PreviousNext

Philip Treacy: Pensioner bags a potential fortune after picking up designer handbag for just £20 in a charity shop

By // News | Philip Treacy: Pensioner bags a potential fortune after picking up designer handbag for just £20 in a charity shop
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Chinese buyers have offered hundreds of thousands of pounds for bag
  • Designed by Philip Treacy who made hat Princess Beatrice wore at William and Kate's wedding
  • Pensioner plans to use sale to buy hair salon for his partner

PUBLISHED: 10:53 EST, 12 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:52 EST, 12 July 2012

Pensioner John Richard shows off the Philip Treacy handbag he paid just £20 for, which could be worth as much as £350,000

Pensioner John Richard shows off the Philip Treacy handbag he paid just £20 for, which could be worth as much as £350,000

A lucky 73-year-old had to pinch himself after discovering the £20 handbag he bought in Oxfam is actually worth up to £350,000.

John Richard, of West Hampstead, London, had no idea of the spectacular value of the Philip Treacy creation when he bought it in the charity's Kingston branch.

The famous Irish designer creates hats for the rich and famous, including the likes of Lady Gaga and the influential late fashion editor of Tatler magazine, Isabella Blow.

He was forced to defend his work last year when a hat he made for Princess Beatrice to wear to the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton came in for widespread criticism.

Mr Richard said he was shocked to find the Treacy handbag 'lying in a box' as he trawled Oxfam for bargains.

The handbag has a distinctive Elvis Presley design by pop artist Andy Warhol and is believed to be one of only 10 ever made.

He only decided to check whether or not it was genuine two months after buying it.

Mr Richard told his local paper, the Hampstead and Highate Express: 'I decided to take it to the Philip Treacy shop and they confirmed that it was one of their’s.'

The handbag would have sold for between £200 and £400 when it was first made.

Mr Richard hopes to use cash from any future sale to pay for a hair salon for his partner - although expert auctioneers have told him to hang on to the handbag for the time being.

The pensioner says he has had interest in the eye catching piece from two private buyers in China - one of whom offered up to £350,000 for it.

The Philip Treacy bag has a distinctive Elvis Presley print design by Andy Warhol. It's believed only 100 were made

The Philip Treacy bag has a distinctive Elvis Presley print design by Andy Warhol. It's believed only 100 were made

Work by the Irish designer Philip Treacy is highly collectible.

Work by the Irish designer Philip Treacy is highly collectible.

Gee Brunet, store manager of Philip Treacy London, confirmed the handbag is an original.

However some auctioneers have advised that the bag is unlikely to fetch the £350,000 Mr Richard has been quoted.

If it did, it is believed the bag would become the most expensive in history.

Mr Treacy was awarded an honorary OBE by Prince Charles for services to the British fashion industry in November 2007.

The hat worn by Princess Beatrice to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was designed by Philip Treacy.

The hat worn by Princess Beatrice to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was designed by Philip Treacy.

Fee Gilfeather, head of marketing for Oxfam Trading, said the charity was 'stunned' to hear how valuable the handbag was.

She said Oxfam was 'very disappointed' that it would not benefit from the potential re-sale price, and claimed the predicted £350,000 could help feed tens of thousands of families at risk of food shortages in West Africa.

'Oxfam has a dedicated team of experts who work with the most valuable donations from our shops across the country to secure the best price for Oxfam, including annual high profile auctions at Bonhams,' she said. 

'But even so, we have never witnessed an item valued at this level.

'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.'

Headlines Newsview all

Muslim hate preacher was allowed to spread jihad in British mosques before London bombings

A MUSLIM hate preacher who was allowed to tour British mosques and spread the message of jihad may have planted the idea of the London ... Full story

Another reason to quit the EU: Foreigners rack up £723m NHS bill

Figures produced by the Department of Health show that, since 2007-8, the UK has paid £6.18billion in health costs for British citizens in Europe – ... Full story

ISIS warns London is next in terror video threatening non-Muslims across Europe

ISLAMIC State has issued a chilling video warning that London is next to be hit by a terror attack at least as deadly as the ... Full story

Police psychological sick leave up 35% in five years

Cases of UK police officers and staff taking long-term sick leave for psychological reasons have risen by 35% over the last five years, statistics obtained ... Full story

Panama Papers: Cameron under pressure over tax havens

David Cameron is coming under pressure to stop British overseas territories and Crown dependencies being used by the wealthy to reduce their tax bills. A massive ... Full story

Donald Trump Is An ‘Idiot’ Whose Nato Comments Are Making Putin Happy, Say British MPs

Donald Trump is an “idiot” for his criticism of Nato and is making Vladimir Putin “very happy”, British MPs have said. On Saturday, the frontrunner in ... Full story

Royal Mint mark Queen's birthday with £5 coin - which could cost you as much as £7,500

Struck by the Royal Mint they have been issued in a variety of finishes and metals, including editions in platinum, gold and silver. The coins feature ... Full story

Feeling the pressure? Cameron snaps with bizarre rant over EU referendum

David Cameron dismissed talk of a split in the Tory party and in a bizarre rant said it was just journalists “setting each others’ hair ... Full story

Leaving Europe is VITAL to protect strained NHS, warns Cabinet minister

Cabinet member and Employment Minister Priti Patel has warned the health service will be better off if the UK votes to leave the EU. She claims ... Full story

Santander cash machine ALERT: Police warn public NOT to use cashpoints over security risk

Forces in both Lancashire and Cheshire have issued alerts over the use of Santander cashpoints as customers' details may be at risk. The warning follows reports ... Full story

Holiday bargains for families as costs tumble across EU: Britons set to save HUNDREDS

Costs across Europe have plummeted as the price of food, drinks and entertainment has been slashed in resorts.  They have nosedived more than 40 per cent ... Full story

Comment on: Philip Treacy: Pensioner bags a potential fortune after picking up designer handbag for just £20 in a charity shop

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

David Cameron told aides he'd rather quit now following Brexit vote

David Cameron made his resignation speech on Friday morning after vote New leader could face immediate challenge of keeping Scotland in the UK Boris Johnson has now ...

Senator Glenn Lazarus crushes a Dodge Journey with a tank in a bizarre election stunt

Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus crushed a car with a military tank The Dodge car was destroyed on Saturday in a filmed election stunt  Mr Lazarus has ...

Jealous teacher attacks his ex-girlfriend colleague in the middle of school ASSEMBLY after finding out she is seeing another man 

PE teacher Florin Alin Ilie drags his ex away during a school assemblyHe slaps her twice and tries to kick her as staff try to break them ...

The truth about standing desks? You may want to sit down: Working upright burns just 72 calories over an ENTIRE working day - the same as a digestive biscuit 

University of Pittsburgh researchers compared standing, sitting, walkingThey found little evidence standing at a desk burned significant calories But they pointed out their 74 volunteers were ...

Brexit supporter Crispin Odey rakes in £220m after betting on stock value falling

Leave supporter Crispin Odey made more than £220million from Brexit Some finance bosses hit the jackpot after gambling on the EU result Mr Odey manages more than ...

EXCLUSIVE - Sunbathing, shopping and pouting Instagram selfies: Peru Two drugs mule 'who found God' parties on parole with cocaine-smuggling pal she met in JAIL

Michaella McCollum Connelly , 23, was jailed for drug smuggling in 2013She was sentenced to six years' after being caught with £1.5million cocaineThe drugs mule ...

All white on the night

There was glamour and glitz at the Fete Imperiale as thousands of guests gathered for a night under the starsPopular event celebrated its seventh consecutive ...

How British shares bounced back after historic Brexit vote

FTSE100 suffered one of biggest falls in history - losing more than £100bnBut by close on Friday seven per cent fall was narrowed to 2.7 ...

Is this the tacky airport restaurant where Brexit began over a cheap pizza slice? Fateful decision to hold vote was 'reached in Chicago O'Hare pizzeria' while David Cameron waited for flight

David Cameron and William Hague were in Chicago in 2012 for a meetingReturning from the Nato summit, both men ate pizza at Chicago O'HareThey agreed ...

As Starbucks is being sued, is this proof coffee shops DO rip us off?  

High Street coffee a day averages around £2.50 - nearly £17.50 a weekCoffees cost us £910 a year and more than £20,000 throughout our lifetimeEven ...