Gloria Hunniford visits the Isle of Wight to meet keen traveller Sandy Plowright, who hopes a lifetime of collecting can help fund a trip to the Antarctic.
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Hello! Welcome to the programme that searches your home for antiques and collectibles.
We take them to auction, sell them and hopefully make good money.
Today, I've had a sneak preview around the home
that we'll be rummaging and they need a bit of a clear out,
but I have found marvellous things like this vase,
so let's hope that we find further exciting items to take to auction
and hopefully raise a lot of cash in the attic.
Coming up on today's Cash In The Attic,
we're spoiled for choice in a house full of beautiful antiques.
You could actually use this, couldn't you? You could put it
in a bathroom, if you were into that sort of thing.
John takes a shine to some miniature Army vehicles.
Look at the condition! It doesn't look like it's ever been played with.
And there's reason to celebrate come auction day.
-They were bidding fast.
-That's a good chunk?
-It is a good chunk, yeah.
But will we still be all smiles at the end of the day?
Find out when the final hammer falls.
Today, I'm near Cowes on the lovely Isle of Wight
and we're about to meet a mother and daughter
who really need to clear some items out of their house
to make a bit more space.
In selling those items, they're going to raise money
for a fabulous, adventurous holiday.
Sandy Plowright moved to the Isle of Wight 11 years ago
and today lives in this delightful property
on the north of the island with her second husband, Ant.
Sandy has three children from a previous marriage,
including 24-year-old Elly, who's on hand to help today.
Sandy's career has been in nursing but her great passion in life
is travel and a recent cruise to the Arctic Circle
has inspired her next adventure. Our expert, John Cameron,
hasn't had to travel too far from his home in Hampshire to join us
and, from the little I've seen already, I can tell you
he's going to have his work cut out.
Hey, I hear the rustling of paper!
How are you? Sandy, good to see you.
-Elly, of course, how are you?
-I'm fine, thank you.
I had a little peep around your house before
-and you need a bit of help, don't you?
Where did you get all this stuff from?
It's inherited from friends and family.
Mum lived here and she brought her stuff and my grandparents' stuff,
the kids have left home and left their stuff here.
-As you can see, we're absolutely overcrowded.
-Basically you've got everybody's stuff.
Everybody's stuff is still here, yes, indeed.
How much money would you like to raise?
I'd like to raise about £700 towards the trip that I'm planning.
I know it's an adventurous holiday, but how adventurous?
Very adventurous. I want to go to the Antarctic.
I've done the Arctic Circle, we went on a cruise around the coast of Norway, and up to Kirkenes
and I've been to the North Cape, so now I want to go to the south.
-Elly, do you get to go on this holiday?
I get to go home and look after the dog.
So you get to do all the work today,
all the rummaging, and you don't get the holiday.
Yeah, but she deserves a treat at the end.
That's a very nice thing for a daughter to say.
-So, will we go and find John?
This intriguing three-bedroomed house
is converted from two old coastal cottages.
It's like a warren full of fascinating objects.
John's already made his way through to one of the three living rooms
and is immediately drawn, as I was,
to that magnificent vase on the mantelpiece.
Oh, there you are.
-John, meet your hostess today.
Sandy and her daughter, Elly.
I've got some interesting items. We've got three vases.
-If I can hand that one to you, please, Elly.
-No dropping, please.
If you hold that one, Sandy.
We can chat about them. They're all Doulton, they're Royal Doulton.
-They date from the 20th century.
-I absolutely adore the colours,
particularly the green. Isn't that a gorgeous green?
Fantastic, nice olive green, very typical of the Edwardian period.
These pots would be thrown by hand
on a potter's wheel, in the traditional way
before the decoration is applied or moulded onto them
and then glazed and fired. This one here, I know by the mark,
but the decoration tells me it's early 20th century.
This piece here is very much in the style
of the 1920s with these little lovebirds here.
And the one Elly's holding?
-Again, that dates from the same period as this so we're looking at 1902 to 1920.
-How much, John?
We haven't got a pair of any of them, which is a shame,
so I'd put them all together.
Estimate-wise, they'd comfortably get away at between £200 and £300.
Well, you can't rest on your laurels yet.
We have a lot more rummaging to do.
Thank goodness I'm not putting them back on the mantelpiece,
I'd break them. They are lovely.
So we'll go and hunt some more.
'What an amazing start to our rummage here on the Isle of Wight.
'John decides to tackle one of the bedrooms
'and uncovers a treasure chest full of pearls,
'all costume jewellery, but lovely, nevertheless.
'Some of it belonged to Sandy's grandmother
'and dates back to the 1930s.
'John thinks a collector would be more happy
'to pay £100 to £150 for them.'
-What have you found there?
I've got an interesting little collection of pottery, featuring
lots of bunnies or Bunnykins, this one in particular.
What's the story, where's it all come from?
It's come from various places, my mum started collecting them
when there was various children's christenings.
-Just an accumulation.
-When I first saw it, I thought,
"Great, a little collection of Bunnykins pottery,"
but on closer inspection, I realise only one piece is actual true Bunnykins,
the rest have been made by factories such as Wedgwood,
Windsor, but it started with Doulton, that was the original Bunnykins.
They were instantly popular as christening gifts and
Queen Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret,
both had these as items as children. Mr and Mrs Bunnykins on a raft there.
This is the only piece and sadly it's got a bit of a chip in it.
I still think they could make a lot at auction.
But because they're not all Bunnykins, we've only got one piece,
-I suggest an estimate of about £30 to £50.
-OK, sounds good.
-Shall we continue rummaging?
-We shall indeed.
Well despite John's early excitement, £30 to £50 is still
another respectable addition to the Antarctic travel fund.
Now until very recently, these 20th century prints
had been kept behind a radiator.
They were inherited from a family friend
and are copies of paintings by F Gordon Crosby,
a very well-known racing car illustrator.
John thinks that this pair of signed prints could fetch £30 to £40.
The dog, by the way, not included.
Oh, what have you got there, Elly?
That looks like something I would have had as a small boy.
These are certainly very interesting. You can see this is a gun battery.
It's made by Astra, not a hugely well-known company today,
although, back in the 1930s, they would have been very popular.
These were originally made to fire something.
They were spring loaded, you could put little matchsticks,
which I wouldn't advocate doing today.
It certainly wouldn't pass health and safety, that's for sure.
What else have we got? We've got the gun.
This looks like a fantastic military vehicle.
Let's have a quick look in the box. Look at that, it's fantastic.
It doesn't look like it's ever been played with.
You often see toys turning up at auction with paintwork touched up.
These do look in great condition.
-There's your transporter for moving the heavy equipment around.
What have we got here? We've got another name here. This is Britain's.
So we've got six of them. We've got three Britains and three Astras.
They're absolutely superb. What you have thought something like these were worth?
-I really don't know at all.
-Would it surprise you if I said they should
easily make £200 to £300 for these six here?
Yes, I would never have thought that.
Just as well there are lots of boys out there
-who've never grown up, isn't it?
But will the big boys be out in force come auction day?
At £190, the invisible man.
You just keep saying, "Yes." 230?
You'll just have to keep watching.
John is up in a bedroom, and from behind a wardrobe,
he pulls out two canvas posters.
They're vintage advertisements for an Edinburgh-based shoe company
and knowing that there are collectors for such items,
John values them at £30 to £40.
Then downstairs, our travel fanatic Sandy has found an item
that's made a good few journeys itself.
Look what I've found. What do you think about this?
Now that looks interesting. What is it and where did it come from?
It's from the London-Brighton South Coast Railway
and I bought it at a model exhibition in Brighton.
-Where did the interest in railways start?
-I've always had it.
We used to go round all the Welsh railways, but particularly...
The London-Brighton South Coast.
As you've said, it's on here, the London-Brighton South Coast Railway.
The carriage blind circa 1900.
So this is a blind from a carriage.
If we open it up we can see that the design is very much
of that period and what a wonderful monogram there on the blind.
We can see exactly where it came from.
It's a lovely thing.
Not only is it interesting railwayana but you could actually use this.
You could put it in a bathroom, perhaps,
if you were into that sort of thing.
There is a very good market for railwayana,
certainly things like the signage that adorn various stations.
The pinnacle are probably the nameplates off
the old locomotives, some of which can make thousands of pounds.
Slightly more humble is our little blind here
but I certainly think
an estimate of £40 to £60 is tempting enough to get the bidders going.
Where it will stop, I don't know.
We've got ourselves an excellent lot. What else have you got in there?
Sandy uncovers a very attractive clock that dates from the 1930s.
It's what's known as an anniversary clock
and I would like it because it only has to be wound up once a year.
John is confident that it will raise £60 to £80 at auction.
'Elly's found 25 silver ingots from the Queen's Jubilee.
'John values the collection at a very impressive £100-150.'
Sandy, we want to go to Antarctica,
and also I see you've been to Egypt, so when was that?
That was in 2004.
We did a cruise down the Nile first, and then we went to Cairo
and stayed in his fabulous hotel just next to the Pyramids.
I actually went into a pyramid.
Just the experience of a lifetime, absolutely.
What is it in your psyche that makes you want something
that's exotic, something that's very different for your holiday?
Well, I'm not a lay on the beach, I don't really like hot countries,
and I like to be moving about on holidays.
I don't just go to relax, I suppose.
Most of our holidays are adventure holidays.
For instance, Abu Simbel,
we were up at two in the morning to fly to Abu Simbel to see the sunrise,
which was absolutely fantastic.
What's the big major appeal about going to Antarctica?
I've always been interested in Shackleton and his journeys,
and I'd like to see where he went, basically,
and follow in his footsteps if possible, see what he saw.
-My husband doesn't want to go.
-So who are you going to take?
Number one son wants to go, Andy wants to go, so it will be he and I.
-So poor Elly doesn't get to go after all.
-She looks after the dog.
-She drew the short straw.
-She certainly did.
Let's find her, she's been very good at unearthing some stuff.
Well, nobody would mind looking after such a sweet little dog,
Sandy throws herself back into the search,
and digs out five gold rings,
set with different-coloured stones.
John thinks it's a good jewellery dealer's lot,
and values them at £200-£300.
I'm having a look through an old dresser,
and I find a really unusual torch.
It's actually a diver's submarine electric torch made by Siebe Gorman,
famous manufacturers of diving equipment.
Now, it's no more than 40 years old,
but John thinks it could fetch £50-70 at auction.
'The end of our rummage is now in sight,
'but John's made one final find.'
So you've settled on the settle, have you, John?
Well, I'm hoping so, but I'm just about to ask a few questions about it, about its age.
If you look at the piece, it looks quite old, doesn't it?
-Well, that's because it's been made of reclaimed parts.
Now, looking at the actual seat, the arms and the supports,
they suggest to me 19th century. They've got a very smooth finish.
I think they've been machine-finished.
-It's oak, isn't it?
-It is oak, it's an oak settle.
Why did they call it a settle?
Because I think you settled down on them.
-That would be my guess.
But anyway, a settle like this should be made a certain way,
frame and panel construction. So if we look at this central panel,
we can see it's got three panels, but traditionally you would have,
like this here, you would have another rail here
and three separate panels that would be sat in a groove,
free moving, so that if any shrinkage occurs, they don't split,
they can move freely in that groove.
But the top, the back panel and the front are one solid piece,
so this part and the front panel have been reclaimed,
possibly from a church, in the 19th century and re-used.
They were recycling back then, I'm glad to say.
Well, move along a bit, Elly, because I'm getting to
my bit of telling you exactly what you might have raised today,
but first of all I want to know what you think you might get for this piece at auction.
Well, given it's a bit of a hybrid, we do have different ages,
I'm going to suggest 200-300 as an estimate.
What do you think of that, Sandy?
-That's good, that's absolutely good.
-You're not disappointed in that?
No, not really, I had no idea what it would be worth, anyway, so...
I've been doing my sums as we've been going along,
I've added in this price.
You wanted to have £700 for this exotic holiday to the Antarctica.
I'm very pleased to tell you that you have...
That's going to buy you a bit extra to go on your trip, isn't it?
It will, it will. Crikey!
Happiness all round,
and what an amazing rummage we've had here on the Isle of Wight.
Going to auction, we had the collection of costume jewellery,
with a price tag of £100-£150,
the lovely Royal Doulton vases which John hopes
will raise upwards of their £200 estimate.
Then, of course, the Astra and Britain military toys.
If the auction goers like them half as much as John does,
we should be able to smash their £200 estimate.
'Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
'there's anticipation as some more of our unusual items go under the hammer...'
I don't think I've ever witnessed a torch being sold at auction before.
'..and amazement at some unexpected results.'
-Are you stunned?
It's been quite some time since we met Sandy and
her daughter Elly at their home here on the Isle of Wight.
We've brought their interesting collectibles and items
to Island Auctions here on the island.
Sandy is hoping to raise about £700 so that she and her son
can go on a wonderful trip to the Antarctic.
I hope it works, and I hope there are some very eager bidders
when her items go under the hammer.
These auction rooms hold a sale of antiques and collectibles
once a month, and today there's something like 700 lots on offer.
And I have to say, I'm really excited about today's auction.
Our mother and daughter have already found one of their items on show.
-Sandy and Elly, how nice to see you again.
I have to say that I did not put you down as a railway enthusiast.
You've kept it in very good nick.
Well, it's been hidden in a cupboard for many years.
-So it's time to go, really.
-It's time to go.
So if you want to make lots of money for that trip to the Antarctic with your son, we better get to work.
All right, we'll go this way to our little position.
With the auctioneers in position on the podium, we get ready for our first lot of the day.
It's the nostalgic array of children's bowls
that includes a rather collectible example by Royal Doulton.
Who'll start me? £40 and away?
£28 on commission I'm bid, 28, 30 anywhere?
It's a start.
30, 32, 34.
36, 38? 38, 40?
At 38, straight ahead of me at 38, 40 anywhere?
40, 42? At £40, in the window at 40, then, have you all finished?
At £40, then, I sell in the window at 40.
That's a perfect start.
'I couldn't have put it better myself, Sandy.
'£40 is right in the middle of John's estimate,
'and we have our first contribution towards our Antarctic expedition.
'Our next lot is rather unusual. It's a pair of 20th century
'promotional posters for an Edinburgh shoe company.
We're looking for £30-40.
Nice lot, someone start me at £40 and away.
£35 I'm bid on commission, 35.
36, 38? 38, 40, 42?
42, 44? 44, 46, 48, 50?
50, 5, 60...
At 55 below me, then, 60, 5, 70?
70, 5, 80, 5, 90...
Well, somebody must know about them!
100, 110, 120.
At 110 below me, then. Have you all finished?
At 110, then, I sell at 110.
What a result!
Isn't that fantastic?
'It's actually unbelievable,
'and almost three times their top estimate.'
'We've had quite a start to our day on the Isle of Wight,
'with £150 in the pot after just two items.
'I'm hoping our luck continues with the railway carriage blind.
30 I'm bid, 30, 5, 40.
40, 5, 50.
At 45, away from me at 45, then, a bit of history at 45.
Have you all finished at £45?
-Now, what did you pay for it?
19 quid she paid for that, so that a good result, isn't it?
'That's our third item in a row to sell over estimate,
'and the signed racing-car prints quickly follow suit.'
36, 38, 40.
At £38 on my left, have you all finished at 38, then?
I sell, then, at £38.
'They sell just £2 shy of their top estimate.
'I have to say,
'John's valuations have been right on the money so far,
'but I'll be interested to see how accurate he is with our next lot.
'It's the 1960s diver's torch.'
I don't think I've ever witnessed
a torch being sold at auction before,
but I know nothing about torches, so what's the news?
Well, Siebe Gorman were a very famous manufacturer
of diving equipment, and they are known the world over.
There are collectors that will pay thousands of pounds for the right Siebe Gorman helmet.
These torches are slightly later, but they are wonderful things.
You can't get them any more except at auction,
so I think £50-70 is relatively cheap.
70, 75, 80,
85, 90? At 85, away from me at 85.
90 in the room? 90, 95, 100?
-100 on the phone.
-It's just... It's on the phone!
100, 110. 120?
120, 130, 140.
-Are you shocked?
No? At 130.
In the room at 130. 140 anywhere?
£130 on my right. 130.
There it goes at 130.
You were right!
Elly, you're astounded, just like your mum. What do you think?
Incredible. I'll never look at a torch in the same light again.
It just goes to show you never know what might happen at auction.
There's another healthy addition to our kitty
when the 1930s clock goes under the hammer.
Have you all finished at 75 then?
It goes at £75.
'Selling just £5 short of its top estimate,
'we're halfway through the sale and we've made an impressive £438
'towards our £700 target. Great going so far.
'Now, if like Sandy, you have a special reason to raise some cash,
'and you're thinking of heading off to auction,
'then always remember that fees like commission and VAT may apply,
'so do check details with your auction house before you go.
'As the auction here continues,
'it's time for our next lot.'
You've got a nice bit
of jewellery on you today.
How have you amassed all this over the years?
It's come from several people. My mum, my grandparents...
What do you make of this, John?
We've put it in as one lot, as there's a real demand for good pieces of costume jewellery.
-What have you put it on for?
-Right, let's see.
At £100. Down below me at 100.
120? 110, then.
Have you all finished at £110, then?
I sell then on my left at 110.
120. He comes again.
130. 140. It's a good lot. 140.
150? At 140, then.
I sell at 140.
Yes! Now, that's a result.
Again we sell just short of the top estimate.
And the three Royal Doulton vases quickly follow suit,
selling for just under John's £200 valuation.
Let's hope the bidders have money left for our next item.
It's that fabulous collection of model army vehicles.
I would have loved these
when I was a little boy,
but I'm telling you that they wouldn't be
in the superb condition that they are if I'd had them.
We've got six of them in the lot, and we're looking for £200-£300.
I think they're cracking.
£100, I'm bid. 110 anywhere?
110. 120. 120.
-130 on the stairs.
-A few bids.
130. 140. 150. 160.
-Open bids as well.
Keep in sync down there, will you?
170. 180. 190.
He says keep in sync!
-190 on the stairs.
-I'm out. He's 190.
200. At £190, the invisible man. 200.
-200. 210, sir?
220. You just keep saying yes! 230.
240, I'd love you to bits. 250.
At 250, you must come more often.
At 250. Are we all finished at £250, then? I sell then at 250.
-Well, I hope he enjoys them. I'm stunned.
-Are you stunned?
I think you're in a permanent state of being stunned today, aren't you?
Thankfully no shortage of bidders in the room
for the extensive collection of military models
as they sell smack in the middle of John's estimate.
There you go. The pounds are really rolling in now,
and the collection of commemorative silver ingots fly out of the sale room as well.
It goes at 160.
Beating John's top estimate by £10.
Next up is Sandy's much-loved oak settle.
We're keeping everything crossed that it make £200-£300.
200, I'm bid on commission.
210 anywhere? 210. 220.
220. 230. 240. 250. 260.
260. 270. 280.
280. 290. 300.
300. 320. 340.
At 320, on my left at 320.
At £320 then.
On my left at 320 and it goes at £320.
-You felt good about that, didn't you?
I'm so delighted for Sandy that the settle sold for such a great price.
Now it's our last lot of the day
and it's another highly valued item
in the form of five gold rings.
Shall I sing it for you?
How will these rings do, John?
Well, I said £200-£300.
It's a good jewellery trader's lot
and hopefully we'll get somewhere within our estimate.
£150, I'm bid to start. 160.
-180. 190. 200?
220 below me, at 220. 230 anywhere?
£220 then, on my right at 220.
I sell then at 220.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, certainly am.
Actually, £20 over estimate, and smiles all round.
Who can blame them after the day we've had?
But just how much have we raised?
Because it seems like the cash has just kept rolling in.
Now here's the point. You wanted £700, didn't you?
Well, you got your £700.
But you also got on top of that
which means that you have £1,708.
It's just a couple of weeks after that hugely successful day at auction
and with the trip to the Antarctic now paid for,
Sandy has decided to get a taste for her upcoming adventure.
The plan for today is to go to Seaview Wildlife Park
where they have a breeding programme for penguins.
The sort we might see down at the Antarctic.
So has the trip put Sandy in the holiday mood?
I'm really excited now. It's lovely.
I'm just so excited how friendly the penguins were here even though they're still supposedly wild.
I recommend anybody to come here because it's a wonderful place to be.