In the world of high-end art auctions and antiques, Virgil Oldman is an elderly and esteemed but eccentric genius art-expert, known and appreciated by the world. Oldman is hired by a solitary young heiress, Claire Ibbetson, to auction off the large collection of art and antiques left to her by her parents. For some reason, Claire always refuses to be seen in person. Robert aids Oldman in restoring and reassembling some odd mechanical parts he finds amongst Claire's belongings, while also giving him advice on how to befriend her and deal with his feelings towards her. Also a friend of Oldman, Billy Whistler helps him to acquire a secret private collection of master paintings.