Series looking at the value of household junk. Hotelier and car enthusiast Robert Gray wants to raise funds to smarten up his south London guesthouse in time for the Olympics.
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Welcome to the show that searches out your hidden treasures
and helps you sell them at auction.
I'm on the River Thames at Greenwich,
a site well-known for its World Heritage Status.
It's the oldest borough in London and the home of Greenwich Mean Time.
It marks the starting point of every time zone in the world,
measured from the Prime Meridian, based at Sir Christopher Wren's Royal Observatory.
So no shortage of magnificent sights here then.
Let's just hope the trend continues as we search out antiques to go under the hammer.
Coming up on Cash In the Attic - Paul gets an offer he can't refuse.
-I can give you a pump.
-It's still working!
-Next stop the stars.
-Accusations are running high.
-Unscrupulous people used to take the bell off.
-Ah... How very dare you?!
It gets too much in the saleroom.
-Oh, don't cry.
But will we be pleased with the result when the final hammer falls?
I'm on my way to meet Robert Gray.
He's called us to raise some funds in time for the Olympic Games.
Robert Gray has run a small guesthouse in Greenwich
for seven years and, when he's not chained to the kitchen sink, he's treading the boards,
which he's done professionally for the last 30 years.
With his friend Julia, he's hoping to clear out clutter he's managed
to accumulate in collectables from Greenwich Antiques Market.
-Good morning, Paul.
-What do you think of Greenwich?
-It's fantastic. The history here is amazing.
-Some nice shops as well.
-I won't go there!
-Today we've got a gentleman who's got a lot of stuff to get through.
-There's a sporting collection somewhere.
-Well, yes, sort of.
The connection will become apparent later. Shall we go in?
-You can start rummaging, and I'll meet the gang.
-Ah, good morning.
-I've come to find out why you've called in Cash In the Attic.
Well, we've got so much toot lying around and we thought
as the Olympics are coming, we should jush the place up a bit.
And if there's anything left over, I'd like to take Julia for a day out.
-I'd like that, too.
-What sort of day out?
-Well, that's a surprise.
-That's something to look forward to, then.
-Julia, what do you think?
-I think it's great.
Robert is not a minimalist, so there's an awful lot of gorgeous things around.
Some he'd ever get rid of, but lots of which, I don't suppose you'd care if they went.
-It's nice that somebody else should have it.
-Money needs to be raised.
We've got to keep the standards flying.
So where's all the stuff come from, Robert?
I am a bit of a kleptomaniac sort of thing and I go to Greenwich market an awful lot.
-I don't know if you've ever been?
-Greenwich market is actually in here.
-Yes, it is.
-I think you're right. It started over there.
We're giving back to all the poor dealers with nothing left to sell.
So how much are you actually looking to raise?
Well, if we could raise £500 that would be fantastic.
£500?! Is that how much you're going to spend on my day out?
-No, that's not on the day out, is it?
-No, it's not!
So if we make some extra, what have you got in mind for the day out?
Well, I think I might take Julia out in my very old car.
It's a 1959 Morris Oxford estate.
-So actually Julia can lie out flat in the back...
-What are you implying?
-I don't know!
So we need to raise £500 so you can redecorate and also take Julia out.
Cos she works so hard.
-What a laugh.
-We'd better do some hard work instead of staying here.
-Come on, let's go!
-Oh, we're going to start.
I think we've got our hands full!
Robert's place is littered with fabulous collectables
from ferreting around the local antique market every week.
With such an eclectic mix of goodies on display, our expert, Paul Hayes, has certainly got his work cut out,
but that hasn't stopped him homing in on this miniature classic.
-Ah, hi, Paul. Isn't this an amazing place?
Julia's here to help. Have you found something already?
They do say small is beautiful.
Super quality. The mark's a blue beehive, can you see that?
They're made at a wonderful porcelain factory in Vienna.
-I love the pictures in the middle.
-Hand-painted, I should think.
They are. This one on the front here says "Venus & Adonis".
Venus is the Goddess of love and Adonis is the man that was irresistible to all women.
-Well, it could be me and you, Lorne.
Yes, shall I be Adonis this time?
-But joking apart, these are fantastic.
-A rare pair.
Can't stress how beautiful these are, actually.
You've got this wonderful parcel-gilt finish, which is almost like a gold leaf.
And then hand-embellished with the garden of paradise with these birds.
It's always very interesting seeing something through somebody else's eyes.
You suddenly point something out that I hadn't noticed and it's always
quite fun that somebody looks at something that you'd known a long time and you're putting a new...
-Spin on it?
-What value are we talking about?
-They are collectable, but what's a Greek urn, at the end of the day?
-About two and six a week.
-Yeah! But you must be looking at £80-£150.
-Your day out's getting better.
-Better and better, yes.
-So you're happy about them being sold?
-I think so.
-Very much so.
-OK, well, we'll see if we can find something else.
-Come on, guys.
I think they're a bit too smart for me and so I think perhaps they ought to go to auction.
I'm a bit shabby really.
More pieces like these, we'll have no problem reaching our £500 target.
But we need to hunt high and low in this Aladdin's cave of treasures to uncover as much as we possibly can.
And it's all aboard on the stairs with this 20th-century model boat, valued at £40-£60.
Sadly, with no famous name though, it could bring us bad luck.
And Paul's childhood fear of going to the dentist is brought bubbling
to the surface when he lays eyes on this tired, old chair.
Robert! I won't ask you the question. Where's this come from?
Well, it's got a history.
-It was in a Hammer House Of Horror movie.
-Well, that's amazing.
-I mean, have you any provenance?
-What a shame.
Hammer House Of Horror is really popular. It's one of Britain's best-known film companies.
They used actors like Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing.
An old stuck chair. Have you heard that before?
-A what chair?
-Stuck - S-T-T-U-C-K.
-It's stuck here for some time.
It is rather heavy, but the idea was that it progressed...
I mean, these were a dentist's chair and it progressed
from four legs to having a disc at the bottom, which could be stuck or nailed into the ground.
It stays in situ, and the reason being is that, because it tilts up, if you had an ordinary chair,
they would tilt all the way.
-They have a hydraulic action.
-And I can give you a pump, look.
-It's still working!
-Next stop the stars.
-Unlike some actors, this one is still working.
But joking apart, these are very collectable items. If you could say, "Peter Cushing sat in this chair,"
it's extremely valuable - no way we can prove that?
I'm afraid we can't, but I use it for guests who don't pay.
-I tie them in it.
-And experts that get it wrong?
Well, are you offering?
No! But joking apart... Was it very expensive when you bought it?
-Well, it was like 100 or so.
-Well, that sounds about right.
I mean, I'd like to see that go to auction with £100 upwards and see how it goes, really.
Well, it will be "unstuck" here and it can go up. It'll be marvellous.
-You carry it.
-It will go through the floor.
Made in the 1900s by DMC Ltd, this chair may look painful, but that estimate certainly isn't.
But there's still plenty of rummaging to be done.
Paul finds this fine wheel barometer by manufacturer Potsie and Co in a rich mahogany.
And although damaged, he still thinks it could make £80-£120,
as long as the mercury column works.
I'm enchanted by these adorable trinkets that Robert
has collected over the years, and grab him to find out more about his other passions in life.
I love everything you've got in this house. Absolutely fantastic.
It's not as though you've collected one particular thing, but just lots of really interesting bits.
Was that intentional?
It's a sort of mish-mash of all sorts of things. I think that's more interesting, don't you?
Absolutely. I like odd bits that maybe you change the purpose of them and what have you.
You've got a real interest in this and a lot of experience.
But tell me a little bit about the acting. How did you get into that?
Well, about 112 years ago,
I went to drama school with that fantastic actress Brenda Blethyn.
And we giggled our way through drama school and she's gone on to bigger and greater things,
but I went on into repertory theatre at Farnham in Surrey.
And then I went and sort of did plays in the West End and all over.
It's been marvellous and I can still stand up and do it from time to time.
Now they say, that for actors, 90% of the time is waiting tables? Is that what you've found?
They want younger and prettier people than me, so I wait my own table doing bed and breakfast every morning.
So, in fact, I do do a show every morning at breakfast, which is another way of acting, I suppose.
I love this house. But you want to do a bit of refurbishment?
Well, if we raise some money.
What's actually happening in a few years' time, they're having the Olympics here.
The equestrian bits are going to be in Greenwich Park, I'm not sure.
So we'd better be smart and ready for the Olympics, don't you think?
-I'm running in a race myself.
-It's the slow-coach one.
-Let's see if they've found anything else we can sell, I guess.
Robert may have up until 2012 to do up the place, but we haven't got that long.
To raise £500, we need to find as many top-notch goods as we can.
And investigating a little more, Julia's made an historic find.
I think I might have found something quite interesting here.
-Which door are you? This one.
-I'm getting lost today.
-Look at these!
They're very old. They're very dilapidated anyway.
These are scrap albums. Are these something Robert's done?
No, I know for a fact that Robbie's parents bought these in some junk shop in the '60s.
They are a bit of an heirloom and this one's got the kings and queens of England.
A couple about Victoria. One about visiting Buckingham Palace.
-So they're dead sort of 1890, 1900, that sort of time.
-She's very pretty.
-She is very pretty.
-Very buxom. Oh, look.
This is all about Mother Hubbard.
"Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get the poor dog a bone.
"When she got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog had none."
"The Dame made a curtsey, the dog made a bow.
The Dame said, 'Your servant.' The dog said, 'Bow-wow!'" Ha-ha!
That's sweet. I like that.
Wow, yes. Are they worth anything?
Yes. The more topical, the better.
The pages are very colourful, and that one, in particular, with the nursery rhyme, is very good.
I think you're looking £40-£60.
-Does that sound all right?
-I'm sure, yes.
-Are these the only two, or are there more?
-There might be another somewhere.
-It'd be worth a look.
-OK, well, if I said a minimum of 40 and see how we get on.
-No point in fighting over it. Let's keep looking.
They may be scrap by nature, but at £40-£60, they're far
from being rubbish and it looks like Julia has found that extra one, too.
But Robert's sumptuous home still has plenty more rooms for us to explore.
Hopefully, the guests won't miss this large, copper boiling pot.
Once found in the kitchen of the Savoy, it has a £50-£80 price tag.
And I'm hoping my next find will perform well in the saleroom, too.
I've found some really lovely Pelham puppets here, including Big Ears!
-I haven't found Noddy yet.
-These are fantastic, aren't they?
So these are your puppets?
Yes, I got them when I went to school and I started to put
on plays with them and that's what encouraged me to become an actor.
So they've got a provenance.
Well, these are fantastic toys.
A whole generation has never seen anything like this.
We're so used to using computers and board games.
-To actually have hands-on items is great.
-Alive after 40 years.
I think with Bob Pelham, he originally...
In WW2, how he got into all this...
When you say about your acting... He invented the Wonky Donkey.
-It's that donkey that moves around when you press a button.
-Oh, I know! Yes.
And that was a real success.
After the war,
he made these sort of puppets, but because lots of things were scarce really, materials,
he'd get bits of door knobs, bits of rubber from the gas masks, bits of old wood.
So there's no two the same.
-All hand crafted.
-They're rather beautifully sort of modelled.
I mean, that is part of the charm.
There's a lot of love gone into these and a real art.
-I think there's about five or six. I mean, have you got any more?
-Well, yes, there's a suitcase full of them.
-So I don't know how many we've got.
-Ah. Let me out, let me out!
-I don't think they've seen the light of day for...years.
-A bit like my career then.
But given the significance for you, are you happy to sell these?
Well, do you know, I think it's very selfish keeping them and not letting anybody else play with them.
It's nice that they'll live again.
I hope somebody looks after them like I have.
So, Paul, what do you think of what they may make at auction?
-Well, if we said about £150?
-Does that sound all right?
-OK, shall we see if we can find something else?
-We're bound to find more stuff.
-Marvellous. Let's go over here.
There might be a few more around. I think there are, in a suitcase.
I haven't seen it for a long time.
We might have a rummage and find it.
So with eight puppets in tip-top condition, and a suitcase
from Robert's boarding school days full of them, too, we could be in for a fantastic show at auction.
We're finding some delightful items today, including this 1930s Art Deco
walnut mantel clock.
But if we want to get Julia
on that fabulous day out, we'll need plenty more and I find out if Robert really is the perfect date.
-It's a fantastic room.
-The house is amazing. Do you like his taste?
-I particularly like this room.
-So how did you two meet then?
I met Robbie 18 months ago, when we did a job together in Farnham.
So what do you think made you connect?
I think, um...
I think most actors are very nice and Robbie is a particularly funny,
quite wise sometimes, a bit hysterical...
He won't thank me for saying that.
Just lots of fun to be around, and has enormous amounts of knowledge
of antiques and things and any area that he decides to concentrate on, he puts 100% into it.
-We're aiming at making money to have this shushy, whoosy...
Jushy, yes. Jushing up. But also, of course, a day out, so...
That's the only reason I'm doing it!
What would your grand day out be?
-I think there has to be an awful lot of champagne involved.
I don't care what it is, as long as it's a surprise. I love surprises.
And he's promised to take me out in his beautiful car and he has a boat.
I wouldn't mind a little boat called Christabel.
I wouldn't mind a day out on the Solent or down to Faversham or something. Just an adventure.
I'd like it all to be a big surprise.
Well, you'll have a nasty surprise if we don't make enough money. Let's see what they're up to.
And I'm glad to see they have kept up the rummage in our absence.
However, it's me that discovers these two bronze, patinated, classical figurines.
Bought by Robert's dad, no-one is sure of their provenance.
I do hope the slight damage won't affect our £100-£200 asking price.
There's all sorts of bits and bobs here today.
But, with so many antiques around, it's impossible to have them all on display.
-Oh, what have we got?
-I've got something here.
I've been sent up into the attic.
-She's such a task master.
-I don't know whether it's worth anything, but have a look.
-It's amazing what you do find.
-I've got a car.
-A car? Oh, right.
Oh, that's a good one, isn't it? Well, this is the top of the range really. This is the Spot-On range.
So where did they come from?
I bought them when I was about six or seven in the early '60s.
And not many people know this, but there used to be
a Co-op in Haslemere, in Surrey, and they had a little toy department.
And these weren't selling. They were all in a big basket.
-And if you look, it's got the price on it.
What's it say?
-Is it something and four pence?
-So, four shillings.
-There we are.
-In those days... Well, I was trained well by my dad, who used to collect things.
So I said, "Well, I'd like to buy them all."
So I paid two and six, which is 12.5p, isn't it, each?
Wow! I mean, these really are the Rolls-Royce examples of these collectors' toys.
But they were introduced by Tri-ang,
who were actually the Lines brothers, and there was three brothers who started the factory.
Three brothers make a triangle, or three lines make a triangle.
But these really now are in remarkable condition and they're collected by some of the more
enthusiastic collectors and they do tend to pay quite large amounts.
-Now look at that one.
-Oh, wow, look at that. Z-Cars.
It's Z-Cars. Now that was probably long before your time, but I remember watching Z-Cars.
And the well-known actor Brian Blessed used to drive that.
I don't think he'd fit in it now, but there is a little model of Brian.
You've got people who collect cars and toy vehicles, but also anybody
that collects TV memorabilia, and that has a massive market.
So we need to find somebody who understands them in depth.
-How many do you think you've got?
You kept the boxes and that's what you look for. They're all in tip-top condition.
We need to find a couple of collectors, get them into a good sale and I'd be very surprised.
-You'll certainly make a profit.
-On what you paid for them.
-Well, that's fantastic.
-I have to find out more about them...
-There might even be an early 4x4 for Lorne.
A field kitchen. That's marvellous.
Spot-On was the brand name for a line of toy cars,
introduced by British toy manufacturer Tri-ang in 1959.
Sadly, the series only lasted six years, which is why today some of the rarer models
are highly collectable and I look forward to getting some specialist advice on Robert's collection later.
But we must see what other treats we can find.
Keeping it in the family is this complete set of Wade pottery pigs.
Promotional 1980s pieces given away by NatWest Bank to children,
and sought after now by collectors, they could be topping up our funds by a further £80-£100.
-Give it a press.
-Kerr-ching! Isn't that marvellous?
And maybe we could tot up just how much money we've raised so far
with the help of our next item.
Oh, I love it.
-We've got something here.
-I don't know whether it's of any use.
-Which door are you?
-Here we are.
-Do you want to have a look?
-There goes the bell.
-That's fantastic, isn't it? Where's that been?
That was in a shop in Greenwich, which I believe was the Co-op.
It goes back to pre-decimalisation. You've got your pounds, shillings and pence.
-So we know it's pre-1970, but most of these are generally early 20th century, sort of 1910, 1920.
There was a guy called James Ritty and he had a retail shop and he wanted to make a cash register
that he could trust, cos people were pilfering his money.
So every time the drawer is open, the bell rings, so he knows when anybody's getting any money.
But unscrupulous people took the bell off.
-So come on, Robert.
-Ah. How very dare you?!
-So people can get in.
Well, these things aren't used any more
and are still working in pound, shillings and pence.
So if you're looking for a theatre or a theme in a room or a shop...
I mean, they're nice things to have.
So if I said sort of £30-£50?
-What do you think?
-I think you should keep it.
-I think it's all right.
It all goes towards the target. £30 is quite a lot.
There is Cash In The Attic. OK?
Cash register in the attic. Let's keep looking.
Well, I think it certainly should be worth 14p, cos it's got 14p in it.
Julia didn't want me to sell it.
So I think we will, but don't tell her and if she kicks up any fuss, I'll sort her out.
I think Julia's quite attached to the cash register, but it's all pennies towards her big day out
and shushing up the B&B, so it's all got to go.
I get a sense we're finding some useful treasures, but we still need to get on searching.
Time for one last push to be certain we reach our £500 target.
But I see Paul's already packed up.
-Robert, Lorne, have a look at this.
-What have you found now?
Well, it looks like an ordinary chest
or trunk or what have you, but inside, this has actually been a military campaign chest.
-Look at that!
-Can you see what it says there?
"Military and camouflage warehouse.
"Suppliers of bedding, camp tea and coffee and military canteens."
-What sort of age do you think it is?
-Well, judging by the calligraphy, a beautiful emblem there.
-To do with the military.
You could be looking at early 19th century - Napoleonic Wars.
What was it used for though, Paul?
Well, when you were travelling around during your campaigns...
Trafalgar, the Battle of Waterloo... you'd need an item like this to put all your items in.
So you'd have your boots or perhaps your shirts folded up here.
And in a damp environment, these are great things
-to lock everything away.
-What's it worth?
The paintwork doesn't match the date you're giving, really.
No, that sort of detracts to me, I think, from the overall appeal.
Whatever was on the front, it's disappeared and someone has painted this modern design on the front.
So that needs to be restored really.
And what sort of value might we be talking about then?
If I was being conservative with this, just by the condition, really,
I'd like to say maybe £100, £150, and see how it goes.
Well, I like it and I think I might have even paid more than that,
so shall we put it on the back burner and think about it?
Shall I give Julia a call then to tot up our totals? Julia?
-We've found a nice piece but we're not sure whether it's going to auction.
-Oh, yes, this is lovely.
Excluding this, the value of everything comes to £770.
My day out's looking good.
-But if we sold that for £100, it looks even better.
-Fish and chips.
-And don't forget, we've got all those cars as well.
-They really could surprise us all.
Some of those are very collectable.
I'll let you know as soon as I find anything out.
They could go rather well with the puppets. All my childhood things are going. I'm growing up, Lorne.
There's been an abundance of antiques and collectables
here today and Robert's so pleased with the day's rummage,
he's cleaning his classic car in preparation for Julia's day out.
But first we need the following items to do well at auction.
The cast-iron dentist's chair, valued at £100-£150.
A pair of porcelain, twin-handled vases, with a price tag of £80-£150.
Taking to the stage at £150-£200, the eight, boxed Pelham puppets.
And that military chest, if Robert can bear to part with it.
Still to come - it's a battle to sell our goods.
There's a bit of a scrap going on
with the auctioneer trying to get people to bid, isn't there?
Scrap in the attic, wasn't it?
And it's secrets all round.
Don't tell Julia - she'll want an extra bottle of bubbly.
But will we hear the popping of corks when the final hammer falls?
Now it's been a couple of weeks since we had a good look around
Robert Gray's delightful bed and breakfast in Greenwich.
It was absolutely jammed packed with some fantastic antiques, some of which we've brought here
to Sworder's Auction House in Stansted, Mountfitchet in Essex.
Robert's looking for £500 to jazz up his bed and breakfast,
ahead of the Olympic Games arriving in town.
So let's hope that all his items put in a top performance when they go under the hammer today.
It's a busy day with keen experts and amateur enthusiasts
wanting to get their hands on the quality goods that are up for sale.
And checking out our collectables is expert Paul Hayes.
And he's hoping we won't be pulling teeth in the saleroom.
-Ah, how are you? All right?
-This would petrify you if you got to the dentist. It looks like a torture chair.
-Well, exactly, yes.
They can use it for whatever they like!
It does say in the catalogue, "This chair was used in a Hammer House Of Horror film."
Now if you could prove that,
this chair would be worth quite a lot of money, but we can't prove it.
A good excuse to watch every single movie to spot it.
It's got the wrong lot number on it.
It should be lot number "tooth-hurty".
Oh, dear. Well, apart from your bad jokes, we do have some very good Pelham puppets in, don't we?
The auctioneer's taken them out of the boxes and displayed them.
They look great, so I think they could do quite well.
-We don't know about the campaign box?
-That is a wonderful item, but people need to see inside it.
I think all our bits today are going to do quite well.
OK, well, let's see what Robert thinks, shall we? Come on.
I have to agree with Paul, we have some splendid pieces here today.
And while the bidders work out what to put their money on, we find Robert and Julia
saying farewell to some cherished goods.
-Hello. How lovely to see you.
-How are things?
Oh, yes. Aren't they lovely?
They're marvellous, aren't they? Do you think anybody will want them?
-I think they are super quality.
-Well, that's good. She might get a good date out.
-You never know.
-With a bit of luck.
Now what we're dying to know, is did you bring the campaign chest?
Well, don't tell them, but they were so keen on my chest,
I'm gonna let it go.
-Oh, so it's here?
-Yes, it's here.
-Well, that's good news, isn't it?
-Do you think anybody else will like it?
-I think so, yes.
-And you've got lots of other bits and pieces.
-I'm a bit worried actually!
-I'm very nervous.
-Don't be nervous. They're very nice people in Essex.
-Well, I've heard that.
-Yes, they are, believe me.
-We're very kind to those from south of the river, or from up north.
-Well, they are, yes.
-Well, listen, it's really, busy, so shall we get into position?
Remember, if you're planning on buying or selling at auction,
you will have to pay commission and, possibly, other charges.
So do contact your local auction house for more details.
And as auctioneer Guy Schooling takes to the stand...
Good afternoon and welcome.
..We take our place, just in time for our first item.
Lot 17 is the 1930s, Art Deco, walnut mantel clock. Lot 17. There we are.
£10, somebody? Any bid. Somebody bid.
£10. 10 I'm bid. A sympathy bid.
A maiden bid of £10.
-It's going down a bit.
-It's going down the drain a bit!
They'll be heading to the fish and chip shop at this rate.
But £10 is a start and all good money towards our £500 target.
Let's just hope the bidders are prepared to spend a lot more on our remaining items, as up next is one
of our oldest lots, although it's probably not the most comfortable.
OK, now our next lot is the Victorian dentist's chair,
which looks like something out of a horror film.
-I think it is, Lorne, yes.
-What made you think about that Hammer House Of Horror connection?
Well, when I actually bought it, the two gentlemen I bought it from said it had been in a horror movie.
- There we are. - And I start the bidding at £100.
I'll take ten. 110. 20. 30. 40. 150.
60. 170. 80. 190. 200.
You're out in the room.
At 240. 60 anywhere?
- No! - At £240.
-£240. Now what did you pay for it?
Was it that sort of money?
-Woah, sort of.
-It costs that much now to have a filling, so...
A staggering £240 for the rather intimidating dentist's chair.
I hope it doesn't give the new owners nightmares.
But if we want to renovate Robert's B&B, there's still a long way to go.
Hopefully, we'll make our estimate of £40-£60 on our next catch.
40. 20. Surely. That's cheap. 20 I'm bid. At £20. Five anywhere?
Giving it away.
-At £20. 25. 30. Five.
-Here we go.
- You were right. - Sold at £35.
-There you go.
-£35. There we go, yes.
We got there in the end, selling just under estimate at £35.
We need bidders to be hot for our goodies.
And hoping to drum up some business is our copper pot that once graced the kitchen of the Savoy Hotel.
OK now, who said size didn't matter?
We've got a huge saucepan here now.
Well, I heard you know that.
It's massive and it has the Savoy connection.
-I start the bidding at £50.
-Ooh, we're in at 50 quid! How's that?
£50. 55. 60. Five. 70. Selling at 70. Commission bid.
You're out in the room.
Eh, there you go.
-Isn't he clever?
-He is quite good. He's done it before.
He's done it before.
What a marvellous result and it tops up our fund by another £70.
Will they be fighting to get their hands on our next lot?
OK, lot 30, we have three Victorian scrap albums.
Can I say £50?
£30. 20. £20 I'm bid. At £20. 25.
Thank you, madam. 30. £30. 35. 35.
40. It's at the back.
I'll shall sell at £40.
The bottom end of the estimate. I just thought they'd make more.
-A scrap between the auctioneer trying to get people to bid.
-Scrap in the attic, wasn't it?
-I've written it, yeah.
Proving they weren't scrap and bang on estimate,
the Gray family collections bring us a very reasonable £40.
With all this money, we might need those piggy banks after all.
-How much did you pay for these?
-I think I paid 20 quid for the lot.
-A very good buy.
-At one time, they were about £250 a set, weren't they, Paul?
But to be honest with you, whether you like these or not,
you can't deny they have a collectors' value and are a bargain.
Start the bidding at £50.
Take five anywhere. 55. Thank you.
70. Not you, madam. 75? 75.
80. At £80 I'm bid. £85.
£90. £90 on my right-hand side.
I'll sell them at £90.
-I'm definitely going to come shopping with you.
-If you buy things for £20 and sell them for 90, that's very impressive.
-Do you think that's OK?
-Who would want those piggy banks?
-It's very nice.
I love them. Thank you so much.
It doesn't matter who bought them,
they banked us a tremendous £90.
But how close to our target has it taken us?
That's the end of the first part of the sale. Now, you wanted £500?
For a few little bits and pieces...
-Jush up the...
Yes, the bed and breakfast. Now how do you think we've done?
-Well, I don't think we've got anywhere near 500, have we? No.
-What do you think?
-I would say we're about halfway.
-Do you think?
-We've actually made £485.
-Well, that's marvellous.
-My date's getting more and more expensive.
-We can do a lot of jushing, can't we?
You can tell me your plans later. We've got the break now, so come on.
So while we head off to relax and talk interior design, Paul takes a moment to stretch his legs.
We all know that Robert loves to buy quirky items. I mean, look at that dentist's chair for a start.
But isn't that fantastic?
I know what you're thinking. It's a Dursley-Pedersen from about 1905.
Not only do we know that, we have a catalogue dated 1912 that has this very bike for sale.
"Now's the time to clinch a bargain.
"Send your leg measurements, and we will quote you by returns."
This would be the ultimate form of transport all that time ago.
And joking apart, this really is a pioneering item.
They've used a hammock for the seat.
You know, it's the first time we've seen two wheels the same size.
Before this there was penny farthings. This is actually in the catalogue for between £600-£800.
I think that's an absolute bargain.
And I think if Robert was to buy it, he might even enter the Olympics. It'll do you very well indeed.
Back in the auction room, the second part of the sale is about to begin and as we return
to our positions, Robert's national treasure from a south London antique market takes to the stand.
But will it furnish our funds with the £30-£50 asking price?
Now the next lot is that lovely cash register.
Now what's the story behind this?
I think it came from a shop in Greenwich.
We're hoping to get more than 14p because it's got 14p in the drawer.
-So anything over 14p, we're doing OK.
-Well, it obviously works, cos I've heard it several times.
-So that's good news.
There we are - 100. 50.
20. Help to count your money, Frank. You should like it.
20 I'm bid. 25. 30. Five. 40.
Well, we're over 14p.
40's cheap. At £45 only. 50.
£50. Lady's bid at £50 only.
-There you go.
-You were right.
-You should have kept it.
-You wanted more than £50?
-Well, she won't get that bottle of champagne, will she?
-Not your Bollie.
-So what were you hoping for that then?
-Well, what were we hoping for?
-We're all right. I'm being greedy!
-We were quite happy.
Checking out for the final time the cash register reaches its estimate.
But I'm not sure our next lot will fare so well, with its broken front glass removed and not replaced.
A barometer with a thermometer in a mahogany,
inlaid case, lot 121.
-OK, so no pressure here.
-Looking for about £100.
Start the bidding at £50.
Lot 125. I'll take five anywhere. 55.
60. Five. 70. Five. 80. I'm selling.
You're out in the room. 85. 90. Five.
100. Ten. 120. Commission bid, £120.
30 anywhere? You're out in the room.
Commission bid, £120.
-That's good, isn't it?
-Are you pleased with that?
-It didn't have the glass. Don't tell anybody.
Robert definitely has an eye for the finer antiques.
But some are harder to recognise than others,
including this magnificent military trunk he was tempted to keep.
This is the one I fancy.
You like my chest best of all, don't you?
Yes, it's the naval interest. Not this navel...
I was quite keen on it as well.
-It's come from Greenwich, you know, what a naval connection and then you've got this lovely case.
80 I'm bid and I'm selling at £80.
Take 90 anywhere. At 80. 90. 100.
130. 140. 150. Selling it. 150.
Take 60 anywhere?
Or shall sell at 150.
Sold at 150.
My chest was all right.
It packed away the bids there, so it made the money you wanted.
And the journey continues.
Off on its travels again at £150.
It's all cash towards revamping the bed and breakfast.
And not in keeping with the refurbishments are these figurines,
valued at £100-£200, but they seem to have got Paul stumped.
I had a bit of a struggle with these ones actually.
It's those two bronze figures. And I couldn't quite make out...
-They could be very, very old, or they're very crudely made.
-Where did they come from?
I think my father bought them. Do you think they're sort of grand tour stuff, you know?
Well, it's difficult to tell.
They are quite crude but he had very good taste.
-So I suspect it's age rather than not particularly good examples.
50. 20. Any bid? 20. Five. 30. Five.
40. Five. 50.
Selling them at £50. Five anywhere?
Sold then at £50.
Coming in way under estimate at £50, I think the damage may have played
a part in the price, but we can't afford any more sales like that.
And let's not forget, we've still got a whole other sale of those toy cars to come.
But first, we're hoping the bidders will like our beautiful pair of Swiss vases as much as Paul does.
Out of all your items, this is probably my favourite.
These are beautifully painted, absolutely superb.
-Do you think anyone would be keen to have those?
-We just need two people to bid.
And I start the bidding at £50.
So I'll take five anywhere.
At 55. 60. Five. 70.
Five. 80. Five. 90. Five anywhere.
Selling on commission at £90.
Sold at 90.
Well, that's marvellous. Well, done, you.
Well, I think that was very good.
Apparently, they were chipped, but don't tell anybody, cos they might come back and want their money back.
The vases, chipped or not, are off to decorate a new home.
And also hoping to be re-housed is our fine puppetry collection.
Well-known in the 1960s and '70s, Pelham marketed a range of puppets
based on popular TV characters, like Muffin the Mule and Sooty.
Let's hope the bidders love them just as much.
Now how much fun is this lot?
This is the boxed Pelham puppets.
Now you've got some in a suitcase, but these are the boxed set, yes?
Now they are just delightful.
They've got them all hanging up.
-Now what do you want for these?
-150, which is about £20 each.
£100, I start the bidding. And I shall sell them.
I'll take ten anywhere.
110. 120. 30. 140. 50. 60. 70. 80.
220. 240. Commission bid, 240. I'll take 50 if you like.
I'm selling them at £240.
270 for you, sir?
Commission bid, £260.
270? Thinking about it.
270. It's your bid, in the room.
-We love it.
-Press bid again, 280.
You're sure this time? Lady's bid at £280. Thank you, madam.
Isn't that brilliant?
It's sad, but it's lovely that somebody else is going to have them.
Absolutely. £280, that's fantastic. There's more to go on, aren't there?
-Yes, there are, yes, yes.
-But they were the ones in the boxes.
The sale of the puppets is an emotional experience,
as Robert still holds fond memories of them.
But will he be able to hold back the tears, as his suitcase assortment is shown to the room?
I knew you had them, but we only saw the boxed ones in the house.
But I've had a quick look at them here.
-There's quite a lot in there.
-How many are there?
-Well, yeah, we'll see how they get on. It's a speculate lot.
I start the bidding at £50.
I'll take 60 anywhere.
At 50. 60. 70. 80. 90. 100. And ten.
120. 30. 140. 50. 160. 70. 180. 90.
200. The bid's in the room now. 220.
How much? Two?
-I can't believe it.
-At £360. 80 anywhere?
Selling at £360.
-£360! Oh, don't cry!
-It's not the childhood, it's just the money.
-Did you think they'd make anything like that?
I've got to take her out now.
-Now we are going to Paris.
-All your puppets have made over £600.
A breathtaking £360 and it's all got too much for Robert,
as he says goodbye to part of his personal history.
Time for us to see how our sales have affected our target.
I think you've done rather well.
What was your favourite thing you've sold?
Well, it was very sad to see the puppets go.
It made me rather emotional, I think.
But I think it's better to let somebody else have a go with them.
-I'm thrilled they've gone now.
-You did really well, cos you wanted £500.
The Pelham puppets did you proud.
We just had those two lots and together alone they made £640.
-It is good.
-Well, not as fantastic as your overall figure.
-Because you've actually...
-We haven't made 1,000, have we?
-Will you cry if we've made 1,000?
-Good, cos you've made £1,585.
-Very, very good.
-Fantastic! Well, we'll have to go out now.
-So 200 for the B&B and the rest for my day out, yes?
Remember those fantastic Tri-ang cars from the Spot-On range?
We still have those to sell, including that terrific tie-in with the legendary cop show Z-Cars.
But our intrepid expert Paul wasn't certain of their value so he's come
to Greenwich antique market to meet stall-holder Colin Morley,
a renowned collector of vintage toy cars, with over 30 years experience,
just the man to assess the Ford Zephyr.
And he's wasted no time laying them out for evaluation.
-How you doing?
-Have you had a look at these cars?
-Yes, yes, yes.
-What do you think?
-Lovely. Very rare.
-Any real finds?
I would say all of them because they're all collectable.
-They're Spot-Ons and Spot-Ons had a very, very small run.
Just eight years from '59 to '67.
Yeah, it's a nice little catch, a nice little find.
Now one of Robert's favourites was the Z-Cars.
-Is that one of the better ones?
-It's TV-related, so that's where the money will be.
-What do you really suggest we do?
-Into a specialist toy auction would be the best.
Yeah. Is there any particular one that's valued more? I see you've got a price guide here.
-Yeah, yeah. Well, obviously, the Z-Cars because it's TV-related.
The Morris 1000's very nice.
And the field kitchen, you would get people who like to collect army stuff as well, because, obviously...
-Two of 'em is brilliant.
If we could have maybe a ballpark figure, how much do you reckon?
Well, anything between 100 and 150-200. The Z-Cars will be more.
Yeah, because they are Spot-On.
That's a catalogue value, obviously.
We go by this because we know what the prices are.
-But you can't always go by that.
-Sometimes you get more, sometimes you get less.
When Robert bought these he paid £2 for the lot.
-Anything like that, we're laughing.
-Oh, well, I'll give him a profit.
-So will I!
-I've got a fiver here somewhere.
-We'll put these into a good auction.
And who knows where they'll end up?
-But we're in the hundreds?
So the Spot-On cars have a guide price of anything from £100-£1,500.
So anything could happen on auction day.
Well, Robert may have had modest hopes of redecorating his bed and breakfast with just £500,
but we've smashed through that target figure - here's what he's spending the money on.
Remember, we've already made £1,585 at the general sale.
And the Spot-On cars are still outstanding, so there's enough for Robert to start making basic plans.
Darren Gooch makes a start
on sprucing up Robert's frontage, and interior designer Julia Johnson tidies up the inside.
-Bung them there.
-And show me what you've got.
And even in my absence, I'm still making an impression.
Lorne, when she was here, was very keen on a shoe shop round the corner.
And she popped out once or twice, and it's all Lorne's idea...
Well, it's inspired by Lorne.
And I want to take this as a colour for the next room, you see.
-And I just think, you know, it's so Lorne really.
-And I want to get some colours...
-So we'll use that as a starting point?
-Is that all right?
-You know more about it like that. They're fantastic.
I could almost wear them.
But Robert's got exceedingly high expectations of just what he wants.
I think maybe the twarl could go.
I don't like those. I'm not so keen on that.
-These are beautiful.
-That would work with your red boots.
-They would, wouldn't they?
Julia's perseverance has paid off.
-Let's do it.
Well, it's look like they'll be raking it in by 2012.
And we've got those fantastic, boxed, very collectable toy cars.
Now Paul has whisked Robert off to auction to sell them, so let's see how they get on.
At today's sale in Chiswick, we're hoping to find some toy car enthusiasts in amongst the bidders.
And keen to make a good impression with his boys' toys is Robert. Will he be moved to tears when they sell?
Ah, good morning, Robert.
-Ah, how nice to see you.
-I see your cars are here.
They're all there. They look marvellous.
There's quite a bit of interest. I suspect they're going to be OK.
I went to see a gentleman who specialises in toys and he thinks they're actually quite good items.
-But I'll tell you me in a minute. Let's take our places.
We really need the bidders to part with some serious cash today, as we've still got Julia's day out
to pay for and the more we raise, the happier I know she'll be.
And as Paul and Robert steer themselves to a suitable position
the toy cars are shown to the room.
Now these cars are rarer than I thought.
Originally, you can buy these for £30, but they were in the box and there were some rare ones.
Now I took them to Colin, who's on the Greenwich market near you.
And he told me that these catalogue at around, wait for it, £1,500.
-I said maybe £20, so somewhere in the middle.
They're in the catalogue at 300-500. Let's see how we do.
A collection of 14 boxed Tri-ang cars from the Spot-On series.
Take that they're all in good condition in the boxes and, er, £500? I'm bid at £500...
Take 520. At £500. Is that it? £500.
Can't believe it. 520, thank you.
540. 560. 580. 600.
And 20. 650. 650.
680. At £650. At 80. At £650.
680. New bidder. 700. 700.
No. £700. Take 20. At £700.
Are we done at £700? Who else wants to come in?
Back in, 720. 750.
-720, we have.
-I'm selling at 720.
It's your last chance. All done.
Take a bid now. At 720 then. Gone.
-You could have had my car for that, Robert.
Well, don't tell anybody actually. Keep it quiet because I paid £1.75.
So I think we're into profit.
It was fantastic. Clever old Paul, and I'm very glad that Lorne
sort of got the whip out and made me go to the back of the attic.
Good old Lorne. Thanks, Lorne.
And selling for well over our target at an astonishing £720.
That certainly was Cash In The Attic.
Paul, for once you have the honour of giving Robert the great news about his grand total.
-Now believe it not, we set out to make £500.
We've already had one auction already which made £1,585.
-It did, didn't it?
-Now if my numbers are correct add the dinky toys or the toy collection,
that makes a grand total of...
Don't tell Julia, or she'll want an extra bottle of bubbly.
After another successful day at auction,
Robert is taking friend and fellow rummager Julia for a well-deserved day out by the sea.
He's dressed up and intends to treat her like a true lady.
Not quite what I had in mind but very pretty, Robbie.
-Do you like it?
-Not very big, is it?
With the tide not expected in for another hour, he's laid on a fantastic spread for his date.
-I think it'll be OK. Don't you think it's marvellous?
-I love wearing this.
Health and safety. Everything has to be done properly.
-Isn't that marvellous?
Robert can't rely on the British weather, so they head to the high seas while they can.
Isn't it lovely? Well, I said it was a cheap date.
Well, I think next stop Holland, don't you?
And it's not long before their spirits are dampened and they're forced back to shore.
-It was slightly damp, wasn't it?
-It wasn't exactly my idea of a date.
-Wet and cheap.
-Cheap and very wet. The lunch was fabulous, darling.
But next time, I'll settle for the Ritz.
Now if you've got some antiques that you'd like to sell, then why not apply to come on the show?
You'll find an application form and details at our website. Goodbye.
We'll see you next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Series looking at the value of household junk. Hotelier, hoarder and car enthusiast Robert Gray wants to raise funds to smarten up his south London guesthouse in time for the Olympics, and treat his best friend Julia to a champagne picnic on the river. As they search for collectables to sell at auction, Lorne and Paul discover everything from a vintage army chest to a toy Z-Car.