Search

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

17:49 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 News Stories

Yesterday, 17:10
The low rate of burglaries now solved was described as 'very worrying' by the Camden SNB

Burglars breaking into residents’ homes are now getting away with more than 95 per cent of their crimes, figures covering Camden have shown.

Yesterday, 09:48
Chief Supt Richard Tucker, acting Borough Commander of Camden, said the plummit in solved burglaries was down to a change in procedures

Camden’s top police officer has questioned the role his force now plays in dealing with mentally ill residents, warning some of his officers’ actions are having “catastrophic consequences” for vulnerable people.

Yesterday, 07:00
Sarah Cope with children Clementine and Walter, bottom left, and Patrick and Harry Mildren, centre, protest against the estate being earmarked for redevelopment. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Young families and elderly residents who have lived in a housing estate for generations fear their homes could be demolished within a decade under draft redevelopment plans by the council.

Sunday, May 31, 2015
The altercation took place outside this pub in north-west London [Image from Google StreetView]

A 72-year-old man is in hospital with life-threatening head injuries after a fight outside a pub on Swiss Cottage’s Finchley Road on Friday night.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder