Series looking at the value of household junk. Lorne Spicer and the team are in Luton to meet Martin and Pamela Phillips, who are preparing to sell up and move to Spain.
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Welcome to Cash in the Attic. This is the show that helps you find all those hidden treasures
around your home and then we sell them at auction. Today, I've stopped off near Luton in Bedfordshire
where I've come to take a look at Wrest Park. These gardens were built over 150 years
and they're inspired by the Palace of Versailles.
The estate was home to the de Grey family from the 13th century until 1917.
The house was designed by Thomas, Earl de Grey, an enthusiast of 18th century French architecture.
The 150 acres of gardens were some of the grandest of the period.
So, let's hope we find plenty of ornate antiques and collectables
that will do very well when they go under the hammer at auction.
-Coming up on today's Cash in the Attic, some of our valuations go down well.
-How does that sound?
That sounds good to me.
So, our expert's in the mood to celebrate.
So, shall we see if we can find a bottle to open?
Oh, yes, yes!
And we've all got smiles on our faces come auction day.
-You pleased with that?
-Just a little bit.
But will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
I'm on my way to meet a couple who've called in
the Cash in the Attic team to help them raise the funds they need
for a Mediterranean adventure.
This detached house in the heart of Luton is home to postman Martin Phillips and his wife, Pam.
The couple are keen gardeners and have been married for a fantastic 30 years.
With retirement on the horizon, they've decided to swap their Bedfordshire pad
for a villa in the sunshine. But they have a lifetime of possessions to de-clutter first.
-Ah, morning! How are you?
I'm fine, thank you. I've just had a lovely time, fantastic stately home I visited.
Yeah, do I need to call you Lady Lorne, now? Or just Lorne?
Well, you don't need to but if you feel so inclined, I won't object. And I brought this along, as well.
-Oh, great. We're working, aren't we?
-Well, yes, this is for later, if we have a good result.
-The couple we're meeting today, it's their pearl wedding anniversary.
-That's a fantastic achievement.
-How many years is a pearl wedding?
-Take note, for the future, it's 30.
You don't have to invest in a bottle of bubbly until you're 30 years married.
-It's worth celebrating.
-Shall we see if we can find anything to sell?
-Let's crack on.
-I see you're busy already.
-Yes, always busy.
-I understand today's special for you?
-30 years today.
-Ah-ha, well, congratulations!
-Great, lovely, thanks.
-Shall I put that in the fridge for a bit later on?
That's one reason to celebrate. But I guess that's not the main reason you called us in.
No, not really. Well, in the new year, we're planning to move to Spain,
put the house up for sale and hopefully we could get ourselves an apartment over there
to start off with and then look for a proper house.
So, how much money do you want to raise, Martin?
Oh, £800 to £1,000 would be really nice. Pam and I thought, just to get us in the mood,
perhaps we'd like to do some salsa dancing classes, just to get us in the swing of things.
OK, well, I know a man with two left feet, anyway. Hopefully he'll be able to help.
-There's another one here.
-Really? Oh dear, come on.
Turning dusty family heirlooms into sparkling Spanish dance moves
sounds like a lot of fun, so I hope we have plenty of collectables to choose from.
One man who knows all the moves is our expert Paul Hayes.
Hopefully his passion for antiques will charm our couple today.
-Ah, there you are.
-How are you, all right?
-I am Prince Charming today. This is very nice.
-Yeah, that's my mum's. Was my mum's.
OK, so, did she build up the charms on it over the years?
-Yes. My dad used to buy one, I think it was birthdays and anniversaries.
-What do you think of it, Paul?
Well, these are really collectable items, actually. Looks like it's been an old, Victorian bracelet.
This here looks as though it has quite a bit of age, the actual bracelet itself.
To make them more fashionable, people used to add on these charms. You'd buy them for anniversaries,
special occasions, if you went abroad, you'd often buy one.
I can tell they're modern because they're very light. Gold was expensive in the '70s.
The older charm bracelets are very heavy and very intricate but this one does look '70s and '80s,
mainly for the size of the charms.
-So what sort of value are we talking about?
-Gold is really collectable at the moment.
People are putting their money into raw materials and essentials, so what I would do...
I'm old-fashioned, I've got an old-fashioned scale here. I'm gonna weigh this fish, here.
If I pop this on the scale, it will give me an indication of the metal value is in here.
We have about 28 grams of 9 carat gold in there, which, at my reckoning,
9 carat gold is about £5 a gram at the moment.
So that's about £140, that's just in metal value. But altogether, it's a nice bracelet,
people can sell the charms individually, I think you're looking £150, possibly up to £200.
-That much? Oh, great! Lovely.
-That's not bad at all, is it?
-What a lovely start. Right, OK. Come on, ever forward. This way.
We've certainly hit the ground running today.
If we keep up this pace, we'll make the £800 target in no time.
Upstairs, Martin's been busy rummaging and he's unearthed a bronze figure of a mother and child.
Paul gives it a weighty £80 - £140 price tag.
And Pam digs out this lovely Royal Albert tea set.
Always the first to take an interest in items related
to his favourite beverage, Paul values it at £40 - £80.
He hasn't discovered the kettle quite yet but has found something else to get him excited.
-Now then, you all right?
I've got to ask you, where do these vases come from? They're beautiful.
I was hoping that they might be Rockingham but they haven't got any marks that I can see.
When my father was young, after the factory closed down, they actually used the kilns as annexes,
so my father used to sleep in the old bottle-neck kilns.
Well, the Rockingham porcelain factory is quite rare but it's very distinctive.
These could actually be made by one of two factories.
The first one is Coalbrookdale, which made very, very ornate vases like this.
The second being Rockingham and they're instantly recognisable by the over-decoration.
Everything's beautifully gilded, you've got these spiral handles,
you've got these wonderful hand-painted panels.
Just top, top quality, really.
So there is every chance these could be Rockingham, so that's fantastic. It's quite rare porcelain nowadays.
At the end of the day, you've got a pair of 19th century vases with royal blue backgrounds,
with honey-gilding, painted panels.
They're very decorative and, of course, pairs of vases are always popular.
The only thing you've got to look for with any porcelain item is damage.
-This one's been in the wars, it's got a lump out of it.
-Well, that can be restored.
So, if I said between £80 and £120, how does that sound?
-That's a good price. It would cost me that to get it repaired.
But somebody who does it for a living, it probably wouldn't. Right, that's great.
What an interesting story. Come on, let's keep looking.
Even damaged, the pair of vases are a sizeable addition to our Spanish dance fund.
And, downstairs, our dancer to be has found a collection of brooches
which Paul thinks could bag us £40 - £80 at auction.
We're having a very successful day so far,
so I leave Mr Hayes to carry on the rummaging and catch up with our anniversary couple.
Ah, there you are.
-So, bit of a special day, then, isn't it?
-It is, yes.
So, how did you meet, then?
-We actually met working for a household electrical company as welders.
-So, did sparks fly?
-Yes, I suppose so.
-So, we obviously know you want to move to Spain,
what's made you make that decision at this point?
Every year since we've had our 25th wedding anniversary, we've gone out every year, different times.
And we just like the area of where we go and the laid-back life.
And we just think that this is the time now that we would like to go.
So, in terms of the items that we are selling, most of them seem, the family connection,
the strongest one, to be with your grandfather, who was a bit of a lad?
He was a bit of a... Jim, his name was. Jim had...
He was a publican in Yorkshire and Grandad was a bit of an entrepreneur.
He liked a bit of bartering and there was always something going on in the pub.
I used to hear Mum and Dad talking about, "He's done it again!"
He'd flogged something or bought something. That was his way of life, I think.
That was how we've ended up with all these knick-knacks.
If we're going to find some more and add to the total, I think we'd better find our other Jack the lad.
See if he's got any valuations to give us.
With so many of Martin's grandfather's treasures to sort through,
I hope our Mr Hayes hasn't been having a sneaky siesta.
Thankfully, he's still hard at work
and has found a Royal Worcester peach-patterned plate.
We're hoping it will whet the bidders' appetite
with its £40 - £60 price tag.
In the living room, I've spotted a collection of items that have stood the test of time.
Ah, hello. What have you got?
I've got a really nice collection of pocket watches here.
-I don't know if it's something we could consider selling?
-It's a possibility.
-Bit attached to some of these. They're my grandfather's.
-What do you make of them, Paul?
I've often thought they're amongst the most underrated collectable
for the simple reason that they're highly accurate. When you get inside,
there are no batteries, everything moves by cogs. The engineering is superb, all cogs and springs.
It's actually gold-plated, this one. If you look very carefully, the gold is starting to wear off.
You can see the nickel coming through. It is a full hunter watch
which is when people used to go out into the field and exposed to the elements,
you'd have to protect the face. They used to make these metal cases over the front. Whereas this one,
that's an open face. That's the more standard that you'll find.
This one is actually solid gold and I can tell that straight away. It has a hallmark right there, 9375, 9 carat.
-Of course, gold watches tend to be kept for best.
-So what sort of value are we talking about, then, Paul?
Well, these are nice. You've definitely got two gold ones here.
If I said around £200, maybe up to about £300?
-I mean, how does that sound?
-That sounds good to me.
Does it sound good enough to sell them? Or do you want some time to think about it?
I'll have a chat to Pam about it but they're a possibility, Lorne.
-Well, we're nearly out of time for our rummage so, come on, let's see what else we can find.
We'll have to wait and see whether Martin can bear to part with the watches.
But there are plenty of other items to look at in the meantime.
Pam and Paul have found something that looks like it came from grandfather Jim's pub.
That's really nice. It's a novelty corkscrew.
So, does Martin ever remember it being in the pub?
I don't know. I think he does, yeah, just sitting on the bar there.
Right, this is a very high-class corkscrew, dating late 18th, early 19th century.
The basic action is called a T-shape, can you see that?
-Yes, I can.
-The whole thing opens out like that. Now, that was actually invented by a reverend,
a Reverend Samuel Henshall. The Henshall T-shaped corkscrew was a patent in the late 18th century.
But of course, all these novelties came from that, really.
Some of them are very elaborate, some of them are ivory, some are solid silver.
-This one's just a base metal but the mother of pearl really sets it off, doesn't it?
-Yes, it does, yeah.
There's a market for items like this. Anything to do with vintage wines are always popular,
things like labels, corkscrews, bottles, coasters, decanters, that type of thing people go for.
These sort of leg ones are really, really collectable.
-I mean, if I said £100, possibly £150?
-How does that sound?
-No, I didn't think that!
-Even though it's rusting?
-That's part of its charm.
-Oh, right. OK!
-Great, so shall we see if we can find a bottle to open?
-Oh, yes, yeah.
£100 is a corking price but there's more work to do before you can crack open the bubbly, Mr Hayes.
Back inside, I've found a delicate, gold watch
which is still in its original case.
It adds to our Spanish kitty.
We're almost at the end of our search but Martin has one final item to add to the pot.
-What've you got there, Martin?
-How about that for a pocket watch, Paul?
Look at that!
-Who did that belong to?
-It was my grandfather's. It used to hang in his pub in Swinton
behind the bar, was a sort of "Time, gentlemen, please" clock.
You're joking? Well, you know what we said about pocket watches being related to size.
-Look at that!
-Wow, that's huge!
-He wasn't the rabbit out of Alice in Wonderland, was he?
-No. Could have been, couldn't it?
-I can't think where he would have got a watch like that.
-Well, I think that's amazing.
It is a Victorian item, you can see Queen Victoria on this coin, here.
That's in her younger years and that's to commemorate the Coronation, 1837.
And then on the reverse is her in her elder years cos, don't forget, she was on the throne for 60-odd years.
It's probably been made in 1887, which was her Golden Jubilee. Or 1897, which was her Diamond Jubilee.
One or the other, that's what it's been to commemorate.
But the chain itself is an old Albert chain.
I mean that really is amazing. I've never seen one as big as that.
If you have a look really carefully, this is all solid silver.
Every link is hallmarked, can you see that? So, I'll just get my scales.
Yeah, this one measures in ounces and if we have a look, we've got almost 15 ounces.
Can you see that, 14, 15 ounces?
So if we work on £7 an ounce, which is the current value for silver, that's 70...that's almost £100.
£98 in scrap silver, there. But I would expect it to go for a bit more than that.
-If we said £100 minimum, really, for the auction.
So, is this something that can be sold?
Yes, yes. I daren't hang it up anywhere!
Well, no, I can see why.
OK, in that case, I'm just going to call Pam in. Pam, are you there?
-Yeah, I'm coming.
-Cos we're nearly out of time, now.
-Now, this chain has been valued for over £100 in scrap. That's good, isn't it?
-Oh, that's great.
Yeah. Now, you wanted to raise £800 towards the trip
and the whole new life in Spain and also, of course, the Spanish dancing lessons.
-Now I have to say, the value of everything going to auction so far comes to £690.
But, if you're to throw in that collection of watches, it would go up to £890.
-You can let us know on the day what you decide to do.
-Ooh, one last thing before we go.
-Enjoy it, won't you?
We've had a lovely day with Martin and Pam and, thanks to Martin's grandfather,
we've got a fantastic haul of items for auction.
We've got the gold bracelet which we're hoping will charm the bidders.
The unusual mother of pearl corkscrew.
And we'll have to wait and see
whether Martin can part with the set of pocket watches.
They would be a big addition to the Spanish dance fund.
Still to come on Cash in the Attic.
We're having to be philosophical about one of the sales.
-Perhaps it's just not its day today.
But others get us a bit hot under the collar.
Don't worry, you're going to be hotter than that when you get to Spain.
So, will we keep our cool when the final hammer falls?
It's been a few weeks since we had a good look around Martin and Pam's home in Luton.
We found lots of lovely items that we've brought here to Chiswick Auction Rooms in West London.
Remember, they're moving to Spain. Let's hope when the items go under the hammer,
all the bidders are ready to say, "Viva Espana!"
We've got an £800 target today but there are plenty of bidders browsing the sale room.
So, hopefully, that's a good sign.
I spot Paul Hayes with one of our most highly-valued lots.
-Good morning, how are you?
-Fine. What's the price of gold doing this week?
-Well, the price of gold is one thing to take into account.
-The other is the fact that it's a nice charm bracelet.
There's that enormous pocket watch with the big Albert chain. I've never seen one like that.
-What a novelty!
-We're looking for a big rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Apparently he was late.
Well, don't be late, come on! Well, we certainly need to keep an eye on the time
because it's not long until the sale starts. We spot Martin and Pam saying goodbye
to that very same Alice In Wonderland sized watch.
-Ah, good morning.
-Ah, so you did bring it, then?
-We did bring it, yes, we did. Yes.
-So, you looking forward to the auction today?
-You a bit nervous about certain stuff?
-Don't worry, you're in safe hands. And it's good fun.
I must ask, did you bring the rest of the pocket watches? That was...
-After we talked at home, we decided to bring them today.
-Oh, you have?!
-That's good news.
-You can't wait to get to Spain, can you?
-No, definitely not. Not after the weather we've had.
Right! Well, soon this will be owned by somebody else, hopefully.
Leave that there. Shall we go and get ready for the auction? Come this way.
Talking of dancing classes, it can be arranged. I've got two left feet.
Remember that if you're planning on heading to your local auction house, be aware that commission
and possibly other charges will be added to your bill. So always check the details with the saleroom first.
With the bidders waiting and the auctioneer in position,
we take our places just in time as our first lot of the day comes up for sale.
A pair of English porcelain vases, a Rococo design.
They're unmarked but they're very attractive.
And remember the honey-gilding, that's lovely.
-So, £80 as a pair of decorative, 19th century vases.
£50 for these? I'm bid £50. Say 55.
At £50, 55. Do you want 60?
-You do? 60, 65?
-65. 65 is bid, 70? 5. 80? 5.
80, at 85 you're saying £80?
You're saying £80, last chance of going. Your bid, £80.
-Hey, how's that?
-That's all right, isn't it?
-He's bang on.
I mean, there was some damage on them so that's pretty good.
Selling bang on Paul's low-end estimate,
the vases get us off to a strong start.
There's another porcelain lot next,
as the Worcester peach-patterned plate goes under the hammer.
-£50 for it?
-Oh, come on.
-£30 for it?
No-one want it for £30? I'm bid £30 on it. 32 at £30?
That's the only bid I've got so far. 32 at £30?
Take two at £30, I'm trying at £30.
Cheap at £30 but last chance has gone. Your bid, sir.
-There you go.
-That's all right.
£30 was only £10 under Paul's lowest estimate
but with an £800 target to reach, we need the saleroom
to get a bit more excited about the rest of our lots.
-OK, our next lot is the Royal Albert tea for two set.
-Tea for two, yeah.
This is an ideal lot for you, isn't it, Paul?
Well, I prefer tea for four.
OK, £40-80, let's see if we can make that.
Is that worth £50? Is it worth £20?
-Oh, come on.
-Bid at £20. 22? 25? 28?
30? 32? 35? 38? 40? 2?
At £40, at £40. Take 42?
£40, are we done? 42?
42. 45? 48? Thanks for bidding.
£45 bid, at £45?
I'm going at £45 then.
That's good, that's all right.
£45 is a good result for the tea set and our Spanish dancing fund gets
another welcome addition when the brooches also go down well in the sale room.
At £48? We've sold them at £48. At £48 and gone, then.
We've had a slow but steady start to the morning but now it's time
for one of our more quirky lots to take to the rostrum.
It's the antique corkscrew from Martin's grandfather's pub.
It is very collectable, these sorts of things, aren't they, Paul?
They certainly are. These can be hit and miss. They'll either walk or they won't sell at all.
We're looking for £100 - £150. It's a great old corkscrew and they are collectable.
Start me, what, £100 for it?
£100 for it?
Nobody's got £100 to carry on?
Pass on that? No bidders for £100, no corkscrew bidders in today?
No bids and it's worth more. Not sold.
Well, no bids at all on that, I'm afraid.
-How do you feel about that?
-Yeah? Are you quite happy?
-Yeah, perhaps it's just not its day today.
No, no, that's true. There wasn't the right buyer for this collectable
at auction today but it's a big blow to our £800 target.
If we're going to get this couple some dance moves to be proud of
we need to pick up the pace in the second half of the sale.
It's our collection of pocket watches up next
and Paul's feeling optimistic.
For years they've been so underrated,
so, let's hope that they fetch more than the £200 on them.
-Hope it's the right time to sell.
-It'd be nice.
Start me at £200, I'm bid £200. Right, at £200, say 210?
At £200, that's the bid so far. At £200, take 10? At £200, are we done?
210? 220? 230?
240? 250? 260? 270? 280?
270 you've bid, take 280.
You want 280? 280, new bidder.
290. 300. And 10.
At 320, you want 330? 330 new bidder.
340 you've bid, do you want 50? £340, are we done?
350 back in, 360, 370, 380.
From the back wall at £370. Are we done for 370?
Last chance at 370. Selling, all done. For 370, are you sure?
-I bet you're glad you brought them now!
Don't worry, you're going to be hotter than that when you get to Spain!
The pressure may be getting to Martin
but it's a brilliant result for the watches.
His grandfather's items are finally coming through for us.
The watch collectors didn't quite get as excited about
our gold wristwatch that Paul valued at £60-80.
42? Bid at £42. 230.
But it still successfully finds a home
and banks us another £42 towards the dance lessons.
After the excitement of the pocket-watch sale, we're all holding
our breath to see how another one of our highly-valued lots goes down in the sale room.
It's the gold charm bracelet which Paul valued at a massive £150-200.
The 9 carat gold charm bracelet.
-Start me at £100, see where it goes?
-Come on, must be.
-Thank you. I'm bid £100, I'll take 110.
Bidding £100, I'll take 110 for it. £100, that's the bid so far. 110.
120, 130, 140.
130 you've bid, you want 140? 140, new bidder. 150, 160?
Yes, or no at £150. I see your bid at 150. I'm selling at 150, are we done at 150?
-Last chance, going with yours, sir. 150.
-On the button.
£150. Excellent, OK.
Our Mr Hayes was bang on with his estimate on that one
and he's proved right again when the bronze figure goes under the hammer.
Bid's at £80, I'm saying £80. Are we done for £80? Gone at £80, then.
It sells for bang on Paul's low-end estimate.
After a somewhat slow start, the saleroom has really picked up
and I hope that bodes well for our one remaining lot.
Right, well our next lot is that enormous "pocket watch",
with that fantastically heavy chain.
It either belonged to a giant or it's been a display piece.
-A great item.
-OK, so what do we want for this?
Should make more than this, £100? About 5 hands have gone up.
I've got £100, 110, 120. 130, I'll take 130 there.
140, 150, might as well get involved.
Yes, or no? 160, 170, 170?
180, 190, 200. There's 200 there.
You want 200? 200, 210?
220? It's up to you now at £210.
Take 20, give me 20 for it?
At £210. Thank you, 220 new bidder.
230, 240, 250, 260, 270. Somebody wants it.
-280, 290, 300, and 10?
320, 330. Back to the bidder at £320.
Are we done for £320 and going?
For 320, you out? 320, 330 back in.
-330 back in.
-340, 350, 360.
It's against you, Mr Ackerman?
360, 370, 380, 390. Put it up, 400?
He says no. At 390, we've 390.
At 390, all done?
-For 390, last chance of going.
-You pleased with that?
-Just a little bit.
-What a fantastic result.
Martin's grandfather really did us proud today.
I have a feeling we'll have hit our target but it's time to tot up and see just how well we've done.
Well, you wanted £800, didn't you?
Which is towards the move to Spain but also for some dancing lessons.
Now, do you think we got near your target figure?
-I hope we have.
-I hope so. Just, maybe.
Right, a little bit more than just, you got £1,235!
That's great, isn't it?!
-So, are you pleased with that?
-Really pleased, yeah. Didn't expect that much.
-That's really good.
£800 would have been really good and this is special, isn't it? Special, yeah. Good.
A couple of weeks after their auction triumph, Martin and Pam are preparing
for their Mediterranean move by spending some of their money
on private dance lessons at a local Spanish restaurant.
We're gonna look at a little bit of Flamenco Tangos and we've got Diego Roque playing guitar for you.
One, two... Ole!... Three...
The couple seem to be picking up the moves pretty quickly although Pam admits, she's not quite a beginner.
Well, I used to do dancing and he's got two left feet.
So, I just thought that if he could learn something like that, then he can go out there and dance with me.
Luckily, Martin seems to be getting the hang of it and I have a feeling
this pair will be ready for their new life in the sun in no time.
I'm really looking forward to going to Spain.
I'm really looking forward to making a new life for ourselves and can't wait to get out there, retire.
-And don't forget the dancing.
-Of course the dancing!
-We'll be dancing.
Martin and Pam are ready to go to Spain and it looks like they'll be able to teach the locals
a thing or two about Flamenco dancing at that rate!
If you'd like to sell some antiques and collectables
then why not get in touch with Cash in the Attic?
You'll find more details 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
E-mail [email protected]
Lorne Spicer and the team are in Luton to meet Martin and Pamela Phillips, who are preparing to sell up and move to the sunshine of Spain.
They've called in the Cash in the Attic team to uncover items for auction, and hopefully raise funds towards their new life... starting with some Spanish dancing lessons.