Antiques series. Hilary Pugh and her friend Betty look through family heirlooms in South Wales, to raise money for a new bathroom suite. Jennie Bond is on hand to help.
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Welcome to Cash In The Attic, the show where we sort through the antiques and collectables
tucked away in your home, and take them to auction.
Today we're in rather a snowy, chilly Wales,
and we're on a mission to raise money
for a touch of home improvement!
Coming up on Cash In The Attic...
'Beauty's clearly in the eye of the beholder.'
That is very handsome. Almost as handsome as you!
Oh, no. That's impossible, surely.
'Is our expert David getting over-zealous?'
Oh, give that to me. Don't you be handling that!
I don't even get a look at it! Hang on!
-Or will his enthusiasm be rewarded?
-40. At 40.
-Oh, it's going up!
Find out when the hammer falls.
Today I'm in Neath, and I'm on my way to meet Hilary Pugh.
Now, I have heard she's got a house crammed full of family heirlooms,
so it should be fun!
Hilary Pugh was born and raised in Neath, just outside Swansea,
and worked for many years in the local sewing factory
before retiring. She's joined on our rummage today
by her long-time friend and holiday companion, Betty Green.
-It's cold, isn't it?
'Also helping with the hunt is antiques expert David Harper,
'and I've no doubt his practised eye
'will scoop up a treasure or two for us today.'
-This is David.
-And who's who here?
-My notes said "Hilarity".
I thought it couldn't possibly be that. And you're Betty, then?
-Ah, very nice to meet you.
-I told you this place was crammed with heirlooms. Look!
Shall I go and do what I'm supposed to do best?
-All right. Drink coffee.
-No! Go and get started.
He likes to get started, you know. It's a good idea.
-So, lots of family heirlooms?
-Where are they from?
From the family home down in Llansteffan, near Camarthen.
Do you mind parting with these? They've got sentimental value.
I've been keeping them up the attic, so they may as well go.
-They really have been in the attic?
-Ooh, I love it! Excellent!
So, how much money do you think we might raise?
Er, well, I'm hoping 300.
£300. I'm told it was for a spot of home improvement.
-What are we up to?
-A new bathroom suite.
I want a shower unit put in instead of a bath.
-Do you not like baths?
-Love 'em, but I can't get in and out now
-with my arthritis. I find it hard.
-Oh, that's tough.
-So it's easier to have a shower unit.
-All right, then.
Let's see if we can do it.
Hilary's little bungalow is awash with eye-catching pieces
she's bought or inherited over the years.
So David gets straight into the thick of it.
-Oh, hello, you two.
-Whoa! I told you he'd find something.
And that is very handsome. Almost as handsome as you!
-Oh, no. That's impossible, surely.
-Ooh! It's lovely. Where's it from?
I really rate that. Where did you get it from?
-From my mother.
-Did she ever use it?
No. It has never been used. She just kept it as an ornament.
Oh, that's dreadful, because wouldn't that be wonderful to use?
-It's a spirit kettle.
-Oh, I see. Yes. It's lovely.
You put the oil in there, and you have the wick. You light it,
bung your water in here, bung it on the top,
and it is a fantastic kettle. How old do you think it is?
I don't know. I haven't got a clue.
Well, it's absolutely 19th century, isn't it? It's 1850, 1870.
Very Victorian. Ebony... Well, it's not ebony. It's an ebonised handle,
-an ebonised top to it.
-Did you say it was your mother's?
-Did she go around antique shops?
-Was she a collector?
-No. So I don't know where it came from.
But as I was growing up, it was always...
-So it could have come further through the family?
-Oh, yes. Yeah.
Well, brass isn't as collectable as it used to be
say ten or 15 years ago, but, you know, things come in cycles.
But that is not just a brass collector's item.
It's a lovely quirky piece that would sit by your fire.
You may not use it, but you could use it.
I think that's £40, £50, £60-worth.
-So 40 to 60 we'll put on it?
-40 to 60.
-That's all right.
-I'd have it for picnics.
Betty's got stuck into the rummage with relish,
and finds this assortment of cutlery,
which she hopes will make an impact at auction.
There's a mixture here of solid silver and silver plate,
all inherited from Hilary's aunt Lil,
a beloved family figure who, like Hilary,
also used to work locally as a seamstress.
Silver buyers love sorting through collections like this at auction,
and David suggests an estimate of £20 to £40 to whet their appetite.
Meanwhile, Hilary and David have set to work in the bedroom,
and it's a pretty piece of porcelain that's caught our expert's eye.
Now, this looks like a piece of quality. Where did this come from?
Oh, that's come from my father's home down in Llansteffan.
That is absolutely lovely, and it really is good quality.
-Do you know who made it?
OK. If you look on the underside, you can see Royal Worcester,
England. Very good quality maker.
Been around since about 1751.
Always top-end quality. Now we've got to date it.
The great thing with Worcester is, they use a fantastic dating system.
They use dots, they use letters and they use symbols.
This is the dot period, if you like.
To the left and right-hand side of the crown,
we've got dots - six to the left, six to the right.
That's 12. And look - under Worcester,
we've got another eight dots.
-Add 20 onto 1891, which is when the dot system was...
-..begun, and we get to 1911.
So that's when that Royal Worcester pot was made,
and painted by hand - in 1911.
And it's as good today as it was a hundred years ago.
Now, then - value.
-I think 60 to 80.
-Was that a bit of a disappointment?
-A little bit, yeah.
-Sorry about that!
Well, I hope our little vase doesn't prove a disappointment at auction.
35. 40, madam, is it? 40.
45. At 45.
Only time will tell.
We're doing well at our rummage in Neath today,
and Hilary's gathered together this sparkling selection of brooches,
some from her mother and some from her beloved auntie Lil.
Most of this costume jewellery's quite modern,
but David thinks it might make for an appealing lot at £30 to £40.
I think we'll leave David to it for a while,
have a little natter, because I'd like to get to know you a bit more.
20 years, you've been friends. How did you meet?
SHE LAUGHS In a local pub, weren't it?
SHE LAUGHS Typical, yeah.
No, we went... I met friends there,
and when we got there, Betty was there with friends,
and a crowd of us got together, and we were going out for years
-and meeting every Monday evening.
-Now, someone told me
that you two are pretty hot on line-dancing. Is that right?
SHE LAUGHS Well, we line-dance,
-but we're not good at it.
-I wouldn't say that.
-But it's good exercise.
-Oh, it's good fun.
-Very good exercise.
-When did that start, Betty?
Um, I took my grandson line-dancing
when he was about eight or nine,
well, we've been going ever since.
Is that every week?
There's a gang of us that just go and keep it going every week.
-And how much do you laugh?
All the way through.
Especially when you're facing the wrong way, looking at the class.
Turn round that way, and everybody's coming towards you.
But it's such good exercise, isn't it?
I tell you what - shall we, girls? Come on. Give me that coffee cup.
We'll have a little go.
Up we get!
All right. So, this is the trio of line dancers. Come on!
SHE SINGS LIVELY TUNE
Of we go! We're going to go rummaging. Yay!
All right, I might not be the best line-dancer ever to hit South Wales,
but you can't knock me for trying.
No such shenanigans for David, who's stuck to the task in hand
and turned up two Royal Doulton figures from their Brambly Hedge collection.
These fun characters used to belong to Hilary's daughter,
and were discontinued in the 1990s, so they're increasingly collectable.
Let's hope these little mice don't run off for less than £15.
'We're about halfway through our rummage today,
'and so far we're looking at a potential total of £165,
'so we're still a long way off raising £300
'towards that new bathroom suite. But have no fear -
'Betty's back on the case.'
-I've found these.
-Oh, what have we got here, then?
Well, I know they came from her aunt's in Llansteffan.
So, how old do you think they are, then?
-About a hundred years old.
-Oh, you're getting there.
-Where do you think they were made?
-Oh, I have no idea.
All right. Well, turn them over and have a look.
-Good Staffordshire quality maker.
Patented the name "Ironstone". See? Mason's Ironstone,
in the early 1800s, and so that's where they're from.
Very, very English. But if you look at the design,
the decoration, do you think that looks English?
No, it doesn't.
-It looks more like Japanese.
-Absol... Oh, you're too good!
Because the pattern is Imari. Imari is a Japanese palette,
colour and decoration in pottery, porcelain,
that was sent over from Japan. Look at the handle.
That's the big giveaway. That represents some kind of animal,
but I have never seen any animal that remotely looks like that
-wandering around Staffordshire. Have you?
Exactly. So, date-wise, looking at the stamp, there's no England mark.
These are 1860, 1880, somewhere round there.
Really lovely things, both individually potted.
Look at the top - not perfect in shape at all,
which actually makes it perfect, because they're individually potted.
Not a great value, I'm afraid, but great things.
Um, £20, £40.
-You think we could put them in?
-I think so.
Looking at the weather outside, it's just as well we're all indoors rummaging today.
'I find these brass candlesticks, another heirloom from Auntie Lil.
'Hilary doesn't use them any more, so she's happy to add them
'with a rather conservative estimate of £10 to £20.'
'Spurred on by my success, I'm eager to uncover more items
'to add to our fund. But David almost beats me to it.'
I say, what's this? These are sometimes really good.
-Ooh, give that to me.
-Don't you be handling that!
I don't even get a look at it! Hang on. Where's it from?
My great-grandmother. That is astonishing.
-I can't see any fading at all.
-They're as bright today
as they were all those years ago. So, 1857.
Although it's early for us, looking at it,
it's not particularly early for a sampler,
and, of course, it's not that uncommon,
because every girl, as part of her education,
would be taught how to sew,
and this is simply a sample of her work.
Now, you know a thing or two about sewing, Hilary.
-How do you rate this work?
-I think the work is excellent,
the sewing part of it. It's really good.
Look at the animals. You've got a little bird,
a couple of dogs. But yeah, good condition.
-Could you sell this?
-Ooh, you're ruthless!
-Um, 30 to 50, I would have thought.
-30 to 50.
I'm sure it's worth more, sentimental value,
-but are you happy with that?
-Yes, that's fine. Yes, fine.
Betty, meanwhile, has taken a shine to this pair of pocket watches.
One of these is a fairly modern model,
but the other is a gorgeous silver-cased example
that belonged to Hilary's father. We suspect this may be much older,
possibly Georgian, and needs some further investigation.
But for now, David decides on a tentative estimate
of £20 to £40 for the pair. The day is drawing on,
but our expert's not finished yet.
Talk to me about these chargers. You've got four here.
-Are they all exactly the same?
-Yes, they are.
They've came from my great-aunt down in Pembrokeshire.
OK. So, if we turn this over,
we've got a maker's mark here. It says "RC & A".
Now, RC & A... I can't say I recognise the maker,
but in Staffordshire and around that area in the 19th century,
there were probably hundreds of manufacturers.
Now, are they hand-painted, Hilary, or are they transfer-printed?
-No, they're not.
Dead easy. Look, can you see the joins?
Look at the decoration around the outside edge.
If that was all hand-painted, it would flow.
-The pattern would...
-Can you see the join?
There's a line, there's a line. So it's been put in in four sections.
-But still lovely. Beautiful things,
and as far as I can see, in really good order.
So I think four big, grand plates like that
should be worth £100, £200,
but I think if we put
an auction estimate of 100 to 150, bit of a "come and get me" thing,
-how would that sound?
-Come and get me?
-Oh, I say!
Hey, we overheard a rather large figure there.
-I know. Thank you very much.
-What was it?
-100 to 150.
-Sounds good! What, for these plates?
-Four of them.
-Wow! They are handsome.
-They are very nice.
Oh, well, that's excellent. I think we could end the day.
-I think you've done so well!
-Thank you very much.
-Well, it's been great fun,
and I guess I ought to tell you how much money we think we might make
at the auction. We said 300 at the start of the day
for your bathroom suite. I don't think it'll buy a bathroom suite,
-but go towards it. Do you think you've made 300?
-I hope so.
-Don't look at me in that way!
We base it all on David's lowest estimates through the day,
and it's mounted up quite nicely
'There are plenty of reasons why Hilary and Betty should be excited
'about getting to auction. That Victorian brass spirit kettle
'should spark lots of interest at a very appealing £40 to £60.'
I can't wait to see how that little Royal Worcester vase will fare
when it goes in front of the bidders,
and it's quite unusual to find a set of four chargers of that quality
in such good condition, so I really hope they do us proud on the day.
Still to come...
'One of our items wows the crowd.'
-It's going to make 150. Yes!
'But another leaves us almost lost for words.'
'Stay with us until the final hammer falls.'
Do you know, it's not very often I get to line-dance on a rummage,
so that was a really special day I spent with Hilary and Betty
in Neath. A couple of weeks have whizzed by now,
and we brought everything we found here to Peter Francis auctions
in Carmarthen. If you remember now, Hilary wants to raise £300
towards a new bathroom suite,
so I do hope that the bidders here are going to dig deep
when her items go under the hammer.
There's plenty of variety on offer at the fortnightly general sale
here at Carmarthen, so fingers crossed,
Hilary's rich mix of heirlooms will prove a hit with the bidders.
-Well, good morning!
-Good morning, ladies.
-How are you?
-So pretty! It really is.
-That's our star lot, that, Jenny.
It is, isn't it? Are you sad about parting with it?
-In a way, yes.
-I hope you do, or we won't...
-I hope so.
-Got to be!
-Have you been line-dancing recently?
-Yes. We went yesterday morning,
and we went Monday night.
-You're not stiff, are you?
-Oh, you're fit, then.
How are you feeling about saying farewell to your goods?
Er, not too bad about it now. Yes.
I think it's about to start, so let's go and get a good spot.
I'm particularly looking forward to seeing how Hilary's dad's pocket watches do today,
because further investigation has now revealed
that the silver watch is indeed Georgian, and dates from 1802.
In light of this news, our original estimate of £20 to £40 has been revised,
and Hilary's settled on an £80 discretionary reserve for the pair.
She's also decided on a top-end reserve of £150
for those four Victorian chargers, inherited from her great-aunt.
But for now, it's time to see how our first lot of the day fares.
It's that lovely memento of a bygone age,
Hilary's Victorian brass spirit kettle,
that used to live on her mother's hearth.
-It's in very good condition.
-And it's a good quality one too,
-so it should do quite well, I think.
-We want £40 to £60, yeah?
-We going to make it?
Here we go.
What do you say? £50 away for that? Pretty little item there.
50. There is it. 30 to get on, then. Surely at 20 only.
At 20. Five, may I say? At 20.
Only bid at 20. 25, may I say? No more? 25 on the back row.
At £25, is what I'm bid. May I say 30 now?
Selling it on the back row at £25...
-Somebody's got a bargain. Does that make you feel better?
She's doing well to put a brave face on that disappointing result,
especially when our next lot is yet more brass,
in the shape of this pair of candlesticks.
-Where are they from?
-When I worked in the sewing factory,
there was an elderly lady working there,
and she asked me if I'd like them, so she gave them to me as a gift.
-Very nice! And have you used them?
-£10 is all we want.
-We'd like more.
-Yeah, OK. Here we go.
-Here we go.
£50 away for those? 50 for those?
Surely 20 only. 25 I've got with me.
At 25 only. 30. 35 I've got on the book.
-THEY WHISPER AND LAUGH
-At 35 on the book.
Against you all in the room. Bidding with me at 35.
All happy, then? Selling at £35...
-That's better, isn't it?
You see, the "come and get me" estimates work.
And he might be right. £15 over our top estimate
is a solid result, so let's hope that we're just as successful
with the two Victorian Imari-pattern jugs
made by Mason's in Staffordshire. They're an heirloom
from her auntie in Llansteffan.
We're hoping for a good price now for your lovely jugs
with the Imari pattern. They're lovely, aren't they?
Really lovely, and they're Staffordshire ware,
-but they look very Oriental.
-But they're very English.
What are they worth? £30 away for the two.
30 for the two. There they are, at ten only.
15, may I say? 15. 20 on the back row, madam.
Gentleman standing. 20, the lady's bid.
-25 on the front here.
£25. May I say 30 now? 30, fresh blood at the back.
At £30. Away at the back at £30. 35, may I say?
-They go at 30. Any more? £30...
-HE TAPS HAMMER
-And in the middle.
-That's all right.
-Yeah. That's OK.
-She wanted more.
-I wanted more!
Oh, it looks as if Hilary will take some pleasing today.
So will our beautifully hand-painted Royal Worcester vase do the trick?
Well, here comes the star lot,
that gorgeous Worcester hand-painted little pot.
Now, high hopes. Worcester will always do well in any auction room,
-so 60 to 80... You never know.
50 on the little Worcester vase. At 20. 25 may I say?
-Don't worry. Come on.
-At 25, seated. 30, do you want?
30, the lady on my right. 35.
40, madam, is it? 40. 45.
At 45, sits on my left. Against you in the back, at 45.
Seated bid at 45. May I say 50? It goes at 45. Any more?
Oh, dear! Why do you think it didn't sell for more?
It's just the day, isn't it? If you had two good Worcester buyers here,
it might have made £80, £100.
If you could predict exactly what's going to happen in auction,
you'd make a million pounds in a week, but you can't.
Today's crowd really is proving impossible to second-guess.
I hope we have more luck with our little Brambly Hedge figurines,
very appealing, surely, at £15 to £25.
-They were your daughter's, weren't they?
-Does she know you're selling them?
-Yes, she does.
-Does she mind?
-No, not at all.
-She said to do what I like with them.
-Oh, that's all right, then.
There they are. 20 to go. Surely ten only?
15 I've got with me on the book. Do any of you want? At 15.
Come on. Yes!
At 20 in the room now, clears the book.
In the room and selling. All done? £20...
And that encouraging little result
brings us to the mid-point in our sale today.
We've made £155.
That's just over halfway to our target.
But how the rest of our items will fare in front of this changeable crowd is anybody's guess.
If you're thinking of taking your treasures to auction,
do remember that certain charges such as commission will apply.
Your local auction house will advise you on any costs involved.
First up after our short break are these two pocket watches
that belonged to Hilary's dad.
Fingers crossed they make their new discretionary reserve of £80.
50 to get on, then. Put me in. There we are. 30 only.
-50 on the back row.
-60. At 70.
At £70. On the back row, and I'm selling at 70.
Is there any more? At £70...
-What do you think?
-That's more like it, isn't it?
That's fantastic. Where has it been all these years?
My father had it. When he died, I had it then,
-down my house. Put it in the drawer.
Well, that's fabulous news for Hilary,
and for the bathroom fund.
We're going to sell your costume jewellery now.
Some lovely brooches in here. Where are they from?
Some belonged to my aunt from Llansteffan,
-and the rest were my mother's.
-Do you remember her wearing them?
Yes. When I was very young, she wore them,
but my auntie Lil always wore hers.
£30 away on the costume jewellery.
Surely 20 to get on, then? There we are, at ten only.
-At ten only. May I say £15?
-Come on, get 20.
-15 here to sell.
No more. Going at £15...
I think Auntie Lil might have had something to say about that.
But surely our next lot deserves to do better.
This sampler may be 150 years old, but the colours are as bright today
as when Hilary's great-grandmother stitched it.
-Unframed, two bidders on the book.
-Oh, two bidders on the book.
On the book at 35. May I say 40 now? On the sampler at 35.
-Oh, it's going up!
-Bang in the middle.
But it's really encouraging that you've got bids on the books.
Bids on the books are all very well, but we need bidders in the room.
Maybe Hilary's cutlery collection, another inheritance from Auntie Lil,
will tip the scales in our favour.
There's a bit of silver there, but silver-plated stuff
-isn't the best news in the world.
-But anything over 20, I'll be happy.
-Let's see how we go.
At ten. At 12.
15 on the back row.
18, do you want? On the back row at £15.
Anyone 18 now? Here to sell. At £15...
-It all adds up, girls.
Oh, it does add up.
Well, I'm glad she's looking on the bright side.
We've only one lot left to go, those 19th century Staffordshire chargers,
all in excellent condition,
and with a reserve of £150 recommended by the auctioneer.
-Might he have some interest in them?
-He might do.
If there's bids on the books, then, we're potentially in.
-So, exciting stuff!
-Let's see if we can do it.
100 to start me, then, to put me in. 100 only.
At 100. 110, may I say? 110 on the front.
-Come on, come on!
-Going to make 150. Yes!
£150. 160, do you want? At 150.
Any more? 160 at the very, very back.
200. 210 again.
£210, sitting here on the front row. At 210. Is there any more?
THEY CHATTER AND LAUGH
What an exhausting sale it's been!
'But those chargers came through for us in the end,
'and it's time to reveal the grand total.'
We weren't going for a big target here, just £300
to help you with your bathroom suite.
Well, you've made...
-Brilliant! That's great.
Lovely! Lovely! THEY LAUGH
Hilary wanted to update her existing bathroom
to something more suitable for her needs.
A few weeks after her success at auction,
she visits the local bathroom centre to pick out a new suite.
I like to have a quick shower now,
because I used to love laying in the bath
for an hour, to soak in the bath,
but now I've got to use a shower.
I'm definitely glad I went to Cash In The Attic,
and the experience was wonderful,
marvellous - the auction, everything.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Hilary Pugh and her friend Betty look through family heirlooms in South Wales, to raise money for a new bathroom suite. Jennie Bond and antiques expert David Harper lend a helping hand.