Series looking at the value of household junk. Luisa and Carlo Leraci want to take their family on holiday back to Italy, so Angela Rippon and Paul Hayes help them find sale items.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic.
I'm sure lots of us collect things and then run out of room for them.
That's what happened to the family I'm about to meet, who hope their clearout produces hidden treasures.
'Coming up: indisputable proof of my language skills.'
-I don't speak Italian!
'And a 1970s till brings back memories of an old sitcom.'
-Are you being served?
'Come sale day, the auctioneer works hard to rouse the bidders.'
£32 bid. I'll take 35. At £32. 35! He's back in! Getting excited.
'Be there when the gavel finally falls.'
Today I'm in Hertfordshire and about to meet a passionate collector.
But I think she's hoping that by getting rid of some stuff
she's going to be able to raise enough money to put towards a really terrific family holiday.
Louisa and Carlo Ieraci have been married for 32 years.
For most of their married life, they ran cafes and restaurants in London,
but now they're retired.
They have a daughter, Louisa has two children from a previous marriage and they have three grandchildren.
Understandably, Louisa dotes on them. They'd like to organise a special trip for the whole family.
That's why they called us in.
Joining me today is Paul Hayes. He was born into the antiques trade, so his knowledge is invaluable.
-Hi, Louisa! Carlo! Buongiorno!
-I don't speak Italian.
-But that's good.
-You ARE Italian.
-Are you Italian also, Carlo?
-Yes, I am.
Why have you called in Cash In the Attic?
Well, I've collected a lot of items
and I'd like to sell some of them.
-Are you a bit of a passionate collector?
-I am, yes. Very much so.
-What are you going to spend the money on?
-We've never been on a family holiday.
We've got a new addition to the family, a new grandson.
And we'd like to go as a family, all together,
which we've never done before. It would be towards that.
-A wonderful way to spend a holiday.
-It would be lovely.
-How much do you think we might raise?
-Er, £500, hopefully?
Let's put that very carefully back in its box and find Paul Hayes
-who's going to help you make that £500 target.
-Shall we go and find him?
'Carlo and Louisa have lived in this three-bedroomed semi for 12 years.
'In that time, she's collected a great variety of stuff!
'Some items come from antique shops, but most were bought new.
'When we find Paul, I'm pleased to see that he's got his hands full.'
-How are you?
-Fine, thank you.
-I see you've found a classic piece of Italian pottery.
-Of course, yes.
-Where did this come from?
-This was a present
-from our daughter.
-A lovely piece of Majolica.
It has Cupid in various pursuits. Mount Vesuvius in the background.
The whole thing has been modelled on a fountain,
so you've got wonderful gargoyle-type heads, lion masks,
you've got fish or dolphins at the bottom.
Beautifully made - the garland of flowers. These pictures are very similar to what Michelangelo
-was doing, Leonardo Da Vinci. That's the inspiration.
-If it was an original piece of Majolica,
-it would be worth thousands.
-But if we take it to auction, how much might we get?
-I'd like to see it with £150-£200.
It's the sort of thing I'd like to put with a conservative estimate.
-If we said £120-£150, to give it a chance, how does that sound?
I think it's fabulous. It really is.
'Majolica is very collectable,
'so let's hope that this does really well at auction.
'It got us off to a good start. Louisa really loves ornaments - their home is full of them.
'In the hall, Carlo wonders if this carved wooden table with a folding base might be worth selling.
'Carlo says he loves the intricate details in the hand carving.
'They paid over £150 for it in an antiques shop nearly 20 years ago,
'but they accept Paul's new valuation of £50-£80.
'On a dressing table, Paul's spotted some pretty figurines.
'They're made by Coalport, a famous Staffordshire pottery.
'Louisa's been ordering them from catalogues and magazines.
'Now at £70-£100 she's happy for them to go.
'And in the kitchen she wants to show Paul some more of her mail order items.'
-Now then, Louisa.
-I don't think we need as many cups.
-I'd like you to have a look at these for me, please.
These are beautiful. Royal Albert. A pattern called Old Country Roses.
And it really is one of the best-selling sets of all time. something like 100 million sold.
You can see why. It's very pleasing.
They're tried to go back to that wonderful Edwardian period of people having afternoon tea
in an English country garden.
You've got a good collection here.
If I said at least £50-£80, does that equate with what you paid?
-Were they very expensive?
-I think I paid a lot more.
-I think they were... I can't remember exactly.
-But, yes, I did pay a lot more.
-You can still buy it today.
-And the second-hand market...
-I haven't seen them.
-You can. Any good high street shop.
-That's a realistic sort of price on the second-hand market.
-It'll be someone's cup of tea.
-OK, talking of which, let's find you a kettle.
'But Carlo has a bombshell when the tea set reaches the auction.'
-You're just glad it's going out of the auction room!
-I've never had a cup of tea from it.
'Stay tuned for news of their final sale price.
'Going by Paul's lower estimates so far, we stand to raise a very healthy £290,
'so we're already halfway to our target. In one bedroom, I open a box with a pretty brooch.
'It's nine-carat gold and Louisa once bought it at auction.
'Her children don't want it and she's hardly worn it, so it's back in the box
'ready for our auction.
'Louisa's making a thorough search of her cupboards, but it's Carlo who spots the next good find.'
Ah, now then. Wow, look at that!
She's a beauty, isn't she? Where's this come from, then?
Em, that is one of my wife's purchases.
-I don't know where she got it from.
-Right. Did you often go to auctions and antiques shops?
Right. Well, that's fabulous. It's very Ancient Rome, isn't it, if you have a look at it.
It's a wonderful definition. It's a very heavy lamp, definitely bronze. Looks like brass there.
Very attractive. The sort of thing you'd find maybe in 1900, 1920. Quite Art Deco, really.
She's lovely. Great facial features, and her hair.
I think she's fantastic. I think 1900, 1920. Neo-classical.
Absolutely beautiful. If I said around the £100 mark, sort of £80-£120?
-How does that sound?
-Yeah, I suppose so.
-All right. I'm sure she'll light up the room.
'Carlo does seem to hold his cards close to his chest.
'I wonder if he'll be able to contain his feelings at the auction.
'The Ieracis are passionate about their Italian roots
'and food. I wonder if that's what brought them together.'
-Tell me how you met Carlo.
-Well, I used to run this restaurant in Elizabeth Street.
And Carlo was a coach driver.
The coach station was just opposite to the restaurant.
He used to come there for his meals,
for teas and all that. And we got talking.
I suppose being half-Italian we had something in common and one thing led to another.
-We got married after a couple of years.
-Well, he knew he was marrying a good cook!
-He loved the tea
I was making for him. And the food, he must have liked that as well.
What was the point at which you realised this bloke wasn't just there for food,
-he was interested in you?
-I think he was coming in for his food at first!
I think it's because I was... you know, I spoke Italian that I got attracted to him.
-He had somebody to talk Italian to.
-Plus a few other bits.
'I think Carlo's given us a hint of the red-blooded Italian lurking behind that calm exterior.
'And it seems Paul feels a bit hot under the collar, too.
'Louisa has stepped outside and been reminded of this bronze-like statue.
'She bought it at a local auction 30 years ago and paid £180.
'Unfortunately, it seems she paid over the odds. Paul reckons it's worth only £40-£60.
-'Carlo's checking out a painting at the bottom of the stairs. We're at the top.' Paul?
Do you want to come and join us?
I feel I ought to say, "Are you being served?"
-Are you free, Paul?
-I wasn't expecting to find that up here!
-Are these collectable?
-Certainly are. Older ones much more so.
The original ones are very ornate. Imagine an old country cafe,
or coffee shop, with brass fittings.
-And these were pounds, shillings and pence.
-This is decimalisation.
You've got the £2, 60p and so on.
So is this something a collector would buy? Is there a market?
They're quite an interesting item. The original concept was a cash register.
Every time you'd taken some money, you'd register that amount
-on a roll in there.
-So how much do we think this might make at auction?
I think sort of...£30-£50. That sort of price. It will have handled a lot more in its day!
Is that what you were expecting?
'So let's hope that the till from their old restaurant will register some interest later.
'Paul's investigating a carved wooden chest in the bedroom.
'Louisa thinks some brass-coloured horse ornaments may add to the fund.
'But Carlo's next find - a hard, stone globe - is certainly destined for the sale room.
'It was a present from Louisa's son Paolo. She thinks it's too big
'and Paolo doesn't mind them selling it,
'so with an estimate of £100-£150, it has added a nice, round figure to our running total.'
Carlo? Angela? There you are.
-We've found a fantastic range. Look at that.
-Oh, yes. Tell me why you bought it.
First of all, I fell in love with the workmanship of it.
Also the fact that you can't get anything like this nowadays.
-A lot of intricate work has gone into making it.
-It's like the original Aga.
That's the whole concept. You're instantly transported back to the 19th century or earlier.
These were extremely popular in the late-19th century.
-It would have been self-sufficient.
-How much might it make?
You do have to factor in maybe a couple of hundred pounds just to have it shifted about,
so I'd be looking at least at £150, £200, that sort of price.
-How does that sound?
-Not very good.
-Do you remember how much you paid?
Somewhere in the region of £150.
-Plus the transportation.
Whether that goes to auction or not,
we are going to take a lot of other things, so there will be more room.
And if we add the £150 Paul says we might make on that to everything else,
I know you want to raise £500, but with luck we should be able to make £730.
-Oh, that's brilliant.
-There we go.
-More than we expected.
-But it will depend on whether or not you take that and how everything else goes,
-but whatever you do decide to take, you will have more room in the house!
'We'll have to wait for auction day to find out if they do part with the range cooker,
'but here's a reminder of some items that definitely are for sale.
'The large Italian Majolica vase, a present from their daughter almost 30 years ago.
'It's a very popular make and we hope it's going to bring in £120-£150.
'And there's the present from Louisa's son - the globe,
'which Louisa thinks is too big for the house. At £100-£150, it should attract some attention.
'The early 20th-century bronze lamp, bought in an antiques shop 25 years ago.
'It's a classy piece and it should reach £80-£120.
'Coming up: Carlo knows what will happen to the bronze statue if it doesn't perform.'
It will go back to making a doorstop again.
'The auction rollercoaster makes Louisa feel giddy.'
I'll need to take it back home!
'Will she still be laughing when the last hammer falls?'
So a couple of weeks ago we were with Carlo and Louisa at their home in Hertfordshire
and today they've joined us here at the Chiswick Auction Rooms
where we've brought all of their items to sell in the hope of raising £500 for a special family holiday.
'Viewing starts early here as people searching for something special,
'although Paul casts his mind back to schooldays.'
-Having a quick geography lesson?
-I'm finding out where I'm going for my holidays next.
-I can't decide on Tanzania or Old Blighty.
-There's plenty of choice.
It's so colourful because it's made out of semi-precious stones and marbles.
-What's Britain made out of here?
-A shell from New Zealand. It's very iridescent.
-The whole of Australia's the same.
-What do you think will do particularly well for them today?
I like to think the bronze items. They have interesting bits and bobs.
The till is the only one I'm concerned with,
-but some great items.
-They've put a reserve on a couple of things.
-Perhaps we should ask them about it.
'I know this globe has a high reserve, but a little bird tells me it's not the only one.'
-Having a last look at it?
-You've put quite a hefty reserve on this one.
-Yes, we have.
-What is it?
Eh, 140, yes.
-Because I think it's worth it. It's a beautiful statue.
-And if I don't sell it for that money, then I'd rather keep it.
-You might be right there today.
I think you'll get your 140, but if it doesn't fetch the £140, it will go back with you.
-It'll go back to making a doorstop again.
-No, it's such a beautiful thing!
-As you can see, the room is filling up quite rapidly.
-I think we should go and bag our seats in the corner.
'Louisa and Carlo have not brought the range cooker, which means they start £150 down,
'but there are nine other interesting lots still to sell, which hopefully will make £500.
'First up, the cash register from their old restaurant.'
-This was quite difficult to price.
-Yes, technology's moved on so much. It's all on computers now.
But for someone who wants that antique look, a bit of nostalgia, 30 quid hopefully.
-Let's hope so.
-A penny for every pound that's gone in there!
£10 for it? Have we got £10 for it?
Prefer the digital ones, do you? £10 for it? Nobody? I'll pass.
-Nobody at £10?
-I'll need to take it back home!
-Nobody wants it.
'Well, if Louisa reacts like that to a non-sale, what will happen when we do make one?
'Next up is the nine-carat gold brooch, which Louisa bought at auction, but has left in its box.
'How appealing is it with a price tag of £40-£50?'
£50? £30? Worth that.
£30. Take 32. At £30. 32. 35.
38 over there. 40. 42?
£40. Anyone at 42?
Are we done? £40 all out and going?
£40 all out?
On the nose - £40.
-That was all right.
'I think Louisa's going to be smiling no matter what the result.
'Next is the lovely bronze Art Nouveau statue from the garden.
'Paul valued it at £40-£60,
'but our couple have decided to put a reserve on it of £140.'
Is it worth £100 to start me? £100 for it? £100 for it?
Thank you. Bid £100. I'll take 110. £100. 110?
I'll take 110. A bid of 110.
130? 130. 140?
She's asking her husband. 140. 150?
-You made your reserve.
£140. Are we done? All out? I'm selling for 140, then.
-On the nose.
-You're so lucky! If it stuck at 130, you would have been taking it home.
'I think Paul is pleased with that sale, too,
'even though it was way above his estimate.
'The Royal Albert tea set is next. Louisa spent a lot on this collection from a catalogue.
'For the auction, it's at £50-£80.'
-You were quite attached to this.
-Yes, yes, it's a beautiful set.
-12 cups and saucers.
-Very attractive looking. Have you not missed this, Carlo?
-You're just glad it's going out of the auction room.
-Well, I've never had a cup of tea out of it!
At £42, are we done? £42, all out and going.
42. Not quite the 50 at the lowest end, but someone's going to have a cup of tea out of them, Carlo.
-I wasn't allowed to use them.
'Poor Carlo. But it seems he and Louisa are enjoying this auction.
'What will the bidders will make of their carved Indian hardwood table?'
£85. £85 and going. At £85, all out and gone.
'It's so satisfying to see something like that sell well.
'It exceeded the upper estimate by £5.'
We've been doing quite well in the first half. You wanted to raise £500.
We are at the halfway stage, so we should have £250 by now.
-We're not there.
-We're at 307.
-Ooh! That's fantastic.
-And you didn't sell the cash register.
-At this rate, it's a good job you didn't.
-You'll need the cash register to tot everything up.
-And put our money in.
'If Louisa and Carlo's success so far has inspired you to try your hand at selling at auction,
'do remember that charges such as commission apply and they do vary, so check in advance.
'We have just four more items to sell, including that large Majolica vase
'and the impressive stone globe.
'As we take our places again,
'the bronze lamp comes up next.'
£100 for it? £50 for it?
Thank you. £50 I'm bid. I'll take 55. 55. 60?
60? 5. 70?
-Oh, good. It's going up.
5? At £80. At £80, all out?
At £80 and gone, then.
-There we go, dead on.
-£80. Absolutely right.
'Right on Paul's lower estimate and Carlo and Louisa are delighted.
'The next lot is a reminder of the age of elegance.
'It's the three Coalport figurines which Louisa bought over the years.'
32. 35? Come on.
35? A £32 bid. At 32. Take 35.
At £32. 35 - he's back in. Getting excited. 38?
-Wear him out. 38.
-We're at 40.
At £40. Take 42. At 40.
-There you go.
'Unfortunately, those figurines weren't so popular with bidders, failing to reach the estimate.
'Next, that inlaid hard-stone globe,
'a recent Christmas present from Carlo and Louisa's son.
'It's an attractive item and almost new.
'With a £120 reserve on it, I wonder how it will go down.'
£100 for it? Thank you. £100. I'll take 110.
Came in straight away at £100. I'll take 110. 110. 120?
130. 140. 150?
He's looking down already. The bid's here at 140.
-140 and going.
-There you go. That was all right.
-Excellent, well done. A little more than expected.
'It just goes to show that contemporary items can sell well at a general sale.
'at the Ieracis' final item of the day - the large Majolica vase.
'It was a gift from their daughter 30 years ago.'
£100 for it?
110. Thank you. 120.
I do see you bidding. 140. 150? 150 would you like?
150. 160? 170.
170 bid. Take 180 for it.
180 there. 190. 200?
190. A bid of 190. Take 2 now.
Thank you, 200 there. 210?
Come on. 210. 220. 230?
Thank you. 240? One more. 240. 250?
260? He's looking down. The bid's there at £250.
250. Are we done? All out at 250?
Are we done? Thank you for the bid.
-There you go!
Just think of it - a cheque for £250 doesn't take up anything like as much room
-as the original bowl did!
'Well, it took a whole to build, but a great result.
'I think that final sale even got a smile out of Carlo.'
You know we were already over the halfway point at the halfway point.
Since then, we've had a couple of really, really good sales.
-£500 was your target.
-Only one thing you haven't sold. That was that cash register.
-We're going to need that.
-There's a ring of confidence in your voice, Carlo.
That's OK. I'm going to back up that confidence now
and tell you that you have made £817.
-That is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
-Are you putting this towards a family holiday?
-Ice cream cones for everyone.
-£800-worth of them!
-Thank you very much.
'Although they've lived in London for most of their life, Carla and Louisa love the taste of home -
'Italy. Soon it will be time for them to set off with their children and grandchildren
'to taste the real thing.'
'The kids are very excited about the holiday.'
Two daughters, a son, grandchildren and their partners.
There's 10 of us altogether who are going, yes. It should be a great holiday.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Luisa and Carlo Leraci want to take their whole family on holiday back home in Italy. To raise the money to fund their trip, they enlist the help of Angela Rippon and Paul Hayes to search their North London home for collectables.