Gray Cash in the Attic


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Hello and welcome to the programme that searches out

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treasures in your home and then sells them with you at auction.

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Now, we've all heard the saying "Out with the old, in with the new."

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Well, that could not be any more appropriate for the lady

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that we're about to meet here on Cash In The Attic.

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On today's Cash In The Attic, John comes up trumps with an early 19th century card table.

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Girls. Got any money on you?

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-Oh!

-Fancy a game of cards?

-And I'm serenaded with a Cole Porter song.

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# Every time we say goodbye I die a little. #

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On auction day, the bidders appeared unimpressed by a Japanese print.

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In with £100 for it?

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No bidders. Start me at £100 or I will pass the lot.

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Find out if it gets any bids when the hammer falls.

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I've come to Croydon

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to meet a lady who is ready to make a brand new start.

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And she's called in the Cash In The Attic team so that

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we can help her raise funds to finance

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the first important few steps in that new life.

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Sarah Gray has had quite a varied career.

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She's tried her hand at journalism, singing on cruise ships, nursing and even a fishing project in Somalia.

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She works as a civil servant in Whitehall but the past year has been a tough one for Sarah.

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So, that's why we're here, to help her make a fresh start and move north.

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She's also lost a lot of weight and so she needs to buy some new stylish outfits.

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Our expert John Cameron is hoping to help her pile on the right sort of pounds,

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and he wastes no time at all in getting our search for valuables underway.

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-Hi, Sarah.

-Hi.

-And who's this little cutie?

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This is Bobby.

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Hello, Bobby. He's a little sweetheart, isn't he?

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Sarah, I know you're a lady who's travelled all over the world,

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-but you've been here in Croydon for how long?

-I've been here three years.

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We moved here so that my daughter could go to Brit School and

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she's just gone to university now, so I don't need to be here any more.

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Now I know you want to start a whole new life, so how is Cash In The Attic going to help you?

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-Why have you called us in?

-I've had quite a traumatic year and I had an operation late July.

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The week after, I had a heart attack.

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And that was quite a shock. I hadn't had any heart problems before that.

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And I also had my 50th birthday.

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I was advised to re-evaluate, change my work-life balance.

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And I thought, well, now or never.

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So how much are you hoping to raise?

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-It would be nice to get about £1,000, but...

-And what are you going to spend it on?

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Well, some of it's going to help me to move, because that's quite expensive, moving.

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But also, I've lost 20 kilos since July and I'm going to be losing more

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so I need to get some more clothes. I need a new wardrobe, basically.

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You know what they say, Sarah, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

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A bit of serious retail therapy is clearly what you need.

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John has started work inside already so let's go and see how much of that £1,000 he can help you make.

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Come on. You can come too, Bobby, come on.

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There are interesting items all over Sarah's very tidy house.

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John's already looked at quite a few things but the first one

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to catch his eye is in the lounge and is rather exotic.

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I see you're helping Sarah move already, John, taking things off the wall. What have you found there?

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We have an interesting print here, but firstly, Sarah,

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what do you know about it and how did it come to be in your possession?

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This was bought when we were in Australia when I was a child.

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My mother bought it.

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I think she bought it in '73, which is when it was painted.

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And it's by a Japanese chap called Hoshi who specialised in doing

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tree pictures in the '70s, I think from '70 to '79 when he died.

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It's a lovely memento of your time in Australia. John, what can you tell us about the artist?

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As you've said, it is a Japanese artist, Joichi Hoshi, who was born in about 1913.

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The first and longest part of his career he spent as an astronomer,

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studying and painting star consolations.

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It was a passion that stayed with him throughout his life.

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And in fact he went to places like Mongolia where he believed

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the sky was as black as it could be and the stars would really stand out.

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And those are works that are quite highly prized.

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They're sometimes often abstract but as you said, around about 1970,

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he completely switched and started painting studies of trees.

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Something like this, I would expect to make

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about £200 to £300 at auction these days.

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Wow, did you expect that, Sarah?

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No, no, I'm really pleased about that.

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That'll buy a few pairs of shoes, darling, I can tell you. Let's continue our search.

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Sarah's home contains not only her own collection but also that of her mother and grandparents,

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and the place is full of knick-knacks everywhere you look.

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In the bedroom, I come across something that belonged to Sarah's grandparents.

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It's a walking stick with a carved ivory head.

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Now there are very strict international rules

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governing the sale of ivory but happily, this Victorian cane meets them,

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something that a gentleman of distinction

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would not have been seen without.

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It should fetch a very respectable £80 to £120.

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All these ornaments are going to take quite a lot of packing when Sarah moves to Staffordshire.

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John, what you think about this one?

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Let's have a look, Sarah. Royal Doulton's Bonnie Lassie.

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Whereabouts is it from?

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My grandma had them, I can remember from a very small girl, seeing those. And I used to dust them.

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-You've just got the one of them?

-No, I've got Balloon Lady up there as well.

-The Balloon Lady.

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The iconic Balloon Lady. Probably one of the most common Doulton figures you'll see at auction.

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Let's talk about this one for a second. Modelled, both of them, in fact, by Lesley Harradine.

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Very, very important potter in Doulton's history.

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Joined the factory in about 1902 and could boast that he was trained under George Tinworth.

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Again, very important and the first resident sculptor at Doulton.

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Both these figures enjoyed different production runs.

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Bonnie Lassie here, I think she was issued in about 1934.

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There was only one version of her and she only stayed in production

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until about '53, so about 19 years in production.

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So she's much, much scarcer than the Balloon Lady, which as we said, also modelled by Harridan.

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But that, I think that was issued in about 1929 and continued right up until 1998.

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I have noticed some damage to this particular one here.

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Can you see just around the flower buckets there, there's a crack that spreads?

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If you look onto the base, it goes right across. That will affect value.

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The balloon seller, as we've said, slightly more common.

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Value-wise, about £40 to £60 at auction.

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Bonnie Lassie, if she was in good condition, I think we'd be looking at about £150, £200.

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But because of that crack, I'm going to be a little more cautious and say about £80 to £120.

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So put the two together, I think we're looking at about £120, £180,

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-something like that.

-That'd be great.

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-That'd be OK?

-That'd be fine.

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Which means were up to £400 and that's really good going after just three finds.

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If we carry on like this, we'll reach Sarah's target in no time.

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Both Sarah's grandparents had good taste.

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This mahogany round corner cupboard which would have been used to house a chamber pot,

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was bought by her grandfather who owned a car repair business.

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It's from the late 19th century and it's veneered.

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The marble top has been added by Sarah and complements it nicely.

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John thinks it should make between 100 and £200 at auction.

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I leave him to continue his search, while I catch up with our globe-trotting singer

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under Bobby's watchful gaze.

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Sarah, you've had a most extraordinary life.

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You seem to have been everywhere and done everything.

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But music has played in a really important part in your life, hasn't it, and it's very important to you.

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It certainly is. My grandmother was a singer.

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I was a singer.

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My father is involved in musical theatre.

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And my brother also likes playing music and singing.

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My daughter's now a singer and now she's at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts,

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that Paul McCartney used to go to.

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And Paul McCartney now sponsors that school.

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And she's doing singing there, so...

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So have you ever sort of sung together like a family? I mean, I'm thinking of the Jacksons here.

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We sang at each other's weddings as a family.

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But not otherwise.

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-So how did you start singing?

-I used to sing on cruise ships.

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It give you an opportunity of travelling around the world,

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but apart from singing around the world,

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you've moved around the world and done all sorts of different jobs.

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Well, I spent some of my growing up in Australia.

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I also worked in Somalia and I recently went to Trinidad and Tobago and Tobago is just so lovely.

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It's so unspoilt.

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So you don't want to live in Australia or Trinidad and Tobago.

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You're going to settle in Staffordshire? Why?

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I'll be close to my daughter and after my health problems and my 50th birthday, which I've just had,

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-as good a time to go now as any, I think.

-Do you still sing?

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-Do you want me to give you a little blast?

-Oh, yes please, yes.

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# Every time we say goodbye, I die a little. #

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Good old Cole Porter.

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But we're not actually going to say goodbye just yet

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because we've got a long way to go before we make that £1,000.

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So shall we go and find John and see how many more things we can take to auction?

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Come on. Well, John has certainly not been slacking.

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And in the spare bedroom, he's come across a mahogany pedestal desk.

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It's a 19th century Georgian-style reproduction, which Sarah inherited from her mum's partner.

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John thinks it could quite easily draw in £80 to £120.

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But at auction, how close is John's estimate?

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£80, start me for a weak bid.

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£80 there, first, 85, 100.

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How high does it go?

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We're up at 120, 130, fantastic.

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-150, 160.

-Find out later.

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All that drama is still to come.

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But as our rummage continues, Sarah comes up with something that she hasn't worn for many years.

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John, you might like to a look at this necklace.

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-I hope this is something we can send to auction.

-It is something you can send to auction.

-Oh, good.

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-This is a very delicate piece. It looks Edwardian. Where is it from?

-It's been in the family some time

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but I wore it on my wedding day as my something blue.

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Oh, something blue, something borrowed, something new. How good.

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-So do you remember who in the family it might have come down to you from?

-My maternal grandma.

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I don't know whether she had that first or if it came from somewhere else beforehand.

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Well, it is Edwardian. Very typical of the Edwardian period.

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Quite light and delicate. And this use of sea pearl and topaz.

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They came en suite with matching earrings and a brooch and so on. Were there other pieces?

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Earrings. But one of the earrings got lost and they changed the other one into a brooch.

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-You've still got that?

-Yes.

-Jolly good, that's excellent.

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Well, looking at it, we can see that it's been set with these natural sea pearls.

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And we can tell they're sea pearls because of the slight variation in colour which you don't get

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so much with cultured pearls. And this predates cultured pearls anyway.

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The little central faceted stone

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and this little cut pendant at the bottom are topaz,

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which we often associate with blue.

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But you also see green topaz

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but, less commonly, yellow topaz,

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which is referred to as sherry topaz, and pink topaz. Those two are quite prized and quite rare.

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But this is a nice piece, nice and delicate. And the good thing about Edwardian jewellery is just that.

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Because it's light and delicate, people are still happy to wear it today.

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And if worn around the neck, it was believed to dispel bad omens,

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improve your eyesight and calm anger. So if you had a blind fury,

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you were quids in if you had a necklace like this apparently.

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Probably I should have worn at all the way through my marriage then.

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Yes, very, very good. Well, value wise,

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I would say at auction,

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-probably about £80 to £120, something like that.

-Super.

-OK with that?

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-Very pleased with that.

-Jolly good. Another good find.

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So come on, let's go and have a look at this little brooch.

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What a good idea, to turn a lone earring into a brooch.

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The gemstones can then still be enjoyed.

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And it could earn Sarah £30 to £50 at auction.

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John has found this Victorian nursing chair with a sprung stuffed over seat and a deep-button back.

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It belonged to Sarah's mum who re-upholstered it herself.

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John thinks she made a pretty good job of it

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and values it at £50 to £80.

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Sarah and her family have collected some very impressive items over the years.

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And I think that's going to be reflected in our end total.

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John, there's a painting here that my mother bought that I'd like you to have a look at.

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Right, OK.

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It's a watercolour. We can see its Jenny Wheatley, signed '85.

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What can you tell me about the picture, Sarah? Where did it come from?

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It came from the Bourne Gallery, which is in Reigate, which is Jenny Wheatley's gallery of choice.

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And I think it's quite an early one.

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I think her work's changed quite a lot in recent years.

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My brother's got a series done in Venice which is much more

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structured and architectural, with more pastel colours.

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This one's quite bright and vibrant, as you can see.

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The nice thing about Jenny Wheatley is her signature is,

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having painted the painting, she drops water

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on to the painting and it sorts of diffuses outwards

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and gives this very soft feeling, which I think is lovely.

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-It is very bright.

-I see what you mean, it is very distinctive of her style.

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And, academically, she often undermines the true principles of perspective and space.

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Still a living artist, still living and teaching today.

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And her work is very well known in certain circles.

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But I believe the Queen Mother was a fan and also had one or two of her paintings, as well.

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But her secondary market isn't huge.

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You don't tend to see too many of them at auctions,

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I guess because they're in corporate places where they don't need to sell them.

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And so I'd be tempted to put something like £200 to £300 on it

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and see where the bidding went from there.

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-How would you be about that?

-That's fine.

-Are you sure?

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-Yes, absolutely.

-I wish all my clients were as easygoing as you!

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What a fantastic addition to our fund.

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Jenny Wheatley is a member of both the Royal Watercolour Society and the New English Art Club.

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Her paintings have been known to command a four-figure sale price.

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John carries on with his search, and I find Sarah

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already making space for the new outfits she's going to be buying.

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My goodness, you are serious about making a fresh start, aren't you?

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Out with the old...in with the new.

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So, what size were you, then?

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-Shall I show you?

-Yeah.

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I was a size 28 to 30.

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This is one of my skirts.

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I can't wear it now at all.

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-Wow, look at that. Crikey.

-See the difference?

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So that's definitely going in the bag.

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Yes, that goes in. So, is there much in there, then, that's got to go?

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These are the worst ones. I couldn't wear these now.

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It just would fall off, I think.

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-Shall I show you?

-Yes. Oh, my goodness. Actually, you could almost get into one side of them, there.

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-Yes, I could.

-Wow, what an achievement!

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What an achievement. Now, give those to me, because I think we going to put those in the bin.

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You've had a pretty tough year one way and another, haven't you?

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I have, I have indeed. But, you know...

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You had a gastric band fitted, yes?

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Gastric band and a gastric sling.

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But that was because of medical problems, not just because you wanted to lose weight?

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That's right. A combination of the two.

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And, of course, losing the weight helps.

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And then, a week after I had the gastric banding operation,

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I had a heart attack which came completely out of the blue.

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I do have quite a busy life.

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I work up in Whitehall.

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So it's three hours commuting a day.

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So, now you're going to get your work/life balance in balance?

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-That's right.

-By moving to the north.

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-That's right.

-How is that going to change life for you?

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Well, I'll have three more hours a day. It'll take me 15 minutes

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to get to work instead of the current three hours.

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And, I'll just be working, I presume, in a local JobCentre Plus.

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And I think it'll be a lot calmer. I'm looking forward to it.

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I can go to the Peak District, and the Potteries. So I'm really looking forward to it.

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So we can get rid of these oversize trousers, because you're not going to need those any more.

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We're going to get a whole new wardrobe for a new you in a new life.

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-That's right.

-Let's go and find John.

-Let's do that.

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John is getting a bit spoilt for choice now.

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He's trying to fight a real gem.

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I spot an attractive collection of 13 Victorian cut crystal sherry glasses,

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which belonged to Sarah's grandmother. Although they'd only fetch £20-£30,

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Sarah is more than happy for them to go to auction.

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We're all taking

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another look around the lounge when Sarah produces another of her mother's Oriental purchases.

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Angela, John? My mother brought this back from China, is that of any interest?

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-What an exquisite piece of carving that is, John.

-It is, isn't it?

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Is that one solid piece of jade?

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It certainly looks like it, Angela.

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And when you think jade is an extremely hard material to carve, it's mind-boggling that

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somebody has actually taken a raw piece of gemstone and carved that.

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-The work is absolutely amazing.

-Is China one of the places that you've visited on your travels?

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No, I've never really been to the Orient at all.

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-So, what's your fascination with it?

-I love the art, and I like dragons and I like goldfish.

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-Well, you can say that again because you've got loads of it around the house, haven't you?

-I do.

0:18:480:18:53

This is very typical of the sort of thing people were bringing back from the late 19th century

0:18:530:18:57

right into the 20th century. I'd say this is probably 20th century. Certainly the most prized pieces

0:18:570:19:03

are those that were made for the Imperial Court and carry the Emperor's seal.

0:19:030:19:07

One was sold recently at auction, a carved figure of a recumbent cow,

0:19:070:19:12

which I think made over £2 million at auction.

0:19:120:19:15

Well, I don't think we're going to be anything like our Emperor's cow.

0:19:150:19:19

But certainly it's a saleable object.

0:19:190:19:22

I think if we put this to auction, it's in good condition, wonderfully carved.

0:19:220:19:26

-I think we'd be looking at £100 to £150.

-Would you be happy with that?

0:19:260:19:30

-Oh, yes, absolutely.

-Another great valuation there.

0:19:300:19:34

We must be close to our £1,000 target.

0:19:340:19:36

But, before I can work it out, John puts his chips on the table.

0:19:360:19:42

Girls? Got any money on you?

0:19:420:19:44

-Oh!

-Fancy a game of cards?

0:19:440:19:46

-Oh, a card table.

-At least, I hope it's a card table. It is?

-It is.

-Jolly good.

-Where's this one from?

0:19:460:19:52

This one my mother always had, and my mother and father

0:19:520:19:54

used to play bridge a lot, so they used to use it for a card table.

0:19:540:19:58

Do you have happy memories playing cards on it yourself?

0:19:580:20:01

I can't remember playing cards. I can remember cleaning the blooming thing and dusting, all the bits underneath.

0:20:010:20:07

-All those tiddly bits down there?

-That's right, yes.

0:20:070:20:10

-Gosh.

-There we are, we can see it in all its glory opened up as a card table.

0:20:100:20:14

They did come in pairs, the other not having the baize top.

0:20:140:20:17

And that's referred to as a folding tea table. And, once stored away as occasional side tables,

0:20:170:20:23

they can be placed either side of a nice big window at a grand house.

0:20:230:20:26

This is the card table,

0:20:260:20:28

the most popular type of the two.

0:20:280:20:31

And quite easy to turn it back.

0:20:310:20:34

-Beautiful figuring to that top. Mahogany.

-Lovely grain on it.

0:20:340:20:38

Absolutely gorgeous.

0:20:380:20:39

Right, structurally very sound. The great thing about it,

0:20:390:20:43

this top leaf hasn't bowed, which often happens, it's nice and flat.

0:20:430:20:48

Also, look at the original colour of that.

0:20:480:20:50

So often, they turn up at auction and they've been completely stripped down and repolished.

0:20:500:20:55

And, although this has one or two little scratches there,

0:20:550:20:59

that's perfectly original, and lovely depth of colour.

0:20:590:21:02

Date-wise, it's William IV, so we're talking about 1830, 1837, something like that.

0:21:020:21:06

On the front, we've got some lovely carved acanthus leaves down here. Standard form,

0:21:060:21:12

with a lovely turned column with, again, foliate carving down to that circular band of egg and dart.

0:21:120:21:17

And, wait for it,

0:21:170:21:20

a concave quadripartite base.

0:21:200:21:21

You've waited all day to say that, haven't you?

0:21:210:21:24

Terminating with these lovely acanthus scrolled feet.

0:21:240:21:27

Overall, a really attractive card table.

0:21:270:21:30

So, is this a piece that's going to move house with you?

0:21:300:21:33

-Or are we going to take it to auction?

-I'm not sure.

0:21:330:21:36

Well, if I had to put a value on it, at auction today, I'd expect a card table

0:21:360:21:40

like this to make about £400-£600.

0:21:400:21:43

-Tempting? Food for thought?

-Well, I am very fond of this table.

0:21:430:21:48

While you're thinking about whether or not you'd like to take it to auction, let me add to the sum total

0:21:480:21:55

of your food for thought. Because, if we take the lowest estimate on everything

0:21:550:21:59

that John has looked at today, bearing in mind that you'd like £1,000 for this shopping spree,

0:21:590:22:05

including the table we could perhaps make at auction £1,460.

0:22:050:22:13

Without the table, easy sum, £1,060.

0:22:130:22:18

-But, still enough for you to have a great day's shopping on, isn't it?

-Sounds wonderful.

0:22:180:22:23

Will Sarah be able to part with this family heirloom?

0:22:230:22:27

We'll find out at the auction in a couple of weeks' time.

0:22:270:22:29

In the meantime, here's a quick reminder of some of the other things that Sarah will send there.

0:22:290:22:34

The woodblock print that Sarah's mother bought in the Seventies,

0:22:340:22:38

when they lived in Australia. That should raise £200-£300.

0:22:380:22:42

The chamber pot cupboard

0:22:420:22:44

that belonged to Sarah's wealthy grandfather.

0:22:440:22:46

That would add another £100-£200.

0:22:460:22:49

Plus, that amazing carved jade bird

0:22:490:22:53

which Sarah's mother bought in China.

0:22:530:22:55

Estimated at between £100-£150.

0:22:550:22:58

Still to come on Cash in the Attic: John is getting a little confused.

0:23:010:23:06

I've got to say, for the first time, I'm almost as well

0:23:060:23:09

wishing that it doesn't sell, so let's hope it doesn't sell.

0:23:090:23:12

And, will Sarah regret putting a £400 reserve on that William IV card table?

0:23:120:23:18

360. 370. 380...?

0:23:180:23:23

380?

0:23:230:23:24

Find out how they all get on when the final hammer falls.

0:23:240:23:29

Well, it's been a week or two since we were with Sarah Gray at her home in Croydon in South London.

0:23:320:23:37

She wants to raise £1,000, so that she can start

0:23:370:23:40

a whole new life in Staffordshire with a brand new wardrobe.

0:23:400:23:44

That's my girl! So we've taken all of her things to the Chiswick Auction Rooms in West London.

0:23:440:23:50

Now, unfortunately, I couldn't be at the auction.

0:23:500:23:52

But, no problem, because she was in the very capable hands of John Cameron.

0:23:520:23:56

There are 800 lots in this auction, so the potential bidders are very busy eyeing up everything on offer.

0:23:560:24:04

Sarah hasn't arrived yet, so John has time to catch up with today's auctioneer, Tom Keane.

0:24:060:24:12

I wonder how he rates Sarah's chances today?

0:24:120:24:16

This William IV card table, what do you think of it, Tom?

0:24:160:24:19

-It's not going to be yours for much longer.

-Hopefully not.

0:24:190:24:21

We've got an estimate of £400-£600 and a reserve on the lower estimate. How do you think it'll do?

0:24:210:24:26

It'll make the bottom of the estimate.

0:24:260:24:28

Might make five on a good day. It's a nice, clean model. I like the base, I like the scrolling

0:24:280:24:32

and feet. It's in good condition. And the patination is quite good, so, yeah, you'll be all right.

0:24:320:24:37

An auctioneer that recognises quality.

0:24:370:24:39

Anything of our other items that you think might do well?

0:24:390:24:42

I like your nursing chair. I looked twice, because I thought it was reproduction.

0:24:420:24:47

It's a Victorian one. Should make £100-£120. What's your estimate?

0:24:470:24:50

-We've got 50 to 80.

-Yes, that's out of the door.

-Good.

0:24:500:24:52

Are there any of our items that you're a little bit concerned may not sell today?

0:24:520:24:56

Yeah, the Japanese print. There's no Japanese print buyers in today.

0:24:560:25:01

-I can't see any so far, so I'd be nervous about that for you.

-I know you're a busy man.

0:25:010:25:07

-You've got to get ready for the auction and I'm off to meet Sarah. I'll see you in a bit.

-See you.

0:25:070:25:11

Well, Sarah is taking a last look at some of her items,

0:25:110:25:15

and I wonder if she's put a reserve on anything else that she's brought?

0:25:150:25:18

I have reserves on this and on the Jenny Wheatley picture with the palm trees.

0:25:200:25:26

Is there anything you haven't brought?

0:25:260:25:28

I didn't bring the cane. My brother wanted that so I left that behind.

0:25:280:25:33

-Hopefully something else will sell to help us fill out that wardrobe.

-I hope so.

-Is there anything

0:25:330:25:38

-you're going to be really sorry that's going to be sold today?

-I think actually the jade bird.

0:25:380:25:43

-I loved it when the light shone through it.

-Hopefully we'll have a buyer and it'll make our estimate.

0:25:430:25:48

The auction is about to start, so let's put this down,

0:25:480:25:51

I hope we're not taking it home today, and get ourselves into position.

0:25:510:25:54

Sarah's decision not to include the walking stick means that our chances

0:25:570:26:01

of making her £1,000 target are already down by around £100.

0:26:010:26:06

So fingers crossed that this auction crowd are in a mood for rigorous bidding.

0:26:060:26:11

Sarah, we're here. The auction is about to start, and we've got our first lot coming up.

0:26:110:26:15

-Are you nervous?

-A bit.

-Well, don't be. We're in the hands of the gods now.

0:26:150:26:19

It's all a natural process. And just hold on to your hat. Here we go.

0:26:190:26:22

I do hope Sarah does well today.

0:26:220:26:25

The two Royal Doulton figurines, estimated at between £120 and £180,

0:26:250:26:29

are the first items on the list.

0:26:290:26:31

We've got the Balloon Seller, quite common, and our scarce figure, the Bonny Lassie, but she's damaged.

0:26:310:26:36

-So a bit concerned about this. This came from Grandma Alice, didn't it?

-Yes.

0:26:360:26:40

-Are you nervous?

-I am nervous, but nervous about the damage, see what difference that makes to it.

0:26:400:26:45

-Fingers crossed.

-We're looking for 120 to 180. Let's see what difference that damage makes.

0:26:450:26:50

For these two, start me at £100, please.

0:26:500:26:52

Start me, £80 to go. Seems cheap. £80? Thank you for £80. 80. 85?

0:26:520:26:57

85 over there. 85.

0:26:570:26:59

You're 90? 90. 95. 100?

0:26:590:27:01

100. 110. 120. 130. 140.

0:27:010:27:05

We're over or estimate. That's good news.

0:27:050:27:07

130, I'm selling at 130. Are you out?

0:27:070:27:09

At 130. All done at 130. Your last shot. It's 130 only.

0:27:090:27:12

The lot, 130.

0:27:120:27:14

Do you know what, for a minute I thought she'd go down like a lead balloon seller,

0:27:140:27:18

but she got there in the end. £130. That's fantastic.

0:27:180:27:20

Very good, John! I thought you were going to say,

0:27:200:27:23

"At least it didn't fall between the cracks."

0:27:230:27:25

I wonder how the early 20th century necklace,

0:27:250:27:28

estimated at £80 to £120, is going to do?

0:27:280:27:32

Next up is our Edwardian

0:27:320:27:33

-15 carat gold and topaz pendant. This you wore on your wedding day, didn't you?

-I did.

0:27:330:27:38

I wore it on my wedding day. Something blue.

0:27:380:27:40

It's supposed to give you luck, but I'm not married any more

0:27:400:27:43

-so I don't know what that says!

-Let's hope it changes our luck today.

0:27:430:27:48

£80 for it? Here we go, £80 for it.

0:27:480:27:50

Got a bid straight away at £80.

0:27:500:27:52

At £80. Take 5? £80. 85 for it? At 85.

0:27:520:27:56

Thank you. 90. 5?

0:27:560:27:58

100. And 5?

0:27:580:27:59

-Bid at 105?

-105.

0:27:590:28:03

105, somebody else. 105. 110. 115?

0:28:030:28:06

110 bid. At 110. Take 110.

0:28:060:28:08

The bid is at £110.

0:28:080:28:10

And going. All out, finished.

0:28:100:28:12

Just £10 under John's top estimate. That's a great result

0:28:120:28:17

for that pretty piece. I think Sarah is beginning to get the swing of things.

0:28:170:28:21

Next up, the 19th century Georgian style

0:28:210:28:24

mahogany reproduction pedestal desk on which Sarah kept her computer.

0:28:240:28:29

So John's mind is on her home office solutions now.

0:28:290:28:33

-What have you done with your computer?

-I've got a horrible MDF white plastic thing.

0:28:330:28:39

Oh, dear. So you won't be disappointed if this doesn't sell?

0:28:390:28:43

All right, well, we're hoping it does and we're hoping for £80 to £120.

0:28:430:28:46

A green leather top, nice and polished, ready to go.

0:28:460:28:49

Handles on it as well. It's going to make more than the estimate, I should think. £80.

0:28:490:28:53

Start me for a weak bid. £80 there.

0:28:530:28:56

85. 90. 5.

0:28:560:28:58

I see you bidding. 100. 110. 120. 130.

0:28:580:29:02

-140.

-Fantastic.

-150. 160.

0:29:020:29:04

170. 180. 190. 200. And 10?

0:29:040:29:08

At £200. You want 210?

0:29:080:29:10

You were waving.

0:29:100:29:12

At £200. And 210? At £200, all out. Are we done? £200 for the desk,

0:29:120:29:17

going... £200 and gone, then, all out?

0:29:170:29:19

£200. Fantastic.

0:29:190:29:22

I'd be hugging John at that incredible result.

0:29:220:29:24

£80 over his top estimate.

0:29:240:29:26

There are obviously some furniture fans in today, so let's hope

0:29:260:29:30

that bodes well for Sarah's other table later.

0:29:300:29:33

Next we have that distinctive

0:29:330:29:35

signed watercolour by Jenny Wheatley. I do hope

0:29:350:29:39

it exceeds John's estimate, again at £200 to £300.

0:29:390:29:42

-You like this, don't you?

-I do, I like it a lot.

0:29:420:29:44

-And this was bought by your mum.

-That's right. 25 years ago.

0:29:440:29:49

-Bought it direct from the artist's gallery.

-That's right.

0:29:490:29:51

OK, it's a lovely picture. We know what her paintings sell for, but we're in a quite unknown territory.

0:29:510:29:57

She doesn't turn up a huge amount at auction. Let's hope that the appeal of the picture

0:29:570:30:01

-will sell it for us today. You've got a £200 reserve.

-I do have a reserve on that.

0:30:010:30:05

OK, we want it to sell, but if it doesn't make the money you get to take it home again.

0:30:050:30:09

210A, is that worth £200?

0:30:090:30:12

Anyone with £100 for it?

0:30:120:30:14

Thank you, £100 in the middle of the room. £100. 110? Take 110 for it?

0:30:140:30:18

110? A bid at 110. 120. 130.

0:30:180:30:21

140. 150. 160?

0:30:210:30:23

160. 170. 180.

0:30:230:30:26

190. 200. And 10?

0:30:260:30:30

Yes or no, please.

0:30:300:30:32

Right in the middle at £200. At £200.

0:30:320:30:34

At £200, are we done? At £200m, all out? For £200. Going again. All out.

0:30:340:30:38

-Thank you.

-Fantastic. £200.

-Absolutely wonderful.

-You're happy with that, aren't you?

-I am.

0:30:380:30:43

That beaming smile says it all.

0:30:430:30:46

I think we can safely say that Sarah was very happy.

0:30:460:30:49

John certainly seems to have the Midas touch with his estimates today.

0:30:490:30:53

Let's hope it continues with the next item, the Edwardian nine carat gold brooch.

0:30:530:30:57

-This was part of the necklace set, wasn't it?

-That's right.

-You lost one of the items,

0:30:570:31:02

and it was cleverly turned into a pendant.

0:31:020:31:04

Great use of an odd piece of jewellery.

0:31:040:31:06

We're looking for £40 to £60. Let's hope it brings us some good luck.

0:31:060:31:10

£50 for it? £30 for it?

0:31:100:31:14

Start me £20. Shall we go £20 for it? No bid at £20?

0:31:140:31:17

I'm bid at 20. And 2.

0:31:170:31:19

22 there. 25?

0:31:190:31:20

25. 28. 30?

0:31:200:31:22

At £28. I see you bid at £28. Take 30? All out at £28?

0:31:220:31:27

No further bids. £28? Not selling for that, it's worth more. Not sold.

0:31:270:31:30

The auctioneer thought it deserved to reach John's estimate

0:31:300:31:34

and would not sell it for a penny less. Sarah's next lot

0:31:340:31:37

is the Japanese woodblock print that her mother bought in Australia.

0:31:370:31:40

John's valuation is £200 to £300, so let's see how he does this time.

0:31:400:31:48

There's a £200 reserve. If it doesn't sell, are you happy to take this home?

0:31:480:31:52

Yeah, I don't really know what I'm going to do.

0:31:520:31:55

-We'll see what happens.

-Have you started getting used to it not being there?

-I have, actually.

0:31:550:31:59

Let's hope the Japanese print collectors are in and and let's hope it makes £200. Here goes.

0:31:590:32:03

A Japanese print there, is that worth £200 for it?

0:32:030:32:08

£100 for it?

0:32:080:32:10

Start me at £100 or I pass the lot. Thank you, bid of £100. £100. 110 over there.

0:32:100:32:16

We've got two people. 110. 120. 130.

0:32:160:32:18

140. 150. 160. 170. 180.

0:32:180:32:23

190. 200.

0:32:230:32:25

And 10? 210?

0:32:250:32:27

Against you. 200 at the back.

0:32:270:32:29

210? Are you waving or bidding?

0:32:290:32:32

At 200. At £200, all out?

0:32:320:32:34

At £200, are we done? The bid is there at £200. Thank you.

0:32:340:32:38

Did you see that? At the beginning, the auctioneer couldn't get a bid.

0:32:380:32:41

Once he started, they both knew what it was worth, both started bidding.

0:32:410:32:45

£200 is what we got. Brilliant.

0:32:450:32:47

I think John was a little worried there

0:32:470:32:50

that his luck might have run out.

0:32:500:32:52

Maybe the Japanese print collectors snuck in at the last minute.

0:32:520:32:56

I can't wait now to hear how well Sarah has done so far.

0:32:560:32:59

We're at the halfway mark. How do you think we've done?

0:32:590:33:02

I think we've done better than I thought to start off with.

0:33:020:33:05

So yeah, very pleased, very pleased.

0:33:050:33:07

I'm pleased to tell you, at the halfway point, we were looking for 1,000.

0:33:070:33:11

We've actually got £840.

0:33:110:33:13

Wonderful, that's great.

0:33:130:33:15

Really pleased about that.

0:33:150:33:17

When you consider how very difficult it is to shift large pieces of furniture these days,

0:33:190:33:23

getting £200 for that mahogany desk was absolutely terrific.

0:33:230:33:28

Even bonnie lassie managed to make more than John's lowest estimate, in spite of the damage.

0:33:280:33:33

Of course, there are still a lot of lovely things to come from Sarah's home, and we're pinning our hopes

0:33:330:33:38

on that William IV card table

0:33:380:33:41

which could make anything from £400 to £600.

0:33:410:33:44

If we keep on at this rate,

0:33:440:33:45

Sarah isn't just going to be buying a few new clothes,

0:33:450:33:49

she could afford a whole new walk-in wardrobe.

0:33:490:33:52

If you've been inspired by Sarah's progress and would like to try

0:33:520:33:56

and raise money at auction yourself, do bear in mind the charges to be paid, such as commission.

0:33:560:34:02

These do vary from one sale room to another, so it's always worth checking in advance.

0:34:020:34:07

Sarah and John are back in the auction room again, so let's join them

0:34:070:34:11

for the next lot, the Victorian mahogany nursing chair.

0:34:110:34:14

Estimate, £50 to £80.

0:34:140:34:16

-What was the story behind this?

-It's always been in the family,

0:34:180:34:21

but my mother actually reupholstered it, so I have always liked it.

0:34:210:34:25

It's a really comfortable chair to sit in as well, albeit very low. So we shall see, won't we?

0:34:250:34:29

Let's hope the auctioneer is right and it does better than our 50 to 80. Here it goes.

0:34:290:34:33

£50, but it's worth more.

0:34:330:34:35

£50. £50. Take 5. £50 for the chair.

0:34:350:34:37

£50. Take five. May double this.

0:34:370:34:40

At £50, take five.

0:34:400:34:42

At £50. 5. 60. 5.

0:34:420:34:45

70?

0:34:450:34:47

No. At £65. See you at £65. Selling at £65.

0:34:470:34:50

Are we done? At £65.

0:34:500:34:51

Going.

0:34:510:34:53

The Victorian nursing chair

0:34:530:34:56

I was a bit sad to see go.

0:34:560:34:58

Personally I think it was worth more, as did the auctioneer.

0:34:580:35:03

So I can't get too wound up about these things, it is what it is.

0:35:030:35:07

Somebody has got a real bargain, so that's good.

0:35:070:35:09

They certainly did. But at least it passed John's lower estimate.

0:35:090:35:13

Let's see if the next lot, the Victorian chamber pot cupboard,

0:35:130:35:17

reaches his valuation of £100 to £200.

0:35:170:35:21

You did a little restoration job on this, didn't you?

0:35:210:35:24

I put the marble on the top. It was best to have something.

0:35:240:35:28

I didn't know what. Originally, I sort of got some white marble, had a look but it didn't look right.

0:35:280:35:34

So I think the brown was much better, actually.

0:35:340:35:36

Dare I say it, this is coming from someone who used to be a joiner,

0:35:360:35:39

I fancied myself as a bit of a restorer,

0:35:390:35:42

you did a very good job on this. I'd be proud myself.

0:35:420:35:44

A great little marble top on there now, and I think it should do £100 to £200. Let's see.

0:35:440:35:49

It's got to make more. Start me at £100 for it.

0:35:490:35:52

Thank you, £100 is bid on it. The bid is at £100. 110? A bid of 110.

0:35:520:35:56

120. 130?

0:35:560:35:58

120. A bid at 120. 130?

0:35:580:36:00

130. 140. 150. 160.

0:36:000:36:03

-170? Standing bid of 160. 170?

-170?

0:36:030:36:07

Done for 160 and selling? Your bid at 160, and gone.

0:36:070:36:10

That's somewhere in the middle.

0:36:100:36:12

It's just over the middle estimate, and I think it was your green marble top, Sarah.

0:36:120:36:17

Both the corner cupboard and the lot before it,

0:36:170:36:19

the nursing chair, were restored,

0:36:190:36:22

so it just goes to show that with a bit of skill, value can be added to antiques.

0:36:220:36:26

Next up, the Victorian sherry glasses.

0:36:260:36:29

They're listed in the catalogue at £20 to £30.

0:36:290:36:32

Sarah is going to be happy see see them go.

0:36:320:36:34

It seems she's lost her taste for a tipple.

0:36:340:36:37

They're too small, you can't get a good drink in them.

0:36:370:36:39

I suppose my daughter could use them as shot glasses.

0:36:390:36:42

-When the doctor says, "One glass a day," you make sure it's a big goldfish type bowl.

-Yes.

0:36:420:36:47

You can get two glasses from a bottle.

0:36:470:36:49

That's my kind of glass.

0:36:490:36:51

At £20 the lot. £20? £10?

0:36:510:36:54

£10 or not? No bid at £10, I'll pass it.

0:36:540:36:57

£10? Give me a starting bid at £10 or I pass the lot. No-one at £10, then?

0:36:570:37:01

No bids, no offers.

0:37:010:37:02

Well, I wouldn't have given you anything for it either.

0:37:020:37:06

-I'm sorry to say, you've got to take these home, and you didn't want to, did you?

-No, I don't.

0:37:060:37:11

I can leave them here, can't I?

0:37:110:37:14

You can leave them anywhere you like.

0:37:140:37:16

What a tease John is.

0:37:160:37:18

Sarah can take them back with her and celebrate

0:37:180:37:21

because she's well on course to making her target. But John is keeping that a secret

0:37:210:37:25

at the moment. The penultimate piece is next up.

0:37:250:37:28

It's the Chinese bird carved out of a large piece of jade,

0:37:280:37:32

priced at £100 to £150.

0:37:320:37:35

Sarah is starting to have second thoughts

0:37:350:37:37

about putting it into the auction.

0:37:370:37:39

I'm getting the feeling you secretly don't want to sell now, Sarah.

0:37:390:37:43

Exactly! I'd like to keep it.

0:37:430:37:45

-If it doesn't sell, I'll be secretly very, very pleased indeed.

-I can say, for the first time,

0:37:450:37:51

I'm almost, as well, wishing that it doesn't sell.

0:37:510:37:53

Let's hope it doesn't sell.

0:37:530:37:56

50 to buy it. £50 for it?

0:37:560:37:59

No bid at £50? I'll pass the lot. No-one willing to buy £50?

0:37:590:38:02

I'm bid at £50 in about four places. 55 there. 60.

0:38:020:38:05

5. 70. 5. 80?

0:38:050:38:07

75. Selling at a bid of 75. £75. 80?

0:38:070:38:10

At £75, are we done? £75. No further interest than £75?

0:38:100:38:14

£75. 80 for it? 75 and going.

0:38:140:38:16

Not enough for that, please.

0:38:160:38:18

-Wonderful. So pleased.

-I feel pleased about that.

0:38:180:38:21

The auctioneer got it up to £75 but he hasn't sold it.

0:38:210:38:25

-Good.

-You look ecstatic.

0:38:250:38:27

The jade ivory bird, I was so pleased it didn't sell.

0:38:270:38:30

I've an emotional attachment to it.

0:38:300:38:32

I'm going to have even more of an emotional attachment because it's going to be a real reminder of today.

0:38:320:38:38

It's something beautiful that's going to really remind me of the whole experience.

0:38:380:38:42

What's that saying, that you don't know what you've got until it's gone?

0:38:420:38:46

And, luckily for Sarah, the bird hasn't flown the nest.

0:38:460:38:51

Now to the final lot of the day. What's John's bet?

0:38:510:38:55

Right, now it's the big one.

0:38:550:38:57

It's my favourite piece in the sale.

0:38:570:39:00

It's your William IV mahogany folding card table.

0:39:000:39:03

-You were really fond of this, weren't you?

-I'm fond of it.

0:39:030:39:06

I've had it. Now somebody else can have it and enjoy it.

0:39:060:39:09

We're looking for £400. Here we go.

0:39:090:39:11

Will you start me trading at £300 for it? It's a good table. £300 for it?

0:39:110:39:14

I'm bid £300. £300. Take 10. At £300. Take 10.

0:39:140:39:17

310? I'm bid at 310. 320. 330. 340. 350.

0:39:170:39:21

360. 370. 380? 380.

0:39:210:39:27

Have a think about it. It's cheap. 380. 390. 400.

0:39:270:39:30

-Yes, come on.

-And 10? 410?

0:39:300:39:33

At £400 bid. At £400. Take 10. Are we done?

0:39:330:39:36

At £400, are you out for sure? At £400. At £400. Take 10.

0:39:360:39:39

All done? At £400 for the table, and gone.

0:39:390:39:42

What a great end to the day. Sarah's items have flown out of the door.

0:39:420:39:47

I'm sure we all want to know

0:39:470:39:48

what she's finally made.

0:39:480:39:51

I don't know about you but I feel exhausted.

0:39:510:39:55

-Absolutely drained.

-It's the end of the day, you'll be glad to know, and I think you know

0:39:550:40:00

we've had a fairly good day, but how do you think we've done?

0:40:000:40:03

I think a bit more than I was looking for but not loads more. A bit more, I think.

0:40:030:40:09

We were looking for £1,000 to help with some of those moving costs,

0:40:090:40:13

but I think more importantly it was about buying some nice new clothes.

0:40:130:40:16

What do you think the ratio is going to be of moving costs to clothes?

0:40:160:40:20

I'd like to buy more clothes but I think I might have to do more moving expenses.

0:40:200:40:25

I'm delighted to tell you that we didn't reach our £1,000

0:40:250:40:28

and you still get to take your jade bird home.

0:40:280:40:30

-We actually reached £1,465.

-Wonderful.

-That's fantastic.

-That's great.

0:40:300:40:36

-So happy, thank you so much.

-It was an absolute pleasure, Sarah.

0:40:360:40:39

You won't have to worry too much about spending more money on your clothes than the moving costs.

0:40:390:40:44

So Sarah has left South London and she's moved into her new house here in Staffordshire.

0:40:490:40:55

I've now moved. I'm going to meet up with my daughter in Liverpool and we're going to do a bit of shopping.

0:40:550:41:00

Her daughter Eleanor is studying at LIPA,

0:41:000:41:03

the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, so Sarah has travelled into the city centre

0:41:030:41:08

to meet her for a girls' shopping day.

0:41:080:41:10

It was lovely seeing my mum today

0:41:100:41:12

because I haven't seen her in ages, so it's always good to see her.

0:41:120:41:14

Sarah still has plenty of cash

0:41:140:41:17

left over from the auction to buy

0:41:170:41:20

lots of new outfits for her slimmer self.

0:41:200:41:22

-What about something like this?

-With a waist belt. Maybe a tan waist belt?

0:41:220:41:26

That would be quite nice.

0:41:260:41:28

If it's a bit low we can always put a little vest top inside there.

0:41:280:41:32

You can dress it up or you can wear it casually and put it with boots.

0:41:320:41:35

No...

0:41:360:41:38

No, it's not the right colour.

0:41:380:41:40

Just no.

0:41:410:41:43

Can't really say much else.

0:41:440:41:48

Ooh, I like that. I like the colour of it.

0:41:490:41:52

-That's pretty.

-OK. This is a maybe then, OK?

0:41:520:41:55

'After this I think Eleanor I are going to go out and have a meal together and just chat'

0:41:550:42:00

and catch up and just chill out, basically.

0:42:000:42:03

'It's been a lovely day.'

0:42:030:42:05

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.

0:42:170:42:21

Sarah Gray has had quite a tough year. Shortly after having a major operation, she suffered a sudden heart attack. All of this has meant that she has had to re-evaluate her work-life balance. She wants to use the money raised at auction to fund a move to Staffordshire to be nearer her daughter at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and to buy a new wardrobe for her slimmer self. We catch up with her after her move and go on a shopping spree with Sarah and her daughter in Liverpool.


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