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
around your home and then we sell them at auction.
Well, today, I've come to Charleston in Sussex.
And this used to be the place where writers, intellectuals and artists met.
A group otherwise known as the Bloomsbury Group.
A collective of friends and relatives, their work deeply influenced literature and attitudes
towards topics such as feminism and pacifism.
And famous members included Virginia Woolf and EM Forster.
The house's interior was decorated by artists inspired by Italian fresco painting.
And the walled garden reflects southern European style,
with mosaics, box hedges, gravel pathways and ponds.
Well, after seeing such a fantastic collection of art, I'm feeling inspired to find some antiques
and collectables of our own that will raise lots of cash.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic.
Our expert is taking a gamble on one of our family's lots.
It could be a safe bet. Yes.
And he seems to think he's the only one rummaging. A lady of leisure.
A lady of leisure. Talking of which, let's go and find Lorne.
But we're all working together come auction day.
Wow, that's great, isn't it? It's picking up.
Let's hope we'll still be smiling when the final hammer falls.
I'm in Haywards Heath and I've come here to meet two fabulous ladies
who have called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help them raise some funds so they can get tree-top views.
Frances Drews runs a B from this beautiful 16th century home in the heart of West Sussex.
She's spent four years renovating the property and its two acres of gardens.
And, although she has created a stunning place inside and out,
there's one final green-fingered touch she wants to add.
So she's called us, and her friend Kim, along to help.
Morning! Good morning. This is great.
It's like Dingly Dell meets Hansel and Gretel. I'm glad you said that.
The house is an antique in its own right. It dates back to the 16th century.
Isn't that fantastic? This, for me, really, epitomises England.
It's absolutely beautiful. I hope it's full of English antiques.
The two ladies are ever so nice. So come and meet them. Ah, good.
Ah, good morning.
You must be Frances. I am.
So you must be Kim. Yes.
I understand you two have been friends for a long time, is that right? Yes.
Kim came to stay with her family for a fortnight when they were
in the process of moving down to Lingfield and we've been friends ever since.
Well, this is an amazing place, so what is your plan?
Well, I'd like to get a tree house, or a tree platform. A budget tree house.
I don't want a roof to it, because I want to be in, amongst the trees.
And I have a pair of oak trees up there, and a tree platform strung between them
would be fabulous. Do you think this is a good idea? It's excellent,
because when you go up to the top there, there's stunning views.
And it would be a lovely place for a gin and tonic.
These things are expensive nowadays. So what sort of price are you.
Mine will have to be a sort of budget one, without a roof on it.
I want more of a platform than a roofy thing, so we're probably looking around ?4,000 to ?5,000.
Crikey, is that what you want to raise today? No, I've not got anything worth that much,
but if we can get ?1,000 towards it, that'd be lovely.
We need to raise ?1,000 towards the tree house then? Yes.
All right, then. Shall we go and see whether Paul has managed to find anything yet?
He'll sniff out the antiques.
That will be lovely. Frances's garden will be a real show stopper if she can get that tree house.
It's all hands on deck so we can get on with the search.
Luckily, we have our expert, Paul Hayes, to help.
With a passion for antiques of all shapes and sizes, he's just the man
we need to help pick out the best items for auction.
There you are! Hello, how are you?
Found something already? One of my favourite items.
I love this, a little miniature painting.
Where did this come from? Is this one of the pieces you've inherited?
Actually, I inherited by accident, really.
It was in this frame behind a photo.
The photo fell off and I found that behind it.
And I started using it as a coaster for my tea or coffee mug.
Wow, you often hear of old masters found hidden behind other paintings and so on.
And that's what you've got here.
This is an original painting. Late 19th century, 1880, 1890.
And it's very Russian.
I suspect it's been a larger panel from the top of a box.
The Russians were very much into that sort of thing.
They would make these wonderful papier mache boxes
and they'd have snow scenes and nobility and Cossacks and so on. But look at the detail here.
This has been a good artist who has done it. You have individual eye lashes and individual whiskers here.
What you've got here is a piece of history. These are wonderful items to have.
It's late 19th century. It's an original painting. It's papier mache. It's Russian.
If I said at least ?80 to ?120, how does that sound?
For something I used to use as a coaster, I think that's...
For something that should be something else,
and has been cut down, I think that's a pretty fantastic result.
It's beautifully done and is really collectable at the moment.
That's a good start. Right, come on, let's see what else we can find.
Have you got any more coasters like that? Sadly, no. Oh, that's a shame.
I don't think Frances will be putting hot drinks on that one any more.
The painting gets us off to a cracking start and we're all keeping our minds firmly focused
on that ?1,000 target as we divide and conquer this beautiful property.
Kim's been hard at work and she's found this swing mirror
which would have been part of a dressing table set.
Paul hopes it will make ?40 to ?60.
Meanwhile, in the hallway, it looks like our expert might have come up trumps himself.
Frances? Yes, Paul?
You've a nice card table here.
Do you ever use this one?
No, I've only recently had it from my parents' house.
Oh, right, so this isn't something you've bought then. No. It's a proper heirloom then.
A lot of the furniture I've got in the house has been collected over a period of years,
A lot of the furniture I've got in the house has been collected over a period of years,
trying to find the right piece of furniture at the right age to go into the bed and breakfast.
It's quite a nice example, isn't it? It's a demi-lune, or half circle.
This dates probably 1890, 1900.
It's a lot newer than the house, obviously.
A couple of things to look for. Over a period of time, the surface can get warped and it can "smile".
Have you heard that expression? No, but I can see what you mean.
Can you see? This is a gap here, it looks like a smile.
And that can be sorted out, but it is quite a costly job to do.
And that is quite a problem, Right. But the actual style is lovely.
You this frieze here. Very classical.
Do you like it? I notice most of the things in your house tend to be a bit older than this one.
It's too young for the house.
And I thought I had a spot for it, but haven't. Do you use it at all?
Only as a side table here, and once I got it back, I thought, "Oh, it's not really right for the house."
With a bit of restoration on this, you could have quite a nice table.
Yes, but would the restoration not be out of kilter with its value?
It would cost quite a lot to do. But at the end of the day, it's a nice example. It's mahogany.
It needs a bit of work, but if I said ?80 to ?120? I'd be happy about that.
It could be a safe bet. Yes!
Well, we've certainly scored highly on that round with another ?80 in the kitty.
I leave the rummaging in Paul's capable hands for a while and catch up with our two ladies.
Now, this is absolutely amazing.
I mean, it is so typically English, isn't it? I mean, this is what most people dream of.
A chocolate-box cottage and these beautiful gardens. How long have you been here, Frances?
I've been here about 15 years. Was it like this when you moved here?
No, the garden had a couple of roses and a rhododendron in it,
and looked absolutely nothing like this whatsoever.
So, apart from the trees, what did you have to do?
Well, first of all, I had 28 lorry-loads of dirt taken out.
I had a JCB in here on three occasions, because on two occasions it sank.
So we had to get it out before we lost it.
And gradually, over a period of years, the planting has gone on.
Do you share the love of gardening? No, I don't. Not as much.
I enjoy walking. And we walk every week and take a map with us and write down where we've been
and then Frances can print it out when we get back and she gives them to the guests
and they can go on the same walks as well.
Oh, how lovely. So it's all around here, is it?
Yes, it is. I bet you see some interesting places, don't you?
We've seen some gorgeous places, yes.
Some of the walks are from here, and others start at various points.
There's usually a hostelry of some description either at the beginning, the middle or the end.
And sometimes in all three places.
Yes. And I won't walk through a field of cows, so we sometimes have to go the long way round!
So this tree house you're having built, it's not in this tree behind us here, it's in the two up there?
Yes, you walk up the 59 oak steps.
Wonderful. And you turn to the left up there, and you come to these two oak trees.
And the reason I don't want a roof on it, because most tree houses have a roof,
is that because I know I have dormice in the area and dormice live in
the canopy of the trees for part of their time.
And, although the chances of seeing a dormouse are remote, in fact,
almost zilch, it would be nice to feel they're not that far away.
That's fantastic, isn't it? I can smell the wood fire burning as well.
I'm hoping Paul has found something we can sell rather than put on the fire.
Shall we go and find out? Yes.
It sounds like the tree house will be the perfect finishing touch to Frances's much-loved garden.
So we need to get back to work and make that ?1,000.
Luckily, our man from Morecombe is never one to lose sight of the target
and he's found an unusual copper beer slops filter.
He's hoping the bidders raise their glasses on auction day
and valued it at ?30 to ?40.
Meanwhile, our tree house fund gets another welcome addition when Frances decides to add
this wonderful wooden table to the auction.
Paul hopes it will make ?80 to ?100.
And next door, our expert spotted another piece of furniture.
Kim? Hello. Do you know where this piece of furniture came from?
This came from an auction. Oh, right.
Did Frances buy many things from auctions?
Yes, she did. She bought this about five or six years ago,
for the bed and breakfast, to put the teas and coffees on.
She going for that antique look to match the house?
Yes, yes. It does blend well with the age of the house.
Old pieces of furniture are very, very difficult to find in original condition.
These legs, that's called bobbin turned.
And that was really fashionable around the year 1600, 1650.
Which is 400 years ago. Oh, wow!
So I suspect what has happened is this frame here is all original,
but it has had a replacement top, which you would expect.
If you look at the bottom, this would have sat on a stone floor
and it would get damp and people would mop around the floor and it would have got water damage.
And the base has rotted away.
So what somebody has done is put on the very small legs on the bottom, to give it a bit of height.
But the bottom is quite rough, actually.
So what you've got is a really old piece of furniture.
It's had a few alterations, and a bit of nip and tuck here and there.
But it's still a beautiful item and those legs are fantastic.
So I'd say at least ?100 to ?150. How does that sound?
It sounds great. All right, let's keep looking.
I'm surprised the table is worth that amount.
She bought it to put the teas and coffees on it.
I hope it goes for that and I'm glad she's getting rid of it,
because she has got too much clutter.
Frances's house is proving to be a real treasure trove.
If we keep this up we're going to be on track for that ?1,000 in no time.
There's yet another top-drawer furniture find when I spot this lovely table with inlaid marquetry.
Paul hopes it could make ?80 to ?100 under the hammer.
Meanwhile, our furniture-lover has another room she wants to show Paul.
Paul, there's a rocking chair.
Oh, that's quite a nice one.
I took a shine to it and realised it had originally been caned.
And because I have done a bit of caning in the past,
I thought that would be a job for a winter's evening.
However, two or three winters have gone, and I still haven't done it.
You say you've done the caning yourself before. And that's quite a difficult?
No, it's just time-consuming.
What I like about this is that it has a great frame. This is probably 1880, 1900.
It's solid mahogany and it has a lovely patina.
You can see where the sunlight has hit it that the bottom is dark,
but where someone has sat on the front here, you can see the wear from the elbows. That's lovely.
I love to find furniture like that. It has a real lived-in feel to it.
Was it very expensive when you bought it?
I can't remember what I paid for it.
Probably ?60 or ?70, something like that.
Which I thought was enough for something that needed hours of work.
What is nice about this one is that the actual rockers aren't huge.
I've seen rocking chairs before where the stretch comes back here
and they take up an awful lot of space in the house.
This looks like a comfortable armchair, but you are able to rock.
The whole idea was, that when you're not rocking the item backwards and forwards
it naturally settles where your centre of gravity is.
So you're constantly in an unstressed state.
Whereas in an ordinary chair you're quite scrunched up or uncomfortable.
This one settles so everything is perfect. What a marvellous invention it must have been.
Well, in its present state I think you're looking at least ?80 to ?120.
I think done up, you could be looking ?150, maybe ?200.
But there is hours and hours of work there.
So it's probably not worth doing. Leave that for somebody else. I think so. A lady of leisure.
Talking of which, let's go and find Lorne!
I'll have you know, I've been working very hard, Mr Hayes!
But I will leave you to hold the fort
because I want to find out a bit more about the lady of the house.
Before you moved here and set up the bed and breakfast business, what did you do?
I've been in travel most of my life. Working for an airline and travel company.
Then I started working as a freelance secretary,
but during that time I did do up a couple of houses.
Although it took me several years to do up each one and then I moved here.
When you first found out about this property, what were your thoughts?
When I first arrived I think I decided I wanted to live here
before I'd even turned the engine off in my car.
And I saw it in the morning, had my surveyor over in the afternoon
and got an offer in by the following morning.
So I really did fall in love with it hook, line and sinker.
What was it like when you bought it and what did you have to do to it?
The renovations took three-and-a-half years.
The fireplace was blocked in. There was just a 1920s fireplace down at the bottom here.
And it took several days to unblock the fireplace.
And to take the paint off the stone here,
which also revealed these areas where people have sharpened their farm implements
and kitchen implements over the years.
And, yes, it was a lovely day when I was finally able
to light a fire in it and see that it did, in fact, draw.
It's a shame to have to leave the roaring fire for more rummaging.
But it's back to work as we need a few more finds before we can put our feet up.
Paul's still on top rummaging form,
and he's found a lovely bookcase with glazed doors.
It would have once been the top part of a bureau
and Paul has given it a ?40 to ?60 price tag.
Meanwhile, Kim and I have been tackling one of the guest bedrooms.
Ah, look at that, that's a real antique, isn't it?
Kim really likes and doesn't think it should be sold.
But Frances has given us strict instructions that
everything should be valued so she can decide.
She's obviously keeping blankets in it, is that what it's for?
Yes, it's a type of coffer. This would be to keep your prized possessions of the house in.
It would be used for things like blankets, curtains, textiles
and they would have been quite expensive commodities.
Judging by the colour of this, this patina, it's probably 1700, 1680.
That sort of time. So it's 300 years old.
They were designed to be part of a dowry.
If you were getting married you'd keep your possessions here, like a wedding present.
And I've seen some of them with a date on it, that would say 1679, or 1700,
and then they'll have two sets of initials and they are the two people who have joined together.
and their possessions would be kept under lock and key in this box.
The carcass itself is solid oak and you can see just how deep and thick the oak is on there.
That's a solid piece of furniture. It will outlive us. It's fantastic.
What is going on here? It looks like this top has been replaced at some point.
Ah, yes. I suspect what has happened here is this carcass itself is all original.
These stretchers are original, because you can see the holes go in the middle.
But this top looks like the end of a table. Oh, yes. So what sort of value would you put on this then?
If this was complete, they are a lot harder to find
and you'd be talking several hundred, but I think, as a nice decorative box.
It's a good, strong, usable piece of furniture, I'd say ?100 to ?150 is a fair estimate on that one.
Is there a chance, that somebody might buy it and take this top off, as it's not right?
Is it ever possible to match anything or restore anything like that, if this wood is so old?
You'd never get it right and people do love to see things in the original condition you find them.
When you start altering things, the value tends to get lost.
And you can spend more money that what the final result will be.
So if it's don't broke, don't fix it, really, just leave it as it is.
That's the secret. Not a bad result.
I'll have to see whether Frances is up for selling that.
We'll keep you out the way, so you can't convince her otherwise! Let's see what else we can find.
Another ?100 sitting at the end of the bed.
There are antiques everywhere you turn in this house,
and Frances decides to let this wooden cupboard go to auction.
She bought it from the headquarters of Thomas Cook,
when she worked there and Paul values it at ?40 to ?60.
We're almost out of time for today's rummage,
but I've spotted an item I don't think Mr Hayes would want to miss out on.
Hi, guys. Oh, look at that.
You're obviously familiar with this, Frances? I am, indeed, yes.
It's absolutely lovely. I've one question before you start, though.
Yes. What's going on here?
Do you know what they are?
No, you tell me. They're called Bible boxes.
They go back to the medieval times when you used to have to hide your family Bibles from visitors.
Oh, that's how you did it! I couldn't see how that operated.
That's right. That's a traditional item you find.
Nowadays you tend to keep your most precious possessions in there.
They're hidden away. I take it they're empty and there's nothing in there?
I'm afraid so. There's no Bible either.
No, this one is the same. But what I love about this one, if I just shut it.
It's made from veneered walnut and that was very expensive.
If you look at an 18th-century item here, the way the walnut has been done, the piece is quite small
and it's placed upside down to make a pattern called butterfly veneering.
Sometimes you get a herringbone effect in the middle here, where they make this wonderful effect.
That's because it was an expensive wood.
So they've made the carcass from oak and veneered it with this wonderful walnut. And it has a lovely patina.
And what is lovely quality about this one is the graduated drawers.
You've got a small, narrow drawer at the top, getting bigger,
bigger again, and bigger again and they're all original. Absolutely beautiful.
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.
But on the day, somebody might take a shine to it. So it's up to you.
How would you feel about selling it at the price Paul has said?
I would like to think it would go for a bit more.
I would like to think for a while as to what sort of reserve ought to go on it.
I think quite a higher reserve than Paul said.
But it's only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.
I'm not 100% sure about this, although it is a beautiful piece of furniture.
I'll just give Kim a shout, and then we'll see how much we've made. Kim?
We're not 100% sure whether this is going to auction or not.
If it does, it's going to have a reserve. But we've run out of time, I'm afraid, for rummaging.
So it's time to learn how much you may or may not make at auction.
The value of all the items we know are definitely going to go to auction comes to ?750.
That's fantastic. Are you pleased with that?
Yes, it's a good sum.
But were the bureau to pop up to auction it takes us to ?1,050, which is nearer your target.
The ?1,000 will be a great help towards the tree house.
The next time we see you is at the auction house.
Good. Look forward to it. Yes, see you, then. Thank you.
What a stunning property and what a fantastic collection of antiques we've found inside it today.
There's the Russian miniature portrait, or is it a coaster?
Which Paul valued at ?80 to ?120.
And furniture of all shapes and sizes
from the rustic rocking chair, valued at ?80 to ?120.
To the elegant card table, also valued at ?80.
We'll have to wait to see whether Frances decides to sell
that lovely Queen Anne-style writing bureau.
With a massive ?300 to ?500 valuation,
it could take the tree house fund to a luxurious level.
But will Frances decide to part with it?
Still to come on Cash In The Attic.
Some of our items fail to find new owners.
I'm very pleased to be taking it home.
Whilst others fly out of the sale room.
That is good news. Excellent.
Oh, dear, oh, dear. Oh, Lordy!
But will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
It's been a couple of weeks since we were at Frances's beautiful, quite idyllic country cottage.
And, with the help of her friend Kim, we've found lots of lovely antiques
that we've brought here, to Chiswick Auctions in west London.
Remember, Frances is looking to raise around ?1,000 towards the cost of building a tree house
so she can enjoy those spectacular countryside views.
Let's hope when the items go under the hammer, the bidders are prepared to pay sky-high prices.
It looks like it's shaping up to be another busy day here at Chiswick,
so I only hope the bidders have come with full wallets.
I find our Paul Hayes eyeing up one of our smallest lots.
Good morning, Paul. Good morning, Lorne. Have you found some bargains?
Yes, do you remember this little fella? I hope he's not too much of a bargain, because he's lovely.
The quality is superb. These Russian paintings are fantastic.
Apparently there has been quite a bit of interest in it. Oh, really? There's a "rush on"(!)
Oh, no! It's far too early for that.
We've also got that enormous chest that was at the bottom of the bed,
but the top was not authentic. No, but it has rustic charm.
If you live in that lovely house, like our family did the item fits in well.
One item I haven't seen here yet, is that fabulous bureau.
Remember that lovely bureau?
I hope they've brought it, because if they haven't we might not make the total.
Which means they might have to break it down to use it to build the tree house!
We leave the bidders browsing and head off to find our family in the sale room.
Good morning. Hello. Look at that.
I wanted to know whether you'd brought the bureau, and the answer is, yes, you have.
It's pride of place under the auctioneer's podium.
You couldn't ask for more, could you?
But it is still a nice piece. And have you put a reserve on it?
Yes, I have, the ?300.
Is there anything you'll be sad to see go?
The only thing I'll be sad to see go is the Russian miniature.
I think it is lovely, but I think it is right to let it go.
So, are you ready for the auction? Yes. Right, OK.
Let's go and make some money.
The bidders are ready and waiting and, as the auctioneer takes to the rostrum, we find our places.
Now, our first lot comes up for sale - the copper beer filter.
I used to work in a pub and I don't remember these.
So is this a Victorian piece then?
It must be old. Yes.
It's solid copper and there's quite a bit of weight there.
Do you remember it being used? No, I bought it because I thought it was an interesting item.
I have been told what the proper name is and I've forgotten. Oh, right. That makes two of us!
?30 to ?40 sounds quite good, because copper is scrapping at a very high price now,
apart from the fact that this is a lovely antique.
So let's see if we can attract a few brewiana dealers.
What is it worth? ?10 for the lot.
Anybody know what they want to do with this for ?10?
Surely, ?10. A maiden bid and it's going to be sold at ?10.
At ?10 it goes, 588.
That wasn't very good, was it. Maybe the price of copper's going down, I don't know.
Yes, absolutely fine.
It's not the most exciting start to our day,
but it's the first step towards the ?1,000 for Frances's tree house.
Maybe our next lot will have a bit more success, though.
It's that miniature portrait which Paul valued at ?80 to ?120.
Although Frances is really quite attached to it.
Have you protected it with a reserve? Oh, yes. Which is? ?80.
What do you think, Paul? I think you're very wise to do that.
It doesn't take up a lot of room, but it's a beautiful painting.
You've got the frame at home, if you need to bring it back.
OK, so we need more than ?80 if this is going to sell.
A little Russian portrait.
Start this for ?50. 55, 60, 65. ?65.
70. ?75. It's still with me at ?75.
One more and we'll buy it.
So ?75 then, ?75?
Is that OK with you? I'm actually very pleased to be taking it home.
That's fair enough if you like it and you're attached to it.
One more bid and he would have let that go. But the reserve means ?80.
I'm really happy to be taking the Russian miniature home with me.
It had a reserve of ?80 on it.
It only got to ?75 and I had a little cheer when it didn't make its reserve.
Frances may be pleased, but it's a blow to our target,
especially early on in our day.
It looks like the cupboard might suffer a similar fate.
?14 for the pot cupboard.
?14, anybody want? ?14.
?16, I'll take? For 14.
At 14? Not sold.
Crikey, this isn't going very well for us today.
We're three lots in and only ?10 banked.
Our ?1,000 target seems a million miles away.
Surely the first of our furniture items
will get the bidding back on track?
Our next lot I think is lovely.
It's this 19th century demi-lune card table.
Now these are always so elegant, I think.
What do we want for this, Paul? We're looking at ?80 to ?100.
Remember, this one was smiling at us? There's always a few smiles here today when it sells.
Is it worth ?50? Start me at ?40.
40, 45, 50, ?50 for that card table.
At ?50 only? Nobody bidding. At ?50.
Not sold, I'm afraid.
Oh, that's not sold either.
Oh, dear, it looks as if the smiling table was a bit too off-putting for these stern bidders.
Can the lovely rocking chair finally win them over?
I'm surprised at you selling this, a lovely rocking chair
by that fantastic fire you had, are you not going to miss that?
I will, because it's an incredibly comfortable chair to sit on.
But it does need re-caning
and I just never seem to get time for these jobs.
Start me at ?40 for the rocking chair.
40, 45, 50? For ?50 for the rocking chair?
?55? For ?50. Anybody bidding?
?50, then? 50?
It might be a project you're going to have to take on board now.
It does look like it.
Oh, dear, another item heading back to Sussex with Frances.
We're having a somewhat disastrous morning and with just one lot left before we break for half-time,
we're hoping for a few more pounds.
Our next lot is another piece of furniture.
It's the display cabinet.
What do you want for that, Paul?
Anything, obviously will do!
?40? A useful piece of furniture. You can put anything in it.
These items are worth this sort of money and you can't force people to buy them, can you?
And we don't want to give them away. No. So let's hope for ?40. OK!
?10 for the display cabinet surely?
14? 14 there.
?18. Nearest to us at ?18.
It's being sold for ?18. 20 there?
At ?20 then in front of me ?20.
It may be underestimate but Frances is being practical.
It's just nice to sell something this morning.
It took up space in my kitchen and I wanted to get rid of it.
We're relieved to have made a sale.
Before we head off for a cuppa, let's see how we've done so far.
I don't think I'm going to need a calculator for this one.
Now, I know you wanted ?1,000 towards the cost of the tree house, but frankly, I think
we might have been better off buying all the furniture here and building it ourselves!
We've had a bad time on the furniture front, haven't we?
I know, but at least the furniture is out of the house and I've got some space to swing a cat.
I thought you were going to say you'd got some space to swing an expert.
What's going on? You know, no two auctions are the same.
On another day you'd do well with those pieces.
The auctioneer is struggling with lots of furniture today.
On another day I think you would have got a good price for all of those.
He's done you a favour by not giving them away.
Yes, but unfortunately we did want ?1,000 and so far we've only made...
I don't think I've ever known such a low amount... ?30. I'm so sorry.
Well, it's a good thing I've got a bed and breakfast that's successful, isn't it?
Well, we've got a bit of a break until the second half of the auction,
so let's hope we can make up the difference.
You've spotted a few items. I have, my career, lot 27!
Oh, let's go and have a look. Come on.
While the ladies take a break, our Mr Hayes seems to have been distracted by some champagne,
although, quite what we have to celebrate so far, I've no idea.
Paul, I've always wondered about these vintage bottles, what have you got?
These were in the garden shed belonging to a wine merchant.
They must have been his best stash. A bottle of champagne from 1964.
That's the year before... No, I wasn't born then.
Anyway, what else have you got there?
The one I really like is this bottle of wine which was made in France in 1945. Oh, right.
If you can imagine, at the end of the war, why wasn't this drunk as a celebration?
So that's a very rare find indeed. And Chateau La Tour is very good.
I'm not a great wine drinker. Not a brilliant wine drinker or champagne drinker,
but I can see there is a good few quid here. And they're ?50 to ?80.
I bought lots like this before because they make brilliant presents.
If you know people who do enjoy a glass of wine or a whisky, Well, at ?50 there's potential there.
They might be a bargain buy? Definitely. All right, let's see what happens.
If you're planning on heading to auction, remember that charges such as commission will be added
so check the details with your local sale room.
The second half of the auction is already under way when we get back and after the morning,
we're hoping for a change in fortune. First under the hammer is the wooden swing mirror.
We're looking for ?40 to ?60 for this pretty lot.
Have a look at that, is it worth ?20?
20? 20 I'm bid.
22, 24, 26, 28, ?28 there. At ?28.
At ?28. 30, now I'm bid. 32?
36. ?36 there in the cap. At ?36?
All done at ?36.
?36. Phew! That's more like it, isn't it?
Only slightly short of Paul's ?40 estimate
and ?6 more than our entire earnings from the first half.
We've five furniture lots to sell now and after our bad luck,
we need to keep everything crossed. The blanket box is up first.
This really is a great item.
It's hundreds of years old, if it could only tell a story.
It has got a replacement top, but we're looking for about ?100.
I'm bid ?80 to start, with me. 85?
90. 100. 110. 120?
?120 for that coffer. At ?120.
At ?120 with me at ?120.
At 120, then? Selling it for ?120.
Oh, that's great.
That's more like it.
The first of our items to make over Paul's lowest estimate
and the first big step towards the ?1,000 for Frances's tree house.
Our circular table with large spiral support
doesn't manage to pull in quite so many pounds.
38, to my right. At ?38, it's still cheap for ?38. It can be sold, though.
Selling then. At ?38 it goes.
Failing to achieve even half its lowest estimate,
but with every pound counting today,
it's nonetheless an addition to our kitty.
Maybe our next table will cause more of a stir in the sale room.
Now, next it's furniture, we seem to be sticking with a theme.
It's an "oak side table with a single drawer and bobbin-turned supports.
"Elements of the 17th century." Do explain that to me!
What does that mean? Well, there are parts of it that are from the 17th century,
but over time bits have been replaced. But the actual frame is great.
And those bobbin legs are fantastic. Different, and people love to have different furniture.
Is that why we've got ?100 to ?150 on it? That's right.
But it is a real antique. It's 300 years old. Wow!
248, this has got some fantastic bit of turning on the legs.
Have a look at that. 248.
I've got a little bit of commission interest to start us off at ?80.
At ?80. 90. 95. 100.
In the stripes at ?110. Is that all?
It's going to be sold then for ?110. At ?110 it goes then.
120. ?120 then.
All done? 130. ?130 now.
With the lady still at ?130.
Sure done and finished ?130.
?130! Wow, that's great, isn't it?
Life's picking up! Getting better.
The table with the bobbin legs has gone for ?130 and that is marvellous.
I think we are beginning to move now.
That's a fantastic result.
It seems like the furniture buyers are coming out of the woodwork!
Will they dig as deep for our next furniture lot, though?
The next lot is the marquetry table.
This is lovely, isn't it, Paul? This is one of the better styles,
Inlay with the beautiful flower in the middle.
Yes, ?80 we're looking for on this one.
75 for the little table. At 75?
100 in the room.
At ?100. At ?100 in the room. At 100.
It seems still cheap. 110?
?110. 120 with the lady.
Not expensive at ?120
but it can be sold.
Going then, at ?120, it sells.
?120, well, that's a bit more like it. Are you pleased with that?
Oh, yes, very.
That's a great addition to our tree-house fund
and the first of our lots to exceed Paul's highest estimate today!
We're almost at the end of this rather unpredictable sale,
but not before our highly-valued lot takes centre stage.
The Queen Anne-style writing bureau which Paul valued at ?300 to ?500.
It was tugging at Frances's heartstrings to part with this one.
I hope the sale room digs deep.
Now it's our piece de resistance, that lovely bureau.
I hope people have spotted the inside as it had those secret drawers.
Yes, the interior is fantastic. And the exterior as well.
Normally, those bits would have lifted and bits of damage on it. It says, "In Queen Anne style,"
what does that mean? It's not of the period.
If that was very early 18th century or earlier, you're looking at quite a lot of money.
It's a lot later, but it's still a nice example, isn't it?
A bit of interest in this lot again.
No point in starting it below ?280. We're off to a good start at ?280.
290. With me at ?300. 320? 340?
400. In the room then at ?400. At ?400. Anybody else want to come in?
It's ?400 and 20 I'll take? No. ?400, it sells then.
Oh, ?400. That's superb.
I'm really pleased with that.
Are you? Yes. I am.
Excellent. Oh, dear me. Oh, Lordy!
Wow, what a relief, almost half our target in one sale.
But was it enough to get us near the ?1,000?
Now, obviously you live in the most amazing cottage.
I know you've worked hard to make it what it is today.
But it would be fantastic to get that tree house.
Do you think you're anywhere near your ?1,000 target?
I would be amazed if it was anywhere near the ?1,000, but I'll still have the tree house.
Well, you've got ?874 towards it.
That's not so bad after all, is it? No, I'm quite amazed really.
We've got quite a lot unsold and we managed to make that much money.
I don't know whether I'm pleased or relieved.
A few weeks after raising ?874 on that roller-coaster day at auction,
the time has finally come for Frances to splash out and get work started on the tree house.
Since the auction I've been in touch with a local company who are now making good progress.
They were rained off, because the weather has been so atrocious.
But now progress is good and we're on course for an early finish.
How are you getting on at the moment?
We've got all the main support struts in now, and concreted in down here, because of this slope.
It's a very steep slope.
But the main structure is held by these two oak trees and they're holding the thing together.
A couple of weeks later and the final touches are being made.
The tree house is really taking shape.
Just in time for its first visitor.
I can't wait to get up to the tree house and look at the views.
I've waited for weeks watching them build it.
So it's going to be great when we get up here, I'm sure.
It looks good.
It may not quite be the weather for a gin and tonic,
but both ladies seem pretty impressed with the result.
Ah, isn't it wonderful?
Look at the workmanship. It's really great. And the view.
And the views!
Ah. I think it's better than expected up here.
The views are stunning and you see a lot more than I expected to see.
There's a lake in the distance.
And the garden and the house look splendid from here.
So I'm hoping that I can bring the children up and they'll enjoy some of the summer holidays up here.
The tree house is absolutely splendid. It's more than...
Well, it's much better than I thought it was going to be.
I excited about it, and people are asking me whether it's for the children.
But it's not, it's for the child in me!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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.