Bargain Hunt’s Charles Hanson sells chipped tea cup from Titanic for thousands

Bargain Hunt’s Charles Hanson sells chipped tea cup from Titanic for thousands

May 24, 2023

Antiques expert Charles Hanson evaluates charity shop finds

During one of Charles Hanson’s latest antique hunts, the Bargain Hunt expert was thrilled to find a range of ceramics made exclusively for the Titanic more than a century ago.

The cup was found at a house in Burton-on-Trent and despite it having an estimated value of £1,200, the item sold for three times its estimate and made £3,200.

The owner of the cup originally came across the item when cleaning out their late parents’ house.

They told Charles: “I lost my dad five years ago and my mum just before Christmas. The cup had been stuck in the attic for years.

“I have no idea how dad came to own something that valuable. My guess is someone gave it to him as a gift.”

After finding the item, the owner sought Charles’s help and expertise before it went under the hammer.

“I was delighted with the result,” they continued. “When the cup went under the hammer I was at a London museum with my family.

“I was trying to watch the auction on my phone but the fire alarm when off. We had to evacuate and, as we walked out, we were cheering because the price kept going up and up.”

Charles sold the cup at Hansons Auctioneers and the expert was thrilled by the outcome.

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After the cup caught his eye, Charles and fellow expert Katy Beardmore discovered there was more to it.

He soon realised the cup was “an example of a cup from a tableware range made for the Titanic more than 100 years ago”.

He shared: “The cup, which has a distinctive cobalt blue and gilt design, was made by Liner china firm Spode for Stoney & Co in Liverpool.

“Its pattern number R4332 indicated that it was made for first-class passengers.”

The Bargain Hunt star explained the cup would have been made in 1911, a year before the Titanic set sail.

The pattern on the cup was used on ceramics in the Titanic’s first-class restaurant.

“Of course, this survivor would not have set sail on the Titanic but some items may have been presented at the time as gifts or sold as White Star Line souvenirs,” Charles admitted.

The Titanic cup was sold on May 10 in Hansons Auctioneers’ Travel and Exploration Auction.

Bargain Hunt is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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