Antiques series. Aled Jones and Jonty Hearnden visit siblings John and Kate Stelling at home in Croydon, as they look to sell their father's collections to fund their own pursuits.
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This is the show that searches out the hidden treasures in your home
and then sells them for you at auction.
Sometimes it's not just the smaller items that get handed down from generation to generation.
Sometimes it's the whole house.
That's exactly the case with the family I'm meeting today.
They're hoping, with our help and a good clear-out, to find some cash in the attic.
'On today's Cash In The Attic,
'a novel use for a World War I helmet.'
If you want a home for your aspidistra, there you go.
'Jonty lifts the lid on a 19th-century method of insect repellent.'
They put a lid on simply to stop flies from dropping into your beer.
'And, when we get to auction, we'll be toasting success.'
Forget cracking open the egg, crack open the champagne!
'And when that final hammer falls, will the corks still be popping?'
45 and gone.
I'm in Croydon to meet a brother and sister
who have decided to sell their family home.
But first, they found some items that belonged to their dad
that they hope to sell at auction
and raise money to share with the family.
'John Stelling has lived in this four-bedroom semi-detached house for the past 21 years.
'He co-owned it with his father, who sadly passed away in 2009.
'John trained as a mechanical engineer
'and in his spare time loves working on cars.
'He's currently restoring an old Volkswagen Beetle for one of his sisters.
'He's also built several sports cars from kit form,
'including this Lotus 7 replica.
'Joining John for the rummage today is his sister Kate,
'who lives nearby with her family.'
-Jonty, good to see you.
-How are you doing?
-Not bad. Must stop meeting like this.
-I'm looking forward to this. High hopes.
-Shall we go in?
You go in through the front door. I'll go in through the garage. Try something different.
'With 20 years' experience in the antiques trade,
'Jonty Hearnden starts our hunt for collectibles indoors,
'while I go in search of our hosts.'
-You must be the brother and sister.
-John and Kate, how are you?
-Was she bossing you around?
-She always is.
-I heard her say, "Where will you put the stereo?"
-There's a long way before that.
Why call in the Cash In The Attic team?
My dad's got quite a few antiques in the house, and memorabilia,
and we just don't know where to go and what to do with it,
so we gave you guys a call.
-How much money are we hoping to raise here?
-Well, there are three of us!
-There's me, my brother and my sister.
-We've got to divide it up.
What are you hoping to do with it?
-I'd like to get my personal car done up here.
-How about you, John?
-I'll probably be selling up and maybe get a boat.
-Yeah. Why not?
-Sail around the world?
-Well, I don't know about that.
£1,500 is a lot of money to find.
The good news is that it's not just us searching.
We've got the expert eye of Jonty.
He's already let himself into your house and is having a rummage.
-So shall we go and find out how he's getting on?
-Yeah. Let's go.
'There's two years between John and his older sister, Kate.
'Their other sister, Mandy, is two years older again.
'Between them they have a plethora of interests,
'all to be covered by that £1,500 target.
'Jonty's roughing it in the garden shed.
'It seems to be a storehouse for wartime memorabilia,
'a pet subject of John and Kate's father.'
-Ah, there you are.
-So this is where you've been hiding.
I saw the shed from the house, so I came to have a look.
-What have you found?
-Looks like an interesting shed.
I found a British helmet and a German helmet here.
This one, this German helmet, looks like it's seen better days.
It looks like it's been a plant pot holder or something like that.
Because it's got no lining, I think this is First World War rather than Second World War.
What's the story behind these?
-That was our dad's.
-This was Dad's?
-It's in good nick as well.
-Can you hold on to that?
It's wonderful to have this original netting on there.
It adds value, because we're looking at collectible items.
So who'd buy this?
There's a lot of interest in militaria per se,
right away across the board.
So of course items from the Second World War,
items from the First World War,
great interest still.
And if you've got a plant that you haven't got a home for, you can buy that.
If you want a home for your aspidistra, there you go.
-What's it all worth?
-We could certainly put these two together.
-Any more bits and pieces like this?
-Yeah, I think there's more stuff that my dad kept in his wardrobe.
We'll put it all in one lot.
And, because this is in such good condition,
these two items, £100 to £150.
Don't get too cocky. It's only £150, and we need to find £1,500.
So onwards and upwards.
-Could we go in?
-It is cold out here.
'John also turns out a leather pilot's cap and a gas mask
'that his father had collected, which gets us off to a good start.
'But we have a large house to search,
'so we'd better get cracking.
'In the dining room, Jonty spots this mahogany cottage dining table.
'More than 100 years old, it used to belong to John's great-uncle.
'It hasn't been used for years.
'Showing a little damage, it's valued at £30 to £50.
'I'm busy exploring the lounge,
'but everyone else seems to think the kitchen is the place to be.'
-I've got this.
Jonty? Look what we found.
Ooh! Beer steins. Those look wonderful.
Where were these from?
I think my dad brought them back from his travels.
They're very decorative objects, designed to drink your beer out of.
So if I do a little swapsie with you, Kate...
This one here has a lid.
The whole purpose of a lid in the 15th-16th century
was to stop insects from dropping into your beer,
because at that time there was a massive problem with flies.
Look at the decoration around the outside.
It has a 19th-century feel,
but it's really an interpretation of a 19th-century style.
So these are great fun. But let's have a look at this one.
If I just swap with you there...
This one is completely different.
This is pewter. It has a lid, for the same purpose.
But this is a little cream jug, or milk jug.
And if we turn it upside down,
it says here "Made by Liberty & Co English Pewter".
-If you look here, can you see how simple this is?
-Yeah. Very simple.
This is the style of Liberty, and it's what made it so famous.
And it's the reason people collect Liberty designs from this period
made out of pewter.
So this is the item that's going to attract the dealers.
So we'll put the three in together, make it as one lot.
We're looking at £30 to £50. Happy about that?
-It's not a vast sum of money.
-It means we've got to go and find some more bits.
We'll go this way.
£50. Can we go £50?
'When the tankards get to auction, will time be called
'on the gentlemen in the room?'
5. 80. 5. 90...
'And will the bidding run out of control?'
-That's our Liberty jug.
'Our search at the Stellings' family home continues.
'John and Kate's father left behind so many collectibles to go through.
'I'm quite immersed in this box of old records,
'mainly 78s, which is why there are no recordings of mine in there.
'You were thinking that, weren't you?
'Kate's looking through one of the bedrooms. She's the lucky one,
'finding a miniature Singer sewing machine tucked away in a box.
'This machine was first marketed back in 1910,
'sold as both a toy and an adult miniature.
'With a £20 to £30 estimate, this ought to perform well on sale day.
'We haven't sewn up our antiques hunt just yet.
'Time to find out more about John and Kate's dad.'
I don't know this area very well.
All I know is that Fairfield Hall is just down the road,
where I used to sing quite a bit.
What's this area like?
-It's a lovely area, actually.
-It's not too bad.
It's a nice area to grow up in, for the children.
-You grew up here as well.
-Yeah, I did.
-And you've been in this house for 21 years?
-21 years, yeah.
And for quite a bit of that time, just you and your dad lived here.
-What was that like?
-Up and down. We had our moments.
-They were like Steptoe and Son.
-That's a good thing, isn't it?
-Yeah. Yeah, they were.
Let's talk about your dad. What sort of character was he?
He was just a loving, caring dad. He really was.
And he always had time for everybody else.
Always put everyone else first.
-Has it been quite tough for you, coming back?
I pop in all the time to see my brother,
but it's the first time in a long time that I've been here all day.
-The last few years of his life were tough on him, but also tough on you.
Very tough. My dad was very ill in the last three and a half years,
and just watching him become dependent on us was very sad.
What will it be like selling his stuff at auction?
Is that part of the healing process for you?
-Yeah, in a way, I think.
-Yeah, I guess so. It's moving on.
-We'll bring the hankies.
-And the sunglasses.
Let's hope it's not that bad.
-You're not singing, are you?
What do you think he'd be saying now if he was looking down on us?
I think he'd be amused that we've actually done this.
He used to love watching programmes like this all the time.
For us to have rung you guys to come in and rummage round,
-I think he'd be proud of what we've done, actually.
That £1,500 ain't going to find itself, so let's carry on with the rummage.
Yeah. Let's go.
'Going by Jonty's lowest estimates so far,
'we stand to make £180 when we take the items to auction.
'So we're still a long way off that target of £1,500.
'I'm pleased to say that I make the next discovery.
'It's a late-Victorian sterling silver vesta case,
'named after the Roman goddess of the hearth.'
'Matches were known as vestas until the early 20th century.
'Because the phosphorus used to make the early vestas was unstable,
'one needed cases to keep them safe.
'Jonty values this one at £20 to £30.'
Guys, what do you think of this one?
-Blimey! I know that Christmas song I sang was bad but...
Where did you find that?
-It was wrapped in a cloth in my dad's wardrobe.
-Can I have a look?
There's no grey area when it comes to selling arms like this
because it's completely illegal to have this in your possession
if it can be used.
So I'm assuming this has been decommissioned.
Yeah, it's been decommissioned.
I don't know when. Quite a few years ago.
-Do you have any paperwork?
-We've got a certificate with it.
That's good news because it means we can sell it on the open market.
This is a Smith & Wesson copy.
So guns like this, or pistols like this,
were used by the British officers during the First World War.
When I say "copy", the British Army were concerned
that they would run out of pistols like this,
so they commissioned three Spanish factories
to produce a pistol like this.
It was a bolt-on to the British Army during the First World War.
So it's almost 100 years old.
More army memorabilia. Let's talk about wonga. How much?
-I think we're looking at £200 to £300 worth of pistol here.
'Close examination of the paperwork
'shows that this revolver was decommissioned back in 1995
'and cannot be made to fire again.
'So it is acceptable for inclusion in a general auction.
'Strict laws govern the ownership of weapons and their sale.
'Your auction house should be able to advise.
'Our hunt for collectibles is still going strong in South London.
'Kate is still searching the bedrooms.
'I hope John will forgive me for thinking he may have returned to his car maintenance.
'I'm obviously wrong, and he's doing us proud.
'He's actually dug out an old Meccano set
'that's a family heirloom.'
'This aeroplane was built by John's dad when he was a child.
'The box contains the original parts from the set,
'with some spares, too.
'Meccano is still very popular,
'and this little lot could fetch £50 to £100 at auction.
'Jonty and Kate have teamed up in the lounge
'to make sure every nook and cranny is thoroughly explored
'for any hidden treasures.'
Jonty, have a look at this.
Ah, a carved...
what looks to be a carved tooth.
Where was this from?
-Me and my dad bought it at a boot fair.
-I believe it's a scrimshaw.
Anything carved in this manner in a primitive form on teeth or bones
is known as scrimshaw.
These were done in the 18th and 19th century
by sailors who went round the world,
they were hunting for whales,
and often they would carve on teeth and bone of the animal itself.
So what did you pay for it?
We paid about £10 about eight or nine years ago,
in a boot fair.
That's about the right money for this object. OK?
-Do you know why?
-We don't believe it's real.
Spot on. Absolutely. This one here is a fake.
You can tell by looking on the underside.
Here, this is resin.
That's why you've got this rather rough bottom here.
It's completely different to what a carved tooth should look like,
the underside of a tooth.
And the way you can tell - because the colour is right -
is to put a very hot pin right into it,
and if it goes straight in, then you know that it's a fake.
-Have you done that?
-Oh, you have?
-What actually happened?
-It went straight in.
-You can see marks in the bottom where we did it.
-You've had a go.
-There's always the element of doubt.
So it's really a decorative object.
-If we were to put that into the auction sale, then that's OK,
as long as everybody knows that we're looking at a copy,
-not the genuine article.
So we can put it in the auction sale
in the hope we can get your money and maybe a little bit more.
-But nothing more than that.
-All right. Good.
'I hate to say it but we need something of a much higher value
'if we're going to hit the Stellings' high target today.
'I find another table in the hall.
'Surely there'll be something lurking in the drawers there.
'Jonty's spotted this ostrich egg on a silver base.
'It once belonged to John's grandfather.
'Collecting natural history specimens was once a popular hobby.
'There are now international trade treaties protecting rare species.
'Your auction house can advise you on the sale of such items.
'As an antique, this ostrich egg is acceptable for sale.
'Jonty gives it an estimate of £10 to £15.
'John hopes to buy a boat with his share of the proceeds.
'At this rate, it'll be a small dinghy he'll be getting!'
John, there's loads and loads of tools here.
-Is this all for pleasure?
-Partly pleasure, partly business.
-So when you're not working, you're tinkering on cars like this?
-Yeah, tinkering, doing them up.
When did you realise you had the talent for being an engineer?
It was down to my dad.
When I was very young - five - we used to go down the basement
and used to be working away in the basement,
hammering nails in wood, bits of chain...
It all started there, really.
Away from the work, what are the hobbies? I see a serious golf set.
Yeah, I like to play golf.
-But not in this wet weather.
-You're a fair-weather golfer.
-Not that fair weather but...
yeah, when it's a bit warmer.
-What's your handicap?
-You're decent, then.
-Not too bad.
-Any other hobbies?
On holidays I like to be in the sun.
A little bird told me - your sister, before you ask -
that you go on about seven holidays a year.
I used to, yeah. I don't know why, but I've cut it down a bit.
-To what now?
-About four, I think.
I'm so jealous. I'm lucky if I get one.
Is it the idea of getting a boat and sailing off into the sunset?
Yeah. I've just always been in the sunshine, since I was a child.
We've been lucky with our parents taking us away every year.
I'm just destined to live in the sunshine.
Do you think that dream is going to become a reality?
I'd like it to be.
It's going to be a big push. It's going to be different but...
I can tell that you're itching to work on that car, but not just yet.
-We've got to find some money.
-You're going to help me.
-I'll help you once we've found some treasure.
'So it's back to work for us
'as we join Jonty and Kate for some serious rummaging.
'In the spare bedroom she makes a scoop
'when she finds a set of six silver spoons.
'Her parents collected silver over the years from antique fairs.
'These spoons are in their original box
'and are hallmarked "1946 Sheffield".
'But it's another low valuation from Jonty.
'He gives them just £20 to £30.'
Jonathan, what about this display cabinet here?
-Can this go to the auction sale?
How long has it been here?
It's been here since we moved in about 21 years ago.
Right. So, part of the family, or your father's?
Yeah, it's my dad's. Possibly my granddad's.
The cabinet itself is in very good condition,
but here we've got a glazed panel that's cracked.
Yeah. Would it take a lot of the cost off?
It will affect the value, but not a great deal.
If we look at the cabinet itself, the actual timber construction,
it is all in very good condition.
This is mahogany, and look at the detail.
Here, if you look closely, we've got this little boxwood stringing.
It's not just here on the front.
It runs down the side on the front of the door
all the way down the leg to the little spade foot.
It's very typical of a piece of furniture
that was made around the turn of the century.
Display cabinets like this were very much in vogue, in fashion.
It's what everybody wanted.
It was almost like an extension of the 18th and 19th century
where everyone collected everything.
It is worth putting into the auction sale.
I'll be a bit conservative on price simply because of the damage.
But it's still going to sell, and we're looking at £40 to £60.
-Are you happy with that?
-You look disappointed.
-I thought it would be more, but it's not a problem.
I don't want to put in anything you don't want to sell. Excellent.
'Yes, excellent...ish. We'll be here all night at this rate
'unless we unearth something of high value soon.
'So the pressure is most definitely on.
'We don't want to be rummaging hard into the wee small hours.'
Jonty, have you seen some of these stamps in the albums here?
Oh! Let's have a look.
-How many have you got of these?
-I've got quite a few albums.
-Whose stamps are these?
I have to say this is an extraordinary collection of stamps.
How many have we got?
Probably about 12 albums, 15 albums.
So when did he first start collecting stamps?
Years ago. Before I was born.
I see that all of these stamps, or the vast majority of them,
are in mint condition,
-which means they've never been used.
If we just take this collection here,
looking at this page, this Christmas page,
which is not that old - here we've got the date 2000 -
just this page alone is worth £50 to £70.
For many years stamps were in a bit of a malaise in the price area.
It was really quite stagnant for quite some time.
But just in recent years, suddenly it's started to rise again.
-You must have had some idea that this is a very important collection.
It means a lot to me, because it's my dad's collection.
Have you ever had these valued, or considered putting these into an auction sale?
I would do if...
obviously the prices are good, and someone can appreciate the stamps.
This is such an important collection. We've got to show the others.
Kate? Aled? Are you there?
-What have you got here?
-A nice stamp collection?
Before we go any further,
I want to pay tribute to your father,
because this is one of the most important private collections of stamps I've ever seen.
At auction, we're looking at in excess of £1,000.
That is amazing.
You don't have to decide now. Take time to think about it.
Weigh up the sentimental value to the actual value.
-I think you should go away and have a think about it.
I can tell you that if you decide to put the stamps in the auction,
then we're looking at £1,530.
Oh! £30 on top!
You can buy an oar to go with your boat. Lovely.
You wanted £1,500. We've given you 30 quid more.
But that's Jonty's lowest estimate. We're hoping to get more than that.
Take time, and next time we'll see you at the auction.
-Lovely. Thank you very much.
'That collection boasts some terrific first-day covers.
'If it does make it to auction,
'John and Kate could make almost their whole target in one go.
'Here's a reminder of some of the other heirlooms that they will be bringing along.
'The old Meccano set,
'with the aeroplane made by their dad when he was little.
'That should be snapped up at £50 to £100.
'The two World War helmets and other militaria
'that their dad collected.
'Jonty reckons one of these helmets could be highly sought after
'as it still has its netting in place.
'£100 to £150 was his considered opinion.
'And finally, those two examples of German pottery,
'plus the Liberty pewter tankard.
'We hope they'll raise some cheer and bring in £30 to £50 on the day.
'Still to come on Cash In The Attic, is somebody helping
'John and Kate's cause?'
-Dad must be poking them in the back.
-Do you think?
'And there's no sibling rivalry here.'
-I love you, John!
There's a lot of love in this room at the moment.
'But will it still be in the air when the final hammer falls?'
It's barely a week since we hit the streets of Croydon
and rootled around with Jonathan and Kate,
the brother and sister act who are keen to raise £1,500
to share equally between the siblings.
So we've come here to Chiswick Auctions in West London
and we're hoping to spark a bidding war when their items go under the hammer.
'Dealing starts early here, with potential bidders
'all hoping to find a valuable antique at an affordable price.
'Our expert has headed straight for the wartime memorabilia.'
-Ah, Mr Jonty.
-I found the helmets. Oh, yes.
-Especially the World War I one that doubles up as a plant pot.
-That's right, yes.
But we've found some other items - well, Jonathan found some -
the gas mask, and we've got a pilot's cap as well.
-Wasn't there also a revolver?
-Yes. I double-checked the certificate,
and it's absolutely fine to sell because it's been de-activated
and can never be re-commissioned, so it's perfectly fine to sell.
-How do you think all this will go down today?
-I think it'll be fine. We've got interesting memorabilia.
But the big question is, can we get the stamp collection away?
It is one of the finest collections I've ever seen
and one of the best private collections I've ever seen.
So if we've got the right buyers here, then we're quids in.
-It's getting busy. John and Kate are down there already. Shall we say hello to them?
'Those stamps, which contain lots of first-day covers,
'have the potential to lick Jonty's estimate of £1,000.'
Kate, Jonathan, great to see you. You made a beeline for the stamps.
-Decided to sell?
-I have, yeah.
-What about reserves?
I think again we have a good chance of selling that lot.
And I know that people in the auction room
are going to really get very excited about it,
so I can't wait.
I can feel you physically shaking.
You've never been to an auction before.
-You're happy to be here, aren't you?
-I really am. I'm so excited.
-I can't wait to start bidding.
-Just don't bid on your own lot!
-Anything else you'll be sad to say goodbye to?
-The Meccano set. The aeroplane.
-Yeah. It's all got a history.
-It has got a history,
but you also want to raise £1,500 to split between the three of you.
Let's hope you get that.
The auction's starting, so let's get into position.
'Yes, already in position, the auctioneer.
'This looks like it's going to be an exciting day for us.
'Remember, if you're thinking of buying or selling in this way,
'commission and other charges will apply.
'Your local saleroom can advise you on the small print.'
'So, we're gearing up.'
-Your first lot in your first auction, about to come up. How are you feeling?
"A reproduction whale-tooth scrimshaw." £10 to £20, you said.
Last of the big spenders.
'This scrimshaw is a reproduction piece,
'and with an estimate of £10 to £20,
'Kate just wants to recoup what she paid for it.'
Is that worth £20 for it?
£10 for it?
Nobody at £10, then? Nobody at all? £5?
I'm bid at 5.
£5. We're in.
Bid is at £5. We're done at £5. That's the only bid I've got.
I'm going to take it. At £5, it's gone.
-Not all you'd hoped.
-Down a fiver.
-Down a fiver.
-It's a collective wail.
-It's a good start.
-Well, it's a start.
The only way is up, I'd say.
'We know from experience
'that scrimshaws can attract much higher sums if they're genuine.
'Now will the ostrich egg on a decorative stand
'fetch a good price for John and Kate?
'Their father had it on display at home
'and it's valued at a modest £10 to £15.'
£20 for it?
£10 for it? Good at 10.
-You want 12? 12 is bid. You want 15? 15.
-Hey. Got 15.
The bid is at £18. 20. 22. 25?
25? 28? 30?
32? 35? 38?
Ooh. At £35. Bid is at £35. Anybody give me 38 for it?
At £35 we're done. I think we are. At 35 and going.
-Wow. A result.
Forget cracking open the egg, crack open the champagne!
'Not quite yet. £35 for the ostrich egg.
'Could we be starting to get into our stride this morning?
'They say good things come in little packages.
'Let's see if that will be true for our next item.
'It's the miniature Singer sewing machine.'
You said 20 to 30 quid. Think we'll get it?
They're very sellable, these small ones. The larger ones not so much.
But these tiny ones, I've seen them sell. That's why I said £20 or £30.
They're worth... £20 to start me?
Bid at £20. 22.
25. 28. 30. 32.
At £35. Bid at £35. 38. New bidder. Do you want 40?
At £38. New bidder. £38, all out? At £38.
Standing at £38. Going. Gone.
-That's really very good.
-What did we put?
-£20 to £30.
-That's almost double the bottom end of the estimate.
-It's going very well.
-I've never seen it sell for that price.
I've seen them before but I've never seen them sell for over £30.
'£38 for this miniature item.
'A tidy little profit, as we say in Wales.
'An intoxicating mixed lot of drinking vessels is next.
'Jonty has valued these three tankards at £30 to £50.'
We've got those steins that we found,
but we've also got that lovely pewter jug as well, the creamer.
It's a little bit damaged. That's why I put £30 to £50 on it.
But it's a lovely thing, so let's see what happens.
Start me... £50.
Can we go £50?
I'm bid at £50. Anyone for 55?
55. 60. 5.
70. 5. 80. 5. 90?
85. It's at 85.
Wonderful. That's our Liberty jug.
100. 110. 120.
Bid at 140. 150? New bidder again. 150. 160.
170. 180? Sure?
-Go on, up.
All out? Finish at 170.
-That's our Liberty jug.
'A pleasantly high price for those tankards.
'And surprising, if you ask me. But what do I know?
'Maybe the bidders are intoxicated by the quality of our collectibles.
'Now what will they make of the delicate silver vesta case,
'estimated at £20 to £30?'
Because the phosphorus was so dangerous,
you had to put it in a little metal container.
It is a bit damaged, and that's why I only put £20 to £30 on it.
£30 for it?
£20, start me for it.
Give me a tenner. £10 for it?
No smokers in? I'm bid at 10. 12? 15?
At £18. Bid at £18. 20? 20 there. Thank you. 22?
At £20. You bid at £20. 22? At £20.
It's silver. At £20.
A bidder at 22.
24? 24. 26. 28.
Thank you. At £30. 32? At £30.
-32 from somebody else? At £30 gone.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
I thought we'd be in trouble when we started. I love it when it starts slowly.
-It's amazing. We're on fire!
-Yes, we're on fire.
You two may have to leave in a minute if we carry on.
'We're not keen on puns on Cash In The Attic. No, really.
'Still, I'll turn a blind eye
'if our items keep selling on or above estimate.
'When the case of hallmarked English silver teaspoons comes up,
'with an estimate of £20 to £30...'
10. 12. 14.
'..they keep with the trend, selling for...'
OK, guys, it's half time.
At this point in the proceedings, you want to raise £1,500,
so halfway we should be near the £750 mark.
-But we're not.
I hate to break your heart, but actually there's quite a way to go.
-£298 we've raised so far.
-That's not too bad.
-That's not bad.
-We've got the star item still to come, the stamp collection.
And we've sold absolutely everything.
That's a good point. And only been under on one lot.
-So you should be very happy.
Let's go and have a little break, have a cup of tea.
I'll ask that lady if I can borrow one of her silver-plated spoons.
And we'll come back here later for the second half.
'Selling around 100 lots per hour,
'this West London auction house is a busy place
'and it's packed with some really eclectic pieces.
'Always with his eyes peeled for good deals,
'Jonty has spotted something which, from a distance,
'looks as if it could date back hundreds of years.'
-It really is an auction of helmets today.
-I spotted something for you.
Remember Jonathan's fabulous collection of war helmets and hats?
-Well, this is very similar.
-Ah! It's the Welsh Dragon!
It's amazing. How old is it?
-It's late 19th century.
The first firefighter helmets were leather,
introduced in the mid-18th century.
By the 19th century they had this shape and form.
So we've got our dragons on both sides - we've got a pair -
and if you look at this lovely label, the insignia on the front,
this is not necessarily any firefighter's division.
This is just purely decoration.
What do you reckon it's worth?
At auction it's £80 to £120 in the catalogue,
but I'm a bit concerned about this one.
Unlike Jonathan's collection,
we have a bit of damage here.
Here you can see, on the side, there's a bit missing.
So I'm a bit concerned what it will sell for. I'm not sure.
I'm delighted you found the dragons. Or should I say diolch yn fawr iawn?
-I need a translator.
-It's Russian for... No, it's Welsh for thank you very much.
You learn something every day.
'It's filled me with patriotic zeal.
'So it's good to see that when the Welsh fireman's helmet went under the hammer,
'it fetched £140.
'John and Kate are due back in the sale
'as their most exciting pieces are just about to come up.
'First it's their mahogany and glass cabinet.
'There's a conservative estimate on it of £40 to £60,
'but there's a reason for that.'
We just made it in time.
-It's the display case coming up now.
Remember those two cracked panes of glass,
which hopefully won't be too much of a problem.
But that's the reason I put £40 to £60 on it. OK?
And is that worth £50 for it?
Is it worth £40 for it? Am I bid £40? £30 for it?
Bid at £30. 32. 35? 35.
Oh, we're up.
At £40 bid. At £40. 42? At £40 all done.
At £40. Cheap at £40. I'm selling at £40.
-Have you done your bidding? Going. £40.
-£40. Lower than the estimate.
-Cheap at the price.
'That damage to the cabinet really dented its value.
'Next is the Victorian drop-leaf dining table.
'Jonty's estimate is £30 to £50. It seems low,
'but maybe these pieces aren't as fashionable as they used to be.'
Who'll start me at £50 for it?
£30 for it?
£10 for it?
A bid at 10. You want 12?
12. 15. 18. 20.
22. 25. 28.
30? £28 bid. At £28. Say 30? At £28 are we done?
Do you want 30 or not? At £28. Do you want 30? 32?
At £30. Going at £30, cheap table. And gone. Three, two, one.
-They're spending, but not enough.
The auctioneer said it was cheap, but I needed to get it away for you because it was damaged.
This market demands things in good condition.
If they're not, they've really got to be cheap.
'Damaged goods tend not to sell well at auction,
'especially when they're not this season's must-have piece of decor.
'Selling for £30, it was the lower end of Jonty's estimate.
'Our next item could sort the men from the boys.
'It's the iconic 1950s Meccano set,
'with an estimate of £50 to £100.'
-Who'd buy old Meccano?
-A lot of people.
Big market in old toys.
Is that worth... It's got to make more than £50 for it.
£50 for it? No-one wants it?
I'm bid £50. 55 there.
60? I'll come back to you, sir. 60. 65. They all want it now.
65. 70. 5. 80. 5. 90.
110. 120. 130? 120 bid. At 120.
Anyone at 130? Are we done? I'd take 130.
All out at 120? 130.
No? At 140. I'm bid 140. Anyone at 150? 140. All done at 140, all out?
-Dad must be poking them in the back.
-Do you think?
£140. That's amazing! What a result!
Did you hear what he said? Probably Dad's poking them in the back. "Spend more!"
Now, you asked who would buy something like this?
-They're big kids.
-It's a retro thing.
It's what they remember as a child.
So it's a big adult thing, buying old toys.
'Yeah, aren't we all just big kids at heart?
'That £140 has only added to the excitement of the day.
'Now we're hoping the best is yet to come,
'the military memorabilia that belonged to John and Kate's father.
'It's valued at £100 to £150.'
Start me at £100, please.
£50 for it.
Am I bid £50? I'm bid £50. Say 55?
55. Thank you. 60. 5.
Got one up there.
It's going up now.
120. 130 now? 120, all out? Last chance if you want it.
-£120 is a good result. But are you sad to see all those going?
'Kate may be having a twinge of nostalgia, but I'm sure she's happy
'that her dad's military memorabilia has earned them £120.
'We've had two big-hitting results.
'I have high hopes
'for the Spanish revolver helping us reach our target.
'The estimate is £200 to £300.'
So this next lot you've put a reserve on. It's the revolver.
-You won't sell it for less than 150 quid?
Is that fair, Jonty?
Collecting antique guns is a big market,
so yes, it should sell.
And you've got a certificate that says it's been decommissioned.
£100 for it?
Somebody at £100, or I'll pass it. £100 for it?
Bid of £100. Say 110? £100 bid. Anyone, 110?
110. Thank you. 120. 130.
130 bid. I'd take 140. At 130.
We're now at 130. 140 for it?
Finished at 130? I can't sell for that.
Got to be the reserve. Not sold.
-All right with you?
-I was a bit upset. I thought it'd go for a bit more.
-I'm quite surprised by that.
-Yes. I'm sure it would've gone for more.
Everything else we've sold has done very well,
but sometimes you just don't make the mark.
'It's disappointing that it should go unsold.
'A successful auction depends on which specialist buyers are in the room.
'Now to our final lot, that wonderful collection of stamps.
'These albums blew Jonty away,
'and he valued them at between £1,000 and £1,200.
'John has put a reserve of £1,100 on them.'
So, this is it.
-It's D-Day. This is the biggie.
-Yes, this is the biggie.
But I just want to tell you again
that this is one of the best private collections of stamps I've ever seen.
So I hope that we get this away. We've had a great day so far.
If it doesn't sell, it'll be a disaster.
For these good stamps, start me at £1,000.
Thank you, sir. £1,000.
1,050? 1,050 I'm bid.
There's a telephone bidder.
1,200. And 50.
1,300. And 50.
1,400. And 50?
This is a real battle. This is a real fight.
No? At 1,400. A bid of 1,400. Will you give me 50?
I'm bid at 1,450, new bidder.
No? At £1,600. A bid's here for £1,600. Are we done?
1,650. New bidder. 1,700. And 50.
-1,800. And 50.
-Extraordinary, listening to this.
At £1,800. Bid here for £1,800. Are we done? Who else want them?
At £1,800 are we done? For £1,800, all out.
Anyone? £1,800. Are we finished? Last chance.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
You were worried about the stamps going to a good home. They are.
-How about that?
-Good? It's brilliant!
-Yeah. That is.
The understatement of the day.
-I love you, John!
There's a lot of love in this room at the moment.
'Yes, love everywhere. Not a whiff of sibling rivalry in the air!
'How brilliant that their dad's pride and joy
'has made such a huge difference to their auction outcome.'
Well, that's it. Your first auction is over.
You wanted £1,500 for your car and your boat. I'm not sure what the other person wanted.
It wasn't looking too good halfway.
But you know that you've got more than £1,500
because the stamps alone went for £1,800.
You've raised £2,428.
-That's a bit better than we thought.
-Thank you very much.
-Bring on the party, I say!
It was a good day at the office.
Right. Come aboard.
'Well, John's wasted no time and booked himself a test run
'on a 42-foot yacht.
'But where does this love of boats come from?
'When I look back, really it's been ever since I was a child.'
My dad liked taking a boat out to the South of France,
and we used to go down there in a little dinghy and sailboat.
Ever since I can remember I've been on water somewhere along the line.
'So is he convinced this is what he'll spend his money on?
'I've been waiting a short while. But it was really good.
'I'm glad I've done it.'
I can see myself coming away from cars and going into boats, really.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Aled Jones and Jonty Hearnden visit siblings John and Kate Stelling at home in Croydon. They grew up surrounded by their father's collections of stamps and militaria, but now they hope to find new homes for the mementos and raise some cash to drive their own interests. John is after a new boat, while Kate would like her car restored.