Shepherd Cash in the Attic


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Shepherd

Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. Jeannette from Shropshire wants to arrange a grand day out for her new grandson on the River Severn.


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Welcome to Cash in the Attic, the show that uncovers all those hidden treasures around your home.

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Then we raise money from them at auction.

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Today I'm in Shropshire.

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I've come to take a look at Shrewsbury Castle,

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some parts of which date back to 1066.

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Needless to say, the objects on display inside

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are steeped in history.

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Let's hope the antiques and collectables we find today

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deliver the same quality.

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Coming up:

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could an accident in the past affect the value of an item in the present?

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There used to be two crystal lamps in the house.

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But unfortunately, my father managed to drop one down the stairs!

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Looks like Dad wasn't the only one in this family with butter fingers!

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-I think I broke it as a child.

-Ah, a confession!

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Accident-prone or not,

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at least they appreciate a good vintage.

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They were empty, those bottles, weren't they? Not full of vintage Scotch?

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Let's hope we make plenty of cash when the final hammer falls.

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Jeanette Shepherd lives in the top floor flat

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of this magnificent Edwardian house,

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which has been her home for the past 12 years.

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She was born in Scotland but lived all over the UK before settling in Shropshire.

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Jeanette was widowed at an early age

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and she brought up her two sons alone,

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both of whom are now grown up.

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Her youngest son, Ian, moved to America

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and recently made her a very proud grandmother.

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Helping Jeanette today is her neighbour and friend

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Caroline Black.

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While our expert John Cameron gets our rummage underway, it's time for me to meet the ladies.

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-Good morning, ladies.

-Good morning.

-Good morning.

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This is all very cosy, isn't it?

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-You must be Jeanette.

-I am.

-And this is your home.

-Yes.

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-And Caroline, you live next door.

-Behind the wall, over there.

-OK.

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What made you call in Cash in the Attic?

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Well, after a long time, I'm finally a grandmother.

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Congratulations.

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-My grandson was born last year in America, unfortunately.

-Right.

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So I really just want to raise some money

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to help pay for his education.

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Caroline, what do you think of this idea of clearing out a few things?

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It's an excellent idea because it means Jeanette knows something is going to a good cause

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and when it's cluttering up her space anyway,

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-in fact, you don't really miss it.

-No.

-Once it's gone.

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Do you have a figure in mind, how much you'd like to make?

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-I thought about £1,000.

-Is that going into some sort of savings fund for your grandson?

-Yes.

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Anything else you want to do with the money?

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Caroline has never been on the pleasure boat that sails along the river.

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-So I thought it might be rather nice if we had a little sail.

-That sounds nice.

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In which case, we do need to track down John Cameron

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to see if he's found anything yet to value. Come on.

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£1,000 is an ambitious target.

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So we'd better get straight down to the rummaging.

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-Hello, ladies.

-John, you've found the time already!

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I have. I've got an interesting short case clock.

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On the boss at the top it says, "Tempus fugit",

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-or "time flies", but in this case it's ground to a halt!

-It has, I'm afraid.

-Is it not working?

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Well, I think it could work if it was serviced.

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The clock dates to the first quarter of the 20th century, about 1910, 1920.

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The case suggests that. It's a Jacobean revival style,

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most notably with these barley twist pilasters

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and this coffered panelled door.

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It's in a form that's been around since the same sort of period with its domed top, trunk and base.

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The only criticism is this split in the panel.

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It fits the groove too tightly or somebody's fixed it. So as the wood has shrunk,

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it's got nowhere to go and it's split, which is a real shame.

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Ten, 15 years ago, grandfather, grandmother clocks, anything like that, was guaranteed to make money.

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That's not quite the case now at auction.

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No, you're right. They have seen a drop in demand.

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But they would still sell at auction even though it requires servicing.

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Value-wise, I'd put it around 200 to 300, maybe £400. Certainly around the £200 mark.

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-Jeanette, what do you think of that estimate?

-Yes, that's OK.

-All right.

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That's a good start, isn't it,

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-on the way to £1,000. Anything else through there?

-Come on.

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So we all set to work. John and Caroline rifle through cupboards,

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while I tackle the sitting room and find a Moorcroft vase.

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This belonged to Jeanette's late husband.

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William Moorcroft was an English potter who set up his own company in Staffordshire in the early 1900s.

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His work is still popular today and this could raise anything from 80 to £120 at auction.

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There are collectables everywhere you look in Jeanette's home.

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Most are in great condition when you consider their age, as John is finding out.

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Jeanette, a large proportion of what we see at auction comes via the probate route

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so we do see good silver cutlery sets and tureens and condiment sets turning up

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but I can't remember seeing one so extensive for some time.

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Where is this from?

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I think it was a wedding present which was given to my mother and father.

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Apart from that, I don't know much about it.

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When did Mum and Dad get married? What year was it? Do you remember?

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It was somewhere round about 1930, I think.

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I've looked at the hallmark. It's interesting. It dates to 1925

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so it would tie in around about that sort of date.

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Quite nice to see all the liners there.

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We've got four table salts or open salts.

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Two mustard pots. These are quite nice. Again they've got their blue glass liners.

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And four pepper casters, which is quite nice.

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So I think that if you had a long dinner table

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and you allowed for a salt and pepper per couple, you could at least seat eight.

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And even if you have one between four, you've got 16,

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so I think this was probably intended for quite some dining table.

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Very nice indeed.

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The only fault I can see with it

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is that these three spoons here

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all have the same hallmark and maker's name on,

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but this little spoon is a replacement.

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And the two master spoons are electro-plated nickel silver.

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-Really?

-So they're not part of the set.

-Ah!

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So that's the only... But the main body of the set are all there.

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-So you don't need to get this out for your Friday night fish and chip supper any more?

-No.

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It's a super thing to go to auction.

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Value-wise,

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-I would say between 100 and 200...

-Really?

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But I'd like to think towards the upper end of that.

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You'd get a lot of people snapping at the bit at the lower end of that estimate,

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but I see no reason why a good long set like this in its fitted box

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-shouldn't make towards the upper end of that 100 to £200 estimate.

-I am surprised!

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Another significant addition to our fund.

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Now, the view of Shropshire from Jeanette's flat is spectacular.

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So John's next find is very appropriate.

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These two books chronicle the history of the county.

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Among the illustrations is a view of Shrewsbury as it looked in the 1830s, when the books were printed,

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a view that's hardly changed to this day.

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John values these books at £60 to £80.

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Jeanette's hallway is proving to be a good source of collectables.

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John, there's a wonderful barometer here. Do you want to have a look?

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I did spot that earlier, Caroline. What do you know about it?

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Jeanette did tell me a story about it.

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Her brother-in-law found it down in Sussex somewhere.

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And her husband, Alistair,

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coveted it.

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When he eventually got his hands on it, he restored it to presumably as it is now.

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It's rather lovely to have one of these, isn't it?

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It's quite nice. It's an Admiral Fitzroy barometer.

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You can see it says so up there.

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The case is a cross-top. You can see why they call it a cross-top.

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It dates to the late 19th century.

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But Admiral Fitzroy is quite an interesting figure.

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You only ever hear his name relating to this type of barometer.

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He was a naval chap. He was born into aristocracy.

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He was the son of Lord Charles Fitzroy.

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He joined the navy at 12 years old, enrolling at Portsmouth Naval College

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and he graduated with a 100 per cent mark which had never been achieved before.

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He's probably most famous - other than the barometers -

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for being the captain of HMS Beagle on Darwin's expeditions.

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Very appropriate for Shrewsbury.

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Exactly, because Darwin was born here.

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He became very interested in meteorology, the study of weather

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and so on.

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He published his remarks, and we can see them here, on the barometer.

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Don't ask me how you interpret them.

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But basically you can see on the side these pointers that slide up and down.

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That's so you can record the level of the mercury and the fluctuation.

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And by recording that and noting the actual degree change,

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you can use his remarks to interpret any potential dramatic change in the weather.

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Which is very important for sailing.

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These are collectable today. It's nice that it's been restored.

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Something like that, in that condition,

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I would expect to be about 150 to £180.

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-It would help with the pot.

-Absolutely. Absolutely. All the time our pot is rising!

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The pot is indeed growing,

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but we're still around £500 from our target.

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Time to get dug in again.

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Jeanette's decided to let go of this trio of decanters in a wooden case.

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Traditionally, these were kept firmly locked to prevent servants from stealing the master's alcohol.

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Visible yet unreachable, they were so tantalising.

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And that's why a set like this is called a tantalus.

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Obviously, you get on very well as neighbours and friends.

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But that doesn't always happen.

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What is it between you that's connected to form such a friendship?

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We discovered, when Jeanette was looking at various items to come for the sale

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that one of her relatives is called Murphy. And my grandmother was a Murphy.

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So somewhere deep in the distant past we might actually be related,

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which would be a very bizarre coincidence.

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So in terms of the clear-out and coming to auction in London,

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-is that another day out for you?

-Yes!

-Indeed.

-Very much so.

-Yes.

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Might it be a problem when we get to auction of people being tempted to buy rather than sell?

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I don't know. I think I'm a true Scot. I'm too mean!

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I like to think about things for a long time before I actually plunge.

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-What about you, Caroline?

-I'm the opposite!

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I sniff around thinking, "Oh, that's rather nice."

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-You'll be bargain hunting on auction day.

-I'm sure Jeanette will keep me in tow.

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'It's all very well talking about auctions, but let's get a move on if we want to get to one!

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'Thankfully, John is in his element when he finds a group of three snuff boxes

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'used to carry ground tobacco which people used to sniff.

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'The silver one is Georgian, and they're all very collectable.

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'John thinks they should sell for around £100 to £150.

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'Caroline has been busy in the kitchen and found three Royal Doulton figurines

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'which were made by one of the greatest English potteries founded in the 19th century.

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'There is damage to one piece, but together they're worth £50 to £80.'

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Jeanette, this is quite an impressive cut-glass lamp. Where is it from?

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Again, it belonged to my parents.

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I think this one came from my grandmother, originally.

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There used to be two crystal lamps in the house

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but unfortunately when my parents moved to Shropshire to be near us,

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-my father managed to drop one of them down the stairs.

-Oh, dear!

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Let's have a look at this. Is this to your taste?

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Not particularly, no.

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I prefer something a bit simpler and more elegant, really.

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When you look at this and take back the steps of production, it's quite a remarkable process.

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The first of which is called marking where they literally mark out the design

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using red lead.

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It then has to be - it's called roughing -

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where they literally lightly incise the basic design onto the piece.

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The third part is the actual cutting.

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If you look at these facets, they're V-shaped.

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They hold the piece up to this revolving disc and they cut it.

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Can you imagine how long that would take?

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To bring these in passes past that disc.

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Finally, the whole thing, which is very matt at that point, has to be polished.

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Sadly, today, people find these a bit of a dust trap

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and, as you said, too ornate for modern tastes.

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-This hole in the top, it that where the pointer was?

-No,

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-that would just be to allow heat to escape.

-Ah.

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That would get pretty hot inside!

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Value-wise today, we're looking at between £50 and £100, which doesn't sound a lot to me.

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When I think about the work that's gone into it.

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-Yes.

-It doesn't sound a lot of money.

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But demand is what it is.

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How are you with that?

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-I'm surprised, actually.

-That it's low?

-That it's high.

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-High?

-Yes.

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-You don't rate it, do you?

-No!

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Excellent. Another great item towards our fund.

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-Wonderful.

-Shame you don't have the pair.

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But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, John.

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And we still aren't finished with the silver.

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I find a dish made by Asprey's, the well-known silversmiths,

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worth £100 to £150.

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John turns out three cigarette boxes,

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hallmarked and with wooden interiors.

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They're worth £150 to £180.

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Jeanette's target was £1,000

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and taking John's lowest estimates,

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with a bit of luck she should be able to make £1,080.

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What a fruitful day we've had.

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Let's remind ourselves of the two most impressive lots going under the hammer.

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Invented by Robert Fitzroy,

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captain of HMS Beagle, the barometer that's worth around £150 to £180.

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And the early 20th century grandmother clock,

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small enough to fit into today's houses,

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it could fetch anything between £200 and £400.

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Still to come: I think John's finally got the measure of Jeanette.

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You said yourself, it wasn't to your taste. You're in the majority.

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And despite her damaged goods, it looks like she could be heading for a happy result.

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Not bad for a decapitated lady!

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Find out when the final hammer falls.

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It's been a few weeks since we were in Shrewsbury and met Jeanette.

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We found plenty of antiques and collectables that are very good quality.

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We've brought those here to Chiswick Auction House in West London.

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Jeanette wants to raise around £1,000 towards her grandson's education

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and so she can take her friend on a pleasure boat trip down the river.

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Let's hope the bidders are out in force today

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to help us make that money.

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If you've been inspired to try your hand at buying or selling at auction,

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remember that commission and other charges may apply.

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Always check the details with the local auction house.

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Jeanette and Caroline have made it to Chiswick

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so we're all set for the first lot,

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a box of silver condiments dating back to 1925.

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It's not an early example, is it, John?

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It's mid-20th century.

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But quite unusual to find them now with so many condiments in.

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You get sets for six to sit down to dinner,

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but this, I imagine, is for 12?

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12 people, and in superb condition as well.

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A couple of replacement spoons. One of the salt spoons and the two mustards are EPNS,

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but the bodies of the main pieces are absolutely perfect, hardly used.

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-Good lot, this. I'm bid straight off £100 in the middle of the room.

-Straight in.

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110, thank you. 120.

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130. 140. 150.

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160. 170. 180.

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190. 200. And ten.

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220.

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- 220 in the middle. - Doing well!

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220. Anybody else? £220 is the bid for that set.

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At 220, then. 220.

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What a terrific result to get us started.

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I hope this will be a sign of good things to come.

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Let's try our luck with some more silver.

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Our next lot is the hallmarked silver pedestal dish.

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Where did this come from?

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It was a wedding present to my parents.

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Nice. It was a classic wedding present in those days.

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-And Asprey Brothers, as well. Good name.

-Which I didn't know!

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-Good name.

-A posh wedding present. There you go!

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What's it worth, this bit of silver? £30 to start? 30 I'm bid. 35. 40.

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45. 50.

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55.

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60. 65. 70.

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75.

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£75 standing in front of me. At 75.

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Anybody else? £75.

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It's going to sell. 75 it goes.

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That's a little lower than we expected and proves

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you never know how things will go at auction.

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Jeanette's two-volume history of Shropshire is our next lot.

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Remember, this dates back to the 1830s.

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Anybody else? At £35 not quite enough.

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£35.

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Clearly those books were too valuable to be sold at such a low price.

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So the auctioneer uses his discretion on our behalf.

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It's good of him, but we do seem to be on a downward trend.

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A reversal of fortunes is what we need

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with the cut-glass lamp that belonged to Jeanette's grandmother.

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It's a lovely lamp and when you feel it and lift it,

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it really is quality and so many hours of work and craftsmanship went into it.

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I'm hoping it's going to make £50

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-but in one word, that actually sounds cheap, doesn't it?

-Yes.

0:18:330:18:37

Start me. £30 for this decorative lot?

0:18:370:18:40

£30? More than that, goodness!

0:18:400:18:42

35.

0:18:420:18:43

£40, the person next to me. £40. Anybody else want to come in? £40.

0:18:430:18:47

It's going to go, then, at £40.

0:18:470:18:49

On the book. In the room, sorry, at £40. I'm going to sell it for 40.

0:18:490:18:53

-£40.

-I'm slightly disappointed with that because I feel it's worth more.

0:18:530:18:57

-It reflects demand.

-Not fashionable.

-Spot on, Jeanette.

0:18:570:19:01

As you said, it wasn't your taste and you're in the majority, not the minority.

0:19:010:19:05

£10 under our estimate. Let's hope we can make up the difference

0:19:050:19:09

as we try our luck

0:19:090:19:10

with some pottery.

0:19:100:19:12

Our next lot is a little collection of Royal Doulton.

0:19:120:19:15

We've got Fair Lady and the Little Bridesmaid.

0:19:150:19:18

Two are in nice condition,

0:19:180:19:20

one of them, sadly, the older one, and probably more valuable one, is broken.

0:19:200:19:24

-I think I broke it as a child.

-Confession! As a child?

0:19:240:19:28

Good Lord! We want £50 to £80 for them.

0:19:280:19:31

Doulton has dipped a bit in recent years, so fingers crossed.

0:19:310:19:35

Still not bad for a decapitated lady!

0:19:350:19:37

Start me for these three figures.

0:19:370:19:39

Start me. £30 to go for the lot.

0:19:390:19:41

£20 to start me. 20 I'm bid, straight off. 22.

0:19:410:19:45

24. 26.

0:19:450:19:46

28. 30. 32.

0:19:460:19:49

34. 36. 38.

0:19:490:19:51

40. 45.

0:19:510:19:53

£45 there. At 45.

0:19:530:19:55

Anybody else want to come in? At £45. I'm going to sell at 45.

0:19:550:19:58

50, fresh bidding. £50 from the lady now, at £50. With you, madam, at 50.

0:19:580:20:03

Anybody else? £50. They go for 50. 179.

0:20:030:20:05

-Spot on our lower estimate there.

-Not bad at all.

0:20:050:20:09

Good news about the figurines.

0:20:090:20:11

I wonder if the Moorcroft vase,

0:20:110:20:13

also from Staffordshire,

0:20:130:20:14

will deliver an equally useful result.

0:20:140:20:17

It was bought by Jeanette's late husband.

0:20:170:20:20

I've got some interest in this, too. I'm bid £80. With me at 80.

0:20:200:20:24

And five I'll take. £80. 85. 90.

0:20:240:20:28

95. 100.

0:20:280:20:29

110. 120.

0:20:290:20:31

130. 140.

0:20:310:20:33

145, cos I've got 150.

0:20:330:20:35

155 in the room against commissions. 155. Wrong-footed.

0:20:350:20:38

At 155 it goes, then. Anybody else? 155 is the bid.

0:20:380:20:41

The Moorcroft vase was interesting because Jeanette had it in the flat

0:20:430:20:47

but wasn't terribly in love with it.

0:20:470:20:50

So for it to make a profit of such a magnitude was fantastic.

0:20:500:20:54

A good profit indeed. £75 more

0:20:540:20:57

than John's lowest estimate.

0:20:570:20:59

And a much-needed addition that will have an impact on our halfway total.

0:20:590:21:04

You wanted to raise £1,000, didn't you,

0:21:040:21:07

towards your grandson's education?

0:21:070:21:09

I want you to raise the money to have that lovely trip on the river.

0:21:090:21:13

So far, we've actually banked £540.

0:21:130:21:18

What a terrific halfway result.

0:21:180:21:20

Still, I've no idea which way this sale could go.

0:21:200:21:23

It's impossible to tell.

0:21:230:21:26

Jeanette's silver items were popular earlier in the sale.

0:21:260:21:29

Next up, it's that trio of snuff boxes, one of which,

0:21:290:21:33

the silver one, dates from Georgian times.

0:21:330:21:35

I hope the bidders don't turn their noses up at them!

0:21:350:21:38

We've got 100 to 150. But there are three in this lot?

0:21:380:21:42

One silver one, a lovely little box,

0:21:420:21:44

the other two are wooden, which still make £10 or £20.

0:21:440:21:48

-So we should hit our estimate here.

-OK.

0:21:480:21:50

55. 60.

0:21:500:21:52

65. 70.

0:21:520:21:53

75.

0:21:530:21:55

80. 85 there.

0:21:550:21:56

At £85. Anybody else? £85.

0:21:560:21:58

290 at £85. It goes at 85, then.

0:21:580:22:02

£85. They were in good condition and very stylish

0:22:020:22:06

so someone has bagged a bargain.

0:22:060:22:08

It's one of John's favourite items now.

0:22:080:22:11

The barometer invented by Robert Fitzroy,

0:22:110:22:13

who was captain of Charles Darwin's famous voyage on HMS Beagle.

0:22:130:22:18

I'm feeling emotional attachment from John here!

0:22:200:22:23

Look at that yearning look!

0:22:230:22:24

I have a bid at £80.

0:22:240:22:26

£80. 85. 90. 95.

0:22:260:22:29

100. £100 is all I'm bid for that lot. At £100.

0:22:290:22:32

It needs to be a bit more. £100. It's still with me at £100.

0:22:320:22:36

At £100, then.

0:22:360:22:37

100. Not sold.

0:22:370:22:39

We didn't get there. We got up to £100. The auctioneer has left it unsold.

0:22:390:22:43

-He used his discretion.

-It's coming home.

-It's coming home!

0:22:430:22:47

That's a shame. We had such high hopes for it.

0:22:470:22:50

Now we've got a £150 difference to make up somewhere.

0:22:500:22:54

Let's hope our next lot, the silver cigarette case and two other boxes, help us out.

0:22:540:22:59

Standing, then. At 140, they go 140. Sold.

0:23:000:23:03

£140 more for the kitty.

0:23:030:23:06

So we're doing well. But if Jeanette wants to reach her target,

0:23:060:23:09

we need a few more sales to bring us closer to £1,000.

0:23:090:23:13

The next lot is sitting there.

0:23:130:23:15

It's the oak tantalus with the three cut-glass decanters.

0:23:150:23:18

One of the bottles has been replaced

0:23:180:23:21

but it's a nice decorative object. Possibly a nice gift for somebody.

0:23:210:23:25

Three-bottle tantalus.

0:23:250:23:27

Interest in this. I've got a £40 bid with it.

0:23:270:23:30

-Good.

-OK.

0:23:300:23:32

45. 50. 55.

0:23:320:23:34

60. 65. 70.

0:23:340:23:35

75? Still with me at £70, then.

0:23:350:23:38

-£70.

-75.

0:23:380:23:40

Fresh bidding. £80 from me. 85 in the room against commissions.

0:23:400:23:44

-Hello!

-New bidder at 85.

0:23:440:23:46

Anybody else? £85.

0:23:460:23:48

They were empty, those bottles, weren't they?

0:23:480:23:51

They weren't full of vintage Scotch?

0:23:510:23:53

-£85. I think that's pretty good in this day and age.

-Absolutely.

0:23:530:23:57

Excellent! £85 - more than double the lower estimate.

0:23:570:24:01

And only the second item

0:24:010:24:02

to sell over estimate today.

0:24:020:24:04

Our final lot

0:24:040:24:05

is the 20th-century grandmother clock.

0:24:050:24:07

It's a good size, but has some damage,

0:24:070:24:09

so there's a lot riding on this.

0:24:090:24:11

People want to make their homes look roomier and lighter.

0:24:120:24:16

-Is such a dark piece of wood going to sell, do you think?

-I'm not sure.

0:24:160:24:19

I think it looks good in the sale room.

0:24:190:24:21

Start me for the clock. Surely £100 for it to go.

0:24:210:24:24

£100. 110.

0:24:240:24:26

120.

0:24:260:24:28

-£120 for a clock.

-Come on!

-130 there.

0:24:280:24:30

140.

0:24:300:24:31

150. In the corner there at £150. On the money at 150.

0:24:310:24:36

At £150. Anybody else?

0:24:360:24:38

£150. I can sell it for 150.

0:24:380:24:40

At 150 it goes.

0:24:400:24:42

£150.

0:24:420:24:44

-Is that OK?

-That's OK.

-Good. Good.

0:24:440:24:47

£150. But Jeanette didn't put a reserve on this clock.

0:24:470:24:51

Still, she seems happy to let it go at that price.

0:24:510:24:54

You wanted to make £1,000 towards your grandson's education.

0:24:540:24:58

We did have a good day, though a couple of things didn't make what we wanted.

0:24:580:25:02

-Do you think you've made that money?

-Well, after the last lot, I suspect we have.

0:25:020:25:06

-Well, you've made £1,000!

-Really?

-Wow!

0:25:060:25:10

-Sure you don't want to start another fund for Yale or Harvard?

-Possibly!

0:25:100:25:15

To celebrate their success at auction,

0:25:200:25:23

it's time for that river cruise along the picturesque River Severn.

0:25:230:25:27

I had agreed that I'd take Caroline on the river today

0:25:270:25:30

and as an added bonus, my family have arrived from America

0:25:300:25:34

so I've got Liam, the beneficiary of all the money

0:25:340:25:38

coming as well, so I'm really looking forward to this trip!

0:25:380:25:42

Are you waving to the swan?

0:25:420:25:45

'I can show him all the places along the river'

0:25:450:25:49

that are part of my daily life.

0:25:490:25:51

Look, there's Granny's house! That's Granny's house up there!

0:25:510:25:55

The auction was a great success

0:25:550:25:57

and more than achieved the target I'd set out.

0:25:570:26:00

It'll be good to put that into the fund to give him a good start.

0:26:000:26:05

After all that Caroline's done for us and me in particular,

0:26:060:26:10

it's lovely to take her for a trip on the river and give her something in return.

0:26:100:26:16

I know he probably won't remember his trip on the river with Grandma,

0:26:160:26:21

but he really seemed to enter into it and loved looking at everything on the banks

0:26:210:26:26

and it was a delight for me to be able to have him.

0:26:260:26:30

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:26:530:26:56

Jeannette Shepherd from Shropshire wants to arrange a grand day out for her new grandson on the River Severn. Will Lorne Spicer and John Cameron find enough antiques in her Edwardian home to make her 1,000 pound target?