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,
and then of course tries to sell them for you at auction.
Now, today we're in the beautiful sunlit city of Bath, famous of course for its Roman baths.
The temple and bath complex is built around Britain's only hot spring,
and the good news is that it still flows with gallons of lovely hot water.
The first shrine at the site was built by ancient Britons,
but the temple was constructed between 60 and 70AD after the Roman invasion.
It's one of only two classical style Roman temples in Britain and a World Heritage Site.
So let's hope we can find plenty of ancient antiques and collectibles
when we go hunting for our own treasures to take to auction.
Today on Cash In The Attic, we hunt high and low in the pursuit of treasure.
-Wow, look at those!
But how do you put a price on family heirlooms?
-Is that all right, do you think?
And will we be prepared to see them go?
-They won't be sold.
-They're not sold.
I'm heading off to meet a wonderful lady
who has already had a truly fascinating life,
but she's called us to help her raise funds for a whole new chapter.
Victoria Vaughan has lived in Bath for over 25 years.
She met her friend, Ros, just after arriving,
and they often take Victoria's dog, Inigo Jones, for walks.
Recently retired, her life so far has been incredibly colourful.
She worked as a model in the '50s and eloped with jazz musician George Melly at the tender age of 18.
Their six-year marriage resulted in a daughter called Pandora, but in 1962 they parted company.
For the last 20 years, she's lived a quieter, but no less interesting life as a psychotherapist.
For all that time, Victoria has nurtured another talent, writing,
and she has built up a huge archive of handwritten stories for her children and grandchildren,
but now she feels it's time to leap into the 21st century.
-Jules, how are you?
-Very well, sir, very well indeed.
Suitably refreshed? How was the bath?
The bath was fantastic, the Roman baths were even better, delightful, and what a city to be in.
I love Bath, it's so elegant and beautiful.
It is my favourite place in the country, it is fantastic.
We have got a wonderful lady we're gonna meet this morning, Victoria, and her friend, Ros.
Fascinating life she's had, not least of which because she was married to George Melly.
-So we could find one or two interesting pieces in here.
-I'm sure you'll root them out.
-That's my job.
-Come on, then, let's get started.
Good morning, Victoria. Good morning, Ros.
-You're having a little rummage already.
-We're starting, yes.
Jonty's also made a start, so goodness knows what he's going to find in your wonderful house,
in a wonderful city, it really is terrific.
Yeah, well, we think so, too!
You've lots of wonderful items I can see here, but why have you called us? Why do you want rid of them?
Well, because I want to buy a laptop, and, you know, that's very expensive,
so I feel it is time I can part with them.
Now, Ros, you've known Victoria a long time. What do you think of her decluttering plans?
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.
So how much money do you think we're really looking for?
Well, I'm told about £1,500.
Yeah, that sounds about right, so a lot of money to find, but we've lots of items to choose from,
Jonty's already out there, rummaging away, so it's a hot day, I'm gonna take my jacket off,
let's go and join him and see what he's found. Come on.
A glance round this Georgian flat reveals that Victoria's collectibles mirror her fascinating life,
but will we find enough to reach our target?
With the clock ticking, it looks like Jonty has made a timely find.
Here he is, look, busy already. Found another clock, Jonty?
Yeah, admiring it. So is there a story attached to this?
-Well, yes, there is a story attached to this, because this is an enchantment, this clock.
-It's an enchantment,
because I saw it in the shop at the top of the high street in Totnes,
and it just drew me down towards it, and I looked at it, and I bought it.
But why it's an enchantment is because the next day,
and this is true, I got a letter from my bank in London saying,
"We've just found an old account of yours with £125 in it, what do you want to do with it?"
So it was paid for.
So it was all meant to be.
It's an enchantment, isn't it?
So how long ago, roughly, would that have been?
-30 years ago.
-About 30 years ago, wow, and was it stripped then?
Yes, it was just as it is, except that I had the works cleaned, and they were all beautiful and shiny.
Well, the interesting point about long-cased clocks that are pine like this
is the fact that the carcass itself would have originally been painted.
It would have never been stripped pine like this.
It's simply because the fashion has been, for the last 30 years,
to strip, to show the original pine underneath.
Now, painted dials like this first came in around the 1800 time.
The facia itself is enamel, so it's enamel ground,
and everything else is hand-painted above, and the maker's name is rather indistinguishable here,
and it's made in Penzance, so it's a very, very rural clock indeed.
Now, Ros, if this were your clock, would you want to part with it?
I don't know, I like it very much. I think its proportions are beautiful.
It's very much a Georgian proportion clock, rather than a Victorian one.
I love this curly shape here.
Um, obviously, it has been stripped, so it's got all sorts of marks
as a result of the stripping, um, but it's very lovely.
Well, Jonty, it is a beautiful clock, but how much is it worth?
-Well, the market today is a ballpark £400-600.
-How do you feel about that, Victoria?
It's not enough?
That's the cheapest enchantment I've ever seen!
No, it would be fine, it would be OK.
We've got plenty more objects to find, so let's go and see what we can get hold of, shall we?
Victoria may be disappointed by Jonty's valuation, but with today's smaller housing,
the demand for larger antiques like this just isn't as high,
and we still have another £1,100 to raise, so we need to press on.
It seems that Victoria's home is bursting with delightful keepsakes,
and Ros has taken a shine to an object she thinks could hold value, but something's bothering her.
What are you looking at there, Ros?
Well, I rather like this box, and I'm trying to guess its date.
-Can I give a guess?
I'm saying it's perhaps as late as 1900, but then it might be Regency, so I want your opinion.
-You tell me, and I'm probably quite wrong.
-So why do think it's turn of the century?
Well, it's got a simplicity, which I like very much about it,
which is not altogether Victorian, but it doesn't feel Georgian in any way at all.
You're absolutely right. The actual date of this box is 1917, so it's an Edwardian box.
The Edwardians were heavily inspired by Georgian design,
so if you look at it, it has this 18th century feel, but it's not.
And if you look at the pineapple at the top, the Georgians used this heavily.
It was a sign of welcome, it was a sign of wealth, it was a sign of prosperity,
so it has all the hallmarks, all the feeling of being 18th century, but not quite.
And one of the question marks is the size of the box,
-because if it had been any larger, we would have thought...
..is it a tea caddy etcetera, but I think you're absolutely spot on.
-I think this is an unusual cigarette dispenser.
-Because really cigarettes at this time started to become incredibly fashionable.
And the other giveaway is in fact the pineapple itself.
If the Georgians were making this, they would have only used ivory.
But that's not ivory. It's an early form of resin, and it's changed colour.
Ivory wouldn't go that colour. If you feel it, it's different.
So value at auction for a beautiful, very decorative box,
albeit an empty box, is still £200-300.
-That's pretty good, isn't it?
-Yeah, a good find.
-Can I give that back to you?
-But no more resting on laurels, we've got work to do.
Very fair, if not more than fair,
for this little silver box.
It's quite an historic little piece.
Historic and valuable.
Speaking of history, I've come across these two toy engines.
Made by the model company Mamod, they're toys that appeal to young and old.
These fully working models were produced in the '60s and belonged to Victoria's children.
Jonty thinks they could sell well, fetching around £80-150 at auction.
And in the living room Victoria scores another find, this antique violin.
A copy of a Stradivarius design,
Jonty thinks it might strike a note with the bidders
at around £50-100 under the hammer.
And in the bedroom, Jonty has made a discovery.
Okey-dokey, Victoria, I've got a box of goodies in here.
Now, I've just found a load of books here, and I notice we've got a theme running here.
It seems that you're a fan of the illustrator Arthur Rackham.
-Am I right?
-Yes, I am.
This one here is the William Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream, perfect for his artistry.
I mean, they also have Edwardian majesty to them as well.
The characters, again, have elegance to them.
And what you have to really fully appreciate of his work,
which of course he was illustrating really at the turn of the century, so 1900-1910 was his heyday,
it was pre-cartoon,
so he was the one who recreated all of that work before Walt Disney ever touched it.
Oh, they're wonderful!
Look at her, she's beautiful, isn't she?
And because Arthur Rackham was so successful, others followed in his footsteps,
and here's one we've got here. This is Edmund Dulac.
Now, he was born in France, and he was clever.
He was commissioned by the Leicester Gallery, who commissioned his artwork,
and they gave the rights for publication in this book, and then they sold his artwork thereafter.
And wherever you turn, you've got this Edwardian elegance that shines through.
Wonderful. What else have we got?
-This is the Rubaiyat.
Yeah, again, Edmund Dulac and fabulous, fabulous illustrations.
Let's just look at one or two in here.
-Oh, look at that.
-Look at the majesty of just any picture you come across.
Quite extraordinary, wonderful.
A lot of these books, I've noticed, are first editions,
-so the ballpark value for this whole collection has got to be £250-400.
Well, it should be, they're precious, wonderful things, they really are,
so, yes, they should be...valued.
Yeah, that's fine, that's fine, they can go.
Another fabulous collection, well done.
I'll pop the lid on the box.
-Let's do some more searching.
I hope they'll do better than that, actually, but we'll see, we'll see.
But anyway, they're going. Sadly, but they're going.
Victoria may be underwhelmed by the valuation, but £250 is conservative,
and there's a good chance these illustrated first editions will draw plenty of attention at the auction.
Along with our other finds, these beautiful books help take our total to a whopping £980.
That's nearly two-thirds towards our laptop fund so Victoria can continue to write.
It's a good result, but with just over £500 still to find, we need to keep up the pace.
While Jonty continues to pull out the stops,
I'm keen to find out a little bit more about Victoria's exciting past.
Well, Victoria, we've managed to find ourselves tucked away in your drawing room
to get away from the rummaging for a bit and talk a bit about you and where it all began.
As a model, I think, tell us about that.
Well, I was just a little girl with a job in a chemist's shop, £6 a week.
And I was walking down King's Road one day and somebody stopped me and said, "Are you a model?"
And I was completely nonplussed and said, "What are they?"
So he took some pictures of me and paid me six guineas for just taking some head shots.
Well, you also married fairly glamorously.
We can't talk about your life, Victoria, without mentioning the great George Melly.
How did you meet George?
In 100 Oxford Street, of course, where Humph Lyttelton's band used to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays,
and I was such a good dancer that I got in for nothing.
Tell us a bit about George, what kind of a man was he, really?
-George was very colourful!
-I think colourful is probably a very good description.
I mean, that's perhaps the understatement of the year!
I mean, George is a very lovable person in many ways, but he's just not husband material!
-He is not!
-What was it about him that made him... Was he a rogue?
Was he a lovable rogue?
Oh, he's very soft, he's very soppy, really,
but he's also a very selfish person who just lived for his own enjoyment.
But of course you did have your daughter.
We did have a daughter, yes, we have a daughter, a very beautiful girl.
And you had a son later on, Rufus, with your second marriage.
It's wonderful, Victoria, you're clearly a terrific storyteller with lots of stories to tell.
£1,500 is gonna get you that computer, which will help you do it.
We're nearly there, Jonty's still having a good old rummage,
so let's see what else he's got and see if we've found your £1,500.
Wonderful. Let's go.
And it does seem like Jonty has been hard at work.
He's discovered a fascinating glimpse into Victoria's ex-husband's past.
Victoria, how did you come by them?
Well, they were in legacy from my first husband, George Melly.
They belonged to his grandmother.
Is it possible that we're looking at George's ancestors here?
We do know who these little people are. That is Master Thomas and this is Miss Emma Holt
of the Holt shipping line.
A family that was connected in Liverpool with the Melly family.
Obviously some years ago and I don't know all that much about it.
What we're looking at here is naive art.
What I mean by naive art is, these pictures have been painted by somebody who has no formal training,
but look at the detail. All of the genuine detail is in the faces alone.
The rest is very simply done.
If you look at the dress, certainly on our girl here,
she's 1820, 1815 in date.
These pictures were painted in the Regency time.
They look like brother and sister, so they look like they have always been a pair.
They're certainly children of a very wealthy family.
I like these frames, these ebony frames, and the silver on the inside.
It gives them quite a modern feel to them
and I believe them to be original to the pictures, which will certainly give them added interest and value.
I have always wondered if they were worth anything.
I mean, they could be worth an awful lot of money.
A very good question. The man to tell us, Jonty, how much are they worth?
I believe the value for these pictures as roughly between £200 to £400 at auction.
Gosh! It's really weird to hear that because it's nailing something that has always bothered me.
-That's the answer, is it?
-We'll see at the auction.
-It's all adding up, isn't it?
We're getting there slowly towards our figure, but it's not over until it's over,
and it's not over yet so let's continue, shall we? After you.
It seems that the Georgian theme runs through this house in more ways than one.
At £200 for the pair, George's distant relatives will help us on our way to auction.
And I find this attractive oil.
It's a portrait of Victoria in a surreal landscape painted by a friend.
Victoria is adamant that it can go
and so Jonty puts an estimate of £100 on it.
And while we're in the frame,
this example of Georgian cross stitch can be added to our haul.
Samplers like this were the work of well-bred young ladies and are always popular collector's items.
Jonty thinks it could fetch between £120 to £180,
which takes up to 1,400 quid.
So, we're just short of our £1,500 target.
A great result, but auctions are unpredictable at the best of times,
so we need to keep up the momentum and find just a few more treasures.
In the living room, it seems Inigo has finally given up the chase, but Jonty is still on the hunt.
Ah, Victoria, I've just been admiring this chest.
I suppose it's a coffer, but it's a lovely storage chest.
-Where's it from?
-A junk shop at the end of the King's Road.
-How long have you had it?
-40 years ago. Something like that.
-A long, long time.
-As you know, this is pine.
Just like the clock, this would have been painted at some point and during its life, it's been stripped.
Because pine comes up this lovely honey colour when you place wax upon it.
This is what we're looking at here. It's old, about 200 years old.
Just by looking at the drawer, if you look at your side and on my side, you've got these two holes.
That's where a Georgian brass drop handle would've been placed at some time.
Later on, they've filled those two holes
and have placed these two ring pull handles on either side of the single drawer.
It also has a Georgian construction as well.
If you look at the dovetailing down the side,
this is a classic Georgian design, so a piece of furniture like this,
like your country clock, would have been made for a country dwelling as well - a farmhouse, a cottage.
It's a lovely, lovely thing.
Pine furniture, as you've probably experienced, was very fashionable,
certainly 10 or 15 years ago, maybe not so much now.
The price has probably gone up and gone down.
You paid probably next to nothing.
Next to nothing, yes. It was not considered of any value.
Right, right. Have you ever pondered its value?
Well, I can only guess and I'll say £250.
I want to play a little game with you.
Is it OK if we take this along to the auction sale and I'll reveal the value at the point of sale?
Ooh, that would be really tension making. Yeah, let's do that.
Excellent, right, we'll take that to the auction sale.
-Whether it's £250...
-..maybe more, maybe less.
-I'm a tease, aren't I?
That has been one of the most interesting things of looking at everything, getting it into focus.
But not quite because we don't know what he thinks it's worth.
Yeah, that was really interesting, but it can go.
Well, Victoria is certainly firm about saying goodbye to her old collectibles
and Jonty finds another two antiques for her to let go as well.
He thinks this oil burning lamp should achieve around £50,
that's if this Victorian lamp doesn't outshine it at £80.
We're certainly clocking up the items
so Ros, Victoria and I can afford to take Inigo out for a breather.
It's a good chance to find out more about their friendship.
The dog's having a good time. When and where did you meet?
-We met 25 years ago...
-..when we both moved to Bath. You came from Devon.
-You came from...?
-Well, London, France.
-London and France.
I don't blame either of you for living in Bath.
It really is a gorgeous city.
It's got pretty much everything except the sea.
I had a wonderful morning this morning in the Roman baths in the heart of the city.
-Presumably, that's an old haunt for you both.
-Yes, of course. One always goes there.
I remember taking my daughter there and being desperately embarrassed
because she insisted on taking off her clothes and getting into them.
It's a place that clearly inspires a lot of events and a lot of history.
-Is that how you write your stories? Do you get inspired by places or just ideas?
-I don't know.
My stories just write themselves. When they're ready, out they come.
-Is that the same for you, Ros, with your painting?
-I don't think so.
I need to be in the place and try and do it again and again, and throw away nine-tenths of what I do.
Yeah, but I also think it's why we've been friends for so long because we're actually different.
-It's the difference that matters. Not the similarity.
We're getting towards the grand total of £1,500, but it's not over yet.
We've made a classic error and that's to leave Jonty alone in your house, rummaging through it.
I think we should catch up with him, round up the dog and see what we've got. Come on.
Back in Victoria's beautiful home, Jonty has found something to really shout about.
-Wow! Where are they from?
-Sounds very exciting.
Look at these, these are cufflinks. Diamond-encrusted cufflinks. Aren't they incredible?
It's not often Jonty says "wow" about anything at all.
-These must be really special.
-What you're looking at is,
on the inside, you've got these classical figures on the larger plates
so, by design, that makes them late 19th century.
Then you look around the outside.
You've got this lovely red engine turn design, which is wonderful.
Of course, in between those two is this oval ring of diamonds,
so they are diamond-encrusted cufflinks, quite extraordinary.
On the underside,
you have gold that's nine carat gold on the underside. It's quite superb.
-They're not actually hallmarked, are they?
-No, they aren't hallmarked,
but sometimes you'll find gold isn't, certainly on the underside of jewellery,
but they are superb quality.
Have you ever pondered the value? Have you thought about value?
No, I haven't because they're things I haven't thought about very much.
They live in a drawer. They've lived in a drawer for 43 years.
-What about you, Ros?
-What do you think?
In terms of value, I wouldn't have a clue. I've no...
-Well, double it. £400 to £600.
-£400 to £600.
So it's up there with the clock?
Now we're coming to the end of our rummage.
We've seen some extraordinary things.
Have you any idea how close we are to your total of £1,500?
You tell me, I can't... My head has gone completely haywire.
-Are we close? Are we not?
-I hope you don't blow a fuse in it because we were chasing £1,500.
As it stands, without the value on the pine chest,
-which Jonty is keeping to himself, naughty chap that he is.
-But, without that, everything so far adds up to £1,930.
Now, The box, if it makes a few extra quid, we could go over the £2,000 mark.
Well, that would be sensational.
-Are you surprised?
-Yes, I'm gobsmacked.
Brilliant! You could get the computer and you could take Ros out to dinner to celebrate.
We certainly will.
-Very good, very good.
-Maybe a weekend in the spa.
-You never know.
-We will, we'll go and have a splash in the spa.
Victoria has an excellent eye for her antiques and collectables,
and here are some of the highlights of today's rummage.
The illustrated first editions by Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac.
They could bring in anywhere between £250 and £400.
The versatile little Edwardian silver box
which could hold cigarettes or tea might nab another £200 to £300.
The stunning Asprey cufflinks that had Jonty jumping for joy
could achieve between £400 and £600.
Finally, Victoria's enchanting grandfather clock,
we're hoping it could also raise some hands at between £400 and £600.
-Still to come on Cash In The Attic, will Victoria's antiques be bestsellers?
-Or will our auction have an unhappy ending?
We'll only find out when the hammer falls.
It's been a couple of weeks since we helped Victoria Vaughan search through Victoria's flat in Bath
for items and antiques that we could sell for them here today
at the Chiswick auction rooms in west London.
Remember, Victoria was hoping to raise around 1,500 quid for a printer, a laptop and a camera,
as she embarks on a new career as a writer.
Let's hope there are lots of bidders here today, ready to snap up her items as they go under the hammer.
It's a cracking day at Chiswick Auction House, the bidders are out in force.
Let's hope it bodes well for our items.
And of course, Jonty's here, bristling with enthusiasm.
He's hoping Victoria's grandfather clock will put a spell on the room.
-I see you've found Victoria's enchanted clock.
Let's hope it is enchanted and brings us luck today
as we're chasing a lot of money for a laptop, a printer and a camera.
-We've got some fab items, wonderful items. The cufflinks.
-What about the cufflinks?
Also, George Melly's pictures. Lots of great things.
-There's the chest, of course.
-Oh, yes. All will be revealed.
You're keeping it close to your chest.
It's good to see it here. It looks very different, it's made a long journey up the M4 to Chiswick.
Let's see if the girls did. Come on.
If you're thinking of going to auction, remember that commission, VAT and other charges will apply.
Ros and Victoria are here, eager to see how the auction will go.
They're looking at the Georgian blanket box.
Victoria thinks its value is £250, but Jonty isn't letting on how much he thinks it might fetch today.
Good morning, Victoria. Good morning, Ros. Nice to see.
-Victoria, remember what you said about the chest, what value you put on it.
-I said 250.
I have to reveal that the prices of these sorts of pieces have actually fallen rather than risen,
so we're really looking more like £150.
OK, well my guess was a very wild guess based on your enthusiasm.
Victoria, how do feel, seeing all your bits and pieces arranged around the auction room?
Really strange. Really strange to see your life sort of around the walls of a new building.
But they look nice. I think they look like quite the nicest things here.
We've got the clock and the portrait of you.
She really doesn't look very happy about it.
-She's certainly staring at you.
-She is, looking very reproachful.
Yes. Let's hope she puts a smile somebody's face today because, again, not a bad estimate on that.
-There's a lot to look forward to.
-Shall we take our places and see how we get on?
-OK, let's go.
It looks like Victoria's Stradivarius copy has caught the eye of at least one bidder.
And auctioneer William Rouse is impressed by one lot in particular.
The pair of Asprey's cufflinks are absolutely super-duper quality.
It doesn't get better than that.
We haven't sold anything like that for a very long time.
I wouldn't be surprised if they exceeded the estimate by quite a long way.
Exciting talk indeed, but now it's time to put our estimates to the test.
-The auction is about to start.
-Lot 80a is a decorative brass table lamp,
-This is the start of your items going under the hammer.
It's going to kick-off, Jonty, with the lamp.
Yes, we've got two different lamps, but this is the brass lamp.
There we go, a bit of interest in that lot. I'm bid £65.
With me at £65. 70. 75. 80. 85.
£85 then. At £85. It's a left bit of 85. 90 there.
95. 100. At £100, then.
At £100. In the room at £100. I'm going to sell it then for £100.
All done for 100.
Spot on, guys.
-That's the first one down!
-Yes, that's fine.
A great beginning. £100 is right in the middle of Jonty's estimate.
Now it's time to see whether the blanket box can close the lid on a good price.
Well now, Jonty seemed to think it would only make about 100 quid.
Yes, well, I would like to be wrong! Please make me wrong!
-I'd like you to be wrong too! Well, let's see. Coming up next.
-Here it comes.
£85. With me at 85. At 85.
With me at £110.
It's a left bid of 110.
£110 for the chest.
-Oh, I was right! Damn!
-You got it right!
Good old Jonty! But how does Victoria feel about it?
I was very pleased with that, yes.
Considering that it cost 10 shillings! It was very good!
Victoria's certainly made a profit there, then!
And the bidders continue to play along when the little violin...
..sells at the top end of its estimate for £100.
The charming silver cigarette box is next under the hammer.
What am I bid? I've already got a bid left on the book of £170,
but I'm sure somebody else will come in and help me.
-At 180 in the room. 190.
-You've got your money back.
At £210 in the doorway. For 210.
-At £210, going for 210, then.
-You got a return for your money.
The cigarette box was a pretty collectible,
so how does Victoria feel about selling it?
No, I'm not sorry to see the cigarette box go.
-I won't have to polish it any more!
-No, you certainly won't.
But if we keep going at this rate, you will be polishing a shiny new laptop screen instead!
We've done really well so far, so now it's time for Victoria's ex-husband,
George Melly's ancestors, to put a step forward.
Lot 130a is the primitive school, the entertaining watercolours, which I think are just to my right here.
Next up is one of the more interesting lots, I suppose.
George's pictures. Jonty, what did you think of them?
They're very charming indeed.
-I'm a big fan of them.
-Well, let's see how they do.
What are they worth? Start me for £100.
100. 110. 120. 130.
130. At £130. At 130 then. Any more?
At £130. Any more? 130.
-They won't be sold.
-They are not sold.
I think Victoria's really pleased.
And I don't blame her for not just giving them away.
So they'll be back home to Bath.
Next up, one of the most attractive lots, the Mamod steam trucks.
-Very collectible, Jonty?
-Yes, there's a big collectors market.
The great thing is, the whistles still work! That's what I love.
Let's hope somebody will whistle for them today!
I'm bid £95 straight off.
With me at 95. 100. 110. 120. 130.
£130. At 130.
At 130 for the Mamods. 130.
At 150. You'll buy it for 160 if you want to bid. 150 with me. At £150.
It's a left bit of 150.
At £150 then. On the book at 150.
Well, that certainly got us hot under the collar.
£150 is right at the top end of our estimate.
We're doing really well, but just how well?
We're halfway through and before we nip off for tea, I thought I'd tell you how we're doing.
We're chasing about £1,500 for your laptop, for the camera and the printer.
-Well, so far, we've got £670.
That's halfway, which is pretty much half of what we're after.
Who knows, it may get a bit better in the second half.
-We've still got the crock to come.
-The cufflinks as well. Some very good quality items.
Jonty's got a few things he's going to show me around the auction room.
-In the meantime, you guys can have a cup of coffee.
-That'd be lovely.
While Ros and Victoria take a well-deserved break, Jonty and I take a look around.
Inspired by Victoria's writing, Jonty's keen to show me an item
that, in days gone by, no author would be without.
Jonty, what have you found here?
Well, I know Victoria is into her writing.
So I just want you to take a closer look at this one.
This is a classic English writing table.
So the drawers are usually a three drawer top and it usually sits on these two banks of drawers.
The most important thing is to make sure that the top is in good order.
I imagine that's the bit that takes most of the wear and tear.
Yes. And it's OK to replace leather.
It's extremely rare to find writing desks and writing tables with the original leather.
So this one has been replaced.
But look at the condition - there's just a bit of restoration on the corner there.
-The handles are often replaced as well, and these have been replaced.
The last tip is to always make sure, if you're considering buying this,
that there's enough room below the middle drawer here to actually get your legs underneath it.
If you look closely, right down at the bottom there,
a restorer has at some point just put a little bit of material down at the bottom to give it extra height.
-Now, that may affect its value.
-Can you give us a price on this one?
In the catalogue, it's £160 plus.
What a bargain. That's a real, real bargain.
It's worth £200 to £300 of anybody's money.
Well, Victoria does have quite a nice eye for antiques.
Who knows, she may walk away with a desk after all!
Value for money it may be, but we're here to raise money, not spend it,
if we're to get to that £1,500 total for Victoria's laptop.
And we're starting with a highlight -
the illustrated first editions by Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac.
We're hoping they'll fetch a pretty penny.
So this is the big lot of books. What the auctioneer has done
is put all the collection of books into one lot.
So we've got the Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac books all together in one lot.
Estimate for me, £250 and more. So let's see what happens!
Straight off I'm bid £250.
With me at 250. 260. 270. 280. 290.
310. 320. 330. 340. 350. 360. 370.
380. 390. 400. And 10. 420. 430.
440. 450. 460 in the room against commissions.
470 there. 480.
490. 500. And 20. 540. 560.
£600 then to my left. At £600.
It's good money. For £600. At £600, it's going for 600.
What a brilliant sale!
Those books have boosted our fund towards Victoria's writing career.
And when the Georgian sampler sells just under the lower estimate...
110 it is.
..we feel like we've got it all sewn up.
So when the oil lamp goes unsold...
£28. Not sold.
-There you go.
-I'll have to take it home.
-Polish it again!
..it doesn't dampen our spirits.
At last, it's time for Victoria's enchanting grandfather clock
to make its appearance.
Our minimum estimate is £400 on this, but will it charm the buyers?
£300 to start me for the clock. Start me at 300. Start me at 200.
200 to go. 200. 220. 240. 260. 280.
280 for that clock. At £280. At 280.
£280, are you all done? 280.
That's coming home, though. You look relieved!
Well, I would have hated to see it go for that.
The price was far too low.
If she's intent on selling it, she could leave it at the auction house
and perhaps it will work its magic on another day.
To be honest, the last few items have left us feeling a little deflated.
But perhaps Victoria's portrait will cheer us up.
360a is the picture, the portrait of the young woman in an unusual landscape, anyway.
-Unusual picture, full stop.
-Now, next up we've got, I think, the most extraordinary lot.
The portrait of you as a very beautiful young woman.
You're still very beautiful! I'm amazed you're selling it. I really am.
We've got an estimate of £100 to £200. Let's see how it does.
Here we go.
Is it worth £100 to start me? £100 I'm bid. 110. 120.
130. £130, that picture at £130.
Anybody else? 140. 150. 160.
£160. At 160. Selling to you then at £160.
-It's going for 160.
-Pretty good, Jonty.
-I'm worth £160!
Well, your picture is, Victoria!
£160 is a good price and Victoria doesn't seem at all fazed
about her portrait being in someone else's hands.
It's been a busy morning with some real highs and a few unexpected lows.
Everything now hinges on the final lot.
We are hoping the Asprey cufflinks will pull everything together into a dazzling finish.
So this is the big one. But the small one!
We really are talking tiny. Those beautiful Asprey cufflinks.
£400 to £600 with them in their original Asprey box.
So who knows? Fingers crossed.
What are they worth? £300 to start me. 300 I'm bid. 320.
340. 360. 380.
£380 in the middle of the room.
400 there. 420. 440.
500. And 50. 550.
550 then. To my left at £550.
600. And 50.
£650. £650, all done.
-That's really good.
-Oh, that's wizard!
What a roller-coaster of a sale!
The cufflinks really sparkled and brought us in a fantastic sum.
It's been a busy day, so just how much have we raised towards Victoria's computer fund?
This is it, the end of the sale. The selling and buying's been done.
Now, we were chasing £1,500.
The grand total at the end of the day is £2,190.
-How about it? 2,190! You can get some nice gear for that.
-That's great. Thank you so much.
Back in Bath, the big day has arrived and Victoria is looking forward to starting a new chapter.
Well, I have waited a long time for this. A couple of years.
I'm really long to get something so I can get all these old bits of writing, sort them all out.
I'm going to need a computer.
So, yeah, this is an exciting thing to happen!
Because I have actually been into the shop before and come out terrified!
But this time, I'm not going to be terrified.
I'm going to buy a new laptop.
Good for you! Don't be intimidated by them, cos they know everything!
So a determined Victoria and a supportive Ros face a brave new world.
OK, then, Victoria, I'd just like to show you this laptop.
I'm going to open up a word-processing document for you,
as you said you were interested in the writing side of life.
A few clicks on the keyboard, and she's hooked. A dream come true.
Oh, I just can't get over how exciting this is!
Because I've been putting it off for so long
and now I've got one and it's just so thrilling. It really is.
I know I'm going to get off to a really good start with actually typing up manuscripts.
But then the real work begins of learning how to really get on the Web.
I'm really excited about it!
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.