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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. We're in Worcestershire,
a county famous for Royal Worcester China, but also famous for this charming little cottage.
This is the birthplace of a man synonymous with all things great and British.
One of our most famous composers, Sir Edward Elgar.
Born in this tradesmen's cottage in 1857, Sir Edward Elgar was a largely self-taught musician.
A uniquely British composer, he began writing music from an early age,
inspired by the life and landscape around him.
The museum is brimming with memorabilia and was set up by Elgar's daughter in 1934.
Since then, the exhibition of his life and works has grown steadily.
Such was Elgar's fame, and now national importance,
that he's even made it on to the back of a £20 note.
Let's hope there's plenty more where this came from as we go in search of antiques to take to auction.
Today on Cash In The Attic, have we found a new expert?
-I think for the pair...
Yeah. She's got it all. She has got it all!
And he keeps hitting a bum note.
-Will he get through the day?
Let's hope that people are still interested in drinking.
Find out when the final hammer falls.
Leaving the Elgar museum behind me,
I'm on my way to meet Melissa and Meg Cox,
a mother and daughter combination who've called in Cash in the Attic
to raise money for something fittingly musical.
This beautiful barn conversion in the Malverns is home
to Turkish-born Meg Cox and her 17-year-old daughter Melissa.
She's been completely blind from an early age, but it hasn't stopped her pursuing her passion for music.
Both Meg and Melissa are antique enthusiasts
and there is evidence everywhere of their auction purchases.
-How are you, mate?
-I thought I'd bring you to a bit of countryside, what do you think?
It's glorious round here. I'm loving it.
Wait till you get inside that house there, because as you can see, it's a beautiful home,
and it's full of fantastic pieces. We're in the heart of Worcestershire.
Maybe even Worcester China for you.
-That is one of my favourite factories. Let's find out.
Whoa, this is all right, isn't it?
It's nice and light and airy.
If you don't find something in here...
Now that sounds absolutely beautiful. Melissa, nice to see you.
Hello, Meg, how are you? Now what's all the fuss about? Why have you called Cash In The Attic
-to help you?
-Well, I'm looking to get a twelve-string guitar.
A twelve-string guitar? But Meg, looking around here, there are umpteen guitars.
There's one missing, but yes.
What would a twelve-string allow you to do that you can't do with this collection here?
You can play faster.
You've got so much more flexibility. It's louder.
Now, Mum, tell me, how much is this guitar likely to cost us, do you think?
It should cost around £600.
Now, £600 in some areas doesn't sound a lot.
You've got lots and lots of antiques and bits and pieces in your lovely home, Meg.
Supposing we got some change, would you get anything out of this?
I'm sure Melissa has another something up her sleeve that she would like.
Well, I had, but...
I'd like to go to one of the Elton John concerts in Birmingham.
How much would a ticket to his concert cost you, do you think?
About 500, cos it's late. If we booked last year, it would be cheaper.
£500 even now would suggest you're going to get a fairly good seat for that kind of money.
Yeah. The front seat would be preferable, right next to his piano.
James is rooting round your house as we speak, so I think we should see how he's getting on.
-Where is he?
-Let's go and find him. Come on.
Let me take your hand. Let's go and have a look.
With 30 years in the business, James Rylands is already getting ahead of himself.
-Here he is. James, rooting away, what have you got there?
-What did you find?
I'll tell you what, Melissa, you grab that.
And maybe you could give us some information on it.
Well, it's a statue of a person.
We bought these at an auction about five or six years ago.
-They were actually listed as bronze, but they're not.
-Great start. You're absolutely right.
It's a zinc alloy, I forget what it's called.
You're absolutely right. It's called spelter.
-If it was bronze, you wouldn't get the seam, for a start. There's one...
-Yeah, you got it.
Melissa's giving you a run for your money!
I've been done out of a job here! I really have! I think it's amazing.
-I don't like him much, but...
-I agree with you there as well.
I'm hugely impressed.
Well, what have we got here? We've got a pair of busts
of a sort of Eastern gentleman and this lady,
who I would call an odalisque,
and that is an Eastern, maybe Turkish, which is a nice connection.
-I think for the pair...
Yes. She's got it all. She has got it all!
-Have you done this before?
-They are £20 or £30.
They are 20th-century spelter copies of 19th-century originals.
Well, 20 to 30 quid, I mean, it's a start.
Does that get us a couple of strings on our guitar, do you think?
Just got to get the body and the bits of wood.
-We'd better go and find them, in that case.
-Come on, after you.
There are stacks and stacks of things here.
This handsome pair of Victorian Staffordshire vases might attract attention
at auction at between 80 and £100.
I'm really enjoying the atmosphere in this house.
It's so tranquil, but it looks like Melissa's found something that's a reminder of less peaceful times.
Cool, didn't know I had these.
Now what have we got here? A couple of medals?
Well, they're Turkish First World War.
-They were civilian awards as well, but...
-What do you think of those?
God, I haven't seen one of these for a while.
Basically, they're called Liyakats, and it was a medal,
a Turkish medal instituted in 1890.
And it wasn't just military, it wasn't like a war medal.
You could actually have it for civilians as well.
But what have we got here?
On one side, we've got the Turkish coat-of-arms for the Sultan,
and on the other side, there's an inscription in Turkish
that basically says that it's a medal of special merit
for those that have shown loyalty and bravery.
-That one's got a little silver clasp.
-Would it have had a ribbon on it?
It would. And some of them actually had a clasp on it which actually had crossed sabres as well.
I think, on something like this, for the two, we'll probably put
quite a conservative value on them
because they are quite a specialist market, if you like.
So I'm thinking a come-buy-me estimate of say £40 to £60 for the two.
A mean estimate, and it can only go up.
A generous man to the core. There we are.
Put those in the pot. You want to carry on rummaging in there, Melissa?
Let's see what else we can find.
And so we'll battle on in a bid to find more objects for Melissa's twelve-string guitar.
There are lots of examples of Meg's Turkish heritage in the house.
This small wine jug and port decanter from the late 1800s
with a plated silver surround could mature into £50 to £80 at auction.
And on the landing, James is resting easy.
Bought in Turkey by Meg's grandfather in 1927 as a nursing chair,
James thinks this pair could fetch as much as £150 to £250.
We're making great progress with £340 towards our £500 target
to buy Melissa that twelve-string guitar.
But whilst Melissa keeps up the search,
Meg is up to something entirely different.
Meg, what on earth are you doing?
I'm just doing the Christmas Braille card - somebody has asked me to do it for them.
So Christmas Braille cards, what a fantastic idea.
And how many Braille cards do you make a year?
Just round Christmas week, I make over 300 because it's not just from England,
-they request them also from Canada, the United States, Australia.
-Is it something Melissa helps you with?
Melissa sometimes helps me with it if she hasn't got a lot of school work to do.
But most of it I do myself.
Well, it's perfectly clear to me and everybody here today that Melissa is an extraordinary girl.
It clear that she does not let blindness get in the way of her life at all.
And if anything, it seems to kind of fuel her on.
I tried to get it into her that blindness is not a disability,
it is an ability that she needs to try and make the best of.
I had literally only three years to learn how to read and write Braille before she started school,
-so that I can help her.
-It's a wonderful thing to do.
It's great too that Melissa clearly has a hand in this, but it's not about making cards today, is it?
We've got to find plenty of stuff to flog and see if we can get that guitar.
-Hopefully. Right then, come on, let's have a look.
Meg is obviously an enterprising person and,
inspired after our chat, we're all fired up to continue the hunt.
Well, everyone except Melissa.
Melissa, I think it's fair to say that you'd be able to play it better than I can.
Basically, accordions are members of the hand-held, bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family,
which sounds really complicated but basically everybody just calls it a squeeze box.
And this one's actually stamped Milano on the front here.
And that was from the Milano family, Francesco Milano,
who went to the United States early in the 20th century.
It's actually got this wonderful finish on it of simulated mother-of-pearl and then
shocking pink, all in plastic, which for the Fifties was a really wow material.
But tell me, why didn't you get on with it particularly?
Um...because it's quite a hard instrument to play.
I mean, organs are hard instruments to play because there are pedals and hands and things,
but accordion, it's a different principle altogether.
So what do we think it's worth? Well, bearing in mind we have got the original case that it goes in,
We're probably looking at something like 50 to £80, something like that.
That's good. I only paid 20 for it.
Oh, Melissa, you're in profit already!
I'm just going to put that down there.
My brief musical career is over.
I'm going to find something else and you can carry on making decent music.
It's a delight looking through this house.
Meg clearly made some good buys in the past.
This Worcester vase with a pheasant is a prime example of fine Victorian porcelain
and could fetch as much as 200 to £400 if there is an enthusiastic collector in the room.
Meg has also inherited all sorts of Turkish treasures.
Tell me about this mirror.
It's very nice. Where did it come from?
That got passed down from my grandmother.
This particular one's actually got a secret, hasn't it?
-Yes, they do.
-If I take off this little
decorative boss here and turn it over, you have got the most fantastic decoration on the back there.
The idea was, you were considered vain if you looked in the mirror
more than two or three times a day.
And I think I can just see actually a hallmark up here.
Which actually says '900'.
So 900 out of 1000, 90% silver and the other 10% is made up of copper.
And date-wise, I would think it was probably made between the wars,
so probably 60 or 70 years old, something like that.
-So I guess these two on either side are also mirrored on the other side?
I actually have at least 8 or 9 of them. I absolutely love them.
-Are you happy to send one of them off to auction?
-No, that's OK.
I've got some more that I can treasure on later on.
Well, what do we think about value?
I'm thinking, conservatively, I would think it's certainly going to be 60 to £100, so £30 on one side and £30
-on the other, doesn't sound a lot, does it?
-That sounds wonderful.
It's all adding up and, on reflection, Melissa has decided
that her favourite Elvis mirror
can join her mother's mirror at auction at between 30 and £40.
There's so much to see here but we do need one last item that will have a Midas touch.
-Look at this.
Oh, now do you know what, that was what I was hoping to see, coming here,
near Worcester, because it's made by the Worcester porcelain factory. Where did it come from?
I don't know, but I think Mum does.
-Meg, I like it. Where did it come from?
I bought it from an auction house quite a number of years ago.
I did not realise at the time it was restored.
I can see actually it has got a bit of a restoration on it.
Tell you what I love is the gilding on the body here.
And it's actually gilding in relief, fantastic quality.
And then if I look on the bottom here, we can see the classic Worcester mark.
And this, I can see, has got a little S, and that means you can actually date it to the year 1881.
I think valuation on this, I've got to take into account the damage.
I think I'd be looking at an estimate of between 200 and £400.
That sounds absolutely excellent.
I should say that does sound absolutely excellent.
Well done, matey, 200 to £400?
I think that's halfway towards a guitar, isn't it?
Now then, the grand total though, of everything. We were chasing £600.
How much do think we've raised so far?
-Hopefully somewhere close by.
Well, I can tell you, including your estimate on that, on the jug, £880.
-Ooh! Very nice.
-That's good, isn't it?
Not only is that the guitar, but it might be half way towards an Elton John ticket.
I can feel you guys creeping towards the front row at this rate.
-So all we've got to do now, of course, is take it to an auction, James.
-Sounds easy, doesn't it?
Wait and see when we get there.
We've kept time beautifully on our rummage and we're hoping our finds
will strike a note with the buyers at auction.
Our chorus line includes...
the 1950s plastic accordion with simulated mother of pearl,
which could squeeze out as much as £50 to £80.
The fine Ottoman-inspired Worcester jug with gilded decoration
could steal the show with an estimate of £200 to £400.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, James has high expectations.
Well, I was hoping we'd get lots of notes for the accordion.
But is it one wish too far?
They're not bidding, because the prices so far have really been very low.
Find out when the hammer falls.
It's few weeks since we helped Meg and Melissa rummage through
their wonderful collection of antiques in Worcestershire,
which we've brought here to the Chiswick Auction Rooms in west London.
Now remember, Melissa is hoping to raise £600 or so
for a guitar, to help fuel her amazing musical talent.
So let's hope today's bidders are equally inspired, as we watch their items go under the hammer.
This west London auction house is generally humming with activity
but there aren't many people about today.
However, James Rylands is here, keen to squeeze maximum value out of our items.
-I thought the rummaging was over. You can't help yourself, can you?
The bonus is I'm not going to play it again.
Thank God for that. It's good to see the items here.
This goes very nicely with Melissa's passion for music, but lots of other items. We were in Worcestershire.
-Nice Worcestershire jug.
-Yes, and also your favourite medals from Gallipoli.
My passion for militaria. Fantastic.
-How do you think we'll do?
-Swings and roundabouts.
A few maybe not up to par but we'll make it up on the other ones.
-The gear's here. Let's see if the girls are here.
-Yes, off we go.
Thank goodness the saleroom is beginning to fill up.
There are a few folks about but we do seem to be one down.
Meg is here but where's Melissa?
-Good morning, Meg.
-Oh, look, a kiss!
Don't I get one?
Kisses all round. Now, there is one thing missing from the picture I see before me and that is Melissa.
Melissa's sitting a GCSE exam today, I'm afraid.
An exam today? What a result that would be, if she passes the exam and we get the money for the guitar.
We're chasing 600 quid.
Our estimate is really, really good so we should get at least that.
-Who knows, maybe a bit extra for those concert tickets.
Right. Let's go and see them go under the hammer, shall we?
-Go on, then.
-Come with me.
If you're planning to buy and sell at auction, please be aware
VAT and other charges may apply, so remember to double-check the fine print with the auction house.
We take our positions at the back, ready for auctioneer William Rouse to announce the first lot.
We're starting with our Middle Eastern spelter busts
with an estimate of between £20 and £30.
Lot 5a are a pair of modern copper metal busts.
Anybody want them for £10? Surely for £10?
Pair of them for £10?
Anybody want them for £10?
Can't go any lower. Ten I'm bid.
A maiden bid of £10, then. Selling for £10... £12, there.
You want 14, sir?
14, 14. 16.
A slow start.
£14, then. Down there at £14.
Not a lot.
Well, someone got a bargain
but still, it's early days and £14 is only just below estimate.
Our next lot is the pair of impressive Staffordshire vases.
They're that big. You're getting a lot for your money.
And irises are always popular, so just a nice, decorative lot.
Are they worth £30? Start me for 30.
Five, 40. Do you want 45, 45? 50.
65 in front of me. At £65. That's £65, that pair of Victorian vases.
For £65. They're going, then.
£65, they're selling for. 65.
Still a bit below.
It may be below the estimate, but £65 is still a reasonable sum.
But will our next item have the bidders playing along?
I have to say I'm very surprised that Melissa is parting with
any kind of musical instrument, given her passion for music.
Why is she really going to get rid of this?
Because that was the ultimate result I said.
If you want to get something, you've got to get rid of something else.
Here we go, what's it worth? £30 for it?
£20 for it? 20, 22, 24, 26.
£26 for an accordion.
At £26. £28. £30.
Do you want 32?
£30, there, then, at £30. 32. 34.
-£34. At £34. At 34.
At £34, then. At 34, then.
Not sold. Well, I was hoping we'd get lots of notes for the accordion.
-It didn't quite work.
The auctioneer used his discretion here and decided that £34 is not enough for the accordion.
So we're expecting better luck with our next lot.
I'm just hoping today there are going to be
some Worcester collectors, because that's quite a specific lot.
What's it worth? £100 to start me.
100, 110, 120. £120 for that vase. At £120.
130, anywhere? For £120?
For 120? At 120?
They're not bidding because the prices so far have really been very low.
With one of our star lots failing to sell, it's not looking good
for our £600 target for Melissa's 12-string guitar.
And when the next three items - the Turkish seat and stool
with its estimate of £150,
the restored Worcester jug at £200, and the Turkish medals - all fail to sell...
..we're all feeling a little subdued.
Meg appears to be stoic. As an old hand at auction, she knows that they can be terribly unpredictable.
However, our luck may change, as there are still three lots to go.
Next under the hammer is the clever decorative Turkish mirror, in a solid silver frame.
£20. 20 I'm bid, there. 25.
30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55. £55, nearer to me at 55.
At £55 it's going, then, £55.
At £55 is the bid, then. 55.
Well, I think that was sold.
It's still slightly below estimate.
I think that's a bargain. I really do think that's a bargain.
James is understandably disappointed
with the downward trend but after a bad run, at least it was a sale.
Perhaps the wine jug and bottle with the silver detailing will bring us more luck.
Let's hope that people are still interested in drinking!
I should think somebody is! Probably Meg.
Are they worth £20? Start me for 20, please.
22, 24, £24 for those jugs at £24.
£24, still with me at 24.
At £24 for the jugs. At £24.
Talk about a minor key! They're just not playing our song today.
After nine sales, we are languishing at just £134.
Nowhere near our £600 target for that 12-string guitar.
But what's this? Elvis is in the room.
-Next up we've got what is colourfully listed as an amusing Elvis Presley wall mirror.
Now, at 30 to 40 quid, surely that should sell, James?
I tell you what, Jules, I'm just hoping, as they say, Elvis has not left the building!
If he does leave, let's hope he leaves with 30 or 40 quid stuck to his back.
What's it worth? Who knows?
£10 for it, please? £10, £12,
£12, at £12 in the room. At £12.
It's all appearing. 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, £24 to my right at £24.
£24. Anybody else, surely?
£26, 28, 30, 32, £32 nearest me,
then, at £32. For the guitar.
For £32. At 32 it's going, then, 32.
-The King lives.
-The King lives.
Thank you, Elvis. You've rescued us. Well, nearly.
I think it's safe to say that we're all shook up.
Thank goodness Meg is used to the highs and lows of auctions.
But still, this has to be an unusually bad day.
So how close did we get to the £600 target?
How can I describe today's auction, James?
Bloodbath doesn't even go halfway to describing it, I'm afraid.
We were chasing, we thought, an easy target
of £600 for that guitar but Meg,
it's going to be no surprise to you - many of your items are unsold -
-the now not-so-grand total is, I'm afraid, £166.
Which is so disappointing.
Which isn't going to buy the guitar but maybe it'll go some way towards it?
We can get the first half of the guitar. I'll get the other half.
You're a very, very fine mother.
But there is some good news. You know this concert?
-What Melissa was wanting to go to?
-She wanted to go to an Elton John concert, didn't she?
We've been on the phone to Elton John's agent and we've got you two
front row tickets, for free, to the concert on the dates that you asked for.
It's good to see after their disappointment, Meg and Melissa are still keen on antiques.
And even though they failed to reach the £600 target, it's nice to know there's a silver lining.
The concert tickets, I think you can say, has definitely made up for the disappointment from the auction.
I think it is worth every single minute of the day.
We cannot wait to be at that concert hall now.
I'm really looking forward to the concert. It's been one of the things I've wanted to do all of my life.
It's one of my ambitions, I suppose.
And there's nothing like sitting in the front row next to a big, powerful set of massive speakers.
With the cash from the auction and Mum's deep pockets,
the dream of a twelve-string guitar is about to become a reality.
I love this guitar. It's super cool.
I think I'm definitely gonna get this one.
I suppose I have to get my hands in my pocket, then, shall I?
-I'm really grateful to my mum and everybody else for
fishing up stuff to get the guitar for me, because I've been banging on about it for the last, like,
30 billion years, and I think she got really, really irritated by it and gave in in the end.
I'm also very happy that she's happy so now she stops nagging me!
Ah, the power of pestering.
I have to confess that was one of the most frustrating auctions I've ever seen.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom.
Melissa and Meg are off to see Elton John courtesy of the great man himself. Front-row tickets!
And as for that guitar, good old Mum has chipped in to ensure
Melissa's musical talents have all the tools that they need.
We wish her all the very best of luck with that.
If you fancy taking your chances in the often heady and sometimes frustrating world
of an auction room, why not come on the show?
Go and check out our application form online at bbc.co.uk
and who knows, next time it could be you on Cash in the Attic!
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