Series looking at the value of household junk. Photographer and former mayor Laurie Braham hopes to fulfil his plan of a trip to Norway to visit his son and grandchildren.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the show that helps you
find hidden treasures in your home and then sells them at auction.
Today we're in the outskirts of East London, in fact we're in the borough of Waltham Forest.
And to give you a flavour or a feel of this area
we have come to Queen Elizabeth's hunting lodge in Chingford.
Despite being named after the infamous Tudor queen, this three-storey building
was first constructed for Henry VIII in 1543 as a grandstand for nobles to view the forest hunt.
Today, however, it's managed by the City of London as part of Epping Forest.
Here you'll get a taste of Tudor life with displays of Tudor food,
kitchenware and costume, and the top floor affords commanding views of the surrounding countryside.
Well, let's hope there's cause for celebration a little bit later on
as we begin our own hunt for a house full of antiques to take to auction.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic,
some rather unusual items for auction.
I know you've been digging deep but that's ridiculous. What've you got?
And our expert feels nervous about some of his valuations...
You may want to cover your ears when I tell you this, all right?
But he's got himself a new fan on auction day.
So let's hope he's still in favour when the final hammer falls.
I've travelled a few miles down the road to Leytonstone
to meet a chap called Laurie Braham.
He was once the mayor of this borough, and he contacted Cash In The Attic
because he wants to raise some money for a long-overdue holiday.
This one time photography shop is home to local councillor, Laurie Braham.
Now, Laurie ran a photography business here until 1999.
But since it closed the shop and his flat above have been overflowing
with a mixture of unused stock and a lifetime of collectables.
But he's decided enough is enough
and with the help of his daughter, Susan, and his son, Paul, he wants
to turn the clutter into cash for a very family-focused trip.
-There he is. Jonty, lovely to see you.
-Chris, how are you?
I'm extremely well. But I have a challenge for you today.
-Well, behind us we've got a shop here that's been in the family for years and years,
and we could have some equipment from the photography world.
So, we could be developing this into an interesting story?
Oh, I see what you've done there. Let's get inside.
Go on, you have a good look round and I'll meet the family.
There they are, the family. Hello.
How are you? I'm taking it it's Laurie, Susan and Paul.
Thank you for calling us.
We've had a bit of a rummage around already, but why did you call us?
Well, I'm living here alone on my own now and we want to downsize.
Over the 45 years we've been here we've collected so much stuff that I'd like you to look at it
to see whether there's any value to help to pay the fare,
my ambition to go to Norway to see my grandchildren.
They've been nagging me to go and see them.
I don't speak the language, they speak perfect English
but I don't speak the language, and it's quite expensive to go there.
So how much money are you hoping to raise?
About £250 would be very helpful towards the cost of the fare.
£250 that we've got to raise.
We've got a lot of rummaging to do, so we'd better get started.
With Laurie's two grandchildren living hundreds of miles away in Norway
turning our former mayor's antiques into an airline ticket is a wonderful idea.
Luckily I know just the man for the challenge.
Jonty has been dealing in antiques all his life
and he's always prepared to pitch in when it comes to rummaging.
I know you've been digging deep, but this is ridiculous.
-What have you got there?
-You caught me red-handed.
-I've got a shovel in my hand.
-You've dug up something.
Now what's this doing in your bedroom?
I think I've got a picture here somewhere.
We were all given a shovel to plant a tree for our borough.
There are 33 London mayors.
To the best of my knowledge,
to today they've never managed to get the 33 mayors together
because there's always somebody that's ill
or away on holiday or something.
On this occasion we got 32 of the London mayors,
which was quite an achievement.
You can count them up, you'll find there's 32 there.
And took the photograph
after we'd been presented by Princess Michael of Kent.
-The spade still has the earth on it.
-Look at that!
-That was Kew Gardens' earth...
I knew that all along.
..which I dug somewhere over this direction to plant my tree for Waltham Forest.
Right. So we've got a very, I suppose, let's face it,
a common or garden spade here.
But what makes it so interesting is this plaque that's been applied on to the side here. And it says it all.
"The launch of Beautiful Britain 1984."
So we've got the date, 15 March.
Led by HRH Princess Michael of Kent.
-With all those Lord Mayors of London.
So it turns an ordinary spade into something quite interesting.
And the photograph which will go with it?
Yes, you need to put the two together because it just adds interest.
To be honest, this is provenance.
This is what we talk about, provenance.
It's turning something ordinary into the extraordinary.
This is what we're doing here.
We're not going to get a vast amount of money for it even
if we can sell this - you're looking at £20, at best £30 at auction.
But somebody out there might show a bit of interest so I think it's worth a jolly good stab
because if we don't sell it of course you can take it back.
What a great story and the first few pounds into our kitty.
But with a £250 target to reach, it's all hands on deck for the search.
Paul hasn't been wasting any time and has already
found a cased trumpet which he used to play as a child.
It's music to all of our ears when Jonty values it at £20 to £40.
And also for auction is this collection of Limoges porcelain
collected over the years by Laurie's late wife, Beryl.
Jonty hopes her eye for quality could bag us a very tidy £30 to £50.
And Jonty's spotted another of Beryl's collections.
We've got a collection of Wedgwood here.
So, whose is this collection here, Susan?
-That would be Mum's.
-Like she's a collector of everything else.
My brother bought the first piece and when we discovered she liked it...
Hence more pieces.
Yeah, great. Perfect anniversary and birthday presents.
Right, OK. So everything that we're seeing here, Chris and Susan, all of this is obviously Wedgwood.
And this blue is very, very distinctive.
It's so distinctive that this colour is known as Wedgwood blue.
And Wedgwood jasperware, which is what we're looking at here,
Josiah Wedgwood in 1775 discovered this,
started to market this and it became very, very popular indeed.
-Did you buy it new?
-Yes. It would have been
bought in a shop for new, for what it was.
OK, well value for this collection, £50 to £80. All right?
-That's not too bad.
-No. That's good.
Excellent, I'll pop that back for safekeeping
and we'll find more stuff.
-Come on, you're following me.
Another sizeable addition to our coffers.
This somewhat chaotic house is proving to have plenty of hidden gems.
And some rather quirky ones too as Jonty finds a clock,
a shop sign and confectionary shelves.
The family used to run a sweet shop in years gone by
and our expert hopes these items
will sweet talk the bidders with their £20 to £40 price tag.
Whilst Jonty carries on working hard, I catch up with our one-time mayor.
I like this, Laurie. Come and have a look at this, please.
I've found something here.
Did you have a bit of a weight problem when you were mayor?
Look at that.
Did you look a little bit like this?
No, I think I was very much slimmer.
I've put on a few pounds since those days, but not as much as that.
-Did you enjoy being mayor?
-A fantastic experience.
Now I know they work hard, mayors, and have civic duties.
Did you meet any members of the Royal Family?
Top of the shop was when Price Charles and Princess Di visited
the borough and we entertained them at the Asian centre.
When Price Charles was ready to leave he went out to the car
to get in the car and I said to him, "Won't you speak to the people, sir?
"They've been waiting here since two o'clock this morning."
And he said, "Do you think they want me to?"
And I said, "Yes, please".
So I walked with Prince Charles
while my wife, the mayoress, went with Princess Di.
We were walking along the people and they were all pressing forward
to see Price Charles and the barriers which were in front of them keeping them back...
As you know the barriers have a sort of a V shape in between where they fit together.
One of the young children, must have been
a girl around eight or nine, got pushed forward by the crowd
and her neck got jammed in between these barriers.
Price Charles was trying to get her head out
and I was pushing back the crowd.
Believe me, that was an unforgettable incident,
which was reported in the local paper of course.
It was filmed by a lot of people as well.
So the hero mayor and Price Charles save the day.
I've got to tell you though, this isn't going to make you much money.
And I know that for sure so we need to go and start searching for more goods. Come on.
Laurie really has got a colourful past.
If we're going to get that hero mayor on a plane to Norway though, we need to get back to work.
Our expert finds Paul tackling the basement,
and it looks like it could be worthwhile.
I say, look at this. Amazing.
-Wow. What you got?
-Well, it's an old cigarette vending machine.
When we first moved here this was a tobacconist and confectioners.
-The shop upstairs?
-The shop upstairs.
-And this was one of two which was mounted on the walls outside.
-One either side.
And I just noticed when I was looking at it,
you can see here its got 10p.
-There's a plate screwed on.
-So, 10p for a whole pack.
That's quite extraordinary. That really goes back.
Believe it or not, items like this really do have a saleable value.
There's a sort of nostalgic feel to an item like this.
So there's a big collecting area.
It's not, more often than not, high value items,
but you'd be surprised what exchanges for what money.
It's quite extraordinary.
Now, as far as value is concerned, we're talking between £20 and £40.
That sort of figure just for this little
-vending machine. Do not throw it away.
-Do you want that in auction?
-I think we should.
-We'd better start looking everywhere here.
This is gonna take a week, not a day.
What an unusual find and well worth braving the dark and those cobwebs.
Meanwhile, back upstairs in the flat, Susan has found five pieces
of Delft china which top up our kitty by another £20 to £40.
Back from his basement expedition,
Jonty's been tackling the shop floor with Laurie.
-What you got?
I've got one of the cameras that I used to use in the studio.
It's a Mamiya C3 Professional.
-Wow, that looks great. Can I look?
-Yeah, by all means.
And it has such weight to it as well.
Well, it's a pretty sturdy piece of equipment, yes.
It was necessary in the studio.
So this must've cost you quite a fair bit of money
in real terms back in the '80s.
The body doesn't cost so much...
-Yes, it's the lenses.
-it's the lenses.
They really cost the money
and of course they're the thing that produces the eventual goods.
Now, are you considering selling it?
What's your feeling about this?
Well, I've gone over mainly to digital,
so I don't use film cameras very much these days.
Yes. Well, that's interesting that you say that because
as a consequence most professional cameramen have gone the way you have.
And as a consequence cameras like this,
even though this camera is as good today as it was
when you first bought it, the real price, the second hand value, has kind of like gone through the floor.
So we're just not gonna get very much for this at all.
If we put this into general auction, and you may want to cover your ears when I tell you this, all right?
-We're only talking £20, £30.
Maybe £40, maybe £50 at a stretch.
Would you mind, Jonty, if we leave the decision on that until
we've looked at some other stuff to see whether there's something you think might be more valuable.
-I'm sure there's all sorts.
-More useful to put into the auction.
-Not a problem at all.
-We'll leave that here for the moment and you can make a decision later on.
We'd better see how the others are getting on.
-And we'll make it snappy.
What a terrible joke.
It doesn't seem a massive price for that camera so we'll have to
wait and see whether Laurie decides to part with it at auction.
Upstairs I've found an Indian ceremonial sword
which was presented to Laurie during his time as mayor of Chingford.
We're hoping it fights its way to auction victory with a £20 to £30 price tag.
We're nearing the end of our day's rummaging, but Jonty's found
one last item, and he looks pretty excited about it.
Guys, I've got an amazing collection of autographs.
There's just so many in here.
I've got an album here but look inside this tin.
This is just full of autographs. Whose are these?
They'd be mainly Mum's but there's another album as well.
-Here as well?
-Yeah, she kept the photographs in there.
They're the autographs but they were the ones...
There's so many famous faces here.
So we've got sports stars, stars of stage, we've got stars of screen.
Liberace, Danny Kaye.
They're everywhere. Bobby Moore, wow.
The most celebrated Englishman on a sports field, really, isn't he?
-One of them, certainly.
-Wonderful, the man who held up the World Cup.
I think this is a wonderful collection.
This is certainly a cut above the average by a long way.
This is really superb.
-We're looking at a ball park of between £100 and £200.
-That sort of ball park, yeah.
They're fabulous, really wonderful. Impressed?
-I heard the dirty word but the lovely word, money.
-Was that £100 to £200?
-£100 to £200.
Chris, this is a wonderful collection.
Oh, brilliant, now that is good news.
Now, if all goes well at the auction, according to Jonty,
we could get a grand total of £320.
-You eyes nearly popped out.
-Is that because it's good?
-Well, you will remember that I was expecting some assistance towards the fare.
£250 was what I was hoping for so that's good news. Very good news.
-Jonty, thank you. Chris, thank you.
Well, what a day we've had searching through Laurie's busy home.
The fruits of our labour are a great collection of items to send to auction.
It may be an unusual item but we're hoping the bidders are impressed with Laurie's spade
with its Royal connection and that it reaches its £20 to £30 estimate.
And will the collectors be queuing up for our Wedgwood pieces
which Jonty valued at £50 to £80?
Will those lovely autograph books prove to be our star performer?
With a £100 to £200 estimate they make up nearly half our target.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic...
Our family are having to put on a brave face for some sales...
-Are you disappointed?
It's not quite what we expected but it's gone.
But are lost for words on others...
That's all right, you are allowed to be excited!
So will they be shouting for joy when the final hammer falls?
It's been a couple of weeks since that rummage around Laurie's flat.
We found a mixture of items including some mayoral memorabilia.
Do you remember the spade?
We've brought them here to the Chiswick auction rooms
in West London and we're hoping to raise £250
so that Laurie can see his grandchildren in Norway.
So fingers crossed and let's hope everyone around here digs deep and we can send him on his way.
It may be early but the bidders are already arriving and I hope
they have all come with plenty of cash to spend.
Our Jonty is always an early bird on auction day
and he's already spotted our star item.
Ah Jonty, you've got my favourite items there.
-The old autographs.
-I can't see your name in here.
No, because those are worth something hopefully!
We've got actors and sportsmen and women in there, haven't we?
Such a big collection and I'm not sure that the whole collection
has come to the saleroom so I'm a little bit concerned.
Do you think they've had second thoughts?
Possibly. And also we've got that question mark over the camera.
Yeah, we thought that was quite valuable.
Yes, it's a nice object. So a few question marks.
Come on, let's go meet the family.
Well, there are only two people who can give us those answers
and as the dealers and collectors continue to browse the saleroom
we find Laurie and Susan in the midst of it all.
-Hello gang, how are you?
-Hello, nice to see you again.
Now then we've been having a look around
and we think there's a camera missing.
Have you got it in your pocket?
No, I decided not to bring it with me
because it gave me a living for many years and sentimental reasons,
if you'll forgive me, I decided not to put it into the auction.
Of course we'll forgive you.
And there's a bit of an issue with the autographs as well.
I noticed that the collection is not complete. What's happened there?
Yeah, there were some that I wanted to keep back.
There were a few there that were a bit more sentimental
and I wanted to hold on to.
Nothing major, they are just more important to me personally,
so I took them home with me.
-How much will that affect the values that we put on?
It's not so much pounds, shillings and pence it's more saleability of the lot.
I think we'll just get a little less for it, that's all.
Fingers crossed, this is what it's all about.
Come on, let's go to the auction.
After you, this way.
If you plan buying or selling at auction remember that commission and other possible charges
will be added to your bill, so always check the details with your local sale room.
Now the bidders have taken their seats, the auctioneer is on the rostrum
and we've found a quiet corner to watch the action as the sale begins.
OK, we've got the collection of Wedgwood, you had your eye on this, didn't you, Jonty?
A nice little collection, always saleable.
I've put around the £50 mark on it.
This was your Mum's collection? OK.
£30 for it. £20 for it.
£20 for a powerful lot. £20, 22...
£20 bid. Are you bidding or waving?
At £20, £20 and gone.
I'm selling it at £20. No, yes, no?
At £20 I'll sell it at £20.
£20 all done.
Have you got that? 215.
-That is £20.
-Are you disappointed with that?
Not quite what we expected but it's gone, that's the thing.
It's gone and it's better than nothing, isn't it?
At least it sold but at less than half Jonty's original estimate,
it's not the best start to our day.
Maybe the collection of Delft will be more to the porcelain dealers' taste.
£20 the lot, £20...
£10, a bid at 10, 12, 15, 18...
£15. I'm selling at £15, last chance for £15. Only at £15 and gone. £15.
That's £5 under our estimate, but our target is £250, remember.
The sale room really needs to shift up a gear.
Up next is the retro cigarette machine valued at £20 to £40,
but with a somewhat cautious sale room, how will it do?
Jonty, will it make us any money?
It's one of those fabulous retro items that you don't see any more.
I'm glad you never got rid of it - I'm hoping someone will buy it.
I don't expect too much but it will be interesting to see how much money we'll make on it.
-Here we go.
A bygone '70s chrome cigarette vending machine, for Player's cigarettes I think it is.
£20 bid here, £20 for it.
22, 25... 25, 28, 30, 32, 35...
35, 38, 40, 42...
A bid at £40. 42, 45, 48...
A £45 bid. I'm selling at £45.
Going for 45 then, all done.
-That's all right.
You are allowed to be excited.
Our first item to sell over estimate.
We're all pretty relieved.
Will our next lot be just as victorious?
It's the Indian ceremonial sword, valued at £20 to £30.
£10 for it. £10, bid at £10.
£10 or not? I'm bid at £10, thank you. Give me 12...
18 on the table. 20...
It's your bid at £18. I'll take 20... £18...
18 and going...gone.
18. It's not bad. That's OK.
Well, Laurie was hoping for a little bit more but at least it's another £18 into that Norway fund.
It's a rather unusual lot next as Laurie's spade with its royal connection takes centre stage.
We're hoping for £20.
£20 for it. £20 for the lot.
Is that a bid?
£20, I bid you at £20.
Are we done already at £20?
A £20 bid, I'll take it £20.
Disappointed. I'm staying at £20.
Are we all done? At £20 our main bid then.
£20 towards our target.
Let me tell you, that is £20 more than I thought you were going to get!
We're all pleased with that result, selling bang on Jonty's estimate.
He's clearly got a knack for valuing more than just antiques.
Next to try its luck in the sale room is that cased trumpet and it's got rather a modest estimate.
-We're asking for about £20-£40.
Let's hope it makes a big noise in the auction room.
Start me at £20.
20, 22, 22 there, 25, 28,
30, 32, 35, 38, 40, 42...
A bid at £40. Are we done at £40?
Last chance. All done at £40.
£40, that's at the top of the estimate.
-You're happy with that?
Well, that certainly struck the right note in the sale room
but we've still got a long way to go to reach our £250 target for Laurie's trip to Norway.
So we need to keep up the pace.
The vintage sweet shelves and sign are up next. Remember Jonty valued them at £20 to £40.
Start me at £20. £20, £10...
Thank you, a bid at £10.
So far a bid at £10. That's a bid at £10. Yes?
A bid at £10 I'm going to sell it. Thank you for that at £10. All done.
I didn't want to take it home.
It's only half Jonty's estimate but Laurie seemed relieved to see the shelves go.
The bidders are proving to be a bit cautious with the cash today
and they get another bargain when our collection of Limoges
also fails to meet its £30 to £50 valuation.
I'm done at 16 and gone. Thank you.
With only one lot left to go
there's a massive amount riding on those autograph books.
Now I had a great time looking through this next item, all the autographs and photographs.
-We've got a reserve price on this though?
-Yes, what is it?
It's got a lot of good ones and I'm hoping it will do really well.
I just hope that... It's worth so much more than that.
So many memories, so much hard work to get there.
It has to be worth £75.
Let's see what we've got.
In the doorway, £50.
55, 60, 5, 70, 5,
80, 5, 90, 5,
100, 110, 120...
130. It's still cheap, £120.
130, new bidder. 140, 150, 160,
170, 180, 190, 200
and 10, 220, 230,
240, 250, 260, 270,
280, 290, 300...
At 290, you bid £290, all done.
I'm selling at 290.
Are we done? For 290 and going...
£290! I'm holding him up. Great.
What a brilliant result! The autographs have proved to be
our golden ticket. We can barely believe our luck.
After that it's time to see how well we've done.
Now let me just get this right...
£250 you wanted for that trip to Norway to go and surprise your grandchildren...
-Here we go...
-The grand total is...
Thank you so much. Thank you.
I cannot believe it. Do you know what the biggest surprise is?
-We got rid of that shovel!
It's been a couple of weeks since Laurie raised a fantastic £474 at auction
and he's preparing for his trip to Norway with a spot of present-buying.
Very nice, very pleasant.
You've got body butters in that range, shower gels...
I've bought body lotions, I've bought cakes. I've bought tarts.
But there's one more thing I've got to get, I haven't told you yet
but my granddaughter is six months pregnant
so I've got to get something to take over
for the little one when he arrives in March.
Laurie's certainly had a successful shopping trip
and he clearly can't wait for his trip of a lifetime.
I've had a very successful day.
All I've got to do now is get home, pack my bags, and I'm off to Norway.
And we all hope Laurie has a fantastic time in Norway.
Now if you want to raise some money for something special
and you think you have hidden treasures in your home, why don't you apply to be on the show?
All the details are online.
Good luck with that and we'll see you next time on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Photographer and former mayor Laurie Braham hopes to fulfil his plan of a trip to Norway to visit his son and grandchildren. His North London home is full to bursting with items he has collected over the years and he is hoping the Cash in the Attic team will uncover a few hidden valuables to fund his holiday.