The Extraordinary Collector

The Wonderful World of Gordon Watson

The Extraordinary Collector follows art dealer Gordon Watson through six different documentary episodes as he stakes his money and reputation on buying, selling and getting the best art and collector deals.

Along with opening up an entire world of exquisite art for us, Gordon takes us with him on a tour to meet his wealthy clients – lords, ladies and billionaires.

Episode 1: Lord Rothschild – The Billionaire Collector

Episode 1: Lord Rothschild - The Billionaire Collector

In this first episode, art dealer Gordon Watson meets Lord Rothschild from the famous banking dynasty.

Lord Rothschild has been collecting art since he was ten and has added to a remarkable family collection of traditional and contemporary art, furniture and design, spread between Waddesdon Manor and the Flint House on his estate in Buckinghamshire.

Gordon and Lord Rothschild have known one another for some years but it has been a while since Gordon has visited Waddesdon.

Today, he is going along to view the latest additions to Lord Rothschild’s collection and to see whether there is anything he can add himself.

Episode 2: Baroness Lambert: The £15 Million Auction

Episode 2: Baroness Lambert: The £15 Million Auction

Episode two centers around meeting Baroness Marion Lambert, a world-renowned art and design collector who has decided to declutter her homes and sell off 300 pieces from her collection in a £15 million auction. The baroness has enlisted the help of one of the world’s best auctioneers – Simon de Pury – and Christie’s auction house to help her.

Gordon takes a sneak preview of the collection and picks out a few pieces he is hoping to bid on. Will he be able to use his expert dealer knowledge to seek out the best buys and get a good deal?

Episode 3: Gela – The Hollywood Entrepreneur

Episode 3: Gela - The Hollywood Entrepreneur

In episode 3 we’ll meet Gela Nash-Taylor, the wife of Duran Duran bass player John Taylor and a successful businesswoman in her own right. She is also a committed Anglophile – so much so, she bought one of the UK’s finest Tudor homes.

Gela spends a lot of time in Los Angeles, but she is back in London for a short trip when art dealer and friend Gordon Watson meets up with her to hear about her new business venture and work out what he might sell to her. But is Gela in the mood to buy?

Episode 4: Houghton Hall

Episode 4: Houghton Hall

In episode 4, we’ll meet Lord Cholmondeley who lives at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England, with his young family.

A descendant of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister, Lord Cholmondeley continues the tradition of collecting art for the main house and for the grounds of this magnificent stately home.

Following his visit, Gordon takes a trip to Amsterdam in search of unique contemporary objects and eventually finds himself back at Sotheby’s auction house in London, where life in the art world began for Gordon over 35 years ago.

Will Lord Cholmondeley be keen to buy any of the objects that Gordon finds for him?

Episode 5: Anita – The Billionaire Art Owner

Episode 5: Anita - The Billionaire Art Owner

In Episode 5, Gordon taking us to meet Anita Zabludowicz – a world-renowned billionaire collector of unusual and experimental contemporary art. As well as two rooms named after her at the Tate Modern, she has a large art gallery in London and other spaces in Finland and New York.

Art and furniture dealer Gordon Watson and Anita have known one another for 20 years but in all that time, he has never managed to sell anything to her. Gordon believes he’s identified the very thing that cutting-edge Anita needs and goes on a quest to find furniture where design meets art for Anita to take a look at. Will Gordon’s fortunes be turned around and will he manage to get his first ever sale with Anita?

Episode 6: Interior Designs – High End Homes

Episode 6: Interior Designs - High End Homes

The sixth and final episode of The Extraordinary Collector takes us to London, a city which has become a magnet for the super rich who buy extraordinary homes. After spending millions on buying property, many employ interior designers to help furnish these homes.

Over the years, Gordon has realised that his business and that of the interior designers work well together and Gordon has become the go-to man when it comes to buying the right pieces of furniture, art and other objects to give that extra special touch to a mansion.

Will his hand-picked pieces be enough to persuade the uber rich however?

The Extraordinary Collector
  • Info
  • Release date2015
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Barney Snow
  • Production companyBBC Bristol