Series looking at the value of household junk. Two keen travellers attempt to raise as much money as they can to pay for a portable oxygen machine, with help from Paul Hayes.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic.
We have helped many people sell their antiques
to raise money for everything from holidays to flying lessons,
but today's couple just want to make life a little bit more comfortable for themselves.
So, that shouldn't be too much to ask, should it?
Coming up on Cash In The Attic, it's time to weigh up the family silver.
-Well, that's a good little whack, isn't it?
-Fantastic, isn't it?
We uncover a collection that keeps on growing and growing.
You can take that pile and I'll have a look through this lot.
And at auction, a golden find results in some exciting bids.
-That's amazing, don't you think?
Be there when the hammer falls.
Today I'm in North London to meet a couple
who have travelled the globe and have the antiques to prove it.
But now they want to make life a little bit easier,
so they've called in the Cash In The Attic team to help.
Bhupendra Gandhi is a prolific author.
He's written columns for several Asian magazines and numerous travel guides.
He's been all over the world.
He and his wife were childhood friends who grew up together in the same village in Tanzania,
but they didn't actually marry until after they'd both moved to England.
10 years ago, he experienced a medical complication which has limited his ability to travel.
He's hoping he can raise some money that will help his current condition.
Today I'm joined by antiques expert, Paul Hayes,
whose keen eye will prove invaluable when it comes to spotting the items that will reel in the bidders.
While Paul starts the search, I meet our hosts.
-Hi, good morning, Lorne.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, and you?
Yes, I'm fine. Good to meet you too.
You have called in Cash In The Attic. Here we are.
What's the plan, what do you want to raise money for?
I would like to buy a portable oxygen machine.
-Why do you need that?
-I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome
and it helps me to boost my immune system as well as give me a little bit of strength.
What happens now, if I want to go on holiday, we have to arrange the oxygen
delivered to the hotel and it's a very complicated procedure, so it puts me off going on holiday.
So where were you hoping to go for your holiday?
We would like to go to Spain, somewhere in Costa del Sol.
Normally, we go Spain because he couldn't travel
more than a two hours' journey without his oxygen machine, so we just go somewhere nearby.
Although we would love to go far away, but we can't.
Have you a figure in mind of how much you'd like to raise?
The machine costs around £3,000.
So anything will be of great help.
Paul's already here, so let's see if he's found anything you're happy to sell.
Chronic fatigue syndrome affects around a quarter of a million people in Britain,
leaving them short of oxygen.
£3,000 is an ambitious target, but we're determined to do our best to help buy the new oxygen tank.
Let's hope this house, packed with mementos from their world travels,
will give us what we need to make an impact at auction.
Hello, how are you, all right?
-Fine, thank you.
-Hi, Paul. I said you'd already been looking around.
I've found an interesting item.
Looking around your home, amongst all these interesting items, this is Japanese.
Is there a connection to Japan here?
Yes, one of my Japanese pen friends came to London
on her honeymoon and she brought me this present.
How lovely. So it's actually come all the way from Japan, just for you.
This was instantly recognisable as being from the Kutani region of Japan.
K-U-T-A-N-I. They were known really for having
this brick-red decoration,
so it always features prominently in their work.
It was made some time in the 20th century.
The reason I can tell that is that the gilding on it is extremely flashy.
The original gilding was very mute, almost like a honey gold.
When this bright, iridescent gold happens,
it tends to be a 20th century design, a 20th century feature but this is very, very symbolic.
These Chrysanthemums, that's the national flower of Japan, and that represents peace and harmony.
Whoever gave this to you thought a lot of you and was offering you peace.
What sort of value might we be talking about, Paul?
I would say at least £50 to £80, that sort of price band.
-Shall we put that back for safe keeping and see what else we can find?
As we go our separate ways to scour the house
I come across another item from the Far East, a rather nice Seiko watch.
The Japanese company has been manufacturing watches since 1881
and Paul thinks this 1970 design may make £40-60.
Hi, Paul, can you have a look at this? What do you think?
He is great, isn't he? Is Buddha part of your life?
No, not as such, but Hinduism and Buddhism go hand-in-hand.
-There are several Buddhas, not just one person.
-Oh, yes, quite.
He started to appear around 500 BC.
You can imagine how many millions
have been made since. You get them in various poses.
This is a seated one.
I'm not sure what he is made of.
It's supposed to represent granite or marble, I think, but you have air bubbles here, see that?
So it is some sort of a paste, more like a resin.
If you look down his back, you have a line, and that's a seam.
That means it's been made in a mould.
It is a moulded example, not a hand-carved, but I think you have a good quality 20th century Buddha.
If I said £30 to £50 easily, how does that sound?
Somewhere around £50 would be nice.
OK, let's hope someone follow that path of enlightenment and it gets us £50.
As we continue our rummage, Bhupendra finds an old Pentax 35mm camera.
Now in the digital age, it's time to retire it to auction.
Maybe someone will be interested in starting a film revival, if Paul prices this kit at £50-100.
In the living room, we take a closer look at this 1950s tapestry that came with the house they bought.
It's machine-made rather than hand-woven,
but maybe someone would like to display this in a peaceful setting.
If we set the price tag at £40-60.
So far we've had a flood of exotic artefacts
to add to our auction lots.
And Bhupendra has discovered a collection that definitely reflects his international heritage.
I must admit this is a fantastic collection of stamps.
My grandfather used to collect it.
He passed it on to my father and he passed it on to me.
Is this your grandfather's collection as well?
-Some of them.
-Wow. Well, that's amazing!
What I find fascinating, you have very interesting locations.
You must have had letters from Zanzibar, of all places.
Did you know somebody there?
My grandfather lived for nearly 20 or 30 years in Zanzibar
and I was born and brought up in Dar Es Salaam.
Zanzibar is only 40 miles offshore.
So we used to visit Zanzibar so often.
-A very beautiful place.
Are there any rarities amongst this?
This stamp got a lot of publicity because
Freddie Mercury had it in his album when he passed away.
Well, Freddie Mercury was from Zanzibar.
-Yes, he was from Zanzibar.
It's a very difficult thing, really, to put a value on.
Have you gone through them all? Have you catalogued them?
-Do you know what's here?
What we could do is send these to auction as a lot.
You do see lots of these albums around.
I don't think there has been a stamp here that somebody's paid an awful lot of money at the time for.
I think they are just run-of-the-mill ones, but what a collection.
I can imagine these going into auction, if I said at least £150, up to £200.
-How does that sound?
Let's make sure there's not a rare one amongst them.
You can take that pile there and I'll have a look at this lot here.
Rifling through the stamps should keep them busy for a while.
Meanwhile, Kamood has spotted a painting of three apples she's happy to see go.
This, along with two other paintings,
will comprise a lot, valued at £40-60.
As Paul continues looking for items to make up the cash for our £3,000 target,
I'm curious to know what sparked the romance between Bhuprenda and Kamood.
So, first of all, tell me how the two of you met?
We have known each other all of our life.
We both come from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
We were neighbours and my mother and Kamood's eldest sister, they were friends.
Even Kamood went to school with my sister.
So we have known each other since childhood.
When did you come over here?
I came to this country in 1968 and Kamood came in 1970.
When did you realise it was going to be a bit more than perhaps just friendship?
Gradually, we were seeing each other quite a lot.
And he proposed and I said I'd think about it.
And finally I said yes and we got married in '84.
I always feel sorry for men when they ask
the lady if she'll marry them and the answer is "I'll think about it."
I have known Kamood for a long time, so I could read her mind.
So I knew she would say yes.
So, once you were over here, what career path did you take?
By profession, I was an accountant until my mishap in 1999.
And what difference did that make?
Then I couldn't work.
So, after that, I took up writing.
That altered the path of the rest of your life, didn't it?
What sort of writing do you do?
Everything and anything.
I write short articles,
short stories, poems.
I have my latest book published, Ivory Tower and I have my own column with a magazine called India Link
and I also used to have a column in Asian Voice.
Fantastic. So I'm assuming this new piece of equipment you want to get will make a big difference?
It'll help us to go on holiday as often as we would like.
It seems you definitely need it.
Let's see what else we can find to sell.
In the kitchen, Paul's been keeping up the hard work and has found a silver cup and saucer.
This 19th century design was brought over from India
and Paul thinks someone may like
to serve a stylish cup of tea for £40 60.
While the rest of us continue searching high and low
for more collectibles, Paul found some more silver
which he is weighing in order to assess its value.
That looks very nice, doesn't it?
I found some really nice Indian silver.
Do you mind me asking, do these have a specific use?
They are given as a dowry to the daughter from the mother.
This is a plate like, just like a dish, we call it thali,
where you can eat the rice and curry and chapattis
everything in there.
And this is something for like you put it in there, for a daal,
a curry, you know, gravy and this is for water.
Right, I have often seen these three items together, but I was never sure what they were used for.
-It is a form of eating, it is not like serving wine, you would actually use this to eat off.
Well, being Indian silver, it is quite desirable.
The nicest thing about these pieces is that they are all handmade.
You can see very clearly, if you look at the bottom...
You can see where it has been beaten.
Little hammer marks. The whole thing has been made by hand.
Imagine getting this very smooth surface.
It must have taken somebody hours to do. It is very soft metal.
But at the end of the day, they are silver.
I weighed them. Silver is doing tremendously well.
There is about 37 ounces.
Indian silver is about £5-6 an ounce, to give us an indication. I would like to see this go to auction
-How does that sound?
-That sounds fine.
-Well, that's a good little whack, isn't it?
Now, that valuation is a big step in the direction toward Bhuprenda's
new oxygen tank, but as the day winds to a close,
we all need to make one last check for any treasures.
Paul, look what I've found.
This could be very interesting.
The royal silver wedding anniversary. Were you there?
I hope I was.
This is Her Majesty and the Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
Oh, these are very nice, actually. Where did you get these from?
From Royal Mint. I was on their mailing list.
-I used to get invitations to subscribe to anything they take out.
These are fantastic. That one is solid silver and I take it this is silver gilt.
No, this is 22-carat gold.
Wow. First things first, these are proof stamps.
The same thing happens with coins and they have to be handled carefully.
You have acid in your fingernails and your fingers and that can affect the surface.
They're mirror finished. That's why they have the little ribbons, can you see that?
So if I turn that over and hold it by the edge,
you are right, 22-carat. That's fantastic.
-Did you know that when you bought it?
I paid the price.
This one is number 490 out of 3,000.
The royal wedding stamp replica issue.
Surely they must have been expensive even in 1972.
They were around £180.
It was a lot of money at the time.
But these have been a tremendous investment.
This is a rare time for me, actually.
Normally, I would say they have an intrinsic value because they are stamps and they have an interest.
But the price of gold bullion really affects the price of these,
but these look approximately an ounce each,
so if that's an ounce of 22 carat, that's roughly about £500.
-Just the value of the gold.
-Just the value of the gold stamp.
Which is fantastic, isn't it? That's massive. Are you all right to let those two go?
-I think if we discount the silver ones, they don't have
the same value of the gold ones alone,
if I said for an auction estimate, £800 to 1,000 for those two?
Does that have your stamp of approval?
Why not? Definitely!
I think that's amazing. It is the way the gold market has gone, crackers.
I think we need to call in Lorne and the guys.
Come on through. Believe it or not, I have about £800 in these two boxes.
That's got to be gold or diamonds?
-Two gold bars.
We've run out of time for rummaging, but we want to make a contribution
with these items towards the oxygen machine.
The value of the items we are going to be sending to auction comes to £1,390.
-It adds up, doesn't it?
-Are you pleased with that? Yes.
It'll be a great help.
Well, that's a terrific result for our search today, helped by real gold bars, no less.
Among the items going to auction
are the colourful Kutani vase from Japan.
At £50 to £80 this 19th century piece of pottery
is sure to pull in the collectors.
Plus the vast collection of stamps from all over the world.
We're hoping it flies off the shelves at £150 to £200.
And finally the 1920s Indian serving set,
beautifully designed, solid silver.
It'll no doubt attract the bidders at £150 £200.
Find out how much these and Bhupendra's other items will raise on auction day.
Coming up, some treasures from abroad fail to make a stir at home.
I'm happy to take them back.
I'm pleased you're happy to take them back.
And one item proves its worth its weight in gold.
Wow! Find out what happens when the hammer falls.
It's been a few weeks since we were with the Gandhi family in north London looking at
the items they've collected from their travels around the world.
We've brought the cream of the crop to the Chiswick auction rooms in west London and they're hoping
to raise around £3,000 towards a portable oxygen machine.
Let's just hope when the items go under the hammer, the bidders are ready with their buying cards.
There's always an eclectic range of antiques
at this auction house so, with any luck Kamood and Bhupendra's items will find some new homes today.
Our expert Paul's already here, eyeing up the gold stamps and we're
hoping they'll attract some serious bidders.
-How are you, all right?
If I remember rightly all that glitters is gold here, isn't it?
Yeah, you're dead right. These are solid gold, absolutely amazing.
You tend to get items like this made from silver gilt, solid silver covered
with a very thin coating of gold but this is pure 22 carat and it's turned out a fantastic investment.
Don't forget he bought this in 1973. He's had it a long time, but because gold is doing so well
there couldn't be a better time to sell them.
We have a big target. They want to raise £3,000 overall, so let's hope we've got some more gold to add in.
That would be good, wouldn't it?
If you'd like to sell at auction, remember salerooms charge fees such as commission.
Fees vary, so do inquire in advance.
Kamood and Bhupendra are taking one last, sentimental look
at the silver serving set before it goes under the hammer.
I understand you put a reserve on it. What price have you put?
I think it is £100. Your estimate is more than that.
Yes, I said £150 to £200.
Have you got any reserves?
Yes, couple of items, especially gold stamps.
And what's the reserve price on those?
-We should be able to get them away for that.
-Shall we go and make some money?
Come on, then.
First up is the very weighty, but serene-looking Buddha.
Is that worth, £30 for it?
£20 for it?
Start me at £10...
At 10, bidding for it at £10. At £10, give me 12, at £10.
You thought about it, didn't you? £10, off it goes at £10.
-He's sold it.
-Are you OK about that?
That's a very disappointing start for Kamood and Bhupendra.
At least they don't have to carry it home.
Let's hope we have more luck with the tapestry.
£30 for it?
£20 for it to go. At £20, 22, 25, 28, 30?
32, 35, 38, 40?
45? 48. 50?
They like it. You really like it as well, don't you?
-This is beautiful.
-Five, 70? At £70, I'll take five, all done. At £70, are we finished? All done?
At £70, you got it. £70.
That was good, wasn't it?
The tapestry obviously attracted a few bidders' attention,
just as it did for Bhupendra all those years ago.
Our next lot is the modern Japanese Satsuma vase.
It had a nice mark on it, didn't it, Paul?
Yes, it's a good quality Satsuma item.
-So, £50 £80, as a decorative piece.
-£50 for it?
£20 for it? It's worth that. £20.
At 10, 12, 15. 18.
18, 20, 22, 25 at 22, I'll take 25, at £22. 25 there.
28 there. Give me 30? 30?
At £28, we've got 30 over there.
At £28, I think you got it.
That's a lot less than we hoped.
Maybe this vase from the Orient
is just a bit too exotic for today's bidders.
If things carry on like this we're not going to come
anywhere near the £3,000 needed for Bhupendra's portable oxygen machine.
And things go from bad to worse
when our three paintings sell for just £32.
Our next lot has a special place in both of your hearts.
It's that lovely, silver Indian set.
Imagine eating your food off silver every day.
-Some of us still do, Lorne!
-Oh, God! My things come wrapped in plastic.
Some Indian silver, do we hear £100 for it? £50 for it?
Starting with £50 or I'll pass the lot. £50 for it.
At £50 then, no-one likes it. No-one wants that one, then.
Looks like you've got it back.
It has got a lot of sentimental value, so I'm happy to take it back.
OK. I'm pleased that you're happy to take it back.
I'm also pleased you put a reserve of £100 on it.
They may be happy to take the Indian silver set home,
but it's not going to help us get any closer to our target.
So far, we've only made £140, I'm afraid.
But of course we were relying on that silver to bring in a little bit extra.
We've got some fantastic lots coming up, including the gold,
which I would be very surprised if that doesn't sell at least.
I think we have to take a long term view here and just hold out some hope that you will get there.
Just not this morning.
But the Seiko watch which was valued at £40 to £60, fails to get any interest either.
Maybe the silver cup and saucer will serve up a better result.
Start me at £40 for it?
Start me at £30 for it?
-Can't believe this.
the bid here at 35, at 35, stop saying no, Howard.
38 there, thank you. 40? 42, 45.
-A bid at £42, £42, sold.
-That's it gone.
At £42, it's quite an expensive cup of tea but given the disappointments
we have had here today, it's refreshing to meet our estimate.
Our next lot is a large stamp collection.
I kind of gave up with this at your house because there were boxes
and boxes, and some were loose, some were folded.
It is such an unusual collection.
There were some from Zanzibar and all sorts of exotic locations.
So, something you don't see every day.
So £150 is the estimate. Let's hope it goes.
£100 for all the stamps, £100. I'm bid £100, at £100, 110.
Thank you, 110. 120? 130.
-140. 150. 160. 170.
180. 190. 200. 210. 220. 230.
240. 250. 260. 270, 280. 290, 300.
At £310, that's a bid of £310.
At 310 and gone, then. 310, your bid.
Was that where the rest of the gold was hidden,
do you think? £310 that's fantastic, isn't it?
At last things seem to be looking up.
Whoever's bought the collection
is going to have their work cut out sorting it all out.
OK, some old-fashioned technology now.
Not a digital camera, this is a real film camera. Hopefully, we are looking at about £50.
Start me at £50?
Worth £30? Start me at £30.
32 there, 35, 38.
40, 42, 45, 48, 50?
50, 55, 60, five, 70, five, at £70 there?
Are we all done at £70?
-Sold, sir, at £70.
-£70! That's excellent.
How does that compare to what you paid for it back in the '60s?
I think it was around £60.
-It cost a lot of money.
-Of course. Yes, it would have been, yes.
Despite the new age of cameras, the sale of this 35mm Pentax
shows that not everyone wants to go digital.
Our final item is the one we've all been waiting for.
It is of course the gold and the silver, with an estimate of £800 to £1,000.
Start me at £500 for it?
Thank you. At £500? 550, 550. 600.
And 50. 700.
And 50. 800. And 50.
A bid here at £800. 900?
900, seated. 900. 920, if you like.
The bid's here at £900, I'll take 20. Are we done at £900?
I think it's cheap for £900, I'm selling, all done, £900 all out, going, number 470, you've got it.
So, we saved the best until last.
I was worried that we weren't going to make any sort of dent
in that £3,000 target.
It's important that we do try and get this money because you need
this oxygen machine, don't you, if you're going to enjoy your holiday?
We have actually banked today,
bearing in mind you've got quite a lot of unsold items, £1,462.
So, are you pleased with that?
Yes, very pleased.
Bhupendra's a step nearer getting that portable oxygen machine
that will enable the couple to resume their jet setting ways.
And it looks like they are already getting in the holiday mood.
Obviously our target was £3,000.
But we knew we didn't have enough items to reach that figure.
But I'm very pleased, and I hope that in three to six months' time,
I will be able to reach the target one way or another and will be able to buy the oxygen machine.
Despite some of their items not selling, the Gandhi family did make a hefty sum.
If you have a project in mind you'd like to raise some money for
by selling your antiques and collectibles at auction, why not apply to come on Cash In The Attic?
You will find more details on our website:
I'll see you again next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Keen travellers Bhupendra and Kumud Gandhi need to raise as much money as they can to pay for a portable oxygen machine that will ease Bhupendra's breathing problems. Lorne Spicer and Paul Hayes join them for an antique hunt around their North London home.