Butler Cash in the Attic


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Butler

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

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in your home and sells them at auction.

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Today, I'm in Colchester, which has the distinction of being the oldest town in Britain,

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because it has records going back to AD77.

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With a mixture of both ancient and modern standing shoulder to shoulder,

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it's still home to a number of historic sites.

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This magnificent fortress is Colchester Castle.

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It was built around 1070, and it's the largest Norman keep in the whole of Europe.

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Over the years, this Norman stronghold has been used to incarcerate criminals,

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interrogate suspected witches, and now entertains over 100,000 visitors every year.

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This is a truly spectacular historical site,

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but I'm sure our next location is also going to be pretty fascinating.

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'Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, we're seeking help in unusual places...'

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-No!

-Come on out, Vivienne.

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'..getting up to no good, given half a chance...'

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No tobogganing down the stairs on it, Paul.

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OK, Oh, you spoil all the fun!

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'..but still trying to impress at auction.'

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Well, get your best frock on, Norman. Here they come.

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'Will all our efforts pay off at the end of the day?

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'Find out when the hammer falls.'

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I'm on my way to meet a fascinating lady.

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She's a gardener, a traveller, and a former catwalk model.

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'For nearly nine years, this fine suburban residence has been home to Gail Butler,

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'who, after travelling extensively around the world during her modelling career,

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'loves to spend most of her time out of doors.

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'Now retired, her garden is her pride and joy, and gets most of her attention.

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'But in the last couple of years, she's been grateful for a reliable pair of hands to help her out.

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'Neighbour and fellow gardener, Norman Clark,

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'has been roped in to assist today, to get her home ready for the winter months.'

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-Hello, hello.

-Good morning Paul, I'm very well indeed.

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I think we're going to have a great day, she's got some nice things.

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She's got some very fashionable items, yes. Are you ready for this?

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I am indeed. We've a model contributor, and a model for an expert.

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Oh, well, there you are, thank you very much.

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Gail, Norman, two friends united with a love of gardening, I think, yes?

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Yes, we are.

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-That's very true, we are.

-So, Gail, why have you called in Cash In The Attic?

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Over the years I've accumulated so many bits and pieces, not just from my travels,

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but things handed down from my family, and I just felt it was time for a clear out, really.

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-So we'll have a good rummage today, then?

-Oh, yes. I'm in for that.

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Right. So what are you going to spend the money on?

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Well, I'm hoping to do up this room,

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-and particularly have one of those log-burning stoves here, the gas log-burning stoves.

-Right.

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So I'm hoping to raise enough money to have one of those put in.

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Norman, as you seem to be the person who does the odd jobs around here, will you have to fit the new fire?

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No, I stick to the small jobs. I'll leave that to the professionals,

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and come down with some wine and christen it!

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-THEY LAUGH

-So, how much is this going to cost?

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In the region of about £500, I think. Something like that.

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I think we ought to be able to raise £500, because you have some smashing things in the house.

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Let's go and see what we can take to auction. Come on.

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'Gail's beautifully decorated home offers a wealth of rooms rich with collectables.

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'So we should have no problem finding enough to take to auction.

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'However, we are going to need the advice of expert Paul Hayes to identify the best goods possible,

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'and he's way ahead when it comes to valuations, having been born into the antiques business.

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'Although he's not the only leader of the pack on our rummage today.'

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-He's at work already. What have you found?

-I've found something unbelievable.

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-It's a letter from Winston Churchill.

-Where did this come from, Gail?

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My cousin used to send a birthday card to Winston Churchill every year,

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because she shared the same birthday.

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-And then one year he replied with this letter.

-What does it say?

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It says, "It has given me great pleasure to receive

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"your kind message on my birthday. Winston Churchill, Nov 30th, 1947."

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Is something like that very collectable?

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It's extremely collectable. Churchill is very important in British culture.

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He's an iconic figure, isn't he?

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I think if there was anybody that summed up the 20th Century,

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I think Winston Churchill's near the top. He's the main man.

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He spent most of the war wearing the boiler suit, and with the big cigar, always, of course.

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Well, he was Prime Minister twice. Once during the War, and then in the 1950s, 1951 to '55.

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So he's got a lot going for him, as a statesman, as a fantastic character.

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And it's very unusual to have a signed letter like that.

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-Yes, hand written.

-What do you think we might get for it at auction?

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Well, these things are very rare, and it's hard to authenticate.

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What you need with any bit of memorabilia is provenance.

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You know that, your auntie, did you say, wrote?

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-Cousin.

-Your cousin wrote off to him.

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Lots of celebrities today have people signing things for them when they get letters.

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But this does look like the real McCoy.

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I've come across his signature before, and it is identical to that.

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-Provenance is important?

-Provenance is very important,

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you get lots of fakes of these sorts of items. This seems very genuine. It's on House of Commons paper.

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So I think that's dead right. And as a collectable, it is very collectable indeed.

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I'd say at least £150, and I would expect it to bring several hundred.

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-Does that make any sense?

-Yes, not bad!

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What else have you got tucked in the nooks and crannies of this house?

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-Let's go and see what we can find.

-Let's soldier on.

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I had a vague idea that was the sort of figure, the bottom figure should be around £100, £150.

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And I'm very aware that the final price depends on how many people are interested on the day.

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Let's hope there are loads of people interested.

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'With valuables and an expert of such high standard, I don't think that's going to be a problem.

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'But with a £500 target to meet,

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'we're going to need plenty of quality goodies to entice our bidders.

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And in the home of such a fashion-conscious lady, Paul's stylish find comes as no surprise.'

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I must say, these are fantastic, aren't they?

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-They're gorgeous.

-Are these a family heirloom?

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No, they belonged to a lady I knew,

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and I believe it was probably an insert on a beautiful dress she wore in the '20s, sort of flapper style.

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The 1920s was the age where people used to recycle, materials were very expensive.

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So what they would do, they would have items like this that would sew on to your dress,

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and once your material had worn away, you could reuse it, and put them on something else.

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But this is all beadwork.

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Yes, it's magnificent. This is jet, I understand.

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Well, it's a French jet.

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Jet is quite distinctive when you look at it, this is shiny, almost glass-like.

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And it tends to be made in France.

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And what they would do was to make these wonderful patterns, and sell them separately.

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so you could go along, and you could buy any design.

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But this is very 1920s, very Art Deco.

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-Oh, yes, very. And would those have been hand sewn?

-All hand sewn.

-That's what I thought,

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because they're minute, these little ones here.

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Yes, it's taken someone an awful long time to do that.

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But the whole jazz era was like that.

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You had the short haircuts and the slim dresses.

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I mean the dances that they had, the cocktail parties, the motor cars, it sums up that era.

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Well, if we said at least £40. Does that sound OK?

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Yes, that sounds good.

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-Great, let's hope we find a good home for them.

-Good.

-Excellent.

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I've always thought it was hand beaded, but I was never really sure, because it's such an amazing thing,

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when you look at it there must be thousands and thousands of beads there, all sewn on by hand.

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So Paul did clarify that for me.

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'There are so many exquisite items on display in Gail's home,

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'that choosing what goes and what stays is no easy task.

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'Eagle-eyed Paul thinks this French brass-cased carriage clock,

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'which has stood on the mantelpiece since Gail was a child,

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'could fetch £50 to £80.

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'Gail's home is far removed from her exuberant past, and I'm keen to find out more about those early days.'

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Gail, you have such a wonderfully colourful home.

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It's vibrant with colour everywhere.

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-I love it, yes. Mediterranean.

-Is that what the influence is?

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Yeah, I'm pretending I'm in a hot country.

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But is that because of all the travelling you've done as well?

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Probably, yes. I love bright colours and bright-coloured flowers, and that sort of thing.

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You were a model. How did that come about?

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It was really from a friend at school.

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I really wanted to do languages, and her mother's best friend was in fashion in London.

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And they nicknamed me Long Shanks, because I was tall and skinny,

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and said, "You should be a model."

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I went to modelling school, and the rest is history.

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But you were a catwalk model, what did that entail?

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Well, looking snooty and wearing gorgeous clothes, really.

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You must have had some fantastic times as a model,

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but is there one occasion that stands out in your memory?

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Probably the show we did for Princess Margaret.

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She was the guest of honour. it was a charity show.

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Each model was given a detective who was in charge of her at her booth.

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And you'd go out onto the stage in your full-length chinchilla, and bedecked out in all the diamonds,

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and directly you got back to the booth, the fur coats were dragged off you by one guy,

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and the diamonds and the necklaces were torn off you by another,

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and you were left standing there in your cami knickers, and waiting for the next fur coat to be put on.

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So these guys had quite a giggle.

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And because Princess Margaret was there,

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not only was the security horrendous for the jewels and the furs, but obviously for her as well.

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Now, your house is not just colourful, it's full of wonderful things.

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Are these things you've inherited, or that you've kind of picked up on your travels?

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Mostly inherited. Mostly family, my mother's family had some lovely bits,

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and obviously my mother now is unfortunately no longer with us, so I've now got them.

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We have a £500 target to get a new fire for your front room.

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Your friends all think that's a bit of a special room.

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Yes, they do. They call it my "posh room," and I never know why, really.

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I feel I should make more use of it, and once I have the fire,

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that will be a focal point, and make it really special.

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If we're going to raise that money, I think we should take our tea with us, and see what else we can find.

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'Getting Gail's home warmed up for winter, though,

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'means that lots more precious bits and bobs need to be found.

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'Tucked away in a cupboard, I find an exquisite Art Deco tea set for two,

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'which once belonged to her mother.

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'This could top up our funds by at least £40 to £50.

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'Although, if we don't raise enough money today, we may still be needing Norman's next discovery.'

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What have we got, Norman?

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Candlesticks, we've got a pair of them here.

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-What do you think?

-That's quite nice, isn't it?

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Are these something that you use a lot, or just now and again?

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They have a candle in them and they sit on the mantelpiece,

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and I usually light them at Christmas time.

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That's exactly what people do with them.

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The candlestick itself goes back well before electricity and gas.

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This was the only form of light at one point.

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These are French. Have you any French connection?

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Not as far as I know.

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They were always in my grandmother's home, and my mother used to joke and say, "Mind the Rouen candlesticks."

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So she wasn't far out when she said Rouen,

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so she obviously knew perhaps they were French,

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but obviously I was too young to appreciate anything like that.

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So, no, I've never lived anywhere where they haven't been there on the mantelpiece.

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Funny you should Rouen, actually, cos that is the region where these come from.

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It's known as faience, actually, in French, it's a type of earthenware.

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What you've got to remember is that the Chinese had the secret of making real porcelain for over 2,000 years.

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All the European factories were trying to make that.

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And the way that this particular model was done,

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is that you would have an earthenware body, almost like a brick, like rough clay,

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and they covered it with a tin glaze, which is this white glaze.

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And the way to tell it, it's very easily damaged,

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if you look at the edge, you get lots and lots of little chips, and that's a trademark of this style.

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-But very colourful, these colours are typically French, probably 1890, 1900, that sort of time.

-Really?

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-Yeah. So let's have a look at the other one, Norman.

-A good find, then?

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-There we are, yes.

-Well done.

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-Oh, this one's a little bit damaged.

-Yes, I know.

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Right. If I said sort of £30 to £50, does that sound all right?

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-Yeah.

-All right with you, Norman?

-Yes, that's fine by me.

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All right, so let's keep looking.

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The price, obviously,

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I'm not... I don't know what they're worth.

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I wish they were in perfect condition, and then they'd be worth a lot more,

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but there you are. There you go.

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'Perhaps if Gail had listened to her mother and "minded the Rouen,"

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'the faience candlesticks might be worth a bit more.

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'But we'll need extra treasures if we're going to hit that £500 target.

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'Norman comes across these five

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'19th century leather-bound miniature ambrotypes,

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'or photographs on glass to you and me.

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'We're hoping to put a smile on their faces, and ours,

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'to the tune of £60 to £70.'

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'Meanwhile, it looks like Gail's got designs on our Paul in the bedroom!'

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All right, what about this, Paul?

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Ah, look at that, wow!

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-There's a history to that.

-Really?

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Go on then.

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I wore that in two fashion shows in London,

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-and it was made in Paris by Cerruti.

-OK.

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At the time, I was modelling for ICI, who were, with DuPont,

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at the forefront of promoting man-made fibres,

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which, strangely enough, this is.

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Probably crimplene, I don't really remember to be sure.

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That's amazing. ICI did actually try and pioneer that whole nylon and polyester clothing,

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it was the new fabric.

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This was one of their huge shows to promote the fabrics.

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Really? So it's quite an early sort of work, right.

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Do you know whether these would have been expensive at the time?

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Well, that would have been quite pioneering and probably, yes,

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expensive to produce, because they were made it Paris for us specially.

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As were a load of things that were in this particular show.

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The firm is best known, actually, for employing Giorgio Armani.

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Really? I didn't know that.

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So it's got a great pedigree.

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And they went on to produce lots of things for movies, like Pretty Woman and The Witches Of Eastwick.

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Well, there's certainly an interest there,

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anything that's the first of anything,

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if we came across the first miniskirt by Mary Quant,

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or, I'll tell you what's having tremendous success at the moment, is Vivienne Westwood.

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Of course, she went through all that punk era, and those old punky items now are worth a fortune.

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So, fashion does dictate it slightly. This is very elegant,

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but not as striking or off the wall as some of these other creations.

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But if that goes to auction, again, if I try to be a little conservative,

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it's not got the following like Westwood or Chanel or Dior, or any of the big names,

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-but I think somebody would wear that today, and that's in its favour.

-Yes.

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If we said £50 to £80, that sort of price?

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Yeah, that sounds good.

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-Great. You don't have another one in there have you?

-No, sorry!

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-Let's have a look just in case!

-No!

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Come on out, Vivienne!

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I suppose I had kind of second thoughts a little bit about the Cerruti trouser suit,

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because it brought back memories of how special those days were,

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and strutting our stuff, and feeling really great in it.

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But I think it should go to a good home where they'll appreciate the nostalgia that goes with it.

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'I'm sure it will, Gail, but unfortunately, fires don't come cheap,

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'so we must plough on and find heaps more valuables to take to auction,

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'like this beautiful Indian gold

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'and turquoise brooch in the shape of a floral spray,

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'which could bring us another £40 to £50.

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'Gail's home is in immaculate condition,

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'and that's partly thanks to her handyman friend and neighbour.'

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Norman, how did you and Gail meet?

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Well, we, generally, when we walk up and down the street,

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as people who live in the street, we would say good morning,

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and that's how it starts off, and then one thing led to another,

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and then she me got involved in doing little jobs for her,

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and watering the plants when she was away on holidays, like she quite often is.

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She likes to go abroad as much as she can.

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And then she returns the favour for me. Comes up when I'm away in the caravan.

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So, gardening is a sort of mutual interest?

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Well, it's just nice to see things growing, and it's relaxing.

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It takes your mind off it.

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I used to do a lot of fishing when I was younger, but it's a bit too cold sitting on the river bank.

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At least in the back garden I can nip in the shed now and then and have a little...

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SHE LAUGHS

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Have a beer in the garden shed, can't I?

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Have you been to an auction before?

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I haven't been, no. I'm looking forward to it.

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What do you think you're looking forward to most about the auction?

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Just the ambience and the excitement of it, the people,

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watching the people after something specific that they want and...

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You know, bidding away for it. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

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Well, that room where she wants the fire seems to be the social centre for you,

0:17:490:17:53

your family, and everybody else around here.

0:17:530:17:57

I think it's going to make it really nice.

0:17:570:17:59

We have a coal effect gas fire, and it's nice,

0:17:590:18:02

it makes it homely to sit around.

0:18:020:18:05

-You'll have some good nights in there, will you?

-Absolutely, with or without the fire!

0:18:050:18:10

I think if she's going to get that fire,

0:18:100:18:12

-we should go and see what else we can find to take to auction, don't you?

-Absolutely.

0:18:120:18:16

'We're edging closer to our target,

0:18:160:18:19

'and Gail's dream of wintry nights in front of a new fire could soon be a reality if all goes well.

0:18:190:18:25

'No longer in the dark is this unusual collection

0:18:250:18:27

'of Irish Freemasons ephemera, handed down from a great uncle,

0:18:270:18:32

'and Paul is making no secret of his estimated price of £50 to £60.

0:18:320:18:36

'But help from Gail's relatives doesn't end there.'

0:18:360:18:42

-Gail, this is such a cute little nursing chair, isn't it?

-Yes, I love it.

0:18:420:18:45

How did it come into the family?

0:18:450:18:47

It belonged to my grandmother and her husband,

0:18:470:18:50

and it was my grandfather, apparently, so the story goes,

0:18:500:18:53

he and his brother used to use it as a toboggan.

0:18:530:18:55

Considering that, it's hardly damaged at all, is it?

0:18:550:18:59

It's not too bad.

0:18:590:19:01

But I just love it. I can never remember it not being around.

0:19:010:19:05

-I think we should get Paul to take a look at this. Paul!

-Hi, hello.

0:19:050:19:09

-What do you make of this, then?

-That's quite nice.

-Isn't it sweet?

0:19:090:19:12

It's an old nursing chair, and the reason it's so close to the ground is so people could nurse the baby.

0:19:120:19:17

And what would happen, would be the nanny of the house would look after the small child,

0:19:170:19:22

and she would sit and recline close to the ground, so if she did drop the baby, it wouldn't go too far.

0:19:220:19:27

It's actually beautifully decorated with these sort of little roses, and the banding down there.

0:19:270:19:33

Those are ormolu mounts, and it looks like what they call Empire style.

0:19:330:19:37

Right at the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon tried to be the Emperor of Europe,

0:19:370:19:42

which is where the name comes from.

0:19:420:19:44

And he was inspired by things he found in Rome and Greece, and places he was visiting.

0:19:440:19:48

One of the famous throne chairs that were found is in the shape of an X.

0:19:480:19:52

So that's the basic design, this sort of scroll back here. They would decorate them in black,

0:19:520:19:56

with gold or ormolu mounts, and that gave the contrast, and that's the style at the time.

0:19:560:20:01

It's actually quite elaborate, then, for something that a member of staff would have used.

0:20:010:20:06

Don't forget, if you had a member of staff in 1820, you were obviously quite wealthy.

0:20:060:20:11

The reason why it's so narrow is if you had a large padded area,

0:20:110:20:14

it would sag in the middle, so they made them quite narrow.

0:20:140:20:17

This is before the time of the spring. After 1840, they could support it.

0:20:170:20:21

So that dates it to before that time.

0:20:210:20:24

If it went to auction, what sort of price would it make?

0:20:240:20:27

Well, it's seen better days, but I would say at least £40 to £60.

0:20:270:20:32

-Does that make any sense?

-Right.

0:20:320:20:34

£40 to £60, would you be prepared to let it go to auction for that, Gail?

0:20:340:20:38

That's a hard one. I'll have to think about that.

0:20:380:20:41

If you're going to think about that, we've got to look for some other things to take.

0:20:410:20:46

So, let's put the chair back.

0:20:460:20:48

No tobogganing down the stairs on it, Paul.

0:20:480:20:51

Oh, you spoil all the fun!

0:20:510:20:54

The nursing chair is definitely something I'm really not sure about.

0:20:540:20:58

I've never been without it in my entire life.

0:20:580:21:01

My grandfather brought me up, and the connections with him are pretty strong,

0:21:010:21:06

so I've got to do some serious thinking about that.

0:21:060:21:09

'That's understandable, and we certainly wouldn't want Gail

0:21:090:21:12

'to part with anything she's not 100% sure about it.

0:21:120:21:15

'But we will need a final push to secure enough top-notch treats for the saleroom.

0:21:150:21:21

'These six hallmarked silver teaspoons in a boxed set by James Walker have caught my eye,

0:21:210:21:26

'and Paul values them at very substantial £80 to £100.

0:21:260:21:30

'And after years of hard graft, has our expert finally been rewarded for all his efforts?'

0:21:300:21:36

This is a fantastic medal. Who does this belong to?

0:21:360:21:40

I think it was an uncle.

0:21:400:21:43

-A great uncle.

-Really?

0:21:430:21:45

And he worked for the railway, I believe.

0:21:450:21:47

Got you. Well, that fits in, actually. This is an MBE,

0:21:470:21:51

which is a Member Of The British Empire.

0:21:510:21:53

And they're given to people for outstanding achievements, or dedication to a particular job,

0:21:530:21:59

or maybe they've raised lots of money for charity. It's a way officially recognising that.

0:21:590:22:04

And there's a hierarchy. It's like a ranking system.

0:22:040:22:08

The top one is where you become a Knight or a Dame,

0:22:080:22:10

and it works all the way down to this particular medal, which is the MBE.

0:22:100:22:14

It says, "To his Majesty the King,"

0:22:140:22:17

so that's one of the Georges. Now, a little tip, here actually.

0:22:170:22:19

This is made by Garrards, who were the Queen's jewellers,

0:22:190:22:23

and they had an office in Calcutta, can you see that?

0:22:230:22:27

-Yes.

-Which they closed in 1930.

-Oh.

0:22:270:22:29

-So we know that this medal is definitely before that. I would say that's George V.

-Yes.

0:22:290:22:34

The whole thing's solid silver.

0:22:340:22:35

The only unfortunate thing is it hasn't got the gentleman or the lady's name.

0:22:350:22:40

No, I thought they were, actually.

0:22:400:22:42

I thought the names were printed on the back of the medals.

0:22:420:22:45

You find a lot of First World War, a lot of military medals are issued to a person,

0:22:450:22:49

and they have the name quite clearly on there.

0:22:490:22:51

But these are still collectable, and what you've got is the actual medal itself.

0:22:510:22:55

You've got one, and a miniature.

0:22:550:22:57

You would wear that at a black tie, or an evening event.

0:22:570:23:00

And the fact that it's solid silver, it's made by a reputable company,

0:23:000:23:04

and it's collectable little item, actually. If I said at least £100, maybe £150?

0:23:040:23:09

-Is that what I would get?

-That sound all right?

-Yes. Excellent.

-Let's tell Norman.

0:23:090:23:14

Norman, Angela.

0:23:140:23:15

Here we are, we've found a nice medal.

0:23:150:23:18

-What is that?

-It's an MBE, isn't that fantastic?

0:23:180:23:21

How terrific. So, it's nothing you want to keep in the family, we're going to take it to auction.

0:23:210:23:26

-How much is this worth?

-A minimum of £100.

0:23:260:23:29

Wow, that's absolutely terrific.

0:23:290:23:30

I can tell you what, the total is that we think you're likely to get now then, Gail.

0:23:300:23:36

Because if we add that £100 to everything else that we've looked at today,

0:23:360:23:40

and take Paul's lowest estimate,

0:23:400:23:42

we should expect to raise £690.

0:23:420:23:49

-Ooh, that's not bad, is it? Very good.

-It's getting better.

0:23:490:23:52

It gets even better, because if we take the little nursing chair as well,

0:23:520:23:59

that will take us up to £730.

0:23:590:24:01

-Oh, even better!

-You could get that cruise after all!

0:24:010:24:04

THEY ALL LAUGH

0:24:040:24:06

I think you've got to get the fire in first though, Norman.

0:24:060:24:09

'I've had a marvellous time looking around Gail's colourful home today,

0:24:090:24:13

'and it's provided us with an eclectic mix of choice finds.

0:24:130:24:17

'The birthday thank-you to Gail's cousin

0:24:170:24:19

'from Winston Churchill, valued at an astounding £150 to £300.

0:24:190:24:24

'Hoping to get the bidders in a flap, those hand-sewn

0:24:240:24:27

'1920s beadwork panels, with a price tag of £40 to £60.

0:24:270:24:32

'Strutting its stuff, the divine Cerruti trouser suit

0:24:320:24:36

'worn by Gail at a fashion show in the 1970s, and now worth £50 to £80.

0:24:360:24:41

'And finally, another £40 to £60,

0:24:410:24:44

'for the Victorian scroll back nursing chair.

0:24:440:24:47

'But Gail's still uncertain about letting that one go.'

0:24:470:24:50

'Still to come on Cash in the Attic, we're generating surprises all round.'

0:24:520:24:57

That's put a smile on your face.

0:24:570:24:58

'Living life on the edge.'

0:24:580:25:01

All will be revealed.

0:25:010:25:03

'But end up creating more jobs for ourselves.'

0:25:030:25:06

-You might have to work on that in your shed, Norman.

-It's looking that way.

0:25:060:25:09

'Will everything go according to plan?

0:25:090:25:12

'Find out when the final hammer falls.'

0:25:120:25:14

Just last week we were with Gail in that wonderful house that she's got in Colchester,

0:25:200:25:24

looking for antiques and collectables that we could sell today,

0:25:240:25:28

here at the Chiswick auction rooms in west London.

0:25:280:25:30

She wants £500 so she can buy a new fireplace for her front room.

0:25:300:25:36

We're hoping that we're going to be able to turn the heat up today, when her items go under and hammer.

0:25:360:25:41

'If we want to have a successful day, we're relying on these bidders having deep pockets,

0:25:410:25:46

'and an eye for quality goods.

0:25:460:25:48

'And, no stranger to the finer things in life is our very own Paul Hayes,

0:25:480:25:53

'who's already checking out Gail's valuables.'

0:25:530:25:55

-Ah, hello.

-They are so pretty, aren't they, those faience candlesticks?

0:25:550:26:00

They're beautiful. They remind me of Norman in a way, cos he found them.

0:26:000:26:03

He found them, didn't he?

0:26:030:26:05

But Gail was such a stylish lady, she had some really lovely things.

0:26:050:26:09

Yeah, very elegant. You can tell that she's been in that sort of fashion business.

0:26:090:26:13

The trouser suit was amazing.

0:26:130:26:15

She had lots of things. A real panache.

0:26:150:26:17

But I tell you what I haven't seen, and that's that very pretty little nursing chair,

0:26:170:26:22

which had very strong family associations for her.

0:26:220:26:26

Yes, I think I would be quite reluctant,

0:26:260:26:28

because she has an idea who had that originally, and that's priceless sometimes.

0:26:280:26:32

I suspect that that probably won't arrive.

0:26:320:26:35

-We'd better go and ask her.

-OK.

0:26:350:26:36

'As the prospective bidders inspect the treasures set for the auction,

0:26:360:26:40

'Gail is transported back to her modelling heyday,

0:26:400:26:43

'and Norman's on hand with words of encouragement.'

0:26:430:26:47

Honestly, I think you should wear it.

0:26:470:26:49

-Hi, guys.

-Good morning.

0:26:490:26:51

Do you know, I think Norman's got a point.

0:26:510:26:54

I think if you were to model that, you know, up and down...

0:26:540:26:57

Well, I'd need a fee, obviously!

0:26:570:26:59

Not you, Norman, you go nowhere near it, mate.

0:26:590:27:02

But it does look lovely in the saleroom.

0:27:020:27:04

-Are you looking forward to today?

-Oh, yes.

0:27:040:27:06

Yeah, very much.

0:27:060:27:08

But what we haven't seen is that very lovely little nursing chair,

0:27:080:27:12

-that your relatives used to use as a toboggan. Have you brought it?

-I'm afraid not.

0:27:120:27:17

-No?

-I had long a hard think about it over the weekend.

0:27:170:27:20

-But no, I just want to keep it, I'm afraid.

-Lots of memories, in the bedroom.

0:27:200:27:25

But lots of other stuff we think is going to do well today, Paul?

0:27:250:27:28

I think all your items will do well,

0:27:280:27:30

but the Churchill letter, that's such an unusual item, and it's hard to put a price on it.

0:27:300:27:35

To the right person, it could go anywhere. So fingers crossed.

0:27:350:27:39

-We just need two or three people who are interested.

-Exactly.

0:27:390:27:43

There are considerably more than two or three people in the auction room.

0:27:430:27:46

-So I think we ought to go and take our place.

-OK.

0:27:460:27:50

'Remember, if you're thinking of buying or selling at auction,

0:27:500:27:53

'you'll be responsible for paying commission,

0:27:530:27:56

'so do check with your local auction house for further details.'

0:27:560:28:00

We're just about to start the sale.

0:28:030:28:05

'With auctioneer Tom Keane in position, we find a spot with a clear vantage point,

0:28:050:28:10

'as Gail's first family heirloom takes centre stage.'

0:28:100:28:13

Lot 128 now, a pair of French decorative candlesticks, 128.

0:28:130:28:18

The candlesticks are coming up, then, Norman,

0:28:180:28:21

these are things that you found, weren't they?

0:28:210:28:23

Yeah, these will be top notch.

0:28:230:28:25

What are they worth? £50?

0:28:250:28:26

£30?

0:28:260:28:29

£20? Somebody give me £20, please, our first lot.

0:28:290:28:32

A bid of £20.

0:28:320:28:35

Take 22, at £20. 22.

0:28:350:28:37

Who will give me 22? 22? 25. 22.

0:28:370:28:41

Take 5 at £22. £22. At £22. 25.

0:28:410:28:45

28. You say no? We had three people bid, we've got £25!

0:28:450:28:49

I'm selling at £25, all done at 25.

0:28:490:28:53

So, £25, you're pleased with?

0:28:530:28:54

-That's all right, yes.

-Good.

0:28:540:28:56

'It may have been a slow sale, but we got there in the end.

0:28:560:29:01

'Only £475 left to go.

0:29:010:29:03

'I hope that this isn't an early indication of what lies ahead,

0:29:030:29:07

'as we need to be hitting our estimates if we want to warm up Gail's home.

0:29:070:29:10

'And tea-loving expert Paul thinks our next lot

0:29:100:29:13

'could see the bids come pouring in.'

0:29:130:29:16

I think it's the Art Deco style that is really collectable with this item,

0:29:180:29:21

but it has been a smashing cup of tea, I notice one of the cups has been damaged.

0:29:210:29:25

-The sugar bowl.

-There you go, OK. We're looking for about £40.

0:29:250:29:29

Start me at £40 for it?

0:29:290:29:31

-30 for it?

-Come on.

0:29:310:29:34

I'm bid £30. 32. 35. 38.

0:29:340:29:38

-Yes, come on.

-40. 42.

0:29:380:29:40

42, thank you. 45. 48.

0:29:400:29:43

48. 50. 52.

0:29:450:29:47

At 50, the bid at £50.

0:29:480:29:50

Sold at £50, your last chance has gone.

0:29:500:29:52

-Terrific.

-Excellent.

-£50.

0:29:520:29:55

Top end of your estimate, Paul.

0:29:550:29:57

Exactly, yes, that's four cups of tea, £50, we could be on the High Street.

0:29:570:30:02

'At that price, I'm thinking Kensington High Street.'

0:30:020:30:05

That was a good surprise, yes, one of the pieces is slightly cracked.

0:30:060:30:11

But the rest is in good condition, and it's very pretty.

0:30:110:30:14

Looks lovely in a cabinet, even if you don't use it.

0:30:140:30:17

'And maybe the person who bought our glorious tea set would like a silver teaspoon to accompany it?

0:30:170:30:23

'Well, six, to be more precise.'

0:30:230:30:26

There is a saying, "born with a silver spoon," and I looked at you, Norman.

0:30:260:30:32

-But these are great value.

-And a good make.

0:30:320:30:34

And a good make, yes, James Walker.

0:30:340:30:37

Start me at £40. A £40 bid?

0:30:370:30:40

At £40. A bid at £40.

0:30:420:30:45

The lady with the baby, she wants the silver spoon to go in the baby's mouth.

0:30:450:30:50

I'm going to sell at £40, a bid there at £40.

0:30:500:30:52

No further interest, I'm going to sell at £40.

0:30:520:30:55

'That's a disappointing result, selling £40 under Paul's lowest estimate.

0:30:550:31:00

'That lucky baby bagged a bargain there.

0:31:000:31:02

'To reach that £500 target and get the home fires burning,

0:31:040:31:08

'we're going to need plenty of generous deals coming our way.

0:31:080:31:12

'But will the bidders be going "Ooh la la" for Gail's French delight?'

0:31:120:31:16

Lot number 108 now, a brass-cased carriage clock.

0:31:160:31:19

Where did this come from?

0:31:190:31:21

That's always been around, again, on my family mantelpiece,

0:31:210:31:24

and I think it was made in France. It's just something that's always been there.

0:31:240:31:29

A nice little timepiece though, Paul?

0:31:290:31:31

Yes, exactly. Most of the good quality carriage clocks were made in France. But there is a glass missing.

0:31:310:31:37

It needs a bit of attention.

0:31:370:31:38

-Well, let's watch it go.

-It could be nice, £50? £30?

0:31:380:31:43

Come on.

0:31:430:31:46

No offers at £30, I'll pass the lot.

0:31:460:31:49

No offers at £30. Sorry, no bids.

0:31:490:31:51

Potentially that's a very good clock indeed, so don't be disheartened,

0:31:510:31:54

but it's the amount of time it takes someone to do it.

0:31:540:31:57

-But I think he did right, rather than let it go for any less.

-Definitely, yeah.

0:31:570:32:01

-You might have to work on that in your shed, Norman.

-It's looking that way.

0:32:010:32:06

'Paul's rallying efforts are admirable,

0:32:060:32:08

'but unfortunately it won't get us the £50 we expected,

0:32:080:32:12

'although Gail's not totally dismissed it yet.'

0:32:120:32:15

I wasn't so sure about it, it does need a little bit of attention.

0:32:150:32:20

So I might even have something done to it and try to sell it later on again.

0:32:200:32:25

'That's the spirit, Gail.

0:32:250:32:27

'But with our rocky record so far, we're apprehensive about how our remaining lots will fare.

0:32:270:32:33

'However, we put on a brave face, as we stand united, hoping for victory with our next iconic piece.'

0:32:330:32:40

148 now, a Winston Churchill signed letter,

0:32:400:32:44

it's dated, and on House Of Commons paper,

0:32:440:32:47

together with a photograph and leather folder.

0:32:470:32:50

I've seen two or three people looking at the Churchill letter.

0:32:500:32:53

I think there's a lot of interest in it, and it should go fairly well.

0:32:530:32:57

I hope the price is high.

0:32:570:33:00

-You've put a reserve on this?

-Yes, of £100.

0:33:000:33:03

I feel it's worth a lot more than that, but it depends who's here.

0:33:030:33:08

It's a very difficult market to compare prices with,

0:33:080:33:11

but when items do turn up, it does get a lot of interest.

0:33:110:33:14

£100, start me, see where it goes, £100.

0:33:140:33:16

Should make much more than this. I'm bid £100.

0:33:160:33:20

110. 120?

0:33:200:33:22

-130. 140. 150.

-You've got two people who want it.

0:33:220:33:26

140, say 150. At 150 there, thank you.

0:33:260:33:29

New bidder.

0:33:290:33:31

150. Disappointing. £150. I'll take 160.

0:33:310:33:33

At 150, I'm selling at 150. You've got it at 150. Gone.

0:33:330:33:37

Above your reserve, £150.

0:33:370:33:40

'The great man tops up our fund with a much-needed £150.'

0:33:400:33:45

Obviously, I'd hoped for that to go a bit higher.

0:33:450:33:50

It was a lack of bids, a lack of people.

0:33:500:33:52

If we'd had two or three more people, it would have probably gone double that.

0:33:520:33:56

But never mind. Obviously it's gone to someone who will appreciate it.

0:33:560:34:01

'But have the buyers shown enough appreciation to take us anywhere near our £500 target?'

0:34:010:34:07

Gail and Norman, it's a bit chilly today,

0:34:070:34:09

so I'm sure you're both thinking how wonderful it'll be for you and your neighbours

0:34:090:34:15

-to join you in the front room in front of a new fire, yes?

-Absolutely.

0:34:150:34:18

I can tell you that at the halfway stage,

0:34:180:34:20

£500 is what you want to raise, half of 500 is 250,

0:34:200:34:23

well, you've made £265 so far.

0:34:230:34:26

-Oh, that's not bad, is it?

-You're doing better than you thought.

-Yes, I think I am.

0:34:260:34:31

'That's not a bad half-time total, but there's a lot of pressure riding on our outstanding lots,

0:34:310:34:38

'and I'm hoping that we'll see our funds rocket soon.

0:34:380:34:41

'Can Gail's vintage treat from the 1920s jazz up the saleroom enough

0:34:410:34:45

'to persuade the bidders to part with £40 to £60?'

0:34:450:34:48

I have seen these framed up before, and they look wonderful.

0:34:480:34:51

So anyone who wants an Art Deco theme to a room, they're very visual things.

0:34:510:34:56

So, get your best frock on, Norman!

0:34:560:34:58

Here they come.

0:34:580:34:59

Are they worth £50?

0:34:590:35:01

Are they worth £30? Will somebody bid £30?

0:35:010:35:06

£20? No lower, £20.

0:35:060:35:08

I'm bid at £20. 22.

0:35:080:35:10

25. 28. 30. £28, I'm bid at 28.

0:35:100:35:16

£28. Bid so far at £28.

0:35:160:35:17

30. I'll take £28.

0:35:170:35:18

No further bids at £28 then? See me after.

0:35:180:35:21

-Right, not sold.

-Yes, he's not going to sell them, but he got a bid of 28.

0:35:210:35:26

'Another unsold item.

0:35:260:35:28

'That's not good news. But I think Paul's earlier suggestion has had an impact on Gail.'

0:35:280:35:34

I'm really quite enthusiastic about having,

0:35:340:35:36

particularly the brightly-coloured one, framed, and putting it on a wall.

0:35:360:35:40

So, I'm not disappointed.

0:35:400:35:42

'That no sale does mean reaching our £500 target,

0:35:420:35:46

'and fulfilling Gail's dream of a cosy new fireplace

0:35:460:35:49

'are looking pretty slim.

0:35:490:35:51

'Surely that will all change when they see Gail's stunning Indian gold and turquoise brooch?'

0:35:510:35:57

-You've put a reserve on this, haven't you?

-Yes, I just think

0:35:570:36:00

it's a pretty brooch, again, maybe I'll take it out of the drawer

0:36:000:36:04

and start wearing it, but I'm hoping it will sell.

0:36:040:36:07

£30 for it. At £30, take 2 at £30.

0:36:070:36:12

That can't be it. 32. 35, 38?

0:36:120:36:16

You won't buy cheaper stolen. No?

0:36:180:36:20

£35 bid. 35. Do you want 38? 40? 42.

0:36:200:36:24

45?

0:36:240:36:26

48. 50? 5.

0:36:260:36:28

50 is bid. Do you want 55?

0:36:280:36:30

55. Your bid at £50. 55. You've 5 more to go, haven't you?

0:36:300:36:33

Get it out of you. The bid is against you.

0:36:330:36:36

55, thank you. 60.

0:36:360:36:38

At £55, 55 you've got it.

0:36:380:36:41

At £55.

0:36:410:36:43

-£55, that's a result.

-Excellent.

0:36:430:36:47

Yes, I'm pleased with that.

0:36:470:36:49

It was a delicate little brooch, and hopefully someone's bought it to give to a loved one.

0:36:490:36:55

'With that result, maybe our love affair

0:36:550:36:57

'with the bidders is back on track, and not a moment too soon,

0:36:570:37:01

'as the Freemasons ephemera inherited from Gail's great uncle is up next,

0:37:010:37:04

'and we desperately need the £50 to £60 estimate for this.'

0:37:040:37:08

It's there at £32.

0:37:080:37:10

£32 it is. That's it. £32.

0:37:100:37:12

-Presumably you didn't want them in the house any more?

-No.

0:37:120:37:15

-You'd rather have the £32?

-Yes.

-That's bought a couple of logs, hasn't it?

0:37:150:37:19

'Well, there certainly wasn't much luck of the Irish with that little lot.

0:37:190:37:23

'But it could be worse, at least it made us some money,

0:37:230:37:26

'and today we've got to be thankful for small mercies.

0:37:260:37:29

'It just goes to show, you never can tell what's going to happen at auction.

0:37:290:37:34

'If we need Gail to be warming herself by a new fire though,

0:37:340:37:37

'we need her fashionable past to change her future.'

0:37:370:37:40

378 now.

0:37:400:37:42

A Cerruti ladies trouser suit, 1970s design.

0:37:420:37:48

Now, let me tell you, you could not go down to Bond Street

0:37:480:37:51

and buy a Cerruti trouser suit for between £50 and £80,

0:37:510:37:53

-which is the price you put on this lovely suit that you wore in that fashion show.

-Yes.

0:37:530:37:58

-So we're hoping for good things from this?

-We certainly are.

0:37:580:38:01

All will be revealed!

0:38:010:38:03

And can we have £50 for it?

0:38:030:38:07

£40 for it? It's all gone quiet over there. £40?

0:38:070:38:09

£40? No bids of £40? I can't believe it. £40? No bids at all.

0:38:090:38:13

At £40, I'll have to stop.

0:38:130:38:15

Come and see me after if you change your mind.

0:38:150:38:17

Ah, there you go.

0:38:170:38:20

I'm surprised there wasn't any interest whatsoever. But there again,

0:38:200:38:24

I shall take it home and treasure it for a bit longer.

0:38:240:38:28

Maybe wear it.

0:38:280:38:30

'With a £500 target to make for Gail's roaring new fireplace,

0:38:300:38:34

'we can't afford to be taking things home with us.

0:38:340:38:38

'So the Victorian leather-cased ambrotypes need to sell,

0:38:380:38:41

'and ideally bring us no less than £60.'

0:38:410:38:43

For £60, your last chance. It sells, all done.

0:38:430:38:47

-That's put a smile on your face.

-Yes.

0:38:470:38:49

'And not before time.

0:38:490:38:51

'A very majestic £60 goes towards Gail's fire fund.

0:38:510:38:55

'There's no escaping the fact that today's auction has dealt us some real low blows,

0:38:550:39:00

'and I think Gail and Norman deserve an award for their valiant efforts.

0:39:000:39:04

'Maybe if our last lot of the day sells, it'll be reward enough.'

0:39:040:39:09

Lot 398 now, a case of hallmarked silver MBE medals.

0:39:090:39:14

I had a word with the auctioneer, Paul, and he says if you were able to get provenance of this,

0:39:140:39:19

the certificate or letter that went with it, then the sky is the limit on the price,

0:39:190:39:24

-but you don't have any of those things, do you?

-No.

0:39:240:39:26

What a shame, but nevertheless a nice thing in its own right in its case.

0:39:260:39:30

Yes, as it is I've tried to be conservative just to get it to auction,

0:39:300:39:33

but let's see how we get on, eh?

0:39:330:39:35

£80, I can see you twittering a bit first.

0:39:350:39:39

Now, you've a reserve on this of £100, haven't we?

0:39:390:39:42

85. 90. 5. 100. £110.

0:39:420:39:45

Past your reserve.

0:39:450:39:47

£110. Another bid, £110. Take 120.

0:39:470:39:49

£110. Thank you, a new bid. At £130.

0:39:490:39:53

At £120, take £130, selling. All done at £120.

0:39:530:39:57

There you go.

0:39:570:39:59

£120, pleased with that?

0:39:590:40:00

-Yes, yes.

-You don't sound too convinced?

0:40:000:40:03

No, I'm a little bit disappointed.

0:40:030:40:07

I thought it would make £150, I really did.

0:40:070:40:10

Never mind.

0:40:100:40:12

It hit your reserve plus some.

0:40:120:40:14

-Yes, yes.

-So, £120 for the MBE.

0:40:140:40:17

'Well, after the day we've had, £120 is a refreshing change.

0:40:170:40:21

'But have the erratic sales taken their toll on our final result?'

0:40:210:40:26

Well, Gail and Norman, an interesting day today. Three no sales.

0:40:260:40:31

-I hope you've brought a big enough bag to take them all home in?

-Just.

0:40:310:40:35

Well, £500 was the target so that you could have that new fireplace in the posh front room,

0:40:350:40:41

and in spite of the three no sales,

0:40:410:40:43

I can tell you what you've actually raised today is £532.

0:40:430:40:49

Oh, that's not too bad, then, is it?

0:40:490:40:52

Not a bad day's work, is it?

0:40:520:40:53

-Yes, not bad.

-A fireplace, and maybe a little something to christen it?

0:40:530:40:58

-Oh, definitely.

-Yeah, just a little!

0:40:580:41:01

'Well, it's been a few weeks now since we raised £532 at auction for Gail to buy a new fireplace

0:41:070:41:13

'to warm her front room,

0:41:130:41:15

'and today she's come along to her local showroom with Norman and his wife Mita.'

0:41:150:41:20

My intention is to try and buy a log-burning gas powered stove,

0:41:210:41:26

and I've come here today to look around, see what they've got,

0:41:260:41:30

and see if I'm going to be able to afford it, that sort of thing.

0:41:300:41:33

-Hello, there. Hello, I'm Gail.

-I'm Justine.

0:41:330:41:37

'With so many to choose from, it's not long before Gail spots one she likes.'

0:41:370:41:42

I think that's gorgeous, but it's probably not right for my house, unfortunately, don't you think?

0:41:420:41:48

'Well, in that case, how about something more traditional?'

0:41:480:41:54

I think that, frankly, is probably as near as what I'm going to get.

0:41:540:41:58

In a matt black, and with logs, not with coals.

0:41:580:42:03

'With just over £400 spent on the fireplace of her dreams, Gail's still got cash to spare.'

0:42:030:42:10

Right, I've sorted it all out, chosen a fireplace,

0:42:100:42:14

and now Norman and Mita and I are going off for a drink to celebrate.

0:42:140:42:18

-To your new fireplace.

-Thank you.

0:42:180:42:21

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:470:42:50

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.