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Hello and welcome to the programme that searches out
treasures in your home and then sells them with you at auction.
Now, we've all heard the saying "Out with the old, in with the new."
Well, that could not be any more appropriate for the lady
that we're about to meet here on Cash In The Attic.
On today's Cash In The Attic, John comes up trumps with an early 19th century card table.
Girls. Got any money on you?
-Fancy a game of cards?
-And I'm serenaded with a Cole Porter song.
# Every time we say goodbye I die a little. #
On auction day, the bidders appeared unimpressed by a Japanese print.
In with £100 for it?
No bidders. Start me at £100 or I will pass the lot.
Find out if it gets any bids when the hammer falls.
I've come to Croydon
to meet a lady who is ready to make a brand new start.
And she's called in the Cash In The Attic team so that
we can help her raise funds to finance
the first important few steps in that new life.
Sarah Gray has had quite a varied career.
She's tried her hand at journalism, singing on cruise ships, nursing and even a fishing project in Somalia.
She works as a civil servant in Whitehall but the past year has been a tough one for Sarah.
So, that's why we're here, to help her make a fresh start and move north.
She's also lost a lot of weight and so she needs to buy some new stylish outfits.
Our expert John Cameron is hoping to help her pile on the right sort of pounds,
and he wastes no time at all in getting our search for valuables underway.
-And who's this little cutie?
This is Bobby.
Hello, Bobby. He's a little sweetheart, isn't he?
Sarah, I know you're a lady who's travelled all over the world,
-but you've been here in Croydon for how long?
-I've been here three years.
We moved here so that my daughter could go to Brit School and
she's just gone to university now, so I don't need to be here any more.
Now I know you want to start a whole new life, so how is Cash In The Attic going to help you?
-Why have you called us in?
-I've had quite a traumatic year and I had an operation late July.
The week after, I had a heart attack.
And that was quite a shock. I hadn't had any heart problems before that.
And I also had my 50th birthday.
I was advised to re-evaluate, change my work-life balance.
And I thought, well, now or never.
So how much are you hoping to raise?
-It would be nice to get about £1,000, but...
-And what are you going to spend it on?
Well, some of it's going to help me to move, because that's quite expensive, moving.
But also, I've lost 20 kilos since July and I'm going to be losing more
so I need to get some more clothes. I need a new wardrobe, basically.
You know what they say, Sarah, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.
A bit of serious retail therapy is clearly what you need.
John has started work inside already so let's go and see how much of that £1,000 he can help you make.
Come on. You can come too, Bobby, come on.
There are interesting items all over Sarah's very tidy house.
John's already looked at quite a few things but the first one
to catch his eye is in the lounge and is rather exotic.
I see you're helping Sarah move already, John, taking things off the wall. What have you found there?
We have an interesting print here, but firstly, Sarah,
what do you know about it and how did it come to be in your possession?
This was bought when we were in Australia when I was a child.
My mother bought it.
I think she bought it in '73, which is when it was painted.
And it's by a Japanese chap called Hoshi who specialised in doing
tree pictures in the '70s, I think from '70 to '79 when he died.
It's a lovely memento of your time in Australia. John, what can you tell us about the artist?
As you've said, it is a Japanese artist, Joichi Hoshi, who was born in about 1913.
The first and longest part of his career he spent as an astronomer,
studying and painting star consolations.
It was a passion that stayed with him throughout his life.
And in fact he went to places like Mongolia where he believed
the sky was as black as it could be and the stars would really stand out.
And those are works that are quite highly prized.
They're sometimes often abstract but as you said, around about 1970,
he completely switched and started painting studies of trees.
Something like this, I would expect to make
about £200 to £300 at auction these days.
Wow, did you expect that, Sarah?
No, no, I'm really pleased about that.
That'll buy a few pairs of shoes, darling, I can tell you. Let's continue our search.
Sarah's home contains not only her own collection but also that of her mother and grandparents,
and the place is full of knick-knacks everywhere you look.
In the bedroom, I come across something that belonged to Sarah's grandparents.
It's a walking stick with a carved ivory head.
Now there are very strict international rules
governing the sale of ivory but happily, this Victorian cane meets them,
something that a gentleman of distinction
would not have been seen without.
It should fetch a very respectable £80 to £120.
All these ornaments are going to take quite a lot of packing when Sarah moves to Staffordshire.
John, what you think about this one?
Let's have a look, Sarah. Royal Doulton's Bonnie Lassie.
Whereabouts is it from?
My grandma had them, I can remember from a very small girl, seeing those. And I used to dust them.
-You've just got the one of them?
-No, I've got Balloon Lady up there as well.
-The Balloon Lady.
The iconic Balloon Lady. Probably one of the most common Doulton figures you'll see at auction.
Let's talk about this one for a second. Modelled, both of them, in fact, by Lesley Harradine.
Very, very important potter in Doulton's history.
Joined the factory in about 1902 and could boast that he was trained under George Tinworth.
Again, very important and the first resident sculptor at Doulton.
Both these figures enjoyed different production runs.
Bonnie Lassie here, I think she was issued in about 1934.
There was only one version of her and she only stayed in production
until about '53, so about 19 years in production.
So she's much, much scarcer than the Balloon Lady, which as we said, also modelled by Harridan.
But that, I think that was issued in about 1929 and continued right up until 1998.
I have noticed some damage to this particular one here.
Can you see just around the flower buckets there, there's a crack that spreads?
If you look onto the base, it goes right across. That will affect value.
The balloon seller, as we've said, slightly more common.
Value-wise, about £40 to £60 at auction.
Bonnie Lassie, if she was in good condition, I think we'd be looking at about £150, £200.
But because of that crack, I'm going to be a little more cautious and say about £80 to £120.
So put the two together, I think we're looking at about £120, £180,
-something like that.
-That'd be great.
-That'd be OK?
-That'd be fine.
Which means were up to £400 and that's really good going after just three finds.
If we carry on like this, we'll reach Sarah's target in no time.
Both Sarah's grandparents had good taste.
This mahogany round corner cupboard which would have been used to house a chamber pot,
was bought by her grandfather who owned a car repair business.
It's from the late 19th century and it's veneered.
The marble top has been added by Sarah and complements it nicely.
John thinks it should make between 100 and £200 at auction.
I leave him to continue his search, while I catch up with our globe-trotting singer
under Bobby's watchful gaze.
Sarah, you've had a most extraordinary life.
You seem to have been everywhere and done everything.
But music has played in a really important part in your life, hasn't it, and it's very important to you.
It certainly is. My grandmother was a singer.
I was a singer.
My father is involved in musical theatre.
And my brother also likes playing music and singing.
My daughter's now a singer and now she's at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts,
that Paul McCartney used to go to.
And Paul McCartney now sponsors that school.
And she's doing singing there, so...
So have you ever sort of sung together like a family? I mean, I'm thinking of the Jacksons here.
We sang at each other's weddings as a family.
But not otherwise.
-So how did you start singing?
-I used to sing on cruise ships.
It give you an opportunity of travelling around the world,
but apart from singing around the world,
you've moved around the world and done all sorts of different jobs.
Well, I spent some of my growing up in Australia.
I also worked in Somalia and I recently went to Trinidad and Tobago and Tobago is just so lovely.
It's so unspoilt.
So you don't want to live in Australia or Trinidad and Tobago.
You're going to settle in Staffordshire? Why?
I'll be close to my daughter and after my health problems and my 50th birthday, which I've just had,
-as good a time to go now as any, I think.
-Do you still sing?
-Do you want me to give you a little blast?
-Oh, yes please, yes.
# Every time we say goodbye, I die a little. #
Good old Cole Porter.
But we're not actually going to say goodbye just yet
because we've got a long way to go before we make that £1,000.
So shall we go and find John and see how many more things we can take to auction?
Come on. Well, John has certainly not been slacking.
And in the spare bedroom, he's come across a mahogany pedestal desk.
It's a 19th century Georgian-style reproduction, which Sarah inherited from her mum's partner.
John thinks it could quite easily draw in £80 to £120.
But at auction, how close is John's estimate?
£80, start me for a weak bid.
£80 there, first, 85, 100.
How high does it go?
We're up at 120, 130, fantastic.
-Find out later.
All that drama is still to come.
But as our rummage continues, Sarah comes up with something that she hasn't worn for many years.
John, you might like to a look at this necklace.
-I hope this is something we can send to auction.
-It is something you can send to auction.
-This is a very delicate piece. It looks Edwardian. Where is it from?
-It's been in the family some time
but I wore it on my wedding day as my something blue.
Oh, something blue, something borrowed, something new. How good.
-So do you remember who in the family it might have come down to you from?
-My maternal grandma.
I don't know whether she had that first or if it came from somewhere else beforehand.
Well, it is Edwardian. Very typical of the Edwardian period.
Quite light and delicate. And this use of sea pearl and topaz.
They came en suite with matching earrings and a brooch and so on. Were there other pieces?
Earrings. But one of the earrings got lost and they changed the other one into a brooch.
-You've still got that?
-Jolly good, that's excellent.
Well, looking at it, we can see that it's been set with these natural sea pearls.
And we can tell they're sea pearls because of the slight variation in colour which you don't get
so much with cultured pearls. And this predates cultured pearls anyway.
The little central faceted stone
and this little cut pendant at the bottom are topaz,
which we often associate with blue.
But you also see green topaz
but, less commonly, yellow topaz,
which is referred to as sherry topaz, and pink topaz. Those two are quite prized and quite rare.
But this is a nice piece, nice and delicate. And the good thing about Edwardian jewellery is just that.
Because it's light and delicate, people are still happy to wear it today.
And if worn around the neck, it was believed to dispel bad omens,
improve your eyesight and calm anger. So if you had a blind fury,
you were quids in if you had a necklace like this apparently.
Probably I should have worn at all the way through my marriage then.
Yes, very, very good. Well, value wise,
I would say at auction,
-probably about £80 to £120, something like that.
-OK with that?
-Very pleased with that.
-Jolly good. Another good find.
So come on, let's go and have a look at this little brooch.
What a good idea, to turn a lone earring into a brooch.
The gemstones can then still be enjoyed.
And it could earn Sarah £30 to £50 at auction.
John has found this Victorian nursing chair with a sprung stuffed over seat and a deep-button back.
It belonged to Sarah's mum who re-upholstered it herself.
John thinks she made a pretty good job of it
and values it at £50 to £80.
Sarah and her family have collected some very impressive items over the years.
And I think that's going to be reflected in our end total.
John, there's a painting here that my mother bought that I'd like you to have a look at.
It's a watercolour. We can see its Jenny Wheatley, signed '85.
What can you tell me about the picture, Sarah? Where did it come from?
It came from the Bourne Gallery, which is in Reigate, which is Jenny Wheatley's gallery of choice.
And I think it's quite an early one.
I think her work's changed quite a lot in recent years.
My brother's got a series done in Venice which is much more
structured and architectural, with more pastel colours.
This one's quite bright and vibrant, as you can see.
The nice thing about Jenny Wheatley is her signature is,
having painted the painting, she drops water
on to the painting and it sorts of diffuses outwards
and gives this very soft feeling, which I think is lovely.
-It is very bright.
-I see what you mean, it is very distinctive of her style.
And, academically, she often undermines the true principles of perspective and space.
Still a living artist, still living and teaching today.
And her work is very well known in certain circles.
But I believe the Queen Mother was a fan and also had one or two of her paintings, as well.
But her secondary market isn't huge.
You don't tend to see too many of them at auctions,
I guess because they're in corporate places where they don't need to sell them.
And so I'd be tempted to put something like £200 to £300 on it
and see where the bidding went from there.
-How would you be about that?
-Are you sure?
-I wish all my clients were as easygoing as you!
What a fantastic addition to our fund.
Jenny Wheatley is a member of both the Royal Watercolour Society and the New English Art Club.
Her paintings have been known to command a four-figure sale price.
John carries on with his search, and I find Sarah
already making space for the new outfits she's going to be buying.
My goodness, you are serious about making a fresh start, aren't you?
Out with the old...in with the new.
So, what size were you, then?
-Shall I show you?
I was a size 28 to 30.
This is one of my skirts.
I can't wear it now at all.
-Wow, look at that. Crikey.
-See the difference?
So that's definitely going in the bag.
Yes, that goes in. So, is there much in there, then, that's got to go?
These are the worst ones. I couldn't wear these now.
It just would fall off, I think.
-Shall I show you?
-Yes. Oh, my goodness. Actually, you could almost get into one side of them, there.
-Yes, I could.
-Wow, what an achievement!
What an achievement. Now, give those to me, because I think we going to put those in the bin.
You've had a pretty tough year one way and another, haven't you?
I have, I have indeed. But, you know...
You had a gastric band fitted, yes?
Gastric band and a gastric sling.
But that was because of medical problems, not just because you wanted to lose weight?
That's right. A combination of the two.
And, of course, losing the weight helps.
And then, a week after I had the gastric banding operation,
I had a heart attack which came completely out of the blue.
I do have quite a busy life.
I work up in Whitehall.
So it's three hours commuting a day.
So, now you're going to get your work/life balance in balance?
-By moving to the north.
-How is that going to change life for you?
Well, I'll have three more hours a day. It'll take me 15 minutes
to get to work instead of the current three hours.
And, I'll just be working, I presume, in a local JobCentre Plus.
And I think it'll be a lot calmer. I'm looking forward to it.
I can go to the Peak District, and the Potteries. So I'm really looking forward to it.
So we can get rid of these oversize trousers, because you're not going to need those any more.
We're going to get a whole new wardrobe for a new you in a new life.
-Let's go and find John.
-Let's do that.
John is getting a bit spoilt for choice now.
He's trying to fight a real gem.
I spot an attractive collection of 13 Victorian cut crystal sherry glasses,
which belonged to Sarah's grandmother. Although they'd only fetch £20-£30,
Sarah is more than happy for them to go to auction.
We're all taking
another look around the lounge when Sarah produces another of her mother's Oriental purchases.
Angela, John? My mother brought this back from China, is that of any interest?
-What an exquisite piece of carving that is, John.
-It is, isn't it?
Is that one solid piece of jade?
It certainly looks like it, Angela.
And when you think jade is an extremely hard material to carve, it's mind-boggling that
somebody has actually taken a raw piece of gemstone and carved that.
-The work is absolutely amazing.
-Is China one of the places that you've visited on your travels?
No, I've never really been to the Orient at all.
-So, what's your fascination with it?
-I love the art, and I like dragons and I like goldfish.
-Well, you can say that again because you've got loads of it around the house, haven't you?
This is very typical of the sort of thing people were bringing back from the late 19th century
right into the 20th century. I'd say this is probably 20th century. Certainly the most prized pieces
are those that were made for the Imperial Court and carry the Emperor's seal.
One was sold recently at auction, a carved figure of a recumbent cow,
which I think made over £2 million at auction.
Well, I don't think we're going to be anything like our Emperor's cow.
But certainly it's a saleable object.
I think if we put this to auction, it's in good condition, wonderfully carved.
-I think we'd be looking at £100 to £150.
-Would you be happy with that?
-Oh, yes, absolutely.
-Another great valuation there.
We must be close to our £1,000 target.
But, before I can work it out, John puts his chips on the table.
Girls? Got any money on you?
-Fancy a game of cards?
-Oh, a card table.
-At least, I hope it's a card table. It is?
-Where's this one from?
This one my mother always had, and my mother and father
used to play bridge a lot, so they used to use it for a card table.
Do you have happy memories playing cards on it yourself?
I can't remember playing cards. I can remember cleaning the blooming thing and dusting, all the bits underneath.
-All those tiddly bits down there?
-That's right, yes.
-There we are, we can see it in all its glory opened up as a card table.
They did come in pairs, the other not having the baize top.
And that's referred to as a folding tea table. And, once stored away as occasional side tables,
they can be placed either side of a nice big window at a grand house.
This is the card table,
the most popular type of the two.
And quite easy to turn it back.
-Beautiful figuring to that top. Mahogany.
-Lovely grain on it.
Right, structurally very sound. The great thing about it,
this top leaf hasn't bowed, which often happens, it's nice and flat.
Also, look at the original colour of that.
So often, they turn up at auction and they've been completely stripped down and repolished.
And, although this has one or two little scratches there,
that's perfectly original, and lovely depth of colour.
Date-wise, it's William IV, so we're talking about 1830, 1837, something like that.
On the front, we've got some lovely carved acanthus leaves down here. Standard form,
with a lovely turned column with, again, foliate carving down to that circular band of egg and dart.
And, wait for it,
a concave quadripartite base.
You've waited all day to say that, haven't you?
Terminating with these lovely acanthus scrolled feet.
Overall, a really attractive card table.
So, is this a piece that's going to move house with you?
-Or are we going to take it to auction?
-I'm not sure.
Well, if I had to put a value on it, at auction today, I'd expect a card table
like this to make about £400-£600.
-Tempting? Food for thought?
-Well, I am very fond of this table.
While you're thinking about whether or not you'd like to take it to auction, let me add to the sum total
of your food for thought. Because, if we take the lowest estimate on everything
that John has looked at today, bearing in mind that you'd like £1,000 for this shopping spree,
including the table we could perhaps make at auction £1,460.
Without the table, easy sum, £1,060.
-But, still enough for you to have a great day's shopping on, isn't it?
Will Sarah be able to part with this family heirloom?
We'll find out at the auction in a couple of weeks' time.
In the meantime, here's a quick reminder of some of the other things that Sarah will send there.
The woodblock print that Sarah's mother bought in the Seventies,
when they lived in Australia. That should raise £200-£300.
The chamber pot cupboard
that belonged to Sarah's wealthy grandfather.
That would add another £100-£200.
Plus, that amazing carved jade bird
which Sarah's mother bought in China.
Estimated at between £100-£150.
Still to come on Cash in the Attic: John is getting a little confused.
I've got to say, for the first time, I'm almost as well
wishing that it doesn't sell, so let's hope it doesn't sell.
And, will Sarah regret putting a £400 reserve on that William IV card table?
360. 370. 380...?
Find out how they all get on when the final hammer falls.
Well, it's been a week or two since we were with Sarah Gray at her home in Croydon in South London.
She wants to raise £1,000, so that she can start
a whole new life in Staffordshire with a brand new wardrobe.
That's my girl! So we've taken all of her things to the Chiswick Auction Rooms in West London.
Now, unfortunately, I couldn't be at the auction.
But, no problem, because she was in the very capable hands of John Cameron.
There are 800 lots in this auction, so the potential bidders are very busy eyeing up everything on offer.
Sarah hasn't arrived yet, so John has time to catch up with today's auctioneer, Tom Keane.
I wonder how he rates Sarah's chances today?
This William IV card table, what do you think of it, Tom?
-It's not going to be yours for much longer.
We've got an estimate of £400-£600 and a reserve on the lower estimate. How do you think it'll do?
It'll make the bottom of the estimate.
Might make five on a good day. It's a nice, clean model. I like the base, I like the scrolling
and feet. It's in good condition. And the patination is quite good, so, yeah, you'll be all right.
An auctioneer that recognises quality.
Anything of our other items that you think might do well?
I like your nursing chair. I looked twice, because I thought it was reproduction.
It's a Victorian one. Should make £100-£120. What's your estimate?
-We've got 50 to 80.
-Yes, that's out of the door.
Are there any of our items that you're a little bit concerned may not sell today?
Yeah, the Japanese print. There's no Japanese print buyers in today.
-I can't see any so far, so I'd be nervous about that for you.
-I know you're a busy man.
-You've got to get ready for the auction and I'm off to meet Sarah. I'll see you in a bit.
Well, Sarah is taking a last look at some of her items,
and I wonder if she's put a reserve on anything else that she's brought?
I have reserves on this and on the Jenny Wheatley picture with the palm trees.
Is there anything you haven't brought?
I didn't bring the cane. My brother wanted that so I left that behind.
-Hopefully something else will sell to help us fill out that wardrobe.
-I hope so.
-Is there anything
-you're going to be really sorry that's going to be sold today?
-I think actually the jade bird.
-I loved it when the light shone through it.
-Hopefully we'll have a buyer and it'll make our estimate.
The auction is about to start, so let's put this down,
I hope we're not taking it home today, and get ourselves into position.
Sarah's decision not to include the walking stick means that our chances
of making her £1,000 target are already down by around £100.
So fingers crossed that this auction crowd are in a mood for rigorous bidding.
Sarah, we're here. The auction is about to start, and we've got our first lot coming up.
-Are you nervous?
-Well, don't be. We're in the hands of the gods now.
It's all a natural process. And just hold on to your hat. Here we go.
I do hope Sarah does well today.
The two Royal Doulton figurines, estimated at between £120 and £180,
are the first items on the list.
We've got the Balloon Seller, quite common, and our scarce figure, the Bonny Lassie, but she's damaged.
-So a bit concerned about this. This came from Grandma Alice, didn't it?
-Are you nervous?
-I am nervous, but nervous about the damage, see what difference that makes to it.
-We're looking for 120 to 180. Let's see what difference that damage makes.
For these two, start me at £100, please.
Start me, £80 to go. Seems cheap. £80? Thank you for £80. 80. 85?
85 over there. 85.
You're 90? 90. 95. 100?
100. 110. 120. 130. 140.
We're over or estimate. That's good news.
130, I'm selling at 130. Are you out?
At 130. All done at 130. Your last shot. It's 130 only.
The lot, 130.
Do you know what, for a minute I thought she'd go down like a lead balloon seller,
but she got there in the end. £130. That's fantastic.
Very good, John! I thought you were going to say,
"At least it didn't fall between the cracks."
I wonder how the early 20th century necklace,
estimated at £80 to £120, is going to do?
Next up is our Edwardian
-15 carat gold and topaz pendant. This you wore on your wedding day, didn't you?
I wore it on my wedding day. Something blue.
It's supposed to give you luck, but I'm not married any more
-so I don't know what that says!
-Let's hope it changes our luck today.
£80 for it? Here we go, £80 for it.
Got a bid straight away at £80.
At £80. Take 5? £80. 85 for it? At 85.
Thank you. 90. 5?
100. And 5?
-Bid at 105?
105, somebody else. 105. 110. 115?
110 bid. At 110. Take 110.
The bid is at £110.
And going. All out, finished.
Just £10 under John's top estimate. That's a great result
for that pretty piece. I think Sarah is beginning to get the swing of things.
Next up, the 19th century Georgian style
mahogany reproduction pedestal desk on which Sarah kept her computer.
So John's mind is on her home office solutions now.
-What have you done with your computer?
-I've got a horrible MDF white plastic thing.
Oh, dear. So you won't be disappointed if this doesn't sell?
All right, well, we're hoping it does and we're hoping for £80 to £120.
A green leather top, nice and polished, ready to go.
Handles on it as well. It's going to make more than the estimate, I should think. £80.
Start me for a weak bid. £80 there.
85. 90. 5.
I see you bidding. 100. 110. 120. 130.
170. 180. 190. 200. And 10?
At £200. You want 210?
You were waving.
At £200. And 210? At £200, all out. Are we done? £200 for the desk,
going... £200 and gone, then, all out?
I'd be hugging John at that incredible result.
£80 over his top estimate.
There are obviously some furniture fans in today, so let's hope
that bodes well for Sarah's other table later.
Next we have that distinctive
signed watercolour by Jenny Wheatley. I do hope
it exceeds John's estimate, again at £200 to £300.
-You like this, don't you?
-I do, I like it a lot.
-And this was bought by your mum.
-That's right. 25 years ago.
-Bought it direct from the artist's gallery.
OK, it's a lovely picture. We know what her paintings sell for, but we're in a quite unknown territory.
She doesn't turn up a huge amount at auction. Let's hope that the appeal of the picture
-will sell it for us today. You've got a £200 reserve.
-I do have a reserve on that.
OK, we want it to sell, but if it doesn't make the money you get to take it home again.
210A, is that worth £200?
Anyone with £100 for it?
Thank you, £100 in the middle of the room. £100. 110? Take 110 for it?
110? A bid at 110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160?
160. 170. 180.
190. 200. And 10?
Yes or no, please.
Right in the middle at £200. At £200.
At £200, are we done? At £200m, all out? For £200. Going again. All out.
-You're happy with that, aren't you?
That beaming smile says it all.
I think we can safely say that Sarah was very happy.
John certainly seems to have the Midas touch with his estimates today.
Let's hope it continues with the next item, the Edwardian nine carat gold brooch.
-This was part of the necklace set, wasn't it?
-You lost one of the items,
and it was cleverly turned into a pendant.
Great use of an odd piece of jewellery.
We're looking for £40 to £60. Let's hope it brings us some good luck.
£50 for it? £30 for it?
Start me £20. Shall we go £20 for it? No bid at £20?
I'm bid at 20. And 2.
22 there. 25?
25. 28. 30?
At £28. I see you bid at £28. Take 30? All out at £28?
No further bids. £28? Not selling for that, it's worth more. Not sold.
The auctioneer thought it deserved to reach John's estimate
and would not sell it for a penny less. Sarah's next lot
is the Japanese woodblock print that her mother bought in Australia.
John's valuation is £200 to £300, so let's see how he does this time.
There's a £200 reserve. If it doesn't sell, are you happy to take this home?
Yeah, I don't really know what I'm going to do.
-We'll see what happens.
-Have you started getting used to it not being there?
-I have, actually.
Let's hope the Japanese print collectors are in and and let's hope it makes £200. Here goes.
A Japanese print there, is that worth £200 for it?
£100 for it?
Start me at £100 or I pass the lot. Thank you, bid of £100. £100. 110 over there.
We've got two people. 110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160. 170. 180.
And 10? 210?
Against you. 200 at the back.
210? Are you waving or bidding?
At 200. At £200, all out?
At £200, are we done? The bid is there at £200. Thank you.
Did you see that? At the beginning, the auctioneer couldn't get a bid.
Once he started, they both knew what it was worth, both started bidding.
£200 is what we got. Brilliant.
I think John was a little worried there
that his luck might have run out.
Maybe the Japanese print collectors snuck in at the last minute.
I can't wait now to hear how well Sarah has done so far.
We're at the halfway mark. How do you think we've done?
I think we've done better than I thought to start off with.
So yeah, very pleased, very pleased.
I'm pleased to tell you, at the halfway point, we were looking for 1,000.
We've actually got £840.
Wonderful, that's great.
Really pleased about that.
When you consider how very difficult it is to shift large pieces of furniture these days,
getting £200 for that mahogany desk was absolutely terrific.
Even bonnie lassie managed to make more than John's lowest estimate, in spite of the damage.
Of course, there are still a lot of lovely things to come from Sarah's home, and we're pinning our hopes
on that William IV card table
which could make anything from £400 to £600.
If we keep on at this rate,
Sarah isn't just going to be buying a few new clothes,
she could afford a whole new walk-in wardrobe.
If you've been inspired by Sarah's progress and would like to try
and raise money at auction yourself, do bear in mind the charges to be paid, such as commission.
These do vary from one sale room to another, so it's always worth checking in advance.
Sarah and John are back in the auction room again, so let's join them
for the next lot, the Victorian mahogany nursing chair.
Estimate, £50 to £80.
-What was the story behind this?
-It's always been in the family,
but my mother actually reupholstered it, so I have always liked it.
It's a really comfortable chair to sit in as well, albeit very low. So we shall see, won't we?
Let's hope the auctioneer is right and it does better than our 50 to 80. Here it goes.
£50, but it's worth more.
£50. £50. Take 5. £50 for the chair.
£50. Take five. May double this.
At £50, take five.
At £50. 5. 60. 5.
No. At £65. See you at £65. Selling at £65.
Are we done? At £65.
The Victorian nursing chair
I was a bit sad to see go.
Personally I think it was worth more, as did the auctioneer.
So I can't get too wound up about these things, it is what it is.
Somebody has got a real bargain, so that's good.
They certainly did. But at least it passed John's lower estimate.
Let's see if the next lot, the Victorian chamber pot cupboard,
reaches his valuation of £100 to £200.
You did a little restoration job on this, didn't you?
I put the marble on the top. It was best to have something.
I didn't know what. Originally, I sort of got some white marble, had a look but it didn't look right.
So I think the brown was much better, actually.
Dare I say it, this is coming from someone who used to be a joiner,
I fancied myself as a bit of a restorer,
you did a very good job on this. I'd be proud myself.
A great little marble top on there now, and I think it should do £100 to £200. Let's see.
It's got to make more. Start me at £100 for it.
Thank you, £100 is bid on it. The bid is at £100. 110? A bid of 110.
120. A bid at 120. 130?
130. 140. 150. 160.
-170? Standing bid of 160. 170?
Done for 160 and selling? Your bid at 160, and gone.
That's somewhere in the middle.
It's just over the middle estimate, and I think it was your green marble top, Sarah.
Both the corner cupboard and the lot before it,
the nursing chair, were restored,
so it just goes to show that with a bit of skill, value can be added to antiques.
Next up, the Victorian sherry glasses.
They're listed in the catalogue at £20 to £30.
Sarah is going to be happy see see them go.
It seems she's lost her taste for a tipple.
They're too small, you can't get a good drink in them.
I suppose my daughter could use them as shot glasses.
-When the doctor says, "One glass a day," you make sure it's a big goldfish type bowl.
You can get two glasses from a bottle.
That's my kind of glass.
At £20 the lot. £20? £10?
£10 or not? No bid at £10, I'll pass it.
£10? Give me a starting bid at £10 or I pass the lot. No-one at £10, then?
No bids, no offers.
Well, I wouldn't have given you anything for it either.
-I'm sorry to say, you've got to take these home, and you didn't want to, did you?
-No, I don't.
I can leave them here, can't I?
You can leave them anywhere you like.
What a tease John is.
Sarah can take them back with her and celebrate
because she's well on course to making her target. But John is keeping that a secret
at the moment. The penultimate piece is next up.
It's the Chinese bird carved out of a large piece of jade,
priced at £100 to £150.
Sarah is starting to have second thoughts
about putting it into the auction.
I'm getting the feeling you secretly don't want to sell now, Sarah.
Exactly! I'd like to keep it.
-If it doesn't sell, I'll be secretly very, very pleased indeed.
-I can say, for the first time,
I'm almost, as well, wishing that it doesn't sell.
Let's hope it doesn't sell.
50 to buy it. £50 for it?
No bid at £50? I'll pass the lot. No-one willing to buy £50?
I'm bid at £50 in about four places. 55 there. 60.
5. 70. 5. 80?
75. Selling at a bid of 75. £75. 80?
At £75, are we done? £75. No further interest than £75?
£75. 80 for it? 75 and going.
Not enough for that, please.
-Wonderful. So pleased.
-I feel pleased about that.
The auctioneer got it up to £75 but he hasn't sold it.
-You look ecstatic.
The jade ivory bird, I was so pleased it didn't sell.
I've an emotional attachment to it.
I'm going to have even more of an emotional attachment because it's going to be a real reminder of today.
It's something beautiful that's going to really remind me of the whole experience.
What's that saying, that you don't know what you've got until it's gone?
And, luckily for Sarah, the bird hasn't flown the nest.
Now to the final lot of the day. What's John's bet?
Right, now it's the big one.
It's my favourite piece in the sale.
It's your William IV mahogany folding card table.
-You were really fond of this, weren't you?
-I'm fond of it.
I've had it. Now somebody else can have it and enjoy it.
We're looking for £400. Here we go.
Will you start me trading at £300 for it? It's a good table. £300 for it?
I'm bid £300. £300. Take 10. At £300. Take 10.
310? I'm bid at 310. 320. 330. 340. 350.
360. 370. 380? 380.
Have a think about it. It's cheap. 380. 390. 400.
-Yes, come on.
-And 10? 410?
At £400 bid. At £400. Take 10. Are we done?
At £400, are you out for sure? At £400. At £400. Take 10.
All done? At £400 for the table, and gone.
What a great end to the day. Sarah's items have flown out of the door.
I'm sure we all want to know
what she's finally made.
I don't know about you but I feel exhausted.
-It's the end of the day, you'll be glad to know, and I think you know
we've had a fairly good day, but how do you think we've done?
I think a bit more than I was looking for but not loads more. A bit more, I think.
We were looking for £1,000 to help with some of those moving costs,
but I think more importantly it was about buying some nice new clothes.
What do you think the ratio is going to be of moving costs to clothes?
I'd like to buy more clothes but I think I might have to do more moving expenses.
I'm delighted to tell you that we didn't reach our £1,000
and you still get to take your jade bird home.
-We actually reached £1,465.
-So happy, thank you so much.
-It was an absolute pleasure, Sarah.
You won't have to worry too much about spending more money on your clothes than the moving costs.
So Sarah has left South London and she's moved into her new house here in Staffordshire.
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.
Her daughter Eleanor is studying at LIPA,
the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, so Sarah has travelled into the city centre
to meet her for a girls' shopping day.
It was lovely seeing my mum today
because I haven't seen her in ages, so it's always good to see her.
Sarah still has plenty of cash
left over from the auction to buy
lots of new outfits for her slimmer self.
-What about something like this?
-With a waist belt. Maybe a tan waist belt?
That would be quite nice.
If it's a bit low we can always put a little vest top inside there.
You can dress it up or you can wear it casually and put it with boots.
No, it's not the right colour.
Can't really say much else.
Ooh, I like that. I like the colour of it.
-OK. This is a maybe then, OK?
'After this I think Eleanor I are going to go out and have a meal together and just chat'
and catch up and just chill out, basically.
'It's been a lovely day.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.
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.