Antiques series. Best friends Dreena and Eleanor from Swansea have a passion for drama. They are keen to arrange a grand day out in London, and Jennie Bond is on hand to help.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic. We're looking for antiques in your home
that we can help sell at auction to raise money for something special.
Today, we're in Wales and we're on a treasure trail that could be paved with drama.
'Coming up on Cash In The Attic, is our expert David casting aspersions?'
Look what you paid - £7.50. You're a bit tight, aren't you?
'Or getting a tad over-confident?'
-Then we're holding something worth...
-Hundreds of thousands of pounds.
-'Maybe the bidders will bring him down to earth.'
-They should make the money.
-Please make the money!
-OK, here we go.
'Find out when the hammer falls.'
I'm in Swansea and I'm on my way to meet two friends
with a theatrical flair.
'Dreena Harvey and Eleanor McLeod are both leading lights of the local theatre scene.
'Dreena worked for many years as a professional actress and now helps run the nearby Dylan Thomas Theatre.
'Eleanor is a published children's poet and international drama examiner,
'so I reckon we're in for a larger-than-life experience at Dreena's home today.'
-'Helping out on our dramatic treasure hunt is antiques expert David Harper.
'With over 20 years in the trade, he's the perfect man for the role.'
How very nice to be in Swansea, I must say. I love Wales.
-It's not the best month to come to Swansea, but it's lovely to see you.
-When the sun shines, it looks nice.
I'll leave you three ladies to gossip. I'll go looking for things.
He likes to get started. We've got a big day of rummaging ahead of us.
-You'll be helping us out, Eleanor?
We wanted some money to treat each other because we have birthdays at the end of the year
and we never know what to buy for each other,
so I treat her to a trip away and she treats me, then we can go together, so we're raising money...
We're looking for a good London theatre weekend
with a nice meal and first-class train travel and go and see a show, so that's what we want.
-What is your target for today?
-Yes, 400, 500, as much as we can get.
-We'll go for 400, shall we?
We'd better get going because there is going to be a lot to do today.
-We'll go find David, huh?
'Dreena's vibrant home is chock-a-block with antiques and theatrical mementoes,
'so David is in his element and he's quick off the mark with an interesting find in the front room.'
-Here he is.
-Hello, you two.
-Found something already.
Well, I bought these in a little island off Hong Kong called Cheung Chau.
I was told that they are Emperor wine glasses.
If we could categorically say that these were made for an Emperor,
-we're holding something worth...
-..hundreds of thousands of pounds.
If you have a good look at them, the shape and the size is absolutely bang-on.
A pair is lovely. Definitely Chinese, that cobalt blue, hand-decorated.
-And look at the Chinese marks.
-What do you think that says?
It's a Ming Dynasty mark, so the Ming period is 1350 to 1650 or thereabouts, that 300-year period.
-He said Ming!
-He said Ming.
-Can you see the double ring around the marks?
That would also indicate that these things were made for an Emperor.
So why are you being so doubtful?
The first thing you look at with Chinese pieces is the quality.
The mark is secondary because the mark most of the time is wrong.
In all fairness, the young girl that sold them to me didn't say they were antique.
She didn't con me at all, so I can't blame her for that.
I just liked the colour and shape. They're unusual.
They're really sweet. Also you've got a Chinese teapot.
-Very nice. Same place you bought it, did you?
No, this was left over from my mum and we've always had potpourri in it just to scent the room.
This falls into the same category. Whenever she bought it, it was new.
-An antique made in China.
-Tell me about that one.
-This was given to me by a dear friend from theatre.
I think it's very pretty.
It's oriental again. It's not Chinese. If you look at the base marks, that is not a Chinese mark.
That to me looks like a Japanese maker's mark, so it's more like a Japanese...
Again I think it's well into the 20th century. It's not particularly old, but it's very, very pretty.
-Yes. As a collection of oriental pieces in an auction...
-It's a good idea to put them together.
-What do you think we might get at auction as a lot?
Well, I think to be real, 30 to 50.
But if two people don't quite know
-what they are, they might just keep their hands in the air.
-Let's see what else we can find.
'Well, we're up and running now on what promises to be a very colourful rummage.
'Dreena wants to know if three antique boxes inherited from her late partner Geoff
'will do well at auction. As the oldest of these is Victorian and banded with brass,
'David reckons they stand a good chance, giving all three a total estimate of £40 to £60.
'Meanwhile, Eleanor has been getting stuck in to a stack of vintage accessories
'she's brought along to help the cause.'
Hello. What have we got here, Eleanor?
Well, these actually came from my grandmother.
So these all belonged to Granny?
Some of the buckles I bought, but the combs are my grandmother's.
Nice, quality things. What else have we got? We've got some handbags.
Again I was attracted to things and I'd think, "If ever I do a play where I need a bag..."
So it was always something feminine and theatrical and... They've still got the prices on.
I know. Look what you paid - £7.50. You're a bit tight, aren't you?
The quality of that is amazing, heavy beadwork. Do you know how to tell if that's a real pearl or not?
-Do you bite it?
-You scrape it on your teeth. Shall I do it for you?
-If you scrape it on your teeth, if it's gritty, it's a real pearl.
If it's smooth, it's a fake, so shall we try it?
It's a fake.
Sorry about that. It would have been worth seven quid just for the pearl.
Marvellous. So we've got a bag of bags. How many have we got in there?
-There must be at least a dozen.
-And then what's in here? Fans?
We have got fans, yes.
Unfortunately, they're all a bit damaged now because they've been neglected over the years.
-Some of them have got nice sticks on them.
I'd have thought, as one big lot,
-50 to 100 for the lot. Is that all right?
-Yes, that's fine.
'I knew our ladies' theatrical tastes would soon turn up trumps,
'but how many pounds will get fanned our way on auction day?'
-£70. With me at 70. 80 straight in...
-Bidders all over the place.
'Find out later on.
'We're getting into our stride and it's not long before I uncover a collection of teapots.
'One of them is Kensington Cottage Ware and came from Dreena's mum.
'David gives all three a value of £20 to £40.
'While our expert continues the search,
'I grab a chance to find out more about Dreena and Eleanor's careers.'
-You're both steeped in a theatrical background?
-We've both been professional actresses.
-What's the biggest role you've played?
-I worked for the British Council in the '70s and '80s
to take Shakespeare to schools in Africa, India, Sri Lanka.
And they were two-handed versions of the Shakespeare plays,
so we had one actor and one actress.
And we had to play as many parts as we could,
so I've played most of Shakespeare's women and quite a few men!
Good Lord! That's fantastic.
-A little bird told me that you've worked with Ken Dodd.
-Yes, I did, my very first job in theatre.
He was wonderful. I do have a certificate of Tickleology from the University of Knotty Ash.
He could never remember my name
and I was the only Welsh girl in the show which was at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.
And he started off calling me Diddy Blodwyn because it was the only Welsh word he knew,
which got shortened to Didwyn, so for five months I was Didwyn.
But he's very, very nice.
-And you still love to go to the theatre?
-Which is what today is all about.
We'd better get back to the rummage and see what David's found.
It was nice to sit down, though.
'Eleanor is soon back in the swing and uncovers this lovely silver charm bracelet.
'Dreena bought it 30 years ago in Swansea but hasn't worn it for ages,
'mainly because the charms kept snagging on her dress.
'Some of them are hallmarked silver,
'so David reckons £20 to £40 should get the bidding going.
'We're halfway through our rummage,
'but at £160, we're not quite on track for our £400 target.
'Maybe David's latest find will do the trick.'
Dreena! Now then... Whose are these?
-Ah, these are Eleanor's.
-She's had these a long time.
-They're sheet music, not posters.
-These are the front covers of the sheet music?
So date-wise, what are you thinking?
Well, from the costumes, I would think they're sort of, I don't know...
Late '10s, '20s, that sort of thing?
Yeah, bang on. Down there it says 1917.
-Yes, so that's bang on, First World War.
-Another period altogether, I mean, well before television.
Before radio. This is entertainment.
On a Saturday evening, what would we do?
We'd get out the sheet music, invite all of our friends
and have a whale of a time entertaining ourselves,
playing music and having a blinking good old knees-up.
Look at the titles of the songs - Supper Dance, Hello Stranger, I'll Be Nice To You.
And this one, she is absolutely gorgeous.
Totally of her time. She almost looks like an Art Nouveau statue.
-Of 1890, 1900.
So this again, date-wise, very early 20th century.
That's a piece of art, so value for the pair, I would have thought 20 to 40.
-Oh, really? I think she'll be very pleased with that.
-Do you think so?
-I think so.
'Normally, sheet music doesn't command a high price at auction,
'but the Edwardian illustrations make a striking lot.
'It's not long before David makes another eye-catching find -
'these four little jugs by Royal Doulton.
'Doulton have produced character designs like this since the 19th century,
'usually in three different sizes.
'These miniature chaps are only 20 to 30 years old, but should still prove appealing at £40 to £60.'
-David, there you are.
Eleanor showed me these. They're some rather lovely medals. Where are they from?
They're my father-in-law's. He gave them to me many years ago.
He said, "Have these because they bring back very sad memories."
I said, "Why?" He said, "Because I was so good at sport in school, I won all the prizes."
He said, "I was bullied by the boys because the boys said, 'You win everything. You're...'"
-He was too successful?
-He was too successful as a sportsman.
-What a sad story!
-It is rather, isn't it?
-That's a really sad story.
-And they're lovely.
They are very, very lovely and they're silver. Let me just check the hallmarks on one of them.
-They're probably Birmingham.
-What would you be looking for?
-I can see that they're hallmarked.
Yeah, it's hallmarked Birmingham and I would imagine most of them are
because Birmingham was and is the big area for producing silver items.
The anchor mark tells us it was made in Birmingham. I'd better give you a price.
-40 to 60, I would have said.
-Do you think that's good or bad?
'We're making good progress, but we're not ready to call it a day just yet.
'Eleanor makes another discovery with this clutch of pocket watches.
'They're a legacy from Dreena's late partner Geoff
'whose father was a managing director at Smiths Industries.
'Sadly, these ex-demonstration models aren't especially rare,
'so Dreena's happy to see them go to auction with a £50 to £75 estimate.
'And with a night out in London's Theatre Land at stake,
'our drama-loving hostess is keen to ensure no drawer is left unopened.'
David, what do you think of these? Would these be worth anything?
-What have we got here? A bit of bling?
-This was my mum's old watch.
Let's have a look at that.
The strap itself looks like rolled gold.
-You know what rolled gold is?
-Effectively, a thick gold plate.
-But the case, looking at the colour, is nine-carat gold.
Rotary, not a bad maker, is it?
It's a neat little cocktail watch for a lady.
-That's bonnie, but these are more commercial, aren't they?
-Let's have a look.
-The old gold sovereigns, eh?
-That's a half sovereign and that's a full sovereign.
Edward VII. It's the Edwardian period, 1904.
These things are still currency.
You could go anywhere with a couple of these in your pocket and exchange them for local currency.
Everybody in the world will want them. A full sovereign is making 150, a half sovereign 75 to 80.
The watch should be up to 50 quid.
So if we said £200 to £300 for the lot, would that be good?
Wonderful. Oh, yes. Wait till I tell Eleanor. Oh-ho-ho!
-Hello, you two.
-Oh, yes, the sovereigns.
-Are they sovereigns?
-Yes, one half sovereign, one full sovereign.
-What valuation did you give?
-200 to 300.
-That's half our total.
-That's good, isn't it?
-Front row seats!
That is good because I was getting a bit worried. We've found some lovely things, but no huge valuations.
But that does the business, it really does.
-I think we could quit at that point. We've done enough rummaging for the day.
-£400 we said at the start.
Based on David's lowest valuations through the day,
we reckon at the auction you should make £510.
'We've good reason to feel optimistic about our finds today.
'That mixed lot of vintage bags, fans and hair combs should bring us a vibrant result at £50 to £100.
'And those hallmarked medals could put a smile on someone's face
'with an appealing £40 to £60 estimate.
'Let's hope the bidders are willing to go for gold
'when our nine-carat 1950s watch and sovereigns go under the hammer.
'Still to come, at least one lot deserves a standing ovation.'
'But not everything wows the crowd.'
Cheap. They were cheap for somebody, weren't they?
'Will we have a hit on our hands? Find out when the final hammer falls.'
I had a hoot with Dreena and Eleanor sorting through all those boxes of theatrical memorabilia in Swansea.
A few weeks have gone by and we've brought everything we found to Peter Francis Auctioneers in Carmarthen.
The girls cannot wait to treat themselves to a West End production with the proceeds,
so let's hope their items get a really warm reception here today when they go under the hammer.
-Hello, you two.
-These are lovely, aren't they?
-You're not regretting putting them in the sale?
-Not at all.
-Have you brought everything along?
I'm afraid a teapot got broken, so we decided not to bring the set.
-Not one of our most valuable items.
-And anything reserved?
Yes, we've put a reserve on the sovereigns of £200.
It probably didn't need reserving as it would make the money anyway. Gold buyers are in every saleroom.
-But as a double protection, it's not a bad idea.
-You're sounding very confident.
-That's very good, isn't it?
-The sale's about to start, so we'd better get going.
'A general sale is at Carmarthen every couple of weeks and a great variety of lots are on offer today.
'Dreena and Eleanor's pieces should fit in splendidly.
'We take our places just as our first lot goes under the hammer.
'Dreena got fed up with this bracelet as it snagged her clothes,
'so £20 to £40 should please her.'
A silver charm bracelet this time, various charms, heart-shaped padlock.
Nice mixed charms on there. What shall we say for it?
£40 to start me? Good Christmas present here. £20 to get on then?
10? 10 straight in, front of the room. 15. 20...
-Come on, yes!
-5. 30. 5.
Lost you at the back now. 42 bid. 42 takes it.
45 if you will? Are you finished and done at 42...?
-That's all right.
-I was delighted the auctioneer sold it quite well.
-He described it really nicely.
'£2 over our top estimate is a promising start.
'I only hope Dreena is as impressed with the auctioneer when our next lot goes on sale.
'It's the china bowl, teapot and drinking cups from the front room.'
-£30 seems very reasonable.
-I think so.
-For anything that remotely looks Ming Dynasty, 30 quid is a bargain.
-So let's hope, yeah.
£20 then. 5 then? 25 in the room.
30 do I see? At £25, gentleman's bid, right-hand side.
Finished and done at £25...?
-All right then, if you're pleased...
-What did we put on them?
-30 to 50.
-I love it. David's saying no and you're saying yes!
-It's the wrong way round.
'That's more good news as far as Dreena's concerned,
'even though we were £5 under estimate.
'I hope our next lot does better. These silver medals were assayed in Birmingham
'and awarded to Eleanor's father-in-law at school.'
-How are you feeling about parting with these?
-I've kept the Victor Ludorum medal
and I've put it on a silver chain, so I've got that, that's fine.
-I do hope they do well for you.
At £25 with me for all the silver medals. Surely 30 now?
At £25 with me. Are you finished and done? 30 now surely...?
-Cheap. They were cheap for somebody, weren't they?
-That is cheap.
-What can you do? You have to let the market decide, don't you?
'What a shame, but hopefully our next lot is less sentimental -
'the three wooden boxes Dreena used for storing her bits and bobs.'
-You put £40 to £60 on them.
-40 to 60. Boxes can do very well.
-Well, I say that now. I'll tell you what I think in a minute or so.
-Here we go.
£30 is all I'm bid. At £30, commission bidder again. 5 do I see?
The three jewellery boxes at 30.
Seems a little cheap, £30. 35 in the room now, second row. 40 do I see?
Are you finished and done at 35...?
-£35. That's all right, isn't it?
-It's £35 I didn't think I had, so...
'We're struggling to make a serious dent in our target, so come on, Carmarthen.
'What will you make of Eleanor's collection of vintage accessories?
'Many are Edwardian and were used in theatrical productions over the years.'
If you get a couple of really interested bidders, they could fly.
I think of all the items, this is the lot that might just surprise.
-One way or the other.
-Exactly. I can guarantee that!
-All right, let's see.
I've got two interested bidders here, starting me away... Where are we?
50, 60, 70. With me at 70.
-Yes, bidders all over the place!
140. 150. 160...
They're scrapping it out. I love it.
190, fresh bidder. 200.
And 20. 240.
240, standing. 260 if you'd like now?
In the middle of the room at £240. Are you finished and done...?
Oh, that's brilliant!
-There you go. Marvellous surprise.
-What do you think?
I'm delighted because I would have been so sad for those to go for less than that.
It was great seeing people sticking their hands in the air, scrapping it out. There is no finer sight!
'Finally, a real hit with the bidders and a huge boost
'to our total so far.
'Halfway through the auction, we've now made £367, just £33 away from our target,
'so despite the mercurial crowd, we're not doing too badly.
'If you're considering selling at auction, do remember that extra charges like commission will apply.
'Your local saleroom will advise you on any costs involved.
'Time to get back to the fray and we're eager to see
'how Dreena's pocket watch collection fares under the hammer.'
So you reckon 50 to 75. That seems extremely reasonable for 12 watches, most of which work.
-Yes, they do.
-Somebody's got to buy the lot and then sell them individually.
-It might take them ten years to sell the lot.
Pocket watches, 12 in the lot, £30 to start me?
-Any interest here at 20?
I'll take them back!
£10 with me. 15 I have, right-hand side. 20 now surely?
£15, gentleman's bid in the aisle. 20 do I see? £15, are you finished?
20 just beats the hammer. 5 now?
I've lost you up front. At £20, back of the room, selling...
-That's a very cheap lot.
-Very cheap lot.
-That was quite disastrous, wasn't it?
-That's about £1.20 each.
-Oh, my gosh!
'It's certainly a tricky crowd today. Will we do any better
'with our next lot, those little character jugs?'
The Royal Doulton has such good quality, amazing quality.
-So they should make the money. Please make the money!
-OK, here we go.
At 30 is all I'm bid for the five character jugs. £30 I have. 5 now surely?
£30 with me, commission bidder again. 35? 35. 38.
40 for you, sir? £40? 40 is bid, second row. And 5 do I see now?
In the room selling at 40...
-That's not too bad.
I'm happy. They were in the back of a cupboard.
-Think of the greater cause, getting you to the West End.
'Theatre Land is calling and I'm hoping Eleanor's framed sheet music
'will help the girls on their way.'
You like these a bit too much, I thought.
They're very much of an era and again theatrical, so they're absolutely fascinating,
but time for them to go.
-What do we think they might be worth?
-20 to 40.
Two in the lot and I can start at 5.
£10 with me. At £10. 15 now in the room, right-hand side. £20 now surely?
£15 on the right-hand side...
-Oh, they're worth more!
-Are you finished and done at 15...?
Well, a fiver under. That's all right, isn't it?
-They've gone, haven't they?
-Yes, but they're a nice buy.
'Yet another sale below our bottom estimate.
'I think our ladies were sensible to put a £200 reserve
'on our final and most precious lot, the gold sovereign, half sovereign
'and nine-carat watch inherited from Dreena's mum.'
-So this is going to be a good news lot.
-We hope so.
-A firm prediction.
-I promise you.
At £200 with me.
£200 I'm bid. 220.
240. 260. 280.
300 in the room now. At the back of the room, lady's bid, 300. Do I see any advance on 300? 320 if you will?
Are you finished and done at 300...?
Yes! That's marvellous.
There you go, a golden lot.
-£300! Well done.
I could do this again. We've got to have another rummage.
-It is fun, isn't it?
It always is such a hairy ride because sometimes you're elated
like with the theatrical memorabilia, how brilliant was that, and the sovereigns,
then other things you really treasured went for a song.
But your target was £400 to get you down to the West End and have a really good time.
-You know you've made it.
-But you've almost doubled it.
You've made £742.
-London, here we come!
Just a few weeks after the sale,
the bright lights of the capital prove an irresistible draw for Dreena and Eleanor.
Tonight, we're going to do a really good drama. Because of Cash In The Attic, we've done it in style.
We've travelled first-class, we've had a beautiful meal, some lovely cocktails.
-And now we're going to enjoy a good night in the theatre.
That was a suitably dramatic result for Dreena and Eleanor.
Something tells me they'll be going to auctions again in the future.
If you'd like to raise money for something special and you've got antiques hidden around your home,
why not apply to come on the show? You'll find the form on our website.
Good luck and maybe see you next time on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011
Email [email protected]
Best friends Dreena and Eleanor from Swansea have a passion for drama. They are keen to arrange a grand day out in London and take in a top-class show. Jennie Bond and expert David Harper set to work in Dreena's colourful home.