Nightingale Cash in the Attic


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Nightingale

Series looking at the value of household junk. Retired accountant Evie Nightingale wants to take her love of design to the next level with a bedroom makeover.


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Transcript


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Welcome to the show that searches for all the unwanted items in people's homes.

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We then get them all valued, sell them at auction, and the family benefits from the cash.

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Well, sometimes we have a clear-out because somebody else

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nudges us into it, and sometimes because we want a fresh start.

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The lady we're meeting today is going for the latter option, so

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let's hope she's got lots of lovely items to sell on Cash In The Attic.

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Coming up on Cash In The Attic,

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our expert makes a rather bone-chilling discovery...

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Quite macabre. I don't even know what those...

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I don't want to know what those do, do you?

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..and a letter possibly penned by the great man himself.

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Winston Churchill's letter to Jane, look.

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Let's have a look. Wow!

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And later, the bidders need a bit of persuading.

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-32... At £32...

-Oh, come on!

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It's worth more than that.

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Find out what happens when the final hammer falls.

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I've come to Stoke Mandeville near Aylesbury to meet Evie and her sister Jan.

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Now, I've heard that Evie is looking for a rather stylish make-over,

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so let's hope Cash In The Attic can help her raise the funds.

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Evie Nightingale has worked as an accountant for the last 30 years,

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but her true passion lies in fashion and design.

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At the age of 21, Evie worked in London, making gowns for a high-end fashion designer on Bond Street.

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After a few years in the trade, she decided to pursue

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other interests, and a career in accountancy took over.

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She might have stepped away from the runway, but recently

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she started a new project that has sparked the designer within.

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Today, her sister Janice is going to help her find some interesting and hopefully valuable collectibles

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that will help raise the money for her new endeavour.

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-Ah, good morning.

-Morning. Lovely to see you.

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I'm joined by our expert Paul Hayes.

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Ah, good morning, ladies.

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-Hello.

-How lovely to see you.

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-So you must be Evie.

-I'm Evie.

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-And you're sister Jan.

-That's right.

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Right, OK. So what made you decide to call in Cash In The Attic?

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I've got a room upstairs that is a junk room and it's developed into a dumping ground, and I want

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-to restore it as a bedroom, and I've decided to do it in the Art Deco style.

-Ah, interesting.

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What made you choose Art Deco?

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It's just a period that I've always enjoyed. I just like it.

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-I like all the lines and the colours and the glamour.

-So what do you think of this project, Jan?

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I think it's a wonderful idea.

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I know she's got lots of things that she won't mind seeing the back of, and so I think, if it helps her

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achieve her aim, do up the room like she wants to do it, I think it's wonderful.

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-How much are you hoping to raise?

-Well, I can spend as much as I make, but £500 should do it.

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OK. Well, that's a wonderful idea.

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Shall we go and see whether Paul's found anything to sell yet?

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-Yes.

-Come on, then. Follow me.

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Evie has lived in this lovely four-bedroomed detached house

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for the last 12 years.

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There are lots of items which were collected by her late husband David

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and our Paul Hayes has got the search under way.

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Ah, hello. All right?

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Have you found something for us to sell already?

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Well, I found these - what do you call those? Sweet-meat dishes.

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-What do you use them for?

-I'd always called them hors d'oeuvres dishes.

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-And I just say they're fishy.

-Yeah!

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-Cos they've got fishes on them.

-Well, I don't think they've actually been designed for fish,

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but I can tell you who they've been designed BY. Do you know who the artist is on these?

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-Clarice Cliff.

-Clarice Cliff! Isn't that fantastic? It's one of the household names, isn't it, really?

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-Where did these come from?

-They were a wedding present in 1959.

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Were there always the five or...?

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-No, I think there were six.

-Right, OK.

-Yeah.

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What was unique about Clarice Cliff, though, is that she put a real Modernist view on her work.

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Her style used lots of geometry, lots of bright colours,

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and it was totally different to what was happening at that time.

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The Victorian era in particular was very dark, very fancy, you know,

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and she came up with the whole lighter approach to ceramics and she became very famous for it.

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But 1959 isn't quite her Art Deco period. It's a bit late for her.

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This is more likely her factory than herself

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that would have worked on an item like this.

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But these are beautifully done

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and they fit in with the Modernist style nowadays.

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If we said around the 100 mark...

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If we put these in at £60-£100

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just to see how they get on, I'm sure somebody would take a shine to them.

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Yeah, that would be great cos I don't want them.

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OK, well, that's around a fifth of our total

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which is pretty good going,

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so shall we go and see if we can find plenty more fish in the sea?

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-Yes.

-Come on, then. Follow me.

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I head straight for a 1920s oak bureau

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with some very attractive inlay.

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This belonged to Evie's father.

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Paul valued it at £40-£60.

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As Paul and I are rooting through the house,

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we discover that someone else has joined our search party.

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-Ah, hello.

-Hi.

-Firstly, who are you?

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This is Katy. She's my granddaughter.

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Oh, right, OK. So you've come to help out your grandma, have you?

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-Yeah.

-Come to help with the rummage and the sorting-out

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and lifting heavy items.

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Well, you've found something very interesting there. Do you like it?

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Yeah, I think it's pretty

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and it's been here ever since I can remember, really.

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Ever since I can remember coming to this house.

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So, Paul, what do you think?

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-Cos that's Victorian, isn't it?

-Exactly. Dead Victorian.

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It's a bit of social history, actually. This is a by-product.

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In the 19th century, they made lots of green glass bottles,

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mainly for lemonade or for white wine,

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that sort of thing.

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At the end of the day, they'd be left with lots of remnants of the glass,

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so they'd make them into these items here,

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and it's called a dump, a Victorian dump.

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Now, I've heard in the past that they're paperweights,

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but I've also been told they were actually doorstops.

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That's right. The large examples are always doorstops.

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This is debatable, actually. Is it a paperweight or is it a doorstop?

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But in this particular example, what you've got is a floral decoration.

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Sometimes you get them with just bubbles.

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And this one's actually inserted like a foil, a metal foil.

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-Yeah, it's lovely, isn't it?

-But the bigger ones were doorstops.

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-What, the bigger ones like...?

-Exactly. Look at that.

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-Where did that one come from?!

-Same place.

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I think you'd cover the whole piece of paper with that.

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-Do you like them?

-I like them, yeah. I think that one especially.

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That one's a bit too bulky for me, but I think that one's very pretty.

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Quite heavy as well.

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Here, I'll take it. Such a big girl's blouse!

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What you do have to look for is condition.

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This one has a scratch there which is not a big problem.

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I think someone's used it as a hammer at some point.

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-I think it got knocked on the floor.

-That's probably what's happened.

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So that's slightly detracted it, so I think if these were going to auction,

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if I said £60-£100 for the pair, give them a chance...

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That's fair, yes. Yes.

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-So these can go to auction?

-Yes, definitely.

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Excellent. Do you know what as well? You're right. It is very heavy.

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Come on, I'll leave him to it.

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While we're on the glass theme, Katy has found some rather attractive

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20th-century millefiori paperweights that Paul estimates at £30-£60.

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In the garage, Evie digs out a miniature cricket bat

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which belonged to her late husband David.

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Produced as a souvenir item,

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it commemorates the 1948 Australian cricket team,

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known as the Invincibles.

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The signatures are facsimile copies

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but it still gets a £20 to £50 price tag.

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Paul, what do you think this might be?

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Ah, look at that. I think that's actually like a surgeon's kit.

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-They're scalpels, aren't they?

-Can you see those scalpels?

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-Look at that.

-Yeah.

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Now, these were very prominent in the 19th century.

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There were lots of...not amateur surgeons,

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but people that took a real interest in surgery.

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-I think this is more sort of 1890,

-1900. Oh, goodness.

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It's the time of Dr Crippen

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and all these sort of strange things that were going on.

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And you know what's wonderful about this era, though, is that lots

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of the knowledge that we've taken from medicine

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was actually discovered by amateurs, very talented amateurs.

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But this looks to me like an autopsy kit.

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This is wonderful, isn't it? Quite macabre.

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I don't even know what those... I don't WANT to know

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what those do, do you, really?

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Oh, dear me. People are obsessed with this type of thing.

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Anything that proves how we got to where we are now with medicine, people go for.

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-Not the sort of thing you want to use every day.

-No!

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No, but a real historian...

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I think Evie would be quite happy for that to go some place else.

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Well, look, there's a big interest in it.

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If I said sort of £50-£80, does that sound all right to you?

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I think that's fantastic.

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Well, these gruesome instruments may be a cut above the rest to Paul,

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but let's hope the medical enthusiasts at auction

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will be equally impressed.

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I'm bid at £40, at £40, take 42.

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At £40 bid, take 2 at £40. 42, thank you. 45?

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Two doctors are in. 45, 48? 48, 50?

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As our rummage continues in Evie Nightingale's home,

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her granddaughter Katy has found

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a very attractive set of cigarette cards from the 1920s and '30s.

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Belonging to Evie's late husband David,

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these were originally put into packets to stiffen them up.

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Now they're very popular with collectors.

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Along with a set of postcards,

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Paul thinks the whole lot could make £50-£80 at auction.

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While Paul and Katy are intent on finding more items,

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I take the opportunity to find out what life

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was like working on some of the most iconic fashion designs of the day.

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You had a glamorous start to your career. Tell me about that.

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I started work when I was 15 and did an apprenticeship as a gown-maker

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-in one of the fashion houses in London.

-So what was it like working somewhere like that?

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Well, I went to work early in 1952,

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and that was just a year before the Coronation, so it really was all systems go.

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It got very exciting very quickly because we had people who were going

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to be in the abbey coming in ordering their coronation gowns.

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What made you decide to take the decorating of the bedroom into this whole Art Deco project?

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Well, that was a chain of thought, really.

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Feeling very isolated and lonely in my big bed in the big room,

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I thought I could have a single bed in the spare room

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and it grew from there. Well, it needs decorating.

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"I know - I'll do it in the Art Deco style."

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And it just caught hold of me.

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It just seemed like a brilliant idea once I had the idea.

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I just don't want to let it go now.

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So what's retirement like, then?

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Wonderful!

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Better than going to work, yes.

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While we've been chatting, Paul has been rummaging upstairs and has

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spotted an open-face pocket watch dating back to the 1920s.

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It's gold-plated and he values it at £20-£30.

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Janice finds a collection of three porcelain figurines

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that Evie bought in the 1950s - two Royal Doulton,

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and another by Royal Worcester.

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Paul thinks that they're bound to be collectors out there

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who'll part with £40-£60 for the three.

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Ah, now then, Evie. I found a lovely old spoon here.

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-Where has this come from, do you know?

-Oh, it's been knocking around for years.

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At first I thought it was just an ordinary brass spoon, but it's not.

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This is silver gilt and it's an exact copy of THE Coronation spoon

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that's used to anoint the King and Queen of England. Isn't that amazing?

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Oh, gosh, that's fantastic, yes, yes.

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It's the oldest relic that survives from the old Royal regalia.

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It actually was used to crown King John...

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-Oh, really?

-..in, I think, 1199.

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-There you go. How's that?

-Good Lord!

-But you have all the designs.

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You have the Celtic rope twists, can you see on the back here?

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The lion's head represents power.

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You've got all sorts of symbols going on here.

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The original version was used for the Queen at the present coronation.

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Do you remember that?

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-Yes, I certainly do.

-Right.

-I watched it on the television.

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Wonderful. What they would do,

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they would actually dip this in anointment oil

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and then the Queen herself would have some on her head,

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-some on her hands and some on her heart. Isn't it fantastic?

-Yes.

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The reason I know it's solid silver are those hallmarks.

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-Can you see that?

-No, I don't see those.

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Just on the edge there, you see?

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And this hallmark here tells me this was made in 1902, so I should imagine

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it's been bought in celebration of the coronation of Edward VII

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-who was crowned in that year.

-Oh, I see.

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-Isn't that fantastic?

-Yes, it is.

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If we can send this to auction, if you wanted to sell it,

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I would think maybe £60-£100 to give it a chance.

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-How does that sound?

-That's lovely, yes.

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-Smashing.

-All right? Should stir things up well for the auction!

-Yes!

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Evie has decided that these fish servers, along with a collection

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of silverware that once belonged to her parents,

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can go off to auction with a price tag of £40-£60.

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-Winston Churchill's letter to Jane.

-Sorry?

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-Winston Churchill's letter to Jane. Look.

-Let's have a look.

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Wow! So who was Jane?

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-Who was Jane?

-Have you found anything?

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I think we'd better ask Evie - who was Jane?

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Jane was David's aunt, his father's sister.

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So, Evie, where is this from?

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I just found it.

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I just came across it amongst some papers that I was looking through.

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I'd never seen it before

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and it was that close to going through the shredder.

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Crikey. Now, Paul, it looks like it's on pukka paper and authentic.

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-What do you think?

-It looks dead right to me, actually.

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What a fantastic item.

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Arguably, he's Britain's greatest leader.

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He had a lot of influence during the First World War,

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he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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He was a very accomplished writer and did sketches, a wonderful artist.

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The guy is an absolute genius and a legend,

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and if you read this here, it says,

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"I am deeply touched by your kind contribution to my birthday present

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"and grateful for your good wishes. Winston Churchill."

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Isn't that fantastic?

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What I love about this, actually, is it's on official headed paper -

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10 Downing Street, Whitehall SW1, so it's official.

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So you're looking at a time either when he's been Prime Minister

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or he's been at 10 Downing Street, possibly

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as Chancellor of the Exchequer, so some time about that time.

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What a wonderful thing to have.

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How do you value something like this?

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His sketches can go into thousands of pounds.

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-Yes.

-I think, just for the signature alone,

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on Downing Street paper,

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-if I said £300, maybe up to £400, how does that sound?

-Good Lord!

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I think that's fantastic.

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It makes me go wobbly when I think how close I came to tearing it up!

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Well, it's a great help, I must say,

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because you wanted £500 towards your Art Deco bedroom project.

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This is going to help substantially and bring the total value

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of everything going to auction to £770.

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-Good Lord!

-Wow!

-Including this?

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-Yes, absolutely. So that's quite a nice little total, isn't it?

-Yes.

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Well, I for one am relieved that this letter survived intact.

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Even though this looks like the genuine article,

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we'll need to double-check it with an expert for authenticity

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before we can be absolutely sure.

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We've had a fascinating day here,

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and there are some fabulous items heading off to auction.

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That unusual set of 1950s Clarice Cliff bowls

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from the Wilkinson factory. With a subtle design,

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we're hoping someone will take them home at £60-£100.

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The captivating, late 19th-century surgeon's kit.

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Surviving over a century, it was cutting edge

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in its time and has a price tag of £50-£80.

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And the silver anointing spoon.

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A piece celebrating English history that will hopefully raise £60-£100.

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Still to come on Cash In The Attic,

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our surgeon's kit breathes life into the auction room.

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I'm just pleased they've gone, to be honest with you!

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It made me feel quite ill!

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And the Churchill letter sparks a bidding war.

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When they hold their hands up like that,

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they're very determined bidders.

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Find out what happens when the hammer falls.

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Now, it's been a few weeks since we met Evie at her home in Aylesbury

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and she had a passion for all things Art Deco,

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so we sorted out some antiques and collectibles to bring here

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to Chiswick Auction Rooms in west London.

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She's looking to raise around £500

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so she can redecorate her bedroom in the Art Deco style,

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so let's just hope the buyers are feeling very generous

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when our items go under the hammer today.

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There are over 500 lots on view in this west London auction house,

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so that means that plenty of buyers have been perusing over Evie's items.

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Unfortunately, we're without Paul today,

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which leaves me on my own to break some bad news to Evie

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and her granddaughter Katie.

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-Hello, ladies.

-Hello.

-I've been looking for you.

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-How are you?

-Good, thank you.

-Yes? All ready for auction day?

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Yes, I'm fine. We're ready.

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Now, we might be ready but we've got a little bit of disappointing news.

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-You've already heard, haven't you?

-Yes, I had a phone call.

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And what did they say to you?

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They said that it's not an original, it's a copy,

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or "facsimile" was the word they used.

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Now, I have to say, looking at that,

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it looks like an original to me, but hey, I'm not an expert

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and the auctioneers here are, so a bit of a disappointment, really.

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Big disappointment, but never mind.

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-We'll live with it.

-So what are you going to do with this now?

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Oh, yes, I still want to sell it if possible, because I don't want it,

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so if it can be sold, every little helps towards the fund.

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The auction's going to start fairly soon.

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Shall we go and get in position?

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-Yes, let's do that.

-I'll get you a catalogue and you can show me what you're looking at.

-OK, thanks.

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The auction house has reduced the valuation of the letter to £40-£60

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which is a significant difference from our original estimate.

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I just hope we haven't lost our chance to reach Evie's £500 target.

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The auction is already under way and Evie's first item is about to cross

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the auction block - the miniature cricket bat valued at £20-£50.

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£20 for it.

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£10 for it.

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10 I'm bid, at 10, 12 in the doorway. At 12, you're 15, 15, 18? 18, 20?

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£18... Whose hand is that over there?

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£20 there, thank you. 22? 22, 25?

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25, 28? 28, 30? 32, 35...

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Here we go. That's a bit more like it, isn't it?

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-Yes.

-At £32, all done?

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All out. £32 and going...

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-OK, £32. Are you pleased with that?

-Yes, very pleased.

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That's a good start.

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Our next lot is a rather nice find which we hope will net our top-end estimate from the bidders.

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Most people know Clarice Cliff from all the bright colours, the fantastic and the bizarre ranges.

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-This a hors-d'oeuvres dish, isn't it?

-Yes, more subdued colours.

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It is, but having said that,

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I think that could go quite nicely in a modern home.

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And not quite complete if I remember rightly.

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No, there's one dish missing, one of the small dishes.

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It was a big one and six small ones, and now there's only five small.

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210A, the Clarice Cliff,

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and for this 210A where shall we start?

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At £50 for it? £40 for it?

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It's Clarice Cliff. £40 for it. £30 for it, make me work.

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I'm bid at £30, 30, 32, 35, 38,

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40, 42, 45, 48,

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50, 55?

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50 bid. At £50, take 55.

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-Anybody want 60? 60, 65...70...

-Oh, a bit more.

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70, 75? £70 bid, at £70, I'll take five.

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At £70, all done?

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£70 all out? We'll do 72 for it if anybody else wants to come in.

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£70, 72, back in. 75?

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You want 75?

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No. £72, going. £72 all out? £72.

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-£72!

-I'm pleased with that.

-I should think so.

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I didn't have many hopes for it.

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-What will you put your peanuts in now?

-An empty yoghurt carton!

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She'd rather add that money towards her bedroom remodel.

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The next lot had a good showing and we were happy to see someone

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take home the 20th-century, gold-plated pocket watch for £20.

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They're here as a nice little collection for anyone that likes paperweights or glass.

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We've got "glass paperweight with coloured canes and two other weights".

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Now, one of them's Caithness but the other two are very nice quality too.

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Did you get these at the same time?

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I think the other two are older,

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but very pretty.

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Paul's put £30-£60 on them. If they sell for £30, it's only £10 each, so I'm pretty sure we should get that.

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£30, £20? A bid at £20.

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At £20, then, take 22.

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22, 25 there. Want 28?

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I've got three people bidding. 28, 30, 32 over there. 32, 35, 38?

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38, 40, 42, 45, 48?

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£45. At £45, all out?

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£45, 48 or not? £45 and going. All done? £45, your bid.

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Evie's handsome Edwardian bureau proves popular too...

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All done at £40 then?

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..selling bang on estimate at £40.

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Will the silver cutlery make it three successes in a row?

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We're looking for £40-60.

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Start me at...£50 starting bid.

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Thank you, bid at £50. At £50, take 55 now.

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-That's good.

-55, 60?

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Five, 70, five?

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£70 bid. At £70, take five.

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75. 80? Five? 90, five?

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90 bid. At £90, take five. At £90 in front of me. Are we done for £90?

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All out for £90 and going... £90.

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£90!

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That's a great result for the cutlery and takes our halftime total

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to an impressive £299.

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With six more lots to sell,

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hopefully that £500 target is within easy reach.

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If you'd like to raise money at auction for something special,

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do take note that auction houses usually charge a commission fee.

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Fees vary from saleroom to saleroom,

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so it's best to enquire well in advance.

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As the sale continues, the trio of figurines sell just over estimate.

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£45 - you've got them. £45.

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Topping up our kitty by another £45.

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Now we're up to the doctor's kit.

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Let's hope the bidders today have a stronger stomach for this than I have.

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People are dying to get these!

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-£50?

-Ha-ha! Boom-boom!

-£40?

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I'm bid at £40. At £40, take 42. £40 bid there, take two at £40.

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42, thank you. 45?

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Two doctors are in. 45, 48? 48, 50?

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-55, 60, five, 70...

-Wow!

-..five.

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£70, £70, take five if anyone else wants them. At £70 and gone. £70.

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£70!

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-That's good.

-That's a lot more than I would've thought it might go for.

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That's good, yeah.

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-Are you pleased with that?

-Yes, very pleased.

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Oh, yeah. I'm just pleased they've gone, to be honest with you!

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They made me feel quite ill.

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I'm not sure I want to know what the buyer is going to do with that,

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but I'm really glad we were able to make a good sale for Evie.

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Now, our next lot continued to bring home a decent return.

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Evie's late husband's collection of 20th-century cigarette cards

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stirred up the crowd and eventually sold for £68.

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-Your bid. £68, 466.

-Now we come to a lot that would have been

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destined for the rubbish bin if it hadn't been disguised as decoration.

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I absolutely love these things.

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You do see them come up at auction quite a bit,

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but I just think they're fantastic.

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They're these Victorian glass dumps. Now, where did you get them from?

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-Oh, I think those were inherited from an aunt.

-Right.

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And for these, £50.

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£40? I'm bid at £40. At 40, anyone want 42?

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42, 45, 48? 48, 50, 55...

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Come on!

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-More.

-50 bid. At £50, I want 52.

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Somebody else going to come in? The bid's there at £50, take two.

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At £50, all done? At £50 for the dump weights.

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At £50, is that all? Then going.

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All done at £50. It's gone then for £50.

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Oh, that was a bargain.

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Well, every pound counts today

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and Evie's silver anointing spoon finds a new home too...

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42 and going. 42 and gone.

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..albeit for slightly less than Paul's £60 estimate.

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We've just one lot left now - the Winston Churchill letter.

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Although not penned by the great man himself,

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we're still hoping for £40-60.

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Number 290A is a facsimile letter from Churchill in Downing Street,

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giving thanks for a birthday present.

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Number 290A, a facsimile, and £50 for it?

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Is it worth £20 for it?

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£20 for it. No bidders? I'm bid at £20, at 22?

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Who else wants it at £20?

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Take two at £20.

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22, 25, 28, 30,

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32, 35? At £32...

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When they hold their hands up like that,

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they're very determined bidders.

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£32, all out? Your bid at £32, going at £32 and going...

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£32. Now, what do you think of that?

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Well...yeah, OK. That will do.

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Well, I'm glad someone is paying homage

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to one of England's greatest leaders.

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Now, earlier, we were well on our way to meeting Evie's target

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and I'm hoping that she'll be happy with our final outcome.

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Right, well, I have to say that's it.

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We're done and dusted.

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You wanted £500, didn't you, to recreate that Art Deco look for your bedroom.

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Do you think we've made anything like that amount?

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Um...not quite.

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Right, OK, and what do you think, my dear?

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Um, I think about that, yeah.

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Yeah, about £500.

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Her total is £606.

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Oh, that's brilliant. Oh, that's good.

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-Yes, pleased with that.

-A bit more than you hoped?

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A bit more than I expected, yes, so, all in all, I can go shopping now.

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Evie's been hard at work transforming this previously

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cluttered space into the Art Deco bedroom of her dreams.

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Today, Evie has come to some London antique shops,

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looking for some Art Deco glamour

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to add to her own home-decorating project.

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I've found lots of things that I really like.

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The lamps were gorgeous but more than I could afford to pay,

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but they have got some lovely, lovely things.

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Lovely furniture as well. So I will be back.

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Retired accountant Evie Nightingale wants to take her love of design to the next level with a bedroom makeover. She hopes Lorne Spicer and Paul Hayes will help lift her project off the ground. Will the collectables they find in her south London home be transformed into much-needed cash?