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Welcome to Cash In The Attic.
Today is full of promise because the lady we'll meet knows a thing or two about antiques.
She's been collecting for more than 30 years,
so are the pieces she's now willing to part with going to turn out to be sound investments?
Stay with us to find out.
'Coming up on Cash In The Attic, I wonder if I've turned up for the right programme?'
-Would you do just a little twirl?
-I'll be the man, shall I?
-Yes. I'm absolutely no good at being the man.
You can twirl out, then we can carry on with our rummaging.
-'Our expert's valuations come in for tough criticism.'
-How do you feel about that?
-What do I say? Terrible.
'And we experience a really difficult day at auction.'
-Oh, dear me!
-We needed that, didn't we?
'Will we come out smiling at the end? Find out when the final hammer falls.'
Today, I'm in rural Wiltshire
and I'm on my way to meet Anita Rhodes who has called us in
to help raise funds for a family celebration.
It seems Anita has been travelling for most of her life.
She was born in Norfolk and grew up in London where she became a nurse.
She married Michael in 1960 after which she was posted to Cyprus with the RAF.
It was the first in a series of moves which took the family as far afield as Singapore, Germany
and the USA where they settled for a few years with their three children.
Now retired and back in the UK, Anita and Michael enjoy nothing more than some dancing at a local class.
It's Anita's old friend and occasional dancing partner Pat who is here to help us today.
Also here is our expert Paul Hayes who knows plenty about antiques and collectables.
He never misses a step when it comes to finding the best pieces to take to auction.
-This is Pat.
-I heard you were a great collector, but I didn't know you collected plants.
-I'm very fond of orchids.
-They're affordable these days and they last so long, don't they?
-They're gorgeous. They really are.
-How long have you two known one another?
-Quite a while.
-About 20 years.
-We've become very good friends.
-How did you meet?
-Sort of jiving?
Ballroom and sequence dancing.
So why have you called in Cash In The Attic?
My husband and I are celebrating our golden wedding anniversary. We want to bring our son over from the US.
-So what's the target?
-Well, hopefully about 500.
-Do you think we can do that?
-It'd be great if we can.
Ladies, shall we dance off round the house? I bet Paul's already made a start, so we'll go and find him.
'I think this comfortable home could hold a few treasures for us,
'so has Paul made our first discovery?'
-There you are.
-I said he'd find something already. What is it exactly?
It's a railway lantern, actually.
And it has brackets on the back and it would have been hinged on to the wall.
Inside, there's an oil burner.
So do you know which station it came from?
No, but there is a marking.
-I think it's LN...
-LNER, which is the London and North Eastern Railway.
You had the LMS - London, Midland and Scotland.
And the Great Western. There's lots of different companies before they became British Rail.
These are a pair of signalling lamps and would have been used on the railways.
These would be used by the stationmaster. Some were on board the trains.
Some were used by people working the railroads and they were a way of communicating.
The ones that come off boats or ships are more collectable as marine antiques are very collectable.
They tend to be solid brass, you have port and starboard.
-What do you think they might fetch?
-These are quite desirable.
-Before you tell me, how much did you pay for them?
-200, which is probably quite a bit.
I think that was quite a bit. I can see a pair of marine lamps fetching that.
-These have been repainted.
I'd like to see these a bit less than that for an auction estimate,
around the 100 mark, 75-100.
It's a bit less than what you've paid for them.
-How do you feel about that?
-What do I say? Terrible!
LAUGHTER Yes. Yeah, that's fine.
-Let's see if we can find something that was a better investment.
-Here we go.
-I'll put this down here for a second.
'£75 for that matching pair of lanterns is a good kick-start for the party fund,
'even if it's somewhat less than the price Anita originally paid.
'We'll need several more finds like this if we're to reach her target of £500.
'In the kitchen, Pat finds this pair of late Victorian puzzle jugs,
'so called because they're full of holes and the drinker has to sip from the jug
'without spilling anything.
'The earliest known puzzle jugs date back to medieval times,
'but they were especially popular in homes and taverns in the 18th and 19th centuries.
'They come up at auction quite often, so Paul values this pair at between £30 and £50.'
Ah, what have you found, Anita?
I just wondered if you'd be interested in these Tunbridge boxes.
-Some Tunbridge Ware.
-Those two are. This one isn't. My son has made that as a gift.
Really? Is he an enthusiast with furniture or is he interested in Tunbridge Ware?
He studied at the London College of Furniture and when he finished, he went to the States.
He's been there ever since. He is an antique furniture restorer.
I shall take my cap off to him because that's a very difficult job.
-That one will stay with you?
Tunbridge Ware is from Tunbridge Wells. It's a type of micromosaic.
The carpenter would gather together canes of different coloured wood.
There's something like 160 different types of wood veneer that they use.
Each one is a different colour. There's no dyes used here at all.
They gather these very small squares of wood together in canes or rods.
The whole thing is glued into the pattern they want, then using a very accurate saw,
it's sliced through, so they can produce quite a few boxes from the one veneer.
If you look in here, it actually says, "Tunbridge Wells Ware, made in England."
You've got two lovely examples here.
If I said £100, maybe £150 for those two, how does that sound?
-That sounds OK.
-Does that relate to what you would have paid for them?
I've had them quite a few years.
-I gave about 68 for that one and 40-ish for that one.
-There we go.
-These can definitely go?
-Let's keep looking. Onwards and upwards.
'So another healthy marker in our quest to make £500.
'There are plenty of pieces around the house which reflect the family's far-flung adventures.
'Paul spots these early 20th century watercolours which show Dutch street scenes.
'Anita picked them up during their time in Germany.
'Sadly, pictures like these aren't very fashionable at the moment
'and there is no signature on them which makes identification almost impossible.
'As a result, Paul thinks £45 to £60 is a realistic estimate.
'So far today, our efforts have unearthed goodies with a potential auction value of £250,
'so we are exactly halfway to achieving our goal,
'but it would seem we have only just skimmed the surface.'
-Paul, have you seen these?
-Now then, look at that.
That's a nice little collection.
-Who collected all these?
-I think Anita got them about 15 years ago in an antique shop.
-Amazing, aren't they?
-Are they called netsukes? I'm not quite sure how you pronounce it.
Netsukes. When you translate that, it means "root attach".
But these actually are a piece of oriental culture.
These are worn on a kimono. With a kimono, there are no pockets.
-So you've nowhere to put all your bits and bobs.
So they had these boxes called an inro where they'd have tobacco or pens.
That would hang on a sash called an obi and the whole thing was tied together with a netsuke,
which is what this is here.
There's always two holes where the two pieces of string are tied together at the top.
-They're individually carved. This one's a tiger.
This one's a fish. And there's a little boy with a fish here.
These can be very symbolic. The fish is often depicted in Chinese culture.
It's a good luck symbol. It's in pictures and silk tapestries.
There's a lot of hidden meaning in these items.
Those are lovely. If I said around the £100 mark,
60 to 100 as an auction estimate, how does that sound?
'A promising valuation, but will the collectors of oriental antiques be out in force come sale day?'
32. 35. £35 for that lot. 38 to my left.
'We'll soon see if the netsukes help us pocket a small fortune.
'Anita has decided to add this pair of 19th century brass postal scales
'to the list of items heading off to auction.
'She picked them up a few years ago at a local sale.
'Sets like these make quirky collectables and are commonplace in salerooms across the country.
'The main issue is whether they have their original set of weights.
'Happily, these do, so Paul values them
'at a respectable £30 to £50.
'While Paul and Pat get on with the rummage, I take time out to learn a little more about our host.'
I wanted to come out in your garden and have a little sit-down. It's so, so beautiful.
-Do you do all the gardening?
-No, I don't.
-That's even better.
-I just supervise.
-Michael does most of it and it's lovely, isn't it?
-It's very nice.
But neither of you is a local Wiltshire lad or lass.
-I think you were born in Norfolk?
I was born at a place called Grimston.
-Oh! Sounds grim.
-I'm sure it's not.
-I don't know. I've never been back.
And where did you meet Michael?
-As everybody did in those days, at a dance.
-Oh, you said how you loved dancing.
Tell me, was he a dazzling dancer?
Um... Do you know, I don't remember!
What was it, his striking good looks that charmed you?
Yes, actually. Yes.
And he was so nice.
He was just so tall
and he wore glasses
and I just liked chaps with glasses.
I thought that was...
I don't know. That was it.
So his life in the RAF presumably has taken you pretty much around the world?
Our first posting together was in Cyprus just after they had their independence.
After that, we went to Singapore and finally to America
on an exchange posting, so that was quite nice.
There's kind of symmetry there because your son Graham is now in Cleveland, Ohio.
That's what this programme is about - to bring him back
-to help you celebrate.
I think it's going to be wonderful.
We'd better carry on rummaging because we'll never get the money otherwise.
'I could happily sit in Anita's garden all day. It's beautiful.
'But there's work to be done if we're to help the anniversary reunion happen.
'Pat is still searching inside, but the lady of the house offers up the next discovery
'which she thinks could hold promise.'
Hello, my dear. What have you found?
-A few more goodies.
-Let's have a look at these. These look interesting.
You must think I'm completely oriental here. What do you think?
-They're definitely oriental.
-Gosh, they're very pretty!
-They're scent bottles?
-I believe they're snuff bottles.
-Don't be so shocked, Jennie.
-I am shocked.
I thought a snuff bottle or a snuff pot would have a much wider mouth.
-I've never seen that.
-In China, it was illegal for a long time to actually smoke,
but the taking of snuff was highly thought of.
When you were greeted by someone in Chinese culture, they would offer you a bit of snuff.
They believed it cured colds and it was very good for you. We know different now.
These are very attractive. They're all sorts of materials.
They're a bit of culture that goes back a long time now.
These two look like nephrite and it is often mistaken for jade.
But it can range in colour from a translucent, almost white colour
to a spinach colour, which is this one here, so that's the difference.
This is cloisonne. They make lots and lots of cloisonne items
where the item is made from brass
and each wire is soldered to the surface to build up this picture,
then using like a glass paste, they rubbed into the surface, then polished away.
This is what you end up with, such a technical thing on a small item.
These are not old items. These are 20th century examples.
-I really thought they were old, especially that one.
-Sorry. They're made for us Europeans now.
-I mean, if we said sort of 100, 150 for that little lot there, how does that sound?
-That sounds good, yes.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, that sounds very good.
Let's go and find something of even more value.
'That's another very useful addition to our ever-increasing kitty.
'And how about this for a flavour of the orient?
'This early 20th century, Chinese ivory pagoda was picked up by Anita in a charity shop.
'The trade in ivory is controlled by international treaties.
'However, antique pieces which were worked before 1947 are unaffected by this legislation.
'It's always worth checking the age of the item with a local dealer just to be sure.
'Though it has some damage, Anita paid £80 for this example which Paul thinks isn't a bad price.
'With the right bidders present,
'he hopes it could fetch upwards of £100 at auction.
'There are clues to Anita's many interests throughout the house,
'not least her love of dancing.'
Look, I found this book all about how to dance.
-"Looking Jazzy, Foxtrot, Dancing Regally."
-Oh, my goodness!
This is the key to it all. This is how you met.
That was a long time ago and we've had great fun ever since.
How big a part is dance in your life now?
It's not a very big part, but I enjoy it. I love Anita and Mike's company. We always have a laugh.
-We find it great fun.
-That's the biggest part. We have tremendous fun.
-How long have you been married, Pat?
-You've already had your big golden wedding celebration?
-We have indeed.
How wonderful! Well done, you. What are you going to do for your golden wedding celebrations?
We're having a family gathering and Graham's coming from America. It's going to be exciting.
-When was the family last together?
-Two years ago, I was 70 and we managed to be together then.
You said I should see you dance. I want to see you dance. Would you do just a little twirl?
-I'll be the man, shall I?
-You'll have to be. I'm no good at being the man.
You could twirl out, then we can carry on rummaging.
'I can't think of a better way to spend the day, but there's still plenty to do.
'I come across this chrome cocktail recipe stand in the shape of a bell with vintage recipes.
'Cocktails grew in popularity during America's Prohibition era in the 1920s
'when the taste of poor quality home-made spirits would be masked by a variety of fruit cordials.
'We think this tarnished, but still quirky example is from the 1940s
'and could make a refreshing £20 to £40 on sale day.'
That's a nice occasional table. Where has this come from?
I bought it here in Marlborough about 12 years ago.
This one has a specific name. Do you know what it's called?
-It's called a Sutherland table, named after the Duke of Sutherland who ordered the first one.
It's a very, very narrow table that can be pushed towards a settee or a couch or against the wall,
then when you want to use it, it has this gate leg action here.
-This opens out, so you end up with the size of a tea tray or perhaps a little game of cards.
Just a small occasional table. This one is made from solid mahogany.
-It's made in the Sheraton Revival style. Have you heard of that?
It has this wonderful inlaid shell decoration.
You'll find that on bureaus and tables. Very clever with the contrasting woods.
Then the use of stringing to give the straight lines,
the emphasis around the edge here with this marquetry inlay in satinwood.
It looks very, very attractive. Was it very expensive at the time?
Yes. Well, for me, it was. I paid about £260.
That was probably quite a lot, really.
-You paid about what it was worth at that time. Antiques do go up and down.
-I know that.
-The problem is nowadays they're not bringing as much as they were.
If I was being realistic, and I have to be, you're now looking around the 100 mark.
-Sort of 80 to 100. How does that sound?
-Not so good, actually.
-Am I able to put a reserve on it?
-You can put a reserve,
but it has to be within that estimate. You can't put 260 on it.
-Can I think about it?
-That's no problem at all. You can take as much time as you like.
But that's at least £80 towards your target. But you can use it occasionally if you'd like to.
-Have a think about that for now.
-Let's find something else.
'Anita's right to mull this one over.
'It's best to be totally comfortable about sending an item to auction and for the right price.
'We'll find out her decision about the table later.
'Sadly, our day in rural Wiltshire is coming to an end,
'but as we conduct one last sweep of the lounge for auction lots,
'our host thinks she may have come up trumps.'
-Ah, now then...
-So what is it you've got there?
That one, um... I think he must have been a local artist.
And the other one is somebody who admired his work
-and has done the same sort of style.
-Where did you get them from?
I got them from an auction when we had an auction house in the town.
They were in a sort of job lot at the tail end of the auction.
And I had some prints and these two, the frames were riddled with woodworm,
so I looked at them and thought, "I really like those," so I had them re-framed.
HE Tidmarsh - does that mean anything to you? Do you know the artist?
I did research him and as far as I remember, he was an RA.
If he was in the RA, the Royal Academy, he's taken his work very seriously and exhibited there.
He should be traceable. It says here, "Keeper's House, Hodson near Coate."
-Do you know where this cottage is?
-I do. It's in a beautiful setting near a country park.
And walkers absolutely love it round there, as you can imagine.
People often buy these watercolours to see how their buildings did look. It's called topographical.
Sometimes you have a horse-drawn carriage outside the front or buildings where there were fields.
-People love to see that.
-What are they worth?
-I don't know the artist.
A nice watercolour like this might have a bit more local interest,
but if I said 60 to 100 for those two, how does that sound?
Well, 100 would be OK.
I don't know about 60. £30 each?
That's obviously not exactly what you were hoping for,
but we were looking for £500, so that you can have your son over here for your golden wedding.
Well, based on Paul's lowest estimates
and without the little Edwardian table that you're not sure about,
we reckon you will make not £500,
That's how they do it, isn't it? Yes!
-We've had a great day. We really have. We'll pack everything up and we'll see you on the big day.
'It's been a busy, but fruitful day. We've managed to top our target,
'even though so many items had only modest estimates. That's always good news.
'Anita bought these railway signal lamps over 20 years ago,
'but never quite found a use for them.
'Let's hope they can bring us between £75 and £100.
'That varied collection of early 20th century Chinese snuff bottles are excellent quality.
'And I'll bet those ornamental kimono attachments known as netsukes
'wrap up our day nicely at £60 to £100.
'We don't know yet if the Sutherland table will make it to the auction.
'If it does, it could add another £80 to £100 to the party plans.
'Still to come on Cash In The Attic, our hopes for auction success take a sudden turn for the worse.'
-That's a disaster.
-That is a disaster, isn't it?
We only reckoned on 20, but I think that's a bargain.
'We're left to look on the bright side when some items fail to find new owners.'
I fancy a go with them. I'm glad you didn't sell them.
'Will the shine be taken off Anita's golden wedding celebration? Find out with the final crack of the gavel.'
We've come from Wiltshire now to Chiswick Auction Rooms in London.
It's been a few weeks since I've seen Anita,
so I'm looking forward to hearing how those golden wedding anniversary party plans are going
and to seeing if we can raise the money to help pay for her son to come over from the States.
All we need is £500.
'Anita's collectables have been on display in the auction room for several days.
'I'm hoping they've attracted lots of interest,
'so Anita can have her dream wedding anniversary celebrations.
'One man who is hoping to start the party early is Paul Hayes.
'He's here in good time to check on all our collectables, although he seems a bit perplexed.
'Perhaps they haven't all made it.'
-Nice to see you.
-Tell me, how are the plans going for the party?
I'm really looking forward to it.
Did you bring everything along?
-No, I didn't bring a couple of items.
-I withdrew the table because I quite like it.
I paid too much for it, but I quite like it.
You paid what was current at the time, so that's going to be a long-term investment.
-And the little ivory pagoda.
-Oh, dear. So are you still feeling enthusiastic?
-Very enthusiastic. It will be quite fun, won't it?
-It will, yes.
-The auction's started.
-Yes, let's find a spot.
'It was always on the cards that Anita would keep her Sutherland table.
'It's just as well we didn't include its value in our rummage day total.
'But the same can't be said of the ivory pagoda, so we're £100 down on our potential earnings.
'But Anita still has some appealing collectables on offer,
'including those five antique kimono fastenings from Japan.
'And they're first under the hammer.'
-Those lovely carved netsukes - do you remember finding these?
All various symbols, we had monkeys, fish, all sorts of things.
These aren't tremendously old, but they are interesting items, nevertheless.
Interest in that lot. £30 to go. 32. 35.
£35 for that lot. 38 to my left. 40.
45. 50. 5. 60.
5. £65 standing...
-There you go, 65. That's all right, isn't it?
-That's all right.
'There was no shortage of interest in the room for our netsukes
'which is pleasing because their appeal is to quite a niche market.
'We have our first very reasonable contribution towards Anita's golden wedding anniversary celebrations.
'But whatever the arrangements are, cocktails are off limits.'
I love this item. I wanted to pinch it from your house.
It's those cocktail menus
-and they flick over.
-I've enjoyed trying some of those. They've become popular again.
-Why are you getting rid of it?
-Very small clutter. I wouldn't mind it.
-We want £20 to £40.
-Yeah, it's a bit of fun.
The golden age for these were the 1930s, the Roaring Twenties and Thirties with the jazz era...
-There are some interesting recipes on there.
-We've all had a look.
The little cocktail menu. £10 to start me, surely?
-Surely for a £10 note?
-Oh, come on!
-We're not going very far. 10 I'm bid. Anybody else?
Maiden bid in the room at £10. At £10, it goes...
-Oh, what a shame!
-That's a disaster.
-That is a disaster, isn't it?
We only reckoned on 20, but I think that's a bargain.
'Now, that is disappointing.
'I was convinced it would hit its lower estimate.
'I loved it, but as we know all too well, condition is everything and it had seen better days.
'That must have discouraged buyers.
'But there are some great lots left to come. Let's hope for more interest in our next one.
'It's the pair of 19th century, porcelain puzzle jugs.
'Paul valued them at £30 to £50
'and Anita put a reserve on them of £30.'
Yeah, these are 19th century, ceramic puzzle jugs.
They look like an ordinary jug, but to get the liquid out, you have to cover some of the air holes.
-There's quite a knack to using them.
-When you get to my age, you can't work it out anyway!
£20 surely for the puzzle jug?
-24. Come on.
£24. 26 I need. At £24. Anybody else?
At £24. I'm afraid it needs a bit more. 24...
-You're taking your puzzle jugs home. Have you had a go with these?
-We can play with those in the Indian restaurant tonight.
-She's delighted now.
I quite fancy having a go with them. I'm very glad you didn't sell them.
'So the jugs return to Wiltshire
'and Anita is more than happy to take them.
'Sadly, that hasn't helped our total which is in need of a boost.
'Could our railway lamps be the lot to do it?
'I hope so, but there is a fixed reserve on Paul's lower estimate,
'so fingers crossed for some healthy bidding.'
-Do you like them, Paul?
-Yeah, these are really collectable items. It's the golden age of the steam train.
With them being stamped with "LNER", I think these are great.
Let's hope there are some railway enthusiasts here that snap these up.
Must be worth £30. 30 to go?
-75 at least.
-30 I'm bid. 35.
40. 45. 50.
55. 60. 65. 70.
-With me at £70.
-Come on. We need one more.
Anybody else? At £70. No? Not quite enough.
At £70 I'm bid...
-Sorry. Nearly there.
-Oh, what a shame!
-He withdrew them?
-He withdrew them.
'So close - just £5 shy of Anita's reserve,
'but as it was fixed, rather than discretionary, the auctioneer couldn't sell them.
'That's our second lot in a row that's failed to find a new owner.'
The railway lanterns, yes, well, I gave rather a lot for them
and I felt they had to go,
but I thought it was a bit short of what I expected to get for them
and I would rather keep them.
'We had just one item left in the first half of the auction
'and we could do with a first-class result.
'It's the 19th century postal scales and we're looking for £30 to £50.'
These are a bit of social history. I like them.
This is when you used to weigh your own letters and put stamps on it,
so you put your letter on it and it would tell you one pence for a certain weight or "1d", as it says.
-Did you collect them?
-Yes, I had a thing about scales at one time.
-So you bought these...
As I've put on weight, I've given up collecting scales!
But at one time, when I was young, I liked scales.
Start me at £10 for the scales, surely?
10 I'm bid, thank you, on my far left.
£12. 14. 16. 18.
20. 22. 24.
26. 28. £28 there in the blue...
Just under. Come on, one more.
At £28 they go then. 28...
-Just under. There we go.
-He sold them?
-He sold them at 28, yeah.
'And for that, we're grateful. It's been quite a start to our auction,
'but for the most dispiriting reasons. No need for a calculator to work out our takings so far.'
-We're halfway through. How do you feel it's going?
-All right. It's interesting, isn't it?
It's been a bit of a roller-coaster, a couple of unsold items, but we've done OK on some others.
-The tension is mounting.
-We were looking for £500 at the start of the show.
You haven't quite got there, I have to say.
At this halfway point, you've made 103.
Could he cycle over, do you think?
That'll be fish and chips twice!
-You must be an optimist.
-We've got some very good pieces to come.
You've got those fantastic Tunbridge Ware boxes, the scent bottles and that lovely watercolour.
-Early days yet.
-Let's go and take a break.
-Are you going to look around?
-I'm going to show you something.
-# Are we H-A-P-P-Y...? #
'We can only hope for a change in our fortunes.
'Anita's plans for a superb wedding anniversary bash aren't dashed quite yet.
'If you're thinking of heading to auction to raise money for something really special,
'remember that fees like commission will be added to your bill.
'Check the details with your local auction house, so you're not landed with unexpected charges.
'Where has our expert disappeared to?'
-You're looking very studious.
-I love books. Don't you love books?
Yes. My husband's got a library and I hear him sometimes in there talking away to his books!
They are like old friends. People will read them over and over again.
There are three main collecting areas and this collection is a wonderful example.
First of all, we've got ancient books with nice, leather bindings.
This would be bought for its age and this wonderful leather.
This one is 1690. It says "1640", but it was really printed in 1690.
That's 320 years ago.
-But it's not a first edition?
-No. That's what you look for.
There's no first editions here, but the first print of any first book
or the first time a character appears is great.
-This one's almost there.
-It's a limited edition. Number 37 of 750.
-That makes it more valuable straight away.
It was printed over 100 years ago, so how many are left in circulation?
Beautifully illustrated - that's another collecting area for books.
-That one is in at over £100.
-It is beautiful. Look at those paintings!
But another way of buying books is for decoration, just like this. They call it wall furniture.
-Oh, that's silly.
-I don't think so, actually.
-You don't want to read it?
-You never read them. Purely for decoration.
-That's worth something?
-A set like that would bring maybe £100, £150.
-Just to look very nice in your cabinet.
'You never know what people will pay for at auction and how much.
'Quite fascinating. No buying for us today, but hopefully, lots more selling.
'Our second batch of items is just starting
'and we have high hopes for the Tunbridge Ware boxes. We're looking for upwards of £100.'
I think these are fantastic.
Anybody that understands marquetry or inlay, they're very difficult to produce,
-but you were quite a collector of these.
-Yes, I used to collect them for my son.
What was he doing with them?
He was just very enthusiastic about them when he was a student and said
if I could buy them, to do so for presents.
-We're looking for £100 for these, Jennie. Do you remember them?
-I hope there's somebody here who has that knowledge.
-Let's hope so.
What are they worth to start me? £50 for the two? Two boxes for £25 each?
Not a very good start. £40 to start me then? 40 I'm bid, thank you.
55. 60. 5...
£65, nearer to me at 65.
At £65. 65. Anybody else?
At 65. 70.
£80, I'm bid. At £80. Anybody else? At £80 for the Tunbridge.
At £80. £80 and selling...
Oh! £80. That's £20 under there.
We keep doing that, coming in just under.
'Another disappointment. There were several interested bidders,
'so I thought we would be able to creep up to the £100 mark.
'Best-laid plans, eh? Still, at least it's a sale and another contribution to the party fund.
'We have two sets of paintings in today's sale,
'so it's vital we have some art collectors here.
'First, a pair of Dutch street scenes painted in watercolour
'that date from the 20th century. They're not signed,
'but Paul still thinks they deserve to make upwards of £45.'
Your two watercolours, where are they from?
I bought them about ten years ago, probably longer.
-They obviously appealed to you.
-First, they are genuine watercolours.
They're quite old, they're continental.
It was about 1900 when they were painted.
I think they're very nice. The frames are nice.
-Do you like them, Pat?
-I love them. They're very nice. I hope they do well.
-Let's see how well they do.
Worth £10 surely? £10 for the watercolours?
Anybody? 10, I'm bid. Thank you.
- Are you bidding 12? 12. - You're joking!
£12, I'm bid. Nearer to me at £12. Doesn't seem a lot of money.
-Have you put a reserve on them?
14, thank you. 16.
Very slow going, but £16 is a little bit better than 12.
At £16. Anybody else? £16...
-He sold them. That's a shame, isn't it?
-He did sell them.
-That is a shame.
'More of a disaster! They didn't reach half of their lower estimate.
'It's a worrying sign that the art dealers aren't here.
'So far, we've managed to raise just £199.
'That's £301 short of our target, so the next two lots will have to work very hard for us.
'More paintings now, this time, the set of 19th century watercolours by the artist HE Tidmarsh.
'Paul initially valued them at £60 to £100 for the pair,
'but the auctioneers have successfully sold a number of similar works in recent years.
'They recommended raising the estimate to £200-£300,
'so Anita has revised her reserve,
'putting a discretionary figure of £200 on them.'
Remind me where that cottage was.
-It's near you somewhere, isn't it?
-It is. It's near Swindon. It's in Hodson.
-It's a very pretty place and it's a beautiful cottage.
-It's very evocative.
-An artist lives in that house?
-Yes, and you've met him?
-Yes, I have.
-I know we have a reserve on this of 200. It's sold with another one of a similar view, isn't it?
£200 is what we're looking for. Let's see how we get on.
What are they worth then...
for the view on the screen? Start me at £100 for them?
-£100 for them?
-£80 for them surely?
-No interest? I can't sell them for less than that.
Nobody want these? £80, I'm bid, but I need a bit more.
85. 90. 95. 100. 110.
140. There at £140. Would you like me to sell them at 140?
-Do you want to sell them for 140?
No? 150 then with me.
I don't think so.
-It's up to you.
No, I'd rather keep them.
170 then. With me at 170. 180.
-At £180. In the room at 180.
We're there at £180. Anybody else? 180 is the bid. Thank you, sir.
What he's done is he's used his discretion.
-Is that all right?
You were right to stick out and not let them go for any less than that.
'The full £200 would have been great,
'but we were close enough for the auctioneer to use his discretion
'and that's pretty good, considering the day we've been having.'
The Tidmarsh watercolours, I said, "I don't want them to go for that."
There has been quite a bit of interest generated in Wiltshire since I put them in.
The bids went up subsequently
and the auctioneer's discretion, so it was near enough the 200.
'After our first really significant result so far, we have just one lot left to sell.
'It'll need to perform really well if we're to have any chance of achieving that target of £500.
'So what will the room make of Anita's collection of 20th century, oriental snuff bottles?'
-They were collected by your son?
-They're rather fine and most unusual.
-They're all hand-done.
There's no antique value, but they are interesting collectors' items. A thing of the past, really.
-Is there much of a market for snuff?
-Let's hope so. We're looking for about £100.
Start me at £50, please, for the cloisonne?
£40 then, surely? I'm bid £40.
At £40. 45.
50. 5. 60.
-We need one more.
70. 5. 80.
£90 there. Standing to my left at 90.
-95, new bidder.
-Come on. That's more like it, isn't it?
£170 at the disembodied arm. At 170. Anybody else?
£170. 170... BANGS GAVEL
-I'm pleased about that.
-A result for once!
They are quite nice, if I say it myself.
-The quality of the carving is wonderful on those. That's a good price, I think.
-Well done. We needed that, didn't we?
'Well, it was a long time coming, but finally, we have a result to delight us all.
'Not only did the snuff bottles achieve their lower estimate, they smashed through the top one as well.
'And about time!
'It's been quite a sale, so how have we done?'
There you go. Oh, dear me!
It's quite a relief it's over! That was quite tough, I must say.
-You presented us with a heck of a challenge at the start of the day by not bringing two items.
We then failed to sell two items, so it's knocked a great big hole, I'm afraid, in the fund.
We were looking for £500 at the start of the day.
-Halfway through, we had virtually nothing.
-You now have 549.
-What a relief!
-I like to keep you guessing.
It's a number of weeks now since Anita's day at auction.
Her son Graham and his partner have flown over from their home in America to join his parents
as they celebrate their golden wedding at a luxurious hotel in the Cotswolds.
My son is over from America which is a great treat
because he went as quite a young man, finishing college.
After all these years, I'm just glad to have seen him. It's just been a treat.
Fortunately, Graham is not as camera-shy as his dad
who, I'm assured, is around here somewhere.
The gesture of raising the funds for a nice, wonderful stay in Fosse Manor has been very nice
and the countryside and just being here is a real privilege.
And we wish Anita and the ever-elusive Michael
a wonderful golden wedding anniversary away from the cameras!