Series looking at the value of household junk. Electrician and motorbike racer Robert Irving has invited the team along to Kent to help turn his inherited antiques into cash.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic where we search your home for treasures and sell them for you at auction.
Today I'm in the very pretty town of Deal on the Kent coast
and obviously I'm having my morning walk along the pier.
Now, the original wooden pier was built in Deal in 1838,
but the one I'm walking along came along 150 years later
and has just been named Pier Of The Year.
Deal has been famous for thousands of years
ever since Julius Caesar reportedly landed on this part of the Kent coastline in 54 BC.
It became one of the busiest ports in England until the tourist trade took over in the early 20th century.
We'll be pushing the boat out today
when we search for exciting collectables and treasures to take to auction to go under the hammer.
'Coming up - our expert isn't taking any risks with the rummaging.'
I'm going up to that loft now.
'But he is sharing a few tips.'
I have a saying. If it doesn't go in your pocket, don't buy it.
'And we're all feeling excited come auction day.'
-You beat me to it!
-That is fabulous.
'Let's hope we'll all be smiling when the final hammer falls.'
I'm on my way to meet a couple
who have taken on a rather interesting renovation project.
But building work doesn't come cheap, so they've called us in to help them raise funds.
'This terraced house in the heart of Deal is home to electrician Robert Irving.
'Robert's late mother collected antiques
'and since her death last year, his house has been overflowing with inherited heirlooms.
'But his mother's old house needs a lot of renovation,
'so he's decided to turn her collectables into cash, along with his partner Yvonne to help.'
Paul, Cash In The Attic takes you to the most gorgeous places and beautiful weather.
It's marvellous. It's great to be by the seaside.
We've got a really interesting couple. He's got a fantastically intriguing hobby.
-I've never heard of it before.
-Can we talk about it?
-It's for me to know and for you to find out in a minute. Should we meet the couple?
-Of course. After you.
-Yvonne and Robert, good morning.
-You're at work already, Robert?
-Got a head start!
-So why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
-Well, basically, Mum died October last year.
And it was in her will that the house would be sold
and the share respectively to go to myself and my three sons.
There's a lot of renovating to do which we're getting on with now.
How much money do you ideally want to raise?
If we can get in excess of £1,000, that would be great, a good help.
Tell me about your passion, this hobby.
-It's motorcycle racing on ice.
-Is this in the outdoors or where?
Well, we train outdoors. We train on a frozen lake in Sweden.
When it comes to racing, then it's in a stadium.
-I notice that Robert says, "We train." Does that include you, Yvonne?
-I've been to training.
-But I only ride on the road. I don't ride on ice.
-So you're a keen biker?
We'd better go to work. I know that Paul is already hunting around.
-Shall we go and find him?
'With such an important renovation project to do,
'Robert's mum would be glad to see her collectables put to good use.
'One person who can help our couple sort through the dusty heirlooms is our antiques expert, Paul Hayes.
'It looks like he's already hard at work.'
-How are you?
-We find you upstairs.
-Yes, I found these helmets. These are amazing.
I believe they are from my grandad who fought in the First World War.
That's the ARP helmet, or Air Raid Precaution I think it's described,
but people called it the Air Raid Police.
There were a million volunteers during the Second World War
that used to help out during air raids.
The reason it's painted black is, of course, this tin or metal is very reflective.
During the blackouts at night, you couldn't have that happening, so they had these black helmets.
So these items are quite common.
This one, on the other hand, is from the First World War.
I know that because it has the guy's army mark there.
Can you see that? That's his army number.
You can go on to the War Office and find out where he was and what happened to him.
-You can find lots of information. It makes it a bit more interesting.
-How much will they fetch at auction?
If I was being conservative here and tried to put a ballpark figure,
-I would say at least £30.
-That's not bad.
It's a reasonable start, but to get 1,000 quid, we must look some more.
OK. I'm gonna go in that loft now!
'£30 for the helmets is a good start to today's search,
'but we can't declare victory yet.
'In the next room Yvonne has found this red armchair
'which Paul hopes could make a very colourful £45 to £75 at auction.
'In the dining room, Robert hopes this wooden cabinet will appeal to the auction goers
'and Paul values it at £40 to £60.
'Meanwhile, Yvonne has headed upstairs and spotted another item with a rather military edge.'
-Come and have a look at this.
Oh, wow, look at that!
So who's collected all this militaria?
Well, this was all in Rob's mother's house
and it belonged to Rob's grandfather.
He used to be in the Queen's Guards.
It's a sword, but it's very unusual. It looks like it's silver.
-It's quite heavy.
-It certainly is.
Most of these very elaborate ones tend to be ceremonial,
so it would be used for a parade, rather than everyday use.
And the use of solid silver, it's been very expensive, so possibly it could be a high-ranking officer.
I've never seen one quite like it.
-One thing's for certain. You've got to be very careful when selling anything to do with swords.
It's against the law to sell this to any member of the public. It needs to go to a collector.
The auctioneer will handle that for you, so you're kept safe and whoever buys this is safe as well.
But I think my gut feeling is you're looking...Indonesia, maybe Burma, 100 years old...
-Value-wise... £250, how does that sound?
-That's very good, yeah.
-You haven't got a box full down there?
'At that price, even one of them is a fantastic addition to our renovation fund.
'There's definitely a military theme developing today as in the attic Robert digs out yet another sword.
'This example has an ivory handle.
'We've had a successful morning, so I leave our expert to rummage
'and head over to Robert's mum's old house to see our couple's DIY efforts first hand.'
-Rob, you've been doing a lot of work.
How long have you been doing it?
-Really since the early part of this year.
Your big sigh means that all weekends are spent in the house.
All weekends, all weekends.
When did you guys get together?
-About a year and a half ago.
About a year and a half ago, we met on the internet, on a bikers' chat room.
Two and a half months later, we went to a speedway final, Grand Prix.
We looked at each other and it was the "wow" factor.
-So where is this famous bike? I'm dying to see it.
-In the garage.
Let's go and have a look at the bike.
Oh, my goodness!
I have never seen such a bike in my life.
-How did you take the sport up?
-I'd been to see three world finals.
And I followed up an advert in the Motorcycle News one week
and they were looking for riders to join the British Ice Speedway team.
-Do your sons think it's a cool thing for their dad to be doing?
-Or do they think you're just mad?
-Nearly mad. There's a difference.
'Either way, it's a very unusual hobby, but we need to get back to work
'as we've got £1,000 of a target to reach. Back inside,
'Paul has spotted this yellow armchair.
'And Robert and I have another candidate for auction, as long as Paul hasn't got sidetracked.'
Leave your tea behind and come in and have a look. I'll sort of slip over this side.
-This looks really lovely.
-This is a nice mirror-backed sideboard.
-It's very Arts and Crafts.
-What does that really mean?
Right, well, this is late 19th century, 1880, 1900.
At that time, there was lots of machine-made items. The design element had been lost.
So a group of designers got together and formed the Arts and Crafts Movement.
The idea was going back to basics.
They didn't bother with fancy woods like mahogany or satinwood.
They went back to oaks and elms and started to use copper and pewter, materials that had been overlooked.
All hand-carved, hand-done and that was the emphasis of the whole style.
There's a market for this, even though it's only 100 years old.
It has that home-made look, someone's taken time to make it.
How much is it going to fetch?
Value-wise, it's not the most elaborate example, but it is solid oak.
It'll outlive me and you,
so I think at least £150, up to £200?
-£150 to £200, what's your reaction?
-That's good. Very good.
-You're pleased with that?
'That's another brilliant addition to the renovation fund
'and our coffers are topped up by another few pounds
'when I spot this wall-mounted case clock.
'It's made by H Pearson Ltd
'and we're hoping it could make us £40 to £60. And in the hallway,
'our expert seems to be doing a spot of furniture removals.'
-Now then, where has this come from? Do you know?
That has been in Rob's family for years.
It belonged to Robert's mother's father, so Robert's grandfather.
And he used to use it to write his letters.
It's called a Sheraton style. Have you heard of that before?
-Thomas Sheraton was one of Britain's best known cabinet makers.
He worked in the 18th century and developed a method of making things from solid mahogany.
He would use inlay and would take a very small slice of the mahogany and replace it with a contrasting wood.
If he did it in a certain way, it would look like it was going in an opposite direction.
It's called cross-banding and you end up with a very elegant finish.
That was developed in the 18th century,
but at the beginning of the 20th century, they had a Sheraton revival and that's what this one is.
It was made about 1900, 1910.
This is a type of bureau or a full-front bureau.
This front goes down and that makes your writing surface.
The big snag with these now is that because everyone uses computers,
you can't get your monitor and bits and pieces on them.
They're really used as ornaments now.
-If I said £50 to £80, how does that sound?
-Yeah, that's pretty good.
But I have a little saying, "If it doesn't go in your pocket, don't buy it."
-I'll leave the shifting to Robert.
-Let's keep looking.
'I'm not quite sure about Paul's logic there, but £50 for the bureau is a decent addition to our kitty.
'It's almost the end of our search and as Yvonne carries on rummaging downstairs,
'Robert's got one last military item.'
Yet another sword. I'm fascinated as to why your mum had so many.
They were swords that my father had got from his father
and my grandfather was in the Household Cavalry.
He obviously saw action in the Far East there.
This is a real quality piece.
This could have been in a Japanese family for a long time.
And the main item here of value is this.
It's called a tsuba or a "suba", T-S-U-B-A.
And that can be passed down from generation to generation.
The blades and the handles can be replaced, but this stays on the sword.
-This is actually genuine shark skin here. Can you see that?
It's almost like a rough area to grab and it gives good grip.
-That's shark skin.
-Are they very collectable?
Extremely collectable. This is a really good quality sword and very sought after.
This is Japanese military history, the best metalworkers,
the best quality sword and such a historical thing.
-How much will it fetch?
-I think at least £400.
-Does that sound all right?
-Sounds a lot to me.
Let me stand up. It's great to look at this.
I want to call Yvonne in. We've been talking about the sword.
A great specimen apparently.
-It's very nice.
-Paul has told us it could raise £400 at auction.
I've been doing a little tally-up in terms of how much you've raised.
You wanted £1,000 to maybe help towards the kitchen at Mum's house or a bit of paint here and there.
You have quite a bit of work to do.
You've not only raised the £1,000,
but hopefully, fingers crossed, you have £1,205.
-That's good, yeah. Really good.
All I can say is God bless Mum!
-I'd say that absolutely, yeah.
'Robert's mum was a great collector
'and her antiques have given us a fantastic selection of items to send to auction.
'There are military lots with the highlight being the Japanese sword
'which goes into battle with a whopping £400 valuation.
'We've also got high hopes of victory for the Burmese silver sword
'which Paul estimated at £250.
'And we're hoping the bidders are fans of the Arts and Crafts period
'as Paul thinks the hand-carved sideboard could make us £150-£200.
'Still to come on Cash In The Attic, some rather disappointing results.'
-There you go.
-Is that all right?
'But we can barely believe our luck on others.'
-Yeah, great stuff.
'So will we reach our target when the final hammer falls?'
It's been a few weeks now since we met Robert Irving and his partner Yvonne.
We went to Robert's house in sunny Deal in Kent and helped him look for some antiques and collectables
and we brought them all here to Shouler & Son Auctioneers in Melton Mowbray.
Just to remind you, Robert is doing up his late mother's house.
The object is to raise around £1,000 to help towards the reconstruction and the refurbishment,
so let's hope all the bidders today are ready, willing and able and will pounce as they go under the hammer.
'It's still early, but the saleroom is already filling up with some keen-looking dealers and collectors.
'I hope they are impressed with Robert and Yvonne's antiques.
'Before things get going, I catch up with our very own antiques addict, Paul Hayes.'
-Good morning, Paul. I recognise this sideboard.
-Yes, it looks great here.
A large hole back in Robert's house cos it's a big piece.
Certainly is. I wonder if he came on the motorbike? Did you see it?
All those spikes! Something like 198 spikes on each wheel or something!
It was an interesting rummage. We found some intriguing things. Swords under the bed!
Militaria does tend to do well in a country area.
-Shall we go and see where they are?
'Paul sounds positive and hopefully that's a good sign.
'As the bidders carry on browsing in the saleroom,
'we find our couple checking out those very swords.'
-Yvonne and Robert, how are you doing?
Don't your swords look splendid in the cabinet?
I was saying to Yvonne it's nice to see them there.
They really look the part.
Because they're nicely displayed, it creates the interest, people can see them clearly.
It keeps them away from small hands!
-But you've got high hopes for these.
-Very high hopes.
-Militaria at the moment seems to be doing very well.
So I think we should get a bit of interest with them.
This auctioneer waits for no man or woman,
-so we'd better get in position. I'm gonna follow you.
'If you're planning on heading to your local auction house,
'remember that commission will be added to your bill.
'Make sure you check the details before you buy or sell.
'We find a spot in the corner of the saleroom and soon our first lot goes under the hammer.
'It's the pair of military helmets that Paul valued at £30 to £50.'
These were up in that small bedroom of yours, just lying there.
-But again, if I recall, your grandfather's?
Lot 171 for you now. It's the World War Two air warden and military helmets.
Nice lot there. Bit of interest again on these. With the guide price, I start these at £30.
£30, bid of £30, bid of £30.
-Yeah, £30, that's what we wanted.
-There you go.
42. 5. 8. 50. 5.
60. 2, sir. 65 here.
68. I'm out. £68 at the back. At £68.
Bid of £68, bid of £68, bid of £68.
I down at 68...
-Above your top estimate.
-That's twice the estimate, yeah.
'It's a brilliant start to our day.
'Robert's grandfather really did us proud.
'I hope the rest of our lots have the same luck as we have a whopping £1,000 target to reach.
'Next up is the Arts and Crafts sideboard that Paul loves.
'Will it make £150 to £200?'
150...? £100 to get on?
£80, £80, bid £80, bid £80.
Bid £80, bid £80, bid £80. 85.
-5. 100 bid.
-It ought to make a bit more than this. At £100.
Are you coming in again, sir? At £100 I've got now. At £100.
I'll sell at £100 and I down it at 100.
'Oh, a disappointing result for the sideboard,
'but another £100 into the kitty, so it's not all bad news.
'Our renovation fund gets another welcome injection
'when the bureau nearly makes £50.'
£48, £48, £48.
£48, £48. All out right now at £48, bid of £48, bid of £48.
I down away, done.
'We're all feeling a sense of deja vu
'when the red armchair banks us exactly the same amount.
At £48, bid of £48. At £48 it's here to go.
At £48. Number...? 27. Thank you very much.
'We've had a solid start, but I hope the furniture buyers haven't spent all their cash.
'We have another armchair up for sale.'
These are very popular. It would be lovely if we had a pair of chairs.
But as it is, I think what somebody would do is recover it maybe in a neutral colour,
then it's a very presentable item.
We're looking for about £50. OK?
We have three commissions here now and I start at £50. At 50 bid only.
-50 bid only, 50 bid.
-£50, we're in.
5. 60. 5.
-70. 5. 80.
-They're having a laugh!
-110, I'm out...
She said they're having a laugh!
Bid 110. The commission is out. At 110...
-Yeah, great stuff.
'That took us all by surprise,
'selling for way over the top end of Paul's estimate.
'It's a very welcome result as we're still a long way off the £1,000 for Yvonne and Robert's DIY fund.
'Will the furniture buyers be as keen on our dark wooden cabinet
'which Paul values at £40 to £60?
20 bid, 20, got 20 bid, 20, got 20 bid, 20, got 20 bid, 20.
At £20. 22. 25.
£30, £30, £30, £30.
It's up to you, sir. At 32. At £32, £32, £32. I thought it would make a bit more than this.
At £32, bid of £32. Over here at £32, bid of £32.
Anybody else gonna come in? I down away.
'It may not have caused the same excitement as the yellow chair,
'but that's still another few pounds towards the renovations.
'And the mounted wall clock finds a new home as well.'
£48, £48, £48.
Right at the back now at £48...
'Banking us another £48 in the process.
'It's been a slightly unpredictable day so far, but I hope the bidders are prepared to dig deep
'as our star lots take centre stage.'
-This is a very special moment in the auction because it is the aforementioned swords.
They looked absolutely splendid in the case as we came in.
So, Paul, do you think these will sell well in this auction?
I think they will sell well, yeah.
In the countryside, weapons and swords have a huge following.
There's a big military area around here, so I've got high hopes.
'First up is the Burmese silver ceremonial sword, valued at £250.'
And I start at £120. At 120 bid. On commission at 120.
At 120 bid, at 120, got 120 bid.
130. 140. 150.
160. 170. 180.
180 here. 180 bid. At 180... 190.
200. £200 on commission. At £200.
Are you both out? 210, sir?
230. I'm out. 230 on my left.
Bid at 230, at £230, at £230, at £230.
I down this time at 230.
-That was my favourite one.
-Only £20 below Paul's estimate.
'That's almost a quarter of our target in one go,
'but we've got another sword on the way.
'It's our highest valued one, the Japanese sword, which Paul estimated at £400.'
150. We'll take 150.
At 150, I'm bid 150, I've got 150, I'm bid 160.
170. 180. 190.
200. £200, bid £200, bid £200.
Bid 200... 220. You're both out now.
260. 280. 300.
£300, bid £300. At £300 there. At £300, bid at 3... 320.
340. 340 bid, at 340, got 340.
On my left at 340. It is here to sell at 340.
At 340 I'm bid. At £340 I've got.
I will down it at £340...
-There you go.
-Is that all right?
'Our couple were hoping for more, but that's a massive addition to our renovation fund.
'Last to go into battle in the saleroom
'is the ivory-handled sword which Paul valued
'at a more modest £150 to £250.'
Where are you gonna start me then?
-Will I take 50? Yes, 50 bid.
-At 50, got a 50 bid.
It's 50 there. 55. 60. 5.
70. 5. 80.
5. 90. 95.
95, 95, 95. 100 bid, fresh bidder.
At £100. 110.
140. 140 on my right. 140, on my right at 140.
At £140. All out this way at 140?
150, he's gone again.
At 150, bid at 150, bid at 150.
On the left at 150. I down at 150...
-Right on, spot on.
-You beat me to it!
Give us a kiss. That was good.
'There was a sword collector here and it's a great way to end our day.
'Now it's time to see if the swords have won us an auction victory.'
This is the bit of the programme that I absolutely adore because we come to the total.
You were looking for £1,000, refurbing your late mum's home.
I am so thrilled to tell you, not only did you get the £1,000,
-but you have £1,174.
-Wow! Brilliant, yeah.
-Yeah, really good.
It's been marvellous. Thank you for being such sporting people.
-We wish you much happiness in the future.
'Two weeks after their auction success,
'Robert and Yvonne splash out on an important part of the renovations on Rob's late mother's house.'
The auction money is going towards the windows
which we've been wanting to do for a long time
and it will make the house look so different.
The other windows were quite old and needed replacing.
'The couple have been able to hire a team of professionals
'and can stand back and just admire the results.'
-What a difference though!
-It makes the house look brand-new.
'As the final touches are made, the couple seem truly impressed
'and it won't be long before this house is ready to go up for sale.'
The windows look absolutely amazing and it makes the house look so much better.
And we are looking forward to finally finishing the house,
so we can get it on the market and get it sold.
After all those weekends slaving over that wallpaper steamer, it's lovely to see the house progressing.
Let's hope it'll be sold very soon.
If you'd like to join us on Cash In The Attic, if you've got a project you'd like to raise money for,
all you have to do is go to our website.
I hope you will join us one day.
In the meantime, thanks for your company on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2008
Email [email protected]
Electrician and motorbike racer Robert Irving has a big renovation project on his hands, so he has invited Gloria Hunniford and the Cash team along to Kent to help turn his inherited antiques into DIY cash.