Series looking at the value of household junk. Angela Rippon is in Kent to meet the Hart Dyke family. Oldest daughter Laura is a far-sighted teenager with plans to travel to Japan.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the programme that helps you hunt
for valuables in your home and then sells them with you at auction.
Today I'm in Kent and to get a feel for the history of this part of the county, I've come to visit
this magnificent Georgian manor house, which is also a renowned music museum - Finchcocks.
Built in 1725, the house was converted into a piano museum
as recently as 1970 by the international concert pianist, Richard Burnett.
An avid collector of antique pianos, he felt that the large rooms
with their high ceilings would make a perfect backdrop for his impressive collection.
Today, Finchcocks is home to over a hundred keyboard instruments
which are on display in the summer months.
Well, let's hope we uncover more valuable collections today as we now go in search of a whole clutch
of antiques that will hopefully perform really well at auction.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, we're speaking Japanese.
SHE SPEAKS JAPANESE
But there's one language that needs no translation.
-This would have belonged to somebody of considerable wealth, I would have thought.
But the question is, will we be fluent when it comes to auction?
-Or absolutely tongue-tied?
Find out when the final hammer falls.
I've left the Georgian splendour
of Finchcocks and travelled to the historic village of Horsmonden
to visit a family who called in the Cash In The Attic team to help them fund a trip to the Far East.
The Hart-Dyke family have lived in this substantial home for many years.
Tim and Kate Hart-Dyke lead hectic lives and are really active in the local community.
Tim teaches English at the local secondary school and Kate is a supervisor at a preschool.
The couple have three children -
Laura who is 14 years, Anna who is 12 and 10-year-old James.
Like all young people, they're full of schemes and dreams
and Laura especially has some far-reaching aspirations.
But before we meet them, where's our expert John Cameron?
-Good morning, John.
-Good morning. Fabulous house. What have you got in store for me today?
Well, it's appropriate that the sun is shinning
because we're going to meet a delightful family that hope to send their daughter on a trip to Japan.
The Land of the Rising Sun. Apart from today, it's been a while since I saw the sun rise!
Well, it's been up for a few hours!
So why don't you make a start in the house? I'm going to meet the family.
The Hart-Dykes en masse! Now you must be Kate.
-You must be Tim.
-I am Tim.
So you're the guilty party that's responsible for getting us here.
So why have you called in Cash In the Attic?
Well, I want to raise some money to go to Japan next year on an exchange.
Oh, I had an exchange student over from last year and it really inspired me to go there.
So how are you going to raise the money?
Hopefully by selling my parents' antiques!
Do you really mind, Mum, parting with the family heirlooms?
No, I don't mind. I think it's a good way of raising the money.
And I think she's worth it.
That was the word she wanted to hear.
So how much is this trip going to cost you, do you think?
-Will that cover the entire cost of the trip?
No, but we're doing lots of fundraising at school.
But the rest of it is coming from Mum and Dad!
-No! Where did you get that idea from?
Well, why don't Mum and Dad go and see what they're really prepared to part with,
and you and I go and look for John, because I think he's already started. Come on.
This busy family haven't had much time for their own collecting,
but they have inherited a number of antiques over the years.
They have no idea of their value, so we'll be relying on our man John
to give them a view "through the looking glass".
-John, I want you to meet Laura.
This is the very enterprising young lady who's got us here today to raise the money.
-What have you found?
-Well, I have a very charming figure of Alice In Wonderland modelled by Royal Doulton.
Laura, what can you tell me about this?
Well, it was my mum's mum's and apparently her husband gave it to her.
Now she was modelled for Royal Doulton by Peggy Davies who,
in her career with Doulton, made over 250 models,
so she's one of their most famous and prolific modellers.
Issued in about 1960, she continued in production until 1981.
1960 is probably significant because Disney released
their version of Alice In Wonderland in the 1950s, so the momentum, the popularity, would have grown again
and Doulton would have been quick to cash in on that.
I've never seen that Royal Doulton figurine before.
Does that mean it's particularly rare?
Well, 20, 21 years as a production run is not a long time, so it would be in the kind of scarcer models
than some of those that would have been issued and stayed in production for 50, 60 years.
I'm going to put an estimate of £40 to £60 on her and hopefully a bit more.
-So that's what I'm going to say.
-£40 to £60, do you think your mum would be happy to part with her for that?
-Yes, I think she would be.
-And it's a start to the £500, isn't it?
-But I know you're doing maths at school as well,
so that means we've still got at least 450 quid to go, if not a bit more,
so I think we'd better go and do a bit more hunting, don't you?
What a magic first find.
And while we've been talking, Tim has conjured up another Royal Doulton figurine.
Fair Lady was first produced in 1962.
She might bring us luck at £30 to £40 in the auction.
And Kate has been rifling through the family jewels.
-Hello, what have you got there, Kate?
-This is my mother's brooch.
-Do you remember her wearing it?
-She used to wear it on ball dresses
-when she went out to posh do's, yeah.
-So it's not something you wear?
Well, it's a bar brooch, you can see that centrally it's set with
an old mine-cut sapphire there, quite a nice coloured sapphire, if I say so.
It's very typically Edwardian, it's quite light and delicate.
We do see a lot of very delicate but very well made Edwardian jewellery turning up at auction,
which I think, considering its delicacy, is a testament to the silversmiths and goldsmiths.
Now I would suggest at auction, an estimate for this of about £70 to £100. So you'd be happy to sell it?
-It'd be lovely, yeah.
-Do you think Mum would approve?
My mum would have approved because she loved the grandchildren
and she'd have loved the money to have gone to something for Laura.
£70 to £100 would be a great contribution towards our total.
-Let's see what else we can find.
Well, the brooch is lovely, a lovely delicate bit of jewellery, but I'll never wear it and Laura,
she'll never wear it either, so it must go to auction and help Laura get to Japan.
So the brooch is off to auction and it'll be accompanied by some more sparklies.
These gold-link bracelets and Omega watch were also Kate's mother's.
John thinks they could fetch as much as £250 to £350
as a dealer's lot in the sale.
That's a stunning amount towards Laura's Japanese exchange fund.
I suppose with two teachers in the house I shouldn't be surprised
that there are so many books, but no books on Japan that I can see, Laura.
Tell me about this Japanese trip. How did this happen?
A few months back I had a Japanese exchange student come along called Saikam
and she was really lovely and she taught me some stuff about the culture and it really fascinated me.
And I think it would be such a lovely opportunity to go to Japan.
And how do you feel about going on her own, virtually?
Well, it was a bit scary, but she's quite a mature 14-year-old, so I think she'll be all right.
She's certainly a lot braver than me at that age!
So what can you say in Japanese?
I can say hello - konichiwa, and goodbye - sayonora.
-And "my name is Laura", which is...
-SHE SPEAKS JAPANESE
That is very impressive.
So how do you feel, Mum, really about parting with things which are very important to your family?
I think it's worth it. I think a lot of the stuff that we're giving away came from my mother and she would
have wanted the money to be spent on them because they meant so much to her.
So I'm hoping that it's going to be, that'll be all right.
So quite a lot of money still to make, so I think we'd better keep searching, don't you?
-I think we better had, yes.
The fact that Kate's mother's things
will be responsible for Laura's school trip to Japan has a wonderful poignancy.
And inspired by our chat, I come across another item that might ring true in the sale.
This grandmother clock just might bring in £80 to £150.
And this carriage clock might also do well.
We're certainly clocking up the antiques, but auctions are notoriously unpredictable.
So if we're to raise that £500 for Laura's trip to Japan, we need to keep up the pressure.
-This is a very handsome barometer, what can you tell me about it? Where did it come from?
It's been in my father's family for a number of years, about 30 years,
-but beyond that, I couldn't tell you very much about it.
-John, have you got a minute?
-Take a look at this barometer.
It's a nice case, beautiful case, mahogany with boxwood stringing around there.
Down here at the bottom, we see we have this little receptacle
where we have a spirit level inside, for levelling it up.
You have the maker's name, J Reynolds of Wimborne, down in Dorset.
Makers started to put their names in that place around the last quarter of the 19th century,
putting it around the 1880s, 1890s, something like that.
We have the thermometer up there and in the top, a little feature you don't always see -
the hygrometer for measuring changes in humidity.
Now that won't work any more, it'll be purely aesthetic because in order to use that, they used to put
a head of oat, an oat head in there which would absorb and change as moisture changed.
But that quickly disintegrates so that would be non-functional, but very aesthetic.
So if it went to auction, what sort of a price would it get?
Well, in today's market, I would suggest an estimate of about £150 at the lower end, up to about £250,
somewhere in between that sort of figure.
What do you reckon, Tim, £150 - is that something that can go in the pot for Laura's trip to Japan?
It could do but I think I'd have to think very carefully about it before I made a decision.
-It's got rather special value to you.
Yes. It was one of these pieces, my father was attached to it,
so I think that I'll have to think carefully about that one.
So shall we put that on the back burner and see what else we can find that might go towards the fund?
And so the search continues, with Laura finding a reminder of times gone by.
John puts an estimate of £40 to £60
on these cigarette cases. And in the garage,
Tim has found another relic of a bygone era.
-Oh, hi, Tim.
-Hi. John, what about this one?
Surely you've got a computer in the house for word processing!
We have and that's why this was underneath the table and has been there for the last five years.
The Imperial Typewriting Company, household name, had their Royal Warrant,
and this particular model would probably date to about the 1930s.
Sadly, nobody uses them today and I'm not sure that anybody still manufactures typewriters
with word processors and computers so affordable these days, but they do turn up at auction.
But in my experience, collectors are looking for something a bit rare, something that perhaps was innovative
but perhaps didn't work in practice, so it had a short production run.
So this is a pretty successful typewriter so it'll be low value.
-I'd be looking at about £20 to £30 for it, something like that.
-Excellent, I'm very happy with that.
-You don't mind it going into auction?
-Not at all.
Well, it's a welcome contribution towards our target today, but it's not enough.
-So I think we'd better keep on rummaging, don't you? Come on.
So it looks like we're beginning to build up quite a collection of items here.
But before we finish the search, Laura's found one last antique that could hold some interest.
-Look at this bowl.
That's a super-size punchbowl! Tim, has this ever had any family use or has it been purely decorative?
Certainly not for drinking punch!
But I remember it being in my grandmother's house with a spider plant, a huge spider plant, in it.
And I particularly liked the bowl because of the engravings on the outside.
It's quite an interesting piece.
-Any idea about its age, date, where it came from?
Well, it actually dates to the 18th century, so it's well over 200 years old.
It's Chinese, it's hard-paste porcelain.
We have this wonderfully colourful scene
of this Chinese harbour filled with these junk ships here.
But if we move around to this second reserve here,
we have these two very continental figures and these continental buildings.
In terms of the work that's gone into it, there is a lot.
First of all, the piece had to be thrown by the potter then fired.
It's then decorated with this cobalt blue,
then they have to apply the enamels on top, these overglazed coloured enamels.
And then last but not least, the piece has to be gilded over the top again.
So there's a lot of work that's gone into this piece.
You can imagine in the day this would have belonged to somebody
of considerable wealth, I would have thought.
Looking at this piece, it does have some damage. I've noticed several hairline cracks.
You've got a couple of rim chips to the edge. Any idea what it might be worth?
Absolutely none whatsoever, but if I had to hazard a guess, £100, £150?
-I would put an estimate on this of about £200 to £300, something like that.
-So it's a nice thing.
And that should go some way to exporting you back the other way!
Somebody sounds very excited at the price there, £200 to £300, John?
We've had some wonderful things that we've seen with the family today.
-How much was it you were wanting to raise, Laura?
Well, I can tell you the good news is that if your dad lets the barometer go as well,
you could potentially, on John's lowest estimates, make...
wait for the whoop of joy... £950!
-Wow! That's really good.
However, Daddy wants to think about that barometer.
Take that out of the equation and we've still got £800 on John's lowest estimates.
So I think you should start brushing up on the Japanese, madam.
And for the time being, because we've now got to take all of these wonderful things to auction,
should we all say sayonara?
Well, that's a splendid total towards Laura's school exchange trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Let's hope our items eclipse the rest when it comes to auction.
And they include...
the floral style Edwardian brooch that belonged to Kate's mother.
With delicate filigree metalwork,
we're hoping the buyers will be charmed.
The Chinese porcelain bowl with its rich and detailed decorations.
Despite several hairline cracks and a chip or two, it could bring in...
Still to come on Cash In the Attic, will it be sayonara to our antiques?
-Was it a big wrench to say it could come to auction today?
-And konichiwa to realising the dream of a trip to Japan?
We'll find out when the final hammer falls.
That was such a fun day that we had with Laura and her family
searching through Mum and Dad's antiques and collectibles
to sell here today at Sworders Auction House at Stansted in Essex.
And indeed the whole family is involved in raising money to pay for Laura's exchange trip to Japan.
So hopefully today it will be the bidders who are happy
to exchange their cash for the Hart-Dyke treasures.
These are brand-new salerooms and along with the new premises,
there's a wealth of exciting items on today's catalogue.
Our expert, John Cameron, is hoping that the bidders will be following his estimates to the letter.
My Life In Antiques, by John Cameron!
I don't think I'd use one of these, Angela!
I'm totally used to word correction and grammar checks these days.
So God knows how I would fare with one of these.
The first newspaper office I worked in was full of typewriters like this
and now they're collector's pieces!
It's lacking the top cover, but we've only put a very modest estimate, £20 to £25.
But we've put rather more on that beautiful Chinese bowl, haven't we?
Yes, well, no pun intended, it is a cracking bowl, but it does have a few cracks and chips.
Good export piece, wondering how the market's holding up without the Americans being the strongest buyers.
I tell you what I haven't seen is the banjo barometer, but Dad was very attached to it.
He did seem to be rather loath to give it away, didn't he?
-But I have seen the family, so shall we go and talk to them?
Having made their way through the crowds at the entrance,
the Hart-Dykes found a quiet spot where they're casting an eye over their Chinese bowl.
-I have to tell you, and I hope that this keeps those
big smiles on your faces, there's been a lot of interest in this bowl.
-Which is really good news.
-It's great, yeah.
But what we haven't seen is the barometer.
I'm afraid I haven't brought it, but John's very much to blame for that,
because he asked me whether I ever tapped it,
and ever since he left the house, I've gone round tapping that barometer.
So it's become part of the family. I couldn't bring it today.
Never mind, we've got lots of other lovely things, so that trip to Japan is one step closer, Laura.
-Shall we go and take our places for the auction?
If you're planning on buying or selling goods at auction,
do be aware that you have to pay commission and possible other charges too,
so be sure to check with your local auction house first.
There's a good turnout here today. Let's hope that the buyers are ready to spend.
We take our position at the back of the room.
With £500 to raise, we're pinning our hopes on the first item,
the sapphire cluster brooch that belonged to Kate's mother.
Was it a big wrench to say it could come to auction today?
It was, it was. It was a big wrench,
-but my mum would have really wanted that because the money would be going to Laura, so yes.
Ain't your mum great?
£40 is bid, I'll take 5, 45, 50...
5, 60... 5, 70...
5, 80, £80... 5, 90...
5, 100... 105 and 10, £110 is bid I'll take 15, 115.
-Commission's lost at £115, 20 where now, 120... 5, 130...
140 on my left, selling at £140, are we all done at 140?
Well, that was a glittering start to our sale,
but will our next item make the headlines?
I've £10 bid, I'll take 12 now, at £10 bid,
I'm going to sell at £10, all done at 10?
Not bad for something that was left in the house.
£10 is a good return
when you consider that this typewriter was destined for the tip.
And when the Royal Doulton figure Fair Lady sells...
£35 gentleman's bid.
Another decent price.
For £5 over its lower estimate, we're feeling chuffed.
And these three cigarette cases continue the slow burn...
It's a good price - £38.
..by coming in just under the estimate at £38.
We've been cruising at a steady speed so far and have already found ourselves with a total of £223,
just under half our target of £500 for Laura's exchange trip to Japan.
Our next item is the Royal Doulton Alice in Wonderland.
At £30 to start, I'll take 2, Royal Doulton figure Alice here, 32...
35, 38... £38 is bid I'll take 40, 40 where now? At £38 bid...
-selling at £38, 40... 42.
-Two people want it, that's always good.
48, selling at £48. All done at 48.
-Nice price for a Royal Doulton figurine, John.
I think so, at the moment, yes.
Alice certainly brought some magic to our total
and our luck just keeps on going
when this early 20th century carriage clock
sells for double its estimate.
Selling at 140...
£140 is a good sale,
and Laura's trip to Japan looks like a very real possibility.
And while we're on the subject of eastern promise...
We've got a pretty hefty price tag on this, John.
I think £200 to £300 should see it get away.
It would have made more a few years ago,
so let's just hope we get to where we are today.
-Be happy with that.
-Here it goes.
Lots of interest in this. We start away at £200.
-He's starting it at 200!
-At £200 is bid, 220...
-240, 260... 280, 300... 320.
-£360 is bid... eW're out now.
Selling at £360, lot number 80 goes at £360.
-Brilliant. What did we say?
-It seems my caution was unnecessary, ladies.
There's still demand in the market.
With so many cracks on the bowl,
John was right to keep the estimate low,
but the good news is that the sale surpassed all expectations.
Our next antique is another dark horse.
Classified as brown furniture,
the current market for grandmother clocks like this is slow.
Let's hope we don't wind up with a disappointment here.
There we go, start us away, £40 for it.
£40 is bid, £40 is bid...
I'll take 5, 50... 5, 60... 5, 70...
£80 is bid looking at 85, 90...
-He's still nodding.
-That 100? 100... 110, 120... 130.
-He's still nodding.
140... 150, 160...
-170, 180... 190, 200...
£200 is bid, leaning against the table there, 200... 10 anywhere else?
Selling at £200. All done?
A super price for a clock of that period.
Unbelievable and fantastic all at the same time.
The buyers are bucking the trends here today and to our benefit.
With the success of the last few sales, we're in full flight to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Our last lot is a bit of a mixed bag though.
-Now John put them all together, as indeed you did, as one lot.
But the auction house says we think we're going to do much better if we put them as four separate lots.
-And I tell you, if we make the money that they think they're going to...
-You'll be flying.
-£180, I'll take 190 where now?
Starting at £180!
And there's three more to go.
Maiden bid here of £100, all done.
-Well, that was quick, next bracelet coming up.
-Bracelet, £200 is bid...
I'll take 10 where now?
At £200... 210, 220... 230, 240...
Selling at £250, all done?
At the back at 250...
80... 5, 90... 5, 100...
£100 the gentleman's bid, selling £100... All done at £100?
That was amazing.
But I'm not going to tell you how much it has made just yet.
Well, Kate was sure that her mother would have loved the idea
that her jewellery would help to fund Laura's trip to Japan,
and from that series of sales, it seems that her wish has been more than realised.
But just how much have we raised?
How much is the whole trip going to cost, Tim?
Probably about £2,000.
Well, you thought you were going to have to raise another £1,500.
-Well, I think I'm going to hold you down, all of you,
because I wasn't kidding when I said that I think you might be able to fly there under your own steam.
You have made £1,601!
-Oh, it's wonderful.
-It is wonderful.
-Oh, I can't believe that.
It's two weeks later and Kate and the family have had plenty of time to start making their plans.
The auction was fantastic.
We were so excited we got almost...
well, three times the money as we thought we were gonna get so that's just brilliant.
Really good and so exciting.
And as a rehearsal for the big trip, Laura has volunteered to take two Japanese students
on a tour of Penshurst Place, a local stately manor.
They're both on exchange at Laura's school and she's eager to show them around.
You have a fire in the middle of the hall
and the smoke could then just go up through the roof, which is 60 feet high.
Now that Laura has introduced her new friends
to the idiosyncratic nature of historical English country life,
she's looking forward to her own experiences in Japan.
It was really good to talk to the Japanese students
and it gives me an idea of what I'm going to expect out there.
It's just gonna be amazing to go out to a place where the culture is so different.
I'm so looking forward to it and I'm so grateful to my mum and dad for donating all the items
cos it's going towards my dream trip and I just can't wait.
It's just great to know we've been able to send Laura to Japan
because we wanted her to do something with the money that was cultural,
that would help educate her and would give her a wider experience of the world.
What worries me is what she's going to go for next!
That was a sensational result and of course Laura is now lined up for the trip of a lifetime.
If there's something that you'd like to raise money for and you think you have things in the house
that you'd be happy to bring to auction, why not get in touch with the programme?
Just fill in our application form which you'll find on our website
and come and join us on Cash In the Attic.
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]
Angela Rippon is in Kent to meet the Hart Dyke family. Oldest daughter Laura is a far-sighted teenager with plans to travel to Japan and the Cash in the Attic team raid the family treasures to help her on her way.