Search

West Hampstead man buys £20 charity shop bag that may sell for £350,000

PUBLISHED: 17:49 12 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:59 12 July 2012

John Richard bought the Elvis Presley print bag by Philip Treacy in an Oxfam charity shop. Picture: Nigel Sutton

John Richard bought the Elvis Presley print bag by Philip Treacy in an Oxfam charity shop. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A West Hampstead novice antique hunter who paid just £20 for a rare handbag in a charity shop has been told it could be worth as much as £350,000.

John Richard, 73, discovered the Philip Treacy bag in Oxfam in Kingston in February.

It has a distinctive Elvis Presley design by pop artist Andy Warhol and is believed to be one of only 10 ever made.

Mr Richard, who lives off Lymington Road, said: “I found it lying in a box in the shop. I was shocked that it had ended up there.

“I bought it but then only looked at it again a couple of months later. I decided to take it to the Philip Treacy shop and they confirmed that it was one of their’s.”

The lucky pensioner, who has lived in Hampstead for 40 years, says he has already had interest from two private buyers in China – who have offered him an incredible £350,000 and £250,000.

It would have originally sold for £200 to £400 when first made.

He now plans to use any windfall from a sale to open a hair salon for his partner – although he has been advised by auctioneers in Bond Street to hang on to the rare find.

Gee Brunet, store manager of Philip Treacy London, said: “Mr Richard contacted me a few months ago saying he had found the bag. I can confirm that it is definitely one of our originals.

“I was very surprised to hear that he had found it in a charity shop. But he worked hard to get the sale so whatever he does with it is up to him.

“Only about 10 such bags were ever made. I imagine it could reach £350,000 – it’s a piece of art, not a bag.”

But some other valuers have doubted the bag’s worth.

A representative from auction house Bonhams told the Ham&High it was highly unlikely that the bag could fetch such an amount.

If it did sell for the figures Mr Richards has suggested, it would become the highest priced bag ever sold.

Fee Gilfeather, head of marketing for Oxfam Trading, said: “We were stunned to hear about the world record-breaking price this bag could be expected to achieve.

“It’s highly unusual for an item of such extreme value to go unnoticed and demonstrates the growing appetite for seemingly ordinary items overseas.

“We are, of course, very disappointed that Oxfam won’t benefit from the sale. In West Africa, where millions are at risk from severe food shortages right now, £350,000 could help bring food to 35,000 families for a whole month.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 10:08

On Thursday night the Royal Free London NHS Trust held their annual awards ceremony.

Fri, 17:15

Hampstead voted overwhelmingly to adopts its neighbourbood plan in a referendum yesterday.

Disability campaigner, Olympic torchbearer and Shepherd’s Hill resident Pamela Moffatt has died at the age of 80.

Fri, 15:54

Teddy bears will be cascading down from St James’ Church once again on Saturday, as part of the fourth annual Midsummer Muswell festival.

Fri, 12:47

Three young men have been charged in relation to two moped smash and grabs after police executed search warrants across Islington, Camden and Haringey.

Fri, 12:22

A Muswell Hill woman is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with the deadly mesothelioma “asbestos disease” caused by hugging her dad as a toddler when he came home each night from working in the docks in the 1960s.

Fri, 10:55

The London Irish Centre has received a welcome funding boost after Ed Sheeran and Dermot O’Leary helped them rake in £250,000 on Wednesday night.

Thu, 17:57

George Michael superfans are preparing to celebrate his life at two events on Sunday, ahead of what would have been the pop icon’s 55th birthday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now