Gauging by the rise in numbers of people visiting Towneley Hall in Burnley where Antiques Master is filmed, it would seem that the new antiques show is a great success. According to a recent story in the Lancashire Telegraph, people visiting Towneley want to experience the setting that is used for the programme and are interested in the Regency Rooms in particular. The whole programme seems to have a Lancashire feel about it anyway, where resident expert Eric Knowles is also from Lancashire – he remembers visiting Towneley as a child.
Certainly, the often fabulous antiques featured in the programme fit beautifully into the backcloth of Towneley. Contestants are given a number of tasks from placing pieces in a time line, to identifying objects and then being questioned on their own specialisms. Finally short fire questions round up the programme. Lowest scoring contestants leave as the programme progresses until only two remain for the final round. Sandi Toksvig and Eric Knowles carry the programme very well between them and the programme seems to be a good balance between learning about antiques and acquiring an understanding of what they are worth. It would seem too that the locality and Towneley particularly also benefit from the programme being shown.
Lancashire is a county steeped in history and well known in the antiques world through one of their sons Robert Gillow who began his furniture business in Lancaster in 1730. Gillow was one of the few designers and makers who actually stamped his furniture which makes it easy to identify today. So when looking for a Gillow stamped antique desk, Lancashire dealers are the people you should be asking for advice.
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