Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. Teenager Theo Sowumni needs to raise some cash to buy a rifle, as he hopes to shoot in the London Olympics.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. The show that searches out those hidden treasures in your home,
then helps you sell them.
Well, today I have come to the town of Colchester in Essex.
The origins of this place actually date back several thousand years.
Built only 800 years ago, St Botolph's was the first Augustinian priory in England.
In keeping with the Order's philosophy
the monastery was built modestly using flint and old Roman bricks instead of expensive stone.
It thrived for over 300 years until the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-1500s
and it's a testament to the construction
that the skeleton of the building is still standing nearly 500 years later.
Let's hope we find antiques and collectibles that don't need much restoration,
but raise plenty of cash when they go under the hammer.
Today, on Cash In The Attic, John's in his element.
It is an exquisite and very unusual piece.
He's ringing in the finds.
Isn't that wonderful?
The funny thing is that no-one seems to mind them going.
-Were they to your taste? Did you like them?
It's all up for grabs when the final hammer falls.
I'm on my way to meet a family
who have a very particular target in their sights
and have called in the Cash In The Attic team to help.
This rambling, converted farm cottage is home to the Sowumni family.
Mum, Michelle, was born and brought up in this house,
now she is bringing up another generation here.
Her sons, 12-year-old Omar,
16-year-old Theodore, and three-year-old Rio.
Theo excels in a rather specialised sport, shooting,
and it is something that could take him all the way to the 2012 Olympics.
Our expert, John Cameron, is here also, and is keen to get started.
-Ah, good morning.
-You might need that a bit later on.
This is a wonderful place. I understand that you've lived here most of your life.
I have. I was born and brought up here, er, over at the other house, across the way.
Er, and it is just a wonderful place for bringing up boys.
It must be fantastic living here.
It is. There is just so much to do, so many places to go.
-It is great.
-You can lose your brothers any time you want to?
I understand that part of the reason we are here is to do with shooting?
Yes, I would like to, eventually, be able to go to the 2012 Olympics,
and I do need some more kit to help me get there, so we need to raise the money and get it.
-It's not cheap.
-How much are you looking to raise?
I think, realistically, we need to be looking at about £1,000.
-Right, so we have got our work cut out, by the sounds of it.
-I think we have.
Let us see if John's found anything. Follow me.
This farmhouse is like a Tardis, packed with quirks,
but, most importantly for us, is also home to quite a few treasures.
John Cameron is already weighing up the family silver.
-Aah, there you are, John.
Ooh, you found a piano. Is this for sale, Michelle?
-Right. OK. Have you found anything else we can sell?
I have. A two-piece tea set. On the side is a very interesting inscription.
This was presented by the General Committee of the Green Room Club.
It looks like an officers' mess type of thing on somebody's marriage in 1926.
A Charles Lefoil, I think. Does that mean anything to you?
It doesn't. No. No.
How long have those pieces been in the family?
I always remember them being out on the table for Sunday teas and things like that.
So, as long as I can remember, really.
-They were used, not just on display?
-No, they were used. They were used.
-Is it silver?
It is silver, it is hallmarked, they match,
and they are dating this on a Sheffield hallmark to 1925.
So, precisely when this was given as a present the following year.
They are a super quality, nice, thick, heavy gauge. These two pieces go about 34 ounces on the scale.
Which means what, in terms of money?
Well, in today's prices, we are looking at about £200 to £300 for it.
Really? My goodness.
That's quite a bit more than I anticipated. That's wonderful.
-But we have got a target of £1,000, so I think we'd better get on.
John's estimate of £200 to £300 for the silver tea set is a fair price,
I can't wait for someone else to enjoy it.
I am glad Michelle is so pleased. There are certainly plenty of beautiful items here.
This little jade bird figurine
might also charm the bidders at between £30 to £50.
Outside, Theo is keen to show John something.
-What do you think of this? I know my mum's happy to let it go.
-Wow! What a stunning horse.
Now, what's the story behind him?
Well, I know my grandma bought it for my mum when she was a little girl
and I remember being rocked by my grandma in it, as well, but I'm a bit too big for it now.
Have you and your brothers been clambering over this over the years?
-What about the damage? Is this Mum or was it you guys?
-Yeah, right(!) That's the story you are going to stick to?
Well. Lovely rocking horse. The style of horse known as a dapple-grey.
Date-wise, I would say he's probably early 20th Century.
Edwardian, perhaps 1920, something like that.
A classic design.
It does appear to have a little bit of damage. Can you see what's missing on this?
Not really. I think the hair's come unglued at some points and, as well as the reins,
they've got a bit of wear on them.
Apart from that, I can't really see anything else, apart from the paint. It's quite faded.
I wonder whether it had stirrups, because you do see them with them.
But, that said, there's no evidence on the leather saddle here
that there's anything missing.
So, perhaps, he never had them in the first place.
That said, he's still in pretty good working order.
If you had to put a value on him, what do you think he's worth?
-Maybe, say, £80 to £90.
-I'd like to think he might be worth a little bit more than that.
Even in his condition, I think I'd still want to put an estimate of about £200 to £300 on him.
How does that sound?
Wow. A lot more than what I thought. Definitely.
£200 to £300 is what I'm saying, should we check with Mum or do you think she's happy?
-I think she's happy, but let's check.
-Come on, then.
John's estimate on the rocking horse of £200 to £300 I was actually really shocked.
I didn't think it would be anywhere near that. I'm not gonna miss it.
But...want the money, need kit, so let's hope that does well at auction.
That's the spirit, Theo. Inside, Michelle has found three Lladro figurines
which are noted for their distinctive sheen and pale colour palette.
John thinks they could fetch £70.
That brings us to £500 towards our target of £1,000
for the new equipment to help Theo's continued success
in competitive shooting.
It's a sport Theo is passionate about.
Right, Theo. So, I see you have won gold already, then. What was that for?
Well, this was the first competition I shot.
Probably about two weeks after I started going to the gun club.
I'd only entered it for fun, I didn't expect anything
and I came first in the probationer's class,
which I was really chuffed about.
So that's the medal, what about this?
This was also another competition which I did, which was for air pistol.
It was the first time I had shot air pistol, and I came third in the B class.
So, ideally, then, what type of gun would you like?
Well, it would be a .22 Prone Rifle which I need,
which is the discipline where you're lying down.
Erm, it's quite expensive.
-What sort of price ranges are there?
Anything from £800
up to a few thousand pounds for some top-end guns.
So, what would your long-term goal be?
In the end, I would love to go to the 2012 Olympics
and I feel as if... If I train hard enough and keep on going at it
I will be able to get there.
If you're going to represent Britain we have a moral obligation to meet the target figure.
Shall we go inside and see if John's found anything?
Indeed, John has made a find that could REALLY help us cash in.
Gold is an old favourite at auction, so these two 24-carat sovereigns
might reach as much as £150 to £180.
And, speaking of precious metals, John and Theo have made a bijou discovery.
This is a wonderful set of silver furniture. Where is it from, what's the story?
These were my mum's. She was into dolls' houses a lot when she was young.
Had all sorts of furniture, houses with lights in.
So many different things.
She saw these in a shop window and got her parents to buy them for her.
-Wow. Well, your mum was a very lucky young girl.
I doubt whether her friends had dolls' houses
with solid silver furniture.
Were they perfect for that purpose? I don't think so.
These look like bijouterie pieces,
things you would have displayed in a cabinet or glass-top bijouterie table.
They are wonderful and amazing that they are in good condition since Mum played with them.
Now, if we have a look under this piece here, we should find a mark.
-There we are. Can you see that, there?
That says "925", doesn't it?
Well, you see, silver, when it's first mined, is too soft to be used.
They have to alloy it with things like copper and tin, which makes it softer.
That 925 tells us it's 925 parts per thousand pure silver.
That's a continental mark
because if it was British, it would have a different set of marks on telling us the same thing.
We have a look at this piece here.
There we are, that's got an English set of hallmarks on.
Completely different. Three stamps there. The one in the middle, see that? That's a little lion.
That is an English set of hallmarks telling us the same thing. This is 925 parts per thousand pure silver.
Any idea what you think they might be worth?
-I would have said £100 for the lot.
-I think you're not far off there.
If we were looking at, kind of, around about £20 a piece as an average.
The pieces with British hallmarks will be slightly more desirable than the imported pieces.
If we said roughly £20 each, we are looking, there is eight pieces there, at around the 160 mark.
So, I would say, as an estimate, about £140 to £160.
-Mum will be happy with that.
-You will be even happier?
-Fantastic. Are you sure there is no more of this around?
-I am not, shall we go and have a look?
-Come on, then.
Well, I reckon the silver furniture, it's got a good price on it,
and it will get me more kit that I need. I don't think my mum will miss it.
I know I won't, so I'm hoping it's gonna do well at auction.
Theo's obviously keen to raise that cash to further his future in competitive shooting,
because he's making cracking progress.
This set of blue and white Minton tiles with a mythical theme could bring him £60 to £80 at the auction.
Back inside, John is getting rather excited in the bedroom(!)
-This really is an exquisite and very unusual piece.
-Where has this come from?
Well, erm, we used to travel down to Spain an awful lot when I was a child. Driving down.
We'd stop in Andorra for a few nights there.
And, one evening, my father went out for a stroll and arrived back at the hotel with that for my mother.
What was your mother's reaction?
She was overwhelmed with it. She really thought it was absolutely beautiful.
A lot has gone into this.
If we have a close look at their bodies, they have been cast, they're solid.
Then further embellishments on these little 18-carat, white-gold wings - we have diamond encrustations.
Also around the frame of the lyre there and parts of their shroud.
Also, at the base of the lyre, you can see this wonderful little emerald-cut ruby in the bottom.
Fantastic. I mean, this really is an unusual piece.
For auction purposes we ought to be looking at at least £1,000 to £1,500, something like that.
What do you think about that sort of valuation? Is that more or less than you thought it might be worth?
Er, not 100% sure.
I would have thought somewhere around there, perhaps a little bit more, er...
But I think with the sentimental value I may have to think about it.
-Never see a piece like that in a hurry.
No. It gives you some ideas for Christmas for the other half though. Right, shall we crack on? Follow me.
Michelle has so many beautiful antiques, we're spoilt for choice.
Much to our benefit, Theo is getting carried away with the hunt.
These two silver trays could steal the show at £250 to £350.
The treasures keep turning up in this house.
What do you think of this, Lorne?
Ooh! That looks like a very nice pocket watch to me.
Is this one of your dad's?
-Ahh. How fantastic.
It looks like it's beautiful quality. I don't know anything about watches, let's call John. John.
-What have you got there?
-It looks like a very nice pocket watch.
Yeah, it is a nice case.
Known as a full hunter. And that was because people used to use these on fox hunting.
By having a case which enclosed the glass it prevented it from getting damaged.
You see a slightly different version called a half-hunter,
which differs from this piece here in that you have a little circular, round glass window there
enabling you to see the hands, so you see the time without opening the case.
When we open this one up here
we can see that this has a rather interesting feature which you very seldom see on watches,
which will enable the owner to tell the time without actually having to fumble for it
trying to get that open while trying to steady a horse.
Listen to this, if it still works, that is.
WATCH CHIMES "TWELVE" THEN WATCH CHIMES THREE TIMES
Isn't that wonderful? It gives you the hours and repeats the quarters.
That's really, really nice. A lovely watch. I haven't sold one of those for about ten years.
The case, we can see, is 14-carat gold.
It still retains its gold Albert chain, which when we have a look on the top there, that says 18 carat.
That's a nice, heavy chain as well.
Those often make more than the watches, I can tell you that much. Erm, so...
Wow. I think if we put this into auction with £400 to £600 we should see it get away at that price.
-I am quite convinced of that.
-Are you pleased with that, Michelle?
-I am, yes.
OK, we have run out of time, so I would like to let you know how much we think you might raise.
I do not know where Theo is. Here you are, Theo. Come and stand next to your mum.
Now, we needed to raise £1,000, didn't we, so you can get your own gun.
If we include the cherub pendant,
the value of everything going to the auction house comes to £2,500.
Oh, wow! That's wonderful.
But even if you leave that at home, because I know you've got quite a liking for that,
then the value of everything we're going to sell comes to £1,500.
-That is quite a lot more than you were hoping for.
-It is. That's wonderful news.
The next time you see your items they'll be in the sale room
-and, hopefully, lots of bidders will be looking, hoping to buy them.
-Look forward to it.
Well, it's been a fascinating rummage today, with some genuinely unique finds.
Some of the highlights we have for auction include...
..the collection of miniature, solid-silver furniture fit for a princess
at a valuation of £140 to £160.
And the gold watch with the clever little chimes that had John so excited at £400 to £600.
But, the piece de resistance
the stunning gold and diamond cherubs valued at over £1,000
that belonged to Michelle's mother.
Will she bring it to auction? We'll have to wait till the day to find out.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic...
Michelle is pushing those antiques out of the door.
I just hope it will trot off to a good home.
Very nice. I like that.
But will she regret them going?
-What's your husband bringing your breakfast in bed on now? The silver tray is gone.
-I don't know.
Find out when the final hammer falls.
It has been a few weeks since we had a good look around Michelle's beautiful country home
and found plenty of items to bring here to Sworders Auction House in Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex.
Now, remember, she is looking to raise £1,000 to help realise son Theo's Olympic dreams.
Let's just hope that when our items go under the hammer today,
the bidders are ready and waiting with guns a-blazing.
There are certainly some sharp operators in the room today.
None more so than our eagle-eyed John Cameron.
-Is it that time already?
-It is. I was admiring this lovely pocket watch again.
Full hunter with beautiful repeating movement, unusual. Nice heavy chain on there.
That might do quite well. Well, I hope it does, anyway.
She also had some lovely pieces of silver. Particularly the miniature furniture.
She did have nice items, yes, and that heavy tray and the silver tea set.
What I am dying to know is whether or not she brought that pendant.
She was sentimentally attached to that. Understandably.
-It was such amazing quality, it will be so exciting if she has brought it. Should we go and find out?
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Michelle and Theo are here, saying goodbye to some things,
but have they decided they couldn't part with others?
Ah! Now, I've spotted it. You've brought it, but is it for sale?
-No, it has been brought along for luck.
-That is beautiful. Do you enjoy wearing it?
-I do enjoy wearing it.
-I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.
-Whereas you, young man, have grown out of this?
-Is that right?
Saying a fond farewell to Desert Orchid, are you?
So, what is your first impression of being in an auction house?
Quite big. There is a lot of stuff here, so, hopefully, people want to buy our stuff.
You had some lovely things. All that silver, the pocket watch. Is there anything you have put reserves on?
No, I haven't. We decided to leave them as they are. Hopefully someone will pay good money for them.
-Are you excited?
-Come on, then. Let us get in position, ready for the auction to start.
This showroom is packed to the gunnels today. It's a good sign.
We are hoping our first lot, the Lladro figurines, will stand out from the crowd.
Good lot here. Lot seven. We'll start straight in here at £50.
Any advance on 50? 60.
110 in the room. Any advance?
130 on my right now. At £130 all done, we'll sell.
-£130. That's good.
-Are you pleased?
-Were they to your taste? Did you like them?
THEY ALL LAUGH
What a great start. £40 over its top estimate.
We are keen to see if our next item brews up some interest.
Lot 13. Silver teapot and sugar bowl.
Inscribed "Sheffield, 1925."
There we are. We'll start the bidding here at 100 I am bid, at £100. Any advance?
190. On the pillar at £190. Are we all done?
Sold at 190.
It may not be a solid-silver result, but it's only ten pounds under the estimate.
Our next lot is this set of Victorian tiles.
-So, the Minton tiles, in a barn, in a box.
-Indeed, they were. Tucked away.
They're not tucked away, they're here, and the estimate is £60 to £80.
I will start the bidding straight in here at £80. At £80 I'm bid.
Any advance on 80?
Any advance on £80, now?
At £100, sir. Are we all done?
-They were just stuffed in the barn.
Crikey, that's superb, isn't it?
What a spot-on result. We're galloping along here, but will our pace continue?
Now, can you remember riding this rocking horse?
-I do, a bit, yes. Yeah.
-Are you sorry to see it go?
Not really. I'd like the money to get some shooting kit.
Are you going to miss it, Michelle?
Yes and no. I just hope it'll trot off to a good home.
Very nice. I like that.
It's a low start at £80.
And ten. 120.
170. 180. 190.
At £190, any advance?
So, £190 for the rocking horse, is that OK?
-A little less than we were hoping for?
-Still a lot of money though?
£190 is another result,
just under par, but overall we're doing well.
We have made £610 towards our £1,000 target for Theo's new rifle,
but will our next lot carry home its promise?
I'll start the bidding here at £200. It's on the market.
210. 220. 230.
£250. Are we all done?
Thank you very much.
Result. £250 bang on. I am impressed with your estimates, John.
I am happy, but what's your husband bringing your breakfast in bed on now? The silver tray is gone.
I don't know, John.
It is a sterling result, and the next lot, the jade bird figurine at £30 to £50 sells not long after that
just over its estimate, at £40.
That's good enough.
And the collection of silver dolls' house furniture sells for a whopping £190.
How do you feel about that, because it's from your childhood?
Lovely to play with, but I don't play with them any more. I hope someone gets some fun with them.
You're doing very well here, young man.
We've got our £1,000 target set firmly in our sights.
Next under the hammer is a family heirloom.
Right, now. This is a bit of a piece de resistance, this.
That pocket watch, remind me again where this came from.
It was my father's.
He would wear it to various functions back in the day, but it has not been used for a long time.
But it is different to the average pocket watch, John?
It is. We know what the gold chain is going to make,
but the combination of the chain and the watch with that lovely repeating feature -
an unknown quantity to me, I haven't sold one for a long time. I am excited to see how it does.
We will start straight in here at £350.
At 350. 380. 400.
480. At 480, is bid. Any advance?
On the door at 480. Any advance?
We'll sell it at 480.
500, fresh bidding. 520.
580, standing now.
£580. That's great, hey?
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
We're shell-shocked. That sale nearly reached the top estimate, but will our last lot follow suit?
We have got a 1907 sovereign and a 1905 sovereign. One mounted, one not. Does that make a difference?
Er, only if the mount has damaged the coin.
In which case it'll sell for its bullion weight, but I still think the estimate is OK.
-We should see them get away at that price.
We'll start the bidding here at £100. At 100 I am bid. 110.
120. 130. 140.
160 in front. Yes?
All we need is a nod.
150 behind. 150, seated there.
-240 now, sir. 240.
240 in the middle there. Are we all done?
-That is a very good price. Very good price.
-You're not kidding.
What a fabulous morning. It feels like we have hit the mark and then some, nearly every time.
But just how much have we raised towards the equipment Theo needs to realise his Olympic ambitions?
Remember how much you actually wanted to raise?
-It was £1,000.
Now, it has been a pretty good day,
because you have actually made £1,910!
-That is wonderful.
-So much money.
-Much more than you wanted for Theo. What are you going to do with the extra?
I'll go for lunch with some girlfriends.
After a terrific day at auction, Theodore and Michelle arrive at Colchester Rifle Club,
where, under strictly controlled conditions,
Theo will have one-to-one tuition with a champion British shooter, Kenny Parr.
You must be Theo. I am Kenny Parr, on the British shooting team.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Er, hoping that he is going to be able to help me out a lot and...
He's quite a star, I guess, going to the Olympics and everything.
-Looks pretty good. So, shall we give this a try then?
Olympian Kenny puts Theo through his paces and gives him some pointers.
That was a nine at seven o'clock. If you come up a couple of clicks you'll be in the middle.
OK, that was a ten, that one.
I think today really will give him that extra oomph of really wanting to pursue his shooting more and more
in the hope, in the dream that he will be at the 2012 Olympics.
Mr Theo, another ten. Starting to get the hang of this, aren't we?
I was never expecting to meet anyone like Kenny, well, not yet, anyway.
Er, it has been a good day and, hopefully, I will be able to see him in 2012.
Kenny is very impressed by Theo's practice session.
Looking at these and how long you have been shooting, keep improving like this,
you could have what it takes to be in London.
Well, what a marvellous result. I have got a tip for you. Keep your eye on Theo in the 2012 Olympics.
If you have antiques and collectibles that you'd like to sell at auction
and raise funds for a special project, get in touch with Cash In The Attic.
You will find more details at our website.
We will see you again next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Sixteen-year-old Theo Sowumni has big plans - he's hoping to take part in the 2012 London Olympics. However, his sport is shooting and it's an expensive pastime, so he needs to raise some cash to buy a new top of the range rifle. His mum Michelle has stepped up and offered up her antiques for the cause and the Cash in the Attic team are on hand to ensure they get top dollar at auction.