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.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 11:55

More than 1,000 fire doors were missing from the Camden tower blocks evacuated on Friday.

Mon, 17:10

Jerry Springer argued Donald Trump is destroying the American dream – as he spoke movingly about how his parents were saved from the Nazis and brought over to England from Germany.

Mon, 12:32

Hundreds came out with the sun for the South End Green Festival on Sunday, with music, food, drinks, a craft stall, a children’s fair, and a highly competitive dog’s show.

Mon, 12:00

The Hampstead Summer Festival kicked off with hundreds flocking to the art fair at Whitestone Pond.

Mon, 08:07

George Michael fans gathered outside the star’s home in The Grove, Highgate, to mark what would have been his fifty-fourth birthday on Sunday.

Mon, 08:06

A leaseholders association is claiming victory over Haringey Council after an apparent U-turn over residents’ rights.

Mon, 07:57

Around 200 residents who have refused to leave their homes in the fire trap Chalcots Estate tower blocks claim they are being intimidated by security guards.

Mon, 07:31

Sixty firefighters tackled a fire in Gospel Oak last night.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

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