The show that turns hidden treasures into cash. The team helps widow Mary Miller clear out a lifetime of collectables to raise funds for a very special trip indeed.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic.
This is the show that helps you find all those hidden treasures
around your home, and then we sell them at auction.
Well, today I'm in Essex to take a look at Mountfitchet Castle near Stansted.
The site here is over 3,000 years old,
but the wooden castle you see today is actually a reconstruction
of the original Norman stronghold,
which was destroyed in an uprising in 1215.
After the attack, the castle site lay forgotten for more than 700 years,
until being rebuilt and opened as a local attraction,
bringing to life the sights, sounds and even the smells of medieval life.
Well, let's hope we can make some remarkable finds of our own
as we go on the hunt for antiques that we can take to auction.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic,
a house full to bursting with jewellery leads to some unexpected valuations.
-Does that sound right?
While other items prove less palatable.
With a name like Rennie, they might be quite hard to digest!
But when it comes to auctions, cash is always the best medicine.
Well done. Yeah, very good.
So will the smiles remain when the hammer falls?
Well, it's a short march from Mountfitchet Castle
to the village of Hallingbury where I've come to meet a lady
who's decided it's time to sell the family jewels for a well-deserved break.
This charming little bungalow has been the home of Mary Miller for the past 20 years,
but with the sad passing of her husband Bob four years ago
together with her own health concerns, Mary's decided it's time to think about down-sizing.
Luckily, when it comes to digging out items to send to auction,
her good friend Jan is on hand to help,
and with Mary having spent a lifetime acquiring all manner of gems with her husband,
there's an awful lot to sort out before she can leave.
-Good morning. How are you?
-I'm fine, thank you.
-I meant to ask you whether you've brought your jeweller's loop.
-I certainly have.
-Would you like to borrow it? Always prepared, like a good Boy Scout.
We're going to need it because the lady we're seeing today has got lots of jewellery to sell,
-so if we go in, I'll meet the family and you can get on valuing.
-OK. All that glitters is not gold.
-That's why you're here, love.
-That's why I'm here!
-Hello! Now, Mary, it's your home, is that right?
Right, well, you've called in Cash In The Attic, and we're here now, so what made you call us in?
-This one here.
-OK, so what made you call us in, then, Jan?
Mary's going to be moving in about a year's time.
She's going to need to down-size and she's got so much stuff around this house
that she just needs to get rid of a lot of it.
-So where has all the stuff come from, then?
Cornwall, Channel Islands, and of course here.
Now, a lot of it's jewellery, I understand,
-that we're going to be looking at, so are those personal gifts that Bob bought you?
-Yes, they are.
-Right. Time to move those on, is it?
-Well, I think so, because really I never wear them.
Have you any idea how much money you'd like to raise and what you want to spend it on?
Well, I'd say about 800 to 1,000 if I'm lucky.
I might consider a cruise which I've never had and would love to have.
-I know I'm aiming high but...
-Better to aim high than aim low, I say.
-Anyway, the onus isn't on you, it'll be on Paul Hayes.
-Let's go and meet him.
-Helping Mary to hopefully raise the funds for a cruise is
a lofty challenge indeed, but in our favour is a lifetime of collectibles in need of clearing.
On top of all the jewellery we're expecting,
it looks like there's plenty of other valuables, including pottery, paintings and even the odd Paul.
-He's already spotted one contender that could help Mary cruise towards her £800 target.
-How are you? All right?
-Yeah, fine, thank you.
-Good to see you.
-That looks like a good piece.
That's one of the jewellery pieces I've been hearing about?
Well, I do think it really belonged to Bob's father, and I think it was his father's.
Well, that does fit in. This is a 19th-century Albert chain
and it's named after Prince Albert who was Queen Victoria's husband.
This would go on your waistcoat and you would attach your
pocket watch to it. But what's on the bottom here is a sovereign, and this is quite an early one.
This doesn't actually belong to the chain itself.
This has been put on afterwards, and it dates 1826 and has a portrait of
George IV, and that's quite rare in the antique world.
He was only on the throne for a very short time, so we usually find
George III or Queen Victoria, but he was right in the middle, right at the beginning of the 19th century.
-And what's on the other end?
-Well, here is a compass that helps you to find your way around.
-Can you read that?
-From Morecambe to Essex. You need your glasses to see it.
-Do these two attachments make it more saleable?
People are always looking for these fobs, all different types.
You get a standard fob which is just a plain piece of gold which people collect.
Sometimes they have inscriptions and so on.
Then you get sovereigns, you get compasses, you swivels, and this one has a bloodstone on the back.
Can you see that? But this is a beautiful colour. Do you know what they call this gold?
-That's right, and the reason for that is that, if
you use gold in its pure state, it's far too soft, so what they have to do is to mix it with other metals.
In this case, what they've done is mixed it with a high copper content,
which gives it its wonderful rose or copper finish.
So, overall, what sort of price are we talking about?
Well, this is a very desirable item especially in the current climate,
people are investing heavily in gold items. So I would say at least the £200 mark.
-Are you pleased with that, Mary?
-Yes, I think so.
-Yeah? Did you think it might be worth a bit more?
-Oh, yes, I did think it was worth more but I don't mind starting at that.
-Well, I think you're right.
I'm only taking into account that actual chain, but the sovereign and
-the compass will add value, but 200 minimum.
-OK, so 200 into the pot.
-That's not too bad. Let's see what else we can find, shall we?
A couple of hundred pounds is a great start, but we're going to
need a lot more if we're going to chip away at that £800 target.
A hatchet job won't do, Paul, though I strike gold downstairs with
these rings, two with jewels and one signet,
which together Paul thinks should add £80-£120 to the total.
-And Jan has salvaged something she thinks could help even more.
-Paul, what do you think of this?
Mary was going to chuck this out... but I quite like it.
-Oh, well done, you.
-It appeals to me, this little thing.
-Right, well, this is typically oriental.
It's very minimalist and that fits in with the modern style today.
Everything's clean lines and is very functional.
But of course this would've acted as a cabinet as well as a stool. You can sit on the top of that.
But it looks at some point like it's had a plant on it. Can you see that?
Yeah, I think Mary said when she bought it it was like that, so it's not something she's done.
Well, it's nice she kept it original.
That shows a bit of age to me.
This is called a patina and what's happened, that's shaded the surface of the wood and of course
the sunlight has bleached the rest of it, so you'll end up
with this design, but it gives it a bit of age and a bit of character.
I quite like it. I think it's in its natural state.
-I'd say it was maybe 1900, 1920.
But these nowadays, there's something wonderful about them and I really sympathise.
I can see that you obviously like this piece.
Any idea how much that might be worth?
Oh, I haven't got a clue. Not a clue.
If I said between £80 and £120?
That would be fantastic! Yeah.
I'm not sure how many yen that is, probably quite a few.
Yes, several million, I should think.
-All right, well, let's keep looking, eh?
-OK, lovely. Thanks, Paul.
This bungalow is a treasure trove of items that Mary and her husband
collected over the years, and while Paul is working at a snail's pace,
Mary unearths another stash of jewellery - a lovely little neck chain and snake bracelet,
which should fetch £50-£70.
And in the bedroom, the snake theme continues.
You've got some lovely rings on there, haven't you?
-Oh, they are nice, yes.
-Very unusual. What's the story about this one?
Well, that one Bob had made for me because I saw a single snake
and I liked it so much, so he had the snake with two heads made.
Oh, how romantic.
-So was that a surprise?
-Very much so, yes.
-Was he a romantic type?
He wouldn't be in front of a crowd, but he was when we were alone.
You know, very thoughtful and very sort of, um... How can I put it?
..generous and everything you like, you know?
So how did the two of you meet?
Well, I was 17 and Bob was 15 years older than me.
Oh? That was a big age difference, wasn't it, in that day and age.
And he was a... He wasn't actually a door-to-door salesman, but he was manager of a shop
that did door-to-door sales,
and of course he knocked on the door and started talking to me, you know.
-But there was an instant likeness.
We went out for a drive and we went into a pub, and he bought me... What was it?
Vodka and lime, which I quite liked, and we took it from there.
It was a funny thing because, in that particular pub, we got to learn that they nicknamed us
the vodka-and-lime lovers!
-It was funny, really.
Well, I think, if we're going to raise the £800 that you need,
-we'd better get back to rummaging and see whether Paul Hayes has found something, don't you?
-Come on, let's go.
-Paul might be finding things right, left and centre, but it's
Jan who's leading the pack in the hunt for £800 worth of items to take to auction.
She's spotted this stunning aquamarine blue stone ring,
which Paul reckons could be lighting up
some lucky lady's hand for around £100.
Whilst in the lounge, Mary and I are hunting through her many books looking for something interesting.
This is a nice book, Mary.
Is this yours? Alice's Adventures Underground.
Well, there's a little story attached to that.
I bought it in Oxfam, roughly 30 years ago, and I bought it for my son at the price of £10.
It looks like a lovely book to me. Fantastic story.
-So let's see what Paul thinks of it. Paul?
-You're going to be late, late for a very important date...
-Alice's Adventures Underground, not In Wonderland.
-Wow, there you go.
Well, that was the name of the first book, actually. It's not a first edition, is it?
-Well, I don't know. Some say it is and some say it isn't.
-It should say in the front here.
"Alice's Adventures Underground being a facsimile of
"the original book afterwards developed into Alice's Adventures In Wonderland."
So it's a later copy, but what it does is print off that wonderful first story.
And look at that - it's even in Lewis Carroll's own writing.
Well, the original idea for Alice In Wonderland, the inspiration
was a girl called Alice Liddell and she used to go to church with
a guy called Ludwig Dodgson, and he wrote under the name Lewis Carroll.
But he based his stories on this girl that he went to church with.
Apparently, he used to wander out for afternoons and he would tell them these fantastic stories of
life, you know, these weird and wonderful things that we now know as Alice In Wonderland.
But what's nice about this, what's unusual about the story is that
Alice actually had brown hair and we associate her now with white hair.
If you look at this piece of paper here - look at that.
You've got a picture of Charles Dodgson who was Lewis Carroll.
There we are - Alice, who at this point was a Mrs Reginald Hargreaves.
So what sort of value do you think this might have, then, Paul?
I think, if I was being realistic here, sort of £30-£50, that sort of price band.
-What do you think of that, Mary?
-Well, I'm really not quite sure, you know. I'd like to think about it.
-It's been in the family for a long time.
You ought to consult with your sons.
-Yes, I think so, yes.
-All right, so that's something we may or may not see at auction on the day.
Pretty good investment, though, if it only cost a tenner.
Oh, well, yes, I agree.
Anything else that your keen eye would like to show us?
Um, quite a few things.
-Come on, then.
-Can I borrow this?
If Mary's son agrees to send this to auction, someone is going to get
themselves a rare treat indeed, and we're another step closer to getting
Mary the money for her trip, when Paul bags something to sell in a drawer downstairs.
This fob watch and two wristwatches should add £100-£130 to the kitty.
Meanwhile, I find a fun little piggy box, but nothing in it that's going to bring home the bacon.
It's a different story for Paul, though. He's found a box with something very special inside.
-Ah, I see you've found Mary's bracelets.
-Yeah, I think Lorne was right, that Mary had lots
of jewellery, didn't she?
-So is this something that she's bought, do you think?
I believe her sister gave it to her about 12, 14 years ago, and I don't think she holds much
-sentimental value towards it, so, er...
You know...but it's a nice item.
Oh, it's nice to have a sister like that, isn't it? This is lovely.
-Let me just check. Is it gold, do you know?
-I believe so.
-This says 9ct. Can you see that?
-Do you know what that means?
-That's right, nine carat.
And the way that gold works, if you were to make an item from pure gold,
24 carat, it would be way too soft, so what we have to do is mix it with other metals.
Nine carat actually means nine parts gold, 15 parts base metal.
The whole thing adds up to 24. So it's quite a low carat rating.
When you get on the continent, you get 14 carat, 18 carat, even 22, so it's a lot more expensive.
-And a brooch to match, and those are diamonds.
-Oh, I didn't realise.
Well, I think that's in wonderful condition. I can see that being saleable.
And don't forget, it's an instant currency - lots of people buying gold. They can wear it.
If you fall on difficult times or if you're abroad, it's instantly saleable.
It's recognised all over the world. Now, I think you're looking at a nice item.
It's not an antique, but there's something quite nice about it and it's in great condition.
-If I said £200, maybe £250...
-Yeah. How does that sound?
-Does that sound all right?
-Oh, I don't think Mary realises.
-Well, obviously her sister thought a lot of her.
-That's cost a lot of money. It's cost more than that when it's been bought.
-Oh, wow, that's fantastic.
All right, that's great. So you think that can go?
Yes, I'm sure. Best go and tell Mary.
-Excellent. Come on.
I think Jan's really caught the rummaging bug.
Luckily, in this place, there's something interesting around almost every corner.
Mary's dug out this oil landscape with the signature L Stanley,
which Paul thinks should get her £30-£40 closer to that trip.
Downstairs, we're sifting through box after box of rings, necklaces and brooches.
Wow, you have got a lot of jewellery, haven't you?
Well, yes, I have collected a lot over the years.
-Do you use much of it?
-No, I don't.
That's the trouble.
I'm not a jewellery type person. What I usually wear constantly is all I really do wear.
-Now, Jan, do you collect jewellery?
-No, I've never been a jewellery person.
You know, it's just... I have costume jewellery but I don't have expensive jewellery, I'm afraid.
So how long have you been friends and how did you meet?
About four years. We met through... I come here and help
Mary out with a few of her chores, and that's how we first met, and since then, I've come here to do
a couple of hours of help with her and I usually stay about four.
Now, obviously, you want the £800. What exactly is that going to go towards?
A cruise. That's what I'd love to do - so relaxed,
you know, compared to here...and the air's so fresh and it's just such a pleasant place to be.
Right, well, if we're going to make all this money at auction,
I think we better find Paul Hayes and see what he's been up to.
Well, whilst we've been having a sit-down, Paul's been a busy boy, but it's Jan
who comes up trumps again, finding these rings, necklaces and pin, which together should fetch £80-£120.
And not to be out-done, Mary's turned up something with a rather
famous connection for Paul to have a look at.
-Ah, here you are.
-Well, what have you found here? Anything good?
Well, it's a little Faberge necklace. Well, I think it is, anyway.
are. That's right, look at that. Igor Carl Faberge.
-Yes! He was the grandson, I think.
-Right, I've got you.
Carl Faberge was THE gold and silversmith working in Russia,
late 19th century, and he made things for the Russian royal family.
Probably the most famous items he made were the Faberge eggs, and one
has sold recently for £9 million, so he's very much in demand.
He's the best in his field, I think.
Let me have a look.
14 carat. Yeah, this is 14 carat and... Hang on a second. It says FM. Do you know what that means?
-No, that's the Franklin Mint.
Have you heard of the Franklin Mint before?
-Right, well, they will have made items like this, obviously
-in the style of the great masters, but they do these collectible items.
-Oh, I see. Right.
So what would happen - you would have this in a magazine and you would write off for it
-and you would buy it.
-Yes, I know.
-But you have got one pearl missing.
-Oh, you're joking.
-It's at the bottom there. Can you see?
-Oh, gosh, yes.
I just noticed that, so you've got three pearls
and one missing at the bottom, so it needs a bit of restoration.
-Oh, that's a shame.
-I mean, there's no age here at all.
I'd say it's 1980s, 1990s, but the Faberge name does...
It's very collectible so that might have a bit of interest there.
Um...but if I was being realistic here, if I said around 100 mark, sort of 60-100, how does that sound?
This is the time to let go, I'm afraid, so it's got to go, one way or another.
Well, you look after that, see if you can find that other pearl.
-I will do, definitely.
-All right, and I'll see if I can find something else.
-Right, thank you.
I hope the Faberge pendant does a little better than the estimation.
Um...we just have to see and hope for the best.
Well, it's a shame about the lost pearl but we're not going to let
that get us down as there's still time to find something else to fund that cruise.
And Mary takes another step up the gang plank when Paul spots a well-known name on the wall.
Mary, Jan? Ah, now then. Are these a family heirloom? These are a beautiful pair of
-paintings, aren't they?
-I wish they were, but they're not.
-Again, we bought them in an antique shop.
I thought you were going to say you bought them in Scotland on a holiday.
-They have a very Scottish look about them.
-Yeah, well, definitely Scotland. I'd swear it.
Most of these Scottish scenes are done in
the late 19th century, and the reason being was that Queen Victoria had settled at Balmoral.
That was her main place, and of course anything to do with her was very valued, so you get all these
wonderful sketches of Scotland and Scottish themes, lots of jewellery
she used to wear from the Cairngorm Mountains, and it starts the fashion.
Well, these are very well painted and there is an artist's mark. Do you know who this is?
-So have you heard of him before?
-Yes, I have but don't ask from where.
He's what they call a prolific artist.
He would go to Scotland and he would capture these wonderful views and of course sell them on a mass scale.
But I tell you what is nice about these two, actually, is that they're oil paintings.
A lot of people work in watercolour with simple studies like this, but oil's very difficult to work in.
They're lovely and I think also that the frames are original.
These are nice oval frames, typically sort of 1890, 1900. How do you feel about selling them?
Oh, I want to. Yes, I want to sell them.
-Well, if I said £50, sort of £60 each, say 100, maybe £120 for the pair?
-Yeah, OK. Yes.
-I'll go along with that.
With a name like Rennie, they might be quite hard to digest.
-Shall we tell Lorne?
-Dear, oh, dear!
-Oh, it doesn't stop, does it?
That's just a terrible joke. It really is.
It's enough to give somebody indigestion, your jokes, I tell you. So what have you found there, then?
I found a lovely pair of paintings, Scottish interest.
Looking at around £100 towards the target.
Oh, that's not bad. Are you happy with that price?
-Yeah, I am.
-OK. Well, that takes our total today to £1,080.
-And that doesn't include the Alice In Wonderland book.
-Oh, my goodness! I can't believe that.
-That's a good figure, isn't it?
-Oh, it is, marvellous, yes.
It certainly is a great result and, with all that gold, there's a every chance this could be a very good
auction for Mary.
Helping her is the Albert chain with compass and gold sovereign,
weighing in at an estimated £200-£250.
The oriental cabinet saved from going overboard will instead
hopefully add £80-£120 to the fund.
And the Franklin Mint Faberge, despite missing a pearl,
should still make a contribution.
Paul reckons the name will trump the damage and bring in £60-£100.
But of course Mary still has to make her mind up about whether she wants
to let Alice's Adventures Underground out of her sight.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic...
Some of the sparkling items charm the bidders...
Are you pleased with that?
..while others fail to shine.
-Sorry about that.
He's let it go for that.
So will we have reached our target when the final hammer falls?
It's been a few weeks since we had a look around Mary's home,
and together with her friend Jan, we found plenty of antiques and
collectibles that we've brought here, to Chiswick Auctions in west London.
Now, remember Mary's looking to raise around £800 towards a holiday so let's just hope that the bidders
are feeling very generous when her items go under the hammer.
They're a knowledgeable crowd, at Chiswick,
especially when it comes to jewellery, so I'm hopeful they'll get excited by what's to come.
Expert Paul Hayes certainly seems happy to see the pendant again.
-Ah, good morning. How are you?
Oh, look at that - a nice blue dress to go with a nice pendant.
Oh, thank you very much,
-and it's Faberge no less. Or is it?
-Well, it's in the circle of, yes.
It's a relation to Faberge but it's not the original Faberge.
-So you think we can still get some good money for this?
-Yeah, I think we can.
It's solid gold and you've got diamonds there AND the family found the missing pearl.
Well, that's got to help. Now, I haven't seen any white rabbits so far this morning,
so I'm not sure whether the Alice In The Underground book is here or not.
Yeah, I mean, that's the origins of Alice In Wonderland. And people love to buy
into that sort of market, but it's not a first edition, which makes
all the difference so, if it's here, it should sell quite well.
OK, let's see if they've got it here.
It's great news about the missing pearl, and hopefully bodes well.
Before everything kicks off, we find Mary and Jan inspecting the oriental cabinet that nearly didn't make it.
-Ah, hello, how are you?
-How are you doing?
-Fine, thank you.
-Fine, thank you, yes.
-Well, this - tell me the story about this again.
-I kept thinking, "Oh, what can I do with it?"
so I thought, "Well, nothing's happening, no-one's taken it,"
so I was going to take it to the dump.
Then, when Paul came along, it wasn't a dump object, was it?
No, it's amazing how many people do throw away things.
Just because you don't like something doesn't mean
-it's not worth anything, so hopefully this'll go well today.
-What have we put on this?
-Sort of £80-£100
-Wow, you wouldn't throw £80-£100 away, would you?
-Now, I'm dying to know, did you bring the Alice In The Underground book?
-Yes, I did.
Excellent, and have you put a reserve on that at all?
No, there isn't, actually.
Well, there's a lot of people here, as you can see, so we just need
-to get in position ready for the auction, so shall we?
If, like Mary, you're planning to take your items to auction, then please remember that commission
and other charges may apply, and it can vary enormously from place to place,
so make sure you check the details with the saleroom.
As we take our places, we're just in time for our first lot, and straight away
it's the facsimile of Alice's Adventure Underground,
published 21 years after the original in 1886.
Paul thinks we could be looking at around £30-£50.
This is the origins of the whole story, what we now know as Alice In Wonderland.
This is how it started. People are fascinated by that sort of thing but it's not a first edition.
If it had been a first edition, it would've been different altogether.
-Well, let's see how it goes.
Look, there's a white rabbit, see?
And start me, what, £30 for it?
£30 for it, £20 for it? I'm bid £20, 22, 25, 25, 28...
30, 32, 32, 35, 38...
A bid here of £35.
I'm selling at £35. All done at 35? You got it at 35.
-Hey, how's that? That's great.
-Are you pleased with that?
-Yes, thank you.
-There you go.
£35 is just over Paul's lower estimation,
and there's money in the bank for Mary's trip.
Next up is the first of many items of gold we've got today.
If this collection of rings and necklaces hits Paul's estimate of
£80-£120, we could be in for a successful auction.
Lot number 10A now, a mixed lot of gold. Start me at £50, please.
£50 for the lot? I'm bid £50. At £50, take five.
That's 55, 60, 5, 70, 5, 80...
80 there. 85, 90... A bid of £85.
90, new bidder. 95? You've got it at £90 so far. You've got it, sir.
-Yeah, that's great too.
That's not bad, is it? No. So that's another £90 in the pot.
It's a great result for the gold, £10 above Paul's lower estimate.
Hopefully, a taste of things to come.
But I must say it's the next item that I'm most curious about -
the modern-day Faberge pendant, now complete with
the missing pearl back in place.
-You love this, don't you?
-Oh, I think it's beautiful.
Oh, it's really lovely.
But is it a beautiful price, £60-£100, Paul?
Yeah, I'm trying to be realistic, really. Obviously, Carl Faberge
is the world leader in this sort of jewellery, but this isn't that particular Faberge,
but it has got the connection, so £60 seems very reasonable, and it's a very attractive item.
£50 for it? Name's worth more. £50 for it? £40 for it?
I'm bid £40, 42, 45 there, 48, 50,
55, 60, 5, 70, 5, 80, 5, 90...
90, 95, 100. Now at 95, at 95, who'll give me 100 for it?
Your bid, madam, at £95.
At £95 only it goes, all done?
100 back in. 110?
110. 120? £110, sold at £110, 243.
-Are you pleased with that?
-So it's going to a new home,
and not yours, unfortunately.
-Oh, I know.
-That's a good result, though, isn't it?
Finding the missing pearl made all the difference
with the Faberge coming in £10 over Paul's top estimate.
Three items down and we're doing well,
with everything so far hitting the target.
Next to attempt to keep up the run is the landscape by L Stanley.
Forest landscape. Is that worth £20? Start me at £20? £10 for it?
Nobody like it? £10 bid.
Who'll give me 12? That's the main bid so far at £10.
I'm going to sell it at £10. At £10, last chance at £10.
It goes at £10 only.
Sorry about that but he's let it go for that.
-Yeah, never mind.
-I'm so sorry. That seems so cheap, doesn't it?
-Well, you win and you lose, don't you?
Interest in art today seems pretty poor,
and we're a bit apprehensive about the next lot
as it's more paintings, the two oils from George Rennie.
Now, the next lot I think are absolutely charming.
They're those oval, Scottish pictures.
I think there's something very, very charming about them.
Not particularly fashionable at the moment,
but Scottish artists are doing quite well, aren't they, Paul?
They are. It all comes to really the artist. This guy's known,
he's a good, known Scottish painter. The oval, which is always good.
They look a bit different to the ordinary rectangle ones,
so I put £100 on these, for the pair of Rennies.
Start me at £50, please.
£50 for the lot. £50? £50 for the... I'm bid £50.
At £50, say 55, £50, take 5.
That's a bid at £50. 55? 55, 60, 5, 70?
-At £65, I'll take 70.
-65's too cheap.
At £65, I'm selling at 65, all done at 65 and gone...?
-That's a little less than we wanted for them.
That is a real disappointment.
It's lucky for us we're not pinning our hopes on paintings today.
Fortunately, the saleroom is packed and we're hoping there'll be
much more interest in our next lot - the snake bracelet and chain.
Paul thinks they stand a good chance of snagging us £50-£70.
-So where did these come from?
-Well, my husband bought them, as usual. He bought me most of my jewellery.
Ah. But you've had enough of these?
Yeah, I don't wear them, so what's the point?
OK. All right, well, the point is, hopefully, we'll make between £50 and £70.
-Yeah, I hope so.
-So fingers crossed.
So far, jewellery seems to be doing quite well, so let's hope we can get some more money for you on that.
Where shall we start? £50? £30?
A bid of £30. Who'll give me 32? At £30...
Two lots at £30. 32. 35.
38. 40. 42. 45. 48. 50?
-£48. 50. 55.
It's against you at 65. 70?
70. 75? At £70 for 252. At £70 and selling.
-All done? At £70, are we done? I think we are. £70.
-That's good, isn't it?
-It's marvellous, isn't it?
-I hesitated a little bit at the beginning.
-Yeah, I thought, "He's not going to do it."
But do it he did, and at £20 over estimate,
we're on the way to wiping out the poor performance of the paintings.
As we approach the halfway stage of the auction, it's time for me to tot up the totals
and see how we're getting on raising the £800 Mary's hoping for to see her set sail.
-How did you find it so far?
-Yes, I enjoyed it, no matter what the amount.
-And what about you?
Oh, yeah, I'm loving every single minute. It's so exciting.
-You don't know where it's going to go and finish. It's brilliant.
-That makes two of us.
-And she's next to Paul that's making her day!
-Is it, really?
-She's got a crush on him, I think.
Goodness. Right, OK.
Right, now we've got over that little bit of a revelation,
-would you like me to reveal how much we've made so far?
-Yes, it would be nice to know.
-So we're nearly halfway to the figure that you want.
We've got a bit of a break, and I know you've seen some pieces that you like the look of.
-Yeah, there are a couple of items I'd like to show you.
-Come this way, ladies.
-Meet you back here in a second.
It's certainly been quite a first half with some items
failing to reach their estimates, whilst others exceeded expectations.
Fingers crossed there'll be a rush on the rest of the gold
still to come but, in the meantime, Paul's seen some eye-catching military toys
which have been treasured for years, and he thinks they're going to be even more popular in the future.
-Well, boys' toys if ever I've seen them.
-What a Christmas this must've been for somebody.
-Look at that. Aren't they wonderful?
-Are they all mint, then?
They're all absolutely mint, and the story goes, apparently these came from one collection,
-they had the original boxes and were unwrapped from the original wrapping paper they came in.
-So they're untouched by human hand until they arrived here today. Isn't that wonderful?
At one time, lead soldiers were going through the roof. What price are we talking about now?
It depends on the regiments. You've got to know what to look for.
You can get certain issues that were only done in short numbers, then it gets very expensive.
The estimates are around £80-£150 per set of soldiers, so do you think it might go for more than that?
Yeah, I think they'll go for at least that. If some are rare, then it'll get interesting.
So let's see how the whole lot goes.
-There's lots to go at.
-But what a fantastic thing.
-Right, we'll keep our eyes on that, then. Come on.
Having regained our composure after the first half, we take up our positions at the back of the room.
And first under the hammer is the oriental cabinet
that Mary thinks is worthless,
but Paul disagrees to the tune of £80-£120.
-Paul, do you think they'll make the money on this?
-Yes. It fits in with the modern style.
-It's quite minimalist.
-I don't think so.
-You don't like it at all.
You really don't like this, do you? Goodness gracious.
£50. Who'll start me at £50? I'll pass the lot. £50 for it.
No-one likes it at £50? No-one wants to buy it at £50, then?
Don't like it? No bids, sorry. No bids.
-There you go.
-You've jinxed it! You said you didn't like it and nobody else here likes it either!
So the room agrees with Mary
and it was only a brief reprieve for the cabinet
which will be heading back home to an uncertain fate.
When the cabinet didn't go, I thought, "Well, I'm not surprised because it was really for the tip,"
and everyone kept saying how much they liked it. I thought, "How could they like it?!"
I thought it was really awful. But I'm sorry it didn't go because I've got to cart it home!
But Mary's much more hopeful about the next item, the wristwatches
and fob watch owned by husband Bob
that Paul hopes will break the £100 barrier.
Three watches here, number 50A - an Art Deco
gentleman's gold wristwatch, an Avia gold watch
and a gold enamelled fob watch.
Start me cheap at £50 for the lot. £50? A bid of £50. Say 55?
It's in front of me at £50. 55. 60.
5. 100. 110.
120. 130. 140.
150's bid. I'm selling for 150. 160. 160 over there. 170?
Do I see a bid at 170? 180? 180.
At £210, near the doorway. At £210. Are we done at 210?
Are you waving or not? No, at £210. Selling at 210.
-Well done. Yeah, very good.
-That's superb, isn't it?
-That's made up for the chest.
That's brilliant. Those are great items. I would love one of those myself - vintage watches...
-Oh, why didn't you say? I'd have treated you!
-If only I'd known.
Sorry, Paul, if you want something, you're going to have to be
a bit quicker with the hints. Instead, the keen bidding
has more than doubled the estimate,
giving us our best result so far today.
When the watches sold, I couldn't believe the price that I got for them. Inwardly, I thought, "Wow!"
you know, and I thought, "Well, that was terrific,"
cos that was so unexpected, and I was really pleased.
Well, let's hope our luck holds out as next up is one of our star lots -
the heavy mesh gold bracelet that Paul found in a drawer in the hall.
Two bits in the lot, a bit of weight there as well. £200?
I'm bid £100. 110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160.
170. 180. 190.
200. 210. 220? A bid at £210.
Say 220? New bidder.
-A new bidder at £220.
At 220. Last chance but going for 220.
At 220, last chance is gone then. All out?
-220, that's fantastic.
-That is, yeah.
Paul was spot-on there with the sale coming in
pretty much in the middle of his estimate,
but that's not the only thing he's got right.
As the toy soldiers go under the hammer, most sell around the £80-£120 mark, except for two lots
of mint Royal Marines which, after some feverish bidding,
finally sell for £210 and £260. Let's hope the excitement continues
with our next item - these three rings. We're looking for around £80.
Right, our next lot is the rings. We've got quite a collection - two gold rings, including a signet ring,
-dress ring and a "white metal" ring. What does that mean?
-Platinum it is.
-There we go.
-Why have they put "white metal" then?
-Because it possibly wasn't stamped.
-If the auctioneer can't see a hallmark on it, it'll say "white metal".
-Oh, I know that.
Who'll start me at £50, please? There we go, £50.
£50 for a lot of three rings. £50? Is that a bid?
£50. 55. 60.
5. 70. 5. 80?
At £75 here.
At £75. 80? At £75. I'm selling at 75, all done?
At £75, then? 252.
£75. That's not bad at all, is it?
Well, we were hoping for a little more,
but at just £5 under the estimate, £75 will do nicely.
Mary and Jan seem to be having a great time.
Let's hope they're still smiling when the next item goes under the hammer,
the aquamarine ring which Paul has valued at £100-£130.
-So have you worn this?
-Sometimes. Not an awful lot.
-OK, so you're not going to miss it, then?
-OK, but £100-£150 would be a nice replacement value, wouldn't it?
-Let's see if we can get that amount.
£100, start me for it?
-£80 for it?
-Oh, it's all gone quiet over there, hasn't it? £50 for it?
No bids at £50? I'll pass the lot. I'm bid at £50. 55? Take 5 now.
That's a bid? 55, thank you. 60? At £55.
Two bidders so far. I've got £55. Can I sell it?
No? Yes? No? Come and see me after. They want more than 55, so I can't sell it for that.
Sorry. Not sold.
-Oh, I am surprised that didn't sell.
-That's a shame.
-It is but, on the other hand, did you really want it to sell for £55?
-Well, no, no.
It's a bit of a surprise not to see the ring go,
but we can't afford to be too downbeat
because we still have one item left,
a cracker! It's the Albert chain
with gold sovereign and compass which has the potential
to do very well indeed in a room
that's been keen on gold up till now.
Our next lot, I must admit, is one of my favourites. I think that watch chain is lovely, mainly because
it's got the compass on it, and I think that's a really sweet touch. So was this your late husband's?
-Right. Did he used to wear it at all?
-No, not at all.
-So just a collector's piece?
-OK. Do you like it, Paul?
I do but it's not the sort of thing I would wear.
Unless someone bought me a pocket watch for Christmas! They are lovely items. They make nice bracelets.
That's what people buy them for, as bracelets. And those graduated links, they're lovely quality.
£200? £150? A bid at £150.
-Here we go.
-A bid here for 150.
160. 170. 180.
190. 200. And 10? At £200.
Bid at 200. Take 10. 210.
220? At £210.
-That's the money at £210. 220. 230. 240?
240 here. 250.
260. 270. 280? It's against you. Do you want 280?
No. At 270. I see a bid at 270 then. At 270, all done? For 270, last chance again.
You've got it for 270. Are we done at 270?
-Oh, I'm so pleased for you. What a result! What a result.
It was the first thing Paul found in the house
and he was absolutely right, giving Mary
£20 more than even the top end valuation.
I have a feeling we've done pretty well today, but how well?
Well, that was a very interesting day because we can safely say
-jewellery, apart from one piece, did very well, didn't it?
-Yeah, it did.
And you wanted £800 towards the holiday? Well, you've actually made
-Oh, that is good.
-That is good.
-That's without the ring selling.
-I know. I know.
-That is good.
-And the Chinese cabinet.
-Two items didn't sell and still made that amount of money.
-What'll you do with the extra amount? Have a nice meal out?
-Possibly, yes. Something like that.
-Yes? Oh, I'm really pleased for you. Well done.
It's a couple of weeks since their fabulous day at auction and, no,
Mary's not setting sail for the Mediterranean just yet.
Instead, she's getting in the mood for her fabulous holiday to come
with a spot of sightseeing at one of the country's most beautiful
historic locations, Leeds Castle in Kent.
-Why is it called Leeds Castle in Kent?
-It's a fair point, Jan.
Well, the auction was very good. It was a good experience,
went way above the target expected so I was very pleased.
There's a proposed cruise on the agenda, and I thought
this would be a nice way of thanking Jan for helping me.
We thought it would be a really nice place to come together
to sort of celebrate finishing off Cash In The Attic.
Set on the River Len in the heart of Kent, Leeds Castle
has been welcoming lords and ladies, and now Mary and Jan, for over 1,000 years.
Oh, look at this. Oh, imagine having your breakfast here.
Mary loves getting out and seeing the sights,
and the trip has certainly whetted her appetite for the incredible cruise still to come.
Well, it's been absolutely fantastic. The weather's held out as well, it's been great.
We've seen an awful lot, learnt a good bit.
Jan's enjoyed it, I've enjoyed it,
all thanks to the auction,
and I can't wait now to go and book a cruise for a holiday.
Lorne Spicer is in the heart of Essex, with the rest of the Cash team, helping widow Mary Miller clear out a lifetime of collectables. With her close friend Jan in tow, she is raising funds to finally treat herself to a very special trip indeed.