Series looking at the value of household junk. Linda Hawley wants to raise money to treat her grandchildren, while daughter Deborah wants her mum to clear out all the junk.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, where we help you look for valuables around your home
and sell them with you at auction, so you can spend the money on something very special.
Today, I'm in Buckinghamshire and I've taken a bit of a literary turn,
because I've come to Milton's cottage.
This was the home of that great 17th-century writer,
right in the middle of the village of Chalfont St Giles.
'Literary legend John Milton fled to rural Buckinghamshire from London
'when the city was in the grip of the plague of 1665,
'and it's in this very house that he completed his epic poem, Paradise Lost.
'The Grade II listed 16th-century cottage
'is now a museum to the life and achievements of one of England's greatest poets.'
Well, obviously we hope that today it won't be so much a question
of Paradise Lost as heavenly collectables found,
as we nip just five minutes down the road to the neighbouring village of Chalfont St Peter.
'Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, our expert runs the gamut from cartoon capers...'
They looked like Mickey Mouse with huge, weird shapes.
'..to serious social commentary.'
I mean, the housing market's a bit flat at the moment.
-Yes! Mobile homes are doing well though.
-A roaring trade in these!
'But when it comes to the auction, he's right on the money.'
That's great, isn't it?
-You didn't expect that, did you?
-I didn't, no.
'So will it be smiles or frowns when the hammer comes down?'
I'm in a very picturesque part of Buckinghamshire and about to meet
a very proud granny
who wants to take her entire family on a special day out.
'This cottage may seem small from the road,
'but step round the back and its true size is revealed.
'And it's just as well it's large, because
'the owner, Linda Hawley, is a self-confessed hoarder and jumbler.
'But one woman's treasure is another's trash,
'and daughter Deborah, herself a mother of four,
'has had enough of Mum's compulsive collecting.
'She's come along today to ensure
'that the decks are cleared for a very special family day out.'
-Ah, good morning.
-We've got our work cut out today.
We've got a really lovely lady, lives in this house,
and she's got six grandchildren and she wants to take all of them on a trip of a lifetime.
-Right, so no pressure then today, is there?
-No pressure at all on you, Paul, no.
-And their ages range from 14 downwards, so there's quite a wide range there.
We should be like superheroes and find some good stuff.
So we're going to be Superman and Superwoman!
-It sounds about right. I'll bring the headache tablets.
-Yeah. Get the cape! Let's go!
-Linda and Deborah, mother and daughter. You're like two peas in a pod.
Well, I'm delighted about that, but not sure that Deborah will be.
You've got this really lovely cottage here and I can see already it's full of lots of stuff.
So is that why you've called in Cash In The Attic?
I really feel I need to de-clutter.
I'm being told by the family there's too much junk.
I don't see it as junk, but unfortunately they do.
-So what are we going to see today?
-All sorts. All sorts of collections.
My mother and I collected for years.
I've got her bits. I've got my bits.
I don't want any of the bits.
-I think they're genuine, precious articles.
-And you think?
They're a load of old junk.
So what do you want to spend the money on?
Well, really, ideally, I'd like to give the grandchildren a really splendid day out. Lots of fun.
Lots of fun things to do.
How much will this cost?
I think probably in the region of £400, to have a splendid day out.
-And we've got enough in the house to find that?
-I hope so.
-Hope so. There's enough rubbish.
Well, we've also got Paul. He's definitely not rubbish. Shall we go and see what he's finding?
'Linda wasn't exaggerating when she said the house was spilling over with antiques,
'and, given her penchant for the miniature,
'she's been able to squeeze in even more.
'But large or small,
'our man Paul Hayes is an old hand at sorting out treasure from tat.
'And he's already taken a shine to one of Linda's possessions.'
-There you are, Linda. You see, I told you he'd be hard at work already.
Yes, I've made a start already. This is a really nice example of an epergne.
My mum has exactly the same one.
-The only difference is that
some of these trumpets are missing, I think two or three.
It's a common fault with anything that has detachable parts -
they get swapped about and get missed.
Some of these can be enormous.
If you lived in a large house or in a hotel,
they would be full of flower arrangements.
This one's quite simple, and I think it might have been for afternoon tea.
So what's it likely to make at auction?
You're looking at least £30 to maybe up to about £60.
-How does that sound?
-Is that all right?
Let's see what else we can find.
'Well, let's hope that the floral epergne blossoms at auction.
'Elsewhere in the house,
'Deborah turns up a stash of table centrepieces.
'100 years ago, no tea table would be complete
'without a decorative biscuit barrel.
'Paul puts a value of £40-£60 on this collection.
'And in the dining room,
I've found something that might be a breath of fresh air at auction.'
-Linda, what an earth is this?
-That's a gas mask.
Why an earth have you got a Second World War gas mask in the house?
When my son, Daniel, was eight,
he was studying the Second World War at school,
and an elderly lady who lived in our road
gave us the gas mask for him to take into school and show the class.
Are these things collectable?
Well, they come in all varieties.
The best are designed for children and looked like Mickey Mouse -
they had these huge, weird shapes.
And, you know, people collect that sort of thing.
There's very much a nostalgic feel with these items.
But the original idea goes back to the 18th century,
it's nothing to do with the Second World War. And it was for miners,
protecting their lungs from coal dust.
Can we put pounds to it, or not?
I think we're talking more pence actually than pounds.
I think maybe five or ten.
Well, I've got younger grandchildren who are going to study
the Second World War at school,
and I think for interest value I might be tempted to keep it.
I might be tempted to let it go. I'll have to think about it.
-Well, the thing is to have a word with them.
'Well, it's a low estimation,
'but if Linda sends it to auction, every little helps.
'And furthering the cause are these Toby jugs,
'which together could add another £10.
'Having a good root through her jewellery box, Linda thinks
'she's found some genuine gems in between the fabulous fakes.'
Paul, hi. Come and see what I've found in my bedroom.
Ah, let's have a look. Oh, some jewellery.
This is my favourite thing, cos these boxes are often little treasure troves.
We've got some things from Scotland here.
Oh, this one looks a bit better than costume.
That's beautiful, isn't it? That one's gold.
This is a top quality example
because it's got a nine-carat gold mount.
That tends to mean that the substance held within that is good quality.
And this is a shell cameo.
The shell ones tend to be from Italy.
-Do you know if this was from Italy?
-I don't know where it was from.
-I found it with my mother in one of our rummages once.
-I didn't pay very much for it.
When you say "not very much", how much is that?
Mum wouldn't have let me spend more than a couple of pounds.
Well, I think you got an absolute bargain.
One thing with cameos is that the metal contracts and expands quicker
than the actual cameo does, and you have to look for cracks.
-That one looks all right.
-It does. There's no cracks.
So that's a good quality example in nine-carat gold.
But that's a nice job lot.
If I said at least £40 upwards, how does that sound?
-That sounds good. That's a grandchild for the day out.
'In Linda's house, it doesn't matter where you look -
'there's something interesting, or just plain quirky.
'Paul thanks his lucky stars that he's seen
'these terrifying characters in daylight, rather than late at night.
'For novelty value alone they could fetch £40-£60.
'And as he recovers his composure by finding something pretty to look at,
'I take a moment to ask Linda about her eclectic collections.'
Linda, you're a lady who likes things in miniature,
but you like them on the grand scale because the house is full of them!
-What's the fascination?
-Well, my mum was a great jumbler,
and we used to go to jumble sales on a Saturday afternoon
when I was a small child and we used to have great fun.
Deborah, you clearly have not inherited the collecting gene.
No, I haven't, no.
My daughter Felicity has. She's very keen on going to charity shops and bringing home dusty objects.
But, no, not something I'm very keen on at all.
Tell me what you plan to do with the money for the grandchildren.
Well, because of the varying age range - the 14-year-old down to a four-year-old -
I'd like to do something quite exciting, and Granny can watch it all.
Now you've never been to an auction before, Linda.
So are you afraid that this is going to lead to something else, Deborah?
-Big adventure, yes.
Especially with my collectables being up for sale.
Remember, they are up for sale.
-You're not there to buy as well.
-Or anybody else's collectables.
I'll try! I'll try and be good.
-Shall we go and see what else we CAN take to auction?
-Let's do that.
'Meanwhile, Paul has made a sterling find.
'Valued at £30-£50, he thinks this hallmarked inkwell
'could prove to be a reservoir of cash at auction.
'Whilst Linda searches more jewellery,
'Paul's found something to really write home about.'
Ah! Deborah, whose is this writing slope?
Well, my father bought it for my mother about 20 years ago.
-Has she ever used it?
-I don't think so. I think it's just a box in the corner.
I think these are wonderful items.
They go back to the golden age of pen and paper
which seems lost nowadays.
This one's made from solid oak and it dates maybe 1880, 1900.
-But - it holds a secret.
-Oh, show me.
Well, it has a secret compartment.
-Have you ever seen it?
Well, hopefully this has got one. If I open the top here.
-Can you see this panel here?
That's a false panel. If I just pull this down a second...
-Look at that!
-Have you had a look in there?
-It's not full of sovereigns(?)
But that's great. These are very useful items.
You would carry these around and have all your personal letters,
all the things you would need while you were actually writing.
Two little inkwells, a place for your nibs
which would have been separate at that time.
And I think by the end of the 19th century, when more people were going on trains
and travelling a lot more, more and more of these boxes tend to appear.
Would you use something like that now?
I don't think I'd use it, but I think of all my mum's junk
-that she's selling, it's something that is quite lovely.
-So what we've got then is a 19th-century laptop.
I mean, if I said at least £50-£100, how does that sound?
-I think that sounds fantastic.
Well, the writing's on the wall for that one. Let's keep looking.
'We're building up quite a list of items for auction.
'Linda's home is full of fascinating collectables,
'and I can't resist the urge to play.
'And, right under my nose,
'there's this fine Victorian mahogany chest of drawers,
'It could be a sound proposition
'at £150-£200 at auction.
'But everywhere is Linda's fascination for the miniature.
'Creating items for this doll's house is a labour of love,
'and in the conservatory Paul has found a couple of models
'that have been painstakingly constructed from matchsticks.'
I was hoping you wouldn't find these.
You could hardly miss 'em.
-Look at that. I was thinking of buying a new home.
I don't know whether to go for bricks and mortar or a mobile home.
-So who made them?
-I don't know.
I was foolish enough to buy them a number of years ago in Sussex.
I thought you were going to say you were on holiday and made one while you were doing it.
These are the sort of thing that you don't see a lot of any more.
I hadn't seen a lot of them when I bought them.
-So where's the caravan from?
-The caravan came from Arundel,
a toy museum that was closing down.
I wandered in and was chatting to the owner, and bought it from him
and again back to the car. My husband looked at me -
horrified expression on his face. "What have you got now?!"
The variety of them... I've seen galleon ships, aeroplanes.
The value doesn't reflect the amount of hours that goes into them.
-Of course not.
-But doll's houses in particular are very, very popular.
There are a few of these examples that fetch an awful lot,
for the simple reason lots were done by prisoners of war throughout the ages.
You get some dating back to the 18th century that were done
on warships, on galleon ships,
and they're made from bits of whalebone and walrus.
They make these wonderful big ships, and people pay thousands of pounds.
As regard resale value, the housing market's a bit flat at the moment.
-Yes! Mobile homes are doing well though.
-A roaring trade in these!
But are you sure these are not sentimental,
you're willing to part with them?
It depends on what you value them at.
-Oh, right, well...
-Well, that, Paul, is the 64,000 question.
-It certainly is, yes.
-So come on, Paul,
what do you reckon they're worth?
I think you're looking at least... £30 each.
So if I said 60-100, how does that sound?
-That sounds pretty good.
The news you want to hear I think is how much we're likely to make.
-You wanted to raise £400 to take all the family...?
Well, if we take the gas mask, it comes to £455.
Leave the gas mask behind and it's a nice round £450.
-That would be amazing.
-And it could even be more.
'Exactly how much we do make is in the hands of the bidders.
'But after an eye-opening forage through Linda's home,
'we've come away with plenty of items.
'The first true laptop, this writing slope,
'may still have some practical uses on top of its antique value.
'Paul thinks it should close the lid on £50-£100.
'And traditionally a centrepiece for a grand dinner party,
'dressed with garlands or sweets,
'we're hoping that the epergne
'will top off our sale at between £30 and £60.
'Still to come on Cash In The Attic, some items exceed expectations.'
£50, that's smashing.
'While others have us literally bouncing with joy!'
'But will our luck hold out until the final hammer falls?'
It's been a week or two since we were with Linda at her home in Buckinghamshire,
but we did find lots of wonderful things
to sell for her today here at the Chiswick Auction Rooms in west London.
And her daughter, Deborah, could not be more delighted,
because hopefully by the end of today's auction
Deborah is not going to have to inherit any of her mum's family heirlooms
and Linda will have £400
so that she can spend a really fun day with all her grandchildren. I can't wait.
'Of course, raising all that cash depends on a good turnout,
'and bidders determined to take home Linda's items.
'Luckily, the canny Chiswick crowd certainly know how to sort
'the wheat from the chaff, as of course does our very own expert.
'Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
'No, it's Paul Hayes.'
-I'm not sure that quite goes with the image.
Well, it's flower power.
-That's it, you see. Superhero flower power.
It's had a clean since we saw it last.
That's a really good idea actually.
When you're sending an item to auction
you want it to stand out, so they've polished it up.
-It looks fantastic.
-They had some really unusual items.
We've got the doll's house
and the gypsy caravan made out of matchsticks.
I bet they've never seen anything like that here.
They're an acquired taste.
But if you worked out how many hours they must have taken to make,
surely there must be a buyer here who would appreciate that. Let's hope so.
I wonder if she decided to bring the gas mask.
Yes. That was very much a family item,
and those items tend to stay in the family.
People can get very nostalgic about them, so it will be interesting to see if she's brought it.
Deborah will be really disappointed if she hasn't. She wants everything to go!
-She'll be heartbroken if she hasn't brought it.
-Well, let's go and find out.
'So, Paul's feeling positive about the day,
'and I've got high hopes that everything is going to go.
'With the auction edging even closer,
'I find Linda and Deborah saying goodbye to the matchstick items.'
-Thinking of moving in?
-Absolutely, in this present climate.
It looks pretty good here.
-It looks very nice here.
-It does, yes.
Deborah, you must be looking forward to today enormously.
I've been waiting for her to pressure me to keep some special item, but not at all.
-No, she's completely failed you there.
But you have brought a slightly different chest of drawers.
My husband got really quite upset about where to keep his pullovers.
They wouldn't fit in the little chest of drawers,
so I hope we get something for the different one.
The larger chest of drawers was about £150.
-The one you've brought along is more £30-£50.
I'll just have to leave a couple of grandchildren at home, won't I(?)
She didn't hear that.
She didn't hear that!
But the auctioneer's just taking his place,
so shall we take ours and let's see if we can make up that extra money?
Excellent. Thank you.
'Losing the Victorian drawers is a real disappointment.
'And with the gas mask also failing to make it to auction
'the pressure is really on.
'We'll need all of our items to hit the top end of their estimates
'if we're going to have a chance of raising £400.
'Remember, if, like Linda, you're planning on buying or selling at auction,
'you'll pay charges such as commission.
'So check the details with your local auction house.
'With the bidders ready for business, we take our places,
'and it's not long before our first item gets its chance to shine.'
Linda, you've put a reserve of £40 on the costume jewellery.
Is that because you've sort of had second thoughts about it, and the nostalgic value of it?
Absolutely, yes. I think if it's going to go for £40 then that's great,
it's worth selling it.
But for less than £40, I think nostalgically it's worth staying with me.
She's worth £40. Start me £40 for it.
£30 for it. I'm bid at £30. £30. 32.
At £30. That's the bid up there at £30. You want 32? 35. 38. 40.
42. 45. 48. 50. Five.
No? At £50. 466 at £50. Are we done?
£50. At £50. Sold. £50.
£50, that's smashing.
'Linda's delighted, and rightly so, as the jewellery sells
'in the middle of the estimate.
'And we're off to a great start.
'Next up is the silver inkwell,
'which Paul thinks should attract £30-£50.'
I'm bid at £20. At £20. 22 now.
-So we're in at 20.
28. 30. 32. 35. 38. 40. 42.
-No? At £40. Your bid at £40.
Who wants to give me 42 for it? £40.
42, new bidder. 45.
48? Thanks for the bid, at £45. Bid at £45.
That's great, isn't it?
'With one bidder absolutely determined
'to take home that inkwell,
'it goes for just £5 under the top end of valuation.
'If the auction continues like this, then that £400 goal should be well within our sights.
'And it looks an even more realistic target when the Toby jugs come up.'
And that's the money today! At £18, sold. At £18.
'And sell for £3 over the top estimate.
'Next up, it's the substitute chest of drawers.
'Instead of the £150 we were hoping to get for the other chest,
'Paul thinks £30-£40 is more realistic for this piece.'
35 here. 38. 40. 42. 45. 48.
Thank you, Terry. I'm bid at £45. All out at £45. You've got it at 45.
That's great, isn't it?
-You didn't expect that, did you?
-Makes two of us.
'It's happy faces all round
'when the chest finds a buyer willing to pay £5
'over Paul's top estimate.
'Another much needed contribution towards the £400.
'But we're still going to need a strong performance from the rest of Linda's lots.
'Let's hope that our next item doesn't scare the bidders away.'
It's the turn now of
-those frightening figures from your loo.
-Terrify the grandchildren.
They are petrifying, aren't they?
-We've got £25 for them!
-40. 42. 45. 48.
48. 50. 55.
At £50. Take 55. New bidder. 60.
80. Five. 90. Five.
At £90. Take five. £90.
Are we done? A lot for the money. At £90, sold! £90.
'It's a fabulous result for the faces - snapped up
'for more than double Paul's estimate.
'Maybe they're not so bad after all.
'Everything's been just about on target.
'So, when the biscuit barrels
'go under the hammer...'
£30, are we done?
You've got it. £30.
'Selling for £10 under the estimate
'is a touch disappointing, but not a disaster by any means.
'Next up, the matchstick doll's house and caravan -
'certainly the most unusual items today.
'It's difficult to tell how the bidders will react,
'but hopes are high that someone falls for them.'
At £40. Take two.
At £40, are we done? At £40. It's gone then.
'Well, that's disappointing. £20 below Paul's valuation.
'And it's the second item in a row not to reach the estimate.
'The £400 target is starting to slip away.
'So, as the silver epergne comes under the hammer,
'we're starting to feel the pressure.
'Paul thinks we could expect £30-£60.'
£20 for it. £10 to go then.
-I'm bid at ten. Do you want 12?
-Oh, we'd like a bit more than that.
At £20. A bid there at £20. Take two. Give me 22. 22. 25.
-28 there. 30 with you. 30. 32.
-Oh, fighting over it.
A new bid at £30. Take 32. Do you want 32? 32. 35. 38.
Someone on the left-hand side at 32. At 35. Are you out? At £35.
-They were coming in from all over the place.
Suddenly picked up a bit from a tenner.
'Phew! That's £5 over the lower estimate for the epergne,
'and more importantly,
'it breaks the run of items selling under estimate.
'And it's not before time, as our last lot of the day is next
'and we're in need of something special to hit that target.
'Could the writing slope
'help us raise the cash for Linda's day out with the family?'
£50 for it? Thank you. A bid at £40.
-Oh, we have got 40 bid.
45. 48. 50.
At £48 now. 48. Do you want 50?
-50 there. Thank you. 55. 60.
-You've made your reserve. Good.
60 bid. Do you want 65 over there? 65, and again a new bidder. 65. 70.
-Five. 80. Five.
95 back in.
100. Fill it up. You might get it. £100. 110.
£100 bid. Take 110 for it. Are you out this time? £100, all done.
'It's a fabulous result for the writing box,
'selling right at the top end of the valuation.
'Just what we were hoping for.
'But exactly how close have we managed to get to that £400?'
-Your target was £400, wasn't it?
-I think it was, yes.
And we left behind the chest of drawers, which was 150,
which Paul and I actually thought was going to make a huge dent...
-Yeah, without that chest I thought we'd have no chance.
-Yeah, I did, too.
Well, even though you brought the late arrival,
you're going to have the most fantastic day,
because you've raised £453!
Fantastic! That's amazing! That's really lovely.
-So who do you think's going to have the most fun, Deborah?
'Having cracked the £400 target at auction,
'it doesn't take Linda's grandchildren long
'to make up their minds about how they want to spend it.'
Since the auction, the grandchildren have unanimously decided
that they'd like to do a skydive, so here we are on this cold Sunday late afternoon.
'But this is no normal skydiving centre.
'Instead of leaping from a plane at 12,000ft,
'Linda's family can experience free fall
'without ever getting into a plane.
'Because Bedford is home to the largest human flight chamber in the world.
'At 26ft tall and 17ft wide,
'and with the wind rushing past at 170mph,
'it's a pretty hair-raising experience.'
They're so good! Aren't they?
Wave to them again.
-Are you going to do it again?
They thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was well worth selling my bits and bobs to raise the money to give them this experience in life
and I'll have to sell a few more now so they can come again.
Well, it looks like Linda's really got her hands full with those grandchildren,
but I think she was having just as much fun as they were.
If there's something that you would like to raise money for,
and you have things at home that you'd be happy to take to auction, then get in touch.
You'll find all our details on our website.
And we look forward to seeing you on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Linda Hawley wants to raise money to treat her grandchildren to a special day out, while daughter Deborah wants her mum to clear out all the junk. Angela Rippon and expert Paul Hayes kill two birds with one stone.