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.
Then we raise money from them at auction.
Today I'm in Shropshire.
I've come to take a look at Shrewsbury Castle,
some parts of which date back to 1066.
Needless to say, the objects on display inside
are steeped in history.
Let's hope the antiques and collectables we find today
deliver the same quality.
could an accident in the past affect the value of an item in the present?
There used to be two crystal lamps in the house.
But unfortunately, my father managed to drop one down the stairs!
Looks like Dad wasn't the only one in this family with butter fingers!
-I think I broke it as a child.
-Ah, a confession!
Accident-prone or not,
at least they appreciate a good vintage.
They were empty, those bottles, weren't they? Not full of vintage Scotch?
Let's hope we make plenty of cash when the final hammer falls.
Jeanette Shepherd lives in the top floor flat
of this magnificent Edwardian house,
which has been her home for the past 12 years.
She was born in Scotland but lived all over the UK before settling in Shropshire.
Jeanette was widowed at an early age
and she brought up her two sons alone,
both of whom are now grown up.
Her youngest son, Ian, moved to America
and recently made her a very proud grandmother.
Helping Jeanette today is her neighbour and friend
While our expert John Cameron gets our rummage underway, it's time for me to meet the ladies.
-Good morning, ladies.
This is all very cosy, isn't it?
-You must be Jeanette.
-And this is your home.
-And Caroline, you live next door.
-Behind the wall, over there.
What made you call in Cash in the Attic?
Well, after a long time, I'm finally a grandmother.
-My grandson was born last year in America, unfortunately.
So I really just want to raise some money
to help pay for his education.
Caroline, what do you think of this idea of clearing out a few things?
It's an excellent idea because it means Jeanette knows something is going to a good cause
and when it's cluttering up her space anyway,
-in fact, you don't really miss it.
-Once it's gone.
Do you have a figure in mind, how much you'd like to make?
-I thought about £1,000.
-Is that going into some sort of savings fund for your grandson?
Anything else you want to do with the money?
Caroline has never been on the pleasure boat that sails along the river.
-So I thought it might be rather nice if we had a little sail.
-That sounds nice.
In which case, we do need to track down John Cameron
to see if he's found anything yet to value. Come on.
£1,000 is an ambitious target.
So we'd better get straight down to the rummaging.
-John, you've found the time already!
I have. I've got an interesting short case clock.
On the boss at the top it says, "Tempus fugit",
-or "time flies", but in this case it's ground to a halt!
-It has, I'm afraid.
-Is it not working?
Well, I think it could work if it was serviced.
The clock dates to the first quarter of the 20th century, about 1910, 1920.
The case suggests that. It's a Jacobean revival style,
most notably with these barley twist pilasters
and this coffered panelled door.
It's in a form that's been around since the same sort of period with its domed top, trunk and base.
The only criticism is this split in the panel.
It fits the groove too tightly or somebody's fixed it. So as the wood has shrunk,
it's got nowhere to go and it's split, which is a real shame.
Ten, 15 years ago, grandfather, grandmother clocks, anything like that, was guaranteed to make money.
That's not quite the case now at auction.
No, you're right. They have seen a drop in demand.
But they would still sell at auction even though it requires servicing.
Value-wise, I'd put it around 200 to 300, maybe £400. Certainly around the £200 mark.
-Jeanette, what do you think of that estimate?
-Yes, that's OK.
That's a good start, isn't it,
-on the way to £1,000. Anything else through there?
So we all set to work. John and Caroline rifle through cupboards,
while I tackle the sitting room and find a Moorcroft vase.
This belonged to Jeanette's late husband.
William Moorcroft was an English potter who set up his own company in Staffordshire in the early 1900s.
His work is still popular today and this could raise anything from 80 to £120 at auction.
There are collectables everywhere you look in Jeanette's home.
Most are in great condition when you consider their age, as John is finding out.
Jeanette, a large proportion of what we see at auction comes via the probate route
so we do see good silver cutlery sets and tureens and condiment sets turning up
but I can't remember seeing one so extensive for some time.
Where is this from?
I think it was a wedding present which was given to my mother and father.
Apart from that, I don't know much about it.
When did Mum and Dad get married? What year was it? Do you remember?
It was somewhere round about 1930, I think.
I've looked at the hallmark. It's interesting. It dates to 1925
so it would tie in around about that sort of date.
Quite nice to see all the liners there.
We've got four table salts or open salts.
Two mustard pots. These are quite nice. Again they've got their blue glass liners.
And four pepper casters, which is quite nice.
So I think that if you had a long dinner table
and you allowed for a salt and pepper per couple, you could at least seat eight.
And even if you have one between four, you've got 16,
so I think this was probably intended for quite some dining table.
Very nice indeed.
The only fault I can see with it
is that these three spoons here
all have the same hallmark and maker's name on,
but this little spoon is a replacement.
And the two master spoons are electro-plated nickel silver.
-So they're not part of the set.
So that's the only... But the main body of the set are all there.
-So you don't need to get this out for your Friday night fish and chip supper any more?
It's a super thing to go to auction.
-I would say between 100 and 200...
But I'd like to think towards the upper end of that.
You'd get a lot of people snapping at the bit at the lower end of that estimate,
but I see no reason why a good long set like this in its fitted box
-shouldn't make towards the upper end of that 100 to £200 estimate.
-I am surprised!
Another significant addition to our fund.
Now, the view of Shropshire from Jeanette's flat is spectacular.
So John's next find is very appropriate.
These two books chronicle the history of the county.
Among the illustrations is a view of Shrewsbury as it looked in the 1830s, when the books were printed,
a view that's hardly changed to this day.
John values these books at £60 to £80.
Jeanette's hallway is proving to be a good source of collectables.
John, there's a wonderful barometer here. Do you want to have a look?
I did spot that earlier, Caroline. What do you know about it?
Jeanette did tell me a story about it.
Her brother-in-law found it down in Sussex somewhere.
And her husband, Alistair,
When he eventually got his hands on it, he restored it to presumably as it is now.
It's rather lovely to have one of these, isn't it?
It's quite nice. It's an Admiral Fitzroy barometer.
You can see it says so up there.
The case is a cross-top. You can see why they call it a cross-top.
It dates to the late 19th century.
But Admiral Fitzroy is quite an interesting figure.
You only ever hear his name relating to this type of barometer.
He was a naval chap. He was born into aristocracy.
He was the son of Lord Charles Fitzroy.
He joined the navy at 12 years old, enrolling at Portsmouth Naval College
and he graduated with a 100 per cent mark which had never been achieved before.
He's probably most famous - other than the barometers -
for being the captain of HMS Beagle on Darwin's expeditions.
Very appropriate for Shrewsbury.
Exactly, because Darwin was born here.
He became very interested in meteorology, the study of weather
and so on.
He published his remarks, and we can see them here, on the barometer.
Don't ask me how you interpret them.
But basically you can see on the side these pointers that slide up and down.
That's so you can record the level of the mercury and the fluctuation.
And by recording that and noting the actual degree change,
you can use his remarks to interpret any potential dramatic change in the weather.
Which is very important for sailing.
These are collectable today. It's nice that it's been restored.
Something like that, in that condition,
I would expect to be about 150 to £180.
-It would help with the pot.
-Absolutely. Absolutely. All the time our pot is rising!
The pot is indeed growing,
but we're still around £500 from our target.
Time to get dug in again.
Jeanette's decided to let go of this trio of decanters in a wooden case.
Traditionally, these were kept firmly locked to prevent servants from stealing the master's alcohol.
Visible yet unreachable, they were so tantalising.
And that's why a set like this is called a tantalus.
Obviously, you get on very well as neighbours and friends.
But that doesn't always happen.
What is it between you that's connected to form such a friendship?
We discovered, when Jeanette was looking at various items to come for the sale
that one of her relatives is called Murphy. And my grandmother was a Murphy.
So somewhere deep in the distant past we might actually be related,
which would be a very bizarre coincidence.
So in terms of the clear-out and coming to auction in London,
-is that another day out for you?
-Very much so.
Might it be a problem when we get to auction of people being tempted to buy rather than sell?
I don't know. I think I'm a true Scot. I'm too mean!
I like to think about things for a long time before I actually plunge.
-What about you, Caroline?
-I'm the opposite!
I sniff around thinking, "Oh, that's rather nice."
-You'll be bargain hunting on auction day.
-I'm sure Jeanette will keep me in tow.
'It's all very well talking about auctions, but let's get a move on if we want to get to one!
'Thankfully, John is in his element when he finds a group of three snuff boxes
'used to carry ground tobacco which people used to sniff.
'The silver one is Georgian, and they're all very collectable.
'John thinks they should sell for around £100 to £150.
'Caroline has been busy in the kitchen and found three Royal Doulton figurines
'which were made by one of the greatest English potteries founded in the 19th century.
'There is damage to one piece, but together they're worth £50 to £80.'
Jeanette, this is quite an impressive cut-glass lamp. Where is it from?
Again, it belonged to my parents.
I think this one came from my grandmother, originally.
There used to be two crystal lamps in the house
but unfortunately when my parents moved to Shropshire to be near us,
-my father managed to drop one of them down the stairs.
Let's have a look at this. Is this to your taste?
Not particularly, no.
I prefer something a bit simpler and more elegant, really.
When you look at this and take back the steps of production, it's quite a remarkable process.
The first of which is called marking where they literally mark out the design
using red lead.
It then has to be - it's called roughing -
where they literally lightly incise the basic design onto the piece.
The third part is the actual cutting.
If you look at these facets, they're V-shaped.
They hold the piece up to this revolving disc and they cut it.
Can you imagine how long that would take?
To bring these in passes past that disc.
Finally, the whole thing, which is very matt at that point, has to be polished.
Sadly, today, people find these a bit of a dust trap
and, as you said, too ornate for modern tastes.
-This hole in the top, it that where the pointer was?
-that would just be to allow heat to escape.
That would get pretty hot inside!
Value-wise today, we're looking at between £50 and £100, which doesn't sound a lot to me.
When I think about the work that's gone into it.
-It doesn't sound a lot of money.
But demand is what it is.
How are you with that?
-I'm surprised, actually.
-That it's low?
-That it's high.
-You don't rate it, do you?
Excellent. Another great item towards our fund.
-Shame you don't have the pair.
But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, John.
And we still aren't finished with the silver.
I find a dish made by Asprey's, the well-known silversmiths,
worth £100 to £150.
John turns out three cigarette boxes,
hallmarked and with wooden interiors.
They're worth £150 to £180.
Jeanette's target was £1,000
and taking John's lowest estimates,
with a bit of luck she should be able to make £1,080.
What a fruitful day we've had.
Let's remind ourselves of the two most impressive lots going under the hammer.
Invented by Robert Fitzroy,
captain of HMS Beagle, the barometer that's worth around £150 to £180.
And the early 20th century grandmother clock,
small enough to fit into today's houses,
it could fetch anything between £200 and £400.
Still to come: I think John's finally got the measure of Jeanette.
You said yourself, it wasn't to your taste. You're in the majority.
And despite her damaged goods, it looks like she could be heading for a happy result.
Not bad for a decapitated lady!
Find out when the final hammer falls.
It's been a few weeks since we were in Shrewsbury and met Jeanette.
We found plenty of antiques and collectables that are very good quality.
We've brought those here to Chiswick Auction House in West London.
Jeanette wants to raise around £1,000 towards her grandson's education
and so she can take her friend on a pleasure boat trip down the river.
Let's hope the bidders are out in force today
to help us make that money.
If you've been inspired to try your hand at buying or selling at auction,
remember that commission and other charges may apply.
Always check the details with the local auction house.
Jeanette and Caroline have made it to Chiswick
so we're all set for the first lot,
a box of silver condiments dating back to 1925.
It's not an early example, is it, John?
It's mid-20th century.
But quite unusual to find them now with so many condiments in.
You get sets for six to sit down to dinner,
but this, I imagine, is for 12?
12 people, and in superb condition as well.
A couple of replacement spoons. One of the salt spoons and the two mustards are EPNS,
but the bodies of the main pieces are absolutely perfect, hardly used.
-Good lot, this. I'm bid straight off £100 in the middle of the room.
110, thank you. 120.
130. 140. 150.
160. 170. 180.
190. 200. And ten.
- 220 in the middle. - Doing well!
220. Anybody else? £220 is the bid for that set.
At 220, then. 220.
What a terrific result to get us started.
I hope this will be a sign of good things to come.
Let's try our luck with some more silver.
Our next lot is the hallmarked silver pedestal dish.
Where did this come from?
It was a wedding present to my parents.
Nice. It was a classic wedding present in those days.
-And Asprey Brothers, as well. Good name.
-Which I didn't know!
-A posh wedding present. There you go!
What's it worth, this bit of silver? £30 to start? 30 I'm bid. 35. 40.
60. 65. 70.
£75 standing in front of me. At 75.
Anybody else? £75.
It's going to sell. 75 it goes.
That's a little lower than we expected and proves
you never know how things will go at auction.
Jeanette's two-volume history of Shropshire is our next lot.
Remember, this dates back to the 1830s.
Anybody else? At £35 not quite enough.
Clearly those books were too valuable to be sold at such a low price.
So the auctioneer uses his discretion on our behalf.
It's good of him, but we do seem to be on a downward trend.
A reversal of fortunes is what we need
with the cut-glass lamp that belonged to Jeanette's grandmother.
It's a lovely lamp and when you feel it and lift it,
it really is quality and so many hours of work and craftsmanship went into it.
I'm hoping it's going to make £50
-but in one word, that actually sounds cheap, doesn't it?
Start me. £30 for this decorative lot?
£30? More than that, goodness!
£40, the person next to me. £40. Anybody else want to come in? £40.
It's going to go, then, at £40.
On the book. In the room, sorry, at £40. I'm going to sell it for 40.
-I'm slightly disappointed with that because I feel it's worth more.
-It reflects demand.
-Spot on, Jeanette.
As you said, it wasn't your taste and you're in the majority, not the minority.
£10 under our estimate. Let's hope we can make up the difference
as we try our luck
with some pottery.
Our next lot is a little collection of Royal Doulton.
We've got Fair Lady and the Little Bridesmaid.
Two are in nice condition,
one of them, sadly, the older one, and probably more valuable one, is broken.
-I think I broke it as a child.
-Confession! As a child?
Good Lord! We want £50 to £80 for them.
Doulton has dipped a bit in recent years, so fingers crossed.
Still not bad for a decapitated lady!
Start me for these three figures.
Start me. £30 to go for the lot.
£20 to start me. 20 I'm bid, straight off. 22.
28. 30. 32.
34. 36. 38.
£45 there. At 45.
Anybody else want to come in? At £45. I'm going to sell at 45.
50, fresh bidding. £50 from the lady now, at £50. With you, madam, at 50.
Anybody else? £50. They go for 50. 179.
-Spot on our lower estimate there.
-Not bad at all.
Good news about the figurines.
I wonder if the Moorcroft vase,
also from Staffordshire,
will deliver an equally useful result.
It was bought by Jeanette's late husband.
I've got some interest in this, too. I'm bid £80. With me at 80.
And five I'll take. £80. 85. 90.
145, cos I've got 150.
155 in the room against commissions. 155. Wrong-footed.
At 155 it goes, then. Anybody else? 155 is the bid.
The Moorcroft vase was interesting because Jeanette had it in the flat
but wasn't terribly in love with it.
So for it to make a profit of such a magnitude was fantastic.
A good profit indeed. £75 more
than John's lowest estimate.
And a much-needed addition that will have an impact on our halfway total.
You wanted to raise £1,000, didn't you,
towards your grandson's education?
I want you to raise the money to have that lovely trip on the river.
So far, we've actually banked £540.
What a terrific halfway result.
Still, I've no idea which way this sale could go.
It's impossible to tell.
Jeanette's silver items were popular earlier in the sale.
Next up, it's that trio of snuff boxes, one of which,
the silver one, dates from Georgian times.
I hope the bidders don't turn their noses up at them!
We've got 100 to 150. But there are three in this lot?
One silver one, a lovely little box,
the other two are wooden, which still make £10 or £20.
-So we should hit our estimate here.
80. 85 there.
At £85. Anybody else? £85.
290 at £85. It goes at 85, then.
£85. They were in good condition and very stylish
so someone has bagged a bargain.
It's one of John's favourite items now.
The barometer invented by Robert Fitzroy,
who was captain of Charles Darwin's famous voyage on HMS Beagle.
I'm feeling emotional attachment from John here!
Look at that yearning look!
I have a bid at £80.
£80. 85. 90. 95.
100. £100 is all I'm bid for that lot. At £100.
It needs to be a bit more. £100. It's still with me at £100.
At £100, then.
100. Not sold.
We didn't get there. We got up to £100. The auctioneer has left it unsold.
-He used his discretion.
-It's coming home.
-It's coming home!
That's a shame. We had such high hopes for it.
Now we've got a £150 difference to make up somewhere.
Let's hope our next lot, the silver cigarette case and two other boxes, help us out.
Standing, then. At 140, they go 140. Sold.
£140 more for the kitty.
So we're doing well. But if Jeanette wants to reach her target,
we need a few more sales to bring us closer to £1,000.
The next lot is sitting there.
It's the oak tantalus with the three cut-glass decanters.
One of the bottles has been replaced
but it's a nice decorative object. Possibly a nice gift for somebody.
Interest in this. I've got a £40 bid with it.
45. 50. 55.
60. 65. 70.
75? Still with me at £70, then.
Fresh bidding. £80 from me. 85 in the room against commissions.
-New bidder at 85.
Anybody else? £85.
They were empty, those bottles, weren't they?
They weren't full of vintage Scotch?
-£85. I think that's pretty good in this day and age.
Excellent! £85 - more than double the lower estimate.
And only the second item
to sell over estimate today.
Our final lot
is the 20th-century grandmother clock.
It's a good size, but has some damage,
so there's a lot riding on this.
People want to make their homes look roomier and lighter.
-Is such a dark piece of wood going to sell, do you think?
-I'm not sure.
I think it looks good in the sale room.
Start me for the clock. Surely £100 for it to go.
-£120 for a clock.
150. In the corner there at £150. On the money at 150.
At £150. Anybody else?
£150. I can sell it for 150.
At 150 it goes.
-Is that OK?
£150. But Jeanette didn't put a reserve on this clock.
Still, she seems happy to let it go at that price.
You wanted to make £1,000 towards your grandson's education.
We did have a good day, though a couple of things didn't make what we wanted.
-Do you think you've made that money?
-Well, after the last lot, I suspect we have.
-Well, you've made £1,000!
-Sure you don't want to start another fund for Yale or Harvard?
To celebrate their success at auction,
it's time for that river cruise along the picturesque River Severn.
I had agreed that I'd take Caroline on the river today
and as an added bonus, my family have arrived from America
so I've got Liam, the beneficiary of all the money
coming as well, so I'm really looking forward to this trip!
Are you waving to the swan?
'I can show him all the places along the river'
that are part of my daily life.
Look, there's Granny's house! That's Granny's house up there!
The auction was a great success
and more than achieved the target I'd set out.
It'll be good to put that into the fund to give him a good start.
After all that Caroline's done for us and me in particular,
it's lovely to take her for a trip on the river and give her something in return.
I know he probably won't remember his trip on the river with Grandma,
but he really seemed to enter into it and loved looking at everything on the banks
and it was a delight for me to be able to have him.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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?