Eric Knowles is joined by experts Nick Hall and Jonathan Pratt in York. Eric finds out about York's 'sweet' history at the York Castle Museum.
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I'm at the York Castle Museum,
and I've stepped back in time to Victorian York,
a city with a sweet history.
Whilst many northern cities relied on steel and coal mining,
York's fortunes lay in chocolate and sweets.
By the 1960s, 20,000 people were employed
in its confectionery industry.
Well, the Reds and Blues are hoping that their fortunes rest today
in York's antique centres.
Antiques and chocolate?
Come on, it doesn't get much better than that.
So, let's go Bargain Hunting.
With two antique centres to choose from,
the Reds and Blues can pick and mix to their hearts' content.
Armed with ?300,
our teams have got one hour to buy three items
that, hopefully, will give them a profit
when they take them to auction.
So let's see what's coming up.
The Reds need to remember they only have ?300...
I mean, for a mere ?2,000, we could get this ring.
..whilst the Blues need lessons in negotiating...
You're going to go straight there...
Yeah. Your haggling's awful. 35. 35!
..but who will win the head-to-head at today's auction?
The Reds...? Yes.
..or the Blues?
We've got a plus!
And I pop back to the York Castle Museum
to find out more about York's sweet history.
Well, all that is coming up later, but let's meet today's teams.
And today, we've got two teams of friends.
For the Reds, we've got Amelia and Sam.
And for the Blues, we've got Julia and Julie.
So, hello. ALL: Hello!
So turning to the Reds, Sam, how do you two know one another?
Well, me and Amelia are both friends from Leeds Uni,
we both do music together.
But we met at a bingo night that the uni was running,
which was a bit of a weird one for a couple of students. Strangely, yeah.
But we both share the same interest in music.
And we would have met each other anyway.
And now we live together and watch Bargain Hunt together.
We both decided that we could probably do better
than the contestants, so we just applied and here we are.
Big talk. Yeah. Big talk.
Amelia, how many instruments do you play?
Clarinet, saxophone, flute, piano, and I sing,
and I play the ukulele, as well, so I suppose that's six.
Yeah. And what about yourself, Sam?
Just a couple. I do sax, as well, and the guitar.
But Sam, in your case, not only are you studying music,
but you're studying history as well.
Yeah, so I do a joint honours, so it's half history, half music,
which probably just shows how indecisive I am, I guess.
I couldn't pick between two subjects.
So you've got this wonderful sort of music synergy
between the two of you.
What's your antiques and collectibles synergy like?
Well, I mean, of the two of us,
I think you're the bona fide expert, I think.
Well... Expert is a strong term to use for my knowledge.
But I definitely know more than Sam.
So what about tactics today, how are you going to work as a team?
I think I'll probably be the leader.
I'm probably the one that needs reining in
to be told what to do, really. We're both quite impulsive.
Would you describe yourselves as being competitive?
Yeah. We're in it to win it. Yeah, definitely.
So that's our Red team, now to our Blue team.
So Julia, tell me how you met Julie, here.
Well, we met at an art class many years ago
when our children were very young,
and it's gone from there.
We were the naughty ones who sat at the back of the class,
eating the chocolate and having a bit of a chat.
We were. So you've obviously got that artistic bent,
which should stand you in pretty good stead, but Julia,
I believe you're just about to retire from the police force.
I am. I've had a wonderful career,
and I've done lots of interesting things,
and I'm currently a detective,
behind the scenes, gathering intelligence.
So, Julie, tell me what you do for a living.
I'm a supply teacher, primary supply teacher,
in and around North Yorkshire and Durham.
That must make for an interesting career.
It's fantastic, I love it.
Yeah. So let's get down to basics, ladies.
What do you know about antiques and collectibles?
It's not high, my knowledge in particular...
..but I am finding an interest in history more, these days.
And what about yourself, Julie?
I have very little knowledge, hardly any at all.
I like looking at things that have got a bit of history,
but that's about all I know, really.
So you're going to be looking at things
from an aesthetic point of view, would you say?
Probably, yes, I'll just sort of, like, "That's what I like."
OK, well, it's a happy combination, it really is.
Well, obviously, you're going to need a game plan today,
cos you've already heard, I mean, the Reds are in it to win it.
They are, yeah. So how do you intend to take them on?
I think it's the old against the young.
We'll beat you. They're going to have a run for their money.
Right, so, you're going to need some money before you do some buying.
So ?300 to the Reds, and ?300 to the Blues.
This is where you go off and you meet your respective experts.
Thank you very much. OK, bye.
Well, it strikes me that we've got something
that might be described
as a keynote and arresting competition coming our way.
All our teams need now are their experts.
Helping to keep the Reds afloat, it's Nick Hall.
And keeping an eye on the balance for the Blues, it's Jonathan Pratt.
Well, Sam, Amelia, here we are in glorious York,
a lot of shopping to do. What's on the shopping list?
So maybe some silverware, definitely something that's sparkly.
Bling, we like bling.
Something quirky, something a bit interesting.
Something musical would be great.
JULIA: Something funky, I think. Funky?
Teams, your time starts now.
Come on, let's go in there.
JONATHAN: Right, let's go.
So the Reds are heading into the Antique Centre of York...
..and the Blues into the Red House Antique Centre.
See, cabinets like this are always interesting because...
The Reds are straight on the hunt for silver and sparkly.
See that knife there?
Yeah. Oh, yeah. That would be nearly 200 years old, something like that.
Really?! Oh, wow. Now if we're in luck, the blade'll be silver,
and it will be hallmarked. The ticket price, I think it says ?28.
OK, thank you. So there it is.
Now, this is the area here that we want it to be silver.
OK, so flip it over.
You've got a nice set of hallmarks there,
so you've got the Lion passant,
that tells you that it is British hallmarked silver.
And the mark of the assay office, in this case,
which is an anchor, for Birmingham.
Instantly, you've got the silver collectors on board at auction.
The handle is lovely, it's original.
It's all carved out of a piece of bone,
and it is from that late Georgian period,
so it's around 200 years old.
It's a real piece of social history, isn't it?
Who do you think would have used something like that?
It would have been quite a wealthy house,
professional men or a businessman.
Yeah. I love the carving on the...
On the inside rim. Yeah. It's lovely, isn't it?
This type of decoration is traditionally called bright cut,
and they actually actively cut into the silver
to create these little patterns, and the light bounces, as well.
Yeah. That is quite something, isn't it?
Do you want to put an offer in on that?
What do you think you could stoop to?
Would something like ?20, do you think...
I would think... ..as a round figure?
I can definitely speak to the dealer for you and see what they say.
SAM: Yeah, thank you! Cheers.
Fingers crossed, guys. That might... That might be our first item bought.
How much do you think, profit-wise, we'd get on that?
Certainly, if that walked into me on valuation day
I would quite happily say ?20 to ?30. OK.
Ah, you have news.
I've spoken to the dealer, and he says ?20 is fine.
Oh, lovely. Brilliant. What do you think, then, first item bought?
Yeah, I think so. For ?20, yeah.
Let's go for it. You guys have a deal.
Thank you very, very much. Thank you.
The Reds aren't hanging about.
First item bought in just five minutes.
Blues, how are you settling in?
Woo, look at this. Jonathan, what do you think to this?
Not a lot of money. No.
It's a preserve jar. I guess, yeah, you've got a little heart.
I mean, it's quite simply engraved,
it's electroplated, but you've got...
I suppose the finial's quite sweet with a little wishbone on the top,
and it's made of wishbone sides,
so I suppose, then, it would be for something like cranberry
or something to go with a meal.
I quite like it, actually.
Do you? What do you think, Julie?
No. I don't, actually. You don't like it?
It's quite quirky, but I don't...
But not quirky enough for the Blues.
Now, can Nick smell a profit in this?
You see that little scent bottle?
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Beautiful.
What I really like is that little panel on top
with that floral spray,
that is what's called pietra dura,
and it's an Italian technique of inlaying different coloured marbles
into other coloured marbles, and it's exquisite and highly prized.
Let's have a closer look.
So you're saying about the marbling, is this
this sort of floral bit here, or is it all around?
It's this oval panel. So what is this, is this enamel?
This is absolutely spot-on, yeah, this is all enamel,
and coloured stones, as well.
It's beautiful. All right.
And it's that inlay that gives it the value, basically.
Yes, that's real craftsmanship,
particularly when it's that small and exquisite,
cos you've got to hand cut all of those pieces of marble,
and you've got to hand-cut the gap you're going to drop it into,
and it's got to be absolutely flush, which it is - smooth.
And they're asking... Fingers crossed.
And see if they've spotted its value.
Aw, it's ?220.
It's a lot of money.
Aw, bad luck, find something cheaper.
Looks like Julie has found Humphrey Bogart.
I really like him, I think he's great.
Do you? Humphrey.
It's plaster, moulded plaster,
so it's basically one of those novelty reproductions, you know.
You often get Glenn Miller and all those sort of classical...
So you'll have Sinatra, they were made sort of 20 or 30 years ago.
It's got quite a lot of damage on it around the bottom.
Because it's a very soft material.
but it's not really something you'll turn over at auction.
No. If he was Elvis, he'd be worth more, I think.
IMITATES ELVIS: Uh-huh-huh.
See if you can find Elvis, then, ladies.
Reds, is this something to write home about?
We were just trying to get a closer look at the engraving
on this little writing set here... Yeah.
Oh, I see. ..cos we just saw that it was silver-plated.
Quite a sweet little thing, really.
It is, yeah. So it's in its fitted case, so you've got the seal.
If you were sending a letter, you'd put hot wax on it,
and you'd stamp it with the seal.
And then the pen, for putting an...
Well, you'd have to put a nib in it, wouldn't you?
Mm. Yeah. Quite a nice little thing, really, isn't it?
How much is it? 35. It's going for, yeah, 35.
It's not overly dear, is it?
Do you think that's something we can make a profit on, or...?
Borderline, 20 to 30 quid.
Well, maybe sort of hold it as a...
Something for the back burner, yeah. As a reserve, yeah.
Cos, yeah, we've got plenty of time left.
Yes, but that hour soon goes, Reds.
Jonathan, does this count as funky?
It's sort of a bit of style, and a bit of modern collectible,
it's early 20th century.
But it's this little jelly mould, sort of like a patty mould,
and you know it's blank and white, so it's quite sculptural,
and you could use it.
Why don't you ask Steve, the shop owner, for a closer look?
Could we ask you, please, about this jelly mould?
Yeah, do you want to have a look at it?
If you don't mind, yes, please.
That's lovely, isn't it?
What does it say inside?
Made in England.
Is it, now? Basically, it is 20th century.
Oh, yeah, upside down.
I quite like that, actually. I do, too.
On a marble countertop, that would be really pretty.
I'll have a look, do you mind?
Have a look, see, got a crack.
I didn't spot that. Well spotted.
OK. Well, we'll leave it, but thank you.
Thank you very much.
The cracks cause the Blues to wobble,
but it's more silver for the Reds.
Just something like this.
Obviously, it's quite expensive.
And salts and little spoons.
It's a nice little thing, and it's complete, it's ?145... Yeah.
Would it make that at auction? Yeah.
I should think auctioneer's estimate would be something like 80 to 120.
Seems the Reds have expensive tastes.
How are we doing for time, Jonathan?
We've had 18, 19 minutes already, so our little...
Right, let's move. We need to wiggle on, yeah.
We do need to start thinking.
I like, I like this red stuff.
The basket? Yeah.
Oh, my God, look at this.
I know, sorry.
it's like the Krypton Factor. There we are.
Oh, now, you see, that is beautiful.
That's lovely, isn't it? Yeah, I really like that.
And the process is, making a white glass basket,
dipping it into red glass, and then cutting it back.
OK. These are often made in sort of Bohemia, Czechoslovakia,
at the end of the 19th, early 20th century,
but they still make them today,
so if you see a nice network of scratches on the foot rim,
you know it might be an older piece.
If not, then still, you're looking at something which is decorative
and you can feel the quality.
I do like that one a lot, actually.
The key to that, it says ?55.
I don't think it's terribly old - it's copying an earlier piece -
but it's a nice decorative object.
And get the right price...
Yeah. That would be lovely, I really like that.
Should we shake on that?
You're going to go straight there, your haggling's awful.
35. No, I'm really sorry, can we try that one again?
?30. ?30. OK, lovely.
That's the way to negotiate, ladies.
25 minutes, and the basket's in the bag.
Reds, is this the real McCoy?
It's copying something that should be 500 or 600 years old.
This was probably produced somewhere between the wars,
early 20th century, it's a copycat piece.
OK. And they're asking ?48 for it.
I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of it.
You're not? No. Maybe I'd like that sort of thing,
but more elegant, a bit more modern.
And something silver and sparkly, Amelia.
Blues, this looks funky.
It says on there... I think it says Ruskin, it says Ruskinware.
Right. And is that popular? Would it sell?
It would do, I mean, it's quite...
I think it's asking enough money for it.
Could we have a look at this orange vase...
This one, yep.
I'm sure it's got a better name than that, orange vase, but...
Tangerine. Tangerine, thank you.
Slightly smaller than an orange.
So is it stamped Ruskin on the bottom?
There we are, look, Ruskin, England, 1921.
I just kind of really like that sort of thing.
Yes. I like this. The history of it, as well.
It's not going to run away in value,
but, to me, this is sort of a bit of history
which you can buy and collect - very decorative.
I don't think it'd ever go down in value.
It's striking, isn't?
It is, it's a lovely glaze.
Wendy, the price is ?68.
What would be the best you could do for it?
The dealer does 10%, but I could maybe ring him...
I can only do 10%... Yes.
..but I can ring him
to see if he could do a better price for you.
Yeah. Yes, could you see what the best...
Yeah, yeah. ..he could do with that?
That would be lovely, thank you.
Let's hope Wendy can get you a better price, then, Blues.
Reds, is this a good spot?
I rather like the look of that telescope.
Traditionally, these were 19th century.
It's got the original leather.
Let's pull it out. So it's one, two...
..three. It's a three-draw.
So it's a pocket telescope.
Probably naval. OK.
Now it's the smaller draw
that you to tend to get the maker's name engraved on it.
And there isn't one on there.
Is there not something just there?
Ah! Well spotted.
Good eye, Sam. Oh, well done, you.
Have a go. It says Broadwick Scarborough.
So it's a Yorkshire piece...
..which is interesting.
OK, so condition-wise...
That slides back so you can look through it.
And then that slides shut and protects it.
It's always a good start. Yeah.
This end, the cap protects the lens and the lens isn't cracked.
The leather's all there.
So how much do you think the telescope could go for?
With the right buyers in the room and with local interest,
it could make ?100. Really?!
Could do. It's got the potential.
Yeah. I'll go and find Becky.
OK. See if we can do a deal on this.
Yep. Great. And I'll be back in a minute.
Lovely, thank you.
Looks like you've spotted a bargain, Reds.
Always, cheap is better.
Well, yeah. But I think 40, hopefully, would be a realistic ask.
I think 40 seems like a nice price, yeah.
Ahoy, there, me shipmates. I come bearing news.
Hi. News from afar. What are you thinking?
Crikey. We like it, I think, yeah.
Yeah, I think me and Amelia agreed
if we could get somewhere in the region of 40 to 45,
we'd be quite happy to go with it.
Yeah, we would be happy with that. What, what...
Lucky for you, I've negotiated it down,
and it can be yours for ?45.
OK. OK. So are you sure we're going to buy it?
Our second buy? Yeah, sounds good.
?45? You know what? Let's go for it.
Yeah? We're going to see a profit with it?
I think so, yeah. Absolutely. You sure?
Yeah. Come on, then. Let's go and get it paid for. Come on.
Go and buy item number two, then, Reds.
Blues, do you have a good price for the vase?
Here she comes. Right, Wendy.
The best on that is going to be 50.
That's sort of in the middle of an estimate.
You know it's 40 to 60, ?50 you could get...
It could be... Get ?10 on it. I mean...
Let's go for it. Yep, OK.
Yeah, let's go for it.
We like that one. Yes, we will.
No haggling there. Thank you.
35 minutes in, and some of the pressure is off the Blues.
So whilst the teams track down their third item,
I'm popping back to the York Castle Museum
to find out about its sweet history.
Some of the big names in confectionery
all began life in York.
Terry's, Rowntree's and Craven's were major employers here
from the end of the 18th through to the end of the 19th century.
York's earliest recorded confectioner was in 1646.
But the industry as we know it started 100 years later
when drinking chocolate was sold in a local grocer's shop.
By the 1860s, Rowntree's bought the business
and went into production.
Em, one of the curators here, is going to tell me more.
Now, why York?
That's a good question.
Well, York in the 18th century was a real kind of very, very popular
tourist destination for really wealthy people.
They could afford sugary sweets.
They could afford chocolate.
Hardly anybody else could.
And then, later on in the 19th century,
you get the railways coming
and you also have really good road links from York.
So if you think about, in about 1840,
Joseph Terry was selling his wares to 70 towns all over Yorkshire.
Now, you've got some fascinating items in your collection.
But what have you brought along to show me?
Well, we've got one thing here from Terry's,
one thing from Rowntree's and one thing from Craven's -
the three big manufacturers from the city.
We have a wonderful little chocolate box from Terry's.
Dates from about 1900.
So this is the box lid, and inside,
you've got all of these little tiny boxes,
and they have an individual chocolate inside each of them.
Now, we know that this is a treat just for the wealthy
because chocolate boxes used to retail for up to 100 shillings each.
The average family in York
would be lucky to be earning 20 shillings a week.
It's almost like, today, you'd be paying what?
I don't know, 300, 400, ?500 for a box of chocolates?
Bonkers. In the 1920s if a young man gave a young woman
a box of chocolates, that was tantamount to a wedding proposal.
You'd have to be careful, wouldn't you, you know?
You would. Anyway, what's this?
What's the tin? This is a tin of Rowntree's cocoa.
It was made here in York,
and it went off on an Antarctic expedition with Shackleton
and then came back again.
So we believe that this was part of the unused stores
that were kept on the ship.
Well, I can see the importance of the tin.
I mean, obviously its historical connection,
but bearing in mind all the tins you have here,
I mean, this place is a Mecca for your tin-collector of today.
But what about the book?
What's that all about? Well, the book is really exciting.
The book belonged to the Craven's business, which Mary Ann Craven ran.
And it comes from about the 1890s.
And if you look, it has their industrial recipes inside.
So this recipe for chocolate sweets has 35lbs of sugar,
two thirds of a gallon of water, 7lbs of gelatine in there, as well.
So you can imagine this is going to be making a vast quantity of sweets.
Well, thank you, Em. Fascinating stuff.
But meanwhile, let's get back to our teams
to see if they're having any sweet success with their shopping.
Back to it, and there's just over 15 minutes left.
Both teams have one more item to find.
Sam, what have you spotted?
I've just investigated some bling.
I mean, for a mere ?2,000, we could get this ring.
I mean... Oh, I'm not even sure if I like it that much.
Try and find something more
in the Bargain Hunt price range, then, Reds.
Blues, what are you up to?
We've got ten more minutes to go, so let's have a look in some of these.
Wow, look at those glasses!
Yeah, nice. I like those.
Yeah. That's quite a nice set.
Yeah. At an auction you generally get about ?10 a glass
if they're nice quality.
And they're way off of that.
At least twice on the label...
Yeah. What you're saying.
You could ask, yeah. There's no harm in asking.
I quite like that, as well, actually.
That looks very reminiscent of Grandma's.
It is actually Clarice Cliff. Is it? It is. Oh, wow!
So let's get Wendy or Steve...
Yep. Yeah, OK. ..come over and have a look.
Yes, time is of the essence, teams.
Sam, Nick's found something right up your street.
So, gather round, my friends.
Gather round. For you, I've got a Victorian silver brooch
with a guitar on it.
Now, is that not two wish-list items with one object?
In one, yeah, it is.
Have I done well? I think you've done very well.
Have I ticked all the boxes?
I think you have. It should be Victorian silver.
So let's have a closer look
and just make sure it is what we think it is.
So, it's in a pretty little box.
It's not hallmarked silver.
It's going to have silver, probably mixed with other metals,
so strictly speaking, it's what you call white metal.
Right. That's the cataloguing term in auctions.
OK. But, you know, it ticks boxes because it's bling and it's musical.
It might not be to your taste.
You might prefer the pen set. But it's just an option.
I'm just worried that it's something that we might like,
but not necessarily... It says 34 quid. Yeah.
It's not cheap for something that's not hallmarked.
If it was hallmarked, I'd be quite happy at the price.
OK. It's the sort of thing that might make a tenner.
Or it might make ?40 to ?50.
Yeah. Of course, the other consideration is,
you've got five minutes left.
Only five minutes? Oh, wow. Not that I want to put any pressure on you.
But you've got five minutes and counting.
Five minutes and counting. How much can we reduce it down to?
Yeah. You hold that.
I'll go and ask the question.
And watch the time cos it's ticking, it's ticking.
Yes, time's ticking, Blues.
Wendy's taking over the negotiating as Steve's popped out.
The thing with Clarice Cliff, it's glazed and then they decorate.
It's always decorated over the glaze.
This is a bit late for Clarice in style.
It's not really overtly Deco...
It's back into flowers.
A little bit more sort of traditional.
Nice condition. Because it's an over-glazed decoration,
often the enamel is worn, scratched.
Yeah. But that's in nice order, really.
Price is... It says 95.
Steve would accept 50?
Yeah, he would.
He's not here. You can't argue. Maybe.
Maybe! I don't know.
I'll let you take the blame.
The alternatives... I'll put that back there for a minute.
..are these glasses here.
The set of six.
Reds, any closer to making a decision?
What do you think? Would you be tempted to...?
I'll leave the decision with you, if you want.
OK. That's always a terrible idea.
That's how we end up in bother.
Right, guys, there is some movement on the price.
OK. And the lowest it could be would be ?25.
OK. It depends, really, what you're thinking.
It's head or heart, isn't it?
You know, you've got two minutes left.
I'm a heart kind of gal. So I think we should go for it.
I think we came in for something bling and something music, so, yep.
So we're going to go with this, are we? Yeah. We're going to do it?
Let's do it. Yeah.
Well done. Right, got to go and get it bought.
And that's all shopped out.
Yes, well done.
Blues, what's it going to be?
Clarice Cliff or the glassware?
Now, they've got a price ticket of 125.
I mean, again, they're not terribly old, that's the thing.
Yeah. Ah, right. Do you think they're not quite...
Well, that's right.
The Clarice is right.
These are quite light. And you can see it's very rounded facet edges.
Let's go for the Clarice Cliff, then.
OK. So, we're going to take advantage of Steve.
Do it. I'll give him the money.
Shake hands on it.
Phew, well done.
Right, teams, time's up.
Come on, let's go. I think we deserve a rest now.
Let's check out what the Red team bought.
First up, silver was on the Red's shopping list,
and they paid ?20 for this George III knife.
Next, they focused on this telescope.
And finally, our musicians settled on this guitar brooch,
bought for ?25.
Well, you set off with a shopping list
and you stuck to it, didn't you?
Think so. It was a good start, there, Nick, wasn't it?
Very good. Dream team, Eric.
Absolute pleasure to work with.
They kept you dangling at the end there, didn't they?
Went down to the wire. Yeah.
But we had a plan B up our sleeve, didn't we? Yep.
Amelia, what's your favourite item of the three you bought?
The pin badge at the end.
The one with the guitar on it.
It sort of embodies both me and Sam's personalities.
Sam, what about yourself? What's your favourite?
Yeah, I really did like the pin badge, as well, actually,
cos I thought it did bring together the music, jewellery element.
But I was also a big fan of the telescope.
So which of the two? Make your mind up.
Oh, I think we'll go with the telescope.
Which of the three is going to give you the biggest profit?
I think the telescope is going to give us the biggest profit.
Yeah. Are you going with that, Sam? I'd agree with that, yeah.
OK. So how much did you spend today, you two?
?90, all together.
?90, which means you're going to give me 210.
There you go. OK.
And I'm going to give it over to Nick.
You could do a lot with that.
And have you got your eye on anything in particular?
Well, I'm kind of inspired by our history student here,
so I'm going to try and find something
with a real historical interest for you.
So, while Nick goes off to find his historical bonus buy,
let's remind ourselves what the Blue team bought.
First item bought was this colourful basket, ?30 paid.
Next up was this Ruskin vase.
And finally, they bought a Bargain Hunt favourite -
this Clarice Cliff bowl - for another ?50.
Ladies, I've got to say,
you were like two little girls in a sweet shop.
You couldn't make your mind up. You wanted everything.
We did. Absolutely, yeah.
It was a near-run thing.
I mean, the 59th minute, you managed to get your third and final item.
That was cutting it fine.
So, Julie, what's your favourite item?
It was the Clarice Cliff bowl that we got at the end.
And I liked it because it reminded me of my nan
and I can just remember her having sweets or something
in something very similar.
And, Julia, what about your favourite item?
The orange Ruskin vase
which I think is probably from the northern end of the country.
All right. So, Julie, what's going to give you the biggest profit?
I think it's going to be the orange vase.
Julia, what about you?
I think it might be the cranberry glass basket.
Either way, how much did you spend?
130. So cross my palm with ?170.
OK. It doesn't stay in my palm for very long.
It goes over to JP over there.
So, Jonathan, have you got your eye on anything?
I haven't got a clue.
They liked absolutely everything in every cabinet.
Right. Jewellery, silver, ceramics, the lot.
So, I've got a lot of work to do now. OK.
Well, while Jonathan goes off on mission impossible,
we're going off to the auction.
Well, we're in Darlington,
we're at Thomas Watson's auction house,
and I'm joined by auctioneer David Elstob.
Nice to be here, David. Great to have you here.
So, let's start with the Red team.
And the first item we're going to look at
is the Georgian butter knife.
I like it. It's a real antique.
Yeah. It's a Birmingham hallmark for 1817,
and we think it's by Joseph Taylor.
I don't think it's of huge value but it's nice, it's in good condition.
30 to 50. Oh, right, good start, Reds.
Cos they paid ?20 for it.
Very well done. Yeah, I think so, too.
Second item they bought is the telescope.
So, what's the demand like in this part of the north of England?
I think there will be a lot of demand for it.
Yeah? I do. I like it.
It's not a terribly big one.
If it was one of the top makers, Dollond Aitchison,
something like that, a good London maker,
we could be talking big money.
But it's a nice piece.
I think somebody will probably use it on the desk as a nice decoration.
OK, what about your estimate?
30 to 50, again.
They paid ?45 for it.
And they both think that it's going to give them the biggest profit.
I think they have a reason to be optimistic.
I don't want to play cards with you.
You keep your cards very close to your chest.
Now, the third item is that little silver guitar brooch.
It's a fun little novelty.
I wish it was hallmarked - unfortunately, it's not.
So, you've described it as white metal, I assume.
I've not mentioned the metal at all.
I've just said a novelty guitar brooch,
let people make their own minds up on that one.
20 to 30.
Right, well, that's sort of midway because they paid ?25 for it.
I think they're in with a chance.
Well, they may or may not need their bonus buy.
Either way, let's have a look at it.
So, Amelia and Sam, you left Nick ?210
to go out and play with on your behalf.
Nick, you said you're going to go out
and get something sort of historical,
bearing in mind what Sam here is studying at the moment.
Yeah, I was kind of inspired by your study of history, so, are you ready?
This is a piece of history.
OK. OK. The best bit is to come.
Ah, there we go.
And there it is. Now, this is history in your hand.
This is a 400-million-year-old trilobite fossilised.
Would have been crawling around the sea beds of Morocco.
Beautifully preserved and then cut out in this piece of rock
that it was found inside.
Now, if that's not history in your hand, I don't know what is.
That's pretty cool. I could definitely get behind that.
It's sculpturally beautiful, as well,
and it's almost got a contemporary sculptural feel,
but it's the oldest thing in the auction -
bar Eric and myself, of course.
Can I hold it? Have a look. Absolutely, please do.
It's so cool. An excellent find, Nick.
It's... Yeah, and it's really well preserved.
Like, you can see every little detail of it.
That's what I liked about it. You can see exactly that.
That's really cool. Do you mind if I...?
So, how much did you spend on that one?
For this amazing piece of history I paid the princely sum of ?60.
That's pretty good. That's not a lot.
I thought so. And how much do you think it will make?
Now that's the million-dollar question.
It's just down to the punters on the day.
Who wants to own such an incredibly beautiful historical object?
Mm-hm. And if all else fails, it'll make a nice paperweight.
Well, that's it. Well, there you go.
This must be a record for this programme.
I don't think we've ever had anything so ancient.
But you've got to remember
that you don't have to make your decision right now.
Wait till you've sold your first three items, and then
just go with your instincts.
But in the meantime, let's find out
what our auctioneer has to say about Nick's Moroccan trilobite.
So, one bonus buy, and, in all fairness,
probably one of the most ancient things
that I think has ever appeared on this programme. Very interesting.
A Moroccan trilobite, and the condition of it is excellent.
That market now is quite up-and-coming,
so I think it might do well.
Estimate? 30 to 50.
Well, I think Nick may have chanced his arm on that one -
he paid ?60 for it -
but it's a funny old market, isn't this?
On any given day, that might well exceed my estimate
and what they paid for it.
So over to the Blue team, and this is Julie and Julia.
And the first item is this colourful glass basket.
Very pretty basket, ruby glass, I would call the colour.
Some people call it ruby flash glass.
I think it's probably from the Czech Republic.
Yep. I see a lot of this type of glass in Prague
and places like that.
Not hugely old, but very decorative.
Yep. What sort of value have you put on that?
30 to 50, in my book.
OK, they paid ?30 for it.
So that could do them a few favours.
It's a tough sell, but I think they're in with a chance.
OK. Item number two is the Ruskin orange glaze vase.
Buyers for this sort of thing out in this part of the world?
Yeah, many of them, many online.
Made in Birmingham, by William Howson Taylor,
and this one's dated 1921.
I do like that in a pot, when they put the date on, don't you?
People like that. They can almost create a timeline of their ceramics,
which I think is nice. Estimate?
40 to 60. Paid ?50 for it, this is Julie's favourite, by the way.
It's mine, as well. That all bodes rather well, doesn't it?
I think it'll do well. Last but not least, item number three.
A Clarice Cliff bowl.
Great name. The market for Clarice Cliff
seems to be quite buoyant still,
certainly money from Australian collectors at the moment, for it.
And it's a nice pattern, it's Viscaria, so I think it'll do well.
Estimate? Estimate's 40 to 60.
Well, they paid ?50 for it, so all things being equal,
they may or may not need their bonus buy,
but let's find out what it is.
So, Julie and Julia,
you gave JP a sizeable ?170 to go and spend on your behalf.
JP, I think you said to me at the time, "I haven't got a clue."
I wanted to find something I thought you might like,
and then something hit me. OK.
But did I spend ?170?
Oh, wow! Fantastic!
We did see a jelly mould at one point, and I rather liked it.
The thing about jelly moulds I really like
is that they're very architectural, they're very practical.
So you've got this sort of object
which has a sculptural quality but can be used.
This is a porcelain one by Shelley, early 20th century,
I just really like it. How much was it?
It was a tenner.
Wow. Even better.
You like it? I do.
Yeah. I really like the shape.
I think it's beautiful, actually.
What do you think it will make at auction?
Well, a tenner is nothing.
So it could double its money, it could treble its money.
I don't think it's ?50, it might be 30.
Obviously, you don't have to make your minds up now.
Wait till you've sold your first three items,
and then that's when you make your big decision.
But in the meantime,
let's find out what the auctioneer has to say
about JP's Shelley jelly mould.
Well, here it is.
Your thoughts, please.
It's a nice jelly mould. It is.
By Shelley. Potters, early 20th century.
Well-known for their very Art Deco designs and geometric shapes.
Estimate? 30 to 40.
Jonathan Pratt went out and bought that for a tenner.
Some serious haggling has taken place there.
He's got a PhD in it.
THEY LAUGH So you're taking the auction today?
Yes, I am. Excellent.
Well, we're looking forward to a lively sale.
At ?100, 110. 110 bid.
We're raring to go. Yeah.
Excitement factor's kicked in, yeah?
I'm ready. My blood is running through my veins.
Good, good, good. Positive thinking, everybody.
Positive thinking. Here's your first item.
It's your George III silver butter knife.
And you paid? ?20.
?20 for it. And it's coming up now.
281. A nice bit of Georgian silver.
A butter knife. Birmingham hallmark for 1817.
We think it's probably by Joseph Taylor.
I'll start you, ?20.
?20. ?20. 25 in the room.
25 bid, the room.
25 to see 30.
At 25, then.
A little more. Come on.
I'm going to sell. 30 online.
One more. 35 in the room.
35 bid in the room.
35 and the internet's out.
35 bid in the room, then.
All done and finished at 35.
Good start, boys and girls.
A plus of ?15.
And we sold for 35.
Item number two, it's your telescope.
Paid ?45 for it.
You think this is going to give you two the biggest profit.
We hope so, yeah. We are about to find out because it's coming up now.
284 is a brass three-draw telescope.
Nice quality. I'll start you at ?30.
30, I'm bid.
?30, I'm bid the telescope.
At 30. I'll take 35.
?30, bid with me.
30 bid. 35 anywhere?
That's disappointing. Come on.
We're going to lose all the profit we've just got.
At ?30, then. All done at ?30.
I'm afraid that's just given you a minus 15.
So we're on zero
at the moment.
It's not the end of the world.
Next item coming up is the novelty guitar brooch.
You paid ?25 for it, yeah?
And here it is.
287 is a novelty guitar brooch.
15, I'm bid.
15, I'm bid. A sweet little thing this.
20, bid in the room.
Come on. A bit more.
?20, it is, in the room.
Are we all done and finished?
Selling at ?20.
At ?20, all done.
Oh, so ?20.
We are in a -?5 situation.
It is bonus-buy decision time.
It's the Moroccan trilobite.
And you paid ?60.
Yeah. So are you going to go with the bonus buy?
I think we are. We're just going to go for it.
Because it's coming up now.
A real antique. A Moroccan trilobite.
Interesting piece. I'll start you at ?20.
It's got to be worth more than that.
20, I'm bid. 25.
30. 35 bid.
35, bid on the gallery.
35, 40 online.
45? Can't tempt you, sir?
?40, it is on the internet. ?40, bid.
I'll take five. One more.
It's only an extra fiver. Yeah, go on!
45 bid. 45, 50 online.
?50, it is on the internet.
I'm pushing my luck now. At ?50 and all done.
50! Oh. Well, it was a bold go-for-it, wasn't it?
It leaves you with a total of -15.
Deadpan faces. Not a word to the Blue team.
Oh, that's going to be difficult.
So here we are, ladies.
Here we are. I just need to know how we are feeling at the moment.
Come on. BOTH: Excited.
That's what I want. A bit nervous, but excited.
Yeah. Nervous expectation, I hope.
Are you auction regulars? Not regulars, but we've been to some.
You have. Always an advantage.
First item is coming up.
It's your Bohemian/Czech ruby and clear glass basket.
You paid ?30 for it.
And it's coming up now.
309 is a Bohemian ruby and clear glass basket.
Not particularly old but very decorative.
I'll start you ?20.
20, I'm bid for it.
25, 30, 35 in the room.
The gentleman has bid at 35.
I'll take 40, next.
At 35, bid, it is, then.
A room bid. At ?35, all done.
It's a profit, ladies.
It's a ?5 profit.
Next item, Ruskin Orange glazed vase.
Dated 1921, paid ?50 for it, and it's coming up now.
312 is a Ruskin orange glazed vase.
Has its date on it, 1921.
A lovely little pot. One of my favourites.
I'll start you at ?25.
25, I'm bid.
30 bid. 35 bid.
35 bid. 40.
And five. 45.
45 bid, the Ruskin.
At 45, 50 bid.
Are we all done and finished?
I'm going to sell. At ?50, all done at 50.
50! That's brilliant.
So, ladies, you've broken even there. Excellent.
So that still leaves you with a positive ?5.
OK? Excellent. Next item is the Clarice Cliff.
All in a name. You paid 50 for this.
And it's coming up now.
One of our favourites. Clarice Cliff.
A nice Viscaria-pattern bowl.
Lovely shape. I'll start you at ?25.
25, I'm bid. The Clarice Cliff. 30.
35. 40 in the room.
45, the internet likes.
50, sir? The bid's on the internet.
?45. I'll take 50, next.
At 45. 50 is back in.
?50, in the room.
Fair warning at ?50.
Break even. Another break even!
But it does leave you still with a plus five.
OK? It's decision time, girls.
Yes. Getting the wobbles? Go for it.
Definitely. Bonus buy? Definitely.
One jelly mould, cost... Only a tenner.
The auctioneer liked that bonus buy.
He's quoting ?30 to ?40 on it.
That's the presale estimate.
He likes it. You like it, I like it.
Let's hope the people out there like it.
321 is a Shelley pottery jelly mould.
I'll start you here at 20 bid.
20 bid, at ?20, to see 25.
At 20, bid of ?20.
A 20 bid, at ?20.
Any interest at 25?
At ?20 and all done.
Oh, deserved better than that.
But, anyway. It's still a tenner.
Hey, listen, it's a ?10 profit.
Gives you a grand total of plus ?15.
You are somewhat pleased, aren't you?
Yes. OK, the thing is I now want you to wear deadpan faces.
And promise me, not a word to the Red team, OK?
Well, Reds, well, Blues, you gave us a fascinating game,
I have to say that.
You both scored 15.
But, having said that... No, no.
But let me quantify that.
One was a minus 15, and one was a plus 15.
And the minus 15, I'm sorry to say, was the Red team.
I know it hurts.
We tried our best. Yeah, we had a crack.
And we can't ask for more than that, can we? We really can't. No.
But turning my attention to the smiling faces of the Blue team.
All on the strength of a jelly mould, eh?
It was, yes.
And yet we thought it was going to do better than that, didn't we?
We thought so. I knew it wasn't going to make a fortune,
but it doubled its money, that's fair enough.
It did, as well.
So Blues, your winnings.
The sum of ?15.
Thank you. Any clues as to what you might spend that money on, ladies?
I think we might celebrate.
Well, that's it from us.
But in the meantime,
you can catch us on our website
or you can follow us on Twitter.
But better still, join us
next time for some more Bargain Hunting. Yes?
Eric Knowles is joined by experts Nick Hall and Jonathan Pratt for today's Bargain Hunt which comes from York. The reds and blues have the choice of two antique centres to buy three items to take to auction in Darlington. Eric also finds out about York's 'sweet' history at the York Castle Museum.