Druce Cash in the Attic


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Druce

Series looking at the value of household junk. Frances Druce runs a B&B in West Sussex. She wants to turn some of her antiques into cash for a luxury tree house.


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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the show that searches out all those hidden treasures

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around your home and then we sell them at auction.

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Well, today, I've come to Charleston in Sussex.

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And this used to be the place where writers, intellectuals and artists met.

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A group otherwise known as the Bloomsbury Group.

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A collective of friends and relatives, their work deeply influenced literature and attitudes

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towards topics such as feminism and pacifism.

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And famous members included Virginia Woolf and EM Forster.

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The house's interior was decorated by artists inspired by Italian fresco painting.

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And the walled garden reflects southern European style,

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with mosaics, box hedges, gravel pathways and ponds.

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Well, after seeing such a fantastic collection of art, I'm feeling inspired to find some antiques

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and collectables of our own that will raise lots of cash.

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Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic.

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Our expert is taking a gamble on one of our family's lots.

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It could be a safe bet. Yes.

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And he seems to think he's the only one rummaging. A lady of leisure.

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A lady of leisure. Talking of which, let's go and find Lorne.

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But we're all working together come auction day.

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Wow, that's great, isn't it? It's picking up.

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Let's hope we'll still be smiling when the final hammer falls.

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I'm in Haywards Heath and I've come here to meet two fabulous ladies

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who have called in the Cash In The Attic team

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to help them raise some funds so they can get tree-top views.

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Frances Drews runs a B from this beautiful 16th century home in the heart of West Sussex.

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She's spent four years renovating the property and its two acres of gardens.

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And, although she has created a stunning place inside and out,

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there's one final green-fingered touch she wants to add.

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So she's called us, and her friend Kim, along to help.

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Morning! Good morning. This is great.

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It's like Dingly Dell meets Hansel and Gretel. I'm glad you said that.

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The house is an antique in its own right. It dates back to the 16th century.

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Isn't that fantastic? This, for me, really, epitomises England.

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It's absolutely beautiful. I hope it's full of English antiques.

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The two ladies are ever so nice. So come and meet them. Ah, good.

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Ah, good morning.

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You must be Frances. I am.

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So you must be Kim. Yes.

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I understand you two have been friends for a long time, is that right? Yes.

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Kim came to stay with her family for a fortnight when they were

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in the process of moving down to Lingfield and we've been friends ever since.

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Well, this is an amazing place, so what is your plan?

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Well, I'd like to get a tree house, or a tree platform. A budget tree house.

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I don't want a roof to it, because I want to be in, amongst the trees.

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And I have a pair of oak trees up there, and a tree platform strung between them

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would be fabulous. Do you think this is a good idea? It's excellent,

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because when you go up to the top there, there's stunning views.

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And it would be a lovely place for a gin and tonic.

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These things are expensive nowadays. So what sort of price are you.

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Mine will have to be a sort of budget one, without a roof on it.

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I want more of a platform than a roofy thing, so we're probably looking around ?4,000 to ?5,000.

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Crikey, is that what you want to raise today? No, I've not got anything worth that much,

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but if we can get ?1,000 towards it, that'd be lovely.

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We need to raise ?1,000 towards the tree house then? Yes.

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All right, then. Shall we go and see whether Paul has managed to find anything yet?

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He'll sniff out the antiques.

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That will be lovely. Frances's garden will be a real show stopper if she can get that tree house.

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It's all hands on deck so we can get on with the search.

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Luckily, we have our expert, Paul Hayes, to help.

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With a passion for antiques of all shapes and sizes, he's just the man

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we need to help pick out the best items for auction.

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There you are! Hello, how are you?

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Found something already? One of my favourite items.

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I love this, a little miniature painting.

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Where did this come from? Is this one of the pieces you've inherited?

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Actually, I inherited by accident, really.

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It was in this frame behind a photo.

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The photo fell off and I found that behind it.

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And I started using it as a coaster for my tea or coffee mug.

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Wow, you often hear of old masters found hidden behind other paintings and so on.

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And that's what you've got here.

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This is an original painting. Late 19th century, 1880, 1890.

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And it's very Russian.

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I suspect it's been a larger panel from the top of a box.

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The Russians were very much into that sort of thing.

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They would make these wonderful papier mache boxes

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and they'd have snow scenes and nobility and Cossacks and so on. But look at the detail here.

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This has been a good artist who has done it. You have individual eye lashes and individual whiskers here.

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What you've got here is a piece of history. These are wonderful items to have.

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It's late 19th century. It's an original painting. It's papier mache. It's Russian.

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If I said at least ?80 to ?120, how does that sound?

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For something I used to use as a coaster, I think that's...

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For something that should be something else,

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and has been cut down, I think that's a pretty fantastic result.

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It's beautifully done and is really collectable at the moment.

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That's a good start. Right, come on, let's see what else we can find.

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Have you got any more coasters like that? Sadly, no. Oh, that's a shame.

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I don't think Frances will be putting hot drinks on that one any more.

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The painting gets us off to a cracking start and we're all keeping our minds firmly focused

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on that ?1,000 target as we divide and conquer this beautiful property.

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Kim's been hard at work and she's found this swing mirror

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which would have been part of a dressing table set.

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Paul hopes it will make ?40 to ?60.

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Meanwhile, in the hallway, it looks like our expert might have come up trumps himself.

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Frances? Yes, Paul?

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You've a nice card table here.

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Do you ever use this one?

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No, I've only recently had it from my parents' house.

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Oh, right, so this isn't something you've bought then. No. It's a proper heirloom then.

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A lot of the furniture I've got in the house has been collected over a period of years,

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A lot of the furniture I've got in the house has been collected over a period of years,

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trying to find the right piece of furniture at the right age to go into the bed and breakfast.

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It's quite a nice example, isn't it? It's a demi-lune, or half circle.

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This dates probably 1890, 1900.

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It's a lot newer than the house, obviously.

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A couple of things to look for. Over a period of time, the surface can get warped and it can "smile".

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Have you heard that expression? No, but I can see what you mean.

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Can you see? This is a gap here, it looks like a smile.

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And that can be sorted out, but it is quite a costly job to do.

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And that is quite a problem, Right. But the actual style is lovely.

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You this frieze here. Very classical.

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Do you like it? I notice most of the things in your house tend to be a bit older than this one.

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It's too young for the house.

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And I thought I had a spot for it, but haven't. Do you use it at all?

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Only as a side table here, and once I got it back, I thought, "Oh, it's not really right for the house."

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With a bit of restoration on this, you could have quite a nice table.

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Yes, but would the restoration not be out of kilter with its value?

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It would cost quite a lot to do. But at the end of the day, it's a nice example. It's mahogany.

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It needs a bit of work, but if I said ?80 to ?120? I'd be happy about that.

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It could be a safe bet. Yes!

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Well, we've certainly scored highly on that round with another ?80 in the kitty.

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I leave the rummaging in Paul's capable hands for a while and catch up with our two ladies.

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Now, this is absolutely amazing.

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I mean, it is so typically English, isn't it? I mean, this is what most people dream of.

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A chocolate-box cottage and these beautiful gardens. How long have you been here, Frances?

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I've been here about 15 years. Was it like this when you moved here?

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No, the garden had a couple of roses and a rhododendron in it,

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and looked absolutely nothing like this whatsoever.

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So, apart from the trees, what did you have to do?

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Well, first of all, I had 28 lorry-loads of dirt taken out.

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I had a JCB in here on three occasions, because on two occasions it sank.

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So we had to get it out before we lost it.

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And gradually, over a period of years, the planting has gone on.

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Do you share the love of gardening? No, I don't. Not as much.

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I enjoy walking. And we walk every week and take a map with us and write down where we've been

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and then Frances can print it out when we get back and she gives them to the guests

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and they can go on the same walks as well.

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Oh, how lovely. So it's all around here, is it?

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Yes, it is. I bet you see some interesting places, don't you?

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We've seen some gorgeous places, yes.

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Some of the walks are from here, and others start at various points.

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There's usually a hostelry of some description either at the beginning, the middle or the end.

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And sometimes in all three places.

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Yes. And I won't walk through a field of cows, so we sometimes have to go the long way round!

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So this tree house you're having built, it's not in this tree behind us here, it's in the two up there?

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Yes, you walk up the 59 oak steps.

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Wonderful. And you turn to the left up there, and you come to these two oak trees.

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And the reason I don't want a roof on it, because most tree houses have a roof,

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is that because I know I have dormice in the area and dormice live in

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the canopy of the trees for part of their time.

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And, although the chances of seeing a dormouse are remote, in fact,

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almost zilch, it would be nice to feel they're not that far away.

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That's fantastic, isn't it? I can smell the wood fire burning as well.

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I'm hoping Paul has found something we can sell rather than put on the fire.

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Shall we go and find out? Yes.

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It sounds like the tree house will be the perfect finishing touch to Frances's much-loved garden.

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So we need to get back to work and make that ?1,000.

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Luckily, our man from Morecombe is never one to lose sight of the target

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and he's found an unusual copper beer slops filter.

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He's hoping the bidders raise their glasses on auction day

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and valued it at ?30 to ?40.

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Meanwhile, our tree house fund gets another welcome addition when Frances decides to add

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this wonderful wooden table to the auction.

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Paul hopes it will make ?80 to ?100.

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And next door, our expert spotted another piece of furniture.

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Kim? Hello. Do you know where this piece of furniture came from?

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This came from an auction. Oh, right.

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Did Frances buy many things from auctions?

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Yes, she did. She bought this about five or six years ago,

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for the bed and breakfast, to put the teas and coffees on.

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She going for that antique look to match the house?

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Yes, yes. It does blend well with the age of the house.

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Old pieces of furniture are very, very difficult to find in original condition.

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These legs, that's called bobbin turned.

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And that was really fashionable around the year 1600, 1650.

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Which is 400 years ago. Oh, wow!

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So I suspect what has happened is this frame here is all original,

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but it has had a replacement top, which you would expect.

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If you look at the bottom, this would have sat on a stone floor

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and it would get damp and people would mop around the floor and it would have got water damage.

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And the base has rotted away.

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So what somebody has done is put on the very small legs on the bottom, to give it a bit of height.

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But the bottom is quite rough, actually.

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So what you've got is a really old piece of furniture.

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It's had a few alterations, and a bit of nip and tuck here and there.

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But it's still a beautiful item and those legs are fantastic.

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So I'd say at least ?100 to ?150. How does that sound?

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It sounds great. All right, let's keep looking.

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I'm surprised the table is worth that amount.

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She bought it to put the teas and coffees on it.

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I hope it goes for that and I'm glad she's getting rid of it,

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because she has got too much clutter.

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Frances's house is proving to be a real treasure trove.

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If we keep this up we're going to be on track for that ?1,000 in no time.

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There's yet another top-drawer furniture find when I spot this lovely table with inlaid marquetry.

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Paul hopes it could make ?80 to ?100 under the hammer.

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Meanwhile, our furniture-lover has another room she wants to show Paul.

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Paul, there's a rocking chair.

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Oh, that's quite a nice one.

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I took a shine to it and realised it had originally been caned.

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And because I have done a bit of caning in the past,

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I thought that would be a job for a winter's evening.

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However, two or three winters have gone, and I still haven't done it.

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You say you've done the caning yourself before. And that's quite a difficult?

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No, it's just time-consuming.

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What I like about this is that it has a great frame. This is probably 1880, 1900.

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It's solid mahogany and it has a lovely patina.

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You can see where the sunlight has hit it that the bottom is dark,

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but where someone has sat on the front here, you can see the wear from the elbows. That's lovely.

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I love to find furniture like that. It has a real lived-in feel to it.

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Was it very expensive when you bought it?

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I can't remember what I paid for it.

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Probably ?60 or ?70, something like that.

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Which I thought was enough for something that needed hours of work.

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What is nice about this one is that the actual rockers aren't huge.

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I've seen rocking chairs before where the stretch comes back here

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and they take up an awful lot of space in the house.

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This looks like a comfortable armchair, but you are able to rock.

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The whole idea was, that when you're not rocking the item backwards and forwards

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it naturally settles where your centre of gravity is.

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So you're constantly in an unstressed state.

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Whereas in an ordinary chair you're quite scrunched up or uncomfortable.

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This one settles so everything is perfect. What a marvellous invention it must have been.

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Well, in its present state I think you're looking at least ?80 to ?120.

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I think done up, you could be looking ?150, maybe ?200.

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But there is hours and hours of work there.

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So it's probably not worth doing. Leave that for somebody else. I think so. A lady of leisure.

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Talking of which, let's go and find Lorne!

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I'll have you know, I've been working very hard, Mr Hayes!

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But I will leave you to hold the fort

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because I want to find out a bit more about the lady of the house.

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Before you moved here and set up the bed and breakfast business, what did you do?

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I've been in travel most of my life. Working for an airline and travel company.

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Then I started working as a freelance secretary,

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but during that time I did do up a couple of houses.

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Although it took me several years to do up each one and then I moved here.

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When you first found out about this property, what were your thoughts?

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When I first arrived I think I decided I wanted to live here

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before I'd even turned the engine off in my car.

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And I saw it in the morning, had my surveyor over in the afternoon

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and got an offer in by the following morning.

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So I really did fall in love with it hook, line and sinker.

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What was it like when you bought it and what did you have to do to it?

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The renovations took three-and-a-half years.

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The fireplace was blocked in. There was just a 1920s fireplace down at the bottom here.

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And it took several days to unblock the fireplace.

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And to take the paint off the stone here,

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which also revealed these areas where people have sharpened their farm implements

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and kitchen implements over the years.

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And, yes, it was a lovely day when I was finally able

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to light a fire in it and see that it did, in fact, draw.

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It's a shame to have to leave the roaring fire for more rummaging.

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But it's back to work as we need a few more finds before we can put our feet up.

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Paul's still on top rummaging form,

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and he's found a lovely bookcase with glazed doors.

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It would have once been the top part of a bureau

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and Paul has given it a ?40 to ?60 price tag.

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Meanwhile, Kim and I have been tackling one of the guest bedrooms.

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Paul? Yes.

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Ah, look at that, that's a real antique, isn't it?

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Kim really likes and doesn't think it should be sold.

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But Frances has given us strict instructions that

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everything should be valued so she can decide.

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She's obviously keeping blankets in it, is that what it's for?

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Yes, it's a type of coffer. This would be to keep your prized possessions of the house in.

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It would be used for things like blankets, curtains, textiles

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and they would have been quite expensive commodities.

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Judging by the colour of this, this patina, it's probably 1700, 1680.

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That sort of time. So it's 300 years old.

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They were designed to be part of a dowry.

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If you were getting married you'd keep your possessions here, like a wedding present.

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And I've seen some of them with a date on it, that would say 1679, or 1700,

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and then they'll have two sets of initials and they are the two people who have joined together.

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and their possessions would be kept under lock and key in this box.

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The carcass itself is solid oak and you can see just how deep and thick the oak is on there.

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That's a solid piece of furniture. It will outlive us. It's fantastic.

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What is going on here? It looks like this top has been replaced at some point.

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Ah, yes. I suspect what has happened here is this carcass itself is all original.

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These stretchers are original, because you can see the holes go in the middle.

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But this top looks like the end of a table. Oh, yes. So what sort of value would you put on this then?

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If this was complete, they are a lot harder to find

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and you'd be talking several hundred, but I think, as a nice decorative box.

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It's a good, strong, usable piece of furniture, I'd say ?100 to ?150 is a fair estimate on that one.

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Is there a chance, that somebody might buy it and take this top off, as it's not right?

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Is it ever possible to match anything or restore anything like that, if this wood is so old?

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You'd never get it right and people do love to see things in the original condition you find them.

0:19:140:19:20

When you start altering things, the value tends to get lost.

0:19:200:19:23

And you can spend more money that what the final result will be.

0:19:230:19:26

So if it's don't broke, don't fix it, really, just leave it as it is.

0:19:260:19:30

That's the secret. Not a bad result.

0:19:300:19:32

I'll have to see whether Frances is up for selling that.

0:19:320:19:35

We'll keep you out the way, so you can't convince her otherwise! Let's see what else we can find.

0:19:350:19:40

Another ?100 sitting at the end of the bed.

0:19:400:19:43

There are antiques everywhere you turn in this house,

0:19:430:19:47

and Frances decides to let this wooden cupboard go to auction.

0:19:470:19:50

She bought it from the headquarters of Thomas Cook,

0:19:500:19:53

when she worked there and Paul values it at ?40 to ?60.

0:19:530:19:56

We're almost out of time for today's rummage,

0:19:560:19:59

but I've spotted an item I don't think Mr Hayes would want to miss out on.

0:19:590:20:03

Hi, guys. Oh, look at that.

0:20:030:20:05

You're obviously familiar with this, Frances? I am, indeed, yes.

0:20:050:20:09

It's absolutely lovely. I've one question before you start, though.

0:20:090:20:13

Yes. What's going on here?

0:20:130:20:15

Do you know what they are?

0:20:150:20:17

No, you tell me. They're called Bible boxes.

0:20:170:20:19

They go back to the medieval times when you used to have to hide your family Bibles from visitors.

0:20:190:20:25

Oh, that's how you did it! I couldn't see how that operated.

0:20:250:20:29

That's right. That's a traditional item you find.

0:20:290:20:31

Nowadays you tend to keep your most precious possessions in there.

0:20:310:20:35

They're hidden away. I take it they're empty and there's nothing in there?

0:20:350:20:39

I'm afraid so. There's no Bible either.

0:20:390:20:41

No, this one is the same. But what I love about this one, if I just shut it.

0:20:410:20:47

It's made from veneered walnut and that was very expensive.

0:20:470:20:51

If you look at an 18th-century item here, the way the walnut has been done, the piece is quite small

0:20:510:20:57

and it's placed upside down to make a pattern called butterfly veneering.

0:20:570:21:01

Sometimes you get a herringbone effect in the middle here, where they make this wonderful effect.

0:21:010:21:06

That's because it was an expensive wood.

0:21:060:21:09

So they've made the carcass from oak and veneered it with this wonderful walnut. And it has a lovely patina.

0:21:090:21:14

And what is lovely quality about this one is the graduated drawers.

0:21:140:21:18

You've got a small, narrow drawer at the top, getting bigger,

0:21:180:21:21

bigger again, and bigger again and they're all original. Absolutely beautiful.

0:21:210:21:26

If that went to auction I'd love to see that with at least a ?300 to ?500 estimate, just to give it a chance.

0:21:260:21:32

But on the day, somebody might take a shine to it. So it's up to you.

0:21:320:21:36

How would you feel about selling it at the price Paul has said?

0:21:360:21:40

I would like to think it would go for a bit more.

0:21:400:21:43

I would like to think for a while as to what sort of reserve ought to go on it.

0:21:430:21:48

I think quite a higher reserve than Paul said.

0:21:480:21:52

But it's only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.

0:21:520:21:55

I'm not 100% sure about this, although it is a beautiful piece of furniture.

0:21:550:22:00

I'll just give Kim a shout, and then we'll see how much we've made. Kim?

0:22:000:22:04

We're not 100% sure whether this is going to auction or not.

0:22:040:22:10

If it does, it's going to have a reserve. But we've run out of time, I'm afraid, for rummaging.

0:22:100:22:15

So it's time to learn how much you may or may not make at auction.

0:22:150:22:18

The value of all the items we know are definitely going to go to auction comes to ?750.

0:22:180:22:23

That's fantastic. Are you pleased with that?

0:22:230:22:26

Yes, it's a good sum.

0:22:260:22:27

But were the bureau to pop up to auction it takes us to ?1,050, which is nearer your target.

0:22:270:22:34

The ?1,000 will be a great help towards the tree house.

0:22:340:22:38

The next time we see you is at the auction house.

0:22:380:22:41

Good. Look forward to it. Yes, see you, then. Thank you.

0:22:410:22:45

What a stunning property and what a fantastic collection of antiques we've found inside it today.

0:22:450:22:51

There's the Russian miniature portrait, or is it a coaster?

0:22:510:22:54

Which Paul valued at ?80 to ?120.

0:22:540:22:58

And furniture of all shapes and sizes

0:22:580:23:01

from the rustic rocking chair, valued at ?80 to ?120.

0:23:010:23:05

To the elegant card table, also valued at ?80.

0:23:050:23:09

We'll have to wait to see whether Frances decides to sell

0:23:090:23:12

that lovely Queen Anne-style writing bureau.

0:23:120:23:15

With a massive ?300 to ?500 valuation,

0:23:150:23:18

it could take the tree house fund to a luxurious level.

0:23:180:23:21

But will Frances decide to part with it?

0:23:210:23:23

Still to come on Cash In The Attic.

0:23:280:23:30

Some of our items fail to find new owners.

0:23:300:23:33

I'm very pleased to be taking it home.

0:23:330:23:37

Whilst others fly out of the sale room.

0:23:370:23:39

That is good news. Excellent.

0:23:390:23:41

Oh, dear, oh, dear. Oh, Lordy!

0:23:410:23:44

But will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?

0:23:440:23:47

It's been a couple of weeks since we were at Frances's beautiful, quite idyllic country cottage.

0:23:490:23:54

And, with the help of her friend Kim, we've found lots of lovely antiques

0:23:540:23:58

that we've brought here, to Chiswick Auctions in west London.

0:23:580:24:01

Remember, Frances is looking to raise around ?1,000 towards the cost of building a tree house

0:24:010:24:07

so she can enjoy those spectacular countryside views.

0:24:070:24:10

Let's hope when the items go under the hammer, the bidders are prepared to pay sky-high prices.

0:24:100:24:16

It looks like it's shaping up to be another busy day here at Chiswick,

0:24:160:24:20

so I only hope the bidders have come with full wallets.

0:24:200:24:23

I find our Paul Hayes eyeing up one of our smallest lots.

0:24:230:24:26

Good morning, Paul. Good morning, Lorne. Have you found some bargains?

0:24:260:24:30

Yes, do you remember this little fella? I hope he's not too much of a bargain, because he's lovely.

0:24:300:24:35

The quality is superb. These Russian paintings are fantastic.

0:24:350:24:39

Apparently there has been quite a bit of interest in it. Oh, really? There's a "rush on"(!)

0:24:390:24:44

Oh, no! It's far too early for that.

0:24:440:24:48

We've also got that enormous chest that was at the bottom of the bed,

0:24:480:24:53

but the top was not authentic. No, but it has rustic charm.

0:24:530:24:56

If you live in that lovely house, like our family did the item fits in well.

0:24:560:25:01

One item I haven't seen here yet, is that fabulous bureau.

0:25:010:25:05

Remember that lovely bureau?

0:25:050:25:07

I hope they've brought it, because if they haven't we might not make the total.

0:25:070:25:12

Which means they might have to break it down to use it to build the tree house!

0:25:120:25:16

We leave the bidders browsing and head off to find our family in the sale room.

0:25:160:25:23

Good morning. Hello. Look at that.

0:25:230:25:24

I wanted to know whether you'd brought the bureau, and the answer is, yes, you have.

0:25:240:25:30

It's pride of place under the auctioneer's podium.

0:25:300:25:33

You couldn't ask for more, could you?

0:25:330:25:35

But it is still a nice piece. And have you put a reserve on it?

0:25:350:25:39

Yes, I have, the ?300.

0:25:390:25:43

Is there anything you'll be sad to see go?

0:25:430:25:46

The only thing I'll be sad to see go is the Russian miniature.

0:25:460:25:49

I think it is lovely, but I think it is right to let it go.

0:25:490:25:52

So, are you ready for the auction? Yes. Right, OK.

0:25:520:25:56

Let's go and make some money.

0:25:560:25:57

The bidders are ready and waiting and, as the auctioneer takes to the rostrum, we find our places.

0:25:570:26:04

Now, our first lot comes up for sale - the copper beer filter.

0:26:040:26:09

I used to work in a pub and I don't remember these.

0:26:090:26:11

So is this a Victorian piece then?

0:26:110:26:13

It must be old. Yes.

0:26:130:26:15

It's solid copper and there's quite a bit of weight there.

0:26:150:26:19

Do you remember it being used? No, I bought it because I thought it was an interesting item.

0:26:190:26:25

I have been told what the proper name is and I've forgotten. Oh, right. That makes two of us!

0:26:250:26:31

?30 to ?40 sounds quite good, because copper is scrapping at a very high price now,

0:26:310:26:35

apart from the fact that this is a lovely antique.

0:26:350:26:38

So let's see if we can attract a few brewiana dealers.

0:26:380:26:41

What is it worth? ?10 for the lot.

0:26:410:26:44

Anybody know what they want to do with this for ?10?

0:26:440:26:47

Surely, ?10. A maiden bid and it's going to be sold at ?10.

0:26:470:26:52

At ?10 it goes, 588.

0:26:520:26:54

Oh, dear.

0:26:540:26:55

That wasn't very good, was it. Maybe the price of copper's going down, I don't know.

0:26:550:27:00

Yes, absolutely fine.

0:27:000:27:02

It's not the most exciting start to our day,

0:27:020:27:04

but it's the first step towards the ?1,000 for Frances's tree house.

0:27:040:27:08

Maybe our next lot will have a bit more success, though.

0:27:080:27:12

It's that miniature portrait which Paul valued at ?80 to ?120.

0:27:120:27:16

Although Frances is really quite attached to it.

0:27:160:27:19

Have you protected it with a reserve? Oh, yes. Which is? ?80.

0:27:190:27:23

What do you think, Paul? I think you're very wise to do that.

0:27:230:27:26

It doesn't take up a lot of room, but it's a beautiful painting.

0:27:260:27:30

You've got the frame at home, if you need to bring it back.

0:27:300:27:34

OK, so we need more than ?80 if this is going to sell.

0:27:340:27:37

A little Russian portrait.

0:27:370:27:40

Start this for ?50. 55, 60, 65. ?65.

0:27:400:27:45

70. ?75. It's still with me at ?75.

0:27:450:27:49

One more and we'll buy it.

0:27:490:27:51

So ?75 then, ?75?

0:27:510:27:54

Not sold.

0:27:540:27:56

Is that OK with you? I'm actually very pleased to be taking it home.

0:27:560:28:00

That's fair enough if you like it and you're attached to it.

0:28:000:28:05

One more bid and he would have let that go. But the reserve means ?80.

0:28:050:28:08

I'm really happy to be taking the Russian miniature home with me.

0:28:080:28:12

It had a reserve of ?80 on it.

0:28:120:28:14

It only got to ?75 and I had a little cheer when it didn't make its reserve.

0:28:140:28:20

Frances may be pleased, but it's a blow to our target,

0:28:200:28:24

especially early on in our day.

0:28:240:28:27

It looks like the cupboard might suffer a similar fate.

0:28:270:28:30

?14 for the pot cupboard.

0:28:300:28:33

?14, anybody want? ?14.

0:28:330:28:36

?16, I'll take? For 14.

0:28:360:28:38

At 14? Not sold.

0:28:380:28:40

Crikey, this isn't going very well for us today.

0:28:400:28:43

We're three lots in and only ?10 banked.

0:28:430:28:46

Our ?1,000 target seems a million miles away.

0:28:460:28:49

Surely the first of our furniture items

0:28:490:28:51

will get the bidding back on track?

0:28:510:28:53

Our next lot I think is lovely.

0:28:530:28:55

It's this 19th century demi-lune card table.

0:28:550:28:59

Now these are always so elegant, I think.

0:28:590:29:01

What do we want for this, Paul? We're looking at ?80 to ?100.

0:29:010:29:05

Remember, this one was smiling at us? There's always a few smiles here today when it sells.

0:29:050:29:11

Is it worth ?50? Start me at ?40.

0:29:110:29:13

40, 45, 50, ?50 for that card table.

0:29:130:29:16

And five?

0:29:160:29:18

At ?50 only? Nobody bidding. At ?50.

0:29:180:29:23

Not sold, I'm afraid.

0:29:230:29:25

Oh, that's not sold either.

0:29:250:29:26

Oh, dear, it looks as if the smiling table was a bit too off-putting for these stern bidders.

0:29:260:29:31

Can the lovely rocking chair finally win them over?

0:29:310:29:36

I'm surprised at you selling this, a lovely rocking chair

0:29:360:29:40

by that fantastic fire you had, are you not going to miss that?

0:29:400:29:45

I will, because it's an incredibly comfortable chair to sit on.

0:29:450:29:49

But it does need re-caning

0:29:490:29:53

and I just never seem to get time for these jobs.

0:29:530:29:56

Start me at ?40 for the rocking chair.

0:29:560:29:58

40, 45, 50? For ?50 for the rocking chair?

0:29:580:30:02

?55? For ?50. Anybody bidding?

0:30:020:30:05

?50, then? 50?

0:30:050:30:07

Not sold.

0:30:070:30:09

It might be a project you're going to have to take on board now.

0:30:090:30:12

It does look like it.

0:30:120:30:15

Oh, dear, another item heading back to Sussex with Frances.

0:30:150:30:19

We're having a somewhat disastrous morning and with just one lot left before we break for half-time,

0:30:190:30:24

we're hoping for a few more pounds.

0:30:240:30:26

Our next lot is another piece of furniture.

0:30:260:30:29

It's the display cabinet.

0:30:290:30:32

What do you want for that, Paul?

0:30:320:30:34

Anything, obviously will do!

0:30:340:30:36

?40? A useful piece of furniture. You can put anything in it.

0:30:360:30:40

These items are worth this sort of money and you can't force people to buy them, can you?

0:30:400:30:45

And we don't want to give them away. No. So let's hope for ?40. OK!

0:30:450:30:49

?10 for the display cabinet surely?

0:30:490:30:52

?12.

0:30:520:30:54

14? 14 there.

0:30:560:30:58

16?

0:30:580:31:00

?18. Nearest to us at ?18.

0:31:000:31:02

It's being sold for ?18. 20 there?

0:31:020:31:06

At ?20 then in front of me ?20.

0:31:060:31:11

284.

0:31:110:31:13

?20!

0:31:130:31:15

Goodness.

0:31:150:31:17

It may be underestimate but Frances is being practical.

0:31:170:31:21

It's just nice to sell something this morning.

0:31:210:31:24

It took up space in my kitchen and I wanted to get rid of it.

0:31:240:31:29

We're relieved to have made a sale.

0:31:290:31:31

Before we head off for a cuppa, let's see how we've done so far.

0:31:310:31:35

I don't think I'm going to need a calculator for this one.

0:31:350:31:38

Now, I know you wanted ?1,000 towards the cost of the tree house, but frankly, I think

0:31:380:31:44

we might have been better off buying all the furniture here and building it ourselves!

0:31:440:31:49

We've had a bad time on the furniture front, haven't we?

0:31:490:31:51

I know, but at least the furniture is out of the house and I've got some space to swing a cat.

0:31:510:31:56

I thought you were going to say you'd got some space to swing an expert.

0:31:560:32:01

What's going on? You know, no two auctions are the same.

0:32:010:32:04

On another day you'd do well with those pieces.

0:32:040:32:07

The auctioneer is struggling with lots of furniture today.

0:32:070:32:10

On another day I think you would have got a good price for all of those.

0:32:100:32:14

He's done you a favour by not giving them away.

0:32:140:32:17

Yes, but unfortunately we did want ?1,000 and so far we've only made...

0:32:170:32:21

I don't think I've ever known such a low amount... ?30. I'm so sorry.

0:32:210:32:27

Well, it's a good thing I've got a bed and breakfast that's successful, isn't it?

0:32:270:32:31

Well, we've got a bit of a break until the second half of the auction,

0:32:310:32:35

so let's hope we can make up the difference.

0:32:350:32:38

You've spotted a few items. I have, my career, lot 27!

0:32:380:32:40

Oh, let's go and have a look. Come on.

0:32:400:32:43

While the ladies take a break, our Mr Hayes seems to have been distracted by some champagne,

0:32:430:32:50

although, quite what we have to celebrate so far, I've no idea.

0:32:500:32:54

Paul, I've always wondered about these vintage bottles, what have you got?

0:32:540:32:59

These were in the garden shed belonging to a wine merchant.

0:32:590:33:03

They must have been his best stash. A bottle of champagne from 1964.

0:33:030:33:07

That's the year before... No, I wasn't born then.

0:33:070:33:10

Anyway, what else have you got there?

0:33:100:33:12

The one I really like is this bottle of wine which was made in France in 1945. Oh, right.

0:33:120:33:18

If you can imagine, at the end of the war, why wasn't this drunk as a celebration?

0:33:180:33:22

So that's a very rare find indeed. And Chateau La Tour is very good.

0:33:220:33:27

I'm not a great wine drinker. Not a brilliant wine drinker or champagne drinker,

0:33:270:33:31

but I can see there is a good few quid here. And they're ?50 to ?80.

0:33:310:33:35

I bought lots like this before because they make brilliant presents.

0:33:350:33:39

If you know people who do enjoy a glass of wine or a whisky, Well, at ?50 there's potential there.

0:33:390:33:45

They might be a bargain buy? Definitely. All right, let's see what happens.

0:33:450:33:50

If you're planning on heading to auction, remember that charges such as commission will be added

0:33:530:33:59

so check the details with your local sale room.

0:33:590:34:02

The second half of the auction is already under way when we get back and after the morning,

0:34:020:34:07

we're hoping for a change in fortune. First under the hammer is the wooden swing mirror.

0:34:070:34:13

We're looking for ?40 to ?60 for this pretty lot.

0:34:130:34:15

Have a look at that, is it worth ?20?

0:34:150:34:18

20? 20 I'm bid.

0:34:180:34:20

22, 24, 26, 28, ?28 there. At ?28.

0:34:200:34:26

At ?28. 30, now I'm bid. 32?

0:34:260:34:30

34.

0:34:300:34:31

36. ?36 there in the cap. At ?36?

0:34:310:34:36

All done at ?36.

0:34:360:34:39

GAVEL BANGS

0:34:390:34:41

?36. Phew! That's more like it, isn't it?

0:34:410:34:43

Thank goodness.

0:34:430:34:45

Only slightly short of Paul's ?40 estimate

0:34:450:34:48

and ?6 more than our entire earnings from the first half.

0:34:480:34:52

We've five furniture lots to sell now and after our bad luck,

0:34:520:34:56

we need to keep everything crossed. The blanket box is up first.

0:34:560:34:59

This really is a great item.

0:35:010:35:03

It's hundreds of years old, if it could only tell a story.

0:35:030:35:06

It has got a replacement top, but we're looking for about ?100.

0:35:060:35:10

I'm bid ?80 to start, with me. 85?

0:35:100:35:12

90. 100. 110. 120?

0:35:120:35:18

?120 for that coffer. At ?120.

0:35:180:35:22

At ?120 with me at ?120.

0:35:220:35:25

At 120, then? Selling it for ?120.

0:35:250:35:28

Oh, that's great.

0:35:280:35:29

That's more like it.

0:35:290:35:31

The first of our items to make over Paul's lowest estimate

0:35:310:35:35

and the first big step towards the ?1,000 for Frances's tree house.

0:35:350:35:39

Our circular table with large spiral support

0:35:390:35:42

doesn't manage to pull in quite so many pounds.

0:35:420:35:44

38, to my right. At ?38, it's still cheap for ?38. It can be sold, though.

0:35:440:35:50

Selling then. At ?38 it goes.

0:35:500:35:53

Failing to achieve even half its lowest estimate,

0:35:530:35:56

but with every pound counting today,

0:35:560:35:58

it's nonetheless an addition to our kitty.

0:35:580:36:01

Maybe our next table will cause more of a stir in the sale room.

0:36:010:36:05

Now, next it's furniture, we seem to be sticking with a theme.

0:36:050:36:09

It's an "oak side table with a single drawer and bobbin-turned supports.

0:36:090:36:13

"Elements of the 17th century." Do explain that to me!

0:36:130:36:16

What does that mean? Well, there are parts of it that are from the 17th century,

0:36:160:36:20

but over time bits have been replaced. But the actual frame is great.

0:36:200:36:24

And those bobbin legs are fantastic. Different, and people love to have different furniture.

0:36:240:36:29

Is that why we've got ?100 to ?150 on it? That's right.

0:36:290:36:32

But it is a real antique. It's 300 years old. Wow!

0:36:320:36:35

248, this has got some fantastic bit of turning on the legs.

0:36:350:36:39

Have a look at that. 248.

0:36:390:36:41

I've got a little bit of commission interest to start us off at ?80.

0:36:410:36:45

At ?80. 90. 95. 100.

0:36:450:36:50

110.

0:36:500:36:53

In the stripes at ?110. Is that all?

0:36:530:36:55

At ?110.

0:36:550:36:57

It's going to be sold then for ?110. At ?110 it goes then.

0:36:570:37:02

120. ?120 then.

0:37:020:37:06

All done? 130. ?130 now.

0:37:060:37:11

With the lady still at ?130.

0:37:110:37:13

Sure done and finished ?130.

0:37:130:37:17

?130! Wow, that's great, isn't it?

0:37:170:37:20

Life's picking up! Getting better.

0:37:200:37:23

The table with the bobbin legs has gone for ?130 and that is marvellous.

0:37:230:37:28

I think we are beginning to move now.

0:37:280:37:33

That's a fantastic result.

0:37:330:37:35

It seems like the furniture buyers are coming out of the woodwork!

0:37:350:37:39

Will they dig as deep for our next furniture lot, though?

0:37:390:37:42

The next lot is the marquetry table.

0:37:420:37:45

This is lovely, isn't it, Paul? This is one of the better styles,

0:37:450:37:49

Inlay with the beautiful flower in the middle.

0:37:490:37:51

Yes, ?80 we're looking for on this one.

0:37:510:37:54

75 for the little table. At 75?

0:37:540:37:56

80. 85.

0:37:560:37:58

90. 95.

0:37:580:38:00

100 in the room.

0:38:000:38:01

At ?100. At ?100 in the room. At 100.

0:38:010:38:04

It seems still cheap. 110?

0:38:040:38:06

?110. 120 with the lady.

0:38:060:38:08

Not expensive at ?120

0:38:080:38:11

but it can be sold.

0:38:110:38:13

Going then, at ?120, it sells.

0:38:130:38:15

?120, well, that's a bit more like it. Are you pleased with that?

0:38:150:38:21

Oh, yes, very.

0:38:210:38:23

That's a great addition to our tree-house fund

0:38:230:38:26

and the first of our lots to exceed Paul's highest estimate today!

0:38:260:38:30

We're almost at the end of this rather unpredictable sale,

0:38:300:38:33

but not before our highly-valued lot takes centre stage.

0:38:330:38:37

The Queen Anne-style writing bureau which Paul valued at ?300 to ?500.

0:38:370:38:41

It was tugging at Frances's heartstrings to part with this one.

0:38:410:38:45

I hope the sale room digs deep.

0:38:450:38:47

Now it's our piece de resistance, that lovely bureau.

0:38:470:38:51

I hope people have spotted the inside as it had those secret drawers.

0:38:510:38:55

Yes, the interior is fantastic. And the exterior as well.

0:38:550:38:58

Normally, those bits would have lifted and bits of damage on it. It says, "In Queen Anne style,"

0:38:580:39:04

what does that mean? It's not of the period.

0:39:040:39:06

If that was very early 18th century or earlier, you're looking at quite a lot of money.

0:39:060:39:11

It's a lot later, but it's still a nice example, isn't it?

0:39:110:39:14

A bit of interest in this lot again.

0:39:140:39:16

No point in starting it below ?280. We're off to a good start at ?280.

0:39:160:39:21

290. With me at ?300. 320? 340?

0:39:210:39:28

360. 380.

0:39:280:39:31

400. In the room then at ?400. At ?400. Anybody else want to come in?

0:39:310:39:36

It's ?400 and 20 I'll take? No. ?400, it sells then.

0:39:360:39:40

Oh, ?400. That's superb.

0:39:400:39:43

I'm really pleased with that.

0:39:430:39:45

Are you? Yes. I am.

0:39:450:39:47

Excellent. Oh, dear me. Oh, Lordy!

0:39:470:39:50

Wow, what a relief, almost half our target in one sale.

0:39:500:39:55

But was it enough to get us near the ?1,000?

0:39:550:39:58

Now, obviously you live in the most amazing cottage.

0:39:580:40:01

I know you've worked hard to make it what it is today.

0:40:010:40:05

But it would be fantastic to get that tree house.

0:40:050:40:07

Do you think you're anywhere near your ?1,000 target?

0:40:070:40:10

I would be amazed if it was anywhere near the ?1,000, but I'll still have the tree house.

0:40:100:40:15

Well, you've got ?874 towards it.

0:40:150:40:19

That's not so bad after all, is it? No, I'm quite amazed really.

0:40:190:40:23

We've got quite a lot unsold and we managed to make that much money.

0:40:230:40:26

I don't know whether I'm pleased or relieved.

0:40:260:40:29

A few weeks after raising ?874 on that roller-coaster day at auction,

0:40:360:40:42

the time has finally come for Frances to splash out and get work started on the tree house.

0:40:420:40:48

Since the auction I've been in touch with a local company who are now making good progress.

0:40:480:40:54

They were rained off, because the weather has been so atrocious.

0:40:540:40:57

But now progress is good and we're on course for an early finish.

0:40:570:41:03

How are you getting on at the moment?

0:41:030:41:05

We've got all the main support struts in now, and concreted in down here, because of this slope.

0:41:050:41:12

It's a very steep slope.

0:41:120:41:14

But the main structure is held by these two oak trees and they're holding the thing together.

0:41:140:41:18

A couple of weeks later and the final touches are being made.

0:41:260:41:29

The tree house is really taking shape.

0:41:290:41:31

Just in time for its first visitor.

0:41:310:41:34

I can't wait to get up to the tree house and look at the views.

0:41:340:41:38

I've waited for weeks watching them build it.

0:41:380:41:41

So it's going to be great when we get up here, I'm sure.

0:41:410:41:44

It looks good.

0:41:440:41:47

It may not quite be the weather for a gin and tonic,

0:41:470:41:50

but both ladies seem pretty impressed with the result.

0:41:500:41:54

Ah, isn't it wonderful?

0:41:540:41:57

Look at the workmanship. It's really great. And the view.

0:41:570:42:00

And the views!

0:42:000:42:03

Ah. I think it's better than expected up here.

0:42:030:42:05

The views are stunning and you see a lot more than I expected to see.

0:42:050:42:10

There's a lake in the distance.

0:42:100:42:13

And the garden and the house look splendid from here.

0:42:130:42:16

So I'm hoping that I can bring the children up and they'll enjoy some of the summer holidays up here.

0:42:160:42:22

The tree house is absolutely splendid. It's more than...

0:42:220:42:27

Well, it's much better than I thought it was going to be.

0:42:270:42:30

I excited about it, and people are asking me whether it's for the children.

0:42:300:42:34

But it's not, it's for the child in me!

0:42:340:42:37

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:570:43:00

Frances Druce runs a B&B in her beautiful 16th-century home in West Sussex. She wants to turn some of her antiques into cash for a luxury tree house, so she calls in the team to help.