Antiques series. Lorne Spicer and Jonty Hearnden help Olive, who has lived in her family's home for 40 years but is now looking to downsize.
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Welcome to Cash in the Attic. There comes a time for most people
when the children have flown the nest and it's time to downsize.
That's the dilemma facing the lady we're meeting today.
We hope to help her have a clear out
and find plenty of treasures to take to auction too.
Coming up on Cash in the Attic...
Jonty makes me a promise after I reveal a childhood secret.
I had this one. Sea and Seashore.
I could never find a starfish.
Lorne, I'll find you a starfish!
And he's presented with something that touches his heart.
-Yes, wasn't it?
We came home with a boot full of fossils!
When it comes to the auction,
I offer some sound philosophical advice.
-I think what happens is what should happen.
So, find out what does happen later.
Today I've come to this really pretty Suffolk village
to meet a lady who's lived here a very long time.
Before she moves on, she's enlisted
the help of her daughter-in-law and us
to raise some much-needed funds.
Olive Osborne has lived in this
chalet bungalow for over 40 years, bringing up her four sons here.
Her husband John passed away 12 years ago.
During their time together, he ran a car dealership
and Olive had the bed and breakfast next door.
Olive is now planning to move and she'll be downsizing too.
So she needs a clear-out, which is why she's called us in.
With her today to help make those
tough decisions of what should go, is daughter-in-law Helen.
I'm confident our expert Jonty Hearnden
will be able to spot some valuables
to make some money for Olive too.
While he starts his search, I go off to find our hosts.
-Ah, good morning!
-You must be Olive. This is your house.
-And you are daughter-in-law Helen?
-This is a lovely village. Really pretty.
-I understand you're thinking of moving?
-I need to downsize.
I would like to be nearer... Have some neighbours, and nearer shops.
So the money we're looking to raise. Is that towards the move?
Specifically for the move in that
I've got two very nice Parker Knoll chairs that the cats have shredded.
They need to be re-upholstered and recovered.
So that's what I'd like to raise the money for.
Do you know how much that's likely to cost?
-Between 700 and £800.
-Crikey, that's expensive for upholstery.
-So we need to raise £800.
Our expert today is Jonty Hearnden.
He's having a look around.
Helen, if you could have a look in here.
We'll cover as much ground as possible.
-Let's find Jonty.
It looks like Jonty's many years
in the antiques business means he's done a quick scan
and decided a piece of bedroom furniture
should receive a closer look.
-Ah, there you are, Jonty.
The highest point of the house.
I started at the top and I'll work my way down.
I've found something we could put in the auction.
Olive, is this an object we can now sell?
Yes, I'm happy for this to go.
This piece is an Edwardian dressing table.
And it wouldn't have been this colour originally.
-It would have been darker, stained to look like a mahogany.
The timber is beech, and just on the side here is pine.
So that's another indicator to show
you it was always designed to be stained and never this colour.
We're looking at auction, 30, 40, £50.
If we put that sort of price on it, it should walk out the door.
-What do you think of that valuation?
-I'm happy with that.
OK. That's a good start, then.
Daughter-in-law Helen has been hard at work, too.
She's found something else from
the bed and breakfast Olive ran in the cottage next door.
It's a mid-20th-century mahogany
chest of drawers with shell-shaped handles.
Jonty reckons it should certainly draw attention
with a guide price of 30 to £50.
Jonty spots a Swiss clock which Olive's mother bought in the 1950s.
Swiss clocks are among the most famous in the world.
But unfortunately this one is not a particularly good make
and so only gets a 20 to £30 estimate.
I'm going to guess that these are the chairs you want reupholstered.
-How did you know?
-Well, that's a giveaway.
Definitely signs of cat or dog, isn't it?
How long have they been mullering your chairs?
Only recently. The two cats I've got now
are quite new. And they did this. The others never did.
So when you do move, what are you hoping to achieve from that?
The principle difference is being able to go to the shops on foot
and not have to get the car out.
And another big difference will be having neighbours.
Because now my neighbours, they're lovely people,
but they are weekenders.
I'm surrounded by them. So I am, in fact, very isolated here.
And I'd like to be among people. So those are the two big differences.
Then being in a town, you change your wants, your aspirations.
I always used to say I love
being solitary and I do love being solitary.
But now as I'm getting older, I want to be among people more.
I really hope it goes well for you.
And I hope we make the money for you.
So it's back to the search for us.
Daughter-in-law Helen has been very productive.
She's come across a ring that was
given to Olive's mother on her silver wedding anniversary.
It's made of nine-carat gold
and has a large peridot and two small diamonds.
Unfortunately, the peridot stone
has a crack in it which affects its valuation.
It only gets 50 to £70.
So, when it comes up at auction, will that damage lower its appeal?
Two bids I have. I'm clearing the book at £50.
Will it exceed Jonty's estimate?
50. 5. 60.
Back at Olive's house, she still has lots of things here
which she needs to get rid of before she moves.
So she makes good use of our expert today.
Jonty, look what I've found.
Wow. Yet more stones. Are those fossils in there?
-Yes. Fossils and pieces of rock.
-So whose were these?
This was my husband's.
He collected this over the years. Even on our honeymoon.
-On your honeymoon?
-As we were driving along,
if we came across some roadworks,
he would screech to a halt, jump out, go in the great pile,
and nine times out of ten, he would come out with a fossil!
Yes, wasn't it? We came home with a boot full of fossils!
-As I'm sure you're aware, I'm used to handling antiques.
But this is the extreme, of course!
These items here are literally millions of years old.
There are all sorts of goodies. There's a beautiful ammonite there.
Ammonites became extinct 65 million years ago.
The oldest ammonites were around 240 million years ago.
You can see why people like
your husband get very excited about these.
With selling a collection like this,
there will be amateur palaeontologists who want these.
They have to be worth 40 to £60.
-Oh, that's lovely.
Olive's husband John was obviously a keen collector.
In one of the bedrooms, I come across another of his compilations.
It's a stamp and coin collection that he started as a child,
but Jonty reckons there's nothing exceptional here,
so his valuation is 40 to £60.
Helen digs out two Polaroid instamatic cameras which Olive
had found in her shed.
Olive's late husband was into photography and
these cameras are in great condition and in their original boxes.
Jonty hopes they'll make £20-30.
Jonty, have a look. What do you think of this?
That looks rather grand.
How long have you had this?
-About seven years.
-And why did you buy it?
I bought it as an investment.
But in all those years, I've only worn it three times.
-It is so lovely and I'm into horses and gardening
and you don't wear that sort of
thing riding horses and digging in the garden!
Absolutely. If we look closely,
the ring band is 18-carat gold, which is very good.
We've got three rubies and two diamonds inset into the ring.
A very clever design.
Having looked closely at these stones,
the diamonds are roughly about a third of a carat.
You can't tell exactly because you
can't weigh them as they're inset into the ring itself.
The rubies look slightly bigger.
So we're looking about half a carat each for those rubies.
The band itself is very good
and it's a ring that a dealer could easily buy and just sell on.
It's very contemporary looking.
The value at auction for this ring
at the moment would be roughly between 300 and £500.
-How do you feel about that?
-I'd like it to go at that, please.
-A great find.
Well done. That is halfway onto our target already.
So really very good news indeed.
I've noticed the paintings dotted around Olive's house.
But Jonty's drawn to a pine Welsh dresser,
that Olive bought 25 years ago.
The most sought-after Welsh dressers
hail from the early part of the 18th century
and are usually made of oak.
This one is made of reclaimed pine,
so gets a lower valuation of 60 to £80.
Olive is wondering whether this crystal necklace might be valuable.
It was given to Olive's mother
as a 21st birthday present from her own mother, back in 1928.
It's a pretty piece of costume jewellery
and hopefully it will sparkle in the auction at 20 to £40.
Then I noticed something that takes me back to my childhood.
Jonty? I've found the Observer books.
-Did you have these as a child?
-This takes me back!
-They were great, weren't they?
We've got all sorts of different genres,
-which is what the Observer books were all about.
They first started in 1937.
If we open up, we can see the publishers, Frederick Warne & Co.
They published Beatrix Potter books as well.
If you've got a rare one, in good condition,
if not mint condition, a first edition,
you're looking in excess of £100 for one book.
How do you spot whether they're first editions?
It's a bit of a mystery, the old first edition scenario.
-If it doesn't say "reprinted", it just has a date,
then you know that it's a first edition.
On this one here, it was originally printed in 1971,
reprinted and reprinted.
We also have the added information down here on this one,
here we have 75 and the six in front.
That means this book was printed in June 1975.
Because of the condition of them,
you could let the children use them and enjoy them
without worrying about them being kept perfect.
I had this one, Sea And Seashore,
and I could never find a starfish.
So what sort of value, do you think?
We won't get a vast sum of money for them
because we haven't got one gem here. But they will sell.
-20 to 30 quid at auction sale.
-Somebody will buy these.
-Pleased with that?
-It all helps. It all adds up.
Tell you what, Lorne, I'm off to find you a starfish!
You may find that hard in Suffolk, but good luck!
I love these. They're great.
I won't hold my breath for that, Jonty.
You've got more pressing business to get on with,
like finding out if there's anything else here worth taking to auction.
We've managed to find three pictures.
Are there more around the house?
-One more little one.
-Do you know the ladies in these?
-Yes, that's my sister, and that's me.
-Wow, how lovely.
They were painted by my brother-in-law.
Colin Orchard, we have his signature here.
-Yes, that's Colin Orchard.
-And we can see that...
So which of these do you think you'd be willing to part with?
-Certainly not these, two, no.
-But I'd consider selling that one.
Obviously because this has the family connection
-and that's more abstract.
-That's a Barbara Hepworth sculpture from the garden in St Ives.
-In the museum grounds?
-Yes, that's right.
Well, he really is a very famous artist.
He's a member of the Royal Society of British Artists
and you don't get much bigger than that!
He regularly exhibits at the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy.
-So when you bought this painting, how long ago was that?
A long time.
Well, on the back here we have the date of December '89.
But in red there's a price of £330.
-I paid 300 for it.
-Ooh, you got £30 off!
-I'd say not long after it was painted.
Right. £300, 20 years ago.
If we take this to auction, you've got to remember
that a dealer will need to buy it, make a profit,
and also pay the auctioneer a premium as well.
So an auction estimate for this picture
is now going to be 300 to £400.
How do you feel about that?
I'll have to give it a bit of thought. Yes.
I know you're not decided at
the moment what you're going to do with the painting.
But for the sake of argument, if I include it at this point,
the value of everything going to auction comes to £930.
-The next time we see you will be at auction.
Well, after a slow start, I'm so pleased
we managed to exceed Olive's target.
I'm looking forward to seeing how well she does come auction day.
My favourites are the 20 Observer books collected by her husband John.
At 20 to £30, they're definitely one to watch
when they go before the bidders.
There's the 18-carat gold ring with rubies and diamonds
that Olive bought as an investment seven years ago.
Jonty gives it a glittering 300 to £500 valuation.
And will Olive part with a painting
by her brother-in-law, Colin Orchard,
a member of the Royal Society of British Artists?
With a price tag of 300 to £400,
it could pay for the re-upholstering of one chair on its own!
Still to come on Cash in the Attic...
Olive lets slip her trust in what we've chosen for auction.
-I didn't think it would sell.
-You of little confidence!
And I'm impressed by the sale price of our most unusual lot.
-What a good price!
We should auction each other, next time!
There's a lot of money in old fossils!
Find out how all our lots do when the final hammer falls.
It's been a few weeks since we met Olive at her home in Suffolk.
She's planning to move and wanted to get rid of a few bits and pieces.
We've found some lovely items that
we've brought to Stacey's Auction House in Essex.
She's looking to raise funds to rescue two of her favourite chairs
that have been demolished by the cats,
so she wants to re-upholster them.
Let's hope we make the money she wants and a bit more.
This family-run firm are based in Rayleigh, not far from Southend.
Their auctions are always packed.
The auction house is filling up with bidders now.
But as soon as we spot Olive and Helen,
their decision regarding the painting is obvious.
How do you feel about it being here?
I've put a good reserve on it, so if it doesn't go, I won't mind.
-What figure have you put on it?
-I've put 400 on it.
As you can tell, the auction's started.
Let's get in position. Come on.
There are over 1,200 lots in today's auction
so Olive's heirlooms and collectibles face stiff competition.
First up is the oval bedside Swiss clock.
It's up for a very reasonable price of 20 to £30.
£10 straight in for this lot? £10 I'm bid. Thank you, at ten.
12. 15. 18.
At the back at £18.
-£18. Slightly under.
I think, we talk about £18 to us, cos we're selling the items.
But the person buying has commission.
-So it's going to cost them more than £20.
You have to bear that in mind.
It was only £2 below Jonty's lower estimate,
so we can't be too disappointed with that sale.
Let's hope she does better with the crystal necklace
up for 20 to £40.
£10 in for it. Ten I'm bid now.
12. At £12. Any advance on 12? Are we all done?
£12. 15. 18.
Against you. At £20 bid.
On my left at £20. Any advance? Last time. I'm selling at £20 only.
-That is good. Somebody will wear it now.
-I didn't think it would sell.
-Really? You of little confidence!
Hopefully, that sale, bang on
Jonty's lower estimate will be the start of a good run for us now.
Olive's next lot is unusual for an auction house.
It's the interesting collection of fossils.
And it has a price tag of 40-£60.
-You've put a reserve on this as well?
-I put 50 on it, yes.
-So if we don't get £50 for it, it's going back.
One bid I have. I'm clearing the book at £40.
Can't see you. £70. The bid's here with me at 70. Any advance on £70?
New bidder. Against you. And five. 90. Five.
The specialists are here!
At £100. £100. Any advance on 100?
Are you done? Last time. Selling at £100.
We should auction each other next time. There's money in old fossils!
That was more than double Jonty's lower estimate.
I think Olive is quite happy not to be taking them back home.
The bidders are keen on her husband's
coin and stamp collection, too.
An advance on £40?
Hammer going down at 40.
Bang on Jonty's lower estimate. We're doing pretty well so far.
Now it's the turn of some of
Olive's furniture that she bought when she ran a bed and breakfast.
It's the mahogany chest of drawers with shell handles.
-Jonty, what do we want for this?
-I put 30 to £50 on it.
But there is a big split in the top, so I would have put more.
But I hope the dealers are here to buy it because it is a dealer's lot.
£20 straight in for this one?
£20. 20 I'm bid, thank you.
And two. 25. 28. £28 now.
In the room at £28. Are we all done?
-A little bit short again.
-No, that's OK. Yes, I'm fine with that.
Just missed our lowest estimate by two pounds.
But there are furniture buyers in the room.
Yet when Olive's pine dresser goes before the bidders at 60 to £80...
Failed to sell, I'm afraid.
It went to £40 but the auctioneer used his discretion
and decided it was worth more.
With half our lots sold, we've banked £206 towards the £800 target.
Not bad going, as there are still some great items yet to come.
Now, if, like Olive, you have a special reason to raise some cash
and are thinking of heading to auction,
remember, commission and other charges may apply.
Check the details with the auction house.
Next is the Edwardian dressing table.
I bought that at a sale room when
I was doing bed and breakfast in the cottage.
It's been much loved and much used. What's its value, Jonty?
30 to £50 on this one.
Start the bidding at £20. Straight in? 20, anywhere?
20 I'm bid.
At £20. Any advance on 20?
Are we all done, then, at £20?
-£20 is not going to...
-It's not sold.
Once again, the auctioneer used his discretion
and decided £20 was not enough for that piece.
The next lot is Olive's star lot,
the painting by her brother-in-law, Colin Orchard.
Jonty valued this at £300-400,
and Olive's decided on a £400 reserve.
Let's not waste time. Start the bidding at £300. £300 in.
£300 for it. No-one want it for 300?
300. 320. £320.
At £340. Are we all done at 340?
Last time, then, at £340.
340. Sorry, that failed to sell.
-So it goes.
-You know what the answer is. It's staying in the family.
Look at the smile on this girl's face!
I have to say, I think what happens is what should happen.
-So had it reached that money and gone, fine.
But it hasn't and you'll enjoy it and love it.
-And there were bids for it.
It didn't sell, but Olive and Helen
are delighted it's staying with them.
I've got some of these myself. I love these Observer books.
They're fantastic. So much information in a tiny book.
What do we want for these, Jonty?
I put £20 as the lower end of the estimate.
You have to let the room decide. 20 to £30 would be great.
Start me off at £20. £20 for this lot? £20 I'm bid. 22.
25. £25 front row bid at £25. 28 against you.
-At £28 on my left. £28. Are we all done?
-That's all right.
-That's good, isn't it?
Just two pounds under the top estimate.
A very good result for those lovely little books.
They're quickly followed by the pair of Polaroid cameras...
£10 I'm bid. All done, then?
On my right at £10. Are we all done? I'm selling
at £10 only.
..which add another £10 to the pot.
We have just two more lots to go, both gold rings.
First up is the nine-carat gold cocktail ring
with a peridot and two diamonds.
It has a value of 50 to £70.
Two bids I have. I'm clearing the book. At £50.
Here at £50. Any advance on 50?
Five. 60. Five. 70.
- Five. 90. - Wow!
At £95 on my left. At £95. Are we all done?
Hammer going down. £95.
-Are you happy with that?
-That makes up for the others not selling.
You've got to take an overview of all these things.
It's not over till the fat lady sings.
The ring went for almost double Jonty's lower estimate.
That's a great result,
and Olive looks thrilled. How will the other ring do?
Now, we really do hope this one sells.
It's the ring with three rubies, two diamonds and it's 18-carat gold.
So a higher quality of gold.
I put 300 to £500 on it.
OK? That's what I've done.
I've also had a chat with the auctioneer.
-One of his concerns is that the actual ring is quite small.
That is a bit of a problem
because it'll be difficult to put the ring on many ladies' fingers.
So could be a problem.
-I hadn't thought of that.
-Yes. Let's see how we go.
One commission bid I have. I'm clearing at £150.
-The bid's at 150. Any advance on that?
-We need more than that.
155. 160. 165. 170. 175.
180. 185. 190.
195. At £195 now with the lady.
-Are we all done?
-I think it's going.
-Right, it's sold.
Oh, dear. That ring didn't even reach Jonty's lower estimate,
so we have quite a few unsold items,
but we did rather well on other lots.
So have much have we made overall?
Now, you wanted £800 to get these chairs reupholstered.
I haven't got that, have I?
No, I'm afraid not!
I was trying to think of a way to break it to you,
but you've gone straight in.
You've actually made £534.
That's £534 more than I had when I arrived.
Very true. Is that enough to get the chair project under way?
Certainly well on its way, yes.
Don't forget you're taking that fantastic painting back with you.
-Will do, definitely.
-There's still a smile on her face.
Olive is keen to get the work on her two chairs started.
She heads over to the local upholsterers.
-Nice to see you, Olive. Nice to see you again.
-You liked the look of that one.
-I liked the floral.
When they're finished, I think her
chairs will take pride of place in her new, less cluttered home.
Olive Osborne has lived in her family's home for 40 years, but the time has come to downsize. She is also keen to have her favourite old chairs re-covered. Lorne Spicer and Jonty Hearnden lend a hand.