
It wasn't such a catastrophic loss.
That's right. Still, at least you haven't gone...bust.
-Thank you. Too kind.
-Well, that's it.
-That is it.
-That's the last lot, folks.
-I think we're up...as a group.
-I don't know.
Oh, dear. Well, allow me.
Both teams began with £400
and, after commission, Tom Conti's foray into the world of antiques
has seen him make an overall loss of £71.40.
So Tom and James end their road trip with £328.60.
Such a dirty shame.
As for the lovely Katie Derham,
the cautious approach has obviously paid off.
After commission, she and James have made a profit of £74.20,
giving them a grand and winning total of £474.20
and enough time for another hair flick. Ooh.
What do you think?
Well...I hate auctions.
I hate them!
-But you're an auctioneer.
-I know, it's not good, is it?
Well, that old phrase, "He who dares wins."
Well, you dared with that bronze, or the bust. And you didn't win.
We didn't win. We did!
We're all right, Jack! And off we go! Hey!
Come on, let's go for a beer.
Oh, yes. What a steep learning curve it's been.
We found out all about precious metals.
-What is the gold stuff?
-It is gold.
We discovered Afghan towel rails aren't as much fun as you'd think.
And of course we now know to beware of strange men from Belgium.
I love these big busts.
Me too. The money our celebrities and experts raise in this series
will go to Children in Need,
so thank you, everyone,
especially today's winners, Katie Derham and James Lewis.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Actor Tom Conti and presenter Kate Derham fight it out with their antique experts James Braxton and James Lewis to turn 400 pounds into profit. Their journey takes them around East Sussex, starting in Lewes and ending with an auction in Wandsworth.