Jennie Bond and Jonty Hearnden visit the home of retired teacher Marie McNulty. She wants to help her children renovate their family holiday home in France.
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Welcome to the show that hunts out hidden treasures and helps you sell them at auction.
Most of us inherit bits and pieces over the years, handed down through the generations.
Some of them you like, some of them perhaps you don't.
But the big question is always, what are they worth?
Are you maybe sitting on a gold mine?
Well, find out whether the lady we're about to meet is doing just that on today's Cash In The Attic.
On today's Cash In The Attic, our expert, Jonty Hearnden,
is in his element when he sees this fine example of Edwardian Royal Worcester.
I have to say, your husband had a fantastic eye. He knew exactly what to look for.
He certainly did, yes.
And he's astounded by a customer who has realistic expectations.
So how do you feel about that?
That's perfectly all right, because it's no use pushing for a price that you're not going to get.
-She's a model customer!
-Music to my ears.
On auction day, will a very forceful auctioneer help the bidders part with their cash?
We are not moving to the next lot until you bid. Come on.
Find out what happens when the hammer falls.
I'm on my way to meet a lady who's called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help raise funds for a makeover with a French twist.
Marie McNulty from St Helens in Merseyside is a very busy lady, with a strong creative streak.
Although retired from years teaching PE and art, she likes to spend her time painting.
There's also the sewing, gardening, not to mention her work with the local rugby club and parish council.
Sadly, Marie was widowed six years ago and since then,
she's lived in this Edwardian house with her daughter, Fiona, and grandson, Colin.
She wants to raise money for some work on a holiday home,
so her best friend, Nancy, is here to help us with our search.
And hopefully Jonty will discover some real gems.
What a very homely scene. This is what we do in St Helens, is it?
-So, obviously, Marie.
And Nancy. You're obviously good friends. How long have you known each other?
51 years, yes, 1950...bleugh!
If you say it very quickly!
-A seriously long time.
All right, so why have you called us in?
Right, well, my son and daughter have a house in France, in Burgundy, and the house needs painting.
Well, how much money do you think we might be able to raise?
Well, hopefully I would quite like to raise 750, but if I make any more, that's a bonus.
Right, so we're looking for £750 so that lovely house can get painted
and you don't have to do it yourself, yeah?
-They might have me up the ladder, you know!
-They definitely will!
Come on, then, let's go. Let's leave your handicrafts behind and get rummaging.
Marie's children, Fiona and Ian, are very fortunate to have such a thoughtful mum
and a dad who seems to have had an eye for quality items.
With 20 years' experience in the antiques trade,
it's perhaps no surprise that Jonty has already spotted the first one.
Hey, look, he's already at work.
Hi. There is glass, glass, glass everywhere.
-She told me about that.
-It was your husband that collected glass?
I have found a wonderful pair of glass goblets, but there's a bit of a catch.
Let me hand you that.
-Yes, I know.
-But this one, I'm sure you're aware...
-I am aware.
..has been broken in the past.
If you look closely, there's a steel rod that runs from the goblet all the way through to the stem.
What do you know about these goblets?
We always thought that they were Venetian, but I can be wrong on that.
-Well, you're very warm.
-You're very warm.
And I can see clearly why someone might think they're from Venice,
-but they're from Vienna.
Because the glass from Venice was so superior for such a long period of time,
of course other glass makers of the 19th century were inspired by what they did.
I mean, they're so ornate.
-This is all enamelled.
Now, when it comes to value,
-really, we're looking at £80-£120 for the pair.
-Well, that's fine, yes.
I'm quite happy with that.
'So, an impressive £80 in the kitty already. In the bedroom,
'I'm taken back to an age of elegance when I come across these early 20th-century accessories,
'including handbags and Victorian gloves.'
Marie used to play with these when she was little but at £50-£80,
she's happy for them to go to auction.
Over the years, he collected all sorts of bits and pieces that caught his eye in auctions,
including Jonty's next find.
Nancy, can you have a look at this barometer with me?
-Oh, yes, yes.
-Do you think Marie might be interested in selling this?
Oh, yes, possibly, yes.
From what I can recall, Jack bought it from a house sale a long time ago.
He had quite a fine eye - this is another beautiful object.
-It's a wheel barometer.
Wheel barometers were first invented in the 17th century,
but they were popularised in this country in the late 18th century.
Let's have a look at the maker.
It says down here "G Cattelli,"
-from, not Italy, but Hereford.
Now, a lot of Italian names appear on barometers of this era,
simply because a lot of Italian glass blowers and instrument makers
came to this country in the late 18th century.
So it's not unusual to find an Italian maker's name on a British barometer of this period.
-When I say this period, this will have been made about 200 years ago.
So value for this at auction is a hot £250-£300.
-Is that good news?
-I think so, Marie will be pleased with that.
Excellent, let's carry on. Okey doke.
'Well, that's a very good price for the barometer.'
Jonty's reminded of Marie's artistic side when he spies
these three watercolours, which she bought from an antique shop some years ago.
He thinks they could fetch £40-£60 on the day.
It looks quite promising for that much-needed paint job on the holiday home in France,
but for the time being, Marie shows me one of her own very accomplished creations.
-Hello, what have you got?
-This is one of my paintings.
-We've been looking at other people's paintings, so I thought I should have a little turn.
-I love the colours.
-Yes, everybody says that about it.
-They're beautiful. And of course you were an art teacher for many years, were you not?
Most of my teaching was done in junior level.
-So, have you always lived in St Helens?
When I was first married, my husband was in the Fleet Air Arm,
and I was sort of like back at home with my parents,
because Jack wasn't old enough to have a married quarter.
You had to be 25.
-How old were you when you met your husband?
-Where did you meet exactly?
-Well, we met at a dance.
We were both going out with somebody else.
He came across, the first dance, picked me up for the dance,
and at the end of the dance, he said, "Can I take you home?"
And I kind of was so surprised to be asked that after the first dance, I said yes.
-So what did your boyfriend think about that?
-Well, I never saw him again, actually.
-I'm not surprised!
-We just got on so well, you know, we talked all night,
we danced all night, and he took me home, and that was it.
Some people know what they like as soon as they see it, don't they?
And for Jonty, it's this collection of early 20th-century cranberry glassware,
including a decanter with a clear glass stopper and a silver tapered scent bottle.
Jonty reckons it should sell for £60-£80 at auction.
Then Nancy spies this early 20th-century Pilkington Pottery bowl by the designer, Gladys Rogers.
Marie's late husband, Jack, bought the bowl for her in the 1980s
and although it's in need of some restoration,
it should still give us £20-£40 at auction.
Marie, I love these paperweights you've got.
-Aren't they so colourful?
-Look of those.
How many years have you been collecting these?
Years and years, I just can't think how long we've been collecting these. Jack loved paperweights.
I wasn't that bothered, really.
So do you have any favourites?
-I like this little tiny one.
-Very colourful that, isn't it? Lovely.
Do they have any intrinsic value, paperweights? They're very common, aren't they?
Yes, but you can pay an awful lot of money for a rare, good-quality paperweight.
There were two golden eras when paperweights were made.
The first was between 1840 and 1860,
when all the major manufacturers of the time produced paperweights because they were fashionable.
-She knows, she knows.
-I do know, yes.
-You're aware of that?
You've got Baccarat from France, you've got Whitefriars, you've got all sorts of wonderful names.
Looking across here, I'd suggest that the vast majority, if not all of them,
were made post the Second World War, because that's the second golden era.
Can we sell this whole collection?
Yes, you certainly can.
I suppose we're looking between £100-£150 for the collection?
That's fine, that's absolutely fine.
But will the bidders take a shine to them at auction?
Where are you going to start me? 50, quickly, for a start.
They take ages to start.
I know, come on!
'And will the items raise enough money to do that much-needed maintenance
'on her children's holiday home in France?'
-Nobody likes them.
Well, the thrill of the auction is still to come,
but we need to find another £150 before we reach Marie's goal.
So, onwards and upwards.
Marie finds the next two items - this rosewood sewing box, which has been in the family for many years
and a mahogany writing slope bought in the 1950s by her late husband, Jack.
They're mid-Victorian, very desirable, and Jonty thinks the pair should fetch £40-£60.
'And this Wedgwood-style blue ceramic jardiniere by Adams has caught my eye.
'It's early 20th century and was given to Jack by his Aunt Dorothy.
'Marie's happy to send it to auction for £30-£50.'
-Jonty, have you got a minute?
I've got something here I think might be quite good.
Another little treasure! Isn't that beautiful?
So, that's a lovely ceramic porcelain ewer, which is far more delicate a name than "jug," I think.
-It's a nicer word!
And, very excitingly, we've got the stamp of Royal Worcester on the underside.
Isn't that lovely? Now, do we have an artist's signature?
The painter's signature there. That's RJ Bray.
He's a known decorator of the Royal Worcester factory.
He was around at the turn of the last century,
and on the underside here we should have a series of dots.
-And if I look at that closely, that is probably around the 1910-1912 mark.
-Oh, that's good!
-So it's Edwardian.
-Where was this from?
-From the same auction that my husband got all the other things from.
-Your husband had a fantastic eye. He knew exactly what to look for.
-He certainly did, yes.
Now, the wonderful thing about this is that because it's made by Royal Worcester
and we have a known artist that has signed the work,
-it's worth between £100 and £200.
-Isn't that lovely?
So we can definitely sell this?
That's fantastic to today's haul,
but Marie hasn't finished yet and digs out a boxed set of 12 gold spoons with Roman gods decoration.
Jonty packs them off to auction with an estimate of £80-£120.
'I'm sure we must have topped Marie's target with those last two finds.
'But while I'm doing my calculations in the piano room, Jonty jumps in with a question.'
-Marie, can you tell me about this lovely table?
-Gosh, that is beautiful.
-Is this a table we can sell?
It certainly is, yes. My father bought it.
My mother's face!
She quite liked the top, but when she looked underneath, she said,
-"Who's going to dust all that?"
-The answer was...?
The answer was me. Mind you, when you're about six or seven...
-You think it's important.
-..you don't mind doing things like that.
-Your mother wasn't impressed when your father bought this.
-She was not!
-Shall we have a look at this table in detail?
It can only be Victorian. It's completely OTT and the whole thing is on four casters.
The reason why it's on casters is that it can be folded up and folded into the corner of a room.
Let me show you what I mean. Underneath here should be a gate.
There we go. It's quite stiff.
But up it comes, up it tilts.
This is a proper characteristic of English tables.
-Is it going to do well at the auction?
-It will definitely sell,
but what has happened to Victorian furniture over the last five, maybe ten years is that prices have fallen.
The auction price at the moment, we are looking at £300-£500.
So, how do you feel about that?
That's perfectly all right, because it's no use pushing for a price that you're not going to get.
She's a model customer!
Music to my ears.
Now, you were looking for £750, we said at the start of the day.
That was our target, so you can get the house in France beautifully painted.
Based on Jonty's lowest estimates of everything we've found today,
-we reckon you will make your target.
With a fair wind behind us, you'll actually make £1,150!
-That's brilliant, isn't it? Lovely, yes. Splendid!
Well, Jonty certainly saves the best till last, and if his valuations are correct,
we're in for a great day at the auction in a few weeks.
We're hoping that the colourful collection of paperweights will fetch a very welcome £100-£150.
At £80-£120, that modern set of Roman-themed spoons
should do well when they're offered up for sale.
And we think that £250-£350 is a fair price
for that impressive early 19th-century barometer.
Find out how they all get on when the final hammer falls.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, Marie's hopes of reaching her target
are dealt a blow when Jonty delivers some worrying news.
-We have a major problem with our Pilkington bowl. It's cracked.
And Marie gets a little frustrated with the bidders.
Oh, come on!
Ooh, she's cross now! She's cross!
You know, we had a really merry day with Marie and Nancy in St Helens
and we've brought the items we found here, to Frank Marshall auction rooms at Knutsford in Cheshire.
This old Victorian schoolhouse in the centre of Knutsford
is a fitting place to hold regular sales of antiques and fine art.
The auctions here are divided into two.
The bidders are already taking their seats for the small-items sale,
but we find Marie and Nancy downstairs, in the furniture section.
-Gotcha! How are you?
-How are you doing?
-Very excited about the whole thing.
Hopefully we are going to sell lots of goodies today,
but is there any one particular item that you really are sad to see go?
Yes, I think the table. I'm very fond of it.
Just haven't got room for it.
It is a beautiful piece, isn't it?
You can hear the auction's already started, so let's get our place.
-Come on, follow me.
£40 and away.
We sneak in quietly and stand right at the back, just in time for Marie's first lot.
Your Viennese goblets coming up.
-One is damaged, a bit wibbly-wobbly.
Right, where are we going to be for these?
£100 for them? 80?
-Come on, come on.
-Where do you want to be?
60. The bid's outside. 5 anywhere?
At 65. At £60. 5 bidding? 65.
70. Outside the door at 70.
-I think he's going to sell.
Here to sell, then. Going at 70.
At just £10 under Jonty's lower estimate
and considering one was quite badly damaged,
it's not a bad start to the day.
I wonder what the bidders will make of Marie's next lot.
So, this lot is three watercolours by the same artist, all of Parisian scenes.
Are we all done? Last chances at 25.
£15 under Jonty's lowest estimate.
That's a bit disappointing. They seem to be a cautious crowd here.
I wonder what they'll think of Marie's next offering,
the Pilkington glazed bowl with an estimate of £20-£40.
We have a major problem with our Pilkington bowl.
-It is. Yes.
I didn't realise it was until you...pinged it like that.
-Are you implying that Jonty actually pinged it a bit too hard?
-Oh, no! No, no.
20 I've seen. At £20. Take two.
Bid's just in the doorway. 22.
-25. 28. £30. 32. 35.
On the right in the doorway at 35.
Any more? 38. Fresh bidder. £40. 42.
-This is very good.
50. £50 in the doorway. He shakes his head at 50. Any advance now?
Last chance now. Last chances. At £50.
It goes to show that when something is quite collectable,
a slight imperfection is overlooked.
Next up are my favourites.
I love these. It's the paperweights.
I just hope someone likes them as much as I do and we get £100-£150,
which is a lot of money, but I think they're really lovely.
Where you are you going to start? 50 quickly for a start.
-They take ages to start!
-I know! Come on!
-Nobody likes them.
£40. Take 5. 45. 50. 55. 60.
65. 70. 75.
-Nobody likes to be first!
At £75. It's in the doorway. At £75.
I really thought they'd fetch a higher price,
but Marie and Nancy don't seem too worried.
'Will the Roman spoons, estimate £80-£120,
'be more to the taste of the Knutsford bidders?'
At 65, lady's bid.
At £65. I'm selling at 65.
-Ah. Just a bit under.
-A bit, yes.
"Just under the lowest estimate"
is starting to be a recurring theme today.
Let's hope the next item breaks the pattern.
It's the blue Adams jardiniere, priced at £30-£50.
The only problem is there's a slight hairline crack on the underneath.
-I didn't realise.
-We have another damaged piece of ceramic,
but we did quite well on the last one,
so I'm hoping we'll do very well on this one.
#£30 and start me. 30? 20? Come on!
Obviously, no-one else thinks so.
Let's bid. Come on, somebody.
-Come on, come on...
-10?! Come on!
-We're not moving to the next lot until you've bid. Come on.
No? Anybody got 10?
Quickly! Who takes a fancy to it?
Anybody? Well done! 10. I've got 12 now, as well.
Are you bidding as well?
Come on, keep going! 12?
Don't stop there. Come on, 14.
I'm the boss, you know. 14 the lady has bid.
At 14. Any advance?
-On the right-hand side at £14.
Well, at least it sold,
so Marie doesn't have to take it back with her.
And it's taken us £14 closer to her target.
We're halfway through the sale, and have notched up £299 towards Marie's target of £750.
So we're well on our way.
And if you'd like to follow in her footsteps and try to raise some money by selling at auction,
do check with the saleroom in advance,
as there are various charges to be paid, including commission,
and each auction is different.
Next on the podium is Marie's barometer.
It's one of our star items,
and Jonty's hopeful it'll reach his estimate.
£100 I'm bid. Take 10.
110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160.
Any advance? Anybody else?
Still half-price. 200.
Seated in the centre. At £200 I have.
Any more? Last chances now. At £200.
-Has he sold it?
Well, that's all right. That's fine.
Well, Jack paid £35 for that.
Now you tell us! Now you tell us!
Well, that's a very good profit for Marie
?and it's added a huge chunk to our running total.
Next up is the Victorian wooden writing slope and sewing box.
These are perfect for dealers, and the room is full of dealers.
£60, front-row bidder.
All done at 60?
I can't bear it. You were right.
He was, wasn't he? Spot-on, in fact.
What about the next Victorian collection -
the handbags and gloves that Marie used to play with as a child?
70. Commission bidder, then.
Jonty's estimate was perfect again. And next up,
is his idea of perfection,
the Royal Worcester ewer.
One of Jonty's favourite pieces, and it was Jack's, as well - the ewer.
Yeah. Yes, he loved it.
How have you managed to keep this one in such good condition? You've cracked everything else!
-I'm sorry, that was cruel.
Start me at £100 for it, surely. 100? £80, come on.
You can appreciate quality there, surely.
£60 to start it. Come on. 60. Thank you.
At £60. Any more now? 65. 70.
75. 80. 85.
No? £100 in the doorway. I'll take another. 105.
And 10, sir? 110. 115.
They recognise the quality.
120. And 5. 130. 5.
He's going rather slow. Only two people want it.
160. 5. No? 165 in the front.
Any more? Last chances now.
That's certainly given us something to celebrate.
But there's no time to stop now.
It's the early 20th-century cranberry glass collection next,
in the catalogue for £60-£80.
Where are you going to be?
£60 for the lot, and start me?
-Oh, come on.
-40, let's go.
-Who's got £40?
You're making me work hard today, aren't you? Come on! £30, quickly, come on.
-That'll do for a start.
-Oh, we've got 25.
35. I'll tell you when to stop.
-8? It's worth every penny.
-Come on, come on.
No? Quite sure? 45 the standing bidder in the left-hand corner.
Any advance now on 45?
HAMMER FALLS Disappointing.
Do you know, it's worth it for that little, tiny vinaigrette.
I think Marie's just glad to see the back of all that glassware.
No more cleaning!
Our last item at the auction downstairs, is the only one she's reluctant to part with -
the Victorian walnut-veneer tilting table.
She's put a reserve on it of £250.
170 standing. 180 against you, sir.
190. 200. 210. 220. 230. 240. 250.
In the room at 250. Booked out.
With you, sir, at £250 in the room.
Anyone else? 260. Back against you.
At 260. Seated on my left at 260.
Any further bids? All done? All finished?
260 I'm selling now.
-HAMMER FALLS Well done.
-How do you feel?
-Only a tenner more.
-That's all right.
-Is that all right?
At just £10 over Marie's reserve, she almost took it back home.
But that £260 has added a substantial amount to her target.
I wonder how close we are.
Well, we started out wanting £750
so you can do a bit of work on your daughter's house in France.
-I'll put you out of your misery. You have made £1,099!
-Oh, my goodness!
That's brilliant, isn't it?
Here in the village of Genouilly in Burgundy
is where Marie's daughter, Fiona, bought the family holiday home.
They've managed to paint it, which has brightened it up,
but there are always other little jobs that need doing.
When she said she was going to help, we were really chuffed.
She loves coming over here, so she thought we'd all benefit from it.
So they've decided to use the money from the auction to tackle the garden.
Well, we need to get a tree surgeon out, because this tree, the mirabelle plum,
is in a terrible state, as you can see.
I'm also going to have the bottom two parts of the garden cut right down,
because they're a bit of a wilderness.
Retired teacher Marie McNulty wants to help her children renovate their family holiday home in France. She invites Jennie Bond and Jonty Hearnden to look through the collectables in her Merseyside home, to raise the funds at auction.