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.'

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day

A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story

Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter

An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story

Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'

A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story

Youngsters turning their backs on binge drinking with 40% surge in teetotal teens and students

Teenagers and young adults are turning their backs on binge drinking, dramatic new figures have revealed.The proportion of teetotal 16-to-24 year olds has rocketed by ... Full story

Talented 18-year-old pianist who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into deep depression

A gifted 18-year-old pupil who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into 'deep depression', his ... Full story

Former PE teacher, 91, becomes oldest person ever sent to prison for the first time after being found guilty of string of sex attacks on boys

A 91-year-old former teacher has become the oldest person to be sent to prison for the first time after he was jailed for carrying out ... Full story

Beauty therapist who posted dozens of weight loss selfies showing off her new slim figure on Facebook is reported for encouraging nudity

A beauty therapist who posted dozens of 'selfie' pictures of her new slimline figure on Facebook said she was shocked and upset after being reported ... Full story

Parents slam former Ofsted boss Zenna Atkins who is now chair of school governors over x-rated messages she posted on public Facebook page

Parents have slammed a former Ofsted chief who is now chairman of a school's governing board over x-rated messages she posted on Facebook.Zenna Atkins, who ... Full story

Taxpayers forked out £2,300 a month for council boss on £195,000 a year salary to drive luxury Porsche

Taxpayers paid out more than £2,300 a month for a council chief executive on a £195,000 a year salary to drive around in a luxury ... Full story

30 signs YOUR relationship has hit the comfort zone (and will go the distance)

Do you go au natural around your partner, chat to them while naked and do their laundry? You've officially hit the comfort zone.New research reveals ... Full story

Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade with one in 12 school pupils now brought up in Islamic home

The number of Muslim children in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, according to the most detailed study of its kind.An analysis of ... 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

Facebook test flies solar-powered drones over the UK in attempt to increase internet access

A pilotless plane with a wingspan bigger than a Boeing 737 but weighing less than a car has been tested over the UK by Facebook. Founder ...

MPs in new expenses row over London homes

Almost 50 MPs were accused last night of claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds in expenses for renting and using hotels in London despite owning ...

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: To the top of the UK's tallest structure? Hell, yes!

It wasn’t immediately clear why we had to be at the top of the “UK’s tallest sculpture” the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a fashionable £22m Anish Kapoor ...

Naomi Klein interview: The 'No Logo' author and climate change activist talks compost, Cameron, and the irresistible humour of otters

Was there a particular event that led you to write This Changes Everything? It wasn't one particular event. Unless it was Hurricane Katrina. My last book ...

David Threlfall interview: The actor takes a forensic approach in Code of a Killer as he leaves Shameless's Frank Gallagher behind

Actor David Threlfall, who is not to be confused with actor David Thewlis ("Ask him about Anna Friel," suggested one of my colleagues), doesn't grant ...

Cheapest European city breaks revealed: Vilnius beats Budapest to the top spot

Vilnius has been named the cheapest European city break destination, and with the Euro currently weak against the pound, British travellers can get even more ...

Postcard from... Barcelona

This is ground control to Major Tom. Or, actually, more accurately, this is Room 135 to room service. Earlier this week, I had a very quick ...

Can a revamped Dreamland help to reinvigorate the Kent town of Margate?

Everyday is a red-letter day in Margate. Scarlet capitals sloshed on to bashed-in brick proclaim 'DREAMLAND WELCOMES YOU'. This greeting on the side of the ...

David Cameron pledges all hospitals will provide key services seven days a week by 2020

All hospitals will provide key services seven days a week by 2020, David Cameron will pledge today, as he goes head-to-head with Labour on Ed ...

Wall Street should be afraid of Ruth Porat. And very afraid of Google

Ruth Porat’s move from Morgan Stanley to Google is a coup for the IT crowd, even if her close ties to California via her alma ...