Philip Treacy: Pensioner bags a potential fortune after picking up designer handbag for just £20 in a charity shop
- 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
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
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.
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
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
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- Royal baby hoax hospital staff wanted to discipline nurse Jacintha Saldanha
- Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without
- Lacey Wildd has had 30 enhancement surgeries and is planning more
Thomson and First Choice have cancelled flights to Tunisia this weekTravel agents will evacuate as many as 2,500 Brits from Tunisia todayAnyone on Thomas ...
Aown Dogar fell into the murky river near Donnington Bridge in OxfordCould not be dragged out by rescue crews who were called around 7pm Described as ...
Surf’s up! Boardriders take on the biggest waves in years off at remote Western Australian break churned up by massive offshore storm
Surfers in Western Australia gathered to brave treacherous conditions after a storm produced the 'swell of a decade'The massive swell is a result of strong ...
Iggy Azalea met 39-year-old Maurice Williams, aka Hefe Wine, when she was a vulnerable 17-year-old 'fresh off the bus' from AustraliaWilliams claims that Azalea gave ...
Teenage boy arrested after police discover list of people he wanted to killThe list reportedly was of people who he planned to behead in an ...
Suspected car thief stripped naked and 'jumped from roof to roof' to escape police sniffer dog... but it caught is when witnesses notice nude man acting strangely
Two men were spotted driving a stolen vehicle in Mount Lawley, PerthPolice allege they crashed the car into a fence and fled the scene Officers deployed ...
ANZ rejects human rights commissioner's recommendation to apologise to a man after company refused to hire him for his armed robbery offence
Gillian Triggs handed down her recommendations to ANZ in MarchThe report was into discrimination in employment based on criminal recordIt reveals that a man, Mr ...
No windows or walls, and barely enough room to lie down: Remarkable pictures reveal the cramped conditions inside Tokyo's infamous 'shoebox' hotels
By Daniel Piotrowski for Daily Mail Australia Published: 02:15 GMT, 27 June 2015 | Updated: 07:24 GMT, 27 June 2015 ...
By Michael Burleigh for the Daily Mail Published: 21:00 GMT, 26 June 2015 | Updated: 07:15 GMT, 27 June 2015 ...
Does your summer look like this? How the Rich Kids of Instagram are spending their holidays... from road trips in luxury cars to sunbathing on million-dollar yachts
These unapologetically rich teens are celebrating their summers in styleThey have all documented their self-indulgent experiences on InstagramThese include flying to lavish holiday resorts via ...