I like antiques. In fact most of the kids at school think I am an antique, but then when I was 12 I thought 46 was ancient too, so I can’t complain. Still, as I said, I do like antiques and I do like antique shows, so when Antiques Master hove into view last night hot on the heels of UC I thought it looked worth a try.
From some of the write up in the listings pages I thought that this might have a little more of the straightforward quiz about it than it actually did. I’ll talk about the quiz aspect of it all a little later. What we had , actually , was all rather reminiscent of The Great Antiques Hunt of years gone by, except in place of Jilly Goolden we were offered Sandi Toksvig, the thinking man’s Sandy Toksvig, and Eric Knowles, the . . . well, Eric Knowles. Four contestants started, which was whittled down to three after round two, then two after round three, well, you get the drift. All bar the last round were rather parlour-gameish. The first round involved being given 5 objects, and asked to put them in order of age, oldest first. Then the second involved having to explain the purpose of a mystery object. The poor devil who lost the round was handed an object so obviously a stomach pump that he probably couldn’t believe the answer was so simple, and so went for completely the opposite, suggesting it was an apparatus for force feeding someone. Ah, those damned suffragettes and the Cat and Mouse Act.
For the next round each of the three remaining contestants had nominated a specialist subject. They had to look at five objects, one of which was a ringer, identify which it was, then say which was the oldest, which the most valuable, and how much it was. The nice lady who had been absolutely brilliant so far bombed out on this round. Maybe its just me, but I did think that it was a flippin’ tall order to identify the oldest object out of a set of art nouveau objects when there wasn’t much more than a decade between any of them.
At last we got to the quiz. Considering the level of expertise you needed to get this far in the show, I have to say that I thought that all bar one of the questions in the last round were actually rather easy, almost pub quiz level questions. If it’s a region of Japan with a type of porcelain named after it, then Satsuma has to be a pretty good guess even if you don’t know, hasn’t it ?
So alright, not quite what I wanted, but an inoffensive and diverting if somewhat genteel little half hour. However I have to say that I really didn’t need Disembodied Voice Woman to keep telling me
“Deidre has scored 10 points. That means she has 20 points. That is ten more than she had before she scored them. If she scores another ten points then she will have 30 points “ I half expected her to say "If Deidre can score 50 points in 20 minutes, how many points could 3 Deidres score in 10 minutes ? ". The arithmetic For Beginners aspect of the show I could well do without.
Maybe worth another look next week.