Antiques Road Trip expert amazed as £60 camera sells for record-breaking £20,000

Antiques Road Trip expert amazed as £60 camera sells for record-breaking £20,000

May 13, 2021

A £60 find which turned out to be an antique camera ended up selling for thousands more at an auction – leaving Antiques Road Trip's Paul Laidlaw "flabbergasted".

The rare find was spotted in an antique store in Margate, Kent when he was on the lookout for collectibles.

When inside the shop, Paul was met with three floors of furniture and bits and bobs which could be extremely valuable.

The owner told him: “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!”

Measuring the unbelievable task in front of him, Paul joked: “Don’t send the calvary okay?”

After some time hunting through the treasures, Paul set his eyes on something else, which he managed to snap up for just £60.

“What do you get for your money when you open it up? That looks like a peepside and it is!" Paul explained.

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“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.”

Paul then met with Kate Bliss for the auction at Bury St Edmunds and auctioneer Edward Crichton was stunned by the item.

He said: “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.”

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When the bidding began, its price rapidly rose with several potential buyers on the phones and in the room trying to get their hands on it.

A bidder on the phone remarked: "Two," and the auctioneer confirmed: "£2000."

Bidders were also competing online when the auctioneer said: "£10,000 online!"

“He’s not slowing down,” Kate added.

Edward then said: “It’s not a record price, a record price for a general sale is £15,000, for a home and interior sale £16,000."

But bids kept coming in, with Edward telling the room: "£17,000, £18,000, £19,000. £20,000."

Eventually, it sold for £20,000 from an online bidder who was a private collector in Switzerland.

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Paul said afterward to the camera: "I’m over the moon. I am genuinely flabbergasted."

He made a profit of £19,940 and beat the show's previous best of £3750 when Anita Manning purchased a Tibetan bronze deity for £50.

All profits from the series went to Children in Need.

Antiques Road Trip airs daily at 4.30pm on BBC Two.

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