The show that helps people uncover hidden treasures to sell at auction. Alison Sherwin hopes that selling some of her antiques will help fund a trip to London.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. We come into your home,
help you look for antiques and collectables
and then sell them with you at auction.
Today I'm in Cheshire and, to quite literally get a flavour of the county,
I stopped off in Northwich
to visit a museum that is dedicated to a rather surprising commodity.
It's salt, and if you think this stuff is confined to cooking
and the dinner table, you need to think again!
From preserving food to the production of polythene, salt has more than 14,000 uses
and the Salt Museum, founded over 100 years ago by two locals,
celebrates the long history of mining in the area.
Believe it or not, Northwich was once dubbed "The Salt Capital of the World"
and today, Cheshire is the only county that continues to produce the stuff on a large scale,
mining the rich deposits that lie deep beneath the Cheshire plains.
And if that's whetted your appetite, there are lots of other exhibitions on display here in the museum too,
but now we have to go and earn our salt as we go in search
of a whole wealth of antiques and collectables to take to auction.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic, some fantastic finds.
Why are they packed away like this? Why aren't they out on display?
Some mixed feelings...
It's tempting, yes, but can I have a little think?
And some great results!
-The temperature is low today, but the bidding went up...that's good!
But will we still be smiling when the final hammer falls?
I'm in the heart of Cheshire and I've come to visit a couple
who have called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help them de-clutter so that they can raise money
to fund a rather overdue break.
This semi-detached house in Knutsford is home to former nurse Alison Sherwin
and her beloved Chihuahuas Harry and Monty.
She also shares the house with her partner,
Gary, a transport manager by day and a biker nut at all other times!
Having met just over a year ago, they decided to take the plunge and move in together.
Alison collected a wealth of antiques and furniture with her late husband Maurice,
who passed away five years ago, but with a house move and a new start on the horizon,
Alison has decided that it's time to clear the decks and start afresh.
-Good morning, John.
-Good morning, Angela. How are you?
We've got a family today that have got some really lovely pieces of furniture.
I think you're going to really enjoy yourself!
-It'll be a walk in the park for me today, won't it?
-Let's walk to the front door first, shall we?
Hi, Alison and Gary!
-I was going to say, why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
But I can see why you've called us in!
You're surrounded by boxes full of stuff!
-Where's it all come from, Alison?
-It's come from where I used to live, mostly.
I lived in a large farmhouse and we had loads of space there
but now I've no room to hang my pictures
and it just has to go.
Time for a change, clearly.
-So, Gary, what are we raising the money for?
Alison's never been to London before.
She's never been to London?
No, so we'd like to take her to London for a bit of sight-seeing, retail therapy,
-maybe take in a show, restaurant.
-That carries quite a high price tag, doesn't it?
-How much do you reckon that is going to cost you, Gary?
-£500-ish, maybe a bit more.
-That would be good... a little bit more would be nice.
Do you think we've got £500 hidden away in all these boxes?
-I'm sure somewhere there must be, yes!
-There's only one way to find out, isn't there?
-And that is to say...
overture and beginners, please, and curtain up on Alison's West End debut!
And I suppose we'd better go and find John as well, because he's the man with the key. Come on!
Well, if Gary and Alison are going to raise the £500 they need in order
to have a big weekend in the Big Smoke, we're going to need to get cracking!
Fortunately, expert John Cameron is just the man to shine a light on the gems that we're looking for.
His face has already lit up at the sight of this lamp!
-I know I promised you lots of furniture
but there are lots of other lovely things here, too, like this fabulous oil lamp.
-Isn't it lovely!
-This is wonderful! You see quite a few of them around
but that's probably one of the nicest shades I've seen for a very long time.
This particular piece here really is of the Victorian period.
You know you could almost see somebody curled up reading Martin Chuzzlewit beside the fire
with this oil lamp. This is a typical Victorian piece. I really love the shade of that.
It's a typical form, we have a heavy base to make sure it's stable,
a classical column, again, a feature you see on a lot of them
and then you have this font, or the reservoir as it's sometimes referred to,
holding the paraffin in there,
but my favourite part about this oil lamp has to be this really decorative shade.
Look at the work that's gone into this, and all done by hand.
We've got this lovely etching around here with this contrast of matt and clear glass acanthus leaf
running all the way around, but look at that rim. That has had to be crimped by hand.
They would have had a special pair of iron crimpers that did that shape by hand.
The glassworker did that. But this is a lovely lamp.
I really do like that. Pop that back on there like that. Well...value-wise,
I would say today somewhere between £50 and £100, something like that.
So is it something we can take to auction?
-We're sending it to auction, definitely.
Shall we see what else we've got in the house?
Then we're going to find some furniture for you soon, John!
It's a very pretty item
but is a working oil lamp, it needs to be lit
and I don't like the smell, so it can go.
£50 towards the travel fund is certainly better than a bad smell.
And while John continues to sniff out items to take to auction,
Gary is hoping that this Georgian washstand with blue and white bowl
will clean up when the hammer comes down.
It could be adorning someone else's house soon, for around £60.
And whilst rummaging out in the hall, Alison finds something
she hopes might put in a show-stealing performance.
John, I've found this. Would this be anything to send to auction?
Interesting! What have we got in here?
Ooh, a harmonica!
What's the story behind it?
That was my husband's.
-Did he play?
I think we all have aspirations of becoming harmonica players. I've had a bash myself
but the sound I made made the cats run to the next street!
This is a Hohner, a pretty good make, in fact, they don't come much better than the Hohner harmonica.
This one is called the 64 Chromonica, and that is because, if you have a look on here,
they've numbered the chambers 1 to 16, so if you imagine we can blow the air through causing one note,
or giving us one note, drawing it back gives us a second note,
giving us 32 notes in total,
but by using this lever on the side here,
if you press that, you open up a second series of chambers.
That doubles up, that gives us then 64 notes out of this harmonica.
I mean value-wise, not huge sums, I would say £20 to £40, something like that. We might get a bit more,
but somewhere in that region, so it won't get our train fare to London,
-but we might buy our theatre programmes with that. So would that be OK?
-Are you sure?
-Jolly good! Well, it's not bad, but we're not there yet so we've more rummaging to do!
Hopefully the harmonica will be music to the ears of the bidders
and get Alison closer to that first ever trip to London.
Whilst John leaves no stone, or commode, unturned,
Gary gets lucky with the crockery in the dining room.
This red and gold Wellington china tea set is taking up a lot of space
when it could be making us £30 to £40.
While the others continue the search, I find Alison
for a quick chat about how she has come to own all of these items.
So this is the house
where so many of the things you've got here came from.
-Your late husband designed this house himself, didn't he?
He was a tetraplegic. How did that happen?
It was a farming accident.
When he was a teenager,
he was gored by a bull.
He must have been a remarkable man!
He actually ran the farm from his wheelchair, didn't he?
Yes. There was nothing that would stand in his way.
If he wanted to do something, he would do it,
he would find a way and we had some wonderful times together.
We went to Paris...
we went on a cruise, we've done all kinds of things together
and he never let his disability get him down at all.
And he had a motto, didn't he?
He did. He said, "Never look back, go forward."
So was it through Maurice that you increased the interest
that you had already in antiques and collectables?
I went to auctions prior to meeting Maurice.
I always enjoyed an auction
and he inspired me to collect more, really.
We used to enjoy going around the antiques shops and looking.
And you've now also got an interest in this with Gary as well. You go to car boot sales?
Yes, we do. Spend all day at the car boot sales on nice days, yeah.
I've picked up some nice bits and pieces.
You've mentioned that you went to Paris, you've been on a cruise.
How come you never went to London?
I don't know why!
I missed out on an opportunity 18 years ago.
My brother was fond of doing competitions,
it was a hobby of his, and he actually won a theatre weekend trip to London.
Unfortunately, I had to opt out
and I got fed up of hearing all about the London trip.
They'd been to see Phantom Of The Opera and how good that was
and dinner at the Ritz and picked up in a fancy car, and...
We're only going to get that if we find a few more things in these boxes around the house,
so we'd better get back to work.
Luckily, while we've been gassing away, the boys have been keeping busy.
As John inspects some of the china, Gary spots this set of four prints
showing hunters on the prowl for partridges.
John thinks they could get us £80 to £120 closer to that £500 target.
In the dining room, Alison is rooting through some more boxes, chock-a-block with crockery.
But it is something else that has caught my eye.
Alison, this is an absolutely lovely piece of furniture, this corner cabinet, it's just beautiful!
Yes, it's one of my favourites, this.
-Where did this come from?
-This came from the farm where I lived before
and was one of my late husband's very favourite pieces.
He loved this cabinet and I do too as it houses all my expensive glassware.
John used to be a cabinet-maker and I know he's going to love having a closer look
at this piece of furniture, so John, do you want to come and join us and take a look at this lovely cabinet!
I agree, Angela, it's a very nice cabinet.
Very nice, indeed. Any idea of the date of this piece?
Not exactly, no. I know it's old, but how old, I don't know.
Corner cabinets like this we tend to associate with the Georgian period, the 18th century.
They turn up in fairly good numbers and you get them from the early part, right into the 19th century.
This one here is one of my favourites, the bow-front,
as opposed to the corner cabinets that just have a straight panel door across.
A lot more work goes into this and what I love about this is the natural beauty of the timber
and here we can see they've used mahogany and the only other decoration is this very subtle
boxwood stringing and some motifs up in that top frieze around there. A very nice piece of furniture.
Lovely, isn't it? What sort of value would be on that, then, John?
A plainer, provincial oak piece you might get for as little as £50 to £100 these days,
which might surprise you.
This one, I would still say about £150 to £250, something like that.
Is this something you might take to auction?
It's tempting, yes, but can I have a little think?
Absolutely! Thinking time needed on that one.
-Which means we've got to use the rest of our time very profitably and see what else we can find.
-Shall we see what else you've got tucked away in these boxes?
If Alison decides to take the cabinet to auction, it could really
help fund their trip, but in the meantime, we need to keep searching.
It's certainly no time to be sitting around taking a break
unless of course, like me, you've found a little two-seater mahogany sofa.
These teddy bears will have to find a new home
as John thinks it will bring in £80 to £120.
Gary has seating on his mind as well,
as he uncovers a piano stool which seems to be missing a piano!
-What do you think of this?
That's an interesting piece. Anybody musical in the family?
-Only me in the shower!
-Well, that's music to my ears, anyway,
because it certainly means we can consider it for auction.
Well, as we know, it's a piano stool.
Date-wise, looking at the construction and timber, I'd say it's stained walnut,
I'd put this at about 1900/1910, so it was an Edwardian piece.
This X-frame here is a pretty unique design.
It does give you strength, it's a sturdy piece of furniture
but it also enables you to be able to adjust this seat.
If it seems a little bit too high, just adjust it there
and you can see it goes down to a slightly lower level.
Now, sadly today, the piano is no longer the focal point for entertainment in the home.
Once, everybody had a piano, and at least one member of the family could play. Sadly that's lost.
Today we've got computer games and televisions and so many more other things to keep us occupied
that our musical skills have sadly faded away
and the piano and stools have as well.
-Value-wise, I reckon we're looking at about £40 to £60.
-That sounds OK.
-Will that strike the right chord with Alison?
-We hope so.
As you can see, it's cluttering up the room so let's get rid of it.
-Good. Carry on rummaging, we've got some way to go.
-Thanks very much.
If Alison and Gary's future is going to involve a special weekend in London,
there's certainly no room for sentimentality.
While Alison comes up empty-handed from these boxes,
John manages to snare this pair of hunting pictures in their original frames,
which could put another £30 in the pot.
But whilst we've been busy inside the house, one person has managed to sneak out
and I've got a pretty good idea where I might find him!
-Might have known I'd find you out here with the pride and joy!
-Yes, the other woman in my life!
-The other pride and joy, exactly!
-You are a real motorbike fanatic, aren't you?
-Yes, I am, yes.
When did you start riding bikes?
Off-road stuff when I was probably about six or seven.
-So what sort of a bike is this?
-This is a Suzuki 1400 Intruder.
So do you manage ever to get Alison on the pillion on the back?
Occasionally, when she feels brave enough!
I don't see her as a motorbike type, but you're converting her, are you?
Yeah, and she has been on the back of bikes before she met me even
so she has been on bikes before and she's been on this a few times.
Of course, one of the things you do do together is go to car boot sales,
don't you? What do you get out of that?
I think with Alison it's having the rummage and finding things that might be worth something.
Nine times out of ten, they're not.
But with me it's the interaction with different people on the stalls
and taking to different people
and basically rummaging and having a good look around.
-You want to do something special for her, don't you?
-She's a special lady.
She's waited 18 years for this trip to London. We'd better not let her down.
-Shall we see what else we can find to fund it?
While we've been chewing the fat outside, the others have been motoring along nicely inside.
Alison has found this carved oak banjo barometer
which John thinks will pressure the bidders into parting with £30-£40.
Meanwhile, furniture fan that he is,
John can't but help stopping to admire this piece in the hallway.
Alison, can we consider this side table here for auction?
I sense some reluctance there. Is it something you're fond of?
I do like it very much, but I'm willing to let it go.
It can go, great! Well, any idea how old it is?
It's a bit older than that. I'd say at least 200 years old. It's a Georgian piece, it's made of oak.
We can tell from these beautiful medullary rays running right through the oak. That's unique to oak.
They have used, which is always a nice feature on provincial pieces,
they've cross-banded the top with mahogany, I like that.
Moving down to the front here, again, typical Georgian features to the drawers here.
This cop-beading, see that? And it's nice that it's all there.
That tends to get knocked off and chipped, it seems to be
in pretty good condition. And these square tapering supports.
Woodworm does love oak but it seems to have escaped here so this piece
hasn't been affected and seems quite sturdy.
-What you have lost is some of these little spandrels, these carved shaped brackets in the corners
which add a bit of support. You've lost a couple of those,
but other than that for a table that's over 200 years old, it's not in bad condition.
Nice side table, could be used as a desk.
Value-wise, I reckon we're looking at about £120 to £160.
-Would you be happy with that?
-Yeah, that's OK.
Let's get on before you change your mind. The others have been a long time upstairs.
-Shall we see how they're faring?
I like so much of my furniture but there's so much of it
that I've decided that I've got to be a little ruthless and it has to go,
hopefully to a nice home.
That's the spirit, Alison!
And as Gary searches for that elusive final item to take us over the target,
it's John who thinks he might have found something small but perfectly formed.
-Hi! You've found my miniatures, then!
-I have Alison, I have indeed.
I haven't finished with them yet but why are they packed away?
Why haven't you got them out on display?
Well, they were hung around the fireplace in the other house.
It was quite large. Here, they don't look so good there, so I'm afraid,
yes, they were left boxed up.
Now, looking at those, if we can imagine a time before text messaging and the internet,
before photographs even, when one's loved one went on a voyage or went away in the army,
people seldom had anything to remind them of something visual
so they would commission portrait miniature painters
to give them a portrait of their loved-one.
We've got miniatures and we've got the silhouettes.
You see the silhouettes there? They were always a cheaper alternative, much easier to produce.
In terms of value, those are a lot less than your average miniatures.
We've got an army officer, a naval officer
and this chap here in the centre
and he's been beautifully rendered, that's really a nice execution of the sitter.
If we look at the back, we've got that lovely plaited lock of hair in this original locket frame
and in the centre, this wonderful anchor
which is set with sea pearls implying that this chap has a naval connection.
I really like that.
Any idea what they might be worth?
probably around £200?
I think £200 to £300 is a good sensible starting price as an estimate.
It would certainly tempt bidders in, but with this one in particular,
I would hope it would make a bit more than that,
but I think that's a good estimate, £200-£300.
£200 to £300 did I hear you say for these lovely miniatures?
We've got a variety here. £200-£300 is where we'll pitch them at auction.
I've done a bit of mental arithmetic,
and if we add up everything that John has looked at today
and take his lowest estimates,
and if we take that beautiful corner cabinet that you have in the sitting room,
it comes to the grand total of -
bearing in mind you said about £500 -
we might be able to raise as much as...
£890! But without the cabinet, then it comes to -
because you said about £150 for that - it comes to £740.
You can still do serious damage to the plastic with that, can't you?
-But of course, we don't know! This may be the end of Act 1 of Alison's West End debut,
but we've got Act 2, the big drama, coming next, when we go to auction!
It's been a very successful rummage as Alison and Gary hope to raise the cash
that will, with any luck, raise the curtain in London.
Helping us light up the auction room on the day will be the oil lamp,
which could make £50 to £100.
The Georgian side table taking up valuable space in the house
should made way for around £120.
And the star lot, the miniature portraits and silhouettes
featuring the naval-themed portrait with the lock of hair in the back.
They'll hopefully adorn another fireplace soon for £200 to £300.
But will Alison and Gary decide to bring
the mahogany cabinet from the dining room
and make it first class all the way to London's West End?
Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
it's surprises galore, as some items fail to ignite the room!
Not sold, I'm afraid. No bids at all!
While others pretty much catch fire!
Yes, suddenly I've come all over hot!
So will the road to London be paved with gold when the final hammer falls?
Your bid, sir, thank you.
We all had a great time with Gary and Alison helping them to de-clutter their home
and in the process we found some wonderful collectables and furniture that we were able
to bring here to Liverpool today to sell at Cato Crane Auctioneers.
Now, the couple want £500 so that Alison can take her first ever trip to London
and, at the same time, take in a long overdue West End show.
Who knows what dramas are going to unfold today
when her items go under the hammer?
There's real quality on display here today and, as ever,
plenty of bidders anticipating the treasures to be found.
Before the room fills up, I find John having one last look at the miniatures.
Ah, John, you're looking at my favourite piece of Alison's collection.
I am convinced that he was a naval surgeon.
I just think he's got a lovely sort of bedside-manner face. I like him!
Very dapper! I think he's our star lot.
I'm hoping our miniatures make big money for us here today.
Alison also had some wonderful furniture in her house, didn't she?
Do you remember that lovely corner cabinet in which she kept all the glasses?
-She seemed attached to that. Do you think she's brought it?
-I suspect she probably hasn't brought it.
Where would she put all the glasses? The only way to find out is to go and ask her!
Come on, then.
John and I are both fans of the miniature portraits,
so let's hope that bodes well for the sale ahead.
While the bidders look at the lots they hope to take home,
we find our family saying goodbye to some of theirs!
-Alison and Gary, having a final look!
-How are you doing?
-It looks very handsome, doesn't it?
It is my favourite lot, I do love that shade on there.
It is absolutely beautiful.
Any sort of last-minute pangs
now you're seeing it all in the auction room and that it's going to go?
-I'm just feeling a little nervous, really.
-Yeah, it's just...
-Nervous of the auction or nervous of seeing things going?
You've been to lots of car boot sales. Have you never been to an auction before, either of you?
-I have been to auctions before, yes.
-Yeah, but never actually to sell anything.
-Only to buy?
-Buy, yes, not sell!
There's an unanswered question that Angela and I wanted to find out.
-Have you brought the corner cabinet?
-Where would you put the glasses?
-But you've brought lots of other things?
You've got those lovely miniatures, some very nice pieces of furniture and John's star item -
We've got to get you down to London at last.
But the trip you're going to make now is just from here to that corner over there
because the sale room is starting to fill up and we need to take our places. Come on!
If, like Alison and Gary, you are new to selling items at auction,
remember that commission and other charges may apply, so check with the auction house.
It's a packed room today,
but we managed to find ourselves a corner from which to watch proceedings and in no time at all,
the first lot of the day comes up for sale.
It's the barometer which John has valued at £30 to £40.
OK. Nice barometer, ladies and gentlemen. The wheel barometer.
What's it worth?
£20 is bid, then, come on! 20, £20 is bid, thank you. 20.
Any more than £40? 45 is bid now.
£45. All done and I'm going to sell at £45... Is that your bid, sir?
£45, all done at 45 now.
-Great result! £5 over your top estimate!
-Happy with that!
-The temperature's low, but the bidding went up.
£45 is a great start for Alison and Gary
and puts them firmly on the road to London. Hopefully the bidders will make a similar
song and dance over our next item.
-Harmonica playing doesn't really go with riding a bike, does it, Gary?
-I hoped John would give us a tune.
You're very kind, but if I had to busk for a living, I'd starve!
I'd certainly lose a few pounds, anyway!
£20 for it.
£20, come on, give me £20 for the mouth organ. £10 to start you off.
10 is bid, 10. 15.
20 down there. I'll take 22 now, if you like.
22, 22 the lady's bid, 22.
All done at £22. Any advance on 22?
We're going to sell it at £22 now.
With the harmonica selling a couple of pounds over John's estimate,
it seems the bidders are biting in the room today.
I wonder if they'll be snapping up our next item!
Now, you've put a reserve of £40 on this pair of framed hunting scenes.
Why have you done that, Alison?
I am sorry to see them go, to be honest.
I love the colours and I bought them
about 25 years ago
at an auction so it will be interesting to see what they do go for now.
What do we say on these? Always popular. £20 to start me off.
£20, £20, are you bidding? £20 is bid.
20, I've got 25.
Do you want 30, Nick? 30. 35, 35 is bid.
40 with you, Nick? 40.
All done at £40 with Nicola's bid at 40.
All done at 40 now, all done and sold, your bid at 40.
The prints sell right on the reserve
and right in the middle of John's estimate,
but it puts us well on the way to the £500
that Alison and Gary need for that trip to London. Next up,
we've got our fingers crossed there are musicians in the room
who will be happy to house this lonely piano stool at £40 to £60.
20 if you like to start. 20 is bid, 20, 5, 30,
5, 40 there with you, sir. 40 is bid.
5, 45, 45, 50 with you now, £50.
All done at £50. Are you coming in again?
£50 is bid, the gentleman standing right at the back, £50.
That's another sale right in the middle of John's estimate.
He's doing well so far,
which means we're well on track.
Let's just hope the next item will keep up our good run!
No more tea parties at your house then, Alison and Gary,
because you're selling this nice Wellington china tea set.
-Why is that going?
There's nowhere to display it and that's all I would do with it -
-display it. I wouldn't use it.
-It's too pretty.
And I'm too clumsy!
What do we say, £20 for it?
Come on, £20 anyone? No bidding at £20?
No bidding whatsoever?
Come on, 20. 10 I'll start you off at. No interest in tea sets today?
Not sold, I'm afraid.
No bids at all.
-What a shame!
-Just when you think interest in tea sets can't get any lower, you're proved wrong,
because we have seen the prices dripping down and going down for some years,
but sometimes it's surprising when you can't even get a bid for it.
The buyers aren't falling over themselves for china today
and we notch up our first failure.
It's one of the lower-valued items, but it does mean we're more nervous
as the next item comes up.
Now I rather hope for all of you that the brass lamp is really going to light up the room now.
You may not have liked the smell that it made,
-but I bet you'd like to get, what? At least £50 to £100 on it?
-Yes, I would.
But no sort of last-minute thoughts about this, Gary?
No. We've put a reserve on it of £50,
but hopefully it will make more than that.
What do we do with it? £30 is bid, I should think so!
£30 right away, 30. 30,
40, 50, I've got 60.
Do you want 70, madam? £70 is bid.
All done at 70? 5...
5, 80? £80. I'm going to sell now, make no mistake, at £80,
lady's bid at 80.
A nice object, all done at 80.
50 to 100 is what John thought it was worth, 80 is what it went for.
-Yes, that's OK, yes, happy with that.
So it's a solid finish to a solid first half of the auction,
with the lamp easily beating John's lowest estimate by £30.
Time now to add up the numbers, and see how well we've done so far.
We're heading towards that £500 to take you on your trip to London, your first trip.
Are you getting excited about it now?
Yes, I think so! THEY CHUCKLE
-And are you enjoying the auction?
-Yes, it's good.
Only one item not sold, remember, but we have managed to make...
£237 and we've got a couple of very high-priced items still to come,
so you can take the weight off your feet and contemplate a lovely weekend in the West End. Come on!
As Alison and Gary head off for a well-earned break,
John is not resting on his laurels.
He's got great advice to make sure if you're looking for a perfect piece at auction,
you don't end up with a dud.
So what are you going to show me, John?
This piece of furniture. Have you ever bought anything and when you've got it home realised
it had faults and then wanted to take it back?
Fortunately not, but I know lots of people do!
It does happen a lot at auction - you can't bring it back.
It's caveat emptor - buyer beware. Once the hammer goes down, you've bought it as seen.
That's very relevant when talking about pieces of furniture like this.
It looks fine from the front, but we don't know what's going on at the back.
We've no idea if there's any woodworm in the back,
we don't know if the sides of this piece have been bleached,
or we don't know if any of it is original or unoriginal inside,
so I always say to people, don't be afraid to get the porters
to get this out so you can have a look and if there is nobody around,
pull out the drawers - once you've got the drawer out,
you can have a good look in the back there.
If it has got woodworm, it will show on both sides.
The feet at the front - you've no idea whether
it's got original feet at the back or any feet.
This could be propped up against something. I've seen that happen!
Obviously the answer is if you go to an auction and you want to buy a piece of furniture,
try and go the day before when it's viewed,
or at least early on the day of the sale,
so that you really can have a very close look at the piece that you're buying.
I couldn't have put it better!
Well, with so many lovely items in the sale room, it's difficult not to get sidetracked,
but as the auction continues,
we're back in place, just in time to see our next item go under the hammer.
It's the Georgian side table,
which was one of four taking up room in the hall.
John thinks it could make £120, but to make sure
it doesn't go too cheaply, Alison has put a reserve of £100 on it.
Is it a bit special to you, this table?
Yes, I do like it, it is a pretty table that I had in the hall
along with the other three,
and it is quite attractive, but one had to go at least.
So, £50 is bid, yes, 50.
60, I've got 70.
Do you want 80? 90?
100, 100? I've got 90 here.
100. 100 is bid now.
100. I'm going to sell now at £100.
It's going at £100.
Five bids on it at £100, now all done.
£100, dead on your reserve.
-Happy with that?
That's the second time that the bidding
has reached the reserve price today
and not a penny either side.
Fortunately, it's another £100 for the fund.
There's certainly interest for furniture,
so let's hope that continues for our next item.
This is a reproduction piece, an example of when demand gets high for something,
as it did for Victorian furniture in the '80s,
we start to see imports coming from the Far East.
With the passage of 20-plus years,
they can deceive some people who think they're actually period pieces,
but it's a repro piece,
it does need some reupholstering money invested in it as well.
£50 for it, start me off somebody, £50 anywhere.
It will fit in. £50, 50.
-80. 90 with you now. Are you bidding?
I'd like to get up to 100. £90 is the bid.
All done at 90, I will sell, if that's all right? At £90,
down here at 90.
Middle of our estimate, not too bad.
The reproduction settee goes £10 over the lowest estimate
and Alison and Gary
are edging towards the £500 they need for their London weekend.
Hopefully, the bidders will get them even closer by battling hard for the next item -
the complete set of four partridge shooting prints,
which we're hoping will fetch £80 to £120.
There we go, a nice set of prints.
What do we say? £50 to start me, 30 if you like.
£30, 30. Any interest?
30 is bid, 30. 30. 40. 45.
65. 70. 75 we can do.
75, £75 now.
£75 all done.
Sold at £75.
-OK with that, £75?
-£5 under estimate, we were almost there!
-I'm OK with that.
A couple of interested bidders in the room take the prints
to within £5 of the estimate - it's another good result.
'Up next is our second item of Georgian furniture...
'the washstand and bowl.
'John thinks that someone might find a use for it for £60 to £70.'
-Presumably you've never used this as a washstand, Alison?
-Oh, no, no.
We usually throw our car keys in the bowl!
What do we say if we start the bidding at £40 for it?
It's not expensive. £40 anywhere? 40 is bid. 40.
All done at £50.
£50...the best we can do at 50?
Sadly, not sold, which means...
at least you've got somewhere to put your keys when you go home!
So it's back up the motorway for
the washstand-cum-car-key-holder! Nevertheless,
all is not lost, as, without question,
our star item is up next.
If these miniatures do as well as we hope,
Alison and Gary will be sampling the delights of London very soon indeed!
I've really got a soft spot for the gentleman who has got the anchor behind him.
Interestingly, a couple of people who have looked at this have said,
"Do you think that could be Nelson?" Had that ever occurred to you?
-No, it didn't.
-No... I mean, I always thought Nelson lost his eye quite early,
and had rather a sort of cadaverous face,
and I think that man, as I've already said to John,
has got rather a nice sort of bedside-manner look to him.
Will you be sad to see these go?
Mmm, yes, I will.
Interesting lot. I'll be on the telephone for these.
-That's a good sign!
-All weak at the knees?
We'll start the bidding off at £100 to start us off, please,
100 is bid.
100 here. I've got 150 with you.
150, are you bidding? 150.
300. I know you have a bid too. 300.
320, sir? 340?
440. 460. 480, sir?
-Is he going to nod?
540, still with you. 560, sir?
£600. 620 we'll take now.
600 is bid here.
-He's nodding again!
-620 is bid here, 640, sir?
£660 we're asking for. 660 is bid.
680. £700 now?
-They want him badly!
-They do, don't they?
-I told you he had a lovely bedside manner!
-680 is bid in the room.
-All eyes are on the man on the telephone.
700 with you. One more. 700.
720, sir? 720 is bid. 740.
720 is your bid now.
All done at £720.
For the last time, all done at £720.
-Oh! What do you say to that?
-Somebody wanted him badly!
I think somebody may have had an argument who either the artist was or the sitter,
because once you have either of that information,
it kind of doubles and trebles in value.
The quality was definitely there, it generated interest,
-the rest was in the hands of the auction.
-It's all about research.
What a fantastic result for that one item!
-Yeah, that was fabulous!
Yes, I'm so excited, I've come over all hot!
It's a truly stunning result for the miniatures,
'which take us by surprise!
'A telephone bidder and a gentleman in the room fought it out to push the price up
'more than £500 over the lowest estimate,
'and in one fell swoop, Alison and Gary have beaten their target,
'but just how far over have we gone?'
-Remind us of how much you wanted to raise?
Well, you know you've made more than that
because the miniatures made more than that,
but have you any inkling as to how much you've made in total?
Just a little over £1,000?
Oh, this is going to give you such a wonderful weekend in London!
Wow. That's brilliant!
-So what kind of a weekend do you reckon you're going to have now, Gary?
-A very nice one!
Maybe see two shows! ALL LAUGH
After that incredible result at auction,
Alison and Gary have taken no time at all to arrange a lovely couple of days in the capital.
It's been an epic 18-year wait for Alison,
and she couldn't be more delighted!
Made good money at the auction, very pleased with that,
over the target, and now we're here to spend it.
Looking forward to the show tonight.
Having never been to London before, first things first, it's onto a tour bus
for a whistle-stop circuit of all the biggest attractions.
Oh, that's fantastic!
'I loved the Houses of Parliament, going over the Thames -'
With the sites ticked off, it's time for the main event.
Alison was supposed to see Phantom Of The Opera all those years ago,
and tonight, she finally gets to make that dream come true.
It's been absolutely amazing seeing just about as much as we could see
in a couple of days, and now really looking forward to seeing the show.
This is the highlight of it all, so just can't wait to get in there,
get seated and just relax and take it all in.
Alison Sherwin lives in Cheshire but has never been to London. She has always wanted to make the trip and is hoping that with help from her boyfriend Gary and the Cash in the Attic team, her antiques will fund her expedition to the capital.