Series looking at the value of household junk. Jo Ridgers hopes to raise enough cash from her inherited antiques to visit her daughter and grandson in the USA.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. This is the show that searches out all those hidden treasures
around your home and then helps you sell them at auction.
Today I'm going to meet a family in Kennington in south London.
Before I do that, I've decided to stop off at one of the capital's
most famous museums, the Imperial War Museum.
This imposing Georgian building formerly housed the Bethlem Royal Hospital,
more commonly known as Bedlam, and was built in 1815 specifically for the care of the insane.
Over 100 years later, whilst in the midst of fighting the First World War,
the government founded the war museum here as an historical archive
and memorial to those who died in the conflict.
I'm on my way to meet the family who live a few yards from this remarkable spot, and I'm hoping
that we're going to unearth plenty more interesting stories and fascinating items for auction.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic,
we enlighten one lady who's not even sure what she's selling.
-Where did these come from?
-I don't know. I don't know what they are.
And an old chest turns out to be a real treasure trove.
-I don't believe it!
But will we reach our target? Find out when the final hammer falls.
I'm on my way to meet a lady who's called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help her raise the funds she needs to cross the Atlantic.
This smart Georgian terrace is home to Jo Ridgers.
She's lived in London since she was 21 years old, when she moved from Rye in Sussex.
She's had a dear friend in Jill Lowther for over 30 years.
The two became pals when they had their children close together.
Jo has three children, Tommy, Jamie, and a daughter, Anna, who lives in America.
-Ah, morning, Paul.
-Good morning, how are you?
I'm fine. I wanted to ask you, have you been to America?
-I've just come back from Orlando, it's fantastic.
OK. The lady today wants to raise money so that she can make a similar sort of trip.
I don't blame her at all, actually.
-You can tell her all about it.
There's merits to both places.
Good morning, ladies.
-You must be Jo?
-And this is your house?
It's lovely. I love the outside and all the art.
-So, you're Jill, is that right?
-Yes. I'm Jill, yes.
-Jo, I know you've called us in.
-What do you want us to do?
-Obviously raise some money, but what have you got in mind?
-I want to go to America,
so I want the money for a flight to America to go and visit my daughter
and my grandson, and also to get rid of all this stuff that I've got in the house.
This stuff that we're going to look at, what's the history behind that?
It's a whole load of stuff that I cleared from my ex-husband's parents' house.
So, you don't actually have any sentimental attachment to the items?
Not a huge amount, but obviously, some of the things are really nice
and they've come from my sons' side of the family.
And the things are quite nice, too nice to just put on the skip.
So, I want to get a good price for them.
When you say about this plane ticket, what sort of money are we talking about?
About 250, 300-ish.
Right, OK. That's sounds quite cheap for America. Whereabouts in America does she live?
They're on the east coast. They're just a bit east of DC.
Right, now I see you've drunk your tea and I know a man who's going to be helping us out rather a lot today
who probably would appreciate a cup of tea of his own. So, come on.
It seems that Paul's already got to work on the rummage
and he's got his hands on something that might take us somewhere.
-There you are.
-How are you, all right?
You haven't packed your trunk already, ready to go?
That's it, I'm off. Well, this is fantastic.
If only this could tell a story, where it's been. Look at that.
-These are great, they go back to the golden age of travel.
They're called a dome-top travel trunk and they were designed
to be kept outside, which is why it has this dome top.
The reason being that all the rainwater can run off quite easily.
It was made before they could waterproof things.
The interior is actually not too bad.
Gosh, you're packing quite a lot of stuff in there, aren't you?
What are you going to do with all of that if we sell it?
-Well, it's all going to go, hopefully.
-Right, OK, all right.
Paul, how about you give us two valuations, sorry to spring this on you.
-Firstly, one if we don't take the contents and they're sold separately or just cleared out,
and one if it goes as a lot like this, with the contents.
If it didn't have any contents in there, I would say £40 to £60, in its present condition.
With the contents, I think that collection there is maybe £100 to £150,
so that would actually increase the value. It's entirely up to you.
Did you think that was possible, that just by selling the contents that you don't want,
-that you could increase the value?
-No. I had no idea.
That's good news then. Right, let's see what else we can find then. We're doing well.
It's a great start towards our £300 target.
And in the bedroom, I've uncovered this mezzotint.
This form of printing was popular throughout the Victorian era.
Paul puts an estimate of £20 to £30 on this.
Good friend Jill knows this house well but she's never had a chance to have a good old nosey
and Paul is an old hand at sniffing out potential.
Ah, now we're talking, Jill.
-Look at that.
-What have you got there?
-It's an old scent bottle.
-Isn't that exquisite?
-Isn't it beautiful?
I'm a bit curious as to why it's got a lid on both ends?
Well, the reason being that you get various qualities and grades of scent and perfume.
You go from smelling salts, which is almost like a powdery substance, right the way up to eau de toilette,
which is very watery with just a hint of scent. Different concentrates would go in here.
You can see this area is very cloudy, that's where the salts have been.
This one is empty, that's where the liquid has been. So, there's two bottles in one.
There's no hallmarks there but you're still looking at £40 to £60, how does that sound?
I think she'd be over the moon.
-Yes. I think she'll be quite surprised, actually.
-I think we'd better ask, though, do you?
-I think that would be wise.
-OK. Let's keep looking.
Nothing like a pleasant surprise to spur you on.
Jo's come across this fine example of Royal Bonn porcelain.
Originally started by the German, Franz Mehlem,
Royal Bonn were famed for their pioneering techniques in developing fine porcelain.
Paul thinks £40 to £60 is a fair price for this.
And in the living room, I've been transported to another era.
I've found the most amazing things here, these are just fantastic.
-Paul, are you there?
This is a stereoscope, isn't it?
Look at that! Gosh, you've got some collection there, haven't you?
There's just loads. I've been looking through them and they're absolutely fascinating time shots.
Rural country life in England. There's some of Paris and some really lovely ones of Egypt.
I think these are fascinating items and they're very much a bit of social history, actually.
The idea is that you would take a photograph from two slightly different angles
and when they're placed together and with the use of these clever double lenses, what you end up with
-is actually a three-dimensional effect.
-Is it something we can sell?
I'd have to think about it. I'd have to think about it quite carefully.
Rob, my ex-husband, he's died now and so for Jamie,
my son with Rob... We'd need to think about it, really.
At least we've been lucky enough to have a chance to appreciate it.
But we do need more things we can sell, so, come on.
Well, Jo's going to need to discuss it with her son before she decides whether to take it to auction.
But, if she does, it could make between £80 and £100.
While we've been chatting, Jill has been very busy.
She's found these decorative tiles stamped Copeland and with their colourful majolica technique,
they might charm the bidders at £60 to £100.
It looks like Jo has collected quite a variety of things throughout her life and I am keen to find out more.
Jo, tell me a little bit about your children. How many children have you got and what are their ages?
I've got 3. Anna's just turned 35 last week,
Tommy will be 34 in December
and Jamie will be 24 in August.
So, you had the first two quite close together then?
I did. 16 and a half months apart.
-That must have been hard work.
-Yes, it was hard work. Yeah, yeah.
And what about Anna out in the States?
What's the situation with her and children?
She has Connor.
She left in May 2001 with work.
They sent her there for three months and she ended up staying.
She's still there seven years later and she's set to stay.
So, how important is this trip for you, to go over there?
It's really important to me that I maintain my contact with Anna,
of course, but also with Connor.
And that he understands and knows his English-ness.
-So, you're telling me that it's hard work being a grandma, isn't it?
All this international travel. You're not going to get any international travel anywhere
beyond this square if we don't find some more stuff, so shall we go and find Paul?
And, as we all know, it's not just small change that we need to raise to get to the States.
This little purse might well help contribute a fair sum.
Purses like this were made to hold up to six sovereigns
and were usually attached to a gentleman's watch chain.
And another glittering prize is this silver-plated jug.
Paul thinks the two could in as a joint lot at auction for £30 to £40.
And it looks like Paul's found something with another silver bent.
Ah, now, how are you? I was hoping you'd pop in, actually.
Where have these come from?
I don't know. I don't know what they are.
I imagine that they're plate stands.
You're right in one respect. I think they have been some sort of table decoration.
I think inside here has been a glass bowl.
-I think they're actually for chilling your wine glasses...
-..in a big country house.
The reason I say that, if you look at the decoration, this is all crisp, silver plate.
It's the best silver plate you can get, usually by a firm called Elkington, this sort of design.
-But you have the vine leaf here, can you see that? With the grapes.
But more importantly, you have the mountain goat, the face of a goat on the front,
and that represents Bacchus. Have you heard of Bacchus?
-Well, Bacchus, he was the Roman god of plenty and of wine,
and is believed to have invented wine. That's where the association comes from.
They need a bit of restoration but the quality is fantastic.
Value-wise, as they are, £40 to £60. How does that sound?
-Brilliant, sounds great.
-So, that's £40 in the kitty.
We've got a long way to go yet, for this holiday. Let's keep looking.
I really didn't have a price in my head
for the goat's head circular things
so, 40 to 60 sounds great, actually.
Yeah, I'm pleased.
Well, before we can put a toast to our finds, we need to make sure we really have enough.
Even dapper Paul is taking his grooming very seriously here, plus he's managed to brush up
a few items that could sit nicely together at auction.
He values this dressing table set and Victorian umbrella at £25 to £35.
It's a beautiful afternoon in south London, and though I'm still rummaging,
Jill's found something that could be a fine prospect.
-Can you come and have a look at this?
-Let's have a look.
Oh, wow, is it a fishing basket or something?
It looks a bit small for a fishing basket and I can't see any wrigglies in it.
Well, it says here on the front, it says Drews were the makers,
"en route" and it's Piccadilly Circus, London. Look at that, isn't that fantastic?
This will date about 1890 to about 1920, the golden age of vintage motoring.
So, you'd pull along into a field and you'd have a hot cup of tea
with this methylated spirits burner here, this kettle.
I think what's happened here, this has been put away when it's been hot and it's burnt the interior,
and for that reason, not a lot of these have survived.
Think about it, the whole thing is made from wicker.
-If this gets very hot or on fire, the whole thing's gone, isn't it?
I think that could do quite well. We'll have to ask Jo. Here she is.
-That's lovely. Is that from a car?
-Yes, from an old vintage car.
-Oh, how wonderful.
-Yeah, an amazing thing, isn't it?
Gosh. So, can this be sold?
I think that should do quite well because we've got picnic basket people and vintage car collectors.
Exactly. It's a little bit damaged but I would say a minimum of £40 and I think upwards, really.
-Now you wanted £300 for the plane ticket, didn't you?
-How do you think we've done today?
-I don't know.
Jill, have you any idea?
I wouldn't like to hazard a guess.
OK, well, it does depend, of course.
Should Jamie decide not to keep the stereograph, and that can go into the total,
-it means that you've got £475 worth of items going to auction.
Now, understandably, he may well decide to keep hold of that,
in which case, the value of everything else going to auction comes to £395.
-So that's not bad, is it?
-Good for you. Well done.
The way the dollar and the pound are going at the moment, that extra £95 should go a long way.
-Of course, yes.
-Are you pleased with that?
Jo certainly had some fascinating items tucked away in her home
and they include the trunk from the golden age of travel.
I can see Paul now with his boater on the deck of a cruise liner.
We hope that this well-loved antique might carry £100,
if sold with its contents.
The perfume bottle made from cranberry glass.
Let's hope it makes the bidders swoon at £40 to £60.
And could this vintage hamper see Jo eating out on the profits stateside?
It's a tasty proposition with its estimate of £40 to £60.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, you can't put a price on a good cuppa.
It's a very expensive cup of tea.
Yes, that is a very expensive cup of tea.
-And one item leaves us quite baffled.
-There we go, that's what we wanted.
But will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
It's been a few weeks since we were at Jo Ridgers' home in Kennington in London.
We had a good look round and found plenty of collectables to bring here
to Sworders auction house in Sudbury in Suffolk.
Remember, she's looking to raise £300 for a trip to America so she can go and see her daughter.
Let's hope that when our items go under the hammer today, there are plenty of bidders
ready and willing to wave the stars and stripes.
The sale room is a treasure trove of antiques, collectables and sought-after knick knacks today,
so it's no surprise it's filling up with a steady flow of beady-eyed bidders
seeking out the gems.
I see one familiar face digging through a box of treasures.
-No, I'm here.
-Ah, there you are.
I'd love to have a rummage through there. What an interesting collection of bits and pieces.
It's a great example, it's a good speculative lot.
You don't know what's in the bottom there, that creates interest.
-What a job lot of items.
-What else took your fancy?
-The lovely, double-ended ruby scent bottle.
-Now that is a classic piece, isn't it?
It's a nice, small antique. Always very popular. Nice quality item.
Now, I really liked that stereoscope.
That was fantastic, really good quality.
Yes, that was a well-presented item, but, don't forget, I think some of those cards were extremely rare.
We've got some of Egypt and some great Victorian scenes. They would have the value, really.
The only thing that I think is that because it was beautifully displayed and on pride of place,
I'm not sure they're going to want to part with it, but let's find out.
One thing's for sure, there are plenty of things they are happy to part with and Jo and Jill
are having one last look at their items before the sale starts.
I still think this is absolutely charming, I'd love to have gone on a picnic,
-in a car, in the days that these were made, wouldn't you?
-It can be arranged.
-Thank you very much!
Are you going to miss this?
-Yeah, really miss it(!)
-Oh, I think not, then.
-Are there any items that you've put in?
-I shall miss the table, it used to be a table.
Right. Are there any of the items that you've got in that you'll miss, do you think?
Yeah, maybe the scent bottle. Because it's nice, it's small. I can hold it, it feels nice.
-What about the stereoscope, have you decided to keep that?
-I decided not to sell it.
Jamie really likes it.
It reminds him of his dad, so I've left it behind.
Have you ever been to auction before?
-Looking forward to it?
-Yeah, really looking forward to it. It's fun.
Let's go and get in position and see how it goes. Follow me.
The excitement is building as the room settles in for the start of the auction.
So, let the sale begin!
Remember if you're planning to sell or buy at auction,
bear in mind you will have to pay commission and possibly other charges to the auction house.
Our first lot to go under the hammer is the pair of ornate table stands.
It's a pair of plated stands, decorated. 20.
20 I'm bid, at 20.
Five, 30, five, 40.
Here we go, that's what you want.
On my left at 40.
At £40. At £40. You all finished and done with that at £40?
-That's not bad, that's exactly what we wanted, so I think that's quite good.
£40 is right on Paul's estimate and a solid start to today's sale.
The next lot is the Mary Poppins-style umbrella
with the mirror and brush set combined at £25 to £35.
But will it charm the bidders?
-I'm starting this at £20.
-There we go.
At £20 I'm bid. On the books at 20.
I'm out. 25 in the room.
At £25. 30 on the phone.
-On the phone? We've got a phone bidder.
-40 on the phone.
£40. On the phone at 40.
-It always seems a bit posher on the phone.
-I wonder who it is.
Are you finished at 40?
£40 on the phone.
Maybe it was Mary Poppins.
Another £40 towards Jo's fund to visit her daughter in America.
And when the silver jug and sovereign purse go up for sale...
Are you all finished and done with that at £20?
-There you go.
-That's all right.
-That's what you said.
-Are you happy with that?
Well, Jo's happy but I think Paul was hoping for a little more.
But a further £20 rounds off the total so far to £100.
However, the Royal Bonn dish and ashtray...
All finished and done with that at £20? ..We'll leave that, then.
..failed to serve up much interest and go unsold.
We'll never make our £300 target if things don't pick up,
but will the four cherubs and the majolica Copeland tiles
bring us any luck?
Several bids on the book here and I'm going to start this...
-£110. With me at 110.
20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 170.
-With me at 170.
-At £170 with me.
-Are you all finished and done with that at £170?
-There you go.
-Gosh, that's amazing. Are you pleased with that?
-Yeah, really pleased.
-I should think so.
They're so ugly!
Jo may think they're ugly but others think differently.
£170 is just what we needed to boost our coffers and means we're climbing
towards our target.
It's put us in a good frame of mind for our next item, the mezzotint
by Will Henderson estimated at £20 to £30.
At £12. You all finished and done with that at £12?
-Yes or no?
-He won't sell it, no.
-We'll leave that.
-He's left that one.
So, no fans of mezzotint in the room.
Let's hope the cranberry collectors
have sniffed around the perfume bottle.
At £30. You all finished and done with, then, at 30?
Sorry, I'll have to pass that.
Not a whiff!
Though somehow I don't think Jo will be too disappointed.
-It's coming back.
-He's passed it.
-It means it's coming back to you.
Because he doesn't think that £30 is enough for that so it's not been sold.
-So good, it's going home. Are you pleased?
-Yeah, I am, actually.
Despite several no-sales we're still doing well, but will it be a walk in the park with our next item?
Or will we be left a sandwich short of a picnic on our target of £300?
Our next lot is the fantastic picnic set.
-Now I just think this is so charming.
Every single piece, Paul, is actually marked Drew & Sons, Piccadilly Circus, no less.
Yes, Piccadilly Circus is THE place and this would have belonged to a vintage car.
Do you know someone in the family that used to use one?
I heard of them, I didn't see them.
-It was a bit before my time.
Well done, Paul. Charming the ladies! Now, what do we want for this?
About £40. £40 to £60.
-It is a great example.
-Let's see what we can get for it, then.
-Couple of bids on the book here.
-Oh, we've got a bid.
-I'm starting this at 40.
-40. 45, 50.
-Five, 60, five, 70, five.
-This is exciting.
-80, five, 90.
With me on the books at 90.
You all finished and done with that at £90? I'm selling at 90.
That's a very expensive cup of tea.
Yes, that is a very expensive cup of tea. Yes, you're right.
It certainly is, but we've still got one more to go.
Will it turn out to be a real box of tricks?
-I'm starting this at £100.
At £100 I'm bid.
They've bid 100 already.
With me at 200. And ten. 220.
-I don't believe it!
250, 260. 270 at the back.
I'm wondering what's in there.
Right at the back at 310.
That's the trip to the States sorted in one hit! How wonderful is that?
Fantastic, isn't it?
Well, a number of bidders wanted to get their hands on a fine example
of an original, untouched trunk and it added a lot to the coffers.
How much HAS Jo made at auction?
That was the end of the auction, obviously.
No surprise that you have made your money. You made that just in one hit, didn't you?
-Have you enjoyed today?
-Yeah, really enjoyed it. It's been good fun.
And, of course, you are actually taking back the ruby glass scent bottle,
-which you're pleased about, aren't you?
-I am really, yeah.
And how did you find it, and particular surprises?
The picnic basket, I think.
It gob-smacked me really.
I didn't expect it to go for much at all really.
That was a humdinger. A great result, that.
And, of course, it helped get you to a total of £670!
Wow, really? Oh, my God.
I think I'd forgotten about the picnic basket, yeah.
-So are you pleased with that?
-Yeah, really pleased. I can go twice now.
Jo will be going on her treasure trip to the States later this year.
Meanwhile she's thrilled that her family have been able to make a surprise trip to the UK.
The auction went really well and I made more than the target so I'm really, really pleased.
And to make the most of her family's visit, she's treating Anna, her son-in-law, Aaron,
and grandson, Connor, to a day at the zoo.
Being across the ocean it's extremely important to us as a family to spend some time,
so any time we get a chance to do it, it means a lot.
There's one more lovely surprise in store.
There's some really exciting news since we got here as well.
They surprised me when they got over here.
Anna is actually pregnant and the baby will be due in February so that is wonderful, wonderful news.
Really, really exciting.
Now if you've got a special trip that you'd like to raise some funds for,
or you fancy selling your collectables, why not apply to come on Cash In The Attic?
You'll find an application form online
at our website...
We'll see you again next time.
For more information about Cash In The Attic,
including how the programme was made, visit the website at bbc.co.uk
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Jo Ridgers' south London home is bursting with antiques inherited from her late husband's parents, but she feels that it is time to part with them in order to take a very special trip to the USA to visit her daughter and two-year-old grandson.