How to tell if your antiques are worth a fortune

Salvage Hunters expert Drew Pritchard reveals how to spot a modern gem

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Look around your home. You might think that small, dusty chair you inherited needs to be chucked out, or that 1970s lampshade in the attic is deeply unfashionable. But these ordinary-looking objects might in fact be incredibly desirable and worth thousands of pounds. 

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“Furniture, lighting and jewellery from the 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s are selling very well right now,” says antiques dealer and Salvage Hunters presenter Drew Pritchard, who has chosen five objects that could be hot property.

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“Certain designers and styles are now starting to be worth a lot of money and are only going to be more valuable in 2017.”

1. Vintage fashions

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“Biba and Ossie Clark clothes from the 60s and 70s could be worth anything from a few hundred pounds to several thousand,” says Pritchard. “Floaty dresses, kaftans and floral trouser suits are 
in high demand. My mum’s got a wardrobe full of Biba clothing from when she was a model. We’re not allowed anywhere near it…”

2. Chairs and furniture


“Until recently Ernest Race chairs had very little value, but now they go for thousands. Ercol rocking chairs, Eames chairs and some of the older Beithcraft furniture is very fashionable now and fetches large sums of money.”

3. Lamps and lighting

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“I’m buying a lot of 70s lighting — lamps on stalks with a ball at the end that look like something out of Star Wars. This design came in and out of fashion fast so they’d have been chucked in the shed and forgotten about. Now they’re desirable and if you can find one of good weight and an interesting shape, you could make money. If you know what you’re looking for you can get £500 upwards for a good quality Italian piece by a brand like Steela Nova. I bought an incredible chrome light for £25 — but now I’ve restored it it’s worth at least £800.”

4. Watches and jewellery

“Watches from the 70s and early 80s were extremely stylish and have come full circle. Big, square, gold Jaeger, TAG Heuer and Rolex watches from that period are in demand. Everyone’s wearing cheap copies of that design now, but the originals are out 
there, lying around people’s homes.”

5. Cars and motorbikes

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“Some models from the mid-80s and 90s can sell for £9,000
 or more now. The Porsche 928 and Mercedes E300 Estate are classic pieces of car design and people might think they’re too old and rickety to be worth a lot of money — but with some restoration, you can really make a huge profit.”

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Salvage Hunters series 10 begins Wednesday 18 January at 9pm on Quest