Antiques challenge. Tim Wonnacott presents from Scotland, where teams of forensic experts and lecturers vie for the best buys at an antiques fair.
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Today, we travel north to the magnificent city of Edinburgh,
where the skyline is dominated by a series of dormant volcanoes.
So, the Reds go head-to-head with the Blues today
and we could be in for some explosive action
because this is a special programme, one hour long. Yup!
The full 60 minutes. So, let's go bargain hunting! Yeah!
We should all know the rules by now.
The teams have £300 and an hour to find three items to sell at auction.
Our experts buy a bonus buy,
which our teams can choose to go with or not.
And the winners will be the team that does best.
But today, we've changed the rules a wee bit
because I'm going to be asking the experts to go out and find not one,
but two bonus buys to take to auction.
Then, I'm going to have a look at them
and I'm going to say which one I think is going to bring
the biggest profit, or the smallest loss.
But will the teams go with my choice? Will I get it right?
Let's have a quick shufty as to what's coming up.
The Reds turn tribal at the fair.
I think we need to do some sort of war dance to celebrate.
-But will the Blues bottle out?
-It's got a message in it.
And it's excitement all round at the auction.
-Oh, my gosh!
Let's meet the teams!
Now, today's teams have spent a lifetime in two very
For the Reds, we've got engaged couple Kevin and Rhonda,
who've spent their life in forensics,
and for the Blues, have friends George and Ronald,
who have clocked up almost 50 years between them as lecturers.
-Very nice to see you.
Now, Kevin, how did you and Rhonda meet?
We met through our mutual work, Tim, in the police security industry.
-We worked together for a while.
-Over the fingerprint scanner.
I recently proposed to Rhonda in St Basil's, in Moscow, Red Square.
-You didn't! Did you really?
-Were you over there doing security, or on holiday?
-No, we were on holiday.
-Well, that's very romantic!
-And did you see it coming, Rhonda?
-No, it was a complete surprise.
We were in St Basil's Cathedral, in a tiny chapel,
right at the top and I could see him
out the corner of my eye kneeling down and I thought he was praying!
-Well, he was!
-But it turned out, he was proposing.
-On bended knee!
-Yes, he was.
-It's enough to make you want to cry, really.
Now, let's get to the bottom of how you two both started in forensics.
What jobs have you done?
I was a fingerprint expert for 16 years,
working for various police forces in Scotland and England.
Mostly, it consisted of me sitting in an office,
trying to identify crime scene marks, but sometimes, I got to go
out to crime scenes and work in the laboratory, things like that,
trying to enhance finger marks.
Do you go in with all that dust, making all that mess?
-Yes, it's very messy.
-I think that's marvellous. Fascinating work.
Good for you.
And, so you're now developing other sides to the business.
Yes, I work on the commercial side of this.
I work for the company that supply the automatic fingerprint
-identification system for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
-Oh, do you?
So, I'm looking at existing and emerging technologies
and how they can be used in modern-day policing.
-Tell us what do you collect?
-Vinyl records is my passion, Tim.
-I have everything from punk to Puccini.
-Nice line there!
-Will you be buying records today?
-No, I don't think so.
I think we'll be staying away from records and music stuff.
We're looking for some Russian silver today.
-Hopefully, fingers crossed.
-Oh, that would be nice.
Well, when you cross your fingers, make sure you don't make a print!
Anyway, very good fun. Thank you very much.
Now, George, how did you and Ronald meet?
Well, we met through a college hill-walking club.
I was, at that time, a mature student and I was so mature,
I was older than most of the actual lecturers.
And just through going out so often, we got to know one another
a bit better and became friends and have been walking ever since.
But it's a sociable business, this hill walking, cos you chat
-and share experiences.
You can change partners, if you like, as you're going up the hill
and Ron and I were usually at the back anyway,
so there wasn't a lot of choice!
You're at the back and fagged out!
And, Ron, you achieved a rare feat with your hill walking.
I was lucky enough to climb all the Munros,
which are hills over 3,000ft, basically.
-And how many of those are there?
-There's approximately 284.
No-one's definitely decided what is or isn't a Munro.
-There's no hard and fast ruling for it.
-You've been up 284 hills?
Not in one day! No, no.
That's quite something, isn't it?
-It covers a lot of ground over Scotland.
-Well, I bet it does.
What sort of things are you going to go today, then?
Hopefully, something practical.
Possibly an instrument of some kind, a measuring instrument.
You've got some ambitions.
Sadly, we shall only be giving you the £300 though. There we go.
£300 apiece. You know the rules. Your experts await. And off you go!
And very, very, very good luck! Punk to Puccini, eh?
Now, let's meet our experts.
Flying the flag for Blighty and the Reds is Catherine Southon.
And Scotland's very own Paul Laidlaw is hoping
he won't be throwing the Blues' toys out of the pram.
Rhonda, what are we doing here?
We're taking your fingerprints, Catherine, so that if you don't
-make us a profit at auction, we can come and track you down.
-I don't know if I like the sound of this!
We will track you down and find you, Catherine.
-You've been told, Catherine.
-What's our strategy?
What we're looking for is something that catches our eye.
-There's a bit of pressure going on here.
-Indeed, there is.
-We need to go out and find these bargains.
-No matter what it is, it's got to be a bargain, yeah?
-That's the object.
-Come on, let's go.
Off you go, teams. Your 60 minutes starts now.
I love your bounce!
I love the bounce.
So, you're the one remaining person that likes brass? You're the man!
You're keeping the market afloat!
-If I'm the only one, I'll not be buying it!
YOU might not be buying it, George, but somebody will.
-Got a bit of a Russian thing going on.
-A Russian thing going on.
-Cos you two met in Russia?
-No, got engaged.
-Oh, got engaged!
-So a bit of Russian would be nice.
-A bit of Russian enamel.
A wee olivewood box. It's a souvenir piece, out of Palestine.
Worth £15, you know?
Tourist souvenirs aren't always the best pieces.
Back now to Catherine and the Reds,
who clearly are at the cutting edge of antique browsing.
Really boring leather pouch,
but you open that up and they've got like little embroidery scissors.
-Quite nice that they're graduated, so we've got the three different sizes.
-And nice mother of pearl. They're probably Victorian.
Well, I think a lot of people do buy sewing accessories.
-What about value?
-£78, they've got on them.
-Let's go. Keep going. Thank you.
-OK, if you're not sure, move on.
-Not a hot market.
-We'll leave that then.
Same applies to you too, Blues.
Perhaps the birds aren't flying off the shelf today.
Put it on.
Oh, yes. That's definitely you, especially with the...
No, it's not, Catherine!
-These little dreadlocks on the side.
-It's got more hair than me!
-We quite like the idea of something tribal.
But we understand that it's sometimes difficult to know what is
-the genuine thing...
-And what is a bit of...
-Tourist art, or...
-Exactly. And I'm thinking that's more tourist, don't you?
-OK, we'll leave that, then.
-It has got a bit of work to it.
-It looks like it's got some good...
And it's been hacked out quite well, with some rudimentary tool.
-And it's got a nice knot there.
-You're selling it to me!
How much is it? Do you think it's got anything going for it?
-Yeah, I really like it.
-It's quite unusual.
-What do you know about this mask?
-Uh, he's dead.
-Region or age...?
-I think it's Benin and I think it's about 1880s.
The majority of the African artefacts
came in around about that period.
-It's quite nicely carved. It's quite naive.
Different lots of nice little textures going on.
I like the fact that it is very worn because that makes me
think that it is not one of these touristy pieces.
-How much is it?
Would £50 buy it?
It wouldn't, I'm afraid. But I'd do 65 on it.
Do 55 and we'll have a deal.
-No, it's too hard for me. 65.
-Meet in the middle.
-We are in the middle.
-£60 and we'll have a deal.
60 quid, go on.
Well done! One in the bag! Yes!
I think we need to do some sort of war dance to celebrate.
There we go. The Reds have their first item.
Nice bit of bargaining, too.
Right, guys, what we're looking at here, not some brooch, a cap badge.
Yeah? Now, I'm pretty sure that's the Gordon Highlanders.
There have been thousands of those over the past centuries, yeah?
But the bulk of them were nickel badges, drop forged.
Lightweight. And if you want to buy one, there'll be plenty here today
and they'll cost you £8. If you're an officer, on the other hand, or a piper,
or warrant officer, you've got a budget and military sartorial
standards that warrant the acquisition of a quality badge.
Now, look at that. It's not lightweight.
-Really substance to it. You feel that?
You should be a salesman!
This man could sell snow to the Eskimos!
Date wise, it's not ancient. Mid-20th century?
-But it's a lovely substantial badge.
-Not been repaired or anything?
Not that I can see, no.
and indeed, it's a good question because, see these antlers?
Their points go, you know?
-So, before I go on, what's the price on the cap badge?
-I've got 60 on it.
-60 quid... Could it be...? Where would you go with this?
-We're not going to get it for that. Would 35 work?
At 40, I think we might be able to do this. I think that has got legs.
What's it doing for you? Anything or nothing?
It would give us a start as well.
We'd have one under our belt.
-Yeah, our first deal.
-You fancy it?
-I think so.
Shake the guy's hand, then. May we have that, then? £40? Good man.
-Cheers, buddy. Appreciate that.
£40 buys the badge and that's the first item purchased for the Blues.
The Reds have headed back to the same stall
where they bought the mask.
-Look at that lamp. It's amazing!
-How much is on that?
-We're interested in the Vulcan.
Could you tell us a little more about it, or what you know of it, please?
-As far as I know, I believe it to be about 1980s.
It's not a one-off, I wouldn't think, but it's just an iconic lamp.
-Any name on it?
-No name on it.
-It's just got a wonderful look, hasn't it?
-I've never seen one before.
-It's incredibly stylish.
-So we've got Perspex and then just...
-Perspex and stainless steel.
-Is there any damage on it?
-I like it.
-I like it as well.
-It's a real...man's toy, isn't it?
-Would you have that on your desk?
-Oh, yeah, absolutely! In a blink!
-So how much would you do it for?
The absolute best on it would have to be 110.
-What about 90? We have a deal at 90?
-No, we don't have a deal at 90!
-It's your choice.
-I really like it.
-Well, we're going to go in for this?
-I think so.
Are you sure? It's quite a big amount of money.
-It is, but we do quite like it.
-I think we have to buy what we like.
-You two are very positive. Go on, then. Let's shake.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
-Thank you. Thanks a lot.
Two items from one stall!
-Thank you very much.
-On we go!
-I like it!
Cleared for take-off! The Reds make their second purchase.
Our Catherine certainly likes positivity.
I love my team because they know exactly what they are looking for.
And if they find something, they know and they buy.
Talking of brilliant, take a look at something I found on my travels.
For the last 2,000 years, since the Han dynasty in China,
the Chinese have venerated rocks.
Rocks that have a particular shape and a particular form.
2,000 years later, we come to a little arrangement like this.
It's not actually composed of rocks, it's composed of old bones,
but very carefully selected bones.
Those soft perforations where it's rotted away are particularly
lovely to the Chinese.
These odd shards here look haphazard,
but actually they're there for a purpose.
And to cap it all, they've made this little pavilion,
with a thatched roof.
And if you look through the back of the pavilion, there's
a delicious little balustrade, all fretted through by hand.
The bit I really love, though, is this at the top.
Here we've got what is an emblem of a pine tree.
And that pine tree has been carved out of a bone to resemble a pine.
And what does a pine tree represent in Chinese art but longevity?
How marvellous is that?
How much would you have to pay in a fair like this for one of these?
Now, that's what you call a bargain!
Back to the shopping, and are the Blues getting warmer
and closer to making another purchase?
That is an electric hot water bottle!
-Otherwise known as a death trap!
-I was going to say!
It's a good thing, though. Let's not sniff at this. What's it made of?
-Absolutely. Looks like it's in its original packaging.
It's got its original guarantee! And do you see the date? '47.
-That's almost my day.
-That is... Wow!
Collectors of Bakelite, and you know what, collecting,
it's madness, isn't it? It has got novelty on its side.
-It is priced at?
-It's no money, is it? It's no money.
I think if you could get it for half that, and to be honest with you,
I don't think that's out of the question, how badly wrong can it go?
Get me another one! Give me £100, and ask me to get one?
Where am I going to find one?
It's got rarity on its side, and completeness. It's quirky.
I mean, it's overused, but if ever there was a piece you could
apply it to, we're looking at it. And it's rare.
It's not worth a fortune, because it is a wee market.
-So what did you say the price is?
-14. That's it.
-It's up to you guys.
-Oh, I love it.
-A man of decision!
-Good work. Thanks very much!
-Guys, two things bought in 22 minutes!
-We're on fire!
-And it's not because of the dodgy wiring, either!
We'll hotfoot it out of here!
So, the Blues have turned up the heat and bought item number two.
-Well done, gents. How's it going so far?
-We're doing all right.
Time-wise, we're doing OK. Purchases-wise, we're doing OK.
I would like to spend some more money!
Despite making two fairly swift purchases,
the Reds are now struggling to find their final item.
Oh, what's that?
I was looking for some early Scottish banknotes, but they're Spanish.
-I think we're on a very narrow market there.
-I saw a bit of Russian silver for you here.
-Oh, have you found some?
-But I don't know how old it is.
-It's difficult to date.
-Is that a shot glass?
-I think that looks fairly modern.
-What a shame.
-I like it, though.
Yeah, but I'm just not sure on how old that is.
What would you do with it, Catherine?
I think it's just like a little cup, to take a quick sort of,
I don't know, what do they drink, vodka?
-Put a vodka in that.
-Well, at least we know there's Russian silver!
Could be a long shot, Catherine! But it might be worth a closer look.
Now, back to a man who's always on form.
-I mean, it's a lovely form, that.
It is literally a shaft and globe.
But the techniques it's decorated with, it's called nail work.
I like that, actually.
And this technique is not unique, but it's peculiar to Scotland.
-I don't need to explain it, do I?
Somebody sits there with a nail and a discarded bottle.
Because a bottle's of no import in its day.
When was that? Mid-19th century.
So, 150 years ago, somebody saw the beauty in the form, in the bottle.
And as a presentation piece, or to make it a presentation piece,
sat and nibbled away and came up with the anchor,
the device of the Admiralty. And then a name, Christian Nicoll.
And for the life of me, a date. 1836.
Earlier than I thought and plausibly so. And here's the Scottish...
It's the union, isn't it? We've got the thistle and we've got the rose.
And a lovely colour of glass. I like this. I believe this is right.
I think it's worth £80-£120. It might be worth £100-£150.
-It's one and a half or something, isn't it?
-And it says 165.
Is there a message in it?!
-What do you reckon? Do you want to give it a go?
-Yeah, I think so.
So, how about us putting the price down a wee bit more?
-And we'll come from there.
-What are you going to offer me?
-If we could get it below 100.
-I like your style!
-Well, we can meet somewhere between those.
-Just went for it, I think!
-We have done!
-Well done, guys!
-You'd better thank that lady!
Cor, that was decisive!
And with that, the Blues make their third and final purchase, with
five minutes of shopping time left, the Reds still need one more item.
I just thought, I mean, I'm not a big fan of that,
-but I just thought the shape, it's a thistle.
-It's a nice shape.
-A claret jug.
-And it's got some nice...
But I'm not happy with how that is.
-And this is all silver plate at the top.
-Oh, yeah, look.
-It doesn't sort of go flush, does it?
-No, it doesn't. No.
I think we're starting to think maybe to go back
-and look at that Russian silver again.
We didn't talk about the price on that, did we?
-Yeah, we need to go back and speak to her about the price.
-OK. I don't think it's that old, but we'll go and have a look.
Now, just watch the bearded geezer on the left.
Yep, that's the look, I normally give Catherine,
-when she's out shopping!
-I think we're starting to panic!
-So, where were we?
-I think it's down here somewhere.
-Where were we?
-Where was the silver?
-There it is, there.
-Ah, she's found it.
So you're not sure how old it is, are you? You think it's fairly new?
I think that's fairly modern.
-I think it's not earlier than sort of '70s,
-'60s. Oh, OK.
It's old enough for me!
It's probably just like a little shot glass that you put
-vodka in order something. Is it marked in any way?
Oh, yes, I can see at the top, yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's quite nicely engraved.
And then it's all sort of filled in with this, like enamel, I suppose.
-Is it sort of enamelware?
-Yes, it looks like it's like enamel.
-What is the mark?
-I don't think it's brilliant.
We haven't got a lot of time. OK. And you wanted a Russian piece.
-I think the quality's not there on it.
-What could you do on that?
-What have I got on it?
-It's quite naively painted.
-It is quite naive.
-We've got about two minutes.
-Could you do it for 40?
-Is there anything else?
-It's a bit of a risk for us.
-We've got to sell it at auction, so could you do it for 45?
-Thank you so much.
-Is that still a bit of a risk?
It is a risk. Yes.
We might be all right.
I don't think will make any great money out of it,
-but we might just get our money back on it.
-45's not too bad.
-But if you're happy to take it.
-I think we are.
-I think we are.
-Well done. That's excellent.
-45. Thank you very much.
-That's three items bought.
It's a risky business, this bargain hunting.
But the Reds decide to go with the silver beaker and in so doing,
they make their final purchase.
Times up, let's check out what the Red team bought, eh?
An African wooden mask was picked up for a well-disguised £60.
They took off with this late 20th century stainless steel
and Perspex Vulcan bomber desk lamp for £95.
And finally, they picked up the Russian silver vodka beaker for £45.
Well, you two lovebirds, was that exciting or not?
-It was brilliant, Tim.
Now, R-R-R-Rhonda, which is your favourite piece?
-The Russian silver cup.
-That's your favourite?
-And you agree with that, Kev?
-No, I'm going to go with the tribal mask.
-As favourite? Yes. Ugly thing!
-It is! A bit like me!
Anyway, which piece is going to bring the biggest profit?
-I'm going to go for the Vulcan lamp.
-The Vulcan bomber.
Yes, I agree, actually, the lamp.
Well, we're in agreement on that, which is lovely.
-And you spent how much in total?
I'd like £100 of leftover lolly, please.
Thank you very much, Rhonda, that's great.
-So, £100, Catherine.
And on this special occasion,
I am in addition going to give you another £100.
To go and buy bonus buy number two.
I'm going to ask you to come back and show me both of the pieces
you selected before we go and show them to the guys.
And you guys will get the pick when we reveal the bonus buys,
as to which bonus buy you want to go with.
Or, you might decide not to go with one at all!
What fun this is going to be.
Right now, though, let's check out what the Blue team bought, right?
A Gordon Highlanders white metal officer's cap badge was £40.
A 1940s Bakelite bed-warming bottle was picked up for a hot
and toasty £14.
And they poured £101 of their budget into this
Scottish mid-19th-century wine bottle.
-How was it for you?
-It was an experience and a half!
-Oh, marvellous. And how much did you spend?
-We spent £155.
OK, I'd like £145 of leftover lolly, please.
145, leftover lolly.
Perfect. Now, which is your favourite bit?
The bottle that we got. That was definitely the favourite.
I would agree with George.
And what's going to bring the biggest profit, Ronnie?
-Probably the bottle, in honesty.
And you're agreeing with the bottle?
-I'm starting to go towards the electric hot water bottle.
I think there's a lot of copper in that wire. Somebody'll realise that.
Yes, exactly. That's very nice predictions. Thank you very much.
You've got a challenge here, boy,
because that is the leftover lolly that the teams would normally
give you, and on this special occasion, I'm going to give you
another £100 of leftover lolly to find the alternative bonus buy.
And ultimately, at the auction, chaps,
you will have the choice of two bonus buys to go with or not.
As it is, though, Paul, would you mind popping off and doing
your shopping, and then popping back and showing me what you bought.
Both of our experts are on the hunt for their bonus buys.
Remember, Catherine had £100 to spend of leftover lolly
for her team's bonus buy,
and another £100 for her special bonus buy.
A little compact. With the RAF wings on it. Probably '40s, '50s.
-Can I give you 10 for it?
-You can give me 12.
Now, Kevin is a man who knows what he likes,
and I've got a feeling he'll like this.
We've bought something else plane-related.
We bought something for the Vulcan bomber, so I'm thinking RAF,
he might like this.
And maybe Rhonda would like it
because we got a bit of a girly theme going on.
It's a compact, hasn't got the powder, hasn't got the puff.
The £12, there is definitely a profit there, come on.
So, that's the team bonus buy sorted,
and now for the £100 special bonus buy.
Catherine, what are you thinking?
I'm thinking jewellery, maybe.
That's quite nice. Is it silver?
It doesn't have any marks on it, but I believe it is silver,
-with gold imposed.
-It's sort of Art Nouveau, isn't it?
Much simpler than some.
-How much do you want for that?
-I'd like 75, please.
-Can I say 40?
-I could do it for 55.
-Shall we say 50 and round it? Shall we?
SHE SIGHS OK.
Thank you very much indeed.
I think that's lovely, and it's going to a very good home.
Sadly not mine.
Now, I've found a quiet corner away from the bustle of the fair
to discuss the bonus buys.
Well, Catherine, that was fun. You had £200.
100 from me and 100 from the team.
Which is the bonus buy that you bought for the team?
Well, I bought this for the team.
-The RAF compact.
-The RAF compact.
And then I bought the little pendant with my £100 bonus.
Well, that's marvellous. Let's just talk about that one.
-That is just gilt metal, isn't it?
It would be nice if it was precious metal, but it's not, sadly.
But I bought it because I liked the fact that it's RAF,
and I liked the price, to be honest.
-Well, listen, I don't use these powder puffs.
-Do you not?
But it does have this practical purpose,
you'd simply fill it up, have a
thing you would put your powder in and a little puff, to pop it on.
It's not World War II period, it's after the war, isn't it?
-You think '50s?
-I bought it as 1950s, that's what I thought.
-I paid £12 for it.
-Is that all?
-I think it might make £30-40.
You are such a lovely optimistic girl, I tell you.
Now, this, I have to say, which is for the £100 bonus-bonus buy,
-that is rather lovely.
-Do you like that? I am pleased.
I like the fact that it's lobed like that, sort of trefoil.
I like the fact that it's Arts and Crafts.
I like that cable piece of wire and these little stones,
whatever they are, and that little rose in the middle. What are they?
I have said peridots, and I thought that was a pink tourmaline.
-You think? Maybe amethyst?
-It's a really gorgeous thing.
And now, you have to tell me, how much did you pay?
I'm going to ask you. What would you pay for it?
-I suppose I would pay £80-120.
-Oh, thank you.
-That's what I think it's worth.
-I paid 50.
Then you paid the right amount. I think you're a genius.
-But then, I've thought that for years.
-You're too kind.
But I've not been able to tell you until now!
Anyway, that would be my object to have a punt on.
We'll see what happens. Thank you very much.
Now, let's find out how the Blue expert, poor old Paul, is doing.
I saw something earlier on. Two things! But trust me.
That might work for George and Ronald. Come here.
Paul is shopping for his team's bonus buy,
for which he has £145 of leftover lolly.
A pair of brass table lamps. They're not any table lamps.
There are Pullman carriage lamps.
Pullman being the manufacturers of railway carriages, yes?
And these lamps are specifically designed for
and used in these glamorous railway carriages of the early 20th century.
Cracking pair of lamps. You've got £40 on them, is that right?
-Can we compromise on that?
-I can do it for 30.
Not a greedy man. Sweet as a nut, that. Thank you very much.
Excellent. Excellent. What can I say? Two down. Well, one lot.
So, now for the special bonus buy, for which Paul has, as usual,
£100 to spend.
It looks like, and it is, a mid-20th century battery-operated torch.
No surprises there. A bull's-eye lens, a bit of nickel.
It's a bit dull, really. But have a look at this.
There is a mark there,
and this is a mis-struck mark.
A crown, AM, the mark of the Air Ministry.
So this was owned by the Air Ministry in 1940, and indeed,
these torches were issued to air crew. £18.
I asked the lady who has it, does it have to be £18? It's an old torch.
And it can be a tenner.
And I think this will appeal, potentially, to George and Ronald.
More than that, I think it'll appeal to auction-goers, because you're
tapping into this tremendous interest in military artefacts.
I'm buying it. It's done.
Well, this is exciting, Paul, isn't it? Now, listen.
I have stood in awe of your expertise
when it comes to these bonus buys over the year,
because you are extraordinarily good at this.
Now, if we take the standard bonus buy, which is the brass jobbies.
Pullman railway carriage lamps.
How do we know they are railway carriage lamps? Screw holes.
Because you didn't want your lamp rattling off the edge
of the table, or being stolen by the peasantry.
-They were fastened to surfaces.
-And you date these to about 1900?
I would have gone a little later than that. 1910, 1920.
But I'm no authority.
-That's just how I feel about it.
Well, 1900-1920, we compromised on a little patch of time.
-How much did you pay?
-For the pair?
-Not much, is it?
Really, they're worth £40-60 apiece.
That's £80-120 worth, which you have paid £30 for.
And of the £100 that I gave you, apparently,
you got a clapped-out torch here, so tell us about that.
An Eveready torch, mid-20th century, we can be very precise.
It tells us, 1940. And then there's this mis-struck mark.
-It is the ownership mark of the Air Ministry.
Telling us that this is, and I knew it anyway,
RAF issue for air crews.
So, very difficult to do,
but I'm going to say to you, for this Eveready fellow, how much?
-I paid 10.
-But when you know what it is!
-If you asked me to get you one, I need £50-70.
-Lots of potential.
What would you go for? What should they go for?
The candlesticks are going to be my punt as to which object that,
you clever old thing, you found with such modest amounts of money.
Congratulations on those.
Meanwhile, I'm heading off somewhere really rather exceptional.
We're going west, my boy, to Plymouth. To Saltram, for a thrill.
This splendid Georgian mansion overlooks the Plym estuary in Devon.
Just a stone's throw from the city of Plymouth.
Saltram House was remodelled in the middle of the 18th century,
and incorporates parts of an existing Tudor house.
Now, this is what I call a grand design.
Even 300 years ago, taking on a house of this scale would
have been an ambitious project.
John Parker I inherited the house from his father in 1743,
and with the help of his wife, they spared no expense in refurbishing
its interiors, employing some of the finest craftsmen of the age.
And talking about craftsmanship,
a very good place to start is with this jib door in the library.
Look at the scale of that. For a kick-off, it's jolly heavy.
Rather cleverly, it swings on two pins, top and bottom,
and, going in and out like that, it enables the cabinet-maker
to construct real book shelves the full thickness of the door
at this point, and just here, where you get the cunning tuck in,
all you've got are book spines,
so that when the thing swings into position,
the optical illusion is complete. Let's have a go.
Look at that. Clever, isn't it?
And that's not the only clever thing in this room.
If you're looking for a piece of Regency furniture,
you cannot find a bit a lot better than this.
The first admirable feature is that it's survived here at Saltram
without having the red leather replaced.
So, on the face of it, this little table is a writing table.
That's why you put leather in the top table.
It's got standard supports joined by a pole in the middle to make
it structurally strong, and you can write on either side,
and it's appropriately placed here in the library.
But it has another purpose.
If we slide the slide carefully out, like that,
and look on the underside, which has largely been protected,
there you have a gorgeous chequer or chessboard,
which would simply slide back up that slide, and hey presto,
this has been converted, giving you a perfect games table.
Take it out, and it reveals the next purpose,
which is a backgammon well, and in the bottom of the table,
we have a lovely veneered surface.
Not veneered in timber, but veneered in coloured leather.
Four of these plaques, looking like metal
but actually carved limewood, decorate the frieze,
along with some mugshots of Regency lions, and I reckon those
rippley mouldings are there to represent icicles or stalactites.
Just something incredibly exotic to lift your spirits every time
you take a gander at it.
Why don't we take a gander at how our teams are getting on
over at the auction?
Well, how lovely is this?
We've popped to Great Western Auctions in Glasgow to be
-with the perennially lovely Anita Manning.
It's lovely to have you back.
We love coming here, as you know, and it's a treat.
First up for the Reds is this mask.
Now, you've done a bit of work on this, haven't you, Anita Manning?
This is a wonderful thing.
It was made by the Chockwe tribe in central Africa.
They were rich,
and they were renowned for the quality of their masks.
Well, we've learned a lot there, Anita.
What we really want to know now, though, is what it's worth.
I've put an estimate of £70-90.
£60 is all they paid for the mask, so anything over 60 will be a bonus.
-I think it's a good buy.
-Next up is this so-called Vulcan bomber.
What we have is something that would be of interest
to people who are interested in aviation.
It's a bit of a boys' toy, isn't it?
Not terribly girly. And what's your estimate, please?
I've estimated it at £100-150. And I could be completely wrong.
That would be unlikely.
Anyway, £95 was paid.
And then we've gone with this little vodka cup.
It's not terribly old, but what I have to say is,
the engraving is quite nice.
It's quite finely done, and we have that lovely Russian hallmark,
and you have the niello work, so it's still quite a nice object.
-What's your estimate?
£45 paid, so I fancy that this team won't need either of its bonus
buys, but let's go and have a look at them.
Well, team, this is exciting, isn't it?
You spent £200, you gave Catherine £100 of leftover lolly for her to
find the team's bonus buy, which is what you've got covered up there.
-Go for it, Catherine.
Oh, I love it when you say things like that! Have a look.
I bought you a compact with the lovely RAF insignia on,
because I thought we've got a bit of a flying theme going on.
I thought that was kind of more you, so this is more for you.
-A little compact.
-How much did you buy it for?
-We've got to make something on that, haven't we?
It's gorgeous. I absolutely love it. Good choice!
So, that's the team's bonus buy.
Now, for these one-hour specials,
Catherine has had an additional £100 to buy the special bonus buy,
which is here, and I'm going to whip this off like that,
-to reveal the special bonus buy.
-And hand it to Catherine. There you go, darling.
-Thank you very much.
-I bought you this lovely little piece of jewellery.
We've got a pendant here and this is Arts and Crafts.
We've got a nice ivy leaf design. We've got these sweet little
Peridots here and a centre pink tourmaline.
-How much did you buy it for?
And what's the chances of it making money at auction?
-That's going to make money at auction.
How much, is another question!
-But it's going to make money!
-It's a pretty little object.
-I think so.
-It's beautiful. Good find.
You could have made so much profit that the moment
we get to the bonus buys, you don't want to bother with
either of them, in which case, you don't have to take them.
But it's exciting and we'll find out in a moment, but right now,
let's find out what the auctioneer thinks about Catherine's bonus buys!
Well, Anita, the world of difference between these.
There's something for you, look. A nice little powder compact.
Well, I like this and there is a very lively compact collecting society,
so I think this is a smashing wee thing
and I think that the added RAF badge will make it very desirable.
Well, Catherine cleverly spent on £12 on that and I have to say,
this is my preferred option,
the pretty little Arts and Crafts pendant.
I think this is a well-made, attractive item.
-Sadly, no name is attributable.
-Which is a shame.
-50 to 80?
-OK. £50, she paid.
And on that basis, probably,
the RAF compact is going to do rather better.
Anyway, that's it for the Reds. Now, for the Blues.
And their first item is the Highlanders cap badge.
What do you make of that?
Well, the Gordon Highlanders were one of the most famous
battalions in the British Army and this is an officer's three
dimensional badge, so it is of substance, it's a nice thing,
-and there'll be a lot of people after that one.
-40 to 60?
OK, £40 paid. Next, the Bakelite hot water bottle.
What I like most about this is that the receipt is still
there for 1947, February of 1947,
and that was one of the coldest winters for 100 years.
-Not that I was there!
-No, no, no.
-How do you rate it? How much money?
-Well, 20 to 40.
OK, £14 paid, so that's another good buy from George.
Now, what about this bottle?
It was made in Alloa, in Clackmannanshire,
and they've been making glass really since the 17th century.
Onion-shaped, but what I like most about it is the engraving.
This bottle is telling us a story and I think that's what
-I love about it.
-So, what's your estimate?
-I've made it low and wide.
£60-100. Ten years ago, it would have made well over the hundred,
-but times have changed a wee bit.
-They paid £101.
That could be their problem. In which case, they might need one or other of their bonus buys,
so let's go and have a look.
George, Ron, this is exciting.
You spent £155, you gave £145 to our man.
-What did you spend the £145 on, Paul?
-I need help here.
-OK, let's take off the rag and you've got...
-I like "wow"!
-These are Pullman table lamps and they were...
Pullman railway carriages. I think they're exquisite.
You tell me what you think.
What did you pay for them?
I paid £30.
-For the two.
-For the two.
And you're looking for a good percentage?
-I would like to double my money.
So that's the team's bonus buy,
which used up the leftover lolly, £30 of it.
Now, we've got the special bonus buy,
which for these programmes is the £100 that Paul Laidlaw had to spend.
A special bonus buy. So, tell us about that, Paul.
Well, there's a lighting theme going on here, is there not?
Who would have carried a torch like that? RAF air crews. Yeah?
-What did you pay for that?
-No money. £10.
If you go and try to buy that from a specialist,
it's going to be 50, 60, 70.
Did it come with the batteries? PAUL LAUGHS LOUDLY
Batteries not included!
Anyway, isn't that interesting?
So, chaps, you don't have to take either of these bonus buys,
you can deny both of them after the sale of your first three items.
On the other hand, if you do go for a bonus buy, you can
only go for one, the team's bonus buy or the special bonus buy.
So you have to think all this through before we get to them.
But right now, let's find out what Anita Manning thinks about Paul's bonus buys.
We've got a pair of these Pullman lamps,
which are very handsome and rather special, and this special torch.
-How do you rate these items?
-I like these lamps a lot.
They're talking us back to the time of steam trains
-and the luxury Pullman carriage.
-So how much?
-I've estimated these at 60-100.
-Yes! £30 paid.
So, that's Paul's team bonus buy.
Now, the special bonus buy, as you know, we gave him £100
and he came up with this joker.
-These things are always difficult,
but what we did was to describe it with all
the detail in our catalogue, so that it could be caught on the internet.
-Well, give us the lowdown on the estimate.
-It was very difficult.
-I've just put £20-40.
-That's OK. Laidlaw only paid £10.
-Might be worth £1,000!
Well, this will be the big question for the team
because which bonus buy do they go with?
The special bonus buy, or the team bonus buy,
cos they can only go with one. Or none.
And we'll find out about that in just a moment. You taking the sale?
-Thank goodness for that!
-Are you feeling nervous at all?
You seem to be quivering a bit.
There's no need to be nervous because Anita is the most
marvellous auctioneer and she will wrap us up, won't she. Catherine?
-Make sure that we're safe and sound.
Anyway, first up is African mask and here it comes.
A wonderful item here. A rare item. It's a Chokwe wood mask.
Start me at £100.
80 bid. 80 bid.
Any advance on 80? 90 on the phone. 100. 110.
120. 130. 140.
-I don't believe it!
-I DO not believe this!
220, fresh bidder.
-The wedding fund!
-What did we pay for it?
-You are the world expert on African masks!
-Plus 170 smackers.
-I've found a new career, Catherine.
-You've got a new career.
Did I hear a wee squeak and squeal over there?
Lot 51, ladies and gentlemen,
is this very stylish stainless steel and Perspex Vulcan bomber desk lamp.
On the books at 50. 60 on the phone.
70 with me. 80. 90.
-You're in profit.
-We need to go to 115.
115. 120 on the books.
No. Any advance on 120? All done at 120? 120.
Yes! That is plus £25. So that's not bad, is it? You're up to £195.
-Look at that!
-Come on, the Russian!
Russian silver. Beautifully engraved with a yellow inlay.
Start me at £40. 40 bid. 40 bid. 40.
I'll catch you in a wee minute, sir.
40. 50. 60. 70. 80. 90.
-Look! You've doubled your money!
130. With the lady. With the lady at 130.
140, I have the phone. I'll catch you in a wee minute.
I didn't know there was as many vodka drinkers.
-140 on the phone.
Look at this, lads!
170 with the gentleman. Fresh bidder. 170.
I think he wants it.
-Oh, my gosh!
Another bidder. 220. 230. 240.
-Is this real?
You've fought bravely.
-280. It's with you, sir, at £280.
-I can't believe it, Tim.
280. All done at 280. 280.
You just made £235, on top of the £195...
You helped us, Catherine. You got us there.
-Listen, you have made £430 of profit.
-£430 of profit!
-This doesn't feel real.
They just spent £200.
They've made 430 pounds' worth of profit. Yes.
That is so good, isn't it? I mean, how is that?!
-Well, what are you going to do about this bonus buy then?
-Look at me. I'm confused.
-Are you going to go with a bonus buy?
-Are you going to go with the RAF compact
-or are you going to go with the pendant?
-Are you sure?
-We really like the pendant.
-We are, however,
going to sell the rejected team bonus buy which is the compact.
You're not going with that. We're going to sell it.
And on this occasion, if it makes a profit,
-we'll give the profit to charity.
So, here we go. First up now is the compact.
Lot 56, ladies and gentlemen is the World War II
RAF gilt metal ladies' compact.
Ladies, at 20.
Any advance on 20?
-The lady at £60.
Any advance on 60?
70 on the phone.
Is there any advance on £70? £70.
£70. That has just made £58 profit
for charity which is marvellous, so well done, Catherine.
Now, you went with the special bonus buy.
You went with the pendant.
This is what you've selected and here it comes.
This would be my choice, too.
This is a little Edwardian Arts and Crafts pendant.
Will you give me 50?
-I hope we haven't made a mistake.
With you, sir, at 50. Anyone else from the floor?
It's worth it. Definitely.
-She wants it over there.
All done at 130. All done at 130.
Well done, Catherine.
130 which means you've made
a profit of £80 on that.
-You had 430, you've now got plus £510...
..which is over half a thousand pounds that you've just made.
Over half a thousand!
And I made a prediction that the pendant would do best
and it did do best so...
-George, Ronald, do you know how the Reds got on?
-Not at all.
-Not at all?
-Not a clue?
-OK. Fine. Perfect.
-You're in education. That's the way to be.
Clueless, that's it! He said it.
First up is the Highlanders cap badge and here it comes.
Lot 73 is the Gordon Highlanders, our own Gordon Highlanders,
ladies and gentlemen. It's an officer's badge.
£50. 60 on the phone.
It's on the phone at £100.
Well done, Anita. That's very good. Super, Paul. Thank you.
That is plus £60.
-I thought it might be 100.
Now, what about the hot water bed warmer?
It's a 1940s brown Rothermel Bakelite electric bed warmer.
And included is the guarantee...
..which might have run out.
20 bid. 20. 30.
70. The lady at £70.
-£70. All done at £70.
-Look at that.
That is...plus £56. Think about it.
£14 to a profit of £56, that's pretty good. Here comes the bottle.
Lots 75, it's a piece of early 19th-century Alloa glass.
50. 50 bid. 50. 60.
-You're in profit.
-130. Fresh bidder.
It's with you, sir, at £170 for the rare Alloa.
Any advance on 170? 170.
So, that means you are £185 up which is brilliant. Well done.
So, 185 is a good turn.
Excellent. But you now have the big choice. Which bonus buy are you
going to go with or are you going to ditch the bonus buys altogether?
We are going with the bonus buy, Tim.
-Are you going to go with the lamps?
-We're going with the lamps.
-Not the torch?
-Not the torch.
-You're going to ditch the torch?
We will be selling the RAF torch in addition
and if that makes a profit, the profit will go to charity.
First up is a pair of Pullman lamps and here they come.
Lot 79 as a pair of Edwardian Pullman table lamps.
Start me at 30. £30.
A woman of taste.
£30. Any advance on 30?
Seems very, very cheap. 30. 40.
70. Any advance on £70?
£70 is jolly nice.
You make a profit which is plus 40.
So, that gives you £225 as your overall total
and now we're going to sell the rejected special bonus buy,
the Eveready torch, and here it comes.
Something to light up your lives.
It's World War II RAF issue.
It's the Eveready torch.
It's a rare one. 20 bid.
On the phone at 20.
Any advance on 20? 30.
-Well done, Paul.
Fresh bidder at 60.
£60. 70 still in.
70 with you, sir. 80.
With you, sir, at £80. £80.
£80 is plus £70.
So, £70 will go to charity. Thank you very much, Paul. Lovely.
And my prediction that the Pullman lamps were going to do better
is completely wrong because the torch actually cracked it.
-I'm very impressed.
Don't say a word to the Reds, all right?
We'll catch up and reveal all in a moment.
Well, teams, it's been a remarkably successful day, hasn't it?
The first thing that is a treat to announce is the fact that
both teams today are winners of the Golden Gavel Award...
and therefore a profit on every lot
that you found and sold here today
at Great Western Auctions. There you go, chaps.
Grab your golden gavel and pin it on with pride.
And both teams with several hundred pounds in winnings.
And the runners-up today, I'm afraid to say,
are the Blues.
The Blues who managed to lose by winning £225...
which is a considerable result with a golden gavel
and everything else and there is your £225, Blues.
-That's for you to keep and split with your mate.
All round, a splendid effort,
but not quite good enough
because today the Reds are going home with £510.
-And that's what you call a wodge.
£510, eh? You spent £60 on a tribal mask
and you go home with £170 worth of profit, right?
You spent £95 on a Vulcan bomber and that makes you £25 profit.
But most extraordinary of all is the vodka cup which is £45
that makes £235 of profit.
Of course, it's lovely that £128 today was raised for charity
as a result of the experts' expertise and their success.
So, I do congratulate you.
You've all got your golden gavels, you've all got fistfuls of cash.
Therefore, you really ought to join us soon
for some more bargain hunting. Yes?
Tim Wonnacott presents from Scotland, where teams of forensic experts and lecturers vie for the best buys at an antiques fair. They are aided by experts Catherine Southon and Paul Laidlaw, and there is plenty of excitement when their finds are sold at auction. Tim discovers a clever games table on a visit to Saltram House in Devon.