Series looking at the value of household junk. Gloria Hunniford meets a pair of newly married sailing enthusiasts who hope to fund a new piece of navigational equipment.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the programme that searches out all those treasures around your home
and then sells them for you at auction.
Today, I'm surrounded by history, because I'm in Stratford-upon-Avon,
which is right in the heart of England.
Of course, Stratford has many connections
with the playwright William Shakespeare.
This house behind me is said to be his birthplace.
'Given its previous tenant,
'it's little wonder that this house
'is one of the most visited literary landmarks in Britain.
'The playwright was born, married and eventually buried in Stratford.
'The original features go a long way towards evoking the great Bard's past.'
So let's hope we can raise the curtain on some fantastic collectables
when we go searching for treasures to take to auction.
'Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, love is in the air.'
I think I've just fallen in love, for the first time in my life.
'And let's hope it stays that way.'
For goodness sake, don't call her a cheapskate.
That'd be the worst thing.
'Our expert John has faith in our items.'
I'm a big fan of it.
I've never had any trouble in the past, but it's another day, another auction house.
'But will it be love's labours lost at auction?'
-It's going home.
-We're not doing very well.
'Find out, when the final hammer falls.'
I'm on my way to meet a couple who called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help them raise funds for a vital piece of equipment
for their favourite hobby.
'Crwd and David's tale could be that of a Shakespearean sonnet,
'with very modern overtones, because this couple met after an internet encounter
'and have been together now for five years.
'Not only are they mad for each other but they also share
'a mutual passion for sailing. They've called in Cash In The Attic because they have plans
'for their very own Love Boat.'
John, John, where for art thou, John? Am I glad to see you?!
Isn't it marvellous to be in such a beautiful place?
It's great, isn't it? Do you think we're gonna find some items worthy of such a literary note?
Well, I don't know. But I tell you what,
this lovely couple, they're engaged, they've been together five years
and due to get married next year, so at least we've got our...
Romeo and Juliet.
It sounds great, but to be or not to be, that is the question.
-Are you ever gonna run out of quotes?
As long as this is not a tragedy, we're OK.
-I'll go find the family and you'd better start looking.
-Crwd and David.
These have got to be the best fed, best watered plants I've come across in a long time.
We do our best.
You've called in the Cash In The Attic team,
and we're thrilled, but why have you called us in?
We've got a sailing boat and we need a new electronic navigation system,
which is GPS, the chart plotter
-and the fish finder.
-You're losing me a bit here.
What does that actually do?
Instead of paper charts, you're working on electronic charts
so you can find out where you're gonna go...
-Where you're coming from...
-And, more importantly, where you are.
-That kind of helps, doesn't it?
-It does. If you get in trouble,
you've got to be able to tell somebody where you are.
So obviously this is a vital piece of equipment, but how much is it going to cost?
We're hoping to raise around £1,000. It'll cost a little more than that,
but if we can get close that would be great.
If we're going to raise £1,000 for this equipment, we've got to go to work really quickly,
so I'm going to follow you, David.
It's a great house, actually...
'Crwd and David are self-confessed hoarders and their taste runs from the funky to the functional.
'When they combined their houses, they were bursting with collectables,
'good news for us, and our expert, John Cameron,
'already has his beady eye on something that could see us cast off.'
I knew I'd find you in the bedroom, rooting through people's drawers!
You've found a nice piece of jewellery.
I've found an interesting ring. I wonder if you could shed some light on it for us.
What's the story behind this ring?
Soon after Crwd and I got together, she bought me a ring.
This was a few months after I bought her the engagement ring.
I tried it on, she said, "Do you like it?" I said, "It's nice...
-"but, quite frankly, it's not really my style."
-It's a black diamond.
People associate diamonds with being white,
but they come in various colours.
Interestingly, black diamonds like this, not hugely popular in jewellery
and most of them are used in industry.
Diamonds are valued for the four Cs - the cut, the colour, the clarity and the carat.
Well, the cut we know is a cushion cut.
The carat I'd estimate at about one carat in weight. The clarity we can't see,
because it's black. And diamonds being prized for their clarity,
the whiter the diamond, the more value per carat.
So, if we're gonna have this piece of navigational equipment, how much is the ring gonna fetch?
-I would suggest an auction estimate of about £150 to £180.
-Did you think it'd be worth more?
I think Crwd paid a little bit more than that. We were hoping for a little bit more, but that's fine.
For goodness sake, don't call her a cheapskate!
That'd be the worst thing that could happen.
So we're gonna put it into auction. Hopefully it'll get £150.
Now we have to go and face Crwd.
That's going to be the worst part.
You first, David.
'Downstairs, Crwd is busy taking a journey down memory lane.
'This box is chock-full of family memorabilia, and one item in particular catches her eye.
'This Lady Elgin wristwatch was her mother's.'
'In the living room, Crwd thinks she's found something else to add fuel to the fire.'
It's a very decorative fire screen. Where did it come from?
I bought it at an auction saleroom outside Stratford 30 years ago.
-I bought it cos I thought it was very pretty.
-Date-wise, it's Victorian.
We can tell it's Victorian because of
the amount of different decorative elements
going on on the piece. If we look at the top, you have this pierced fretwork carved crest here,
echoed on the bottom there.
On the sides, in these stars,
we've got barley twist going on,
as we have on the stretcher,
something we first started to see on Jacobean furniture in the 17th century.
And again the use of walnut, very much a favoured timber
-in the Victorian period.
-So it's walnut?
-Stained walnut, yeah - very much a favoured timber.
-I didn't realise.
It went out - not to do with fashion, more with availability - it went out in the 1720s,
but new stocks came back in so you see the Victorians reviving the use of walnut in furniture.
In between those periods, we predominantly see mahogany.
Sadly, Victorian furniture isn't as popular as it once was,
but it's in great condition and I'd have no problem putting an estimate on this of about £120 to £180.
-Are you happy to go?
It's a welcome contribution towards our total today,
but we're not there yet, so we need to carry on rummaging.
OK, great. Let's go and rummage.
I was quite interested as to what John was saying about the fire screen.
It's lots of detail that I didn't know about it.
I'm quite pleased with the valuation and I shall be quite pleased to see it go.
It takes up quite a lot of space.
'We're off to a fantastic start, but there's a long way to go
'if we're going to navigate our way to that £1,000.
'I quite fancy this padded wooden armchair,
'and this useful occasional table might be really good company for the chair.
'In the dining room, David's found something that,
'despite its appearance, is no laughing matter.'
-What have you got there?
-Looks like a jester to me, John.
You're not mistaken there. It's more than that - it's a Doulton jester.
You've also got a number on the bottom, the H-N number.
Can you see that?
-That refers to the artistic director, a chap called Harry Nixon,
which is great, because collectors can go to a reference book and cross-reference
the number, when was it made, the different colourways, who made it,
how long it was issued for. These are important pieces of information when looking at value.
Who does this belong to - you or Crwd?
Crwd bought it many years ago just to remind her of the times she enjoyed at the theatre.
It's a very nice piece. We quite enjoy having it on the mantelpiece.
It's made of pottery. It would've been made up in Stoke-on-Trent.
This particular figure, I know,
was introduced in about 1949 and remained in production until 1997,
when various other figures were discontinued.
It's nice to see this hasn't been damaged in those years.
It does have some extremities, certainly on the hat.
It doesn't take much to knock those off, does it? It is a popular figure
and, in this mauve colourway, we'd probably be looking at about
-£90 to £120, something like that.
-OK, that's better than I expected.
-Let's go and see what she has to say.
'£90 is certainly no joke and a welcome addition
'to our satellite navigation fund for our seafaring couple.
'As is this Royal Doulton Falstaff figurine.
'It all seems to have been plain sailing so far,
'but we've still got a long way to go
'to our £1,000 target.
'Luckily, John has got plenty of wind in his sails,
'I leave him to the search while I find out how Crwd and David became shipmates.'
You're our Romeo and Juliet for the day, where did you meet?
We actually met on the internet.
When we first met each other,
we were in Poole for a good five or six hours.
-Which is where my boat was moored at the time.
-When she went off,
I was actually a bit lost for what to do at 6.00pm.
I was sort of staring out into the bay at Poole and this lady on a bike with her partner said, "Are you OK?"
I said, "Yes... I think I've just fallen in love for the first time in my life."
It's not often you say that. It was quite a revelation. I'm very happy about the whole thing.
So how long was it before you proposed?
It was a couple of years.
We organised a trip to Venice. On one of the last days we were there, I organised a trip on a gondola.
The gondolier said all the couples have to kiss when they go underneath the Rialto Bridge.
So I kissed and then I proposed and presented the ring.
How romantic! Where do you normally sail to in your own spare time?
We sail around the Solent.
Weekends, holidays we tend to just stick to that area, although we have been across to France.
With this new piece of equipment, will you be able to go further afield?
We'd like to go down to south Brittany at some stage,
perhaps down through the French canals and down into the Med.
It is fascinating hearing about all of this.
I love your garden. I've had a lovely time out here, but I'm gonna put you to work again.
We've got to get inside the house and find some stuff we can sell.
'While we've been chatting,
'John's been raiding under the eaves. He's discovered this gorgeous,
'Art Deco silver-plated tea set from Walker and Hall.'
'In the kitchen, I've found something that might raise the temperature at auction.'
-Crwd, are you there with John? I've found a lovely barometer.
-Where did this one come from?
-It was my parents' barometer.
It was always in their hall.
Every time Dad used to go past it,
he used to tap it and move the little handle in the middle
to see what the pressure was doing,
if it was going to rain, or be sunny.
This would date to the turn of the last century,
though the mercurial barometers have been around since the 17th century.
This particular type,
known as the banjo barometer, was introduced into England in the 1820s by Italian immigrants.
The style remained unchanged well into this century.
It's a very distinctive whiplash motif, a flower there,
very much in the Art Nouveau taste,
-which would put it bang on in about 1900.
-Is it oak?
The case is oak, and we can see we have a maker here of Howden.
The London makers tend to be the most favoured and most desirable.
Are you going to find it very emotional parting with this?
It is part of my family
and, as a sailor, whenever I go past it,
I move it and I can see what's going to happen within the next few hours, really.
So the question is whether you bring it to auction or not.
-Well, I think yes.
-Maybe the price will determine it.
At auction, I would suggest an estimate of about £80 to £120
but because of that nice Art Nouveau decorative motif on the top
it wouldn't surprise me if it made more.
When I meet you at the auction, I'll be looking to see whether you've got your banjo barometer under your arm.
-I don't know.
-One to think about, but we have lots more things to look at. Shall we go to another room?
'With the barometer hanging in the balance, we need to find more treasures.
'You never know which way the wind will blow at auction, so we need a special item
'to boost our total.'
-Gloria, John? I was just thinking about this. What do you think?
-it's a very striking clock. What can you tell me about it?
-This was a present from an ex-boyfriend so,
although it's a nice clock, I'm quite happy to see that go, really.
It's called an atmos clock. Is that purely because of the atmosphere? Is that how it works?
It is run by changes in atmospheric pressure. It was invented
in the 1920s by a man called Jean-Leon Reutter.
He wanted to produce a clock that you wouldn't have to wind,
a perpetual clock that truly would run for ever.
Eventually, he came across the idea of using
a coiled, hollow spring, which contained mercury.
Any changes in pressure,
the mercury would expand or contract, as would the spring. That would power up the clock.
They don't use mercury in them any more,
but that was how the clock was developed.
They're very popular, very accurate. They do take a bit of messing around to set them up.
-So what do you think? How much?
-I would suggest an estimate of about £300 to £400.
-That's good. Excellent!
-Are you happy with that?
On that note, I think we should call David into the room. David?
-At this stage, I want to give you your potential totals.
I can tell you that, if everything goes to plan and you bring the barometer, you should reach £1,000.
-However, if you don't bring the barometer, you'll have £920, so not quite your mark.
-We shall see whether you bring the barometer to auction.
-We've had a lovely day, John, haven't we?
'We've dug out some truly unusual antiques here in Stratford today.
'Let's hope they set our bidders' hearts aflutter.'
'We've got this handsome black diamond ring,'
'and this Jaeger atmosphere clock.'
'But the barometer's fate is undecided.
'Will Crwd be swung by John's £80 to £120 estimate
'and bring it to auction? Only time will tell.'
'Still to come on Cash In The Attic, our hopes for the sailing satellite system hit rocky waters.'
-Maybe a little compass or something.
-A little handheld compass!
'And John's forecasts come to fruition.'
So you were good on that one.
Lucky, you might say!
'But will they sail away with the cash?
'Find out when the final hammer falls.
It's a couple of weeks now since we visited Crwd Ponzi and her fiance David at their lovely home
in Stratford-upon-Avon to search for antiques and collectables
to bring here to the Chiswick Auction Rooms in west London.
They are both really keen sailors so they're hoping to raise £1,000 for a piece of navigational equipment
which will take them further afield, all around the coastline of France.
I do hope there are lots of eager bidders today when their items go under the hammer.
'Happily, the saleroom is fit to bursting with interesting items to tug at our bidders' heart-strings.
'Let's hope they're ready to part with their cash.
'Our expert, John Cameron, is wasting no time in searching out treasures.
'He's betting the atmosphere clock will get hands twitching.'
-What are you talking about? I fell out of bed like this!
-Your favourite clock is here.
-It is. And, no pun intended, it really is a striking timepiece.
It's lovely and we've got big hopes for this today. We need £300
-to £400 for it.
-Do you think it'll do well?
-It ought to.
They don't turn up frequently and, when they do, I've had no trouble selling them.
I liked the barometer. Did you?
I did, but I think Crwd was a bit attached to that,
it came from her father's house, so I'm not sure she'll have brought it.
-I want to see if they have a Shakespearean phrase lined up. Shall we go meet them?
'As the bidders take their seats,
'we spot our couple saying goodbye to an item that John and I didn't think we'd be seeing again.
'Crwd has decided to add her beloved barometer to the sale list after all.'
-Crwd and David, good morning.
-Hello! How are you?
Looking at your treasured barometer. Doesn't that look splendid there?
It looks better than it does in our place.
-So will it do well, John?
-It ought to.
It's very nice. You do see them at auction, but I like the Art Nouveau motif to the top and bottom.
That should separate it from the rest.
To paraphrase Lady Macbeth, is this a barometer I see before me?
Oh! And what else are you excited about today?
It's exciting to see how the ring goes, which caused a little bit of fuss in the house.
Is she still speaking to you about that?
The ring, unfortunately, we've left behind because we thought,
just to keep the peace, we might keep it for at least another week or two.
So you've kept the ring?
-You didn't want to upset her?
-Is that an auctioneer I see before me?
-In position, so I think we'd better get in position as well.
'If you're planning on buying or selling at auction, you'll have to pay commission
'and possible other charges, so be sure you check with your local auction house first.
'It's a full house here in Chiswick today,
'and we take our places just in time for curtain up on our first item.'
'Lot number five...'
a Walker and Hall silver-plated three-piece tea set with a tray.
How do you think it'll do, John?
It does have the name on it of Walker and Hall,
a well-respected firm of silversmiths, so we should be somewhere around our estimate.
Who'll start me at £30? £20 for it?
I'm bid £20. 22, 25, 28, 30, 32, 35.
35, 38. £35. I'm selling at £35. For the last time at £35...
'It's a great start and bang in the middle of John's estimate.
'Next up under the hammer is the Royal Doulton jester.
'Fingers crossed he'll have us laughing all the way to the bank.'
So, John, the jester,
which I think you're partial to, but so were the guys.
-They put a reserve on this.
-He was nice. We've got a reserve of £120. My estimate was £90 to £120.
You've gone on the top estimate, but it should do that.
Number 10, the jester figure. Who'll start me at £50? £50 for it? It's Doulton.
£50 for the jester? Who's to start me at £50? Bid at £50. 55.
55 there. 60.
60 there. 65, 70, 75.
That's £70 bid. Take five at £70.
£70, all done. At £70, then.
Not enough. Not sold.
Bidding got up to £75, which was shy of my bottom estimate.
'I don't like that - not in the least bit funny.
'When the wooden armchair goes unsold as well...'
£30. Two I'll take. At £30. Are we done?
Only bid so far at £30. Not enough for that one. We want a bit more.
'This comedy looks to be taking a tragic turn.
'Let's hope our next item, Crwd's father's much-loved barometer,
'gets temperatures rising again.'
Now, even I am a bit sad
to see the barometer up.
-I think it'll go well, don't you?
-Yeah, it should do. It's got some nice decorative features.
Art Nouveau barometer there. What's that worth? £100 for it? Should make that. £50 for it?
I'm bid £50. 55, 60, 65,
70, 75, 80, 85.
80 is bid. £85, new bidder.
I'll take 90. The bid is in front of me at £85.
Are we done?
Just over the bottom estimate.
-How do you react to that?
She's happy. A happy girl!
'It's a welcome addition to the boat navigation fund. But, with just over a tenth of our target in our sights,
'we need a lot more where that came from if we're going to get anywhere near £1,000.
'Maybe our Royal Doulton figure, the Shakespearean Falstaff,
'will put some wind in our sails and reach £60.'
The Royal Doulton figure. Start me at £50 for it? £50 for it? £40 for it?
I'm bid there at £40. 42 there, 45.
£45 then. Again, not sold. We want more than that for it.
-Oh, no. What's going on?
-We're not doing very well, are we?
'Oh, tragedy! We really need our fortune to do an about turn if we're going to stay on course.
'Will our elaborate Victorian fire screen
'result in a much-needed sale?'
Victorian fire screen with tapestry panel.
Start me at £100 for it?
£80 for it? £50? I'm bid at £50.
55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100.
100, new bidder. 110, 120, 130.
120 is bid. Take 130. Are you out?
£120. Last chance.
Going for 120, your bid.
That is very good. You were pretty spot on.
£120, bang on our lower estimate.
So you were good on that one.
Lucky, you might say.
'Very good, a great result and not before time.
'Over halfway through the sale and, with merely a quarter of our target accounted for,
'could the tide finally be turning for Crwd and David?
'John had high hopes for our next lot - the gold ladies' wristwatch.'
Is that worth £50? Start me for it. The Elgin watch, £50 for it?
Can't get a bid at £50 to start me, I'll pass along. No bids at £50 then.
No-one likes this one. No offers.
-None at all.
-Are you disappointed at that?
I am a bit, yes.
'And so am I. Another of our items
'is cast adrift, which is another blow to Crwd and David's hopes for a new GPS system for their sail boat.
'Fingers crossed our next item proves to be the trump card that John hopes it is.'
This is the big moment.
We've had a look at this atmos clock again this morning.
I know John is very partial to it.
I'm a big fan. I've never had any trouble selling them but it's another day, another auction house.
What's that worth? Start me at £300 for it. £200 for it?
Again, no bidders. I'm bid at £200. Give me £210 for it.
£200. Give me 210 for it. £200 is the bid so far.
£200, whoever wants it. That's the bid, £200.
Going at £200, your last chance.
Sorry, not sold.
You know what? Maybe a little compass or something.
-A hand-held compass.
-At least it'll get you to France.
-Point the boat in the right direction.
'It's a major disappointment and, with the sale nearly over,
'our love birds Crwd and David are putting on a very brave face.
'So, with one final lot to go, will the elegant occasional table sink or swim?'
My observation is at these auctions
little occasional tables do well.
This one's at the bottom end, the type that turns up a lot.
But I'm not scorning you. We're looking for £50 to £80.
It's a good, honest piece of antique furniture.
£50 for it. £30 for it. I'm bid at £30.
32, 35, 38, 40, 42, 45, 48,
50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75. 80?
It's bid, 85. 90, 95.
No other bidder at £90. 95, back in.
100? £95 bid, at £95. For £95.
Your bid, sir. £95.
-Who said it was lower end of the market?
'It's been a really rocky ride today,
'but the table John described as bottom end
'has given us a lifeline. But will it be enough?'
Crwd and David, I am really disappointed myself.
-That's the thing about auctions though, it's very unpredictable, isn't it, John?
This perhaps wasn't our day.
I know you wanted £1,000 for this very sophisticated form of navigation system.
Well, you have at this point £335.
Right. I think that may just pay for some wind instruments.
So what will you do in this case?
We could always raid our piggy bank, just to get the sum up a little bit.
We've had tremendous fun. We've really, really enjoyed it.
-We've enjoyed meeting you so much. We've had a few laughs along the way, haven't we?
-More than a few!
'So, it's been two weeks since David and Crwd raised £335 at auction.
'Despite not reaching their target,
'they're looking into the global positioning system they'd set their hearts on.'
Brochure, card, there's a price list in the back as well.
'We've got a good fund to start with.'
Every Christmas and birthday, we'll add a little bit more and hopefully by the beginning of next year
we're going to be in a position where we can actually buy one.
'Let's hope Crwd and David don't have to wait long before they splash out on their new piece of kit.
'In the meantime, there's no stopping them enjoying the life of Riley out on the open seas.'
It's one of the greatest experiences in the world, to have a good sailing boat
and a really decent sailing partner that you get on well with and sailing to far-off, exotic places.
If you'd like to join us on Cash In The Attic and you feel
you've got some collectables hidden around your home, it's very easy.
All you have to do is go to our website:
Let's hope I meet you here on Cash In The Attic.
In the meantime, thanks for your company.
For more information about Cash In The Attic, including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Gloria Hunniford meets a pair of newly married sailing enthusiasts whose passion for the high seas is only surpassed by their love for each other. They hope their antiques will help fund a new piece of navigational equipment for their boat, and have called in the team to help.