Antiques series. Chris Hollins and expert Paul Hayes help travel enthusiast Shirley Guest, who is on a quest to visit Britain's most beautiful buildings.
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We help you to sell something dear to your heart for something special.
We're about to meet a lady who's willing to part with family history
to see some other countries.
'Today our expert, Paul, struggles to contain his excitement
'over a delightful relic.'
You're salivating, Paul. You're very excited. We're getting excited, now.
'Our ears prick up at the sound of our favourite word.'
-Did we hear...
-There's some money involved.
'Come auction day, our expert's love of puns reaches new heights.'
That's the spirit.
You don't know about him yet, do you?
-Not yet, no. We'll find out.
-Sorry about that.
'We'll be wincing and cheering when the final hammer falls.'
Today we are in West London to meet a mother and son
who are clearing out their cupboards to have a bit of a busman's holiday.
'Home may now be a riverside apartment in West London,
'but Shirley Guest has been quite a globetrotter.
'She's lived in places like Trinidad,
'Mauritius and Hong Kong.
'Twice married, she has three sons.
'Her youngest, Phillip, is a photographer.
'Shirley's inspiration was her father, Percy,
'a doctor with a love of art and history.
'Our search, through many family heirlooms and souvenirs,
'will enable Shirley to indulge her passion for history further.
'Paul Hayes is our expert today, with more than 20 years experience.'
-I'm going this way. You go that way.
There they are! You must be Shirley and this is Phillip.
-Nice to see you.
-Wonderful to see you, too.
-What a lovely part of the world.
-It's very pleasant here, I must say.
Who called the Cash in the Attic team?
-You called us in. Why did you call us in?
I was hoping to raise a little money
cos I love visiting stately homes.
Stately homes. We'll hear a bit more about that later on.
Own up, what sort of things are we going to find here, Phillip?
I think we're going to find loads of things. Antiques from way back.
Some interesting things. How much money would you like to raise?
I was hoping to raise about £400.
About £400. I'm feeling outnumbered by you two. Let's find Paul.
He's the man who knows what he's talking about. Let's find him.
'True to form, Paul has already made a fine discovery.'
-Hello Shirley, how are you?
-Are you beavering away?
Yeah. I've made a start already.
Do you know what? I think I've found one of the nicest things
I've seen for a long time.
This is Chinese mythology. Do you know where this came from?
I think it was Great Uncle Alfred got it from Tibet.
It wouldn't surprise me. It's top quality.
It goes back to Buddhist culture.
All of the Buddhist temples are protected
by these four characters, here.
They represented the four points of the compass.
They are hand-painted characters. The quality of paint is fantastic.
You're looking at sometime in the 19th Century.
The box itself is lacquer.
It's made with like a papier mache,
and then the sap from the lacquer tree is placed in layer after layer,
to give this wonderful finish.
And then using powdered gold, they get this wonderful effect.
This is top quality, it really is.
What I love about this, why I know this is a quality item,
is that this isn't glass, this is crystal.
-It's carved crystal.
And the way I can tell is that there's no air bubbles or anything.
And the actual bottle here has been used for perfume or ointment.
You're salivating, Paul. You're very excited.
We're getting excited, now.
-The big question.
I think I'd like to have a closer look at this,
before we get to the auction,
to try and find out some more, exactly, about it.
But I think for now, if we put this in, maybe £70-£100.
But I expect it to go for a lot more.
'Yes, wonderful. A superb start.
'Phillip has also been busy, turning out his grandfather's hipflask.
'This was a souvenir of Percy's appointment to India in the 1920s.
'It's silver-plated and clad in crocodile leather.
'It could be worth £20-£30.'
Paul, look what I've found here.
Do you think that might be interesting?
That's a beauty, isn't it? Where has this come from?
I'm sure my father brought it back from Persia,
but it could be India, as was there in the First World War.
-Right. How long was your father...
-Right through the First World War,
and then he went on to India and he worked as a Civil Doctor
out there for the Indians for a while.
I suspect this is actually where it's come from.
-It's more Indian?
-Maybe 1920s, 1930s.
If you are lucky enough to be out in the days of the Raj, out in India,
these are the sorts of things they used to sell in bazaars.
The whole thing is made from a local wood.
In this case it looks like rosewood on the interior.
Can you see that? And it's veneered with tortoiseshell and ivory.
What I love about this type of work is the pierced decoration.
That takes hours and hours to do. It's very, very elaborate.
It's decorated here in black decoration. Can you see that?
Does it have any sentimental value to you?
Not really. I've got lots of other memories.
We do have to be careful with ivory and tortoiseshell.
They both come under CITES,
the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species.
An item from ivory has to be pre-1947.
We know that this came from India.
We know it's pre-war. We're looking 1920s, 1930s, so we're safe.
What I like about this one, it's not damaged.
The little feet are still on there. It's got the original key.
-If we said, sort of, £80-£120.
Very happy with that.
'Isn't that lovely? I wonder what trinkets this box contained.
'Doctor's orders, perhaps.
'Phillip is intrigued by this pair of framed prints in Turner's style.
'They're the work of an artist who lived until the 1920s.
'William Tatton Winter was well-liked by royalty,
'and is believed to have settled in Ryegate, which may be shown here.
'The other picture is a shipwreck by John Cother Webb,
'a student of Landseer, famous for creating mezzotints,
'an early printing process. Paul values this pair at £40-£60.'
There's a sense of travel in this family.
Tell me about your side of the family.
Your uncle and father.
It sounds as if your family has travelled everywhere.
Well, I mean, Great Uncle Alfred, obviously.
Then my grandfather on my mother's side fought in the Boer War.
My father was in Persia during the First World War.
And then he was also in India.
He joined the Indian Civil Service as a doctor.
And then when I was 15 we went out to Trinidad.
And then in 1954, I married somebody from Mauritius. Went to live there.
We went to the Seychelles, where you were born.
From there we went to Hong Kong.
We went to what was the Gilbert Islands, now it's Kiribati.
It's been quite a lot of travelling.
I moan when I have to go around London!
Is that sense of travel in your blood, as well?
It is. I love travelling, always have.
We were blessed to travel at such an early age,
and live in these countries at such an early age.
In those days, travel was more of an expedition.
When you first went to the Seychelles, you went by boat.
You love to travel around the world and now you want to travel the UK.
What do you want to do?
What I'd like to do is visit lots of stately homes.
There's Petworth, which belonged to the Northumberland family,
and lots of National Trust places.
All the wonderful history and art, beautiful things to see.
Shirley, I could talk to you all day. Brilliant stories about travel.
But do you know who would get really upset? Paul.
He's out on his own, working. Let's go an help him.
Off we go.
'We needn't have been too worried about him.
'He's happily checking out a glazed porcelain cigarette box,
'once owned by Shirley's Great Uncle Alfred.
'It was made between the Wars by Carlton Ware,
'and it could fetch up to £25-£40.
'But another of Great Uncle Alfred's mementos
'may do even better.'
Have you any idea what this teapot - is it a teapot or a coffee pot?
I can't make my mind up. Do you know where it came from?
The Orient, I believe.
Great Uncle Alfred had this on his travels as Sea Captain.
That's as far as I know, I'm afraid.
You're looking late 19th Century. The golden age of tea drinking.
We had lots and lots of products coming in from Japan,
which is where this teapot comes from.
This is a very nice example of Japanese silverwork.
I can tell you it's silver because there's no sign of wear.
If this was silver plated, if I breathed on the surface,
you'd get a yellow tinge coming through. This is perfect.
It's not British silver, because it's too hard.
They call this a low-grade silver,
it tends to be what's made, at least into Europe if not into Asia.
It doesn't dint with your fingers. The workmanship is fantastic.
The enamel top is lovely as well.
You've got the green and yellow in the shape of the chrysanthemum.
The chrysanthemum is Japan's national flower.
It symbolises peace and harmony, so it's quite an elegant teapot.
If you wanted to auction, I'd say a minimum of £40-£70.
-I think if someone takes a shine to it, it could go for more.
'I love your enthusiasm, Paul, but I wonder if bidders will share it.'
Hundred pounds for it. There we go. Hundred pound. 110.
140? 150? 160. 170?
'Oh! This could prove a very exciting sale.
'Our search appears to be going well.
'I've found a perfume bottle which belonged to Shirley's grandmother.
'The silver cap is a little tarnished,
'but the hallmarks suggest it was made in Chester in 1914.
'Paul's estimate is £20-£30.
Shirley, these are beautiful.
Look at these. Almost see-through.
-They're Japanese porcelain.
-Are they really? I like these.
I've got something very nice and something close to your heart.
You like a cup of tea. Look at these.
Those are lovely. It's known as Japanese export porcelain,
or eggshell china.
If I hold it up to the light, you can see through it.
That's part of its mystery. They called it white gold.
-Would you drink tea from it?
These usually are made for decoration.
If you poured boiling water into that, chances are it will crack.
These are purely ornamental. That's the idea. They go in a cabinet.
-What are these flowers?
What I love about Japanese items is they always put things to one side.
Can you see that? This is on the left-hand side of the plate.
You can see that all the decoration is to one side,
whereas in Europe, we tend to do things down the middle.
it's asymmetrical, to one side.
-Who brought these back?
-Great Uncle Alfred again!
He's done very well, Uncle Alfred, for us.
Originally this would've been 12 cups and saucers,
teapot, a sugar basin, cream jug, side plates.
More often than not, they were brought back in the 1920s.
You're looking at a 20th century item.
I think what's happened here is that over the years they've been damaged.
This one has been damaged and glued.
I think, for decorative value,
£30-£50. How does that sound?
That's more than I expected. Very pleased.
-Is that your cup of tea?
'Oh dear. The Japanese tea set brings another country
'into our worldwide souvenirs.
'Shirley's next find comes from somewhere a little closer to home.
'These decorated seashells are from Cornwall,
'one shows a carved terracotta woman with a basket.
'Highly unusual. They may fetch £30-£50 in the auction.
'Paul seems to have found something much more impressive.'
Look at this. Do you know what, these are fantastic.
Look at the size of the one you've got.
-Who's collected these shells?
-That was my uncle in Cairo.
-That would've been in the '20s.
That's from the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati.
I used to go snorkel diving and found that.
That is amazing, isn't it? Look at that.
This is typically what you'll find. This is an oyster shell.
This is a form of mother of pearl.
The way the oyster shell works is that
when a bit of mineral or piece of dirt gets inside the oyster,
to protect itself, it secretes a substance called nacre.
That nacre covers the bit of muck and that becomes the pearl.
What happens is this interior becomes a milky petrol finish,
this mother of pearl.
What they've done is polished and carved it in a fantastic way.
Look at the detail, there.
Look at all this floral decoration.
That looks like one of the mosques in Cairo.
-What's that one there?
-Bit crude, that one, isn't it?
It is the quality of the carving but you can see the difference.
-That's more a religious scene.
-You can see vestiges of paint there.
I think these are beautiful quality.
I think they are prized for the quality of the carving,
not so much the actual shell.
The shapes on those two are particularly nice.
-What do you think, then?
-Around £50 each.
You're looking £150-£200 as an auction estimate.
-I never expected as much as that.
-Let's ask Phillip and Chris.
Guys. Phillip, Chris. Some good news.
-We're sprinting over.
-Did we hear...
-There's money involved.
-If I said at least £150 for these?
-Actually, Chris was offering more.
I don't think you've got the right idea about this programme.
They are beautiful, aren't they? A great way of finishing our day.
-You know you wanted to raise around £400 today, didn't you?
The grand total is £505.
-How do you feel about that?
You see, he's not easily pleased!
He's a tough customer.
'I think Phillip may not be jumping for joy just yet,
'but deep down he's as pleased as the rest of us
'that we found so many treasures to sell.
'Shirley's father brought this tortoiseshell box from India.
'We think it dates from the 1920s, but it could be older.
'We hope it'll fetch £80-£120.
'The lacquer cabinet with bottle is guarded by mystical Chinese figures.
'Worth at least £70-£100, we think.
'And the Japanese white metal teapot should make £40-£70,
'but if it turns out to be solid silver, as we suspect,
'it could bring us more. Cor!
'Still to come, our expert can't tell his ammonite from his elbow.'
-Ammonite or nautilus.
-Nautilus. Ammonites are fossils.
Oh right. Nautilus. There we go. Sorry.
-'There are surprises in store, too.'
I thought your hat was going to blow off, then!
'Hold on to yours until the final crack of the gavel.'
We had a fascinating day with Shirley and Phillip
at Shirley's London flat. I can't wait to find out what happens today.
Why? Because we found weird and wonderful things
from her family's travels around the world.
Will we make a fortune? We'll find out when the final hammer falls.
'Shirley has sent her collectibles to Cheswick auction rooms
'in plenty of time for dealers to view them.
'I can't wait to catch up with Shirley and Phillip,
'but someone seems to be missing.'
Hello, Shirley. Nice to see you.
This isn't your strapping son.
He has a photoshoot in Regent's Park.
-And so you are?
-Sheila. A great friend of Shirley's.
We've known each other for donkey's years.
Not quite dinosaur years, more donkey years.
-Donkey, I should say.
-Are we in for some trouble?
-I hope we're in for trouble.
-I sensed that!
You've got interesting items. The white metal coffee pot.
They're keen on that here, so you've put a reserve of £50 on that.
My ultimate favourite has to be the lovely Chinese casket.
The guys here think it's late 19th Century, early 20th.
We've put a reserve of £70 on that one.
-Alright with you?
'It's not too long before the auction gets underway.
'Shirley's first lot is the hipflask,
'silver-plated and wrapped in crocodile leather.
'It could be worth £20-£30.'
£20 for it. £20 for it. £10 for it.
15? 15. 18?
18. 20. 22.
25. 28. 30.
-32. 35. 38. 40. 45.
-Keep going. Oh!
At £42. Bid at £42. £45? £42 I'm bid.
At £42, are we done? I think we are, at £42.
That's the spirit!
-You don't know about him, do you?
-Not yet. I shall find out.
'Hm. Puns aside, that is a good start.
'Next this tortoiseshell and silver trinket box.
'It has been paired with the glass scent bottle.
'We're hoping for £20-£30, despite the slight tarnish on the lid.'
-I should've polished that silver.
To be honest, it's better to leave the silver unpolished,
and not to polish it often.
Every time you polish it, you take a layer of silver off.
-It eventually gets thin.
-How much are we hoping for?
£20-£30 for this one.
£20 the lot. A bid at £20.
22. 25. 28.
30. 32. 35. 38. 40.
-Oh come on!
Nobody else wants it at £48? Take £50. At £48.
At £48. Are we done? £48. You've got it. £48.
'Good. That's two lots punching well above their weight.
'Shirley's Great Uncle Alfred brought back many souvenirs
'from the far east, including this Japanese Satsuma tea set.
'Paul's estimate was £30-£50.'
£30 for it.
-Thank you, a bid at £30.
-£30. That's alright.
42. A bidder at £40. At £42.
-At £40, at £40. Sold at £40 and gone.
-There we go. That's alright.
-In the middle.
'Not bad. A reasonable result, considering the set was incomplete.
'Our fourth lot consists of two shells from Cornwall.
'One shows a carving of a fisherwoman.
'There are two more that Shirley found in Mauritius.
I think that's really nice. Such a delicate shape. Nice condition.
-Are they an ammonite or a nautilus?
-Nautilus. Ammonites are fossils.
-OK. Nautilus. There we go. Sorry.
-Got it wrong.
-You do have to work at it.
Do I hear £20?
About four hands going up. I'm bid £20. 22. 25.
-25. 28. 30.
-That's more like it.
35? 35. 38. 40.
I'm bid. 42.
42, there. 45. 45. 48.
48. 50? At £48. Bid at £48.
At 50, there. 55.
At £60 right there. £60.
Sure we'll have a bit more.
-Are we done? We are.
-You got £60. That's great.
'And that's Paul's natural history lesson over.
'We can move on to the curious box Great Uncle Alfred found in Tibet.
'Will the four characters guarding the bottle bring us good luck?'
Out of all your items, this is probably the most unusual.
It's one I really like. The auctioneers like this one as well.
I know we have a reserve of £70 on this.
Let's hope somebody likes it.
Call me £100 for it. Thank you.
£100. 110, I'm bid.
At 110. 120. 130.
170. 180. 190.
190. 200. 210.
I see £210. Do you want 220? 230.
240 we're bid. 250? We're at 240.
240. 240. Are we all done at 240? Going. Last chance.
-That's good, isn't it?
-I thought your hat would blow off.
'Wow! Over three times the lower estimate.
'That's brilliant! It must have made a huge difference to the target.
'Speaking of which...'
You wanted to raise £400 today.
At the halfway stage, you've raised £430.
-That's fantastic, Shirley!
-That's only half way!
-That's really good.
'Yes it is, Sheila. Very good indeed.
'If you'd like to sell your items in this way,
'bear in mind that auction houses charge fees, such as commission.
'Your local sale room will advise you on these extra costs.
'Shirley has delightful items still to come.
'Where better to start than with this Indian trinket box,
'made of rosewood and decorated with a veneer of tortoiseshell and ivory.
'It's late 19th Century and we're looking for between £80-£100.'
Bid at £50. At £50. 55.
Up five there, 60. 70.
100. 110. 120.
-Super. Keep going.
Here at 120. 110. At 110.
At 110, we're at 110. Last chance, going at 110.
-That's great, isn't it?
Fantastic. I'm a happy bunny.
'Good. That's another chunk of cash towards Shirley's grand tour.
'But how high can we go?'
Up next we've got this Japanese white metal teapot
with a floral decoration.
The catalogues have described it as white metal.
I'm 99% certain this is solid silver.
Because it doesn't have the same hallmark system we have in the UK,
it can only really be classed as white metal.
We have a £50 reserve on this. Let's hope it goes for at least that.
Quite a nice thing. Number 238. £50 for it.
About 15 hands going up here. Start again.
£80 for it. CHUCKLING
£100 for it. There we go. Telephone at £100. 110.
110. 120. 130?
140. 150. 160. 170.
-180. 190. 200.
At 250 bid. At 250. Want 260.
At 250 wanting.
At 250. We're going once at 250. Are we done? Twice at 250.
And gone. Your last chance.
-That's brilliant, isn't it?
-Isn't it! That's superb!
I've never seen that before.
The auctioneer says, "Who wants to come in?" and eight people bid!
'Wasn't that exciting!
'Our total has gone through the roof.
'Now the pair of the early 20th Century engravings,
'valued at £40-£60.
'Shirley's changed her mind and brought along a second seascape
'instead of the Victorian street.'
I'm going to start at £25. Done at 25 and going.
-That's a bit less.
'Never mind. You're doing well. It's a shame they sold under estimate.
'How about some Carlton Ware?
'Let's see if this mid-20th century porcelain cigarette box
'performs a little better.'
-£20, going to sell. £20, it's gone.
-It doesn't matter.
-There you go.
'Next up, more sea shells from the sea shore.
'These two mother of pearl examples have delicate carvings
'and are valued at £150-£200.'
For the two, start me at £100, please. £100.
Thank you. 110? 110. 120. 130?
-160! Yes, yes, yes!
At 150. 160.
230. Back with the 220 value. Give me 230.
Who else wants it? We come in at 220. Going at 220.
-Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
I'm knocked out!
'Well, £220 is a fantastic final sale.
'It's now time to reveal the grand total.'
For someone that was chasing £400, you have raised...
I should give some to charity. I'd have to after that.
That's typically you. You have to make that decision.
Listen, Chris and Paul, thank you so much. And everybody.
It's been a wonderful day.
'Ham House in Richmond-upon-Thames
'is first on Shirley's long list of stately homes to visit.
'All thanks to her auction success.'
I couldn't be more pleased. I never thought I'd raise as much.
To visit wonderful places is a great joy. I love visiting stately homes.
I've always loved history. That's really why.
I love anything that's historical, really.
Beautiful paintings. Lovely possessions, all round.
It's been a wonderful visit. I've had a wonderful time.
'Let's hope this is the first of many successful visits for Shirley.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Travel enthusiast Shirley Guest is on a quest to visit Britain's most beautiful buildings. She needs around £400 to fund her journey of architectural appreciation. Chris Hollins and expert Paul Hayes help her find Indian boxes, Mauritian sea-shells and a mysterious Chinese casket to sell at auction.