Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. Gail and John Spencer raise the money to give their three grandchildren a day out they will never forget.
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Welcome to the programme that likes to rummage round people's properties.
We're looking for interesting items that can be valued
and then sold at auction, hopefully raising lots of money along the way.
One thing I can guarantee is that we'll unearth some interesting stories.
Lets go and look for Cash In The Attic.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic, Jonty's low opinion of a set of
coffee mugs is a bit hard to swallow.
-Probably paid over the odds for it.
I find out how best to sample a silver-plated punch bowl...
-Not straight to your mouth then?
-Well, you could do, if no-one was looking.
And on sale day the bidders send our auctioneer into a spin.
Not going to sell at £30!
I'm bid. It's amazing, everybody all at once now.
Be there when the hammer finally falls.
Today I'm in Newbury, on my way to meet John and Gail,
a retired couple who want to treat their three special grandchildren
to a day out they'll never forget.
John and Gail Spencer have been married for 43 years and have two
children, Caroline and Dudley and three grandchildren.
For many years, our couple ran a hotel in Newbury but they're now retired.
So when they're not slicing balls along the indoor fairway
they love spending time with the grandchildren.
The only trouble is their son's family emigrated to Spain
so they can't get everyone together as much as they'd like.
I have a sneaky suspicion that's why we're here.
-Good morning, Jonty. How are you?
-How you doing, Aled?
-I'm not bad at all.
-Good. Shall we go in?
With a knowledge of antiques and collectables accrued over more than 25 years,
Jonty wastes no time in getting our search underway.
Nor do I!
Hey, John, Gail, good to see you, how are you?
Oh, hello, Aled, nice to meet you.
Who've we got here then?
I'm Caroline, John and Gail's daughter.
Ah! OK, so whose idea was it to call in the Cash team?
It was my idea, I'm afraid. Yes, I phoned in originally.
Mum and Dad have got lots of things at home. They hoard quite a bit.
We've moved a lot of times from the hotel, and the squash club so yes, I'm hoping they'll have
-lots of interesting things to sell.
-Why do you want to raise the money?
Well, to take the grandchildren away on a special trip somewhere. Three of them together.
One from Spain and two from the UK.
How often to they get to see one another?
Erm...probably about two or three times a year.
So if we can combine that with a visit somewhere special, it'll be wonderful.
That's going to cost quite a lot, isn't it?
-Oh, if we can get three or four hundred pounds I think that will be very nice.
So, three or four hundred pounds. Do you reckon you've got the valuables?
-Hmm, hopefully, yes, or something towards it.
-One way to find out.
Jonty's been having a look, so let's find out how he's getting on.
-We'll follow you.
John and Gail's four bedroom house has been built on the site of their old hotel.
There are lots of rooms to explore and I can't wait to start looking around.
Jonty's had a head start on us and has already found something that needs closer inspection.
Hey, Jonty, how are you getting on?
Hi. Good. Now I've found this lovely coffee set
in a beautiful presentation box.
It's perfect if you've got five mates but if you've got six you're in trouble.
-What's happened here?
-It was missing when I purchased it.
It's such a pity because we've got a great maker's name here.
If you see here Walker & Hall, Sheffield.
They made some of the finest Sheffield plate ever to come out of the grand city.
Date-wise, we're looking early 1920s.
In its state as it is, and we can't do anything about it, £40-£60.
-How do you feel?
I think when I purchased it, it was probably about £30-£40 then.
-Right, OK. Probably paid over the odds for it.
-Talking of mug or lack of mug.
-Or lack of mug, yes.
And I'm also enjoying the fact that you subliminally found a coffee set.
-You want a cuppa?
-Yes, come on.
I knew it.
Well, while we put the kettle on, Caroline is getting
really stuck into rummaging through her parents' cupboards.
In the spare room I'm intrigued by something that looks like a large piece of bamboo.
I finally work out what it is.
A leather fishing stool which belonged to John's grandfather.
Jonty gives it a £30-£40 price tag.
And it appears Caroline's exploration has paid off.
Guys, I've got something in the box here that might be of interest.
Oh, you big tease. That's a serious box you got there.
-A serious box, bit of a...
-Wow. A bit of paper?
-Yes, there is something in here.
-Wow. This is amazing.
-Inside here is a punch bowl with some cups and a ladle.
-Isn't that grand?
-It's quite weighty too.
-It is. Yes.
-Have you used that?
We have, many times on family occasions, starting from our engagement.
We've had the children's when they've been born, birth and celebrations there, so yeah.
Let me just pick up the actual ladle.
If you see the shape of that ladle, that's a punch ladle
-because a soup ladle would be obviously slightly different.
Again, the whole idea, you've got the fine pouring,
-sides to it.
-Not straight to your mouth then?
Well, you could do if no-one was looking.
Can you see those marks on the underside of the ladle there?
Now they are designed to look like hallmarks because they are very similar but they're not quite.
-Those marks indicate that it is plated rather than solid silver.
-How much do you reckon?
-Well... as I said, big price difference if it was solid silver its still going to
be £40-£60 of anybody's money, simply because it's so decorative.
The valuations have been fairly modest so far so we
really need to delve deep into those out-of-the way places where treasures may be lurking.
Gail wonders if this set of Stuart crystal is valuable.
She's been collecting it since her wedding in 1966.
Unfortunately, many pieces have been lost and she's now left with odd numbers of glasses.
Jonty aims to be realistic about its chances,
with a valuation of £40-£60.
So far, going by Jonty's lower estimates, we stand to make £150
at auction, which is only half of John and Gail's target of £300.
I think we need to lay down the law here. No slacking until we hit that mark.
-John, what on earth have we got here?
Cat o' nine tails? And a truncheon?
-You have to explain.
-Well, they came down though my grandfather, whose brother worked in the gaol in York.
We can have a look at this hand-turned truncheon here.
It has a very 19th century feel to it.
Sometimes when I look at antiques I think, I just wish that they could tell a story but looking at
these two implements I'm very glad that it can't, or they can't.
Value-wise, it's worth putting in the auction.
If we put £30-£50 on them that will whip up some enthusiasm in the auction sale room.
-Excellent. Let's carry on.
They certainly are highly unusual items from a bygone era and could raise great interest on sale day,
though they clearly need to be kept out of the reach of children
In the kitchen Caroline spotted this Maling lustre bowl
with an Oriental pattern. It belonged to her grandmother.
Items like this are very collectable.
Jonty reckons it should attract £25-35 at auction.
So stop me if I'm wrong but I get the impression that
you're a couple now you've retired really do enjoy life to the full.
-We try, we try, yes.
-But you've had a busy life before retiring, haven't you?
-Yes, yes, very busy.
-Yes, a hotel
for 13 years. It's a seven day a week job, 24 hours a day.
And we were front of house most of the time, running our own hotel, so you have to be
Jack of all trades.
-We didn't have a holiday for...
Six years, yes.
-But we made lots and lots of friends and it's a fantastic business if you can enjoy it.
-So since retiring...
what have you been up to?
Well, we've been gardening, golfing,
grandchildren and globetrotting.
Well, I have to say I envy you because it sounds like you have a fabulous life.
We've enjoyed what we've done, now we're enjoying our retirement.
Well, if you ever need anyone to carry your bags, you know where I am, don't you?
Meanwhile, Caroline is clearly
determined to find something of value in her parents' house today.
She obviously wants to ensure a great family day out.
Gail gets stuck in too.
But Jonty reckons they've all missed a treat in the hall.
It's a small mahogany card table.
Gail and John bought it in the 1980s for
the guests at their hotel and it's been kept in great condition.
Jonty lays down his cards, he reckons £40-£50 at auction.
Now then, has Gail come up trumps after her turn around the bedroom?
-Got some jewellery, have we?
-Yes, yes. That's quite sweet.
Ah, that's a lovely dress wrist watch, a ladies wrist watch.
- It was Grandma's, wasn't it? - Yes.
It's amazing just how tiny these things are.
Look at the face on that.
Seventeen jewels, sterling silver.
-What else have we got?
-We've got a little ring here.
-That looks like a very tiny cluster of diamonds there.
If I look at the band, it's 18-carat gold.
So that's good news. Have you got anything else to show me?
OK, we have quite a special little bracelet here of my mother's.
You might like to have a look at that.
Isn't that beautiful? These are all agates, but you can see all the different colours.
The metal is plated
so if you look at this end of the band, it's silver
but the actual buckle has lost all of its plated silver
so you've got the brass at this end.
So it has worn, you may not like the sound of this, but I think that's £100-£150 at auction.
Do you? Mmm, yes.
It's very sentimental, and I think the value, sentimentally,
is worth more than the actual cash estimate.
For the ring and the dress watch
it's worth putting into the auction but they will be small amounts,
-Yes, well, that's fair enough.
Good. Will be interesting to see.
Yes, fair enough indeed.
The combined value for these three items is £130- £190,
and I think Gail will be putting a reserve on that bracelet.
If she sends it to auction at all.
I get down to a really good search in the office.
Maybe there'll be something of value which has slipped in amongst these boxes.
And out in the garage, Gail and John have found a rather large and intriguing piece.
It's a hat box and it belonged to John's grandmother, Olive Mary Hill.
They've had it for years but John's happy to let it go when our expert says £25-£35.
Back upstairs I find something that could help with the auction fund.
-Can I have a look?
-Of course you can. You were itching to have a look.
Yes. If you look at the top here there is a printed scene, but it's hand coloured.
There's a flag on the top there.
That's the French tricolour. That's where it's from.
This is French, not English.
But all that busy decoration means that it's late 19th century.
So all the mounding we've got here is brass with this lovely glass
interior and even the scent stopper is in perfect order. Look at that.
So what is something like that worth, would you say?
Because it's not silver
it's not going to be worth the same amount of money, so it's a bit like our punch bowl.
But it really is very pretty and I think the market loves unusual things.
But I'm not going to put a high figure on it, I'm going to put £20-£30 on it.
And that, because if you notice across the top
it's slightly off-kilter on the top there.
There's a slight bit of damage there but I just think it's charming.
Let me work out the maths.
I didn't go to school, I was singing on albums when I was a child. That's my excuse.
So hang on, I reckon you're after 300-400 quid, weren't you, for this grand day out?
We're doing all right. Don't panic.
-No? Are we on the right side?
-£420. That's our lowest estimate.
So you've done well. More than you expected?
-Yes, I think so, if we're lucky.
-You look a bit disappointed.
-If we're lucky, we could get there.
As you said, 20-30 quid, something like that might go
-for a lot more.
-Yes. It's just a bit different.
Yes, yes, you've got to make things attractive enough on the marketplace for people to want to buy them.
Yes, you do, Jonty, thank you for that.
A very successful day and plenty of curios to put before the bidders, including this large
Italian-style silver-plated punch bowl
that should prove to be a hit, with a price tag of £40-£60.
There's the Walker & Hall coffee set.
It has one cup missing but, with luck, it should still make another £40-60.
Finally, will Gail be able to part with that agate bracelet?
Once belonged to her mother and, along with the ring and watch
Jonty gave this lot his highest estimate of the day, £130-£190.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic, is the French perfume bottle heaven scent?
That'll be £20.
Goodness me, everybody, £20 there, £22, £25.
Gail's been collecting these Stuart Crystal for years. Will it sparkle or fizzle?
Straight off I'm bid £35 for the decanter.
£40, £45, £50, in the room at £50...
Find out how all our lots do as the hammer finally falls.
It's just over two weeks since I met up with John and Gail at their beautiful home in Newbury.
It's fantastic that they want to take their three grandchildren on a special day out,
but they'll need the funds to do it.
That's why we've come here. To Chiswick Auctions in West London where we're hoping to raise £300.
More would be better, of course.
Let hope there are some eager bidders in the room.
This west London sale room holds weekly general auctions.
The lot lists can be viewed online, which means we may see some bids from anywhere in the world.
Hopefully there's been time for them to drum up interest in our lots.
Well, Jonty, I always had my suspicions, they've just been realised.
-You do that very well. This is one of John and Gail's items?
It certainly is and it belonged to John's grandfather's brother. He worked in the prison service.
They're hoping to raise £300. Anything else caught your eye?
My favourite object was the coffee set that we saw really early on in the day.
But what I really hope they do bring along is Grandma's bracelet.
That'll make a bit of a difference.
Most definitely. You have to put that down now, OK. I know you don't want to.
Put it down, and let's go and find John and Gail.
Jonty's right to hope they bring along the bracelet.
If they don't, the £130 hole in our potential takings could hamper their chances of a grand day out.
But hey, I think we might be in luck.
-I see you've made it.
-Yes, yes, that's right. Hiya, Jonty.
-Welcome to the auction, what do you think of it?
-It's very nice.
-What have we here?
-Well, we've got the family bracelet, Jonty.
-We thought we'd bring it along today and try and sell it to auction.
-And a reserve of how much?
-Well, we've decided on £250,
because we think that it's worth that from our point of view.
And, er, if it doesn't go then we should take it home with us.
-If it goes for more than that we shall be delighted.
-Is there a reserve on anything else?
Yes, I've put a reserve on the silver punch bowl today, of £60.
That punch bowl you don't really want to sell you mean?
Well, we can get a few more drinks out of it, hopefully. But let's see what happens in the auction today.
Good luck to you. We're after £300, aren't we?
-I'm hoping that we'll get a bit more than that.
The auction's about to start, so I think we should get into position, come on.
With something for everyone, let's hope John and Gail's items stand out amongst the competition.
There first on the podium is the French glass scent bottle
which Jonty liked but gave a cautious estimate of £20-£30.
Let's hope the first lot gives us the sweet smell of success. It's that perfume bottle, isn't it?
-Start me £20 for it shall we?
Goodness me. Everybody. £20 there, £22, £25, £28,
£30, £32, £35, £38,
£40, £42, £45, £48, £50, £55, £60
£65. £65 nearest to me, £65.
£70 first bidding, £75, £80.
£85 there. £90. £95.
£110 then there to my left. At £110, all done then at £110.
You did love that, didn't you?
That day out for those three grandkids has just got much better.
Or maybe I shouldn't count my chickens before they've hatched.
That's incredible, you said what, 20-30 quid.
Well, especially if it was damaged.
The market doesn't like damaged things.
-Yes, but this market does!
-The sweet smell of success.
Well, that's a sizable chunk of our target after just one lot.
I wonder if this crowd will like the large hat box as much.
Its up for £25-£35.
£10 for the hat box. Surely for a £10 note.
Anybody want this for £10?
I'm bid, thank you, in the middle of the room £10, £12,
£12, £14, £16, £18.
The original bidder at £18.
At £18 and going. For £18.
You win with some, then we take away with others.
I think that was fair. Very fair price, Jonty.
It's good to see everyone so positive.
I think they're still on a high from that scent bottle.
The next item is the leather folding stool that I found.
We're hoping for £30-£40.
At £24 then. You're all done at £24 and going for £24.
After such a great start
I'm a little worried that things are starting to go downhill.
Still, I have high hopes for this next lot.
That Maling bowl priced at £25-£35.
£18. Three, two, one.
-They didn't love it as much as I did.
Ah that's a shame.
It must be hard to see things go for such small amounts.
Surely our unusual next lot will cause a quiver of interest.
The truncheon and cat o' nine tails up for £30-£50.
£20 there, £22 sir, £22,
£25, £28, £30, £32,
£35, £38 £40, £45.
£45 standing then at £45. Anybody else at £45?
Gentleman standing. For £45... 254.
Well, I wonder what buyer has in mind for these quirky historical pieces. We'll never know.
It's been a bit up and down so far.
I think everyone is keen to know how we're doing.
-Halfway I can tell you you've raised £215.
-That's very good.
-So we're well on our way.
-Yes, that's great.
-Let's have a little break and we'll pop back for the second half.
If, like John and Gail, you have a special reason to raise some cash and are thinking
of heading to auction, please remember that commission and other charges may apply.
They vary from one sale room to another so it's always worth checking in advance.
We hope John and Gail's remaining five lots will prove attractive to the crowd here.
Still to come is the agate bracelet with an ambitious reserve price of £250,
but the next lot is something they've brought from their old hotel.
The mahogany card table, kept in such impressively good condition
with an estimate of £40-£50.
£28 for the card table. It's yours, sir, at £28. Anybody else? £28.
Aww indeed. Not the best way to kick off the second half.
Will they have better luck with the next lot?
The Walker & Hall china and silver coffee set priced at £40-£60.
This is one of our favourite lots,
the next one, the coffee set, but one of the cups is missing.
Yes, we have one missing cup and a broken cup as well. So if it had been a complete set we'd have
been in for a real winner but who know what it's going to sell for because it's a slightly damaged set.
£40. Anybody else? £45. £50 with me.
Got £55. £55 in the distance.
£55 anybody else? At £55, are you all done and finished at £55?
-Three two five.
-We got your money back.
It just goes to prove that everything doesn't have to be in perfectly working order.
No. No. That was a good result.
Manufacturers with a reputation for quality
often have great saleability, even when the items are damaged so they're always worth a punt.
Your local auction house will be able to advise.
Well, the next lot is something from Caroline's mother-in-law.
The silver-on-copper punch bowl.
Jonty valued it at £40-£60 and there's a £60 reserve in place also.
For the punch bowl, great big punch bowl for £40. £30 then to go. Nobody want it for £30.
-I'm not going to sell it... £30 I'm bid.
-Here we go.
-It's amazing, everybody all at once now.
£30 with you standing, sir. £35, thank you. £40, sir.
It's like getting blood out of a stone.
£35 I've got, seated at £35. £35.
-It's so pretty I'm sure somebody would love it.
-£40 further away.
Do you want £45? No? £40 further away, not quite enough at £40.
Well, it's disappointing for you and maybe us as well.
But there's one person who's really thrilled that she's taking that punch bowl back home.
-You still going to punch him or should I?
-You can punch him.
-I'll hold him.
-Its nothing to do with him!
I think Caroline might even use it
tonight when they get home if all goes well here.
The collection of Stuart crystal is on next.
Gail was given some as a wedding present and has been collecting them ever since.
We're hoping for £40-£60.
Straight off I'm bid £35 for the decanter.
£40, £45, £50, in the room at £50.
£55 there. £60. Five.
£65 on the bed at £65. Anybody else?
At £65, that lot there. £65 all done.
-Oh, I'm pleased.
-I was worried that the drinkers weren't out there when the punch bowl came back.
But they obviously are.
Fantastic. Just over Jonty's upper estimate.
No wonder they're delighted.
Now to our final items, the jewellery and the watch that belonged to Gail's mother.
The auctioneer recommended splitting them into two separate lots.
First the 18 carrot gold engagement ring with three small diamonds
along with the sterling silver ladies' wristwatch.
Their estimate is £30 to £50.
£50 in that doorway there. £50 anybody else?
At £50 hiding in the doorway.
-Somebody loves it.
Every time you said "bit more", "bit more"
they put a bit more on! It's what you call a top result.
It seems there are some jewellery fans here.
But I wonder if the agate bracelet will do as well.
There's a good deal of sentimental value attached, so Gail has put a reserve on it of £250.
Lets hope she's wise to disregard Jonty's much lower estimate.
We're straight in at £24O.
With me at £240, £250, £260, £270.
£270 now for that bracelet at £270.
£280 to my left, at £280 against commissions. £280, anybody else?
With you, sir, at £280. At £280 it's going once, twice.
That's good. Quite happy with that.
What an incredible result.
Gail obviously knew what her mother's bracelet was worth.
So how have we done overall today?
-Well, that's it, guys. You almost sold everything.
I had a feeling that punch bowl might be coming back.
-To haunt us?
-To haunt you for ever.
-Well, you wanted £300 to take your three very special grandkids on a special day out.
-You've done it easily.
-I can tell you you're in for a really, really special day.
-£693 you've raised.
-That's brilliant! That's absolutely brilliant.
-Oh, my goodness.
-Its great news for me and Jonty.
-It means we can go along as well.
-We can get the punch bowl out!
-So where we going?
Well, just a few weeks after the auction John and Gail's grandson Jake
came over from Spain to enjoy a spectacular day out with his family.
The grandchildren are not only taking a day trip to London.
-They'll also be travelling there in style.
Wow indeed. Caroline's daughters Sophie and Georgia are very impressed.
-Its like we're famous.
The day out started with lunch at a themed cafe in the heart of London's West End...
..and continued with a visit to a collection of the weird and wonderful.
Oh, I think it's been a tremendous finish to this whole episode, really.
Getting all the grandchildren together,
coming up in the limousine this morning, which was very exciting.
-Seeing their faces when they met this morning.
-That was nice, wasn't it?
I love going out with my cousins cos I really love them.
Well, I'm so happy we were able to raise £693 for John and Gail
to take their three grandkids on a fabulous day out.
If you want to raise some money and you've got the antiques hidden around your home,
then why not apply to the show?
All the information you need is at bbc.co.uk
Good luck and see you next time on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Gail and John Spencer want to give their three grandchildren a day out they will never forget. To help raise the money to do that, Aled Jones and Jonty Hearnden help search for valuables around their home in Berkshire.