Talking Antiques With Industry Legend Charles Hanson

Industry Interviews


Welcome, once again, to "Blog Post Monday"! 

If you're an avid follower of my blog, you'll know that throughout last year, I was fortunate enough to do a series of interviews with some seriously big names in the antiques trade.  This year I'm determined to deliver you some more of the same and so far 2021 has not disappointed.  It kicked off with 'Etoile Brocante's' Kate Plumpton, who is not only an agent to the stars, but an antiques dealer too!

Over the course of the next few months I will be featuring more industry legends.  I already have some big names locked in, but I'm hoping to persuade others to follow suit and take part in my small, but mighty, antiques blog...  I'm very excited about this and I hope you are too!  So, to ensure you don't miss them, sign up to my email list from "create account" at the top of this page. 

This week, I was ever so fortunate to chat to a legend of the trade and star of some of TV's finest antiques shows.  Many of you have requested this interview and I have delivered.  So, in the style of a boxing introduction... "let's get ready to rumble...!"

"In the red corner, hailing from one of the birth places of the industrial revolution and rated by many as one of the best pound for pound antiques dealers of the last decade.  Please, Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Antiques Road Trip's very own, Mr Charles Hanson...!!"

I'm not sure what introduction music Charles would choose, but I'd like to think it would be the theme tune to Bargain Hunt...


Image:  Charles Hanson - courtesy of Hanson's Auctioneers 


Q.   How did you get into the antiques trade?



I got into the antiques trade - my father is a retired accountant, and my mother is an occupational therapist also retired - and my passion was very much from a young age visiting National Trust properties with my parents and English Heritage homes and I remember as a young 8 year old boy I bought a Royal Worcester figurine from my mother's WI stall in a local pub car park in Derbyshire and I bought it for 50p and sold it for £130.


Image: Charles Hanson


Q.   Do you collect anything and if so, what?



My passion has always been 'If history could talk what would it tell us' and from metal detecting and finding a Charles I Civil War coin from circa 1635, as it came out of the ground, I said "Hello, look at me, talk to me, what can you tell me, welcome back to life".

I love the 17th century; I love that age of Charles II really, through to George III, so small items of silver and Delft ware are favourites and of course coins from digging out of the ground!


 Image:  Charles Hanson - courtesy of


Q.   What is your most memorable find?



Most memorable items as an auctioneer ? - Probably finding a Chinese vase which we sold for £650,000 which had been used as a door stop.  I walked into the house where the grandchildren held it in the air to show me with their grandfather and they were almost swinging it from side to side!  Also two Faberge flowers which made half a million pounds found in a video cabinet in Surrey.  There have been some amazing finds. 

For me, objects which can really speak history, things like Nelson letters discovered, through to objects with a real sense of history and I learnt that when I found a pair of Queen Victoria's bloomers.  One of my colleagues modelled them and that was really the history made for my business.


Image:  Mark Stacey & Charles Hanson - courtesy of Bourne End Auction Rooms


Q.   Is there anyone in the trade who has inspired you?



I'm inspired by Paul Viney of Woolley and Wallis for what he did in his business, together with people like Tim Wonnacott, who I looked up to in my early years of Bargain Hunt.


Image:  Charles Hanson & Tim Wonnacott - courtesy of the BBC


Q.   What has been the highlight of your career so far?



Highlight for me was opening my own business in 2005 and doing an auction in my garden last year for the NHS, raising £38,000.  Really, it's the humble things in life that count and for me that was my highlight.  Yes, I have done auctions for Take That and I auctioned off Terry Wogan, and worked alongside some stars in the saleroom at some of these big charity balls, but for me it is supporting great causes and being able to give a bit back in life which I thrive on in my career.


Image:  Charles Hanson - courtesy of


Q.   Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in the trade?



Anyone starting out in their career ?  Get stuck in.  Be hands-on.  Don't be afraid to ask.  Don't think you know it all - you never do in our business.  Take work experience.  Go to car boot sales.  Talk to dealers.  The art of antiques is often the art of conversation and asking and learning and asking why.


 Image:  Charles Hanson - courtesy of 


Well, that's it for this week folks!  I really enjoyed this!  A massive thank you to Charles for taking the time to answer my questions and for agreeing to be a part of my blog.

I'll be honest here.  I've already embarrassed myself by telling Charles this, but sometimes in life, you meet the people who you admire and they turn out to be nothing like you had hoped or imagined.  However, in this case, Charles exceeded all of my hopes and expectations.  An absolute gentleman.

Charles runs Hansons, an auction firm based in Etwall in Derbyshire that also holds sales at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire and Normansfield Theatre in Teddington, London.  So, keep an eye on their auction calendars, they always are a trove absolute of treasures!  You can find more details at their website -

If you enjoy my blog, please do show your support by subscribing, which you can do via the 'Home' page or by clicking on "create account" at the top of this page.  And as always, please do let me know what you think in the comments section below.  It's always nice to hear from you!

Anyway, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!




Owner Source Vintage

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