FANS of the cult film Withnail And I have been bidding on props and furniture from the set.

A selection of items, including Uncle Monty's sofa, went under the auctioneers gavel last week.

Billingshurst auction house Bellmans wielded the hammer and have now boasted sales of up to four times its low estimate.

The 1987 black comedy was described by the BBC as "one of Britain's biggest cult films" and it established Richard E Grant's film career.

Set in 1969, the film follows two unemployed actors, Withnail, played by Grant, and "I", played by Paul McGann, as they decide they need a holiday and borrow a cottage owned by Withnail's eccentric Uncle Monty, played by Richard Griffiths.

The Argus: Uncle Monty's sofaUncle Monty's sofa

Uncle Monty's luxurious house in Chelsea was the real-life home of Professor Bernard Nevill, West House, and the scenes were filmed in his living room.

West House was sold in 2011 and most of its contents were auctioned, but Prof Nevill, a British designer and academic, took some possessions to his new home.

The items sold for over £316,000, including Buyer's Premium (BP) and VAT, with proceeds benefitting UK charities.

Top lot of the auction was the portrait of Clara Flower from 1872 by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys which sold for three times its mid-estimate for £21,000 (£26,544 including BP and VAT) to a telephone bidder.

The Argus: Withnail and IWithnail and I

The portrait of Lady Hamilton by Henry Harris Brown from 1905 sold for £13,000 (£16,432) against an estimate of £1,500 - £2,500 to a private collector on the phone.

The equally recognisable tapestry from the film also sold to a private buyer for £13,000, but had been estimated at £2,000 - £4,000.

The two famous sofas had been estimated at £4,000 to £6,000 each and both sold to private buyers who paid £12,000 (£15,168) and £9,500 (£12,009) respectively.

Conrad Frankel, one of Bernard Nevill's godsons, was the successful bidder for the final lot - Uncle Monty's sofa, likely one of the most famous sofas in cinema history.

The Argus: Props from the setProps from the set

He said: "Bernard was a wonderful godfather and he taught me a lot about art and design.

“I have such great memories of spending part of my childhood on that sofa and I remember sitting on it with my grandfather and Bernard on my 21st birthday.

“It was the place to meet many well-known artists and I even had a cigarette with David Hockney on that sofa….there was always a lot of laughter in that room.

“I remember watching the movie when I was about 18 and thought it was great fun, but hadn't watched it for a while until after the auction with my wife.

“She hadn't seen it before, but watching the film made us decide where to put it in our house and we might even recreate Bernard's living room a little bit - that sofa will be a talking point at our parties and when it arrives here I look forward to having a sherry on it…Sherry! Sherry…..”

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