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Welcome to the programme that hunts for hidden treasures in your home
then sells them with you at auction.
Very often when you move house, you find that all those things
that fitted comfortably into the old property just don't quite fit into the new house,
especially if that home is a lot smaller.
That's exactly the problem that's facing our family today,
who are rather hoping that, having called us in,
once they've had a clear-out, they'll be able to earn some much-needed cash in the attic.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic, a Hollywood heartthrob
brings a touch of romance to our rummage.
He came up and spent time with me, because, as he put in there, he loves me.
And is Jonty shaken, not stirred, by this Art Deco drinks cabinet?
-This was my mother and father's.
-Wow, look at that!
And, come auction day, Alison is still on the fence
about a few items.
-Any second thoughts about it?
-That was very unqualified!
Find out what happens when the hammer falls.
You join me at Kings Hill near West Malling in Kent,
and I'm on my way to meet a mother and daughter
who've recently moved into this brand new estate
into a new but small house.
Mum is hoping that, by having a clear-out,
she'll be able to raise enough money to take her girls on a surprise trip.
Alison Mead is a busy working mum
who manages her own successful advertising agency.
Before having her daughters Emma and Louisa,
Alison started out in publishing.
Over the years, Alison made it her mission
to balance work with family, and through it all,
the Meads have survived a fair share of family upsets.
Recently separated from her husband,
Alison decided to move into a new, smaller home,
and today it's time to de-clutter and put the money we raise
with the help of expert Jonty Hearnden to better use.
Hi, Alison. And Emma, giving Mum a hand with the flowers!
It's nice to have you in the house today.
-You're not here normally during the day, are you?
-No, I'm at university.
-I think you're studying what?
-Has she psychoanalysed you, then?
I won't do that. I'm just going to ask you a simple question.
Why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
I've had a problem for about 20 years of not being able to fly.
Really terrified. So both my daughters have suffered from that,
cos they've not travelled. So I'd like to be able to go
and get some help, and they do courses
that are day courses, and then I'd like to maybe treat my girls
to a surprise.
What sort of things are we taking to auction to help pay for all this?
Some are from the family, and others are from various auctions
I've been to, any jumble sales...
-And there's just not room for them in the new house.
We've come from a bigger house to a smaller house,
and you can't have some of the things I've got
-in a more modern house.
-So we're doing a great thing,
clearing out the house for you, getting you on one of these courses.
-How much is this likely to cost?
-I hope to raise about £1,000.
Obviously if we get more, then, great,
but about 1,000 would be lovely.
Well, I brought Jonty Hearnden with me,
and he's going to take a look at everything you've got
to see whether or not we can raise that £1,000.
Shall we go and find him and see what he's managed to root out?
Come on, then.
This three-bedroom house may be smaller
than the last home that Alison lived in,
but Jonty still has his work cut out.
Among the collection of books lining the shelves,
it looks like he's found something particularly noteworthy.
Jonty, taking time out for a quick read?
Actually, I was looking for your picture in this book.
-I wondered if you'd be in this David Niven signed book.
-But you're not.
-Signed to you?
-Signed to me.
-How did you come by that?
Well, he came to the publisher's that I worked for,
Hodder and Stoughton, and I was with him while he did his signing.
That was one of my jobs to do,
so he came up and spent time with me,
cos, as he put in there, he loves me. THEY LAUGH
-And clearly you were smitten.
-I was, very much so.
He's a lovely man. Very, very lovely.
Here we go. We've got the signature just here on the inside.
So, this was his second book, because the most popular book,
or the most successful, was this one here,
The Moon's A Balloon. Bring On The Empty Horses was a sequel to that.
So we've got these two books,
but there's also another little special book here.
-Tell me about this.
-Oh, no. Ronnie Barker -
another lovely man, very nice, very pleasant man.
-Now, is this signed?
-Oh, there we go again.
-And again to me.
-So we've got three books.
-Are you happy to sell all three?
I've had them an awful long time, and they just sit in a cupboard.
-It's time for them to go.
-Jonty, will those famous signatures
have an effect on the price we might get at auction?
Well, we have ordinary paperbacks here,
so ordinarily these books have no value at all.
But because of the signature, yes.
We're looking at instantly £50 to £80.
-Oh, wow! Excellent.
-£50 to £80?
-Good for a start today.
But we've got a fair way to go to raise the money you want to raise.
So, sleeves rolled up! To work, girls!
We're certainly going to need all hands on deck today
to achieve our £1,000 target.
'So, while Emma and I make a start on the house,
'Jonty comes across something in one of the upstairs bedrooms.'
Not only was I looking at this lovely picture,
but I've kind of been admiring this dressing-table set here,
because I notice that we actually have a hallmark on the side.
We've got the little anchor, which means this set was made in Birmingham.
At first glance this set looks like it's pewter,
but it's not. It's solid silver.
-So whose is it?
-It's just my bad cleaning.
I don't think it's ever been cleaned. Am I right?
Oh, Jonty, that's so unfair!
Well, it might have been once. OK. THEY LAUGH
So, tell me the story behind this dressing-table set.
This set, I'm not sure where it originated from,
but it does come from my father's side of the family.
-It's been handed down.
-It's quite staggering,
the detail. If you look at these brushes, they're very similar
if not identical. All of this embossed decoration
would have been made by machine at this time,
so this is not hand-done, but the detail here is lovely.
Yes, these brushes are identical, and look at those flower heads.
Very nice indeed. Value-wise, we're looking at £40 to £60.
-It's absolutely fine. People will buy these.
They're very decorative, and once it is cleaned, they'll look lovely.
An estimate of £40 to £60 is a good start for our target,
but just what will the bidders make of it come auction day?
Which way will the bidding go - up or down? Find out later.
We're slowly making inroads into our £1,000 target,
and Emma finds an interesting piece tucked away in a cupboard.
This modern-style teacup is part of a four-piece set
made by Crown Ducal. Jonty hopes it will raise £20 to £30.
There are still plenty of nooks and crannies to be searched,
but for now, I'm curious to know how Alison developed
such an unnerving phobia of flying.
Alison, raising money to send you off on a course
so you can get over your fear of flying.
Now, where does that come from?
Well, um, 20 years ago - probably a bit longer than that now -
I flew out to see my friend who lives in Washington DC,
and, as I'm flying from Kennedy Airport down,
the plane got hit by lightning.
-Everybody in the plane was praying.
-You thought you were going to die.
Yeah. Something very dramatic was happening.
But we did finally land, cos I'm still here,
and I did have to come back from there to get home,
but it has put a fear, and it was stronger when the children were born.
Um, but fear is irrational, isn't it,
and you never understand why you're frightened.
Whether it was because I was scared that I wouldn't be around
for the children, I don't know, but... No.
Just talking about it's making me... Oh, it's horrible.
-Yes. It's a real... It's just a horrible feeling.
But now, as well as getting over the fear, of course,
what you want to do with the money we raise,
and we couldn't discuss this when Emma was around,
because you want to take the girls on a special trip.
I want to take them to New York. It's something they've always wanted to do,
and, um, I'd really like to get over the fear so I can.
We've obviously got a fair amount of money to raise
so that you can get over your fear of flying
and take your girls on that special trip to New York.
-Shall we see what else Jonty's found to take to auction?
'We've only made 110 of our £1,000 target so far,
'so we'd better get moving if we want to close that gap.'
'In the dining room, a bit of retro glassware catches Jonty's eye.
'These two pieces are Babycham glasses,
'named after the brand of sparkling perry
'that was so popular during the swinging '60s.'
This set of eight, plus three perfume bottles,
will make up a lot that's valued at £30 to £50.
Not bad! But we still need to find quite a lot more
to make that £1,000.
Upstairs, Alison has found an unusual family heirloom
that will hopefully get us on track.
Angela, I wondered if you'd had a look at these pictures.
-Aren't they lovely? Pencil sketches?
-Yes, done by relations of mine
many years ago. I never actually met them.
John Lamb was a photographer in Edinburgh,
and these are done by his daughters,
and John Lamb's related to me on my father's side of the family.
So, how did you come by them?
My uncle has a gallery, or did have a gallery.
He hasn't any more. And he gave them to me
because we used to get on very well together,
and we were related, so he felt it was important
that they were passed down in the family.
Well, I think someone who should come in and look at them is Jonty,
-because he might be able to tell us more about them...
..than even you know. Jonty, can you just stop what you're doing
and come and take a look at these rather lovely pictures?
Aren't they grand? They're really superb.
-They're set in time, aren't they?
Pictures like that are set in aspic.
-You know they're going to come from the mid-1800s.
-You have that sense
that they are 19th century, and look, we have a date here - 1876.
There's a serenity to these pictures.
There's a beauty. There's a sentimentality to them, as well.
Now, for me, what lets this picture down,
and I don't want to be too picky here,
but really look at the quality of her face.
One thing that I have noticed is, if you look at the face
in relation to the hand, it's all out of proportion.
The hand is a lot smaller than the face.
And that's simply because the artist wanted to concentrate
on the beauty of the face, and not the hands.
And that is the difference between very good portraiture
and not so good. But I don't want to condemn them,
because I think they have a beauty to them.
-Are you thinking of selling them?
-I don't know,
cos they really are quite sentimental value.
But if we did take them to auction, what might we get for them?
We're looking at, for the pair,
between - and you're not going to like me for this -
-between £80 and £120 at auction.
-So you're going to think about that?
I think so, yeah.
I think Alison was hoping for more for the two Victorian drawings,
so we'll have to wait and see if she does decide to take them to auction.
'I've found a selection of late 19th-century prints
'painted by the London artist TM Baynes.
'These depict the great castles and architecture of England.
'Jonty values them at £40 to £60.
'We are still nowhere near the target, and time is running out.
'Are we going to find enough to reach that magic figure of £1,000?
'I do hope so.'
Jonty, I would like to show you this.
Angela told me you were a little bit of a drinker,
so I thought I might be able to give you a quick, er...
-This was my mother and father's.
-Wow, look at that!
They bought it when they got married.
OK. Well, cocktail cabinets like this...
Let me close it up. Let's have a look at the outside.
These are classic cocktail-cabinet proportions.
We've got the two cupboards below, probably storing bottles,
and then we have the opening mechanism for the glasses.
Now, cocktail cabinets like this were made in the 1930s and 1920s.
They were very popular items to have.
They were what I would call essential nonessentials.
It was very fashionable to serve cocktails before your evening meal,
and a lot of people could afford, for the first time,
items of furniture like this. The timber that's used is walnut.
Are they fairly rare, or quite common?
They're really quite common. A lot of them will be in auction rooms
up and down the country. Let's open it and have a look at the inside.
I notice that we've got some cracks in the glass here. Is that right?
-And this mirror plate here, that's damaged as well.
That, as far as value is concerned, makes all the difference
between a dealer buying it straight off or having to think about restoration.
As far as value is concerned, it has to be a keen enough price at auction
for somebody to buy it.
So we're looking at, really, below the £100 mark,
so at auction, you're looking between £40 and £60,
-which is not very much money at all.
-It's less than I was hoping for,
but you're the expert when it comes to things like this.
I'm not. It's just a shame, when it's connected to your family
like it is, for it to be so low, but I can't use it.
'Sadly not a great price for that lovely cabinet,
'but hopefully Jonty and Alison won't have to drown their sorrows with a few cocktails.
'But hold on, guys. There's some good news afoot.
'I've struck gold with a box of seven rings.
'They look like they're just collecting dust in the cupboard,
'so far better to go to auction,
'especially as Jonty values them at £100 to £150.
'Alison has pulled out a travel gramophone.
'It may not be as portable as today's iPod,
'but it's certainly enjoyed a much longer history.
'From the 1870s till the 1980s,
'records were the most common way of listening to music.
'Jonty values it at £20 to £30,
'and goes in search of more auction items,
'whilst I find out from Emma why her studies are so important to her.'
Emma, you're at university, and you're studying psychology.
-What made you choose that?
I've always been interested in it, ever since I was young.
I've always wanted to study it, and there's a history of mental illness
in my family, so that's made me want to study it, as well.
You were diagnosed with bipolar, weren't you?
-When were you diagnosed with that?
-Three years ago.
For those who don't know, just explain what bipolar is.
It's what people used to call manic depression.
Basically you have your manic moods,
which is really elated moods,
and then there's the really low dip in the cycle.
That must have been pretty dreadful for you as a teenager,
all those highs and lows. It must have made life really difficult.
Yeah. I've tried to be as open as I can about it,
and let people know that I've got what I've got,
and, um, people have been really helpful,
and, um, they've got me through, really.
You also had health problems with your other daughter, Louisa.
Yes. She was ill from when I was pregnant with her,
so, yeah. But we didn't know that.
It was quite by accident that they found it out,
when I went and had a scan at 36 weeks,
and they found that she'd got, um, a brain cyst
that was taking up half the size of her brain.
-She's come through that?
-Oh, gosh, definitely.
-She's had two brain operations now.
-Must be really tough, then,
-with your little sister being so ill.
-It was really tough.
What do you and your sister think of your mum's phobia
-about not being able to fly?
-I think it's ridiculous.
Yes, we'd all better get back to work,
or Alison won't have the chance to conquer her fear
and take the girls shopping in New York.
But luckily she decides to part with a modern necklace
with a gold cross and bracelet. She doesn't wear them any more,
and Jonty thinks they'll fetch between £150 to £200.
Now we're talking! We've nudged over the £500 mark.
But, if they want to have fun as well as a flight,
we need to make up the remaining £500.
Aha, cigarette cards! OK, so, we've got two framed here.
Look at those. Really very good quality.
-Where are these from?
-They're from Rye.
My mum bought the cards and bought the frame separately,
and put all the cards in from Rye.
They've been very cleverly done, because you can see all the set
on the front. Do you know why cigarette cards like this were made?
-I'm not that clear, no.
-The whole purpose of cigarette cards
is that they were used as a marketing tool,
so you would get one in each packet of cigarettes,
and it encouraged the smoker to not only buy the same brand
but to carry on collecting,
because they would get a different card in every pack.
They were very popular towards the end of the late 19th century
all the way through to the 20th century,
-and post the Second World War.
So, here we've got a set of plants, here,
and they often came in sets of 25 and 50s,
so this one is a set of 25,
and down below, this is a set of 50.
Can I give you that? I just want to have a look at this in more detail.
we have a set of 50 Alice In Wonderland cigarette cards.
This set would have been made around the 1930 period.
But I think they're wonderful.
They've been superbly framed, and there's still a market for them.
As far as our two sets here are concerned,
of course they have value, but not a great deal.
-We're looking at £20 to £30 for the pair.
-OK. That's good.
-It all helps, doesn't it?
-Yeah. It all helps.
You take that, and we'll find some more bits. I'll follow you.
'You're right, Jonty - that has helped.
'But only a little. Is there nothing else in the house
'that can be offered up? Alison is having one last push,
'and looks through her jewellery box.
'Could something in here do the trick?'
-Look what I've found.
That is a serious bit of bling! Where did you get that?
From Covent Garden. It never gets worn.
I could count on one hand how many times I've worn it.
I think Jonty would like to have a look at these little sparklers
and give us an idea of what we might get for them at auction.
Jonty, come and take a look at this rather nice little brooch.
Oh, I say, look at that. Isn't that beautiful?
-All those diamonds! How many have we got?
Let's take a look, because when you're valuing diamonds,
it's the size of them, which is really the carat we're looking at.
Look at that! That's a beautiful diamond in the middle there.
Now, that is, I would suggest, three quarters of a carat,
just that single one in the middle there.
They get slightly smaller round towards the edge,
but I would estimate we're looking just in excess of two carats.
And look at the simplicity. That is so beautiful.
Turning it upside down, having a look at the pin itself,
just by the colour, that is probably 18-carat gold,
and I love this little extra pin, just in case it falls off.
-The safety chain.
I think that's really fantastic. You have saved the day,
because - wait for this...
this is worth between £700 to £900 at auction.
Well, if we're looking to raise £1,000,
if you put even the lowest, £700,
on everything else we've looked at today,
-that means we should be able to make your target...
because even on his lowest estimate on everything he's looked at,
it comes to...
-How about that?
It's really good.
If that doesn't cure your phobia about flying,
nothing will, because if you can make that much at auction,
we should all be flying.
Excellent. Thank you very much.
I'm so glad we sailed past our target,
and hopefully we will raise even more on auction day.
So, what are the highlights of our auction list?
There are the two Eliza Lamb drawings.
They're a rare find, and at £80 to £120,
let's hope Alison does decide to take them to the auction room.
At £50 to £80, will there be an autograph hunter
bidding for our signed books from the famed Hollywood star David Niven
and the comedian Ronnie Barker?
But the big one to watch out for is the diamond brooch,
and with a value of £700 to £900,
its sale will make or break the holiday dream.
Find out how much money these and Alison's other items
will raise on auction day.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
will the power of celebrity be enough to attract a high sale price?
It's the signatures they're going for, isn't it?
And Jonty gets Alison in a lather!
I promise not to mention the cleanliness of your house again.
Find out how they all got on when the final hammer falls.
Several weeks have passed now
since we spent time with Alison and Emma
at their rather lovely modern new house,
sorting through their clutter so we could sell it today
here at the Tring Market auction just on the edge of the Chilterns.
Now, Alison's target is £1,000.
She wants to take her girls on a very special trip to New York,
but that's still a secret. But even before she gets there,
she'll have to go on a course to help her get over her fear of flying.
So let's hope everybody here today is really generous
when her things go under the hammer.
Tring Auctions in Hertfordshire is held on a Saturday,
and it looks as though there's a good turnout.
It's not even midday, but Jonty's found his way to the drinks cabinet.
Fancy a tipple before we start the auction?
What would you like? Shaken, not stirred?
Oh, absolutely. Every time! It's a very retro piece of furniture, this.
Very popular, these cocktail cabinets, in the 1930s,
so you do see a lot in the auction room.
The only problem with ours, we've got a bit of a crack
in the interior shelving there, which is a bit of a problem,
so I'm not too hopeful that we'll get a high price on this one,
but there is something that Alison has
-that is an absolute gem.
-Ah! The brooch!
The sparklies, the bling, the girl's best friend,
And I'm convinced that's going to do incredibly well today.
We've got to remember that the money we're raising is for what is still a very secret trip to New York,
so, um... They've both arrived, so we'd better watch our Ps and Qs when we're talking to them.
'Yep, that trip to New York is still a surprise,
'as neither of Alison's daughters know what she's planning.
'So we'll have to stay tight-lipped during the auction.
'But Alison and Emma have obviously been hard at work!'
-Well, my goodness, Jonty!
-Look at this!
-Someone's been busy.
This is outrageous. Is this the same silver, Alison?
Yes, it is. Hard elbow-grease, and I've brought it up shining.
Will that make any difference to its value?
I often say to people, "Don't bother cleaning your silver,"
but this, I think it's going to make all the difference.
Jonty, you were rude the last time. I can't believe...
that you're mentioning how dirty my stuff was yet again.
-But it looks very impressive today, and that's what counts.
You brought a lot of jewellery, but I've noticed in the catalogue
-there's a few bits missing.
There were two rings that I decided I'd like to keep back.
But you also decided to leave behind the two paintings
-that were in your bedroom.
-For the money they'd bring in,
and the fact that they were heirlooms -
my ancestors painted them - I wanted to keep them, really.
-And you'd like to have them, Emma?
-Yeah. I'd like to inherit them
-Right. Let's go and see how much your hard work will pay off,
-because the auction's about to start.
'With almost 2,000 lots in the auction,
'today is going to be action-packed,
'but we're in position in plenty of time for our first lot.
'It's Alison's impressive collection of rings.'
-You've put an £80 reserve on them. You've put reserves on all your jewellery.
-I have, yes.
I decided the jewellery was important.
I didn't want it to go for next to nothing.
I wanted to keep them in the family if they didn't go for that money.
I think that's a sensible reserve,
and I still would stick to my original estimate of 100 to 150.
Are we close to 50? We are 50. We are 60. 70.
80. £90 now.
80 I am bid. £80. £90, and 100 now.
-100. I am bid 100.
-Over your reserve!
120, sir? £120.
And 30 now? 120, then. You're out, back row.
-That's really good news.
-And I sell at £120. Thank you.
-Happy with that?
-You're enjoying this!
-Have you been to an auction before, either of you?
A long, long time ago.
'So, £120 for those rings is a good way
'to get Alison back into the swing of things for today's sale,
'and give Emma an introduction.
'Memories and mementoes from two truly well known names are up next,
'debonair actor David Niven and comic genius Ronnie Barker,
'both of whom signed their books especially for Alison.'
£60 or £70 for them? Anybody got £30? Surely.
Ronnie Barker. £30. £20 bid. £20 I'm bid for those two, then.
At £20. And two for you, sir? And five.
And eight. And 30. And two.
And five. And then 40.
And two. And five. And eight. And 50.
Getting closer. It's the signatures they go for!
48. Going down at £48 if there's no further bid.
No, sir. Madam's at £48.
-We're just under, but that's fine.
I was hoping for £50, £60. £2 out, I'm not too disappointed.
-And nor are you?
'So, the price of celebrity was £48.
'But what price now for four 19th-century English prints?'
40 has them. They're at £40. Thank you very much.
Yes, it is yours for £40. Thank you.
Wonderful. Sold for £40. How about that?
Excellent. I only paid 50p each for them, so...
That's a real return on your money, isn't it?
'And now there's potential for even more profit with the next lot.
'It's a necklace with a cross and a bracelet,
'and this is one precious metal that's currently doing very well.'
We're doing well on gold because gold is holding its value.
It's just a perfect time to sell.
That's why I've put £150 to £200 on this lot.
150. 60. 70. 80 I'm bid.
90 for you, sir.
190, two of you.
-200 I'm bid.
-There you go!
Ten? Yes. 210. 220 I am bid, and 30 now.
230. And 40. 240.
250? At 240. At 50 now?
Yes? At 240. Right, then, it's going.
I sell at £240.
-What do you reckon to that?
'What a result! That's £40 over Jonty's top estimate,
'and almost a quarter of our target in one hit.
'The next piece shown to the room is that precious diamond brooch
'that Alison bought in London's Covent Garden.
'Let's hope those 11 little sparklers catch someone's eye.'
That wonderful, wonderful diamond brooch.
You've put your reserve of £900 on this.
-Any second thoughts about it?
-That was very unqualified!
Little bit of a...
-But, no. It's here. It's to go.
-What do we think, Jonty?
Well, I estimated £700 to £900 when I saw it,
and I always put an estimate which is a sensible estimate,
but I believe we could get above that, so I'm not too worried.
-Because they are quality diamonds, aren't they?
-Here it is.
Here it comes.
£1,000 for a good bar of diamonds. There you are. What about 500?
500 is bid for it. 520 I am bid for that one.
580. £600 I am bid for it, then.
At 600. 620.
700 I am bid for it. At £700.
£700. And 20, sir?
720 I am bid for it. At 750 I am bid.
780 I am bid.
Have you given him any discretion on this?
800. Are you finished, sir? I am bid £800.
At £800. I am bid 800. I am going to sell it.
At £800, then.
One last chance. OK. It's yours, then,
for £800. Thank you very much.
Have you started breathing again now?
Are you happy? You were the one who gave the auctioneer the nod.
-Yes. No, thanks. Yeah.
-Emma, what do you think?
I think that's reasonable. I think it's all right.
But I don't know what I'm talking about!
'Believe me, diamonds really are these girls' best friend today.
'Alison wants to surprise her daughters at the end of the auction,
'and this morning's sales have already provided a healthy sum
'for their special trip to America.'
When we came into the auction room, you were hoping to raise £1,000.
Yes. We're halfway through the day. We've got more jewellery to come,
and some more really nice things, and already you have made...
-That's pretty good.
-As you say, already!
I think we'll go and take a bit of a break now.
I think these girls need a lie-down.
Jonty and I will go and see what else is going on
around the auction room. We'll come back for the second half.
-A brandy, maybe, now. Is that...
-There's a lot to look at.
Stay with us for the second half.
With the fear-of-flying course now paid for,
the rest of the items can go towards that surprise trip to New York.
Whilst Alison and Emma take a break from the morning's excitement,
Jonty just can't resist a nose around
to see what else is on offer in the auction room.
You're staring at that very intently, Jonty.
Take a look at this. This is a beautiful, delicate little object.
It's a silver card case.
That Victorian ladies would have kept their calling cards in
to leave with other Victorian ladies.
And gents, as well. Now, it was very fashionable
to hold a card case, and so they came in different materials,
were made in different materials. This one's a solid-silver card case,
but they were made from tortoiseshell, ivory,
all sorts of different materials. And the more expensive they were,
it showed off your wealth, essentially.
This is no ordinary card case.
This is made by one of the best known makers
of the finest silver card cases to ever be made in this country,
so I regard this as a bit of sleeper in this auction room.
-So, who was he?
Nathaniel Mills, in the mid-19th century,
made some of the finest card cases ever produced in this country,
and we can see his name just there, Nathaniel Mills,
the N and M. That will make all the difference to this.
Now, he died in 1840,
so it was his two sons who were partners in the business,
William and Thomas, between 1840 and 1853,
they would have been responsible for making this.
Beautiful, delicate work on there,
the chasing on the main body of the case,
and that very attractive little sign in the middle
-where you can put your initials.
-It's very, very delicate.
But simply because we have the maker's name there,
the NM, that will make all the difference,
because collectors will really want this.
-How much will it go for?
-In the catalogue, it says £150 to £200,
-but who knows where it might end?
-Let's look out for it
when it comes under the hammer.
'Well, Jonty, it's a good job you weren't buying today,
'because it sold on estimate at £180.
'Now, will the bidders take a shine to Alison's 1930s cocktail cabinet?'
'And who wouldn't? It's only estimated at £40.'
Jonty and I reckon that this is quite an interesting piece
of retro furniture, the little cocktail cabinet,
which you had in the corner of the dining room.
-Yes. It was my mother's.
-What have we got on this one?
What do we realistically think it will make?
Well, I put £40 to £60 on it to attract the sale,
but remember, we've got that crack in the shelf,
and dealers just prefer things that are ready to go.
I think possibly £50 for it. Anybody got 40?
30 I'm bid? 20 for it, then.
25. 30. There's two of you want it.
She wants it for 40, doesn't she?
45, I've got now.
I'm selling. It's going. I shall sell it.
At the very back, then. It's going for £45.
-Happy with that?
'And that's not bad, for something in need of restoration,
'and which didn't fit into Alison's new home.
'I think she's well pleased with yet another £45
'to help her on her way to New York. Next to try their luck in the room
'are the collection of framed cigarette cards.
'These were all collected by Alison,
'and Jonty thinks her efforts could fetch £20 to £30.'
Surely there's £20 I am bid for those.
Two of you would like, for £20. Two out at five.
-£30 I am bid, then.
£30, and two anywhere to sell those for?
-20 to 30 is what we said.
How about that, Emma? Cos you found that.
-Yeah. No, yes.
-All right. I wanted a bit more.
She's getting quite cool about this now.
THEY LAUGH "I wanted a bit more, but..."
'Some of the girls' items in this half of the sale
'may be less valuable than those that we saw earlier,
'but they are still doing OK.
'Our next lot is the vintage gramophone,
'and it's certainly a nostalgic item,
'but I wonder if it has limited appeal in this day and age.
'We're looking for £20 to £30.'
35, £40 I am bid. At 40. I am bid 40.
-Ooh, we hit 40 already!
At £45, you've got the old entertainment. £45.
It goes down here for £45. Thank you.
-What a result! Well done!
-That's 50 percent more than you thought.
'That was a great result! £15 over Jonty's top estimate.
'Bidders do seem to have taken a shine to our family's things today.
'And it's another nostalgic lot that's up next -
'some perfume bottles and the collection of Babycham glasses,
'which at one time were considered the height of sophistication.
'How are they going to fare, I wonder.'
I'm going to show my age now, but I can remember when it was very cool
for a girl on her first date to ask for a glass of Babycham.
We've now got your Babycham glasses coming up.
-Well, I remember Babycham as well.
-And you drank these?
I think we ought to be looking somewhere in the region of £30.
-£20 bid. At £20.
At £20 bid. Five with you, sir.
28. 30. And two. One more.
£32, then. At £32. Is that it? They're going to be sold.
Make no mistake. They're yours, then, at £32.
There we go. Sold!
The Babycham glasses and things, I'd bought them
for such a small amount of money.
If you knew how many glasses I had at home...
I think they went brilliantly. It was just the fact that they sold.
'£2 over Jonty's lower estimate,
'and at least it shows there's still a market for these iconic glasses.
'We're looking for collectors of modern tableware now.
'It's the Crown Ducal set for one, valued at between £20 and £30.'
At £30. 32. 35.
No more? 35. At 35.
-I shall sell it to you, sir, for £35.
-That's really good.
'Yet another thing selling over Jonty's top estimate.
'We've really had some great results today.
'Now, let's see how the room reacts to our final lot.
'It's the silver dressing-table set, which looks a bit different
'to when we found it.'
Alison, it's your very clean dressing-table set.
The gleaming set.
Clean, Jonty. You're mentioning it again!
Yes. I promise not to mention the cleanliness of your house ever again.
-Well, I think they look very nice
-now that they've been cleaned.
-Thank you so much.
I'm sure that the bidders in the room will appreciate it,
and it probably will make a difference to the price.
Well, I did find polish in my cupboard.
-Did you blow the dust off the polish?
-So rude again!
I'm not going to talk to him for a while. I'll just talk to you, Angela.
What about £40?
-40! Well, we're already up to 40.
-60, sir. At £60.
60. And five for you, madam? No? At £60, then,
-it is yours, sir.
-There you go.
-Cleaning made all the difference.
You had to get the last word in there, didn't you?
'And that really has added a shine to our day.
'I just can't wait to tell them how much they've raised.'
-You've had a really exciting day.
-Yeah! Sold everything.
-You already know you've made your £1,000,
because even at the halfway stage, we'd made £1,248.
And all the exciting items were in that first half.
But you've done really well,
because what you've made is...
Another five would have made it the round £1,500.
-What do you think of that?
-Oh, it's fantastic.
You've got something very special lined up for this money.
-Will you tell them today?
-I'd like to.
Well, your other daughter, Louisa, was at school
when we were doing the rummage, but she has come today to the auction.
Do you want to come and join us? Come and join your sister Emma.
Now, Mummy's made £1,495 at auction,
and she's now going to tell you what she's going to do with it.
I'm going to go and get my fear of...
-Are you all right?
-..fear of flying out of the way,
then I'm going to take you to New York.
And I'm crying!
The girls' trip to New York is still a few weeks away,
but before Alison can cross the Atlantic,
she first needs to conquer her fear of flying.
Today she's taking part in a course which puts people's fear to rest
by demystifying the inner workings of the airplane.
But the real test takes place when they head for the skies.
Getting into the plane right at this moment in time
is a horrible thought!
I don't want to do it.
I'm quite tense today. It's quite a nerve-racking thing.
I didn't sleep very well last night,
and I was wondering whether I'd actually make it today.
Sitting through take-off and landing is tough,
but it takes Alison that much closer to her dream trip
with her daughters.
'Today went fine. I found it very motivating.'
I did have one wobbly moment where I cried,
but apart from that, I did it,
and I'm going to go and book the flights for New York.
So New York, here we come!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Angela Rippon and Jonty Hearnden head to Kent to meet Alison Mead and her daughter Emma. Alison hopes to take her children to New York for a dream holiday, but first she needs help to overcome her fear of flying.