Series looking at the value of household junk. John and Paula McConnell hope to sell a selection of their antiques to fund a fun-packed weekend to London.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the show that finds
hidden treasures in your home, then helps you sell them at auction.
Today I'm at Bristol Zoo gardens and they are absolutely fantastic.
They are set in 12 acres, and here you can find more than
450 species of animals, including these gorillas.
Westland lowland gorillas are critically endangered
in the wild and the Zoo Trust is committed to raising awareness
about their plight, and that of the other species here.
But its not just animals you'll find here, the gardens are a riot of
colour with a stunning range of plants on display all year round.
I'd love to sneak off and spend the whole day looking round the zoo
but we've got some finds of our own to make to take to that auction.
Today on Cash In The Attic,
we uncover some unusual items for auction.
It looks to me like an early fondue set.
While other finds might be harder to part with.
I hope we are not going to start a domestic dispute here,
-with Paula wanting it to go.
-I know, I know.
But when it comes to the big day, will we stand a chance
-of reaching our target?
-I think we'll keep it.
I'd rather not risk losing it.
Find out when the final hammer falls.
I've come just five minutes down the road from the zoo now
to meet a couple who are fascinated by history,
especially tracing their family tree.
This modern residential complex in Bristol's fashionable Clifton
is home to Paula McConnell and her husband, John.
Paula's has been a keen amateur genealogist since the 70s
but John wouldn't place it quite so high on his list of hobbies.
His predilections run more to Formula One and photography.
But one thing they do agree on is the importance of family
and their 26-year-old daughter, Lucy, who is a law student,
is the apple of their eye.
-Jonty, I'm here.
-There you are.
This is brilliant, halfway between your house and mine.
-You planned it that way.
-I like to.
Is this the right place, it looks rather modern?
It does look very modern, but I've heard that inside
there are lots of bits and pieces and plenty of history.
-So it could be intriguing.
-Let's get inside.
-Let's do that.
-What a lovely setting this is.
And you're already at work, this is fantastic.
These are some of our treasures that we've found.
-I've heard you've got quite a few, actually.
-Yeah, you'll be interested.
-Who was it who decided to call in Cash In The Attic?
-It was yours, really.
-What do you want to raise the money for?
We want to go to London to take our daughter out for the day.
She's is studying hard there and we just thought it would be nice
to take her to the London Eye, which she's never been to.
-Take her out for a nice meal.
-That sounds great.
A day out with your little girl, that will be lovely.
So how much money do you think you need for this day out?
Well, I think we'd need about £500.
-OK, well let's go for it.
It may be modern but the neat white interiors provide
a perfect backdrop for all Paula's heirlooms.
Our man Jonty Hearnden is already intoxicated
by one object in particular.
-Time for tea.
-Yeah, what do you think?
And it's on the stand as well.
-It looks to me like an early fondue set.
-You're not far off.
The whole point of the spirit burner, here, is to put your kettle on there,
-like so, to keep your brew nice and warm.
-So how old is it then?
Date wise, I suppose we're talking turn of the century,
so maybe late 19th century here.
And you can tell that by this fantastic, wonderful, quality
stylistic handle here, and look at the support, here.
All in the form of branches, nee twigs, sort of Baden Powell-esque.
And it's silver plate because I've been looking all over
for the hallmarks and they're just not there. There are markings here,
this is the maker's name, Maple & Co, were based in Tottenham Court Road.
And the other great thing... look, can I do this?
-It pours perfectly.
-like a little tea urn there.
-Wonderful design, isn't it?
-Not a great deal of money but it's going to help. £40 to £60.
It's the big difference between silver and plated.
-If this was solid silver you are talking £400 or £600.
-It's got to go?
-Please, Jonty. It's got to go.
It's not a bad start.
£40 in the pot, well, literally in the pot, that's what we need.
-Good, ready for the auction?
-Yeah, let's do it.
Let's go and look at the rest of the house,
find some more things. Come on.
It's a three bedroom flat but it's very deceptive,
there seem to be rooms everywhere.
And I've already found one little gem.
This hallmarked Edwardian powder compact,
with its gold plate interior,
might fetch £80 to £120 in the auction.
And in another room, Paula has found a real treasure tucked away.
-What have you got there?
It looks like a necklace or something. Ooh.
It's a purse, I think.
You're absolutely spot-on.
Wonderful. These are lady's purses, known as money misers
and they were very fashionable in the mid-19th century
but they kind of went out of fashion by 1880.
So, by definition, this is a mid-19th century lady's purse.
And somewhere inside there should be a slot so you can actually
-put your coins...have you seen? there it is.
-Oh, lovely, yeah.
And also known as ring purses, for obvious reasons,
because the ring actually secures the money into its pouch.
-The money literally drops in there, the coins drop in there.
And the whole point is you could wear it on a belt, or inside a garment.
-Now we're not talking a huge sum of money.
Simply because it's just a wonderful social bit of history,
-rather than something of practical use.
Value, really, we're looking at below the £50 mark.
So anything, sort of, £30, £40 would be fine.
-We'll put that in the auction sale?
-Yeah, that's fine.
-You look after that, put that for safe keeping.
-Off to the auction sale and off to another room.
-Yeah, right off we go.
While the purse might attract attention, we are also hoping
that this gentleman's ring will catch someone's eye
at between £80 to £120.
In the hallway Jonty has found a Victorian railway station clock.
Now, items like these are always highly collectible,
and he thinks it could make as much £100 in the sale.
We are making great progress, that's already £330 towards our target
of £500 for Paula and John's trip to London to see their daughter.
Paula's shelves are stacked with history, and it's intriguing stuff.
What's this I've found?
Oh, that's one of my genealogy folders.
This is all part of the work that you've been doing?
-Yeah, that's part of my research into family history.
Oh, gosh. Tell me, what is it that made you so interested in genealogy?
Mainly because I had such an unusual surname, and I just was intrigued
-to know how it came about and where it came from.
-What name was that?
My maiden name was Muddle.
Aah, right, your maiden name, I see.
Muddle? What a wonderful name.
-Are there many Muddles?
-Not that many, it's not a very common name.
It originated in Sussex,
that's where most of the Muddles started out.
Have you traced any other Muddles?
I just put a search in, and I came up with this man
who has already done all the Muddle family tree and he'd gone
back to about 1600 and something, so I didn't need to do that.
So is he a Muddle?
-His mother was a Muddle.
-Sounds funny when you say it.
Yeah, that isn't his actual name, but my brother is still a Muddle.
Some of the things we are going to be looking at today
and we have found already, are they from the Muddles?
Yes, some of the things were my grandma's and, of course,
she didn't start out as a Muddle, she started out as a Bishop.
-And then she married a Muddle.
Oh, from Bishop to Muddle in one little step. How wonderful!
Well, with £500 to raise for a day out in London,
we'll be in a muddle if we don't get on.
Luckily while we have been chatting, the others have been searching.
There are a lot of genuinely interesting things in this flat
and I think I've found another jewel of an item.
-What have you got there?
-I like this.
-Can I have a look?
It is such a beautiful colour. I'm not sure what it is.
I can't smell anything. Oh, hi, John.
Ah, Jennie, you've found Jonty.
-What have I found?
-It's an inkwell.
Paula wants to put this to auction, and I'm not sure.
You are absolutely right, it is an inkwell. The band that wraps around
the outside of it is made of pewter.
Pewter gives the date away when this was made because pewter was used
heavily in the Art Nouveau period.
-This is what we're looking at here.
-Art nouveau around
the turn of the century, so this is roughly 100 years in date.
-And what's the lid?
-Well, that's brass, but it's stylised...
First of all, it sort of looks like a nut, but its not,
it's actually probably the leaves of the lily because around the outside
we are looking at stylised lilies.
-So it's a different interpretation
of a stylised lily just on the lid there.
So what do you reckon its worth?
-Purely a guess, £150?
-OK. Jennie, what do you reckon?
Well, I'd say £80.
Well, Jennie, you are closer. In fact, that's the kind of figure
I would put around the £100 mark, say £80 to £120.
So have we twisted your arm?
Well, I don't know.
Paula, she wants to get rid of it.
I'm really not sure and I'd like to think about it still.
Oh, dear, I hope we're not going to start a domestic dispute here,
-with Paula wanting it to go.
-I know, I know, but I will...
-Think about it.
-I will. I'll give that some thought.
So we will have to wait until the sale
to see if the inkwell will be sold.
One item John is happy to part with is this decorative pocket watch.
Encased in 18 carat gold, this Swiss timepiece is still
in good working order and Jonty thinks £80 is a fair price.
And in the shed,
he's found another candidate to help raise a few more pounds.
Paula, I have spotted the smallest vanity case I think I have ever seen.
-It's a leather case,
got a monogram on the top there. Do you know who it belongs to?
Yes, it was my great-aunt, Alice Mary Bishop.
I believe it was given to her by her, I think it was her fiance,
sometime before the First World War.
And what happened to him?
He didn't come back.
It really is in perfect condition.
And if we have a look closely on the inside,
the only thing that is damaged is the tiny bevelled mirror at the back.
For my money that's fine, because a small little bevelled mirror
like that will be fine to replace.
-What is almost impossible to do
is to replace one of these little bottles here, or even a brush.
Now this is bristle, which is lovely to see,
because really by the time of the Second World War
animal bristle was turned into man-made bristle.
But this here has to be Edwardian and in really very good order.
Because it's so small, I think it holds against it
when it comes to value. So we're talking, sort of, £40 to £60.
-Are you happy to put that in?
-Yeah, that's fine.
OK, well, I'll close the box of memories.
Do you know, this flat seems to be stacked with family treasures!
Paula's pulled out another keepsake.
This squeeze box belonged to John's father and hopefully it could bring
us £50 closer to our target of £500.
We've certainly covered a lot of ground today but it looks as if
there might be time to squeeze in one more find.
Guys, have a look at this picture.
Oh, found something good? I hope so, because I'm exhausted.
This is wonderful, look at this.
I am just going to take it out of its frame because the frame has no
relationship to the picture itself. If you see here, it's signed.
That looks like Henry Kaufmann.
It's great that we've got the signature,
because he's a known artist. And we've got the date,
we are talking 1889. We are looking at continental oil on board, here.
If you look at the detail of her facial features,
if you look at the detail of her proportion of her body and head,
the way she sits, the way the light falls onto her facial features,
which is the whole point of doing any human imagery,
it's the face that matters more often than not.
-Well, what's it worth?
-My hunch for the value of this picture,
-on the market, ranges between £500 and £800.
But I will need that clarified with some more research because
I also need to check to see what the artist has done on the open market.
That will give us more of an indication of the true value
-of this picture.
-OK, I won't put the inkwell into our calculations
-because you're not quite sure.
-Yeah, I'm not sure.
-He doesn't want to sell it.
However, that's £80, so we'll put that £80 to one side.
Without the inkwell we hope you will make, not £500, but £1,000.
-That's a lot.
-That's really good.
-Are you happy with that?
-That should make a good day out.
-Night, weekend, even!
It's been a rummage full of revelations today
and Paula and John have some great objects to take to auction.
They include the silver plated spirit kettle,
a fine example of a late-19th century tea service
We are hoping it will bring us between £40 and £60
And a glass inkwell, a delightful example of Art Nouveau detailing,
but will it make it to the auction?
We'll have to wait till the big day itself to find out.
Still to come on Cash in the Attic,
it seems that looks are very important.
Should have polished it.
But, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
-Proving small is beautiful.
Will everything be coming up rosy?
Find out when the final hammer falls.
It's a few weeks now since we uncovered that lovely selection
of antiques at John and Paula's flat, and today we've brought them
all the way from Bristol to Sudbury, Suffolk,
and to Sworders-Oliver's auction house.
Remember, the McConnells are after £500 for a family day out in London
where their daughter, Lucy, is at university. So let's see
if those heirlooms can win the day, when they go under the hammer.
There are a few people here already looking for bargains.
Jonty's here bright and early, too, and he seems in fine spirits.
-I love that one, I really do.
-Good fun, isn't it?
Yes. Actually it looks less clean than it did when we saw it last.
When it comes to silver or silver plate, it doesn't matter when it
comes to the auction room because everyone knows, if you're a dealer,
-it all cleans up and it's all fine.
-They had some beautiful items,
a lot of them very small. The inkwell, do you think
-they brought that?
-I hope so, it's a beautiful object.
Don't know, it was going to be a bit of tussle. Let's find out,
I think they might have arrived.
With such a variety on offer it promises to be an interesting sale.
If you are planning to buy or sell at auction then please
remember that commission and other charges will apply.
So always check the details with the sale room.
Paula's here, and she's introduced a new friend into the mix.
-Good morning, Paula.
-You brought the inkwell.
-I'm so pleased about that.
-That's lovely, fantastic.
-You're not John.
-No, I'm Tanya, John's working today, so he couldn't make it.
-Thank you very much.
-It's great you've brought the inkwell
but I've got some distressing, well, disappointing,
news about the oil painting.
Had a good chat with the auctioneer but his opinion is that his estimate
will be £200 to £300, which is a lot less than I put on it.
I think we'll keep it.
I'd rather not risk losing it, because John's very fond of it.
-It does leave a bit of a hole, I must admit.
-How much we were hoping for it?
-Up to £800.
-Chasm, a chasm we have!
However, you've got some very nice items, and they've just got
to do really well, haven't they?
Yes. Everything's got to sell, and sell well.
Otherwise you'll be having a day out in London in a shop doorway.
And we don't want that, do we?
-OK. Fingers crossed, all will go well.
Let's go and get a good spot for the start of the sale. Come on.
Without our star item the pressure is well and truly on.
I really don't want my prediction coming true,
so we've got our work cut out. On the bright side with some fine antiques in our haul,
we still have a chance of achieving our target of £500.
Items like the pewter encased Art Nouveau inkwell.
John was certainly reluctant to part with it.
You brought it, and now you might be saying farewell to your inkwell.
It's a very lovely piece. Did you have a lot of heartache
-over whether to bring it or not?
-Yes, because John's very fond
of that, but we hope it gets a good price.
And I'm starting this at 60...
60, I'm bid... five... 70...
five... I'm out. 95 on my left.
Selling at 95.
That's an encouraging start
and £15 above Jonty's lowest estimate.
Let's hope our next lot,
the Edwardian vanity case, does just as well.
I know for you it's got so many memories, hasn't it?
Yes, it was my great-aunt's and it was given to her by her fiance
who went off in the First World War and never came back.
20 start. At 20...
at £20... 22... 25... 28... 30...
38... 38 at the back. 40...
45, sitting down.
48... on my extreme left.
At £48, all finished and done at £48.
Well, thanks to Paula's great-aunt, we have a fine result and it is nice
to know the money will go into the pot towards a family reunion.
Next under the hammer is the Victorian coin purse
with an estimate of £30 to £40.
Lot 18, is the stocking purse.
-And I'm bid 22...to start this.
with me at 32. At £32.
-£32, that's fine.
-At £32, have you all finished and done?
I'm selling at £32.
-I hope you're happy with that.
-Yeah, that's fine.
That's definitely one of you who has got a decent meal in London.
We don't have to wait long for one of my favourite items,
the pretty silver kettle, which sells...
I'm selling at £38.
Just short of its estimate.
You should have polished it!
No, wouldn't have made any difference.
I was getting brassed off with it.
After that run of sales, we've made £213, that's nearly halfway
to our target for that day out in London,
and we've only sold four items so far.
Our next lot is an Edwardian gem.
And I'm starting this at 40...
Five... 50... Five... 60...
80... Five... 90... Five...
95 on my left, at 95...
Have you all finished and done with that at £95?
-Proving small is beautiful.
At £15 over the lower estimate that tucked away a pretty penny.
Our next item is not your usual antique.
John's father used to play when he was younger.
When he got old he couldn't lift it so he stopped playing it.
I'm starting this at 30...
£30 I'm bid, at 30... 32... 35...
at £40, with me at 40...
42... I'm out. 42...
on my right, at £42 on my right.
Are you all finished and done? I am going to let it go at £42.
Selling at £42.
You've got your grumpy face on now.
Well, it's the most disappointing sale so far but really £8 under
the lowest estimate isn't so bad.
Our next lot is a bit of a contradiction.
A highly decorative gentleman's ring.
It's very ornate for a man's ring.
So no-one you know has ever actually worn it?
My mother used to wear it, but not very often.
And I'm starting this at 45...
45, I'm bid. At £45.
70... 70... At the back at 70...
If you've all finished and done. I'm going to let it go at 70.
Sold for £70.
Just under the estimate.
What was the estimate?
The bottom end was £80.
What do you think?
Yeah, that's OK,
it just sits in my jewellery box and I shall never wear it.
So it's a little short of Jonty's £80 estimate but we are slowly
and steadily totting up the cash towards our target of £500
for a family break in London.
We are hoping our next lot will do well. Antiques like this are popular
with interior designers and collectors,
-so will they raise their hands?
-I'm starting this at 50...
50... I'm bid. At 50... At £50...
55... 60... Five... 70... At £70.
With me at 70... Selling at £70.
That was disappointing, that was £30 below my bottom-end estimate.
We have had a run of items falling short of their estimates but we have
one last lot to go and with its 18 carat gold casing
we are hoping for great things from this little watch.
Do you think it's going to sell?
I think so, yes. I saw somebody looking very interested at it
when I was looking at the items.
I'm going to start this at 60...
Five... 70... Five... 80...
Five... 90... Five... 100...
Five... I'm out... 105...
On my left. At 105... Ten...
at £115... On my left at 115...
If you've all finished and done at £115...
Now, that's more like it!
We're right up there mid-estimate and it's a sizeable sum, too.
But was it enough to reach our target of £500?
-Well, do you think you made your target?
A yes, and a no. We have a split decision.
-Well, I'm going to tell you that you have.
-You have made more £500.
Yes. It's all totalled up to £605.
-Without the picture.
We got there without the picture, how about that?
Yeah, that's brilliant. I didn't expect it to be as much as that.
It may be a grey day in London,
but Paula's just happy to be with her daughter, Lucy.
I've been wanting to do this for ages,
just to spend some time with Lucy, to look at the sights of London
and enjoy some time together, so here we are.
And the ladies are certainly making the most of their time together,
taking in some of the capital's top attractions.
Wow, it's fantastic.
And they are soon riding high.
Is the Queen in, I wonder?
The flag's not up, so I guess she's not in.
I've always wanted to come on here, but, living in London,
you never get to do all the touristy attractions, so it's a good chance
to come and do something like that with Mum.
But they're not stopping there, they are taking to the river
for a totally different view of London.
It's a very special mother-and-daughter day.
It's been a really nice day.
I've spent time with Lucy, having a look at the London sights.
Weather could have been a bit better. We've spent a bit of money
and we're going to have a really nice girlie day together
and then I'm going to go home and tell John all about it.
I'm sure he wished he could have come but he couldn't.
That was a great result and a great day out for Paula and Lucy.
If you would like to raise money for something special
and you think you might have some collectibles or antiques hidden
around your home, then why not apply to come on the show?
You can find all the details on line at bbc.co.uk.
Good luck, and maybe see you next time on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitling by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
John and Paula McConnell have inherited a wealth of items over the years that now fill the shelves of their Bristol apartment. They have decided it is time to sell a selection of them at auction in the hope of funding a fun-packed weekend to London.