Series looking at the value of household junk. The Agates from Hertfordshire want to raise funds to turn their garage into a practice room for their son's band.
Browse content similar to Agate. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to Cash In The Attic.
We're on the trail of hidden treasures around your home we can sell at auction.
Today, I'm in the county where I was born and brought up...
and this is St Albans, a city with a rather unusual claim to fame.
It's said to have more pubs per square mile than anywhere else in England.
But, it's famous for so much more than that.
Inhabited for over 2,000 years, it was the second-largest town
in Roman Britain, when it was known as Verulamium.
Its namesake, St Alban, was the first man in Britain to be martyred
by the Roman occupiers for his Christian beliefs.
The medieval clock tower is thought to be the only one of its kind in the UK.
Famous past residents
include the scientist Stephen Hawking and England footballer, Les Ferdinand.
And one of my old heroes, the singer Donovan,
is said to have learnt the guitar sitting on the steps of the clock tower.
What's more, with a bit of luck, there might be a few more musical treasures where we're heading next.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic, John Cameron finds something to get excited about.
Whoa! Now, that's something I haven't seen before.
I find something to get even more excited about.
And emotions run high on auction day.
Is it because it was your dad's?
So will we all be left crying?
Find out when the final hammer falls.
Well, I've popped down the road from St Albans now
to the village of Redbourn, and I've come here to meet
a couple who have called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help their son realise his musical ambitions.
This spacious four-bed semi is home to the Agate family.
Meet Les and Sue, and their two sons, 17-year-old Stephen and 11-year-old Jack.
Les and Sue met at catering college when they were just 17 and both are now professionally trained bakers.
Les's other love is music and it's a passion shared by their elder son, Stephen.
Together, they're hoping to strike a chord with our bidders at auction.
-Ah, Jennie! How are you?
-You look so dapper!
-I love it! You're absolutely gorgeous. Now, are you hungry?
-I'm famished! Why?
Because they are both bakers.
-Fantastic! Do you think they'll have a fresh cake in the oven for us?
-Well, I'm hoping so.
-And there's a bit of a musical thing going on today.
-So that's why we're raising money?
Are you any good on the old Joanna?
-You remember Les Dawson?
-Bit like that.
Oh, dear! Well, let's see if we can find some cash in here.
Good morning! How are you?
What's this? I noticed it when I came in.
Oh, it's a cake I made for you.
A Cash In The Attic cake! That's very kind of you.
Now, what are we going to be raising the money for?
My son is in a band.
We have a music room that needs doing up and we'd like to get a proper floor in there.
At the moment it's an old garage which has been partly converted, to make it into a decent room.
-What's your son's name?
-Stephen. So he's a bit of a musician, is he?
-That's right, yes.
Forget you're his mother... are they any good?
I think they're really good, Yes.
How much money do you think we're going to need to convert the garage?
-To do the floor, certainly roughly about £400.
-That's a do-able target, isn't it?
-OK. Show me around then, girl. Come on, shall we go this way?
-If you like.
-All right, come on, Les. You come too.
It's time to start the search here in leafy Redbourn,
and with ten rooms to scavenge through
and plenty of inherited booty hidden away, it's looking promising.
Luckily our expert John has an eagle eye when it comes to seeking out
valuable collectables, and he's already on the hunt downstairs.
-Whatever are you up to?
-Ah-ha! I'm spying this little wee mouse here.
-That is cute!
-What can you tell me about this?
I think it came from my mum. She used to be a dressmaker.
-But what is it?
-You put pins in it, I think, like a little pincushion.
-How many pins would go in there?
-It's like one of those quiz questions.
It's typical of the many accessories that were available in the 19C, and earlier than that, for sewing.
We can see its hallmarked silver, it's been cast in two halves and it's hallmarked for Birmingham 1910.
Value-wise, well, I think if we put an estimate of say £80 to £120 on it,
we should get somebody taking a little nibble at that.
-Yes, that would be lovely.
-And that's a very good start, actually.
£80 in the pot, actually that's a brilliant start, come to think of it, if the target's £400.
But, more to do, yeah? Come on.
I had an inkling it might raise some money, but I didn't realise it would be as much as that.
Yes, that's very good, impressed with that.
Hopefully this little fellow will have our bidders jumping out of their seats come auction day,
but we need more than one great find if we're going to reach our target
and get Stephen's music room finished.
Hidden away under the stairs, Sue comes across an exceptional
ebony dressing-table set she inherited from her grandmother,
which, together with this colourful Japanese jewellery box
And Les hopes his find will add another coal to the fire.
John! I think I may have found something here.
-What you got there?
Just the one? You've got another one there, any more?
-I think there's something here as well.
-So, who did these belong to?
They're made of meerschaum. Have you ever heard of meerschaum?
-It's a name that sounds familiar.
-Yeah, it's a magnesium silicate, the bowl here.
It's found around Turkey and it's actually fairly unusual to see them so plain.
You will most commonly see them intricately carved with faces
and things like that
and those novelty pipes are quite sought after.
It is nice that these have retained their original fitted cases,
-and that one there has its little silver mount, which is quite nice.
Value-wise, we're not talking any huge sums and I would suggest an estimate of about £20.
-Do you think Sue would be happy for us to sell her grandfather's pipes?
-I'm sure she would.
Smoking's very unpopular now, so perhaps I'm not that surprised, and as John said they were a plain pipe.
Well, we're more than a quarter of a way there, with a potential £125 towards our target.
But there's no time to waste if we're going to kit out our wannabe rock star
with his very own practice room.
Determined to do my bit, I find this old stereoscopic viewer,
complete with picture cards, old postcards and a map of London.
These 3D viewfinders became hugely popular in the Victorian era.
On a roll, I leave John to the search and steal Les and Sue away for a not-so-musical interlude.
Hello! Your husband's quite a musician, isn't he?
Tell me, Sue, when you're cross with him or with Stephen, do you come in, in secret, and have a right old...
-No, I don't actually.
-I should try it, shouldn't I?
You should, I would recommend it. Well, you're really good, Les. Were you in a band?
-Yes, a three-piece band.
-Did he serenade you? Is that what attracted you to him?
-Well, not with music, no.
-Not at the time, no.
-How did you meet?
We actually met at catering college, when we were younger.
Well, you're obviously very good bakers and experienced, so who make the wedding cake?
Jennie, me and Sue, we had a bit of a partnership there and I partly did...
The fruit cake came from the bakery I worked from and Sue did the majority of the icing, to finish it all off.
-Was it good?
-Yeah, it was a fabulous cake.
-You haven't lived in this house very long, have you?
-Just under two years.
-Two years, and this was a garage, it's now sort of half converted.
-Half converted, yeah.
-What else is it that you want to do with it?
-We want to turn it into a proper music room.
We want to put a floor in, that's the initial thing we want to do.
Now, Sue, you have not said those words, I haven't heard you say "More! More!" Why is that?
Play ourselves out.
Oh, dear! I do hope Les and Sue have sympathetic neighbours
and Stephen and his band, Small Town Explosion, hit all the right notes for this small town's sake.
There's no stopping me now, I've caught the music bug,
but downstairs it looks as if John's got tea and cake on the mind.
He's stumbled upon this pretty floral ceramic crockery set.
And Sue has carefully unwrapped her great-auntie's china collection, hoping she can swap crests for cash.
Is he an air traffic controller or something?
I don't know, he looks more like a telephone operator or something.
They've all got place names, then?
-Where are they all from?
-All over the place, all over round the UK, I think.
Well, ladies, I can't tell you how glad I am to see this china unwrapped. So, who had to do it all?
-Was it all in the attic then?
-All wrapped up?
-Yes, in little tiny bits, yes.
These are very, very typical of collectables of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
It's collectively known as Goss Crested China.
W H Goss were the first factory to produce them in Stoke-on-Trent, and they were cashing in on the growth
of the tourist industry, so people would go off for the weekend
to seaside resorts all around the country
and they would come back with a little memento, with a crest on of where they'd been.
Now, they are still collectable these days but you do see a lot
of the kind of normal items, like these little jugs and vases here with the crests on.
So, collectors these days tend to be looking for something a little different, perhaps a rare crest
or a rare model or a nice combination,
and I can see several here that I think will attract people,
not least these monuments and this little telephone operator here.
For the lot at auction today, I see it at about £40 to £60.
Oh, lovely! That'll be nice.
Well, I'm getting out of here quickly, before it's time to wrap this stuff up.
-I'll leave that to you, Sue.
'Charming(!) What a gentleman!
'I don't know. But on the plus side, we are progressing nicely towards our target.
'With plenty of rooms left to search, the sky's the limit and Les thinks
'he might have just the ticket with this nine-carat gold watch chain,
'which John values at £70 to £90.
'Fingers crossed it will get hands twitching come auction day.
'Back in the kitchen, Sue has found something else to throw into the mix that she hopes will appeal to John.'
-How about these? Do you think they'd be worth selling?
-Let's have a look.
-Now that, I like, but we'll come back to that.
-First, let's look at this bowl.
It's an Edwardian bowl, with decoration typical of that period, what we call the Rococo Revival.
It's a rose bowl or sugar bowl, and if you flip it up, on the bottom, we can see
it is hallmarked. We've got its assay mark. There's a Chester mark there and a date letter for 1904.
I think at auction we'd be looking at about £50 to £70, something like that.
-That'd be lovely.
-Would you be happy to sell it?
Yeah, for that price, that'll be fine.
There's one lot, but this, now this looks like something that I really like. So, you don't use this?
I haven't, personally, no.
It's silver-plated, stainless steel on the inside. It's great.
Take the top off there.
Whoa! Now look at that! Now, that's something I haven't seen before. A lemon squeezer. How ingenious!
That's quite a nice fit as well. It's a nice thing.
How much do you think that one is worth?
I'd say probably about £30 to £40, something like that, but what I would suggest
is putting them together as one lot for about £80 to £120, and hopefully we'll create some competition.
-The person that wants that will have to bid against the person that wants the bowl.
I think it's only right that we test this before it goes to auction,
-because we won't get another chance. How about I mix you a nice Cosmopolitan?
-Let's see if Les wants one as well.
Uh-oh! This is no time to be hitting the bottle, we've still got a long way to go
if we're going to reach that target of £400
and transform the Agate's garage into a music room for Stephen.
Sue uncovers her mother's nine-carat gold brooch
and six decorative hatpins
that should bring in a welcome £20 to £30 at auction.
And it looks as if John's caught the music bug too. With a bit of luck,
these three beauties should play right into our hands at auction.
Ah, the guitars! Yeah, and a banjo.
I'm hoping these aren't your son's guitars that I've raided here.
- No. - That used to belong to my Uncle Ron
and I learned to play guitar on that when I was very young.
Tell me about these two pieces here. Tell me about the mandolin and the banjo.
The mandolin, that came from my brother and he's an avid car boot sale collector.
-And the banjo?
-It came from my granddad on my dad's side.
-The mandolin is typically Italian,
Neapolitan school, and they do turn up a fair bit at auction. And the banjo... I just love these.
These were very popular in America at the beginning of the 20th century.
But this one is interesting.
On the surface of things, yes, we can see it's quite nice quality,
it's got rosewood sides and a two-piece rosewood back.
There's some nice mother of pearl and ivory pieces on there, but the
most interesting part of all is the little paper label on the inside.
On there, we can see the maker's name. It's Louis Panormo.
Now, he was of Italian descent but was born in Paris and came
from a family of musical instrument makers, especially stringed instruments.
We've got his name in there, "fecit",
"made it", and we can see "Anno 1832".
Well, for those two there, I suggest an estimate of about £50 to £100
for the mandolin and the banjo, but for this, even in this condition,
I'd be hoping to get about £250 to £350 for it, and who knows what else more.
-That's good news.
-Does that sound good?
It helps us along, because I can give you the grand total now. That's the end of our rummaging.
You were looking for £400, so that you can do up at least the floor of your garage.
The target we think that you'll get at auction now, the sum you will get, is £695.
Oh, now that would be good!
It was great fun being with you, and we'll pack everything up now
-and see you at the auction.
-All right then.
Well, we've had a rocking day here in Redbourn,
and fingers crossed our finds will have the bidders reaching into their pockets come auction day.
We're taking the silver cocktail shaker and Edwardian bowl with us,
which John hopes will fetch £80 to £120.
Also, a stereoscopic viewer,
complete with picture cards, priced at £40 to £60.
The novelty silver pin cushion,
priced at £80 to £120, and the mandolin, banjo
and old Spanish guitar which,
together as one lot, John thinks could bring in £300 to £450.
-Still to come on Cash In The Attic, Sue and Les are pleasantly surprised!
-That's really good.
-And one of our lots goes missing.
-It's behind you!
-Will all be lost when the final hammer falls?
Well, did we have fun with Sue and Les, and today we've brought all
their collectables here to Blyth & Co, at Ely in Cambridgeshire.
They want to finish the conversion of that garage to make it into a lovely music room
and they need £400 to do it, so let's hope there are some
big bidders here today when their items go under the hammer.
The sun's shining here in Cambridgeshire and our bidders are out in force.
With such a fantastic selection of items on show, let's hope they're
eager to part with their cash.
One man who's convinced Les and Sue's items will be a hit with the bidders today is our expert, John.
-Good morning, Jennie!
-You've got one of our star items. Do you think they will do well?
-We've got three altogether.
-I'm excited about them. We've got makers' names on them
and that Louis Panormo guitar
-is quite early and I think it will generate a lot of interest.
-fingers crossed for that. I think the family might be over there so let's say hello.
-Come on then.
'John's not alone in his admiration for the instruments.
'Our auctioneer, David Parker, fancies their chances too.'
The valuation on the various musical instruments is about right.
They are popular at the moment and achieving good prices
in auction generally, so I have high hopes of these.
Keen to get started, Les and Sue are already here, making sure their
antiques get their place in the limelight.
-Are you saying a fond farewell?
-Yes, saying farewell to my mum's silver.
Have you put a reserve on those because they are lovely?
-£60 for the pair, so they're in a lot together.
-Is that the only item?
There's one on the silver mouse and the Spanish guitar.
OK, so how much have you put on those?
On the Spanish guitar, we did 300, and £80 on the mouse.
-That's fair enough.
-Yes, we're right on the bottom estimate and they should get away OK.
They are about to begin, so let's get a good spot.
-OK, thank you.
-Let's hope those reserves will be met, and some.
Now, remember, if you're interested in selling or buying at auction,
bear in mind you will have to pay commission, VAT and other charges.
There are plenty of eager enthusiasts here, and it looks as if
our stereoscopic viewer has caught someone's eye already.
I do hope they decide to bid for it.
It's time to file into place for the first lot of the day -
the poppy print ceramic plate set.
Will it reach John's £20 to £30 estimate?
A ceramic plate set showing... Where is it? Have you got it?
-It's down there!
-We've lost them. They're that way!
-It's behind you! £10, straight in.
Ten I'm bid. At ten. I'll take two now, 12, 15...
Stick with it, madam. 18, back over this side.
At £18, I sell with the lady on my right at 18.
20, at 20 now, don't lose it!
22, new bidder. At 22. 25,
25, I sell over here, in the red, at £25...
-Bang in the middle of your lower and higher estimates.
-Yeah, it's OK.
-It's a good start, and £5 over John's lower estimate.
Les and Sue will be singing all the way to the bank if this carries on.
Let's hope our next bid doesn't burst their bubble.
It's Sue's mother's six hatpins
and nine-carat gold brooch, with a joint price tag of £20 to £30.
-At 45 down here.
-£45, that wasn't bad!
Sold! And for £15 over John's higher estimate.
Next up is the nine-carat gold
watch chain, which John valued at £70 to £90,
and our bidders are wasting no time getting their hands on it.
At £75, I think you mean 80!
It'll look better than that necklace! 75, 80?
Go to 80! At 75.
Ah, insulting the necklace didn't work then!
What a lovely necklace you've got, madam! This would complement it!
I sell at 75...
-Yes, that's very good.
Another good result and within John's £70 to £90 estimate.
Will the silver cocktail shaker and Edwardian bowl do equally well?
Their price tag is £80 to £120.
50, two. At 52, 55, 58, 60.
It goes with the lady at 60...
The shaker and silver bowl may have come in £20 under estimate
but £60 is still a welcome addition to the pot.
So far we've made steady progress, but it's not over yet.
With our total standing at just over £200, we still need to double our money
for Sue and Les to put the finishing touches to that music room.
So, what luck will we have with the ebony dressing table set
and Japanese jewellery box?
Is that it? Goes at £20.
-Not bad, hey?
-No, at least I haven't got to pack it up again.
Yeah, quite right!
Well, Sue may be happy but we can't afford to make too many more losses.
Perhaps the collection of crested china that's been wrapped
and unwrapped numerous times of late will do the trick.
Couple of quid I'm bid, two, three, three only, done then at £3.
Take £4 now. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,
-I'm shocked! Only £12, the highest bid, that's ridiculous!
It looks as if Les and Sue will have to wrap it all up yet again.
Let's hope there are some smoking paraphernalia enthusiasts here
because we need these two meerschaum pipes to reach John's estimate.
12 anywhere? At £10 only, are you all done then at £10?
Finished at £10.
Not sold, I'm afraid.
-He hasn't sold them.
-He didn't sell them.
Another disappointment as the pipes go unsold,
and with a mere £225
towards the music room fund and only three items left to sell,
the heat is definitely on.
We need our next lot to raise the roof if we're going to get anywhere near our target of £400.
Surely the stereoscopic viewer and picture cards will find a buyer.
-We're hoping £2 turns into £40?
Tenner! £10, I'm bid.
10, 12, 15, 18, 20,
22, 25, 28, 30,
32, 35, 38, 40.
At £40 over here. 42.
Wow! That's really good, wow!
55, 60, 65.
-80, 85, 90.
-Keep going! Keep going!
100, 110, 120,
-With the lady at £150.
-That's a good one.
What do you think about that? Give me your reaction.
I think that's really good, I'm really impressed.
That's more like it and over double John's higher estimate.
Well, it looks as if our luck might be changing.
Let's hope the silver mouse pin cushion
doesn't turn out to be an unlucky rat after all.
80. Down here at 80. Take 5 now.
I'll sell down here at 80.
I sell down here at £120.
Yeah! Well done!
What a terrific result and bang on John's higher estimate.
That's certainly turned the tables.
Perhaps our final lot will prove to be the icing on the cake
for Les and Sue. With a joint estimate of £300,
will the mandolin, banjo and Spanish guitar
have us dancing in the street, or singing the blues?
I've seen a few people milling around this and I'm hoping
they're still in the room, tucked away in the corner.
Let's start at a reasonable price. Let's start at £100.
100 I'm bid, 110,
120, 130, 140.
Down here at 150,
160, 170, 180, 190.
At 190, 200,
210, 220, 230.
It's against the phone, 240,
At 300 now, with this phone, at £300.
-330, 340, 350.
-Come on, come on!
410, this side at 410.
At 410, I sell on this phone.
You're out on the other phone and you're out seated.
Over here at £410.
Brilliant, that's really well done!
-Oh, you're feeling very sad! Oh!
Oh, I'm sorry. You poor chap.
Is it because they were your dad's?
You did want to sell them?
-Oh, yes. No, it's just sentimental.
It's clearly a wrench for Les to part with them
but they've made a stunning £410, so it's really a case of tears of joy.
Well, what a day! Huh?
-How have you enjoyed your auction?
-I think that was brilliant.
You were looking for £400
so that you can get on with the conversion of that garage.
You won't be surprised to know you've made that
because the guitars made that anyway.
I can tell you you've actually made £905!
-That's really good. Thank you both.
-We've really enjoyed it and thanks.
-That's really good.
A couple of weeks later, the floor to the new music room is going down
and not a minute too soon.
The floor's going in as we speak, it's primary that the floor
be put in because it's a practice room for the group.
They were practicing on the garage floor, which is not too good.
With a proper floor, it will help sort the sound out.
The garage, once full of clutter, is unrecognisable thanks to that £905.
With the new floor in place it's time to rock this joint,
and Stephen and his band, Small Town Explosion,
can't wait to start jamming.
The band are really looking forward to going in there and practicing.
It will make a big difference to their sound and obviously
their performance as well because they need to move around and practice
their stage craft as well.
Well, they're clearly enjoying their new venue.
It's been a long time coming and there's no stopping them now.
The floor really looks good, doesn't it?
I'm really pleased with the way it's gone.
It's great that we have a new place to practice as well.
It's enabled him to do a bit of song writing
and more time together so they can cohese together and that, yeah, so it will be really good, I think.
So, that's a good result for Sue and Les and an even better one for the band.
If you'd like to raise money for something special and think you might have
some valuables around your home, then why not apply to come on the show?
You can find all the details online at:
Good luck and maybe see you next time on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The Agate family from Hertfordshire are bakers and music enthusiasts who want to raise funds to transform their garage into a much-needed practice room for their son's band. Luckily Jennie Bond and John Cameron are on hand to search out hidden valuables to sell at auction.