Series looking at the value of household junk. Linda Salter is researching her family tree and would like to raise money to pay for research trips.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. This is the show that searches out the hidden treasure
around your home and then, of course, we sell it at auction.
So, whether you're looking to raise funds for a pet project, a holiday,
or just a little treat for yourself, this is definitely the show for you.
On today's Cash In The Attic - John shows off his knowledge of 18th-century furniture...
Similar to this in Chippendale's directoire and other cabinet makers' books of the period, like...
You're such a name-dropper, aren't you? Chippendale this, Chippendale that!
Come sale day, you could think we were in the stands at a football match, not an auction house.
Get in there!
Find out what happens later in the show.
Today I've come to Wiltshire
and the historic cathedral city of Salisbury.
Now, apparently, people have lived here in the city for around 900 years.
I don't think the lady we're going to see today
has got anything quite that old, but then again, you never know.
Linda Salter is mum to two grown-up children, Ed and Jen.
Ed still lives with Linda in this Edwardian house in the centre of Salisbury. And Jen lives nearby.
Family is at the heart of a lot of what Linda does
and she's really interested in finding out more about her ancestors,
so she's compiling a family tree.
That's what she wants to raise the money for.
Her grandfather, George Francis Holme, was an
avid antique collector, and Linda's inherited a lot of his things.
Linda's son, Ed, is helping today.
And I'm very pleased to have John Cameron with me.
His knowledge of antiques will be invaluable, and we're all really keen to get on with the search.
Wow, This is very impressive.
Tell me about this, then.
Well, my grandfather had this made as a replica for his office desk.
I would guess, possibly, in the '30s or '40s.
I'm not exactly sure when, but it's well used. I use it all the time.
John, what do you think of this desk? I think it's a nice size.
It isn't a bad size. I did have a look.
Let me put Ted down there. I've been looking at him. I had a look and it is quite deep.
That's good, we've got a cupboard round there, which is a nice sign.
It is a timeless design, really.
The pedestal desk of this form has been around for well over 250 years and would have appeared,
similar to this, in Chippendale's directoire and other cabinet makers' books of the period.
You're such a name-dropper!
Chippendale this, Chippendale that.
A few published books back then, Vile & Cobb, people like that.
So I've certainly seen this type of desk in them.
Because it's a partner's desk and not your plain, simple pedestal desk
that would go against a wall, that does increase its value.
I think, today, I'd be looking at about £150 to £250.
How do you feel about that?
-Obviously, you still use it.
-Yes, I do.
But is that money enough to incentivise you to sell it?
Yes, I think that seems an appropriate amount, yes.
All right, OK. That's a good start towards our total, isn't it?
We're doing quite well so far, I must say.
Shall we see what else we can find?
-You grab this end...
-No, I don't think so!
It's always good to start the day on a triple-figure estimate.
I've come across a chair which will Linda says was always with her grandfather's desk.
John reckons it's from the same period, the 1930s or 1940s,
and values it at £40 to £60.
John Cameron is well used to hunting out valuable items,
especially rare sporting collectibles.
Odds are he won't be finding any of that in Linda's wardrobe.
What she does have hidden on the top shelf
is a collection of nine carat gold jewellery.
These three rings and two brooches get a valuation of £70 to £100.
Going by John's lowest estimates so far,
we stand to raise £260 at auction.
So we're just over the halfway mark.
In the lounge, Ed wants John to cast his eye over some watercolours.
-What do you think of these?
-I know the artist, Gerald Ackermann.
-Do you know anything about the pictures, Ed?
-I don't, no.
I think they've been in the family quite a long time, but more than that, I'm afraid I don't know.
Let's take one down and have a look.
One's a landscape, this one, little boating scene.
Here we are, Gerald Ackermann, it's signed.
Anything on the back?
Interesting. Sailing at Blakeney.
That's interesting because that was his hometown up in Norfolk.
He studied at the Royal Academy
where he won the Landseer scholarship.
And then he went travelling around the UK.
Now I'm thinking about it,
I think Mum might have the original bill of sale from the London Fine Art Society.
Would that be useful?
Very useful, it's part of the provenance.
And he did have exhibitions at the Fine Art Society, and they did sell a lot of his works.
When these sell at auction,
they often come with the original bill of sale.
I would have no hesitation putting these two together in auction
-with an estimate of £400 to £600.
-Really? As much as that?
-Impressed by that?
-I am indeed.
I thought maybe £100, but certainly not that amount.
Mum will be really happy with that. That'll be brilliant.
So, when they get to auction, will those original coastal scenes cause some waves?
220, 240, 260, 280.
Find out if they really do whip up a storm.
As our rummage in Linda's house continues, John spots two pictures.
They're not in the Ackermann league this time, but pastel landscapes by Linda's grandfather.
The frames are gilt and, for this reason,
John gives them an estimate of £40 to £60.
We're doing really well here today
and I think we should have no problem helping with Linda's family research fund.
So is this the family tree, then?
Yes, yes. That's roughly where we're at, at the minute.
-So where are you, Edward?
You see me there, yes. It's interesting to see the family layout with me there at the bottom.
So how far back,
how many generations back have you been able to trace so far?
I think three to four, depending on the actual evidence.
About four, I think.
So is the plan that you want to go back even further, then?
I'm not sure.
I think, for me, it's perhaps going to be more interesting
to find out more about their lives, more about their relatives,
the things they might have done.
But I think probably the most useful thing to me would be
to be able to go up to the National Archives,
which I think has now moved to Kew, and look at other documentation
so that I can get more reliable evidence to move back with.
OK. Well, if we are going to get the money
you need to go to the National Archives, and Ed as well,
I think we need to track down John Cameron
and see whether he's got anything else that we can sell. Come on.
John's been really busy, and he's found more of Linda's grandfather's stuff.
This one is a Victorian writing box which he might have even worked on.
At auction, it could draw in £20 to £30.
Linda's house is a joy to explore.
There are fascinating items everywhere you look.
Ed thinks this 3-D sculpture seen in a carved frame could be valuable.
John reckons it's made of ivory but, as it was produced before 1947,
it's legal to sell in this country and should fetch another £20 to £40.
And Linda's wondering if this collection of Venetian glassware
would be worth taking along to auction.
At £30 to £40, it would certainly help pay
for a train ticket to the National Archives.
Grandfather George had some incredible literary connections,
including some of the great names from London's Bloomsbury Set.
What have you got there, Linda?
Well, it's a letter that seems to be signed and handwritten.
Who is this? Is that Edith Sitwell, the author and poet? Yes, it is.
This is the headed paper of the family home,
Renishaw Hall near Sheffield, in Derbyshire, I think.
Do you know anything about the letter?
Well, the person it's addressed to his my grandfather, who was
chief librarian at the Royal Society of Medicine.
And it looks as if she's asked for a book from that library for research.
So this is a letter of appreciation, thanking him.
Probably best known for her poetry,
in particular some of her works during the Second World War.
Visually, she was somewhat of an eccentric, quite tall,
about six foot tall, and resembled Queen Elizabeth I.
She would walk around in velvet brocade gowns and gold turbans with lots of jewellery.
There are collectors of this sort of thing, letters and manuscripts.
Particularly, someone would be interested who is a fan of her work.
I think, at auction, it should at least be estimated
-at about £30 to £50, something like that.
Well, that seems pretty good, really.
Glad you found that, interesting thing, but we're nowhere near
-our target, so let's see what else we can find.
Let's hope there are some fans of this eccentric writer
when we get to auction.
Next, I come across something that may appeal to enthusiasts
of all things oriental.
It's an ornate silver coloured box which Linda found with a collection of other metal items.
They're all from India and guess who they belonged to? Grandad George.
John thinks they should fetch the £20 to £40 mark
when they go before the bidders.
In the bedroom, John spotted these two carved wooden chairs
that have been in Linda's family for generations.
They're 19th century, and with the right price tag,
they could appeal to someone.
So they get a £50 to £80 estimate.
We've done so well here today and I want to tot things up.
But, before I do, I can't resist one last rummage.
-What have you got there? Is that my salary?
-Gold, gold, gold!
-Well, I'm hoping.
-These are interesting.
You've got a silver dollar there, 1888 in date.
It weighs about an ounce.
They've been minted, the dollar, since about 1798.
Although today, most of the actual ones in circulation are nickel and not silver.
They still issue commemorative silver ones.
So probably about £10 in value, that.
About an ounce. These are half sovereigns.
What have we got? 1912 and 1914, so just before the First World War.
On the obverse there, we've got the monarch, hence the name sovereign.
King George V, that is.
And on the other side, we've got the famous George and Dragon.
What sort of value would we be talking about?
I know you said the dollar would be about £10.
The half sovereigns, at auction these days,
they are making about £55 to £60 each.
If we were to say £120 for those, tenner for that,
£120 to £150, they'll definitely sell at that value.
Brilliant. That's really good.
Right, we've run out of time, so unless you got a pot of those
hidden somewhere that you haven't told me about...
You wanted to raise £500, didn't you, into some family research,
and maybe a little bit for the garden.
-Do you feel that we've come near that figure?
-I'm honestly not sure.
-I really don't know.
-Ed, what about you?
Hopefully we're on our way to that, but I'm not really sure, no.
Well, actually, we're a bit better than that.
The value of everything going to auction comes to £990.
-That's absolutely fantastic. That's really good.
Just another tenner and we hit 1,000.
That's absolutely great. Thank you very much.
What a fantastic result for Linda. If we hit our estimates,
we're in for a very good day at auction.
And some of the things we will be taking to the sale include:
the mahogany partner's desk which was a reproduction
her grandfather had made of the one he worked on
at the Royal School of Medicine.
That should make £150 to £250.
And the letter from Edith Sitwell to Linda's grandfather.
Hopefully there will be some poetry fans in on the day,
so this will achieve John's estimate of £30 to £50.
And those Gerald Ackermann watercolours
with the original bill of sale.
Let's hope they fetch the £400 to £600 price tag
that John has put on them.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic:
some of our items look even better in the saleroom.
Do you know what, I saw those when I came in this morning,
and suddenly they've taken on a life of their own here.
And the auctioneer sets a challenge to the bidders in the room.
Find out how they all get on when the final hammer falls.
Now, it's been a few weeks since we met Linda and her son down in Salisbury.
She called in Cash In The Attic
to raise £500 towards researching more family history.
So we brought her antiques here to John Nicholson Auctioneers in Surrey.
We're just hoping that because this is a Saturday,
there's plenty of bidders here with money to spend.
This sale room in Haslemere in the heart of affluent Surrey
holds regular antique and fine art auctions.
This Saturday one gets very busy and there's a real buzz of excitement in the air.
Linda's already here looking at her items for what she hopes will be the last time.
Good morning. Hello. Where's Ed? Haven't seen him.
No, he couldn't come today, so I'm his replacement.
-If that's OK.
-Of course it is, absolutely.
-Have you been to auction before?
-No. I'm looking forward to it.
I'm looking forward to seeing what these will sell for.
I love the scenes. Arundel here, and what's this?
This is sailing at Blakeney, which I believe is in Norfolk.
Yes, absolutely. They're lovely, aren't they?
They are wonderful. Great,
because his biggest fans love the Blakeney scenes around Norfolk.
But also, he travelled well, so it's not unusual
to see a nice Sussex or even a Surrey scene in there.
We've got a lot of interesting lots, we've got jewellery,
we've got those lovely chairs as well, which really stand out over there, I must say.
-So, are you looking forward to it?
Slightly nervous now it's happening, but yes, looking forward.
I'm sure it will be fine. We've just got to make that £500,
so come on, let's go and get in position.
One thing Linda forgot to tell us
is that she's left behind the chair
that went with her grandfather's pedestal desk.
She's replaced it with a sewing basket, which means we are £10 down already.
Hopefully we'll make that up on other items.
Her first lot to come up today is the carved relief ivory scene
which was valued at £20 to £40.
It's a little bit like Rembrandt's The Night Watch,
one of those kind of scenes, the Dutch exterior.
There are some debate as to whether it was bone or ivory.
I didn't take it out of the case.
I've gone for ivory, the auctioneers have said bone.
I think it's ivory and I think it's very dusty.
12, 15, 18, £20 bid.
Five, I'll take.
At £20, five, anybody?
At 25. Your bid, sir.
-£25, that's good, that's good.
You're not going to miss this piece, then?
No. It was a bit dust-gathering.
-It can gather dust for someone else now.
Straight out of the blocks with £25, just over John's lower estimate.
I wonder if we can get the same level of interest in a letter
written to Linda's grandfather by the poet, Edith Sitwell.
-She's an interesting character.
-Certainly was rather colourful.
I had a chat with one of the auction staff here who happens to be passionate about poetry.
This is the one lot she really wants to buy.
But I'm not sure her wages will cover it. So let's see.
We want £30 to £50 for it.
This signed letter by Edith Sitwell.
Five. 30. At 30.
35, 40 now.
At 40. At £40, your bid, sir.
At £40. I'll take five from anybody.
Your bid, £40.
-Bang in the middle of my estimate.
-Are you happy?
-Yes, I am.
Well, it seems there were at least two Edith Sitwell fans bidding.
Next is the collection of decorative metal items from India.
John hopes they may make £20 to £40.
-12, 15, 18...
-We've got £10.
£20 bid. Five, I'll take.
At £20. Five, anybody?
At 25. Your bid, sir.
£25, a bit more than you thought, John.
Get in there!
Well, Linda is certainly delighted with that
and I think John's quite pleased, too.
The next lot of Linda's to come up is the small Victorian writing box.
We are looking for £20 to £30 for it.
£5 over the top of John's estimate.
The bidders here certainly seem to like Linda's items.
Next up are the two pastel landscapes
which have an estimate of £40 to £60.
-50, I'll take.
At £40. 50 now.
At 40. 50 anywhere?
At £45. 50 anywhere? Your bid, £45.
£45, there we are. A little bit better than expected, wasn't it?
And the £45 question is:
did they want them for the pictures or the frames?
-We may never know.
-I don't wish to know that!
Oh, John, I'm sure the buyer was attracted
purely by Linda's grandfather's artistic flair.
Our next lot is the green and blue Venetian glassware.
John reckons that lot should raise at least £30 to £40.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
Well, that's the first one today not to reach John's estimate.
So how are we doing so far with Linda's fund
for more research into her family tree?
Now, you wanted to raise how much?
-OK, you'll be delighted to know that, so far, we've made £190.
Yeah. That's pretty fair.
OK, I think we should do quite well this afternoon.
We've got... Let's have a look,
a sewing box, jewellery, gold sovereigns. Oh yes, no problem.
If you've been inspired by Linda's auction experience, do bear in mind
that there are various charges to be paid, such as commission,
on items both bought and sold.
These fees vary from one saleroom to another,
so it's always worth checking them out in advance.
We need Linda's next six lots to bring in £310
if we're to make our target.
Next up is the collection of gold rings and brooches,
which John hopes will make £70 to £100.
So you put all these things together in one lot, John?
That can help. If you put lots together, you generate a bit more bidding
with people interested in particular items.
It should make somewhere between £70 and £100.
OK, well, let's see.
There we are, £50 bid.
60, I'll take. 60. 70.
80. There's the bid at 80.
90, I'm looking for. Third row at £80.
Your bid, third row, selling at £80.
-£80. Is that OK for you?
A little bit disappointing, but yes.
Well, it did exceed John's lowest estimate,
so I don't think Linda should be too disappointed.
Now it's time for the sewing basket
that Linda brought in at the last minute.
Well, at least it made something.
The next lot is much more typical of one that should do well here.
The silver dollar and two half sovereigns.
The estimate is £120 to £150.
As you are probably aware, gold and silver prices now
are going through high peaks and troughs, so probably the best time to sell, John?
Well, we certainly have seen a lot of buying and selling of gold at auction in recent months,
so it is something we tend to be able to predict fairly accurately.
I still like to be cautious with my estimates. Should be OK here.
And I'm bid 50. 60. 70. 80. 90. 100.
10, I'll take. 15 with me.
120. 130. 140.
At 140, the lady's bid.
100 against you, sir. At £140.
£140. So even a little bit more there.
That is a good result, isn't it?
Just £10 under John's top estimate,
and a good amount to add to the running total.
Our next lot is the two 19th century carved oak dining chairs.
I saw these when I came in first thing this morning,
and suddenly, they've taken on a life of their own.
They do look really, really good here.
With a bit of re-upholstering, they could be stunning.
10. 20. 30.
60. 5. 70. 5. 80. 5.
Your bid, sir. At 85, second row.
At £85. Your bid, 85. 90 anywhere?
Had its time. There, sir, at £85.
-I think that's really good.
-Yes, that's good.
It means someone else out there has noticed the quality of these.
Yes, they need a bit of work, but, once they have that work, they're going to be stunning.
Obviously, the buyer was thinking along the same lines as me.
Maybe the chairs will finally get the appreciation they deserve.
We have two lots left. The penultimate one
is the mahogany pedestal desk,
commissioned by Linda's grandfather for his home.
John valued it at £150 to £250.
100 bid. 10, I'll take.
20 with me. 130. 140.
150. 160. 170. 180. 190. 200.
220. 240. 260. 280.
300, your bid. At £300.
20, I'm looking for.
That is the bid. At £300.
Now, that's impressive.
Double your estimate there. £300.
-Great. I'm really pleased with that.
Well, that impressive sale must mean we've reached Linda's target now.
But we don't have time to celebrate just yet.
The final lot today
is the pair of original Gerald Ackermann watercolours.
They have the whopping estimate of £400 to £600.
I've got a phone bid. I'm 200 bid.
20, I'll take. 220. 240.
500 on the phone.
At 500. 20 anywhere?
At £500, the bid's on the phone.
Selling at £500.
-Are you happy with that?
I think Linda and Jen are so stunned by that sale,
they're lost for words.
Now, I think that was really interesting.
We had lots of different items there, didn't we?
Jewellery, pictures. And I have to say, they all did really well.
-Are you pleased?
-Yes, I am.
Now, how much did you want to raise?
-We've done a bit better than that.
-We've actually raised £1,310.
Ha-ha! Wheeyyy! Excellent!
-So it's nearly three times what you wanted.
-That's absolutely brilliant.
What are you going to do with the extra money?
-Or should I be asking you
-what you're going to do with the extra money?
A couple of weeks later, and Linda's at London's Olympia
for one of the biggest genealogy exhibitions.
Her friend, Jackie, has come along to keep her company.
The money I raised at auction is going to go to renewing
memberships of things and perhaps enhancing them
so I can search more thoroughly for different things.
Being able to afford to buy more different certificates.
And possibly the odd trip to somewhere like, perhaps, Northampton,
or Edinburgh! Or, you know, but...
But it opens up a few more options and it's been really interesting, so yeah, really good.
Linda's attending a seminar to gain a fascinating insight
into the national census and how to get the best out of it.
She leaves armed with a bag of ancestry guides.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Linda Salter is researching her family tree and would like to raise money to pay for research trips. Lorne Spicer and John Cameron find plenty of interesting items around her Wiltshire home, including a letter written by author Edith Sitwell.