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After last week’s antiques challenge, Anita Manning dropped off several items at The Hour studio for Michelle and Stephen to research. The competitive pair had to find out as much as they could about the items and guess how much they would sell for at auction, with one being declared the overall winner. Let the battle of the antiques commence!
First up was Michelle, who had been given a Hungarian ornament. She said: “This is a Zsolnay figurine and it’s called Despair. I found all this out just from the tiny stamp on the back. It’s from a Hungary ceramics and pottery house which was established in 1853. [The figurine] was made by Miklos Zsolnay and he’s very famous. The green colour is how you identify what it is.
“I don’t think it’s very early, maybe art nouveau from around 1925 time. I’m taking a guess at 20th century. I think at auction you could maybe get £200-250. I don’t know whether that’s overestimating or not.”
Michelle’s figurine was valued at £180 by Anita, so she wasn’t far off! Next up it was Stephen’s turn. He had an unusual hedgehog-shaped item, and he didn’t have a clue what it was before he did his research:
“The internet is so useful for finding all this stuff out,” he said. ”It’s an unusual Victorian die-cast toothpick stand. The mark on the back I couldn’t really work out to begin with but then I discovered it’s a maker’s mark rather than a hallmark, and I tracked that down to it being made on the 27th of June 1872.
“It was manufactured by a specialist company called W. Avery and Sons at Redditch in the Midlands. An identical item went for auction in 2008 and it went for £80, but this poor hedgehog has got a bit of a bash on the back, and he’s not in great nick, so I think he’ll maybe go for £50.”
Anita valued Stephen’s hedgehog at £70. She was impressed with both of their efforts: “You’ve both taken into consideration the back stamp and both been able to get information from that,” she said. “You’ve both looked at condition and quality so you have been listening over the last couple of years.”
Michelle also researched a belt and button set, and Anita was impressed that she used the markings to identify that the item was officially silver, made in London and was made in 1911. Michelle overestimated the value of the item, guessing that it would sell at auction for £400, but it would be more likely to fetch around £120.
Stephen correctly identified that the James Bon Aston Martin car from the film Goldfinger was made in 1964 by Corgi and would fetch around £120 at auction. Original models in mint condition can be worth up to £300.
Anita declared Stephen the overall winner of the challenge due to his accurate guessing at auction prices. Better luck next time Michelle!
See The Hour's antiques pages to find out more on valuing your treasured possessions.