Series looking at the value of household junk. The team are in north London to meet Janice Philbin, who hopes to unearth enough valuables to fund a long-overdue honeymoon.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic -
the show that searches out hidden treasures in your home, and then sells them at auction.
Today I'm on the outskirts of north London.
I called in at the beautiful Capel Manor Gardens in Enfield.
The manor takes its name from the Capel family who first lived here in the 15th and 16th centuries.
For many years the grounds lay derelict
but when a horticultural college was established here 40 years ago,
it breathed new life into the landscape.
Well, there is something for everyone here.
From Japanese gardens to this stunning Italianate maze.
Now I'm on my way to try and find a house full of antiques.
I've just got to find the exit!
No, it's not that way.
Today on Cash In The Attic,
John gets saucy with his betters.
I'm just eyeing up Queen Vic.
-Really? You could have been executed for that, couldn't you?
And he just can't stop the carry on.
I think it was the proportions of the chest. It was quite a nice size.
What is he like?
-So am I.
But forget the humour, will he make the cash we need?
Find out when the final hammer falls.
I just managed to find my way out of that one.
I've come a couple of miles up the road where I'll meet two sisters,
who have called in the Cash in the Attic team to help them raise some funds for a long overdue honeymoon.
This Victorian terrace was once the family home of sisters, Janice Philbin and Debbie Graham.
Family has always been important to them.
So they were terrible shocked when earlier this year, their mum, Betty,
took ill, and passed away at the relatively young age of 65.
-Morning, John, how are you?
-I'm good, thanks.
-Where did you go for your honeymoon?
-Oh, many years ago I went to Lanzarote.
-That was obviously before you hit the big time!
Now, listen, our ladies today are trying to raise some money for a long overdue honeymoon,
but they also have a task at hand for us because their mother died last year
and they now want to clear the house and raise some money that way. Are you ready for that challenge?
I'm here to help and raring to go.
Aha! Hello! Are you looking through...? Who's that, then?
-That's photos of our mum...
throughout the various years.
When did she pass away?
It was about seven months ago now, it was at the beginning of March.
Right, so, how do you feel about doing today, then?
We have cleared out some of the stuff, but we need advice on the antique stuff and how to sell them.
So we thought we'd call in Cash In The Attic.
What sort of money are you liking to raise?
We're thinking about £600.
In terms of what you want to spend the money on, any ideas?
-A honeymoon, who got married, then?
Debbie got married last year, I got married four years ago and neither of us have had a honeymoon, yet.
So whose honeymoon are we paying for here?
Janice's. She's been married a lot longer than me.
So next year we're aiming to go on safari.
Wow! That would be fantastic.
-So some of the money is to go towards that, is it?
So raise £600, so that amongst other things, you can go on safari for your honeymoon. Fantastic.
-So, shall we have a look around?
-Come on, then.
I'm looking forward to this rummage.
This handsome Victorian terrace is like entering a time capsule with echoes everywhere of a bygone era.
Well, John Cameron may be a thoroughly modern man, but he certainly knows
the difference between a load of old crock and genuine Victoriana.
There you are, John. What have you got for us?
I've found a secret cupboard, or pretty much a secret cupboard
-and found Mum's collection of royal commemoratives. So was she a fan of the royals?
-No, not really.
I know you would think she was but it was just that these were easy to collect.
Most of them are here are late 20th century.
We have the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Charles and Di and Andrew and Sarah Ferguson ones as well
which are very, very common - today, a lot of these make nothing.
But this is my favourite here.
It is Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee but it's not pottery.
This is enamel, nice, interesting - haven't seen one before.
Very nice. You have others there - George V and Mary, um,
and also George VI and the Queen Mother, or Queen Elizabeth as she was then. What I would suggest
is making one big lot and whoever buys them will have to take, as we say, the rough with the smooth.
Estimate wise, put a tempting estimate of £40 to £60.
Gives it somewhere to start and hopefully we'll do better than that.
We can close the doors on that lot. Probably best to keep it safe.
Let's see what else we can find. Come on.
Well, bottoms up to a great start and, speaking of toasts,
Debbie has found this fabulous green decanter and set of glasses which John thinks
could easily hold £50 to £80.
So many of the items around the house hold family memories
for the girls, but even so they are happy to part with certain family heirlooms.
John, what do you think of this?
-What, the writing slab, Debbie?
-No, the chest of drawers.
-Is this a family piece?
-Yes, it is. It was passed down from my nan, my mum's side.
-So, it's been in the family a while?
-A long time.
-What do you know about it? How old do you think it is?
-50 years old?
-It's older than that.
-Try about 200 years old.
-Does that surprise you?
-Yeah, it does. Yeah.
It's a Georgian chest of drawers, George III,
probably about 1800-1820. It's a pine carcass, mahogany veneer on the top.
The other features that tell us that it's that period,
if you look, this nice bow front and, moving down,
you see those splayed bracket feet and that nice, shaped apron
that really break up the severity of the piece
and make it is more feminine looking.
Also you can see the lock's come out. So it does warrant
a nice trip through a good restoration workshop.
If it were in better condition, I would say probably £200 or £300,
as it is, it does require work, I'm going to say £120 to £160.
-How does that sound?
-Happy with that?
-It's a very good find.
Shall we go and see what Janice and Lorne are up to?
-Come on then.
That's tidied away a decent sum towards our honeymoon fund
and this Corgi Silver Jubilee horse
and royal carriage, still boxed, can only add to it
with an estimate of £30 to £50.
That brings our total to £240
towards our £600 target for a honeymoon for Janice.
One glance around the house reveals that the girls' mum, Elizabeth,
seemed to have collected a huge amount of royal memorabilia.
Janice, I can understand
Queen Victoria a bit but this, of course, is our current Queen,
and it's another photograph of royalty.
You said that your mum wasn't a great royalty fan, so what is this all about?
Absolutely no idea. It seemed to be, when she was collecting something, that was it, she went the whole hog.
-Do you think it was to do with the fact that your mum's name was Elizabeth?
No way. She hated being called Elizabeth.
She liked to be called Betty if you called her Elizabeth she would not reply.
Even the doctors at the hospital she blanked, when she was poorly,
until we told them to call her Betty, then she acknowledged them.
She sounds quite a formidable woman but I understand she had five children, is that right?
Yes, she had five of us. After the fifth one, she refused to go back to the doctors
because every time she went to them she was told she was pregnant.
-Did it work? Did she stop at five?
-Yes, that was it. That was the lot.
Now some of the money is going to be spent on your honeymoon so tell me more about that.
I've always liked Africa and the safari side.
I'd just like to wake up and have the animals going past
where you have breakfast in the morning. It's just nice, romantic.
OK. Well, if we're going to raise the £600 and help you
to get on that honeymoon, I think we better crack on. Come on.
There is certainly plenty to do. The large house is full to bursting with all sorts of memorabilia.
I found a piece of Victorian furniture that could close the deal
on £100 to £150.
And in the living room it looks like John has a glint in his eye.
-Janice, come here a second.
Are these something in the family that anybody is attached to?
No, I think mum just liked red glass and bought them.
-You have a pair of them there, pass me the other one.
-This one here?
-Yeah. What is remarkable,
looking at them, is that they're in such good condition.
These are of a type of glass commonly known as ruby glass or cranberry glass
which was very popular in the 19th century.
It was actually produced by adding a precipitate of colloidal gold
to the actual mix to actually achieve this ruby red colour.
These have been made completely by hand.
-They have indeed.
So the glass blower, firstly,
had to produce the initial vessel, the clear glass vessel, by blowing
and keeping it moving and rolling to maintain the shape.
Then they case it in a successive layer of this rich, ruby glass so the whole piece is red.
Finally, when the piece is cooled, the engraver or the cutter
will cut through that top layer to produce various decorative effects.
Here we have these nice floral sprays and nice plain panels which, when you hold it up to the light,
you can see what a lovely effect that is, isn't it?
-What do you think we'd get at auction?
-I'm not sure. I have no idea of value.
I reckon we should look at £100 to £150 for these,
-something like that...
-..possibly more. They are nice.
Did Mum like this sort of thing?
I think she liked
the red colour of the glass. So, yes, I think she went for that.
-Have any more pieces around the house?
-There's the odd one or two pieces, yes.
So what am I doing standing here? Come on, take me around.
John is certainly a hard task master. Janice was right,
John spotted more glass on the shelf, which he assembles into a job lot
that could go to auction
at around £80 to £120.
All the time being watched by a real presence, but John is not about to be stared down.
-Aye aye, what are you doing there, then?
-Eyeing up Queen Vic.
-I think you could have been executed for that in those days, couldn't you?
-Probably. I'm not amused.
-Shall we see if this is something that we can sell?
-I think so.
-I'll see if Debbie's around. Debbie? Hi.
-Is this something you'd consider sending to the auction?
This caught my eye. It's a very striking portrait of Queen Victoria
in what I would say is a rather forbidding kind of pose.
Now the medium is a mezzotint. It's a monochrome print produced,
as you can see, in about 1886 - only one year before her Golden Jubilee.
-She's aged about 67 here.
-So, you know, still going strong and had a few more years in her.
-Still looking good at of 67, I must say.
-She is indeed. I notice you've got
a few prints around the house, some nice lithographs, some good colourful ones with advertising slogans.
Those are interesting. They may well cross over to collectors
who are interested in the firms that are advertising.
What sort of value are we talking about, John? Are you suggesting to put them together in one big lot?
Put them together. They're nicely framed. They make a good lot.
We should go for £40 to £60. It gives us somewhere to start.
So we know what's happening to the Victorian and Victoria portraits
so let's see if we can find something not royalty to sell! Come on.
Well, we're almost there, but before we can start the triumphal march we need a few more items.
John has found yet another cranberry glass piece tucked away.
This vase with prisms could attract bids
between £80 and £120 in the sale. Oops, there's another royal!
In the kitchen, John's lifting the lid on another prospect for auction.
-Hi, John, I see you found the table.
-I have indeed. Is this a family piece?
Yeah, we've had it for about 20 years. My dad went and bought it from a charity shop.
What do you know about it?
I know it is 19th century, I think it is oak.
-That's as far as I know.
This sort of drop-leaf table has been around for several centuries, but this is more like
what we call a Pembroke table and took it's name from the Earl of Pembroke
who reputedly had tables like this at Wilton House.
Typically we have a cutlery drawer at this end and a faux drawer at the other end or a fake drawer.
-So you have an opposing fake drawer.
-I didn't know that was a fake one.
-Just a turned pull on there but it does not do anything.
Dated... You said 19th century. I'd put it mid 19th century, and I'll tell you why.
Have a look down at the leg. We can see it's tuned. The turning is neat and quite restrained.
As we go further into the Victorian period that turning becomes fussier and quite messy.
It is oak. Not the most attractive oak I have seen
but it is in good order.
So I think in putting it into auction at today's prices, I'd be looking at
£80 to £120.
Yeah, that would be fine. We'd be quite happy to sell it and let it go now.
-Janice, I think you may well have had your last supper on this table.
I'm afraid we've run out of time. I hope you've found something for us.
Yes, we are going to take this 19th century oak table to auction
with an estimate of £80 to £120.
-You wanted to raise £600. Do you think we have come near that figure?
-I think we are near that.
-Adding up everything that's going to auction, it comes to £720.
-That's not bad.
-So a bit extra there.
There might be a little bit left over for you to have a honeymoon, even if it is a day trip to Bognor!
It's been a real treat to be invited to the rummage today.
We found some lovely items to take to auction which include:
The collection of royal memorabilia,
with everyone from Victoria to Charles on display.
John thinks this will present a cracking deal for an enthusiast
at £40 to £60.
A set of Georgian drawers,
which have been in the family for at least three generations.
It could bring in between £120 and £160 at auction.
The cranberry carafes, this fine example
of decorative glass might attract the bidders at £100 to £150.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic. We're raising that money
for the honeymoon.
That'll pay for the taxi to the airport.
But it's slow going.
That's the taxi back.
But what about actual the trip? Will we make enough.
Find out when the final hammer falls.
Now it's been a couple of weeks since we had a good look around
Janice and Debbie's mum's home in Enfield.
Where we found a right royal collection of items to bring here
to Sworders auction house in Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex.
Now remember, we're looking to raise £600 for a long delayed honeymoon.
So let's hope that the bidders are feeling very generous when our items go under the hammer today.
There's a quiet hum in the room as buyers peruse the items on display.
John is here, deep in contemplation, or just imagining how well our antiques will go down.
Good morning, John. Fancy a tipple already?
-A bit early in the day.
-These are lovely, aren't they?
They are, and one of the few items that don't have a royal connection.
You're right. I mean that royal memorabilia, absolutely tonnes of stuff, isn't there?
Indeed. It looks quite impressive
like it is but we have earlier ones with the later ones, of which most of are later.
Hopefully the whole lot will get sold at once.
My experience with Sworders is that should do well as it is traditional here in terms of buyers and dealers.
Shall we see how they are feeling about the sale? Come on, then.
There are 275 antiques in the catalogue today, so our items will have plenty of competition,
but Janice and Debbie are confident that their collectables will reign over the room!
-Good morning, ladies.
-She looks very stern for this time in the morning.
-Saying a fond farewell?
-Yes, a last look.
-Now, we did have a lot of royal memorabilia. How do you feel about that going now?
-I bet it's created a bit of space?
-Yeah, it has - a lot of space.
We had a look at the lovely decanters. They're fantastic, aren't they?
They do but I did notice that we had the two sets of green decanters
and some other bits and pieces and I couldn't see them anywhere.
One of our brothers and sisters, decided that they wanted them.
Oh, well, that knocks about £50 off our intended target, to start with, but never mind.
So, as you can see, it is really filling up and getting noisy,
-so shall we find somewhere safe to stand?
-Come on then.
If you are buying or selling at auction, please remember
that VAT, commission and other charges may apply. So always check
the terms and conditions with your auction house. We take our places
at back of the room in time for the first lot -
the cranberry lustre vases with prisms, valued at £80 to £120.
We'll start the bidding at £60. At 60 I'm bid.
Any advance on £60? £65.
70. 5. 80.
At £80 now. All done?
It's against the room now.
£85 takes it there.
£85, how do you feel about that?
-Not bad. Good.
-Good. All adds to the coffers, doesn't it?
That'll pay the taxi to the airport!
It's always good to start off with a warm glow.
That's the first of our three cranberry glass lots.
We are hoping for £80 to £120 for the next grouping.
Our next lot is the pair of ruby flashed glass vases. I'm not sure what that means, flashed?
That's when they dip in a glass solution, rather than case it in a thicker layer of glass.
It was a cheaper way of production, to aim the products at a lower market.
You should be interested in these at £50.
£55 I'll take if you wish, on the pillar. At £50. 55? No?
55? 55. 60. 5.
70. 5. There we are on my right at £75.
Are we all done at £75?
Just a little under what you wanted there at £75. Is that OK?
-Yeah, that is OK.
-It is all adding up, that is the taxi back!
£75 is still a good sum
and we're serving up yet another lot
with cranberry glass, the beautiful decanters.
One of the stoppers is firmly stuck in the neck of the bottle.
I did try to get out it with hot, soapy water. It didn't come out.
I didn't want to force it. I'm glad none of the buyers here today have done the same.
I know collectors that have them with stoppers stuck in. They leave them there, they're for display.
60 is bid. At £60. Good decorative lot here. At 60.
5. 70. 5. 80. 5.
90. 5. 95. 100 if you wish? 100.
And 10. £110!
£110. Was that a bid?
£130. All done at 130?
-Let's just hope the buyer gets that stopper out, shall we?
I'm sure they'll find a way. A right royal run
on sales. Now it's time for another stately selection -
the coronation and the royal collection valued at £40 to £60.
There is a lot in there. I think that somebody who buys them, may well take some nice pieces,
cherry pick it and leave the rest behind.
-If the auctioneers aren't not looking that is!
I will start at £20. 22. 25. 28.
30. 32. 35. 38. 40. 42.
£48, close by, now. £48. Are we all done?
5. 60 now?
£55. Still there.
It will sell.
-He is more than welcome!
With that sale we're making solid progress.
So far we have tucked away £345
towards our target of £600 for Janice's belated safari honeymoon.
Our next lot is the 19th century walnut chest of drawers
valued at £100 to £150.
Burr walnut and cross-banded chest,
two short and two long drawers.
There is some interest. I'll start it at £100. It's on the market.
110. 120. 130. 140. 150.
60. £160 on commission.
Any further interest? I'll sell then at £160.
What a sale. That is £10 above John's highest estimate.
We're moving forward in leaps and bounds here.
So when our next item,
the Corgi Silver Jubilee carriage
fails to pick up a buyer and is...
..followed by the Pembroke drop-leaf table,
-which also fails to lift the lid on the room...
..we're slightly concerned.
But with several more items to come, we're hoping we will make up the shortfall.
In keeping with most of our antiques,
our next lot has a majestic appearance.
Goodness. Now is that a good thing that the subject is royal?
Well, they are a decent collection.
We are banking on some royalists here but, also, some were issued as advertising ephemera.
So let's hope that there's someone who buys that type of thing and then we've some competition.
We'll start here at £20.
Any advance? 22. 25.
38. On the pillar, £38. 40.
£50 on the stool, now. £50. And we'll sell.
Right in the middle of John's estimate,
That's another jewel in the crown,
but is it enough to get us towards our £600 target
for Janice's honeymoon?
We've got a lot riding on our last item,
the Georgian chest of drawers
but furniture is always a bit difficult to shift.
Now, that was in your mum's home, but it wasn't something either of you fancied fancy housing.
No, not at all, too big and old-fashioned.
-Well, it is old-fashioned. Is there still a market for brown furniture?
-Well, we have readjusted our price.
Ten years ago, even five years ago,
this would've made £200 or £300 but let's see. The bidders are here, it's about to go under the hammer.
A host of interest here.
-I'll start straight in here at £350.
-No! You're joking!
-380. 390. 400.
-460. 480. 490 I'll take.
-£480. Here on commission for £480.
-OK, so the market for brown furniture has just turned around and gone through the roof.
John, what on earth was that about?
I think it was the proportions of the chest. It was quite a nice size. It wasn't a big, bulky chest,
it was a nice small chest. It also had four long drawers, as opposed to two short and three long drawers,
so made it more unusual, but I didn't factor those points into my estimate and I clearly underdid that.
That was a pleasant surprise, but will we be honeymooning in Africa,
or will it be a caravan in Morecambe?
Right, OK, well, that is the end of the auction, did you enjoy it?
-Yeah, it was good fun.
-What was your favourite lot that you saw sold?
-The royal memorabilia or that chest of drawers?
-Chest of drawers...
-But I am pleased to see the back of all the royal memorabilia.
You wanted to raise £600 for your honeymoon. If you made more what would you spend the money on?
I'll give Deb some. Debbie's not had a honeymoon either, you see.
-Lordy, right. We didn't know that at the start.
-A double honeymoon? Are you going together?
-You never can tell.
Well, the good news is, Debbie, you may well be going on your honeymoon.
-In total you have actually made £1,035!
-Thank you. Lovely. Shock!
It's a glorious day and Janice, Debbie and their families
have arrived at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire for a honeymoon taster.
Debbie and Michael have come with us to the park today.
I'm working on them to try to persuade them to come on honeymoon with us next year.
So who knows, today might persuade them to come along.
Right? I'm Ian. Pleased to meet you.
-Who's going on the safari? You?
Janice may have her sights set on Africa but until then, this safari park is the next best thing.
The main thing people notice is the tongue.
It's 15 inches long, it sticks right out and wraps around the trees and pulls all the leaves in.
Right, we are just about at the big cats, so make sure all your windows are closed shut!
Close all your windows!
We may have sold plenty of royal collectables at auction, but the girls are interested
-in another type of nobility all together.
-They're chasing us!
Very regal looking. That's why they call it the kings, is it?
These lions certainly have a powerful presence in the green pastures of England.
But has the trip persuaded Debbie to spend the extra cash from the auction
in joining her sister on a real safari?
I've had a fantastic day here today. All of the animals have been absolutely brilliant.
Now, yes, I'm definitely ready to go on safari with my sister on honeymoon.
I can't wait. It'll be brilliant.
It just goes to show, you don't have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to make money at auction.
I'm sure that honeymoon will be worth the wait. If you've got antiques and collectables to sell,
why not contact Cash In The Attic? You'll find details on our website:
We'll see you again next time.
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including how the programme was made,
visit the website at bbc.co.uk
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The team are in north London to meet Janice Philbin, who hopes to unearth enough valuables to fund a long-overdue honeymoon. The dream is an African safari and she's called in her sister Debbie to help.