Antiques Road Trip camera bought for £60 breaks record with stunning real value
BBC Two's Antiques Road Trip has broken show records after host Paul Laidlaw spotted an old camera that has gone on to sell for a whopping £20,000 at an auction – the highest profit in the show's history.
Antiques expert Paul spotted the rare camera for just £60 inside an antique store in Margate, Kent whilst out shopping for collectables.
And when Paul joined his antiques rival Kate Bliss at the Bury St Edmonds auction in Suffolk the pair were absolutely shocked when they realised how high the camera's price tag ended up selling for.
The owner of the huge old-items store described his shop to Paul, saying: "Three floors, the upstairs is mainly furniture but there’s stuff everywhere. And on this floor, there are four rooms through and in the middle, there’s a staircase which goes down to a room full of chairs and another room full below!”
Expert Paul had a huge task ahead of him, joking: "Don't send the calvary okay?"
After hunting for some time through the various vintage items, Paul finally came across the old camera, and it was time to haggle for prices.
Paul said: "In your cabinet over there, optical instrument… £75 on that I bid you £50.”
The shop owner replied: "Give me £60 and I’ll shake your hand but I’m not doing any better than that, I’m afraid."
When the deal was done, Paul explained to the viewers at home: "I think this is a very early camera. If I’m right, that could be quite exciting. The photographic market is very much in the ascent, it’s a hot market, I think that’s a good thing.”
When Paul and his new camera rocked up in the Suffolk market town of Bury St Edmunds, history was to be made when the camera caught the eye of auctioneer Edward Crichton.
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The excited auctioneer announced: "The sub-miniature camera – I have never seen one, in fact, we have carried out some research and cannot find any other example which has sold at auction, we were very excited to see this and it has certain potential to make a significant profit.”
Then the bidding was under way with a startling opening price of £1,000.
It soon became clear that the item was special as the price began to rise in steps of a thousand pounds, and Kate muttered: "They're not messing around."
Paul soon realised the shift in bidding price and said: "He's now taking £1,000 increments," to which Kate replied: "Which is a very rare thing."
After a rocket in bidding prices up over £10,000 things weren't stopping there, and the auctioneer closed the hammer saying: "At £20,000 online, at £20,000 if we’re all done, £20,000.”
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Reacting to the sky-high profit, Paul said: "I’m over the moon. I am genuinely flabbergasted."
Edward replied: "Most items in this sale make between £50 and £500, so £20,000 is staggering, wonderful."
Kate declared: "What an incredible result, I am so chuffed for Paul."
The original buyer added: "I really was shocked, when he bought it, he knew he bought a good thing, but I don’t think he realised. And he said ‘it looks like a camera’ but we didn’t know it was a camera.”
The person who ended up buying the camera for the staggering £20,000 closing price was a private collector in Switzerland.
And Paul's massive profit of £19,940 has well and truly smashed the previous record, which was a Tibetan bronze deity bought for £50 by Anita Manning, selling for £3,800 in 2016.
All profits from Antiques Road Trip goes to Children in Need.
You can watch Antiques Road Trip daily at 4.30pm on BBC Two.
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