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Welcome to Cash In The Attic.
We search out all those hidden treasures around your home,
and then we sell them at auction.
Today, we're going to help out a couple
who've got stars in their eyes, quite literally,
and need the money for the trip of a lifetime.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic -
a magnificent 19th century portrait of a formidable-looking lady.
She looks quite a stern old bird, doesn't she?
I was just going to say, Mr Darcy's changed, hasn't he?
And a Victorian plant stand that almost puts our expert's back out.
Look at that. Oh! Dear me, it weighs a tonne.
But at auction, it doesn't all run smoothly.
-Someone's bought them.
Oh, you're not happy about that?
I saw a lot of people looking at them.
Find out what happens when the final hammer falls.
I'm in Buckinghamshire to meet a couple who've had
a long-held ambition to travel far north.
But of course, they need money to do that.
And that's why Cash In The Attic is here to help.
Keen amateur astronomer Peter Gillespy lives with his sewing-mad wife Alice
in a charming bungalow in Buckinghamshire.
The couple met in 1981 and they have two children,
who are now grown up and have flown the nest.
That's left Peter and Alice free to fulfil some long-held dreams.
The first promises to be a mesmerising trip
to a land where the stars shine brightly. That's where we come in.
Hopefully, our antiques expert, Paul Hayes,
won't need a telescope to spot the valuables today.
So, while he makes a start, I meet our stargazing hosts.
Ah! Good morning. It's a beautiful day.
-You must be Alice.
Why are you looking at night-time shots?
We're looking at pictures of the Aurora Borealis, which is something
we would both love to go and see - the Northern Lights.
We've never seen them in Britain.
It's one of those phenomena that would be fascinating to see in the flesh.
-Is that why you've called us?
-Yes. It would be lovely to see them.
But they can't guarantee you'll see them when you get there.
-Not at all, no.
-So it would be nice to stay for a couple of nights,
two or three nights, just to almost make certain.
So the items that you're putting forward to be sold,
are they things you've collected or items you've inherited?
-Where are they from?
-It's a bit of both.
It's stuff mainly that I've inherited from my mother.
She was a great hoarder. I call it hoarding, she called it collecting.
But, um,...you know, it's stuff that really and truly,
she had a great interest in,
but I think it's about time somebody else had an interest in it, as well.
We've brought our own Northern contribution, Paul Hayes.
Not quite from the lights, but from Morecambe.
Shall we go and find him, see if he's got anything to sell? Come on.
We won't be short of collectibles,
so hopefully, we'll be able to reach the £1,000
Alice and Peter are hoping to raise towards that trip.
Now, here's a man who's easily distracted by Northern lights.
Fortunately, he's found something that may take his mind of them.
Taking the place apart already, I see.
Yes, of course. I couldn't help myself, actually.
She looks a stern old bird.
I was just going to say, Mr Darcy's changed, hasn't he?
-Is she a relative?
My grandmother used to point out the picture
and say that she was a relative, but in fact,
she had been bought from a big house sale at some time.
But, um, Grandmother was an old bird sometimes and she would say,
"This is my...", whatever it was, and people said,
"You can see the family resemblance".
So, Paul, how old do you think this might be?
Well, actually, it's 19th century, definitely,
but on the back, it tells me exactly.
It says here, if you have a look, it says, "AD 1834."
And then it's, "Mary Hetley in her 85th year".
And then the name of the artist - W Grey Pinnet, I think it is.
I've never heard of that gentleman or that lady, whoever that was.
But this is a typical 19th century oil painting
that you find everywhere, really. There's lots of them.
This is the time before photography,
so the only way really you could get a likeness of somebody
was to do a portrait painting.
Is it with its original frame?
Yes. This is really what took my attention.
The painting isn't the most pleasing painting,
-but the frame is a cracker.
-It's very cracked.
But it's a Jessel frame. The whole thing's made from wood.
And then overlaid with plaster, and then gilded on top.
So it's like a three process.
The early 19th century, it's a long time ago.
To find one in relatively good condition is quite rare.
What is more valuable - the frame or the painting?
The painting has to be.
The frame is very desirable
but the painting is where the value is.
If I said at least 200-300.
Are you happy with that? A good valuation?
I think that's very good, very nice indeed.
-That can go to auction. Shall we see what else we can find?
-You put it back on the wall. Follow me, guys.
-Thanks very much, indeed.
'What a fantastic start to kick off our search.
'If all the items Alice's mum collected are of this quality,
'then I think we should be in for a real treat today.
'Alice commences her search in the kitchen and digs out
'a pair of silver pots she remembers once belonged to her grandmother.
'They are hallmarked and they were produced in Birmingham in 1946.
'Paul thinks at auction they could add another £20-£40 to the kitty.'
-How about this one, Paul?
-Ah, now, what a beauty that is. Look at that.
Dear me, it weighs a tonne. That's fantastic, isn't it?
So has this come down the family or is that something you bought?
No, no, it's came from my grandmother.
As far as I remember, it's always been in her room.
She used to have a big, blue pot on top of it with a plant pot
with an asparagus fern out of that.
That's exactly what someone would have used this for.
Victorians were obsessed with bringing the outside indoors.
You'd have a conservatory full of plants, hallway full of plant stands.
Oh the top of this would be a matching jardiniere
which would have held an aspidistra or a very fancy exotic plant.
This is very distinctive. It looks, at first glance, like Royal Doulton.
They made lots of these wonderful Doulton Lambeth art pottery items,
but when I turned it over before for a closer look at it,
it's actually by a firm called Mettlach.
-Can you see?
Mettlach were a massive German manufacturer in the late 19th century
and they were doing just this sort of thing.
This wonderful stoneware, which gives great colour actually, translucent colours.
But of course, it's not quite in as good a condition as when you first got it.
-Was it always broken?
-It's always been like that.
-I don't know when it got repaired.
-It's a shame.
At the moment, it's just a decorative item
and it's missing its plant pot top.
-But perfect, this is such a desirable piece,
but that damage at the bottom has ruined the value of it.
If I said at least the £50 mark, how does that sound?
If it was perfect, you could add a nought on to that.
-But it's not.
-Bit of a shame.
-Well, that's £50 towards the target.
I know it's not a fortune but it's a nice, decorative item.
I'm sure someone would love it.
-All right, so that's going to auction, but let's keep looking.
'Whilst the boys have been admiring the plant stand,
'I've discovered an amazing collection of evening bags.
'They date from the Victorian era through to the 1930s. I think they're stunning.
'They were bought by Alice's mother.
'I'm sure vintage fashion collectors at auction
'would love to get their hands on such a fantastic selection.
'Paul values the lot at £40-£60.
'And it would seem that the bags are just one of many treasures
'hidden throughout this sprawling bungalow.'
I've been trying to find a few more boxes for you.
These are great. Where did these come from?
They've come from my grandmother to my mother to me.
-Real family heirlooms?
-They've always been around as far as I'm aware.
-They're quite old.
This is your oldest example and dates 1800-1820.
-Do you know what it is?
-I think it's a tea caddy.
At the moment, it's used for junk.
-Have you ever used it for tea?
-No, no, no.
This is made from solid rosewood.
The idea is, this would hold your green and black tea.
They would be held there, kept moist away from the elements, locked away.
Very important to be locked away.
-Do you know why?
-Well, it was very valuable at the time.
-Tea was extremely expensive.
I remember reading somewhere that in 1650, which is a long time ago,
tea was £10 a pound, which was an absolute fortune.
So it was very highly priced, which is why it had to be under lock and key.
But of course, it also had to be a status symbol.
It would sit on the dining room sideboard,
and people would say, "Look at the size of that tea caddy."
This one's a lot later, maybe 1880-1900.
More Victorian. You can see already, can't you?
The Victorians were obsessed with fancy designs.
They had all this embellishment on and this one is bare walnut.
-It's brass bound, dome shaped. This one isn't a tea caddy.
-This one is actually a stationery box. Can you see that?
And you've got quite a standard box here as well,
so these two are really the main ones.
If I said £150, maybe £200 for those?
That is brilliant. That would be really, really good.
'How lovely to see Alice so excited about the value of these family heirlooms.
'Let's hope the auction outcome keeps her in such good spirits.'
I've got two bids on this. Starting with me at £150. I'll take 160.
150, we're in. Great.
Find out how much they sell for later.
As our rummage continues,
Peter decides to add a table they've had in the hallway
for many years, to the list of things heading off to auction.
It's mahogany and dates from the 19th-century,
where it would have been one half of a dining table.
No sign of the other half, sadly, but nonetheless,
Paul still thinks our half-moon table could fetch
£50-£75 at auction.
Obviously, you've lived here for quite some time
but originally, you're not even from this country though, are you?
I was born in Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe,
but we came back to this country when I was really quite tiny.
My parents had a tobacco farm.
Unfortunately, the farm was, "No longer economically viable,"
would be the term, and so we came back to this country.
So how did you two meet, then?
From primary school, I knew a lady called Jane Jensen.
She was getting married and Peter was the best man.
I helped her with the flowers, so we met at a friend's wedding.
-The classic, really.
-So was it love at first sight, Peter?
Absolutely. I wouldn't dare say otherwise, would I?
So how did the wedding come about?
Our wedding? We'd always talked about it
and never actually done anything about it.
I was in Aylesbury one... must have been August afternoon,
thinking this is ridiculous.
We keep talking about it and nobody does anything.
I walked into the registry office and said, "What do we do?"
She said, "You just book an appointment."
We booked it for fifth of September.
And Peter took... Did you take an extended lunch hour?
No, I took half an hour off work.
Had lunch, went over to the registry office,
we got married and I went back to work again.
That wasn't very romantic, was it?!
Oh, it was practical though, wasn't it, to be honest?
At the time, we were living here,
we had a lot of work to do on the house and couldn't afford
expensive honeymoons or ceremonies anyway, to be honest.
It's one of these things. I went back and saw mother
and did have quite a nice dress on. It wasn't a wedding dress.
She said, "You're looking very smart today, dear."
I said, "Yes, mother, I just got married." She said, "That's lovely. Shall we go and have a cup of tea?"
And we did. We had a piece of fruit cake and that was our wedding
all over and done with.
So how long have you lived here in this particular property?
We moved in in July 1990, so that's the best part of 20 years.
You've got the most amazing views, haven't you? You can see for miles.
It is. It's lovely looking out here on a summer's evening
with a glass of wine. That's pretty much paradise.
I have to say it's a fantastic day to be out here but I do think
we need to get inside if we're going to get that money. Shall we go and find Paul?
That sounds good.
And we're not the only ones enjoying the view.
Paul has been sneaking a peek too,
checking out this Pembroke table in the conservatory.
It's Victorian and made of rosewood, but sadly it's seen better days.
It's what the auction house might well describe as a restorer's lot.
Nonetheless, Paul still thinks it has potential and it heads off
to auction with an estimate of £30-£50.
What have you got there?
This is a box of some lacy bits
and some christening gowns which might be of interest to you.
-Are they family christening gowns?
I believe that that one was one that I was wearing
when I was christened many, many moons ago.
I can certainly remember my teddy wearing it when I was little.
But yes, this one is a family one but my mother was a great jumbler.
I don't think jumble sales really exist like they used to.
Everyone goes to car boots now, don't they?
You're right. Lots of people nowadays, certainly when these were around,
you'd preserve what you had and of course, you'd take material from wherever you could get it from
and make them into other things or repair them. These are nice because they're complete gowns
-but I notice that in the bottom, you've got oddments.
People used to buy all these sorts of things
and would make patchwork quilts or do a repair on something.
Things lasted that bit longer because people didn't have the disposable income.
These are great items to have. They're all in nice condition.
You've got three good-quality christening gowns there, worth £20 each.
If I said sort of £60-£100 for that box...
-Wow, that sounds brilliant to me.
-Without stitching anybody up!
OK, well let's leave them here for safekeeping and then
we know they're out of the way, but I'm really pleased with that.
-Let's go and see if we can find anything else.
Paul's jokes are getting better and better.
Maybe he's aiming to win his own cabaret spot under the Northern lights.
Still, it's a great estimate for these charming heirlooms.
But that's not all the treasures to be found in this room.
Peter's decided it's time to let go of this pair of Victorian children's chairs.
They were bought by Alice's mum at auction many years ago
and they're added to our ever-growing list of lots with a £30-£50 price tag.
And there's something else he's found, too.
Ah, hello, Peter.
Hello, well, I just found the two jugs we're looking for.
Ah, now, look at that. That's a good, old tankard, isn't it?
We've got a coach pewter mug and a First World War shell case jug.
This would have been used in a tavern, someone would leave it behind the bar.
We used to drink a lot more ale and beer at that time
because it was actually safer to drink than the water.
Well, this one was made in 1826, and that's called a touch mark.
What would happen, the customs officers
would go around and measure the exact measure to make sure you weren't getting short changed.
So, that's a good, strong tankard, a bit of pub memorabilia.
And people love that sort of thing.
That's very saleable. Tell me about this one?
It's a shell case from the First World War.
It's got a date of 1915 on the bottom, so that dates it well.
Right. I can see the crows feet there, which is military issue.
It's obviously a military shell, First World War.
And it's called trench art. What would happen,
there'd be millions of these vessels lying around once they'd been spent,
but of no use to anybody.
They used to make them into all sorts of things.
This one has a little badge on here. What's that, again?
From the Royal Army Medical Corps uniform.
That's great, that's a good piece of First World War memorabilia
but there was millions of them around,
but they have become collectible in their own right.
Are these sentimental or are you OK to get rid of them?
This is the only item that my son has ever expressed an interest in,
and it's only once when we said this might be going to auction.
He said, "Oh, actually, I quite like that,"
so it's subject to discussion.
So that's something that you'll need to clear up with your son first.
But all being well, if I said around the £50 mark,
£30-£50 at least.
-How does that sound?
-That sounds brilliant.
-Wonderful, thank you.
-Let's keep looking.
So, we're going to have to wait to find out if that jug
made from a shell case makes it to auction,
or if it's destined to be handed down to the next generation.
Fortunately, it's not one of our big-money collections,
so, even if it doesn't make it to the sale room,
it shouldn't scupper our couple's chances of making it to the Arctic Circle.
So, tell me a little bit about this trip you want to take, then.
I've always been fascinated by astronomy.
I was growing up in the '60s, when all the moon shots were going on.
It's the most exciting time ever when you're a young chap.
It grabbed me there and then. I've been fascinated ever since.
So, I love astronomy in general,
and one thing I'm desperate to see is the Aurora Borealis,
or the Northern Lights, as they're alternatively known,
where you get all the curtains of light across the sky.
One of the things we've always wanted to see is the ice hotel.
I believe there's one in Lapland and one in Sweden-ish,
and I believe there's also one in Canada, now.
And what is it about the ice hotel that you particularly like?
I think they make it every year out of ice,
it's like a giant snowhole, I presume.
And things like, you have glasses made of ice to have your shots of whatever in.
And you sleep on reindeer skins over a bed of ice, if you like.
And it just seems very appealing,
that you're nice and snug and cosy and warm
but you're surrounded by ice and cold.
The juxtaposition of the two temperatures, it's lovely.
So, when you're there,
is it also a really good place to observe the stars?
Britain, especially the South-East of England where we are, is appalling.
There's so much light pollution that you're struggling to see much at all
but somewhere like Sweden, out in the sticks, miles from anywhere,
there would be no light pollution,
no pollution in the air.
The air would be so clear, you'd see everything much more sharply and clearly.
Until you've seen it, you don't know how different it is.
Because people who've grown up in the South of England
have never seen the stars properly.
Well, given your interest, I have to ask you,
do you think there is life out there?
I think it's inevitable, personally.
However, the universe is so massive it might not be that close, ha ha.
It might well be there but I don't think there's any chance we're ever going to detect any.
We can detect some life closer to home,
in the form of Paul Hayes.
Shall we see if he's found anything to help add to the target?
That would be good.
We're running out of time on our rummage here in Buckinghamshire,
but that's not to say Paul's slowing down.
On the contrary, he's been working tirelessly,
and his efforts pay off
when he finds an assortment of fiddle pattern spoons,
so called because of the shape of the handles.
Nine are hallmarked, whilst the others are silver plated,
and they were all produced in England, from 1814 to 1906.
Paul thinks we'll be able to raise £30 to £50 for the lot,
But that's not all he's hoping we can take with us to auction.
Ah, now then, Peter, is this your desk?
Yes, this is our Davenport.
It's fantastic, isn't it?
Yes, it's very nice
but we don't really find a use for it in the house.
We mostly use computers rather than writing.
The screen won't stand on it, so it's a bit awkward, really.
Do you know, you're exactly right.
The situation we're at at the moment with antiques,
especially bureaus, it that they don't fit computers,
people don't really use them anymore.
When you've got a sloped surface like that, you're right.
It's one of my favourite items.
-Do you know why it's called a Davenport?
-I don't, I'm afraid, no.
Apparently, there was a captain Davenport in the 18th century,
and he commissioned one to have on board a ship.
It was commissioned from Gillows, in Lancashire,
which is why I know, cos that's my neck of the woods.
Well, this one is a Victorian example, maybe 1880 to 1900,
it's made from burr walnut, similar to the box that we saw earlier on.
We have a set of false drawers to one side, here,
and then we have some real ones at this side.
And then when you open it up, it has a beautiful fitted interior.
You keep all your documents here. The whole thing can be locked away.
Just a quality thing to have. I love them.
It's the sort of thing that's had a bit of restoration.
If you notice down on the feet,
-there's a bit of veneer missing, can you see?
Burr walnut is expensive, so they only use it in a veneer,
it'll need repaired.
And I think this gallery on the back is a late addition, as well.
-Have you heard that before?
Normally, these would have a brass gallery along the back,
and that might have been a later addition.
That's to stop things falling off, I take it?
Exactly, so your pens don't go down the back.
But I think it's wonderful.
With a bit of polish, something that will bring out the walnut,
I think that could be a nice thing for somebody.
And value-wise, quite a lot, actually.
Hmm, well, if I said...
How does that sound?
-Did you say £300?
£300 for a nice, little Davenport. What a cracker.
Crikey, well, that is a good result, isn't it?
Are you happy to sell it?
Yes, the figure you said is astounding.
-You're pleased, then?
OK, well, it's going to help us quite a bit, I think,
because everything going to auction comes to £990.
-Yes, it's good, isn't it?
It is more than we expected.
-Well, that's good.
Next time we see everything will be at the auction house.
That would be good.
Hopefully, we'll make the money.
-If we don't, we'll all come after you.
What a veritable feast of treasures we have unearthed here in Buckinghamshire.
And looking to finance that trip to see the Northern lights, we have...
the wonderful collection of antique boxes,
that includes an Edwardian tea caddy and a Victorian stationery box.
Let's hope the bidders can't contain their excitement
and pay upwards of their £150 estimate.
Paul just loved the burr walnut Davenport.
And if the auction-goers like it half as much,
we should have no trouble reaching its estimate.
And, of course, the splendid 19th century portrait.
I can't say its subject is as pretty as a picture
but if it reaches its estimate, then we'll all be smiling.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic...
the bidders prove to be a thirsty bunch.
It didn't have a quart of ale in there, did it?
And there's relief at seeing the back of some family heirlooms.
I would give her another 20 quid to take it away.
Would you, really?
But will we make our ambitious target?
All will be revealed.
It has been a few weeks since we were with Peter and Alice.
They had some really nice items, including the tankards,
and of course, that lovely Davenport,
which we brought here, to Chiswick auction rooms in West London.
Now, remember, they are looking to raise £1,000
so that they can go and see the Northern Lights.
Let's just hope that their items dazzle the bidders today.
We have yet to learn if the shell case has made it to the saleroom.
But two things that have definitely arrived,
and are looking great out on display,
are the pair of Victorian children's chairs.
These are lovely, aren't they?
These tick both boxes for me.
The fact that they are for children, and they are a pair in good condition.
You've heard that Victorian furniture isn't doing well at auction, everyone knows that.
But these are light and delicate.
The bigger pieces struggle - people haven't got the room for them.
But these are very decorative. This basket work is in really good condition.
This costs about £10 a hole to repair
and, of course, it can get quite expensive if you do the whole lot.
I think these are going to do well.
As we join Alice and Peter, we discover that they are keen
to protect the value of one of their most precious Victorian antiques.
-Are you still clearing out your drawers?
I'm afraid so, I'm afraid so.
I'm glad you've got that open, that is great.
We've been advised that because it is a nice piece,
and it is a family heirloom, that sort of thing,
I don't want it to go for tuppence halfpenny.
So, um, yes, we've been advised that £300 would be a reasonable
reserve to put on it.
Well, of course, your picture is very proudly
on display over by the auctioneers stand, there.
Looking quite in part and keeping with the other ones around it,
Of course, we need to make you the money
so that you can take this trip to see the Northern Lights.
-So, come on, let's go.
-Splendid, that's brilliant.
I'm pleased that the Devonport has arrived safely,
but one item that hasn't made it is the shell case jug.
Alice and Peter's son decided that he wanted to keep hold of it.
So, we are now selling the 19th century pewter tankard
on its own.
Will that make a difference to the price we make?
-So, this is just the tankard.
And this one is in on its own at £30,
but I think anything over £20 is a bonus.
-But let's see how we go.
£10, start me. £10 on bid, I'll take 12, now.
At £10, 12, there.
15? 18? 20? 22?
28? 32? 35?
38? At £35 in the heights, then. Take 38, now.
At £35 for the tankard, all done.
Gosh, that was better than we thought, wasn't it?
It didn't have a quart of ale, in there, when it went out?
Now, that is how we like to start an auction.
In spite of it being sold on its own, we still made £5 over
the estimate, and part of the lot will still be kept in the family.
Hopefully, our good fortune will continue with the pair of hallmarked
silver pots, dated 1946, that Alice found in the kitchen.
-That sounds good.
-Yes? Where is that from?
Um, presumably from my mother, or from my grandmother.
I'm really not that attached to it,
it's just always been around and never been used.
£10, start me for the two.
£10, I'm bid. 12, 15.
18, 20, 22, 25, 28?
At £25 at the back wall, then. At 25, I will take 28 now.
At £25, are we all done? Last chance, and selling.
-There you go.
-£25, that's OK, isn't it?
What's the estimate on that?
We had £20-£40.
That's not too bad.
It's in the middle, isn't it?
I can see nothing gets past Alice.
She must be pleased with this solid result.
Now, will there be any restorers in the room?
Because our next lot is certainly in need of some TLC.
It is a somewhat neglected Pembroke table
that Paul discovered in the conservatory.
We have just got £30-£50 on that, which is a sign of the times.
It is, yes.
This does need a bit of attention but the basic Gubbins is there.
But it does need to be brought back to life, really, so I think £30-£40.
-A few years ago, we would be looking at a lot more.
-It's always the way, isn't it?
Start me at £30, somebody, well worth that.
At £30, start me. £20? For a Victorian table at £20?
10? Anyone like it at £10? £10, I am bid, I thought so.
12, there. 15. 18. 20, 22, 25.
-More like it.
At 30? 32, shakes her head.
Back wall bidder at £30,
still ridiculously cheap. I'm going to sell it at £30, then, all done.
-They've got a bargain, there.
-Somebody will do that up, though.
I should have put some linseed oil on it.
Well, it is a little late for that, I'm afraid, Alice.
The table is sold, but that lady certainly was keen to buy it and,
look on the bright side, you are a step nearer the Northern Lights.
Now, it's time for the collection of lace to go before the room.
And the lot includes three christening gowns,
one of which was Alice's.
Yes, I have often thought that such a lot of work goes into them,
they are little works of art, aren't they?
Three bids - I'm starting at £70...
There you go! That's great.
You bid £85, I will take 90, now.
I still think it's cheap. I'll take £90.
At £85, 85, are we all done, and selling? £85, last chance.
Well, that's not bad, is it?
I didn't think they would make that - that's really good.
A lot of those came from jumble sales!
Maybe somebody's got a christening to go to.
What a result. You can never tell what the buyers will be after
on any given day at auction.
Thankfully, there were several interested parties.
Knowing that Alice wore one of the gowns, I'm sure she's
pleased with the result.
Will there be a similar amount of interest in our collection
of fiddle-patterned spoons, I wonder?
What do we want for these, Paul?
We're looking for £30 to £50. They're oddments, people collect them
for the hallmarks. Just a bit of interest, really.
They are a good christening present.
I was always told they were a bit special,
but stuck in a box, they're special to nobody.
True. Let's see if someone here feels they're special.
£20, start me. Surely a bit of silver at £20?
10, 12, 15. 18?
At £15 I'm bid, take £18 now?
22, 25? Shakes his head at 22, he will bid at 22, take 25, now.
£22 for the spoons, all done and selling at 22.
£22, that's not bad, I don't think, do you?
Bearing in mind they were just stuck in a box,
it's not too bad.
I think Alice would have liked a few more pounds for her spoons,
but, sadly, the bidders didn't think they were particularly special,
and we have our first sale to fall short of our estimate.
Let's hope it's just a glitch in the day's proceedings, though.
As we have high hopes for our next lot, even though
it's just one half of a 19th century table.
I remember this one coming down from my father's family.
I do know that it did match with another half, but unfortunately,
when the parents died, they were split and sent to different brothers.
So somewhere in Lancashire, there is the other half to the table.
We like this one, don't we?
Yeah, this would have been the end of a big Georgian table. £50 is what we are looking for.
Start me on £50, somebody? £30 to start me?
Start at £10 and see where it goes. £10 I am bid. Take 12.
12 bid, 15, 18, 20. 22, 25. 28.
At £25 seated in the middle of the room over there.
At £25, will make good console table. At £25, I'm going to sell it.
-That's cheap, isn't it?
-It's very disappointing.
Well, that really wasn't the result we were hoping for.
After a strong start, we've had a couple of disappointing results.
At the halfway stage, just how have we done?
OK, well, we've got a bit of a break before our next lots come up.
So far, we've actually made £222.
Quite far off the target. But we've got some good pieces coming up.
In the meantime, we've got a bit of a break, so shall we?
While Alice and Peter catch their breath following the first half,
Paul takes the opportunity to explore the saleroom.
And when you come to auctions, you never know what you might find.
-Paul, that's an interesting item, isn't it?
-This is an old font.
Obviously come out of a church.
What a wonderful thing to have. It would be great in the garden if you want that sort of Gothic look.
This is quite cheap, £250-£300.
Presumably, something like this would sell for more in a specialist sale, so it might be a bargain here?
That's right, always look for the unusual. This could be a fish out of water here.
-You could actually use that for fish!
But if you wanted a fantastic thing for the garden -
it's Gothic, it's ecclesiastical, it's very popular and affordable.
It seems that it's not just Paul who's taken by the church font.
as there is a flurry of excitement when it's offered to the room
and sells...for £380.
So there are people here who are prepared to part with their cash
for quality collectables. Good luck to getting it home.
Now, if you're planning on heading to auction, do remember that fees
such as commission, VAT and other charges will be added to your bill.
Do always check the details first with your local auction house
to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
It's time for our next lot of the day,
it's the 19th-century jardiniere stand
by the German manufacturer Mettlach.
Sadly, it's seen better days.
What happened to it? Do you remember how it got damaged?
No, it was always in my grandmother's home.
It had a vase on with a fern coming out the vase.
From when I was very little,
I can remember crawling about and seeing it. I was very small.
If you had a Victorian house, as a decorative item, it looks great.
We're looking for £50 on it.
Start me at £50, somebody? Start with £30?
I don't believe it.
Anyone want the jardiniere stand at £20? £20 I'm bid.
At £20 only for the Mettlach? Is that a bid at 22?
23. 25. 28. 30?
At £28, seated at £28. I'll take 30 now.
At £28, all done. I'm going to sell it at 28.
Oh, dear, £28. Are you disappointed with that?
Disappointed, but I don't like it anyway.
OK, fair enough.
'So it looks like the damage did put the bidders off our Victorian stand.
'But Alice seems more than happy to have it out of the house.
'Now, time for one of my favourite of today's lots -
'a pair of Victorian children's chairs
'which I think are charming.'
Where did you get these from?
Again, these came from my grandmother to my mother to me,
probably bought from some big country house auction.
They've always just been around.
But because there is no arms to them, no strapping,
a modern child would quite easily fall off.
They're not really of any particular use except to put things on.
What do we want for these, Paul?
£30-£50. Somebody that has dolls or teddy bears, these are perfect.
I have three bids, I am starting at £80. I will take five in the room.
-85, 90, 95?
At £90, I will take 5 now. 95, 100, 110. £110.
£100. ..120 there.
130 if you like. £120, your bid at the back of the room.
Take 130 now. Are we all done at 120? Last chance.
-Wow! That's incredible.
-£120, that is good.
It's made up for one or two of the other things.
'Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more, Alice. A great surprise
'and a few more results like that would be very welcome.
'Maybe our collection of antique boxes will have similar success.
'I hope so.'
These are lovely things, and always popular.
Yes, these are lovely. People are always interested in old boxes.
People love to do them up and bring them back to life.
-Paul, what do you want for these?
I've got two bids on this. Starting with me at £150. I'll take 160.
-I'll take 160 now. £150. 150, all done, last chance.
-Someone's bought them.
-You're not happy about that?
No, I saw lots of people looking at them and it would have been...
He had a number of commission bids all about the same amount.
So he might have three people looking at it,
left a bid with the auctioneer and the top bid has been 150.
But because there's been nobody else...
'I think we'd all secretly hoped that the boxes would breeze
'through their estimate, but sadly not and we settle for £150,
'which was Paul's lower valuation.
'There are mixed feelings about the sale of our next lot.
'It's a 19th-century portrait that Alice is rather attached to.
'But Peter can't wait to see the back of it. I can understand why -
'her eyes have been following me around all morning.'
She's not really looking like she's full of joie de vivre, is she?
She's an elderly lady. I think it says she is 84 on the back of the picture,
her name and how old she is.
When you're 84, maybe there isn't much joy in life.
You can feel her looking at you and disapproving of everything all the time.
I'd quite like to see the back of it
-You're not going to miss this?
-No, not at all.
What do you want for this, Paul?
I actually think that if the subject had been a bit lighter - a child, or an animal, something like that -
it would be a bit more interesting.
But £200 is the minimum, hopefully, we will get today.
What shall we say on this one? Start me on £200?
Start me on £150.
At 160 now? £150. No further bidding?
I can recall that bid. No further interest?
180 if you like, I'll happily sell it to you at 180. 190 now. £180.
-180, is that all right with you?
-You happy with that?
I'm not overjoyed, but at least it's gone and the gaze will be removed from Peter.
-He's quite happy.
-I would have given them 20 quid to take it away.
-Would you really?
'Disappointing not to reach the bottom estimate for the portrait,
'but Peter's relief is all too clear to see. I'm not altogether surprised
'that our subject's expression failed to win over the bidders.
'We've had a real mix of fortunes with our Victorian lots so far
'and it's our most highly valued example next.
'It's a splendid burr walnut Davenport
'which, rather wisely on a day like this,
'has been protected with a £300 reserve.'
-How realistic is that?
-I think it's very realistic.
It needs a little bit of attention, and I think the fashion may not be here for that particular desk,
but it's quality, quality, quality
with a little secret drawer at the back, satinwood interior.
I think it's a lovely piece. We've put a discretion on the reserve,
so that means if he gets near the £300, then he will let it go.
I've got one bid here of £150, it's not enough.
-I've got £250, I'll take 260 in the room. At £250.
-250 sounds good.
-No further interest than 250 in the room?
-I'm afraid it's not sold.
-That's a bit of a shame, isn't it?
It's going back home with you unless you want to readjust the price
and leave it here to try and sell it again another auction.
It's up to you.
'So the Davenport remains unsold for the time being
'and will be entered into another sale at a later date.
'Sadly for us, that doesn't help our total
'and we have just one lot left which will have to exceed
'all expectations if we are to reach our £1,000 target now.
'I do, however, think it's a great lot.
'It's the vintage collection of evening bags.
'A real mixture of glamour from a bygone era.'
Are you sorry to see these go?
Not really, they've just been stuck in a bag in the trunk for years.
I didn't really remember that I even had them.
People do love to see how fashions develop, really,
and what things were fashionable years ago that aren't now.
So this is a quantity of handbags, all sorts, £40-£60.
I've got two bids, starting at £80. £80, 95, 100.
110. 120, 130. 140 there. 150, 160.
170, 180? £170. At 170, take 180 now.
At 170, I'm going to sell it. All done? 170.
How fantastic is that!
Your mum and you did very well buying those up.
-What sort of price would you have paid for them?
-Now, probably two shillings at that stage.
-Couple of bob!
-And now you've got £170, that's fantastic!
'It's fair to say, that result took us all by surprise.
'Alice's mum's numerous trips to jumble sales paid off for us there.
'It's another substantial contribution to the stargazing fund.
'But is it enough to reach our £1,000 target? Time to find out.'
Obviously, you want the money to go and see the Northern Lights.
Have you any idea how much you may have banked?
The bags went for more than we thought and the lace went for more than we thought.
-I've completely lost track to be honest.
-I think 750?
-A bit more than that. £870.
-That's better than we thought.
Are you happy with that?
Especially as we've still got the Davenport and, hopefully, on another day...
How's that going to go towards the holiday?
Hopefully it will make a big contribution towards going, probably later in the year.
It will be fantastic, won't it? Have a fantastic time.
Having recovered from all the drama of sale day,
Alice and Peter are back home in Buckinghamshire planning the big trip to see the Northern Lights.
I do hope Peter is not planning to take that in his hand luggage on the plane.
The aurora borealis, I've always wanted to go and see.
After Cash in the Attic, we have a bit of money towards the cost.
It looks like it's on the cards and we'll be on our way.
I think Alice is more interested in going to the ice hotel.
That's something she's seen on documentaries and the like
and it's always fascinated her.
I was just looking on the internet and through my little brochure here
to see what attractions the ice hotel can offer.
The fact that you have to go in the winter to get to the dark skies
and get the Northern Lights, that means you get all the coldness,
it's just an awesome experience.
We're slightly off the wall, sometimes, in our activities,
so it will be a nice place to go.