Victorian balloon back dining chairs and an Art Deco antique chest – just two of the highlights in the first episode of Antiques House, a fun-packed game show which premiered on Monday 14th January.
Produced by ITV for Sky Arts 2 and hosted by Josie Lawrence and TV antiques expert Paul Hayes, Antiques House tests pairs of contestants as they hunt down valuables in the rooms of a beautifully furnished stately home.
Or at least, that’s how it looks to viewers in Cumbria. In fact, the antique balloon backed dining chairs and other valuables – over 6,000 in total – are at Pinewood Studios, where designers have created four authentic sets: a sitting room, an attic, a dining room and a hallway. These are constantly being broken down and refurnished, creating around 65 unique period settings in all.
To pick up points, contestants have to correctly identify three items worth at least £1,000 (in the attic round, £500). There are bonus points for identifying film props or particularly valuable items, but there are red herrings too. Repro Regency chests, and antique desks cobbled together from antique cabinets, are worthless – but both have caught out contestants. As well as progressing to the next round, winners can take home an antique worth up to £1,000 – but only if they choose the right one.
Antiques House gives contestants just two minutes to make their choices. In reality, it takes time to make purchases like antique balloon back dining chairs , but no Lancashire antiques dealer will ever hassle their customers by racing them against the clock.
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