Angela Rippon and James Rylands help Amanda Dickson organise a treat for her husband's 50th birthday, using the items he inherited from his grandfather.
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Welcome to the programme that loves to rummage around your house, finding things we can auction
so that you can raise money for a special project.
The home we'll be visiting today seems to have been taken over
by family heirlooms!
The question is, which of those things will be leaving the house
and what will the family spend the money on?
Find out in today's edition of Cash In The Attic.
'Coming up on Cash In The Attic,
'I unearth a flowery secret about today's family.'
-Is your mum a hippy, really?
-Yeah. Of course she is!
And an infantry sword gives our expert James ideas above his station.
I can now dub you Dame Amanda! How does that feel?
Come auction day, he takes refuge in classic quotations.
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, loadsamoney. We like that.
'Be there for the final crack of the gavel.'
I'm in Wootton Bassett, just the other side of the M4 from Swindon,
and I'm about to meet Amanda, who's ready to clear out the clutter.
But she's also a collector. I think we're going to have a bit of a dilemma!
Amanda Dickson and her husband Andrew have been married for 24 years.
They have three daughters, Elizabeth, Anna and Sian.
Eldest daughter Elizabeth will soon be giving them their first grandchild.
Amanda wants to raise some money to whisk her old man away
for his 50th birthday treat.
Helping her search the house for items of value
is middle daughter Anna,
now in a gap year after finishing her GCSEs.
James Rylands is our expert today.
He started his antiques career at Sotheby's,
and he's just the man to get our search for collectables under way
while I meet our hosts.
Wow, that is quite a collection of miniature bottles!
Is this why you've called in Cash In The Attic?
-You going to get rid of them?
-No, can't get rid of them.
If we're not going to sell the perfume bottles,
what sort of things will we be finding today?
Things that's been left behind from my husband's grandparents.
Anna, how do you feel about Mum getting rid of the family heirlooms?
I don't mind. It's up to her and my dad what they want to do.
-So, what are we raising the money for today?
My husband's 50th. He used to be in the Air Force and travelled a lot,
and a cruise might just give him that bit of boost.
Get him over the trauma of being 50, is it?
THEY LAUGH Something like that.
How much is this going to cost, do you think?
We don't know the initial, but obviously £500 to start us off.
Well, that'll certainly get you out of Southampton Dock,
but we won't get anywhere unless we find the things you want to sell
and get a value on them, and I've got just the man for you.
Tell James there's going to be a rummage, you can't keep him down. Shall we go and find him? Come on.
Looking around the house, I see all sorts of things scattered about,
so there's plenty to look at, and it doesn't take James long
to find something that might be worth taking to the sale.
See, I told you James enjoyed rummaging!
You couldn't keep him away. What have you found in the cupboard?
In amongst all your bits and pieces, this nice little wristwatch.
If you look on the dial here, you can see "Eterna".
That's the name of the maker.
They've been around for quite a long time.
The firm was started in 1856
by two chaps, called Josef Girard and Urs Schild,
and originally they started making pocket watches,
and they were based in Grenchen in Switzerland,
which at the time was an area of very high unemployment,
so it was great that they were able to start a factory
to employ lots and lots of local people.
-So, whose watch was this, Amanda?
-It was my husband's father's.
-Did your husband ever wear it?
-Were you ever tempted to wear it?
-No. It's not that feminine for me.
And what I love about this, it's utterly timeless,
and that helps when it comes to value.
For something that was just lurking in your cupboard, Amanda,
-I think we can put something like £40 to £60 on this.
-Yes. Let's go.
A timely start to the day, but a cruise doesn't come cheap,
so we need to keep up the momentum.
'I strike lucky with this mid-1960s portable radio,
'known as a Dansette Chorister,
'and mass-produced in a variety of colours.
'It has a retro look 'that's in fashion at the moment, but it does need a little TLC,
'so James values it at £30 to £50.'
-So, Anna, what have you got there?
Oh! That's a great magician's trick. The disappearing tablecloth!
Do you know where it's from?
-By the looks of it, China?
-You're absolutely right.
You're going to get my job shortly.
Well, it's absolutely from China, and you've got little clues here.
-You can see this little Chinese writing here.
It's a brass tray table,
-and I would think that it's probably about 100 years old.
Yeah. Yeah. About 100 years old.
The sort of thing that would be brought back by someone
maybe travelling over in the Orient early in the 20th century,
-when China was just beginning to open up...
..and a bit of Western trade was going on there.
-I like the fact that it hasn't been over-polished.
-That's true, yeah.
So obviously your mum or you haven't got out the old polishing cloth.
If you did polish that, it would take away some of the age for me.
The fact that it's got a slight tarnish on it
means that you can pick out a lot more of the detail on here.
I'd say we'd probably put something like £35 to £50 on it,
-something like that.
-Oh, my word!
I think I'm going to ask you to conjure up a few more lots for me!
See what else you can find for me. Off you go.
Anna's doing a great job,
finding two Santini figures.
In Italy, people have a Santini in their wallet or on their car dashboard,
as the name also refers to a small saintly image.
This adds £15 to £25 to the cruise fund.
Our expert spots an Edwardian silver butter dish.
It's still in its original leather case, and is in lovely condition,
so James gives it a £30-£50 price tag.
Ooh, Angela, I can see you've taken yourself back to your youth.
Where does this one come from, Amanda?
-It's inherited from Grandpa.
It's sort of multi-purpose, isn't it,
because you wouldn't have been able to sit just on the chair.
-You have to have it on that little table.
and if we were being really posh about this, we'd call it a metamorphic piece of furniture,
because what happens is that baby can sit up here on the seat at table
with the grown-ups, but if baby wants to have a meal by himself,
then, the chair lifts off and he can sit with his own little table to have a meal by himself.
Not with the grown-ups. Originally there would have been an iron rod
that ran up and fixes the chair on,
so that when baby's in one of his more extravagant movements,
couldn't then topple off the table onto the floor.
In its day, it would've come from a very good home,
and it was quite a sophisticated piece of furniture in many ways,
so I would think, conservatively,
-we can probably put something like £60 to £100 on it.
-How does that sound?
-Well, baby price!
When the high chair gets to auction, the bids come in thick and fast.
£65 I'm bid now. £65. 70. Five.
Find out just how high they go later.
'Back at he rummage, Anna finds a boxed 12-piece fish-cutlery set.
'Silver plated and with mother-of-pearl handles,
'these blades could bring £30 to £40 to the cruise kitty.
'We have Andrew's grandfather to thank for our next discovery.
'It's a collection of cut-glass tableware,
'and James thinks these should bring in around £10 to £15.'
Amanda, I think I know what's inside this box.
Yes, I do. Excellent! Where did it come from?
-It was. Right.
Right, right, right. OK. That sort of figures,
because I can see on the bottom 1917,
so First World War. And do you know what it is?
Some kind of compass?
Well, it is a compass, you're right, but it's a bit more than that,
because it's actually got, as well as having north, south, east, west,
it's got one or two other little sort of gizmos on it.
Vernier was a 17th-century French scientist,
and he invented a new way of taking sightings
to establish angles and distance,
involving this sight which just flips over there,
and you can actually...establish a very accurate sort of position.
But what I love about it is, they're always fantastic quality.
-Do you have any idea on value?
-I wouldn't have a clue.
Well, in some ways, they should be worth more,
but my feeling is that we should put between £30 and £50 on this.
When Andrew left the RAF,
he and Amanda decided to invest in a hobby
that would make up for the time that they'd spent apart.
So, you've found our van, Angela?
And the flowers that go with it!
This is absolutely fantastic, Amanda!
-How long have you had this van?
-We've had it about five years.
-Was it like this when you bought it?
-No. My husband and a friend, Paul,
did the carpentry, and we did all the interior ourselves.
Do I take it you'd like to have been a flower child of the '60s?
-I'm afraid so.
-Is your mum a hippy, really?
-Yeah. Deep down she is. I think so.
-Do the family have holidays in this?
We have holidays, go to van fests, have a good time.
-What do you do at van fests?
-You go to shows,
and meet people that do things with their vans
and see what's going on.
I know you want to do something special for your husband.
Is it going to be a '60s kind of celebration?
-No. He's just reaching the age of 50,
-and it'll be nice to take him on a cruise.
-And leave the '60s behind for a while.
And then come back to the van afterwards.
-Would you ever get rid of it?
Very groovy, and it certainly takes me back a few years.
But we need to get back to rummaging,
and Amanda has come across something else belonging to Andrew's grandfather.
This box contains six World War I honours,
including the Defence Medal, and some miniature replicas,
about a quarter of the size of the originals.
James salutes them with an estimate of £80 to £120.
'This watercolour painting is also heading off to auction.
'Depicting The White Cliffs Of Dover,
'James hopes it's going to make £35 to £70.
-Ooh, Amanda, this has caught my eye! You feeling lucky?
Well, let me say I can now dub you Dame Amanda.
-How does that feel? Yes?
I'm not going to take this all the way out,
because it really is a fearsome weapon.
This is an 1897 infantry-pattern sword,
and it was...
an adaption of an earlier sword, so produced through the centuries,
if you like, when the sword was one of the main weapons for soldiers.
It's actually incredibly well made, and if I show you...
Do you see the handle there? It's called shagreen,
which was either shark or ray skin. It's got a slightly raised finish,
which gives you a good grip when you're holding the sword.
If I tell you the value on this is probably somewhere between...
-£100 and £130...
-For a sword?
For a sword.
And the reason it's actually quite a lot, twofold.
One is that it would cost you an awful lot more to buy something like this new today.
But secondly, serving officers in the British Army today,
they actually have to have one of these,
so I think it's likely that it'll actually be bought
by a young army officer...
Whoa, James! I know we've got to raise money,
Is this something that's going to auction?
-It is, very much so.
-How much do we think we might make on it?
Well, I put £100 to £130 on it.
That is such good news because you want to raise £500.
Well, I can tell you that, at the lowest estimate,
we should be able to make...
I know that's £20 less than you want,
but when you get to the auction,
you've only got to have two people bidding against each other
because they want one of your items, and we'll make that money up.
-Are you both excited now about going to auction?
Swords ought not to be left lying around your home,
so do keep items like this out of reach of children.
Your local auction house will advise you on how best to sell militaria,
but with luck, this one will make a stirring auction lot,
alongside these fascinating pieces.
The metamorphic Victorian high chair
James thought this would appeal to the bidders with a price tag of £60 to £100.
He was also taken by that early 20th-century Chinese brass table,
but gave it a conservative estimate of £35 to £50.
Finally, the Swiss Eterna wristwatch
was valued at £40 to £60.
We could be in for an exciting time come auction day.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
James gives us a little taste of his refined upbringing.
Let me tell you, fish doesn't taste the same
unless you eat it with a proper fish knife and fork.
'And I let slip a little secret.'
-I can't resist a man in a uniform.
'Find out how it all goes when the hammer finally falls.'
Well, it's been quite a few weeks now since we were with Amanda
and her daughter Anna at their home in Wiltshire,
where we discovered all sorts of stuff.
We brought everything here today to the Chiswick auction rooms
in West London, where we hope we're going to be able to raise £500
towards a very special birthday treat for Amanda's husband.
All we need now are bidders who'll be prepared to buy their items
when they go under the hammer.
There are some really fine pieces for sale in this auction,
where, as usual, the bidders are on the lookout
for a truly special purchase.
So, one last look, Amanda and Anna, before they go under the hammer.
-Are you sorry to see them go?
And we've not just got the medals. We've got the miniatures of them,
-so what have you put them in at?
-That's important. £80 to £120,
-so fingers crossed!
-Lots of people who collect medals.
Hopefully they're here today. Shall we go and take our places so that we can start the auction?
Today's auctioneer gets the sale started.
'Amanda's first lot takes to the stand.
'It's the collection of cut-glass tableware
'that came from Andrew's grandfather.'
What are they worth? £10 to go. £5 to go,
for the glassware. Surely for a fiver, somebody.
Anybody want the lot for a £5 note? Oh, dear. Not a good start.
Could pass the lot for £5. Nobody want it for a fiver?
Sorry. Pass the lot.
Good heavens! That's amazing! Not sold, even for a fiver!
'Oh, no! Not a whiff of interest from the bidders!
'Not the best start for Amanda,
'so I hope her next lot brings success.
'It's the silver butter dish in the form of a shell.
James, silver always does well at auction, doesn't it?
Absolutely, because the melt price is very high at the moment,
so you've always got that as a starting point.
£20 for the butter dish. 20 I'm bid. Thank you.
22. 22, further away. 24. 26.
-Great! £28. 30 already.
32 here. 35 I'll take.
-32 here. In front of me at 32. Anybody else at £32?
-Couple of people who want it.
It's with you at 40. Yeah. With you at £40.
£45. Nearer to me at 45.
£48 with you, Albert. At £48. Anybody else?
£48, all done.
48! Just £2 short of James's top price on it.
-That was a good price!
-That was quite exciting, wasn't it?
-They say butter wouldn't melt!
Very good, James!
I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief
that we've banked some respectable money.
But our luck seems short-lived when the figurines fall well short
of their £15 estimate.
-At £5. They're going for £5.
-HE BANGS HAMMER
We're on a bit of a seesaw here. One minute we're up,
then we're down. But at least they sold.
And now we're back to something from Andrew's grandfather,
his World War I compass in a case. Will this get us back on course?
Bit of interest in it. I've got a starting bid of £10.
With me at £10. £12. 14. 16. 18. £18 in the corner. At 18.
20 everywhere. 20 I'll take from there.
22. 24. 26.
No? £30, standing, there in the cap. At 30. Anybody else?
35. Let's go. 38.
£45 in the middle, then. At 45. Anybody else? In the cap, at £45.
You all done and finished? £45 it goes...
-That was a good price! Yes!
-I think we're happy with that.
Obviously now people know where they're going,
because they've bought the compass.
That is a great result, just £5 under James's top estimate.
Maybe there are some militaria collectors here today.
That could bode well for the sword and the medals coming up later.
So, next up we've got the set of 12 silver-plated fish knives and forks.
Have you looked at these, Anna?
-Do you like them? Have you ever eaten with them?
Let me tell you, fish doesn't taste the same
unless you're using the proper fish knife and fork!
We've got £30 to £40 on them, in their original case,
so let's hope there are some more traditional buyers here.
I've got a little bit of interest. I'm bid straight off £35 for them.
With me at 35 for the fish eaters. At 35. 40.
45, with me. 50.
55. Still with me at £55, for those fish eaters. 60.
65. 65, still with me. On the book at 65.
70, fresh bidding. 75 with me. 80 in the room, against commission.
£80 for those fish eaters. At £80. You all done?
At £80 and going, then. £80.
Fantastic! That's double what we thought they'd make, James!
Isn't that wonderful? There are still people who have standards!
Well, you would know, James! There are obviously some bidders here
who also recognise quality when they see it.
I wonder what they'll make of Amanda's next lot?
It's her Dansette transistor radio, in need of some restoration.
We're back to the swinging '60s now,
because we've got this wonderful little Dansette transistor radio.
-He's off already!
-We were there!
-I love this.
It's a great blue colour. It's got everything going,
and this sort of retro thing very much coming back in.
-We were there first time round!
-We were, James.
What's it worth? I'm sure you've viewed it. £10 for it.
£10 for the little radio, surely.
Nobody interested? £10? £5 for it, then.
£5 I'm bid at the back of the room. Jolly good. At £5.
£6 anywhere? At £5, by the mirror there. Are you all done at £5?
It's going to be sold for £5. A maiden bid of £5. It's going.
-£5 and going...
-HE BANGS HAMMER
Well, it's £5 that you've taken out of the garage, really, isn't it?
-And you weren't using it.
-And it didn't have batteries in it.
-Bet they didn't know that.
-They've got to buy batteries, James.
-That'll cost more than a fiver!
'It seems only one bidder wanted the job of restoring that old radio,
'but I'm sure they'll get hours of pleasure from it once they do.'
At the halfway stage we've made £183 towards our £500 target.
But Amanda has plenty of interesting lots still to come.
If you'd like to try your hand at buying or selling at auction,
do bear in mind that there are charges, including commission.
These will vary from one saleroom to another,
so it is always worth enquiring in advance.
But her next lot on the podium
is the Chinese brass-topped occasional table
that used to sit in Anna's bedroom.
Little table there. Start me at £20 for it, surely.
For the little table. For 20. 22, 24.
26, 28. £28 for the table. At £28. 30 to my left.
30. Anybody else? £30.
To my left at 30. You all done at £30?
£30 and going, then.
-Just below, but still OK.
And there's more money in the pot
when the watercolour painting and Eterna watch go under the hammer.
42. At £42. £42, I'm going to sell it, then.
Adding £60 to our cruise fund between them. Not bad at all!
The classic high chair is up next, for £60 to £100.
So, was it used by children in your family? Just remind me.
Oh, yeah. My husband sat in it when he was small,
his sisters and our children.
-Anna, I bet you don't remember sitting in this, do you?
-Not at all.
£50. £50 to go.
50. Five. 60. Five. £65 I'm bid now.
£65. And 70. Five.
80. Five. 90. Five.
£95 I'm bid.
100. 110. You want 120, madam? 120. In the room at 120.
-£120 in the room now.
-120. Anybody else?
£120. I'm going to sell it, then. £120 it goes.
That's a terrific price. Your top price was £100.
-You were on the button.
-Double the low estimate.
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, loads of money.
-We like that!
What a great price for that high chair!
So, we reach Amanda's last two lots,
the militaria handed down through the family.
And first up it's the infantry sword that's now more than 100 years old.
They cut such a dash, these guys, with their Sam Browne belts and then a sword on the side.
-And the medals.
-And medals as well.
-Can't resist a man in a uniform!
Well, YOU can say that.
50 I'm bid. Thank you. 55. 60. £60 is all I'm bid
for that sword, now? Not enough. 65.
Thank you. 70.
-At £75 in the middle of the room.
I can sell it at £75. You all done? 80, fresh bidding.
£95, my original bidder. At 95.
At £95. You all done? £95 and going. 95.
Thank you, sir.
£95, just £5 short of our lowest estimate.
But not a bad return.
I thought that was going to sell for 60 quid!
-The cut-and-thrust of bidding
eventually brought it nearly up to where we wanted to be.
So 95. Not bad.
At last! Their heirlooms do seem to be doing rather well.
So how will those medals do?
They're from both World Wars, and include some miniatures.
-Interest in the lot.
-I'm bid £60 straight off.
With me at 60. Five. 70. Five.
-Lots of people bidding.
100. £100 there. At £100.
110 there, fresh bidding. 120.
-Over our top estimate!
60. 70. 180. 190.
No? 190 in the middle of the room. 190.
Fresh bidding, 200. 210?
No? £200 there. 200.
Anybody else? At £200, at the bar. For £200. You all done?
£200 and going, then. 470. Thank you.
Wow! What a terrific result! What do you make of that, Anna?
-That's really, really good.
for your great-grandfather's war medals.
There's no doubt that that excellent final sale
has made all the difference to Amanda's total.
'So, time to reveal the final sum!'
Well, it has all added up to a wonderful total,
which is actually more than the £500 that you wanted,
which means you can have the £500 holiday,
and you'll have some left over to spend on the new granddaughter,
because your grand total is...
Amanda certainly hasn't let the grass grow under her feet.
She's already booked that birthday treat for her husband Andrew.
'We're going to Cyprus.
'My husband's been there when he was in the forces,
'so it's like going back in time for him.'
I can't wait! I wish it was this weekend we were going.
Amanda Dickson wants to organise a treat for her husband's 50th birthday. He inherited various items from his grandfather who served in both world wars, and Amanda calls in Angela Rippon and James Rylands to help sort through them.