Bargain Hunt Australia Episode Four

Find out all about the amazing antiques and collectables from episode four of Bargain Hunt Australia.


Each team is given $500 and 60 minutes to source three items in an antiques outlet. The hope is they’ll sell them off later at auction for a profit. Whichever team has the most profit (or least loss) is the winner but both teams get to keep any overall profit made.

The key to success is: buy well and negotiate! The experts are there to help, guide and advise throughout the search. With three items purchased, the leftover ‘lolly’ (money) is passed to their expert who goes in search of a ‘Bonus Buy’.

Later in the show once the main items have been auctioned, the teams have a few moments to decide whether to go with the Bonus Buy or not. The hope is it will add to their profits, not their losses, so there’s a risk involved but it’s a risk most teams seem prepared to take.


Brian and Bruce (friends) make up the Red Team with expert Paul Laidlaw

Brian and Bruce have been friends since they were five. Brian, a teacher and carer, is a descendant of Governor Philip Gidley King. King was the 3rd Governor of NSW and according to Brian, the man charged with the resounding honour of bringing beer to Australia.

Mechanic Bruce works at the airport and has put his passion for fixing things to good use on planes. On the weekends he loves water skiing and collecting old books. These great old mates have a buying strategy they won’t reveal to Tim before the shopping starts...but once it’s underway it becomes clear what it might be: to spend as little as possible!

Red Team Purchases

Item One:

Japanese 1920’s Novelty Salt and Pepper Pots depicting a sailor and soldier. They pay $25 for it and it sells at auction for $40 making them a $15 profit.

Item Two:

Silver and Niello WW1 Napkin Ring with crest for the Royal Army Medical Corps. They paid $25 for it and it sold at auction for $60 making them a $35 profit.

Item Three:

Liberty Tudric Enamelled ‘Mortar’ Vase on tri-footed base, attributed to Archibald Knox. They paid $30 for it but it sold for $100 at the auction making them a $70 profit.

Bonus Buy

So with a whopping $420 worth of leftover lolly Paul’s Bonus Buy is a pair of WW2 Combined Operations and Airborne Binoculars which he forked out just $35 for. It sold at auction for $70 making Brian and Bruce an extra $35 profit.


Trisha and Russell (married) make up the Blue Team with expert David Barby

Like Brian in the Red Team, Trisha can trace her family tree back to the First Fleet but her ancestors were both convicts – John Small and Mary Parker - who served seven years in the penal settlement before settling down and starting a rather large family – according to Trisha, THE largest convict family in Australia.

Now Tamworth based, Trisha and Russell run a miniature pony breeding farm together. Both keen collectors, Trisha loves tea pots, while Russell collects Trisha’s receipts (boom boom), model trains, and thanks to his past life working at Coca Cola, coke memorabilia.

Blue Team Purchases

Item One:

Mid 19th century Treen Model Mortar with cannon ball as string barrel on a circular plinth. The asking price was $155 but they got it for $60. It sold at auction for $50 making them a $10 loss.

Item Two:

Korea Compaign Cupronickel War Widows Guild Badge by Andor Meszaros (1951). It was $125 – they paid $60 for it and it sold at auction for $100 making them a $40 profit.

Item Three:

Late 19th century Lignum Vitae Speaking Tube, Mouth Piece and Whistle. They paid $20 and it sold at auction for $60 making them a $40 profit.

Bonus Buy

With $360 worth of leftover lolly – David’s Bonus Buy is a Lladro Eskimo Figure Group in bisque with a glaze finish, circa 1960’s which he pays $360 for. It sells at auction for $425 making Trisha and Russell an extra $65.


A decorated German Wurttembergergisch Metallwarenfabrik copper pot. WMF were established in Germany in the 1850’s and are still in business today. At a cost of $80 Tim thinks it’s actual worth once cleaned up could be as high as 1,000 pounds sterling, or well over 1,500 Australian dollars. So it’s what you might call a little gem.


The Briars Homestead at Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsular. A property owned by the Balcombe Family for over 130 years until it became State property in the 1970’s. At this visit, Tim focuses more on the fascinating collection of buildings that make up the Homestead, than on the wonderful Napoleonic Collection itself (which he covered in the previous Melbourne show).

The story of ‘The Briars’ in Australia, actually starts at the ‘The Briars’ on St Helena, the island in the middle of the south Atlantic ocean where Napoleon was famously exiled in 1815. Napoleon initially lived in a guest pavilion in the garden of The St Helena Briars owned by William Balcombe, an English East India company agent.

Both Balcombe and his family gave Napoleon a warm welcome, for which the former Emperor was very grateful. He gave them a number of small personal possessions the family would treasure and expand on. Napoleon had formed an attachment with Balcombe’s youngest daughter Betsie and she later wrote a book called ‘Recollections of Emperor Napoleon’ where she describes the house on St Helena which is very similar in architecture to its namesake in Victoria.

Once Napoleon left The Briars on St Helena, Balcombe’s relationship with the former emperor came into question. Fearing for his safety William moved his family to London. But in 1823 he was appointed Colonial Treasurer to NSW – and moved to Australia, bringing all his furniture and possessions with him. He named his estate near Canberra, The Briars – and his in turn his son Alexander, named the Melbourne property by the same name when he moved there in the mid 1800’s.

Interestingly, the oldest part of the Victorian Briars is made from a pre-fabricated structure imported from Britain. In the mid 19th century there weren’t any raw materials available in the colony to provide basic shelter.

So if you didn’t want to be living in a pre-fab, you’d be staying in a tent – not a great prospect with all our creepy crawlies. In fact a lot of similar structures imported from Britain haven’t lasted due to termite attacks – so the building is very special and unique. The Napoleonic collection here is quite diverse and offers the visitor a terrific insight to this great French figure.


All items sourced and filmed in Melbourne’s Malvern Antique Market – High St, Armadale.

The auction is held at Lawsons Auctioneers in Annandale.
Auctioneer on the day is Luke Jones.

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.