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

Mugger attacks disabled pensioner who weighs less than six stone, is 4ft 6in tall and partially sighted

A disabled 67-year-old who is just 4ft 6in tall was attacked by a cowardly thug who demanded money as he was putting his bins out.Alan ... Full story

Sisters handed £110,000 after father's death - but were forced to pay it all back because it was the wrong man's money

Two sisters handed a £110,000 windfall after their father's death have been forced to pay it all back and more - after an insurance company ... Full story

Extraordinary collection of post-war photos bought for £13 at a car boot sale shows how we used to live

The memories may have faded, but these newly-found photos of bygone Britain are so clear they look as though they could have been taken yesterday.The ... Full story

The tricks of travelling in comfort revealed (without paying any extra)

It is one of the most stressful elements of travel - where to sit to ensure a comfortable flight?And with airlines trying to charge extra ... Full story

Gym fanatic, 22, suffers a heart attack and nearly dies after taking steroids to get buff quickly

A gym fanatic suffered a near-fatal heart attack on a night out after becoming addicted to the effects of taking a cocktail of steroids.Ryan Harriss, ... Full story

2,000 Tesco workers told their jobs are at risk as 43 stores face closure

Thousands of Tesco workers have been told their jobs are at risk as the troubled supermarket chain announced the names of 43 stores facing closure.  ... Full story

Environmental activist has been told she is likely to be jailed for setting 3 nail traps outside the Bristol police station that punctured the tyres of response cars

An environmental activist that used nail filled pieces of plywood to put three police cars responding to emergency calls out of action, is likely to ... Full story

12-year-old girl jumps to her death from 14th-floor apartment in Russia after her parents discover she had been watching porn

A 12 year-old Russian girl in St. Petersburg killed herself Wednesday, jumping from her block of flats after her parents discovered she'd been watching online ... Full story

The most photographed houses in Britain are photobombed by a yellow car

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Cotswold's village of Bibury to photograph the picturesque cottages on Arlington Row.But many have been left disappointed ... Full story

Husband who was supported by millionaire wife while he failed as an artist wants more than £50,000-a-year from her after split

A husband who was supported by his millionaire wife for years whilst he struggled to make it as an artist is battling against a divorce ... Full story

Have sex on the first date, pay for dinner and call him: How ANY woman can bag the man of her dreams in just 60 days

An author has claimed he can help any woman land the man of her dreams in just 60 days thanks to his dating techniques.Blake Lavak, ... 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

Featured author

Robert Livingston

Breaking News

Blake Lavak: Meet the dating guru who pans slut-shaming and advocates having sex on the first date

Blake Lavak has been criticised for telling women to 'play it hot from day one' in his new dating book. But his method - which ...

The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign

Sarah Palin is so right wing, she thinks FOX News is left of centre. So she probably wasn’t expecting to be the catalyst of a $25,000 ...

Air Miles changes: What you need to know

With British Airways overhauling its frequent-flier points system, many have reacted angrily, believing that the airline has "devalued" their Air Miles. It's not quite like that and ...

Carlsberg and Diageo affected as sliding oil prices hits drinks industry in Russia

Russians aren’t drinking as much as they used to as tumbling oil prices tip the country’s economy into recession, hitting brewer Carlsberg and Diageo, whose ...

Stealth speed cameras location: Map shows motorways where new devices are being deployed

The locations of new "stealth" cameras that will be deployed around Britain’s busiest motorways to enforce variable speed limits have been revealed. Already in place on ...

Mexico City children's hospital explosion: More than 50 people injured, many of them youngsters

At least 50 people have been injured – more than 20 of them youngsters  – after a gas explosion outside a maternity and children's hospital ...

Wife of Isis hostage Kenji Goto breaks her silence to plead for husband's safe return

The wife of Isis hostage Kenji Goto has broken her silence for the first time since her husband was captured. Mr Goto, a freelance journalist, was ...

'A wonderful, wonderful sound': Man breaks down after hearing voicemail from his late wife that was lost for 14 years

A husband who thought the voicemail message of his late wife he had been saving was lost forever has been reunited with it after 14 ...

Samsung profits decline for first time in three years as smartphone sales fall

Samsung Electronics’ decreasing smartphone sales saw it post its first decline in annual profits for three years, a day after archrival Apple’s iPhone success helped ...

Ann Maguire murder: Teenager who killed teacher loses challenge to jail term

The teenager who murdered teacher Ann Maguire has lost an appeal to see his 20-year minimum term reduced. Will Cornick, now 16, was 15-years-old when ...