Series looking at the value of household junk. Gail Butler was a globetrotting model but now craves the home life. She wants to raise money for a decent fire for the living room.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the programme that hunts for antiques
in your home and sells them at auction.
Today, I'm in Colchester, which has the distinction of being the oldest town in Britain,
because it has records going back to AD77.
With a mixture of both ancient and modern standing shoulder to shoulder,
it's still home to a number of historic sites.
This magnificent fortress is Colchester Castle.
It was built around 1070, and it's the largest Norman keep in the whole of Europe.
Over the years, this Norman stronghold has been used to incarcerate criminals,
interrogate suspected witches, and now entertains over 100,000 visitors every year.
This is a truly spectacular historical site,
but I'm sure our next location is also going to be pretty fascinating.
'Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, we're seeking help in unusual places...'
-Come on out, Vivienne.
'..getting up to no good, given half a chance...'
No tobogganing down the stairs on it, Paul.
OK, Oh, you spoil all the fun!
'..but still trying to impress at auction.'
Well, get your best frock on, Norman. Here they come.
'Will all our efforts pay off at the end of the day?
'Find out when the hammer falls.'
I'm on my way to meet a fascinating lady.
She's a gardener, a traveller, and a former catwalk model.
'For nearly nine years, this fine suburban residence has been home to Gail Butler,
'who, after travelling extensively around the world during her modelling career,
'loves to spend most of her time out of doors.
'Now retired, her garden is her pride and joy, and gets most of her attention.
'But in the last couple of years, she's been grateful for a reliable pair of hands to help her out.
'Neighbour and fellow gardener, Norman Clark,
'has been roped in to assist today, to get her home ready for the winter months.'
-Good morning Paul, I'm very well indeed.
I think we're going to have a great day, she's got some nice things.
She's got some very fashionable items, yes. Are you ready for this?
I am indeed. We've a model contributor, and a model for an expert.
Oh, well, there you are, thank you very much.
Gail, Norman, two friends united with a love of gardening, I think, yes?
Yes, we are.
-That's very true, we are.
-So, Gail, why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
Over the years I've accumulated so many bits and pieces, not just from my travels,
but things handed down from my family, and I just felt it was time for a clear out, really.
-So we'll have a good rummage today, then?
-Oh, yes. I'm in for that.
Right. So what are you going to spend the money on?
Well, I'm hoping to do up this room,
-and particularly have one of those log-burning stoves here, the gas log-burning stoves.
So I'm hoping to raise enough money to have one of those put in.
Norman, as you seem to be the person who does the odd jobs around here, will you have to fit the new fire?
No, I stick to the small jobs. I'll leave that to the professionals,
and come down with some wine and christen it!
-So, how much is this going to cost?
In the region of about £500, I think. Something like that.
I think we ought to be able to raise £500, because you have some smashing things in the house.
Let's go and see what we can take to auction. Come on.
'Gail's beautifully decorated home offers a wealth of rooms rich with collectables.
'So we should have no problem finding enough to take to auction.
'However, we are going to need the advice of expert Paul Hayes to identify the best goods possible,
'and he's way ahead when it comes to valuations, having been born into the antiques business.
'Although he's not the only leader of the pack on our rummage today.'
-He's at work already. What have you found?
-I've found something unbelievable.
-It's a letter from Winston Churchill.
-Where did this come from, Gail?
My cousin used to send a birthday card to Winston Churchill every year,
because she shared the same birthday.
-And then one year he replied with this letter.
-What does it say?
It says, "It has given me great pleasure to receive
"your kind message on my birthday. Winston Churchill, Nov 30th, 1947."
Is something like that very collectable?
It's extremely collectable. Churchill is very important in British culture.
He's an iconic figure, isn't he?
I think if there was anybody that summed up the 20th Century,
I think Winston Churchill's near the top. He's the main man.
He spent most of the war wearing the boiler suit, and with the big cigar, always, of course.
Well, he was Prime Minister twice. Once during the War, and then in the 1950s, 1951 to '55.
So he's got a lot going for him, as a statesman, as a fantastic character.
And it's very unusual to have a signed letter like that.
-Yes, hand written.
-What do you think we might get for it at auction?
Well, these things are very rare, and it's hard to authenticate.
What you need with any bit of memorabilia is provenance.
You know that, your auntie, did you say, wrote?
-Your cousin wrote off to him.
Lots of celebrities today have people signing things for them when they get letters.
But this does look like the real McCoy.
I've come across his signature before, and it is identical to that.
-Provenance is important?
-Provenance is very important,
you get lots of fakes of these sorts of items. This seems very genuine. It's on House of Commons paper.
So I think that's dead right. And as a collectable, it is very collectable indeed.
I'd say at least £150, and I would expect it to bring several hundred.
-Does that make any sense?
-Yes, not bad!
What else have you got tucked in the nooks and crannies of this house?
-Let's go and see what we can find.
-Let's soldier on.
I had a vague idea that was the sort of figure, the bottom figure should be around £100, £150.
And I'm very aware that the final price depends on how many people are interested on the day.
Let's hope there are loads of people interested.
'With valuables and an expert of such high standard, I don't think that's going to be a problem.
'But with a £500 target to meet,
'we're going to need plenty of quality goodies to entice our bidders.
And in the home of such a fashion-conscious lady, Paul's stylish find comes as no surprise.'
I must say, these are fantastic, aren't they?
-Are these a family heirloom?
No, they belonged to a lady I knew,
and I believe it was probably an insert on a beautiful dress she wore in the '20s, sort of flapper style.
The 1920s was the age where people used to recycle, materials were very expensive.
So what they would do, they would have items like this that would sew on to your dress,
and once your material had worn away, you could reuse it, and put them on something else.
But this is all beadwork.
Yes, it's magnificent. This is jet, I understand.
Well, it's a French jet.
Jet is quite distinctive when you look at it, this is shiny, almost glass-like.
And it tends to be made in France.
And what they would do was to make these wonderful patterns, and sell them separately.
so you could go along, and you could buy any design.
But this is very 1920s, very Art Deco.
-Oh, yes, very. And would those have been hand sewn?
-All hand sewn.
-That's what I thought,
because they're minute, these little ones here.
Yes, it's taken someone an awful long time to do that.
But the whole jazz era was like that.
You had the short haircuts and the slim dresses.
I mean the dances that they had, the cocktail parties, the motor cars, it sums up that era.
Well, if we said at least £40. Does that sound OK?
Yes, that sounds good.
-Great, let's hope we find a good home for them.
I've always thought it was hand beaded, but I was never really sure, because it's such an amazing thing,
when you look at it there must be thousands and thousands of beads there, all sewn on by hand.
So Paul did clarify that for me.
'There are so many exquisite items on display in Gail's home,
'that choosing what goes and what stays is no easy task.
'Eagle-eyed Paul thinks this French brass-cased carriage clock,
'which has stood on the mantelpiece since Gail was a child,
'could fetch £50 to £80.
'Gail's home is far removed from her exuberant past, and I'm keen to find out more about those early days.'
Gail, you have such a wonderfully colourful home.
It's vibrant with colour everywhere.
-I love it, yes. Mediterranean.
-Is that what the influence is?
Yeah, I'm pretending I'm in a hot country.
But is that because of all the travelling you've done as well?
Probably, yes. I love bright colours and bright-coloured flowers, and that sort of thing.
You were a model. How did that come about?
It was really from a friend at school.
I really wanted to do languages, and her mother's best friend was in fashion in London.
And they nicknamed me Long Shanks, because I was tall and skinny,
and said, "You should be a model."
I went to modelling school, and the rest is history.
But you were a catwalk model, what did that entail?
Well, looking snooty and wearing gorgeous clothes, really.
You must have had some fantastic times as a model,
but is there one occasion that stands out in your memory?
Probably the show we did for Princess Margaret.
She was the guest of honour. it was a charity show.
Each model was given a detective who was in charge of her at her booth.
And you'd go out onto the stage in your full-length chinchilla, and bedecked out in all the diamonds,
and directly you got back to the booth, the fur coats were dragged off you by one guy,
and the diamonds and the necklaces were torn off you by another,
and you were left standing there in your cami knickers, and waiting for the next fur coat to be put on.
So these guys had quite a giggle.
And because Princess Margaret was there,
not only was the security horrendous for the jewels and the furs, but obviously for her as well.
Now, your house is not just colourful, it's full of wonderful things.
Are these things you've inherited, or that you've kind of picked up on your travels?
Mostly inherited. Mostly family, my mother's family had some lovely bits,
and obviously my mother now is unfortunately no longer with us, so I've now got them.
We have a £500 target to get a new fire for your front room.
Your friends all think that's a bit of a special room.
Yes, they do. They call it my "posh room," and I never know why, really.
I feel I should make more use of it, and once I have the fire,
that will be a focal point, and make it really special.
If we're going to raise that money, I think we should take our tea with us, and see what else we can find.
'Getting Gail's home warmed up for winter, though,
'means that lots more precious bits and bobs need to be found.
'Tucked away in a cupboard, I find an exquisite Art Deco tea set for two,
'which once belonged to her mother.
'This could top up our funds by at least £40 to £50.
'Although, if we don't raise enough money today, we may still be needing Norman's next discovery.'
What have we got, Norman?
Candlesticks, we've got a pair of them here.
-What do you think?
-That's quite nice, isn't it?
Are these something that you use a lot, or just now and again?
They have a candle in them and they sit on the mantelpiece,
and I usually light them at Christmas time.
That's exactly what people do with them.
The candlestick itself goes back well before electricity and gas.
This was the only form of light at one point.
These are French. Have you any French connection?
Not as far as I know.
They were always in my grandmother's home, and my mother used to joke and say, "Mind the Rouen candlesticks."
So she wasn't far out when she said Rouen,
so she obviously knew perhaps they were French,
but obviously I was too young to appreciate anything like that.
So, no, I've never lived anywhere where they haven't been there on the mantelpiece.
Funny you should Rouen, actually, cos that is the region where these come from.
It's known as faience, actually, in French, it's a type of earthenware.
What you've got to remember is that the Chinese had the secret of making real porcelain for over 2,000 years.
All the European factories were trying to make that.
And the way that this particular model was done,
is that you would have an earthenware body, almost like a brick, like rough clay,
and they covered it with a tin glaze, which is this white glaze.
And the way to tell it, it's very easily damaged,
if you look at the edge, you get lots and lots of little chips, and that's a trademark of this style.
-But very colourful, these colours are typically French, probably 1890, 1900, that sort of time.
-Yeah. So let's have a look at the other one, Norman.
-A good find, then?
-There we are, yes.
-Oh, this one's a little bit damaged.
-Yes, I know.
Right. If I said sort of £30 to £50, does that sound all right?
-All right with you, Norman?
-Yes, that's fine by me.
All right, so let's keep looking.
The price, obviously,
I'm not... I don't know what they're worth.
I wish they were in perfect condition, and then they'd be worth a lot more,
but there you are. There you go.
'Perhaps if Gail had listened to her mother and "minded the Rouen,"
'the faience candlesticks might be worth a bit more.
'But we'll need extra treasures if we're going to hit that £500 target.
'Norman comes across these five
'19th century leather-bound miniature ambrotypes,
'or photographs on glass to you and me.
'We're hoping to put a smile on their faces, and ours,
'to the tune of £60 to £70.'
'Meanwhile, it looks like Gail's got designs on our Paul in the bedroom!'
All right, what about this, Paul?
Ah, look at that, wow!
-There's a history to that.
Go on then.
I wore that in two fashion shows in London,
-and it was made in Paris by Cerruti.
At the time, I was modelling for ICI, who were, with DuPont,
at the forefront of promoting man-made fibres,
which, strangely enough, this is.
Probably crimplene, I don't really remember to be sure.
That's amazing. ICI did actually try and pioneer that whole nylon and polyester clothing,
it was the new fabric.
This was one of their huge shows to promote the fabrics.
Really? So it's quite an early sort of work, right.
Do you know whether these would have been expensive at the time?
Well, that would have been quite pioneering and probably, yes,
expensive to produce, because they were made it Paris for us specially.
As were a load of things that were in this particular show.
The firm is best known, actually, for employing Giorgio Armani.
Really? I didn't know that.
So it's got a great pedigree.
And they went on to produce lots of things for movies, like Pretty Woman and The Witches Of Eastwick.
Well, there's certainly an interest there,
anything that's the first of anything,
if we came across the first miniskirt by Mary Quant,
or, I'll tell you what's having tremendous success at the moment, is Vivienne Westwood.
Of course, she went through all that punk era, and those old punky items now are worth a fortune.
So, fashion does dictate it slightly. This is very elegant,
but not as striking or off the wall as some of these other creations.
But if that goes to auction, again, if I try to be a little conservative,
it's not got the following like Westwood or Chanel or Dior, or any of the big names,
-but I think somebody would wear that today, and that's in its favour.
If we said £50 to £80, that sort of price?
Yeah, that sounds good.
-Great. You don't have another one in there have you?
-Let's have a look just in case!
Come on out, Vivienne!
I suppose I had kind of second thoughts a little bit about the Cerruti trouser suit,
because it brought back memories of how special those days were,
and strutting our stuff, and feeling really great in it.
But I think it should go to a good home where they'll appreciate the nostalgia that goes with it.
'I'm sure it will, Gail, but unfortunately, fires don't come cheap,
'so we must plough on and find heaps more valuables to take to auction,
'like this beautiful Indian gold
'and turquoise brooch in the shape of a floral spray,
'which could bring us another £40 to £50.
'Gail's home is in immaculate condition,
'and that's partly thanks to her handyman friend and neighbour.'
Norman, how did you and Gail meet?
Well, we, generally, when we walk up and down the street,
as people who live in the street, we would say good morning,
and that's how it starts off, and then one thing led to another,
and then she me got involved in doing little jobs for her,
and watering the plants when she was away on holidays, like she quite often is.
She likes to go abroad as much as she can.
And then she returns the favour for me. Comes up when I'm away in the caravan.
So, gardening is a sort of mutual interest?
Well, it's just nice to see things growing, and it's relaxing.
It takes your mind off it.
I used to do a lot of fishing when I was younger, but it's a bit too cold sitting on the river bank.
At least in the back garden I can nip in the shed now and then and have a little...
Have a beer in the garden shed, can't I?
Have you been to an auction before?
I haven't been, no. I'm looking forward to it.
What do you think you're looking forward to most about the auction?
Just the ambience and the excitement of it, the people,
watching the people after something specific that they want and...
You know, bidding away for it. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.
Well, that room where she wants the fire seems to be the social centre for you,
your family, and everybody else around here.
I think it's going to make it really nice.
We have a coal effect gas fire, and it's nice,
it makes it homely to sit around.
-You'll have some good nights in there, will you?
-Absolutely, with or without the fire!
I think if she's going to get that fire,
-we should go and see what else we can find to take to auction, don't you?
'We're edging closer to our target,
'and Gail's dream of wintry nights in front of a new fire could soon be a reality if all goes well.
'No longer in the dark is this unusual collection
'of Irish Freemasons ephemera, handed down from a great uncle,
'and Paul is making no secret of his estimated price of £50 to £60.
'But help from Gail's relatives doesn't end there.'
-Gail, this is such a cute little nursing chair, isn't it?
-Yes, I love it.
How did it come into the family?
It belonged to my grandmother and her husband,
and it was my grandfather, apparently, so the story goes,
he and his brother used to use it as a toboggan.
Considering that, it's hardly damaged at all, is it?
It's not too bad.
But I just love it. I can never remember it not being around.
-I think we should get Paul to take a look at this. Paul!
-What do you make of this, then?
-That's quite nice.
-Isn't it sweet?
It's an old nursing chair, and the reason it's so close to the ground is so people could nurse the baby.
And what would happen, would be the nanny of the house would look after the small child,
and she would sit and recline close to the ground, so if she did drop the baby, it wouldn't go too far.
It's actually beautifully decorated with these sort of little roses, and the banding down there.
Those are ormolu mounts, and it looks like what they call Empire style.
Right at the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon tried to be the Emperor of Europe,
which is where the name comes from.
And he was inspired by things he found in Rome and Greece, and places he was visiting.
One of the famous throne chairs that were found is in the shape of an X.
So that's the basic design, this sort of scroll back here. They would decorate them in black,
with gold or ormolu mounts, and that gave the contrast, and that's the style at the time.
It's actually quite elaborate, then, for something that a member of staff would have used.
Don't forget, if you had a member of staff in 1820, you were obviously quite wealthy.
The reason why it's so narrow is if you had a large padded area,
it would sag in the middle, so they made them quite narrow.
This is before the time of the spring. After 1840, they could support it.
So that dates it to before that time.
If it went to auction, what sort of price would it make?
Well, it's seen better days, but I would say at least £40 to £60.
-Does that make any sense?
£40 to £60, would you be prepared to let it go to auction for that, Gail?
That's a hard one. I'll have to think about that.
If you're going to think about that, we've got to look for some other things to take.
So, let's put the chair back.
No tobogganing down the stairs on it, Paul.
Oh, you spoil all the fun!
The nursing chair is definitely something I'm really not sure about.
I've never been without it in my entire life.
My grandfather brought me up, and the connections with him are pretty strong,
so I've got to do some serious thinking about that.
'That's understandable, and we certainly wouldn't want Gail
'to part with anything she's not 100% sure about it.
'But we will need a final push to secure enough top-notch treats for the saleroom.
'These six hallmarked silver teaspoons in a boxed set by James Walker have caught my eye,
'and Paul values them at very substantial £80 to £100.
'And after years of hard graft, has our expert finally been rewarded for all his efforts?'
This is a fantastic medal. Who does this belong to?
I think it was an uncle.
-A great uncle.
And he worked for the railway, I believe.
Got you. Well, that fits in, actually. This is an MBE,
which is a Member Of The British Empire.
And they're given to people for outstanding achievements, or dedication to a particular job,
or maybe they've raised lots of money for charity. It's a way officially recognising that.
And there's a hierarchy. It's like a ranking system.
The top one is where you become a Knight or a Dame,
and it works all the way down to this particular medal, which is the MBE.
It says, "To his Majesty the King,"
so that's one of the Georges. Now, a little tip, here actually.
This is made by Garrards, who were the Queen's jewellers,
and they had an office in Calcutta, can you see that?
-Which they closed in 1930.
-So we know that this medal is definitely before that. I would say that's George V.
The whole thing's solid silver.
The only unfortunate thing is it hasn't got the gentleman or the lady's name.
No, I thought they were, actually.
I thought the names were printed on the back of the medals.
You find a lot of First World War, a lot of military medals are issued to a person,
and they have the name quite clearly on there.
But these are still collectable, and what you've got is the actual medal itself.
You've got one, and a miniature.
You would wear that at a black tie, or an evening event.
And the fact that it's solid silver, it's made by a reputable company,
and it's collectable little item, actually. If I said at least £100, maybe £150?
-Is that what I would get?
-That sound all right?
-Let's tell Norman.
Here we are, we've found a nice medal.
-What is that?
-It's an MBE, isn't that fantastic?
How terrific. So, it's nothing you want to keep in the family, we're going to take it to auction.
-How much is this worth?
-A minimum of £100.
Wow, that's absolutely terrific.
I can tell you what, the total is that we think you're likely to get now then, Gail.
Because if we add that £100 to everything else that we've looked at today,
and take Paul's lowest estimate,
we should expect to raise £690.
-Ooh, that's not bad, is it? Very good.
-It's getting better.
It gets even better, because if we take the little nursing chair as well,
that will take us up to £730.
-Oh, even better!
-You could get that cruise after all!
THEY ALL LAUGH
I think you've got to get the fire in first though, Norman.
'I've had a marvellous time looking around Gail's colourful home today,
'and it's provided us with an eclectic mix of choice finds.
'The birthday thank-you to Gail's cousin
'from Winston Churchill, valued at an astounding £150 to £300.
'Hoping to get the bidders in a flap, those hand-sewn
'1920s beadwork panels, with a price tag of £40 to £60.
'Strutting its stuff, the divine Cerruti trouser suit
'worn by Gail at a fashion show in the 1970s, and now worth £50 to £80.
'And finally, another £40 to £60,
'for the Victorian scroll back nursing chair.
'But Gail's still uncertain about letting that one go.'
'Still to come on Cash in the Attic, we're generating surprises all round.'
That's put a smile on your face.
'Living life on the edge.'
All will be revealed.
'But end up creating more jobs for ourselves.'
-You might have to work on that in your shed, Norman.
-It's looking that way.
'Will everything go according to plan?
'Find out when the final hammer falls.'
Just last week we were with Gail in that wonderful house that she's got in Colchester,
looking for antiques and collectables that we could sell today,
here at the Chiswick auction rooms in west London.
She wants £500 so she can buy a new fireplace for her front room.
We're hoping that we're going to be able to turn the heat up today, when her items go under and hammer.
'If we want to have a successful day, we're relying on these bidders having deep pockets,
'and an eye for quality goods.
'And, no stranger to the finer things in life is our very own Paul Hayes,
'who's already checking out Gail's valuables.'
-They are so pretty, aren't they, those faience candlesticks?
They're beautiful. They remind me of Norman in a way, cos he found them.
He found them, didn't he?
But Gail was such a stylish lady, she had some really lovely things.
Yeah, very elegant. You can tell that she's been in that sort of fashion business.
The trouser suit was amazing.
She had lots of things. A real panache.
But I tell you what I haven't seen, and that's that very pretty little nursing chair,
which had very strong family associations for her.
Yes, I think I would be quite reluctant,
because she has an idea who had that originally, and that's priceless sometimes.
I suspect that that probably won't arrive.
-We'd better go and ask her.
'As the prospective bidders inspect the treasures set for the auction,
'Gail is transported back to her modelling heyday,
'and Norman's on hand with words of encouragement.'
Honestly, I think you should wear it.
Do you know, I think Norman's got a point.
I think if you were to model that, you know, up and down...
Well, I'd need a fee, obviously!
Not you, Norman, you go nowhere near it, mate.
But it does look lovely in the saleroom.
-Are you looking forward to today?
Yeah, very much.
But what we haven't seen is that very lovely little nursing chair,
-that your relatives used to use as a toboggan. Have you brought it?
-I'm afraid not.
-I had long a hard think about it over the weekend.
-But no, I just want to keep it, I'm afraid.
-Lots of memories, in the bedroom.
But lots of other stuff we think is going to do well today, Paul?
I think all your items will do well,
but the Churchill letter, that's such an unusual item, and it's hard to put a price on it.
To the right person, it could go anywhere. So fingers crossed.
-We just need two or three people who are interested.
There are considerably more than two or three people in the auction room.
-So I think we ought to go and take our place.
'Remember, if you're thinking of buying or selling at auction,
'you'll be responsible for paying commission,
'so do check with your local auction house for further details.'
We're just about to start the sale.
'With auctioneer Tom Keane in position, we find a spot with a clear vantage point,
'as Gail's first family heirloom takes centre stage.'
Lot 128 now, a pair of French decorative candlesticks, 128.
The candlesticks are coming up, then, Norman,
these are things that you found, weren't they?
Yeah, these will be top notch.
What are they worth? £50?
£20? Somebody give me £20, please, our first lot.
A bid of £20.
Take 22, at £20. 22.
Who will give me 22? 22? 25. 22.
Take 5 at £22. £22. At £22. 25.
28. You say no? We had three people bid, we've got £25!
I'm selling at £25, all done at 25.
So, £25, you're pleased with?
-That's all right, yes.
'It may have been a slow sale, but we got there in the end.
'Only £475 left to go.
'I hope that this isn't an early indication of what lies ahead,
'as we need to be hitting our estimates if we want to warm up Gail's home.
'And tea-loving expert Paul thinks our next lot
'could see the bids come pouring in.'
I think it's the Art Deco style that is really collectable with this item,
but it has been a smashing cup of tea, I notice one of the cups has been damaged.
-The sugar bowl.
-There you go, OK. We're looking for about £40.
Start me at £40 for it?
-30 for it?
I'm bid £30. 32. 35. 38.
-Yes, come on.
42, thank you. 45. 48.
48. 50. 52.
At 50, the bid at £50.
Sold at £50, your last chance has gone.
Top end of your estimate, Paul.
Exactly, yes, that's four cups of tea, £50, we could be on the High Street.
'At that price, I'm thinking Kensington High Street.'
That was a good surprise, yes, one of the pieces is slightly cracked.
But the rest is in good condition, and it's very pretty.
Looks lovely in a cabinet, even if you don't use it.
'And maybe the person who bought our glorious tea set would like a silver teaspoon to accompany it?
'Well, six, to be more precise.'
There is a saying, "born with a silver spoon," and I looked at you, Norman.
-But these are great value.
-And a good make.
And a good make, yes, James Walker.
Start me at £40. A £40 bid?
At £40. A bid at £40.
The lady with the baby, she wants the silver spoon to go in the baby's mouth.
I'm going to sell at £40, a bid there at £40.
No further interest, I'm going to sell at £40.
'That's a disappointing result, selling £40 under Paul's lowest estimate.
'That lucky baby bagged a bargain there.
'To reach that £500 target and get the home fires burning,
'we're going to need plenty of generous deals coming our way.
'But will the bidders be going "Ooh la la" for Gail's French delight?'
Lot number 108 now, a brass-cased carriage clock.
Where did this come from?
That's always been around, again, on my family mantelpiece,
and I think it was made in France. It's just something that's always been there.
A nice little timepiece though, Paul?
Yes, exactly. Most of the good quality carriage clocks were made in France. But there is a glass missing.
It needs a bit of attention.
-Well, let's watch it go.
-It could be nice, £50? £30?
No offers at £30, I'll pass the lot.
No offers at £30. Sorry, no bids.
Potentially that's a very good clock indeed, so don't be disheartened,
but it's the amount of time it takes someone to do it.
-But I think he did right, rather than let it go for any less.
-You might have to work on that in your shed, Norman.
-It's looking that way.
'Paul's rallying efforts are admirable,
'but unfortunately it won't get us the £50 we expected,
'although Gail's not totally dismissed it yet.'
I wasn't so sure about it, it does need a little bit of attention.
So I might even have something done to it and try to sell it later on again.
'That's the spirit, Gail.
'But with our rocky record so far, we're apprehensive about how our remaining lots will fare.
'However, we put on a brave face, as we stand united, hoping for victory with our next iconic piece.'
148 now, a Winston Churchill signed letter,
it's dated, and on House Of Commons paper,
together with a photograph and leather folder.
I've seen two or three people looking at the Churchill letter.
I think there's a lot of interest in it, and it should go fairly well.
I hope the price is high.
-You've put a reserve on this?
-Yes, of £100.
I feel it's worth a lot more than that, but it depends who's here.
It's a very difficult market to compare prices with,
but when items do turn up, it does get a lot of interest.
£100, start me, see where it goes, £100.
Should make much more than this. I'm bid £100.
-130. 140. 150.
-You've got two people who want it.
140, say 150. At 150 there, thank you.
150. Disappointing. £150. I'll take 160.
At 150, I'm selling at 150. You've got it at 150. Gone.
Above your reserve, £150.
'The great man tops up our fund with a much-needed £150.'
Obviously, I'd hoped for that to go a bit higher.
It was a lack of bids, a lack of people.
If we'd had two or three more people, it would have probably gone double that.
But never mind. Obviously it's gone to someone who will appreciate it.
'But have the buyers shown enough appreciation to take us anywhere near our £500 target?'
Gail and Norman, it's a bit chilly today,
so I'm sure you're both thinking how wonderful it'll be for you and your neighbours
-to join you in the front room in front of a new fire, yes?
I can tell you that at the halfway stage,
£500 is what you want to raise, half of 500 is 250,
well, you've made £265 so far.
-Oh, that's not bad, is it?
-You're doing better than you thought.
-Yes, I think I am.
'That's not a bad half-time total, but there's a lot of pressure riding on our outstanding lots,
'and I'm hoping that we'll see our funds rocket soon.
'Can Gail's vintage treat from the 1920s jazz up the saleroom enough
'to persuade the bidders to part with £40 to £60?'
I have seen these framed up before, and they look wonderful.
So anyone who wants an Art Deco theme to a room, they're very visual things.
So, get your best frock on, Norman!
Here they come.
Are they worth £50?
Are they worth £30? Will somebody bid £30?
£20? No lower, £20.
I'm bid at £20. 22.
25. 28. 30. £28, I'm bid at 28.
£28. Bid so far at £28.
30. I'll take £28.
No further bids at £28 then? See me after.
-Right, not sold.
-Yes, he's not going to sell them, but he got a bid of 28.
'Another unsold item.
'That's not good news. But I think Paul's earlier suggestion has had an impact on Gail.'
I'm really quite enthusiastic about having,
particularly the brightly-coloured one, framed, and putting it on a wall.
So, I'm not disappointed.
'That no sale does mean reaching our £500 target,
'and fulfilling Gail's dream of a cosy new fireplace
'are looking pretty slim.
'Surely that will all change when they see Gail's stunning Indian gold and turquoise brooch?'
-You've put a reserve on this, haven't you?
-Yes, I just think
it's a pretty brooch, again, maybe I'll take it out of the drawer
and start wearing it, but I'm hoping it will sell.
£30 for it. At £30, take 2 at £30.
That can't be it. 32. 35, 38?
You won't buy cheaper stolen. No?
£35 bid. 35. Do you want 38? 40? 42.
48. 50? 5.
50 is bid. Do you want 55?
55. Your bid at £50. 55. You've 5 more to go, haven't you?
Get it out of you. The bid is against you.
55, thank you. 60.
At £55, 55 you've got it.
-£55, that's a result.
Yes, I'm pleased with that.
It was a delicate little brooch, and hopefully someone's bought it to give to a loved one.
'With that result, maybe our love affair
'with the bidders is back on track, and not a moment too soon,
'as the Freemasons ephemera inherited from Gail's great uncle is up next,
'and we desperately need the £50 to £60 estimate for this.'
It's there at £32.
£32 it is. That's it. £32.
-Presumably you didn't want them in the house any more?
-You'd rather have the £32?
-That's bought a couple of logs, hasn't it?
'Well, there certainly wasn't much luck of the Irish with that little lot.
'But it could be worse, at least it made us some money,
'and today we've got to be thankful for small mercies.
'It just goes to show, you never can tell what's going to happen at auction.
'If we need Gail to be warming herself by a new fire though,
'we need her fashionable past to change her future.'
A Cerruti ladies trouser suit, 1970s design.
Now, let me tell you, you could not go down to Bond Street
and buy a Cerruti trouser suit for between £50 and £80,
-which is the price you put on this lovely suit that you wore in that fashion show.
-So we're hoping for good things from this?
-We certainly are.
All will be revealed!
And can we have £50 for it?
£40 for it? It's all gone quiet over there. £40?
£40? No bids of £40? I can't believe it. £40? No bids at all.
At £40, I'll have to stop.
Come and see me after if you change your mind.
Ah, there you go.
I'm surprised there wasn't any interest whatsoever. But there again,
I shall take it home and treasure it for a bit longer.
Maybe wear it.
'With a £500 target to make for Gail's roaring new fireplace,
'we can't afford to be taking things home with us.
'So the Victorian leather-cased ambrotypes need to sell,
'and ideally bring us no less than £60.'
For £60, your last chance. It sells, all done.
-That's put a smile on your face.
'And not before time.
'A very majestic £60 goes towards Gail's fire fund.
'There's no escaping the fact that today's auction has dealt us some real low blows,
'and I think Gail and Norman deserve an award for their valiant efforts.
'Maybe if our last lot of the day sells, it'll be reward enough.'
Lot 398 now, a case of hallmarked silver MBE medals.
I had a word with the auctioneer, Paul, and he says if you were able to get provenance of this,
the certificate or letter that went with it, then the sky is the limit on the price,
-but you don't have any of those things, do you?
What a shame, but nevertheless a nice thing in its own right in its case.
Yes, as it is I've tried to be conservative just to get it to auction,
but let's see how we get on, eh?
£80, I can see you twittering a bit first.
Now, you've a reserve on this of £100, haven't we?
85. 90. 5. 100. £110.
Past your reserve.
£110. Another bid, £110. Take 120.
£110. Thank you, a new bid. At £130.
At £120, take £130, selling. All done at £120.
There you go.
£120, pleased with that?
-You don't sound too convinced?
No, I'm a little bit disappointed.
I thought it would make £150, I really did.
It hit your reserve plus some.
-So, £120 for the MBE.
'Well, after the day we've had, £120 is a refreshing change.
'But have the erratic sales taken their toll on our final result?'
Well, Gail and Norman, an interesting day today. Three no sales.
-I hope you've brought a big enough bag to take them all home in?
Well, £500 was the target so that you could have that new fireplace in the posh front room,
and in spite of the three no sales,
I can tell you what you've actually raised today is £532.
Oh, that's not too bad, then, is it?
Not a bad day's work, is it?
-Yes, not bad.
-A fireplace, and maybe a little something to christen it?
-Yeah, just a little!
'Well, it's been a few weeks now since we raised £532 at auction for Gail to buy a new fireplace
'to warm her front room,
'and today she's come along to her local showroom with Norman and his wife Mita.'
My intention is to try and buy a log-burning gas powered stove,
and I've come here today to look around, see what they've got,
and see if I'm going to be able to afford it, that sort of thing.
-Hello, there. Hello, I'm Gail.
'With so many to choose from, it's not long before Gail spots one she likes.'
I think that's gorgeous, but it's probably not right for my house, unfortunately, don't you think?
'Well, in that case, how about something more traditional?'
I think that, frankly, is probably as near as what I'm going to get.
In a matt black, and with logs, not with coals.
'With just over £400 spent on the fireplace of her dreams, Gail's still got cash to spare.'
Right, I've sorted it all out, chosen a fireplace,
and now Norman and Mita and I are going off for a drink to celebrate.
-To your new fireplace.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Gail Butler travelled the world as a model. She now craves the home life, and although still graced with poise and beauty, she doesn't have a decent fire for the living room. With her friend and neighbour to help, she calls in the Cash in the Attic team.