Beryl Bush is a passionate charity fundraiser, and is hoping to turn some of her much-loved antiques into cash for an important donation to her local Scout group in Kent.
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Welcome to a very blustery Cash In The Attic.
This is the show that searches out all those hidden treasures
in your home and then we sell them at auction.
Today, I've come to Kent and I'm near Maidstone,
so I couldn't pass through without checking out the wonderful Leeds Castle.
Originally built as the Norman stronghold in 1119,
this is arguably one of the prettiest castles in England,
even on a windy day!
It caught the eye of Henry the VIII who made it the Royal Palace for his wife, Catherine of Aragon in 1278.
Over the next 150 years, the castle and its 500 acres of parkland was home
to no less than six queens.
Fortunately for us, Leeds Castle has been open to the public since 1976
and now, of course, is famous for its open-air concerts and falconry shows.
And one thing I bet you didn't know is it's actually home
to the world's only antique dog collar museum,
so let's hope we find plenty of quirky items when we go on the hunt for antiques today.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic,
Paul's doing financial calculations...
-12 and a half pence.
-There we go.
-I think you'll definitely get a profit!
..and he's rather taken a shine to one of the lots.
It's wonderful stuff. I wouldn't mind that myself, actually!
Right, there you are. You've got a bidder already!
And some of the results at auction have us grinning from ear to ear!
Let's hope we'll all still be smiling when the final hammer falls.
I've come to Maidstone
to meet a lady who's always putting others ahead of herself,
but today, she's called in the Cash In The Attic team
and it's about time she went first!
This tidy semi in the heart of Kent is home to charity fundraiser
and talented amateur artist, Beryl Bush.
Beryl and her late husband, Leslie, shared a passion for
collecting ceramics and Victoriana and the evidence is clear to see all around her lovely home.
When she heard about a local cause close to her heart, Beryl decided to turn
some of her collectables into cash, and her daughter Alison is on-hand to help.
-Good morning, Paul.
-How are you?
-Well, thank you.
We've got a lovely lady today.
She's 72 years old and life has never been busier,
so she works in the local community, she loves painting, all sorts of things.
-How does she find time for all that?
-I don't know. She's full of good deeds.
I hope she's got some good antiques for us to look at!
-Let's see if we can find some, shall we?
-This is lovely!
-What a lovely feature in your garden, isn't it?
-Nice to see you.
-And you. How are you, all right?
-Very well, thank you.
I understand you're a lady who does good deeds for others.
What did you have in mind?
Well, this is for the local Scout group,
and they're hoping to build or renovate a new headquarters.
So what sort of figure do you have in mind?
It would be great if we could manage £500.
-So have you ever been to auction before?
They all grew up in auction rooms!
-Oh, did you? How fantastic!
-They're still blowing off the dust!
I think we'd better leave the garden and the very tranquil pond and go and hit the rummage.
Come on and find out!
It certainly sounds like a very worthwhile cause
and I have a feeling this auction addict will have a wealth of items for us to choose from.
Luckily, we've got Paul Hayes on hand to steer us in the right direction.
He's got a passion for collectables of all shapes and sizes, but we find him with food on his mind.
Aah, Mr Hayes, there you are!
There we are! How are you? Nice to meet you.
-Oh, these are lovely!
-Yeah, they are!
-Are these items you picked up at auction?
These actually came from friends of ours who have an antique business,
or had - I think they've retired now.
-They are lovely, aren't they?
-Certainly. This goes back to a different time.
These are cheese bells. I don't know whether you've heard that expression.
-They get the name because the tops... actually sound like a bell.
Underneath would be a huge piece of Stilton or rare cheese,
and that would allow it to sit on the sideboard and breathe.
It's quite an important part of the Victorian culture -
these are different factories. The main one, when you look at these, you think of Wedgwood.
And Wedgwood was the big inspiration, really, for these items,
but 100% of all Wedgwood items are marked, and there isn't markings on these -
potentially, they could be one of a number of factories.
Different styles - the neo-classical, inspired from the Wedgwood -
it's an unglazed form called Jasperware,
and it gives a great surface to apply these mouldings to it.
But then in the 19th century, the Victorians were obsessed with nature.
-Everything was very much the celebration of the plough...
Yeah, a hunting scene on that one, so everything, really, tells a story.
But if I was to say at least £250, up to about £400 for those -
-how does that sound?
-OK, so are you happy with that?
I like them, but they've gotta go, so let somebody else enjoy them.
That's the attitude. Nearly half our target in the first item!
This house could prove to be a real Aladdin's cave,
which should stand us in good stead for that £500.
Alison has started her search upstairs -
it looks like she's inherited her mum's knack for antiques
when she finds this collection of silver spoons and salt servers.
Paul values them to a very tidy £70 to £100.
Meanwhile, back downstairs our expert has found something that's got him rather excited.
That's beautiful, isn't it?
Well, this is actually inlaid marble. It's called Pietre Dura.
-Have you heard of that before?
Right, so did you actually buy this out in Italy, or...?
-No. It belonged to my sister, my sister Iris...
-..and she found it on a junk stall in Brixton Market.
There was a time when you could pick up items like this fairly reasonably,
but what used to happen is they would go out to Florence and Venice and Rome
and you would see these wonderful sites. It's part of the grand tour.
They used to make these like a tourism piece.
You would buy examples of that work.
Now if you can imagine they started with a slice of black marble, and then very delicately,
they carved out the shape, in this case, the flower,
and then replaced the surface with a contrasting marble.
This one looks like it's mounted in silver, perhaps platinum, but I suggest silver
and the top here is overlaid with gold, so it gives a wonderful quality to it.
-How old do you think that is?
-I think this is quite old.
I'd say at least 1900, if not sort of 1880, that sort of time.
-She didn't buy it new, she bought it in a second-hand market?
-Yeah, two and sixpence.
-So how does that translate in modern money?
-12 and a half pence.
12 and a half pence? There we go!
-I think you'll definitely get a profit!
That's been a sound investment and I think you could be looking...
at least £70 to £100, that sort of price.
That's brilliant, absolutely brilliant!
-That sound all right?
-It does, absolutely!
The brooch adds another tidy sum towards the Scout hut fund.
There's another welcome addition when Alison
finds this art glass candlestick holder,
originally made in Sweden, and Paul thinks it could make us £15 to £25.
We're flying towards that £500 target,
so I take our busy fundraiser aside for a quick chat.
So tell me how you got involved in charity work?
Well, to celebrate the Millennium, I went on a cruise.
On the cruise, I saw a whole lot of poverty around the world...
Mexico, shanty towns in South Africa, just generally...
and came back thinking that I had far too much, and that I should do something,
and that because I had been told my artwork was good enough to sell,
that maybe I could do something in that way,
you know, among other things,
and I'm very pleased to say that, thanks to my wonderful family and my church family
and the people of Maidstone, and my friends, to date,
-we have sent over £41,000 abroad.
-That's amazing, isn't it!
Not just from the artwork, but that's part of it.
The charity we're talking about is closer to home because it involves the Scouts,
so how did you get involved in that one?
One of my neighbours, her husband Ray was the leader of our local Scout troop
and he recently... he tragically died,
and he was much loved and very much missed - a very, very popular leader.
And they were in need of a new Scout hut
and I thought it would be a good thing to do to put some towards that,
because I know it's a lot of money and keeps me out of mischief!
I hope it hasn't kept Paul out of mischief -
we could do with him getting up to mischief and finding lots of stuff, couldn't we?
-We could, yes.
-Shall we see how he's getting on?
Well, luckily, Paul is still hard at work,
and in the living room, he spots these colourful pink glass vases,
which get packed off to auction with an equally colourful
£50 to £80 price tag.
Meanwhile, Alison has found a rather exciting-looking lot.
That's absolutely beautiful! So is this your mum's?
Yes, yes. I think my father gave it to her at some point in time for an anniversary present.
-I think the quality... It's definitely one Paul should look at. Paul, are you there?
-We've found a lovely pendant, really lovely!
Look at that bejewelled acorn!
Oh, that's fabulous! Look at that! This is rose gold.
Now it's instantly recognisable by this wonderful pink rose colour.
It's obtained by mixing the gold with copper -
the redness of the copper and the gold together gives it this distinctive colour.
The reason they do that is that if you use this in its pure state -
gold is very, very soft - so to make this little acorn here,
the whole thing would just collapse if you grabbed hold of it,
so it's more durable by adding materials.
And that's classed as nine-carat gold,
so these here are semi-precious stones.
If this would have been in 18-carat gold,
you would have diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires -
it would be extremely, extremely expensive, but what we've got here are seed pearls.
You've got turquoise, you've got garnets and you've got peridots.
OK, so that's a nice example. I'd say at least...
Well, you've got two values. You've got somebody that would buy it for the gold content
but also the intrinsic value is beautiful - it's a nice example, isn't it?
So if I said at least the £200 mark upwards,
you could be looking at as much as £300 or £400 for that little lot.
If she decides to put it in, that is a very generous donation towards the Scout hut.
-It's lovely, really nice piece.
-You look after that, and let's see if we can find something else.
-I'll take it.
Wow! Another massive addition towards our £500 target.
Beryl really does have an eye for antiques.
I carry on the search and find another piece of jewellery to auction.
It might not be as weighty as the necklace, but this pretty silver spaniel-shaped brooch
adds £10 to £15 to our kitty.
And downstairs, Paul has spotted one of Beryl's favourite collections.
So, I've got to ask you, where have all these jugs come from?
Well, everywhere. Presents from friends, from junk shops,
from market stalls, from antiques shops.
-How long have you been collecting them?
-More than 30 years.
What was the fascination with these types of jugs?
I just loved the shapes of them,
and the very fact that so much workmanship went into what is an everyday article,
which was used by all sorts of households, not just wealthy people.
The basic idea was, we're so used to, these days, buying beer in cans and bottles,
buying wine in bottles, buying milk in bottles...
Well, nothing came packaged or bottled, or very rarely.
You would have had hand carts with churns on,
people taking their jugs out to them and buying in situ.
Exactly right. Were they expensive when you bought them originally?
-No. I've never paid more than £18 for a single jug.
You bought quite well then, actually.
I mean, I've paid sort of £30, £40, at least, for jugs like this.
I think what you've got is a great collection of 19th-century useful items.
Obviously, we don't want to sell all of them?
-What if we were to get a selection together to the value of, say,
-£200 worth? I mean, how does that sound?
-So have a think on that, then?
-Yes, I would think about it.
It will tug at Beryl's heartstrings to part with any of those jugs,
but what a fantastic addition to our target if she does decide to send any to auction.
Beryl also decides to let these bird figurines fly the nest.
Made in Germany by the famous Goebel Porcelain Company,
they're based on the artwork of a nun called Berta Hummel.
They head off to auction with a £20 to £30 price tag.
It's almost the end of our day with Beryl and Alison,
but not before Paul's made one final find.
What a fantastic book! Look at that,
the Great Exhibition 1851. Was this something that your mum bought?
That's not something she bought, that's something her sister gave her.
-My aunt had that, I think, from her mother-in-law.
This was founded by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband,
and he was a great patron of the arts and the sciences,
and what he decided to do was to get all the world's businesses and inventors together under one roof
and that become known as the Crystal Palace,
this huge conservatory that they built which was re-housed.
They dismantled it and re-housed it in Sydenham - that became Crystal Palace.
-That's where they get the name from.
-But what's lovely about this,
it has all the names of the people who did the exhibitions,
all the designs and fashions of the day,
and it was the best of the best. It is absolutely incredible.
But with books, it's all about condition. If I just fold this up -
these illustrations could be used, people could frame those I suppose,
or do something with them, but the binding, unfortunately, has gone completely, hasn't it?
-We've got a cover missing.
-Yeah. Do you think this is sentimental to your mum?
I don't think she would be unwilling to part with it, that's the thing.
-All right. Well, I think it's quite a sellable item, actually. Let's go and ask her. Beryl?
-Just in time. I've found an interesting old book.
-Oh, yes, the 1851 Exhibition.
-There you go!
-Crikey! It's seen better days,
if you don't mind me saying. Will it help towards our target?
-It certainly will. If it's OK with you...
..I would like to put this into auction with an estimate of at least £30.
-Up to about £50. Does that sound all right?
-Sounds very good.
Quite a fascinating read, I would imagine!
-Wonderful stuff. I wouldn't mind that myself!
-There, a bidder already!
OK, well, you wanted £500, didn't you? To go towards the Scouts.
The value of everything going to auction comes to £715.
-That's amazing, that's really good!
That doesn't include your jugs,
but if you DID decide to send those to auction, that's another £200,
so it would top it right up to £915.
-Oh, aah, well, that's another story!
-So, let's hope on auction day
we can do our very best and get top prices for everything.
Thanks very much indeed. I look forward to that.
We've been really spoilt for choice here today.
Beryl's life of collecting has resulted in a wonderful selection of items for auction.
We're hoping the bidders will take a shine
to the rose gold necklace which Paul valued at £200.
We've all got high hopes for the Wedgwood-style cheese bells,
which are our highest-valued lot at £250 to £400.
Will Beryl be able to part with some of her beloved jug collection?
Paul thinks they could make us another £200
IF they get to the sale room.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
Beryl knows precisely the type of bidder she's hoping for in the sale room.
Yes, well, what we need is a cheesemonger!
-Good point, Beryl!
But she's keeping her eye firmly on the goal.
It would buy a Boy Scout's toggle!
So, will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
Now it's a couple of weeks since we met the energetic Beryl Bush at her home in Maidstone
and we found lots of lovely items to bring here to Chiswick Auction House in West London.
Remember, she's looking to raise around £500
as a contribution to the building of a new Scout hut,
so let's just hope that when the items go under the hammer today, the bidders are feeling very generous.
There's a wonderful selection of items for sale. The bidders are eagerly giving them the once-over.
Paul Hayes is here too, of course, and I find him with his nose buried in a book.
-Hello, how are you?
-Fine, thanks. That's lovely!
Would you like to buy the latest Emperor's vase?
It's for sale in 1851! What a great book!
-It is. So we're happy that that's going in?
I'll be interested to see what money the lovely necklace makes. You know, the acorn?
-It's so unusual.
Jewellery is doing very, very well at the moment.
The struggling point we might have today are the Stilton cheese bells.
-They're slightly old-fashioned, but we'll see how they get on.
I'll be intrigued to see if she's brought the jugs.
I think she's going to think about those.
Let's meet her and see if she has brought them.
Well, there's only one way to find out.
The sale room is really filling up now but it doesn't take us long
to find Beryl and Alison in the midst of all the activity.
-Now, we love these. I think they're absolutely fantastic, great...
-So do we!
I just hope somebody spots the quality that's there.
Hmm, hmm. Yes, well, what we need is a cheesemonger...
-Good point, Beryl!
-..who has a speciality cheese shop.
-There we are.
Of course, what we don't know is
-whether or not you decided to bring any or all of the jugs?
-No, no jugs.
Oh, OK, and what's the reasoning behind that?
They're not in fashion, and I still like them!
Let's hope there's plenty of people that can see the quality we've brought along.
-And give us some good bids.
-Come on, let's get in position, ready for the auction.
Remember auction houses charge commission and other fees when you buy and sell with them
so always check the details when you visit.
The auction is about to start so we find a spot
in the corner of the room and get ready for the excitement to begin.
Luckily, we don't have to wait long for our first lot.
We've got small white metal salts,
-a set of Art Nouveau teaspoons and two other items?
It sounds like a great lot, actually, for a speculative buyer
-so I'm looking for about £70 to give them a chance, really.
Right, so they're on.
Are they worth £30?
Start me with 30, 35, 40,
£40 to those, at £40...
for the silver items, 45 there, £45, £50.
55. In the room, then, at £55.
I'm gonna sell them at 55.
At £55, they're going, then. 55.
Oh. Well, that's 55, OK. All right, OK, at least 55.
It's a bit of a disappointing start.
We need the sale room to dig deeper for the rest of our lots
if we're going to get Beryl £500.
Maybe the continental silver Spaniel brooch
will have a bit more luck finding a new owner.
Paul valued it at £10 to £15.
Lot 28, the little silver brooch. £10, please. £10 for the brooch,
£5. £5 I'm bid. £5, selling for £5.
-There we go.
It would buy a Boy Scout's toggle!
That's the spirit, Beryl.
It may be under-estimate, but every pound counts.
Hopefully, the glass candlestick holder
will light our way back towards the target.
-We've got 15 to 25 on this, Paul?
-Yeah, and that's really cheap,
but the auctioneer has to be dead straight
and say there's a bit of damage on this,
-so 15 to 25 is a fair estimate.
That little item there. Is it worth £10? £10, can't go lower than £10.
-Nobody want them?
-Passing the lot for £10.
-No, it's unsold.
-That's unsold, I'm afraid!
-It just goes to show the tiniest of damage on things...
That's definitely not the result we were looking for.
The bidders are proving to be a very cautious crowd today, but surely,
the lovely 1850s book won't suffer a similar fate?
36A is the illustrated exhibitor, a bound volume of magazines.
Lot 36A, there we go. What's it worth?
Start me for a ten pound note, somebody for £10?
Anybody want this lot for £10? Can't really sell it for less, I'm afraid.
I know it's slightly distressed. Anybody want it for £10?
No? Passing it, I'm afraid, then, for ten.
I've a feeling nobody's viewed it.
-Look at the cover, it doesn't look like anything.
What a shame the bidders didn't give Beryl's book
a closer inspection, but we're glad it didn't sell
for such a small amount.
Things aren't going as well as we hoped so far,
and after four lots, we've only managed to raise £60 towards our £500
for Beryl's Scout hut donation.
Next to try its luck on the rostrum is the pretty mosaic brooch
which Paul valued at £70 to £100.
What am I bid for that? £30 to go?
30, 35, 40, 5, 50. £50 I'm bid, over there at £50.
At £50 then.
-Oh, well, never mind, on the day...
-Swings and roundabouts.
Still a profit on 2s 6d, I'm sure!
It's a bit under-estimate but we're glad to bank a few pounds at last,
especially after two unsold lots.
We hope it's a sign the bidders are finally waking up as our bird figurines look
like they might find new homes.
A little bit of interest in these already,
so I'm starting at £25, we're in at £25.
25, 30, 35, do you want 40?
£35 still with me.
At £35, I've a bid of £35.
On the book at £35 and selling for 35.
Now that's more like it. The birds are followed swiftly
by the pair of pink vases
which don't quite make their £50 to £80 estimate...
£28 seated there, at £28.
I'm going to sell them at 28.
At £28, they're going then. £28.
..but still add another few pounds towards our target.
With the sale room seemingly picking up a gear,
it's time for our most highly-valued lots to take centre stage.
I love these cheese domes.
-How has the auctioneer worked these lots?
-Well, what he's done is
he's put the two blue and white ones in together
-and the two stoneware ones in together.
-Now we wanted about 250 for all four.
It'll be interesting to see what the effect is overall. First lot coming up.
Lovely quality, these. A bit of interest in them, nevertheless.
-I'm already bid £130, with me at £130...
..for the cheese domes. £130.
140, 150 with me.
At £150. It's still with me at £150.
£160 there, £170 with me, 180. It's still on the book then at £170.
It's a left bid at £170.
At £170, those two cheese domes.
-£170, and that's just for the two blue ones.
It's a fantastic start, and as the second pair
comes under the hammer, it looks
like the collectors aren't done yet.
Like the last, but a different colour, 299A. Nice quality.
What are they worth? Are they worth £100?
-Start me for £80. £80, £85, £90, £95...
-Come on, come on!
110? £120, £120 there, and £120,
anybody else? £120. 120.
That takes our total for the four cheese covers to a brilliant £290.
The room finally seems up to speed
and we're hoping it bodes well for our final lot, which I have to say
is one of my favourites. I think this is gorgeous.
I just love the acorn in it. I think it's fantastic.
-I do know she had a reserve on this...
-What's the reserve for that?
-Fine. Let's see what happens.
310A is the necklace with the acorn pendant
and there's, predictably, a lot of interest.
-There you are!
-I'm bid already £200 for it.
-We need to start off at £200.
-At least £200!
£200, £210, £220, £230,
£240, £250, £260, £270,
£280, £290, £300, £320,
£340, £360, £380, £400.
£400 for it, at £400 - 20 I'll take. £420,
£480, £500 with me. Do you want £520?
With me at £500, there's a left bid of 500 on the book.
£500, at £500, then, left bid £500.
-That's not bad, and you were worried about it selling for £200!
-Oh, yeah, that's a relief!
Beryl was a little lost for words after that sale,
giving us the entire target amount in just one lot.
After this rollercoaster day, it's time for the moment of truth.
Now, you wanted to raise £500, didn't you? As a contribution towards the new Scout hut.
-How do you think it went?
Some of the other things didn't do so well, but I've been so interested,
-I've lost track of what they made. I can't tell you, no idea!
-I can tell you.
You've actually made...
That's really good, isn't it? I'm really pleased for you.
That's a lot more than you wanted - I hope you're gonna have some of that money,
hold it back and treat yourself.
-No, none of it back. It's all going to the Scouts.
Two weeks after she raised that fantastic £963,
Beryl has come to visit the local Scout Group in their old hut
and reflect on her auction success.
I am really happy with the auction result
and I'm so pleased to say that it will be going towards the activities for the children.
You can see how happy they are in here,
and I'm sure that they're gonna be
even more happy in their big new quarters when it's finished.
They'll be able to store their cycles in there,
Seeing the plans for the building,
Beryl can see how her contribution will really help the group.
I've just been very privileged
to be able to help out in whatever way I can.
Guys, how excited are you about having a new Scout hut?
Well, what a fantastic inspiration Beryl is.
All that money she raised from the auction going to benefit the Scouts.
If you've got a project in mind that you'd like to raise some funds for
by selling your antiques and collectables at auction,
then why not get in touch with Cash In The Attic?
You'll find more details online.
We'll see you again next time.
For more information about Cash In The Attic,
including how the programme was made, visit the website at bbc.co.uk
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