Vaughan Cash in the Attic


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Vaughan

Antiques series. Victoria Vaughan, ex-model and former wife of musician George Melly, plans to embark on a new era in her life and hopes her antiques will help fund her on the way.


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Welcome to the show that searches out your gems and collectibles,

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and then of course tries to sell them for you at auction.

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Now, today we're in the beautiful sunlit city of Bath, famous of course for its Roman baths.

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The temple and bath complex is built around Britain's only hot spring,

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and the good news is that it still flows with gallons of lovely hot water.

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The first shrine at the site was built by ancient Britons,

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but the temple was constructed between 60 and 70AD after the Roman invasion.

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It's one of only two classical style Roman temples in Britain and a World Heritage Site.

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So let's hope we can find plenty of ancient antiques and collectibles

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when we go hunting for our own treasures to take to auction.

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Today on Cash In The Attic, we hunt high and low in the pursuit of treasure.

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-Wow, look at those!

-They're gorgeous.

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But how do you put a price on family heirlooms?

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-Is that all right, do you think?

-Not enough.

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And will we be prepared to see them go?

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-They won't be sold.

-They're not sold.

-Oh, good!

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I'm heading off to meet a wonderful lady

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who has already had a truly fascinating life,

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but she's called us to help her raise funds for a whole new chapter.

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Victoria Vaughan has lived in Bath for over 25 years.

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She met her friend, Ros, just after arriving,

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and they often take Victoria's dog, Inigo Jones, for walks.

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Recently retired, her life so far has been incredibly colourful.

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She worked as a model in the '50s and eloped with jazz musician George Melly at the tender age of 18.

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Their six-year marriage resulted in a daughter called Pandora, but in 1962 they parted company.

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For the last 20 years, she's lived a quieter, but no less interesting life as a psychotherapist.

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For all that time, Victoria has nurtured another talent, writing,

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and she has built up a huge archive of handwritten stories for her children and grandchildren,

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but now she feels it's time to leap into the 21st century.

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-Jonty!

-Jules, how are you?

-Very well, sir, very well indeed.

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Suitably refreshed? How was the bath?

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The bath was fantastic, the Roman baths were even better, delightful, and what a city to be in.

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I love Bath, it's so elegant and beautiful.

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It is my favourite place in the country, it is fantastic.

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We have got a wonderful lady we're gonna meet this morning, Victoria, and her friend, Ros.

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Fascinating life she's had, not least of which because she was married to George Melly.

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-Really?

-Yeah.

-Wow.

-So we could find one or two interesting pieces in here.

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-I'm sure you'll root them out.

-That's my job.

-Come on, then, let's get started.

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Good morning, Victoria. Good morning, Ros.

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-You're having a little rummage already.

-We're starting, yes.

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Jonty's also made a start, so goodness knows what he's going to find in your wonderful house,

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in a wonderful city, it really is terrific.

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Yeah, well, we think so, too!

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You've lots of wonderful items I can see here, but why have you called us? Why do you want rid of them?

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Well, because I want to buy a laptop, and, you know, that's very expensive,

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so I feel it is time I can part with them.

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Now, Ros, you've known Victoria a long time. What do you think of her decluttering plans?

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I think it's a very good thing to do, and I'm all for it, and I think you get a slimline, exquisite laptop.

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So how much money do you think we're really looking for?

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Well, I'm told about £1,500.

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Yeah, that sounds about right, so a lot of money to find, but we've lots of items to choose from,

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Jonty's already out there, rummaging away, so it's a hot day, I'm gonna take my jacket off,

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let's go and join him and see what he's found. Come on.

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A glance round this Georgian flat reveals that Victoria's collectibles mirror her fascinating life,

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but will we find enough to reach our target?

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With the clock ticking, it looks like Jonty has made a timely find.

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Here he is, look, busy already. Found another clock, Jonty?

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Yeah, admiring it. So is there a story attached to this?

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-Well, yes, there is a story attached to this, because this is an enchantment, this clock.

-OK.

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-An enchantment?

-It's an enchantment,

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because I saw it in the shop at the top of the high street in Totnes,

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and it just drew me down towards it, and I looked at it, and I bought it.

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But why it's an enchantment is because the next day,

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and this is true, I got a letter from my bank in London saying,

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"We've just found an old account of yours with £125 in it, what do you want to do with it?"

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So it was paid for.

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So it was all meant to be.

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It's an enchantment, isn't it?

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So how long ago, roughly, would that have been?

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-30 years ago.

-About 30 years ago, wow, and was it stripped then?

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Yes, it was just as it is, except that I had the works cleaned, and they were all beautiful and shiny.

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Well, the interesting point about long-cased clocks that are pine like this

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is the fact that the carcass itself would have originally been painted.

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It would have never been stripped pine like this.

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It's simply because the fashion has been, for the last 30 years,

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to strip, to show the original pine underneath.

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Now, painted dials like this first came in around the 1800 time.

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The facia itself is enamel, so it's enamel ground,

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and everything else is hand-painted above, and the maker's name is rather indistinguishable here,

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and it's made in Penzance, so it's a very, very rural clock indeed.

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Now, Ros, if this were your clock, would you want to part with it?

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I don't know, I like it very much. I think its proportions are beautiful.

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It's very much a Georgian proportion clock, rather than a Victorian one.

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I love this curly shape here.

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Um, obviously, it has been stripped, so it's got all sorts of marks

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as a result of the stripping, um, but it's very lovely.

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Well, Jonty, it is a beautiful clock, but how much is it worth?

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-Well, the market today is a ballpark £400-600.

-Right.

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-How do you feel about that, Victoria?

-Not enough.

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It's not enough?

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That's the cheapest enchantment I've ever seen!

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No, it would be fine, it would be OK.

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We've got plenty more objects to find, so let's go and see what we can get hold of, shall we?

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Victoria may be disappointed by Jonty's valuation, but with today's smaller housing,

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the demand for larger antiques like this just isn't as high,

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and we still have another £1,100 to raise, so we need to press on.

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It seems that Victoria's home is bursting with delightful keepsakes,

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and Ros has taken a shine to an object she thinks could hold value, but something's bothering her.

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What are you looking at there, Ros?

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Well, I rather like this box, and I'm trying to guess its date.

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-Can I give a guess?

-Go on.

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I'm saying it's perhaps as late as 1900, but then it might be Regency, so I want your opinion.

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-You tell me, and I'm probably quite wrong.

-So why do think it's turn of the century?

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Well, it's got a simplicity, which I like very much about it,

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which is not altogether Victorian, but it doesn't feel Georgian in any way at all.

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You're absolutely right. The actual date of this box is 1917, so it's an Edwardian box.

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The Edwardians were heavily inspired by Georgian design,

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so if you look at it, it has this 18th century feel, but it's not.

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And if you look at the pineapple at the top, the Georgians used this heavily.

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It was a sign of welcome, it was a sign of wealth, it was a sign of prosperity,

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so it has all the hallmarks, all the feeling of being 18th century, but not quite.

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And one of the question marks is the size of the box,

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-because if it had been any larger, we would have thought...

-Cigarettes.

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..is it a tea caddy etcetera, but I think you're absolutely spot on.

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-I think this is an unusual cigarette dispenser.

-Yep.

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-Because really cigarettes at this time started to become incredibly fashionable.

-Yes.

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And the other giveaway is in fact the pineapple itself.

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If the Georgians were making this, they would have only used ivory.

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But that's not ivory. It's an early form of resin, and it's changed colour.

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Ivory wouldn't go that colour. If you feel it, it's different.

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So value at auction for a beautiful, very decorative box,

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albeit an empty box, is still £200-300.

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-Very saleable.

-That's pretty good, isn't it?

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-Yeah, a good find.

-Not bad.

-Can I give that back to you?

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-But no more resting on laurels, we've got work to do.

-OK.

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Very fair, if not more than fair,

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for this little silver box.

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It's quite an historic little piece.

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Historic and valuable.

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Speaking of history, I've come across these two toy engines.

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Made by the model company Mamod, they're toys that appeal to young and old.

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These fully working models were produced in the '60s and belonged to Victoria's children.

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Jonty thinks they could sell well, fetching around £80-150 at auction.

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And in the living room Victoria scores another find, this antique violin.

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A copy of a Stradivarius design,

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Jonty thinks it might strike a note with the bidders

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at around £50-100 under the hammer.

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And in the bedroom, Jonty has made a discovery.

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Okey-dokey, Victoria, I've got a box of goodies in here.

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Now, I've just found a load of books here, and I notice we've got a theme running here.

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It seems that you're a fan of the illustrator Arthur Rackham.

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-Am I right?

-Yes, I am.

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This one here is the William Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream, perfect for his artistry.

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I mean, they also have Edwardian majesty to them as well.

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The characters, again, have elegance to them.

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And what you have to really fully appreciate of his work,

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which of course he was illustrating really at the turn of the century, so 1900-1910 was his heyday,

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it was pre-cartoon,

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so he was the one who recreated all of that work before Walt Disney ever touched it.

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Oh, they're wonderful!

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Look at her, she's beautiful, isn't she?

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And because Arthur Rackham was so successful, others followed in his footsteps,

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and here's one we've got here. This is Edmund Dulac.

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Now, he was born in France, and he was clever.

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He was commissioned by the Leicester Gallery, who commissioned his artwork,

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and they gave the rights for publication in this book, and then they sold his artwork thereafter.

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And wherever you turn, you've got this Edwardian elegance that shines through.

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Wonderful. What else have we got?

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-This is the Rubaiyat.

-Rubaiyat.

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Yeah, again, Edmund Dulac and fabulous, fabulous illustrations.

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Let's just look at one or two in here.

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-Oh, look at that.

-Look at the majesty of just any picture you come across.

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Quite extraordinary, wonderful.

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A lot of these books, I've noticed, are first editions,

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-so the ballpark value for this whole collection has got to be £250-400.

-Good.

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Well, it should be, they're precious, wonderful things, they really are,

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so, yes, they should be...valued.

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Yeah, that's fine, that's fine, they can go.

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Another fabulous collection, well done.

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I'll pop the lid on the box.

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-Let's do some more searching.

-OK.

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I hope they'll do better than that, actually, but we'll see, we'll see.

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But anyway, they're going. Sadly, but they're going.

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Victoria may be underwhelmed by the valuation, but £250 is conservative,

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and there's a good chance these illustrated first editions will draw plenty of attention at the auction.

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Along with our other finds, these beautiful books help take our total to a whopping £980.

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That's nearly two-thirds towards our laptop fund so Victoria can continue to write.

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It's a good result, but with just over £500 still to find, we need to keep up the pace.

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While Jonty continues to pull out the stops,

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I'm keen to find out a little bit more about Victoria's exciting past.

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Well, Victoria, we've managed to find ourselves tucked away in your drawing room

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to get away from the rummaging for a bit and talk a bit about you and where it all began.

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As a model, I think, tell us about that.

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Well, I was just a little girl with a job in a chemist's shop, £6 a week.

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And I was walking down King's Road one day and somebody stopped me and said, "Are you a model?"

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And I was completely nonplussed and said, "What are they?"

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So he took some pictures of me and paid me six guineas for just taking some head shots.

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Well, you also married fairly glamorously.

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We can't talk about your life, Victoria, without mentioning the great George Melly.

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How did you meet George?

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In 100 Oxford Street, of course, where Humph Lyttelton's band used to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays,

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and I was such a good dancer that I got in for nothing.

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Tell us a bit about George, what kind of a man was he, really?

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-George was very colourful!

-I think colourful is probably a very good description.

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I mean, that's perhaps the understatement of the year!

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I mean, George is a very lovable person in many ways, but he's just not husband material!

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-He is not!

-What was it about him that made him... Was he a rogue?

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Was he a lovable rogue?

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Oh, he's very soft, he's very soppy, really,

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but he's also a very selfish person who just lived for his own enjoyment.

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But of course you did have your daughter.

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We did have a daughter, yes, we have a daughter, a very beautiful girl.

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And you had a son later on, Rufus, with your second marriage.

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It's wonderful, Victoria, you're clearly a terrific storyteller with lots of stories to tell.

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£1,500 is gonna get you that computer, which will help you do it.

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We're nearly there, Jonty's still having a good old rummage,

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so let's see what else he's got and see if we've found your £1,500.

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Wonderful. Let's go.

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And it does seem like Jonty has been hard at work.

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He's discovered a fascinating glimpse into Victoria's ex-husband's past.

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Victoria, how did you come by them?

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Well, they were in legacy from my first husband, George Melly.

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They belonged to his grandmother.

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Is it possible that we're looking at George's ancestors here?

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We do know who these little people are. That is Master Thomas and this is Miss Emma Holt

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of the Holt shipping line.

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A family that was connected in Liverpool with the Melly family.

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Obviously some years ago and I don't know all that much about it.

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What we're looking at here is naive art.

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What I mean by naive art is, these pictures have been painted by somebody who has no formal training,

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but look at the detail. All of the genuine detail is in the faces alone.

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The rest is very simply done.

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If you look at the dress, certainly on our girl here,

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she's 1820, 1815 in date.

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These pictures were painted in the Regency time.

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They look like brother and sister, so they look like they have always been a pair.

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They're certainly children of a very wealthy family.

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I like these frames, these ebony frames, and the silver on the inside.

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It gives them quite a modern feel to them

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and I believe them to be original to the pictures, which will certainly give them added interest and value.

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I have always wondered if they were worth anything.

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I mean, they could be worth an awful lot of money.

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A very good question. The man to tell us, Jonty, how much are they worth?

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I believe the value for these pictures as roughly between £200 to £400 at auction.

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Gosh! It's really weird to hear that because it's nailing something that has always bothered me.

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-That's the answer, is it?

-Hopefully more.

-We'll see.

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-We'll see at the auction.

-It's all adding up, isn't it?

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We're getting there slowly towards our figure, but it's not over until it's over,

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and it's not over yet so let's continue, shall we? After you.

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It seems that the Georgian theme runs through this house in more ways than one.

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At £200 for the pair, George's distant relatives will help us on our way to auction.

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And I find this attractive oil.

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It's a portrait of Victoria in a surreal landscape painted by a friend.

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Victoria is adamant that it can go

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and so Jonty puts an estimate of £100 on it.

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And while we're in the frame,

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this example of Georgian cross stitch can be added to our haul.

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Samplers like this were the work of well-bred young ladies and are always popular collector's items.

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Jonty thinks it could fetch between £120 to £180,

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which takes up to 1,400 quid.

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So, we're just short of our £1,500 target.

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A great result, but auctions are unpredictable at the best of times,

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so we need to keep up the momentum and find just a few more treasures.

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In the living room, it seems Inigo has finally given up the chase, but Jonty is still on the hunt.

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Ah, Victoria, I've just been admiring this chest.

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I suppose it's a coffer, but it's a lovely storage chest.

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-Where's it from?

-A junk shop at the end of the King's Road.

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-How long have you had it?

-40 years ago. Something like that.

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-A long, long time.

-As you know, this is pine.

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Just like the clock, this would have been painted at some point and during its life, it's been stripped.

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Because pine comes up this lovely honey colour when you place wax upon it.

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This is what we're looking at here. It's old, about 200 years old.

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Just by looking at the drawer, if you look at your side and on my side, you've got these two holes.

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That's where a Georgian brass drop handle would've been placed at some time.

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Later on, they've filled those two holes

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and have placed these two ring pull handles on either side of the single drawer.

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It also has a Georgian construction as well.

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If you look at the dovetailing down the side,

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this is a classic Georgian design, so a piece of furniture like this,

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like your country clock, would have been made for a country dwelling as well - a farmhouse, a cottage.

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It's a lovely, lovely thing.

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Pine furniture, as you've probably experienced, was very fashionable,

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certainly 10 or 15 years ago, maybe not so much now.

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The price has probably gone up and gone down.

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You paid probably next to nothing.

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Next to nothing, yes. It was not considered of any value.

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Right, right. Have you ever pondered its value?

0:19:280:19:31

Well, I can only guess and I'll say £250.

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I want to play a little game with you.

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Is it OK if we take this along to the auction sale and I'll reveal the value at the point of sale?

0:19:370:19:42

Ooh, that would be really tension making. Yeah, let's do that.

0:19:420:19:47

Excellent, right, we'll take that to the auction sale.

0:19:470:19:50

-Great.

-Whether it's £250...

-Or...

0:19:500:19:52

-..maybe more, maybe less.

-Maybe less?

-I'm a tease, aren't I?

-You are.

-Let's go.

-OK.

0:19:520:20:00

That has been one of the most interesting things of looking at everything, getting it into focus.

0:20:000:20:06

But not quite because we don't know what he thinks it's worth.

0:20:060:20:11

Yeah, that was really interesting, but it can go.

0:20:110:20:14

Well, Victoria is certainly firm about saying goodbye to her old collectibles

0:20:140:20:19

and Jonty finds another two antiques for her to let go as well.

0:20:190:20:23

He thinks this oil burning lamp should achieve around £50,

0:20:240:20:28

that's if this Victorian lamp doesn't outshine it at £80.

0:20:280:20:33

We're certainly clocking up the items

0:20:330:20:35

so Ros, Victoria and I can afford to take Inigo out for a breather.

0:20:350:20:39

It's a good chance to find out more about their friendship.

0:20:390:20:43

The dog's having a good time. When and where did you meet?

0:20:430:20:47

-We met 25 years ago...

-Yeah.

-..when we both moved to Bath. You came from Devon.

0:20:470:20:53

-You came from...?

-Well, London, France.

-London and France.

-Yes.

0:20:530:20:58

I don't blame either of you for living in Bath.

0:20:580:21:01

It really is a gorgeous city.

0:21:010:21:03

It's fantastic.

0:21:030:21:05

It's got pretty much everything except the sea.

0:21:050:21:08

I had a wonderful morning this morning in the Roman baths in the heart of the city.

0:21:080:21:12

-Presumably, that's an old haunt for you both.

-Yes, of course. One always goes there.

0:21:120:21:18

I remember taking my daughter there and being desperately embarrassed

0:21:180:21:21

because she insisted on taking off her clothes and getting into them.

0:21:210:21:25

It's a place that clearly inspires a lot of events and a lot of history.

0:21:270:21:32

-Is that how you write your stories? Do you get inspired by places or just ideas?

-I don't know.

0:21:320:21:37

My stories just write themselves. When they're ready, out they come.

0:21:370:21:41

-Is that the same for you, Ros, with your painting?

-I don't think so.

0:21:410:21:44

I need to be in the place and try and do it again and again, and throw away nine-tenths of what I do.

0:21:440:21:51

Yeah, but I also think it's why we've been friends for so long because we're actually different.

0:21:510:21:58

-It's the difference that matters. Not the similarity.

-Interesting.

0:21:580:22:02

We're getting towards the grand total of £1,500, but it's not over yet.

0:22:020:22:06

We've made a classic error and that's to leave Jonty alone in your house, rummaging through it.

0:22:060:22:11

I think we should catch up with him, round up the dog and see what we've got. Come on.

0:22:110:22:18

Back in Victoria's beautiful home, Jonty has found something to really shout about.

0:22:180:22:23

-Wow! Where are they from?

-Sounds very exciting.

0:22:230:22:26

Look at these, these are cufflinks. Diamond-encrusted cufflinks. Aren't they incredible?

0:22:260:22:31

It's not often Jonty says "wow" about anything at all.

0:22:310:22:34

-These must be really special.

-What you're looking at is,

0:22:340:22:37

on the inside, you've got these classical figures on the larger plates

0:22:370:22:42

so, by design, that makes them late 19th century.

0:22:420:22:45

Then you look around the outside.

0:22:450:22:48

You've got this lovely red engine turn design, which is wonderful.

0:22:480:22:54

Of course, in between those two is this oval ring of diamonds,

0:22:540:23:01

so they are diamond-encrusted cufflinks, quite extraordinary.

0:23:010:23:05

On the underside,

0:23:050:23:07

you have gold that's nine carat gold on the underside. It's quite superb.

0:23:070:23:12

-They're not actually hallmarked, are they?

-No, they aren't hallmarked,

0:23:120:23:15

but sometimes you'll find gold isn't, certainly on the underside of jewellery,

0:23:150:23:21

but they are superb quality.

0:23:210:23:24

Have you ever pondered the value? Have you thought about value?

0:23:240:23:28

No, I haven't because they're things I haven't thought about very much.

0:23:280:23:32

They live in a drawer. They've lived in a drawer for 43 years.

0:23:320:23:37

-What about you, Ros?

-What do you think?

0:23:370:23:39

In terms of value, I wouldn't have a clue. I've no...

0:23:390:23:44

Jewellery, um...

0:23:440:23:46

Several hundred?

0:23:460:23:48

-Well, double it. £400 to £600.

-Really?

-£400 to £600.

-Yeah.

0:23:480:23:53

So it's up there with the clock?

0:23:530:23:55

Now we're coming to the end of our rummage.

0:23:550:23:59

We've seen some extraordinary things.

0:23:590:24:01

Have you any idea how close we are to your total of £1,500?

0:24:010:24:05

Um...

0:24:050:24:07

You tell me, I can't... My head has gone completely haywire.

0:24:070:24:11

-Are we close? Are we not?

-I hope you don't blow a fuse in it because we were chasing £1,500.

0:24:110:24:17

As it stands, without the value on the pine chest,

0:24:170:24:22

-which Jonty is keeping to himself, naughty chap that he is.

-Yes.

0:24:220:24:26

-But, without that, everything so far adds up to £1,930.

-Wow!

-Wow!

0:24:260:24:32

Now, The box, if it makes a few extra quid, we could go over the £2,000 mark.

0:24:320:24:40

Well, that would be sensational.

0:24:400:24:43

-Are you surprised?

-Yes, I'm gobsmacked.

0:24:430:24:46

Brilliant! You could get the computer and you could take Ros out to dinner to celebrate.

0:24:460:24:51

We certainly will.

0:24:510:24:53

-Very good, very good.

-Maybe a weekend in the spa.

0:24:530:24:56

-You never know.

-We will, we'll go and have a splash in the spa.

0:24:560:25:00

Victoria has an excellent eye for her antiques and collectables,

0:25:000:25:05

and here are some of the highlights of today's rummage.

0:25:050:25:08

The illustrated first editions by Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac.

0:25:080:25:14

They could bring in anywhere between £250 and £400.

0:25:140:25:17

The versatile little Edwardian silver box

0:25:190:25:22

which could hold cigarettes or tea might nab another £200 to £300.

0:25:220:25:27

The stunning Asprey cufflinks that had Jonty jumping for joy

0:25:280:25:32

could achieve between £400 and £600.

0:25:320:25:35

Finally, Victoria's enchanting grandfather clock,

0:25:350:25:39

we're hoping it could also raise some hands at between £400 and £600.

0:25:390:25:44

-Still to come on Cash In The Attic, will Victoria's antiques be bestsellers?

-Very good.

0:25:440:25:49

-400.

-Or will our auction have an unhappy ending?

0:25:490:25:52

-Oh, no.

-No!

0:25:520:25:54

We'll only find out when the hammer falls.

0:25:540:25:57

It's been a couple of weeks since we helped Victoria Vaughan search through Victoria's flat in Bath

0:26:010:26:07

for items and antiques that we could sell for them here today

0:26:070:26:10

at the Chiswick auction rooms in west London.

0:26:100:26:13

Remember, Victoria was hoping to raise around 1,500 quid for a printer, a laptop and a camera,

0:26:130:26:18

as she embarks on a new career as a writer.

0:26:180:26:20

Let's hope there are lots of bidders here today, ready to snap up her items as they go under the hammer.

0:26:200:26:26

It's a cracking day at Chiswick Auction House, the bidders are out in force.

0:26:260:26:32

Let's hope it bodes well for our items.

0:26:320:26:34

And of course, Jonty's here, bristling with enthusiasm.

0:26:340:26:38

He's hoping Victoria's grandfather clock will put a spell on the room.

0:26:380:26:42

-Morning, Jonty.

-Hi, Jules.

0:26:420:26:45

-I see you've found Victoria's enchanted clock.

-Yes.

0:26:450:26:48

Let's hope it is enchanted and brings us luck today

0:26:480:26:50

as we're chasing a lot of money for a laptop, a printer and a camera.

0:26:500:26:54

-We've got some fab items, wonderful items. The cufflinks.

-What about the cufflinks?

0:26:540:26:59

What quality!

0:26:590:27:01

Also, George Melly's pictures. Lots of great things.

0:27:010:27:04

-There's the chest, of course.

-Oh, yes. All will be revealed.

0:27:040:27:08

You're keeping it close to your chest.

0:27:080:27:11

It's good to see it here. It looks very different, it's made a long journey up the M4 to Chiswick.

0:27:110:27:16

Let's see if the girls did. Come on.

0:27:160:27:19

If you're thinking of going to auction, remember that commission, VAT and other charges will apply.

0:27:190:27:25

Ros and Victoria are here, eager to see how the auction will go.

0:27:250:27:29

They're looking at the Georgian blanket box.

0:27:290:27:32

Victoria thinks its value is £250, but Jonty isn't letting on how much he thinks it might fetch today.

0:27:320:27:39

Good morning, Victoria. Good morning, Ros. Nice to see.

0:27:390:27:42

-Victoria, remember what you said about the chest, what value you put on it.

-I said 250.

0:27:420:27:48

I have to reveal that the prices of these sorts of pieces have actually fallen rather than risen,

0:27:480:27:55

so we're really looking more like £150.

0:27:550:27:58

OK, well my guess was a very wild guess based on your enthusiasm.

0:27:580:28:03

Victoria, how do feel, seeing all your bits and pieces arranged around the auction room?

0:28:050:28:09

Really strange. Really strange to see your life sort of around the walls of a new building.

0:28:090:28:16

But they look nice. I think they look like quite the nicest things here.

0:28:160:28:21

We've got the clock and the portrait of you.

0:28:210:28:24

She really doesn't look very happy about it.

0:28:240:28:28

-She's certainly staring at you.

-She is, looking very reproachful.

0:28:280:28:33

Yes. Let's hope she puts a smile somebody's face today because, again, not a bad estimate on that.

0:28:330:28:39

-There's a lot to look forward to.

-Good.

-Shall we take our places and see how we get on?

-OK, let's go.

0:28:390:28:46

It looks like Victoria's Stradivarius copy has caught the eye of at least one bidder.

0:28:460:28:51

And auctioneer William Rouse is impressed by one lot in particular.

0:28:510:28:55

The pair of Asprey's cufflinks are absolutely super-duper quality.

0:28:550:28:59

It doesn't get better than that.

0:28:590:29:02

We haven't sold anything like that for a very long time.

0:29:020:29:05

I wouldn't be surprised if they exceeded the estimate by quite a long way.

0:29:050:29:09

Exciting talk indeed, but now it's time to put our estimates to the test.

0:29:090:29:14

-The auction is about to start.

-Lot 80a is a decorative brass table lamp,

0:29:140:29:19

-lot 80a.

-This is the start of your items going under the hammer.

0:29:190:29:24

It's going to kick-off, Jonty, with the lamp.

0:29:240:29:26

Yes, we've got two different lamps, but this is the brass lamp.

0:29:260:29:29

There we go, a bit of interest in that lot. I'm bid £65.

0:29:310:29:36

With me at £65. 70. 75. 80. 85.

0:29:360:29:39

£85 then. At £85. It's a left bit of 85. 90 there.

0:29:400:29:44

95. 100. At £100, then.

0:29:440:29:49

At £100. In the room at £100. I'm going to sell it then for £100.

0:29:490:29:54

All done for 100.

0:29:540:29:56

Spot on, guys.

0:29:560:29:59

-That's the first one down!

-Excellent.

-Yes, that's fine.

0:29:590:30:03

A great beginning. £100 is right in the middle of Jonty's estimate.

0:30:030:30:07

Now it's time to see whether the blanket box can close the lid on a good price.

0:30:070:30:12

Well now, Jonty seemed to think it would only make about 100 quid.

0:30:120:30:16

Yes, well, I would like to be wrong! Please make me wrong!

0:30:160:30:19

-I'd like you to be wrong too! Well, let's see. Coming up next.

-Here it comes.

0:30:190:30:25

£85. With me at 85. At 85.

0:30:250:30:28

90. 95.

0:30:280:30:29

100. 110.

0:30:290:30:31

With me at £110.

0:30:310:30:33

It's a left bid of 110.

0:30:330:30:35

£110 for the chest.

0:30:350:30:37

-Oh, I was right! Damn!

-You got it right!

0:30:380:30:42

Good old Jonty! But how does Victoria feel about it?

0:30:420:30:47

I was very pleased with that, yes.

0:30:470:30:49

Considering that it cost 10 shillings! It was very good!

0:30:490:30:53

Victoria's certainly made a profit there, then!

0:30:530:30:56

And the bidders continue to play along when the little violin...

0:30:560:31:00

£100 then.

0:31:000:31:02

..sells at the top end of its estimate for £100.

0:31:030:31:07

The charming silver cigarette box is next under the hammer.

0:31:070:31:10

What am I bid? I've already got a bid left on the book of £170,

0:31:100:31:14

but I'm sure somebody else will come in and help me.

0:31:140:31:16

180 indeed.

0:31:160:31:18

-At 180 in the room. 190.

-You've got your money back.

-200.

0:31:180:31:22

210.

0:31:220:31:24

£210.

0:31:240:31:26

At £210 in the doorway. For 210.

0:31:260:31:29

-At £210, going for 210, then.

-You got a return for your money.

0:31:290:31:34

-Excellent!

-And more!

0:31:340:31:36

The cigarette box was a pretty collectible,

0:31:360:31:38

so how does Victoria feel about selling it?

0:31:380:31:41

No, I'm not sorry to see the cigarette box go.

0:31:410:31:44

-I won't have to polish it any more!

-No, you certainly won't.

0:31:440:31:49

But if we keep going at this rate, you will be polishing a shiny new laptop screen instead!

0:31:490:31:53

We've done really well so far, so now it's time for Victoria's ex-husband,

0:31:530:31:58

George Melly's ancestors, to put a step forward.

0:31:580:32:01

Lot 130a is the primitive school, the entertaining watercolours, which I think are just to my right here.

0:32:010:32:08

Next up is one of the more interesting lots, I suppose.

0:32:080:32:11

George's pictures. Jonty, what did you think of them?

0:32:110:32:14

They're very charming indeed.

0:32:140:32:15

-I'm a big fan of them.

-Well, let's see how they do.

0:32:150:32:18

What are they worth? Start me for £100.

0:32:180:32:21

100. 110. 120. 130.

0:32:210:32:23

At £130.

0:32:230:32:24

130. At £130. At 130 then. Any more?

0:32:240:32:30

At £130. Any more? 130.

0:32:300:32:32

-They won't be sold.

-They are not sold.

0:32:320:32:34

Oh, good!

0:32:340:32:36

I think Victoria's really pleased.

0:32:360:32:39

And I don't blame her for not just giving them away.

0:32:390:32:42

So they'll be back home to Bath.

0:32:420:32:44

Next up, one of the most attractive lots, the Mamod steam trucks.

0:32:440:32:48

-Very collectible, Jonty?

-Yes, there's a big collectors market.

0:32:480:32:51

The great thing is, the whistles still work! That's what I love.

0:32:510:32:54

Let's hope somebody will whistle for them today!

0:32:540:32:57

I'm bid £95 straight off.

0:32:570:32:59

With me at 95. 100. 110. 120. 130.

0:32:590:33:04

£130. At 130.

0:33:040:33:06

At 130 for the Mamods. 130.

0:33:060:33:10

140. 150.

0:33:100:33:12

At 150. You'll buy it for 160 if you want to bid. 150 with me. At £150.

0:33:120:33:18

It's a left bit of 150.

0:33:180:33:21

At £150 then. On the book at 150.

0:33:210:33:24

-Brilliant!

-Very good.

-Spot on.

0:33:250:33:27

Well, that certainly got us hot under the collar.

0:33:270:33:29

£150 is right at the top end of our estimate.

0:33:290:33:33

We're doing really well, but just how well?

0:33:330:33:37

We're halfway through and before we nip off for tea, I thought I'd tell you how we're doing.

0:33:370:33:42

We're chasing about £1,500 for your laptop, for the camera and the printer.

0:33:420:33:47

-Well, so far, we've got £670.

-Wow.

-That's halfway.

0:33:470:33:52

That's halfway, which is pretty much half of what we're after.

0:33:520:33:54

Who knows, it may get a bit better in the second half.

0:33:540:33:57

-We've still got the crock to come.

-The cufflinks as well. Some very good quality items.

0:33:570:34:01

Jonty's got a few things he's going to show me around the auction room.

0:34:010:34:05

-In the meantime, you guys can have a cup of coffee.

-That'd be lovely.

-After you.

0:34:050:34:09

While Ros and Victoria take a well-deserved break, Jonty and I take a look around.

0:34:120:34:17

Inspired by Victoria's writing, Jonty's keen to show me an item

0:34:170:34:21

that, in days gone by, no author would be without.

0:34:210:34:25

Jonty, what have you found here?

0:34:250:34:27

Well, I know Victoria is into her writing.

0:34:270:34:30

So I just want you to take a closer look at this one.

0:34:300:34:32

This is a classic English writing table.

0:34:320:34:35

So the drawers are usually a three drawer top and it usually sits on these two banks of drawers.

0:34:350:34:40

The most important thing is to make sure that the top is in good order.

0:34:400:34:44

I imagine that's the bit that takes most of the wear and tear.

0:34:440:34:46

Yes. And it's OK to replace leather.

0:34:460:34:49

It's extremely rare to find writing desks and writing tables with the original leather.

0:34:490:34:54

So this one has been replaced.

0:34:540:34:56

But look at the condition - there's just a bit of restoration on the corner there.

0:34:560:35:00

-Right.

-The handles are often replaced as well, and these have been replaced.

0:35:000:35:05

The last tip is to always make sure, if you're considering buying this,

0:35:050:35:09

that there's enough room below the middle drawer here to actually get your legs underneath it.

0:35:090:35:15

If you look closely, right down at the bottom there,

0:35:150:35:19

a restorer has at some point just put a little bit of material down at the bottom to give it extra height.

0:35:190:35:25

-Now, that may affect its value.

-Can you give us a price on this one?

0:35:250:35:28

In the catalogue, it's £160 plus.

0:35:280:35:31

What a bargain. That's a real, real bargain.

0:35:310:35:34

It's worth £200 to £300 of anybody's money.

0:35:340:35:37

Well, Victoria does have quite a nice eye for antiques.

0:35:370:35:41

Who knows, she may walk away with a desk after all!

0:35:410:35:44

Value for money it may be, but we're here to raise money, not spend it,

0:35:480:35:52

if we're to get to that £1,500 total for Victoria's laptop.

0:35:520:35:56

And we're starting with a highlight -

0:35:570:35:59

the illustrated first editions by Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac.

0:35:590:36:03

We're hoping they'll fetch a pretty penny.

0:36:030:36:06

So this is the big lot of books. What the auctioneer has done

0:36:060:36:10

is put all the collection of books into one lot.

0:36:100:36:13

So we've got the Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac books all together in one lot.

0:36:130:36:18

Estimate for me, £250 and more. So let's see what happens!

0:36:180:36:21

Straight off I'm bid £250.

0:36:210:36:24

With me at 250. 260. 270. 280. 290.

0:36:240:36:27

310. 320. 330. 340. 350. 360. 370.

0:36:270:36:31

380. 390. 400. And 10. 420. 430.

0:36:310:36:36

440. 450. 460 in the room against commissions.

0:36:360:36:39

470 there. 480.

0:36:390:36:42

490. 500. And 20. 540. 560.

0:36:420:36:47

580. 600.

0:36:470:36:50

£600 then to my left. At £600.

0:36:500:36:53

It's good money. For £600. At £600, it's going for 600.

0:36:530:36:58

-Yeah!

-Excellent!

0:36:580:37:01

What a brilliant sale!

0:37:010:37:03

Those books have boosted our fund towards Victoria's writing career.

0:37:030:37:07

And when the Georgian sampler sells just under the lower estimate...

0:37:070:37:11

110 it is.

0:37:110:37:13

..we feel like we've got it all sewn up.

0:37:130:37:15

So when the oil lamp goes unsold...

0:37:150:37:18

£28. Not sold.

0:37:180:37:21

-Unsold.

-There you go.

-I'll have to take it home.

-Yeah.

-Polish it again!

0:37:210:37:26

..it doesn't dampen our spirits.

0:37:260:37:28

At last, it's time for Victoria's enchanting grandfather clock

0:37:280:37:32

to make its appearance.

0:37:320:37:34

Our minimum estimate is £400 on this, but will it charm the buyers?

0:37:340:37:38

£300 to start me for the clock. Start me at 300. Start me at 200.

0:37:380:37:43

200 to go. 200. 220. 240. 260. 280.

0:37:430:37:47

280 for that clock. At £280. At 280.

0:37:470:37:53

£280, are you all done? 280.

0:37:530:37:55

-LOW GASPS

-Unsold.

0:37:550:37:58

That's coming home, though. You look relieved!

0:37:580:38:01

Well, I would have hated to see it go for that.

0:38:010:38:05

Victoria's right.

0:38:050:38:07

The price was far too low.

0:38:070:38:09

If she's intent on selling it, she could leave it at the auction house

0:38:090:38:12

and perhaps it will work its magic on another day.

0:38:120:38:15

To be honest, the last few items have left us feeling a little deflated.

0:38:150:38:19

But perhaps Victoria's portrait will cheer us up.

0:38:190:38:22

360a is the picture, the portrait of the young woman in an unusual landscape, anyway.

0:38:220:38:29

-Unusual picture, full stop.

-Now, next up we've got, I think, the most extraordinary lot.

0:38:290:38:34

The portrait of you as a very beautiful young woman.

0:38:340:38:37

You're still very beautiful! I'm amazed you're selling it. I really am.

0:38:370:38:41

We've got an estimate of £100 to £200. Let's see how it does.

0:38:410:38:45

Here we go.

0:38:450:38:46

Is it worth £100 to start me? £100 I'm bid. 110. 120.

0:38:460:38:49

130. £130, that picture at £130.

0:38:490:38:53

Anybody else? 140. 150. 160.

0:38:530:38:57

£160. At 160. Selling to you then at £160.

0:38:570:39:03

-It's going for 160.

-Pretty good, Jonty.

0:39:030:39:06

-That's great.

-I'm worth £160!

0:39:060:39:10

Well, your picture is, Victoria!

0:39:100:39:12

£160 is a good price and Victoria doesn't seem at all fazed

0:39:120:39:16

about her portrait being in someone else's hands.

0:39:160:39:19

It's been a busy morning with some real highs and a few unexpected lows.

0:39:190:39:25

Everything now hinges on the final lot.

0:39:250:39:28

We are hoping the Asprey cufflinks will pull everything together into a dazzling finish.

0:39:280:39:33

So this is the big one. But the small one!

0:39:330:39:36

We really are talking tiny. Those beautiful Asprey cufflinks.

0:39:360:39:41

£400 to £600 with them in their original Asprey box.

0:39:410:39:45

So who knows? Fingers crossed.

0:39:450:39:48

What are they worth? £300 to start me. 300 I'm bid. 320.

0:39:480:39:53

340. 360. 380.

0:39:530:39:55

£380 in the middle of the room.

0:39:550:39:58

400 there. 420. 440.

0:39:580:40:00

460. 480.

0:40:000:40:03

500. And 50. 550.

0:40:030:40:06

550 then. To my left at £550.

0:40:060:40:09

At 550.

0:40:090:40:12

600. And 50.

0:40:120:40:15

£650. £650, all done.

0:40:160:40:20

-Yes!

-Well done.

0:40:210:40:23

-That's really good.

-Oh, that's wizard!

0:40:230:40:27

What a roller-coaster of a sale!

0:40:270:40:29

The cufflinks really sparkled and brought us in a fantastic sum.

0:40:290:40:33

It's been a busy day, so just how much have we raised towards Victoria's computer fund?

0:40:330:40:39

This is it, the end of the sale. The selling and buying's been done.

0:40:390:40:43

Now, we were chasing £1,500.

0:40:430:40:46

The grand total at the end of the day is £2,190.

0:40:460:40:51

-Fantastic!

-Well done.

-Fantastic!

0:40:510:40:53

-Well done.

-Thank you!

0:40:540:40:56

-How about it? 2,190! You can get some nice gear for that.

-That's great. Thank you so much.

0:40:560:41:03

Back in Bath, the big day has arrived and Victoria is looking forward to starting a new chapter.

0:41:080:41:14

Well, I have waited a long time for this. A couple of years.

0:41:140:41:17

I'm really long to get something so I can get all these old bits of writing, sort them all out.

0:41:170:41:23

I'm going to need a computer.

0:41:230:41:27

So, yeah, this is an exciting thing to happen!

0:41:270:41:30

Because I have actually been into the shop before and come out terrified!

0:41:300:41:35

But this time, I'm not going to be terrified.

0:41:350:41:39

I'm going to buy a new laptop.

0:41:390:41:42

Good for you! Don't be intimidated by them, cos they know everything!

0:41:420:41:47

So a determined Victoria and a supportive Ros face a brave new world.

0:41:470:41:53

OK, then, Victoria, I'd just like to show you this laptop.

0:41:530:41:57

I'm going to open up a word-processing document for you,

0:41:570:42:01

as you said you were interested in the writing side of life.

0:42:010:42:04

A few clicks on the keyboard, and she's hooked. A dream come true.

0:42:040:42:08

Oh, I just can't get over how exciting this is!

0:42:080:42:12

Because I've been putting it off for so long

0:42:120:42:15

and now I've got one and it's just so thrilling. It really is.

0:42:150:42:20

I know I'm going to get off to a really good start with actually typing up manuscripts.

0:42:200:42:25

But then the real work begins of learning how to really get on the Web.

0:42:250:42:32

I'm really excited about it!

0:42:320:42:34

The Cash team are in Bath at the home of Victoria Vaughan, former model and once wife of musician George Melly. She plans to embark on a new era in her life, and hopes her antiques will help fund her on the way.