Series looking at the value of household junk. Graphic designers Jo and Julian Potter want help turning the wealth of collectables they have inherited from Jo's parents into cash.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the programme that joins you
in the hunt for antiques and collectibles around your home
and then sells them with you at auction.
Today, I'm in Nottinghamshire, in the East Midlands, and of course,
when you say Nottingham, just one name springs to mind.
The exploits of Robin Hood are known the world over and celebrated throughout the city.
At Nottingham Castle, there's an exhibition dedicated to the myth and history surrounding his adventures.
Although real facts are scarce, stories of his cunning and agility
and fight for justice during the reign of Richard I,
have been handed down over 900 years.
Well, I can assure you our aim is going to be true today,
when we go in search of our own treasures to take to auction
and we should have no problem hitting the target.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, a family with Christmas on their minds.
So that'll pay for you to see Father Christmas.
You'll be buying him presents at that rate.
Jonty's keeping everything crossed for good results.
-Yeah. Happy with that?
-On a wing and a prayer, maybe a bit more.
And we're all in for some exciting moments, come auction day.
That was terrific. But will we still be smiling when the final hammer falls?
I'm just an arrow's flight south of Nottingham
and I'm about to meet a family who've called in
the Cash In The Attic team to help them fund a really special treat
that has a very wintry feel to it.
Jo and Julian Potter and their six-year-old son, Louis,
are looking after this lovely cottage in Nottinghamshire which belong to Jo's parents.
Jo's father sadly died last year
and her mother has recently moved into a care home,
leaving Jo and Julian with a house full of their possessions to deal with.
But they've decided that the time has come to sort through the lifetime of collectibles
and use some of the cash for a very special family trip. Morning, Jonty.
-How are you?
-I'm very well. It's appropriate I should find you under
the greenwood tree cos I joined Robin Hood's gang, this morning.
Well, I'm certainly one of your merry men. In fact,
I could be Little John.
No. No. You're my Big Jonty.
Never Little John. But we've got a houseful of some fab stuff.
-Shall we get started?
-Jo, Julian and Louis, are you playing with some of Mummy's old toys there?
We've got two horses and a carriage of four wheels.
-So you're reliving some of your memories.
Now, why have you called in Cash In The Attic, Jo?
Well, sadly, I've lost my dad and it's my 40th birthday next year and it's our tenth wedding anniversary.
And we were hoping to take Louis for Lapland for Christmas.
And I know Dad would have liked to have done something for us,
so it's a way of, you know, enjoying some time with Louis, really.
-So, ski lessons as well, before he goes to Lapland?
-I'd like to.
-I don't think Nottingham is exactly known for its snow-covered peaks, is it?
So where's he going to learn to ski?
Locally, there's a few snow domes nearby that we could go there and
try a few lessons out and see how he goes, really.
How much do you reckon this is going to cost?
-If we could just raise 500 towards, that'll be fantastic.
-Get us going.
So you've got a houseful of stuff...
-Ready to go to auction.
-So that Louis can get on his skis.
-Well, I tell you what, Louis, I want you to get your skates on now
cos we're going to go and find Jonty and see what we can take to auction.
It's a great idea to turn family heirlooms into skiing lessons for the youngest member of the family.
So we need to pull out all the stops on our search today.
Here to lead the antiques expedition is our expert, Jonty Hearnden, who's had a lifelong passion
for collectibles and we find him hard at work.
Ah, there we are, Louis.
-And what have you got there?
Well, have a look at this. This is wonderful.
So where did it come from, Jo?
I always remember it being in the house and remember it as a little girl, as well.
And Mum telling me about it and being interested in it
cos of all the bright colours in it.
I don't know where she actually bought it from
or where she got it from but she's had it a long, long time.
What did she tell you about it?
Just that it was worth something and I don't really know why she said
that when I was little but I do remember her saying that.
Generically, what we're looking at here is a Staffordshire group.
And these figures were produced for the masses in the early part of the
19th century through into the latter half of the 19th century.
But I suspect that this is not a Staffordshire group,
but it's possibly a Chinese import.
I say that because when I turn it around on the back...
you've got this distinctive Chinese crackle glazing.
Now, what's happened over the last 20, 30 years, that a lot of these
have been copied and flooded the UK market.
-Is that a copy?
-that this is probably not an early 19th century group of figures.
I think this is probably 20, 30 years old
so when it was bought by your parents,
I think that this would have been new rather than 150 years old.
It could be worth hundreds but I don't think it is.
Therefore we're looking at £30, 40, that sort of ball park.
Jonty's being cautious but that's £30 banked, already.
With a £500 target though, we've got a lot more rummaging to do.
And Julian has started his search upstairs and comes up trumps straightaway
when he finds this brass ship's clock which Jonty values at £30-50.
Jo and Jonty are continuing their search downstairs.
-There's another room through here.
-Wow. Look at all this.
And loads and loads of Toby jugs,
which are found all over the house, all hanging up, everywhere.
-Hence the reason why you've got hooks on there.
I've just put them all together. Don't know if they're of any interest.
Well, they were first introduced in the mid-18th century, around 1760, 1770.
And they all have this seated character holding
a jug of beer.
From the mid-18th century, they've never really gone out of fashion.
And they've always been repeated
in different shapes, different sizes, different colourings.
And more often than not, you can still pick them up on the market cheaply.
-That's why people collect them, because they really do have bags of character.
-So can we sell them?
-Well, what we need to do is gather all of these up.
Need them to be carefully packed. Shipped off to the auction room.
And if we've got any other bits and pieces, certainly,
that are similar sort of to what I would say character-style ceramics.
-Put them all in together.
So, not only have we got loads of Toby jugs but other items as well.
-And I'm sure we're looking at around the £60 mark, maybe 60 to maybe even £100.
-It will all add up.
It certainly does. And there's another addition to our fund
when I find this antique telephone
which Jonty packs off to auction at £30-50.
While Jonty continues rummaging, I catch up with our snow-loving family.
I can see what you mean about having a clear-out.
You've got a load of stuff in this house.
-Lots and lots of things.
-You could say that.
Your mum and dad were obviously hoarders of all sorts of stuff.
-It's all round us.
-Yeah. Used to collect lots of different things.
Yeah. Lots to sort.
But I've noticed lots of paintings around the house.
Your mum was very artistic, wasn't she?
Yeah. She loved drawing and painting and making things
and she's made a lot of things with Louis as well.
She was an art teacher and ceramic teacher.
So, yeah, there's lots of things she's made and done. Yeah.
-How about your dad?
-No. Not really.
But he was very clever.
He used to make a lot of things.
He made me a train that went all the way
from the top of the garden right to the bottom of the garden.
So your dad was not the artistic one, your mum was, but you both
met through art really, didn't you, being at the same college, Julian?
That's right. Yeah. We met down in Loughborough College.
We were studying graphic design, so we both worked in the industry,
sort of thing and we've been together since what...
about 17, 18...
-Nearly 20 years now.
So what's the thing you're looking forward to most about being able to ski together
once Louis becomes as proficient as we all know he's going to be?
Being as a family altogether, as opposed to him going to lessons
and it'd be nice to get over there and do it altogether, as a group, basically.
We'll enjoy each other's company and skiing together.
Well, if we're going to get this family on to the slopes, we need to get back to work.
Jonty certainly isn't letting the side down when he unearths
this autograph book featuring stars such as George Formby.
Our expert hopes that it could make £50-80 at auction.
And our ski lesson fund gets topped up by another £40-80
when Jo finds this set of 14 encyclopedias in the living room.
But items of interest aren't just confined to the house and Julian's keen to show
off one of his late father-in-law's favourite possessions.
This is what I was telling you about. It was his pride and joy.
We all sat in the living room, late at night and he lit it all up,
got all the pumps working and water coming out the lions
and as I say, it looked really impressive, to have it all lit up
at night and the water glistening, so he was very, very proud of it.
This is a proper garden feature, isn't it?
Water feature, because not only have you got the water coming spouting through the top here,
through this bunch of flowers, but they come through the four masks applied to the central column here.
So you can imagine just how impressive that would have been.
It's a wonderful thing.
So is this based on, what...sort of 18th, 19th century garden ornaments?
It's a kind of mish-mash of ideas.
On the top, you have an 18th century style floral basket.
Down below, we have these, certainly 18th century, lion mask heads,
but then, if you look at the trough, this is more Victorian in feel.
So if it did go to auction, what do you reckon it might be worth?
It has to be £100, £200.
If two people really wanted this, the sky's the limit.
So what do you think? Do we take this to auction or not?
I'll have to ask my wife.
Make it her decision. It was her father's.
I'll have to think about that. I'll have to discuss it with her.
Well, it's obviously a sentimental item but what a great addition
to our fund if it does make it to auction...
although they will have to think carefully about how to get it there.
Inside, the youngest member of the family is pitching in
and finds cast iron novelty money boxes which Jonty values at £40-60.
And back from the garden, Jonty and Julian are tackling one of the bedrooms.
Julian, can you tell me anything about this chair?
Not much, really. It's always been in the house, in places.
It's been covered in cushions.
-I think that my mother-in-law was given it by a friend.
-Apart from that, not much else.
-It's called a prayer chair, or a Prie Dieu and that is French for pray to God.
So it literally is a kneeling stool with a high back.
But the most amazing thing about this chair is the fabric that it's covered in.
All of this is handstitched, so you can imagine the length of time this would have taken to do.
Quite extraordinary really, if you think about it.
And what tends to happen with these chairs is because you've got so much
leverage on the top here, that they tend to do this.
Listen to this.
Can you hear creaking, rolling?
That's an issue with these chairs and as a consequence, the only way to mend that properly is to take the
whole back frame to bits
and to re-glue the dowels and pegs, at the back of the chair,
-so there's quite a bit of work involved in doing just that.
Because we need that extra work doing to it,
I can't get you top dollar at all, but it's still going to be, you know, £40-60, that sort of ball park.
-I'm fine with that.
-Yeah. Happy with that.
On a wing and a prayer, maybe a bit more.
Top marks for the fund, Jonty, if not the joke.
It's nearly the end of our day's rummaging but Jo has one final lot for our expert to cast his eye over.
What do you think of this?
That's an amazing... what an amazing collection.
-Yes. There's quite a few.
-Whose are these?
-Well, my granddad used to collect them.
-And my dad really liked them so he's carried on collecting.
-Now, of course, I'm sure that you are aware that we're looking at crested ware here.
And of course, the reason why it's called crested ware
is because if you look closely, there is a crest of every town
and almost every city in the UK by the looks of it here.
But the whole point of these was to bring them back as tourist pieces,
so wherever you visited over the UK, you could come back with a little bone china ornament.
Yeah. Like a little remembrance...
-It's a memento. So it's equivalent of the Brighton rock, of its day, really.
So let's have a look at this one.
Now, that's a lot of fun. On the front, we've got the crest of Hitchin, that's Hertfordshire.
-But on the top here, we've got a seated cat squashing three little kittens in the basket.
Yes. He's left all the prices on of how much he paid.
-Has he really?
Well, I don't think we can get your father's investment back, that's for sure.
But I think it's a fabulous collection nonetheless.
So my hunch of how I would value this whole collection, at the moment,
is that we're looking between £200-400 at auction. How do you feel about that?
As long as it, perhaps, had a reserve on so it can't go for, you know, not a lot.
-We can certainly do that and we can organise that for you on the day, as well.
£200-400. That's music to my ears, I can tell you, because all today,
I have been listening in while Jonty has been looking at various things
around the house and doing a mental tot up of all the lowest
estimates that he's given you and I can tell you that if we add them
all together and add that £200...
you wanted to raise £500...
well, you're not going to raise £500, Louis.
You're going to raise £520, but it gets better,
because if you decide to take the fountain out in the garden which
has got a minimum of £100 tag on it, that means we could make £620.
Wow. That's really good.
So that'll pay for a trip to see Father Christmas.
You'll be buying him presents at that rate.
Well, many hands certainly made light work today
and between the five of us,
we've come up with a great collection of items to send to auction.
We're hoping the bidders take a shine to the Victorian Prayer Chair,
which Jonty valued at £40-60,
despite needing a bit of restoration.
And there's a massive part of our target riding on that
collection of crested ware, with its £200-400 price tag.
But we'll have to wait until auction day to see whether Jo
and Julian decide to part with the stone fountain.
Valued at £100-200, it could be an important lot.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, a quick history lesson for Louis.
You don't even know who George Formby is, do you?
But Jo's just hoping that all the lots will find new owners.
I just don't want to have to take them home.
Right. Well, I'm sure you won't. Here they go.
So, will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
It's been a couple of weeks now since we joined Jo, Julian
and their delightful son, Louis, at Jo's family home
where we found a whole clutch of antiques and collectibles
which we brought here to Liverpool to sell today at Cato Crane Auctioneers.
Now, remember their goal is £500 so they can take young Louis
on some skiing lessons and then a trip to the snowy north
to meet Father Christmas.
He can't wait and frankly, neither can I.
So let's hope that everyone in the auction room
gets really excited today when their items go under the hammer.
Some early bidders are already arriving at the sale room
and I'm hoping that Jo and Julian's items will attract lots of interest.
One man who's giving them his full attention is our expert, Jonty Hearnden.
-Praying for a good day at auction today?
I always pray for a good day at the auction.
But we should have a nice day because we've got some really nice things from the Potters.
We do. The Goss collection is fabulous, but the market has gone
a little bit soft on that so I'm a bit concerned.
And the other thing I'm concerned about is the fact that there's no fountain here.
-Well, it was very heavy.
-I grant them that.
Yes. That's very true.
So, maybe, it just proved a little bit too much.
Yes. If that's the case, that's the case and it'll have to stay in the garden.
But do we think that we're going to make our target today?
I'm a little bit concerned.
-I'm a little bit nervous about today.
Well, I wonder if the family are.
Shall we go and find out? Come on.
Well, Jonty's sounding cautious, but hopefully, his fears
will be unfounded and the bidders will be prepared to dig deep today.
We find out family checking out how their lots look in the sale room.
Hi, Jo and Julian. And Louis, as well.
-You're keeping an eye on things, are you?
-Here's our man.
Yes. Now, all of your stuff is here and I see we've got the crested ware all split up into groups.
That's a good way to sell it, is it?
The auctioneer's decided that's the best way because you can sell it
as one big collection but when it comes to crested ware like this,
it makes sense to split them up into smaller lots, simply because you have such a massive collection.
I don't see the fountain anywhere. What happened to it, Julian?
We did try and bring it. We wanted to bring it.
I dismantled it, took the pumps out, got all the lights out, but we just couldn't shift it out the bottom.
It was all concreted in. I just couldn't move it, so I had to put it all back together again.
So, your dad intended it was going to be a permanent fixture.
I think so. Definitely. Yeah.
And everything else, Louis, is here, is it? Have you checked it all out?
-What do you think?
-Really cool, actually.
That's what the snow is going to be too, and that's where we'll get you.
-So shall we go and take our places?
If you're planning on heading to your local auction house,
be aware that commission and possible other charges will be added to your bill,
so always check the details with the sale room first.
With a packed room, we take our places just in time as our brass
ship's clock goes under the hammer. We're hoping for £30-50.
20 is bid. 20. 25. 30.
-Someone's bid on it.
£40 is bid. 40. All done now at £40.
Go on. 40. And 50 down the room.
£50. Right down the room at 50. All done.
-Top end of your estimate.
What a fantastic way to start our day.
I hope it bodes well for the rest of our lots
as we really do want to get the £500 for Louis's ski lessons.
The Staffordshire-style figure is up next.
What do we say, £10 for it, anybody?
Ten, somebody, please. Quickly. Anybody at all. There's no bid.
No bid, whatsoever. £10 down there.
£10 is bid. £10 is bid.
-You win some, you lose some.
It's a disappointing result but Jo's being pragmatic.
Next to try its luck on the rostrum is the Ericsson telephone
which Jonty valued at £30-50.
£20 should be bid right away.
20. And five. And 30, sir. And five.
And 40. And I'm going to sell at £40.
At £40 on my right. All done at 40.
-That was good.
-Right in the middle.
It's a solid result and we're all pleased to have another
few pounds in the ski lesson fund.
But will the Victorian prayer chair have similar success?
Where do we start the bidding? £40. 50. £50 is bid.
Are you all bid, sir, at £50?
All done at 50.
It's another strong result.
The bidders do seem to be on our side today
so will they be star-struck by our next lot?
It's the autograph book which Jonty valued at £50-80.
And who have we got in there?
We've got Trudy Walker. Oh, George Formby's in there, isn't he?
Yeah. Yes. So hopefully, fingers crossed, we'll see.
Bet you don't even know who George Formby is, do you?
So that doesn't matter, but I bet whoever buys it does.
OK. We have interesting lots, interesting bidding on here.
-£50 is bid, right away. 50. All done at 50?
£50 straight in. 50.
80. £90 is bid. 90.
90. 100. And ten. 120.
-All done at £120 now and I'm going to sell at £120.
-Fantastic. That was terrific.
What a surprise. Selling for way over Jonty's original estimate.
Jo's mum's autographs really did us proud.
We're over halfway through the sale and making steady progress towards that £500 for Louis's ski lessons.
But we need to keep up the pace as we've another four lots to go.
It's Jo's mum's extensive collection of Toby jugs up next.
Were there any in the collection that you particularly like, Julian?
Not at all. No. I don't like any of them.
-Not really. No. Not particularly fussed.
I just don't want to have to take them home.
Right. Well, I'm sure you won't. Here they go.
Start the bidding at £30.
£30 is bid now. 30. 30. 35, anyone?
35 is bid, now. Thank you. 40.
40 is bid. 40.
All done at £40. 45, I'm looking for.
45. 45, anywhere? Come on.
40's the best we can do today.
£40 then. All done at 40. 40 is bid.
-There's relief in that.
-Yeah! I can see that.
It's another few pounds to add to our coffers.
They may have sold short of the estimate
but Jo's just glad they've found a new home.
Will she feel the same about the set of encyclopedias
which struggled to entice the bidders to dig deep?
I'm going to sell at £5, ladies and gentlemen.
Bargain of the year so far.
-£5, then. Young lady's bid on the front row.
-Do you mind that?
That's just a fraction of their estimate and a tiny step towards our target.
But after our successful morning, Jo and Julian don't seem to mind.
Maybe the set of novelty money boxes will earn us a few more pounds.
I've got 30, sir. Five. I've got 40.
Five. £40 with me. And five, the gentleman at the back.
45, there. 45.
£45. Would you like 50, sir?
There is a bid there. £45.
50, anywhere? All done then at £45.
All done, this time.
More money in the kitty and a new home for the money boxes.
That's more like it.
Our day at auction is nearly over
but not before our final lot goes under the hammer.
It's the massive collection of crested ware
which the auctioneer's split into eight separate lots.
You put what, £200-400 on the total lot.
Do you think we might do really well by having these different lots, Jonty?
We've just got to see where the market goes.
I think he's been very clever to split them up into smaller lots
because I think we could eke out a bit more money in the room.
But we just won't know. That's the amazing thing about auctioneers
or the auction room, is that we've just got to wait and see.
We'll see what happens when the first ten come up, which they're about to.
And we'll start the bidding at £15 for these.
Ten, if you like. £10 is bid. Ten.
15. 20 with you and I'll sell. £20, now.
Any advance. 22.
22, anyone? £20 for the first lot.
It's not a bad start. And as the next few lots come up for sale, the money rolls in, thick and fast.
£36. All done and finished at 36.
£22 is bid. Selling at 22, this time.
£40. I'm selling at £40.
No further bid of 40.
-£20. Ten. £24.
£22 is your bid.
Jonty, 200-400 was what you estimated. They panned out at £194.
-Just under the estimate.
-But only £6 short.
It's been a whirlwind of crested ware, but was it enough to get Louis those skiing lessons?
How much do you think we've made?
Not quite, but you're not far off.
Not far off, because what you've actually made is £554.
-We got there. We got there.
-So we got there.
-And your fountain's still sitting in the garden.
A couple of weeks later and Jo and Julian can finally splash
out on some skiing lessons for Louis at Tamworth SnowDome and the skier to be is sounding rather confident.
How good are you going to be?
I think, maybe, better than Mummy.
I think you'll be better than Mummy too.
Having donned his ski wear, it's time to take to the slopes
and despite a few bumps, he does seem to be enjoying it.
Louis's doing really well. I'm really pleased.
I'm really quite excited.
I think he might be better than me.
Louis is clearly a skier in the making and having got a taste for
the slopes, the Potters can't wait for their wintry holiday.
Now we've got the money together, we can go to Lapland. Yes.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Graphic designers Jo and Julian Potter want to take six-year-old son Louie on a special trip to Lapland. They have a wealth of collectables inherited from Jo's parents and have called the team to Nottinghamshire to help turn them into cash.