Series looking at the value of household junk. John Greenwood wants to treat his 95-year-old mum to a surprise birthday lunch with four generations of her family.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic,
the programme that hunts for antiques and collectables in your home
and then sells them with you at auction so that you can raise money for something special.
You join me in Surrey at the Gatwick Aviation Museum.
One of our guests should feel at home here - she used to work for British Airways.
So let's hope that all of her antiques and collectables,
rather like these aircraft in their heyday,
will have a very smooth and successful take-off
when we get to auction.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic, who recognises this portly figure?
-Come and take a look at this.
-I think he has the same exercise programme as me, doesn't he?
I wouldn't dwell on that if I were you, John.
Can the family bear to part with their precious silver?
I'm not too certain about this, particularly on this.
It's quite an old piece and perhaps we can wait till the auction.
And will these Dinky Toys steer us towards the highest bidder?
-I caught him trying to play with them, John.
-Let's see if the room shares our enthusiasm.
Here comes the hammer.
I've come to Redhill in Surrey
to meet husband and wife Rosalind and John,
who've called in the Cash In The Attic team to help them raise money
for what is going to be a very special birthday party.
Keen gardeners Rosalind and John have lived
in their beautiful Victorian property for the past 26 years.
Rosalind originally came from Canada and met John back in 1970,
just minutes into her first ever visit to the UK.
Since that time, Rosalind has always felt especially close to John's mother, Margaret,
and so, with that very special lady's birthday on the horizon,
they've called in the Cash In The Attic team,
so that we can help raise funds to mark the occasion in style.
And there's our expert, John Cameron.
He's been immersed in the antiques business for over 20 years
and his knowledge on all things collectable is priceless.
Whilst he makes a good start indoors,
I find Rosalind and John out in the garden.
John, Rosalind. Why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
My mother's recently gone into a care home so her house is empty.
We're selling it.
And she's got a lot of old bits and pieces, shall I call them,
and we thought, "We've got to get rid of some.
"They might be worth a little bit of money, so why not Cash In The Attic?"
And your mum is happy for you to sell the stuff?
She's delighted that it might go to someone who's going to appreciate it,
and get a little money as well.
When you've raised all this money, what are you going to spend it on?
The idea is to have a slap-up birthday party.
She's going to be 97 and she has five grandchildren
and one great-grandchild
and she'd like to take us all out for a birthday do.
How much do you think you'll raise?
We were thinking around £500 might do us for a reasonable lunch.
A slap-up lunch and party, as you say, for £500!
Let's see how much of that money we can make for you. Come on.
I think a slap-up lunch with all the family sounds like the perfect way to celebrate a 97th birthday.
But if we're going to give Margaret an event to remember,
we need to start searching for items to sell.
Fortunately, Rosalind and John's home looks like it's full of potential goodies.
It looks like John Cameron's already made our first discovery of the day.
John, you've been busy. What have you found there?
I've found a rather elegant Victorian jewellery box,
but I'm hoping that you can tell me something about it.
All I know is it did come from my grandfather's family,
and it may have belonged to my grandmother,
but I rather think that it belonged to a lady who he cared for.
Her husband died during the Boer War
and he had agreed that when they went off to fight together,
that if one of them didn't come back,
the other one would look after his wife,
and so my grandfather looked after her until she died,
and I have a feeling that this could have been hers.
It's a super jewellery box. The quality is good.
It dates from the Victorian period.
You can see that quite clearly.
Looking at the quality again,
have a look at that beautiful violet or mauve velvet interior.
Very popular colour during the Victorian period
and you can see, no fading at all. This has hardly been used.
Then look at the furniture on here,
the hinges, the lock plates - it's just super quality.
The engraving and the finishing on there is first-class.
Straight away it would appeal to collectors of boxes.
-High quality boxes.
If we took it to auction, what might we get for it?
I think a good starting point would be about £80 to £120,
but I won't be surprised if it makes more.
-It's a super example of its time.
-That would be wonderful.
-Shall we go and see what else you've got?
What a terrific start to our day here in Redhill.
If we carry on like this,
we'll be popping open the champagne in no time at all.
Rosalind heads out to the garden and digs out a Georgian oak table
which used to belong to John's aunt.
It's not in the best condition, so it gets a moderate £50-100 price tag.
In the bedroom, John unearths a long lost childhood favourite.
John, are you there? I've found something that may be interesting.
Hornby Series M Station set.
Let's have a look inside.
I remember playing with that in my very young days.
I used to have a train set as well, but unfortunately that's not with it.
So when did you get this?
I must have been... It must be 55, 60 years ago.
-In the '50s.
-Yeah. Must be.
It's a fantastic set and the condition looks absolutely superb.
-It's Hornby, as we know.
But did you know he also patented Meccano?
That was his first invention.
Patented it at the beginning of the 20th century, about 1901.
A lot of the parts were from Meccano, the early parts,
and they all featured this wonderful lithographic decoration on all the pieces.
It's certainly a nice thing and we can sell this.
The great thing about it is we have the model and the box -
once this gets to auction, and the internet does a bit of work for us, it should generate some interest.
There are collectors out there and stuff like this is becoming scarcer,
certainly in this condition and so complete.
If we were to put it into auction,
I'd suggest an estimate of about £30 to £50,
-Would you be happy with that?
-Goodness me, that's fine to me.
-Let's push it through.
-We haven't reached the end of the line yet!
-Come on, we need to see what else you can find.
What a great find.
And under the stairs,
John finds an old album of illustrated Bonzo Dog postcards
by the British artist George Studdy.
Lovable pup Bonzo became hugely popular in Europe and America in the early 1920s
and today he could still fetch £40 to £60.
When the postcard collection gets to auction,
will the bidders bite off our hand for a bargain?
Will they appreciate Bonzo's pedigree?
90, 95, 100...
Find out later if they'll throw us a bone.
We're progressing steadily towards that £500 target
and John has dug out a box of building and pharmaceutical trade metals.
They denote the professional associations
to which each of his grandfathers belonged,
but sadly, these aren't as collectable as military medals,
so our expert values them at an unremarkable £20 to £30.
In the kitchen, John finds a cupboard full of cut glass.
It includes two decanters
and drinking vessels of all shapes and sizes.
He thinks the collection could raise £60 to £80 at auction.
John, take a look at our Jovial Monk.
Isn't he cute?
I think he has the same exercise programme as me, doesn't he?
I wouldn't dwell on that if I were you.
Is this one of your mother's or one of yours, John?
No, it came from my mother's house.
Well, as you know, he's Doulton,
designed by a lady called Margaret May Davis,
who's more commonly known to Doulton collectors as Peggy Davis.
She enjoyed a very long and successful career with Doulton.
I think he was introduced in the mid-1950s,
and continued up until the 1970s.
He enjoyed about 20 years in production,
but I think he's very, very charming.
If we take this to auction, what do you think we might get on it?
There's been a well-documented drop in demand for Doulton in recent years
but the thing I love about Doulton is their range is so diverse
that there's something for everyone and he's a charming figure
-and I think he should still have no trouble making between about £50 and £80.
-Happy with that?
-More than happy with that.
-More than happy with that.
£80 is a good sum again to put towards that 500,
but shall we see what else we can find?
And put our rather fat jolly gentleman back on the piano.
Come on, John.
I rather like our Jovial Monk,
and if he can raise us that £50 at auction, I'll like him even more.
In the dining room, Rosalind decides to part with these two large decorative vases.
Like our monk, they were made by Royal Doulton
and John thinks they could make us as much as £80 to £100.
I think I may well have found a couple of items
-we can send to the auction.
These two little silver vessels, this cup and this cream jug.
-What's the story behind these?
I think it came from the Greenwood side of the family
from whom we called the Aunts
who were the seven sisters of my grandmother.
This first piece, a little cream jug is part of a Victorian tea set
and if we turn it upside down we can see the hallmarks there
and both feature, as well as the standard set of hallmarks,
a duty mark which is denoted by the reigning monarch's portrait bust.
In this case it's Queen Victoria.
Along with the hallmarks, we can tell that this assayed and made in about 1840.
So, the beginning of Queen Victoria's very long reign.
This particular one is my favourite of the two.
It's a nice quality piece.
There's a good weight to it
and I love the different types of decoration
displayed on one single piece.
First, we've got this cantilevered cast acanthus leaf handle.
Around the body we've a continuous band of fruiting grapevines,
which could suggest this was for holding wine -
maybe a communion cup or something like that.
-Then the lower part of the belly has a very contrasting panelled bottom, doesn't it?
-Yes, it does.
All great skills for the silversmith to display in one single piece. We look at the hallmarks,
right on the end there after the standard set of hallmarks,
we've got another duty mark and that portrait bust there is George III.
I'd date this along with the date letter to about 1818 in date.
So it's a good... Nearly a couple of hundred years old. A nice thing.
If I'm putting them to auction,
I think I'd put them in together. An estimate of about £100, £200
-should see those sell quite comfortably. How would that be?
-I'm not too certain about this.
It's quite an old piece and perhaps we can wait till the auction.
Well, that means we still have some rummaging to do, John,
if we're going to hit that target.
Yes, I'm sorry. We'd better get going.
We'd better get going and see what else we can find. Come on.
We'll have to wait to find out if the silver cup and creamer make it to auction.
Upstairs in a bedroom,
I uncover a rather impressive collection of silver cutlery.
These sets were all wedding presents to the couple
and our expert thinks they should fetch
between £100 and £200 at auction.
And with every find, we inch closer to that £500 target
for the party for a very special birthday girl.
John, I'd like to know more about your mother, Margaret,
because she sounds like a real character.
What are your memories of her as a character when you were growing up?
Well, initially she was just Mum.
You know, she was a housewife
and dad went out to work and she looked after us.
She did lots of WVS as it was in those days.
-Women's Voluntary Service?
-That's right. It became WRVS.
But...no, she was just ordinary.
I gather she did have a life before she was married.
She certainly did have quite a life before she was married.
One of the things that she did I gather was that she was a navigator in the Monte Carlo Rally.
Yes, she was. She had a very good friend,
who obviously had a little bit of money
and she bought the cars and she used to drive
and my mother used to navigate.
And the Monte Carlo Rally at that time was the popular one
where you didn't have to be a professional to enter it.
You just needed to enjoy yourself
and that's what she did for a couple of years.
Rosalind, it must have been wonderful for your sons growing up
-having a granny who clearly is a pretty feisty lady.
They absolutely dote on her. She has five grandchildren.
My sister-in-law has a boy and a girl as well
and they just absolutely adore her. She's wonderful.
You have a very special relationship, don't you?
Which I think is very fortunate -
not everyone gets on well with their mother-in-law.
She's not the typical mother-in-law person at all.
She stepped in as my mother literally
from the time I was married and she's been absolutely marvellous.
Just the best. Absolutely the best.
Hopefully we're going to do a really good job for your mum
to ensure that her 97th birthday really is an event to remember.
-Shall we take a look at what else both you and she have accumulated?
-Yes, we shall.
Well, Margaret sounds like quite a lady
and I can see just how much she's clearly treasured by all her family.
Rosalind's on a mission and finds more of her husband's childhood toys buried in an old trunk.
It turns out to be an impressive collection of Dinky toys
and John values them at £100 to £120.
That's more like it!
Good work, boys.
But Rosalind and I think that we may have come up trumps.
Oh, John and John, how sweet.
But you don't both have to be on your knees to us, honestly!
John, when you get up, will you just take a look at that,
because Rosalind and I have just found this rather lovely pendant.
John, what can you tell me about the bewhiskered gentleman in the picture?
I believe he's my great-grandfather on my father's side.
And I know very little about him.
Except I think he was one of the founders of the building firm.
Date-wise I would put it at the turn of the last century,
late Victorian, early Edwardian.
-Would that tie in, do you think, with his dates?
-That would fit in.
The use of these seed pearls around the frame and throughout that bow,
which are natural seed pearls.
How much do you think it might make at auction?
We always have to think about demand for things like this and who's going to wear it.
If somebody did buy it to wear it,
they'll have to take grandfather out and put their own photographs in.
Or it would be kept as... Somebody who collects that kind of drawing
and put in a bijouterie table or something.
But I think with all said, it should easily make between £100 and £200.
It will certainly get the bidding started and if it made over 200,
I don't think I'd be the least bit surprised.
-John looks pleased with that.
-Yes, that sounds good to me.
If you're pleased with that,
hopefully you'll be pleased with the final total,
because I know your target is £500.
We think we might be able to make at auction £810.
-That would certainly give you a slap-up lunch.
Your mother will be dancing on the table at 97!
Well, what a day we've had in Surrey with Rosalind and John
and we've unearthed a truly eclectic mix of items to take to auction.
There's the stunning Victorian jewellery box
and I think it's worth every penny of its £80 to £120 estimate.
John's impressive collection of vintage Dinky toys have been well played with,
but, as many are still boxed, I think the bidders will be fighting
to get their hands of them for at least £100.
The question is,
will the delightful silver cup and creamer make it to auction?
There's clearly a strong sentimental attachment to them,
but with a valuation of £100 to £200,
they could certainly help to get the party going with a bang.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic...
John's looking rather pleased.
A smile on your faces, like the smile on the monk's face.
The auctioneer looks exasperated.
Ah! What's all that about, then?
And we all look surprised when the final hammer falls.
We had such fun meeting John and Rosalind
and sorting through that rather eclectic collection of items,
which we brought to sell today here at the Chiswick Auction Rooms in West London.
If you remember, their goal is £500,
so that they can have a really slap-up 97th birthday party for John's mother, Margaret.
We're rather hoping that our bidders are going to be really generous
when their items go under the hammer today.
Our items have been on view here well in advance of the actual sale
and in the busy auction room,
potential bidders are gathering, checking catalogues and noting bargains.
Ooh! Is a family heirloom getting a fond farewell?
Rosalind and John, well I see you've brought the silver cup,
but has it come on its own?
I'm afraid it is on its own.
It did have a silver milk jug with it,
but it's something that my sister has a sentimental attachment to,
so she would like to hang on to that.
John and I have also been looking around the room and we can't see
the gate-leg table either. What happened to that, Rosalind?
One of my sons actually tended to take a little bit of a shine to it
when we told him that it was on the way out,
so he... We've kept it at home.
As the auction's about to begin, Rosalind,
we should put that down, so everyone can have a good look at it
and that way we will get a good price on it
and take our place over in the corner there.
If, like Rosalind and John,
you're thinking of heading to auction,
remember that charges such as commission may apply,
so please do check all the details with the auction house.
Today's sale gets under way with our first lot,
that rather smart vintage jewellery case,
which our expert, John, thinks should do very well.
This is a wonderful item, still usable.
It's by a very good maker, Fisher, they don't come much better.
Condition-wise, very nice on the outside and on the in,
so I think it's worth every bit of its £80 to £120 estimate.
-Well, we'll soon find out.
-Start me at £100 for it?
He's already got bids in for it!
50 for it? Bid at £50. At £50. Say 55?
55, 60. 5?
80, 5? 90, 5?
£100. At 110?
At £100, are we done?
-Someone's keen to have it.
Going, done. £100.
£100, bang in the middle of John's estimate.
Yes, happy with that. How about you guys?
-Very happy with that.
The well-kept condition of that velvet-lined jewellery box caught someone's eye,
securing us a healthy start for our party fund.
Will the collection of glassware hit its estimate, too?
Start me at £50?
£30? Bid at £30. At 30, 32? At £30, take two, 32. 35 you want?
38? 38, 40.
42, 45, 48, 50. 55.
It's in the middle at £50. You're out at £50. Say 55?
I'm going to sell at £50. 5 I'll take at £50. You'll be the £50...
Do you want 55 over there?
No? At £50, selling, all done at £50 and sold. £50.
-OK with that?
-Goes a bit quick, doesn't it?
-It does, absolutely.
Well, a fast 50 isn't bad.
Just £10 below the estimate.
I'm praying that our friendly friar will amuse somebody in the crowd.
£50 for it?
At £50, say 55? £50, say 5?
55, thank you. 60.
Two bids. We've got £55. At 55. Give me 60 for it?
Give me 58 for it, if you like.
58, you want to come back in?
To be really annoying, 56?
What's all that about then? At 55 over there. £55, £55.
-So, smile on your faces like the smile on the monk's face?
£55 is just inside our lowest estimate,
which is more than can be said for the Hornby station set,
which fails to attract any interest at all.
I'm afraid it hasn't sold. No bids.
Oh, dear, slightly derailed by that particular lot.
But there'll be another one along in a minute.
Well, there might not be any railway fans in the room, but everyone loves receiving a postcard.
John valued this lot at £40 to £60.
But as there's a strong sentiment attached,
our couple have asked for a £100 reserve.
A bid at £30. £30. You want 32?
35, 38, 40, 42, 45, 48, 50.
55, 60, 5, 70.
They're going up, John.
At £65, you want 70? 70 there. 75.
Still short of your £100. Getting there.
100. At £100, seated.
£100, are we done?
110, 110, and back in at 110.
-You want 120? £110.
No bids this time, £110, sold for 110.
You were right to put that reserve on it.
What a great result for that unusual collection.
And it's followed quickly by the boxed cutlery sets...
Your last chance, I'm going to sell at 95. All done?
..which sell for £5 under their £100 estimate.
So far, it's been a good auction for the Greenwoods,
and at the halfway point, we've made £410 towards our £500 target.
That's impressive going.
Our next lot is a personal favourite for both the Johns.
John Cameron reckons that John Greenwood's Dinky cars
could probably do at least a ton.
Well, a lot of them have been really well played with some time ago.
One or two still in their boxes, but, erm...
hopefully someone will see the age in them rather than the condition.
We've got a good mixed lot there, and I think they're worth every bit of about £100 to £120.
But let's see if the room shares our enthusiasm, John.
£100 for the lot. £100?
-I'm bid £100.
-100 straight in, John.
120, 130, 140, 150, 160,
170, 180, 190?
180 bid. Take 190.
At 180, all out for 180?
At 180 and going. All done at 180.
-Goodness me! You'd never think it, but there we are.
-Bit shocked at that?
-Absolutely delighted, yes.
Those Dinky cars zoomed past John's upper estimate.
'So we come to that lonesome silver cup.
'The auctioneer has boosted the value to between £150 and £250.
'And John Greenwood has put a £150 reserve on it.'
We have our lone silver cup, because it's come without the jug.
But the auction house have actually upped the price that you put on it, John.
It's a nice example. It's late-Georgian and we've got the maker's mark on it.
Hopefully, yeah, if they're right, I will be delighted for you.
£100? £100 for it? £100 for it? It's worth £100.
£100, say 110? The bid's there for £100. £100. You want 110 there?
120, 130, 140, 150? 140 bid.
140. 140, is that all? At 140.
It's going to sell for 140.
£140, are you going to say yes or no? £140. £140, all done?
£140, you've got it.
I'm a little disappointed. I thought I might get a little bit more, but I'm happy with that.
The auctioneer used his discretion to make a sensible sale
under the circumstances,
pouring another £140 into the fund for Margaret's family meal.
The next lot to go under the hammer is this assorted collection of medals.
John Greenwood is pinning his hopes
on these decorating our burgeoning total with a modest £20 to £30.
Thank you. Straight in at £20. Say 22? At £20.
22, there, thank you.
25, 28, 30, 32, 35, 38.
-At £35, all out at £35?
38, 40, 42?
40 bid. At £40. At £40, say 42?
At £40, £40.
-That's a surprise, John, isn't it?
-It IS a surprise.
Yes, there's a collector out there for almost anything,
well, except, it seems, for the Royal Doulton vases.
Out of fashion, no bids.
You're taking them home with you.
Oh, dear - unsold. Well, you can never tell.
But before we declare our grand total, there's just one final item for sale.
The auctioneers have increased the valuation
on this lovely gold pendant to £300-£400,
but will the bidders play ball?
-Start me at £200 for it?
-200 he's starting at.
Looking for a bid of £200. Start me at £200 for it?
Nobody at £200? I'll pass the lot. Start me at £200 for it.
No-one for £200. If you change your mind, come to the desk. No bids. Not sold.
He started at £200, didn't get any interest in it at all and so has withdrawn it on your behalf.
Well, it just wasn't to be, but at least they can take it home.
John and Rosalind shouldn't feel too despondent, though, because I have a feeling that the total
is going to be very much to their liking.
You wanted £500 for Mum's 97th birthday.
I don't think you're going to be too disappointed, though,
because with everything else having sold, you've made £770.
-That's going to be some celebration, isn't it?
A short while later, and the Greenwood family
are gathering to celebrate the 97th birthday of John's mother, Margaret.
All her grandchildren and their partners have all come up
from various parts of England to celebrate with her, including her great-grandson.
This is my little boy, George, and he's the great-grandchild.
He's the only great-grandchild, so he's the star attraction of today.
The whole clan assembled in her honour, and this grand lady was clearly delighted to see them.
Well, it's the most wonderful thing that could happen to me.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my day today. It's been wonderful.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
John Greenwood wants to treat his 95-year-old mum to a surprise birthday lunch with four generations of her family. Angela Rippon and John Cameron join John and his wife Roslin to look over the contents of their home and hopefully raise £500 from the items they take to auction.