With a number of television programmes gracing the airwaves today being aimed at collectors and fans of antiques, viewers can sometimes be spoilt for choice.
From old favourites to modern classics, let us take a look at a few of the best:
Where better to start than with a show that has become a British institution? With broadcasting having started in 1979, Antiques Roadshow is also by far the longest running example on this list, and it has spawned a number of foreign variations.
Currently hosted by Fiona Bruce, the programme’s format has remained much the same for decades. The Antiques Roadshow team will visit a venue somewhere in Britain and locals are encouraged to bring along any items that they are curious about, especially if it holds a special connection to where the show is being held.
The evaluators will study the pieces, which can cover anything from small household items to large pieces of late Victorian furniture, before telling its story. This adds a cultural element to the show that many enjoy.
Focused more on the auction side of antiques rather than the objects themselves, Flog It! has been running since 2002 and is presented by Paul Martin.
Another BBC show, Flog It! also tours the UK to find new locations for filming. Once there, a team of antiques experts will evaluate objects, with seven of them being put up for auction. While the sales do not generally exceed a few thousand pounds each, this adds an element of suspense to the programme.
A number of rare items have been discovered by the Flog It! team, including undiscovered artwork by the painter A. H. Fox.
Another popular antique show, which has been broadcast since 2000, is Bargain Hunt. Currently hosted by Tim Wonnacott, it was originally presented by David Dickinson.
Bargain Hunt operates more as a contest than the other shows, with two teams, one red and one blue, politely competing against one another to see who can make the most profit at auction. Usually, however, the rivalry seems to be settled by who loses the least.
The pairs of contestants are partnered with an expert and then let loose at a car boot sale to find their items, with a pre-set amount of money supplied by the show. As the ad-hoc markets can produce a number of finds, from ornate objects to antique wardrobes, the intrigue is in how much their discoveries will be worth.
Dickinson’s Real Deal
A staple of ITV’s daytime scheduling, Dickinson’s Real Deal has ran on the channel since 2006, making it the youngest show on this list. However, it has still proven quite popular with antiques enthusiasts, most likely in part due to the passion of its host, David Dickinson.
Similar to Antiques Roadshow, the owners of items ranging from retro toys to antique settees are invited to bring them along to a venue. However, they are then examined by independent evaluators before being passed on to the programme’s dealers.
These experts will then make a cash offer for the items, which the owner can either accept or turn down. Dickinson is able to interject advice to the owner to help them make their decision. If the offer is rejected, even after adjustment, then the piece will go to auction.