Series looking at the value of household junk. Rodney and Jean Berman are downsizing and they also need cash to fund a trip to Hong Kong to visit their son.
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Welcome to the show that finds the hidden treasures in your home
and then we sell them at auction. Today, we're helping a family
who have a fascination
with the Orient. They're looking to take a trip halfway around the world
for a family reunion.
Let's see if we can find some cash in their attic.
'Today, there's some white gold, in amongst the family heirlooms.'
That is absolutely fantastic. Are you going to wear this?
Well, apparently not!
'Maybe we'll have better luck with the family silverware?'
-Is it complete?
-Where's the bread knife?
-I thought you wouldn't notice!
'Nothing gets past me, but this wastepaper bin
'had uses even I hadn't foreseen.'
-It's a plant pot!
Well, a wastepaper bin/planter.
'Whatever you call it, it's bound to be of value when the hammer falls.'
Rodney and Jean Berman have lived in this bungalow for over 30 years.
Though he's semi-retired,
Rodney still jets around the world on business trips,
usually accompanied by their son, Joel.
With their four children having flown the nest,
The Bermans now feel ready to downsize,
but it's to help with another long-haul trip that they've called
in the Cash In The Attic team.
The Bermans' home looks as if it's packed with collectables.
Paul Hayes has already got to work.
With 20 years' experience as a dealer,
he's just the right man for the job.
A-ha. Good morning. Looking at flights?
-Where are you planning on going?
-To Hong Kong.
OK. Any particular reason?
We have a son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren there,
so we're planning to visit.
-Joel, are you going?
Not unless you find something REALLY good!
-What do you think of your parents going?
They should get out more often, go travelling, see the family.
-I understand that you're selling this house.
-It's on the market.
-Too big for two of us.
-They've all gone, have they?
They've all left the nest.
So you decided, that's enough housework!
Yes. Instead of the children coming to visit us, we will visit them.
So, if you want to raise the money for going to Hong Kong,
what figure are you looking at?
-I was hoping for £1,000.
So we need to raise £1,000 for this trip to Hong Kong.
-Shall we get the items valued, then? Find Paul?
-Follow me, then.
Family ties are clearly important,
so let's see what we can do to get them on that trip.
In the hallway, something has stopped Paul in his tracks.
-Good morning. Where was that?
-How unusual is that? It's like a gate or door.
-It is an old gate.
It came from Marrakech.
I tried to find out more of the history from my friend in Marrakech.
He tells me it's the door of the big gates that go into a courtyard.
So they could just walk in.
I tried to find out how old it is. He thinks it goes back a long time.
-What do you think, Paul?
-I'd say 19th century.
If not a little earlier. They used camel or cow bone instead of ivory.
It would be profusely decorated.
If we put this to auction with at least £100, £150.
-How does that sound?
-Sounds pretty good.
So, while Paul flexes his rummaging muscles with that intriguing gate,
Rodney's already busy
turning up this impressive set of plates by Royal Worcester,
a prestigious manufacturer with a timeless appeal,
famous for fine decoration.
Paul values this 1960s set
at a distinguished...
Jean's happy to part with this collection of oriental furniture -
a cabinet, side table and mirror.
They brought them back from Hong Kong in the late 1970s.
Paul gives the lot a price tag of...
-Paul, come and look at these chairs a minute.
-Where are you?
-Oh! These are nice, aren't they? Is this your style?
These are like a director's chair. How long have you had these?
These we've had about 30 years.
-Just the two of them?
-Just the two. We bought a matched pair.
-Are these inherited?
We bought these in a high street store in London.
They're extremely modern.
They were developed in the 1920s
and were extremely popular, very modern.
A guy called Marcel Breuer made the design for them.
1920, just come out of the First World War, everything was dark,
These were a totally different look. He was a revolutionary, a modernist.
Only now we call it Art Deco, in hindsight. It was ultra modern.
Apparently, he was inspired by the handlebars on his push bike.
He thought, "Why don't we make furniture from these?"
He bent chromium tubes, which make the frame, then the use of leather.
What you end up with is a very geometric, very funky design.
I think they're fantastic.
You'll certainly get your money back. They were a great investment.
You've had use of them for 30 years. I think someone will fancy those.
If I was selling them, you're looking at the 300 mark.
Not a bad return after 30 years.
-You get your money back.
They're quite light to shift, but we'll leave that to somebody else.
Paul's attention turns to this pair of gold watches.
The round watch belonged to Jean's Polish grandmother.
The square rotary watch was Jean's mother's.
Paul values them at...
-How long ago did you meet?
-We actually met at school.
Right, so was it love at first sight, Jean?
-I'm sure it was.
-And was it the same for you, Rodney?
-How long have you been married?
-For 42 years.
-That's a long time.
A lot of that time, Rodney, you've been away because of the business.
We were married when I was 21.
-I've been travelling to the Far East for 40 years.
What's your secret ingredient for being together for this long?
Well, he used to always bring me something nice back.
-That helps, let's be honest!
-He used to bring for the children, as well.
When was the last time you saw your son who lives in Hong Kong?
The children were here in the summer for the first time in four years,
but he was only here for a short time.
We want you to raise the money for those tickets to Hong Kong.
-Shall we see if Paul's found something?
'All this talk of globe-trotting is tiring me out.'
There's no time to rest if we're to send the Bermans to Hong Kong.
Paul's spotted a figurine which was given to Jean as a gift.
It's made by the popular firm Lladro, which started in the 1950s
and gets a modest price tag...
At auction, I wonder whether the little Lladro boy
will find someone to give him a new home.
£20, I'm bid, for the lovely Lladro.
'Will he reach his estimated price?'
I've got to sell. Two. 22. Five. 25...
Stay with us and find out.
As our rummage continues, chez Berman,
we've passed the halfway mark on our way to £1,000.
-Lorne. Paul. What do you think of this?
-Look at that!
What a lovely canteen.
This is a 12-piece cutlery set, bone handled.
It was left to my parents in 1983.
The person who left it got it as a wedding present in the 1930s.
-That's what we think is the history.
-You hit the nail on the head.
These are often wedding presents, and 1930s fits in with this example.
The original idea goes back to the 18th century.
This is a silver table, it would be in your room with your teapot,
maybe your sugar and cream sat on the side ready for use.
As time progressed, it turned into a canteen.
We've got Queen Anne legs, the ball and claw feet,
a power symbol of the 18th century.
-Is it complete?
-Where's the bread knife?
I thought you wouldn't notice!
I wouldn't have, except for the big sign that says "bread knife".
-Can you get another one?
-You can always get another one.
It's very hard to find the exact one that would match this canteen.
You could get a "marriage". It's almost right, but not quite.
What value are we talking about, Paul?
The 200 mark, upwards.
If two people fancy it, we could do quite well with it.
-What do you think about that valuation?
-That makes sense.
It has got the bread knife missing. I think that's fair value.
Good, well, that's going to help. Shall we see what else we can find?
Another terrific item to take to auction.
Joel unearths a bone china tea set
by the Derbyshire company, Abbeydale.
There are plenty of Abbeydale admirers, including Paul,
who values this set at a refreshing...
-I wonder, Paul, if these are any interest.
-Ah, now, then.
These are nice, aren't they? Little chariots.
-Where are these from?
-They came from Japan.
-What a nice thing!
-It must be exciting seeing all these exotic places.
-It must have been.
What's beautiful about all Japanese items
is they have a style of their own.
Japan was a closed country until the late 19th century.
All their styles and work was individual.
The metalwork is superb quality.
It comes from making Samurai swords, part of Japanese dress.
When they adopted the Western style, they had wonderful metalworkers.
They made items from silver and bronze.
They're regarded as the best in the world.
This is solid silver. It's been made with the European market in mind.
In English, it's got "Japan" and "sterling".
It's telling us this is good quality.
If this was made from 100% pure silver, it would be too soft.
They have to mix it with an alloy, usually copper.
That gives it its sterling standard. It has to be at least 92.5% pure.
But these have a use. They have a little trap door.
You'd put a powder in there.
One has a narrow hole, one has a large hole.
The narrow for salt, the large for pepper.
I think they're top quality.
If you've got a Japanese and a silver collector,
-they should do well.
-That sounds lovely.
-Let's put them somewhere safe, back in the drawer.
-Thank you very much.
It's been a journey of discovery,
with items from every corner of the world.
The search isn't quite over yet.
-I've just found this in the other room.
-That's a nice one.
It's a white gold Jaeger-LeCoultre dress watch.
I was going to ask if it was silver or gold!
Is that what you keep for best?
When you're dressed up, going to a wedding or a charity function, it looks the part.
What I want to find out is the carat value. Do you know?
-Is it 9 carat or 18 carat?
It is. It says 750.
That means that it's 75% pure gold, which is 18-carat, as we know it.
It's called a mesh design, it's all interlaced like rope.
Very popular in the 1960s, 1970s.
It can split through overuse, but this is perfect.
I have seen splits where someone's tried to repair it
and you get these horrible blobs.
Are you going to wear this, then?
-Is this being handed down?
I didn't know about this watch.
It's a beautiful watch, but things go in and out of fashion.
To sell this now, you're looking...
-That sounds good to me.
-Would you put a reserve on it?
On your basis, maybe 750, 800?
If you're happy with that, say about 700.
Put that reserve on it as a minimum and see how it goes.
What a fantastic thing!
What a great result.
The Bermans stand to make around £1,650,
well beyond their original target.
It won't be long before their lovely items come up for auction.
Let's hope their success or failure doesn't hinge on that Moroccan gate.
The charming rickshaw salt and pepper pots should prove tempting.
And there's the impressive set of Far Eastern furniture.
I can't wait to see how that gets on.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic,
Joel is keen to distance himself from the Lladro boy.
-Nothing to do with you?
-Nothing to do with me. It's hideous!
'Will Rodney be happy with the auctioneer's pricing?'
His price is unreasonable. It's far too low.
And will Jean's expectations be met when the final hammer falls?
When we met the Berman family, they were in the process of downsizing.
That involved clearing out 30 years worth of clutter.
We found some very collectable pieces, that we've brought here
to Frank Marshall auction rooms in Knutsford.
They want to raise £1,000 to visit their son Daniel in Hong Kong.
Let's hope the bidders are enthusiastic when our items go under the hammer today.
They say the early bird gets the worm. As soon as the doors open,
potential bidders are eagerly looking over today's best buys.
Jean, Rodney and Joel are eager to see
if they can still raise that £1,000 total.
-Good morning. How are you?
-Are you? You've moved, of course.
-Yes, we've left the big house, now.
Some of your furniture is here, so is it like deja vu?
It is strange to see it in a confined space. It was spread round the house.
-It's not just furniture, Paul.
-We have a real mixed lot.
-Some Chinese items and a door from Marrakech!
-Like you do!
It's quiet because everything's happening upstairs.
-Shall we go and get in position?
-Yes, let's go.
'We'll leave the furniture area and go upstairs to the collectables.
'It'll be fascinating to see how the family's smaller items fare.
'We're in position, as the first item goes before the room.
'It's the pair of gold watches, valued at...
Right, I can start the bidding at £130.
Five? 130 bid. Any more? At 130.
135. 140 on commission.
145. 150. Commission bid of £150.
Any more? Are you out in the room, 150?
All done at 150.
That's a great result!
Certainly was, and we're hoping Rodney's very smart dress watch
in white gold could do even better.
Right, I can start the bidding on commission at £810...
..Anybody else? At 810. I'll take 820, if you like.
Are you bidding? 820. 830 here.
At 830. Any more? 840. £840.
850, on commission. At 850.
Last chance, is at 850.
There you go. Are you pleased with that? That's fantastic.
'We're already winding up very close to our overall target!
'The Japanese silver cruet set fails to get the bidders going.
At 35. Any advance, then, quickly...?
-He's not going to sell them.
-..Yes or no, at 35?
Not quite there, I'm afraid.
'So, it heads home with Jean.
'The Abbeydale tea set does find a new owner, though...
£38. At 38. Take 40. At £38, the bid's on my left. 40, sir?
-He's going to let it go.
There you go.
..albeit a little short of Paul's £50 estimate.
'Hopefully, the canteen of cutlery
'will get a more enthusiastic response.
'We're looking for £200.'
Nice lot, there. Where are you going to be?
Should be a couple of hundred pounds. 200.
Where are you going to be? One? 100, surely. 100 I've got.
£100 I'm bid. And ten.
120. 130. 140. 140 at the back. £140.
50 where? At £140. In the doorway at 140.
Last chances, now.
He's let it go. £140. That's less than we wanted, isn't it?
'Not as much as we hoped, but with the bread knife missing,
'£140 isn't too bad.
'Rodney and Jean's trip to visit their son Daniel is edging closer.'
Completely into modern collectables. This is a Lladro figurine.
Lladro is the one people really like to see.
This one's really sweet - a little child with a dummy.
-Nothing to do with you?
-Nothing to do with me. It's hideous.
-You're not going to miss it?
Cute little figure, there. £40.
Where are you going to start me? 20? 20...
It must be more than 20.
..At £20? At £20 only...
It's a bargain.
We've got to sell. Two. 22.
Five? 25. Eight? £28 at the back.
Any advance on 28? Here to go. At the back of the room at £28.
-Don't think that was close to your heart now, was it?
'I think Joel's over that one!
'The Lladro boy is one item
'the Bermans are pleased to see the back of.
At the halfway point, we've already made our target and then some,
'with £1,206 in the kitty.
'We've got six more lots, too, so who knows where we'll end up?
'If you've been inspired to try an auction,
remember that charges apply, whether buying or selling.
'Your sale room will give you all the details.
'Our last lot upstairs
'is the Royal Worcester dinner service,
'but the bidders don't seem keen.
80, then? Anybody here for it?
£80? No? Come on.
If you're not interested, we're not going to sell it.
OK? £80? Leave it.
-Are you relieved that he hasn't sold it for £80?
'A no sale for the dinner service but, since we've made our target,
'we're far from all washed-up.
'In the furniture room,
'I'm curious what the bidders will make of that door from Marrakech.'
There's been a discussion on the price.
-Paul, what was the estimate you put on it?
-A minimum of £100.
It's a fantastic example, but where else do you compare a price to it?
The auctioneer disagreed and said 20 to 30.
I disagree with the auctioneer. That's a ridiculously low value.
What's your view?
His price is unreasonable, I think. It's far too low.
-Do you have a bottom-line figure in mind?
-I think £50.
-So we need to make at least £50.
-Let's find some middle ground. £50.
Marrakech hardwood door panel. Good decorator's piece this.
Where are we going to go? £50?
£50 anywhere? £50? £40? £30 start me?
Good decorator's lot at £30.
Who'll start me off at £30? Need to start this going at £30.
I have a reserve. Thank you, madam. 30, I am bid. 35. 40. Five.
£50 seated. On my right at £50. Anyone else coming in?
The bid's in the room, on my right at £50.
You're relieved you haven't got to turn it into a coffee table!
'Someone found a use for it.
'Only half of Paul's estimate,
'but comfortably beating the one set by the auction house.'
Next it's the Chinese furniture.
According to the catalogue, a four-piece set
comprising a side table, a cabinet, a mirror and a wastepaper bin.
-Oh, it's a plant pot!
-Yeah. A planter.
Well, wastepaper bin/planter.
-That's what it says. What can I say?
Four good bits in the lot for £80. 70, 60, 50 will start me. 50?
At £50? £40? Someone going to start the bidding at £40?
Nice decorative Chinese suite of furniture.
Surely someone at £40? £30? How low do you go? 30 I'm bid.
35 against you. 40. Five.
45 to my right, now. Any further bid on £45? Not a dear lot this at £45.
Last chance. Selling, then, at £45.
-Bit of a disappointment.
That is really disappointing.
'Plant pot or wastepaper bin, it was a bargain.
'Let's hope, for the family's sake, the rest of the sale goes better.'
I put these in as a pair but the auctioneer's split them up.
Realistically, we're looking for £100 a chair.
There's another one matching coming up afterwards.
I've got commission bids and I'm going to start on the book at...
-£60, we're in.
..85. 95. 100 with me. 110. You're in there.
-£110. Book's out. 110...
..130, conflicting bids. £130, with the porter's bids.
At 130 in the room. Any further bid? All finished at £130...?
-£130! That is good, isn't it?
'Not bad at all. A comfortable £130.
'Will the second chair make as much for the Bermans' travel fund?'
Straight in at 130. At £130.
Any advance at 130? Anyone else? All done at 130. I'm selling here.
That was good, then, wasn't it? Absolutely.
'An excellent result and a nice conclusion to our auction.
'Rodney and Jean have raised a tidy sum for that all-important family visit to the Far East.'
-You wanted £1,000 to go and see Daniel in Hong Kong.
-Do you think you've got anything like that?
You've got £1,561!
-Thank you very much.
-Mind you, you're taking a few things home!
-Thank you, yes.
-We don't mind!
It's been a number of weeks since Rodney and Jean's day at auction.
To get a taste for their trip, the couple made the journey to London
to the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.
We've come to get a flavour of the Chinese New Year,
because we're going to spend our money in the Far East.
I've had an association with Hong Kong for many years.
It's always been business trips,
but this time we thought we'd spend it as purely family time.
Series looking at whether household junk could be worth a small fortune. Not only are Rodney and Jean Berman downsizing in readiness for a house move, they also need cash to fund a trip to Hong Kong, to visit their son. Lorne Spicer and Paul Hayes provide expert eyes as they hunt for items around the home to sell at auction.