31 May 2020
October 12, 2017 - Filed under: Auctions — Richard

An antiques expert on the BBC programme Antiques Road Trip bought a camera for £60 and sold it at auction for a record £20,000.

In the programme, antiques experts travel around in a car competing with each other to make the most profit from buying antiques then reselling them. In an episode transmitted last month, antique expert Paul Laidlaw spotted an interesting looking miniature camera, which he bought for a modest £60.

He took the piece to a camera expert who discovered that it was a 1861 Chambre Automatique De Bertsch, regarded as the first subminiature camera ever manufactured. The camera was put up for sale at a Bury St. Edmonds auction, where a private collector in Switzerland purchased it for £20,000, making a £19,940 profit – the largest profit ever in the history of the long-running program. The previous record on the Antiques Road Trip was the £3,800 profit made on a bronze Buddha statue, so this was smashed by some distance.

Sellers usually receive less than the winning bid amount after fees and commissions have been deducted by the auctioneers, but in the case of camera found by Laidlaw, the money raised was donated to the charity Children in Need.

Laidlaw described antique dealers as being like hunters looking for treasure, When looking at antiques in Lancashire antique shops, among the antique chairs, antique desks and antique sofas, you may not find treasure, but you will certainly find high-quality antique furniture to enhance your home.

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