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Welcome to the show that finds your treasures
and helps you sell them at auction.
If you're anything like me, you sometimes buy things
just because you like them without knowing where they've come from.
So, stay with us as we try to trace the history of the pieces we find on Cash In The Attic.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic,
there's concern for the safety of our expert when he finds these silver Vesta cases.
If you expose the match to the oxygen it would self combust.
As long as you don't self combust!
An unusual painting knocks me for six.
I've never seen anything quite like it. Have you, Paul?
-And, does Marcelle have a soft spot for our Paul?
-I've this ring...
I didn't know you cared, thank you very much!
So, will it be happy ever after when we get to auction?
What do you think of that then, Marcelle?
Find out later in the show.
I'm selling, last time.
I'm at Gillingham in Dorset, and I've come to meet a lady
who's called in the Cash In The Attic team
to help raise money for a family reunion stateside.
Meet 83-year-old Marcelle Hesp, and her very good friend Lily.
Marcelle has an interesting past, working in the
Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver in the Second World War,
and raising a family in America, where she lived for over 40 years.
She recently lost her husband, and now lives in this cosy three-bedroomed house in Dorset.
But her four children and eight grandchildren are still in America,
and she's naturally anxious to be reunited with them.
She hasn't seen them for over a year.
So, Cash In The Attic are here to help.
-How nice to see you, and what a fantastic day.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
OK, who's who? I guess you're Marcelle?
-I am, yes.
-And Lily, how nice to meet you.
How long have you known each other?
About 40-odd years.
I wanted to ask you, Marcelle, about your name.
Well, my mother was French and so she wanted to call me Marcelle.
Then she had a friend called Carmen, so she said that was my next name.
Carmen. And Victory was after my mother.
-I guess you just call her Marcelle, do you?
Everybody calls me Marcelle.
So, tell me, Marcelle, why have you called in Cash In The Attic today?
Because I'd like to raise some money in auction
to go to America to visit my children, my grandchildren, who are scattered around America.
And I'd also like to upgrade on my flight, not economy.
And how much money do you think we might be able to raise?
Well, I'd like to think 600 at least, I think.
OK, girls, let's get rummaging.
Well, it looks as if Marcelle has her trip carefully mapped out.
She clearly has an eye for detail.
Her home is immaculate, with everything in its place.
And Paul Hayes has found a perfect spot to get started.
-Here he is.
-How are you, all right?
-They're lovely, aren't they?
-Where are they from?
My husband bought me the bracelet.
And these two, I'm sure he probably bought those also, because I was collecting, at the time, matchboxes.
They're a Vesta case.
And Vesta was actually the Greek goddess of the hearth, or of fire.
And, of course, in here you'd have your matches.
And they go back to a time before safety matches.
Nowadays we have to strike the match on the edge and you make the fire.
Before these were made, you put your match in here, and if you
exposed the match to the oxygen in the air, it would self combust.
As long as you don't self combust!
When you opened the top, did it go "pow"?
It comes with a wrapper, and once you release the wrapper, that would happen.
These ones are a little bit later, because they have the scratch on
the bottom where you can rub your match across and get your light.
But these are both solid silver. from the turn of the century, made in England.
-This one is a bracelet, and that's absolutely beautiful.
-Did you wear it out and about?
Yes, I thought it was very pretty. And I did wear it quite a lot, yes.
So what sort of date would that be, do you think?
Well, this is probably about 1930, actually. And it's very oriental in its design, very asymmetrical.
I think it's beautiful, the workmanship.
Can you part with them?
I'd be very happy to part with them, yes.
Well, you've got three very nice, attractive pieces of silver here.
And I think people do love to invest in them.
-If I said around the 100 mark for those, sort of 60-100?
And so our search for antiques and collectibles takes off.
I quite fancy this nest of tables in the conservatory.
They're a modern reproduction of an Edwardian style.
And should, hopefully, fetch £30-£50.
Meanwhile Marcelle reminisces about her time in America,
and a special hat she bought eight years ago.
The Stetson takes its name from the American John B Stetson,
who created the cowboy hat in the mid-1800s.
But I'm hoping there won't be any cowboys in the saleroom, as we need this one to make £10-£15.
And Lily's found an interesting looking piece in the hallway.
Now then, it's the lady with the lamp.
I found this lovely lamp.
Is this something that you've brought along?
No, it's Marcelle's oil lamp.
And do you know where she got it?
Yes, she got it in a flea market in London when she was about 22 years of age.
People don't use them as much as they used to.
-This was the only form of light at some point.
And you'd get your kerosene or your paraffin would go in here.
You'd have these two burners, if I just take this top off
which are dipped into the paraffin or the kerosene.
With this ratchet here you could make the light brighter or duller,
depending on what you want.
Of course, this would protect it from any drafts.
The shade would be the same colour as this. So I think this may be
a replacement at some point.
But this is lovely. This is European, around about the turn of the century, it's very Art Nouveau.
I've heard of Art Nouveau.
You've got this wonderful organic form.
And this is known as Vaseline glass,
it looks like Vaseline has been rubbed around the base.
And that's very difficult, how they managed to get from the white
all the way up to the dark green, very difficult indeed.
So that really is the most valuable part of the entire lamp.
If that went to auction, I'd like to see it with an estimate of £80-£120.
Yes, that sounds fine.
-Does that light your fire?
-It lights my lamp.
-That will do, then. Let's put this lid back on.
And let's keep looking.
Well, that's a great find, and Marcelle is happy to see it go.
She's been busy too and has dug out
a cased collapsible fishing rod which was a present from her husband.
Our expert hopes it will fetch £50-£80 at auction.
Paul carries on the good work,
spotting this beautiful French hand-painted headboard in the bedroom.
Marcelle bought it in America in 1985,
and Paul thinks it's worth £50-£100.
At 83, Marcelle has certainly lived life to the full.
You've been married three times. You've lived in the States, you were in the war as a driver, weren't you?
-And you've driven all over the place. You're quite a gal!
Well, I've lived a long time!
But this took you to America, somehow.
Your life has ended up in America. Tell me how that happened.
My sister was in America and not well at all. Quite ill.
She wanted me to go over to help her, which I did.
And stayed in America, and married in America.
So I stayed there until I was a widow.
It must be very difficult, though, that separation? Because you've got
two daughters, two stepchildren, numerous grandchildren, and they're all out there in America?
I've been to visit them.
And they come and visit me sometimes.
We want to get you over there in style for a visit.
-Yes, in style.
-We've got to carry on rummaging.
America is clearly like a second home to Marcelle now.
So, the sooner we can get her there, the better.
Good friend Lily is keen to see her reunited with her family,
and hopes that this large steamer trunk will help towards the target of £600.
It would probably come in handy on Marcelle's travels,
but she'd rather it made the journey to the auction room.
Paul values it at £50-£100.
And the urge to travel is clearly on Marcelle's mind.
Now then, Marcelle, what have we got here?
Well, Captain Hilton. I know nothing about Captain Hilton.
-Where does this come from then, Marcelle?
-It came from France.
It came from a street market called the Braderie not far from Cherbourg.
He's Geoffrey Hilton, and he was in the Royal Flying Corps, and he was
a major pilot round about the turn of the century into the First World War.
He was our Red Baron, if you think about it.
He got a Military Cross, a medal for bravery.
But, of course, this doesn't date from that period, I'm afraid.
No, I doubt it.
This is the sort of thing they used to fill out pubs with in the 1990s.
That's a good place to be!
OK, so, are you willing to tell me how much you paid for it?
I paid 12 euros.
You'll quadruple your money, I think.
If I said £40-£60?
I think it's lovely. I like it.
I like it too. But well done, that's a great find. Fantastic.
I'm very happy to have learned all that about Captain Hilton.
I did wonder about him.
But, when it goes to auction, will it be "chocks away!"?
Start me here at £25.
Let's hope the '90s pub sign will take someone's fancy on sale day.
So far, we've earmarked valuables worth £310 towards that trip to America.
Not bad, but we need to keep up the hunt.
Paul props himself up with this fabulous 19th century silver-topped walking stick.
It was a present from Marcelle's sister.
He hopes it'll fetch £30-£70.
He also unearths this 1950s camera, with a Carl Zeiss lens in its case.
Zeiss founded his own company in 1846, and it's a brand that's still renowned around the world.
I'm sure any photography enthusiast will snap it up at £30-£70.
-Now then, Marcelle.
-I have this ring.
I didn't know you cared, thank you very much!
And I thought you might like to look at it.
-That's beautiful, isn't it?
-It's a citrine.
And I've had it about 45 years.
-Someone gave me the stone as a present.
I thought it was a lovely stone, but I didn't know what to do with it.
So I went to a jeweller and he had it set on a square like that,
so that it won't slip because of the weight of the stone.
-So, he did that for me many, many years ago. 45 years ago.
And I've worn it a lot and enjoyed it.
There's a beautiful, beautiful clarity on this as well.
It's quite large. You don't know how big it is?
Have you had it weighed or assessed?
-Well, I was told it was 10 carat.
It would be nice if it had been a diamond, wouldn't it?
Well, do you know what?
The four precious stones are emeralds, rubies, diamonds and sapphires.
If that were any of those you'd be looking at a world cruise.
-I wouldn't be here!
Well, citrines are found in Brazil, and they can range
from very pale yellow to a very dark, almost green.
The darker the colour, the more valuable they tend to be.
But it's very 1960s, very Austin Powers, isn't it?
You can imagine somebody wearing that today. Very much in fashion.
Well, if I said £100, maybe £150. How does that sound?
That sounds good. That sounds great.
Well, I love it. Its style is very much in vogue today, so I'm sure it'll make its target of £100-£150.
Now, just when we all think we've exhausted the house for antiques,
it seems that Marcelle might have discovered something quite out of the ordinary.
-She must have got that in the States.
-Obviously in America.
-Ah, now then.
How about this?
Let me see closer.
It's a strange picture. I've never seen anything quite like it. Have you, Paul?
I think I've seen this image before.
This is a very well-known artist, and a very well-known image.
Well, that's an original painting by Esther Hunt.
She's a very famous American artist. She was based in San Francisco.
And she painted children from Chinatown, so she'd actually
go out and capture the everyday life of the children at that time. But, you're going back to the 1930s here.
So, you've still got the traditional dress.
This little child is carrying a fan or a lantern by the looks of it.
Isn't that amazing?
I've always thought it was so pretty.
I loved it. And I've always had it up on the wall.
It's a very nice find.
You're obviously very attached to this, Marcelle. And yet,
you have said you want to put it in the auction?
Because I'd like to raise sufficient money to get myself into business class
going to the States, instead of economy.
-Is she going to get a good price,
-She certainly is.
This artist in particular, her work, in the oil paintings, larger examples can run into thousands of pounds.
This is a small watercolour. You've got to take that into consideration.
But, say around the £500 mark, sort of £300-£500.
-How does that sound?
-500 sounds good.
Would that be the sort of minimum that you'd want to take for it?
At this point in time, yes.
Life is hard, isn't it?
Well, that actually ends our day of rummaging. Have you enjoyed yourself?
I have. It's been very different.
Well, if we take Paul's lowest estimates on all the items,
and if we manage to sell them all,
I can tell you that you should make £830.
-That sounds wonderful.
That's a good sum towards getting you into business class.
And don't you agree that every lady should go in business class?
-I think so too, yes.
-What's wrong with first class?!
First class? Well, why not?
There's a real mix of pieces going off to auction.
And, with a bit of luck, Marcelle will soon be with her family again in America.
Some of the items going off to the saleroom are the silver Vesta cases
and oriental style bracelet.
They were presents from Marcelle's husband.
The Art Nouveau oil lamp that Lily found.
Marcelle is happy to see that go with a price tag of £80-£120.
And there's the beautiful 10 carat citrine stone, set in a gold band.
We're hoping it'll clinch £100-£150 on the day.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, there seems to be a lack of love in the room.
Oh, no! It didn't sell!
Nobody wanted it.
And Marcelle prepares herself for a very long journey.
-We're in trouble.
I'll be walking to America!
But there's no need for walking boots just yet. Hey, Marcelle, that's fantastic!
-All will be revealed later.
Well, it's been all go with Marcelle and her friend Lily since we rummaged around her house in Dorset.
Now everything has been packed up and brought here to Lawrences' auction rooms in Somerset.
You'll remember that nearly all of Marcelle's family live out in America and Canada.
And today she wants to raise £600 to add a touch of luxury,
including a new outfit, for her next trip out to see them.
So, let's hope that the bidders here today are going to help her
on her way when her items go under the hammer.
This auction house in Somerset runs its general sale once a week,
It's a treasure trove for collectors and dealers who hope to find a rare gem or a bargain.
'The sale's under way
'and we find Marcelle and Lily in the midst of things.'
Tell me, how are you feeling today?
Well, hopeful, hopeful.
-Have you brought everything along?
-No. Not the headboard.
I didn't bring the headboard.
Because I really do like it, I'm very fond of that.
It's hand painted. Something that I can't replace, really.
It's a beautiful item. The most beautiful thing in the sale today has to be that painting.
I think it's marvellous. Now, my original estimate was £300-£500.
We've put a reserve of 500 on it, just to protect it and make sure it fetches what you want for it.
Let's hope people realise that and it fetches that sort of money.
Well, I'm glad Marcelle is feeling positive about today.
But leaving that French headboard behind knocks £50-£100 of our total.
Last time then at 20... All done?
We're ready for our first lot. It's the Art Nouveau oil lamp discovered by Lily.
Paul valued it at £80-£120.
Bids start me here at 55,
60. At £65? 75?
£80 in front of me now. 80? £80,
and I'm selling. £80,
any more? Last time, then, at £80. All done?
-That's all right, isn't it?
Well, that's a great start to the day.
But will the silver Vesta cases and the bracelet,
valued at £60-£100, do equally well?
-Nice little lot, eh, Paul?
-Yes, these are in lovely condition, those Vesta cases.
They're very useful items, very nice to give as a present.
Start me at 50, 55. £60 is bid.
At £65, lady's bid in the room. At 65.
At 65, 70, five. 75 to my right,
and I'm selling at £75.
At 75, then, for the last time. All done?
-What do you think of that then, Marcelle?
An exciting start to the sale so far.
But, will the next lot put a smile on our faces?
It's the 1950s' camera in its case, with the iconic German lens.
and we're hoping it'll make £30-£70.
£20, if you will? £20 for it? At £20, anywhere?
-He might not sell this actually.
£20, if you're all done?
At £20 then, I'll move on.
For the last time then, at 20?
-He's withdrawn it.
-What's withdrawn it?
Not quite the perfect ending we'd all hoped for.
Things don't get any better either when the extendable fishing rod
suffers the same fate.
£35 for it?
30 if it helps to start? I'll move on at 30.
Making it two unsold lots in a row.
There's no time for doom and gloom though
as there's plenty left to sell.
I'm surprised you're getting rid of your Stetson hat, because it's rather special, I like it.
Well, I bought it in America and I don't use it any more.
It's a real, true Stetson.
The bid is with me here at £12.
£12, 15, 18,
20 and I'm out.
£20, to my far right.
I'm selling at £20. Any more?
-They liked that one.
-Yes, they did.
Selling over Paul's highest estimate, that's very encouraging.
Especially after those two non-sales.
Next up is the picture of Captain Hilton.
We're hoping for £40-60.
Start me here at £25?
-That's all right, isn't it?
At £25, all done at £25? Last time at £25?
-He sold it at 25.
-There you go. £25
I think we all expected more for the Captain Hilton picture,
but at least it sold, and that's cash towards Marcelle's travel fund.
So we can't complain.
We're halfway through the sale
and so far Marcelle's made £200 towards the target of £600 for that luxury flight.
so there's a good way to go yet.
If you've got a special reason to raise some cash,
and you're thinking of heading to auction,
please remember that commission and other charges may apply
so check with the salesroom first.
Next up is the 19th century
silver-topped walking cane valued at £30-70.
£40 for it?
At £40? 35, if you will?
Can't say less than 35. I'll move on.
It didn't sell.
Nobody wanted it.
That's a lovely example as well, wasn't it?
I've got a plan. You walk on the plane with the walking stick.
They'll send you to business class anyway.
"I need assistance!"
Now, though I'm glad Marcelle sees the funny side of it, I have to admit it's a bit worrying.
We still have £400 to make.
Let's hope that Edwardian-style nest of tables does better.
£20 for these, if you will?
£20 to start me here? At £20?
All done then, at £20 only?
I'll move on at 20.
Not the result we expected.
It's getting rather tense now, as the second half of the sale just hasn't taken off as we'd hoped.
Our steamer trunk is up next. It's a wonderful piece,
and we need it to make its estimate of £50-£100.
Bids start me here at £25.
I'm looking for more. At 25.
30, 5. 40, 5.
50 now. £50 in front of me, and I'm selling at £50.
At £50 now, all done at 50?
There you go, that's all right. That's gone.
Well, Marcelle seems satisfied with that.
Now it's time for one of my favourite items.
It's that dazzling piece of jewellery, the 10 carat citrine stone, set in a gold band.
We're hoping it'll fetch £100-£150.
OK, now, you can hardly miss this lot, it's that fantastic citrine ring.
With that enormous stone, in 10 carat gold, a wonderful item.
Will it to be hard to part with this?
No. But I've had it a long time, and I don't wear it any more.
£80 to start me here?
£80 for this lot? At £80 for it.
70, if it helps? £70 anywhere?
All done then, at £70, I'll move on at 70.
-So he hasn't sold that one, it's not gone. Good.
-I wouldn't sell it for that.
That's good. I'm delighted it's not gone but it doesn't help our target.
It's a beautiful ring.
It is a beautiful ring, but we're in trouble.
-I'll be walking to America.
Oh, dear. So far, we've made just £270 towards that target of £600.
I can see the dream of a luxury flight to America slowly slipping away.
The pressure is on, and we're relying on the Esther Hunt
painting to exceed all expectations.
Otherwise, it's economy class for Marcelle.
This is it. We have everything crossed here, because we've got the Esther Hunt painting coming up.
-You've got a big reserve, haven't you?
-Yes, I have, yes. £500.
Gosh. It's asking a lot I think, it really is.
I think it's worth every penny of that, it's a fantastic painting. Let's hope people agree.
Bids start me here at 100, who will say more? £110, 120.
150, 160. 170, 180. 190, 200.
220, 240. 260, 280.
300, and 20.
340, 360. 380, 400.
-That's what we want.
£480 now. £500, selling at £500. In the room
at £500 for the last time. At £500, all done?
-There you go, that's exactly what we wanted, isn't it?
Hey, Marcelle, that's fantastic!
What a relief. It's been such an unpredictable day here.
And setting such a high reserve was a risky strategy.
But it's a quality piece, and exactly what the serious buyers
have been holding out for.
So, will it be champagne and caviar on the flight to America, or a chicken sandwich?
Well, halfway through,
things were looking a bit grim, I have to say.
But, thanks to wonderful Esther Hunt, you have made your target as I'm sure you realise.
You were looking for £600 so that you can jet off in style to America.
Well, you've made £770.
That's very good, that's a big help.
I think you're going to be flying in luxury.
I hope so.
Well, Marcelle's auction paid for that coveted trip
to the United States, and a reunion with her family.
This is an album that my granddaughter Emma,
who's just 17, gave me this for Christmas.
She'd written in this card,
"I'm so happy I've spent a holiday with you.
"I love you so much, and it wouldn't be the same without you.
"I hope you enjoy your gift."
The album holds lots of special memories that she can cherish for years to come.
It's so wonderful to see them.
I miss them all.
Do you know what? She did it in style.
She went first class.
83-year-old Marcel Hespe needs to raise the air fare to visit her four children and eight grandchildren in the USA. Jennie Bond and Paul Hayes are on hand to look for valuables around her home to sell at auction.