Bessey Cash in the Attic


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Bessey

Antiques series. One couple invite Angela Rippon and Paul Hayes to help clear out some clutter. They hope to raise enough to fund horse-riding lessons for their five grandchildren.


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Welcome to the programme that loves to join you in a rummage around your house

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looking for things to sell at auction that will pay for a special project or treat.

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The family we're about to meet have a very exciting experience in store for one of their grandchildren.

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Find out what it is when we go looking for cash in the attic!

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Coming up on Cash in the Attic:

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will Paul succeed in persuading the lady of the house

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to part with a treasured Victorian necklace?

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-It's something to think about.

-Yes, it is.

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It's tugging at the heartstrings there.

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Plus an unorthodox way of raising cash.

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Place your bets!

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And at auction, an unexpected online bid takes our breath away!

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-Start straightaway at £55.

-Ooh, blimey!

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Be there for the final crack of the gavel!

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Today, I'm on the Lancashire coast, where I've come to meet Michael and Dorothy,

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a couple who really did have the courage to follow their dreams.

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In the 40 years that Mike and Dorothy Bessey have been married,

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they've dabbled in the property game, owned hotels,

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a care home for the elderly and even a restaurant.

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If that's not enough, they did it while Dorothy was a professional dancer.

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Now semi-retired, they love travelling and spending time with their grandchildren.

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Dorothy hopes the money we raise will go towards a special surprise outing

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for the whole family.

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Today I'm joined by our expert Paul Hayes

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whose keen eye will spot the belongings that should give the Besseys the best chance at auction.

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Mike, Dorothy!

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Obviously this is the hub of the family home and family business!

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-Yes.

-It certainly is.

-Everybody works in a scruffy office.

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That's how you get stuff done. I have to say,

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reading about you two, it strikes me that you're prepared to take on any adventure, every new opportunity.

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Nothing really daunts you, does it?

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No. If it's a challenge, we'll try it.

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There's lots to talk to you about later on, but why have you called in Cash in the Attic?

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Well, I have five grandchildren.

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On holiday a couple of years ago we went horse riding.

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And they really enjoy it.

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So I thought we'll pay for them to have horse riding lessons.

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-How much do you think this is going to cost?

-I'd like to raise £1,000.

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-A thousand?

-A thousand seems fair enough to me.

-Right.

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Paul Hayes is with me. He's having a rummage around

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to make sure we make that total. So shall we go and find him?

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OK.

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'It seems Dorothy's decided to provide riding lessons for all five of her grandchildren.

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'So we'd better crack on today to ensure we raise that £1,000.'

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Ah, hello. Look at this!

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Paul, this is Dorothy. I suppose this is one way of making the £1,000!

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Yes, could be. Are you all ready? Here we go.

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Place your bets!

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What are you doing with a full gaming set in the house?

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I bought it for Michael one Christmas. We've had a lot of fun.

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Parties we have, we have a little spin.

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I've lost millions!

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-You've got a roulette wheel.

-That's roulette. Dominoes.

-Dominoes.

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-Backgammon.

-And chess. It's a full compendium.

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If you don't use real money, they're great fun items.

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This is a really nice one. The butterfly veneer

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which looks like a butterfly wing and the marquetry panel.

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-Beautiful.

-£500 we paid for it, about 20 years ago.

-There you go.

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-What do you think we might get for it?

-I think at least half your money.

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200 to £300. If someone takes a shine to it, maybe a bit more.

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-It would be nice if I got three for it.

-Fantastic.

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-Can I play a game now?

-Yes.

-How about a game of draughts? You open that door,

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-and I'll open this one. Draughts! Can you feel it?

-Oh!

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You can pretty much bet that Paul's always got a gag up his sleeve!

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While we've been clowning around, Mike has come across a 19th-century horse figurine.

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Paul thinks he can rein in the bidders

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if the price tag reads 40 to £60.

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In the spare room, I've come across a 19th-century oil painting.

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Titled The Temptation by R. Messonet,

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this piece was painted on a panel instead of canvas.

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It's slightly rough round the edges,

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and Paul has priced it at 30 to £50.

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Michael, what have you found? Oh, look at that.

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-That's interesting, isn't it?

-I think it's Swedish.

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So who's got the Swedish connection?

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Nobody, but Dorothy was in a double act in Sweden at one time

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and I think that's when she bought it.

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I think she got it from an antiques shop.

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It didn't mean much to her, but she liked the look of it.

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-Has she worn it as a pendant, or...

-She has, from time to time.

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-But it's been in a box for a long time.

-I've never seen anything like that.

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This does have a little mark just there. It says "guld".

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Which could be a Swedish mark for gold.

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Normally they go off the purity. They'd say 22 or 18 or nine.

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Nine carat as we know here in the UK.

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It looks quite a good medal.

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-It's got Gustaf Adolf. He was the king of Sweden.

-Right.

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Here, it says, "For langvarig trogen tjanst".

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That seems to me like it's long service for whatever.

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Yes. Because "for langvarig" sounds like "for long..." something. Service.

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What we need to do is determine what carat gold it is. That's very important.

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And then try and translate this into English so we know what it's been presented for.

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I've got my homework cut out here. But if we say at least 150 as it is.

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Assume everything's OK. How's that?

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-Sounds good.

-Great. So he's going to auction. I wonder how you say auction in Swedish?

-Not a clue!

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Apologies to all our Swedish-speaking viewers! I'm sure we'll translate it later!

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I've found something else that's travelled from its original Swedish home.

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An early 20th-century Ericsson telephone.

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Dorothy bought it with another wind-up model 43 years ago.

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We're hope to sell them for 50 to £80.

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-Dorothy?

-Yes?

-Now, then.

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-This is a sovereign pendant. Was it yours, or Michael's?

-It's mine.

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Was it? I can just see Michael with an open-necked shirt, the Tom Selleck look!

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No, he wasn't like that! I used to wear it quite a lot.

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Mike bought it for me just after I had my son.

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-He actually bought me two.

-OK. What happened to the other one?

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-The other one's promised to my niece.

-OK.

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So this one, I'm not sure about it.

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It could go, but can I have a little think?

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Of course you can. But sovereigns are extremely popular.

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They've always been a form of bullion. If you took a bag of sovereigns to Africa or India,

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-they'd recognise it and people would trade with you.

-Right.

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It's solid gold and gold has always been a currency.

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They're called a sovereign, that's the coin in the middle there,

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because they always had the portraits of the king or queen at the time.

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The original one was Henry VII.

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That was 1489.

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A long time ago.

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Very clever. In the 1960s and '70s,

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the fashion came for sovereign rings and pendants.

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Looks like this might have been mounted. Did you have it done?

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-No, that's how I bought it.

-Right.

-Or how Michael bought it, I must say.

-Right.

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What I like is that it's been sympathetically mounted.

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What happens is the sovereign sometimes is soldered to the mount.

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-So the metal would be ruined.

-I've seen that.

-Ruined.

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This one has been placed in these clamps here.

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So when you take the coin out it will be pristine. That's what people want.

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1911. It's the coronation, I think, of George V. He was crowned in 1911.

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Adding all that up, these are quite expensive now.

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For years, and I've been in the business over 20 years now,

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they've always been between 45 and £65 a sovereign.

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Nowadays, with gold being what it is,

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they bring in 120 or £130.

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So an item like this with its mount and its chain,

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you're looking at £150-plus.

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-It's something to think about.

-Yes.

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-It is.

-But it looks like it's tugging at the heartstrings!

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I don't blame you in the slightest.

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We'll tell Angela it's going, but between me and you, it might not get there!

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That sum would certainly go a long way towards Dorothy's target

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of £1,000 for her grandchildren's riding lessons.

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So, while Paul carries on with the rummage,

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I'm curious to find out more about this couple's fascinating past.

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Dorothy, I did say you and Michael have had a fascinating life.

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Lots to talk about.

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You started out as a dancer, for which you had a real passion.

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I have, still!

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It's all I wanted to do.

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My father said, "If you go into show business,

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"you'll always be hard up. Get a dancing school."

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-Mike, you were in the Royal Navy?

-I was, indeed.

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I did 11 years. Two years boys' time and nine years with the Fleet.

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So you joined the navy and saw the world.

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-That's exactly what I did.

-So if you had been in the navy

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and Dorothy was travelling all over Europe as a dancer,

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how the heck did you get to meet?

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When I came out of the RN,

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I got a job as a manager with Top Rank.

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They sent me down to Paignton, to a bingo hall of all places,

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which was just across the road

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from the nightclub that Dorothy was going to appear in.

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And that's where we met.

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Singing and dancing.

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Clearly, it was meant to be a match,

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because you've been married for over 40 years.

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42... Nearly 42 years.

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42 years! Whatever it is, it's a great combination.

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It clearly works for you both.

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Let's hope you can sprinkle some of that stardust that you've brought

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to your lives and careers when we get to the auction.

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-Shall we go and find Paul?

-Yep.

-Yep.

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'Paul's been busy and has uncovered an unusual silver cruet set

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'from the 1900s. It's lined with green glass.

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'The six-piece condiment set was used by Dorothy's family for years

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'and Paul sets the price at 75 to £100.

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'Now, Dorothy's done some fine work in finding this 1960s vase.

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'Made by Moorcroft, it displays the classic hand-painted floral work

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'for which the company is best known. Paul thinks a collector will be drawn to this piece

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for 100 to £150.'

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Wow!

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Mike, I found these bits and pieces that have got Concorde written on them!

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-Yep.

-You must have flown on Concorde

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We did a round-the-world trip

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and we flew from New York to home on Concorde.

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-It was such an amazing experience.

-What a brilliant flight.

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Three and a quarter hours from New York to London!

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Did you get that frisson of excitement when the captain says,

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"Ladies and gentlemen, we are now travelling at twice the speed of sound."

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I think it was great. You can feel the thrust.

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Because they're only allowed to go so fast over land.

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Then they can go supersonic.

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We've got some bits and pieces here. You used to get wonderful goody bags.

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What did you get in your goody bag?

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That in itself was just opera binoculars.

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Obviously the details of the flight,

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-menus, a diary they gave you...

-So a memento?

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A memento of our round-the-world trip.

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-Are things like this collectable?

-A lot of people are very interested in aviation

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and Concorde has to be number one. A couple of items like that, you're looking at least 50 to £100.

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If two people take a shine to them, they could go supersonic!

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-That'd be good.

-Not bad, is it?

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'We can only hope our items will fly out of the auction house that fast!'

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We're only taxi-ing now!

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'In the meantime, Dorothy's been busy hunting through drawers

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'and has come across this modern opal ring.

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'Paul thinks someone will happily take it off her hands for 100 to £150.

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'In the hall, Paul spots this portrait

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'dated 1897. It's actually a black and white photo

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'which has been put onto canvas

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'and then coloured by hand.

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'Paul hopes it will make 80 to £120.

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'From what we've found so far,

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'it's clear Mike and Dorothy have a talent for spotting interesting artefacts.

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'These shelves are lined with collectibles and one in particular has caught my eye.'

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That's by Stinton and it's Royal Worcester.

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-Where did you get it?

-I bought it at an auction.

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Is it going to go back to an auction?

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-Yes, I'd let that go.

-You're letting it go?

-Yes.

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We should call Paul so he can have a good look at this.

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Paul?

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Mike?

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Dorothy bought this rather nice looking vase at auction.

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-Do you remember how much you paid for it?

-Yes. £250.

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-Did she get a bargain?

-You got an absolute bargain.

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This is the Holy Grail in terms of ceramics.

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It's Royal Worcester. But more importantly, it's the work of John or James Stinton.

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-Did you know that?

-Yes, I did. It's signed underneath.

-There we are.

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J.Stinton in the corner there.

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They were a family of decorators at the Worcester factory.

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They perfected the art of Highland cattle or game birds,

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falcons and that sort of thing.

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It's got a lovely quality to it. The misty glens

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with the bridge in the background.

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This is absolutely superb. It's known as blush ivory,

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these wonderful warm colours.

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The pierced work along the top with real gilding.

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And the Royal Worcester stamp. Do you know how to date them?

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Royal Worcester, they put their dot for the year 1891

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and a dot every year since.

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So if I count these dots. One, two, three, four, five...

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..seven, eight, nine, ten, 11. So this was made in 1902, 1903, that sort of time.

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If she paid £250 originally... How long ago was that?

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-1991.

-How much will it make now?

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These are so in demand.

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I can't stress how recognisable these are.

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That in auction today would create such a lot of interest.

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-I can imagine between 400 and £600. Something like that.

-Very good!

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-How does that sound to you, Mike?

-Not a bad profit!

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-That's super.

-Why didn't I buy it?

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Excellent.

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That's a lovely note on which to end.

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I'll be realistic and take the lowest estimate Paul gave. £400.

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Let me add that to the other things you've looked at, taking the lowest price.

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I know you want to raise £1,000 for the riding lessons,

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but I think there's going to be enough left over for you to have lessons as well, Dorothy!

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And maybe even drag Mike along,

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because we should be able to make £1,425.

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-Brilliant.

-Good heavens! That would be good.

-That's all right!

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Lovely. Thank you very much.

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But we'll have to wait to see what happens when we get to auction.

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Who would have thought that the small Royal Worcester vase

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would be worth quite as much as that?

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It could make a real difference to their fortunes on sale day.

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Along with the Concorde memorabilia.

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At 50 to £100, we'll hopefully attract a few aviation enthusiasts.

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And there's the fully-loaded games table.

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At 200 to £300, that price could increase our odds of a sale.

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Finally, the stunning Worcester vase.

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At 400 to £600, this rare design

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will undoubtedly draw the attention of big collectors.

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Still to come on Cash in the Attic:

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some of Mike and Dorothy's collectibles have come with a few optional extras!

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-These come with a lot of dust on them.

-You've seen my garage!

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Yes, I have! Dust is extra, here.

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And one find brought to the table proves to be a surprising hit!

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-Fantastic!

-Good heavens!

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It's been quite a while since we joined Michael and Dorothy at home on the Lancashire coast.

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They're a lovely couple and have achieved so much in their lives,

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that I think it's terrific they now want to raise money

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to take their grandchildren on a very special day out.

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We've brought all their things to sell here at auction at Silverwoods of Lancashire.

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We hope they'll exceed their £1,000 target.

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But as always, it's now in the hands of the bidders.

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These auction rooms are always teeming with buyers.

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Let's hope Mike and Dorothy's items will cause a stir today.

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Since our rummage at their home, Dorothy has had a change of heart over selling the sovereign.

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So we're already down £150 on target.

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We've also discovered that the Worcester vase that Paul valued at 400 to £600

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has had some repair work done to the rim.

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This has reduced the estimate to between 300 and £400.

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I hope we can still make that £1,000 target.

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There is quite a bit of excitement about this, Paul?

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The name Stinton, the Royal Worcester combination, it's a wonderful item.

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We've protected it with a reserve.

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-And the reserve amount was?

-£300.

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-I think it's worth that, and three is my lucky number, so let's see.

-Right.

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Shall we put it back up, in good company with the horn!

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Let's take our places. It's beginning to fill up

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and we should get on with the auction.

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If you'd like to raise money by selling at auction,

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remember that sale rooms may charge fees such as commission.

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Prices vary, so do enquire in advance.

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It's time for the bidding to begin. Our first item is the Moorcroft vase

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Start me at what for this? £100?

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90. 95? I've 90 in the room.

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95 on screen.

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100. 100. And ten?

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At £100. Looking for 110. £100 in the room. Anywhere else? At £100 now.

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-Dead on!

-£100 for that tiny little vase!

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You may not have liked it, but it was a good buy!

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That's bang on target with our estimate. But it's early days yet.

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There are plenty more lots to sell before reaching that target of £1,000

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for the horse riding lessons for the grandchildren.

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This is hold on to your hats time because the lovely Royal Worcester is coming up.

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We hope it's going to do very well.

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We have a reserve of £300 and you valued it at more than that?

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The combination of Stinton and Royal Worcester, it's text book stuff.

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Let's see how we get on. There could be a herd of buyers!

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We'll start this one straightaway at £300.

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300. And 20 if you like.

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At £300 on the pad. At 300.

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Looking for 320. At £300, and 320 from any of you?

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At £300 and 320 this time, then, now?

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All quite sure? Anybody else?

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All done at £300.

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-It did well.

-You made your reserve.

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£300. Happy with that?

0:19:320:19:35

Very happy. Very happy.

0:19:350:19:37

That's a great result - nearly a third of our target in one go.

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Will the Concorde memorabilia fly out of the sale room too?

0:19:400:19:43

Who'll start me at what for this?

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£60, any of you? 60 for the lot.

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60, any of you? 50, then?

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£50? 50 bid.

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-We're in.

-£50.

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Back of the room and 55?

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At £50. And 55? I'll take 55. Come on, we're only taxi-ing now!

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55? Anybody else want a go or are you sure on a maiden bid?

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All finished at £50.

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Well, good.

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-I'm pleased with that.

-You are?

-Absolutely.

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-Wouldn't buy you a ticket on Concorde!

-No!

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It's smiles all round and another 50 in the pot.

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Despite reaching all of Paul's estimates up until now,

0:20:260:20:30

our dark horse comes in with a disappointing result.

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Let's hope the next lot rings all the right bells.

0:20:330:20:36

When I was rummaging in your garage,

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I found these two old telephones.

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The expression on your face, Michael!

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-You don't think much of them, do you?

-No, I don't! Horrible!

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You never actually used them, having bought them in Sweden.

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I bought them because I liked them.

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I must be odd because I was only 22, 23, and I used to buy old things.

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I didn't buy clothes. I was a collector, you know. So...

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-Well, these come with quite a lot of dust on them.

-You've seen my garage!

-Yes.

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Dust is extra, here!

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So are we being a bit ambitious with 50 to £80, Paul?

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I don't think so at all. These are collectors' items, and well may you scoff!

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Remember, this is 1908. A time before most people would have telephones.

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Anything that's early in technology has a following interest.

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With the internet being here today, you watch this space.

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I'll start these straightaway at £55.

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Blimey!

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At 55, various interests. Where's 60 for these?

0:21:340:21:37

At 55, and 60 now. 60 on-screen. 65.

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-On the internet!

-70, now? 65 with me.

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70 we're looking for. At £65,

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£70. 75 again.

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75 and 80? At £75 on the pad.

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All done at £75? 80.

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80 on-screen. £80. Where's 85 now?

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At £80 only bid.

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85 quickly? All done?

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Online at £80.

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There you go!

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Do you remember how much you paid for them?

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One was given to me. The other I gave the equivalent of ten shillings.

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Ten shillings, which is 50p.

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-There we go.

-50p and you've made £80.

-I don't believe it!

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-That's a fantastic result!

-It is!

-The dust!

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-It's the dust that's done it!

-It's the dust!

0:22:250:22:28

Tell you what, we've had quite a bit of dust today

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and it's all totting up.

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-You're trying to raise £1,000 today.

-Yes.

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And so far, we are over the halfway point.

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-Because you've made £550.

-Really?

-That's good!

-Are we that far?

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You're halfway into the saddle!

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So far, things are looking good for Mike and Dorothy.

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At this rate, it won't be long before the grandchildren can saddle up.

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Dorothy's opal ring proves to be a sure-fire hit with the bidders

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as it sells for Paul's top estimate, boosting our target by £150

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Now it's time for the Swedish gold medal,

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which we found out is a long service medal for patriotic acts.

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But presumably, Paul, people will be interested in it

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not just because it's Swedish but because it is pure gold.

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Let's hope so. I've never seen a medal like this before.

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It has that unique collectability and it's solid gold, anyway.

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But £150, let's see how the internet comes in.

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Could be a live line from a sauna in Sweden!

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110. 120.

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120. 130.

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130. 140? 140. 150?

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At £140 and 150 where else?

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At £140, all done?

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At 140.

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There we go. Just underneath there. Interesting, though.

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-Do you remember how much you paid for that?

-The equivalent of £8.

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-I found it in a junk shop.

-Good lord!

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Eight pounds. And 140 is what you've just sold it at!

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What a fantastic profit margin.

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Will the elegant silver cruet set prove as popular?

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We're looking for 75 to £100.

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At 75 and 80 I'll take.

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£80. 85. £90. 95?

0:24:140:24:17

100. And ten.

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110. 120?

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-I have 110 at the back.

-Is he going again?

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120. New bidder. 120.

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130? 130. 140. 150?

0:24:260:24:30

At £140. 150? Anybody else then, now?

0:24:300:24:33

All quite sure this time?

0:24:330:24:35

At £140.

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-Very good! Brilliant!

-We had that in at 75 to £100.

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-Excellent.

-A really good result.

-Absolutely splendid.

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That one really cut the mustard!

0:24:460:24:48

Paul's gags are wearing down even Michael and Dorothy,

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but that was a fantastic result.

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And although both the portrait

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and the small Victorian painting sell under estimate,

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they add another £57 to the kitty between them,

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so there are no complaints.

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We've got just one lot left to sell now, and it's a biggie!

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OK. Here we go. Listen to this for a description.

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"A continental marquetry inlaid games table of canted square form.

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"The lift-off reversible top encloses sliding covers

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-"fitted for roulette, backgammon, chess, et cetera."

-It's all there!

0:25:210:25:24

This is a great bit of fun. There's a reserve on this.

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-£200.

-£200. Let's hope it's a good bet for someone!

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Spin the wheel, here we go!

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140. 150.

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160. 170.

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180. 190. 200.

0:25:380:25:39

You're up to your 200 reserve.

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All done at £200.

0:25:410:25:43

Terrific. You've made your reserve.

0:25:450:25:47

You don't have to take it back with you.

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But what you are going to take back

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-is a cheque for a very respectable £1,237.

-Brilliant!

-Ooh!

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Have a great day riding. We might get you in the saddle, Michael!

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You might. And you might not!

0:26:010:26:02

With the £1,237 that they raised from auction,

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Mike and Dorothy have booked those horse riding lessons.

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All the grandchildren are here, but today it's young Michael's turn for a lesson.

0:26:160:26:21

We're here today because Michael came for a special lesson

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for children with disabilities.

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He's really enjoyed it and he wants to come again. It's wonderful, isn't it?

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-Yeah!

-Good.

0:26:330:26:35

Mike and Dorothy Bessey invite Angela Rippon and Paul Hayes to help clear out some of their clutter. They hope to raise enough money to fund horse-riding lessons for their five grandchildren.