Antiques challenge. Experts Philip Serrell and Anita Manning lead the teams on a hunt in Shepton Mallet. Tim Wonnacott finds inspiration at the John Soane Museum.
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It's 12.15 at the BBC. Let's go Bargain Hunting!
Our teams will need a healthy appetite if they're going to taste victory today.
They're given £300 and an hour to buy three objects.
How's this for starters?
I like a bit of duck pate, me!
What do you mean, you disagree?
Coming up today the Blues know what they don't want.
No, move away from the Murano.
And the Reds don't know what they do want.
I don't like it so much as to make a quick decision.
Who's going to win today? It's anyone's guess.
-So for the Red Team, we've got Nick and Mary,
-husband and wife. You two have been associated for a few years now, haven't you?
-That's a pretty good innings, isn't it?
-Not bad, is it?
So how did it all happen? Where did you meet?
Well, we come from the Medway Towns in Kent, and we used to go dancing at a place called the Pav.
-And Mick always had a girlfriend. Remember, he was 16 at the time.
And you knew that he would also go through them at a fair rate, and at this dance
-I knew that the last one he danced with or the last one that he met would be the one he took home.
I saw the other one that he fancied and I just stood in the way. And so he asked me out.
-Once you'd got your teeth into him, though, you knew he was a good man, right?
-A good man.
-You were not going to give up.
So, Mick, tell me about your career before you became a Red Team Bargain Hunter.
I went out to sell to main painting contractors.
But you were actually the golden boy in that business, weren't you?
I had my moments. I won quite a few bits and pieces, yeah.
But you could be known to doze off, yeah?
Very much so. We was in a sales conference and the eyes shut.
-And, of course, with the eyes shut, the snoring started...
-They stopped the conference to wake me up!
-It was that good?
Now, as well as being a silver-tongued salesman, you're also incredibly creative.
Yes, I used to do a lot of stained glass.
And are you as creative as Mick, Mary?
It says here that you're a tart with a heart!
Well, I think...
-Is this a professional role of yours?
-Well, I don't know!
What do you think? No, when I was doing am dram,
-I always got the parts where it was a tart with a heart!
-Really, you're just a little actress, aren't you?
-Oh, I am, darling!
-I think you're going to do very, very well on Bargain Hunt.
How lovely. Now...so how did you two boys meet?
We met about five years ago. I was recently moved to Bath,
and waiting at the bus stop and he started talking to me.
-Ever since, he's been known in my phone now as Bus Stop Boy as his nickname.
-Oh, how sweet!
-Now, Robin, what's your day job?
Tell us about this design, because a lot of people don't know what graphic design is.
It's a funny word. In the good old days, it was kind of colouring in, but now computers have come into it.
I design for branding, marketing... I'd quite like a go at sorting out Bargain Hunt...!
-But that's another day...
-You think our logo's not up to it?
-Yeah, it could with a bit of pulling in to the 21st century!
This is a programme about antiques, you know!
So, David, tell us about the rational part of your job.
I'm the practice manager for a firm of architects.
So I have to be the rational one in amongst twenty-something emotional, creative types,
so they take a lot of cajoling and bullying to keep them in line!
So you're the man that strictly controls all these activities?
I do. I look after all of the payroll and the accounts and...
Everything from toilet roll to payroll I look after.
-If it's not architectural, it's down to me.
-Payroll to toilet roll!
Super! So this Bargain Hunt lark is going to be like a piece of cake, isn't it?
-It's going to be a walk in the park for you.
-It's going to be a laugh.
You've only got to find three items with £300 to make a profit...
I mean, you run 25 architects! I mean, you should be quaking in your boots, you two!
-Anyway, the money moment. Very, very good luck. £300 apiece all round, yes?
-That's your 300.
You know the rules! Your experts await and off you go! Very, very good luck!
I've a funny feeling that one of our teams today won't need their expert!
Leading the charge for the Red Team is Philip Serrell.
And full steam ahead
with the Blues is Anita Manning... my captain!
-So, have we got a plan?
-Well, the plan...
-Other than sit out here in the sun and drink gin.
-I think the plan is to rely on you, really, Phil.
-That's it, we are doomed!
Both of you are involved in design and the arts,
-and I would think that you are looking for cutting-edge stuff.
-I'm interested in sort of pewter...
-Small bits of silver.
-Right, let's go and have a look this way.
Let's go with Anita!
A confident bunch, but how long will that last?
Blimey, the Blues have spotted something already!
-The Sooty xylophone.
In its original box.
-Uh-huh. In good condition.
-What do you reckon?
-Look at these lovely colours.
HE PICKS OUT A TUNE
Nobody likes a show-off, Robin!
-He's a man of many talents!
-And look! A songbook!
-What do you reckon?
-Let's have a look.
-I think that it's great fun.
-It's great fun and there will be a market for it.
-Shall we get an idea of the price?
-How much is the wee xylophone?
-45 with the Sooty and Sweep.
-With the Sooty and Sweep?
-Can they play a tune?
-I don't know. I think they're a bit too old!
Can Sooty hold a tune?
-They're the originals from the programme.
I don't think they're the originals, but I think they're pretty good.
I think these are lovely! Hold them up, hold them up!
-Oh, there's a look, there's a look.
They look like a pair of Muppets... no, puppets.
I think they're great fun.
It's a wee bit expensive...
-£40. That's it.
And what you've got is not just the xylophone, but you've got Sooty and Sweep,
and I would say that they are... they have a bit of age about them as well.
They are marked Chad Valley Toys. Yeah, they are...
-Have we got labels on them?
-They've got labels on them.
-What do you think, boys?
-It's up to you.
-Let's do it!
-Let's go for it.
-We can't leave them alone. They'll be lonely!
You big softies!
It looks like the Reds could do with a bit of that magic themselves.
How much is your trunk out the front?
Which trunk is that?
-Your S Lowe trunk.
-He's offering 20.
-No, I'm not yet. They've got to have a look at it, but I think that's quite fair.
It's going to be 30.
Hold you horses, Phil!
Do you like that...? Listen, we're getting ourselves all disjointed.
-Go and grab your man. There's a little trunk out there, an elm trunk.
I haven't looked at it too closely, but £30 doesn't strike me as being that dear.
They're the sort of thing that make serviceable coffee tables and the like.
-Have a look at it and see what you think.
-So, right at the front?
It's the one on the right there, and I'll have another trawl through here.
Elm? Are you sure?
-What's the wood, Phil?
-It looks like it's elm.
-It's elm. Did you say elm?
-I think that elm's probably oak, isn't it?
-I thought so!
-So is oak worth more than elm?
-It's the other way round.
Why's that, then? I always thought oak was the wood of the...
To be truthful to you, it just depends...
When they talk about property, the most important thing is location, location, location,
and in timber the most important thing is colour, colour, colour.
Surely, it's price, price, price, isn't it?
An elm can come up a beautiful colour.
-Do you both like it? That's the important thing.
-What sort of age is it?
It's probably 1920s, I would think, something like that.
It's got a use as a toy box, it's got a use as a coffee table... it's quite a trendy thing,
but at the end of the day, you've got to like it, because it isn't me that's buying.
-How much did he say initially was the price?
- How did we get on? - Very rude, but he said it could be 25.
-If the guy will let us have it for 25, then, that's...
-It would stand at the top of the stairs
-and be used as something. There's got to be a few quid in it.
-It's not going to earn you a fortune,
but the way I look at this is the worst it can do is lose you a tenner.
-And the most it can do is make you £20-£25.
Well, Mick really likes it, so...
-Sounds like the job's done, then.
-I think so.
-I think so.
All right, then. Well, we better just pay the man, hadn't we?
-Timers for playing chess.
-That's really unusual.
You press that and then make your move... and then the other guy presses that.
-What's it made of, Anita?
-I would say that's '30s, '40s.
-Let's have a look at the back.
-Has it got anything on it?
-It just has a registration number.
-What's on the bottom?
Let's look at... There's a maker's name there.
-It looks Russian.
-Well, the Russians were great chess players.
-I quite like it.
-I do like it, I like it too.
-I like the style of it.
-Do you think it works?
- Does this work? - Yes, it does.
-The chess timer.
-And how much is it?
- 65. - 65.
I really like this a lot.
I like the style, I like the simplicity of it.
-It's quite art deco, isn't it?
-It's got a Russian art deco look,
-you know, it does look Russian.
-All the lettering on this is fantastic.
-Will you go 50?
-I think it's a great item.
- Can we have it for 45? - No.
You're pushing your luck, boys!
I think 50's a very good price!
-You have taken him down from 65.
-Will they make a profit at auction?
I think they'll make a profit. I would expect those to go at over 100.
-You're kidding? Really?
-£50! Brilliant! Thank you very much.
What a salesman!
Isn't it lovely when they buy something they like?
-I really like it, it's great.
-Yes! That's smashing.
Now, I've got just the thing for a day like today...
Oh, I do love relaxing out in the sunshine, don't you?
The dodgy thing in this country, though, is finding out what the weather's up to.
Nowadays, we just tune into the BBC any old time of day and it gives you a weather forecast.
But back in 1870, you had to depend on one of these jokers.
That's if you were rich enough to own one in your house.
This thing would sit on your mantelpiece,
and, as you can see, it's decoratively framed in a rosewood case
that then sits on this classic plinth.
Now, if I slip the movement out,
you can see that it's nicely made of solid brass...
and it contains an aneroid movement,
a type of barometer, invented in the early 19th century with a vacuum chamber,
so that when the atmospheric pressure change takes place,
the chamber expands or contracts,
it moves this indicator across the range of change,
fair, very dry, stormy, etcetera,
enabling you to make your prediction.
This thing does have one problem, though.
This dial is incredibly dirty. If you look at that, it's grey, right?
In the middle, you get a semblance of what it ought to look like, which is bright silvery.
It's been in a room, probably a gaslit room,
which makes the most terrible fug,
and it's that fug which has discoloured the silvered surface on the front of the barometer.
But that is no problem to me. Why?
Because I know a barometer restorer who's capable of cleaning that
and presenting me with a perfectly silvered dial and it'll cost me £20.
What's it worth once I've spent the £20 on it?
I would think between 300 and 400.
What would it cost you in this state in the fair today?
You're not going to believe this,
but it could be yours for £30.
Now...I feel the pressure rising!
You have been wonderful, you've bought wonderful items!
And I hope that the auctioneer thinks that they're wonderful as well!
Oh-oh, here we go.
-And he's just got a silly, daft look on his face, doesn't he?
-Well, it looks very familiar to me, actually! Take your choice!
-What? What? What?
-The boar's head!
Anybody you know?
He's not a "boar"!
Hang on! There's something fishy going on now.
I mean, it's sort of pretty ugly, isn't it?
You can say that again!
-Well, it's certainly weird!
-But is it a good age?
I don't know, is the truthful answer. I've never seen anything like it before.
Er... A lot of these open up and become...they're sort of Japanese almost like pill containers.
But, I mean, that... Is that mother-of-pearl?
-It's abalone shell, isn't it?
-It's the same principle, it's the inside of a shell.
-So this is Japanese?
-Probably, I would think. Asian, at least, isn't it?
-I think it's probably more Chinese than Japanese.
-And how old do you think that is?
-It's probably 40, 50 years.
-So, really it's mid-century?
-So it's 1960s, then?
-So it's not... Sadly. I mean, that's interesting, yeah?
-Thank you very much.
Famous last words! I think the Reds need to get on their bike!
We've nearly got half the time gone. So we need to make a policy decision which is either...
we go in this door here, which I suspect might be a little bit more expensive
or we...I can't see whether that's a car park down there or more stalls. Which would you like to do?
Well, bearing in mind we'd like to look for some silver or pewter...
-Let's go, then.
-Inside would be a good bet.
Well, this all looks nice. I'm sure they won't have any trouble finding something pretty in here,
-What about a glass eye?
-No, thank you.
-Do you not think that's cool?
You keep your eye on the bargains, Phil!
Look at these semaphore flags here, and there's a map of every single one.
-I'm not sure they're very old, though.
-Interesting, interesting, but...
-Not for us.
-Not today, darlings!
I'm kind of thinking a really nice plate or a really nice bit of glass or jewellery...
We could go inside...if you wish...
-Yeah, let's go and have a look inside.
-This is all a bit samey.
That's Newlyn School, I would suggest.
Is that Newlyn School, sir? Is this your stall?
-Yeah, but it's not marked, but it is Newlyn.
-How much is it?
What's the best you could do it for?
I could it for 65.
-Do you want to have a look at it?
I like that. I mean, these fish are typical of Newlyn.
-But the issue is there's no Newlyn mark on it.
-The thing that would sell it.
It's going to make a difference of £100 almost in terms of value.
-That's the annoying thing with Newlyn.
-What's the very, very best,
finito, def, there-is-no-more, God-help-us price?
The very, very best would be 60.
I can't go that low. 58. And that's the absolute...
I'd rather actually you buy something that you really, really liked.
You're up against it timewise. You really like that.
-That's fine, then. Let's go for it.
I think that, in terms of auction, it's got to make £40 or £50 minimum,
-and if you have a result it could make £100-£120.
-Mick, if it makes you happy, that's fine.
-I'll go for that, please.
Thank you very much indeed.
-Now, this is a piece of Orrefors glass.
It's not terribly old, but Orrefors is one of the best glassmakers.
-And it's quite a sweet little piece.
-It's quite cute.
-Tell me what you think.
-It's quite heavy. I've kind of got a good feeling that it might do quite well at auction.
It's a glass bear, not a crystal ball!
-I can see that doing 30...35...
-I just think people will like it.
-She's got 38 on it.
-If we can get it under 30, we'd be all right.
-Yeah. Do you like it? You're not convinced.
-Have a wee hold of it.
-Can I feel the weight?
-It is quite heavy.
-It's quite a good heavy weight,
-that's always positive.
-Do you know, I can see it kind of in a kid's bedroom.
-It's kind of quite nursery. If we can get it under the 30, then we might be all right.
-I could see it getting that sort of price.
-It all depends on the price. We're fighting time now,
so what I think you should do... you're not convinced.
-Put it down, we'll have a quick look, we'll give ourselves so many minutes...
-And maybe come back.
-That's a good fallback position.
Don't give it too many minutes, Blues!
-What about the animals? Is there anything there...
but they'll be a lot of money.
Their Worcester's ugly and it'll be out of our price range.
I'm conscious of our time here, guys.
-You like that, do you?
-I don't like it so much as to make a quick decision.
Or any decision, Mary, perhaps?
-Come on, Mary! You've got to pick something.
-The pressure's on you, my love!
Time's going on, but I think we're in trouble.
Well, you're not the only ones. The Blues are struggling too.
-Has that got any age to it, though?
-I don't think so.
-And what you've got is quite a nice quality replica.
If it was the original one, you couldn't afford it.
-What about your Murano?
-They're horrendous. Move away from the Murano!
Go on, say what you really think, David!
We're going to cut it down to the wire.
Yeah, you realise that's going to happen.
Everybody watches this at home and doesn't realise quite how quickly the time goes.
There's some stuff.
Oh, here's a lot of stuff.
Oh...but it's all the good stuff.
Do you mean antiques, Robin?
-Guys, we've got about three minutes left now, so...
It's time for those Plan Bs, teams!
-Is there anything we've seen so far that you really like?
-Only the expensive stuff.
-Anita, I've got a really good feeling about the teddy bear.
-Did you like the fish?
-It was unusual.
Go buy it, girl!
-We could say...
-Just go for it!
-You're quite racy! She's good!
-Shall I do a runner? Go down and ask the lady?
-You'll come back, won't you?
-Yeah, I will come back!
-So shall I run?
-We'll come round that way anyway, I expect.
Run! You've got less than a minute!
-We've been having a think about this one.
-Could you do that for 20?
What have we got on it?
If you could do it for 20...
-it would make these boys... my boys...
-Very happy boys.
-It's our last object.
-I think you remember me from before.
I'm in a pickle!
-The guys have had their things, and I'm desperate to find something really interesting.
-I loved the fish!
-I think I told you 50 I would do on that one.
I'll tell you what I'll do. You give me 21, I'll do it.
-Thank you very much.
Could you come down on that a little bit for me? Please!
-You're pushing me a bit now.
-Oh, I'm so...
-45. 45, and that is it!
Phew! They're all done!
Oh, I'm so grateful, thank you!
Hang on, where's my kiss?
-There's a lot of love today!
And that's your lot! You thought all that lot looked easy?
Well, shame on you! Let's remind ourselves what the Reds bought.
Was Phil thinking outside the box with the oak coffee table?
Next, they spent their coppers on the Newlyn-style candle holder.
And, finally, will Mary's abalone fish be good bait for the bidders?
-Thanks ever so much. We're so grateful to you.
-Mary, you were quite chilled there, weren't you?
Why, pray, are you thanking him so much? For what, that's what I want to know.
-It's the nerves, Tim!
-It was the nerves.
-He had to cope with a dose of nerves with Mary, you see.
-It's the effect I have on women.
-Is that what it is?
I mean, Mary, bless her... The trouble is, Tim, everybody at home watches this,
and they think their hour is just you go in and you buy that in the first 20 minutes,
and that in the next 20 minutes and that...and it doesn't work that way!
No. You've used up pretty well every second of your allotted time, I have to say! You've gone to the wire!
Now...which is your favourite piece, Mary?
-My favourite piece is an articulated fish.
-What about you, Mick?
-Well, I'm hoping it's Newlyn, but it's the copper candlestick.
-Which may not be Newlyn.
-It may not be.
-Lovely! And you spent about £127, didn't you?
-Very good. And I would like £172, please.
That's absolutely right. I have it here for you.
You got that? That's a wodge, isn't it? And that goes straight to you, Philip Serrell.
-Now, what are you going to do with that?
-You think I know?
No, there is a plan!
-It's just I don't know what it is yet!
All right, then. Well, I'll leave you to go and negotiate with that, all right? Excellent.
Super! So why don't we remind ourselves of what the Blue Team has bought, eh?
"What's that, Sooty?" "A bargain at £40."
Might it be checkmate at the auction with the Russian chess timer?
A bear for the Blues.
£21 bought them a piece of Orrefors glass.
-We might be OK. We'll keep our fingers crossed.
I should be crossing more than your fingers if I were you with this lot!
-How much did you spend?
-£111? It's just pathetic!
It was hard to spend that much!
You're grown men! £110!
-Which is your favourite piece, Rob?
-Sooty and Sweep.
-What's your fave?
-The chess timer.
-The chess timer?
-OK, lovely. So who's got the leftover lolly?
-I've got the dosh.
-So, 110... That's an awful lot!
-How much is all that, then?
You've done the math already? No wonder you run the architects, I tell you! 189!
£189, then, coming your way, Anita Manning. Have you got a plan?
Well, really just to spend as much of it as I can!
They want me to buy something stupendous, big, beautiful and expensive!
And blow the lot, I hope! Bye-bye, Anita. Good luck, chaps.
I'm heading off somewhere incredibly intellectual. We're going a stride or two east from Shepton Mallet.
We're going to Lincoln's Inn Fields and I can't wait to show you it!
Which buildings spring to mind when you think of London?
St Paul's Cathedral?
12-14 Lincoln's Inn Fields?
No? Well, these three houses were knocked together 200 years ago
to create a home for the architect Sir John Soane.
And not content with owning three buildings, he filled his house with over a hundred more...
all in model form.
The first model that Soane bought
was this fellow, which is made out of cork,
which he acquired in 1804.
It shows the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli.
The colour and texture of the cork almost perfectly replicate old stone.
This sort of model is referred to as a "tourist piece",
simply because if the milawdy are going to Italy,
doing their grand tour for a year or two or three,
they want to bring back models of examples of buildings that they've seen.
If you're thinking that this is an ancient ruin, you'd be wrong.
It's an artist's impression of Soane's most famous building, the Bank of England,
painted to show both the interior and exterior space.
And just look how complicated all those spaces are.
You see it there in the bird's-eye view
and here in plan section,
the rather more traditional way of looking at an architect's design.
Soane, however, was very keen on the use of models.
And here we have a magnificent model that was created for him
for the proposed design for a building called Tyringham
for a banker called William Pride. Soane understood that the use of a model
enabled him to sell his services.
It's all very well having the arrangement on a plan,
but for the client who doesn't understand the plan,
how much better to see what his building's going to look like
in a beautifully constructed, fully-to-scale sense,
which is what this type of cedar model gives you.
If we were able to take Tyringham apart, the roof would be removed,
and we'd be able to reveal exactly the arrangement of rooms and staircases,
which, if you look very carefully through these windows, you can more or less make out.
Of course the big question today is who is going to be our model team over at the auction?
Today our teams are vying for victory at Lawrences Saleroom with auctioneer Richard Kay.
Now, let's see if Phil can come up with a star bargain.
Now, Mick and Mary, you spent a miserable £128,
you gave Philip Serrell £172... What did he spend it on? Philip?
-I bought those at £35.
-They're beautiful, aren't they?
-They're carpet bowls.
-Are they a full set?
-Yes, absolutely, a set of four...
and there's the jack. And you've got four pairs.
-How old are they, Phil?
-I would think they're probably 1930s,
-perhaps a little later, but I just thought they were really nice.
-They are nice.
-What sort of profit do you think they're going to make?
-I think they'll make £30-£50.
-And 35 is what you paid, yeah?
-That's a good prediction.
-Nice little box.
-I like the colours.
-And velvet-lined, looks all good.
-What colour is the velvet inside?
-It is a lovely rose pink!
-To go with the rose-pink team!
Anyway, there you go! You've got your prediction. You don't decide right now, you decide later
after the sale of your first three items,
but let's find out what the auctioneer thinks about Philips's bowls.
Well, Richard, for a change, these look as if they've been played with.
They do, which is what they're meant for, of course. They were designed to be played with,
-and I like to think that these would have given hours of recreation in an Edwardian parlour...
..On a wet afternoon. I think they are Edwardian in date, 1900-1920 sort of period, perhaps.
They do show signs of their age, but that's rather appealing for these sorts of things,
because somebody who buys them might feel that they too could play with them,
-rather than have to arrange them because they're frightened of spoiling them.
-All complete with the jack as well.
-Rather a nice little set.
-£15-£25, I should think.
£35 paid by Philip Serrell. Mark you, he's a very cunning monkey that Philip Serrell at this.
I don't doubt that and he may be rewarded with a surprise there, yes.
-Anyway, we start off today with this little coffer...
Described curiously as a coffee table, though I suppose you could use it for anything, couldn't you?
I suppose that is the most obvious use for it.
It's got a sort of functional seafarer's look about it, hasn't it?
-As though it was used once to carry things around in, but now will sit in the middle of someone's floor,
with a tray on it, or a television or something like that. It's got a sort of modern practical application.
-Great. £25 they paid.
-That's very reasonable.
-Very natural, isn't it?
-Yes, I think it is.
is this rather fishy chamber stick, which is fun, isn't it?
It is, and it's nicely made. You know, people do like to see items, small items that show evidence
-of the craftsmanship that went into them.
And that is nicely made, front and back.
It's got a sort of honest artisan finish to it.
It would be nice to think that it came from Cornwall.
It could have come from any of the other schools that worked with copper around the country
in the early part of the 20th century. Without a name on it or anything to identify it regionally,
it's something of a lost soul as far as its research is concerned.
I'm not quite sure what "sole" looks like, actually!
-It looks more like a seahorse...
-Yes. Good. Estimate?
£20-£40, but I think it's a nice little thing. Tell me what they paid.
-58. Well, it's a little more than I think it would make at auction, but not a bad price.
Quite. And, lastly, continuing the aquatic theme,
-we've got the articulated abalone-shell veneered fish.
These were pretty much the stock-in trade of the promenade souvenir seller in the Mediterranean,
and still are, I believe. I don't think they're difficult to find. It's nicely made.
Is it going to be a dead fish in the water at the auction?
I don't know. I suppose it might be up to £20 or so.
-£45 they paid.
-45? That seems like plenty for it as far as its auction prospects are concerned.
-A strong fishy smell about that one.
Anyway, that's it for the Reds. Now for the Blues. Robin and David.
-Robin went bonkers with these puppets.
-Well, these take me back.
-I had some myself
-when I was five or six years old.
-Went to see Harry Corbett with Sooty and Sweep.
-You never did?
I did, at the Pier Theatre in Bournemouth in the late '60s.
-And thought that these sort of puppets were the most desirable kind of toy you could have,
but these ones are somewhat careworn.
-They've been up and down the pier a few times?
And they've been at the bottom of the toy box for quite a long time as well, I think.
But they're appealing, evocative. People do like toys that remind them of their childhood.
What sort of price do you think the group's worth?
Well, I don't know if Sooty and Sweep have the clout they used to have in terms of commercial appeal,
-OK, fine. £40 they paid.
I think their sentiment has outweighed their commercial judgment here, if I'm being perfectly frank.
They've probably done what I'd do and buy them because they remember them.
Which is absolutely fatal when it comes to reselling.
-It's a good way to enjoy yourself, not a good way to make money.
Next, it's the Russian Bakelite chess scorer.
That is a combination of four words I never thought I'd hear.
-Russian Bakelite chess scorer is such a weird object.
-I've never seen one. Have you?
-No. And it's got niche appeal, I think.
I'm not sure how many people are going to be completely besotted with something that's Russian in origin...
-..Made of Bakelite and designed to time moves in chess matches.
-We have a wide range of buyers, but I don't think it extends quite that far.
Mark you, there could be nest of Russian chess players somewhere lurking around in Somerset
-that you know nothing about.
-Let's hope they turn up at auction!
-Let's hope they've got the right moves!
-What's your estimate?
-For its sheer novelty appeal, £30-£50.
-Needs to be pretty novel because they paid 50.
-Well, that seems fair enough.
-Pounds not roubles!
-I'm glad to hear that! They could be pleasantly surprised. It's an unusual thing.
They've clearly got a Russian theme, because up we come with a bear next.
A bear, yes. Well, modern piece of Orrefors glass.
It's nicely made, as this sort of stuff always is.
And people do like modern glass with a name on it,
and a factory that they can look up and a model they can probably trace.
I don't feel it's a piece you would display in your drawing room,
-as opposed to your bedroom window sill.
-So what's your estimate on our bear here?
-Well, I would say £10-£20 for it.
-On a good day or a bad day?
Well, today, I hope. Whatever that's going to be, good or bad.
-Well, £21 was the amount.
-21? Well, they're in with a chance.
-They're in with a chance.
-They only spent £111 and I think that's their strategy.
-Well, I hope it's rewarded.
And I think they're going to need a bit of spice, so let's go and have a look at it.
-Now, R and D, Robin and David, you spent £111.
You gave Anita Manning £189. What did she spend all that dosh on?
-In jewellery, fashion and fad is everything!
And I'm finding that this type of thing is very popular.
It's come back. It was great in the 1960s and 1970s,
-and every Vogue model would wear a Babitz.
-Are they amber?
-They're coming back now.
-So I thought I would spend some money...
-How much did you spend?
-From our 189? Well, that's not bad.
-OK. How much do you think that's going to make at auction?
I think... that we could make a little profit.
-"A little profit"?
-A little profit.
-So are they real amber?
-It's very difficult to tell.
-You don't know! You've bought plastic!
-There are lots of different tests. The one that I like...
-Don't you rub it on your teeth?
-No, that's pearls.
-See if you could get a dinosaur out of it!
You immerse them in salty water. If they float, they're amber,
and if they're plastic, they sink.
The thing is, it doesn't really matter!
-It doesn't matter, because what we have is the look.
-I love them.
-Beautiful! Well, you can bid for them.
Sadly, Anita can't bid for them, actually.
But what do you think, seriously?
-Are they amber?
-They're on a nice tatty bit of cord, Anita!
-You just sniffed it.
-They smell of plastic.
Well, on this happy note, I think we better shuffle off
and find out what the auctioneer thinks about Anita's little beads.
Well, here we are, Richard, a little something for your weekend wear.
You know me too well, Tim. It's exactly what I like to wear.
But I'm not sure I'd want to wear these, to be honest, because they're described as cherry amber,
and I'm not convinced that they are made of amber.
-They don't have any variations within them as you'd expect from a natural stone.
So what you're saying is that the colour is too uniform and you want inclusions,
-you want, as a natural resinous product...
-It's the oozing of a tree.
-That's my understanding of amber.
-And it's that element of amber that makes it attractive to collectors.
They want to see little mummified insects within them. They look as though they might be plastic
-or synthetic anyway...
-OK, this could be a bit of hit, then,
I'm afraid, for darling Anita.
Er, what sort of estimate?
Well, I would have said probably only up to £20 or so, just as a decorative string of beads.
-£110 she paid.
-That could be a bit of bore, couldn't it?
-I think it could.
-I think it could.
-Still, you never know! Look on the bright side, eh?
-Here comes the auction! Thanks.
-Mick and Mary, how are you feeling?
-Are you? You relaxed?
-Mmm...a bit tense, but...
-You done the shoulder exercises?
-Yeah? Everything's exercised? Lovely.
Anyway...first up is the coffee table box and here it comes.
It's an oak metal-banded coffee table or box.
Bids here start me at 25. £30 is bid.
£30 is bid.
35, and I'm out. At 35, it's the lady's bid in front of me.
At £35. And I'm selling at 35 now.
-I love it!
-That's a profit of £10.
It's a brass chamber stick, possibly Newlyn. £20 for it?
£20. 20 I see. 25. 30?
£40. It's to my left at 40. I'm selling at 40.
At £40, then, for the last time, at 40.
Oh, dear! £40 is minus 18. I think that's got it that time.
Overall now, you're minus 8.
Here comes your old fish, darling.
I hope I'm wrong here.
£10 for that.
£10 for it. £10 I see. Far corner at 10. It's the maiden bid at 10. 12.
18 nearer me now.
5. 30. £30 in front of me. Lady's bid at 30.
I'm selling at £30 now, last time.
That is minus 15 on that. So, overall, you are minus £23.
You're £23 down the proverbial. What are you going to do?
-Are you going to go with Phil and his old bowls or not?
-I think we ought to.
-I like them.
You don't have to. Minus 23 is potentially a winning score.
-But if you fancy them...
-I think we'll go for the bowls.
-Going to go for the bowls?
OK, we're going with the bonus bowls, here they come.
Lot 106 is this set of turned wooden carpet bowls.
Rather a nice set. £45 is bid. £45 I have.
At £45. It's a commission bid at 45.
50? £50 now. At £50 it's on commission.
At 50. And I'm selling at £50. At 50.
-£50. Well done.
-Can I give you a kiss, Philip?
That's plus £15.
-Anyway, bad luck, you're minus £8. But minus £8...
-That's a relief.
-..Is not a spit, I tell you!
-No shame in that.
-Well done, you.
Anyway, don't tell the Blues a thing, all right? Not a word!
First lot up, then, are the puppets.
122, the Chad Valley Sooty and Sweep puppets and the xylophone.
£10 for them?
-Oh, he's struggling.
5, then? £5 for them?
- 5 is bid. - Anita!
£8 now. 10.
£10. It's the lady's bid, seated at 10.
-I'm selling at 10.
-The lady has it.
-Selling at 10.
Bad luck, chaps. Now, here comes the Bakelite Russian chess timer.
£30 for this. £30 is bid. Quickly at 30.
Can I see 5? 35.
40. 5? 50?
£50. Nearer the counter at 50. Selling at 50.
Last time at £50, all done.
-What do you say?
-Not bad, not bad!
-Now, here comes the bear.
Lot 124 is an Orrefors glass bear ornament. £10 for that, if you will.
£10 for it to start. £10 anywhere?
5, then? £5? 5 is bid quickly. Can I say 8?
8. 10. 12.
£12, lady's bid seated at 12. I'm selling at 12, all done at 12.
-Bad luck. Minus 9.
-You are minus 39, chaps, minus 39.
So, chaps, what are you going to do about the cherry amber look-alike beads?
-The plastic beads?
-I don't think so.
-Not going with that?
-We'll leave them, Tim.
-I'm not convinced they're amber.
-It's OK, boys.
You're not going for the Bonus Buy. Anita paid £110.
I have to tell you that the auctioneer's estimate is £10-£20.
-On the beads?
-Yeah. You're not going with them, though.
-But we're going to sell them anyway.
Cherry amber beads, so described, lot 130.
£10 for them?
You bidding? £10 is bid. £10. Maiden bid at 10.
20. You're in a line. Are you bidding, sir?
£20, lady's bid at 20.
Any more? £20. It's yours at 20 and I'm selling. 25?
-Look at your face!
40. £40. Lady's bid at 40. Selling at 40 now, last time at 40.
-I thought those beads might have got more, Anita!
-Minus £70 on those!
You did well, boys, to preserve your cash.
-Anyway, your score is minus £39, and don't say a word to the Reds, right?
Well, what fun we've had today. Have we been chatting at all?
Well, sadly, all programmes have to have a runners-up,
and our runners-up today are the Blues!
-You've managed to lose £39, lads.
-And your smartest move was not going with the amber beads!
Which would have lost you another 70! But there it is. Minus £39 is a perfectly respectable score...
Just look at their smiling faces!
-They have had a lovely time and it's been great having you on the show.
But the victors today got incredibly close to taking home folding money!
-But, overall, your score is minus 8 and there's nothing to be ashamed of about that.
-We've had a fantastic show! Join us soon for some more Bargain Hunting, yes?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Experts Philip Serrell and Anita Manning lead the teams on a hunt for the perfect bargain in Shepton Mallet.
Tim Wonnacott finds the model of architectural inspiration at the John Soane Museum.