Bargain Hunt star on making staggering profit from Queen’s underwear

Auctioneer Charles Hanson discusses the difficulties of auctioning

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Charles Hanson has been a staple on Bargain Hunt for 20 years, before more recently joining the BBC programme Antiques Road Trip. When the 44-year-old isn’t busy filming, he also runs his own auction room called Hansons Auctioneers. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Charles has recalled some of his most significant profits and losses throughout his career.

He went on to detail some of his more unusual finds during his antique searches.

Charles has also had the opportunity to sell a number of items that belonged to the Royal Family.

He was approached by a woman who tried to sell a pair of Queen Victoria’s underwear on eBay.

However, after struggling to sell them, she sought the help of Charles.

Recalling what the woman said to him at the time, Charles said: “Well, my grandmother served in the royal household and my grandmother was given a pair of bloomers that belonged to Queen Victoria.”

He went on to add: “We took some photos, they appeared near the national newspaper, and they were eventually bought by a lady on Broadway in New York, trying to promote and market her Broadway play.”

When asked about how much they were sold for, the expert said: “£10,000.”

Another highlight for Charles was the moment he sold a piece of uneaten toast that belonged to the now King Charles III.

“We were selling a piece of toast for Prince Charles on his wedding day…he couldn’t eat,” the Bargain Hunt star continued.

“When my client’s mother cleaned his breakfast tray in July 1981 on his wedding day, he left that piece of toast.”

“When I saw that piece of toast, my response was, ‘Crumbs’,” he joked.

In the end, Prince Charles’ piece of uneaten toast went for a staggering £800 at auction.

Charles went on to recall another fond memory of his, which is when he discovered a very rare Chinese vase.

“My highlight was a Chinese vase we found in a house in Birmingham,” he explained.

“It was Aunt Beryl’s vase, which was given to our client in 1976.

“They had no idea of value, and I went to the house and met the two grandchildren who held the vase out for me.

“I said, ‘Be careful put it down’.,” he added. “I thought it might make £50,000 and it made £700,000.”

Charles may run a successful auctioneer nowadays, but back when he first started, he admittedly made a few mistakes.

The expert explained ever since he was a child, he had a love and passion for antiques and history.

However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing and he has had to learn on the job.

Bargain Hunt is available to watch on BBC Player.

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