13 Apr 2021
October 21, 2009 - Filed under: Antiques News,Antiques on TV — Richard

It’s hard enough to make a profit on Bargain Hunt, but then contestants don’t go on the show to win thousands of pounds. They already buy items at top retail value when they shop around antiques fairs prior to the auction, so just a few pounds profit on an antique chair, silver sugar shaker or decorated pot is regarded by all as a unanimous success.

So on the very rare occasions that contestants actually make a good profit, it is often a combination of the keen eye of the expert or just the good luck of the contestant. The items that make profits do not necessarily follow any logical pattern and a couple of recent examples prove this. A few days ago, near Epsom fittingly, it was a boxed horseracing game that nearly tripled its purchase price. It was the contestant not the expert this time that found it. The game, made by Jacques & Son, a good name in the games world, was bought for quite a rich price of £140. The auctioneer’s estimate was £100-150, so it could have scraped a small profit. However, it reached £380 and the contestants were ecstatic. On this occasion, it could have been the item’s racing theme and the proximity of Epsom to the auction house that guaranteed a good price.

Another, even better, example of good profits was in Barnsley. This time it was the expert Thomas Plant who spotted a rare and beautiful Royal Lancastrian lustre pot by a good designer from the Pilkington factory. The contestants bought the item for £200, again quite a rich price for Bargain Hunt. This time Tim Wonnacott really stuck his neck out on valuation day and suggested that the piece could fetch as much as £600 at auction. The eventual gavel price was £680 and the American contestant was overcome with emotion.

Examples like these however are rare which makes the programme all the more watchable and enjoyable when it happens.

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