01 October 2007

How much should I bid for this?

“It could be said, however, that one of our greatest antiquities is indeed the Australian Prime Minister!….. or launching a midnight military style raid on Auntie Ethel’s home looking for that one item that could be worth a lot of money”

During the past seven days or so I have had the pleasure (or not) of having watched a large number of television shows. I often find it amazing, that when I am in England, how the variety of programmes differ from that which is seen in Australia.

For example, there are more quiz and cooking shows in England than compared to Australia. Chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Ainsley Harriott are far better known than members of the British government! In fact, every single day of the week there would have to be at least two or three cookery shows on offer to us the viewer. Obviously, the public must be following the recipes judging by the widening waistlines of the vast majority of Britons!

However, there is another category of shows that are extremely popular here in the Mother Country. These are ones that relate to antiques. Since being over here I have noticed that there are five regular antique shows on television. For the record they are ‘Cash in the Attic’, Antiques Roadshow’, ‘Flog it’, ‘Dickson’s Real Deal’ and ‘Bargain Hunt’.

As you can see antique shows are extremely popular. Even at 3am you will see a re-run of one of these shows. I can imagine night security guards up and down the country riveted to their television screens in the early hours of the morning as an antique expert discusses the merits of a Ming Dynasty bowl to a housewife from Accrington! It is possible that these shows act as a cure to prevent sleep for all night workers.

In Australia antique shows have not really taken off. A few years ago there was a similar show to ‘Antiques Roadshow’ but it didn’t last too long as it was axed by the ‘powers that be’. One of the main reasons, if I think about it, is that Australia is a young country in comparison to Britain or Europe. As such we do not have a great number of antiques on offer. It could be said, however, that one of our greatest antiquities is indeed the Australian Prime Minister! However, at the age of 68 John Howard may be deemed too young to be called a fossil.

As for me, I really like the antique shows and I am amazed when an ordinary looking vase, for example, is valued by one of the experts for thousands of pounds. I am already thinking of taking up buying and selling antiques as a hobby in the next year or two. After all, I used to like the television show ‘Lovejoy’ when it was broadcast a few years ago!

I can imagine that there must be thousands of people the length and breadth of Britain searching through their cupboards, attics, garages or launching a midnight military style raid on Auntie Ethel’s home looking for that one item that could be worth a lot of money. It is quite extraordinary to see everyday people being extremely surprised to see that their antique is worth more that they thought. Also the opposite is true. The emotions displayed by some people when they find out that their porcelain jug is worth nothing is priceless too!

Already I have been checking out if we have any antiques here in England that may be valuable. However, I am not sure if my sister’s Osmond’s records qualify as being antique!

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