Rita Grimsted is looking to raise £1,500 to buy a new kitchen. Gloria Hunniford and expert Paul Hayes help her search out potential auction lots, including a rare gold watch.
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Hello, welcome to Cash In The Attic,
the show that searches for antiques and collectibles,
and takes them to auction.
Now today, I'm going to meet a woman
who is about to do something that we'd all like to do -
a little bit of home improvement.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic,
it's a question of geography as we come across
some unique watercolours.
I think this is Morcone, up in the mountains.
I thought you said Morecambe, for a minute! That's Lancashire!
We discover a watch that causes our expert, Paul,
a great deal of excitement.
I tell you, you have found some watches on this programme,
-but judging by his excitement, this must be special.
And at auction,
some gifts from the past turn up some very unexpected results.
-Your Franco is shining down on you today, isn't he?
Find out more when the hammer falls.
I'll be honest, I love the seaside, even if it is raining.
But the woman we're about to meet is really interesting.
She's come back to the Kent coastline after many years abroad.
And she wants to make her new home even more comfortable.
This stylish seaside apartment is home to Rita Grimstead,
a lady who has led a very eventful life.
After living in Italy for almost 40 years,
she returned to the UK in 2008 following the death
of her lovely husband, Franco.
Rita is also currently recovering from cancer.
But luckily, has great support in the shape of her two sons
and cousin, Seb, who is here to help with the rummage today.
-Rita, I have been looking forward to meeting you.
-How are you?
-And this is Seb?
-This is Seb.
-Good-looking Seb, who's going to help you today.
-No, he's a cousin.
-A cousin. OK, lovely. And this is our good-looking expert, Paul Hayes.
Hello. I'm your antiques fellow today.
Hi, Seb, nice to meet you.
You know, I was kind of laughing to myself
when I knew I was going to meet you in the kitchen,
because in Italy where you lived for 37 years,
you used to teach language in the kitchen?
I did. I did help the young ladies from the university.
Did they keep you right on your Italian?
I think they taught me Italian!
Do you mind if I make a start? Is that all right?
-It's about time you made a start!
-Well, it is.
So, how much money would you like to raise, in an ideal world?
I think something towards my new kitchen, my new property. About 1,500.
-Is that possible?
-I think that should buy you a few things for the kitchen.
-It would help.
Well, it looks like Rita's apartment
has got all sorts of collectibles squirreled away.
So fingers crossed we have a successful rummage.
Our expert, Paul Hayes, has over 20 years' experience in the antiques and collectible trade
and, ever keen to notch up his first find, has spied a possible item.
-Could it be a touch of divine intervention?
-Now then, I found an interesting item here.
-What have you found?
-Something from Jerusalem.
-That's come a long way, hasn't it?
So, where has that come from?
That was given to Franco by a lovely young man.
They were friends for donkey's years. And this has always been over our bed.
-Right. So it's always had pride of place in your life?
I really don't know how old it is.
I was going to say, I think you're looking at a pre-war item here, 1920, 1930.
-This is very distinctive. This is olive wood.
It was found on the banks of the rivers in Jerusalem.
It's a beautiful crucifix, and it's been decorated with mother-of-pearl.
-Gives a wonderful iridescence.
Is it sentimental though, you had it all this time?
-If it's going to be appreciated by somebody, I'd be very pleased.
I mean, I could see that bringing towards the £100 mark.
Sort of £50 - £80 as an auction estimate.
-How does that sound?
-It sounds wonderful.
-Let's keep looking and see what we can find.
Not a bad start, but there's still plenty to do if we're going to reach Rita's target of £1,500.
Seb is certainly earning his place on the rummage team,
as he turns up a very exciting little collection.
These four sovereigns, including an impressive ring and pendant.
They were given to Rita's late husband, Franco, as a gift from the bank.
He worked there for almost 40 years.
Modern sovereigns like these are 22 carat gold
and weigh almost eight grams.
And because the price of gold has been so high of late,
Paul estimates that this hoard could raise as much as £500 - £600.
A huge amount of money towards our target.
-I love this. A good collection of paintings.
-But this one stands out.
I am desperate to know who exactly the artist is.
-Who was she?
-A very dear friend of mine.
This one in particular,
this beggar came into her garden in the country, to her villa.
And she said, "I can't just give you money.
"If you pose for me, then I'll pay you."
And she gave quite a considerable sum.
Lovely. There's another nice one here. Can you look at this one?
This is... I think this is Morcone, I think, up in the mountains.
-I thought you said Morecambe then, for a minute!
-No! No, not Morecambe!
-That's in Lancashire.
-And who was the painter in this case?
-That is her.
-I think she's written it Lina Prudente.
-Oh, it's the same painter.
-Is this the same artist again?
-There you go.
-What do you think of that one?
What I do like is the palette. This wonderful turquoise sea. You know, you've got the greens.
it is very Mediterranean. Someone wanting that Mediterranean feel... If you've got an Italian kitchen,
it instantly gives you that sort of impression, doesn't it?
They are very attractive, but I don't think they're a long lost Picasso or anything like that.
So value wise, I could see these sort of £50 - £80.
-That sort of price.
-For the three?
-For the three.
Does seem a bit low but, Paul, I'm not so sure a painting of Morecambe would have fetched much more!
Still, it's a useful amount towards Rita's kitchen kitty.
I like the sound of that!
The search continues and our expert finds this Limoges tea set,
which Franco bought for Rita as a present back in Italy.
Exquisitely decorated, French Limoges porcelain has been
much admired and very keenly collected
since it was first manufactured in the late 18th century.
This tea set is probably mid-20th century
and Paul gives it an estimate of £30 - £50.
So, Rita, we're having a wonderful day.
I've even had a walk down by the sea, which was terrific.
Now, what were the events leading up to the fact
that you've just spent 37 years very happily married in Italy?
My friends tried to encourage me to go out to Italy with them on a holiday.
And we decided to go to Sorrento.
Well, I was swimming in the pool, you see, with my friends.
And my friends were saying, Rita, there's a man touching your bag.
So of course, I dash out and jump out and there's Franco, touching my handbag.
I said, "Do you mind?" "I'm not touching anything, Madam.
"My purse is here behind that bag," he said.
"Oh. Excuse me, why don't you go and sit over there? This is my seat."
-He said, "Madam, I like the sun also."
-A rocky start!
-Absolutely! You know, I was very rude.
How long did it take before you and Franco got together properly?
It sort of developed, you know. And of course, I came back to England
and there were all these letters and telegrams.
"You've got to come, I have hired a flat," you know. "You've got to come."
Tell me what your days were like, living in such a romantic place.
My days, they were lovely. Because he bought us a lovely apartment. Of course we had
all of flowers on the terraces. He was in the bank all day. Sometimes very late when he got home.
And I started to teach English. The word got around there was an English woman living there.
It was absolutely fantastic.
Very sadly, you lost this wonderful man, Franco, in fairly recent times. What happened in the end?
Unfortunately, he died of cancer. He suffered for two years.
But it did take me...
I'm writing a book,
and it took me three or four years to close the doors on Italy.
Are you enjoying your life, even though you're missing Italy? Enjoying being back?
Now I'm beginning to settle in.
Yes, yes, I'm having a laugh, actually.
Rita is adorable. And she's had such a fascinating life. So hopefully,
we can help her create a more comfortable home for herself.
But we have to get cracking
if we're going to hit that £1,500 target.
Rita is straight on the case,
as she unearths this collection of jewellery, including a coral necklace
and matching bracelet, along with an 18 carat gold ring.
It's another gift given to Rita by her late husband, Franco,
back in Italy. The decline in the availability of coral
means that jewellery like this can fetch very high prices.
So Paul has set an attractive £100 - £200 estimate.
But we won't have to wait too long to see what the bidders make of it.
90 and I'm straight in. 100. Do I see 120?
Will it help Rita reach her target towards that new kitchen?
As our rummage continues, it looks like Seb has struck gold.
Hey, Seb, you've done some good rooting around. Music to my ears. Jewellery. These are gorgeous.
Yes. I've heard about these,
I believe they're anniversary presents from Franco.
I believe this was the first one that Franco actually bought for Rita.
-Oh, that's lovely, isn't it? First anniversary. Isn't that gorgeous?
-That's beautiful, yeah.
I mean, the first thing that strikes me is the colour. It's a very bright gold.
Here in the UK, we recognise nine carats.
That tends to be what we make most of our jewellery from. And that has a high copper content.
So when you look at it, it looks quite an orange colour.
When you get this brass, very gold colour, it tends to be a higher carat.
Do you know whether it was bought in Italy, or bought here?
They're all from Napoli. In fact, this is in the original case.
It's got the original logo.
-I adore this one. Look.
-Look at that.
-I mean, it's such an unusual linking system, isn't it?
-Quite light, though.
-Don't forget, there's a lot of gold here.
This is all solid, it would cost an absolute fortune.
So they had this clever method of making it hollow.
At auction, my experience is that jewellery seems to sell quite well. Do you think this will go well?
-For those two, you're looking near the £500 mark.
-Good, isn't it?
I think Rita would be ecstatic with that.
That sounds fantastic. That's a good find!
-That's a very good find, Seb.
We're all ecstatic, I think. You know, this modest apartment is turning out
to be quite the treasure trove, with precious metals at every turn.
Another find like that, and we'll make our target.
I think we must be really blessed today, because before you know it, I come across
this gorgeous solitaire diamond engagement ring. It was given to Rita by Franco
back in 1974 and indeed, the first piece of jewellery that he bought for her.
It's a 40 point diamond, set in 18 carat white gold
and it's absolutely wonderful. The truth is, I wouldn't mind it myself.
But it has to go to auction, where there's lots of interest for jewellery like this.
So Paul values it at a sparkling £400 - £500, with a £300 reserve.
-Can you just pop in here a second? Have a sit down.
-What have you found?
-Have a rest for a minute.
I found a lovely medallion here.
It's got some Italian writing on it, if you could translate.
Can you read that?
A very long activity, faithful service to the bank.
-How long did he work at the bank for?
-Gosh, that's a long time, isn't it?
-From a boy.
-He must have seen some changes and done a lot of good work.
-Yes, he did.
-And I take it that building there, that's the bank?
-In the centre of Milan.
-So it's something that would have meant a lot to Franco?
Only to him, yes. Of course I'm very proud of him.
-I've got the memories.
-Well, medals and medallions are highly collected.
For all sorts of reasons.
I can imagine a collector would not have this example.
Gold is doing well. I know there's not much age to this, but there's quite a lot of gold in there.
If I said £300, maybe up to about £500. How would that sound?
Such joy! Another exciting find.
And it's not over yet, because Seb spots
this collection of crystal and glass ornaments. Now, modern pieces like these can be expensive
to buy new, but tend not to have a large resale value.
Nevertheless, Paul thinks this varied lot could reach £30 - £50.
-I think I've found something.
-Oh, look at that. What we've got is a watch strap.
Now, that is a watch and a half, isn't it? Very special. Whose was this?
-Franco's. Passed by his father.
-That is a beauty.
-Seb? I think we've found a show stopper here, actually.
-Just look at that.
-Woooh! You, you have found some watches on this programme
-over the years, but judging by his excitement, this must be very, very special.
-Something special, yeah.
It certainly looks special.
I mean, this is a chronograph and a tachometer,
which I think measures how far you've walked.
And a chronograph is like a stopwatch.
But for a watch of this age to have this complex a movement,
that's what makes it special. Have you ever had it valued before? Anybody have a look at it before?
Yes, I have, actually. In Italy.
-I wouldn't let it go under 1,500.
-Because it's worth a lot more.
Well, it wouldn't surprise me whatsoever.
I think what we need to do is to make sure of how much
exactly this is worth before we do consider selling it, all right?
What is your estimate at the moment, then?
-I think you'd be happy with 1,500.
-As a reserve.
-As a reserve.
I think we'll put it in with that.
But when it comes to the auction,
we'll have done more homework on it. Found out more about it.
-I hope so.
-Put a more realistic value on it.
-If you could, yes.
What a fantastic thing.
Well, about my person, I have the totals. You're not allowed to peep!
-Do you want to know?
-Go on then.
So, let's assume the watch doesn't hit its mark.
You already have £1,960.
That's absolutely wonderful!
If the watch goes in and sells for at least £1,500,
-you've got a minimum of £3,460.
-Let's put it back, quick!
I hope I haven't peaked too soon, it could be a very exciting auction.
The colourful collection of Italian paintings could put us in the frame
for at least £50-£80.
At a whopping £500-£600, I wonder if those
impressive gold bracelets will make the grade with bidders.
And I was so taken with the diamond solitaire ring,
which was a gift from Rita's late husband.
At an estimate of £400-£500,
it means it should certainly sparkle in the sale room.
And still to come...
will Rita's collection of gold dazzle the crowd at auction?
-190, 200, 220, 240...
-It's still going.
-..220 I have.
-I had no idea.
And emotions run high,
-as some very prized possessions go under the hammer.
-..85 I have.
No, it's all right,
I could feel you just couldn't bear to look at it.
Here comes that gavel.
It's not very often I get to physically lie-down on the job,
but I have made that journey from Folkestone along the coast
to the Rye Auction Galleries.
And, of course, Rita is trying to raise £1,500
towards a kitchen in her new, cosy little seaside apartment.
She has, I have to say,
a pot of gold in terms of all of her jewellery,
so let's hope that when her items go under the hammer
she raises a lot of money.
With any luck at all, the bidders here
at Rye Auction Galleries have brought their chequebooks,
as Rita's got some items here that are real quality.
With the price of gold currently strong,
the auctioneer's decided to split up those four gold sovereigns into four separate lots.
With more bidders in the game,
this should fetch them a higher price overall.
Ah, my beady eye goes immediately to the watch.
-You brought it after all.
-It's quite something, isn't it?
My husband's wish was that it was sold and went to a collector.
-Are you sure you want to part with it?
-I have to, yes.
Yeah, that really is a fantastic watch. It dates to 1940,
it's oversized, it's very visual.
I've had a chat to the auctioneer and a few watch specialists, we think around £2,000.
I think if you put a reserve of £2,000 on it,
you'll either sell the watch or it'll come back home.
That's some reserve. The gallery's filling up nicely, so it's time to take our places,
as Rita's first lot is about to go under the hammer.
The first of your items, it says here, is a "part tea set."
This is 20th century, French, a good example,
and we're looking for about £30.
Who's got 50 to start me? 30, then?
Start me at 10, I don't mind, let's get it going.
-Come on, there must be somebody here.
-10 you've got.
12 I have. 15.
Do I see 18? 15, I'm going to sell it.
That is awful.
-That is terrible.
-£15 for Limoges?
Uh-oh, that was a very disappointing start,
and things don't get any better when these crystal pieces
Rita accumulated over the years from her English students
only make £15.
Maybe this crowd are holding on to their money for Rita's fantastic collection of gold.
This next item is interesting, because it's the crucifix.
I know you've got a history behind this, where did you get it?
It was presented to Franco when he came back from Jerusalem
from a friend of his, and it's been with us all these years.
Yeah, let's hope there's two people who like this.
We're looking for around £50.
-I like it.
-Yeah, fingers crossed.
-Is this something that would appeal to you, Seb?
I know this is one of the more important items,
sentimentally I think this is going to be hard to part with.
I have 40 here. 0. 2. 45. 48. 50 I've got, sir.
52. Do I see 55? 58.
-That's more like it.
68. 70. 2. 75...
-You can't look, can you?
2. 85. 88...
85 I have. At £85, we're all done.
-I could cry.
-No, it's all right,
I could feel you couldn't bear to look at it on the screen.
-But it got a good price.
-I hope it's got a good home.
-It has got a good home.
-Somebody I'm sure will appreciate it.
Rita has such a strong personal connection to these collectibles,
many gifts from her dear husband, Franco.
I'm sure, though, the new owner of the crucifix
will treasure it as much as Rita has.
Now we move on to the gold.
I'm holding your hand for this one,
because you have a lot of very emotional items.
We were saying it's very profound, parting with some of these things.
I've got numerous bids here.
They start at 100, 200, 300. I've got 320...
320. 330. 340. 350. 360. 370.
370 I have. 370. Do I see 380?
380. 390. 400.
At 410 on my left.
At £410, are we all done here now?
Your Franco's shining down on you today, isn't he?
Yes, he is.
I think we've just turned a corner,
because Rita's gold seems to be a real hit with the crowd here today.
These four gold sovereigns that belonged to Franco
have been split into separate lots. Let's hope the bidders go for them.
140. 150. 160.
160 I have. At £160.
Fantastic. That's only the one! Next one.
-140 I have.
-At 140. 150. 160.
At £160, we're all done...
-There we go.
200. 220. 240.
220 I have. £220.
-Isn't that brilliant?
That is just brilliant. Give us a kiss!
Well, if my maths is correct, for those four sovereigns,
they fetched £700.
That is a spectacular result.
Franco obviously was a man who knew what he was doing
when it came to investing in valuables.
But I hope the bidders haven't spent all their cash,
because there's plenty more where that came from.
At the halfway point, what have we made?
So far, you have 1,225!
And we're only halfway through!
If you'd like a go at selling at auction,
Do remember that there are fees, such as commission, that apply,
so make sure you check in advance.
Many of these belongings of Rita have a huge sentimental value, so it's just as important
the prices she gets for them make it all worthwhile,
particularly in the case of her diamond engagement ring.
-I couldn't bring myself to wear it any more.
-Haven't had the heart to wear it?
No, no, I don't go out much, and it's something you wear when you go out dressed.
Seb, you're a great family friend of Rita's.
Do you think this is a wise decision for Rita to sell the ring?
Yes, I totally understand it.
I'm glad we took Paul's advice and put the reserve on it.
280. Do I see 300? 280 I've got. 300 here.
You're out. 300 I have. I will sell it at 300.
-OK, happiness all round, that's good.
-That's really good, isn't it?
-That's very good.
And it's romantic to think this ring may get used again for another special occasion.
Thinking of Franco, he seems to have been such a generous man
who lavished his wife with a lot of lovely gifts,
this coral jewellery was originally bought as a necklace, but it was too long
so Franco had it made into a bracelet as well.
Let's hope his good taste continues.
100, I'm straight in.
100. Do I see 120?
-120. 130. 140.
140. 150. 160. 170. 180.
170, I have. All done?
-You got a good price.
-I think that's a really good price, actually, yeah.
With this type of jewellery so rare,
I'm sure Rita's coral necklace, bracelet and ring
will be a welcome set of accessories to someone's outfit.
We've actually got an item now that wasn't a gift from Franco.
These Mediterranean pictures were painted by Rita's friend,
but there's no room for them in her new home so it's time to go.
I quite like these, actually.
I couldn't find anything about Lina Prudente, the artist.
She's not a listed artist in Italy or anything like that.
We're looking for 50-80 for these
as decorative paintings.
20 I've got, and 2. 25. 28.
30, I'm out.
It's here at 30.
30. Do I see 32?
-I think that's probably realistic.
I think we got carried away with the moment.
With paintings, it's all on the artist.
You know, those oil paintings will certainly brighten up
the right room for someone.
Our next item is the one that we've all been waiting for,
the spectacular 18 carat chronograph watch that belonged to Franco.
This really is a super watch. There's no batteries here,
no quartz, a real watch movement,
it's a chronograph,
it has the tachometer on the edge,
It's a complex movement for the time,
1938-1940. It's 18 carat gold so to buy this today would cost you quite a lot of money.
2,000 I have to start.
Please? 2000, do I see?
1,000 I'll start it, then. 1,000 with me.
And 50. 11. 50. 1,200. 1250. 13. 1,500, sir?
13 with me. Do I see 1,400?
It's come back. 1,400. 1,500? 15 I have.
No, don't want it to go, no.
I'm afraid that's not sold.
-Is that good?
-That's the first time I've seen anyone happy about not being sold.
Normally when something doesn't sell at auction, I'm disappointed.
But in this instance, I think we're all quite glad
that Rita will be taking this fond memory back home.
Our final items are the two
18 carat gold bracelets that were,
you've guessed it, a gift from Franco. They've been split into separate plots
for the bidders but we're hoping for £500-£600 overall.
-250. 260. 270.
-Other one here.
-Here we go.
270. 280. 290.
I think I would have liked your Franco a lot.
I'm quite sure he would have liked you.
What a way to end a very emotional day
with this pair of bracelets making £580,
but just how much has Rita made altogether?
Well, you wanted £1,500 to go towards your new kitchen
and actually, as kitchens go these days, you can buy quite wisely,
and that could do very well. However, we don't want to give you £1,500.
We don't want to give you...£2,000.
We don't want to give you £2,200.
We want to give you...
-That's fantastic, that's really lovely.
-Isn't that good?
-And will you invite Paul and I for tea in your kitchen when you get it we done?
-Thank you, Rita, you're a lovely lady and, Seb, thank you for all your support.
I'm sure you'd like to know that Rita's now bought an apartment
where she's already looking at new kitchen ideas.
'No way could I live with somebody else's'
kitchen and bathroom so out it comes. We just do our best to make this into
'absolutely new. And it should be rather nice, actually.
'My friends have come around to help me, to give suggestions,
'and they're helping an awful lot.'
What it's going to cost, I've no idea.
Rita, let's hope the total raised at auction is a very good start.
For me, it was a very big experience, you know. And I loved it.
It's helped me a lot.
Rita Grimsted is looking to raise £1,500 to buy a new kitchen. Gloria Hunniford and expert Paul Hayes help her search out potential auction lots, including a rare, 18 carat gold chronograph watch.