Jennie Bond and expert Jonty Hearnden visit Susie Silvey and her daughter Sarah in London. The girls hope to raise £500 to pay for a luxury spa day in Cyprus.
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Welcome to the show that hunts for antiques and collectables in your home
in the hope of raising money for some project or adventure.
We've all wondered whether we've picked up a gem in a jumble sale or charity shop,
or if an heirloom is truly valuable.
Will today be the day that I get to tell someone
they've got some serious cash in the attic?
Coming up on Cash in the Attic:
our rummage throws up some creative differences.
-It's like a vortex or something!
-Or the inside of a hairy ear!
Jonty goes all gangster with our host's items!
-It's a machine gun, yes?
-No, it's not a machine gun!
At the sale, our expert finds himself in a familiar situation.
-I'm absolutely gobsmacked!
-I knew you would be!
Be there when the hammer falls!
I can hardly believe this. It is so peaceful and quiet here.
But I'm in the middle of north London
on my way to meet Susie Silvey who wants to reward her daughter with a special holiday.
Susie's modest but comfortable home is packed with vintage clothing
which she and daughter Sarah regularly enjoy delving into.
Susie's been involved in fashion, acting and modelling for most of her life.
She spent time as a fashion designer before a spell in the world of show business
led to appearances alongside some of Britain's best-loved comedians.
Let's hope we'll all be laughing at the end of our day here.
While Jonty gets the search underway,
I'd better meet our hosts.
Hey, how are you?
I hear you deserve a reward. What have you been up to?
I recently finished my A-levels and got two B's and a C.
So Mum wants to treat me and take me on holiday.
-Where are you going to take her?
-To Cyprus, to a hotel with a spa.
We'll spoil ourselves. I think we both deserve it, actually.
How much do you think we might be able to raise?
I hope we'll be able to raise at least 500, to cover our spa treatments.
Shall we look around, get rummaging? Come on. Let's go.
I love looking around people's houses!
Susie's cosy home seems to have plenty of pieces
which reflect her taste and personality.
And with plenty of years at the coalface of the collectables trade,
Jonty Hearnden is definitely the man who can!
-I knew he'd got started already.
This box here says, "Mum's wedding dress."
-Is that your mum?
-No, it was given to my uncle who runs a little theatre in Brighton.
Because he said they didn't think they'd be using it, he gave it to me.
-So it's somebody else's mum's wedding dress.
I love wedding dresses.
-So this is the said mum, I suppose.
that's the mum. She looks a bit like Greta Garbo, actually.
It's a weird-looking dress.
-It's unusual, isn't it?
-Let's have a look, shall we?
Wow, look at that.
-Satin. I think that's quite nice.
-I've been cruel.
-You're being rude.
Why am I holding it up? It should be you.
That's amazing quality. A couture piece.
-Is this something we can take to auction?
-Maybe somebody else can get the pleasure to wear it.
But it is a limited market because it's a wedding dress.
Who'll wear a dress of this quality? Will they want a new one?
We could get as much as £50,
-maybe even £70.
-Yes, that sounds good.
Our rummage gets even better when Sarah spots this Victorian oak sewing box
which her great-grandfather kept his papers in.
Sewing boxes were a common accessory for ladies of the 19th century
and because they were so solidly made, plenty have survived to this day.
This example is rather attractive and should be worth 20 to £30
of anyone's money. Susie's artistic nature
has meant she's collected a host of stylish works of art.
Not least one by a very well-known name.
-What are we looking at?
-It's a Henry Moore print. I assume it's a print. Have a look.
Wow. Look at that. That's his signature there.
You can tell that is his signature because it was probably originally done in felt tip
and it's slightly faded.
-Do you know what we're looking at here?
-I have no idea.
-It's like a vortex.
-Or the inside of a hairy ear!
It's actually part of an elephant scar.
There's no name greater in 20th-century art
from Britain than Henry Moore.
-He was incredibly successful.
His art has gone, and his sculptural work has gone, up and up in value
since his death.
And to have something like this, just to have his signature, though it's faded.
As far as value goes, if this had been in good condition, really crisp condition,
well in excess of £100.
But I need to err on the side of caution because it is so faded.
But it's still 60 to £80 of anybody's money.
I wonder if there'll be enough artistically-minded bidders at the auction
to give that Henry Moore print an impressive hammer price.
Wow! Oh, my God!
We'll find out later on.
We're doing rather well so far, though, with £150 of valuations.
That leaves us with £350 to find.
Sarah's proving she has an eye for an antique when she uncovers
a collection of 1950s ladies' evening bags.
They belonged to Susie's grandmother who was also a keen follower of fashion.
There's always a market for vintage handbags in good condition
and Jonty gives these a price tag of 20 to £30.
It's nice to have a break from the rummaging
and it gives me a chance to look at your life. What a colourful life it's been, so far!
These caught me eye. There you are. That's Little and Large.
Dick Emery, Ronnie Corbett. You've worked with a lot of people.
I've worked with so many different comedians, all really good fun.
Out of all that lot, who stands out in your mind?
I think Dick Emery, definitely.
We were sort of mates, really. He was a lovely person.
Sometimes you hear that comics off screen are really quite morose.
He was quite a serious man. When he used to play the vicar and the motorcycle boy and the funny woman,
and he'd say, "Ooh, you are awful, but I like you!",
he was actually quite not depressed but quite serious and a bit down sometimes.
So did you give acting up, then?
I didn't give it up, but my daughter took a lot of my time up. I brought her up on my own.
And it was difficult to work from 5.00am till 11.00pm.
-Do you miss it?
-Not as much as I thought I would,
but I still get a little buzz when I do a bit of acting.
I've learnt a lot about you. It's fascinating. We could stay here all day, but...
-We have to get on.
-I can hear them rummaging. Let's join them.
As we get back to work, I come across a pair of early 20th century cigarette cases
which belonged to Susie's great-grandfather.
These used to be fashionable accessories and were popular with soldiers in the World Wars.
There are lots of collectors looking for interesting examples of cigarette cases
so Jonty gives this pair a value of 30 to £50.
Jonty, I've found something.
A-ha. It is a machine gun, yes?
-No, it's not a machine gun.
-Look at this.
-It's a violin.
-Is this for sale?
-Yeah, it is. Yeah.
-Whose is it?
Um, it belonged to my granddad. He thought one day it would be of use to me.
But I wasn't too keen on playing the violin.
But it was something that me and my mum just treasured in the house.
Has it always been in this condition?
It's in pretty poor condition. We're missing a string.
Yeah. I don't think my granddad used it.
-It must have been used before it was passed on.
It looks well used!
Before I take it out of the case,
I want to look on the outside to see if we have any maker's marks.
We've got a label here. "The Maidstone. Murdoch, Murdoch & Co. London."
That's interesting, because these violins were often made in Germany or the Czech Republic.
And Murdoch & Murdoch sold them and distributed them to schools
so that by definition they were cheap at the time.
On the open market at the moment there's a flood of imports coming in from the Far East,
which is sometimes depressing the second-hand market for violins.
This is sort of where we're at with this.
-So this at auction is 30 to £50.
-Are you happy about selling it?
-Yes, more than happy to sell it.
Excellent. If it's that price, we've got a lot more searching to do.
-I'll follow you.
So we'll need to step up a gear to avoid the violins playing in the sale room.
Happily, it looks as if Susie's got it covered
when she finds this collection of ladies' shawls, including a 1930s Art Deco example
which belonged to her grandmother.
Vintage clothing, like handbags, is very popular these days.
With an estimate of 60 to £80,
we hope there'll be some interest on the day.
There really do seem to be fabrics and fashions everywhere in this house.
I've found something that looks like it might be interesting.
-Do you know anything about this?
-I know it's a cape. I don't know what it was used for.
-Let's have a look.
-It's very beautiful.
-Do you know where this came from?
-Yes, it was my great-grandmother's.
When she passed away, my mother had first choice of her belongings.
And this was something she chose, with other stuff.
If you look at the design of this cape, the design of the pattern on here, for instance,
it's probably from Kashmir.
All this would be hand embroidered.
It would have been probably made for somebody in the Raj
when India was part of the British Empire.
-At auction we're looking at 50 to £70 here.
I think this is absolutely fabulous. I might even put it on myself!
-Shall I put it on?
-You could do.
No, on second thoughts, no!
It's wonderful. Great. One for the auction. Let's carry on.
Maybe he will on the day. You never know.
Time's running out on our rummage.
But our expert's eye is soon caught by this collection of framed pastels of rural scenes.
Given to Susie by a friend a few years ago,
they were languishing in her attic until she rediscovered them and had them framed.
They're signed by Elizabeth Mason, who, though not a well-known name,
is clearly a gifted artist.
So Jonty values them
at 150 to £200.
It looks as if our expert's artistic knowledge is serving him well today.
Could he have spotted something rather special?
I found this rather substantial nude on your wall.
Where did it come from?
I bought it when I was working in the West End and saw it one lunchtime
in a charity shop and I fell in love with it.
It's pastel and it's so pretty, the colours and everything.
-Pastel has that lovely tranquillity to it, doesn't it?
-Yes, very subtle.
I wonder who the lady is. Any clues?
There is a clue, because on the back here - have you seen this before?
-You probably saw it in the charity shop.
There's a label here. It says the title of the work, "Laura".
This is the name of the artist, Dorothy King, with her address in London.
And, more importantly still, we have the price.
£12, 12 shillings.
So it's a lot of money. How old do you think she is?
She looks a bit like Elizabeth Taylor,
so I was thinking probably around the 1950s?
Yes, I think she's 1950s if you look at her face.
-Her facial features.
-Laura could be watching!
-Laura would be very embarrassed!
-If she's still alive.
As far as nudes go, they're not everybody's cup of tea.
Sometimes they're quite easy to sell, sometimes quite difficult.
It really depends on the composition. You love it and bought it. Do you want a price?
What did you pay for it? We know it was £12 and 12 shillings once.
I paid about 35 or £40 for it.
I'm hoping we can at least double that, at the very least.
So I would put a value on her
-between 80 and £120. You look a bit disappointed.
-I was thinking that she might fetch more than that.
That's quite good. It's doubled your investment.
-Yes, but we'll have to wait and see.
-Happy to put it in?
Yes, but I wondered if it would fetch more. It might do.
-Let's hope it does. Wouldn't that be nice?
-That would be wonderful.
At the start of the day we said £500 would do nicely.
Buy you lots of massages on your holiday.
We reckon with the things we've identified round the house
and based on Jonty's lowest estimates,
at auction, with any luck, you will make £550.
-Wow, how exciting.
We'll try to find out a little more about the history of that pastel before it goes under the hammer.
I've enjoyed my time here with Susie and her daughter, Sarah.
We've certainly managed to turn up a few glamorous pieces for auction.
That Henry Moore poster is signed by the great man himself.
Will a bidder part with at least £60 for a real piece of art history?
At 30 to £50 our modestly-priced violin should get some interest going in the sale room.
And the beautifully-detailed Kashmiri cape dates back to the Raj.
Fingers crossed it'll fetch a grand price under the hammer
at 50 to £70.
Still to come on Cash in the Attic,
Jonty's thrifty side shows through.
It's best to keep it as a jewellery box. When was the last time you darned your socks?
I don't remember!
And all bets are on for one particular piece.
150 is my bottom estimate. Let's see who's nearest.
-Let's see who's right.
Find out more when the final hammer falls.
Now, I love a spa treatment as much as the next woman,
but it sounds as though Susie and Sarah are crazy about them!
Today we've brought what we found at their home to Tring market auctions in Hertfordshire.
I'm hoping we can raise at least £500
so they can truly indulge themselves.
There's a buzz in the sale room today.
I'm hoping there are plenty of bidders
who'll appreciate Susie's impressive selection of art and vintage clothes.
Susie and Sarah are already here. Are they having second thoughts about selling the pastel?
-How are you?
-You're saying a fond farewell?
-Yes, I got attached to her on my wall. She's quite pretty.
-She is lovely.
-I remember you weren't impressed with my valuation in your house?
-I've put a reserve of £100 on it.
-I'm happy with that.
-Slap bang in the middle of my estimate.
-He says! Woo!
-One up for you!
The room is wonderfully busy. Hopefully we'll do very well.
-I think it's going to start. Let's find a good spot.
-Brilliant. Let's go!
As we take our places for the start of the auction,
first under the hammer are the silver cigarette cases.
They aren't as fashionable as they once were,
but will they appeal to someone here?
I think they might fetch £50. £30. Five. 40. Five. 50.
Going at 65.
70. And five? No?
£70, then, for those two silver ones. At £70.
Thank you very much.
-That's good, isn't it? That's silver, isn't it? Silver is good.
That's how you have to estimate in an auction room.
-You have to make them so cheap that you want, just here, four or five people fighting for them.
Next up is the pastel life study of a lady called Laura.
Susie's put a reserve of £100 on it.
The artist, Dorothy King, was born in 1907
and was a graduate of the famous Slade School of Art.
In later life, she taught drawing in south London.
Her work comes up at auction quite often.
But will her name appeal to today's bidders?
-Do you think it's going to make it?
-There's something about that painting.
-Here we go. Confidence. See how we go.
120 for it? £100? £50?
£40 bid then. 40 I'm bid. 50 I'm bid.
60, 70, 80, 90. Is it 100?
£100 and you're out, madam.
At £100 and I shall sell to sir.
Wow. Well done.
That's a good result and should really help Susie to her target.
Another work of art next. This signed Henry Moore poster
spent years languishing in various cupboards at Susie's house.
-60 to £80.
-Simply because it's signed, but we've got damage
so not sure where we'll go with this one.
Where do we start? Do we start around £100 for it?
Do we start at 50? We do. Do we get 60, 70, 80.
80 I'm bid for it. 90. Are you going to bid £100? £100. For £100.
-Oh, my God!
I sell, then, for £100.
-Yeah, thank you. Wonderful. I'm so pleased.
Another healthy addition to Susie's spa fund.
It goes to show how much a signature adds value to items like this.
Next up is the Victorian oak sewing box.
But there's a bit of confusion about its real purpose.
Our next lot is what they describe as a jewellery box.
We know it as a sewing box.
It's best to keep it as a jewellery box. When was the last time you darned your socks?
I don't remember. I don't remember that!
OK. We want £20 for this, OK?
What about £70 for it? £50? £30? 20 bid.
And five. 35.
Here's a cheapie. 35. £40. Five now then?
-£40. You have it then, sir, for £40. Thank you very much.
-That was double, wasn't it?
-It's over the estimate. It's double.
-Aren't we doing well?
Whether it's used for storing cotton reels or necklaces,
that oak box still came in at £10 over its upper estimate.
Today's auction has a real artistic theme.
Which is unsurprising when you consider Susie's love of things creative.
-Now, these are the Elizabeth Mason pictures, yes?
-You've got a high reserve on them.
-I have, yes.
-300, the reserve.
-I put 150 to £200 on the whole collection.
-So you've doubled my bottom-end estimate!
-It was disappointing.
-Let's see who's nearest!
-Let's see who's right!
150 I'm bid for the eight of them.
160 and 70. And 80. And 90.
200, sir? At £200. And ten.
And 20. And 30. And 40.
And 50. Any more?
260. And 70 now, then. At £260, then.
Not quite enough, I'm sorry.
Oh, dear. If those pastels had sold at their reserve price,
they would certainly have been cause for celebration.
OK. We're half-way through now.
We've taken a bit of a hit with those paintings not selling.
Our target is £500. We'd hoped to be at 250 by now
-so you can have those lovely spa treatments.
But so far, with the no sale,
-you've made £310.
-Wow! Very good!
-I'm really pleased with that.
Let's hope the sale room stays as lively in the second half.
If you're thinking about buying or selling items at auction,
remember there are fees to be paid, such as commission, so check in advance.
Now, vintage clothing usually does well at auction.
We're hoping that our varied selection of handbags
unearthed by Sarah make their mark today.
-Did none of them take your fancy?
-There's something special about them, definitely.
-A lot of people had their eye on them today.
-Lots of people.
-I put a very low figure on these.
-20 to £30. We should do more than that.
-No reason why not.
-But let's get them really excited.
-Here we go.
£50. They're very smart. It's that time of the year for those. £30.
£20. Five. 30. Five. Going.
£35. 40 anywhere?
At £35. No more for you, sir?
At £35. Thank you very much.
-That's all right.
-What was the estimate? 20 to 30?
-20 to 30.
-£35, very good.
-She's a bit disappointed.
Only a little bit. Marginally.
I don't think she should be too unhappy.
We seem to be doing rather well.
Next under the hammer is the battered violin that belonged to Sarah's granddad.
Would a bidder fork out 30 to £50?
There you are. £50 for it. 50? 30?
£20. At £20 and five. £30 and five.
No more? OK, then, at £30.
I shall sell the violin for £30. Thank you.
-What was it estimated at?
-30 to £50.
-I'm a bit disappointed, but it did need restoration.
After years of neglect,
let's hope it finally receives some much-needed TLC.
Art and vintage clothing are the main themes of Susie's auction today.
These shawls were collected by her and her family over many years.
-Have you ever tried these on?
-I haven't, no.
-They don't take your fancy?
-They're rather heavy.
So they can go, as far as you're concerned?
-OK. Jonty thinks they should go for 60 to £80.
-Very nice quality.
-OK. Let's see if we can do it.
They're very nice, aren't they? Look at those.
For that special evening where you need a shawl.
I know the feeling!
£100 for the three of them? They really are rather nice. £30?
Yes. 40. 50. 60.
One more? £60 for the shawls. £70. £80 now.
-70's got them.
I'm selling them, then, madam, at £70. Thank you very much.
-Bang in the middle of the estimate.
A good result. I can smell those aromatherapy oils already!
Staying with clothing, Jonty thought the vintage Kashmiri cape which belonged to Susie's mother
was a very attractive piece, conjuring up the days of the Raj.
I put 50 to £70. I hope we do more than that. It's absolutely fabulous.
-The gold thread and the Kashmir.
-The detail as well.
You'll have to go up and sell it yourself!
£20 is bid for the cape. And five. And 30. And five? No more?
At £30, then, I shall sell it.
Yes, you have your cape for £30.
-We want more.
-He sold it.
-He sold it quickly, didn't he?
-He sold it.
-Yes. Disappointing after all that.
-Well, we made more on some other things, so...
-Strange, isn't it?
I'm surprised it didn't do better. The right bidder wasn't in the room today.
Our final lot now, and that 1930s wedding dress
was donated as a prop to a theatre company run by Susie's uncle.
We don't know who the original wearer was,
but I wonder if there's a bride-to-be with their eye on it today?
-We won't need a wedding dress in the near future?
Maybe not this one.
I know a little lady who might like that. A wedding dress.
-Are we going to get close to £100 for it?
-We hope so!
40. 50. 60.
I thought you'd like... 70. What about 80?
Nearly in spring.
-90. 100? 100.
-You've got 100.
-£100 I'm bid for the wedding dress.
I shall sell the wedding dress. Yours for £100. Thank you, madam.
-I wonder if they'll use it as a wedding dress?
-They'll wear it for something.
-Or frame it.
-I'm absolutely gobsmacked!
-I knew you would be.
-She knows what she's talking about.
-Great. I'm really pleased for you.
-So am I.
I have to say I'm surprised, too.
But £100 really is a terrific result.
I wonder if that dress will find its way down the aisle again?
Susie's items have gone down well with today's bidders.
The question now is, how much have we made?
£500 was our target this morning.
At this point, I have to tell you that you've done it!
-You've made £575.
-Wow! That's amazing!
-575? That's great!
-And I didn't sell the paintings! Even better.
-We still made the money.
-I know why she's so cheerful!
All those facials and treatments!
Enjoy. That's what I say. I wish I could be there, too!
Fresh from their break in Cyprus,
Susie and Sarah waste no time in banishing the winter blues back home
with a couple of finishing touches to their holiday treatments.
We went on holiday to Cyprus, which was amazing, and we sunbathed a lot.
We went jogging along the front and had a few spa treatments.
We went to some nice bars.
Had some lovely cocktails. It was good fun. Very relaxing.
I loved Cash in the Attic. It was amazing to do.
A great experience at the auction,
and it made me feel I wanted to be an antique dealer!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd