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CASH IN THE ATTIC: Don’t lose your marbles… they could be worth hundreds of pounds

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Every week we give the low-down on the value of forgotten treasures that may be gathering dust at home. 

Sulphides were glass balls with clay figures inside - and could be worth £100

Sulphides were glass balls with clay figures inside - and could be worth £100

Sulphides were glass balls with clay figures inside – and could be worth £100

If you have not lost your marbles – but hoarded some old favourites up in the loft you might have a treasure trove worth hundreds of pounds.

Schoolboy classics of the early 20th Century such as Popeyes, Peltiers and Peerless Patches used to fight it out in the playground with Oxbloods, Egg Yokes, Onion Skins and Aggies. In top condition each glass piece fetches £5 or more.

The modern marble began to be produced in 1870 when manufacturers found a way of making a perfect sphere without leaving any mark behind. 

Some of these were known as sulphides – and were glass balls with clay figures inside.

These can change hands for £100. But find a particularly fine example made of coloured glass and containing a figure and you can be looking at a £500 investment.

The modern ‘cat’s eye’ marbles started to be mass-produced and imported from Japan in the 1950s. 

Sadly these are worth pennies – not pounds – and you are better off playing with them than trying to make a sale. Website britishmarbles.org.uk offers rules of the game. 

Deals of the week 

Pick up a pink gin from supermarket Morrisons. A bottle of Gordon’s Premium Pink is £3.50 off at £13, Whitley Neill Gin Pink is £6 cheaper at £20, while Old St Andrews Pink has £5 off at £22. Details available on shop website. Offer ends on Tuesday.

Diamonds are not just forever – they are also available to buy at a 15 per cent discount if you go through nationwide jeweller CW Sellors. The offer is available online with discount code DIAMOND15.

Enjoy the sweet smell of perfume with a 5.8 per cent cashback offer on purchases made at The Fragrance Shop – with a deal that ends today, February 16. Visit quidco.com/the-fragrance-shop.

Sit down on a half-price French designer classic armchair paying just £60 including postage. This replica Xavier Pauchard galvanised steel Tolix Armchair is available at the website Swiveluk.com.

 

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Coronavirus set to claim a series of corporate victims as Brighthouse and Carluccio’s near collapse

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The coronavirus is set to claim a series of corporate victims this week as Brighthouse and Carluccio’s near collapse. 

Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators today after the lockdown tipped it over the edge. 

And Italian-style restaurant chain Carluccio’s is working with administrators FRP to ‘consider all options’ in a move which could threaten more than 2,000 jobs. 

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

On the brink: Rent-to-own firm Brighthouse will appoint administrators after the lockdown tipped it over the edge

Carluccio’s chief executive Mark Jones said that his company is ‘days away from large-scale closures’ without state aid, while a group of 38 MPs have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to step in with an aid package to support the aviation sector as travel bans have decimated bookings. 

Research from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has revealed that the number of restaurant insolvencies last year climbed 10 per cent to 1,500, while the number of pubs which went bust also increased by 10 per cent, to 500. 

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Locked down zoo saved as Lloyds Bank stumps up £300,000

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A Somerset zoo that was forced to close its doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic has bagged £300,000 of funding to help it survive. 

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year, but was facing substantial costs to look after more than 1,000 animals. 

Lifeline: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

Lifeline: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

Lifeline: Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall near Bristol, was forced to shut last weekend in the run-up to its busiest time of the year

However, the family owners were able to breathe a sigh of relief after agreeing a £300,000 package with Lloyds Bank which will allow them to retain their team of specialist staff. 

Lenders are under pressure from the Government and Bank of England to support businesses through the lockdown. Lloyds has worked with Noah’s Ark for the entire 66 years the Bush family has been on site. 

Managing director Larry Bush said: ‘Running a zoo is a huge undertaking and we were really concerned about our animals. 

‘But our catering suppliers donated fruit and veg that would otherwise have been delivered to local hotels and restaurants, and the public have shown their support.’ 

 

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Arcadia halts £2m pension top-ups as it tries to cling on to cash in face of coronavirus lockdown

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Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is suspending payments to its pension scheme as it desperately tries to cling on to cash in the face of the coronavirus lockdown. 

Arcadia, which owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins, will halt the £2m monthly contributions which were agreed with The Pensions Regulator last summer to reduce a shortfall in the pension scheme. 

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green's Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green's Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia owns High Street brands including Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins

The deal saw Sir Philip’s wife, Tina, who technically owns Arcadia, agree to plug the gap in the scheme by also making her own £25m per year contributions. 

She will continue to make those payments, despite the crisis hitting High Street sales. 

But pensions expert John Ralfe, who advised MPs investigating the collapse of Sir Philip’s High Street chain BHS, estimates that if Arcadia were to go bust the current shortfall in its pension scheme would be around £350m to £400m.

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