Series looking at the value of household junk. Retired couple and adrenaline junkies Bill and Clare Edwards want to raise funds for a 10th anniversary experience to remember.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the programme that works with you
to find hidden valuables around your home and then sell them at auction.
Today, I'm in Surrey and I could not resist the opportunity
of coming to visit the Queen Anne water tower
which is part of the magnificent Carshalton House.
Perhaps not immediately thought of as a public attraction,
this imposing Grade II listed building deserves a closer look.
The heart of the 18th-century tower is the pump room, but there's also a wonderful orangerie and a bathroom
dating from the 1720s, complete with plunge bath and exquisite hand-painted Delft tiles.
The water tower has stood the test of time magnificently.
Let's hope that's a trend that continues today,
as we now go in search of antiques and hidden valuables
just a few miles from here, which hopefully will do well
when they go under the hammer at auction.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic,
I'm dispensing some fashion advice...
Modern, young miss could wear to a party and look ravishing!
That counts me out, then.
..John's cracking the whip.
I see, Bill. I'm working my fingers to the bone
trying to get enough money to get you up in the air
-and you're doing jigsaw puzzles.
And some of our hard work pays off at auction.
That was fantastic!
But will we still be smiling when the final hammer falls?
I'm in Carshalton, where I'm about to meet a couple of high-flyers
who've called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help them reach for the skies.
Bill and Claire Edwards live in this detached house in the heart of Surrey.
The couple are both retired but far from enjoying the quiet life,
their days are packed full of outdoor activities,
from golf and gardening to sailing and skiing.
This beautifully tidy home hides a wealth of inherited collectables,
which they've decided to turn into cash for a very exciting cause.
-Here she is.
-How are you on golf?
-Always in the bunker.
-How about extreme activities?
-Scared of heights.
-One out of three is not bad but I tell you what,
-the couple we're meeting are interested in all three.
-Absolutely no bungee jumping!
No, you're going to keep our feet on the ground.
The only thing we want to go high are the prices at auction. Come on.
With no-one at home, I head round to the garden.
Claire, Bill, what a wonderful kitchen garden you've got here.
-Do you like it?
-It's your pride and joy, isn't it?
I think we could almost pick lunch out of here! You've got sweetcorn and beans, tomatoes...
-Beans and stuff like that.
-And fruit trees, too.
-So why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
-Well, it's our...
Tenth wedding anniversary.
-And we want to do something spectacular.
What? How spectacular?
Well, a helicopter flight or something like that.
Something similar to that. I think that would be great.
How much do you think this is going to cost?
We're thinking something about £400.
I think in that case, if we want to make this happen,
I think we ought to go and see what we can find. Come on.
'Getting this happy couple an anniversary to remember sounds like a great idea.'
I think we're in for an adventure-filled day.
We've got our expert John Cameron on hand.
He has years of experience in the antiques trade
and he finds that Claire and I are already hard at work.
-What do you think, John?
-Well, it's very fetching, Angela.
I wasn't sure it was a good time to walk in
when I heard talk about trying dresses.
It is because we seem to have some lovely dresses from the '20s.
I mean, look at this. Look at the work in those sleeves.
-Some beautiful applique work.
-What sort of a market is there for '20s clothing now?
There's an increasing demand. More and more ladies are prepared to wear vintage clothing,
and certainly from the '20s and '30s, where a lot of those narrow-cut, flapper dresses
are pretty much in tune with the modern figure today.
Talking about flapper dresses,
that looks like a classic flapper dress to me.
Oh, this is absolutely beautiful, Claire. Where's this from?
-This is just beautiful.
-That was my mother's wedding dress.
It is lovely, isn't it?
She must have been tiny!
She was quite small. She wasn't that much smaller...shorter than I am
and she obviously was very slim.
But it's the sort of thing that a sort of a size zero or a size ten
modern, young miss could wear to a party and look ravishing!
That counts me out, then.
-What sort of a price might we get?
-Without delving any further,
-I would suggest an estimate of about £80-£120.
-So what do you think?
-£80-£120, does that make it worth sending to auction?
-I think so.
It's very sentimental, with my mother, but it's just going
to sit in the cupboard again for another 40 years, which is an awful shame.
Well, we've got at least £80-£120 in the pot already. Wonderful.
What a fantastic start to our search!
Downstairs, Bill's been busy and dug out this pair of gilt sovereign scales.
John hopes they'll weigh in well at auction with a £40-£60 price tag.
And Bill's good lady wife is carrying on the search as well,
unearthing this rosewood tea caddy, which John values at £50-£80.
-But is Bill now taking a sneaky break?
-I see, Bill. I'm working my fingers to the bone
trying to get money to get you in the air and you're doing jigsaw puzzles.
-Oh, yes. Why not?
-What's the story behind these?
Well, these puzzles belong to Claire and they've been in her family
for donkey's years, as far as I know.
But we do occasionally get them out during the winter and have a look and put them together.
Looking at this one, I can instantly tell, this is quite an early jigsaw.
I'd say it's certainly first half of the 19th century.
And we can tell that if we look around the edges.
If you look, it's only the outside edges interlocking.
Can you see that?
-The inner pieces just have straight and wavy lines.
Right, yeah. I didn't realise that.
It wasn't until later that the whole thing became interlocking, which made them more difficult to complete.
Yeah. Well, we are actually missing a piece or two
and I'm just wondering, would that detract at all against sale of it?
Well, yes, that would have a bit of an effect on value.
But they are lovely condition and to consider they're well over 100 years old...
-Yeah, amazing, isn't it?
-It's remarkable that only one or two pieces are missing.
-I think they ought to make at least £50-£80.
-Well, that's not bad at all.
I think Claire will be quite happy.
That's a great little find, Bill, but it's not quite enough.
So some of us have work to do.
I'll leave you to see if you can find the last piece of this puzzle.
OK. Thank you very much.
£50 is another good injection to our flying fund and I'm impressed.
Not wanting to be outdone, though, I've been searching upstairs
and this collection of Indian filigree silver catches my eye.
John estimates my find at a sparkling £40-£60.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Claire and John have found an item that could put our target in the picture.
This looks quite interesting. Let's have a look inside.
-Quite typical of the Victorians.
-Full of photos.
-Yes, it is indeed.
Let's have a look. Who have we got?
Christine Nielsen. Tennyson. So we've got writers and musicians.
So this little album, where did it come from?
Well, we inherited it from my granddad, so it's been in the family for a long time.
This is very typical of the Victorians
and these could be issued either as sets that you put in them,
they may well have come in these,
but this is quite an attractive set and you often see them missing.
But it looks like we've got a full set here.
I think it is a full set, yes.
-That's quite nice.
-I couldn't find any date on...
Cos we couldn't get the photos out, but...
It's definitely Victorian.
I would have said probably about 19th century.
Looking at the outside of the piece, you can see it's clad
with mother-of-pearl and the condition isn't too bad.
You've lost a couple of bits, but importantly
this little brass clasp hasn't been damaged
or the hinges of the book, which, you know,
if a book gets opened and shut a lot, the front hinge is always
the first thing to go.
But that looks fine to me.
-And I'd like to think that that would make about £80-£120.
-Hmm. Does that sound good enough?
-I think that sounds tempting.
Let's see how Bill and Angela are faring, shall we?
That's a fantastic price for the photo album and a sizable addition to our kitty.
Well, we've had a really successful morning so far,
so whilst John carries on the hunt,
I catch up with our happy couple outside.
Claire and Bill, you're going to celebrate your tenth wedding anniversary.
-You're virtually newlyweds! So how did you both meet?
-Well, we met through Saga really...
Saga Magazine had a couple of ads and then we decided that we'd have a round of golf together.
We got on famously. Found we had lots in common.
-We did, yes.
-We've got lots of different things we do, but a lot we enjoy very much together.
Travelling and seeing new places.
But I mean, I get the feeling that the pair of you
are like adrenalin junkies
because you've just done so many exciting, different things.
Tell me something about some of the holidays that you've had together.
Well, we've had a lot of holidays.
We've had the Antarctic and we've had the Arctic.
And at the age of 78, I crossed the Atlantic in a small boat with three others.
I think to a certain extent, we're making the most of our...
-I think we're making the most of our retirement.
-Yes, that's right.
Life's for living, isn't it?
Now for your tenth anniversary, you've decided to take flying lessons or go up in a helicopter.
Why did you choose that particularly?
We've always liked flying
and I think it's a great thing to go flying,
particularly if you can get on the controls for a little while.
-Given half a chance!
-If they give you the opportunity?
Yes. Wouldn't say no.
Well, it's going to be an adventure whatever you do,
-so shall we go and see how much more we can find to fund that adventure? Yes!
-Off we go.
There's really no holding this couple back.
But we've got a few more pounds to bank
before we reach that £400 target.
Luckily, John is leaving no room unsearched and out in the garage,
he spots this cased pocket barometer.
He hopes it's going to put pressure on the bidders at auction
with a price tag of £50-£80.
we ladies have found something with an Oriental flair.
Hello there, girls. What have you got there?
It's a collection of pictures, look. Absolutely stunning.
Where did these come from, Claire?
Well, again, my parents, I'm certain,
bought it in one of the old house auctions in Bournemouth.
But the detail is just amazing. Look at it in the fabric there.
They're very typical.
-They're 19th-century, Oriental watercolours on rice paper.
And one of the things that always strikes me
is the great luminosity about their work.
They worked in these very dense, opaque watercolours.
And I think it's a real vibrant effect, isn't it?
I notice that the book itself is actually covered in red silk.
So presumably what you're saying, is that would have been sold
as a folio and then later decide to have them put into a frame?
Yeah. Because you wouldn't have them framed out there because of getting them damaged.
They would have been sold in that form, keep them tight.
They could go in a suitcase or a trunk and you'd get them framed when you got home.
John, what do you think they might raise at auction?
Demand for this sort of thing ebbs and flows.
At the moment, well, I think I'd be looking at around about
100-150 for a loose set like this.
-What do you think about that, Claire?
Is that tempting enough for you?
It's very tempting, but I do think I need to think about it.
Well, you've got fortunately a couple of weeks before we go to auction, so there is time.
In the meantime, why don't we just close the folio and see whether or not it turns up on the day?
The pictures really did prove to have some Eastern promise.
Our day of rummaging is almost over, but in the kitchen,
Claire spots this pretty breakfast-for-one set by Royal Worcester.
We're hoping it goes sunny side up at auction with a valuation of £40-£60.
In the dining room, John has made one last find.
Bill, here's an interesting item we could send to auction.
-Yes, it is.
-What do you know about it it?
-I don't know too much about it myself because it's one of Claire's items.
-But you know what it is?
Yes, it's a tea caddy.
You're absolutely right. It is a tea caddy and it's very typically Victorian.
This papier-mache became very popular in the Victorian period
and you can see it can be moulded into almost any shape.
Pulped paper mixed with glue and sand obviously
and then they bake it, so it becomes very hard and takes a great polish.
It can be inlaid, with this mother-of-pearl,
beautifully painted and it is a great simulation of Japanese lacquer.
And if we open it, we can have a look inside.
-We can see there's a bit of damage to one of those hinges there, not too bad.
And these two compartments for putting your tea in there.
Look at the beautiful embellishments on the top of those little covers. Isn't it wonderful?
Apart from that little hinge, it's in pretty good condition.
Little bit of wear to the gilding, but it's not too bad.
-I'd suggest an estimate of £200-£300.
That sounds like a great price. Did you expect that, Claire?
No, I was hoping more than 50, but...
-And it's been sitting here all the time and you didn't know.
I do love it. I think it's beautiful so I'm ever so pleased.
Well, the pair of you do like extreme sports,
so how about trying this for a cliff-hanger?
How do you think you've done?
-Because you want to raise... What? £400?
-We'd like to.
Well, I can tell you, that even if we take the lowest estimate
on everything that John has looked at today,
we would be able to make as much as £630 at auction.
However, that does not include those beautiful Chinese watercolours
that you're still going to think about, Claire.
There's £100 price tag on those, which means we could walk away from auction with £730!
-Wow! Ah, that's amazing.
Let's just keep everything crossed and see what happens when we go to auction!
What a fantastic day we've had searching through Bill and Claire's treasure-trove of a home.
And what an impressive haul of items we've got!
We're hoping the bidders will be charmed by the vintage dresses
and their very modern £80-£120 price tag.
I've got high hopes for the mother-of-pearl photo album,
which John estimated at £80-£120.
And we're all excited to see how the beautiful lacquered tea caddy fares.
With a £200-£300 valuation, it makes up half our target.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, our experts seem stuck in the last century...
Probably would have cost sort of 3s 6d, or something like that.
Well, we're hoping for a bit more than that!
..But he's more than happy to admit defeat on some sales...
I never mind being wrong if it's in your favour!
So will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
We had such a lovely day with Bill and Claire Edwards and discovered some really terrific collectables
at their home in Surrey, all of which we brought here to Saunders Auctioneers in Essex to sell today.
Now, their goal, you'll remember, is £400 so that they can take flying lessons
to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.
Let's hope that all of their prices will go sky high
when their items go under the hammer today.
The bidders are already browsing around the saleroom
and I hope that Bill and Claire's items get their full attention.
One man who never misses a trick is our expert, John Cameron,
who I find with his head buried in a book.
Looking through the family album, John?
I wish! Though Dickens is from my part of the world.
Yes. There's some terrific pictures in there!
It is great. For someone interested in music or literature
this would be a great gift and it's beautifully bound and it's mother-of-pearl.
-What are we looking for on it?
-We're hoping this does £80-£120, so fingers crossed on that.
We've got that wonderful tea caddy as well.
Which looks very striking in the cabinet here. It is nice.
Unusual. Hoping that does better than my estimate.
Mmm. We've got to do well,
because you know they're both adrenaline junkies
and I suspect if it gets really exciting at the auction, we'll have to hold them down!
-Shall we go and find them?
-Come on, then.
I hope that all our pulses will be racing once the auction gets going.
The bidders are ready and waiting
and we find our couple checking out their tea caddy's prime position.
-Morning, Bill and Claire.
-Hello. Nice to see you.
So have you two been up to any more adrenaline-charged activities
since we saw you last.
We've been thinking about it. We haven't actually done anything.
Bit of a quiet spell for a few weeks.
But I have to say, your tea caddy looks wonderful.
-Doesn't it look great?
-Isn't it beautiful?
We're hoping that will do well.
We're looking for £200-£300 and they've given it pride of place in their cabinet, so a good sign.
What did you decide to do about those prints?
We've brought the book with the six prints in
and put a reserve on of £80.
-And have you seen the catalogue?
-Catalogue, John. Ta-ra!
-Look at that.
-Well, I never.
They obviously think a great deal about those prints to have put them on the front page.
-The auction's about to start very soon. Shall we go and take our places?
If you're heading to your local auction house,
be aware that commission and possible other charges
will be added to your bill, so always check the details with the saleroom.
We nab a quiet spot with a prime view of the auction
just as our first lot comes under the hammer.
It's the Royal Worcester tea set, which John estimated at £40-£60.
Lot number two is a Royal Worcester, blue and white, dragon-patterned tea set.
-We'll start away at £35. At £35. At 40. 45.
50. Five. 60. Five. 70.
I have £70 bid. And selling at £70.
All done and finished at £70...
That's jolly good!
Bang on... Well, ten over what you thought it might get!
What a great take-off for our day at auction!
But with a £400 helicopter trip to fund,
I hope the prices climb higher,
especially as one of our most valuable lots is up next.
Victorian papier-mache tea caddy,
the top painted with lovers in a landscape.
-Inlaid with mother-of-pearl...
-We're looking for £200-£300.
I don't know about you, but I'm nervous about cos there's a lot riding on it!
-There we are, we'll start at £100.
-Starting at 100!
Good-looking tea caddy at £100. I've 110. I've 120. 130. 140.
50. 160. 70. 180. 190. 200.
Going to go five. 210. 15.
215 in the room. 220 where now?
-The bid is in the room at 215.
-It nearly got there.
What a brilliant price for the Japanese tea caddy.
But will the rosewood caddy with its more modest £50-£80 estimate
have similar success?
I've got to sell at £48. Round it up to 50, someone?
Selling at £48. All done?
-I'm very happy with that for that.
Our morning has got off to a cracking start
and long may it continue.
The vintage dresses are up next and I have a feeling they'll do well.
I've seen a lot of ladies looking through the boxes, not just at the dress,
but the feathers and all the other bits and pieces.
Those feathers are gorgeous.
I've seen a lot of people mooching around it,
-so hopefully we should hit our target.
-£20 is bid.
-I have 22. 25.
30. 32. 35. 38. 40.
42. 45. 48. 50. Five. 60. Five. 70.
Oh, there's somebody over there!
In the room at 75. 80. 80.
Five. 90. Five. 100. 110. 120.
130. 140. And 50.
150. It's the lady's bid at 150.
That makes me feel so much better.
£150! We're all going to finish at £150.
I am so pleased. I would hate to see them go for much less.
Oh! What a result. Claire's mum's dresses really did us proud.
And the helicopter trip is edging nearer all the time.
We're hoping our luck continues
as the antique jigsaw puzzles come up for sale.
John estimated them at £50-£80, but will the bidders play the game?
At £20 I'll start. I'll take two for the old jigsaws we're selling now.
Lot number 34. £20.
There's no more interest than £20.
-Oh, well, that's all right.
-I'll take them back!
It's our first unsold lot,
but luckily it's not enough to put a dampener on our morning's successes.
Things get back on track
when the Indian silver sells for just under its £40-£60 estimate.
In the room at £38. I'll take 40, where now?
All done and finished at £38? I'm going to sell at £38. All done?
-£2 under our £40 lowest estimate.
-That's still more than I thought they were going for.
-That's all we need to hear.
We've got a pair of satisfied customers here
and with another few pounds in the kitty I can see why.
Will our next lot also put in a gold-standard performance?
Well, next up are two little sets of 19th-century sovereign scales
and with the rise in prices of sovereigns recently,
I'm hoping that we're going to have some people wanting these scales
-to go with their new collection.
At £20, we'll start. I'll take two, where now?
For the sovereign scales there.
At £20 I'll start. I'll take two in the room now.
At £20! 22. 25. At £25.
There's no more interest than £25.
I am surprised at that. You can't even buy a half sovereign for £25.
Unsold? It's a disappointing result after such a successful start.
But with some of our highest valued lots to go
we're hoping that the bidders haven't closed their wallets.
Our pretty photo album is up next with a sizable £80-£120 valuation.
Victorian mother of pearl photograph album.
Gilt metal clasp, containing a quantity of photographs,
famous people from the time. There we go.
Can we start away here at £40?
At £40. I'll take five where now for the Victorian photograph album?
-At 45. 50.
-Lady here in front of you.
Five. 75 in the room. Take 80 where?
90. Five. 100. 110. 120. 130. 140.
150. 160. 170. 180.
190. 200. And ten. 220.
220... it's the lady's bid. At £220.
Take 30 where now?
We're going to sell at £220. All done and finished at £220?
Yes! It's 100 over your top price.
-I know. I don't mind that.
-I'm happy. I'm not complaining.
I never mind being wrong if it's in your favour!
What an incredible result!
That's over half of the helicopter fund in one go.
No time to celebrate just yet
as our pocket barometer is about to go under the hammer.
It's kind of late-Victorian, early-Edwardian.
Probably would have cost sort of 3s 6d at the time.
Well, we're hoping for a bit more than that!
Lot number 58 starts right away here at £50. Five. 60.
-Five. 70. Five. 80.
-Five. You have it, sir, on the commissions.
£95 is bid. I'll take 100 where now? Who'll round it up? At £95 is bid.
I'm going to sell at £95. Are we all done and finished at £95?
-Amazing, isn't it?
-Amazing! You just never know.
The saleroom has been pretty unpredictable today,
but with these great results, who's complaining?
Our last lot is the folio of Chinese prints.
Now after all the soul-searching about whether or not
to bring them to auction, will they reach their £80 reserve?
We have the set of six Chinese rice paper pictures with an album.
Start away here at £50 is bid.
At £50 is bid. I'll take five in the room now... Commission here at £50 is bid.
55. At 60. Five. 70. Five. 80.
Five. 90. Five. 100. And ten. 120.
120 here. 130 where now?
At £120 is bid. 130. 140. 150. 160.
180. Here with me and selling at £180.
You're all out in front?
Selling at £180 all done.
-That was fantastic.
-That is, isn't it?
Oh, I'm so pleased.
What a brilliant end to our day at auction!
£180 is a spectacular result for the pictures.
As the auction finishes, I have a feeling we've done well.
But it's time to tot up and see just how well.
-Now £400 was your goal, wasn't it?
I don't know about going up in a helicopter.
I think from what you've made, if it was still flying,
you could probably afford Concorde.
Cos you've not made 400. You've not even doubled it and made 800.
You've made even more than that. Oh, I'm so excited for you!
-You've made £1,016!
-That's amazing, isn't it?
-That was a result.
-You two love adrenalin rushes.
-Have you had an adrenalin rush from that?
Ah, yes. I would say that counts as one of them.
Just two weeks after their victorious day at auction,
Bill and Claire are turning that £1,016 into helicopter air time.
-And they can't wait!
-We like doing exciting things.
-We like doing exciting things.
Little bit different and this fits the bill.
After a thorough run-through of the controls,
it's time to take to the sky.
Forward flight. We're flying along a forward flight.
If we move it to the left, tilts to the left.
Just move it forward and we're going to enter a turn.
It looks like this lady's a natural and it's not long before Bill takes his turn in the air.
This couple just can't get enough of their high-flying adventure.
And I think this has to be a wedding anniversary they'll never forget.
It's been really wonderful and I don't think we could have wished for anything better.
No. Certainly remember it for a long time.
That was a terrific result for Claire and Bill.
You know the sky really is the limit for those two.
If there's something you'd like to raise money for
and you have collectables lying around the house
that you'd be happy to take to auction,
then why not get in touch with the programme?
You can just fill in our application form on our website...
To find out more about Cash In The Attic,
including how the programme was made,
please log on to our website at bbc.co.uk/lifestyle
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Retired couple Bill and Clare Edwards are celebrating their 10th anniversary and as keen adrenaline junkies they want to raise funds for an experience to remember.
Angela Rippon and the team are on hand to help them turn their collectables into cash.