Berman Cash in the Attic


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Berman

Series looking at the value of household junk. Rodney and Jean Berman are downsizing and they also need cash to fund a trip to Hong Kong to visit their son.


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Transcript


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Welcome to the show that finds the hidden treasures in your home

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and then we sell them at auction. Today, we're helping a family

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who have a fascination

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with the Orient. They're looking to take a trip halfway around the world

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for a family reunion.

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Let's see if we can find some cash in their attic.

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'Today, there's some white gold, in amongst the family heirlooms.'

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That is absolutely fantastic. Are you going to wear this?

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Well, apparently not!

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'Maybe we'll have better luck with the family silverware?'

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-Is it complete?

-Yes.

-Where's the bread knife?

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-It's missing.

-I thought you wouldn't notice!

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'Nothing gets past me, but this wastepaper bin

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'had uses even I hadn't foreseen.'

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-It's a plant pot!

-Yeah.

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Well, a wastepaper bin/planter.

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'Whatever you call it, it's bound to be of value when the hammer falls.'

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Rodney and Jean Berman have lived in this bungalow for over 30 years.

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Though he's semi-retired,

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Rodney still jets around the world on business trips,

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usually accompanied by their son, Joel.

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With their four children having flown the nest,

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The Bermans now feel ready to downsize,

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but it's to help with another long-haul trip that they've called

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in the Cash In The Attic team.

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The Bermans' home looks as if it's packed with collectables.

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Paul Hayes has already got to work.

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With 20 years' experience as a dealer,

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he's just the right man for the job.

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A-ha. Good morning. Looking at flights?

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-Yes.

-Where are you planning on going?

-To Hong Kong.

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OK. Any particular reason?

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We have a son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren there,

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so we're planning to visit.

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-Joel, are you going?

-Probably not.

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Not unless you find something REALLY good!

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-What do you think of your parents going?

-It's great.

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They should get out more often, go travelling, see the family.

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-I understand that you're selling this house.

-It's on the market.

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-It's enormous!

-Too big for two of us.

-They've all gone, have they?

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They've all left the nest.

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So you decided, that's enough housework!

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Yes. Instead of the children coming to visit us, we will visit them.

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So, if you want to raise the money for going to Hong Kong,

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what figure are you looking at?

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-I was hoping for £1,000.

-Right.

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So we need to raise £1,000 for this trip to Hong Kong.

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-Shall we get the items valued, then? Find Paul?

-Yes.

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-Follow me, then.

-Thank you.

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Family ties are clearly important,

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so let's see what we can do to get them on that trip.

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In the hallway, something has stopped Paul in his tracks.

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-Paul.

-Hello, there.

-Good morning. Where was that?

-Just here.

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-How unusual is that? It's like a gate or door.

-It is an old gate.

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It came from Marrakech.

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I tried to find out more of the history from my friend in Marrakech.

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He tells me it's the door of the big gates that go into a courtyard.

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So they could just walk in.

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I tried to find out how old it is. He thinks it goes back a long time.

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-What do you think, Paul?

-I'd say 19th century.

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If not a little earlier. They used camel or cow bone instead of ivory.

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It would be profusely decorated.

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If we put this to auction with at least £100, £150.

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-How does that sound?

-Sounds pretty good.

-Fantastic.

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So, while Paul flexes his rummaging muscles with that intriguing gate,

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Rodney's already busy

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turning up this impressive set of plates by Royal Worcester,

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a prestigious manufacturer with a timeless appeal,

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famous for fine decoration.

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Paul values this 1960s set

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at a distinguished...

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Jean's happy to part with this collection of oriental furniture -

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a cabinet, side table and mirror.

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They brought them back from Hong Kong in the late 1970s.

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Paul gives the lot a price tag of...

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-Paul, come and look at these chairs a minute.

-Where are you?

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-Oh! These are nice, aren't they? Is this your style?

-Yes.

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These are like a director's chair. How long have you had these?

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These we've had about 30 years.

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-Just the two of them?

-Just the two. We bought a matched pair.

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-Are these inherited?

-No.

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We bought these in a high street store in London.

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They're extremely modern.

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They were developed in the 1920s

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and were extremely popular, very modern.

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A guy called Marcel Breuer made the design for them.

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1920, just come out of the First World War, everything was dark,

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Victorian interiors.

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These were a totally different look. He was a revolutionary, a modernist.

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Only now we call it Art Deco, in hindsight. It was ultra modern.

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Apparently, he was inspired by the handlebars on his push bike.

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He thought, "Why don't we make furniture from these?"

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He bent chromium tubes, which make the frame, then the use of leather.

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What you end up with is a very geometric, very funky design.

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I think they're fantastic.

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You'll certainly get your money back. They were a great investment.

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You've had use of them for 30 years. I think someone will fancy those.

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If I was selling them, you're looking at the 300 mark.

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For auction...

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Not a bad return after 30 years.

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-You get your money back.

-Absolutely.

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They're quite light to shift, but we'll leave that to somebody else.

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Paul's attention turns to this pair of gold watches.

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The round watch belonged to Jean's Polish grandmother.

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The square rotary watch was Jean's mother's.

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Paul values them at...

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-How long ago did you meet?

-We actually met at school.

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Right, so was it love at first sight, Jean?

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-I'm sure it was.

-And was it the same for you, Rodney?

-Absolutely. Yes.

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-How long have you been married?

-For 42 years.

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-That's a long time.

-It is.

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A lot of that time, Rodney, you've been away because of the business.

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We were married when I was 21.

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-I've been travelling to the Far East for 40 years.

-Goodness.

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What's your secret ingredient for being together for this long?

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Well, he used to always bring me something nice back.

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-That helps, let's be honest!

-He used to bring for the children, as well.

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When was the last time you saw your son who lives in Hong Kong?

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The children were here in the summer for the first time in four years,

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but he was only here for a short time.

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We want you to raise the money for those tickets to Hong Kong.

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-Shall we see if Paul's found something?

-Absolutely.

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'All this talk of globe-trotting is tiring me out.'

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There's no time to rest if we're to send the Bermans to Hong Kong.

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Paul's spotted a figurine which was given to Jean as a gift.

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It's made by the popular firm Lladro, which started in the 1950s

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and gets a modest price tag...

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At auction, I wonder whether the little Lladro boy

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will find someone to give him a new home.

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£20, I'm bid, for the lovely Lladro.

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'Will he reach his estimated price?'

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I've got to sell. Two. 22. Five. 25...

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Stay with us and find out.

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As our rummage continues, chez Berman,

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we've passed the halfway mark on our way to £1,000.

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-Lorne. Paul. What do you think of this?

-Look at that!

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What a lovely canteen.

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This is a 12-piece cutlery set, bone handled.

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It was left to my parents in 1983.

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The person who left it got it as a wedding present in the 1930s.

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-That's what we think is the history.

-You hit the nail on the head.

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These are often wedding presents, and 1930s fits in with this example.

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The original idea goes back to the 18th century.

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This is a silver table, it would be in your room with your teapot,

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maybe your sugar and cream sat on the side ready for use.

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As time progressed, it turned into a canteen.

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We've got Queen Anne legs, the ball and claw feet,

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a power symbol of the 18th century.

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-Is it complete?

-Yes.

-Where's the bread knife?

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I thought you wouldn't notice!

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I wouldn't have, except for the big sign that says "bread knife".

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-Can you get another one?

-You can always get another one.

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It's very hard to find the exact one that would match this canteen.

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You could get a "marriage". It's almost right, but not quite.

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What value are we talking about, Paul?

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The 200 mark, upwards.

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If two people fancy it, we could do quite well with it.

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-What do you think about that valuation?

-That makes sense.

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It has got the bread knife missing. I think that's fair value.

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Good, well, that's going to help. Shall we see what else we can find?

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Another terrific item to take to auction.

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Joel unearths a bone china tea set

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by the Derbyshire company, Abbeydale.

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There are plenty of Abbeydale admirers, including Paul,

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who values this set at a refreshing...

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-I wonder, Paul, if these are any interest.

-Ah, now, then.

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These are nice, aren't they? Little chariots.

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-Where are these from?

-They came from Japan.

-What a nice thing!

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-It must be exciting seeing all these exotic places.

-It must have been.

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What's beautiful about all Japanese items

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is they have a style of their own.

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Japan was a closed country until the late 19th century.

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All their styles and work was individual.

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The metalwork is superb quality.

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It comes from making Samurai swords, part of Japanese dress.

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When they adopted the Western style, they had wonderful metalworkers.

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They made items from silver and bronze.

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They're regarded as the best in the world.

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This is solid silver. It's been made with the European market in mind.

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In English, it's got "Japan" and "sterling".

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It's telling us this is good quality.

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If this was made from 100% pure silver, it would be too soft.

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They have to mix it with an alloy, usually copper.

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That gives it its sterling standard. It has to be at least 92.5% pure.

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But these have a use. They have a little trap door.

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You'd put a powder in there.

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One has a narrow hole, one has a large hole.

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The narrow for salt, the large for pepper.

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I think they're top quality.

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If you've got a Japanese and a silver collector,

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-they should do well.

-That sounds lovely.

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-Let's put them somewhere safe, back in the drawer.

-Thank you very much.

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It's been a journey of discovery,

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with items from every corner of the world.

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The search isn't quite over yet.

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-I've just found this in the other room.

-That's a nice one.

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It's a white gold Jaeger-LeCoultre dress watch.

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I was going to ask if it was silver or gold!

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Is that what you keep for best?

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When you're dressed up, going to a wedding or a charity function, it looks the part.

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What I want to find out is the carat value. Do you know?

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-Is it 9 carat or 18 carat?

-18 carat.

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It is. It says 750.

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That means that it's 75% pure gold, which is 18-carat, as we know it.

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It's called a mesh design, it's all interlaced like rope.

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Very popular in the 1960s, 1970s.

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It can split through overuse, but this is perfect.

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I have seen splits where someone's tried to repair it

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and you get these horrible blobs.

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Are you going to wear this, then?

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-Is this being handed down?

-Apparently not!

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I didn't know about this watch.

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It's a beautiful watch, but things go in and out of fashion.

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To sell this now, you're looking...

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-That sounds good to me.

-Would you put a reserve on it?

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On your basis, maybe 750, 800?

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If you're happy with that, say about 700.

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Put that reserve on it as a minimum and see how it goes.

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What a fantastic thing!

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What a great result.

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The Bermans stand to make around £1,650,

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well beyond their original target.

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It won't be long before their lovely items come up for auction.

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Let's hope their success or failure doesn't hinge on that Moroccan gate.

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The charming rickshaw salt and pepper pots should prove tempting.

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And there's the impressive set of Far Eastern furniture.

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I can't wait to see how that gets on.

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Still to come on Cash In The Attic,

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Joel is keen to distance himself from the Lladro boy.

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-Nothing to do with you?

-Nothing to do with me. It's hideous!

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'Will Rodney be happy with the auctioneer's pricing?'

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His price is unreasonable. It's far too low.

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And will Jean's expectations be met when the final hammer falls?

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When we met the Berman family, they were in the process of downsizing.

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That involved clearing out 30 years worth of clutter.

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We found some very collectable pieces, that we've brought here

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to Frank Marshall auction rooms in Knutsford.

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They want to raise £1,000 to visit their son Daniel in Hong Kong.

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Let's hope the bidders are enthusiastic when our items go under the hammer today.

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They say the early bird gets the worm. As soon as the doors open,

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potential bidders are eagerly looking over today's best buys.

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Jean, Rodney and Joel are eager to see

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if they can still raise that £1,000 total.

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-Good morning. How are you?

-Very excited.

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-Are you? You've moved, of course.

-Yes, we've left the big house, now.

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Some of your furniture is here, so is it like deja vu?

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It is strange to see it in a confined space. It was spread round the house.

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-It's not just furniture, Paul.

-We have a real mixed lot.

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-Some Chinese items and a door from Marrakech!

-Like you do!

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It's quiet because everything's happening upstairs.

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-Shall we go and get in position?

-Yes, let's go.

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'We'll leave the furniture area and go upstairs to the collectables.

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'It'll be fascinating to see how the family's smaller items fare.

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'We're in position, as the first item goes before the room.

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'It's the pair of gold watches, valued at...

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Right, I can start the bidding at £130.

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Five? 130 bid. Any more? At 130.

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135. 140 on commission.

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145. 150. Commission bid of £150.

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Any more? Are you out in the room, 150?

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All done at 150.

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That's a great result!

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Certainly was, and we're hoping Rodney's very smart dress watch

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in white gold could do even better.

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Right, I can start the bidding on commission at £810...

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£810, straightaway!

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..Anybody else? At 810. I'll take 820, if you like.

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Are you bidding? 820. 830 here.

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At 830. Any more? 840. £840.

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850, on commission. At 850.

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Last chance, is at 850.

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There you go. Are you pleased with that? That's fantastic.

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'We're already winding up very close to our overall target!

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'The Japanese silver cruet set fails to get the bidders going.

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At 35. Any advance, then, quickly...?

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-He's not going to sell them.

-..Yes or no, at 35?

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Not quite there, I'm afraid.

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'So, it heads home with Jean.

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'The Abbeydale tea set does find a new owner, though...

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£38. At 38. Take 40. At £38, the bid's on my left. 40, sir?

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-No...?

-He's going to let it go.

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There you go.

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..albeit a little short of Paul's £50 estimate.

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'Hopefully, the canteen of cutlery

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'will get a more enthusiastic response.

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'We're looking for £200.'

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Nice lot, there. Where are you going to be?

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Should be a couple of hundred pounds. 200.

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Where are you going to be? One? 100, surely. 100 I've got.

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£100 I'm bid. And ten.

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120. 130. 140. 140 at the back. £140.

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50 where? At £140. In the doorway at 140.

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Last chances, now.

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At £140...

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He's let it go. £140. That's less than we wanted, isn't it?

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'Not as much as we hoped, but with the bread knife missing,

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'£140 isn't too bad.

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'Rodney and Jean's trip to visit their son Daniel is edging closer.'

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Completely into modern collectables. This is a Lladro figurine.

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Lladro is the one people really like to see.

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This one's really sweet - a little child with a dummy.

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-Nothing to do with you?

-Nothing to do with me. It's hideous.

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-You're not going to miss it?

-No.

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Cute little figure, there. £40.

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Where are you going to start me? 20? 20...

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It must be more than 20.

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..At £20? At £20 only...

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It's a bargain.

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We've got to sell. Two. 22.

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Five? 25. Eight? £28 at the back.

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Any advance on 28? Here to go. At the back of the room at £28.

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BANGS GAVEL

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-Don't think that was close to your heart now, was it?

-Don't cry(!)

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'I think Joel's over that one!

0:20:330:20:35

'The Lladro boy is one item

0:20:350:20:40

'the Bermans are pleased to see the back of.

0:20:400:20:43

At the halfway point, we've already made our target and then some,

0:20:430:20:47

'with £1,206 in the kitty.

0:20:470:20:51

'We've got six more lots, too, so who knows where we'll end up?

0:20:510:20:55

'If you've been inspired to try an auction,

0:20:550:20:57

remember that charges apply, whether buying or selling.

0:20:570:21:01

'Your sale room will give you all the details.

0:21:010:21:03

'Our last lot upstairs

0:21:030:21:06

'is the Royal Worcester dinner service,

0:21:060:21:08

'but the bidders don't seem keen.

0:21:080:21:10

80, then? Anybody here for it?

0:21:100:21:13

£80? No? Come on.

0:21:130:21:17

If you're not interested, we're not going to sell it.

0:21:170:21:20

OK? £80? Leave it.

0:21:200:21:23

-Are you relieved that he hasn't sold it for £80?

-Yes.

0:21:230:21:27

'A no sale for the dinner service but, since we've made our target,

0:21:270:21:31

'we're far from all washed-up.

0:21:310:21:34

'In the furniture room,

0:21:340:21:36

'I'm curious what the bidders will make of that door from Marrakech.'

0:21:360:21:41

There's been a discussion on the price.

0:21:410:21:45

-Paul, what was the estimate you put on it?

-A minimum of £100.

0:21:450:21:50

It's a fantastic example, but where else do you compare a price to it?

0:21:500:21:56

The auctioneer disagreed and said 20 to 30.

0:21:560:21:59

I disagree with the auctioneer. That's a ridiculously low value.

0:21:590:22:03

What's your view?

0:22:030:22:05

His price is unreasonable, I think. It's far too low.

0:22:050:22:09

-Do you have a bottom-line figure in mind?

-I think £50.

0:22:090:22:13

-So we need to make at least £50.

-Let's find some middle ground. £50.

0:22:130:22:18

Marrakech hardwood door panel. Good decorator's piece this.

0:22:180:22:23

Where are we going to go? £50?

0:22:230:22:26

£50 anywhere? £50? £40? £30 start me?

0:22:260:22:29

Good decorator's lot at £30.

0:22:290:22:32

Who'll start me off at £30? Need to start this going at £30.

0:22:320:22:37

I have a reserve. Thank you, madam. 30, I am bid. 35. 40. Five.

0:22:370:22:41

£50 seated. On my right at £50. Anyone else coming in?

0:22:410:22:45

The bid's in the room, on my right at £50.

0:22:450:22:49

You're relieved you haven't got to turn it into a coffee table!

0:22:490:22:54

'Someone found a use for it.

0:22:540:22:57

'Only half of Paul's estimate,

0:22:570:22:59

'but comfortably beating the one set by the auction house.'

0:22:590:23:05

Next it's the Chinese furniture.

0:23:050:23:07

According to the catalogue, a four-piece set

0:23:070:23:10

comprising a side table, a cabinet, a mirror and a wastepaper bin.

0:23:100:23:15

-Plant pot!

-Oh, it's a plant pot!

-Yeah. A planter.

0:23:150:23:19

Well, wastepaper bin/planter.

0:23:190:23:22

-LAUGHS

-That's what it says. What can I say?

0:23:220:23:27

£80, surely?

0:23:270:23:28

Four good bits in the lot for £80. 70, 60, 50 will start me. 50?

0:23:280:23:34

At £50? £40? Someone going to start the bidding at £40?

0:23:340:23:39

Nice decorative Chinese suite of furniture.

0:23:390:23:42

Surely someone at £40? £30? How low do you go? 30 I'm bid.

0:23:420:23:47

35 against you. 40. Five.

0:23:470:23:50

45 to my right, now. Any further bid on £45? Not a dear lot this at £45.

0:23:500:23:56

Last chance. Selling, then, at £45.

0:23:560:24:00

-ALL GROAN

-£45!

-Bit of a disappointment.

0:24:000:24:03

That is really disappointing.

0:24:030:24:05

'Plant pot or wastepaper bin, it was a bargain.

0:24:050:24:11

'Let's hope, for the family's sake, the rest of the sale goes better.'

0:24:110:24:17

I put these in as a pair but the auctioneer's split them up.

0:24:170:24:22

Realistically, we're looking for £100 a chair.

0:24:220:24:27

There's another one matching coming up afterwards.

0:24:270:24:30

I've got commission bids and I'm going to start on the book at...

0:24:300:24:35

-£60...

-£60, we're in.

0:24:350:24:38

..85. 95. 100 with me. 110. You're in there.

0:24:380:24:41

-£110. Book's out. 110...

-That's better.

0:24:410:24:44

..130, conflicting bids. £130, with the porter's bids.

0:24:440:24:50

At 130 in the room. Any further bid? All finished at £130...?

0:24:500:24:54

BANGS GAVEL

0:24:540:24:56

-Yes!

-£130! That is good, isn't it?

0:24:560:25:00

'Not bad at all. A comfortable £130.

0:25:000:25:03

'Will the second chair make as much for the Bermans' travel fund?'

0:25:030:25:09

Straight in at 130. At £130.

0:25:090:25:12

Any advance at 130? Anyone else? All done at 130. I'm selling here.

0:25:120:25:17

That was good, then, wasn't it? Absolutely.

0:25:170:25:21

'An excellent result and a nice conclusion to our auction.

0:25:210:25:26

'Rodney and Jean have raised a tidy sum for that all-important family visit to the Far East.'

0:25:260:25:32

-You wanted £1,000 to go and see Daniel in Hong Kong.

-Yes.

0:25:320:25:36

-Do you think you've got anything like that?

-Yes.

-You have!

0:25:360:25:41

You've got £1,561!

0:25:410:25:43

-Fantastic!

-Thank you very much.

0:25:430:25:46

-Mind you, you're taking a few things home!

-Thank you, yes.

0:25:460:25:50

-We don't mind!

-Absolutely.

0:25:500:25:53

It's been a number of weeks since Rodney and Jean's day at auction.

0:25:570:26:02

To get a taste for their trip, the couple made the journey to London

0:26:020:26:08

to the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

0:26:080:26:11

We've come to get a flavour of the Chinese New Year,

0:26:130:26:18

because we're going to spend our money in the Far East.

0:26:180:26:21

I've had an association with Hong Kong for many years.

0:26:210:26:24

It's always been business trips,

0:26:240:26:26

but this time we thought we'd spend it as purely family time.

0:26:260:26:30

Not only are Rodney and Jean Berman downsizing in readiness for a house move, they also need cash to fund a trip to Hong Kong, to visit their son. Lorne Spicer and Paul Hayes provide expert eyes as they hunt for items around the home to sell at auction.