Antiques challenge. Bargain Hunt comes from Shepton Mallet with experts Phillip Serrell and Anita Manning, and Tim Wonnacott visits the former home of Sir John Soane.
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400 years ago, Britain's first jail was built here in Shepton Mallet.
Our teams won't be taking any prisoners today, though.
There's far too much at stake.
So let's go bargain hunting!
On the teams, we've got a pair of sisters and a pair of ex-coppers.
We're going to have a great show!
So don't move an inch.
The Blue team can't stop bickering.
Can I have a look, Bill? Cos you haven't done very well up to now.
In good time. I haven't quite given it my expert touch. You and I are going to fall out in a minute.
Huh! Communication breaks down for the Reds.
Girls, do you like this?
-Does it work?
-We can't hear you.
So I escape to London and discover hidden secrets at the Soane Museum.
But first, let's meet our teams.
-Well, girls, are you in the police force?
-Are you sisters?
Would you say you're close with your sister?
-Pretty close, although we do get each other into trouble a lot.
-What sort of trouble?
Well, that would be telling, and they might want to take us away.
Oh, I see, yes.
-Yeah, so we can't tell you.
We don't want you being cuffed today. What's this about shoes?
Are you the Imelda Marcos of Weston-super-Mare?
I am. I'd like to think so. Over a hundred pairs.
-Where do you keep them?
-In the shed. In my house, under the stairs.
Now, Louise, you're particularly well travelled, aren't you?
Yep, I was cabin crew for ten years at Heathrow. Long haul.
The popular conception is that you air crew have a thoroughly jolly time when you're on your trips.
-Is that true?
-Yeah, all lies.
What sort of tactics have you sisters got? What have you cooked up for us?
Eyes on the prize!
Ooh! I would think that our boys in blue are quaking in their boots
at just the scale of the confidence in our Red team, yes?
You two are now retired policemen and worked together in the same station for a long time, did you?
That's how we met. I transferred to Colin's station and we worked together
for about four years, and then Colin had had enough and retired.
-Did he? Having no regard for your relationship.
-Couldn't take any more of it.
Colin, you're a bit of a practical joker.
You played a beastly trick on William when he started.
After two months of him being with us, we arranged
our Christmas party at a local pub, and we told him it was a fancy dress.
So he went to the costume shop, got the full clown outfit - big red nose, big green boots -
and he turned up at the pub and we were all waiting for him in our evening suits, black dicky bows.
-And he walked in.
-That just have been quite a moment, William.
It was. It's one of those moments I'd sooner forget.
But your mate here...
-Not any more.
-I can understand why you retired early.
-Yes. I had to.
Nerves got the better of me.
Are you going to be able to beat these young girls?
Well, anyway, £300 apiece.
There's your do-re-mi. You know the rules.
Your experts await. And off you go!
And very, very, very good luck.
Well, I don't know. I'd say lock up your daughters.
Today, browsing with the Reds is Philip Serrell.
And haggling with the Blues, Anita Manning.
And so the rules. Each team gets £300 and an hour to buy three items, which they sell at auction.
You didn't know that at all, did you?
Yes, you did.
How square do you think I am?
Which one of you is good at bargaining?
William's the one. He can bargain.
That's great, because I'm rotten at it!
We don't actually really have a plan.
-We were hoping that you had a plan.
-So far, so bad.
Jewellery's always a good thing.
-I like the idea of clocks.
-We'd like something rustic and quirky.
Or some sort of a lamp, something that can be used.
OK, there's hope for you lot yet.
You see that one?
A George II or George III erotic snuff box.
Very gently erotic.
-Oh, yes, it is.
-It's not page three.
It's quite sweet.
Hinges are in perfect condition.
Got a wee bit of damage there.
A gentleman's talking piece on the table.
For a gentlemen-only meeting.
-Do you like that?
-No. What about this?
It's a glove box. And it's basically too much money.
Why? You've got £300 to spend, Phil!
Oh, wow. Still got some snuff.
I wonder, is that snuff, or is it somebody's spaniel?
Do you know what that is?
-It's called a go-to-bed. And basically, this has matches in there,
and you take a match out of there, you strike it on the bottom, cos there should be some sandpaper,
and then you put the match in there, and then you go up to bed.
And it's like your Victorian torch, almost, as you go to bed. And it's 34 quid.
And the look on your face is telling me, "What the hell is he talking about?"
No, I was just wondering if anybody would buy it.
-Are there a lot of collectors that would buy that sort of thing?
This is called treen and treen basically means
it's stuff of the tree, or turned on a lathe.
So this would have been turned on a lathe with a chisel.
-Oh, OK, yeah.
-OK? To get that shape.
And there are huge collectors of it.
That doesn't do it for you, does it?
I was absolutely right first time.
But we did want to know if anybody would buy it.
Get out of here.
That's a farmer's.
They used to tie it to their belts and have it on while they were driving the tractors or horses.
So this bit's a wee bit unusual.
It's an ordinary working man's snuff box.
-Tell me what you think about it.
-It doesn't do a lot for me.
That's very unusual, to have "plasterer" on.
That's quite an interesting piece.
But there's no snuff in this one.
-No, there isn't.
-We can accommodate you with a pinch of snuff.
Let me put a drop in there.
All right. You try it.
He'll start sneezing in a minute.
That's nice, yeah. It's quite pleasant.
Usually, they belonged to miners and people like that,
but this one is very, very unusual, to get "plasterer" on there.
-How much is that one?
So you like this one, guys?
I like it. I still think at 65
-it's a little bit pricey.
No, 60 would be the...
-You like it?
-I do now, at the price.
-Shall we go for it?
-We're all in agreement.
That's wonderful. Thank you very much.
Tough talk, Colin. Well done.
But is Anita pleased?
I would have gone for the farmer one.
But I want the lads to be happy, and they might be lucky
on that one if we've got two or three plasterers at the auction!
# Breaking rocks in the hot sun
# I fought the law and the law won... #
But I thought you were the bargainer.
-No, he's a dark horse.
-I think you have hidden talents.
Thank you, Anita!
I won't show them you yet.
Anita, you might need to call in the vice squad.
Everybody's going to have something like a mirror because a mirror is really useful.
Isn't it lovely? The silver on the mirror is slightly gone.
And that's quite fashionable today.
It's quite a trendy thing, said he, being at the forefront of trend-setting!
-That one, that one, that one!
It's a bit French.
French is in at the moment, though.
You should know that, Phil. You're a trend-setter.
What's the very best on that one and the very best on that one, please?
I'll just call my husband.
You can call whoever you like if the price comes down, my love.
Our boys in blue are finally on the move, but I sense dissent in the ranks.
-How are you getting on?
-You're not doing very well.
No. Time is against me, and the pressure's on.
-He isn't pulling his weight.
-He isn't pulling his weight?
Give me a chance! You're all yabba-yabba-yabba.
Boys, stop bickering!
Girls, how did that phone call go?
-Was it a good phone call or bad phone call?
-240, both of them.
-240? How much was that one originally?
Does that mean you could drop a bit more off that one than 240?
-No. It's Regency.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-Could you hang on to those for an hour for us? We can't guarantee that we'll have them.
-Which one do you prefer out of the two?
-That one, I think, is going to be better.
And would 220 be any good on that if they really liked it?
-See, we've got a plan.
-I love your plan!
-You thought we hadn't got a plan.
Yes, Phil, but that's all you've got, whereas I've got a box of delights.
The trouble with brown furniture is that it can look incredibly brown,
and this from where you are looks just like a brown mahogany dome-top little tea chest, doesn't it?
Well, if you come close and have a look at the top,
this isn't inlaid mahogany,
it's made out of little strips that have been glued down onto a carcass wood.
Now, if I open it up, it reveals a miracle.
What this stuff is is straw,
simple common or garden agricultural straw that's been harvested
on a field and has then been very carefully coloured
and arranged to make all these patterns.
And once upon a time, when this was new, in about 1810 to 1820,
the entire outside surface of this otherwise rather boring,
brown-looking box looked like this.
How about that?
But by far the most interesting thing that I've found today is one of these.
See that thing?
This is as rare as a hen's tooth.
It's a simple piece of walnut or mahogany - I can't decide which - that's been pierced with four holes,
and inside the four holes
is a little brass-bladed piece. Why?
Because this thing is the straw cutter
that cut lengths of straw gathered from the fields of Britain.
And you introduce the straw just like a bean cutter taking a broad bean.
You then draw it out on this side, and then you've got these little bits, which are then laid
in intricate patterns onto a softwood carcass, as in the case with this box.
Is that not just a joy?
So what's this stuff worth?
Well, you would think that the box is worth a massive amount.
Well, it ain't, cos you could buy that box in this rather tatty condition for £250.
The splitter, on the other hand, is an extremely rare thing.
You might think that's worth £50. Well, it ain't.
The dealer's asking £295 for the splitter alone.
That's rather pretty. Out of the Art Deco period.
Is that the sort of thing you'd wear?
Only after dark and if nobody sees me!
I do like that I think that's quite a cool thing to have on your mantelpiece.
I've got one at home. I use it as a door-stop. A cannonball. They're worth 20 quid.
But isn't that just fantastic?
Whoops. Move on, Phil.
There's a whole fair to explore, so, boys, why are you still at the same stall?
Scandinavian items, particularly 20th century,
are very, very popular just now, the big names like Jensen and so on.
Can I just have a wee look at that one? What's that one there?
It's Ivar Holt from Norway.
-It's a Viking ship, isn't it?
You get it in the Scottish jewellery as well. You get the same influences.
That's one of my favourites with the Viking ship. That's Iona.
Yeah. I like that because it has a slightly stylised look.
When would the silversmith have been working?
-It's got a date on it. 1960.
It doesn't seem very old, does it?
50 years old.
It's not often the age which determines the value.
It's the style, the design and the maker and the quality, so don't be put off because it's 1960s.
So what would you think of that, then?
Everything's subject to fashion and fad, and this is something which is in fashion now.
Can I have a look, Bill? Cos you haven't done very well up to now.
In good time. I haven't quite given it my expert touch.
You and I are going to fall out in a minute.
We HAVE fallen out! Would you pass it over, please?
-You couldn't do 35 on that?
What about £37.50?
-38? Right, we'll go 38.
-What do you think?
-Yeah, I'm pleased with that.
-I love that.
Glad to hear it, Colin.
Now, girls, are you going all nautical, too?
Do you like this?
-That'd keep the kids in tow!
-Does it work?
-No, we can't hear you.
HE HUMS "THE TWILIGHT ZONE" THEME
-This is all getting very scary.
Ah, this one's £65, though.
Put him back down.
Put it back and run away.
Do you think military memorabilia sells quite well?
-Yeah. It's a bit specialised. So we like the ship theme, don't we?
-What about planes?
Look, Phil, maybe leave the jokes to me, eh?
We've got one more item to buy.
I'm going to leave it to you.
Oh, right, well, it's big.
-That is big!
-It is big, isn't it?
It's an umbrella stand, and it's nicely carved and so on,
but I don't think it's Victorian.
I think it's later than that.
It's doing nothing for me.
Is it? Did it look better from afar?
-It's a big, chunky piece. But not for you?
-What are they?
-They're called trees, and they're basically for keeping the shape of your boots.
-Have you seen anything big?
-Yeah, big! That one.
Little Titch. He's from Scotland.
Come on, Anita. I think he's brilliant. Don't you?
-That's not tartan.
-What is it, then?
It's a sort of check. It's a sort of very awful check!
-I like him.
-It's good fun.
-Oh, is that actually...?
-Yeah, it's a pony.
Ooh, no, I couldn't buy that.
-But it's old, isn't it?
-It's also dead.
Oh, yeah, I know that. But...
I know this sounds really strange, but this is a bit of an in look at the minute,
cos it's quite a design thing, they're a good decorator's lot.
Somebody's got to do some work on this.
They've got to patch it up a bit and all the rest, but it's lovely.
And if you look at the paper inside, it's got some original lining.
It would date to, I don't know, first 30, 40 years of the 19th century.
What's the best on this, sir?
Best that can be is £100.
-Could you get it under 100?
-Could you hang on to it for us for about half an hour?
Look at that big bear there. I'm into bears now.
I had three whiskies last night!
He's great, isn't he?
He's lovely. What sort of age is he?
I know nothing about teddy bears.
But he came with some Steiff automatons from France.
-I don't think he's all that old.
-He's just cuddly and nice.
He's just... I've got two cuddly guys here!
-He's not ugly, he's beautiful.
-Pick him up and tell me if you like him.
-He's not good-looking, though, is he?
-He's as good-looking as Colin.
Look at that. What do you think of him?
-My goodness! He looks pregnant. What about 20?
-25 I'll do.
Well, I think it's just daft enough for anybody else to like as well.
Colin, would you like to hold it for a moment?
-Does it suit me?
-I mean, he's fun.
He's got a label here.
I've got Sellotape on his toe.
Have a see if you can see any labels or anything.
OK, there's no labels. I don't think there's a great deal
of age about him, but I think he's kind of adorable, just like you two guys.
Ahh, just like me! He's looking at you!
-Let's go for it.
-Go for it.
-Yes, let's go for it!
Goodness, boys, you've finished!
Girls, you haven't even started.
1930s. Really in vogue at the moment.
-I like the pattern on it. How much would you do this for?
It's 120 for the set.
-I can do it for 100.
-What we're looking at, girls...
It's nice, isn't it?
-How much is it?
-How much did you say it was?
-120. But you did say that you'd do it for 100...
-We can do something.
Can we do a lot?
I tell you what I think to this, right?
It's interesting, cos you've got a good old-fashioned antique dealer's lot.
-That's, what, 1820?
You've got 1820, a nice, period coaching trunk.
And here you've got something that's a hundred years later.
-And in my eyes, there's no quality to that at all.
-It's a decor style.
Is that why you're agreeing with me?
-It is just a fashionable thing.
There's only one piece I'd buy out of the two.
Yeah, but that's cos you and I are old gits.
In the nicest possible way!
But that's his business, isn't it? Isn't it?
That's real old-school stuff.
You just have to get over the pony thing, cos I like it. They were all pony skin.
What you could do is you could buy both off him
and really try and screw him to the floor.
In my eyes, they'd be 160 quid the two.
I was going to say 150!
-Oh, my God!
-And we'll give you a kiss on each cheek.
150 quid the two.
-Yeah, go on, then.
-Oh, thank you very much.
I think we should.
Well done, girls. Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?
Where have you got to now, Anita?
Clearly too much time on your hands, Anita.
Doesn't leave Phil much, does it?
-No, it doesn't.
-How much is that, girls?
-What's the best you could do on that, please?
120 would be my lowest on that one.
And what do you think that might make in an auction?
I think you'd probably clear 120, cos they're not coming up very much at auction.
That's quite attractive.
Yeah. And when you close it, it's just a box.
I'd leave that alone, in all honest truth.
Girls, you're sailing close to the wind here. The sun's nearly over the yardarm.
Do you like it?
-I like it. Do you like it?
Go to work, girls. We've got five minutes left. Be persuasive.
-We need a deal here, sir.
We'd like a 30-quid deal, is what we really need.
What's the lowest you'd do it for?
-45's the death.
-I can't, honest.
40, they'll give you kisses on every cheek.
-You'll be seen throughout the land with young girl admirers.
Thank you ever so much. Thank you.
That's different. I'd have it on my wall.
Just in time, Louise, because...
Let's see what the Reds netted.
After an age of window shopping,
the girls finally bought a pony-skin trunk
and an Art Deco-style coffee set in quick succession.
I don't think Phil was too happy about the tea set, but
I think secretly that could be our secret weapon.
They eventually sailed into port with a ship's wheel.
It's a WHEEL one!
-Did you have a fab time?
How much did you spend overall, then, you sisters?
-We were quite reserved.
So is that the £110 you're gripping, then?
Yeah. I was hoping I could have it!
No way, girl! So, what's your favourite piece?
I like the tea set.
I'm not so sure on whether it's going to make so much, but I like it!
But it's your personal favourite. What about you, Sar?
-I like the box we got, the pony box.
-Which piece will bring the biggest profit?
-The pony box!
-Do you agree with that, Lou?
-Well, we'll wait and see.
You're hedging your bets, eh?
Anyway, there you go, P Serrell, £110.
I'm going to try and blow as much of this as I can now.
Well, good luck with that, Phil.
Good luck, girls. Why don't we check out what the Blues bought, eh?
Colin's hard bargaining got them a snuff box with local interest.
He beat down the price of the ship brooch.
And when William spotted the cuddly teddy, well, Colin got a hat trick.
I bet you felt safe today, hey, being surrounded by policemen?
Nobody's going to have a go at you today, are they, Anita, eh?
-Did you have a good time?
-We had a great time.
-And how much did you spend overall?
That's pretty pathetique, I'd say.
-We bought sensibly.
-Fair enough, you're absolutely right.
-£180 of leftover lolly, please, from somewhere.
-There we are.
Thank you very much.
It'll go to a very good cause now, our friend from north of the border,
much admired by millions of people across the nation.
You don't realise that, Anita,
but you're a role model for a lot of women.
-What are you going to do with all that money?
-I'm going to try and spend it all.
That's why you're a role model for a lot of women.
Anyway, have a great time. And good luck, chaps. Lovely shop.
Now for us, we're heading off to Lincoln's Inn Fields,
which is a long way from this part of the world.
But believe you me, the journey will be worth it. Oh, yes.
You've got masses of paintings and you've run out of wall space.
What do you do? Stick 'em in the attic?
Now if you're the celebrated 19th century architect Sir John Soane, you don't.
John Soane had no less than three properties in Lincoln's Inn Fields,
so there was substantial accommodation here.
But even so, his substantial mass of paintings needed to be shown,
and hence, in 1821, he built this, the Picture Room.
Now, if you've got a mass of paintings to show,
you need wall space,
and what Soane did was to develop the concept of hinged planes.
We've got a lot of paintings on this surface,
but by undoing that brass catch,
we're able to hinge back a whole surface like this
on both sides and reveal yet more pictures inside.
But of course, they reveal no ordinary group of pictures.
These are the celebrated eight canvases
that are William Hogarth's Rake's Progress.
The rake is the heir being measured for his suit,
here in orgies, where the boy's taking on board a drop or two,
the marriage, the prison, the gaming house
and, ultimately, Bedlam, the mad house, the ultimate fall.
Curiously, these paintings would have had a resonance for Soane,
because he didn't have the greatest time with his children.
Indeed, the boy that he was pinning all his hopes on,
he finished up by being completely estranged with.
I think the use of these planes is nothing short of magical.
By opening it up,
we know that there's an additional surface behind here,
and on both sides, this reveals not insubstantial-sized pictures.
Just look at the scale of these things.
I mean, they're not titchy, are they?
And we've got nigh-on 100 framed works in this modest little space.
So it's extremely clever.
But not half as clever as this.
Look at that! Isn't that marvellous?
The vast planes open to reveal a picture recess,
an opportunity to display yet more paintings,
centred by this plaster cast of a nymph from Castle Howard.
Which is appropriate, really,
cos when you look down here, it gets really strange.
A space that Soane created in the cellarage called the Monk's Parlour,
hung largely with plaster casts of architectural features
illustrating Soane's passion.
The big question today is, of course, what sort of passions
are going to be excited for our teams over at the auction?
See ya! Ooooh!
Today we've travelled to Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne.
I hope auctioneer Richard Kay doesn't make our happy experts sad.
Now, we've got a mixed bag here from Sarah and Louise.
First up is a slightly balding pony skin-covered trunk.
A little bit too, er, worn and tired, I think, to appeal much
to people at auction, but quite a nice furnishing piece
as long as you don't look too closely at the damage.
No. I'm not so keen on the thought of a dead pony being flayed
and applied to a trunk in my front room.
I think a plain leather skin would have been more appealing.
How do you find them when they've got this domed top, trunks, generally speaking?
Flat are more popular than domed ones.
Flat ones are practical as tables.
When they're domed, you can't put anything on them.
I'm getting a bad feeling about this. What do you think price-wise?
Well, I'm not sure it's going to make much more than £20, I'm afraid.
-£75 they paid.
Could be a whinny of pain coming from the team
when they understand what your estimate is, I tell you.
-Next is the Deco coffee set.
-I think that's rather nice.
It's appealing for being complete, it's appealing for being quite modern
rather than too floral and old-fashioned.
But the metal is only electroplate,
so relatively inexpensive as far as the silver element is concerned.
What sort of price do you think you could tease out?
I think 30 to 50. I'd be disappointed if it didn't make a bit more than 30.
Our lot will be disappointed if it doesn't make 70.
-£75 they paid.
And lastly, in a county with an extensive coastline,
they've done rather well in selecting a fine yacht's wheel, don't you think?
Well, it's good quality. It's made to last, this wheel.
But a little disappointing commercially,
partly because it doesn't have the ship to go with it.
But also, there's nothing on it to indicate which boat it might once have been on,
which would have certainly lifted its appeal.
And it's old. It must be a hundred years old, something like that.
We're on the alert for the modern fakes that come in from the Far East, and this is not.
Well, our team paid £40 for it, actually.
-I think they might get...well, half that for it, I'm afraid.
Overall, based on those estimates, they're in deep trouble already
and heading for stormy waters.
In which case, they're going to need their bonus buy.
Let's go and have a look at it.
Now, Thelma and Louise... I mean Sarah and Louise.
You spent £190, you girls, right, and you gave Philip Serrell £110,
who's gone off and bought a ruck of things, by the look of it.
Yeah. Well, I bought this little lot here for...
Hold that. Hold that.
..for 75 quid.
And it's quite a cool leather desk set,
and it's got a Sloane Street retailer's mark on there.
And I paid £75 for this.
Now, if this had come out of the attic of a well-known stately home,
I reckon this would have made £400 to £600. But it hasn't,
it's come out of a field in Somerset,
so I think it's going to make £80 to £120.
-You look completely underwhelmed.
-You look really happy(!)
-No, as long as it makes a good profit, I don't mind!
But a London retailer.
If that had got Ashbury's or something, but, er...
-Do you think it's worth £75?
-Yeah, I think...
Would you pay £75 for it?
If I had a nice big study, yeah.
You've got a big desk, you've got to put something on it, haven't you?
-And more people have got, with the credit crunch, a lot of bills.
You've got the right idea. You don't have to pick it right now.
You decide later, after the sale of your three items.
But for the viewers at home, let's find out what the auctioneer thinks
about Phil's little leather set.
Well, Richard, here we go.
If you were contemplating a fresh career as a bank manager or something like that...
What do you know that I don't know?
Here's a whole bit of luxury office equipment for you.
It is, and actually, part of the appeal of this
is that it's got a nice sort of worn look about it.
It's very masculine, it's very Edwardian or slightly post-Edwardian.
And it's complete. Although it's a bit knocked about,
it shows signs of its use, but it's not falling apart.
No. It's that shabby-chic thing, isn't it?
It is. But it's the right side of both those adjectives, I think.
What do you think it's worth, this lot?
I think it's all worth £20 to £30.
-Is that all?
-I don't think much more than that.
Philip Serrell invested £75 in this lot,
-so it'll all depend on whether the team take it or not.
With any luck, they won't. Now, that's it for the Reds.
Now for the Blues. Their first item, Richard, is the little snuff box.
Well, rather nice for having the name of the previous owner upon it, and the date,
the name of Mr Ranies, who was a plasterer from Worle,
which is a district of Weston-super-Mare, 1908.
There's even a pinch of snuff within it, which might lift its value a little.
Yeah, give 'em a cheap thrill, anyway! What's the estimate on it?
£10 to £20.
-£57 they paid.
-Oh, dear. Mm.
Next up is the Viking brooch to beat all Viking brooches.
Did the Vikings ever make it to Somerset, do you know?
I don't think they ever did, so I don't think there's much local appeal
in the Viking market.
Brooches by and large are less popular
than necklaces, earrings or rings,
and made in silver without any further ornament,
they're not always as popular.
-So how much?
-£15 to £25?
-£38 paid, so that's not too bad, actually.
And to cap it all, they went with this, erm, large, cuddly teddy bear.
Yep. Well, he's been pretty well loved down the years.
He's showing signs of a great deal of exuberant affection
and is rather tatty, you could say, for that.
He's got a lot of charm, but what he doesn't have, critically,
-is a label that shows where he was made or how old he is.
I wouldn't have thought it's more than £20, I'm afraid.
£25 paid, so that's not too bad.
-I mean, we're nearly on the cusp...
-We're nearly there, aren't we?
..with a couple of them, but one is just well shy.
They only spent £120 overall.
A lot of dosh therefore went for the bonus buy,
so let's go and check that out, shall we?
William and Colin, you spent £120 - not much.
You gave Anita £180 of leftover lolly.
Anita, baby, what did you spend it on?
-Do you like it, chaps?
-You're not sure.
-What is it?
It's a decorative plate.
It's made by Rosenthal, and the designer is Bjorn Wiinblad,
who is one of the most prestigious Danish designers,
and his work is characterised by these lovely round-faced characters,
whimsical characters, and lovely bright colours.
Did he take tablets at all?
It has got a psychedelic look about it, hasn't it?
Certainly does. He's either on tablets or mushrooms.
-Have a wee look.
-Do you want to handle it?
Handling is everything, isn't it, really?
You can feel the fineness of the porcelain. How much did you pay?
I paid £60.
Ah! And what do you think it might bring?
I think we won't make a big profit, but this stuff is coming on strong,
and I think there's a chance of perhaps £10 profit.
So bear that in mind, chaps. You're risking 60 to maybe get back 10.
It'll slightly depend on your current financial position
after the sale of the first three items.
But right now, why don't we check up what the auctioneer thinks about Anita's plate?
Now, Richard, this is fun.
-Bright and breezy.
-It's certainly bright,
and it's in good condition, which is a saving grace.
When these things get chipped or rubbed, that's the death of them.
But it's not more than about 30 years old, and it's in the style...
Well, there's a Picasso influence, there's a Paul Klee influence.
But it's a modern plate, and it's not hand-painted, it's transfer-printed.
-It is colourful.
-"Colourful" is, in auctioneers' terms,
code for "not particularly easy to sell".
Well, some people do like these things because they are eye-catching.
And we've got plenty of variety in this auction,
which will bring people in looking for these kind of items.
-What sort of estimate will you be putting on it?
-£10 to £20.
-Great... £60 paid by Anita.
-I don't see it making that, I'm afraid.
Well done, Richard. Thank you.
-OK, girls, are you excited?
How excited are you on the excited scales?
So excited we're going to wet ourselves.
Lordy, that's quite excited.
Here we go, and here comes your trunk.
Covered in pony skin.
£20 for it? £20 for it?
20 is bid. At £20.
I have 20. Can I say 5?
It's at £20, then. Selling at £20.
It's a maiden bid at 20.
Last time at 20.
Oh, dear. It's gone for £20.
I'm sorry, that is minus £55.
An Art Deco case,
porcelain white-metal coffee set.
£30 for it, if you will.
At £30, £30 is bid.
30 I have. £30 in the room.
-Come on, come on.
-35 now. 40, 45...
I'd rather have my dead pony.
Selling at £45. £45. Last time.
Sorry, that is minus £30.
It's all going well, this.
Minus 85 so far.
Now, the wheel. I really rate this.
Interest here. I start at £20.
£20 is bid.
-At 22 I have now. At £22...
£22. 22 is bid and I'm selling at 22.
For the last time, £22.
I don't think we'll be giving up our day jobs.
That is minus £103.
What are you going to do about this bonus buy?
Sell it and see if we can get our loss up to 150 quid.
I bet you don't make a loss on this set. Are you going with it or not?
-You're going with it?
Lot 58 is this leather desk set.
£50 is bid. £50 is bid on commission.
At £50, I have. It's on commission.
Maiden bid at 50 and I'll sell at 50.
£50 then, for the last time at 50.
Oh, Lord, it's gone at £50.
-Well, it just shows how wrong one can be.
But let's be optimistic here.
That could be a winning score, all right?
-How are you feeling, boys?
Do you know how the Reds got on?
-Nobody has told you? That's good.
The snuffbox, yes, £57 paid by Anita. You love that, darling.
-He's estimated that at £10-£20.
Not the best bet. Here it comes.
The brass snuffbox. 1908. £10 for it.
10 is bid. 12. 15.
18, 20, 25, 30, 35. 35 near me now.
At £35. I'm selling at 35. Last time.
That is minus £22. Bad luck, Anita.
Anyway, here comes the brooch.
A Shipton and Co silver brooch
in the form of a Viking longboat.
£15 for it. 15 anywhere.
£10 then, if you will. Ten is bid.
£10 I have. I'll sell at £10.
It's a maiden bid at 10 only.
Last time at 10.
£10, that is minus £28.
A large soft teddy.
Interest here. I start at £30.
We're in profit.
£30 is bid.
£30, it's a maiden bid. Absentee bid at £30
-and I'm selling. Last time.
Overall, you're minus £45.
Now, what do you want to do about the Rosenthal plate?
Do you want to stick at minus £45 or are you going to go with it?
We're going to go for it. We love it.
-Are you sure, boys? Are you sure?
This is a definite, is it?
Yes. What do you think?
45 isn't bad.
-No, I think we ought to stick.
-Have we got a change of heart?
We're not doing it. No?
-You're not going with it.
OK, as we know, Anita paid £60 for it. His estimate is £10-£20.
We're going to sell it anyway.
The Rosenthal plate...
Watch it make 200 now.
Bids start me here at £20.
£20 is bid.
22, 25, 28. I'm out at £28.
It's yours at 28 in front of me now at 28 and I'm selling...
Last time, at £28.
That's a wee bit cheap.
That's minus £32, all right.
Now, boys, you didn't go with the bonus buy,
so you've ring-fenced your losses at minus £45.
That could be a winning score, so don't talk to the Reds.
-Well, teams, have we been chatting, communicating at all?
Not about your performance,
because there's been some shockers today, I have to say.
The most shocking total of all comes from the Reds.
Yes, you've managed to lose money on every single item, including your bonus buy.
-Well, if you're going to do it badly, do it good badly.
-You are minus £128.
We did well to do that, let me tell you that.
Have you had the most wonderful time?
-We're the best losers here.
We don't have losers here, we only have runners-up,
-you're the best runners-up.
-We're all winners.
It's been lovely having you on the show, but the victors today
are our boys in blue, who have managed to win by losing £45.
There was, however, one small profit and that, of course,
came from the soft teddy bear. Most appropriate.
-Anyway, join us soon for some more Bargain Hunting. Yes?
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It is a sister act for Phillip Serrell, while Anita Manning hangs out with boys in blue. In the former home of architect Sir John Soane in London, Tim Wonnacott discovers what to do if you have got too many paintings and nowhere to put them.