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Welcome to the show where we ferret out the finest antiques in your home
and use them to help you with a special plan or project.
On today's Cash In The Attic, we'll meet a mother and son who have a solid business plan.
'Coming up, do we really need our expert when the information is at our fingertips?'
-She's told you all about it now and it's got a certificate. Your job's done.
-That's all sorted then.
'Can we be diplomatic in the face of his trick questions?'
-Have you seen your mum wear this belt?
-She used to be able to wear it.
-Perhaps the belt has shrunk.
'And it could be exciting at the auction when a bidding war erupts.'
200, sir. 220. 240.
-It's still going.
'See what happens when the hammer falls.'
We're in Devon with a family willing to part with some possessions
to help realise an artistic ambition.
'Leicestershire-born gardener and artist Sarah Bramley travelled the world before settling here in Devon
'where she used to holiday as a child.
'In the 1980s, she married a German diplomat and lived in Saudi Arabia where she worked as a TV presenter.
'Later, she married an American chemist and lived in California for 13 years where she had two sons.
'The youngest is Jasper, a musician, who is helping his mum here today.
'Sarah is looking for funding for a business idea,
'so we'll all be depending on sound advice from our valuer, Jonty Hearnden,
'who has more than 20 years' experience in antiques.
'He's off to make a start.'
-Hello. Any good ones?
-Nice, fresh apples.
-They're quite tasty.
-Feel free to have any.
-I might do that. We've got a big day ahead. I might get hungry.
-There's nothing like fresh picked fruit.
-We've got a big day ahead of us.
-This is Jasper?
-How old are you?
-Just done exams?
-I just finished my National Diploma in Music Technology.
-Shall we have any music today?
-Music is what I'm all about.
-Have you got lots of antiques?
-I hope so.
In my travels, I've picked up a few things that I thought were special.
What are we raising the money for?
I would like to get some of my paintings framed and some printed up into greetings cards,
so I'm hoping to be able to sell multiple copies of greetings cards, as opposed to one painting.
-How much money do you think we might be able to raise?
-Possibly around £600.
-Does that sound OK?
-That would do it.
-Jonty's probably already made a start.
-Follow me. I'll show you how to rummage.
-Let's see what he's got.
'Let's see whether we can help Sarah find enough bric-a-brac and collectables to take to auction.
'Jonty has already cast his expert eye over something interesting.'
-Here he is.
-Hello. Nice to see you.
-You've found something already?
-Yes, this really lovely, good quality rug here.
-It is so soft. It's lovely, isn't it?
-Where is it from?
I was told it's a Kashmir carpet.
I purchased it in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia when I lived there back in the '80s.
It is Kashmiri and you can tell that by its design.
-Kashmiri designs often have some birds or animals within their designs.
-But there are no animals in here at all.
-Have you used it?
Definitely. I got a lot of pleasure out of it over the years.
This rug is in very good order.
Not only are there no tears in it, because that diminishes its value,
but I also noticed that the coloration is very good, it's very even.
If you expose this to light, sometimes it can fade badly.
-I babied this one a bit more with it being silk and more delicate.
-Did you buy it new?
-I'm pretty sure it was new.
-How much was it?
-Less than £100, but I can't remember exactly how much.
-We should easily get your money back.
-We're looking at £100 to £150.
-I would be very happy with that.
-That's a very good start. Can you keep it up?
-I'm sure I can.
'Sarah's cared for that silk carpet so well, she may see it fly at the auction.
'In the hallway cupboard, I find a 14-carat gold necklace by an Italian company, Arte d'Oro.
'It was a present from a friend of Sarah's in the United States and Jonty prices it
'at £100 to £150.
'Jasper is on to one of his mother's Middle Eastern trinkets and Jonty spots the foreign hallmarks,
'confirming it as 95% solid silver.'
-Have you seen your mum wear this belt?
-No. She used to be able to wear it.
-That's what she told me.
-Perhaps the belt has shrunk, do you think?
No. I don't think it has.
-What sort of price would you put on this?
-Maybe in the hundreds?
We're looking at £50 to £100 for this.
Money is money, so we've got to be happy about it being worth better than nothing.
If I have disappointed you, it means that we've got some more items to look for. I'm going to follow you.
At the end of the day, a fair shout, a fair shout.
'Buoyed by that success, Jasper continues ferreting
'and soon finds these daintily decorated porcelain pill boxes.
'They are highly collectable, hand-painted in the Limoges region of France.
'It's doubtful any are more than 35 years old, so Jonty prices them together at £50 to £80.'
I really want to know more about Saudi Arabia. I think it's a fascinating country.
-Your mum lived there for three years?
-Yes, it was.
It was 1984 till 1987, I think,
which was a lovely time to go because it was a very peaceful time.
The troubles that we know now did not exist,
but it was still a time of innocence for the Saudi people.
I don't think an English person going to Riyadh now would see the country that I saw then, so I'm glad I went.
-I mean, such a young girl and such a culture shock, surely?
-It was a huge culture shock.
The first year, I was lonely, but I started working for Saudi Arabian television
and that was just a blast.
I started off in a children's show, did some continuity announcing,
and ended up reading a review of the international news every week.
-Jasper, can you imagine your mum as a TV presenter?
-I know she accomplished a lot.
And she still got lots of kicks and laughs out there.
-I detect a bit of a twang. You were born in America?
Do you think of yourself as American or British?
I consider myself more as a nomad. I go where my feet take me.
-You're really into music?
I do sequencing which involves using a computer and a keyboard to basically compose music.
And your mum's very artistic as well. Tell me more about your project then.
I've got several paintings that I've finished that need to be framed and it's quite expensive.
-So is the greeting card business something you want to get into?
If I can make money from selling greetings cards
and simultaneously be advertising the original painting,
that would be a very beneficial situation for me.
Jasper, how would you rate your mama as an artist out of ten?
I would say...10.5.
-What a diplomat!
-Oh, he's a loyal boy! I love it, I love it.
I love my mum's artwork, definitely.
Well, much as it's a great mutual admiration society, we'd better go and admire what Jonty's found.
'With four items valued, it seems we stand to make around £300, exactly half our target.
'We carry on moseying about the house and whatever we discover,
'it's Sarah's decision whether to sell it. How about this wall hanging?'
-This is something, other than all my little rubbishy stuff here...
-This is something that might interest you. It was a gift from somebody who lived in Greece.
-It looks really old.
I don't think it is. I think it is made recently, but it was made by Greek monks in a monastery.
It was bought by my friend in honour of being English. It's St George and he thought I might like that.
-She's told you all about it now and it's got a certificate on the back. Your job's done.
-That's all sorted.
-It's St George and the dragon. Isn't that wonderful?
He was around in the 3rd century AD.
He was a Roman soldier and he died as a Christian martyr.
-But the story of St George and the dragon comes back with the Crusaders.
-Has it been made to look old?
-Yes, this has been "antiqued"
because there's a big market in old iconography,
so this has been made to look like it's a good 200 or 300 years old.
I'm sure somebody out there will study this closely and realise it's been done very well,
so I do think it does have a market, even though it's brand-new,
-so I would say more like £40 to £60 at auction.
-Well, let's see.
-Lovely. To auction it will go.
'But will the bidders be quite so enamoured of this legendary hero?'
-Jasper, what do you reckon?
-I think possibly 45 or 50.
50? Nobody? £40 then...? £30 for it?
'Could a lack of faith in St George damage our total?'
-They don't like it.
-I can't go less than £20.
'Our search continues in the lounge where Jasper has turned up another beautiful woven rug.
'This one is woollen with a floral motif and was made by the craftsmen of Kashan in north central Iran.
'Jonty suggests it could fetch between £50 and £100.
'Next, Sarah unearths this unusual pottery bird table,
'made by Peggy Brown, an artist who died young in the 1970s.
'Jonty prices it at £30 to £50
'which would boost our card printing and picture framing fund.'
-Sarah, come and have a look at this cabinet, a sort of cabinet/chest, isn't it?
This is a Pakistani chest that I purchased in the marketplace in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
I'd lived there for three years and I haggled very hard for it.
I think I paid somewhere in the region of £80.
It's a lovely cabinet. What was your inspiration for buying it?
I love its functionality. It's beautiful to look at.
I can get a lot in here. I store all of my knitting needles and my sewing items in here,
so I think to have beauty and functionality combined is ideal in a piece of furniture.
It is from that part of the world and you can tell that really by the design work,
particularly this fine motif on the side.
Everything you see is hand-inlaid. The cabinet itself is hand-made as well.
It is a lady's vanity unit
and you can tell that by opening the inside where we have this lovely, intricate mirror
and we also have this velvet interior to put jewellery.
-I will put an estimate of £50 to £80 on it.
-Some more lovely things, please.
-Let's go look.
'Sarah relocated here from California where she worked in a luxury goods store in the mid-1990s.
'She bought this stone effect jewellery by an east coast designer, Jay Strongwater.
'Jonty reckons this set of two pairs of earrings and a necklace
'will fetch £30 to £50.
'And on the subject of style, Sarah reveals an assortment of big name brands
'of every girl's dream accessory - designer handbags.'
What have we got? Is there a Bulgari inside there?
-Look at that!
-Never used. This was not purchased or given as a gift as such.
This is a bag that I won in a sales competition when I was manager of the department
-and we started carrying the line.
-The "V" is the old Roman...
-Classic Roman "V".
-And the buckle is gold-plated. I remember that detail from when I was selling them.
You can see the price that was attached to these beautiful products.
800 dollars. Extraordinary.
But it's not necessarily just rich people who buy these sorts of things. Some people save up for a long time.
-I'm sure you know there is a market for good quality, second-hand bags.
-I would expect so.
As long as they are fashion icons, people will pay good money for them.
-We're not going to be getting the price you were retailing for...
-You never would.
-But just these three bags, we're looking at over £200.
-If you've got more, it will add to the collection and to the value.
-I'll see what else I can find.
-Did we hear "good news" mentioned there?
-Yes, it is good news.
We've got a collection of handbags here that are worth £200 to £300.
Wow! They do look classy, I must say. They really do. Fantastic.
And I have some more hidden away.
-You were looking for £600.
-To get your pictures framed and your greeting card business going.
We reckon - well, Jonty reckons - that with any luck and your handbags flying out,
-you might make £700!
-That would be very nice. Very nice indeed. I'd be very happy.
-Pack everything up, fingers crossed.
-Bring on those bidders.
Among our pieces that are off to the auction
are the fine silk Kashmir carpet which might entice £100-£150 from the bidders.
Or will they take a shine to Sarah's silver belt at around £50-£100?
And what about that striking 14-carat gold Italian necklace?
Could that steal all the limelight at the sale?
'Still to come: is it random chance when things don't sell?'
-I wonder why there's no bidders.
-It's just the luck of the draw.
'And which of Sarah's items prompts a bidding war?'
170. 175. 180. 185.
'How high will they get by the final crack of the gavel?'
Well, it's been over a month now since we spent the day with Sarah and Jasper at their cosy Devon home.
Today we've brought everything to Lyme Bay Auctions
to try to get that greetings card and framing business underway.
Let's hope the bidders are in the mood to spend for Sarah's items.
Seaton, with its mile-long beach, forms part of the Devon coastline
awarded the status of World Heritage Site. Sarah and Jasper have arrived and are taking a look
at all their belongings.
-Suits you, Jasper.
Oh, saying farewell to your handbags. How are you feeling?
-I'm feeling OK about it, actually.
-You look a little tearful.
-No, no, I'm quite happy.
I took your advice and added one more bag to the collection to make up the threesome.
-What about everything else? Are you happy?
-I feel a little bit bereft without my carpet.
The house doesn't quite have the same feel without the carpet, but I'm quite excited.
We'd better get a place. The auction is about to start, so follow us.
The auctioneer is using a full-on sound system today so everyone will concentrate!
Our first lot is that curious ceramic Sarah found under the stairs.
-Where did it come from?
-This was made by my stepfather's first wife.
-Yes. It's just a quirky item, isn't it?
-If it was something functional, I'd put a bigger figure.
-I think it will hit about 45.
-All right, Jasper.
-Here we go.
-Let's see if you're right.
£40 for it? £30, then? Anybody interested at 30? £20?
20. Thank you. £20 there. £20 with me. 22?
22. 25. £25 in the room.
I have 25. 28, anywhere? I will sell at £25.
-Was that 25?
-25 it sold for.
Well, it's nearly there. 30 we said.
Not exactly a fortune to start us off with, but it's off to a new home
where we hope it'll be appreciated.
Our second lot is another oddity - the St George and the dragon wall hanging.
It's relatively new and has been given the antique treatment. Will the bidders spot that?
-Jasper, what do you reckon?
-I think possibly 45 or 50.
Start me off at £50 for it? 50? £40, then?
£30 for it? Nobody?
-They don't like it.
Can't go for less than £20. £20?
Nope. Unfortunately, not sold.
-I'm glad I had a reserve.
She obviously doesn't mind taking the odd item home.
Next up is the rather nice chunky jewellery by Jay Strongwater and bought in California.
-Why are you parting with it?
-I no longer wear them.
-Does she look good in them?
-I haven't even seen them.
I do have a photograph of me wearing the necklace, actually. I don't think they suit me now.
Let's hope they suit someone else and they part with at least £30.
Start on this at £18. 20 anywhere?
At £18. 20? I've got £20. 2 anywhere?
22 anywhere? I will sell for £20.
-£20 is better than £19.99.
-I'm happy with that.
-Good. OK, well done.
A modest success.
Up next is a solid silver remnant of Sarah's days in Saudi Arabia.
We want £50-£100.
Who knows? We might get it.
I'll start on this at £50. Have we got 50?
55. 60. 65. 70.
75. It's in the room at £75.
- Keep going. - 75. 80 anywhere?
I'll sell it for £75.
-That's all right. I hope it doesn't get scrapped and someone values it for the craft.
It certainly is an intricate design.
Next up is another souvenir from Sarah's life in Saudi Arabia.
It's the carpet which she haggled for two hours to buy.
-How much did you get it for?
-I think I paid about £80-£100. I can't remember exactly.
-It was a good price.
-And we would like £50-£100.
You've put an £80 discretionary on.
Yes. I'm very attached to this carpet.
Give me 80? Anybody?
£60, then? 60? £40 for it? Start me at 40?
- Can't go less than £40. - It's not going to sell. - Sorry, not sold.
-Well, I can't say I'm too sad.
I wonder why no bidders.
It's just the luck of the draw.
Another no sale. Now that's going to do some damage to our hopes of reaching our target.
You were looking for £600. At halfway we'd hope to be at 300.
-We're not. You've so far made 120.
So a long way to go, but some big items to come.
If this is making you think of selling some heirlooms
then please bear in mind that auction houses charge various fees such as commission.
Your local sale room can advise you. Plenty still to come in Sarah's sale,
like this inlaid vanity case
which has a discretionary reserve.
This again is something I do love. It's very functional and it would be very hard for me to let go of it
at a price where I couldn't replace it even with something inferior.
-I think I asked for £80, the top end of your estimate.
-Perhaps that was too high.
You want a price you're happy with.
What do we say? £100?
Give me 80? Nobody?
£60 for it? 50?
No, unfortunately... 50. £50 there.
55. 60 anywhere? No, still can't quite sell it.
£60? Sorry, that's unsold.
I'm taking it home!
Never mind. She seems happy to take it back.
Next up are the three little hand-painted porcelain boxes.
-These were all gifts from a friend in California who used to collect them.
-I was a happy recipient.
-We're hoping for £50-£80.
-That would be lovely.
-It would be at this stage!
-We need it.
£20? Nobody? £20. Thank you.
22 anywhere? A touch more. 22.
-28. 30. 32.
-A little war going on.
With you at 30. 32 anywhere?
I shall sell at 30.
-I know that the original price of it was hundreds of dollars.
-But you can't take everything home.
-I can't take everything home.
A modest sum. We still need a major injection of cash from one of our few remaining lots.
Can the silk Kashmir carpet be the piece that saves the day?
-We reckon it's worth £100-£150.
-Right. I'm not as attached to this
as I was to the Kashan, but it is very high quality.
-Did you put a reserve on?
-I did. At the low estimate.
-I think it's worth that.
Give me £60, then? Anybody, £80?
60? It's got to be worth £60. Nobody?
Can't go less than £60. Anybody interested? No.
-They don't like it.
-They don't like my carpets.
-They don't like your carpets.
That's not what we planned at all.
Maybe Sarah's American designer handbags will do the trick, with their original branded packaging.
The estimate is £200-£300 and there's a discretionary reserve of £150.
-The star item is the Bulgari. Mint condition.
-And you've got the box as well.
-That's a bargain. Here we go.
80. Thank you, sir. At £80.
85 anywhere? 85. 90.
-Here we go.
110. 120. 130.
140. £140 in the room. At 140.
150 anywhere? 150 anywhere?
-I will sell it at £140.
-That has to be a bit of a bargain for somebody, yeah?
That's a huge bargain. That's a very lucky lady.
Our final lot today was a present from her friend Serena - that 14-carat gold Italian necklace,
still in its original box, valued at £100-£150. And it's off to a flying start!
160. 165. 170.
175. 180. 185.
200, sir? 200.
260. 280. 300.
- 360. 380. - It's amazing.
380. 400. 420.
480. 500. 520?
In the room at 500. 520 anywhere?
I will sell at £500.
-My friend has good taste!
-Thank you, Serena.
-How about that?
Well, that's it. The necklace and handbags made it a day to remember.
So just how close have we come?
Your target was £600 and with those four unsold items you'd imagine you might not make it,
but you've made £790!
-You got there in the end.
-I think I could get maybe three of my paintings framed.
Well done. I hope your business goes well.
A few weeks later, Jasper and his brother Felix fetch in their mum's work.
Since the auction, I've had three paintings framed
and four turned into a greetings card.
It was really nice to get them out the box. The printer and framers did a wonderful job.
So, yes, it's a lovely feeling
and I hope to sell some!
I love my mum's work and hope maybe it gets hung up somewhere and she gets the credit she deserves.
This has taken a lot of energy, this whole process, but I have really enjoyed it.
I really would love to sell some of my paintings
and I do believe there is a market for greetings cards.
It was touch and go for a while, but it all turned out just fine.
Now what about you? Do you want to raise money for something special?
Do you have antiques hidden around your home? If you do, apply to come on the show.
You can find the form on our website:
Good luck and may we see you next time on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2011
Email [email protected]
Sarah Bramley needs £600 to help with her small business plan. Joining her to look for collectibles to sell at auction are her son Jasper, plus Jennie Bond and expert Jonty Hearnden. Which of her souvenirs will attract the highest bids? Her Persian rugs or designer handbags?