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Welcome to Cash In the Attic, searching out your hidden treasures and selling them at auction.
Today I'm in Oxfordshire and before I get to our final destination,
I've stopped off here to look at one of our finest and most glorious landmarks.
Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.
Built between 1705 and 1724, during the reign of Queen Anne,
it was given to John Churchill as a gift after the Battle of Blenheim.
Set in 2,100 acres, it is surrounded by stunning, sweeping lawns,
a magnificent lake and beautiful formal gardens, designed by Capability Brown.
So let's hope we find plenty of royal antiques that fetch regal sums under the hammer at auction.
'Coming up on today's show: we've got high hopes...'
If this was in perfect condition, you could be looking at as much as £1,000.
'Unearth some real finds...'
That's not a bad result, is it?
'And take a step back in time.'
Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie...
-'But will our lots have us dancing for joy?'
'All will be revealed when the final hammer falls.'
Today I'm in Oxfordshire
and I've come to meet a couple
who want help raising funds for some desperately needed renovations.
This gorgeous house in the heart of Oxfordshire is home to retired electrical engineer John Goodgame
and his wife Margaret. They met and married four years ago and have been renovating their new home together,
but the property is overflowing with their combined possessions
so with Margaret's sister Queenie to help, they've decided to declutter
and put the money towards a rather green-fingered cause.
-I've just been to Blenheim Palace.
-Really? They let you in?
-They did, actually! And the rest of the day will be the royal "we".
This looks fantastic, but I know that despite outward appearances, there's still work to be done.
-Let's meet the family.
-All right. Let's have a look.
-Ah, here you all are!
-What a fantastic room.
-Crikey. This is a beautiful house. You're very lucky.
-So you've called in Cash In The Attic. Who's responsible for calling us in?
Right. OK, Margaret. Why?
Because we want to raise money to build a Japanese garden.
-Why a Japanese garden?
-Well, they always intrigued me.
They're so alien to our type of gardens,
but I've seen pictures in books and, yeah, they intrigued me.
OK, so what sort of money are we looking for, Margaret?
-Where has all the stuff come from that we'll be looking at?
Because we just got married, as you know,
it's from my house and then from John's house as well. We came to live in this house.
Queenie, some of the money is going towards something about your job?
Well, I'm a student union officer and they help a lot at the college with the student hardship fund.
They said they would donate some money to the student union fund.
Right. So we need to raise £500 to get the money for a Japanese garden,
-plus a donation for the student hardship fund. That sounds great. We'd better get on.
Come on, then. Follow me this way.
With eight rooms and three old stables at our disposal,
we should be spoilt for choice today and who better to help us decide what to save and what to sell
than our very own Paul Hayes?
He's worked in the antiques trade all his life and is on the case.
Ah, hello! How are you? I'm not checking my make-up before you say anything!
-I found this lovely little set. It's fantastic.
-It's quite nice.
-It's from the golden age of travel.
It took a long time to get anywhere.
Even going from Scotland to London might take several days.
You needed travelling items with you. This is remarkable, actually.
What you have to check is the mirror. It's the most usable part.
If the mirrors are cracked and gone, it's quite expensive to repair.
-What's it actually made of?
-It's ivorine, an imitation ivory.
Because it's a form of plastic, you can make wonderful shapes, unlike the real material.
This one's very Art Deco. Think of Hercule Poirot and Agatha Christie.
That wonderful golden era.
-What sort of value for this?
-Quite a bit. You have two scent bottles,
toothpaste holder, your pastes and powders here,
a comb... Value-wise, £80-£150. How does that sound?
-That would be brilliant.
-OK. Let's see what else we can find, then.
'We're off to a promising start. With £500 to raise, there's still a long way to go,
'so we need to spread out and dig deep. Paul's magpie instincts home in on a real rarity.'
-Margaret, who's the huntsman?
-I think it's a lighter.
-How does it work?
Oh, right. I see. This is clever. It uses the power of gravity.
As you flick it upside down, the top opens and makes the spark, hitting against the flint.
-And that burns and causes the light. That's amazing, isn't it?
You'd keep this on your coffee table or near your paraffin or oil lamps.
It's a very useful thing to have. Nowadays smoking is more taboo
so there's a massive market for historical items. I've never seen that before.
Two people might buy this - anybody interested in the history of smoking
-and anybody into hunting and horse racing.
-If I said £40-£60, how does that sound?
Some bright spark will buy it!
'Hopefully that will burn a hole in our bidders' pockets at auction.
'John's hard at work next door and spots this pair of Art Deco scent bottles,
'which Paul packs off to auction with a very colourful price tag.
'We're making good progress so far. And I've spotted a rather colourful looking figurine.'
I think I've found something here. Very unusual figure.
-A bit of Doulton, is it? Quite nice.
-Where's this from, John?
My late wife bought it from a charity shop. She did have a good eye.
She paid £50 for it,
but she knew that it was rare
and it would be worth a lot more.
I've seen a lot of Doulton figures, but never one with all these...
-Is she selling toys?
-I think they are actually other Doulton figures.
Pan, the devil, a ballerina, a horse and jockey,
and that looks like maybe Cupid.
I've never seen this figure before. Normally they have a maker's name or a character's name.
There's no name on this one.
-Do you know what she's called?
-Yeah, she's called the Sketch Girl.
-OK. Any connection with Sketch magazine?
I do know my late wife was...
-..offered an obscene amount of money for her.
-When you say an obscene amount, what sort of offer?
-In the late hundreds.
This was made for Sketch magazine.
That's almost like an endorsement. They'd have this figurine commissioned.
That would have meant only a few are in existence.
You are talking 1920s, 1930s. If this was in perfect condition,
you could get as much as £1,000,
-but this one is damaged. See?
-Her head's been off and the head of the ballerina is off as well.
A damaged piece has to go to auction with a realistic estimate.
-If I say £100, maybe £200?
-At the end of the day, money is not everything.
-I would have to think seriously.
-I'll put it back, safe and sound.
I've got the easy job. You can now find something else.
'We'll have to wait and see if John decides to part with her,
'but £100 would be a much-needed addition to the gardening fund.
'In the meantime, the search continues.
'A beautiful silver mirror catches Paul's attention and is valued at £40-£60.
'Downstairs, Margaret spots a wooden table which will hopefully add a further £50-£80 to the kitty.
'After a successful morning, I whisk John and Margaret off to the garden
'to learn more about their plans.' How long have you lived here?
-We've been...two and a half years?
-But you're from here, John?
-Yeah, that's right. I was born three houses down.
-And we built the house next door.
I lived there for about 30 years.
-And we moved here.
-So how did you two meet?
I was cleaning the windows at his shop. He said, "Somebody's cleaning the windows!"
Just trying to impress the landlord. He said, "Sorry, we haven't met."
And that's how we started going out.
-So you had a beauty therapy shop and he was your landlord?
-She asked me out on a date.
And I haven't had any rent since!
It's a lovely garden. Why decide on a Japanese garden?
We didn't want a typical English garden. We wanted something different.
I'd gathered some literature on Japanese gardens and I was drawn towards that.
'Let's hope our bidders are as drawn to John and Margaret's collectables.
'We've got a £500 target to reach.
'The others have been busy inside and Queenie discovers this colourful embroidered piano stool,
'which should hit all the right notes with this price tag.
'In the hall, something shiny has caught John's eye.'
-There you go, Paul.
-Do you know what these are?
-Eh, apart from salts, no.
Yeah, that's exactly what they are. Salt cellars. These would go on a dining table of a wealthy family.
These look like solid silver. They're a very good style. Look at that.
See the silver hallmarks? That lion tells me it's solid silver. The other ones are quite indistinct.
We're looking at some time around the turn of the century, 1900. These are really stylish.
-They're from the Arts and Crafts movement. Heard of that?
Round about 1880, 1900, there was a group of artists got together
to rebel against mass production. They made items like this,
that looked hand-beaten. They would over-emphasise that these were hand-made.
Those really are fantastic. A matching pair, quite collectable.
-I think you're looking at £100, maybe £150.
-Is that all right?
-But take that with a pinch of salt!
'With time running out, we need some top-notch finds to get a garden to be proud of.
'Not time to fetch your hat yet, John, as Margaret's sister, Queenie, who is helping out today,
'stumbles upon this attractive wooden corner cabinet.
'Not even the stables go unsearched today.'
-Paul, look at this.
-Oh, a nice table. Can that go?
-Not the table.
-That's lovely as well. Beautiful. Did you have a Victorian look at one point?
Let's have a close look at this.
Ah, now then, Lorne, John, step this way. Here we are. I'm going to light up your life.
I found a great oil lamp. These are wonderful items from an age before we had electricity.
This would have been your main source of light in your house,
in your parlour or sitting room.
It adds a lovely mood lighting or a very romantic light.
Is that the original shade?
You find that people marry these up.
These glass shades get broken very easily. Every time you cleaned this or every time you lit it,
you had to take the glass shade off and it gets broken or damaged.
I know one gentleman who spends his life buying bits of oil lamps -
the shade from one lamp, the well from another - to make new lamps.
Lots of people threw these out. They end up in stables and sheds.
-So what sort of value?
-This one is a very visual one.
You get very cheap ones for use in the kitchen. This is quite a grand one, used in a nice room.
That adds to its favour. I think £100-£200. It's a nice one.
-If we can get that, I'll laugh all the way to the bank.
-Not bad for something in the shed!
You probably want to know how much money you may be making at auction. The total comes to £600.
Very good. I'm very surprised, actually.
I know you're in two minds about the Royal Doulton figure, but that could add another £100.
-So that's not bad, is it?
The next time we see you will be at the auction house. 'What a fantastic result.
'Fingers crossed, the garden kitty and the student union fund could soon be in the money
'as we've got a great haul of items.
'There's the immaculate Art Deco ladies' grooming set valued at a respectable £80-£150.
'And the pair of solid silver Arts and Crafts salt cellars,
'complete with matching spoons, estimated at £100-£150.
'But doubt remains about the rare, but damaged Royal Doulton figurine.
'Will Paul's £100-£200 valuation persuade John to let her go to auction? Only time will tell.
'Still to come: our expert's at a loss to explain some of the sales.'
-What's going on?
-I've no idea!
-'And resorts to cracking jokes.'
-There were 10 of them, but they fell off one by one.
-'John may be laughing...'
-I can take that home.. with the other things!
'but will they have reached their target when the final hammer falls?'
It's been a few weeks since we had a good look round John and Margaret Goodgame's property.
With the help of Queenie, we found lots of lovely items to bring here to auction in Sudbury.
They're looking to raise £500 to turn that expanse of back garden into a beautiful Japanese garden.
Let's hope when our items go under the hammer today, the bidders are ready to pay up.
The auction house is filling up and I spot Paul Hayes checking out how our items look in the sale room.
-I can see sparks flying and it's you!
-I love this. It's a great novelty item.
Yes. These can be very collectable, especially the Art Deco ones with watches in.
-I've had a quick scan, but I can't see that Royal Doulton figure.
-It was a particularly rare one.
Hopefully they've brought it. We'll have to wait and see.
-We'll have to delve around. It's very small, as I recall.
'That's going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack in here.
'We spot our family saying goodbye to one collectable.'
-You got here, then? I'm really pleased to see this is in. It's a lovely piece.
Quite unusual to be so complete.
More often than not, there's bits missing or, worse still, broken. But, no, that's a nice example.
Talking about bits that were broken, the Royal Doulton had some damage,
-but it was very rare. Is it something you've decided to bring or not?
-I didn't bring it.
-I'm very undecided.
-That's fine. The worst thing is to sell an item and then regret it later.
-It's good to be sure.
-Are you looking forward to today?
-Really looking forward to it.
Well, it's filling up.
We'd better find a spot from where to see the proceedings. Follow me.
If you plan on heading to your local auction, be aware that commission and other charges will be added,
so always check the details first.
We take our places just in time as our first lot comes under the hammer.
It's a pair of silver salt dishes with matching spoons.
Will they be to our bidders' taste?
I'm starting this at 30.
£30 I'm bid. At 30. 5.
40. 5. 50. 5.
60. 5. 65 at the back.
-He might let them go for that.
I'm selling at £65.
-Is that all right?
So the silver salt cellars fall some way short of estimate, but the family seem happy enough.
We've got a long way to go to make £500, so let's hope the bidders dig deep.
Now two green opaque bottles. They're not sitting on a wall.
-What do we want, Paul?
-About £40. There were 10 of them, but they fell off one by one.
Two opaque green glass square bottles and stoppers. 20? 20 I'm bid.
At 20. At £20. At £20.
At £20. Are we all finished and done? It's a maiden bid of £20.
-They were worth more than £20.
-You're glad they didn't sell? OK.
'The bottles fail to find a new home, but our gardeners-to-be didn't seem to mind.
'Next up is our first piece of furniture.' Behind me is our next lot. You won't miss this?
-Not at all.
-OK! In that case, let's sell it!
-What do you want, Paul?
-And I'm starting this at 40.
40 I'm bid. At 40. At £40.
-55. At 55.
-On my right at 55.
All finished and done with that at 55? I'm selling at £55.
-There you go.
-Well done, Paul.
That's some way under estimate, but they seem relieved to see it sold
and it's a welcome addition. Next up, three Staffordshire figurines
which John and Margaret brought to replace the Royal Doulton lady.
Paul valued them at £40-£60.
I'm starting this at 20. £20 I'm bid. At 20.
-It must go up.
Selling at £20.
£20 may not be megabucks, but with a somewhat sleepy sale room, every penny counts.
Will they be more generous for this?
The octagonal table has one fan!
This is a quality table.
For a conservatory or a Victorian home, this is what you look for.
Pretty little table. I'm starting this at 25.
-25 I'm bid. At £25.
-Here we go.
-£30. On my right at 30.
At £30. Gong to let it go at £30.
All finished and done at £30?
-There you go.
-Needn't take it home.
Paul's trying to look on the bright side, but £30 is disappointing
and the bidders are driving a hard bargain. Not the easiest morning,
but maybe the silver mirror will catch their attention. Remember, we're looking for £40-£60.
Lot 46 is the Art Nouveau-style hand mirror, decorated with trailing flowers.
Birmingham, 1908. And 20.
£30? At £20.
-I can't understand that at all.
-At £20. All finished and done?
-We'll leave that.
-That's a mystery to me. I don't know why there was no interest in that.
Unsold is a disappointing result and we're all a bit puzzled.
We're over halfway through the sale, but still have a long way to go to reach the £500 for their garden,
so I hope things pick up.
The next lot is that lovely dressing table set.
-What price do we want?
-We hope £80.
We'll see how it gets on.
And 30. £30. At 30.
At £30. At £30. At £30.
-Has everyone gone for lunch?
At £30. Are you all finished and done with that at £30?
-Pass that over.
-What's going on?
-I've no idea, really. Auctions are very strange places.
There are loads of people here, but it's like the lights are on, but nobody's home. You know?
Unsold again! We're really struggling and it's a mystery.
Things get curiouser and they won't splash the cash on our next lot.
The pretty piano stool fails to reach anywhere near its price tag.
£40. All finished at 40? Right, we'll leave that.
That is an absolute shocker.
And we're really in the dark when the oil lamp suffers a similar fate.
At £70, then. All finished and done with?
-It's not going to sell, is it?
-No, ladies and gentlemen.
I can take that home... with the other things!
Either laugh or cry, I guess. John's putting a brave face on it, but the Japanese garden is far off.
The sale is almost over and we've got one final item.
Will this finally spark the bidders' attention?
The next lot, I love this. The Dunhill novelty lighter.
Looks like a hunting horn.
-You wouldn't know it was a lighter.
-These do very well indeed. One gentleman looked very closely.
-What do you want for this, Paul?
-Well, £40 upwards. I hope it fetches a little bit more, but we'll see.
-I'm starting this at 40. 5. 50.
5. 70. 5. 80.
5. 90. 5. 100.
And 10. 20. 30.
I'm out. 130.
Are you all finished and done with at 130?
-That's a great result.
Phew! It took a while, but at last a result to get excited about.
Over three times Paul's original estimate. Talk about a light at the end of the tunnel!
After a rollercoaster sale, how have we done?
The good news is some things did sell, but a lot of things didn't.
What are the options, then, with items that don't sell first time?
You have two options, really. Take them back with you or try to sell them on another day.
It could be just a total fluke.
-Now you wanted £500 to start work on this Japanese garden. We've made £300.
-That's not too bad.
-Is that still going to be a help?
-With £300, we could get a lot of things for the garden,
for a Japanese garden. It's good.
What we've decided to do is up the money to the student union to 50%.
-Oh, wow. Thank you!
-That's nice, isn't it?
It's been a couple of weeks since John and Margaret raised £300 at auction
and they've wasted no time, but hold on - I thought the idea was for a Japanese garden.
-We made enough money to buy a fountain for the front garden.
-We both chose it.
I really like it. John liked another one, but I liked this one, so he bought it for me.
What a gentleman! So with Margaret's fountain in the front garden,
what's happened to John's dream of turning their back garden into a Japanese oasis?
Our rear garden will be ongoing, probably for another 12 months!
So, yeah, when it's all finished, it will look good.
I do hope John and Margaret, over time, achieve their visions of an Oriental landscape.
If you've got something to raise money for, a special project or a trip away,
fill in a form to come on Cash In The Attic.
We'll see you again next time.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2008
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