Antiques series. Anil and Elizabeth Ahir support a school in India. With a charity donation in mind, they invite Jennie Bond and expert Jonty Hearnden to look for heirlooms.
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Welcome to the show that leaves no stone unturned
in the hunt for valuable antiques and collectibles in your home.
We are here on the edge of Dartmoor to meet a couple whose possessions
are here in England but whose thoughts are very far away.
Coming up on Cash In The Attic,
Jonty lives up to his reputation as the fount of all knowledge.
-Do you know who A A Box is?
-No, no, I don't. Don't you?
Well, I've never heard of him.
Should we be wary of what's written on the packet?
We've got this label here, too. It says Russian sword.
-How extraordinary, because it's not.
'And my reputation as a royal correspondent lives on.'
There's a market for royalty. You ought to see Jenny's collection.
She has got rooms full. Garages full.
I will probably crown him before the hammer falls.
We've got rather an unusual project today
because the family we want to meet want to raise money to make
a difference to the lives of a lot of people in India.
Elizabeth and Anil Ahir have lived in Devon since 2001,
the year Elizabeth qualified as a teacher.
She works part-time as an art co-ordinator at a local school
and Anil is an operations director in food technology.
They have one grown-up daughter, Kerry,
and quite a few heirlooms from Elizabeth's aunt Lillian.
We are here today partly to help the Ahirs declutter
but also with an eye to some charity fund-raising.
'There is an educational theme to today's programme
'so we need the advice of a man with more than 20 years' experience in antiques, Jonty Hearnden.'
Let's see what's in here. Hello.
I hope you've got lots for us to find?
-I'll get started straight away and catch you later.
-Lots to do. Lots to do.
-All right, then.
-Whose idea was it to call us in?
-It was me. My aunt died a few years ago.
She was nearly 102 and she had a load of stuff.
I thought there's a few things that might be of interest to you.
-Where is it all? Hidden around the house?
-It is in the house.
Upstairs, in the study, kitchen.
I decorated the study a couple of years ago now and in the space
of two months, it was full of lots of artefacts from Elizabeth's aunt.
-Our challenge is to clear the study.
-What are we raising the money for?
We are raising the money for a school in India.
It is a school we adopted as a family.
It is a poor part of India, in Punjab.
We've been there a few times, myself, Elizabeth and my daughter.
-The money is for the school.
It is an unusual project for us, I must say.
Elizabeth, how much money do you think we might be able to raise?
-Maybe about £400 or £500, hopefully. That would be good.
-Shall we set a target of 400, shall we?
-OK, that's brilliant.
-All right. Anil, why don't you get cracking in the kitchen?
-I'll start there.
-And we'll go and find Jonty.
-OK, brilliant. There you go.
Thank you, I'll take these.
So I wonder what we're likely to find amongst Aunt Lillian's bits and bobs.
Some treasure from a bygone age? Speaking of which, where's our expert?
He's already made a start
and seems to have headed straight to the attic.
-Oh! There's a lovely boy in the lovely room.
-Just in time for tea.
I notice this is your TV viewing room.
-Is this where you make tea as well?
-No, not in that teapot.
That belonged to my aunt. I think it was a retirement present.
-So that would be Auntie Lillian?
-It's solid silver.
I've been looking at the creamer and the jug behind me.
Obviously part of a set and they are also assayed the same date as well
so if you can see that this chased decoration along the top is identical?
They have to be a set, even though the handles are slightly different.
-This teapot was made in 1928.
-You can tell that from the date.
-He's clever, isn't he?
I thought it was made in the 1960s or 1970s.
Would these be the same date then?
Yes, the assay marks are the same as well. Feel the weight of that.
-I mean, can you feel how heavy that is?
-It is really heavy.
It's a shock that its 1920s but yeah, it is quite heavy.
And because we have such substantial weight, here,
and including the Queen and the sugar bowl, for the set,
£100 to £150 at auction.
-Yeah, I am quite shocked.
-Has that sunk in?
-Think how many teabags you could buy for that.
-Earl Grey, as well.
Well done. That's a very, very good start.
A solid start. Shall we put these back here?
And then lead on, we will see what else we can find.
It's always gratifying when we really do find
potential Cash In The Attic,
even if it is rather a posh one.
Aunt Lillian's silver teapot, jug and bowl
should do well in the auction but they aren't the only treasures tucked away.
Aunt Lil was a fan of the Royal Family and bought commemorative mugs
and themed memorabilia whenever there was an important royal event.
Anil has found 12 unused mugs in good condition
covering historic occasions, including several royal weddings
and the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.
They are marked with old Staffordshire pottery maker's names
like Ainslie, Lord Nelson and J and G Meakin.
Jonty values the lot at around £20 to £30.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth has found a couple of watercolours
which sadly show signs of foxing.
The brown spotting on acidic paper is affected by humidity.
Luckily, it hasn't obscured the most useful clues
to the origin of these works.
There's a signature here. We have an A A Box.
-Have you got one?
-I've got A Ashdown Box/89.
So yes, they would be the same artist.
-Do you know who A A Box is?
-No, no. Don't you?
Well, I've never heard of him. If you think about it,
there are countless watercolourists certainly in the 19th century.
The problem that I have with them is the fact they are rather faded.
-Did Aunt Lillian like them?
-She didn't have that one
but I remember having that one in her bedroom, yeah.
-What do you think of them?
-I like this one, I do like this one.
I like the path. But actually, I don't like that one.
It's sort of buy one, get one free. I agree with you.
This is the picture that is worth the money.
You must sell them as a pair.
They've always been together, they are framed together.
The market, sadly, for pictures like this, dropped rapidly.
-People don't want them any more.
-It sounds like bad news.
Value for the two pictures they must be sold like a pair,
-we are looking at £30 to £50 at the auction sale.
The good thing is it might not seem much but in India, that will go a long way?
Yeah. It will, actually. That's true.
And we need to find some more for these children in India.
Come on, let's go.
We don't do buy one get one free very often but we'll
make an exception for Aunt Lillian's pair of rural scenes
by Alfred Ashdown Box.
Hopefully we'll be finding out more about Aunt Lillian later.
While the others keep on rummaging in every nook and cranny,
I want to find out where else Elizabeth lived before settling here in Devon.
I've lived in Jordan,
I've lived in, I dunno, Bristol, Oxfordshire,
-Leicestershire, and then down here.
-How come you lived in Jordan? When was that? Tell me about it.
-That was in 1982.
I worked with children with learning disabilities in Amman.
How did you get the job?
It was voluntary work that I did it for a year
with a voluntary service called Project Trust.
-And you've got one daughter, is that right?
-How old is she?
-She's 25, now.
-And are you very close?
-We are very close, yeah.
Although we argue. Mothers and daughters do, don't they?
Tell me about it. You are obviously quite a close family
but I want to know how close you were to your Aunt Lillian.
She is quite a big part of today's rummage so tell me about her.
Aunt Lil was like a granny, really, I suppose.
I was her only niece so I guess I was quite special to her
and she was quite special to me.
Was she a teacher too?
She taught in London and then at the Wirral
and she finally was a head teacher for about 27 years in Birkenhead.
-Was she married?
-She didn't get married until she was 72.
She got married to an American and went over
and lived in southern California.
-Do you remember the wedding?
-Yes. I was a bridesmaid!
So how old was she when she died?
-She was nearly 102.
-So she got married when she was 72.
-So she had three decades of marriage.
Actually, she didn't.
She had three decades of America but Max died eight years into their marriage.
-That's so sad. What a sad end to the story.
'Well we had better sort through more of Aunt Lillian's stuff.'
Jonty is way ahead of us because he has unwrapped parts
of a Royal Doulton dinner service.
It's in late Art Nouveau Countess pattern, probably dating to the first decade of the 20th century.
Along with an Ironstone Warwick tea set
by Alfred Meakin, Jonty values all the crockery at £20 to £40.
'We are all beavering away now around the Ahirs' home
'and it's not long before Jonty uncovers a concealed weapon.'
A-ha! What do we have here?
I'm glad that you found that because I really want to get rid of it.
-Not very keen on swords.
-And we've got this label here, too.
It says, "Russian Sword found in the Crimean War."
On the battlefield, no less.
-How extraordinary, because it's not.
-Oh dear! Poor old Lil.
Don't worry about it at all. It is certainly not Russian.
It is a British or English Army officer's sword.
You can tell that by the shape of the brass basket hilt, here.
That's the style that they had at the time.
The actual sword itself is a little bit pitted.
It's not in the best condition.
When you handle swords you have got to be very, very careful indeed.
-I will be very pleased to put that into the auction for you.
We are looking at between...
Wait for this, £150 to £200.
-That's brilliant! That's excellent.
-Maybe even more on a good day.
The only thing is I'm a bit concerned about taking it to an auction
because isn't there something about sort of knives and...
Well this is an antique weapon, as such,
so you can legitimately sell this at the auction sale.
Although of course do keep a sharp objects like these out of reach of children.
We'll find out if Jonty's prediction comes true on auction day.
I'm going to start on this. I'm going to start straight off at £300.
'It looks as if the cold, hard steel could bring us
'some cold, hard cash. But how much?'
'With five items and a potential £320, we are doing OK.'
But we carry on rummaging through everything,
including these toys from a long time ago and far, far away.
Jonty is flapping about up there while down in the lounge,
Elizabeth select this contemporary china lamp.
She has no idea where it came from but reckons it was most probably her aunt's.
Jonty gives it a price tag of £20 to £30.
And then he notices some childhood favourites in the kitchen diner.
-Anil, I've got some Beatrix Potter character figures appear.
Actually, Auntie Lillian used to have them on her mantelpiece
in her apartment in the Wirral.
I think she had them delicately placed
so we were allowed to look but not touch.
-Were you a fan?
-I wasn't, not personally.
I know she was and I know she spoke to Kerry, our daughter,
a lot about those figurines. She was quite passionate about them.
They are very desirable, very saleable.
If we have a look at Mr Squirrel Nutkin here
and look on the underside, it says Beswick, England.
It says copyright 1948 but he would have been made in the 1970s
and I've had a look at a few of them and most of them are from that era.
That's probably when she bought them.
Do you think she bought them new?
Some of them might be second hand. People still collect those?
Yes, because the characters are so endearing, the stories are so fascinating
and those drawings are absolutely wonderful, still.
They go from generation to generation, still.
So we can definitely put those characters into the auction sale
and we are looking at £40 to £60.
Fantastic news. I wasn't expecting that for those figurines so yeah, I'm pretty pleased with that.
I'll leave those up there for safekeeping, out the way.
The five Beatrix Potter characters include Squirrel Nutkin
and Little Pig Robinson, Jemima Puddle-Duck,
a mouse from the Tailor of Gloucester and Tom Kitten.
They should do well.
I'm having another forage upstairs and I'm rather taken by this
Crown Devon vase with the Royal Chelsea floral pattern.
Elizabeth found it in her aunt's flat, wrapped up in a towel,
but it may have come from her grandparents.
It was made in the late 19th century,
and Jonty prices it at between £20-£30
a modest amount for sure.
But is it enough to earn me another little break? Why not!
So, I want to know how you two met.
We met actually at college when we were doing our A-levels.
-Was it love at first sight?
-Well, I was pretty much infatuated by Libby,
so I was chasing her for a few good months.
So you were playing hard to get, were you?!
I just thought that he was an Indian prince, really.
So now, all these years later, you're still happily married
and you, Anil, are now in the food industry, aren't you?
I spent three years doing a food degree and I went home
and told my dad and he said, "What degree have you done?"
I said, "Food technology". He said, "Cooking?
"I could have taught you cooking at home!"
We're hoping to raise money for your charity, the school.
Tell me more about it.
The school is located in a very poor part of Punjab -
children who are working in the rice paddy fields with their mothers at a young age,
very rarely see the front door of a school.
There was a form of school there, but basically just a number of rooms.
So we, as a family, adopted that building and over the years,
we've been fundraising in the UK with lots of help from friends and family
and local clubs and so forth. It's touched everybody in our family.
My daughter has been out there.
We're all quite excited by the fact that each year, it gets better.
Elizabeth, what do you think of the school, as a teacher?
The insides of the building look like a Victorian school, really.
They had one toilet for the whole of the school
and that's roughly 100 children there, and staff as well.
So completely different from the schools that we've got.
The resources we've got in the schools in this country
are amazing compared to what they've got.
If we do manage to raise the £400, or a bit more,
what will use the money for?
Any money that we raise goes towards supporting the children to have
what they need to go to school, so books, pencils - anything like that
which will help the children is where the money tends to get spent.
So if we're going to raise that money, you know what it means - back to the rummage.
-We can't sit here all day.
Jonty's been no slouch while we've been chatting.
He's pulled out an old box of sheet music from under the bed.
It belonged to Elizabeth's grandfather,
who loved to sing and play the piano.
There are three boxes altogether, with sheets
and books on every style of music imaginable,
dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Despite their age, many millions of copies were printed
over the years, so prices have remained pretty low.
Jonty values the lot for just £10-£20.
Who needs sheet music, anyway?
Am I right in thinking I've got a whole box of commemorative ware?
Yes, you have. My aunt used to like collecting them.
She thought that perhaps one day they would be valuable although, you know,
though I respect the Royal family,
I'm not really into collecting plates.
-So you don't fancy holding onto all of this?
-Not really, no.
I mean, I think there's a little Victorian plate.
Yes, I think I saw her lurking in the bottom of this box here.
She's here somewhere. Here she is.
That's a pretty little transfer-printed plate there.
It's quite interesting because commemorative ware was collected by a lot of people.
It was all to do with the fact that people revered
and held in high esteem the Royal family.
-I suppose the nation's affections have changed.
At the end of the 19th century
and the beginning of the 20th century, there was
a lot of people that collected commemorative ware
and there was a big market for it
and lots of factories produced some very fine wares
that now appear on the open market and we don't get very much for it.
-So it's supply and demand.
-There's some books to go with it.
-Oh, you've got some more? Gosh.
-There's some books...
Well, we can put it all together as a collection,
but we need to be putting a figure of something like £20-£30 on it.
-What a shame.
-But if we did that, hopefully we'd get more for it.
-I know you won't be happy about the price,
but you're happy it's all got to go?
-Yes, I do want to get rid of them, so...
Well, we have a lot to wade through here. I'll put Victoria back.
-I shall carry on rummaging.
As with the sheet music, the royal memorabilia of coronations
and the like was produced in such vast quantities,
it's often hard to get a good price. Let's hope our auction attracts bidders who will wallow
in a sense of history.
Anil was so impressed by Jonty's valuation for the officer's sword
that he wants him to take a look at another example - this time,
a Japanese sword in its scabbard.
It was found under Aunt Lillian's bed after she died.
These Samurai swords can be highly collectable, so it's a great find.
But without any more precise details,
Jonty cautiously prices it at £50-£100.
Now that doesn't sound very generous to me,
but perhaps he's hoping it will take off when it comes to the auction.
Hello there. What are you holding?
I've got a very old book here that I found in my aunt's bedroom.
-Could you tell me something about it, please?
-Can I have a look?
-You've got it all wrapped up here.
Let's put this down. Gosh, it has a real old feel to it.
First of all, before we go any further,
the spine has been damaged rather badly,
but we have a leather-bound book and it really does look like it's got some age.
The print and the date of when this would be published
is on the inside, on the first few pages often, and look at that date - 1648.
-Now, the print itself looks in pretty good condition.
Which is very good news. Record's Arithmetic or Grounds of Art.
Now, books, even the 18th or 19th century were highly prized -
they were very expensive and only the rich could really afford them.
The very wealthy had libraries and bookcases to house their books.
That's the reason why you see glass doors on the front of bookcases,
more often than not - so they're protected from the dust
and dirt and smoke from tobacco and from open fires as well.
Have you done any research on it?
I did actually look on the Internet
and it said an estimate of between 300 and £500 for that book.
Well, I think this particular book would fetch even more than that
if it was in good condition. But it's in pretty poor condition.
Having said that,
I think we're still looking at auction at £150-£300.
That would really make my aunt's day, because she majored in maths,
so that would be really good.
This is a real privilege to just have in my hands.
-Now, where have those other two got to?
-There they are.
-Hello. Found something exciting?
-This is a lovely old book - 1648 it was printed.
-I put £150-£300 on it. It really is superb.
-That's good news.
That's great news.
It's a piece of history you've got there -
are you sure you want to part with it?
Well, I was thinking about putting it in a picture frame on the wall,
but I think the money would be better spent in India.
-Well, I know you'd agree with that.
-Have you read it, by the way?
-No, I haven't.
-I should do, because I wasn't very good at maths at school.
-Must be a cracking good read, I tell you!
Well, you'd better read it quickly between now and the auction!
-So your lowest estimate on that was?
-150, OK - diddly-diddly...
We can stop rummaging, you've made such a brilliant last find.
-Have you enjoyed the day?
Now, you were looking for, you said, £400 at the start.
-Though I know you wanted a little bit more.
Well, we always take Jonty's lowest estimates
and of all the things we found today,
if we add all that up and if things actually happen at the auction,
as we hope, you will make 630.
-Very good! That's superb.
-That's really brilliant.
-Really good news.
-Let's see what we can make at auction, eh?
Yeah, great - look forward to it.
That heavily rewritten edition of the Ground Of Arts
was published 90 years after the death of its author, Robert Record,
who, among other accomplishments, invented the equals sign.
£630 = a wonderful result in my book!
And joining it at the auction will be Aunt Lillian's weighty
solid silver teapot, jug and bowl,
which were fitting retirement presents for a headmistress
and should bring us £100-£150.
The five Beswick pottery Beatrix Potter characters from the '70s
and early '80s - they could bring us between 40 and £60.
And the British officer's sword,
which may have been found in the Crimean War as the label suggests,
but dates even further back to the 1790s.
It could command £150-£200 at the auction.
Still to come on Cash In The Attic...
Let's hear it for the dearly departed who left behind such precious heirlooms.
-Don't tell me it's from the aunt as well, right?
-Yes, it is!
-Good old Lillian!
Admittedly, better care should have been taken of some of their things.
-What a sword!
-Where's it been all these years?
-In the shed!
Value those finds till the final crack of the gavel.
Well, we brought everything here to Lyme Bay auctions in Devon,
now that the big sale day has arrived for Elizabeth and Anil.
Remember, they want to raise as much money as they possibly can
for those Punjabi schoolchildren, so let's hope that the public
are willing to dig deep when the bidding gets underway.
The auction house is about a mile inland from the seafront
here at Seaton, on the spectacular Devon coast.
Elizabeth and Anil are looking over their belongings,
now on display among the other lots here today.
Hey, hi - how are you doing?
Very good. Very good, thank you.
How are you feeling about seeing your lovely book here, ready to go up for sale?
I'm looking forward to it being sold,
-although we have put a reserve of £150 on it.
Yes, because we feel it's a really important, very precious book
and we want to get the most from it.
Guys, I'm a little bit concerned for you,
-because without the book, what do you do at home? Use calculators?
-A mobile phone!
Is there anything else that you're feeling a bit hesitant about selling?
We just want to get the most out of the day today.
And make enough money to help those schoolchildren.
That'd be really good. Definitely.
My father is out there at the moment, at the school.
We rang him saying we were coming to the auction today,
so all the kids are excited
and waiting to get a phone call back hopefully after today.
Let's make the money first of all, eh? Let's go find a spot.
I think the auction is about to start.
And the first of our items is about to go under the hammer.
Sheet music publishing hit a peak in the 1920s, before family
sing-alongs were replaced by radios and record players.
In those days though, families would often build up
quite a collection of tunes, like this batch.
Three boxes - where did they come from?
My grandfather absolutely loved dancing and music,
-so I guess that they were his.
They should sell for that -
there's an awful lot of sheet music for £10, isn't there?
-I hope so.
-Here we go.
30. £20, then. No?
£10, then. 10. Thank you, madam.
£10, we have at 10. £10, in the room, at 10. 12.
14. £12 on my left, at 12 - 14 anywhere?
I will sell at £12.
OK. Gosh, somebody got a bargain.
£12 seems pretty cheap, but sheet music used to sell
by the million, so it's not hard to come by today.
More printed material now, but this time on a regal theme,
with a mixture of commemorative china and souvenirs,
including the order of service
for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II,
this ashtray marking the Prince of Wales' investiture
and a souvenir booklet from Buckingham Palace.
-Who's the royalist, then?
-That was my Aunt Lillian, yes.
She used to buy it for anniversaries, silver wedding anniversaries, coronations.
She felt that if she gathered enough, she'd be able to make a bob or two.
-Very patriotic, I think.
-Do you think they'll sell?
Well, of course there's a market for royalty,
but you have to be careful on price.
That's the reason why I put just £20-£30.
But you ought to see Jenny's collection - she's got rooms of it!
There is quite a lot! Let's see if we can get £20.
15. £10, then.
No, I'm sorry - I can't sell it for less than that.
-You're taking your memorabilia home!
-Oh, great(!) Oh dear!
Clearly, there are no collectors of royal mementos here today.
That doesn't bode well for those 12 commemorative mugs later, does it?
But here's the rather fetching china lamp which also belonged
to Aunt Lillian.
You have to admit - it's certainly eye-catching.
-Do you like this piece?
-I do, actually. I think it's a fantastic looking piece.
We toyed with whether we should put it in the auction or not.
-We'll do it.
-It's £20 we're looking for.
-we get a good price for it.
Give me £40 for it. £30, then.
Anybody interested at £10?
-No, unfortunately I can't tell it for that. Not sold.
-Well, it's better than selling it too cheap.
-And you quite liked it.
-I did like it!
Two no-sales in a row.
I hope we do better later,
for the sake of that school in northern India.
Maybe things will improve with these two framed watercolours,
by the late 19th-century British artist Alfred Ashdown Box.
-Do you like these, Anil?
-Very much so.
When Auntie Lillian gave Elizabeth the pictures,
I claimed them as my present.
So I may be a bit emotional they're here today.
-We'll see what money they get for the school.
-How much do we think?
I put a very low estimate of £30-£50, so I hope we should
rocket through that,
-but at the moment, looking a bit dodgy.
-Here we go.
Give me £50, then. 50. Anybody?
£40 for it. Give me 30.
Nobody interested. At £20, then. 20 - thank you, sir. £20.
£20, I have. 22.
22 anywhere? 22. 25? 28?
£25 I have to my left. At 25.
28 anywhere? I will sell at £25.
-Ow. That hurts, doesn't it?
-Yeah, that hurts.
Yes. They're nice paintings.
They are indeed, but they've faded over time,
just like our hopes of making that £400 target.
£25 really isn't much for those two paintings.
Aunt Lillian's collection of early 20th-century crockery is next,
some of which is Countess pattern Royal Doulton,
the rest by Alfred Meakin.
Doulton normally sells well. You put 20-40 on, which seems quite low.
Yes, but are the bidders here at the moment? I'm not quite sure.
-Yes. OK. Let's see if we can get at least £20, yes?
Need some luck now.
Several bids on this, bid in at £18.
£18 is with me, is 20.
Still on the book at £20, 22 anywhere?
22. £22 now in the room, 25 anywhere?
I will sell at £22.
-You wanted more, didn't you?
-I did want more.
-I wanted more.
-But they sold!
-They did sell.
That's another box out of the study, isn't it?
I can see what attitude you're taking - very,
very positive about it all.
Well, it's all very well trying to say cheery,
but just £22 for that Art Nouveau china isn't all that exciting.
Perhaps this stylish 1920s set made in Birmingham could provide
just what we need.
Now this is a big lot. It's your silver teapot, jug and sugar bowl.
-I cleaned it, as well.
-Was that a good idea?
Well, it does help sometimes, but because it silver,
everyone knows that it's silver and everyone knows it can be cleaned.
But I think from a presentation point of view, sometimes it works.
Now, I put £100-£150 on it,
but I've noticed you put a discretionary reserve of £150.
I feel that it's probably worth about that,
and I did actually quite like it.
-OK, so it's the auctioneer's discretion?
Let's see how it goes.
-I've got a load of interest all weekend off the Internet.
£100 I have with me, at 100.
It's 120, 130,
160, 170. 180. In the room at £180.
190, 200, 210,
220, 230, 240,
260. 270. 280,
Do the same sir, at 360?
£360 in the centre, at 360.
370 anywhere? I will sell at £360...
-That's really good!
-How about that?
-That's really good!
-You've almost reached your target in one, there.
That's really good.
That's absolutely brilliant, because at the moment,
silver is trading at a 30-year high.
So you're selling at the perfect time.
We had all the weight there - wonderful. Really good quality item.
-It was exciting, wasn't it?
-I got really excited!
Former head teacher, Aunt Lillian,
and her board of governors in the Wirral would have been very pleased.
These solid silver retirement presents have made a great deal
of money to help another less fortunate school so very far away.
At the midpoint then, how close are we to the target?
How do you feel it's been going?
I thought it was a slow start,
but the silverware has made my day so far.
So, halfway is great.
I always find it's actually quite emotional,
because sometimes you feel dejected and then it all goes to plan.
-You were looking for £400, we set the target at.
At this halfway point, obviously you expected to have 200,
but you haven't - you've got £419.
-So it's all bonus to come.
-Yes, it is.
-The book to come, the sword to come.
-Can't wait for the second half.
-Let's have a little break.
Jonty likes to take a look around for anything that might make someone a good investment
and his eye's been caught by something rather special.
-Hi, what have you found here?
-Trying to tell the time. It's stopped.
-A beautiful piece, though.
-Well, there's a bit of damage on here.
If you can see closely,
there's a dent there and on this side, as well.
-It's missing its glass.
-So why have you picked this out?
Well, it's a very exciting little pocket watch, because it's made
by this particular company here - this is the box that it comes in.
So if I pop this back in here, all of a sudden,
this rather mundane looking pocket watch gets rather exciting.
This is Patek Philippe - very, very high-class wristwatch makers,
still going strong today.
They got together in the mid-19th century and very quickly
they became a very, very high-class maker of watches, just like this.
All of a sudden, because this pocket watch lives in this case -
the original case - it becomes exciting.
This is the certificate of origin
and warranty for this particular pocket watch, so you can date it.
What is the date?
-It's not particularly clear - is that 1891-ish?
-I think, or 1897.
-It also says 18-carat gold,
which is also very good news indeed.
-You think it's worth a bit of money?
-In the auction,
we should be getting around £1,000 for it.
-My goodness me, and when it's restored?
-A lot of money.
I could see this being sold in a very high-class jeweller's
-for literally thousands of pounds.
-It's great, really exciting.
-I'm going to keep a lookout, see if that makes 1,000.
-Famous last words!
OK. We better go and see how our family is getting on.
Later we learned that that beautiful watch made double the estimate.
So, for £2,000.
If you'd like to try selling some heirlooms
or other possessions in this way, it's worth bearing in mind that
auction houses usually charge certain fees, such as commission.
Your local saleroom will advise you on these extra costs.
Plenty still to come in Elizabeth and Anil's auction today,
including this ornate Crown Devon vase,
which I found in their spare room.
-Is this another of your auntie's?
-It was on the music stand.
-And we reckon we might get £20 for it?
-We'll see how it goes.
What shall we say for that one? Give me £30 for it.
30. £20, then. Nobody interested.
Fiver for it, then? No?
-OK, sorry - not sold.
-It's coming home with you!
That's the third no-sale of the day.
But we're already over our target, so we carry on regardless.
16th-century academic Robert Record established
the English School of Mathematics and introduced us all
to algebra - so he's the man we have to blame!
-What does it date from?
-So ancient. A lovely piece of history.
-Do you think it will sell?
-I think it's such an interesting item that
I know you put £150 reserve on it,
but I think that we should get there, or thereabouts.
I'm pretty confident. You ready?
I've got a load of interest on this, starting straight off at £110.
£110 with me.
110. 120. 130.
140. Still with me at £140.
140, 150 anywhere?
I will sell at £140.
Surprising, really. I thought that would have been more.
-Yes, I thought that would be rocketing to the moon with it.
Isn't it funny at auctions -
you just never know which ones are going to surprise you.
So the auctioneer decided to sell the antique book at £140.
10 below our lowest estimate and the discretionary reserve price.
Now, how about some Beatrix Potter?
These five characters were made by Beswick of Stoke-on-Trent
about 30 years ago.
Jemima Puddleduck, Little Pig Robinson, Tom Kitten,
Squirrel Nutkin and a mouse from the Tailor Of Gloucester.
I do enjoy Beatrix Potter, in fact I have got a little Tom Kitten at home.
But I thought it would be good to raise the money for the school.
They're Beswick, so there should be a market.
Absolutely. I've put £40-£60 on them and they're up now.
£40, with me straight in at 40. 45 and 50,
still with me at £50. 55.
£55 now, 56? Last bid.
58 in the room now, at £58.
58. 60. 65? £60.
£60 in. 65 anywhere?
I will sell at £60.
-Top end estimate.
-Lovely. Really pleased.
-I bet you like Beatrix Potter even more, now!
Don't we all. Our cute friends
have made £60 towards our cause.
Now, a real change of pace, with a Japanese Samurai sword.
Together with its lacquered wooden scabbard,
Jonty priced this at £50-£100,
but there have been some developments.
When I looked at the sword, I didn't see any signature,
but the auctioneers have discovered a signature.
As a consequence,
there have been international buyers interested in this all weekend long.
I put £50-£100.
It should sail through that.
Hold onto your hats, here it comes.
£200 I have with me, 200.
210, 220, 240,
250, 260, 270,
on the book at £270.
280 anywhere? 280 on the phone now, 290.
320? 320. 330.
£330 in the room, at 330.
340 anywhere? And selling at £330.
-That's really, really good.
-Tell us what you think!
-What a sword!
-Where has it been all these years?
-In the shed!
It would take days for a highly skilled craftsman to hammer
a single blade from layers of carbon steel,
so let's hope the new owner takes better care of it.
Onto those dozen china and stoneware mugs now,
marking a lifetime of British royal occasions.
The lack of interest in our earlier royal memorabilia suggests
these could be a tough sell.
Well, we've been sky-high and all elated and now we've got 12 mugs...!
..Worth, we hope £20. Well, every little helps.
-It might be a surprise!
-All we need is one mug to buy them.
Give me 30. Anybody interested at £20, then?
15. Give me a tenner. Nobody?
Fiver for them, then? No?
OK, not sold.
Oh well, we'll take them and have a cup of tea when we get home!
12 cups of tea, actually!
-Oh well, there you go.
-It is win some, lose some, isn't it?
Many of us I'm sure have the odd memento of royal occasions,
but it looks as if it could be a long time before they appreciate in value.
Well, it's time for our final item in this sale - supposedly found on
the battlefield during the Crimean War, presumably not by Aunt Lillian,
this sword from the 1790s may not need a licence,
but if you have one at home,
it's a good idea to keep it well out of the reach of children.
So hopefully the right buyers are in the room for this sword, as well.
We've done incredibly well on our first one,
but this is the British officer's sword.
-I put £150-£200. I'm very confident.
There's a big market for this kind of memorabilia.
I've got to start straight off at £300.
still on the book at £370. 370. 380?
£380 on the phone at 380. 390 anywhere?
I will sell at £380.
-That's more than the other one, isn't it?
-So many figures!
-This is amazing!
-We had that in the wardrobe!
Because you're giving all this away,
it's all going to the school, it's a great cause,
-but it's money that I guess you could have done with.
I think you're right, but we made a decision
when we came to the auction that we would raise as much money
as we could and give whatever we raised all to the school.
-This is going to go a long way.
A super result for that final lot
and I'm sure Elizabeth is glad to rid the house of both those swords,
converting them into cash for such a positive, peaceful purpose.
Well, that is it - over, done, dusted. How are you feeling?
Well... A little bit nervous, I hope that we've reached our target,
-but I guess we have.
-I think you have, because you passed it at half time!
First time I've ever been to an auction and this is really exciting.
You were looking for £400 at the start.
You knew you'd done well,
but let me tell you you've actually made £1,329.
Absolutely fantastic. Way beyond our expectations.
This means so much for the kids at that school now. Delighted.
-Absolutely delighted today.
-Well, well done.
So, they make that phone call.
Yes, we raised £1,300 at the auction!
CRACKLY BUT EXCITED VOICE
-That's fantastic news! All right, thank you, Dad. Bye!
And, a few weeks later,
we visit Elizabeth at the local school where she works.
The children love to learn about different countries.
Part of the geography curriculum is teaching about countries
the children aren't familiar with and obviously, India is one of them.
We've got some stations - a food station, a writing station,
an object station and a dancing and dressing-up station.
The children are getting a taste of India
and a growing kinship with that other school so very far away.
Dr Ambedkar Model School is a charity run school,
and the money is going to be used to resurface the playground area,
because it's very dusty and dirty.
It makes some of the children ill.
It's a win-win situation.
I feel as if I've honoured the memory of my aunt and I'm able to help
the children in India at the Dr Ambedkar Model School.
Well, that really was one of the most exciting auctions I've been at in ages
and I'm delighted that Elizabeth and Anil
raised so much money for their Punjabi school.
Now, if you've got a special project in mind
that you want to raise money for
and you think that you might have some antiques
and collectables hidden around your house,
then do apply to come on the show.
You can find the form at our website. That's:
Good luck and maybe see you next time here on Cash In The Attic.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Anil and Elizabeth Ahir live in Devon and support a school in India. With a charitable donation in mind, they invite Jennie Bond and expert Jonty Hearnden to look for family heirlooms to sell at auction. Four hundred pounds is their target, but could two ancient swords and a silver teapot help them smash through it?