The BBC TV series Cash in the Attic may have been axed, but a new interactive website and app – CashInTheAttic.com – will keep up the good work.
Joining it, just as he did the TV show, will be Midhurst-based expert valuer Aubrey Dawson – ever ready to help you realise the lost treasure you might not know you’re harbouring. “I used to work on the series when it was on TV. I became friendly with one of the presenters and they asked me to come on board. I also work on other TV shows (including Dickinson’s Real Deal and Flog It!), and I have my own antiques valuation business in Midhurst. “The TV series is no longer being made. The BBC had a bit of a reshuffle, but now they have produced the website as a spin-off. “I think the website is going to do well. Cash in the Attic has become a household brand. Everybody knows the show. It is a bit like The Antiques Roadshow. It has almost become a bit of an institution.” Now the website will make a virtue of the fact that in the vast majority of cases the expert valuer doesn’t actually have to handle the items. The website invites owners – for a charge – to upload photographs of the objects concerned. “They can also upload video of them handling the items which gives you a much better idea of scale and perspective.” Users can enjoy first-hand the Discover, Value, Trade experience seen on the show, as well as a suite of other services and functions. Upload, and your images/video will be sent to specialist an expert valuator for examination. These specialists – including Aubrey – determine the value of the item, and within 48 hours an official valuation certificate is issued, which can be used for accreditation at external auctions or in the CashInTheAttic.com ‘Market Place’. Inevitably, the items coming forward are a bit of a mixed bag, Aubrey says: “But you just never know what you are going to get coming through. There are always going to be a lot of low-value items, but you would be surprised at the higher-value items. You could get things worth £10-15 or things worth several thousand. “You just don’t know, and it is amazing what people have in their attics. In my day-to-day business, I go into houses and uncover all sorts of things that people didn’t realise the value of. Maybe it is just that these things have been in the family for a long time, that it is just grandma’s bowl or whatever. Because they have always known it, they perhaps don’t necessarily link it with value.” But the advent of the internet has made people much more savvy – though Aubrey stresses there are always people out there ready to mislead, that fakes might not be spotted. Hence the need for the expert – though he concedes that even Christie’s and Sotheby’s have been duped on occasion. The fascination is that it is a changing market, particularly in the past ten years. Now we are seeing the emerging markets – China, India – coming through… “My mother was an antiques dealer in Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. I was going to antiques fairs and auctions since I was tiny, and I have always been involved. I worked for an auction house in Surrey for ten years, and I started my own firm in Midhurst three years ago. I do insurance valuations, probate valuations, and I help people sell antiques. We are very busy at the moment.”