A team of students take on a team of teachers in the hunt for bargain antiques. Tim Wonnacott visits Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster to see its impressive collection of statues.
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Today we're ready to get our heads down and search for treasure
at the RAF Swinderby Antiques and Collectors' Fair
in the heart of Lincolnshire.
I hope you've done your homework on the rules, or it'll be detention for you.
They are, of course, that the teams have one hour to shop for three items, and they have £300 to spend.
All under the watchful eye of their tutors, our experts.
Hello, is that the bell?
Let's put our teams to the test.
At least one of the teams today is about to teach me a lesson,
because Bargain Hunt is going all intellectual.
We have teachers, Flick and Paul, with us today for the reds.
And students Sean and Ben for the blues.
Welcome to Bargain Hunt. Very, very nice to see you.
Now Flick, that is an incredibly rare name, Flick?
-What's it derived from?
-I was called Felicity, but I very rarely use it.
I think there's only my godmother left who still calls me Felicity.
I'm sorry to have revealed that. I think it's is a lovely name.
-So how did you hook up with the gorgeous Paulus?
We were at university together 38 years ago.
-And I was going out with his best friend at the time.
But I soon saw the error of my ways.
-You saw the light.
-I saw the light.
You also make jewellery. Is this one of your divine creations?
-Isn't that lovely?
Yes, it would suit you, cos it's pink, isn't it?
Thanks(!) I'm not much into necklaces and earrings YET.
But once I've had my lobes pierced, I suppose I could make a start.
Now Paul, you'd better watch out that Flick doesn't spend all the money on bling today.
That's true, but she's gonna be the boss.
She's going to have to direct the way and I'm going to look after the money.
You should be pretty good at looking after the money.
You were, after all, both maths teachers.
Yeah, well, 38 years as a teacher and 24 as a deputy head.
-And last year we both retired at the same time from the same school, the same maths department.
-I bet there was a heck of a party.
-It was a great party to finish off with.
I think you're gonna do very, very well on Bargain Hunt though. Now for the boys.
Sean, why did you two want to come on Bargain Hunt?
Me and Ben have known each other since we met in halls last year at university.
We've been friends ever since and now we're housemates.
We often watch TV midweek, we watch Bargain Hunt when we should be at lectures.
-What, you get up in time for Bargain Hunt?
-Yeah, we set the alarm just in time.
So what expertise do you bring to this programme?
Well, I'm a student, so I'm used to bantering with sellers
trying to get prices lower than what they're asking for.
-You reckon you're pretty tight?
-Definitely. I also collect some sporting memorabilia,
-like some programmes that were passed down from my grandparents.
-What sort of clubs...?
-Liverpool Football Club.
-Is it all Liverpool?
-Got any other collections?
I do actually. I collect some rare trainers.
I have over 35 pairs at the moment.
-35 pairs of trainers, really?
-Yeah. I also did some work experience for a trainer company.
I did some design work. I designed and made my own pair of trainers.
So what's this box down there then?
-These are the trainers that I made.
-What, you made these trainers?
-With your own fair hands?
Not with my own fair hands. I designed them.
-They went through the factory production line?
Well there we are. We have had some expert advice today.
Thank you very much for that. Now Ben, what do you collect?
I don't collect anything personally, but I've inherited a collection of cigarette cards from my grandfather
dating back from around the First and Second World War period.
-What are you reading, by the way?
-I'm reading geography.
With a view to being a great geographer?
With a view to abandoning geography after university and becoming a sports journalist, hopefully.
So all this sportiness means you're gonna be captain of the team today, does it Ben?
Well, I suppose I have team leading skills in charge of the money at home.
-Sean often calls me the Mother Hen at home.
-Do you do the hoovering and everything?
I'm in charge of the cleaning!
Oh Ben, this is terrible, having to own up to this.
Half the female hearts of the land will be all of a flutter now.
They'll think, "I want to take care of this lovely young man".
Anyway, I think you're going to be incredibly good on Bargain Hunt and we're gonna have so much fun today.
Now - here's the £300. 300 smackers. £300, Flick.
-You know the rules.
Your experts await and off you go!
Very, very, very good luck.
Well, we've certainly got plenty of brain power today.
But will those calculations add up?
Or will we simply get a few own goals?
# It's not hard to tell that I've learned my lesson well. #
Today's nutty professor for the reds is David Harper.
And madly swotting away for the blues is James Braxton.
I'm sorry, you two, but I've already done the deal, I'm afraid.
-You've bought it already?
-You didn't ask if I like it!
It was only 25 quid, and I couldn't knock 'em down, but I quite like it
cos it's got this cloisonne effect, and we've got some at home.
OK, you've got cloisonne. Tell me all you know about cloisonne.
It's made with a brass wire, and later they fill in and fire the enamel.
Right. The wire is laid, creating cells, and then it's filled with coloured enamel.
It's a very clever, long-drawn-out process, invented by the Chinese
during the Ming dynasty and absolutely perfected by the Japanese in the late 19th century.
Now, this is quite crude as cloisonne goes.
You sometimes see them so fine that they've got tiny slithers
of silver wire as opposed to that chunky brass.
-So it's a chunky monkey, really, isn't it?
-OK, what about country of origin? Where do you think it was made?
-Out in the East somewhere.
-Out in the East somewhere.
-Not quite far enough east. Probably China, looking at it.
Date-wise, where would you put it?
Well, it doesn't look that new, looking inside.
So I don't think it's a yesterday.
-I would say...1910?
Late 19th century, we couldn't get enough of the oriental tastes. The country was awash with them.
-Will we make a profit?
-For the money, it looks a great piece.
-I'd buy it all day long at that.
-I'd buy it. I did buy it for £25!
-I bought it! Yes, I'm sorry.
First one done. OK, let's go.
Well, Paul didn't hang about.
Seems he knows his stuff and got the vase for a cracking £25.
Now, come on, you students.
I have slightly taken over control here.
Hopefully, you'll approve of this and this will be our first purchase.
-What is it?
-Well, see the piercing here? That's a clue. It's a sort of pepperette.
Very often, you get salt, pepper and a mustard.
-Is it silver?
-It's not silver. It's pewter.
So, rather like pewter tankards.
Any hanging up, rattling, in the student bar?
Will there be any effect on the price in the fact that it looks a bit grubby?
It affects the price now for buying. That's great. Works in our favour. It has kept the price low.
-This can be bought for £30.
That should be all right, shouldn't it?
What do you think, at auction? If we clean it up, do you think it'd make more?
We can add value. There's an opportunity for adding value here.
-OK. I'll go for that.
-I think it's a wise choice, yeah.
-Well, James is a wise old owl, buying that pepper pot for £30.
So, have you find another item?
Yes, I have. This writing slope.
I don't want a writing slope.
I know. I know we've got one, but look at this. This is very unusual.
I have never seen one with this sort of wood before.
-I don't know what this wood is.
-It's palm wood.
Is that very unusual?
It's a very exotic wood from a very, very long way away,
-and it's absolutely rock hard, harder than oak.
I was shown that underneath here there are three concealed drawers.
That is very nice. Now, look at the construction. What do you see?
But it's not a machine-made dovetail, a nice chunky one.
You can just see the scribe mark,
so, it's a hand-cut tail, which gives us some kind of indication as to age.
I hope it's old. I was told it was 1900...
No, 1800. 1850, I think he said.
-So he says.
Have you talked to him about the price?
He has done me quite a decent deal, I think.
I managed to get him down to £80.
-It's a lot of box for that.
-It is. I didn't want to buy one, though.
But if you want to push for it...?
I would like to, cos I think it's a lovely piece.
It's one of the nicest of this type that I've seen.
-Let me tell you - if you've made a mistake, you're in big trouble.
-This is true!
-I can sense it.
-Nothing new there.
-I was going to say, I think you're used to it!
Paul sloped off to buy the writing desk for £80.
-How're you doing, team?
-Hi, James. What have you got for us?
An invisible tray! What do think of this fellow?
-It's a tray.
-It's a tray.
It's a French tray. It's known as a TRAY bien(!)
-Oh, very good.
-Yeah, very good, very good.
Um... Mahogany. Glass.
Quite cool, isn't it?
Would it go... Does it normally come with a set?
No, it doesn't come with anything.
But you know, champagne...
Drinks. Or a tea-tray. Whatever.
What period do you think this dates back to, then, James?
I think it's Edwardian, sort of 1900, 1910.
-It's quite heavy, isn't it?
-To me, I just see a tray.
Is there anything special about it, or...?
Does your eye not alight on the bevelled edge?
-Is that a scratch there?
-Yeah, well done, it is a scratch.
But we can turn these little problems to our advantage.
We can get a little off for it, then.
A little scratch like that could improve the purchase price of it.
-How much are they asking?
-We can get that down, d'you think?
Leave it to the maestro. In the meantime, instead of scratching your heads,
get out there and scratch some antiques.
We've got to find that third item.
-You buy that and get some drinks while we look for another one.
The lads were persuaded by the classy tray, especially at £20.
There he is.
Don't worry, we've got the third item.
You've had two choices, and David and I found this.
We're stamping our authority, Paul!
-You're welcome to do that any time.
-It's got a name on it.
I don't know the name of the company, Kaiser. Do you?
I do. I know a little bit. Kaiser are a German manufacturer.
-What does that look like to you? What style?
Absolutely, bang on, Art Nouveau.
You've got what I think is a sea rose, and are they little bumblebees there?
Yes, I think so, yes.
How much was it?
30 quid. You can't go wrong, surely, for that.
30 quid, no, that's not a bad buy.
-We've got it.
-That's us finished.
-Cup of tea.
Flick and David loved the pewter plate, and purchased it for just £30.
-Here we are!
-Just in the nick of time.
-Have you got anything?
We've got it. Here's the baby.
Have you gone completely potty?
Yeah! Come on, get it out.
This is the pot we saw five minutes ago.
What do you think of this?
We've got to get something, so this is not too bad.
It looks like a giant match strike, it's quite a tactile object.
-So what would it have been used for?
Flowers. Victorians loved their aspidistras,
those red blossom trailing fellows.
It's a good Victorian piece.
-So how much are they asking for it?
-They're asking £70, but I've secured it, £55.
-The maestro's back.
I hope it does PHEASANTLY well at auction.
-Not quite as GROUSE as I first thought.
-No more puns!
Just in the nick of time, James!
He's not potty after all, snapping the jardiniere up for £55.
Time's up, let's see what the Reds bought.
Paul impressed David and Flick
with his Chinese vase and I'm not surprised at £25.
Let's hope the bidders will be writing a big figure
for Paul's palm wood writing slope.
Flick's piece of pewter is a pretty load of petals
and cost a paltry £30.
Let's check out what the Blues have bought.
Wise old James took the boys in hand with a pewter owl pepper pot.
Next up was the mahogany and glass tray,
sadly lacking drinks, but only £20.
The lads saw potential in James's pot, but will it sink at auction?
We're in Derby, in Bamfords' splendid new saleroom -
-well, not so new any more, but anyway - with James. How are you?
-Very well indeed, welcome.
Nice to see you. How old is this sale room now?
We've been in this building for just over four years.
Right, still quite new for us. Jolly good.
Flick and Paul, our Red team, bought the decorative Chinese vase.
It is bronze and it is cloisonne.
It's got an unusual shape. It's not a bad thing.
Not bad at all. I really quite like it.
It's a good size. It's decorative.
Probably originally one of a pair. I don't think that matters. It looks well on its own.
-Brilliant. Anyway, how much?
-What do you think? £30 to £40?
-Something like that.
-I should have thought it might do that. Maybe a bit more. They paid £25.
-That is a really good buy. They've done well.
-That stands a good chance.
-This writing slope is...
..on the face of it, a good looking thing.
-I mean, relatively plain outside, but open it up and it has got all its bits.
-A great colour, isn't it?
-This palm wood.
-A very good colour. Quite unusual to have that in the way of a box.
It's been through the hands of the trade at some point.
It has been cleaned up, but they've done a really nice job.
The tooled leather writing surface is good. I like it.
-It's ready to go.
-Will you get £100 for it?
Yeah, I think we've got a chance. 60 to 100.
-60 to 100. £80 paid.
-What about that pewter petal plate?
stylish little thing, really. It's Kaiserzinn. It is early 20th century. It hasn't been over-polished.
It's still nice and crisp. There are always good buyers for these things.
They almost always make the same sort of area of £30 to £40.
Brilliant. £30 paid.
-That's all right.
-Potentially, we have got three decent profits?
-Yeah. It's a good lot.
In any event, let's go and have a look at their bonus buy.
Flick and Paul, this is your bonus buy moment.
You gave David £165, which is an enormous amount of money. Has he blown the lot?
-Is it time for me to...?
-You reveal it for me, please. Very gently.
-A bit gingerly.
-Da-dla, da-dla... There you go. What do you think of that?
-More pewter to go with our Kaiser plate, I was thinking.
-Take a piece, that's it.
I do think, it's early 20th Century. I think it is in period. Art Nouveau, for sure.
Most definitely continental.
-You've given this quite a good old puff up, haven't you?
-I like it.
-And I like this. But the main thing is...
-It's got to be a bargain.
-I might've expected it to be more.
-I might've expected it to be more.
-You've got an awful lot for your money.
-I think so.
Anyway, you don't have to decide until the sale of your first three items.
Right now, for the viewers at home, let's find out what the auctioneer thinks about it.
David's gone into overdrive on the pewter front.
-You get that fellow and another five like that. A set of six.
A really stylish lot. It has had a bit of it a bash there,
which might affect it slightly. It's coming through.
But really stylish. I like that a lot.
What's your estimate?
-50 to 80.
-Oh, that's fine. I'd have bought that for £40.
Just as well you weren't there then!
There we go. That's it for the Reds. Now, for the Blues.
-Their first item is the owl pepperette. That's rather nice, isn't it?
-Yeah, he's sweet.
A nice early one.
You see lots of fakes around. It's good to see a genuine one.
It's a sort of style of thing which is quite fun.
The wise old owl. People like animals.
I think it's got a lot going for it. Anyway, what's your estimate?
-I've put around £20 on it.
Is that all? They paid 30.
-I don't think that's too over-the-top.
-Nor do I.
-Got a chance.
I can see that thing taking off, frankly.
-And maybe making £30 to £40. Maybe £50?
-I hope so.
-It would be nice to see it
make 30 to 40. I don't think it will make 50,
-but let's hope so.
-Great. Now, the mahogany and brass tray.
I mean, useful thing?
Yes, good quality.
-People don't have afternoon tea any more. What would you do with it?
-Put drink on it.
I mean, all my family have drink...all the time.
A gin and tonic on the there, what could be nicer?
-A nice, cleared tray like that.
OK, fine. So how much for the drinks tray?
-Oh! £40 to £50.
-Great! £20 paid.
There you go, see. James has done very well for his students.
Now, the Staffordshire jardiniere.
The best thing about that is the size, isn't it?
It is a really good, big lump.
-How much do you think it's worth, that big, old lump?
-£60 to £100.
Very good. £55.
-I think he's done extraordinarily well.
-He should be all right.
With any luck, he won't need his bonus buy, but we're going to have a look anyway.
Time for the bonus buy then, boys.
You've spent £105. Miserable. You gave James 195.
A lot of money. What did you spend it on?
I spent it on this, Tim. A rather nice travelling clock.
-For the boys?
-For the boys. So they get up in nice, good time.
Always ready for quiet study, revision, you know...
Nicely cased. Here's the clock.
A sort of Goliath pocket watch in here.
And then rather nice silver case, silver hallmark.
Nice Morocco leather back.
A rather nice easel back.
You just stand that by your desk, or bedside table.
That Ben, he wants to grab it.
-How much did you spend?
-I think it's good.
-I'm a fan. It's different to what we've got already.
It is, isn't it? Is certainly is.
OK, boys. With those reassuring words, let's find out what the auctioneer thinks about it.
-James, what do you think about that?
-I quite like that.
It's a decent style.
It's got its leather standing piece at the back, which normally breaks off.
I think that's got something about it. I like it.
I should think it will make £50 to £70.
£90 was paid. It's supposed to be a bonus buy. That could be a bit tight.
-Yes, I think it is.
-It's a pity to spoil the other three with that.
-Anyway, we'll hope for the best.
-Let's hope they don't go for it.
-Flick and Paul, how are you feeling?
-Well, I'm not surprised really.
You completely ignored your expert and pursued your own interests.
We did have his support on the writing slope.
Yes, you did. Quite rightly so,
because you paid £80 for that. You technically found it, Paul.
-The auctioneer put £60 to £100 - that could be a bit low,
-and you could be getting a pay back on that if you're lucky, all right?
First up, the Chinese enamel vase.
-Here it comes.
-The Chinese vase.
It's the growing market, isn't it, the Chinese market?
It's a good thing.
Big and decorative, £25 to start it low. 25.
There should be hands everywhere.
25, I'm bid. 30 now.
At 25, 30, 35, 35,
40, 45, 50...
-He's doubled his money.
-At 50, second row, it's still cheap.
All done at £50. Second row and selling.
-Well done, James.
-£50 plus £25.
Well done, Paulus. Now, the writing slope.
This is great. Palm wood. You don't often see palm wood
made into writing boxes, but there it is.
I can start the bidding at £60.
And five now. 65 anywhere? At 60 and selling.
£60. Five. 70.
Against you at £70, absentee bid.
-At 70, do I see?
At 70 and selling.
-I told you we'd do it!
At £80. It's still against you. At £80 and selling.
Wiped its face, £80. That's OK.
-Now, Flick, your moment is here.
The Kaiserzinn plate. There we are.
Decorative little pewter plate and two bids on it.
One of 30, one of 35. 40 anywhere?
At £35 and 40 do I see? At 35. 40 now.
At 35. 38, if it helps.
-At £35 then and selling.
£35. That's plus £5.
-You are plus £30 overall.
-What do you want to do about the jug and mugs?
-I would like to.
-I'd like to.
-But remember, £30...
-I don't care. It's something really nice. It's worth having a go.
-It's the sort of thing you would have bought.
-You would've bought that?
-I'd be interested in it, yes.
-Well, then it will make a profit.
-The way you two are performing, there's no stopping you.
We're going with the bonus buy. Let's see what happens.
-Art Nouveau pewter jug and six goblets.
Again, really stylish lot, this one.
-Early 20th century, £50 to start it somewhere.
-Anybody want it at 50?
Five? 70. 75.
-75. 80. 85.
-Look at this.
-What are we going to do with all the money?!
I think I'll take you out for a meal.
Oh, David, well done.
Sure? 90 there. 95.
-Standing in the...
-Coming back, one more?
No, £90. Are we all sure? At 90.
Do I see five?
£90. Well done.
Plus 50 smackers, which is plus 80.
-£80 up. How do you feel about that?
-Not bad, is it?
And we've met you as well.
Hey, don't tell the Blues a thing, all right? Mum.
They might see the smile.
Go out looking really gloomy.
-Flick, you can do it.
-I can do it.
-Look gloomy, girl.
So students, this is your moment to shine, isn't it?
Off we go with the owl pepper pot. Here it comes.
This little novelty owl pepperette.
Great fun. And one, two, three, four, five, six, seven bids...
-..but five of the bids are £20.
One is 25 and one is higher, so £30 starts it.
-At £30 and five, anyone?
-We're nearly there.
-At 30. 35, the lady is bid.
-35, and 40 now.
-£35. 40 anywhere?
-Against all the commissions at 35.
-Keep it going, keep it going.
-Anyone? All you all sure?
-£35 is a profit.
-That's all right.
Well done, James. Plus £5.
It could've done more, but there we are. Now the tray.
It's a great thing, isn't it?
Really useful being a glass centre. Use it for whisky
and gin and that sort of thing.
Where shall we start it? £30?
30. Start it low at 30, surely?
£20 bid. And five, do I see?
At £20 and five anywhere?
-We need a profit.
-We need a profit.
25, 30, 30 and 5.
35 has it and 40 now. 38 if it helps.
38, under the arch at 38.
40 now. £38 and 40.
At 38. It's here at £38.
All done at 38?
-I love it. £38. Plus £18.
Very nice. You are plus £23, all right?
-Plus 23. Now, the jardiniere.
A great big parlour palm in it or something.
It really would look the part.
-Well done, that man.
-He's a big strong fella.
Great jardiniere stand. Where shall we start - at £80? 80?
£60 somewhere. 50. That is a bargain.
If you've got a big home, you should put your hand up. £50.
50 bid. At £50.
And five do I see? At 5. 60.
60. 5. 70.
-You're in profit, James, well done.
-It's cheap at that. And 70 do I see?
You should be bidding. All done at £65.
-They should be bidding.
-They'll regret it. £65.
That is so cheap, but it's £10 profit.
-You are £33 up.
-33 quid up, right.
What are you going to do about this old timepiece clock jobby?
-Are you going with it or not?
We spoke before and we are not going to go for it because we have made some money already.
We think we're going to play safe.
Thank the Lord!
Hang on a minute! James has got you three lots of profit so far.
I think it's fine.
-I think we are dicing with...
-James has got you three lots of profit.
You are £33 in your back pocket.
That's a lot of money for us students.
It's a lot of money for anybody, I'll tell you that.
On Bargain Hunt, it's nearly unheard of! Three profits on three items is very good, James.
We just said if we make over 10, we weren't going to do it.
That's your strategy, is it? I mustn't interfere with that. I will not influence you.
You are not going with the bonus buy, and here it comes.
There it is. A nice little thing, well presented and £50 is bid.
50. And 5. 60. And 5.
70 and 5, sir.
£75 has it nodding. At 75.
80, new place. 85. 90. No, sure?
-88, if you like.
At £85 here. 88, do I see? At £85.
-Selling at £85. Are you sure?
At £85. Are we all done? With you at £85.
Well done. £85.
That's really close. Minus £5.
-You made exactly the right decision. It was exciting though.
That was really close. Well done!
So, you teams, you lovely teams,
-the runners-up today are the Blues.
How mean is that?!
-How can I tell you you're runners up with winnings of £33?
-Oh, well done!
It is a pity, isn't it? Don't be too cut up about it, boys!
You'll take some money home.
In fact, you are going to take it home right now. Here's your three quid.
You have preserved your winnings in their entirety. You have been a great team. Thank you so much.
But the victors, Flick and Paul.
You are £80 up,
-which is a considerable achievement.
-There you go.
£80, Flick. What are you going to do with the money, darling?
-Run off with the first man who'll have me!
-Really! That'll be Paul then.
Anyway, see what fun we have had today?
-Join as soon for some more bargain hunting. Yes?
For more information about Bargain Hunt, including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Two teams hunt for bargain antiques with the help of experts James Braxton and David Harper. Host Tim Wonnacott visits Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster to learn how the Victorian owner invested for the future.