Antiques show. Art-lover Bea is in urgent need of a new bathroom, so Angela Rippon and Jonty Hearnden help search for collectibles around her London home to sell at auction.
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Welcome to the show that helps you hunt for antiques and collectables around your home
and then sells them at auction.
I'm sure a lot of people have collected things over the years
which have increased in value.
One day you think, "I could do something useful with that money."
That's the case in point for the lady I'm about to meet
who really does hope we can find some cash in the attic!
Coming up. Our expert is challenged by a faded maker's mark.
I can see a nice crisp hallmark on this one.
But on this one it's a bit faint.
And our host's keen eye for art leads to a possible pay day.
I recognise that!
-Find out what happens when the hammer falls.
Today I'm in south-west London
and I'm about to meet a lady who's led an absolutely fascinating life.
She's called on the help of an old friend
to search out those items that will produce that much-needed money.
Born in Germany, Bea Francis-Brough
has always been up for adventure.
An avid traveller,
she moved to England in 1958 where she eventually married and brought up two children.
Some years later, she divorced and met her second husband, Michael.
Sadly, he passed away two years ago
so she's decided to have a clear-out
and put the money she earns to good use.
I'm joined by our expert Jonty Hearnden
to help search for items that will raise money for her special project.
She'd like to redesign her bathroom
and then take her good friend Magda out for a special day.
As Jonty starts work, I find the girls are also eager to get started.
-It's like the Old Curiosity Shop in here!
-Don't tell me!
-This is the overspill, is it, where you store stuff?
-I gather and it grows!
You two have known each other how long?
-We reckon about 15 years or so on and off.
Why have you called in Cash in the Attic, Bea?
I need to raise some money for a new shower room in my guest suite.
And I was hoping to have a bit of fun with Magda.
Isn't that nice? I didn't know about this.
I've just learned it. It's wonderful.
What would a bit of fun entail, Magda?
I think we would probably do something wild like go to the opera!
How much money do you think we can raise?
Ideally 2,500, or more, depends on what these things fetch.
It's a big sum of money. We need a big man to help us.
Jonty Hearnden is a good six foot two,
-so I think he'll fit the bill.
-Let's go and see what he's up to.
Finding enough items to make up £2,500 is a big task.
Thankfully, there are four of us to share the rummaging duties.
I can see from the packed walls of her home
that Bea is a serious art collector.
Jonty has taken a special interest in a particular pencil drawing.
-This is Bea and Magda.
-Hi. Nice to see you.
I see you've found one of the wonderful pictures that are everywhere in this house.
I bought that in South Kensington
when my oldest, who's now 49, was six months old.
-So you know exactly how old it is.
-It's a long time.
I bought it in a gallery when the exhibition had just finished.
-Who was the artist?
-What made you think you had to have it?
I just felt it was so calm and pleasing and lovely.
There was nothing I didn't like about it. I had to have it.
How much did you pay for it?
They wanted £90. When you compare that to the rent I was paying
for a nice flat in South Kensington,
which was five pounds a week,
you can see how expensive that was.
Presumably, Jonty, this picture will have increased in value
and the artist is very well known.
Very well known indeed. It might be some time since you spotted this, Bea,
but on the reverse the artist has signed it.
Here we have "Ruskin Spear".
Ruskin Spear was born in Hammersmith
and spent most of his time there. So a lot of his work, like this picture here,
-is all of West London, Hammersmith and the surrounding area.
-It cost £90
almost 50 years ago.
-If we took it to auction now, what do you think we'd get for it?
he makes a lot of money at auction. There's a great return for your investment.
So if I can pip it just below the £1,000 mark at auction,
if we put 700 to £900, I'm sure
there'll be a lot of interest at auction if we do that.
-That's not a bad return on £90, is it?
If there are more items like this we'll reach our target in no time.
There are nooks and crannies aplenty to scour.
Meanwhile, Bea shows Jonty a bowl that's travelled a very long way from home.
Jonty, I wondered if you'd like to have a look at this.
That's a pretty little bowl.
-My brother gave it to me years ago.
-He was a captain and he travelled the world, so he bought that in Japan.
Let's look at the bowl in more detail. Inside we have a pheasant.
He's resting either on a log or a rock,
surrounded by flowers
and above him is a maple tree.
This is known as Satsuma ware.
-Because you have this very distinctive crackle glaze.
Satsuma in Britain was very popular in the late 19th century
and early 20th century
so we do see a lot of Satsuma ware from that period in this country today.
Everyone wants a decorative bowl like this. It's always worth selling,
always worth considering putting something like this into auction.
It's not worth a vast fortune. We're looking at 30 to £40.
I'm very hopeful that Bea's home is going to yield many more items
which could bring in some useful takings at auction.
Bea has uncovered an iconic 20th-century serving platter
which she inherited from Michael's mother.
I bet that's seen its fair share of Sunday roasts!
Made by Spode, it's a good example of the blue and white pattern
and the so-called underglazing technique for which the company is famous.
Jonty thinks it's going to raise 40 to £60.
Meanwhile, I've picked out yet another painting among Bea's collection.
It's a beautiful watercolour by Edward Wesson,
considered one of Britain's leading watercolourists of the 20th century.
His style could be described as simple yet bold.
Bea bought it 34 years ago
and now it's worth a whopping 400 to £600!
An exciting find! I'm keen to see if Magda's found something just as good.
Have you found anything there for me, Magda?
-I'm not quite sure what they are.
This looks like a vinaigrette set.
-We've got a bottle here for vinegar and possibly oil.
-And a nice tray.
From the decoration, it looks like Dutch Delft.
It goes back to the 16th, 17th century.
And it's always done in this kind of way.
All hand decorated.
But if you look closely at the two bottles, look at the shape.
They're very contemporary so they're only 20 or 30 years old, possibly.
As a consequence, we are looking at, when it comes to value,
-only 20 to £30.
-Well, if it's not needed, why not?
They certainly are three beautiful pieces,
but it'll be much more fun for Bea to put the money towards a day out with Magda.
Jonty's been busy and he's found three cup-and-saucer sets.
All are 20th century
and each made by a different European pottery.
Royal Copenhagen is a distinctive blue and white Danish pottery.
Meissen and Dresden are both German designs.
No doubt a nod to Bea's ancestry.
Put together as one lot, this collection should raise 40 to £60.
I was wondering what it must have been like for Bea to adjust to life in 1950s' Britain.
Bea, you'd never guess it, listening to you speak,
-but you were born in Germany.
-You don't have a trace of a German accent.
I'm a good parrot. I think I might have made a good spy!
That means you were growing up in Germany
during and immediately after the Second World War.
That must have been tough.
When I was very small, during the bombing, I lived in Hamburg.
But everybody went through it.
Clearly you had a love of languages and of English
as you became absolutely fluent in the language.
I like languages and I found English easy. People used to say to me English is difficult.
There's only one article, so it wasn't difficult to learn.
And I had a wonderful teacher.
-How did you come to England?
-In those days our money wasn't legal tender abroad
because we were an occupied country.
And we didn't have passports.
So we had to be requested and most of the requests were for a number of years.
There was one that turned up which interested me immediately which was for four months,
doing seasonal work in the Isle of Wight ironing shirts.
I'm brilliant at ironing shirts!
But the languages must have been really useful in your first major job as an air hostess.
Yes, you did need two languages apart from your own in those days.
-And now you're retired.
-What's your passion now you have so much time on your hands?
And my grandchildren. I have nine grandchildren.
They are a joy.
When I'm not with them, I plan my new travel.
I'm going to India at the moment and to America.
But there's lots more to come for the rest of the year.
So if we're going to raise that £2,500 for the new shower and the night out with Magda,
-we ought to go and see what she and Jonty have been up to.
-See what else we can take to auction.
Well, Magda certainly has been busy.
She's found a box of handsome silver cutlery
which Bea bought at an antique shop in Tunbridge Wells along with three similar cases.
Three sets are solid silver and one silver plate.
the four-piece lot will hopefully earn 100 to £200.
There seem to be all sorts of silver treasures
hidden throughout this house.
I've stumbled upon two items that look very promising.
Bea, these are very pretty little silver vases here. Where did you get these?
They were given to me by my boss.
I know they're silver because I can see a nice crisp hallmark on this one.
But on this one it's a bit faint. Have you been polishing?
-I'm afraid I have!
-I'm sure Jonty will...
I can't read this one, either.
Just about. But I know Jonty will be able to tell us what it says.
These pretty little silver vases, and you've got more there.
I found this lovely hip flask hidden on top of a wardrobe!
-Oh, my God!
-Is it a while since you've had a nip out of that?
-It is a while.
-This is beautiful.
If you look at those from a design point of view, they're between the wars. 1920s.
Designed to go on a mantel shelf or dressing table.
Can I give those back to you, because I'm completely in love with this.
Beautiful hallmarks, it's late Victorian.
It's exceptionally good quality. The glass is in very good order.
But the silver casing around the outside is again very good quality.
Here there's a little space for a personalised monogram.
But for us that's very good news
because it hasn't been signed at all which means it's much more commercial.
-And it's all in perfect condition.
If we take it to auction, how much might it make?
The pair of vases we're talking 20 to £30.
But add those with the hip flask,
all of a sudden we're talking 80 to £100.
-A nice little bumper bundle of silver for somebody.
-Very nice indeed.
So far, Bea's keen eye for art has potentially given us £1,410.
So a few more high-value items
will take us very close to our target.
In the garage, I come across a very interesting piece of china.
It turns out to be part of a commemorative set
made in the late 1980s.
This set of ten plates celebrates the golden age of clipper ships
and the entire collection is valued at 40 to £60.
As we near the end of our rummage day,
it's satisfying to think back over our impressive finds,
especially from Bea's art collection.
She's keen to show me another of her favourites and I'm gobsmacked when I see the signature!
I recognise that. D-A-L-I. Dali!
-A Salvador Dali!
-Well, if you're thinking of putting this in the auction... Mind if I take it down?
We should let Jonty take a look at this!
Jonty, sorry to interrupt you both, but would you like to take a look at this?
-Now, that's a fabulous interruption!
-It's only a lithograph.
-While Jonty's taking a look so he can give you an appraisal on it,
-where did it come from?
-East Molesey Gallery.
-Michael immediately noticed it.
-That was your late husband?
Yes, he had an eye for things.
He said, "We ought to have the Dali. Have you had a look?" I said, "What Dali?"
So he showed it to me and it was ours.
-Just like that!
-What was it about it that appealed to you?
-I thought it was funny!
Once you look closely. Normally, with artwork, I go further away to look at it.
But this you have to look closely or it's just a blur of blue.
It cheers me up every time I look at it!
-Have you decided it might go to auction?
-Well, yes, because I've had it long enough.
It's Salvador Dali, known as one of the most famous surrealist artists of the 20th century.
A lithograph is an image that originally was put onto a stone or copper plate.
And the paper placed on top to reproduce the image that way.
As a consequence, there's only a finite amount
of reproducing that can take place.
Therefore lithographs have an originality to them.
But we have Salvador Dali's signature in pencil down at the bottom.
-That's no ordinary signature either, is it?
-No, it's not.
-He was quite an extraordinary man.
-This has to be worth between 1,000 and £1,500 at auction.
-Bit more than you paid for it?
Even if we take the lowest estimate that Jonty's given you there, which is £1,000,
and add it to all the other things we've seen today,
I know you want £2,500 for the shower
and your girls' night out.
We don't quite make 2,500, but almost.
We make £2,450...
-Just from the paintings.
-That's at the lowest.
-Yes, this is true.
Cross your fingers for me.
If we make more on some of the items, you'll really have a knees-up on your night out!
You can drive us, if you like!
Or she might have two showers!
It really would be marvellous if one of Spain's most enduring artists
puts Bea in touching distance of a new bathroom.
But there's also the Ruskin Spear pencil drawing
which is beautiful and rare, valued at 700 to £900.
Let's hope it takes us far on auction day.
The pretty Japanese Satsuma bowl, priced at 30 to £40,
should catch a dealer's eye.
And our silver lot, the flask and two vases,
in pristine condition, surely they'll attract bids of around 80 to £120.
Together with Bea's other items, they should all do us proud on sale day.
Still to come: the auctioneer keeps the sale room in check.
You're out then. Yes, you are! Sorry.
And one item gives us an unexpected surprise.
-Isn't that terrific? That's more than double what we put on it as a reserve!
Be there for the gavel's final fall!
Just a week ago, Jonty and I were there with Bea and Magda
searching through that lovely London townhouse of hers
for things that we could sell here today at the Tring Market Auctions.
Remember, her target is £2,500.
She wants to update her shower room
and then have a night out on the town with her friend Magda.
Let's hope everyone is generous today
when her items go under the hammer.
Not far from the picture-postcard Hertfordshire community,
the auction house holds a general sale every Saturday.
They've packed in almost 2,000 lots today,
three times what you'd find in most sale rooms,
so I expect the pace to be fast and furious.
Jonty's here, looking over Bea's star item.
-I think Bea's pictures look at home here.
-There are almost as many in this auction room as there are in her house!
I'm holding a very beautiful lithograph here.
My only concern about coming to a general sale like this
is do we have the right buyers here today?
But that's the luck of the draw.
We've got a £1,000 reserve on this Salvador Dali.
-Do you think we'll make that?
-I believe that's a fair price.
I hope that we jolly well get it because if we can sell this
-and all the other lovely pictures we have...
-The Spear and the Wesson.
It'll make all the difference. We're hanging on those three.
I know that Bea and Magda have arrived.
They're looking forward to the wild night out rather than doing up the bathroom!
Let's go and see them.
Bea is saying goodbye to an item that frankly she'd be happy to give away!
-You can have them all.
-Would you like them?
You're looking at the plates I found in the garage.
-Giving them away?
-You like them, Magda?
-We have got some lovely things coming up.
-All of your pictures. And you've put reserves on all of them?
-Do you have a bit of discretion?
-I told the auctioneer to use his discretion.
Having got them off the wall, I don't want to put them back on again!
They've already been replaced. Isn't that unkind?
You had so many pictures. Let's put these back
and go and take our places because the auction is about to start.
-Let's hope we make those reserves and some!
I'm quietly confident about Bea's chances today.
She has some precious and intriguing items.
The first under the hammer is her large Spode serving platter.
-It is absolutely enormous. You could feed of a family of 50 out of that!
There you are. I think it ought to be £100 for this one. £100.
He wants £100 for it, he says.
Yes, I have, thank you.
50 we're bid for that one, then.
Five. 60, sir?
Madam? 85. 90.
Five. Going to be 100. 100.
Don't lose it for a fiver! Yes?
At £105, and I shall sell. Thank you.
Yes, it is yours. Thank you.
-Isn't that terrific?
That's more than double what we put on it.
What an amazing start to the day! If we can double our money on every sale,
then the girls will definitely celebrate in style. Next up,
the four cases of silver cutlery, at 100 to £200.
Shall we say £100? A useful lot. £50.
Yes. 60. 70.
100 down here.
£100. And ten. 110.
£110 has it, then.
At 110. I shall sell the collection for £110.
-We got there.
Another sale over its estimate,
which is great news for Bea's bathroom makeover plans.
Now we move on to her impressive art collection. Up first,
the Ruskin Spear pencil drawing.
We've got a £900 reserve on this, Jonty.
-Is that a fair price?
-It is, but are the buyers here?
Where would you like to start, madam? £500? £400, thank you.
£400 is starting it, then.
At 400 and 20, sir?
And 50. Are you waiting? What about the £500?
Are you hesitating? 520. 550.
Are you 580? I'm bid there. 580.
600, is it?
And 20 now. 620.
Are you going again?
At £620, then. At 620.
Oh, dear. 750.
800, is it? 750.
At 750. 780 for you, sir.
No? You're out, then?
Yes, you are. Sorry.
It's hard to believe the bidders wouldn't meet the reserve for this drawing.
It shows something like this needs the right people in the room.
Sadly, the next painting suffers the same fate.
Valued at 400 to £600,
the fantastic 19th-century Wesson watercolour
also falls shy of its reserve.
So now to the stand-out item,
a splendid original Salvador Dali lithograph.
Valued at 1,000 to £1,500,
Bea won't let this go for less than £1,000.
A wise choice, considering its provenance.
The paintings haven't gone very well
so I'm wondering whether the right people are here. We'll see.
What about that one? Where do we go on that?
Salvador Dali. Can we get 1,000 for it?
1,000? 500, then, to start, sir.
Shall we say 500? We've got 300 bid for it.
At £300. Are you 20, sir?
At 350. Are you 80?
400. And 20.
450. Are you 80 now?
500. And 20.
-500. We're half-way there.
-Are you finished at £520?
Are you all finished at £500...
No, I'm sorry.
We haven't done very well at all.
Such bad luck!
And such a remarkable work of art.
I hope these other items don't suffer the same fate.
Sailing by next, the commemorative clipper plates at 40 to £60.
They were never on her list of favourites
so I'm sure Bea is more than ready to bid them adieu.
-Bea, watch them sail out of the auction room!
-What a laugh!
What about them? Shall we say £50 for those?
£30 for them?
Rather nice ones. 20 we have. We have £20 for them.
Five. All the clipper ships.
He's working hard for you.
And five. No more? OK, then.
At £40. Thank you.
-He's a very polite auctioneer!
It's wonderful that they've sold for Jonty's estimate,
but Bea is happy to see them go at any price!
Hopefully, we'll have similar success with our next lot,
the collection of Delft pottery valued at 20 to £30.
It's not a lot of money we need,
-but we need every penny.
-Somebody will love it.
-Are you convinced?
-We'll soon see.
-Where are we going to start?
-Tenner I'm bid.
12. 15. 18.
20 I'm bid. Two I'm bid. Five?
No? At £22, then. At 22 they're going to be sold to you.
-I'm very happy about that.
-Yes, I was right, of course!
Another item to exceed the lower estimate.
Perhaps our luck is picking up.
The next two lots also beat the lower end of Jonty's valuations.
At 40 to £60, the trio of cup-and-saucer sets
must have appealed to a wide range of collectors.
Made by three of the best European porcelain designers,
Meissen, Dresden and Royal Copenhagen, they sold for £55.
And the delicate 20th-century Satsuma bowl from Japan made £38.
Now to our last lot of the day,
the silver vases and flask.
So 80 to 120 is what we're looking for on this.
I'm hoping this will do very well indeed.
What about 150 for them? £100 for them? 80 I'm bid for them.
Yes, I am. 90. I have it.
-Straight in. Good.
110. And 20. 130.
And 40. And 50.
160, sir? Madam?
At 160 for sir, then. I shall sell at the very back.
They obviously like that flask!
-At £160. It is yours, sir. Thank you very much.
-It's worth it.
It looks as though Jonty's going to be tippling elsewhere tonight
because this set is off to a new home.
If you'd like to raise money at auction, remember sale rooms usually charge commission.
These vary from sale room to sale room, so it's best to enquire in advance.
Well, as you know, you wanted to raise £2,500.
I don't think it's any secret that we haven't made anything like that
because we didn't sell any of those wonderful pictures you bought.
But what you have still made on the rest of the items
-is a total of £530.
-Not too bad.
With the walls and floor safely removed, Bea's bath and shower room is now a hollow shell,
ready for the builders to transform.
They've ripped out everything, including the tiles.
I shall have a beautiful new lovely shower when it's finished, hopefully!
And Bea couldn't be more thrilled as she finds herself the proud owner
of a swanky wet room.
I've been without it now for three weeks and now I can get clean again!
It's delightful to have it finally finished.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Art-lover Bea Francis-Brough is in urgent need of a new bathroom. Angela Rippon and Jonty Hearnden help search for collectibles around her London home, with the aim of raising £3,000 at auction.